Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

We had some really fantastic entries in the Soap Challenge Club again this month! Our technique was called “Squeeze Bottle Designs” and it gave the Club members a lot of creative license to make designs with a squeeze bottle on the bottom of their soap, then fill in the remainder of the soap however they wanted to. It was another tight race to the finish, and we ended up with tie for 3rd place – yet again! Our sponsor, Majestic Mountain Sage, was very gracious to offer a grand prize not only to our first place winner, but also provided Sampler 7 kits for 2nd & 3rd place winners (in addition to their usual prize of free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!).

Let’s start with our grand prize winner! Congratulations to Tricia Miller of the Miller Soap Co. who created this beautiful musical design:

tricias soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Musical Soap by Miller Soap Co.

Second place goes to Margo Long of Bearprint Soaps. She made this unique Lavender Lemon soap:

margos soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Lavender Lemon Soap by Bearprint Soaps

Our third place winners are Vickie Robinson of Udder Indulgence and Jaime Maraia of Crochet Dynamite. Vickie’s soap is a beautiful Cherry Blossom:

vickies soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Cherry Blossom Soap by Udder Indulgence

Jaime entered this really cool snowflake soap:

jaimes soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Snowflake Soap by Crochet Dynamite

Ready to check out all the amazing entries? They are located HERE.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated this month!! I know it’s a busy time of year! Believe it or not, next month’s Challenge Club will open on Monday. We’ll be doing the column pour technique. I’ll have more details soon!

Extra Prizes for 2nd & 3rd Place!

Registration for this month’s Soap Challenge Club remains open for a very short time. We are making Squeeze Bottle Designs which can transform any ordinary soap into something extraordinary just by using your tracing skills.

bayberry1 Extra Prizes for 2nd & 3rd Place!

Bayberry Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

The Challenge Club is open to any soapmaker from around the world who has a basic knowledge of how to make cold process soap. If you would like to compete for the prizes, simply document the making of your soap via photos or video and add your blog, YouTube, pinterest, or Facebook album link to the link-up on November 13. Club members only will vote for the winners.

Normally the sponsor for the Soap Challenge Club takes care of our grand prize only which is pretty incredible! Majestic Mountain Sage is contributing a $100 gift certificate to our grand prize winner this month. NOW, they have offered to also give away Sampler 7 kits to 2nd & 3rd place winners as well – and that’s in addition to free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! So many ways to win!

If you haven’t registered, better do it quick!! This opportunity will go away Monday at 2pm CST!

register now Extra Prizes for 2nd & 3rd Place!

Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

This month’s Soap Challenge Club is featuring a technique I’m calling Squeeze Bottle Designs. I first saw this technique demonstrated on the Sirona Springs blog by Ruth Esteves:

ruths soap Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

Soap made by Ruth Esteves, Sirona Springs

The creative possibilities with this technique are endless! I started with my practice batch trying out some star shapes in a log mold:

figgy pudding1 Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

Figgy Pudding Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

The real “star” of the show is the batch I made next in my slab mold, featured in the Challenge Club video tutorial:

bayberry1 Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

Bayberry Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Please join us for this Challenge Club!! You will need to finish your soap by November 13th to enter it in the Challenge, and voting will be finished up a full week before Thanksgiving. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage!!! Second & third place winners will receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club.

What are you waiting for?

register now Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

(Registration closes Monday!)

Announcing our Challenge Club Winners!!

What a fun challenge this month!! Our technique is the Dandelion Zebra Swirl, as featured on Vinvela Ebony’s blog. There were so many fantastic soaps entered, that we ended up with a tie for 3rd place!

Congratulations goes to Amy Burdick of Tenth Avenue Soapworks for her first place finish with this beautiful Fresh Snow soap:

amy burdick soap Announcing our Challenge Club Winners!!

Fresh Snow Soap by Tenth Avenue Soapworks

Amy won a 5-quart glass mixing bowl with lid plus a 4-piece silicone tool set from Brambleberry!!

Our second place winner is Sharon Phillips. She created an amazing rainbow soap for the challenge:

Zebra swirl Announcing our Challenge Club Winners!!

Rainbow Zebra Swirl by Sharon Phillips

For the first time ever, we had a tie!! Third place goes to Kevin Devine AND Jaime Taht of Sleeping Gypsy Designs. Here’s Kevin’s really cool soap:

kevins soap Announcing our Challenge Club Winners!!

Kevin’s Dandelion Swirl Soap

And Jaime’s striking all-natural soap:

jaimes soap Announcing our Challenge Club Winners!!

Kitchen Soap by Sleeping Gypsy Designs

Sharon, Kevin, and Jaime all won free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! Congrats to them!!

You can see all the entries for the challenge this month HERE. I was really glad that I didn’t have to vote – so many fantastic soaps!

Anyone is welcome to join us for next month’s Challenge Club. We will be doing Squeeze Bottle Designs! Here is my practice soap:

figgy pudding1 Announcing our Challenge Club Winners!!

Figgy Pudding Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

So many creative possibilities for this technique…registration opens Monday. You can sign up to be notified here. Majestic Mountain Sage will be sponsoring again – the grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate! Don’t miss it!

Live Happy

live happy logo Live Happy When I first got started in the Nerium business, I didn’t realize how much it was going to impact every area of my life for the better. It started with personal development, which when I first heard the term, I thought “fluff”, but now I know it’s about real life change! Not only do I get to improve the way people feel about themselves by helping them look better and live better, I’m more grateful, more in tune with people around me, more open and vulnerable with my family, and happier than ever before!

For me, it started with hearing Shawn Achor share his knowledge and research around positive psychology and practical ways to be happier at a Nerium event in Dallas last February. Now he speaks at every large Nerium event, and I always look forward to hearing him speak. Here’s a snippet of one of his talks. See if this video resonates with you:

This concept of happiness has always been important to Jeff Olson, the CEO & Co-Founder of Nerium International. Over the weekend, he announced that as a company, we now have the opportunity to participate in a happiness movement. What would happen if everyone realized that happiness actually has to come before success? Check out another amazing video to learn more about how you can live happy, and join the movement too! There’s absolutely no cost now or ever to join! Not only does your attitude affect your home life – it affects who will do business with you as well. Get the Happiness Advantage!

On the Curing Rack: Peppermint Soap!

It’s difficult to think about Christmas soaps when the temperatures are still in the 60′s and 70′s, but I decided I just needed to pull the trigger and pull out the supplies to make peppermint soap! The design is new (again!) this year. As you can see, there’s a lighter pink swirl in with the red, and each bar looks completely different!

pepp soap2 On the Curing Rack: Peppermint Soap!

Peppermint Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

What’s really exciting is the curlycue swirl that I made – accidentally, of course – for the first time! Here’s another view:

pepp soap1 On the Curing Rack: Peppermint Soap!

More peppermint soaps!

In case you are wondering, these are made with pure peppermint essential oil and they are quite strong! In fact, I do put a warning on the label not to use this soap on the more *ahem* sensitive areas of your body. Peppermint soaps will be available at Greatcakessoapworks.com on November 8th!

Ready to Rebatch!

So I had this huge box of soap scraps and batches that didn’t turn out for whatever reason that was sitting in my dining room. In the past, I’ve donated to Clean the World, but I waited too long this time and the shipping was going to be over $50. So, I’ve been making rebatch soaps with the scraps as I have time, and donating them to local homeless ministries.

Yesterday I decided that I could maximize my time a little better by doing some prep work – that is, getting all of the soaps shredded or chunked, weighed, and ready to melt down ahead of time. I wish I would have taken a photo of my kitchen as I was doing this prep work. There was soap EVERYWHERE. I was using my food processor to shred some of the full-sized bars, pulling out all the end pieces, and separating out the tan/brown soaps from the colored soaps. Piles of soap. The ones that were too small to shred, I put in the processor with the blade and just chopped them into smaller bits of soap. I only stalled out the motor a handful of times…

Here is the fruit of my labor:

box of shreds Ready to Rebatch!

Nine bags with 2 lbs. of soap shreds

color soap chunks Ready to Rebatch!

Six bags with 8 oz. of colored soap chunks

The beauty of it is that this morning I was able to pull out a 2 lb. bag of soap (that had been #10) and melt it in the crockpot on high with 1/2 cup of water, stirring every 30-60 minutes, throwing in an 8 oz. bag of colored soap chunks (would have been #7) with a small sample bottle of fragrance at the end, and coming up with this beauty in just a couple of hours:

new rebatch log Ready to Rebatch!

Latest rebatch soap from today

Here are some soaps I made previously:

cut rebatch soap Ready to Rebatch!

Rebatch soaps

So much fun!! No two batches are alike, and they all go to a great cause. It should be easy to get one made every day…

New Lip Butters!

I made some new lip butters yesterday – not that my regular customers haven’t seen these before, but it’s been awhile!! The Orange Creamsicle has been out of rotation for two years, and by special request, I’ve brought it back – along with the Chai Tea.

The Great Cakes Soapworks lip butter flavors are custom blended, so you won’t find them anywhere else! Our recipe is also unique, with a super smooth texture that glides right on without feeling gunky or addicting like petroleum-based lip products.

OC CT LB2 New Lip Butters!

Chai Tea and Orange Creamsicle Lip Butters by Great Cakes Soapworks

Here’s a list of our other flavors:
Blackberry – just 3 left!
Limeade
Peppermint
Vanilla Honey
Nourishing (no flavor)

Click HERE for more info and to purchase! Just $3.50 each, or $3.00 each if you purchase any 3 or more.

Final Results of the Multi-Colored Gradient Challenge

Congratulations to Julie Ignacio of Little House Homestead Home Made Soap!! She is our grand prize winner for the Multi-Colored Gradient Soap Challenge, and will receive a $50 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!! This is her Werewolf soap which goes from blue to gray to black. Even the moon looks realistic. Isn’t it stunning?

werewolf Final Results of the Multi Colored Gradient Challenge

Werewolf Soap by Julie Ignacio

Second and third place are also pretty fabulous! They both receive free registration to next month’s Soap Challenge Club. Cee of Oil & Butter is our second place winner with this beautiful rainbow soap:

cee Final Results of the Multi Colored Gradient Challenge

Rainbow soap by Cee

And Melinda Wolff of Melinda’s Naturals has come in third with her fall/october themed soap, made with blood orange, patchouli, and cedarwood essential oils:

melinda Final Results of the Multi Colored Gradient Challenge

Fall Soap by Melinda Wolff

As always, you can view all of the entries for this month’s Soap Challenge Club HERE. Lots of inspiration to be found!

I was going to make the video for the October Challenge today, but got called away to help a friend instead. I will have a separate post as soon as I have photos of next month’s Challenge soap. If you aren’t already on the Soap Challenge Club notification list, please get signed up!

Congratulations to the Giveaway Winners – and a Special Surprise!

The giveaway for the Soap Crafting Blog Tour closed last night, and I entered the parameters for the random drawing at Random.Org to choose three people to win an Avocado Moisturizing Bar! Comment numbers 12, 41, and 45 were the finalists for the drawing. Congratulations to Jamia, Robyn, and Karen!! I will be mailing out their soaps on September 20th – just as soon as they are finished curing.

step7 Congratulations to the Giveaway Winners   and a Special Surprise!

Avocado Moisturizing Bars by Great Cakes Soapworks

As a special surprise, I also drew one more number to receive a free copy of the Soap Crafting book, directly from the publisher. Congratulations to #57 – Amy is the recipient of this fabulous book full of helpful soapmaking information!!

BOOKSoapCrafting 300x300 Congratulations to the Giveaway Winners   and a Special Surprise!

Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola

You can still get your own copy, by clicking on the photo above. Thanks to everyone who participated by submitting their comments about using various foods in soap. There were several that I haven’t tried yet, such as egg, spinach, strawberries, lychee berries, tomato paste, wine must (fruit pulp left over from making wine!), zucchini, and kiwi. I do feel inspired to make another Fruit Smoothie soap with bananas, mangos and blueberries as well as goat’s milk, coconut milk, and buttermilk. I’ve been using it on my face, and I’m down to the last little sliver!