Sponsor's Choice Winning Soap - Owl Feathers

HOORAY! I was chosen as the Sponsor's Choice Winner for the Great Cakes Soapworks Clyde Slide Challenge with my entry I named Owl Feathers. This is my sixth challenge I've entered and the first time I've ever won anything with my soap. I ended up coming in 5th overall out of 74 entries. To say I'm over the moon would be an understatement! I won a mica surprise pack in excess of $25 from Mad Oils. YEA!!!

This was a fun soap to make and I really love the results that this technique gives. It was easy to do which is also a big plus in my book. Clyde has been a HUGE inspiration to me with his videos on color and technique. His soaps are more like precious works of art than soaps I'd actually use to wash with. They are too pretty to use.

I am excited for the next challenge which involves alternative liquids and using all natural ingredients. This will be a first for me. I already have some fun ideas about what I'm going to do.

Handmade In Florida - how I love thee!!

During her summer sale, I was so excited that I actually got an order placed with Handmade in Florida for (2) different soaps: Blackberry & Bayleaf and the Cucumber Melon soaps. I had actually forgotten about the sale until it was 40 minutes in so I was surprised to get anything - she sells out so quickly!

When I came home from work on Tuesday, have a peek what was sitting in my mailbox!!!

Like a little kid at Christmas, I tore open the package. I was so excited ... my kids looked at me a little funny though :) I really wanted to see what it was about here soaps that make them sell out so quickly!

Here's the first thing I noticed...she goes above and beyond to make her customer's experience amazing. She wraps her soaps up like a beautiful present. It makes you feel so good when you see it, like someone really cares and took the time to make you feel special. Wrapped in super-thick blue tissue paper and sealed with a beautiful Thank You sticker. Then, tied up with special ribbons. This woman really knows how to treat people!

I noticed there was only one soap in the package. I opened the receipt that was included thanked me for my order and told me the Cucumber Melon soap was still curing and would ship separately. It also invited me to enjoy the other 'goodies' she included with my shipment. Goodies? Oh boy! What did I get?


She sent me samples of two other soaps that she created and sold that day, but that I wasn't fast enough to pick up. Moroccan Mint Tea soap and Sensual Oudh soap. Take a look at that packaging and her attention to detail again! While the scent of the Sensual Oudh wasn't for me, I did LOVE LOVE LOVE the scent of the Moroccan Mint Tea soap! It smells AMAZING! You can really smell the earthy tea smell along with that perfect combination of Mint scent. Truly lovely!

On to my purchase! I did receive the Blackberry and Bay Leaf soap and here is how she sent it:

Okay...if I wasn't bowled over by the attention to detail so far, I certainly was now! This package is a beautiful way to display a soap and all it's stunning swirl work! She puts a sticker on the front giving a general description of the item inside and a detailed sticker on the back showing the contents of the soap. I noticed that all 3 soaps I received had the same recipe - which makes sense. When you find something that works....STICK WITH IT!


So, this is what I've been waiting for - I wanted to see what makes her soaps so special and I now have my answer. They are as stunning in person as they are on her website. My goodness...I mean take a look a those swirls and her use of colors! They truly are a work of art. But....what impressed me the most has to be the glass-like smoothness of the surface of her soap as well as the laser-like precision of the cuts of her soaps. They are PERFECTLY uniform in size...each side perfectly squared to the other. My mind....BLOWN. The bar weights a generous 5.4 oz. WOW!!! This is a good sized bar of soap!

I carefully put my treasure back into it's box and put it in my linen closet to use later. I did, however, use one of the sample soaps I received and I have to say it bubbled very nicely and washed extremely well. No dry feeling at the end and the soap had a nice slip to it. All in all, I now see why her soaps sell out EVERY SINGLE TIME she puts up a sale....they, just like her and her attention to detail, are simply perfection!

Drop Swirl Soap with my son

Last night I decided that it was soap making time because my husband was out of the house and my son was anxious for something to do. So, what better way to pass the time than to give my 9 year old my Iphone and let him shoot pictures of making soap!

Now for any of you who have kids you know that anything can and will happen when you give them control over taking pictures. For my son, he took the opportunity to take a selfie.

The other thing is that kids don't always line up shots the same way that an adult would. So, many of these pictures are a little blurry (or a LOT blurry in some cases). But, he was so thrilled to be included as my 'official' photographer:)

This is for one of my Facebook groups. I decided to use some very bright colors: vibrance blue, red raspberry and green apple from Nurture Soaps. I've said this before and I'll say it again...I LOVE NURTURE SOAPS COLORS!!!! In this shot not only do you get a glimpse at my messy soaping table, but you can see the three colors.

I used a recipe of 40% olive, 30% coconut, 25% lard and 5% castor. 5% superfat. I did a 2:1 ratio of lye to water. You can see my pre-made lye water already sitting at a 50/50 which I am finding makes life so much more convenient!

I used my slab mold that my husband made for me. But, it has a leaky side to it (which I found out later). I poured a shallow base first in order to do my drop swirl. I only mixed the soap until emulsification. Looking back I wonder if my batter was a little too thin.

I tried pouring from different heights - first from really high and then I dropped down and kept pouring the batter. We'll see what this looks like tonight after work when I unmold it!

For the top I decided to do a little Taiwan swirl with the remaining colors I had. I have to say I really like this technique because it's fast, easy and created a fun effect!

Here is the soap all dolled up and ready to be put to bed. So, I put the lid on it and cleaned up my soaping supplies. My son was thrilled to be a part of making soap with me! He really got a kick out of taking those pictures.

What night would be complete without a selfie of Mom & Jack!