Cold Process + Melt & Pour Soap Design Winners

The February soap challenge was to combine cold process with melt & pour soap to create a cohesive design. These two mediums are completely different in a lot of ways, and yet each has definite advantages and benefits to create artistic soaps. Members were given ideas of what they could create, but had license to come up with a completely unique design! Normally, the Soap Challenge Club techniques are limited to cold process, so quite a few members found themselves working with melt & pour base for the first time – which ended up being a really good thing! It was a great experience to debunk these common myths about melt & pour soap base: 1. The ingredients are chemically derived and not good for your skin, and 2. It’s such a simple process to melt and pour the soap base so it’s only for beginners. Neither one of these is true!

We divided the challenge into two categories: newbies and experienced. Newbies were defined as those who have been making soap for less than two years and have made fewer than 50 batches. Everyone else was considered experienced. Huge thanks goes to our sponsors this month! Majestic Mountain Sage is your one-stop supplier for soap and cosmetic making materials out of Utah. They sponsored the newbie category. Elements Bath & Body has been selling soap supplies out of Colorado since 2002. I’m so grateful they stepped in as a new sponsor for the experienced category since they carry a wide variety of melt & pour soap bases – including an all-natural one! Both of these sponsors ship internationally as well, so be sure to check out their websites!

Time to announce the winners! I’ll start with the grand prize winner in the newbie category…congratulations goes to Margot Blubaugh of Marvelous Soap in Minnesota for her outstanding Amethyst and Amber soap! Her inspiration was a chunk of amethyst, which happens to be her birthstone! Margot comb

Amethyst and Amber soap by Marvelous Soap

Margot wins a $100 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage! Be sure to click on the photo to read more about how she created her soap on her Facebook page.

In second place we have Cheryl Wetzler of Saponaceous Soap in Pennsylvania. Cheryl took second place in the newbie category of the Tiger Stripe challenge just two months ago! This time her soap features diagonal layers of cold process and melt & pour soap, and the light shining through from behind truly looks like a sunrise as she has aptly named it:

Sonoma Sunrise soap by Saponaceous Soap

Cheryl’s prize is a $75 gift certificate! Her photo is linked to her post on Instagram if you’d like to find out more about it.

Third place goes to Jessica DeLeon of Moose Country Designs in Maine! Congratulations, Jessica, for creating such a beautiful prize-winning soap in your first challenge! She built this fabulous gumball machine entirely out of cold process and melt & pour soap:

Sweet Soapy Gumball Machine by Moose Country Designs

Jessica wins a $50 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage! Woo hoo! Click on the photo to read about her process on her Facebook page.

Finally, the Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Shayla Gauthier of Black Gold Soap Co. in Alberta, Canada for her soap creation featuring Ursa Major! It’s a beautiful galaxy soap, featuring the Ursa Major constellation (aka the “Big Dipper”) on each bar:

Ursa Major soap by Black Gold Soap Co.

Tina Howard of Majestic Mountain Sage says, “Wow! That took some planning and was awesome!” and Shayla wins a $25 gift certificate from them! The photo is linked to Shayla’s blog post which demonstrates how she created this stunning soap – and you can see a photo of the light shining through one of the bars, showing off the constellation.

And now…the experienced category! You will be stunned to see all these fabulous entries as well! Grand prize goes to a brand-new member, Maja Zuvela-Aloise of Bubbledream in Austria! Maja’s combined cold process soap shavings and embeds into a melt and pour soap base created this beautiful Tree Landscape soap:

Tree Landscape soap by Bubbledream

Congratulations to Maja for winning a $100 gift certificate from Elements Bath & Body! Feel free to click on the photo to read more about how she made this soap on her Facebook page.

Second place in the experienced category goes to Bannatyne Matson of Homely Animal Soap Shop in Utah! This is her fourth time receiving a prize in one of the top two places, and her Think Spring soap is definitely worthy of the prize! Bann created a beautiful stained glass masterpiece using cold process for the “lead” and transparent melt & pour for the glass:

Think Spring soap by Homely Animal

Bann wins a $75 gift certificate from Elements! The photo is linked to her Instagram post where she explains how her soap was made.

Congratulations to Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso in California for her third place finish because of her “Love, love, love…” CP + MP Design soap! She is a very talented soapmaker, placing six times in the challenges, and participating as our guest teacher four times! This ultra-complex soap was made by combining a rimmed soap technique with melt & pour base for the rim, and a nearly translucent cold process center with a cute double-heart MP embed on the surface. Check out the stunning result:

Love, love, love… CP + MP Design Soap by Creative Soap by Steso

Tatiana’s prize is a $50 gift certificate – woo hoo! Click on the photo to see how she made her soap, as well as one other with a different color palette.

The Sponsor’s Choice prize for the experienced category goes to a well-deserved recipient as well. Tammy Tivis of Elements Bath and Body recognized how unique and special this soap is when she said, “This stunning soap pushes the boundaries and gives us a totally new technique based on gelatin art. It looks like it was very painstakingly created; this soaper is indeed an artisan. I’m certain many soapers will want to learn this technique.” I’m sure she’s right! The soap she is referring to is this 3D Shower Jelly soap created by Helene Glemet of ChezHelene in Quebec, Canada:

3D Shower Jelly soap by ChezHelene

Congratulations to Helene for creating such a stunning soap! Her prize is a $25 gift certificate from Elements! Get more information on how she created the soap by clicking on the photo.

The results of the rest of the challenge entries can be found HERE for the newbie category, and HERE for the experienced category. Be sure to check out all the beautiful entries!

The challenge for March is called Secret Swirls! It will be divided between soaps made with all natural ingredients and those that are colored and/or scented with synthetic ingredients. Only one entry per member. Brambleberry is our sponsor for the natural category and Nurture Soap will sponsor the synthetic category. (Prize packages will be announced soon!) This is an advanced technique, but anyone is welcome to join us! I will do my best to give as many helpful tips as possible to give you success! Here is a soap I created with the Secret Feather Swirl in 2014:

Flamingo Feathers soap by Amy Warden

Registration for this challenge is just $6.95 and will open Monday, March 6. Here’s the link to receive a notification:

Winners of the Tiger Stripe Challenge!

The technique for the December Soap Challenge Club was tiger stripes – including modifications. The tiger stripe creates stripes of color down the length of a log mold that can range from quite thin to what you might think of as a “real” tiger stripe. Members could choose to leave their stripes intact or modify them once poured or use dividers to create interest – as long as the stripes were evident in the majority of the soap. As you might imagine, there are some really fascinating and unique looks!

The challenge was divided into two categories: newbies (soapmakers who have been making soap for less than 2 years and/or fewer than 50 batches) and experienced (everyone else!). We are so grateful to our sponsors for their generous prize packages! Custom Soap Stamps is an up-and-coming supplier with everything from custom soap stamps, as the name suggests, to multi-bar soap cutters and more! Alex Kelly’s specialty is working with acrylic, so everything he makes is incredibly sturdy and will last a lifetime. Thank you, Alex, for sponsoring the newbie category! Nature’s Garden is a well-established supplier for candles and bath and body products, known for their huge inventory of fragrances. Thank you, Deborah, for sponsoring the experienced category!

When I announce the results you might not be able to tell the difference between the categories – there are outstanding soaps in both! Let’s start with the newbies. They are all first time winners in the Challenge Club:

The grand prize winner is Nicole Lankenau of Suds and Scrubs 4 You in New York! Her Orange Spiced Tea Tiger soap combines all the colors and patterns of a real tiger, and you can see the unique diagonal pattern she achieved:

Orange Spiced Tea Tiger Stripe Soap by Suds and Scrubs 4 You

Nicole wins a $100 gift certificate from Custom Soap Stamps – congratulations!! Please read more about how she made this soap, including the diagonal pattern, as well as several other soaps with this technique by clicking on the soap photo.

Second place goes to Cheryl Wetzler of Saponaceous Soap in Pennsylvania. Cheryl’s innovative ombre technique with thin black lines between each color earned her soap the name Zombré:

Zombré soap by Saponaceous Soap

Custom Soap Stamps is providing a $75 gift certificate for Cheryl – yippee! Check out her Instagram post to read more about this beautiful soap by clicking on the photo.

In third place, we have Liz Greco in New Jersey!! Liz’s soap has an abundance of thin lines in gorgeous contrasting colors. The order of the colors gives the design a very fluid movement:

Carnivale soap by Liz Greco

Congratulations, Liz, on your $50 gift certificate prize! Click on the photo to read more about the ingredients Liz used for her soap.

Finally, the Sponsor’s Choice prize has been awarded to Savie in Michigan! Her gorgeous Bengal Tiger Stripe soap has all the markings of a beautiful wood grain, and the table she chose to pose it on just reinforces that look. Alex said this about her soap: “Great colors and pattern. Presentation is really important and that also stood out to me. Well done all around!”

Bengal Tiger Stripe soap by Savie

Savie wins a $25 gift certificate – woo hoo!! Take a look at both of the soaps she made for the challenge by clicking on the photo – she made one with peacock colors that turned out fantastic as well!

In the experienced category we have more excellent tiger stripe soaps!! In fact, our grand prize winner is none other than Carolyn Newton of Siennalily Soaps in Spain! She created a simple black, grey & white double tiger stripe soap with flawless lines:

BAH Humbug soap by Siennalily Soaps

Congratulations, Carolyn, on winning a $100 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden! This is Carolyn’s third time placing in the top three, and she has also been awarded two Sponsor’s Choice prizes in past challenges. Please click on the photo of her soap to read more on her blog about how the soap was made and the newly renovated room in her house that inspired her.

In second place is our resident rainbow soap queen, Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia! She did not disappoint with her gorgeous stripes of rainbow colors which she somehow manipulated into a tiger moth:

Rainbow Tiger Moth soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Lisa wins a $75 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden! This is her 10th time placing in the top three, which I’m pretty sure is a Challenge Club record – congratulations!! Please read more about how Lisa’s soap was made by clicking on the photo to see the post on her Facebook page.

Third place goes to one of our most supportive members who has been part of the Club for about a year and a half. She has not only given me valuable feedback about the Club, but she is always very encouraging to the other members and gives out helpful advice on our Discussion Board. Congrats goes to Sylvia (Sly) Otykpa of Soaps by Sly in Colorado for her mesmerizing Smokey Bay Leaf soap made with the tilted tiger stripe method:

Smokey Bay Leaf soap by Soaps by Sly

Nature’s Garden is providing a $50 gift certificate to Sly for her fantastic work – her first time to placing in the top 3! Click on the photo to read the details on her blog about all three soaps she created for this challenge.

The recipient of the Sponsor’s Choice award is a brand-new member, Krista Scott of Georgia Soap Creation in Georgia, of course! Her Snowman Bliss Tiger Stripe soap spoke to Deborah Ward, and as she put it, “I just LOVE snowmen, and this soap is adorable and stunning! Just perfect for the holiday season!”

Snowman Bliss Tiger Stripe Soap by Georgia Soap Creations

Congrats, Krista, on your $25 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!! Feel free to click on the photo to get a closer look at Krista’s soap on Instagram.

Ready to see the rest of the amazing tiger stripe entries? The Newbie entries are HERE, and the Experienced entries are HERE.

So, I’m sure many of you are wondering what’s in store for 2017! I have the next three months of challenges lined up for you, and the one for January is going to be completely different than anything we’ve ever done before! I’m calling it the Collaborator’s Challenge, and you’re going to need a collaborator to accomplish it. In other words, you get to make soap with a friend or family member!! I’ll have the details all laid out soon, but your collaborator must be at least 18 years old. It can be someone who has made soap before, as long as it’s someone who typically doesn’t make soap with you. The idea is to work together from start to finish. I asked my husband, Kent, to make soap for the very first time for the video tutorial and he did an excellent job! He chose the dancing funnel technique, and here is his soap in the mold:

Orange Soap by Kent Warden

Kenna from Modern Soapmaking and I will be co-sponsoring this challenge as we have been collaborating on this challenge idea since we made the wood grain soap together in October! Prizes will be divided between you and your collaborator and will include the following:
Grand prize – $50 gift certificate from MS for you/$50 gift card from Amazon for your collaborator
Second place – $40/$35
Third place – $25/25
Sponsor’s Choice – Kenna will choose three entries to receive a printout of her Honey & Beeswax soap tutorial, plus two bars of soap made with the technique so you can make another soap with your collaborator if you choose!

I will also provide a “recruitment” video to show the person you wish to join you in this challenge so they can be encouraged to participate! (If for some reason they actually need encouragement!)

In February, we will be doing CP + MP Designs. The challenge will be divided between newbies and experienced soapmakers once again and Majestic Mountain Sage will sponsor the newbie category. Elements Bath & Body is a new sponsor and they will provide prizes for the experienced category.

The challenge technique for March is Secret Swirls. This time the challenge will be divided between soaps made with all natural ingredients and those that are colored and/or scented with synthetic ingredients. Brambleberry is our sponsor for the natural category and Nurture Soap will sponsor the synthetic category.

Registration will open Monday, January 2nd for all three months or just January. If you haven’t signed up for Challenge Club notifications yet, which also includes tutorial sales, here’s the link:

Piped Soap Challenge Winners Announcement!

Did you know that any piping technique you’ve seen with buttercream can be created with cold process soap? Members of the Soap Challenge Club took on some pretty amazing projects this month as they piped their hearts out!! The challenge was divided between newbies and experienced soapmakers. Those with less than 2 years experience and/or fewer than 50 batches fit the newbie category, and everyone else competed in the experienced category. We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors, Bath Alchemy Lab and Nurture Soap for their generous prizes for this challenge!!

Let’s start with the winners for the experienced category. Congratulations goes to Yvonne Foust of The Snoblove Bar in Tennessee for her grand prize winning entry, Pink Cashmere Bar:

Pink Cashmere Bar by The Snoblove Bar

Pink Cashmere Bar by The Snoblove Bar

Everything about this soap says “decadent”!! Yvonne is definitely an up-and-coming soap artist you’ll want to follow. She has been participating in the Soap Challenge Club for a few years now, and her artistry continues to shine. This is her first time placing, let alone winning the grand prize, and I’m sure she would say it’s been well worth it! Yvonne has won 10 new fragrances PLUS the Royalty Soaps piping set from Nurture Soap!! Be sure to click on the photo to see Yvonne’s video of how she made this gorgeous creation.

Second place in the experienced category goes to Bann Matson of Homely Animal in Utah. She created this amazing Spring Bouquet of flowers:

Spring Bouquet by Homely Animal

Spring Bouquet by Homely Animal

The two-toned hydrangea really shines in this eclectic collection of beautiful flowers! This is Bann’s first time placing in the Challenge Club. She wins 6 new fragrances PLUS the Royalty Soaps piping set from Nurture Soap! Clicking on the photo will take you to Bann’s Instagram post about her soap.

Although competition in third place was rather tight, Carolyn Newton of Siennalily Soaps in Spain pulled it off! Carolyn created a gorgeous soap cake covered with white and turquoise roses:

Cascading Rose Cake by Siennalily Soaps

Cascading Rose Cake by Siennalily Soaps

All of the different flower and leaf shapes really show off Carolyn’s skills! She is no stranger to the Challenge Club, as this is the 4th time she has placed. Yet she has come a long way from her Sponsor’s Choice prize a year ago this month, and even graduated from a first place finish in the newbie category this past January to her third place finish among the experienced soapmakers. Carolyn wins a 4-lb slab mold, plus a $10 gift certificate from Nurture Soap! Click on the photo to read Carolyn’s blog post about how she created her soap cake.

The Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Stephanie Vanderwiele of Persephone Soaps in Florida for her Floral Bouquet soap cake slices! Carrie Thornsbury of Nurture Soap says, “I chose this because it had many details and different piping techniques that were really well executed. The piping is also smooth and well done. I made this choice after looking at the Facebook albums, blog posts etc. and looking at the details of each entry. I really like Floral Bouquet!”

Floral Bouquet soap by Persephone Soaps

Floral Bouquet soap by Persephone Soaps

Congratulations, Stephanie, on winning the new 25 cube soap mold from Nurture Soap! Be sure to click on the photo to see more great images of this soap in Stephanie’s Facebook album.

And now for the winners in the newbie category!! Erica Pence of Bath Alchemy Lab was our sponsor for the newbie category and after seeing the entries she said, “I must say, everyone did a magnificent job on the piping challenge. In fact, they would have given the experienced soapmakers a run for the money.” I completely agree!

Congratulations goes to Helene Glemet of ChezHelene in Quebec for her Grand Prize win in the newbie category!! Helene created a collection of Soapy Succulents that look incredibly real:

Soapy Succulents by ChezHelene

Soapy Succulents by ChezHelene

Helene is another up-and-coming soap artist who has placed in three of the last four challenges! Her artistry was first noticed in the Sculpted Layers challenge where her Howling Wolf soap took first place. She wins a $100 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Click on the photo to see Helene’s Facebook post about her soap.

Placing second in the newbie category is Belinda Williams of Love Your Suds in British Columbia! (Way to go, Canadians!) Belinda’s soap is a lovely combination of succulents and roses:

Succulent Rose by Love Your Suds

Succulent Rose by Love Your Suds

You can see how seamlessly all of the different elements fit together in this fabulous slab of piped soap! Congrats, Belinda, on winning a $75 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Be sure to click on the photo to read about how the soap was made on Belinda’s blog.

In third place in the newbie category is Jen Heriot of Penny and Olive in Wisconsin with this amazing Fall Florals and Foliage soap:

Fall Florals and Foliage soap by Penny and Olive

Fall Florals and Foliage soap by Penny and Olive

This was Jen’s first time entering a soap in the challenge, and I’m so glad she did! All of her piped elements look like she’s been doing this for years and years when in fact, she just learned to pipe soap for this challenge! Pretty incredible, right? Jen wins a $50 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Clicking on the photo will take you to the Penny and Olive Facebook album with more photos of this amazing soap.

Erica Pence of Bath Alchemy Lab has chosen Carol Moyes of Milk & Silk in Scotland as the winner of her Sponsor’s Choice prize! Erica says,”It is with great difficulty that I am choosing Garden of Enchantment for the Sponsor’s Choice. While I struggled to choose, I decided on this soap because it featured a variety of flowers and leaves using different tips. I am aware of the challenges that one faces to juggle colors, tips, and time limits of soapmaking and felt that this soap displayed excellent skill.”

Garden of Enchantment soap by Milk & Silk

Garden of Enchantment soap by Milk & Silk

Carol has been a member of the Challenge Club for six months now, but has only felt her soap worthy of entry twice. She says she has found her soaping happy place with piping, and her soap is evidence of that! Congrats, Carol, on winning a $25 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab!

In addition, after seeing all the lovely entries, Erica says, “Since everyone put in a lot of time, effort, and creativity, I have decided to give all newbie participants that did NOT win a prize a 10% off coupon code for any one class or item on our site. I rarely offer coupons, so this may be an offer that some want to jump on.” Which is why I always say – go ahead and enter even if you aren’t entirely confident in your work!!

If you are ready to see the rest of the entries in both the newbie and experienced categories, you can find them all HERE. So many fantastic soaps!!

The next three months of challenges are going to be great fun! Registration will open on Monday for one week, and you’ll be able to register for all three at a discount, or just October’s challenge only.

For October, we will be making wood grain soap! There will be several methods to choose from, but here is the soap I made for the video tutorial:

Wood grain soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Wood grain soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

The challenge will be divided between soaps made with all natural ingredients and those made with synthetic colors and/or fragrance. Modern Soapmaking is sponsoring the natural category, and Brambleberry is sponsoring the synthetic category with some awesome prizes!

In November, Tatsiana Serko will be our guest teacher once again as we learn the technique she calls “Cosmic Wave”.

Cosmic Wave soap by Tatsiana Serko

Cosmic Wave soap by Tatsiana Serko

This will be one big challenge, with Mad Oils as our sponsor!

December’s challenge is all about the tiger stripe. I will offer several different modification ideas, or you can go with the original method.

Tiger Stripe soap by Amy Warden from the Soap Challenge Club 2013

Tiger Stripe soap by Amy Warden from the Soap Challenge Club 2013

This challenge will be divided between newbie and experienced, with Custom Soap Stamps as our sponsor for the newbie category and Nature’s Garden sponsoring the experienced category.

If you’d like to receive a notification when registration opens, do that here:

notify-me

I look forward to seeing you inside the Club!

It’s All About Location! (Challenge Winners Announced)

For the month of April, we did a theme challenge to take a short break from the advanced techniques. I asked members to create a soap that represents the place where they live or have lived in the past that is special to them. The only perimeters were that the final soap should be made in a log or slab mold. Small embellishments were allowed that were not made of cold process soap, including but not limited to, melt & pour or hot processed embeds, etc. As you can imagine, the creativity has shown up in spades with this challenge, and I’m so grateful to our sponsor TKB Trading for their generous prizes and support!

The well-deserved grand prize goes to Debi Olsen in Fort Collin, Colorado! Debi has been participating diligently in the Challenge Club since last September and took 3rd place in the Circling Taiwan Swirl challenge. This month she created a beautiful scenic landscape soap to reflect the majestic state of Colorado where she was born and raised and still lives to this day:

Colorado Sunset soap by Debi Olsen

Colorado Sunset soap by Debi Olsen

Curious about how she made it? I know I was! Visit her new blog and read all about her process by clicking on the photo. Congratulations, Debi, on your $100 gift certificate from TKB!

Coming in a strong second place is Lisa Maw of Lisa’s Natural Herbal Creations in Ogden, Utah. While Lisa has been participating in the challenges for just a few months now, her artistry is evident in all of her soaps! Here is her Arches Soap, an amazing tribute to the great state of Utah where she was born and raised:

Arches Soap by Lisa's Natural Herbal Creations

Arches Soap by Lisa’s Natural Herbal Creations

Lisa molded the arches in the soap by hand! Click on the photo to found out how! Lisa wins a $75 gift certificate from TKB – congratulations!!

Third place for the second month in a row goes to Brittany Warwick of Baabbly Soap in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As Brittany explained in her blog post, Wisconsin is known for cows, cheese, beer, and snow, so she decided to “create a soap that was a landscape of a farm with a cute little cow in the forefront of the soap.” It certainly is cute!

Wisconsin Cow Soap by Baabbly Soap

Wisconsin Cow Soap by Baabbly Soap

Congratulations, Brittany! You’ve won a $50 gift certificate from TKB! Yes, you can also click on the photo of her soap to see her process which includes several advanced embeds!

The Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Tatsiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso, who is originally from Belarus and created a beautiful soap to reflect her heritage. Kaila Westerman, owner of TKB Trading, explained her choice this way: “I had the following criteria: Color Harmony. As a colorist, how a product looks at first glance, and how the colors speak to me is an immediate ‘first pass’.” She also took into consideration the level of difficulty, quality of execution and creative thinking with regard to addressing the theme. Tatsiana’s soap, From Belarus with love, certainly fits within all of these criteria:

From Belarus with love by Creative Soap by Steso

From Belarus with love by Creative Soap by Steso

Tatsiana wins a $25 gift certificate from TKB – congratulations!!

Curious about the rest of the entries? Find them all HERE.

Next month we will be doing the Teardrop Technique! Here is a soap from my practice batch that I’m hoping to duplicate for the tutorial:

Teardrop Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Teardrop Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

It’s made with almost all Mad Oils micas – our main sponsor for the challenge! I love how the colors turned out! Lovin Soap Studio will be contributing a free ebook to all the winners as well.

Registration for the May challenge will open this Monday, April 25! Are you signed up for the Challenge Club notifications?

notify-me

Rimmed Soap Challenge Winners!

Talk about a challenge…the rimmed soap technique was definitely one of the more challenging techniques that the Soap Challenge Club has ever done! Huge thanks to Tatsiana Serko for teaching us this advanced technique so that everyone had a chance at success. All of the soaps had to be made in a round mold, and there are some really stunning results! Shout out to our sponsors this month also: Rustic Escentuals sponsored the U.S. category and Voyageur Soap and Candle Co. (in Canada) sponsored the International category with some amazing prizes!

Even though we only had 16 entries in the International category, there were some very serious contenders!! The top three were all within four votes of one another. I know you are anxious to see the results, so here are the winners in the International category:

Congratulations goes to our grand prize winner: Anastasia Krasilnikova in Czech Republic with her beautiful Damask Rimmed soap, made with an impression mat:

Damask Rimmed Soap by Anastasia

Damask Rimmed Soap by Anastasia

You will definitely want to click on her photo to see her blog post about the many different rimmed soaps she made before she fell in love with this one for the challenge. Anastasia has been making soap for just seven months now, although you would never know it! She wins a $100 gift certificate from Voyageur!

In a close second place is Carolyn Newton of Siennalily Soaps in Spain. This is her third time winning a prize in the Challenge Club. Congratulations, Carolyn, on your gorgeous rimmed soap, inspired by an Egyptian design:

Tutankhamun Rimmed Soap by Siennalily Soaps

Tutankhamun Rimmed Soap by Siennalily Soaps

Click the photo to see Carolyn’s inspiration and how she made her soap – also with an impression mat! Carolyn wins a $75 gift certificate from Voyageur!

Just one vote behind Carolyn is Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Studio in Australia in third place! Lisa has managed to place in the top 3 NINE times now – usually with her signature rainbow design! Her Star Rainbow rimmed soap is just stunning:

Star Rainbow Rimmed Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Star Rainbow Rimmed Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Check out her post on Facebook by clicking the photo above to see Lisa’s process in making her soap with star rainbow embeds! Lisa wins a $50 gift certificate from Voyageur!

Finally, the Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Melanie Maddock of Sweet Escape in New Zealand for her gorgeous May Chang Rimmed Soap made with neon swirls and raspberry seeds. This is Melanie’s first prize since she has been participating in the Club – congratulations!! Tammy Evans from Voyageur said this: “We awarded the Sponsor’s Choice prize to May Chang Swirl because we loved the duality of the speckled middle with the brightly coloured retro style swirled rim. The vibrant colour choice combined with the precision of the rim around the inner circle made the bar look not only fresh and fun but also very polished and professional.”

May Chang Rimmed Soap by Sweet Escape

May Chang Rimmed Soap by Sweet Escape

Melanie wins a $25 gift certificate from Voyageur!

In the U.S. category, the competition was also pretty stiff, although Holly Shelton of Kapia Mera Soap Co. came away as the clear grand prize winner! Congratulations!! Holly has placed second twice, but she wins the grand prize this month for her simply elegant black and white rimmed soap:

Charcoal and Clay Rimmed Soap by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

Charcoal and Clay Rimmed Soap by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

On her blog post, Holly shares her recipe as well as a video of her process, so be sure to click through! She wins a $100 gift certificate, plus 6 1-oz. fragrances & 6 mica samples from Rustic Escentuals!

Second place goes to a brand new Challenge Club member: Ann Kruschke in Ohio who is celebrating her one-year soapiversary!! She made her rimmed soap look like a watercolor version of a watermelon:

Summertime Rimmed Soap by Ann Kruschke

Summertime Rimmed Soap by Ann Kruschke

Isn’t it amazing? Click on the photo to see her blog post that includes her recipe and process. Ann wins a $75 gift certificate, plus 6 1-oz. fragrances & 6 mica samples from Rustic Escentuals!

In third place – by only one vote! – is Brittany Warwick in Wisconsin for her fabulous Japanese Cherry Blossom rimmed soap:

Japanese Cherry Blossom Rimmed Soap by Brittany Warwick

Japanese Cherry Blossom Rimmed Soap by Brittany Warwick

Brittany won the Sponsor’s Choice prize for the Embracing Opposites challenge last July, but this is her first voted win, and it’s well deserved!! Click on the photo to see her blog post with all the details about her soap. Brittany wins a $50 gift certificate, plus 6 1-oz. fragrances & 6 mica samples from Rustic Escentuals!

We have a Sponsor’s Choice winner from Rustic Escentuals as well: Congrats to Bonnie Howard of The Village Soapsmith in North Carolina for her Black Raspberry Vanilla Rimmed Soap! Amy Coker says, “This soap is not only beautifully done by the challenge set forth, but it’s beautifully done in the attention to detail. This soap maker has taken a common scent and crafted the soap to be completely unique by their color choices and swirls as applied to the challenge. The colors chosen perfectly complement the scent’s notes. The rim swirls look like they were carefully and artfully done. Lastly, the swirling in the center with more complementary colors tie the soap together. Attention to detail = very well done.”

Black Raspberry Vanilla Rimmed Soap by The Village Soapsmith

Black Raspberry Vanilla Rimmed Soap by The Village Soapsmith

Click on Bonnie’s soap photo to read more about her soap on her blog! Bonnie wins a $25 gift certificate, plus 6 1-oz. fragrances & 6 mica samples from Rustic Escentuals!

To see the rest of the entries for the Rimmed Soap Challenge, be sure to click HERE.

And now it’s time to announce the next three months of challenges….no divided categories for these – they are all one big challenge each month!

For April, we are doing a location theme challenge! I happen to be a Kansas girl, so what does everyone seem to reference when they hear Kansas? The Wizard of Oz! Here’s the soap I made for the tutorial:

Wizard of Oz soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Wizard of Oz soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

What’s special about where you live? Our sponsor for the Location Theme Challenge is TKB Trading.

In May, we will tackle the tear drop technique, like this one by Sergio Masala:

Lacrimosa by Sergio Masala

Lacrimosa by Sergio Masala

Our sponsors are Mad Oils and Lovin Soap Studio.

In June, Claudia Carpenter of Om Nom Soap will be our guest teacher to show us how to create Sculpted Layers like she did for her Winter Wonderland soap:

Winter Wonderland soap by Claudia Carpenter

Winter Wonderland soap by Claudia Carpenter

Our sponsor is Custom Soap Stamps.

You will have the option to register for all three months or April only starting this Monday, March 28. Sign up to be notified when registration opens AND the tutorial for the Rimmed Soaps becomes available if you haven’t already:

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Winners Announcement: Circling Taiwan Swirl Challenge

The January Challenge was to make the Circling Taiwan Swirl. The guidelines to make the soap were very strict – in other words, there weren’t many variables to play with and get creative, and yet there are still so many different outcomes! Members were asked to provide a photo of two soaps from the end of their loaf in a mirror image to show the lotus flower pattern this technique is known for. (Some had trimmed their ends which made them appear to be middle pieces, but I verified the entries to make sure they were end pieces.) We divided the challenge into two categories: newbie and experienced. After taking a survey of our members in November I determined that about half had been making soap for less than two years, and the other half for two years or more, so that’s how I divided it. There’s incredible talent in both categories!

Our sponsor for the newbie category is Bath Alchemy Lab. Erica Pence is an excellent soap teacher and has several online classes for beginners on up. She also has some really great resources on her website that will be great for newbies! As a second time sponsor, we are very grateful to Erica for her generous prizes!

Majestic Mountain Sage is our sponsor for the experienced category. They have been a huge supporter of the Challenge Club since it started! They offer a wide variety of soapmaking supplies that will make any soapmaker happy to shop! HUGE thanks to Tina Howard and her staff for their generous prizes as well – you’ll see how much they were stretched this time around…

Let’s start with the winners in the newbie category – Congratulations goes to our grand prize winner, Carolyn Newton of Siennalily Soaps in Spain! Carolyn has been a faithful member of the Club since she started last July. She has won Sponsor’s Choice prize, but this is her first voted win! Her soap, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon came away with 63 votes. Check out the gorgeous sparkling colors and beautiful lotus flower:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Siennalily Soaps

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Siennalily Soaps

Carolyn wins a free online class from Bath Alchemy Lab! Click on the photo of her soap to see her blog post and read more about how she made it.

Second place goes to Vivian Sullivan of Selah Artisan Soaps in North Carolina! Vivian has been a participant two other times, but this is her first win. She gained 52 votes for her beautiful soap called Lotus Dawn, a gorgeous display of the Circling Taiwan Swirl technique with perfectly contrasting colors:

Lotus Dawn by Selah Artisan Soaps

Lotus Dawn by Selah Artisan Soaps

Vivian wins a $75 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab – congratulations!!

In third place with 46 votes, we have Debi Olsen from Colorado! Debi has been a hardworking member of the Club since September, moving her way up the ranks to a prize-winning position for the first time this month. Congratulations, Debi! Her soap is Bergamot & White Tea with a beautiful Spring palette of colors, and fabulous swirls:

Bergamot & White Tea soap by Debi Olsen

Bergamot & White Tea soap by Debi Olsen

Debi has won a $50 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Be sure to click on her photo to see her Pinterest board with more info about this soap and others she made with this technique.

Finally, Bath Alchemy Lab has chosen Sumalee Duncan of Gusto Aroma in Australia to receive the Sponsor’s Choice prize! Congratulations, Sumalee! She has been a faithful member of the Challenge Club as well, and this is her first time winning a prize. Erica says, “I like the colors A LOT and her design is very different than the rest.” She’s right! Check out her beautiful soap:

Black Amber & Lavender soap by Gusto Aroma

Black Amber & Lavender soap by Gusto Aroma

Sumalee wins a $25 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Click on her photo to see her Facebook album with more photos and information about her soap.

And now for the experienced category…this was a tight race, people!!

The grand prize goes to Janie Hadsel of Lucky Duck Soap and Spa, LLC in Colorado – a recent re-location for her from South Carolina! Congratulations, Janie – I hope this helps you settle into your new space! Janie received 59 votes for her Lavender Citrus soap which is a perfect example of this technique, with its clean line swirls and beautiful color palette:

Lavender Citrus soap by Lucky Duck Soap and Spa, LLC

Lavender Citrus soap by Lucky Duck Soap and Spa, LLC

Janie wins a $100 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage! Click on the photo for more info and photos from Janie’s blog post.

And here is where our contest got really tight…the following three members all tied for second place with 44 votes each:

Congratulaions to Tia Giesemann of That Green Stuff in Australia, Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap By Steso in California, and Odette Handley of Riverlea Soaps in South Africa!! Each of these ladies has won a $75 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage!

Let’s start with Tia’s soap. This is Tia’s first time competing in the Challenge Club, and her soap is called Carnivale for its “bright popping colors”. She did an amazing job, don’t you think?

Carnivale soap by That Green Stuff

Carnivale soap by That Green Stuff

Click on the photo to see more photos and her other attempts at this technique.

Next we have Tatiana’s soap. Tatiana is a seasoned member of the Challenge Club and it’s no surprise that she has created yet another masterpiece. The colors are inspired by a photo of a life preserver with a blue rope on a golden yellow background. You’ll have to click on the photo to check it out:

Circling Taiwan Swirl soap by Tatiana Serko

Circling Taiwan Swirl soap by Tatiana Serko

And now for Odette’s soap. Odette has been a faithful member of the Challenge Club as well, even sponsoring one of our challenges! Her Circling Taiwan Swirl soap has a fantastic lotus pattern and charming color palette:

Circling Taiwan Swirl soap by Riverlea Soap

Circling Taiwan Swirl soap by Riverlea Soap

In third place we have Jennifer Watters from Arizona! This is Jennifer’s first time participating and she received 34 votes for her elegant Twilight Blossom soap. The richness of the black center of the soap is highlighted by pink & white swirl and surrounded by a deep blue:

Twilight Blossom soap by Jennifer Watters

Twilight Blossom soap by Jennifer Watters

Finally, Majestic Mountain Sage has chosen Jolene Sing of Scent & Sensibility in Canada to receive their Sponsor’s Choice prize, a $25 gift certificate. Tina chose this soap because as she says, “The shower/bath is a spiritual time for me and I am not drawn to the ultra bold color.” Congratulations to Jolene for all her hard work paying off! Her Peacock soap has the most lovely wispy swirls:

Peacock soap by Scent & Sensibility

Peacock soap by Scent & Sensibility

Such amazing talent – and you haven’t even seen all the entries yet! Be sure to check them out HERE.

Next month we are doing a theme challenge called Winter Wonderland! You won’t want to miss it! The challenge will be divided in two categories once again – this time natural vs. synthetic. Only one entry per member – choose one or the other. Soaps entered in the natural category must be made with all natural ingredients, including colors and scents. Those in the synthetic category may use synthetic colors and/or scents. The sponsor for the natural category will be Brambleberry, and for the synthetic category will be Nurture Soap.

Here’s the soap I made for the video tutorial with all natural ingredients:

Winter Wonderland soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Winter Wonderland soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Registration will open Monday, February 1st for this challenge. If you would like to be notified, please sign up here:

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Impression Mat Challenge Winners

We are closing out the Soap Challenge Club this year with the Impression Mats challenge. Personally, I had no idea how much fun this challenge would be! Members were asked to make soap with an impression mat that they either purchased or made themselves. These mats are usually used for the cake and candy industry, but they sure create some beautiful options for soap as well! The idea was to use the impression mat in the bottom of the soap mold, then flip the soap over so that the bottom becomes the beautiful top created by the impression mat.

Brambleberry was our sponsor this month, and they graciously gave all our members a coupon code to get 25% off their pourable silicone kit for those who wanted to play. Their prizes for our winners are pretty incredible too!

Check out our winners:

Our grand prize winner is none other than Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso in California! She was our teacher last month, so it’s no surprise that she created this beautiful Baroque soap:

Baroque soap by Tatiana

Baroque soap by Tatiana

Tatiana wins a $100 gift certificate from Brambleberry! Be sure to click on the photo to see how she created her soap.

Second place goes to Yvonne Pedersen in Norway! She made this beautiful and creative Oriental Triangle soap by adapting a log mold and using her impression mat in the bottom point. You can see her process if you click on the photo:

Oriental Triangle soap by Yvonne

Oriental Triangle soap by Yvonne

Yvonne’s prize is a $75 gift certificate from Brambleberry!

In third place we have Sara Golding of Sunflower State Soap in Kansas! Sara’s soap is called Garden-ia Butterflies. She was able to create several different looks by testing out two different techniques in her one batch of soap. You’ll want to click on the photo to read all about her process on her Facebook page:

Garden-ia Butterflies by Sunflower State Soap

Garden-ia Butterflies by Sunflower State Soap

Sara wins a $50 gift certificate from Brambleberry!

Finally, Brambleberry has chosen Sylvia Otypkia of Soaps by Sly to receive their Sponsor’s Choice prize! Sly created a beautiful rainbow of colors in the impression mat she scored from Hobby Lobby. She calls this Four Thieves, based on the essential oil blend used to scent the soap. Click on the photo to read all about her process and recipe on her blog:

Four Thieves Soap by Soaps by Sly

Four Thieves Soap by Soaps by Sly

Congratulations on your $25 gift certificate from Brambleberry, Sly!

You can check out the rest of the entries from our Impression Mat Challenge HERE. They are all impressive!!

We will take a short break for the holidays, then start up the 2016 Challenges on January 4th. You will have the option to register for January only, or the next three months of challenges.

For the January Challenge we will be doing Elaine Wright’s version of the Circling Taiwan Swirl. This technique creates several unique looks on the inside of the soap, including a lotus blossom shape:

Circling Taiwan Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks

Circling Taiwan Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks

As well as this beautiful swirl:

Inside piece of Circling Taiwan Swirl

Inside piece of Circling Taiwan Swirl

We’re going to try something new in January. There will be two different challenges – one for new soapmakers with under two years experience, and one for more experienced soapmakers with two or more years experience. Bath Alchemy Lab is sponsoring the challenge for the newbies with a free online class (up to $145 value) for the grand prize winner, $75 gift certificate for 2nd place, $50 gift certificate for 3rd place, and $25 gift certificate for Sponsor’s Choice. Majestic Mountain Sage is sponsoring the challenge for the experienced soapers with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize, $75 gift certificate for 2nd place, $50 gift certificate for 3rd place, and $25 gift certificate for Sponsor’s Choice. Alex Kelly is also providing a coupon code for 15% off your purchase at his etsy store, Custom Soap Stamps, for everyone who enters a soap in either challenge that will be good through the end of February.

In February, we will have a theme challenge: Winter Wonderland. Details will come later, but members will be able to decide whether to enter a soap made with all-natural ingredients, or one with synthetic colors and fragrance. Brambleberry is sponsoring the all-natural challenge with gift certificate prizes, plus a copy of Anne-Marie’s new book, Pure Soapmaking, containing 32 original recipes for all-natural soaps. Nurture Soap is sponsoring the synthetic challenge with gift certificate prizes.

For March, Tatiana Serko will be back as our guest teacher, showing us how to create Rimmed Soaps. This challenge will be divided between U.S. and international participants. Rustic Escentuals will sponsor the U.S. challenge, and Voyageur Soap & Candle Co. in British Columbia, Canada will sponsor the international challenge.

If you haven’t signed up for notifications about the Challenge Club and tutorials, please do so here:

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Making Soap with Impression Mats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lace soap, scented with a hibiscus fragrance.

Lace soap, scented with a hibiscus fragrance.

Here’s making video of this soap:

The tutorial is now available on my website!

Congratulations to the Alternative Liquids Challenge Winners!

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

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

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

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

Rooibos Tea soap by Debbie Walker

Rooibos Tea soap by Debbie Walker

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

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

Red Velvet & Cotton soap by Maya Matsuoka

Red Velvet & Cotton soap by Maya Matsuoka

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

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

Carrot and Acai Berry Facial soap by Teressa Mahoney

Carrot and Acai Berry Facial soap by Teressa Mahoney

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

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

Birch soap by Joanna Humieniuk

Birch soap by Joanna Humieniuk

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

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

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

Rainbow soap by Tatiana Serko

Rainbow soap by Tatiana Serko

Tatiana Serko

Tatiana Serko

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

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

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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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