Saturday, March 22, 2014

Simple Pleasures

Finished Soap
 I  wanted to make a spring soap and I have Violet Shea fragrance oil which will be perfect.  I started by making the violets.  These I posted on Tuesday.

I waited for for 2 days before pulling the violets off of the paper.  I had to give them time to harden up enough to take off the paper.  I put the violets on paper to dry a little more last night.
The Purple Violets on top

I started by gathering wild violet leaves today.  Violet leaves are supposed to be very good for the skin.  I washed them and then added about 4 ounces of boiling filtered water.  This will form an infusion which I will add after I mix the lye into the oils.  I removed this amount from the amount of goats milk that I will use for the soap.  This will keep the soap from taking too long to cure.

My goat milk is frozen in half gallon bags.  So I start by using a clean hammer on the outside of the bag to break up the frozen milk.  The only problem with this is that I sometimes get larger lumps.  This means that it takes a little longer for all of the milk to melt.  I try to add the lye just a little bit at a time so that the milk doesn't get too hot.  This helps to prevent DOS or the dreaded orange spot from milk sugars caramelizing.

While the milk was working I measured out my oils.  I started by reserving 6 1/2 ounces from my olive oil for my colorants.  After figuring how much I still needed for the initial measurement I poured it in the bucket along with rice bran oil, palm kernel oil, and shea butter.  I blended all of the solid oils up with the liquid oils to make it easier to blend after adding the lye solution.
With white violets on top as well

I added the lye solution to the oils and blended briefly.  It really didn't take long to get this batch to come together.  After the soap started to come together I added the violet leaf infusion and the fragrance oil.  I mixed by hand and then gave it a few quick spurts with the stick blender.

My next step was to separate the batch into 1 large and 2 smaller equal parts.  To the large part I added zinc oxide mixed with 2 ounces of my reserved olive oil which I also gave a quick whir to avoid having any lumps of zinc oxide.  To the smaller parts I added 2 1/2 ounces of alkanet infused oil with a little bit of indigo mixed in to one, and to the other I added 2 ounces of comfrey infused oil with a touch of green pigment mixed in.  I hand mixed the oil colors.  I was planning to do a drop swirl design, but that didn't happen because I managed to let my batter get too thick.  I am disappointed, because I think that this soap would have been awesome with a drop swirl design.

Since my soap was thicker I did a layer of white, topped by a layer of split green and purple, and then repeated.  After getting all of my colored soap in the mold I did a simple figure 8 swirl before topping it with the remainder of the white soap.

Now for the fun part.  I had purple and white violets and leaves to cover the top of the soap.  I tried to alternate the colors along with interspersing them with leaves.  After I had all of the flowers and leaves placed to my satisfaction, I gently pressed them down to get good connection with the soap underneath.  I am hopeful that this will help to alleviate any breakage of the flowers during cutting.  I am pleased with the way the top turned out.

As a side note, for those my area, I will be a the Smith County Ag Building in Carthage on March 29th from 9 AM to 4 PM.  I would love to see you there.

I am linking with the following blogs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


  1. Very Pretty!!!
    Always love your soaps.
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop!

  2. This is some very creative work! You have explained the process of it very splendidly, i think i could try to make but i dont trust my abilities to do justice to your beautiful work!

    1. Trust your instincts but don't be afraid to try something that might scare you a bit. Start with something small and work your way up. My mom started me before I was a teen, giving me the materials for doll clothes and I worked my way up from there. ;) Have fun with it more than anything else.


Thank you so much for stopping by.