More Swatch Mania! Winners

Yes, that’s right – WINNERS with an “S”! Since we had 77 entries, Kenna said I could go ahead and choose two winners of her ebook, More Swatch Mania!!

Those who entered the giveaway were asked what their favorite colorant is for cold-process soap and why. It was really fun reading through all your comments!! Most of you had a difficult time choosing just one!

Our first winner is comment #18:

Congratulations to Leslie!!

Congratulations to Leslie!!

Leslie said, “I like using clays for color. I’ve been afraid to try micas because I’m mostly a hobby soaper, with a limited soaping budget, and there are about a million beautiful colors I’d like to try! Haven’t been able to decide where to start!”

And our second winner is comment #51:

Congratulations to Mariselys!!

Congratulations to Mariselys!!

Mariselys said, “It’s hard to choose a favorite colorant but if I had to choose only one it would be micas. So many diffferent colors! Clays and neon colorants are also awesome.”

Hope you both enjoy your copies of More Swatch Mania! I know you will put them to good use. Thank you to everyone who entered and participated!! And huge thanks to Kenna for the giveaway!! If you didn’t win and would like to get a copy of this handy resource, remember it is only available to the public until the end of the month. You can get your copy HERE.

How I Saved This Soap

I had a near disaster a couple days ago when I was attempting to re-make the butterfly swirl soap I created for the January Soap Challenge Club. I decided it turned out so beautifully that I would need to have more on hand. Never mind that I thought I’d nearly ruined the first beautiful batch with the portion that I had mixed in titanium dioxide. The added water in such a small amount of soap nearly caused it to separate. You can see a few glycerin rivers in the white parts, but everything managed to hold together:

Original Exotic Pear soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Original Exotic Pear soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

I remembered that I was going to use super white pearly mica instead of titanium dioxide in the re-make, but I forgot why. I had some raspberry red mica mixed with olive oil left over from the first batch that I wanted to use – which was great! Then I started prepping the rest of the micas and decided I would mix them with WATER. Let me tell you why I like mixing micas with water. Easy clean-up!! So with this in mind, I proceeded to mix the blue, yellow, white and black micas with water. The blue, yellow and white were going to be mixed with just half a cup of soap, and the black was going to be mixed with just a quarter cup of soap. It really wasn’t a lot of water mixed with the mica, but because I was mixing it with such a small amount of soap, it started interfering with saponification almost immediately. I realized my mistake, but it was too late!

I could just barely immerse my stick blender in the half cup of soap. As it started ricing (majorly separating!!), I had to stick blend each one for at least 5-10 minutes before it would hold together. I had already added my fragrance to the entire batch up front, so I was worried that it would start setting up – especially the main soap base that didn’t have any extra water added to it. Fortunately, the fragrance behaved beautifully and I was able to continue to stir the base soap periodically as I was beating the small cups of soap into submission.

The black soap was a lost cause, however. A quarter cup of soap was just too little to be mixed with a blender:

Separated black soap

Separated black soap

So I mixed up a little bit of black mica with some oil and decided to create a little bit of veining instead. I was really worried by now that I wouldn’t be able to do any drop swirling with the main soap base since it was setting up faster than the smaller cups of soap which were at a light trace. Boy was I surprised!! The difference in texture did affect the way the swirls turned out, but I was just happy I got the soap into the mold at this point!

Top of the second Exotic Pear soap

Top of the second Exotic Pear soap

Today I was able to take the soap out of the mold and cut it. I had no idea how it was going to turn out! You can see the freezer paper I used to line the mold is damp from the extra water:

Damp freezer paper

Damp freezer paper

But the soap actually held together quite nicely!!

Exotic Pear soap remake by Great Cakes Soapworks

Exotic Pear soap remake by Great Cakes Soapworks

It’s not quite as fancy as the first batch, but it’s definitely a close second:

Exotic Pear comparison

Exotic Pear comparison

These soaps will be available at Greatcakessoapworks.com on February 4, 2015.

More Swatch Mania! Review and Giveaway

Me and Kenna

Me and Kenna

Many of you know my good friend Kenna from Modern Soapmaking. She likes to call other people rock stars, but she’s about as rock star as they come! She’s super smart, a talented soapmaker and formulator, as well as a savvy business owner. Fortunately she likes to share all that talent and knowledge as often as she can. Even if you just join her Modern Soapmaking newsletter list you’ll gain a ton of great information. I’ll give you a chance to do that here in a minute. First, I need to tell you about her latest resource, More Swatch Mania! that she just released earlier today.

Kenna has gotten her hands on literally hundreds of different colorants for cold-process soap and tested them so the rest of us don’t have to! Her pre-cursor to More Swatch Mania! was the original Swatch Mania! which includes: 52 swatches and examples of various micas, 12 swatches and examples of various pigments, 16 swatches and examples of various clays, 7 swatches and examples of various seeds, 48 swatches and examples of various natural colorants, plus a full swatch making tutorial with instructions and formula used in swatching all of these colorants. These colorants come from suppliers such as The Conservatorie, Brambleberry, Nurture Soap Supplies, and New Directions Aromatics.

For More Swatch Mania! she has tested an additional 71 swatches of various micas, 24 swatches of synthetic colorants, 38 swatches of natural colorants, plus a brief overview of each colorant type and how to use them in soapmaking. New colorants from suppliers such as Mad Oils and Aroma Haven/Rustic Escentuals plus many others are included in this publication.

Here’s a little example for you:

Sneak Peek!

Sneak Peek!

What I love about More Swatch Mania! is that I get to see how so many colorants will behave before I invest my money. Not every supplier can show you exactly how each of their colorants will look in cold-process soap. Especially all the seeds and botanicals! As the trend to go natural continues, I am continually looking for new ways to color my soap naturally. Honestly, I haven’t ventured very far because I know how fragile most of the natural colorants can be and I want colors that will hold up over time. After checking out More Swatch Mania! the creative juices are definitely flowing…

I’m sure you would like an opportunity to acquire this handy-dandy resource as well. It will be available to the public for purchase just until the end of the month (January 31, 2015) HERE. After that, it will only be available to Soap Mastery Club Members or those with an All Access Pass to Modern Soapmaking.

HOWEVER, Kenna is also graciously providing one of my readers with their very own copy! Want to enter to win the giveaway? Leave a comment below letting me know what your current favorite soap colorants are and why. Enter by January 15, 2015 at 10pm CST. One entry per person.

Comments are now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!!

Making Updates

I’ve been writing on this blog since March 2008. Somewhere in the middle of 2011 or so all of the images from those posts disappeared. Like 200 of them. I probably lost them during an update or something, and I’ve dreaded going back and fixing them all. Well, I decided this month I’m going to get them all fixed – instead of wandering around aimlessly on Facebook in the evenings!

The great thing is that I’m re-visiting some great memories, and I get to see how far I’ve come in my soapmaking skills even in the last few years. I know the Soap Challenge Club has really pushed me to try new things – and more complex designs! I also know that this will help boost my search engine optimization so that more people will find my posts when they do a search.

I’ve found some really cool content as well. I completely forgot that I had a guest post by Courtney at Courtney Robyn’s Nest on how to process raw beeswax. And then I got sad when I realized that Courtney is no longer blogging and all of those photos will never be retrieved. The instructions are still there though!

She also did a tutorial on how to make your own tooth soap! Fortunately, those photos are still intact.

Tooth Soap

Then there are all the fun posts!! My story on how I started making soap for my two best friends at the time. Or testing SOAP panel fragrances with my long distance friend. Or the story of the lady who ate my shea butter sample at a craft fair…

So, what’s a task you’ve been putting off for far too long that you can start working on today?

Check Out These Spoon Swirls!!

We had 116 soapmakers from all over the world come together for the December Challenge Club! Our technique was the simple spoon swirl which involves pouring various layers of soap, then using a spoon (or chopstick) to fold the soap from bottom to top, creating beautiful swirls! Our sponsor this month was Majestic Mountain Sage. Tina’s favorite holiday is Christmas, so she created some generous prizes for our winners!! Grand prize is a $100 gift certificate! Normally second and third place just receive free registration to the next month’s Challenge Club, but this time they will also receive the Amazing Dozen sampler kit from The Sage – 12 different one-ounce bottles of the winner’s choice of fragrance, essential oil, extract, or flavor oil. The Sponsor’s Choice winner will also receive an Amazing Dozen sampler kit! Thanks so much, Majestic Mountain Sage!!

And now, for our winners:

Congratulations to Milla from Bend, Oregon!! She is a hobby soapmaker, and has entered nearly all of the Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge Clubs, yet this is the first time she has made a top 3 spot. Milla has really created a masterpiece with her pink, black and white spoon swirl soap:

Blackberry Sage spoon swirl soap by Milla

Blackberry Sage spoon swirl soap by Milla

In second place we have Jelena in Quebec, Canada with her beautiful wispy swirled Cherry Blossom soap. Isn’t it gorgeous??

Cherry Blossom spoon swirl soap by Jelena

Cherry Blossom spoon swirl soap by Jelena

Congrats to Claudia in Los Altos, California for her third place finish with this amazing outer space spoon swirl soap! She combined the spoon swirl with in-the-pot swirls and tiny little soap embeds:

Outer space spoon swirl soap by Claudia

Outer space spoon swirl soap by Claudia

And finally, I get to announce our Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Katy in Neoga, Illinois!! Katy is yet another hobby soapmaker and soon-to-be mother of six girls! She has been a member of the Challenge Club nearly every month, and I am excited to show you her Champagne Sugar spoon swirl soap made with real champagne:

Champagne Sugar spoon swirl soap by Katy

Champagne Sugar spoon swirl soap by Katy

I know you’ll want to see the rest of the entries, so I’ve made the link available HERE.

For the January Challenge Club, I will attempt to de-mystify the Butterfly Swirl, originally created by Zahida of Handmade in Florida. Here are the results of my first practice batch:

Butterfly Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks

Butterfly Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks

Our sponsor for the January Challenge Club is Nurture Soap Supplies! The grand prize winner will receive 65 different mica samples (enough to color 2 pounds of soap each!), and the sponsor’s choice winner will each receive a basic 2.5 pound soap mold with silicone liner.

Once again I will open up the January Challenge Club so that you can register just for that month, or you can register for the next three months. Check out what we have lined up for February and March as well:

The February Challenge will feature the DNA/helix swirl, and the sponsor is Nature’s Garden. They will provide a $50 gift certificate to the grand prize winner, and a $25 gift certificate to the sponsor’s choice winner!

For March, we will revisit landscape soaps, something we haven’t done in quite a long time and always turn out so amazing! We have a new sponsor for March: TKB Trading! Their prize packages will be announced soon.

Registration opens after the holidays – on Monday, January 5th. Sign up now get a notification via email as soon as registration is available, and the tutorial for the spoon swirl as well:

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Challenge Club Combing Swirl Winners!

For the November Challenge Club, the theme was combing techniques. Basically any design you could think of that involved pulling a comb through soap was fair game! The most common design of this type is the peacock swirl which became quite popular in the last couple years. It was the first technique we did as a Challenge Club in May 2013. This time, I introduced a new technique called the serpentine swirl, and you will see that one of our finalists did a fine job on that one!

Huge thanks to Brambleberry and Custom Soap Stamps for sponsoring the Challenge Club this month! Brambleberry is providing a fabulous soap combing tool set that includes two combs, two wide-mouth squeeze bottles, and their silicone tool set for our grand prize winner, PLUS the Sponsor’s Choice prize that I will show you in just a bit. Custom Soap Stamps is providing a standard 3″ x 2″ custom soap stamp! And now, for our winners:

Congratulations to Jodi of Lakehurst Farms!! She is our grand prize winner with her completely gorgeous French curl swirled soap:

French curl swirl, scented with Energy, by Jodi of Lakehurst Farms

French curl swirl, scented with Energy, by Jodi of Lakehurst Farms

Second place goes to Amy B. of Middleton, Wisconsin with her unique DNA helix swirl. This is actually just one layer of a four-layered soap where each layer was swirled separately! Click on the photo to see the rest of the swirls:

Four-layer soap, scented with Lavender Forest, by Amy B.

Four-layer soap, scented with Lavender Forest, by Amy B.

In third place we have Veronica of Sweet Vivi’s Bath and Body Products in Port St Lucie, Florida with a beautiful serpentine swirled soap in red, white, pink and green:

Serpentine Swirl soap, scented with Cranberry Chutney by Sweet Vivi's Bath and Body Products

Serpentine Swirl soap, scented with Cranberry Chutney by Sweet Vivi’s Bath and Body Products

Second and third place winners will receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!

And finally, I get to announce our Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Tanya of Stonesfield Soaps in the United Kingdom! Tanya created a beautiful peacock swirl, a technique she has definitely mastered, and ironically she was our grand prize winner when we had the first Peacock Swirl Challenge in May 2013! Here’s her “Bergander” soap:

Peacock Swirl soap, scented with lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood by Stonesfield Soap

Peacock Swirl soap, scented with lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood by Stonesfield Soap

Since Tanya is outside the U.S., she will receive a gift certificate from Brambleberry for the amount of the prize package shown below:

Sponsor's Choice prize package from Brambleberry

Sponsor’s Choice prize package from Brambleberry

I love that each of the winners used a different combing technique! Just shows how versatile this technique can be! Want to see even more combing technque soaps? Check out the rest of the entries for the challenge HERE. The tutorial for the combing techniques will be available soon for all who receive notifications about the Soap Challenge Club. (You can sign up at the end of this post.)

The December Challenge Club will feature spoon swirls! This is a super simple technique where you can layer or drop swirl the soap in the mold, then use a spoon to stir up the soap to create unique swirls.

Our sponsor for the December Challenge Club is Majestic Mountain Sage! They sponsored last December as well, and since Christmas is Tina’s favorite holiday, she likes to be generous with her prize packages. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate, second and third place AND the sponsor’s choice winner will each receive an Amazing Dozen set.

Registration opens Monday, November 24th, and the link-up to enter your soap in the challenge will open on December 10th. Sign up now get a notification via email as soon as registration is available, and the tutorial for the combing techniques as well:

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Announcing the Petal Soap Challenge Winners

The technique for the October Challenge Club was to make petal designs inspired by a cake decorating technique. Kenna from Modern Soapmaking recently did a video tutorial, and I knew it would be a fun challenge!

We had a new sponsor this month: Mad Oils! They are a new supplier out of Florida, but they are definitely not new to soapmaking! Products include scents and colors (both natural and synthetic), plus botanicals, containers, and other fun surprises! They are providing a $50 gift certificate for our grand prize winner, PLUS a brand new Sponsor’s Choice prize this month that I will show you in just a bit. Are you ready to see our winners??

The grand prize goes to….Lara of Lara Celia’s Soaps in Sparta, New Jersey!! Lara is a first-time Challenge Club member, and she created this beautiful Victorian Rose soap with an ombre effect:

Victorian Rose soap by Lara Celia's Soaps

Victorian Rose soap by Lara Celia’s Soaps

In second place, we have Lisa of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in New South Wales, Australia. Lisa is no stranger to the Soap Challenge Club, and she has placed several times in the top 3. She went all out with her rainbow petal soap cake:

Rainbow Petal Soap Cake by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Rainbow Petal Soap Cake by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Third place goes to Amy of Whipped Upp in Marysville, Washington with her super cool monarch butterfly soap art. Pretty amazing, huh?

Monarch Butterfly Soap by Whipped Upp

Monarch Butterfly Soap by Whipped Upp

Second and third place winners will receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!

And finally, I am pleased to announce our Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Janet of Just My Family’s in Bristol, Wisconsin! Janet has been a faithful supporter of the Soap Challenge Club from the very beginning, and I’m so glad her soap was picked! She made a sparkling rainbow petal soap that is so cute and fun:

Rainbows & Sprinkles Petal soap by Just My Family's

Rainbows & Sprinkles Petal soap by Just My Family’s

Janet will receive the “golden rule” prize package from Mad Oils including 4 oz. Golden Embargo fragrance with new 1/4 oz jars of Pot O’ Gold, Matte Gold, Hot Man on a Tin Roof and Nancy Sinatra’s Gold Boots glitter:

Sponsor's Choice prize package

Sponsor’s Choice prize package

Congratulations to all our winners!! If you’d like to see the rest of the entries for the challenge, they are located HERE. You will find all sorts of soapy inspiration!

The November Challenge Club will feature Combing Techniques! Any design that you can make with a soap comb is fair game. I will show you how to make your own soap comb with cardboard and bamboo skewers. Have you ever seen the Serpentine Swirl? This is one of the techniques I will be demonstrating. It looks like this:

Serpentine Swirl soaps by Great Cakes Soapworks

Serpentine Swirl soaps by Great Cakes Soapworks

I will also do a quick Peacock Swirl tutorial, and offer several other design ideas!

Our sponsors for the November Challenge Club are Brambleberry and Custom Soap Stamps. Custom Soap Stamps will give the grand prize winner a 3″x 2″ custom soap stamp!! Brambleberry has put together a sweet prize package that includes their swirl tool kit, plus 2 wide-mouth squeeze bottles, and their silicone tool set!

Grand Prize Package from Brambleberry

Grand Prize Package from Brambleberry

They will also provide the Sponsor’s Choice prize as well.

Registration opens Monday, October 27th, and we will be finished up well before Thanksgiving, so be sure to sign up! You can get a notification via email as soon as registration is available:

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Stunning In-the-Pot Swirl Winners!

This month’s Challenge Club featured the classic in-the-pot swirl. This was the first swirl I ever learned back in the day, and it remains one of my favorites. A lot of soapmakers prefer a swirl that they have more control over, but if you enjoy having completely unique soaps, no two bars of soap will turn out alike with this technique!

The guidelines for this challenge were to use in-the-pot swirls only. No stirring, swirling or otherwise messing with the soap once poured in the mold. The only variation allowed was for straight layers. Anything else could potentially detract from the star of the show: the in-the-pot swirl.

Our grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden as well as a $25 coupon code from the makermolds etsy store by Nicci Yeo. Please go check out both of their websites – Nature’s Garden has recently rolled out some big changes in their site, and Nicci has some really fun and unique soap molds!

Here is the stunning soap that takes home the grand prize. Congratulations to Zahida of Handmade in Florida who created this lovely coffee soap with several layers of soap:

Coffee Soap by Handmade in Florida

Coffee Soap by Handmade in Florida

In second place is Claudia’s fabulous “Nebula Swirl” soap, created with some help from her daughter. You’ll want to read her blog post about her process, as she has several great tips for achieving this effect:

Nebula Soap by Claudia and daughter

Nebula Soap by Claudia and daughter

Third place goes to Lisa of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia. She spent hours and hours creating this gorgeous rainbow layered soap:

Rainbow Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Rainbow Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Huge congrats to Claudia and Lisa! They win free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!

I know you will want to see the rest of the entries as well! They are located HERE.

Do you love the new watermarks for the winning entries? One of our Challenge Club members, Claudia Carpenter, created these logos and a super simple tool to watermark the photos just for fun! From now on, when you join the club and submit an entry, you’ll be able to use the tool to watermark your own photos with this:

entry

Now for some more fun! We will be doing petal soaps for the October Challenge Club. Here is the test batch I created yesterday. I will be making another one for the video, now that I have a feel for the technique:

Petal Soap Test Batch by Great Cakes Soapworks

Petal Soap Test Batch by Great Cakes Soapworks

You can do lots of fun things with this technique – even make flowers instead of rows of petals! (Novel idea, I know.) We have a new sponsor for October – have you heard of Mad Oils yet? They are a new company out of Florida with some fantastic fragrances, essential oils, micas, glitters, botanicals and so much more! They are providing a $50 gift certificate to the grand prize winner. (International winner will need to pay shipping only as they do not normally ship abroad.)

Registration will open Monday, September 29th.

NEW: I am also announcing the techniques and sponsors for November and December at this time. You will have the option to sign up for all three months on September 29th for just $15 (saves you a few bucks and you won’t miss the sign-up deadlines for November and December – yippee!!)

November – We are doing combing techniques! You’ve probably seen some of these techniques before – in fact if you’ve been with us since the beginning of the Challenge Club, we started with the peacock swirl. You can do a peacock swirl again, or something different! I will be demonstrating a technique that I have so far not seen in the soaping world. Now you’re curious, aren’t you?
Brambleberry will sponsor and provide the grand prize winner with their swirl tool kit to make all kinds of soaps with combing techniques!

Registration will open on October 27th. If you are pre-registered you will have access to the tutorial on that day. Soap will need to be made by November 12th, voting opens on the 15th and winners announced on the 19th.

December – The Spoon Swirl. Another classic with plenty of applications. Easy to do right before the holidays as well. Majestic Mountain Sage is sponsoring with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize winner.

Registration will open on November 24th. If you are pre-registered you will have access to the tutorial on that day. Soap will need to be made by December 10th, voting opens on the 13th and winners announced on the 17th.

If you haven’t signed up for the Challenge Club newsletter yet, this is how you can get notified when registration opens:

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Negative Space Embedding – Whaaat?

I coined a new term for this month’s Soap Challenge Club! The technique is called Negative Space Embedding – the opposite of regular embedding. With this technique, participants were asked to pour a soap base, then cut holes (any shape or size) in it and fill those holes with fresh soap. I also gave the option of filling the holes with melt & pour soap. Let me tell you, this technique opened up a beautiful display of soap art which I’m sure you are all dying to see!

But before I announce the winners, I must thank our sponsors. Brambleberry has provided a $50 gift certificate, and Alex Kelly is providing a Custom Soap Stamp to our grand prize winner!!

Now we may proceed with the announcements! Congratulations goes to Zahida of Handmade in Florida for her beautiful negative “space” (literally!) embed soap. She created a beautiful soapy canvas of planets, sun, moon and stars:

Negative "Space" Embed soap by Handmade in Florida

Negative “Space” Embed soap by Handmade in Florida

The honor of second and third place were such a tight race!! Second place goes to the talented Maya of Infusions blog from Tokyo, Japan. She created this beautiful interpretation of sea glass with her cold process soap base and transparent melt & pour “embeds”:

Seaglass soap by Maya

Seaglass soap by Maya

In third place we have Claudia from Los Altos, California! Her 3D rainbow soap really stands out as a piece of soap art, don’t you think?

Rainbow soap by Claudia

Rainbow soap by Claudia

Congratulations to Maya and Claudia! They win free registration to the September Challenge Club!

You can see the rest of the entries for this challenge HERE. It is worth taking a look!!

For September, we are doing in-the-pot swirls!! I was challenged to do NINE colors, so this is the soap I will be demonstrating in the video tutorial:

Black Cherry soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Black Cherry soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

The official challenge will be to swirl in at least THREE colors. There’s no limit to the number of colors you can do, but sometimes less is more with this technique! Our sponsors this month are Nature’s Garden who will be providing a $50 gift certificate, as well as a NEW sponsor, Nicci Yeo, who is providing a $25 coupon code toward anything in her silicone soap mold shop, makermolds. So many different whimsical molds to choose from!

Registration for the September Challenge Club opens Monday, August 25th. You can sign up to be notified here:

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Color Challenge Club Winners!

This month we did something a bit different for the Soap Challenge Club. Instead of doing a design, we worked on color matching – AND, we had two categories: natural and synthetic. Members who registered for the Club could create soaps with all-natural colorants or synthetic colorants, but they had to match either the mineral autumn palette, or the summer setting palette. They could enter either or both categories!

I’m so grateful to our sponsors this month! For the synthetic category, Nurture Soap Supplies sponsored for the first time, providing a very nice prize package of their vibrance micas along with some brand-new glitters, and their super white titanium dioxide. The winner will also receive a copy of Lori Nova Endre’s e-book, Coloring with Confidence! Super generous of both sponsors!

The natural colorants winner also gets a double prize: Majestic Mountain Sage is providing a box of botanicals (or $50 gift certificate), plus Ruth Esteves will be awarding the winner with a copy of her e-book, Coloring Soap Naturally. Also very generous! Woo hoo!!

Second and third place winners in each category receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!

Before I announce the winners, I want you to know what the voting guidelines were for this challenge. (Members could choose to use anywhere from 3-6 colors from the color palette for each of their soaps. They also had to photograph their soap with the color palette that they used, and describe the colorants used.)

1. Does the soap match ALL of the colors the creator intended to match? (if 3 colors were used, judge those 3 colors, etc.)
2. Are all the colors the creator intended to use distinguishable in the soap? (if 4 colors were used, can you identify all 4 colors in the soap, etc?)
3. Was the soap difficult to make?
4. Does the soap have a unique design?

So design was the last thing to consider. I think members did an excellent job choosing the winners based on these guidelines! The winning soaps match their color palettes pretty perfectly, AND they are beautiful to look at.

Let’s start with the synthetic category. All three winners chose the summer setting palette for their soaps. Our grand prize winner is a super talented soapmaker. Ladies and gentlemen, join me in congratulating Jodi of Lakehurst Farms in Vermont for her beautiful blue-ringed Energy soap:

Energy Soap by Lakehurst Farms

Energy Soap by Lakehurst Farms

Second place goes to a brand-new Challenge Club member, Kelly of Soap Monkeys Soapworks in North Carolina!! She created a simple layered soap that accentuates each color of the palette:

Layered soap by Soap Monkeys

Layered soap by Soap Monkeys

Our third place winner is yet another brand-new Challenge Club member, Claudia in California! You can check out her soap blog here. Her stunning soap has a very unique pattern:

Amber scented soap by Claudia

Amber scented soap by Claudia

And now for the winners in the all-natural category! All three winners chose the mineral autumn palette for their soaps. The grand prize winner is someone who joined the Club last month for the first time. This month, her soap couldn’t be more perfect for this challenge. Congratulations to Renee – of Lakehurst Farms in Vermont!! These Lakehurst Farms ladies took home BOTH prizes! Wow!

Natural Colorants soap by Renee - Lakehurst Farms

Natural Colorants soap by Renee – Lakehurst Farms

Next we have someone who has been part of the Challenge Club since the very beginning, and her hard work has finally paid off! I am so pleased to announce that Heather of Winberg Bathworks in New Jersey take second place in the natural colorants category!

Natural Colorant soap (with a mystery scent blend!) by Winberg Soapworks

Natural Colorant soap (with a mystery scent blend!) by Winberg Soapworks

And in third place, we have someone who is not a stranger to placing in the Soap Challenge Club – the very talented Maya in Toyko, Japan!! Maya went to a lot of work to create embeds for her natural colored soap – that perfectly matches the color palette!

Natural Color Soap scented patchouli, tea tree, Japanese cypress, and bergamot essential oils by Maya

Natural Color Soap scented patchouli, tea tree, Japanese cypress, and bergamot essential oils by Maya

Yes, you can see all the entries for the color challenge! Check out the Synthetic Category HERE, and the All-Natural Category HERE.

For August, we are back to design. The technique is what I am calling “Negative Space Embedding”. Here is my practice batch, that I’m not altogether thrilled with:

Cranberry Chutney soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Cranberry Chutney soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

I will definitely be coming up with something better for the tutorial video! But now I can help you avoid the mistakes that I made…

Our sponsors will be Brambleberry with a $50 gift certificate, AND a new sponsor: Custom Soap Stamps by Alex Kelly. Alex is providing our winner with a custom soap stamp up to 3″ x 2″. Registration will open Monday, July 28th. You can sign up to be notified just as soon as it does:

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