Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cheery Holiday (Advanced) CP Soap

Wouldn't these be an extra special Christmas gift? If you start your recipe this week it will be cutting it close with the cure time, so make sure to add a "ready to use date" on the packaging. Enjoy!
Buy everything you need for this three part recipe in the click of a button!

Cranberry Inclusion Directions
Two days ahead of time, make your ‘Cranberry Inclusions.' This is an unscented batch of soft soap that is almost play dough like in its consistency. The batch is a small 45 oz. size and is meant to fit into our Silicone Pans.
16 oz. Olive Oil
6.1 oz. Coconut Oil
.8 oz. Jojoba Oil
4.2 oz. Lye
10 oz. Water

Wearing full safety gear and following basic CP principles (unsure about CP soap? Watch the FREE SoapQueen.TV tutorials on CP soap here), make your soap.

Add Burgundy Oxide and Merlot mica at thin trace and stick blend in. If you want to ensure no clumps at all, pre-mix color with 2 tsp of oil. Pour your soap and do not insulate. To keep the soap softer and more pliable, not going through gel phase is essential.

After the soap has set-up for just one day, use a melon baller, a cookie dough batter tool or just cut into squares and round off the corners and form with your hands. If the soap is too sticky, mix a little flour with Merlot Mica and apply to your hands to keep your hands from getting sticking to the soap.

Next make layers 1, 2 and 3: Get your soap to thin trace then, separate it into three batches. This recipe is designed to give a good amount of working time for multiple swirls and layers.

White with Green and Black Swirl Directions
14 oz. Olive Oil
6 oz. Canola Oil
5 oz. Palm Oil
5.0 oz. Lye
11.6 oz. water


Green Soap: 20 oz soap batter with Emerald Labcolor and Green Chrome Oxide. Add approximately 1 oz fragrance.

White Soap Mix: 20 oz soap batter with Super Pearly White. Add approximately 1 oz fragrance.

Black Soap Mix: 12 oz soap batter with Black Iron Oxide and Vintage Gray Mica. Add approximately 3/4 oz fragrance.

Add the fragrance right before you pour so that if your fragrance accelerates trace you will still have time to embed your cranberry inclusions.

Fragrance the white layer of soap. Pour a thin layer of white soap over the black/green mixture. Add the Cranberry Inclusions, two by two, spacing evenly along projected bar cut lines. Pour the rest of the white soap.

Spoon or pour the remainder of the black and green swirl over the Cranberry Inclusions/White layer.

For the last layer: Split the batch into two containers.

Red and White Swirls
4.88 oz. Olive Oil
2.79 oz. Coconut Oil
2.09 oz. Canola Oil
1.74 oz. Palm Oil
1.76 oz. Lye
4.03 oz. Water

Red Soap: 7 oz soap batter blended with Burgundy Oxide and Merlot Mica. Approximately 1/2 oz fragrance blend.

Uncolored Soap: 11 oz soap batter with approximately 3/4 oz fragrance oil.

Swirl the colored soap and white soap together. Pour over the Green/Black layer.

Insulate well and allow to harden for a minimum of 2 days before cutting. To ensure your soap is mild and hard, be sure to make your soap by November 15th so it can dry for a full 4-6 weeks before the big day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Key Lime Pudding Filled Cupcakes (Recipe)

Ever since Bramble Berry was a wee thing, I've celebrated employees' Bramble'versaries by baking something that they would like. Some things are a hit (Choco Salted Caramel Beer Cupcakes), some things were just a 'nice attempt' (Bacon Caramel Cupcakes). In this case, Kelsei has been with Bramble Berry for a year as a fulltime Puller. This means that she walks up to 3 miles a day in our warehouse pulling your orders. Her favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie so I decided to make a Key Lime Cupcake (which falls strongly into the 'Hit' category).

This recipe is a bit complicated but totally worth it. There are graham crackers ground up into the cupcake batter and a key lime pie filling swirled in throughout the cupcake. If that's not enough craziness in a cupcake, you pop the cupcake tops off and fill them with a lime pudding! Whooosh!

Makes 30+ cupcakes.

Step 1 - Make the Cupcake Batter

1/2 Cup butter (room temperature)
1 Cup sugar
3 eggs
1 Cup milk
1 Cup flour
1 1/2 Cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
14oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 Cup lime or key lime juice

Preheat your oven to 350; line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Beat the butter until creamy (about 30 seconds). Add the sugar and mix for approximately three minutes until it is lighter and more fluffy. Add the eggs and mix on medium for an additional 3 minutes.

Grind the graham crackers up into tiny bits (they're headed into the batter). I used a food processor but you could smoosh 'em with a rolling pin or a meat masher thingy.

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Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) if you're really into absolute precision baking. I'm not (I figure this much sugar and butter in a recipe is enough to make anyone overlook a few mini lumps).

Add a bit of this into the butter mixture, mix up, add some milk, add some more dry, add some milk and keep this up until it's all in there. Mix until it's all combined.

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Now it's time to make the traditional tart and amazing Key Lime filling (yum yum!). In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks (only the yolks!), sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Whip this. It gets to be a beautiful pudding like consistency.

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Add this Key Lime filing into the graham batter and stir just a bit. You don't want to mix in the Key Lime filling all the way. You'll want chunks of it throughout your cupcake.

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Fill your cupcake liners up about 2/3 full. These cupcakes don't puff out like a normal cupcake. They sort of end up a bit like a sponge cake. Be sure to that each cupcake as a good mix of Key Lime pie filling and graham cracker cupcake batter.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Make sure each liner has a nice distribution of key lime liquid and graham clumps. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until you can put a knife or knitting needle into the cupcake and it comes out clean.

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Step Two - Lime Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

8 oz package of cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 Cup butter (room temperature)
4 Cup powdered sugar
1 tsp lime extract

(True Confessions: I couldn't find Lime Extract but I did find Lime Juice so I used that instead)

Mix the cream cheese and butter. Whip in the powdered sugar and lime extract/juice. Take a huge finger swipe. Isn't that good?

Step Three - Filling

1 box (4-serving size) Lime instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 1/2 Cups whipping cream
1/4 Cup Key lime or regular lime juice
4 drops green food color
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar

Make the pudding mix; whip in everything else and get ready to fill your cupcakes.

You're almost done! Almost there! Just take a knife and carve out a little upside down rounded triangle out of your cupcake. Cut the 'point' off the cupcake. Eat it. Isn't that insanely yummy? Now, fill up a baggie with your Filling. Cut off a very small tip. You want to be able to control the flow. Fill up the cupcake holes.

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Then top the filling with your little cupcake hats.

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Now, you're ready to frost. Fill up a baggie with all of your frosting and snip a teensy tip off the frosting bag and frost your cupakes in a circular fashion.

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Are they all frosted? Have a bite. You've earned it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Boy or Girl?

After making my poor family and friends wait for a full extra week so I could tell my folks in person, we're ready to share our little Bramble Bump news with the world. 2800 of you voted in the poll - as of this morning, the votes give a little girl the edge. Were you right?

Now can you guess? 
Of course, we used cupcakes to tell them about the baby - Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes filled with a white chocolate ganache. They were INSANE sweet but yes, I will definitely be sharing that recipe (right after I share the Key Lime Cupcakes from last week). The color of the ganache was the sex of the baby. Yes, we are officially having a BOY! The entire family is thrilled, tears were shed (of happiness!) and now the fun begins - decorating the nursery, my new (large) baby office and choosing a name!
Blue Cupcake for BOY!
Erik (my younger brother) made the Onesie mold just for my baby gender announcement but when we saw how cute they turned out, I had him whip up a bunch more just for you. You can buy the soap mold here. The technique to make the dual colored Onesies is just like the technique in this Gingerbread Man tutorial.   

Thursday, November 25, 2010

We Made Stuffing Cupcakes!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. I hope you spent today with family or friends, laughing and reminsicing about fun adventures and memories.


The best gift was that my husband made it home from his business trip to Saudi Arabia with one hour to spare before dinner. We're reading 'Parenting' Magazine. Note our 'Team Baby Girl or Boy' shirts. =)


My sister-in-law and I baked up a storm - portabella mushroom lasagna (recipe here), mashed potatoes, two kinds of vegetarian faux-loaf, homemade rolls, and an amazing decadent butterscotch butterscotch dessert (recipe here).


We didn't go hungry, that's for sure!


We made cupcakes out of our stuffing. They were perfectly sized for perfectly filling carb loading.


But of course, the real show stopper was the 'Guess the Baby Sex' cupcakes. You'll be in suspense for just one more day and then we're telling the world what's kicking up a storm in my belly.


Of course, no family gathering would be complete without the original grandchildren, Samantha and Toby.



Look how big Toby has gotten! Our little puppy has grown into a big 8 month old. Remember how little Toby was when Erik first got him?


I hope that you had an equally fantastic Thanksgiving. Stay tuned tomorrow for the Bramble Bump announcement.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whipped Belly Butter Tutorial

3 oz. Calendula-Infused Jojoba Oil
14 oz. Shea Butter 
.3 oz. equal parts: German Chamomile, Carrot Seed, Frankincense (optional), Helischryum (optional), 

Get all of the ingredients you need in the click of a button!

Wondering why I chose all the ingredients I did? I wrote an explanation here. Curious about how to infuse oils? Tutorial here.

Weigh out all of your ingredients (volume doesn't provide the same. This is a photo of the German Chamomile. It is a dark beautiful blue.

Warm your liquid oils in the microwave and put the cocoa butter in with them. Melt until the cocoa butter is melted in. You might need to stir it a bit to get the last of the cocoa butter melted in. Do not melt the shea butter. Add your warmed oils onto the shea butter.  Using a stick blender, 'trap' the shea butter chunks under your stick blender and blend them up until they incorporate into the mixture.

Turn on your stand mixer on low (it can splatter oils otherwise). Slowly start to increase the speed to medium and whip until all the butters are fully mixed in. The mixture looks lighter and fluffy, sort of like a warm frosting. Pour into containers.

Allow to harden before use. Balm melts almost instantly on contact with skin and is incredibly skin loving and nourishing. Amber in the office swears that is has cured her dry and cracking fingers (darn that cold spell we're having) and my belly looks moisturized (albeit a bit larger than normal). No more itchy, peeling skin for me! Note: This is designed to be a more therapeutic recipe. It won't smell delicious and fruity. If you're going for sweet and fruity smells, stick with fragrance oils.

Exotic Belly Balm - Oil Choices & Why

Even though I'm only 18 weeks along, my belly is stretched tight and it's itchy and peeling. It's really not all that attractive. Given that I make yummy products for a living, I took this on as a personal challenge! Stay tuned for the recipe later today. The oils I used:

Cocoa Butter - Long used for centuries for stretch marks, cocoa butter has proven to be no better than a placebo for actually preventing stretch marks (NYTimes article). So, why did I put it into my formula? Cocoa Butter has a compound called CMP (cocoa mass polyphenol), a substance that helps with dermatitis.

Vitamin E - Vitamin E beat out Cocoa Butter for stretch mark relief (citation here). Vitamin E is a an anxi-oxidant that helps to defend skin from free-radicals. Free-radicals attack the skin structure leading to aging, wrinkles and generally unhealthy skin.

Jojoba Oil infused with Calendula Petals - Jojoba oil is a liquid wax. Out of all the oils (or in this case, liquid waxes!), it is closest to the human skin in its make up. Calendula is incredibly nourishing to skin, especially irritated skin. For infusion directions, click here.

Hemp Seed Oil, Unrefined:  Hemp Seed Oil is fantastic to use in skin care products because of its lipid profile; it has over 80% Essential Fatty Acids. Additionally, Hemp Seed Oil has been found to help with eczema.

Shea Butter: If there was only one butter I could be stranded on a desert island with, this would be it. High in unsaponifiables, this butter is extremely emollient, making it a key ingredient in many body butters and lotions.

Essential Oils:

Carrot Seed: Carrot Seed Essential Oil is well known for its help with aging skin and to protect skin against wrinkles. Carrot Seed has a very earthy smell.

Frankincense: Used by some of the large cosmetic companies in their anti-aging skincare, Frankincense is known to be soothing and skin-loving.

Helicrhrysum: This essential oil has almost a magical lore about it for healing bruises and soothing dry skin.

German Chamomile: One of my favorite essential oils for skin care, German Chamomile helps calm itchy, irritated skin because of its high azulene content. German Chamomile smells herbal-y and not sweet at all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is a Fragrance Oil Made Of?

Q: What exactly is a fragrance oil made out of? I went to buy some today and noticed there was no ingredients listed. 

A: Fragrance Oils do not have full ingredient disclosure; they fall under 'Trade Secret' status with the FDA and so simply putting "Fragrance" on an ingredient list will suffice.

There are over 3500 materials (aroma chemicals, essential oils and essential oil components) that are approved for use in fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are not policed by the FDA; rather, they are a self-regulated body. Each individual ingredient is tested for things such as irritation, solvency, absorption, to physical characteristics like flash point, specific gravity, and flammability as well as more serious things, such as carcinogenic indicators etc... Once an ingredient is fully tested, the results are published in a peer-reviewed journal. A group called 'RIFM' performs all the tests (RIFM stands for Research Institute for Fragrance Materials).

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is an international organization that represents fragrance manufacturers. IFRA takes the data and reports from RIFM, evaluates it and publishes guidelines for usage. IFRA will make recommendations for which raw materials are safe to use in fragrance oils; often, what is safe for potpourri will not be safe for the skin. Your supplier should follow IFRA’s guidelines and use only RIFM approved materials in their fragrance oils. Of course, Bramble Berry follows IFRA's guidelines and uses only RIFM approved materials in our fragrance oils. =)

Curious to learn more about safety, sustainability and the technical details behind fragrance oils? Chemist Stephen Herman has a great article that he wrote for Perfumer & Flavorist that you can read here.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

Latest Etsy Purchases

Wow! Where did the day go? All of a sudden I look up and it's past 9 p.m. and I haven't even written my blog. Whoops! I've got some exciting projects underway for this week - a Belly Balm recipe to share with you, the Cranberry Fig soap instructions and (eeeek!) the sex of the baby. It's going to be a jam-packed week. Yay! But in the meantime, I've been doing a little shopping on Etsy and here's my latest finds and purchases:

Recycled Baby Thank You notes. I'm thinking about having this seller (graciegirlnotes) make all the baby shower invitations for the new Bramble Baby. This is my trial order to see the quality and consistency of this seller. I love supporting small business.

A Butter Caramel sampler for my family at Thanksgiving. With flavors like Matcha Green Tea, Rose, and French Lavender, not buying from Fusion Sweets was a virtual impossibility. My family is excited to try the veritable sugar feast.  And I'm just excited to see my family, caramels or not! =)

For some reason, I am an absolute sucker for necklaces with sayings and whimsical things on them. I was looking for a pendant that actually said "Be Happy" but out of all of Etsy, I couldn't find one but I did find this adorable one  from Always A Memory and I couldn't help but make it mine.

Etsy is always my shopping downfall but in this case, there's no buyer's remorse. =)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Keeping the Bramble Bump Safe

Aromatherapy & Pregnancy : The History of Warnings

Since I'm 4 1/2 months pregnant, of course I'm more careful than ever with soapmaking, fragrance oils and essential oils. Given some of the scary warnings about essential oils (and my proximity to them daily), I went to my friend and aromatherapist Kayla Fioravanti to get some advice. She kindly wrote the guest blog below about aromatherapy and pregnancy. 

In aromatherapy the use of essential oils during pregnancy remains a contentious subject debated by many in the industry.  We get asked about aromatherapy in pregnancy most commonly by those who become pregnant while running their own soap, aromatherapy, spa or personal care product line.   
From Aromatherapist to Aromatherapist you may get varying answers when it comes to prenatal aromatherapy.  Some believe that essential oils should be completely avoided during the first trimester and others believe they should be avoided all together and then there are others that don’t avoid them at all.  I, personally, worked as an Aromatherapist through two of my three pregnancies.  I handled, blended and manufactured using essential oils on a daily basis with no ill-effects on my pregnancy or babies.  I also used aromatherapy for massage, and baths to treat my stress, body aches, fatigue, morning sickness and labor successfully.  To confidently use aromatherapy in pregnancy it is vital to understand the root of aromatherapy warnings and contraindications.  
The fears surrounding aromatherapy in pregnancy are found in historical cases in which essential oils were misused purposefully or accidently.  All of the cases of adverse reactions in pregnancy are related to women drinking large doses of essential oils.  Any responsible Aromatherapist would never suggest that essential oils should be consumed.  In reality essential oils no matter what the circumstances are should never be taken orally. 
Aromatherapists all warn their clients away from pennyroyal essential oil due to a case in the USA in which a woman drank a large dose of pennyroyal in order to induce an abortion that proved fatal to her (Gold and Cates, 1980).  One out of four cases in which pregnant women accidently drank Camphor oil instead of Castor oil resulted in the death of the baby (Weiss and Catalano, 1976).
There has never been a reported case of a woman or baby being harmed by topical or inhalation therapy used during pregnancy or labor.  Another reported cases in which pennyroyal and parsley seed were taken in large doses caused hepatotoxicty which resulted in the death of the baby.  There are two other case in which women consumed the same large doses of pennyroyal (100 to 200 times the recommended topical application) in which both the mothers and the babies survived unharmed. 
It is cases like this that give essential oils warning and contraindications. 
Worldwide a large number of midwives and nurses have become Certified and/or Registered Aromatherapist over the past ten years.  Aromatherapy in the labor and delivery room has been a common practice in England since 1987.  After 22 years of regular use of aromatherapy by midwives and nurses in England one would think that by now if topical and inhalation usage of essential oils was dangerous during pregnancy there would be a case reported by now, but there have been none. 
The most recent case of a pregnant woman consuming essential oils resulted in a midwife losing her job and license, but no harm to the mother or baby.   In North Wales, midwife Sandra Hughes who was trained in aromatherapy mixed some sweet almond oil with two drops of lavender and one drop of lime in a plastic cup and left it by her patient’s bedside.  Her intention for it to be massage onto the patient but after a mix up while she was out of the room the patient drank the blend.  The mother and baby were monitored but suffered no ill effects.  Communication and proper application of essential oils is vital. 
In reality essential oils have been used by pregnant women for thousands of years safely.  Most perfumes on the market use essentials oils or components of essential oils combined with synthetic fragrance chemicals.  Yet you never see a warning on perfume bottles to avoid during pregnancy.  Chemical components of essential oils have historically been used in the production of fragrance oils as well and have caused no ill effects during pregnancy.  For instance, nutmeg essential oil is one of the ingredients used to make Green Tea fragrance oil.  Below you will find nutmeg on the “essential oils to avoid during the first trimester” list, however, it is a component of a common fragrance oil that pregnant women use every day all over the world with no ill effects. 
You will find that the aromatherapy field, in general, has chosen to err on the side of caution. 
Be aware that during pregnancy a woman has a heightened sense of smell.  Always use half dose of essential oils for pregnant women.  The highest percentage of essential oil in aromatherapy products for pregnant women is 2%. Be completely in-tune with what essential oils she finds repulsive or dislikes during pregnancy.  I have found that most pregnant women find essential oils that are highly hormonal distasteful during the first trimester of pregnancy.  My theory is that her body warning her away from essential oils with properties that it does not need at a given time.  I have also found that women crave and adore highly hormonal essential oils when they have PMS or are going through menopause.  It is as if the nose if leading her to oils that it needs at a given time in her life. 
There is no documentation on whether or not essential oils pass through the placenta but because they have low molecular weights and are negatively charged molecules it is feasible to assume that they do.  The placenta acts a barrier to positively charge molecules but negatively charged molecules do cross the placenta (Maickel & Snodgrass 1973) which makes choosing the right essential oils used during pregnancy vital. 
For instance, savin and Spanish sage could be extremely detrimental during pregnancy.  They are not common essential oils used aromatherapy; however, they are a good example of why precaution is used by Aromatherapists.  Savin (Juniperus savina) and Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulifolia) essential oils contain the compound sabinyl acetate which has been proven to have a teratogenic effect (ability to interfere with normal embryonic development) in laboratory animals (Guba 2002). 
Many essential oils are believed to have emmenagogic actions (cause uterine contractions believed to induce menstrual cycle) and are believed to be dangerous to use during pregnancy.  However, many Aromatherapists believe that emmenagogic actions are not enough to affect a stable pregnancy.  The controversy lies in the history of a pregnant woman.  If a woman has had miscarriages in the past it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid emmenagogic essential oils. 
When buying essential oils always cross check them by using their Latin nomenclature in combination with the common name.  This will ensure consistency and above all safety.  It is critically important to know the difference between various essential oils, for instance, clary sage is very helpful in labor yet sage is contraindicated for pregnancy.  Aromatherapists use Latin nomenclature to identify essential oils for that very reason.  For instance, clary sage is Salvia sclarea and Salvia officinalis is sage.  Using both names to identify and crosscheck your essential oil choices is the best practice to protect your business. 
The safest essential oils to use in pregnancy are the citrus essential oils including; bergamot, lemon, lime, sweet orange, mandarin, grapefruit and tangerine.  They all such low molecular weights that they disperse into the air shortly after application.  There are no contraindications, no safety data and no warnings that are related in any way to pregnancy. 
Occasionally you might find them on a list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy but that is only when the Aromatherapist has taken every essential oil with a warning and lumped them into the avoid during pregnancy list.  The only warning for all citrus essential oils is that they may be phototoxic which means that they may increase the risk of sunburn when used undiluted.  But since you won’t be using any essential oil over 2% on a pregnant woman you are well within safety limits. 
I highly recommend the use of grapefruit essential oil for massage throughout pregnancy.  It is the only citrus essential oil that is not phototoxic so you even avoid that warning.  It uplifts the spirit, eases the mind, has an astringent property that leaves the skin feeling great, helps with water retention and is generally known as safe in all cases.  If you were to add one essential oil from pregnancy massage grapefruit is the safest, most universally liked essential oil on the market. 
Common Essential Oil Warning for Pregnancy
Emmenagogic essential oils: 
 basil, carrot see, German and Roman chamomile, sweet fennel, clary sage, juniper berry, lavender, sweet marjoram, myrrh, rose, rosemary, peppermint. 
Safe throughout pregnancy:  bergamot, lemon, lime, sweet orange, mandarin, grapefruit and tangerine.
Avoid in first trimester:  palmarosa, sweet fennel, peppermint, carrot seed, nutmeg, bay, anise, cinnamon, sage, myrrh, juniper, lovage, Roman and German chamomile, cajuput, peppermint, melissa, marjoram, rose otto, rosemary, clary sage, vetiver, basil, oregano, black pepper, sandalwood.
Essential Oils to Avoid Completely During Pregnancy:savin, Spanish sage, angelica, calamus, buchu, wormwood, davana, mugwort, mustard, wild basil, calamint, wormseed, brown & blue & white camphor, horseradish, blue cypress, turmeric, bitter fennel, Bulgarian geranium, wintermint, star anise, cade oil, latana, Spanish lavender, bog myrtle, dog basil, Brazilian sassafras, parsley seed, lavender cotton, sassafras, tansy, thuja, dill, yarrow, tarragon, caraway, camphor, broad-leaved peppermint, hyssop, pennyroyal, spearmint, rosemary, tagette.  
photo credit:  Miche Photography

This guest blog was written by author Kayla Fioravanti. She is a Cosmetic Formulator and Registered Aromatherapist. She writes for Demascope Magazine, Les NouvellesEsthetiques & Spa's and NAHA. In addition to that, she is passionate about small business; she went to Washington DC with a committed group of small business advocates to talk about the small micro beauty businesses.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanks-Soaping Technique Tutorial

Melt and Pour Tools *really* make a world of difference for Melt and Pour soap designs, especially intricate patterns like the Thanksgiving Mold.


What you'll need for this project: 

To make the Pumpkin Soap

1. Mix 2 ounces of clear soap with Liquid Orange Color until you achieve the color you want. 

2. Fill in the entire cavity. Allow to harden.

3. Once the Orange Soap has fully hardened, take your Scraper tool from your Tool Kit and cut 'n' pry the orange soap out of the corn cavities.

Thanksgiving Christmas MP Projects

3. Prepare your Yellow and Green-Brown soaps (using Clear Melt and Pour). Using your syringe, drop yellow colored soap into the corn and green with a touch of brown colored soap into the 'leaves'. Tilt the mold as necessary to allow the yellow to fill in the corn entirely. The soap dries fast so it doesn't take long.

Thanksgiving Christmas MP Projects

4. Cut out the Pumpkin Stem and fill that in with the syringe.  Allow all of the colors to fully harden.

Thanksgiving Christmas MP Projects

5. Prepare your background color. I used an Orange Brown mixture so the color was a warm fall tone. Add fragrance to this soap. It is about 2 ounces per cavity so make up approximately 4 ounces of soap colorant.

6. Check that temperature before you pour. Is it 130 or below? If it's not, it may melt that first layer. Spritz the first colored layers with rubbing alcohol and slowly pour the background soap over. Give one final touch with rubbing alcohol and wait for 4 to 6 hours to pop your soap out.


Tip! I always keep warm boiling water on hand to rinse my syringe out in between each use.

Thanksgiving Christmas MP Projects

Tip 2: I prepare ALL of my soap colors for these projects at once and then let them sit, covered, so I can work quickly.

Showing how to make intricate designs
Thanksgiving Christmas MP Projects

Follow this same process for the Turkey Soap EXCEPT fill in the feather plume first. You can use the scraper/pick to scrape away any of the parts that spilled over. I used different gradients of yellow to make it look more varied and interesting.

Showing how to make intricate designs

These very basic scrape/layering techniques produced all of these bars of soap below. I love how versatile Melt and Pour can be with the Melt and Pour Tool Kit.

Showing how to make intricate designs