I have been itching to make some more soap since my DH made me some soap moulds way back here http://lizardslittleluxuries.blogspot.com/2009/05/too-much-stuff-not-enough-time.html
but I never quite got there. So after receiving a soap book for my birthday, I made sure that I went through and picked out the recipes I was really interested in. I bought the oils and fats that I needed and set to it this weekend. Both of the recipes I used were from "The Handmade Soap Book" by Melinda Coss.
First up was Pink Lavender & Lime Soap. It was my first time using an animal fat - dripping for this recipe. I will pass judgement on the use of the animal fats once I have used a bar of soap containing it. As I was weighing the lye, it looked slightly odd - like it was too much. So I looked at the recipe to confirm, and that is what it stated (turns out that it WAS too much - making the soap lye heavy. I am unsure exactly what properties this creates to the finished soap, as it was only 16g too much. Important note - ALWAYS run your recipe through a lye calculator first!! Turns out many of the recipes in this book are lye heavy, so I went through and recalculated every recipe and pencilled the changes in. Luckily I worked out the correct amount before doing my second batch).
I also used colour for the first time - wheee - that is so much fun lol I added bentonite clay beads to the soap to give it slight exfoliating properties. It was bright blue going into the moulds. Hopefully it will subdue somewhat.
The pink is the clay beads.
The next batch I did was Sunshine Soap. It used lard as one of the fats. That stuff does not smell pretty when melted! So it may very well be the last time I use that - unless of course the soap that results is the best stuff ever! lol
I used a fragrance oil called Sea Salty Breeze for this soap, and the yellow colouring as it suggested. Now, why I didn't use blue or green colouring to match the scent, I have no idea "duh". But that is why it is called learning I suppose. Anyways, I took a small amount of the un-coloured soap out of the pot, as I wanted to have a go at swirling it in. When I added the colour I nearly choked! It looked like pumpkin soup! Argh - not a good look. Fingers really tightly crossed that it fades well. It also looked a little chunky as I poured it into the mould, so I suspect that I traced it slightly too much.
I will update with their progress out of the moulds very soon! Off to check them.