SMF April 2022 Soap Challenge - Straight Line design

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szaza

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Thank you, it's part of my normal and was somewhat expected after a trip to the grocery store. I've taken my painkillers now that I've eaten, so hopefully I'll be more functional by morning.

However, I've just heard that a litter of 7 week old foster kittens (we're tentatively planning to keep one of the 3) is arriving tomorrow rather than next week, so I might end up being a bit too distracted to make soap this weekend! 😁

(Before anyone jumps in, I do know it's ideal to keep them with mummy for a few more weeks whenever possible, but unfortunately in rescue we can't always persuade owners to keep them for long once they've started eating, coz that costs money... At least mummy will be spayed now so no more oopsie litters, and the kittens are coming to rescue rather than being sold at this age or younger which often happens, so if they do need extra attention or supplemental feeding, we have the resources to do that.)

Kittens are a great reason to be distracted! :-D
 
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I didn’t plan my work or social calendar very well this month (to accommodate soapmaking!) and may have only next weekend to make a challenge soap. That will be just enough time to get it out of the mold and cut before the entry deadline.
 
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#2 is in the mold, on the heating pad, and under the insulated box. What I learned:

1. The Scot side of me needs to get over the intense need to "scrapey-scrapey the containey" when trying to pour straight, flat layers. All those little dribs and drabs, which of course are no longer fluid, marred each.and.every.layer. Sometimes I am a slow learner. 🤦‍♀️

2. If you have to take a phone call in the middle of the whole thing, you might need to reheat some oils to avoid stearic spots. But MY stearic spots are design features that I totally intended anyway, so that advice is for people who DON'T want stearic spots as part of their design. 🤦‍♀️

3. It's really important to stick-blend the micas into the oils before adding the lye... the batches are so small that you can't SB enough to get all the mica spots out after adding the lye, and still have a fluid batter. But my mica spots are design features that I totally intended anyway, so that advice is for those who DON'T want mica spots as part of their design. 🤦‍♀️

Other than all that, I think it's gonna be great. :D However it turns out, I'll get to use the Hercules to cut the slab into loaves, and then the loaves into bars. Yippeee!
 
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My soap is done - my advice:
1) Jot down the time when you pour each layer. If nothing else you can be impressed with yourself for being scientific.
2) Plan your soapmaking around other tasks - I did a big cleanup of my space between pours. Otherwise I would have been staring at my poured soap like a cat watching a mouse hole.
3) For me as soon as the last layer was sort of dull it was ok to pour. I poured onto a tiny wooden spatula that I held about one inch above the last layer and then went back and forth so the batter would go to the edges. I poured at a fairly thin trace so the batter would distribute evenly.
I think this advice was all included in the directions! Oh well. I had fun.
 

Kimimarie84

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While I’m not eligible for entering my soap into the April challenge (since I don’t yet have 50 posts under my belt), I still enjoyed trying out this challenge, just for my own learning and fun. I’d really intended the lines to be perfectly straight, but I made egg and goat milk soap, and the soap traced a lot faster than I had originally anticipated, so it was a little too thick to make perfectly level, especially the white layer. But I still really like the way it turned out. I scented it with a blend of floral fragrance oils. It says, “Mother’s Day” to me.
 

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szaza

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Entry thread is now open. I cant wait to see all your beautiful soaps! 😁

 
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So i have now wasted 4 batches of soap on this challenge. Well….technically only wasted one, because 3are useable just not pretty. One is as i expected and has squishy middle layers because i was impatient.

Now that I have seen two incredible entries, i am reluctant to have a go again, but i think there is still time. Hate to admit complete defeat lol.
 
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So i have now wasted 4 batches of soap on this challenge. Well….technically only wasted one, because 3are useable just not pretty. One is as i expected and has squishy middle layers because i was impatient.

Now that I have seen two incredible entries, i am reluctant to have a go again, but i think there is still time. Hate to admit complete defeat lol.
You can do it! Maybe pretend it is not for the challenge so you relax. 😆
 
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Zing, I’m sure whatever you make would be contest-worthy! To my own detriment 🤣 I encourage you to make and enter a layered soap.

I’ve made layers before, but never attempted to make them straight. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this technique and will probably add it onto the rotation.

@Jersey Girl and @Vicki C you two amaze me. Whole notha level, both of you!
 

szaza

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Wow the first entries are amazing!!

I understand a lot of entrants will feel intimidated, but please don't feel discouraged. This challenge is meant to be an encouragement to try something new, have fun with a technique and learn from your peers. Even if you feel insecure about your entry, others might look at it differently (we're always our own worst critic). So... I'm looking forward to your entries @Catscankim and @Zing 🙃😉
 
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Wow the first entries are amazing!!

I understand a lot of entrants will feel intimidated, but please don't feel discouraged. This challenge is meant to be an encouragement to try something new, have fun with a technique and learn from your peers. Even if you feel insecure about your entry, others might look at it differently (we're always our own worst critic). So... I'm looking forward to your entries @Catscankim and @Zing 🙃😉
I love this response, and I know it's a friendly challenge. When I have participated, I get a lot out of the thread with posts on advice and techniques and I love to try new things and learn a lot. Now I'm thinking maybe I should enter. I'm out of gardening soap which is one of my more popular ones but maybe when that's out of the way, we'll see.
 

szaza

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I love this response, and I know it's a friendly challenge. When I have participated, I get a lot out of the thread with posts on advice and techniques and I love to try new things and learn a lot. Now I'm thinking maybe I should enter. I'm out of gardening soap which is one of my more popular ones but maybe when that's out of the way, we'll see.
Hope you'll find the time! 😊
 
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Wow the first entries are amazing!!

I understand a lot of entrants will feel intimidated, but please don't feel discouraged. This challenge is meant to be an encouragement to try something new, have fun with a technique and learn from your peers. Even if you feel insecure about your entry, others might look at it differently (we're always our own worst critic). So... I'm looking forward to your entries @Catscankim and @Zing 🙃😉
I totally agree, @szaza! Plenty of my prior challenge entries have looked very amateurish compared to others. I've even entered one or two fails because it's healthy to be our authentic flawed selves, not fake social media selves that only show perfection.

It's also healthy to try new things. A few times, I have been surprised by good results, and even more surprised when I liked certain techniques that I was certain would be no fun at all.
 
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Well, if I don't find time to make another entry, I will use my too soft in the middle soap. As I was trying to plane and bevel it into a work of art, the bad layer just snapped off LOL. I just went ahead and snapped off the rest of the batch at the same layer. So maybe just a smaller/less layered soap soap than I planned. At least it will be an entry.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Babyshoes

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Sign up list:
1. Mobjack - time to break out the level!
2. Jersey Girl- This will be fun! Ok…where are you @AliOop? Time to break out that Cheshire Cat!
3. AliOop - I'm here! I'm in!
4. Primrose - did someone say Cheshire Cat??
5. Vicki C. - This looks tricky but I’ll try it!
6. Heather McClain- hopefully will get my entry in on time this time
7. Mx6inpenn - sounds like straight up fun
8. Catscankim - I'm in, I love layers
9. The_Phoenix - ok
10. Babyshoes - one and done, if it's even vaguely straight I'll enter it!
 

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