Saturday, June 30, 2012

Monkey Farts and Chocolate Peppermint

Last weekend I some how managed to get in two batches of soap. I am still not sure how I did it, but I am not asking too many questions because it did actually happen. First up I had to do choc peppermint, because it is the favourite of so many and I have been out of it for ages. It uses locally grown and distilled peppermint oil, as well as the usual local olive oil. I really love using locally grown produce, it makes the whole job so much nicer. Coloured simply with cocoa, and a bit of dark chocolate. I have been wanting to put chocolate into soap for ages to see how it would go, so far so good.

Next up is the Monkey Farts, I incorporated banana and mango and yoghurt. I put Titanium Dioxide in to whiten it, but didn't have much left so I only lightened it a bit, then coloured it with red, yellow and blue ultra marines. I love the smell and can't wait to see how it is to use.

These soaps used up the last of my olive oil, so my great run of soap making has been temporarily halted.

The next farmers market is on the 14 July. I'll have a few new soaps. And I am hoping that the sun will be shining.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Jemba Rock" Avocado and Lime

At a few recent markets I have been getting to know Ivan and Robyn Hobbs of Jemba Rock B&B at Walwa. They have an olive grove, and avocado and lime trees. I love avocados and limes, so I always buy some. Robyn is always very generous and one day gave me a bag of kafir lime leaves and suggested that I put them in some soap. They smelt so delicious. Any way I put them in the freezer and forgot about them, until the last market. When she asked me if I had made any soap out of them yet. After seeing a few avocado soaps being made during the soap challenge I was inspired to put avocado into a soap too. So I did. I put the leaves and zest of 4 limes into the blender with my water and blended it till the leaves were blended up, this was the base of my lye solution. I then blended up the avocado with olive oil and used that as part of my total oils. I didn't add any fragrance for two reasons, one was that I wanted to see if any of the strong leaf and zest scent would come through, I had my doubts but it is only a small batch so I was willing to risk it. The second and probably the most persuasive reason was that I had no lime EO left, and I really didn't want to add another dimension to it by using a different EO.

The photos aren't the best, the day is overcast and so the colour hasn't photographed well.

The ice cubes ended up a bit lighter, although the photos aren't doing it justice. I think because they didn't gel.

This week I received a fragrant oil order, from big tree supplies. I hadn't ordered from them before, but will definitely be ordering there again, they have a huge range of FO's different from Aussie Soap Supplies which I still love. 

Normally I use essential oils, but there are a few FO's that I like, I have been out of chocolate for a while, so now I can restock choc peppermint, Vanilla is always a popular scent, and I wanted to try Amber, but I have been wanting to try Monkey Farts for ages, so that will be the soap I will be making today. It smells so yummy, I cant wait. Although I am not sure if I want to advertise it as Monkey Farts, maybe a name change is in order.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Great Cakes Soap Works Final Challenge

Soap using natual ingredients was the brief we had for this weeks challenge from Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soap works. OK.....What to do, I already use local olive oil, beef render that I make from our cattle, or neighbouring ones, natural clays or herb and spice infusions for colour, and essential oils. Well I thought here is my chance to try some other food additive that I have been wanting to try, maybe carrot puree, or banana like Amy did. It took me about 1/2 a second to dismiss those thoughts, after the last three batches of soap, (well two actually because the castile behaved exactly how castile behaves and is now a beautiful bar of soap), My next thought was go back to basics and a tried and true recipe that I am comfortable with. So as I have recently started a part time milking job for a neighbour I have a regular supply of fresh milk and I am nearly out of milk and honey soap. Sounds perfect, I mixed milk, honey and yoghurt with my lye, and then melted some bees wax with olive oil, after these were mixed and traced I added almond meal because I love the luxury gentle exfoliting it adds to the soap, and then I added an egg white, just because. I didn't add any fragrance because I love the gentle honey smell that comes through the soap when it has cured. So at the end of the day it wasn't a massively challenging recipe but I have lost my nerve a bit so it was challenging enough just to step back up and make soap again. And then it was a challenge for me to keep the milk, yoghurt and honey mix cool enough that it didn't burn, I have been able to do one and two of those but not all three as successfully as I just did, I have also never added any part of an egg before, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. But for now I am happy with how it set and cut up. And as the saying goes nothing succeeds like success, so now I am keen to get back soaping again

As always, thank you to Amy for putting in so much time and effort to creating these challenges, I have found these last 5 that I have been part of so much fun,and I have learnt so much from the other participants. Dont forget to check out the other great soaps here.