June 2021 SMF Soap Challenge - Garden Inspired

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Mobjack Bay

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After sending my dough and various and sundry accoutrements to Cali in the mail, I decided I just had to have extra mica, fondant cutters, and small cavity molds. I left the robe home for the sake of soap dough design freedom. I was almost out the door for the airport but had just enough time to watch a Vicki Frost YT. Amazon will deliver my new extruder tomorrow. Luckily, my son has cornstarch in his pantry 😂
 

szaza

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Thank you! Pandan leaf is the name of one of my favorite diners, I had no clue it was the name of an actual plant so I looked it up just now. Did it color your soap green?
Yep, a very pretty green color that lasted quite well (not sure if I still have some in my stash..)
The same method also worked for frozen spinach btw;)
 

glendam

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Not @szaza, but yes it does. Extra bonus to the fabulous nutty vanilla scent (that carries over to some degree into the soap too, though it fades over time). But it'll depend on if you are at home in Southeast Asia if you can let this be vaild as “garden inspired” 😜
I don’t have any pandan leaf, but if anything I might use grass. Still undecided if my first attempt should be the one though. However, I believe the garden inspiration could be from any garden, not just our own. How cool that pandan smells like vanilla!
 

earlene

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Has anyone ever used real grass in soap? I have heard about using wheat grass powder, but I am curious about fresh real grass clippings, probably stick blended in lye water.
A couple of days ago, while sitting on the lawn and brushing my cat (to prevent her from swallowing so much hair and causing hairballs), I thought to myself "I wonder if I should use this instead of silk" in my lye solution. I wasn't thinking about the grass, though. But I don't see any reason to use a stick blender. I would expect the grass would dissolve with stirring the same as corn silk does. Perhaps, I would dry the grass first though, to speed up the process of dissolution.
 

Tara_H

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Well I finally made that batch of soap for the challenge... And it came out brown! (Should have been pink :( ) I think I have a bit of rethinking to do if I want to have an entry this month...
Ok apparently I panicked too soon, this morning it's pink! Kind of a cool purplish pink, almost lilac, but definitely pink. 😄

I made 6 bars so I'm keeping 3 or and have put 3 in the oven for late CPOP to see what effect it has. I get the impression from these that they may have gelled a little in the centre and that the colour is stronger there, but don't want to risk the whole batch in case I'm wrong!
 

szaza

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Ok apparently I panicked too soon, this morning it's pink! Kind of a cool purplish pink, almost lilac, but definitely pink. 😄

I made 6 bars so I'm keeping 3 or and have put 3 in the oven for late CPOP to see what effect it has. I get the impression from these that they may have gelled a little in the centre and that the colour is stronger there, but don't want to risk the whole batch in case I'm wrong!
Wow that's an awesome color change!
 

Tara_H

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It gets weirder! It occurred to me I could check for gel effect by cutting a bar in half - it's still brown in the centre! I'm really hoping it's an oxygen-related effect rather than heat since I need a fair bit of it for my design. Since it's meant to be confetti I guess I'll have to grate some and see if the pink spreads over time... 🤞
 

ResolvableOwl

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Why do I have a feeling voting is going to be really difficult this month?
Oof, maybe it's a good tradition that voting will be difficult?

It gets weirder! It occurred to me I could check for gel effect by cutting a bar in half - it's still brown in the centre! I'm really hoping it's an oxygen-related effect rather than heat since I need a fair bit of it for my design. Since it's meant to be confetti I guess I'll have to grate some and see if the pink spreads over time... 🤞
I hope the best for your chameleon to eventually turn into the shade you're aiming for! If oxygen is helping, shredding should be the way to go, though @szaza seemed to not need it with her HP/alcohol extract efforts. (When everything else fails, you can still resort to “favourable” lighting conditions 🤣)
I'm half envious (but also half glad) that I didn't order alkanet with my last plant pigment order, otherwise I'd probably get in touch with it too – while I'm still deep enough into troubles with my own oxygen-dependent chimera after half a dozen of more or less disappointing results.
 

szaza

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@ResolvableOwl I never used yellowdock root like @Tara_H is using for her soap (if I understood correctly), so unfortunately I have no idea how it's supposed to behave... Some natural colorants (like alkanet) do need a bit of time for the pH to drop until the real color comes out, so that could maybe play a role?
 

Tara_H

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So, I wasn't going to post yet again until it stabilised, but at last check it was quite purple! Very curious now to see where it finishes up, I think I'm going to go ahead and use it for my original plan and see what happens. Very worst and it goes back to brown, I can always say it's autumn ;)
 

violets2217

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So, my soaps are done... I just need to pick which batch/bar I want to enter. Only two tries and both were successful, But I just like making soap! I think the most fun part of this challenge was the preparation! Some times I think I would make a great homesteader... foraging my land to feed my family... if only I like the outdoors a bit more. But harvesting my plant for my soap, and then getting the ingredients I needed from the plant for the soap... It was quite rewarding! I did buy pottery tools that I thought would work to enhance the soap, but alas no go! I'm sure I will find a use for them at a later date.

On a side not, last challenge I lowered my SF to 3% and returned my lye percentage to my usual 33.3% of my base recipe that I'm starting to use for all my soaps. This challenge I had plenty of time to soap at room temp. This weekend I made 4 batches of soap with 4 new fragrances and prepped all ingredients the night before. So I was soaping very cool and not one of my batches accelerated too bad, some just thickened up a bit at end of pour. After I was done making soap I realized I was soooo pushing my luck because all my new FO's were flowery in some way, it could have been bad! But I really love that lowering the SF from 5% to 3% amazingly seems to speed up the process and makes such a hard bar of soap even after only 8-12 hours. I was able to unmold and cut some soaps the same day. I'll be able to wait a couple days maybe and clean up the soaps for pictures!
 

szaza

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So, my soaps are done... I just need to pick which batch/bar I want to enter. Only two tries and both were successful, But I just like making soap! I think the most fun part of this challenge was the preparation! Some times I think I would make a great homesteader... foraging my land to feed my family... if only I like the outdoors a bit more. But harvesting my plant for my soap, and then getting the ingredients I needed from the plant for the soap... It was quite rewarding! I did buy pottery tools that I thought would work to enhance the soap, but alas no go! I'm sure I will find a use for them at a later date.

On a side not, last challenge I lowered my SF to 3% and returned my lye percentage to my usual 33.3% of my base recipe that I'm starting to use for all my soaps. This challenge I had plenty of time to soap at room temp. This weekend I made 4 batches of soap with 4 new fragrances and prepped all ingredients the night before. So I was soaping very cool and not one of my batches accelerated too bad, some just thickened up a bit at end of pour. After I was done making soap I realized I was soooo pushing my luck because all my new FO's were flowery in some way, it could have been bad! But I really love that lowering the SF from 5% to 3% amazingly seems to speed up the process and makes such a hard bar of soap even after only 8-12 hours. I was able to unmold and cut some soaps the same day. I'll be able to wait a couple days maybe and clean up the soaps for pictures!
Can't wait to see them @violets2217 !
 

glendam

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A couple of days ago, while sitting on the lawn and brushing my cat (to prevent her from swallowing so much hair and causing hairballs), I thought to myself "I wonder if I should use this instead of silk" in my lye solution. I wasn't thinking about the grass, though. But I don't see any reason to use a stick blender. I would expect the grass would dissolve with stirring the same as corn silk does. Perhaps, I would dry the grass first though, to speed up the process of dissolution.
Thank you for the tips! I know a youtuber who uses her rabbit's fur in soap, they are angora rabbits though, and their fur is a type of wool.
 

MrsZ

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I haven’t been making much soap at all the last month or so as my flower and vegetable gardens as well as the warm weather draw me outdoors most of the day this time of year. Lots of planting, weeding, dead heading, feeding and just admiring going on. 😁 I chose this gorgeous Lantana as my inspiration. The colors are so incredibly vibrant and
Lantana is my absolute favorite flower! Your soap is so beautiful. You've captured the lantana colors perfectly.
 
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