ENTRY THREAD for Weather Event or Life Event Inspired Soap - SMF September 2021 Challenge

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earlene

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This is the entry thread for the September 2021 SMF Challenge - Weather Event or Life Event Inspired Soap.

Include at least 1 bar of soap from your batch in your entry photo. You may include multiple bars in your entry photo, but all must be from the same batch. Please post the photo you wish to be used in the voting survey as your FIRST photo. If you would care to share anything about your design, process, colors, fragrance or inspiration, please do. A couple of reminders:

1. The entry thread is for participant entry photos only. Please post any comments to the general challenge thread SMF September 2021 Challenge - Weather Event or Life Event Inspired soap
2. The entry thread will remain open until September 28, 2021 at 1:00 PM GMT.
3. Voting will run from September 28, 2021 (sometime after 1PM GMT) until September 30, 2021 at 8:00 PM GMT.
4. After the entry thread is closed, a link and password to the voting survey will be sent by private message to those who have signed up. The winners will be announced as soon thereafter as possible on September 30, 2021 (hopefully no later than 10 PM GMT.)

Good luck everyone!
 
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I live in South Florida, home of Palm Trees and hurricanes. So here’s my Palm Trees in a hurricane soap.
 

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This fall marks the 45th anniversary of my first oceanographic research cruise. It was a life and weather event of great magnitude for me. The ship was the 175’ HJW Fay, a commercially-leased research vessel out of Florida. Although I already have some pretty vivid memories, finding a photograph and the plans for the Fay on a USGS website has helped to surface even more.

When we left port in Virginia for the continental shelf and shelf break region off New York and New Jersey, the fall weather was glorious. The ocean colors changed considerably as we moved offshore, from greens to teals and dark blues to a truly deep and cavernous navy at the edge of the continental shelf. The occasional dolphin would swim in the bow wake and there were many foreign fishing vessels around, in part, because the cruise took place before the two-mile limit went into effect. The shelf off NJ was particularly rich in ocean scallops in those days, as well as flounders and other commercially harvestable fish species.

I was assigned the 4-8 watch, which meant I was on deck from 4 to 8 in the morning and 4 to 8 in the afternoon. There were stunning sunrises and sunsets and when I had time to star gaze after my work was done, incredibly clear and starry night skies to be taken in.

My memories are much more centered on the beauty of the ocean and the sky than on the people on the cruise, but I do recall that the scientific crew was sizeable, maybe 20-25 people altogether. My group worked from the Fo’c’sle (upper) deck and others were on the fantail of the main deck or in the science lab. We collected every kind of sample imaginable, from water and mud to bacteria and fish, as the basis for a government sponsored environmental assessment in advance of planned leasing of large tracts of the shelf for oil and gas development. Public pressure (and economics?) halted that round of leasing, but the work remains as a basis for today’s discussions about the potential impacts of wind farms on the shelf.

The cruise was scheduled to last for two weeks, but then a Nor’easter was upon us. We were close to the end of the planned sampling and, given the high costs of research cruises, we tried to speed up the work. The seas were rough, but workable. That being said, I grew increasingly worried when they decided that the two of us working closest to the water on the upper deck should be tethered to the railing. We donned heavy leather belts like the ones a pole climbing electrician or tree climbing forester might wear for safety. With a steel cable hooked between the belt and the rail, tethering would make it a lot easier to retrieve us if we fell overboard! We pushed on, finished the watch, did what we needed to do in the lab and then went to bed at about 9 pm. The work was aborted only an hour later when two untethered scientists working on the fantail were almost washed away.

And so began a seemingly endless journey to Atlantic City. I recall that I spent some brief moments on the captain’s bridge watching the churning sea and the largest waves I’ve ever seen crash across the bow. I also remember trying to eat breakfast the first morning, a plan that was put to rest when my galley chair went over backwards and slid several feet across the floor with me in it. In the end, I spent most of the time in my bunk reading Steinbeck’s East of Eden. That alone was a very memorable experience because I went into what I have always called a semi-conscious “dream state” where I became a part of the story being told. To commemorate that part of the experience, I‘ve been listening to the audiobook at night before I fall asleep.

To commemorate the cruise, the ocean and the storm, here is my soap, along with a photo of HJW Fay and one of the schematics of the ship’s layout.

Nor’easter

F3B22ECB-393A-4E1D-8B98-9EA56ECFC1C5.jpeg


Thank you so much Earlene for the inspiration that has helped me remember some of the finer details of a significant experience that took place in my early adult life and career.

ETA: the soap was made using a modified side wall pour in a slab mold, with oxide and ultramarine colorants and an EO blend that smells a lot better than the diesel exhaust of a research ship.
 
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Drought

drought.jpg


A lake silting up? An aquifer cut from its groundwater supply? A rock arch in the desert collapsing? A symbolic drop of irrigation, desperate attempt to revive a desertifying terrain?
I'll leave it to your imagination what you see here.
I'll not leave it to your imagination what motivated me for this design. Drought is a “slow” and “silent” weather event. You cannot escape, even if it doesn't directly affect you. Burnt grass on traffic islands, crop failure, forest fires, heat waves, water rationing, rivers no longer navigable for ships. Caprioles of an atmosphere out of whack – no longer just “far away” in the newscast from savannas and eucalyptus forests on the other side of the globe, but right here, in temperate climates, deemed safe. It is concerning all of us.
My personal connection is that I am subconsciously suffering – not only from hot, dry summers, but just as well from mild, dry winters that fail to replenish the merciless memory of the weather history across time. Is it some kind of empathy and connection with the biosphere that is faced with increasingly unreliable precipitation? Im feeling sorry and a bit ashamed when I see the the rowan tree in front of my window getting autumnal in May. Drought.

I remember, back in school, I went on a two-week trip to Tuscany, in July. 35°C, heat shimmering above roof tiles. We sweated, we lied by the pool, we smelled the olive groves and cypresses in the evening sun. But back home, it had 35°C as well – one of these excruciating summers of the century (that we now have every one or two years).
Here, north of the Alps, we (the humans, the forests, the ecosystem as a whole) are not used to Mediterranean drought. But we better should get used to it, presumed that humanity decides to go on destroying (if not the planet as such, then at least) our own comfort of living on it.


Well, enough for conceptual parlando – let's turn towards the soap itself! It formally qualifies not only for this month, but also for the August 2021 (ombré), October 2019 (mini drop swirl) and maybe also December 2015 (high/low water) challenges.
The bottom part is a (slightly modified) ombré: I started with a soap batter with plenty of TD at high lye concentration; though, instead of blending it with another tinted soap batter, I gradually added just water (or, rather, a dilute aqueous solution of glycerol and caramel food colouring), so that along the ombré transition, the concentration of lye and TD gradually declines, and caramel increases. My idea was a gradient in water content, hence the severity of glycerin rivers (I speculated on the dry-crack look that would have fit great into the drought subject); obviously, I still haven't got the hang of them yet, back to the drawing board once again…

Then, into this ombré base, I injected a streak of blue soap batter in mini drop swirl fashion, and finally poured the rest of the batter on top. The blue comes from woad indigo vat (0.25%TOW woad). The very top layer has faded, but I'm quite happy how rich the colour stayed within the bulk! It seems that vigorous CPOP-oid gelling (in my despair to provoke glycerin rivers) has helped the colour a lot. The more turquoise than denim colour surprised me; I blame in part my quite yellowish oil blend (40% RBO), in part the vat detour, for this. For sure another thing I'll pursue further!

I've once again learned a lot, about planning, preparation, and timing. About memories, ambition and satisfaction. Thank you so much @earlene for hosting the challenge! I'm looking forward to what the others have come up with! And I'm looking forward to … rain. Boring incessant rain to replenish the exhausted moisture reserves of our soils.
 
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Drought

View attachment 61203

A lake silting up? An aquifer cut from its groundwater supply? A rock arch in the desert collapsing? A symbolic drop of irrigation, desperate attempt to revive a desertifying terrain?
I'll leave it to your imagination what you see here.
I'll not leave it to your imagination what motivated me for this design. Drought is a “slow” and “silent” weather event. You cannot escape, even if it doesn't directly affect you. Burnt grass on traffic islands, crop failure, forest fires, heat waves, water rationing, rivers no longer navigable for ships. Caprioles of an atmosphere out of whack – no longer just “far away” in the newscast from savannas and eucalyptus forests on the other side of the globe, but right here, in temperate climates, deemed safe. It is concerning all of us.
My personal connection is that I am subconsciously suffering – not only from hot, dry summers, but just as well from mild, dry winters that fail to replenish the merciless memory of the weather history across time. Is it some kind of empathy and connection with the biosphere that is faced with increasingly unreliable precipitation? Im feeling sorry and a bit ashamed when I see the the rowan tree in front of my window getting autumnal in May. Drought.

I remember, back in school, I went on a two-week trip to Tuscany, in July. 35°C, heat shimmering above roof tiles. We sweated, we lied by the pool, we smelled the olive groves and cypresses in the evening sun. But back home, it had 35°C as well – one of these excruciating summers of the century (that we now have every one or two years).
Here, north of the Alps, we (the humans, the forests, the ecosystem as a whole) are not used to Mediterranean drought. But we better should get used to it, presumed that humanity decides to go on destroying (if not the planet as such, then at least) our own comfort of living on it.


Well, enough for conceptual parlando – let's turn towards the soap itself! It formally qualifies not only for this month, but also for the August 2021 (ombré), October 2019 (mini drop swirl) and maybe also December 2015 (high/low water) challenges.
The bottom part is a (slightly modified) ombré: I started with a soap batter with plenty of TD at high lye concentration; though, instead of blending it with another tinted soap batter, I gradually added just water (or, rather, a dilute aqueous solution of glycerol and caramel food colouring), so that along the ombré transition, the concentration of lye and TD gradually declines, and caramel increases. My idea was a gradient in water content, hence the severity of glycerin rivers (I speculated on the dry-crack look that would have fit great into the drought subject); obviously, I still haven't got the hang of them yet, back to the drawing board once again…

Then, into this ombré base, I injected a streak of blue soap batter in mini drop swirl fashion, and finally poured the rest of the batter on top. The blue comes from woad indigo vat (0.25%TOW woad). The very top layer has faded, but I'm quite happy how rich the colour stayed within the bulk! It seems that vigorous CPOP-oid gelling (in my despair to provoke glycerin rivers) has helped the colour a lot. The more turquoise than denim colour surprised me; I blame in part my quite yellowish oil blend (40% RBO), in part the vat detour, for this. For sure another thing I'll pursue further!

I've once again learned a lot, about planning, preparation, and timing. About memories, ambition and satisfaction. Thank you so much @earlene for hosting the challenge! I'm looking forward to what the others have come up with! And I'm looking forward to … rain. Boring incessant rain to replenish the exhausted moisture reserves of our soils.
Lovely, I hope you get rain soon.
 
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I knew this woman once...omg she drove me nuts! I really did not like her. She was so eccentric. We used to play poker at the same game for a long time.

I wasn't in the poker circuit for a couple of weeks. Then one day I went to go play. In her usual Rosie the paper towel lady loud voice, she says "Hey!! Heard you got kicked out of your condo!" Of course I took offense, like "thanks for letting the whole room know".

I lived in a condo and we had a hurricane...kinda minor, no damage. But it is what it is...the condo association main person wanted her mother to move into my condo and well, they are stronger than I am legal-wise. So I got kicked out.

Back to this crazy lady at poker...

It's not that I couldn't afford my condo. I lived there for about 5 years. Weird circumstances. I was really embarrassed so I kinda laid low for a while until I decided to go out to play cards this night.

Ready to fight this woman for calling me out on getting kicked out of my condo (and really miserable in my current living situation with a friend who didn't really fit my preferred living situation), somebody steps in and says..."she wants you to come live with her". "OK...NO..." LOL. Is she nuts?? I can't live with her.

After later speaking with her....she just wanted someone she could trust, and she had some medical problems. We have known each other for years and I happened to be medical. I said yes selfishly. I still hated this woman, but yes, I was selfish and moved in the very next day. She said "$500/month and you can leave whenever you find another place to live. It's win-win".

SHE LATER BECAME MY VERY BEST FRIEND

One year later and I was still there. Then she let on that she was rich. I had no idea. One Christmas I was supposed to go to a friends house for a party, then Pam bought the movie Michael on PPV because I said like a year ago that it was one of my favorite movies, so I stayed home to watch it with her (and got her drunk lol). I had the best time. I found myself staying home more and more with Pam because I simply enjoyed her company.

I became super protective of her. She had very fragile diabetes, so I learned every thing I could about it. She started introducing me as her daughter and I really felt like she was my mother (about 15 year age difference).

Pam was a realtor and had acquired a few houses...8 to be exact. If she had to deliver a notice or encounter a tenant I would go with her to make sure she was safe. Ain't nobody gonna mess with Pam with me around LOL. I was her Pitbull.

She had a "meeting" with me on the porch one day (remember I said she was eccentric), and handed me unsigned papers that she was selling me one of her properties. 1200ft, 1/4 acre, financed through her because I have bad credit, for $1200/month, which included her stashing away a bit for an eventual down payment for me when I would finance the house on my own through a bank...estimated time was 5 years. Caveat was that I had to pay her $1200 a month for a year on time before she signed the papers.

I have never had anybody do something so nice for me ....TWICE. We just really latched onto each other. COMPLETE ODD COUPLE!! We fit each others missing puzzle pieces. I was disconnected from my mother and she was disconnected from her daughter. I have no idea how this woman that I hated at poker became my very best friend.

Then I got a phone call from her friend, who happened to be at her house, that Pam collapsed. I rushed over there (like two blocks away and I literally just left there), and did cpr for 25 minutes until ems arrived. After sitting at the hospital for hours waiting for them to let me know what was going on....finally somebody came out to let me know that she was gone. They let me back to see her (crazy Pam always told me that nobody would ever see her dead, but I did, and sat with her playing with her nice white hair for an hour, jokes on you Pam...can't always have it your way).

Lots of family drama after she died with her estate, and I had no idea what was happening with my house because we never signed those fricken papers. Two more months and I would have been on the deed...

Then a friend suddenly stepped in and bought the house unexpectedly. So I now have my house that Pam gave me.

Her favorite holiday was Christmas, her most favorite color was red (and I don't know why, but she wore red every Friday LOL), And I gave her a mug for xmas one year that read "One Friend Can Change Your Whole Life" When she died I started making a red and white quilt for her.

So this is a Christmas soap in Pam's honor scented with Cranberry (another one of her favorites). And I had John, who bought my house, come over and I held his hand as we poured it together. It has come full circle.

I see lots of hearts in the pour....

Pam Soap.PNG



tempImagelpEEfY.jpg
 
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Soap challenge:
September 28th, 2021
Name of soap: Wings Of Angel's



Lets first dive into the mechanics of my soap, the design is called in the pot swirl. I used coconut oil, canola oil, castor oil, cocoa butter, palm oil, shea butter' olive oil. Colors used are all from NS, neon deep orange, neon full throttle, proud peacock, brilliant blue.

Now to my life event that inspired my soap design, though I don't share this often' I thought I'd share it w/ you & this forum.
Wings Of Angel's Soap Design:
Looking back around 1997 around 24 -25 yrs ago' Hubby & I had reached a financial rock bottom' we got behind in our mortgage payments & decided after trying to catch up in payments & couldn't decided to sign the home Grant Deed back over to the Leander & move into a rental / lease home' I was devastated!.

We found a nice home in the next city to ours, the home was unique in that it had a arboretum in the center of the home! it had three sides of tall glass windows you could seen into the arboretum & a tall door on one side that led down 3 steps into it w/ a pretty tree growing up & out above the home roofline, most unique I've seen in a home, the home had tall cathedral ceilings, it was a beautiful home. I thought since our children had 6 months left of the school year I'd drive them daily to school not make them change schools tell the fellowing year.
After we signed the lease contract for the home Hubby lost his job! another blow! I felt my world was caving in on me with no where to turn, I truly felt as if we where loosing everything that we worked so hard for & our situation was getting worse' it's hard to describe my feelings but I just felt completely devastated & hopeless.

One morning after we had moved in our lease home' Hubby was out looking for a job' I had drove the children to school & dropped them off I was home alone & decided to Iron hubby's dress shirt so he would have nice pressed shirts for up & coming interviews ( yes back then we ironed shirts) lol, as I was ironing his shirts I began to cry' feeling completely & throughly devastated' I cant event put into words my deepest despair I had at that moment but I was at the lowest point emotionally i've been in a long time or probably ever & suddenly I had this thought in my head to walk to the " Bedroom Door" our master bedroom door opened to a long hall down the length of the home w/ two bedrooms & at the end to the right it led into the kitchen. I kept thinking "Go To The Door" finally I put the iron down & walked to the Bedroom door' as I was looking down the long hall at the end of the hall I saw this Tall 9' or taller White Smoky Figure I could see through it' as she gently was swaying from left to right' as I looked at her I felt it was female but it didn't depict male or female' no face just a figure, I felt a calmness come over me & as I was looking at this figure I kept thinking " Everything Will Be All Right" I didn't hear this w/ my ears' but I kept thinking it " Everything Will Be All Right" it's like this figure was telling me this telepathically then the smokey white figure floated out of site into the kitchen, I called out & said wait! then hurried down the long hall' in the direction it had disappeared but it wasn't there when I reached the end of the hall looking into the kitchen.

That moment changed me forever! I wasn't sure if I saw an Angel? or an entity? though I felt in my spirit it was an angel' I had to find some answers & decided to ask the homeowner if anyone had died in the home? I was so afraid she'd think I was Cuckoo' but I needed to find out! I asked her about the home & if anyone died in the home? she said no' her & hubby built the home for a rental & no one had ever died in the home' I then told her of my encounter & much to my surprise she said " honey I believe in angel's & you met your Guiding Angel" I was beyond happy she understood and validated what I saw.

Moving forward after my encounter w/ my Guiding Angel we had three blessings in that same week' their was no denying I met my guiding angel that came to comfort and assured me All Will Be Ok & It Was.

1st: Blessings: Hubby got a job making more money then he had ever made.

2nd: Blessings: Though we signed our home Grant Deed back to the Leander' they called out of the blue' told us they are rewriting our loan' we need to sign documents & can move back in our home' asap.

3rd: Blessing the home we leased was a contract for 3 yrs, I told her we were moving out in a week' knowing we would owe her for 3yrs of lease payments she waved the lease contract & gave us her blessings...

I do believe I met my Guiding Angel that day" I'm beyond gratefully humbled & I'll never ever forget that Day.
Moving forward when Ive made soap' I see Angel Wings w/ out trying, is it coincidence or my "Divine Guiding Angel" as a reminder' shes always with me?.

I now deliberately design soap w/ wings' trying different colors, each set of wings comes out uniquely different.
My soap design is called "Wings Of Angels" in remembrance of my life event and 3 miracle's that fellowed.
Blessings to you 🙏🏼💫.

0C91115C-EFC1-4C25-90DA-5B0C7DBDE059.jpeg
 
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earlene

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The entry thread is now closed and the voting link will be sent via Conversations (private messaging) to the participants in this month's SMF soap challenge shortly. Voting will be open until 8:00 PM GMT on September 30, 2021 and the winners will be announced soon thereafter (hopefully within 2 hours.) In the off chance that ALL participants vote prior to the cutoff date, the winners may be announced earlier.
 
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Congrats Mojack Bay for earning the win' Well Done My Friend 🏆🥇🏆.
Awesome Resovable Owl Earning 3rd place whoohoo 🤩🤗🤜🏼🤛🏼

I want to thank every one that voted for me' Im beyond thankful, as my heart sings with much joy at the moment... Big Hugs & A Peck On The Cheek.
👐🏼🤗❤️🌈🥰👐🏼

Everyone's soap entries are beautiful w/ your heartfelt story that made them extra special' well done my fellow soapers. 🥰🌻🤗🧼🌈👐🏼

Thx again Earlene for hosting, you did a superior job. 🥳🤗💫🥰.
 
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@Peachy Clean Soap used up all the emojis, none left for me :-( So I have to use words to express my gratefulness, excitement (and that bit of envy that is driving each of us to grow beyond our limits). I am delighted about the soaps, and equally the stories behind them! All levels between illusionistic and metaphoric.

Let's also not forget @earlene was not only the host, but in some way also a participant: with her (still unnamed) memorial soap, which would have fit so well into the spirit of the challenge.

Thanks everyone!
 
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@Peachy Clean Soap used up all the emojis, none left for me :-( So I have to use words to express my gratefulness, excitement (and that bit of envy that is driving each of us to grow beyond our limits). I am delighted about the soaps, and equally the stories behind them! All levels between illusionistic and metaphoric.

Let's also not forget @earlene was not only the host, but in some way also a participant: with her (still unnamed) memorial soap, which would have fit so well into the spirit of the challenge.

Thanks everyone!
I think its / we are a perfect combo!!! your intellect & my emoji's. ✨🤜🏼🤛🏼✨ On a serious note' perfectly expressed.
 

earlene

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@Peachy Clean Soap used up all the emojis, none left for me :-( So I have to use words to express my gratefulness, excitement (and that bit of envy that is driving each of us to grow beyond our limits). I am delighted about the soaps, and equally the stories behind them! All levels between illusionistic and metaphoric.

Let's also not forget @earlene was not only the host, but in some way also a participant: with her (still unnamed) memorial soap, which would have fit so well into the spirit of the challenge.

Thanks everyone!
Yes, still unnamed, but I am using one of the end cuts several times a day to wash my hands. I really like this soap, and love watching the bar slowly change design, although it's not loosing much mass very quickly, which I was expecting due to its youthfulness. I need time before I come up with a name. For now, just yesterday was his first birthday since his passing and that tends to bring the grief to the forefront for me. I will definitely give a bar to my husband because he was so enthusiastic about the soap and has good things to say about this brother of mine, who was so much the scapegoat in the family. And of course Hubby has always been very supportive of my soapmaking, so he always gets soap!
 
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What a nice surprise this is at the end of a day! Thank you to all who participated for creating wonderful soaps and sharing the interesting stories that went with them. Congratulations @Peachy Clean Soap and @ResolvableOwl for terrific inspired soaps. Kudos to @earlene for creating an interesting challenge and for sharing a powerful life-inspired soap (in another thread).
 
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