Mini Dessert Soaps Challenge Club Winners

This month’s challenge was completely different from any other challenge we have done before! Cee Gordon of Oil & Butter taught us how to make dessert soaps with various types of soapmaking methods, including cold process, hot process, whipped soap, melt and pour, and soap fondant. I challenged everyone create four mini desserts that looked as realistic as possible and to use at least one REAL food item in their soaps as well. The goal was to create soap ART, not necessarily usable soap. So impractical!! I feared the challenge would be overwhelming with so many different variables, but everyone really flourished when they were given the freedom to be artistic, and I heard a LOT of members say this was their favorite challenge yet! Huge thanks to Cee for guest teaching this month – she gave us some really great information that is really going to help us in so many areas of our soapmaking!

We kept things interesting by doing separate link-ups for U.S. and international soapmakers again this month. This meant double the prizes, which of course is a huge benefit! Brambleberry sponsored the U.S. portion of the challenge with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize, plus 2nd and 3rd place AND the Sponsor’s Choice winner will receive four 4 oz. bottles of some of their newest fragrances. (Second and third place also receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club.) Just across the border in British Columbia, Canada, Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. sponsored the International portion of the challenge with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize as well, plus $25 gift certificates for 2nd & 3rd place and the Sponsor’s Choice prize. Again, 2nd and 3rd place also receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club as well!

Shall we get on with the winners then? Let’s start with the International Challenge. Congratulations goes to Odette Handley of Riverlea Soap in South Africa for her delectable Pistachio Cream Cake, White Chocolate Berry Swirl, Strawberry Mousse Cake, and Mini Strawberry Cupcake. Her real food item was chocolate chips – both brown and white. Odette is a long-time Challenge Club member, and this is the first time she’s placed – what a great win for her!

Mini Dessert Soaps by Riverlea Soap

Mini Dessert Soaps by Riverlea Soap

Second and third place were up in the air until the very last minute! We had two people tied for 2nd and two people tied for 3rd just a few hours before the voting ended. When it was all finished, here were the results:

Second place in the International Challenge goes to Jelena Vasiljeva of Soap Techniques, in Montreal, Canada. Jelena has participated in several challenges and placed second twice before! Her mini desserts made with cocoa powder and half & half include rose cupcakes, coffee and caramel mousse, chocolate butterfly cake, and salted chocolate dipped mandarin slices. All of them look very realistic!

Mini Desserts Soaps by Soap Techniques

Mini Desserts Soaps by Soap Techniques

Congratulations to Caroline Lufkin of Merry Day Soaps in Japan for her third place finish! Caroline has been participating in the Challenge Club for quite some time, and this is her first time to place. She did an excellent job documenting her processes (which were quite extensive) to achieve her beautiful mini dessert soaps! First is a checkered chocolate coffee cake made with yogurt, coffee, and cocoa powder, second is a lollipop made with yogurt, third is an apple kiwi tart made with yogurt, tumeric, coffee, cocoa powder and poppy seeds, and fourth is a purple pearl flower cupcake made with yogurt, coffee, cocoa powder, sugar. And no, they aren’t edible!!

Mini Dessert Soaps by Merry Day Soaps

Mini Dessert Soaps by Merry Day Soaps

Finally the Sponsor’s Choice prize was chosen by Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. Congratulations goes to Yvonne Pederson in Norway! Her mini dessert soaps include a lavender macaron, almond crust vanilla pie with cherries, a rose cupcake, and a triple dessert cake with chocolate sauce made with ground coffee & oats, cocoa powder, and some olive oil infused with paprika.

Mini Dessert Soaps by Yvonne Pedersen

Mini Dessert Soaps by Yvonne Pedersen

For the U.S. challenge, the grand prize winner is Teressa Mahoney (Nourishing Handmade Body Care) from Parker, Colorado! Terresa took second place in last month’s Spinning Swirl challenge. For this month, she created these gorgeous mini desserts with cocoa powder, coconut oil, sugar pearls, turmeric and red decorating sugar for her real food items. Check out her wedding cake, blueberry tart, white chocolate truffles, and créme brulee (your mouth is already watering, isn’t it?):

Mini Dessert Soaps by Terresa Mahoney

Mini Dessert Soaps by Teressa Mahoney

In second place, we have Tatiana from Walnut Grove, California! She has been participating in the challenges for the past several months and won the Sponsor’s Choice prize from TKB Trading for her landscape soap in April. This month, her four mini desserts include pancakes with cream and raspberry filling, a chocolatier cup, Minnie Mouse cupcake, and a two-tiered decorated chocolate cake. Each of these delicious-looking desserts was made with cocoa powder or goat’s milk:

Mini Dessert Soaps by Tatiana

Mini Dessert Soaps by Tatiana

For third place, we have a new Challenge Club member taking the prize: Tovah Tumarkin of Nectar Bath Treats in Las Vegas, Nevada! Tovah’s mini dessert creations include a creamsicle float, a soft serve ice cream cone, a rose cupcake, and a raspberry macaron, all made with handmade almond milk. Be prepared to lick your lips when you see these beauties:

Mini Dessert Soaps by Tovah (Nectar Bath Treats)

Mini Dessert Soaps by Tovah (Nectar Bath Treats)

And finally, the Sponsor’s Choice winner was picked by Anne-Marie at Brambleberry. She chose Donna Rangel also of Nectar Bath Treats (in Las Vegas) who created her desserts with Greek yogurt plus a few other yummy food items. These are Donna’s 3-tiered lavender wedding cake, cookie sandwich pop with real mini chocolate chips, sundae fun-day 2-tiered cake with real candy sprinkles, and blueberry cheesecake:

Mini Dessert Soaps by Donna (Nectar Bath Treats)

Mini Dessert Soaps by Donna (Nectar Bath Treats)

Of course you would like to see the rest of the entries too! The International entries are located HERE, and the U.S. entries are HERE.

Anyone is welcome to join us next month for the Ebru Soap Challenge. We are taking a week off because of Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. so registration will open on Monday, June 1st. Here is my practice batch, which will probably end up in my video tutorial:

Ebru soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Ebru soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Since several international participants requested that we combine the challenges sometimes as well, this will be a combined challenge for all, and Majestic Mountain Sage is our sponsor with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize winner. If you haven’t signed up to receive notifications yet, and would like to participate, please click below:

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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:

notify-me

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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Soap Challenge 2013 – Final Week

This is it! The final soap challenge! So many of you mentioned that you were looking forward to learning this technique when you signed up – probably because it was something new and different! Leopard spotted soap is created by piping contrasting lines of soap in a particular pattern so that when the soap is cut, it will look like leopard spots! At the very least you will need one color for the base of the soap (could be white or uncolored), one color for the center of the “spot” and another color for the outside of the “spot”.

I don’t know if you follow the Oil & Butter blog, but this is where I discovered this technique. Cee is a very talented cake decorator as well as a soapmaker, so she gets inspired by cake designs. Her leopard spotted soap was inspired by this video:

Now, it took me a couple tries to get this one right. Not because it’s all that difficult, but because I had watched the video so many months ago that I had forgotten how to do it! So, just yesterday I finally made it “correctly”.

I just cut the soap, and the bottom layer of stripes really doesn’t look like leopard spots – more like purple clouds. I think the dark purple soap was just a bit too thick. Also, I think it would have turned out better if I had done the stripes more long-wise diagonal, like corner to corner with a couple more stripes on either side of the long diagonal.

Tips:
1. The only “special equipment” needed is some ziplock bags. I prefer the freezer quart-size.
2. Definitely and for sure you will need a slow-moving fragrance or essential oil!!
3. Soap thickness is key. It has to be thick enough to support layers, and thin enough to remain workable for a fairly long period of time. Having the soap base just a bit thinner than the soap for the “spots” worked really well for me.
4. Color choices are infinite! Just be sure you use some high-contrast colors for the best effect.
5. When using a log mold, you can make your lines diagonal like I did or long-wise down the mold.
6. Have fun!!!

The link-up will open this Saturday at 6am CST and remain open until Saturday May 4th at CST.

Soap Challenge 2013 – Mica Swirled Tops Link-Up

I really am embarrassed to show you the inside of the Coconut Lime soap I made this week for the mica swirled tops challenge! Not one of my better efforts, but I will chalk it up to another experience to add to my “what not to do” list. At least the mica swirls are decent. I will definitely have to try this technique again some time with a better behaving soap batter!

Now it’s your turn! Each participant may add ONE link to their creation. Here are the instructions to add your link:

Bloggers: Create a post about your mica swirled top soap – with photos of course! You can describe how you picked your scent and colors, any problems you may have encountered or advice you might have. Please include a link back to my blog in your post (either the home page, or this post should work nicely!). When you link to your post, be sure it’s the link to the actual post, not just your blog link. Otherwise, when someone clicks on it later, and you’ve made more posts, they won’t be able to find the one you wanted to link with.

Facebook business page photos: Upload your photo(s) into a photo album, and write a descriptive caption on the photo you are linking up to this post, including the scent you used and any other information you care to share. To link the photo, click on it, then copy and paste the URL into the “blog post URL” blank at the top. In the next step, it will show your photo, and you will need to select it. (If you press the “crop” button instead, you can adjust what the thumbnail of your photo will look like.)

YouTubers: You can create a link to a YouTube video of your soap! UPDATE! If you upload a photo of your soap as your YouTube profile photo, it will show up in the link-up! If you don’t have a profile photo, I believe you can still upload a photo from your computer and use your video as the link. Starting on your video page, click the “share” button and copy the URL. You can use this URL for the “blog post URL” blank. If you have a photo in your profile, you should be able to select it. If not, you can either ignore all the tiny blue boxes and click the “direct image URL” tab across the top and paste the URL of your youtube video in the blank again and hit the “submit query” button OR click “upload from computer” and select a photo from your hard drive.

Uploading a photo from your computer: If you don’t have a blog or business page on facebook or a youtube video, you can still upload a photo from your computer. UPDATE: Put YOUR NAME in the “blog post URL” blank and go to the next step. It will give you an error message, but it will still work! Just click the tab across the top that says “upload from computer” and you will be able to browse your files and upload a photo. I will remove the dead link ASAP.

Please note: I will not be available most of the weekend. Hopefully by the third week you’ve all figured out the link-up anyway!

(This week’s link-up will remain open until Saturday, April 27. The final challenge will be posted on Sunday, April 21st!)


Soap Challenge 2013 – Week Three

Wow! That elemental swirl was a huge challenge and a huge success for a lot of people this week! You can check out the link-up here.

We are now ready for our Week Three soap challenge: Mica Swirled Tops. The basic technique is to create a mica & oil mixture and drizzle it over the top of your soap, and then swirl it like you would with a contrasting colored soap. The oil will be absorbed into the soap leaving a beautiful mica swirl on top.

The first place I saw this was on the Shieh Studio Blog. Emily has several photos of her soaps with mica swirls on this post. She also posted a video recently, so if you need to see how she did it, you can check that out!

Still need more? Pipestone Soaps also has some fabulous photos of mica swirled tops on their Facebook page! I asked Sacha for some tips before making my soap, and she recommended starting with just one metallic color to begin with, so I went with gold.

Here are the results of my first attempt at this technique:

Tips:
1. It takes very little mica & oil to create the effect. Even using 1/2 tsp. oil with 1/4 tsp. of mica I still had about half of my mixture left. Of course, it depends on how big your soap is, but just know that a little goes a LONG way!
2. You can use any color mica, but metallic micas will be the most shiny.
3. Stick to one color for your first batch! Because the oil is so fluid, it’s a lot more difficult to maintain separate colors if you do more than one.
4. Kenna of Amathia Soapworks says she textures the soap first, then drizzles the mica & swirls it with a chopstick.
5. I would highly recommend having a little more fluid soap to begin with – medium trace at most! (Feel free to use any technique you like for the inside of the soap.)
6. As always – have fun!!!

Please note: You will actually have TWO WEEKS to complete your soap for this challenge since there will be a break next week. The link-up will still open up this Saturday at 6am CST, but it will remain open for two weeks.

Soap Challenge 2013 – Elemental Swirl Link-Up

So, are we loving the soap challenges so far? I hope those of you who participated in the Tiger Stripe challenge took advantage of the free colorant offer from Brambleberry!

And now it is time to show off our beautiful elemental swirls! Here’s my Apple Berry Picnic soap:

Apple Berry Picnic Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Apple Berry Picnic Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Now it’s your turn! Each participant may add ONE link to their creation. Here are the instructions to add your link (I’ve added two new updates since last week – one for YouTube, and one for uploading a photo from your computer to work around some issues):

Bloggers:
Create a post about your elemental swirl soap – with photos of course! You can describe how you picked your scent and colors, any problems you may have encountered or advice you might have. Please include a link back to my blog in your post (either the home page, or this post should work nicely!). When you link to your post, be sure it’s the link to the actual post, not just your blog link. Otherwise, when someone clicks on it later, and you’ve made more posts, they won’t be able to find the one you wanted to link with.

Facebook business page photos:
Upload your photo(s) into a photo album, and write a descriptive caption on the photo you are linking up to this post, including the scent you used and any other information you care to share. To link the photo, click on it, then copy and paste the URL into the “blog post URL” blank at the top. In the next step, it will show your photo, and you will need to select it. (If you press the “crop” button instead, you can adjust what the thumbnail of your photo will look like.)

YouTubers:
You can create a link to a YouTube video of your soap! UPDATE! If you upload a photo of your soap as your YouTube profile photo, it will show up in the link-up! If you don’t have a profile photo, I believe you can still upload a photo from your computer and use your video as the link. Starting on your video page, click the “share” button and copy the URL. You can use this URL for the “blog post URL” blank. If you have a photo in your profile, you should be able to select it. If not, you can either ignore all the tiny blue boxes and click the “direct image URL” tab across the top and paste the URL of your youtube video in the blank again and hit the “submit query” button OR click “upload from computer” and select a photo from your hard drive.

Uploading a photo from your computer:
If you don’t have a blog or business page on facebook or a youtube video, you can still upload a photo from your computer. UPDATE: Put YOUR NAME in the “blog post URL” blank and go to the next step. It will give you an error message, but it will still work! Just click the tab across the top that says “upload from computer” and you will be able to browse your files and upload a photo. I will remove the dead link ASAP.

Please note: I will not be available until late Saturday afternoon to comment or help with any issues! I will be anxious to see all your soaps then!!

(This week’s link-up will remain open until next Saturday.)


Soap Challenge 2013 – Tiger Stripe Link-Up

It’s finally time to share our work from this week’s Soap Challenge! Tiger Stripes seem like a fairly easy technique, but I did hear from several of you (perfectionists!) that you took several batches to get it up to your standards. Ok, some of it was due to finicky fragrances, so we can blame it on that!

Here is my cutting video:

Now it’s your turn! This is the fun part, of course, because we all get to oooooo and aaaahhh over everyone else’s soaps. Everyone loves comments, so if you can leave an encouraging word for someone, do it! And here’s some exciting news: Once you post your work, you can take advantage of an offer from Brambleberry* for a free soap colorant sampler! The kit includes Titanium Dioxide, Electric Bubble Gum, Activated Charcoal, and Fizzy Lemonade Neon Pigment. Use coupon code TIGERKIT and it will be added to your order, or you can call them up and arrange for them to send it to you for the cost of shipping (estimated at a couple dollars).

So, let’s do this!! Each participant may add ONE link to their creation. Here are the instructions to add your link (this is how it worked last year – please let me know if anything has changed or you have problems!):

Bloggers: Create a post about your tiger stripe soap – with photos of course! You can describe how you picked your scent and colors, any problems you may have encountered or advice you might have. Please include a link back to my blog in your post (either the home page, or this post should work nicely!). UPDATE: When you link to your post, be sure it’s the link to the actual post, not just your blog link. Otherwise, when someone clicks on it later, and you’ve made more posts, they won’t be able to find the one you wanted to link with. I’ve already edited several of the links so they point to the post itself.

Facebook business page photos: Upload your photo(s) into a photo album, and write a descriptive caption on the photo you are linking up to this post, including the scent you used. To link the photo, click on it, then copy and paste the URL into the “blog post URL” blank at the top. In the next step, it will show your photo, and you will need to select it. (If you press the “crop” button instead, you can adjust what the thumbnail of your photo will look like.)

YouTubers: You can create a link to a YouTube video of your soap! There will be a little frog icon instead of a thumbnail photo of the soap, but anyone who clicks on your link will be able to see your video. Starting on your video page, click the “share” button and copy the URL. You can use this URL for the “blog post URL” blank. Then in the next step, ignore all the tiny blue boxes and click the “direct image URL” tab across the top and paste the URL of your youtube video in the blank again and hit the “submit query” button.

Uploading a photo from your computer: If you don’t have a blog or business page on facebook or a youtube video, you can still upload a photo from your computer. Just put n/a in the “blog post URL” blank and go to the next step. It will give you an error message, but it will still work! Just click the tab across the top that says “upload from computer” and you will be able to browse your files and upload a photo. I will remove the dead link ASAP.

This week’s link-up will remain open until next Saturday!


*affiliate link

Soap Challenge 2013 – Week One

It’s finally time!! Welcome to the first Soap Challenge for 2013!! We have at least 72 official sign-ups from all over the world, including Australia, England, Macedonia, South Africa, and Canada, not to mention all over the US!

For our first challenge, we will be making soap using the tiger stripe method. Simply divide your soap into two different colors and pour a stripe of soap down the center of your mold, alternating colors each time until you have used up all the soap! I’m giving credit to Kenna of Amathia Soapworks for creating this technique. Here is her tutorial:

You can use the traditional tiger colors, or deviate with any other high contrasting colors. I chose to create a black & white soap with one pink stripe:

Tips:
1. Make sure your fragrance or essential oil is easy to work with! No florals or spices.
2. Color ideas: light and dark version of the same color, colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, or whatever your heart desires!
3. You can decide how much soap you want to pour with each stripe – less for thinner lines, more for thicker lines.
4. You can pour your soap off-center as well!
5. Have fun with it!

You will have until Saturday to make your soap and document it with photos, blog post, youtube video, or Facebook album. I will be posting the link-up on Saturday, March 30 at 6am CST and you will be able to share your creation with everyone at that time. The link-up will remain open until the following Saturday when the new one opens up.

Just One More Day…

…until the Soap Challenge will be finished up and one lucky participant will win this:

Five-pound wooden soap mold with silicone liner from Brambleberry

Do you like the custom box I just made with my utility knife to ship it out? Nice and sturdy so if it has to travel across the pond somewhere, it ought to arrive intact! I also just checked Brambleberry’s website and it doesn’t look like these are currently available for purchase, so now whoever wins it could potentially have a collector’s item! Just sayin.

There are 16 participants so far, and tomorrow is the last day to enter! Be sure to add the link to your blog post or youtube video to the comments on THIS POST for your entry to count by end of day (that would be November 15th at 10pm CST when I will close comments and go to bed).

Winner will be contacted on Friday, and hopefully announced then as well! Best wishes, everyone!!