Simple Design Suggestions?

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KimW

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Hubby asked if we could send some soap to my MIL for Mother's day. I have plenty cured to send her, but since I have time I'd like to make a special batch just for her. I just love this woman to bits.

I'm looking for suggestions of a design that isn't so pretty that she won't use the soap, but pretty enough that it looks like some effort was put forth, if that makes any sense at all. Color use will be minimal for the same reason.

I've ruled out three designs, and that's where I'm stuck because I like to use my FANCY SOAPS. I love the way a design changes as a bar's used up and different layers are revealed, but I want her to use her soap!

TIA!
 

Tara_H

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That's a fun problem to have!

What are the designs you've ruled out? That might help calibrate what you're looking for :)

I had a similar issue with the soaps I sent mum for mother's day (last week in Ireland) but I told her that they won't keep indefinitely, and that there's plenty more where they came from, so hopefully she'll actually use them, and not just hoard them! 🤣 🤣
 

AliOop

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Have you thought about doing a mica-in-oil drizzle/spatter just on the top of the soap? or on successive layers throughout the soap? It is so easy and looks like a million bucks after you drag a skewer through it.
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GemstonePony

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My suggestions:
- 2-toned ombre
- Ghost swirl
- A single color soap, perhaps with a larger-grain Mica that shimmers through it (King Tut Gold from Mad Micas remains the most impressive I've seen, Snowflake Sparkle from Nurture Soap is good but can be a little gritty), figure-8 swirl on a flat top, gel so the sparkle comes through, bevel and polish with paper towel or microfiber.
 

earlene

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Since you like soap that reveals a new look as it is used, why not make some for MIL and indicate in the note or card that you send with them that the designs are revealed only when in use as the soap wears away with use?

Some fun ones with layers of different designs are in Vicki Frost' youtube channel and from Grace to You's channel as well.

But then, for a delicate yet elegant design that I think any lady would appreciate, how about the Ione Swirl?
 

KimW

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Thank you all so much. My wee mind has been juggling all these thoughtful suggestions and wondering if some of you have peeked into my soap cupboard! Naughty. LOL I was reminded by @earlene 's and @AliOop 's posts about all the two-sided soaps I've done. Hi/Lo (ghost swirl) soap is my usual goto coloring method. ITP was one of my first designs, and I do love me some stripes. My usual designs, even for family soaps, are hanger swirls and alternating wall pours. Here's what I've landed on:

Two 9 bar batches, each with three layers. 3-4 bars from each batch for her, 3-4 bars from each for us. Plain layer on top and bottom.
Batch 1: Ione swirl with Hi/Lo and a light green (her fav color). Have never done this, but researched it last night and it looks like a lot of fun.
Batch 2: @AliOop 's suggestion of multiple layers each with a different "swirl"/design, with Hi/Lo. 4 thin layers: ITP, drizzle swirl (I love the dainty look of that soap @AliOop !!), Alt wall pour, piano key border (this is a quilting term...sorry!)
I have a grand scheme for how to get the designs into the middle of the bars. Think oreo cookie, and this month's challenge method.

I'm starting today and will post pics when I'm done. YeeeeeeHaaaawwwww. Let's get ready to rumble...

LOL - doing my design notes. As I believe Mr. @Zing once said, so much math...
 

KimW

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First attempt at the Ione Swirl. If you squint, you can see the swirl - lol - which I think came out pretty good. Unfortunately, I forgot my old lotion trick of straining my unrefined PKO and there are little specs throughout the loaf, plus it's so dark that the colors are too muted. So, I'll be doing another tonight with strained and less PKO. Since I don't strain the PKO when I make bars for us, Hubs said I should just call it a "feature". 🤣

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KimW

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Ah-ha. Second attempt passes muster, with just some slight specs from the wheat grass used for the green. Ma likes pastel/easter egg colors (I'm tawkin' ta you, @AliOop ☺ ) which may not make for particularly striking soap, but I'd enter these bars into a challenge because the colors are spot on goal and I think the swirl worked a treat. I did the Dutch Pour Technique on the top. haaaaa
Sure hope Ma likes the smell of Bergamot... 🥰

Now onto making my Ione Swirl Oreo!
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earlene

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Ah-ha. Second attempt passes muster, with just some slight specs from the wheat grass used for the green. Ma likes pastel/easter egg colors (I'm tawkin' ta you, @AliOop ☺ ) which may not make for particularly striking soap, but I'd enter these bars into a challenge because the colors are spot on goal and I think the swirl worked a treat. I did the Dutch Pour Technique on the top. haaaaa
Sure hope Ma likes the smell of Bergamot... 🥰

Now onto making my Ione Swirl Oreo!
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Beautiful. Does she like Earl Grey Tea? If so, give her a box of it with the soap. I love the colors of your soap. They turned out great.
 

lucycat

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Sometimes I think non soap makers find soap "fancy" because of the number of colors or the contrast of colors. I think a bar in any design where all colors are in various white/ivory/tans seems soothing and not "fancy"; likewise soaps with low contrast between the colors.
 

KimW

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Beautiful. Does she like Earl Grey Tea? If so, give her a box of it with the soap. I love the colors of your soap. They turned out great.
That's a great idea! I don't know if she likes Earl Grey, which I have aplenty. I've never seen her drink tea...hmmmmm...time for Hubs to do a recon phone call!

ETA: I'm a little slow today - too many things on my todo list! Bergamot, Earl Grey...I get it now - thank you for the hint, Earlene! I shall find out. She's the type that even if she hates the smell of Bergamot, she'll love the soap and won't say a word unless I ask her directly.
 
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