Snow on Mauna Kea, My Second Great Cakes Soap Challenge February 19, 2016 11:52 11 Comments

At the beginning of this month, I was a bit nervous for February's soap challenge.  As I read the email with the guidelines and watched the demonstration videos I knew that I would spend a good amount of time figuring out what I was going to do.  The theme was winter wonderland and the guidelines were to create a soap that had an element of snow, that it must be made primarily of cold process soap and but if you wanted you could add small embellishments not made of soap if you wanted.  There were two different categories to  choose from to enter in, all natural category or synthetic category.  I knew for sure that I would enter the all natural category.  I started looking for molds to give me inspiration.  I went on Ebay browsing and found two silicone molds of snowflakes that I thought would be perfect.  When the finally arrived at my home I was shocked to see the size difference from what I thought I had purchased.

   The orange snowflake mold I thought would be much smaller.  Geez, this was so much bigger and the pink mold I thought would at least twice the size of this tiny little thing.  Ugh, now what was I going to do?  I tested the tiny pink mold with melt and pour and was not impressed.  I became ever more frustrated, so I spent a few more days trying to figure this puzzle out.  I knew that if I used the tiny pink mold the soap would have to be really high in solid fats to get the soap hard enough for me to be able to unmold the snowflakes and hold their shape.  My mind kept rolling all of this around.  The only soaps that I knew that would get really hard really fast are sea salt soaps.  I was willing to give it a shot, and if it worked I would have to make multiple mini batches of sea salt soap with this horrible tiny mold.  I resized my original sea salt soap recipe and went to work.  I wanted to use different colors of salt beside plain white sea salt so on the hunt again and found pink Himalayan sea salt and Hawaiian black lava sea salt to go with the white.  First, I made a mini batch, split it in half and used the plain sea salt in one and the pink sea salt in the other using the "huge" orange snowflake mold.

  

Here they are, cute but as you can see I didn't stop there.  Boy, I'm telling you my brain can get me into some kinds of messes!  Yes, I did go there.  I started carving those snowflakes out, at first with just a knife.  

Once they became too hard I had to trade in my knife for a Dremel tool.  Holy cow!  What have I gotten myself into?

  

There were sea salt soap powder and chunks everywhere.  I did have a couple of them break so now I was short a few.  This was a couple of days worth of work and my little Dremel tool kept overheating.  It's funny, the vision in my head looked nothing like this.  With those snowflakes finished it was now time to start with that OTHER mold.

 

I made three batches of these torturous tiny things.  One batch with the plain white sea salt and two more with the pink Himalayan salt.  That was about all I could stand.  They drove me crazy and as you can see they still broke and I had to trim them with a knife as well.  Now you see what I mean about getting myself into messes.

If anyone is reading this I'm sure you are confused about what my actual plan is for this winter wonderland soap, so close your eyes and imagine that you are on vacation in Hawaii and your tour guide takes you to go skiing on Mauna Kea.  You see snow, you see lava rock and because you have a great imagination you see those wonderful snowflakes that have all the detail in them.  That was my vision and here's what happened.

Yes, I am sticking with the sea salt soap recipe still for the base of my soap and the essential oils that I used were ylang-ylang and sweet orange.  Once my soap batter was at thin trace I added the essential oils then split the batch in half.  The first half got the Hawaiian black lava sea salt and some activated charcoal.  The second half was the plain white sea salt and white kaolin clay.  Holy moly,  this accelerated so fast, so once everything was mixed in I started plopping the soap in my silicone mold as fast as I could.  After that, I started putting in the large snowflakes as fast as I could and then the little tiny ones.  Arghh!  My soap looks like ****.  I apologize that there are no pictures of my accelerated soap disaster but I would have had to sprout another head and four more arms.

 

 I was able to cut them 15 minutes later and get them out of the mold.  Totally crazy!

I am not too happy this how this turned out, but it smells really good.  Here are the two best out of the whole batch.  Friday I will take a few photos that will hopefully show more detail and yes I am going to be a sport and still enter my soap disaster.

 Here is the picture of my entry that I will upload for the soap challenge.  Did I have fun?  Well, yes and no.  Making soap is always fun to me, but I was hoping for better results. February's soap challenge was definitely a challenge.