Welcome to the October 2019 SMF Soap Challenge – Mini Drops Swirl PLEASE READ ALL RULES for the challenge SMF Challenge General Rules 1. To enter you must have a minimum of 50 posts and been a member for a month (sorry but no exceptions on this). 2. The only members eligible to vote are those with their names on the sign-up list - regardless of whether or not you have submitted an entry. 3. This month’s voting will be password locked. Passwords will be sent by private message (conversation) to registered participants ONLY. So please check your PM's (conversations) when the voting begins. 4. No posting your entry photos until the entry thread is made. Non-entry photos are very welcome and may be posted in this thread. 5. You are allowed to change your entry photo up until the entry thread closes. So, if you decide after you post your entry you want another try, and you like the second better, you can change it up until the deadline. 6. Please add your name to the sign-up list if you wish to participate (however, you don’t have to enter a soap at the end if you don’t feel happy with what you have produced). __________________________________________________________________________ Rules for this month’s challenge This technique works best with a traditional loaf or a tall & skinny mold. Likewise, this technique will work best with CP as the batter needs to remain fluid. The goal is to keep the drop swirl portion in the upper 1/2 to 2/3 of the soap bar. Your entry will not be disqualified if the drops go below this point, but this is what you should strive for. This should also be considered when the time comes to vote on the entries. The bottom of the soap must be one color only (or uncolored). The drops portion must include at least 2 colors. I have found 3-4 colors to work the best – one of the colors can be the same as the solid base colors. You may try including a raindrop element in your design, and these individual drops can reach any depth of the soap bar (examples of this in video links). The challenge thread should be used to upload pictures of any of your attempts that are not your entry, where you can ask for advice and discuss the technique with other members. Your entry soap must be made specifically for the challenge. You may not enter a soap that was made prior to the posting of the challenge thread. Constructive criticism is welcomed, but please keep your comments polite. Entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date. __________________________________________________________________________ The Entry thread will open on October 20, 2019 (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter). The Entry thread will close on October 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm CST and the winning entry will be chosen using Survey Monkey. Those who have submitted an entry will be sent a link and password to the voting survey via PM. The survey will remain open until October 29 at 11:59 PM CST and the winner announced on October 30, 2019. There is no prize attached to this challenge. If you fail to make the challenge deadline, you are still welcome to upload your soap onto the thread, but your entry will not be eligible for voting. We would love to see anything you have produced. Even though there is no prize, this is still a competition. If your entry is deemed not to fulfil the general rules or the rules specific to the challenge in any way, then you will be given the opportunity to amend your entry. If this is not possible, your entry will not be included in the voting. All the challenge mods reserve the right to have the final say on whether a soap is eligible for voting. __________________________________________________________________________ Tips: Use slow moving recipe and a fragrance or essential oil you know will not accelerate trace. Unlike a traditional drop swirl, you want to pour your lines for the drop swirls close to the top of the batter. I recommend coloring up to half of the batter for the drop swirls. Squeeze (condiment) bottles will give the best results. You can cut one side of the air pillows used as cushioning in shipping boxes or a plastic bag and use that to line the squeeze bottle for little to no soap residue left in the bottle. Wide mouth bottles are pretty easy to get a small spatula into to scrape out the soap batter remnants. https://www.amazon.com/New-Star-Foodservice-26177-Squeeze/dp/B009LS6LZU/ref=sr_1_4?crid=283YEQSRK27PW&keywords=wide+mouth+squeeze+bottles+16oz&qid=1569376606&sprefix=wide+mouth+sque,aps,166&sr=8-4 I scrape/wipe out as much of the soap residue as I can, then fill with water to keep the soap from getting hard before I wash them. I let the caps sit in a container of water as well. Below are photos and links for examples and inspiration. By Me Do It Meself: Links: https://www.elementsbathandbody.com/raindrop-swirl-soap-recipe/ And if you just can't with the squeeze bottles: This is one of my favorite techniques, and one of the few I find messing with squeeze bottles to be worth the trouble. I hope you give it a try!! If you have any questions, please ask and have fun!!