Cosmic Wave Soap Winners Announcement

For the Soap Challenge Club in November, we tackled a technique called Cosmic Waves. One of the co-creators of this technique, Tatsiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso, was our guest teacher. The process is a variation of an in-the-pot swirl that creates stunning results, but it was definitely harder than it looked to get the desired outcome! Mad Oils was our fabulous sponsor, offering some really great gift certificates for our voted winners and Mad Oils aprons for their Sponsor’s Choice winners. That’s right – Joanna asked if she could choose 3!! More prizes? Of course!

And now for the announcements you’ve been waiting for….

Congratulations goes to Bann Matson of Homely Animal in Utah for winning the Grand Prize!! Her Blitzen cosmic wave soap has absolutely stunning lines and colors:

Blitzen Cosmic Wave soap by Homely Animal

Blitzen Cosmic Wave soap by Homely Animal

Bann wins a $100 gift certificate from Mad Oils – hooray!! Please click on the photo to read more about how she made it.

In a close second is Debi Olsen of Me Do It Meself in Colorado! Debi is a long time member of the Challenge Club and her obsession with creating beautiful soaps has rewarded her several times in the course of the challenges. Her Cosmic Sherbet Wave soap is no exception:

Cosmic Sherbet Wave by Me Do it Meself

Cosmic Sherbet Wave by Me Do it Meself

Debi’s prize is a $75 gift certificate from Mad Oils! Click on the photo of her soap to read ALL about her process. She provides many generous details in her blog post.

Third place was so close!! The winner by just one vote is….Laura Sidor of Lolly’s Soaps & Such in Illinois! Laura created a lovely Guardian Angel Cosmic Wave soap with a sparkling gold mica accent:

Guardian Angel  Cosmic Wave soap by Lolly's Soaps & Such

Guardian Angel Cosmic Wave soap by Lolly’s Soaps & Such

Laura wins a $50 gift certificate from Mad Oils! You can click on the photo to read more on her Facebook page.

And now for the Sponsor’s Choice prize winners!! First up is Carolyn Newton of Siennalilysoaps in Spain with her Banos Arabes Cosmic Wave soap. Joanna from Mad Oils says, “The color choices and execution of the technique looks like you have been doing this for years!”

Banos Arabes Cosmic Wave soap by siennalilysoaps

Banos Arabes Cosmic Wave soap by siennalilysoaps

The next winner is Joanna Humieniuk of Iriy Soapworks in Illinois with her Energy soap. Joanna says, “We aren’t sure how you managed to get that many colors cram-packed into this technique without it all going grey or brown. Well done!!”

Energy soap by Iriy Soapworks

Energy soap by Iriy Soapworks

The third and final winner is Martha Brogdon in Texas with her Moonlight Madness Cosmic Wave soap. Joanna says, “This one reminded us of the texture of a vinyl album when the light gets captured on the vinyl while spinning. Well executed technique with your own kind of curvaceous flair. Keep up your rich talent!”

Moonlight Madness Cosmic Wave soap by Martha Brogdon

Moonlight Madness Cosmic Wave soap by Martha Brogdon

All three winners will receive a Mad Oils apron as their prize!! (These aprons are NOT for sale, but you can get one for yourself with an order of $250 or more while supplies last!) You can also click on the photos of each of these soaps for more information about the inspiration behind each one and how they were made.

The rest of the entries are wonderful as well! I know you want to see them, so please go HERE to check them out!

Our next challenge in December will be all about Tiger Stripes. We will be dividing the challenge between newbies (making soap for less than 2 years or fewer than 50 batches) and experienced (everyone else!) soapmakers. Custom Soap Stamps is the sponsor for the newbie category and Nature’s Garden will sponsor the experienced category.

So far I’ve made two soaps for the video tutorial:

Peppermint Stripe soap by Amy Warden

Peppermint Stripe soap by Amy Warden

Cherry Berry Stripe soap by Amy Warden

Cherry Berry Stripe soap by Amy Warden

You can do modifications of the Tiger Stripe method like the ones shown above, or go with the original method. For more information, visit the Current Challenge page. Registration opens Monday, November 28!! If you haven’t signed up for notifications about the Challenge Club yet, you can do that here:

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Teardrop Technique Challenge Winners!

The Teardrop Technique is a soap design that creates a “teardrop” of layered soap down the middle of the bar. It’s absolutely stunning when it’s done right. In fact, we had 286 members this month who were excited to figure out how it’s done. Together we learned that the Teardrop Technique is deceptively difficult! A few people were able to get theirs just beautifully on the first try (I wasn’t one of them!), but quite a few struggled with this one. It’s a technique that was first demonstrated by Sweetly Sweetly Sweetly on Facebook, and then picked up by Sergio Masala on YouTube which is where I first saw it. Our winners created some really amazing soaps and I can’t wait to share them with you! But first, I must give a big shout-out to our sponsors this month.

Mad Oils is our main sponsor. They are an up-and-coming supplier known for their amazing micas and fragrances, but they carry a wide variety of other soapmaking supplies as well. They have contributed large gift certificates to each of our top three winners, as well as a Sponsor’s Choice prize. Thank you, Mad Oils!! Amanda Aaron of The Lovin Soap Studio is also donating free e-books to each of our winners – and she has a wide variety to choose from! Thank you, Amanda!!

First and second place in this contest were about as close as I’ve ever seen – considering we had 95 entries and the top two were separated by just two votes! Either of these two ladies could have easily been our grand prize winner, but we can only have one. So congratulations goes to Holly Shelton of Kapia Mera Soap Co in Tennessee for her magnificent Lemon Mint Teardrop Soap!

Lemon Mint Teardrop Soap by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

Lemon Mint Teardrop Soap by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

Holly is a long-time Challenge Club member and has taken grand prize one other time, just a few months ago! She is known for her abilities to use a wide variety of natural colorants in cold process soap to create really beautiful designs like this one. Holly wins a $100 gift certificate from Mad Oils and an e-book from Lovin Soap Studio! (Click on the photo to see Holly’s video of the making of her soap.)

So who was the fierce contender for second place? None other than the very talented Maria Antonova in Russia with her beautifully crafted soap that she refers to as “The Source of Life”:

The Source of Life Teardrop Soap by Maria Antonova

The Source of Life Teardrop Soap by Maria Antonova

Maria was extremely persistent with this technique, making over five batches to get to this one. She has been a participant in the Challenge Club several times previously, but this is the first time she has placed, and it is well-deserved! Maria wins a $75 gift certificate from Mad Oils and an e-book from Lovin Soap Studio! Click on the photo of her soap to see how she made it, as well as four other batches.

Third place goes to another member who is no stranger to the Challenge Club. Congratulations to Sonya Mulholland in the UK for her simply elegant Raspberry Tangerine Teardrop Soap:

Raspberry Tangerine Teardrop Soap by Sonya Mulholland

Raspberry Tangerine Teardrop Soap by Sonya Mulholland

Sonya was a grand prize winner in the international category of our Spin Swirl challenge a little over a year ago, and now she’s back for more! She’s an accountant by day and a self-confessed soapaholic by night. Sonya wins a $50 gift certificate from Mad Oils, plus an e-book from Lovin Soap Studio. Congratulations, Sonya!! Click on the photo of her soap to see her blog post on how she made it, plus two other teardrop soaps for the challenge and the lessons learned.

The Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Claire Edmund of Saponista’s Artisan Soap also in the UK! Claire was determined to achieve the beautiful, yet sometimes elusive teardrop in her soap. Her goal was to create a really long stem on her drop, which she created rather perfectly:

Thin-Stem Teardrop Soap by Saponista

Thin-Stem Teardrop Soap by Saponista

Congratulations to Claire for winning a $25 gift certificate from Mad Oils, plus an e-book from Lovin Soap Studio! If you click on the photo of her soap, you’ll see her SIX other attempts.

If you’d like to see the rest of the entries for this challenge, please visit them HERE.

We will be taking a short break before the June Challenge registration opens. Our technique is called Sculpted Layers, and it was designed by Challenge Club member, Claudia Carpenter. She will be our guest teacher for this technique and will be demonstrating how she created these soaps for the video tutorial:

Soaps made with the Sculpted Layers technique by Claudia Carpenter

Soaps made with the Sculpted Layers technique by Claudia Carpenter

Claudia has put together some great information about the technique for me and without seeing the videos yet, my daughter and I created this soap which we will also share with you inside the Club:

Eye Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Eye Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Our sponsor for June is Custom Soap Stamps. It’s way more than just stamps though – be sure to check out all the great equipment available to soapmakers!

If you have signed up for Challenge Club notifications, you will receive one on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day in the U.S.) as soon as registration opens. If you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to do it now!

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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…

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Spinning Swirl Soap Challenge Winners

Ask any of the member of the Challenge Club this month – the Spinning Swirl was a challenge, but so much fun!! Quite a few members created multiple soaps with this technique because of the fun factor and some because they wanted to test out several ideas or they just wanted to get their final soap up to their standards. (We have a few perfectionists in the group!) As a result, this was one of the closest challenges we’ve ever had! This month I divided the group into U.S. and International soapmakers with separate sponsors for each category. Huge thanks to Mad Oils for sponsoring the U.S. challenge with a $50 gift certificate for the grand prize winner, as well as a cute prize package for their Sponsor’s Choice winner (seen below)!! Gracefruit Ltd. from the UK really stepped up as our first international challenge sponsor with a £50 gift certificate for the grand prize winner, and a £25 gift certificate for their Sponsor’s Choice winner. Elizabeth Carnahan has been amazing to work with!

Let’s start with the International challenge. We had a runaway grand prize winner in this challenge. Can you believe she’s only been making soap for five months? She made four attempts at the Spinning Swirl before she was satisfied with her work, and it really paid off! Congratulations to Sonya Mulholland in the United Kingdom!! (You can click on any of the photos for more information about the soaps in the challenge.):

Sonya's Spinning Swirl Soap

Sonya’s Spinning Swirl Soap

In second place, we have Jelena Vasiljeva of Soap Techniques from Canada. Jelena has been doing challenges for several months, and also placed second in our Spoon Swirl challenge last December! Here is her beautiful six-color Spinning Swirl soap, scented with Fata Morgana:

Mirage Spinning Swirl soap by Soap Techniques

Mirage Spinning Swirl soap by Soap Techniques

For third place in the international challenge, we have a tie!! This hasn’t happened since last June! Congratulations to Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia and Lesley Williams of Renaissance Soaps in New Zealand for their gorgeous entries! Lisa’s soap is her signature rainbow, with a spin of course!

Rainbow Spinning Swirl Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Rainbow Spinning Swirl Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Lesley created this lovely Tiger Stripe Spinning Swirl:

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright Spinning Swirl Soap by Renaissance Soaps

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright Spinning Swirl Soap by Renaissance Soaps

Second and third place winners receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! And now, for the international Sponsor’s Choice prize. Gracefruit has chosen Ruth Höfer from Austria!! Congratulations!! Ruth has been a long-time member and huge supporter of the Challenge Club, so I couldn’t be happier for her. I have seen her make pink soaps in previous challenges, and have verified that pink is indeed one of her favorite colors! Here is her beautiful soap:

Ruth's Spinning Swirl Soap

Ruth’s Spinning Swirl Soap

And now, for the U.S. challenge winners! In first place, taking home the grand prize, congratulations goes to Claudia Carpenter from California!! Claudia has been creating some stunning soaps for the Challenge Club lately! This is her third attempt at the amazing Spinning Swirl soap, created with two greens, two pinks, and cream-colored soap, scented with lemongrass, sage and tea tree essential oils:

Spinning Swirl Soap by Claudia Carpenter

Spinning Swirl Soap by Claudia Carpenter

Claudia says, “It’s official — I love, love, love the spin swirl!”

In second place, just two votes behind Claudia, is Teressa Mahoney of Nourishing Handmade Body Care from Colorado with a fantastic Forest Bark Spinning Swirl soap! Teressa made three batches with this technique, and this one happens to be the second out of the three:

Forest Bark Spinning Swirl Soap by Teressa Mahoney

Forest Bark Spinning Swirl Soap by Teressa Mahoney

And in third place, we have Mandy Davis of Minne-Soap-Ah from Minnesota! Mandy created a beautiful Sea Glass Spinning Swirl soap with a gorgeous color palette of sea green, teal, turquoise, purple and white:

Sea Glass Spinning Swirl Soap by Minne-Soap-Ah

Sea Glass Spinning Swirl Soap by Minne-Soap-Ah

Congratulations to Teressa and Mandy for winning free registration to the May Challenge Club!

Finally, Mad Oils has chosen Leela King-Sannyasin of Swirling Sky from California to receive their Sponsor’s Choice prize. Here is her bright, beautiful soap:

Spinning Swirl Soap by Swirling Sky

Spinning Swirl Soap by Swirling Sky

In the interest of sharing beautiful soap, I’m sure you will want to see the rest of the entries! You can find the International entries HERE, and the U.S. entries HERE.

Next month, I’m excited to have Cee Gordon of Oil & Butter as our guest teacher! This is the first time anyone other than myself has taught the Club, but since Cee has so expertly married the techniques from cake decorating with soap, I knew she was the perfect person to show us how to create beautiful mini dessert soaps with cold process, melt & pour, and fondant-like soap techniques. Here is a sample of what she will be showing us inside the Club:

Dessert soaps by Cee Gordon of Oil & Butter

Dessert soaps by Cee Gordon of Oil & Butter

My melt & pour soap just arrived via UPS this afternoon, and I can’t wait to play along! Do you have to use melt & pour to do this challenge? No. But it will be fun!

Great news!! With the huge success of the international challenge, we will have two sponsors again for May! The U.S. sponsor will be Brambleberry with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize, plus these four fragrances for second and third place winners AND the Sponsor’s Choice winner:

Electric Lemonade Cocktail, Island Escape, Ginger Patchouli, and Crisp Cotton fragrances from Brambleberry

Electric Lemonade Cocktail, Island Escape, Ginger Patchouli, and Crisp Cotton fragrances from Brambleberry

Plus, our international sponsor will be Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. in British Columbia, Canada!! Their grand prize is a $100 gift certificate, plus a $25 gift certificate for their Sponsor’s Choice winner!

Registration for the May Challenge opens Monday. If you’d like to receive a notification, please click the link below:

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Challenge Club Landscape Soap Winners!

For the month of March, the Challenge Club tackled landscape soaps – nature scenes from the land, sea or sky. They were all made in log molds so that when the soap was cut, you could see the design inside. Members also had to find an inspiration photo or drawing for their soap. This was one of the more challenging designs and we had some amazing entries!!

Huge thanks to TKB Trading for sponsoring this month! The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate!! TKB has also chosen a Sponsor’s Choice winner to receive their EZ Eyeshadow Kit.

Once again, our grand prize winner really ran away with the prize! Congratulations to Claudia Carpenter in Los Altos, California for her beautiful ocean scene with the sun setting behind it! Claudia is a long-time member of the Club and has been consistently placing in the top 3 ever since she joined. However, this is her first time winning the grand prize, and I couldn’t be happier for her! Please click on the photo to see how she made this fabulous soap:

Claudia's ocean soap, scented with Abalone & Sea

Claudia’s ocean soap, scented with Abalone & Sea

Her inspiration photo:

Claudia-insipration

Second and third place were quite close! (Even fourth place was only one vote behind third…)

Long-time Challenge Club member Claire Edmunds of Saponista’s Artisan Soap from Plymouth, UK made second place with her fabulous rendition of a field of lavender in Devon which is near where she lives. I love this picture of her inspiration photo next to her soap:

Claire's lavender field soap

Claire’s lavender field soap

Another veteran of the Club, Amy B of Middleton, WI, took third place with her stunning birch tree soap. Be sure to click on the photo to read all about her inspiration and how she made this soap:

Amy's Birch Tree soap, scented with Oakmoss Sandalwood

Amy’s Birch Tree soap, scented with Oakmoss Sandalwood

Her inspiration photo:

amyb-inspiration

Claire and Amy both receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club – yippee!!

Congratulations to Tatiana of Walnut Creek, California!! TKB Trading has chosen her mountain scene soap for their Sponsor’s Choice prize! This was her very first Soap Challenge and she created this beautiful soap, that she calls “Evening Sunset”:

Evening Sunset by Tatiana

Evening Sunset by Tatiana

If you are interested in seeing the rest of the entries for the Landscape Soap Challenge (who wouldn’t??), you can click HERE.

Now for the announcement you’ve been waiting for! The next THREE months of challenges:

For April, the technique is Spinning Swirls! We are going to do something just a bit differently…I have lined up TWO sponsors and we will have TWO sets of winners. Soapmakers from the U.S. and soapmakers from the rest of the world will be competing separately. Everyone who joins will be able to vote in both contests. Mad Oils is excited to sponsor the U.S. portion and will be providing a $50 gift certificate to the grand prize winner. Their Sponsor’s Choice prize includes 2.3 oz. of hibiscus petals, 2 oz. of Sexy Beast and Vanilla Milk fragrances, and samples of their new Hot Pants and Blue Bling micas. Gracefruit Ltd from the UK is a new sponsor to the Challenge Club, but certainly not new to the soapmaking world. They are sponsoring the non-U.S. portion and will provide a £50 gift certificate to the grand prize winner, and a £25 gift certificate for their Sponsor’s Choice prize!

Here is the soap I made for the video tutorial:

Grapefruit Ginger soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Grapefruit Ginger soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

I’m pretty excited about May too! We have another twist – a guest teacher!! Cee Gordon of Oil & Butter has agreed to teach all of us how to make dessert soaps using cold-process, melt & pour, and soap fondant! Have you seen her work? Here’s just a sample of what she can do:

Dessert soaps by Cee Gordon

Dessert soaps by Cee Gordon

Brambleberry is also excited to sponsor this challenge! They are in for a $100 gift certificate to the grand prize winner! The Sponsor’s Choice winner will receive four 4 oz. bottles of some of their newest fragrances. If all goes well in April, we may split the challenge again and have two sponsors. I will keep you posted!

In June, the technique is Ebru Art. This is a paper marbling technique that can be translated into soap. I’ve made several soaps with this technique and didn’t realize that was what I was doing! Here’s one of them:

Purple Mangosteen soap by Great Cakes Soapworks, circa 2012

Purple Mangosteen soap by Great Cakes Soapworks, circa 2012

Majestic Mountain Sage is our sponsor, and there will be more details about that later!

For now, you should know that registration opens Monday (March 30th) for these challenges! You can choose to do April only for $5.95 or do all three months for just $15. If you haven’t signed up for the Challenge Club newsletter, be sure to click the link below so you don’t miss any notifications:

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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!!

Announcing the Petal Soap Challenge Winners

The technique for the October Challenge Club was to make petal designs inspired by a cake decorating technique. Erica Pence of Bath Alchemy originally came up with the technique, and Kenna from Modern Soapmaking recently did a video tutorial. Once I saw it, 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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