Making Soap with Impression Mats

For the December Challenge Club, we have been making soap with impression mats. It has definitely been a challenge! I’ve made three soaps using this technique. For the first one, I tested out Lori Curry’s dry mica technique using a pre-made impression mat, and came up with this soap:

I call it Sweet & Spicy Potpourri soap because it has a warm apple spicy scent.

I call it Sweet & Spicy Potpourri soap because it has a warm apple spicy scent.

For the second soap, I filled in the vine and leaf design on a pre-made mat with some green soap, then did a pink gradient:

This one is scented with Sweet Pea & Rhubarb.  It smells divine!

This one is scented with Sweet Pea & Rhubarb. It smells divine!

Finally, I was able to successfully make my own impression mat with a vinyl lace place mat, and filled the lace impression with white soap, then made a layer of blue followed by a marbled dark coral. It turned out better than I could have imagined:

Lace soap, scented with a hibiscus fragrance.

Lace soap, scented with a hibiscus fragrance.

Here’s making video of this soap:

The tutorial is now available on my website!

Announcing the Tall & Skinny Shimmy Challenge Winners!

The Tall & Skinny Shimmy was a deceptively challenging technique! Our guest teacher, Tatiana Serko, is a true soap artist and made it look so easy! She even showed us how to make our own tall & skinny soap mold out of foam board, which came in handy for many of us. The tricky part was making sure the soap batter was fully emulsified while not overblending. We had instances of crumbly soap from not stirring long enough, as well as soap that became too thick and wouldn’t shimmy. So, in the end, we celebrated the fact that everyone gave it their best efforts and now we celebrate those who really mastered the technique!

We are incredibly grateful to Nature’s Garden for sponsoring the challenge this month! They have been a terrific supporter of the Challenge Club since the very beginning!

And now, for the winners…

The grand prize winner is none other than Carmen Iclodean of Earth’s Raw Beauty in Las Vegas, Nevada!! Carmen nearly didn’t take soap out of the oven, let alone enter it, as she was sure it was a complete flop when she made it. She is a first time member of the Challenge Club and she titled her soap “Up in Flames” because the soap literally oozed oil in her oven and caught fire! You would never guess it though. Check it out:

Up in Flames soap by Earth's Raw Beauty

Up in Flames soap by Earth’s Raw Beauty

Click on the photo to read Carmen’s full story. She is the well-deserved recipient of a $100 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!

Second place goes to Patricia DePhillips of Soap Amore in Lapeer, Michigan! Patricia has been participating in the Club since August, and this is her first time placing – Congratulations, Patricia! Her soap is aptly named ’55 Bel Aire based on the color palette she chose and her husband’s suggestion:

'55 Bel Aire soap by Soap Amore

’55 Bel Aire soap by Soap Amore

Click on the photo to see more of Patricia’s attempts at this technique. She wins a $75 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!

In third place we have the ever talented Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Sydney, Australia! Lisa departed from her famous rainbow colors in favor of this stunning Dragonfruit inspired palette:

Dragonfruit Shimmy soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Dragonfruit Shimmy soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Click on the photo to see her process on Facebook. Lisa wins a $50 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!

Finally, Nature’s Garden has chosen Maya Matsuoka of Infusions blog in Tokyo, Japan as their Sponsor’s Choice prize winner!! Congratulations to Maya, a long-time member and supporter of the Challenge Club! Her Lemon & Ice soap turned out fantastic:

Lemon & Ice soap by Maya Matsuoka

Lemon & Ice soap by Maya Matsuoka

Click on the photo to read more about Maya’s soap on her blog. She wins a $25 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!

And because I know you want to see all the other 93 entries, feel free to click over to the link-up HERE. The tutorial for this challenge will be available at Greatcakessoapworks.com starting tomorrow.

If you haven’t heard already, the technique for December is using Impression Mats. You can use a pre-made fondant mat, or create your own! Here’s my practice batch using a pre-made mat:

Pine Cone Impression Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Pine Cone Impression Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

I will share lots of resources for you to purchase your own pre-made fondant mat, as well as a coupon code from Brambleberry (our sponsor for December!) for 25% off their pourable silicone, which is currently out of stock, but should be available by the time registration opens. We will be taking a short break for the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. so registration will open on Monday, November 30th. If you haven’t signed up for notifications about the Challenge Club, please do so here:

notify-me

Scam Alert!

Warning Of ScamLast night I received an email from a guy named Tom Clarkson that said, “Have the ingredients changed in your Soap? I have used your brand for quite sometime now and have never had a issue. The bar is kept in a dry spot in the shower, yet seemed to dissolve/fall apart in the hand after just a few uses. Not to pleased. -Tom”

I didn’t have any record of him as a customer so I responded: “Thank you for contacting me. I’d like to help. Can you tell me which soap it was and when you purchased it from me?”

His response: “I’m not to sure when it was purchased as a relative that passed recently bought it for me. It was the clarifying bar. I must say I look forward to trying out the Oakmoss bar as well, many of my colognes have that scent in them! Thanks”

I thought it was a bit odd that the Clarifying Facial soap would dissolve so quickly as it is one of the hardest bars I make, but considering I have recently changed my recipe, I told him I would like to hear his feedback on the Oakmoss soap as well and I sent him a coupon code to cover the cost of one bar of soap plus shipping.

Later this morning I had this feeling that something wasn’t right about this guy, so I posted about my experience in one of the soaping groups on Facebook. Within the hour, I found out someone else had received the exact same email last night from him! I was so glad we figured it out! Someone suggested that I blog about the experience so no one else gets taken by this guy. Apparently he has struck before using a different name and claiming there was blood on the soap he received, also claiming that a dead relative had purchased it for him.

Hope this prevents someone else from getting sucked in by his story!

Congratulations to the Alternative Liquids Challenge Winners!

The Soap Challenge for October was a little bit different. We focused on Alternative Liquids that can be used to mix with our lye solution. Each member was also asked to do some research and share with the rest of us why they chose the liquid they did and what the benefits are (if any) in soap. Many beneficial ingredients can lose their potency once introduced to the alkaline environment created by sodium hydroxide, and there isn’t always research available to identify exactly how much benefit remains in cold processed soap, but we did our best to present the information that could be found. While we cannot make any type of medical claims about the soaps that we sell, it is useful to understand how certain ingredients can make our soaps as good for our skin as possible.

Additionally, members were asked to use natural ingredients to color and scent their soaps. No fragrance oils, micas, oxides, dyes or pigments were allowed. This was a challenge in and of itself for many members who had not attempted this before, but what a great learning experience!

We had a new sponsor this month – Rustic Escentuals! They specialize in a diverse selection of fragrances, as well as candle making, soap making and lip balm making supplies – and their new website launches tomorrow, so be sure to check it out! Their prize packages were very generous, as you will see in the winner announcements. Alex Kelly of Custom Soap Stamps also came through with a custom soap stamp for the grand prize winner, plus a coupon code to his etsy store for everyone who submitted a soap this month. He makes so much more than just soap stamps too! Thank you so much to both for sponsoring!!

Voting was based on 1. Choice of Liquid, 2. Research, and 3. Design. Out of 74 entries, the grand prize winner is Debbie Walker from France!! Debbie has been a long time member of the Challenge Club, and this is her first time in the top 3 – I couldn’t be more happy for her! She chose to make her soap with Rooibos Tea, and when you read her excellent research and see her stunning design, it is obviously how she attained her standing:

Rooibos Tea soap by Debbie Walker

Rooibos Tea soap by Debbie Walker

Be sure to click on the photo to see how she made the swirl! Debbie has won a $100 gift certificate, plus six 1 oz. fragrances and six mica samples from Rustic Escentuals, and a custom soap stamp from Custom Soap Stamps. Congratulations, Debbie!

Second place goes to Maya Matsuoka in Japan, yet another long-time member of the Challenge Club! She was gifted some organic Bulgarian rose water, which according to her research, actually retains its benefits in cold process soap. Her beautiful soap was colored with madder root, kaolin clay, and bamboo charcoal with stunning results:

Red Velvet & Cotton soap by Maya Matsuoka

Red Velvet & Cotton soap by Maya Matsuoka

Once again, you can click on the photo to read more about how this soap was made. Congratulations to Maya on her second place finish and her prize package from Rustic Escentuals which includes a $75 gift certificate, plus six 1 oz. fragrances and six mica samples!

In third place we have Teressa Mahoney from Colorado who creates some stunning soaps as well! Her chosen liquids (guidelines allowed one or two) were carrot juice and fresh goat’s milk for the purpose of creating a facial bar, with indigo powder, rose clay, kaolin clay, and sea clay as her colorants. As an added benefit, Teressa shared how she makes pencil lines in a vertical mold:

Carrot and Acai Berry Facial soap by Teressa Mahoney

Carrot and Acai Berry Facial soap by Teressa Mahoney

Click the photo for more information about how this soap was made and to see her tutorial! Teressa’s prizes include a $50 gift certificate plus six 1 oz. fragrances and six mica samples from Rustic Escentuals! Congratulations, Teressa!

Amy from Rustic Escentuals said, “People really were creative with all of the entries! I’m so impressed by everyone’s work.” She wanted to choose someone who was really creative with their alternative liquid, so their Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to…Joanna Humieniuk in Illinois! Joanna created this fabulous Birch soap, using birch water from her native country Poland and colored with pink Brazilian clay and Dead Sea mud. You will definitely want to click on the photo of her soap to read more about this amazing ingredient:

Birch soap by Joanna Humieniuk

Birch soap by Joanna Humieniuk

She wins a $25 gift certificate plus six 1 oz. fragrances and six mica samples from Rustic Escentuals! Congratulations, Joanna!

You can check out the rest of the entries this month HERE. There is so much valuable research shared. It’s a gold mine of information about different alternative liquids that can be used in cold process soap!

And now, we must move on to the next challenge. I am so excited for November! Tatiana Serko will be our guest teacher as we learn how to make the “Tall & Skinny Shimmy” (aka wall pour or segment filling). This technique requires a tall & skinny mold, but don’t worry if you don’t have one! Tatiana is also showing us how to make our own mold out of foam board! Here is the soap she made for the video tutorial:

Rainbow soap by Tatiana Serko

Rainbow soap by Tatiana Serko

Tatiana Serko

Tatiana Serko

Registration will open on Monday, October 26th for the November Challenge Club. Nature’s Garden is our sponsor, and will be providing gift certificates to the top three winners plus their Sponsor’s Choice winner!

If you would like to receive notifications about the Challenge Club and soapmaking tutorials, please sign up below:

notify-me

Here are the Clyde Slide Challenge Club Winners!

The September Challenge Club was another exciting month as we took on the “Clyde Slide” technique, perfected by Clyde Yoshida of Vibrant Soap. The signature swirls end up looking feathered in the final soap. It’s such a beautiful look, and we had so much fun coming up with different feathered patterns in our soap! International and U.S. soapmakers competed separately again this month, and we must thank our sponsors who made this possible – Gracefruit Ltd. sponsored the international contest and Mad Oils sponsored the U.S. contest, and they have been wonderful supporters!

Let’s start with our International winners. Huge congrats to Vera Lede in Kazakhstan for her first place finish! She wins a £75 gift certificate from Gracefruit!! This was her first time participating in the Challenge Club, and she did a marvelous job with her soap called “Birth of the Universe”:

Birth of the Universe soap by Vera

Birth of the Universe soap by Vera

Click on the photo to see how she made it and other attempts with this technique!

In second place we have Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia. Lisa is a long-time member and regularly places in the top three spots, so it’s no surprise that her Rainbow Clyde Slide soap wins a £25 gift certificate from Gracefruit, plus free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! Mesmerizing, isn’t it?

Rainbow Clyde Slide soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Rainbow Clyde Slide soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

If you click on her photo, you’ll see her Facebook album full of more gorgeous photos and information about her technique.

Third place goes to Krasi Nencheva of Aida Soap in Bulgaria, another first time Challenge Club participant! She also wins a £25 gift certificate from Gracefruit, and free registration to next month’s Challenge Club. Her Witch’s Brew is the perfect cauldron of halloween-colored soap:

Witch's Brew soap by Aida Soap

Witch’s Brew soap by Aida Soap

Click on her photo to see more photos in her Facebook album, as well as a link to a video showing exactly how she made this soap.

And finally, in the International contest, Gracefruit has chosen Carolyn Newton’s Aurora Borealis by Sienna Lily Soaps in Spain for their Sponsor’s Choice prize winner! Carolyn has been participating in the challenges for several months now and she wins a £25 gift certificate from Gracefruit. Her gorgeous soap shows all the beautiful colors of an aurora:

Aurora Borealis by Sienna Lily Soaps

Aurora Borealis by Sienna Lily Soaps

If you click on her photo, you will find her blog post filled with photos of each step of her process.

Now, for the U.S. winners! In first place is Jeanne Cooper of Cooper’s Handcrafted Soap Co. in Georgia. Congratulations to Jeanne, another first time participant, for her Aurora Borealis soap! (Do we have a theme here?) She wins a $50 gift certificate from Mad Oils, plus her choice of one of their Mica Collections. Jeanne created this fantastic feathered blur of colors across the entire front of her soap:

Aurora Borealis soap by Cooper's Handcrafted Soap Co.

Aurora Borealis soap by Cooper’s Handcrafted Soap Co.

Click on her photo to see her blog post with more details about her process as well as her inspiration photo.

Congratulations to Jamie Cunningham of Whitetail Lane Farm in Pennsylvania for her second place finish! She wins a $25 gift certificate from Mad Oils, plus free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! Jamie specializes in fresh goat milk soap, and since her husband asked for Sweet Orange and Chili Pepper scented soap, this is the beauty she created:

Sweet Orange Chili Pepper soap by Whitetail Lane Farm

Sweet Orange and Chili Pepper soap by Whitetail Lane Farm

Please click on the photo to read Jamie’s blog post!

And in third place, we have a tie between Renee Spaulding of Lakehurst Farms in Vermont and Amy Sangder of Whipped Upp in Washington State. Renee is no stranger to the Challenge Club and has placed previously as well. Congrats for winning a $25 gift certificate from Mad Oils, plus free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! Renee’s vision for the challenge was to create Rise and Shine, made with bold citrus colored swirls that pop next to their black & white counterparts:

Rise and Shine soap by Renee of Lakehurst Farms

Rise and Shine soap by Renee of Lakehurst Farms

If you click on the photo, you’ll see the Facebook video of Renee making the soap.

Amy’s soap is called Feathered Hawks – and for good reason! Don’t we all love those happy surprise swirls when we cut into a fresh log of soap? Take a look at these hawk eyes staring back at you! Wow! Amy also wins a $25 gift certificate from Mad Oils, plus free registration to next month’s Challenge Club.

Feathered Hawks soap by Whipped Upp

Feathered Hawks soap by Whipped Upp

Click on the photo for a quick 3-minute video of Amy making this soap.

Finally, Mad Oils has chosen Julie Boesen from Illinois as their Sponsor’s Choice winner! Julie’s hard work participating in the challenges for the last six months has definitely paid off – Congratulations, Julie!! She wins a mica surprise pack, valued in excess of $25 for her Owl Feathers soap – more bird eyes – isn’t it fantastic??

Owl Feathers soap by Julie

Owl Feathers soap by Julie

I know you’re all dying to see the rest of the entries, so please check them out HERE.

One of our members also found predecessors to the Clyde Slide HERE and HERE with similar feathered swirls.

It’s always exciting to announce the next three months of challenges! For October, we will be doing Alternative Liquids using all natural ingredients for our soaps. Here is mine:

Spiced Pumpkin with Coffee Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Spiced Pumpkin with Coffee Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

You’ll have to join the challenge to find out which liquid I chose to replace the water in this soap! We have two sponsors for the October Challenge: Rustic Escentuals and Alex Kelly of Custom Soap Stamps and they are going to be very generous! The grand prizes include a $100 gift certificate from Rustic Escentuals and a custom soap stamp from Alex Kelly. Second place will receive a $75 gift certificate from Rustic Escentuals, and third place will receive a $50 gift certificate from Rustic Escentuals. Their Sponsor’s Choice winner will receive a $25 gift certificate, PLUS Alex Kelly will give 15% off to anyone who simply enters their soap in the challenge for his entire store for the remainder of the month of October.

For November, the technique is called the Tall & Skinny Shimmy. We have a guest teacher whom many of you will recognize as a member in previous challenges: Tatiana Serko!! Her blog, Creative Soap by Steso, is full of beautiful soapy inspiration! I am thrilled that she agreed to show us how to make this soap:

Tall & Skinny Rainbow Shimmy soap by Tatiana

Tall & Skinny Rainbow Shimmy soap by Tatiana

The sponsor for November is Nature’s Garden. They will award the grand prize winner with a $100 gift certificate, with a $75 gift certificate for second place, a $50 gift certificate for third, and a $25 gift certificate for Sponsor’s Choice. Wow!

And finally, December’s technique will feature Impression Mats. There will be plenty of inspiration for this technique! Brambleberry will sponsor – prizes announced soon!

If you aren’t already signed up for notifications about the Soap Challenge Club, you can do that now! You’ll get an email as soon as registration opens on Monday, plus information about half price tutorials and more…

notify-me

The Long Road to Rebatch

I have been making pumpkin soaps with fresh goat’s milk and real pumpkin puree for many years now. Usually they are plain brown with mica stamped pumpkins on the front. This year I was going to try something new and different. I made a three-layer soap with fresh goat’s milk and fragrance in all three layers, and added pumpkin to the top and bottom layers. I also added some brown mica to the bottom layer and a bronze mica line between the bottom and second layers, and added some orange mica to the top layer. The next day I planned to cut the soap, and found an oil slick on top of the soap. I decided to let it air out for another day to see if the oil would absorb back into the soap. It didn’t. So I wiped it off with a paper towel:

Pumpkin soap in the mold

Pumpkin soap in the mold

I took the soap out of the mold and cut into the top layer to see what was inside, and it wasn’t pretty:

Crumbly, separating soap

Crumbly, separating soap

My theory at this point was that the soap in the top layer had started to heat up and saponify in the pot before I poured it into the mold. By stirring it up, I interrupted the process and it started to separate. It had started to go into “hot process mode” but because I didn’t continue to heat and stir the soap, it got stuck in the separation phase. I don’t know the technical terms for the chemical process at this point, but it’s what you might call “applesauce stage” with hot process soap.

Further evidence of overheating and separation

Further evidence of overheating and separation

My solution to this problem was to scrape off the top layer and chunk it up in the crock pot with the hopes that I could spread it back over the top and salvage the soap. This was not a small batch, so there was no way I could put the entire thing in my crock pot, nor did I want to disturb the first two layers which appeared to be so perfect underneath!

Scraped soap log

Scraped soap log

Soap chunks in the crock pot

Soap chunks in the crock pot

The fresh soap melted down easily without adding anything to it. In fact, I started the crock pot on high for a short time, then switched it to low and stirred every hour or so until it was completely melted. I re-lined my soap mold, put the first two layers of soap inside, then spread the top layer back on.

Hot-processed layer of soap over the top

Hot-processed layer of soap over the top

The next day I was excited to see how my “salvaged” soap turned out. I lifted the soap into the cutter, and what do you know – the hot-processed layer separated from the rest of the log!

Gasp!  Not good!

Gasp! Not good!

So I did what I had to do. I took the top layer off and cut it into mini soap bars to donate to a local ministry that helps refugees in Kansas City.

Top layer of soap cut into mini bars

Top layer of soap cut into mini bars

Once I decided to cut up the rest of the soap and re-batch it, I discovered that the bottom layer didn’t hold together so well either. I had to melt it down in several batches in my crock pot.

Bottom layer is seeping oils too!

Bottom layer is seeping oils too!

What did I end up with? Plain brown soap with mica stamped pumpkins on the front.

Final hot-processed pumpkin soap

Final hot-processed pumpkin soap

So why did the soap separate this year when it hadn’t in past years? My theory is that I used too much pumpkin. I used nearly the same amount of pumpkin in just two-thirds of the soap that I used in a full batch in previous years. It could also be the temperature of the pumpkin. In the bottom layer, the pumpkin puree was actually pretty cold out of the refrigerator. As I was pouring it into the soap, I realized that might not have been a great idea. So for the top layer (the one that separated a lot), I warmed it up before adding it to the soap. Obviously, the soap was already starting to heat up before I added the pumpkin – probably due to the goat’s milk. Normally, I would mix everything up and pour it all it once before it got too hot. With this soap, I was adding fragrance to each layer and waiting for them to set up before adding the next. Quite a bit of time had passed by the time I added the top layer, and the outside of the container felt pretty hot when I finally poured it.

Oh well. The rustic look isn’t so bad. Just wish I didn’t have to go through all the trouble to get there!

Here are the Winners of the Mantra Marbles Challenge!

For the month of August, the Soap Challenge Club did a brand new technique called Mantra Marbles. Erica Pence of Bath Alchemy Lab came up with this technique and offered to share it with us. She also created a tutorial for her latest ezine, which is available for purchase HERE. It’s a unique combination of Ebru paper marbling and the mantra swirl in a slab mold. The benefit of using the slab mold is being able to create a consistent design throughout the entire batch.

Huge thanks to Erica for sharing her technique and also being one of our sponsors this month!! Our other sponsor is a new one – BeScented. They offer a wide variety of fragrance and soaping supplies, so be sure to check them out!

There were so many amazing entries this month, but we only have one grand prize winner. Congratulations goes to Trish Morton from Washington State!! Believe it or not, Trish is a brand-new soaper! In fact, her winning entry, Soap No. 12, was aptly named as it was the 12th batch she’s ever made! Check it out:

Soap No. 12 by Trish

Soap No. 12 by Trish

Be sure to click on the photo to see how she made it! Trish has won a $50 gift certificate from BeScented, plus one online soapmaking class of the her choice from Bath Alchemy Lab. Congratulations, Trish!

Second place goes to Michelle Bailey in South Carolina for her super cool Flame Kissed Marshmallow soap, scented with Marshmallow Fireside from BeScented:

Flame Kissed Marshmallow Soap by Michelle

Flame Kissed Marshmallow Soap by Michelle

Michelle made three other batches for the challenge that didn’t quite make the cut, so be sure to click on the photo to see her blog post about how she made this soap as well as the other batches. She has won a $50 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab, plus free registration to the September Challenge Club. Congratulations, Michelle, on moving up from third place last month!

In third place we have Claudia Carpenter in California, a long-time member and supporter of the Challenge Club, who has placed several times in the top three spots. She created her beautiful soap based on the colors of a Stargazer Lily:

Stargazer Lilies soap by Claudia

Stargazer Lilies soap by Claudia

Claudia has shared her recipe as well as her technique and inspiration on her blog post, so definitely click on the photo for more information about this soap! She has won a $25 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab, plus free registration to the September Challenge Club. Congratulations, Claudia!

The Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Alexis Anderson in Pennsylvania! Alexis created this fabulous Crazy 88 soap:

Crazy 88 soap by Alexis

Crazy 88 soap by Alexis

If you click on the photo you can read more about her soap on her Pinterest Board. She wins a $25 gift certificate from BeScented! Congratulations, Alexis!

You can check out the rest of the entries this month HERE.

For September, we will be doing a technique called the Clyde Slide, named after Clyde Yoshida of Vibrant Soap. Here is the soap I made for the video tutorial:

Ginger Ale soap, made with the Clyde Slide technique by Great Cakes Soapworks

Ginger Ale soap, made with the Clyde Slide technique by Great Cakes Soapworks

Registration will open on Monday, August 31st for the September Challenge Club. We will be dividing the entries between U.S. and international soapmakers again in September. For the U.S. participants, the sponsor is Mad Oils! The grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate plus the winner’s choice of one of their Mica Collections. Second and third place will each receive a $25 gift certificate, and their Sponsor’s Choice winner will receive a mica surprise pack worth more than $25.

For the international participants, the sponsor is Gracefruit Ltd in the UK! The grand prize winner will receive a £75 gift certificate. Second and third place will each receive a £25 gift certificate, and their Sponsor’s Choice winner will also receive a £25 gift certificate.

(Second & third place in each category will still receive free registration to the next month’s Challenge Club as well!)

If you would like to receive notifications about the Challenge Club and soapmaking tutorials, please sign up below:

notify-me

Check Out the Winners of the Embracing Opposites Challenge!

Just a quick post announcing the winners of the July Challenge Club. Be sure to click the photos for more information about how the soap was made:

Huge thanks to our sponsors: Nurture Soap Supplies and Riverlea Soap!!

International category:

Grand prize winner is Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia. She wins a $75 gift certificate from Riverlea soap!

Aurora Australis soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Aurora Australis soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Second place goes to Tina Svetek in Slovenia. She wins a $50 gift certificate from Riverlea soap, plus free registration to the August Challenge Club!

Yin yang soap by Tina

Yin yang soap by Tina

Third place goes to Sviatlana in Belarus. She wins a $25 gift certificate from Riverlea soap, plus free registration to the August Challenge Club!

Black & White soap by Sviatlana

Black & White soap by Sviatlana

Sponsor’s Choice winner is Monica Felix in Mexico. She wins a $25 gift certificate from Riverlea Soap!

Opposite Face Soap by Monica Felix

Opposite Face Soap by Monica Felix

U.S. category:

Grand prize winner is Bonnie Howard of The Village Soapsmith in North Carolina. She wins a $100 gift certificate from Nurture Soap Supplies!

Summer & Winter soap by The Village Soapsmith

Summer & Winter soap by The Village Soapsmith

Second place goes to Holly Shelton of Kapia Mera Soap Co. in Tennessee. She wins $25 worth of pigments and micas from Nurture Soap Supplies, including their Really Red! mica, plus free registration to the August Challenge Club.

Embracing Opposites soap by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

Embracing Opposites soap by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

Tie for third place goes to Amy Sangder of Whipped Upp in Washington and Michelle Bailey in South Carolina. They also win $25 worth of pigments and micas from Nurture, with the Really Red! mica, and free registration to the August Challenge Club.

Black & White soap by Whipped Upp

Black & White soap by Whipped Upp

Fire & Water soap by Michelle Bailey

Fire & Water soap by Michelle Bailey

Sponsor’s Choice winner is Brittany Warwick in Wisconsin. She wins a basic 2.5 lb. tall & skinny mold from Nurture Soap Supplies!

What Happens Under the Field soap by Brittany Warwick

What Happens Under the Field soap by Brittany Warwick

We used a new link-up platform this month, and I still need to figure out how to share the rest of the entries with you. I’ll figure it out as soon as I can!

Meanwhile, registration for the August Challenge Club opens on Monday. We are doing a new technique called Mantra Marbles. Sponsors are BeScented and Bath Alchemy Lab. More information is available on the registration page. Here’s one of the soaps I made for the video tutorial:

Cherry Citrus Mantra Marbles soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Cherry Citrus Mantra Marbles soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Hope you’ll join us!

Winner of the Tagline Contest!

I am so grateful to everyone who participated in the Tagline Contest!! There were so many wonderful suggestions, and I spent all day trying to decide on a winner! I asked my family for their input as well, and we all ended up agreeing that there was one that particularly stood out because it is simple, reflects the quality of the soap, and also has a subtle and catchy double meaning. For those reasons, we chose “Raising the Bar”!!!! Thank you, John, for helping me come up with a truly great tagline!

Tagline Contest for Great Cakes Soapworks

GreatCakesSoapworks_new175x135Back in January 2005, I named my business Great Cakes Soapworks because of a slogan that I believe was divinely inspired: “A great cake of soap can cleanse your body, but only a great God can cleanse your soul.” I woke up one morning and it was just in my head. It reflects my faith, as well as the quality of my product, and it will always be part of my business. However, I’ve come to realize that I need something short and sweet that’s easier to communicate. Now that I have a new logo, I’m ready for a new tagline!

I’ve tossed around a few ideas, but I haven’t been able to land on anything yet. So now I’m asking for your help! I’m looking for a quick tagline that is no more than three or four words. I’ve learned that it should be ONE of these four things:
1. What you do,
2. Who you do it for,
3. How you do it, or
4. A mantra/value you stand behind

Enter your suggestion(s) in the comments below. No limit on entries, but I will only be accepting them until this Sunday, July 12th at 10pm CST. If I end up using your suggestion, or your suggestion leads me to the tagline that I end up using, you will win your choice of FIVE bars of soap!

Thank you in advance!!

Commments are now closed.