Final Soap Challenge Winners Announcement!

It’s so hard to believe this is the final winners announcement for the Soap Challenge Club!! There have been 55 challenges since the Club started in June 2013 with 160 unique winners of $10,000 in gift certificates plus physical prizes, many of them winning multiple times! Thousands of soapmakers have joined the Club over the years to learn new techniques and push themselves to grow their skills in incredible ways. I celebrate those who didn’t give up after the first try, who offered up what they learned from their experiences, and continued to contribute over and over again not only by creating their own soaps, but encouraging their fellow Club members along the way. Thank you for coming together to create this amazing community of soapmakers!

I owe a huge part of the success of the Club to our sponsors, whose prizes provided needed incentives to go the extra mile. Huge thanks to all of you for supporting the vision of the Club and making it possible!! I’ve enjoyed learning new techniques along with everyone else even as I taught them or learned them from our guest teachers who deeply enriched our experience and brought the Club to places we could not have gone without them. They have been an enormous blessing!

The technique this month was Straight Line Designs. Toni Watt of White Milk Soaps was our guest teacher, showing us how to get perfectly straight lines in cold process soap. It is a somewhat tedious process that creates absolutely stunning results! Members could create straight or diagonal lines, as long as their soap was created in one pour session. Many took this challenge to a level of creativity that is downright incredulous!

Since this was the final challenge, we had multiple sponsors provide prizes not only to our top four voted winners, but also participation prizes to those who entered – all 82 people this month! Much gratitude goes to Bramble Berry, Majestic Mountain Sage, and DIY Soap Labels for their participation prize packages!

In an attempt to simplify the process this month, I offered the option of having our jury members choose 10-15 entries for everyone to vote on. With well over 250 people registered for the challenge, I anticipated that the participation rate would be high – especially since this was the last challenge and there were participation prizes at stake! My goal for the challenge was for everyone to have a good experience, whether they were able to submit an entry or not. For those who did submit, I wanted them to feel like their entry was thoughtfully considered. Since this is a busy time of year, I wanted to be sure everyone felt like they had ample time to check out the entries so they could vote on the best ones. After receiving the results of the survey I sent to all the members, I decided that I would get the jury involved only if there were 50 or more entries. Well, 82 entries later, the jury members had their work cut out for them! After careful consideration, rock-star jury members Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso, Jelena Vasiljeva of SoapTechniques, Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking and I were able to narrow down the entries to twelve for the final vote. Members were given six total votes to be spread across three entries, ideally giving their first place choice 3 votes, second place 2 votes, and third place 1 vote. Here are the top four prize winning entries:

Congratulations to long-time member Debi Olsen of Me Do It Meself in Colorado for her stunning 34-layer soap with the same number of colors which she calls “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Her project took a total of 13 hours to complete! Debi has always gone above and beyond in her creations for the Club, and does an excellent job writing about her experiences on her blog. It’s quite clear that she is passionate about extravagant soap design!

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road soap by Me Do It Meself

Debi wins a $100 gift certificate from Bramble Berry for her outstanding efforts!! Be sure to click on the photo to read all about Debi’s experience and inspiration for making her soap.

In second place we have last month’s winner in the juried category, Elena Childers of Mysteria Soap in Texas, with her bold and beautiful “Universe in the Jewelry Box” soap. Although new to the Club, it is obvious that Elena is highly talented as well! She was able to create a fantastic illusion with her back and forth ombre pours and final swirled portion in the center:

The Universe in the Jewelry Box soap by Mysteria Soap

Congratulations to Elena for winning a $75 gift certificate from Symphony Scents! Her photo is also linked to her blog post with many more beautiful photos and a sketch of her plan.

Our third place winner is the ever-talented Helene Glemet of ChezHelene in Quebec, Canada! Another veteran to the Club, Helene’s ability to think outside the box really makes her designs stand out. Her soap stunned us all with its perfect black and white chevron pattern, another long process taking 9 hours to complete! Can you believe she just eyeballed this design?

B&W Chevron soap by ChezHelene

Helene’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage! Congratulations, Helene! Her photo is linked to her Facebook post which describes and shows her process so be sure to check it out.

Finally, in lieu of a Sponsor’s Choice winner, the fourth place winner is Vera Lede of Lede Soap in Kazakhstan who created a 5-color diagonal masterpiece. Vera is an avid supporter of the Club as well, and has used each experience to really push herself to her maximum potential:

Line Design soap by Lede Soap

Vera wins a $25 gift certificate from For Craft’s Sake, a brand-new sponsor to the Club but a veteran in the soap supply world, best known for their super soap cutter called The Tank (one of my personal favorites!). Check out Vera’s blog post by clicking on the photo!

I know you’ll want to see the other 78 entries as well – they are pretty incredible! Check them out HERE.

This is the part of the announcement where I usually tell you what’s next. Honestly, I don’t know! This is the end of the Challenge Club. Many have wondered if someone else could take it over and continue the legacy. If I thought it was actually possible to hand it off, I would attempt it. I have sat down over the past several weeks to write out just an outline of all the steps it takes to keep the challenges running. It is nearly five pages long and doesn’t even go into detail about HOW to accomplish all these steps. I do know that there is still a need for mentorship in the soapmaking community, and if I can figure out a way to provide that in a less complicated way, I will let you know!

Meanwhile, the tutorials from all the past challenges will still be available to you. I will still offer smell-through shrink wrap. Perhaps I will find time to create a new tutorial now and then, but until I know what my schedule looks like, I can’t make any definite plans.

So I wish you all much success in your soapmaking journeys and hope to see you around! Have a very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!

November’s Dirty Fluid Pour Challenge Winners

Hard to believe this was the next to last soap challenge! November’s technique was specifically created for the Soap Challenge Club by guest teacher Joanne Watkins of Nature’s Potion Handmade Soaps. As both a soapmaker and acrylic paint artist, Joanne found a way to safely re-create the dirty fluid pour technique for acrylic paint with soap.

As you will see, there are some stunning results from this technique! The challenge was divided into a juried category, sponsored by Elements Bath & Body and a voted category, sponsored by Custom Soap Stamps. The winners of the juried category were chosen by four jury members including Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso, Jelena Vasiljeva of SoapTechniques, Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking, and myself. The winners of the voted category were determined by the votes of those who registered for the Challenge Club this month.

Let’s start with the winners in the juried category. This may have been the most difficult challenge we have juried as the abstract nature of the designs from this technique is so subjective in its appeal. The guidelines of the challenge stated that “flowing, beautiful colors are the goal” and “creating cells in the soap is desirable, but not necessary.” Entries were scored based on these 7 categories: technique, difficulty, effort, skill/talent, uniqueness, presentation, and overall aesthetics. Each jury member scored their top 10 picks out of the 20 entries that were submitted. After considerable discussion, here are our winners:

Grand prize goes to Elena Childers of Mysteria Soap in Texas. This was Elena’s first time participating in the Challenge Club, and she was the only one to really step outside of the box with her design by using various cylinders that ranged in size from a drinking straw to much larger chipboard tubing while utilizing a full rainbow of colors:

Rainbow Zebra Soap by Mysteria Soap

Elena’s prize is a $100 gift certificate from Elements Bath & Body, Your One Stop Shop for Wholesale Soap Making Supplies! Congratulations! Please click on Elena’s soap photo to read more about her inspiration and how she created her soap on her blog.

In second place we have Lisa Norris of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia. Her signature rainbow palette is a gorgeous rendition of this fluid pour technique. The colors are bright, yet well-balanced with the white and well-defined swirls in addition to beautiful cells:

Carnivale soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Lisa wins a $75 gift certificate from Elements! After three and half years of participating in the challenges, her list of prizes is quite extensive! Congratulations once again, Lisa! Click on the photo to read more about her soap in her Facebook album.

Our third place winner is Jamie Reddinger of Lathering Lotus in Pennsylvania, and her second time placing in the top three!! Her bright, contrasting colors are a vision of flowing design and beautiful cell drips:

Mystic soap by Lathering Lotus

Congratulations to Jamie for winning a $50 gift certificate from Elements!! Check out her soap in the mold as well by clicking on the photo to see her post in Instagram.

Finally Tammy Tivis, owner of Elements Bath & Body, has chosen Karen Harvey’s Dirty Pour Cosmos Soap to receive the Sponsor’s Choice prize. She says, “The contrast of the purple, blue and marigold really “pop” and we just love the vibrant mix. Overall, the blend creates well-balanced and absolutely beautiful bars.”

Dirty Pour Cosmos Soap by Karen Harvey

Karen receives a $25 gift certificate from Elements. She has been a long-time member of the Challenge Club and this is the first time she has received a prize! I’m so happy for her! Click on her photo to read more about how she created her soap in her blog post.

Before I announce the winners in the voted category, I want to say how proud I am of all of them as each one is a first-time winner, and some have been participating for quite some time! We did have one clear winner for first place. Grand prize goes to Peech Keller in Colorado for her stunning “Taken for Granite” soap. And it truly does resemble slabs of marbled stone! Check it out:

Taken for Granite soap by Peech Keller

Peech has been participating in the challenges for a year and a half and she wins a $100 gift certificate from Custom Soap Stamps! (Alex Kelly makes way more than just stamps; tools like cutters, beveler/planers, and molds are also available in his shop!)

Second and third place were just one vote apart!! Sara Hart of 4 Harts Farm in Kentucky came away with the second place finish. She has been participating in the challenges since July this year and her winning Autumn Fig soap is bursting with gorgeous, flowing color:

Autumn Fig Dirty Pour soap by 4 Harts Farm

Sara wins a $75 gift certificate from Custom Soap Stamps! Feel free to click on the photo of her soap to read more about her process on her blog.

Third place goes to Leilani Olsen of Gingerleaf Creative in Colorado, a long-time member of the Challenge Club!!! Congratulations, Leilani!! She created a beautiful Earl Grey Tea soap, inspired by a fused glass pendant, practically glowing with bright turquoise and accented with brown and navy:

Earl Grey Tea soap by Gingerleaf Creative

Leilani’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Custom Soap Stamps! You will want to check out her Facebook post by clicking on the photo of her soap!

Alex Kelly of Custom Soap Stamps has chosen Ritza Reina’s soap to receive his Sponsor’s Choice prize. He says, “I liked the Autumn Harvest. I like the use of colors, which make each bar look like an abstract painting.” So true! Check it out:

Autumn Harvest soap by Ritza Reina

Ritza wins a $25 gift certificate – woo hoo!

If you’d like to see the rest of the entries from this month’s challenge, check out the voted category entries HERE, and the juried category entries HERE (which includes the list of the top 10 winners!).

Registration for our FINAL CHALLENGE in December opens Monday, November 27!! We are doing Straight Line Designs with guest teacher Toni Watt of White Milk Soap & Candles. She has put together a fantastic tutorial for you! Here is the soap she created for the video:

Straight Line Designs by White Milk Soap & Candles

Click on the photo above to see the Current Challenge page with all the deadlines, and check out the amazing prizes we will have:

Grand Prize: $100 gift certificate from Bramble Berry
Second place: $75 gift certificate from Symphony Scents
Third place: $50 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage
Fourth place: $25 gift certificate from For Craft’s Sake

You will also receive the following prizes just for entering a soap in the challenge: $10 off shipping coupon from Bramble Berry, plus a 10% discount code and a special mystery prize from Majestic Mountain Sage.

Not signed up for notifications for the Challenge Club yet? Here you go:

Rainbows and Unicorns – Oh My!!

The Soap Challenge Club was given the task of creating a cold process soap with at least six rainbow colors and one unicorn element. Micas and glitter were the only embellishments allowed, but really what else do you need if you have plenty of sparkle? Members were super creative with their soaps! We had two categories for this challenge: experienced and newbie. Experienced was defined as having made soap for more than two years OR more than 50 batches. Anyone else was considered a newbie. The newbies were extra light this month – only six entries! Lovin Soap sponsored the newbie category with some amazing gift certificate prizes. If you haven’t checked out their website, it is absolutely brimming with resources for soapmakers – both new and experienced.

The experienced category was sponsored by Nature’s Garden, also providing some fantastic gift certificate prizes. If you’re looking for ingredients for soap, candles, or other bath products, Nature’s Garden has one of the largest selections – particularly fragrances! Thank you so much to our sponsors this month!!

Now, let’s get on with the winners! Starting with the experienced category, the competition was pretty close but grand prize goes to Belinda Williams of Love Your Suds in Canada for her soap entitled “The Last Unicorn”. It is a brilliant piece of art! She put it together over the course of two weeks in multiple stages to create the final result you see here:

The Last Unicorn by Love Your Suds

Congratulations on winning a $100 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden, Belinda! She’s been an outstanding member of the Challenge Club since she was a newbie, winning a top 3 spot two other times, and Sponsor’s Choice twice also! Please click on the photo of her soap to read and see more about her process in making this amazing soap.

Second place goes to last month’s winner, Maja Zuvela-Aloise of Bubbledream in Austria! Maja has worked some soap dough magic with her beautiful “Rainbow Mane” soap:

Rainbow Mane by Bubbledream

Maja wins a $75 gift certificate – awesome job!! Click on the photo to see how she put it all together on her Facebook page.

In third place we have Debi Olsen of Me Do It Meself in Colorado. Debi has also been a faithful member of the Club since she was a newbie. She likes to push the envelope of design and has placed in the top 3 six times now. Debi’s whimsical 3D Unicorn soap is aptly named Uni-Cutie-Corn! See how cute it is:

Uni-Cutie-Corn! by Me Do It Meself

Debi’s prize is a $50 gift certificate! Way to go! Check out her instagram post with more photos of her soap by clicking on the photo.

Finally, Deborah Ward of Nature’s Garden has chosen Shauna Veilleux-Shultz in Pennsylvania to receive their Sponsor’s Choice prize!! Deborah says this about Shauna’s soap: “This soap truly has personality, and makes me happy just looking at it. This soap took imagination and skill at many different levels.”

A Star is Born by Shauna Veilleux-Shultz

Excellent work, Shauna! She has also been part of the challenges for quite some time and I’ve watched her improve with each one! Her prize this time is a $25 gift certificate. Shauna’s pinterest board is linked to her photo so you can see how she made her soap.

How about those newbies? Congratulations to Erin Scott in Ohio for her grand prize winning soap, The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me!! It’s such a beautiful compilation of rainbows and unicorns with fabulous horns and manes flowing with flowers:

The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me by Erin Scott

Erin wins a $100 gift certificate from Lovin Soap – woo hoo!! She has been with the Club for the past four months, honing her mad soaping skills. See the different soap designs she played around with for this challenge by clicking on her photo.

In second place we have Samantha Fiore of Lather & Glow Soap Co. in Canada! This was Samantha’s very first challenge and she jumped right in and created a winner. Here is her super cute soap:

Sunshine Unicorns and Rainbows by Lather & Glow Soap Co.

Samantha’s prize is a $75 gift certificate. Be sure to check out her Instagram post by clicking on the photo and see how many things she did for the first time because of the challenge!

Third place goes to Theresa True of Raven Ave Handmade Soaps in Indiana with her fancy Unicorns and Glitter soap! Theresa is another first timer who took this opportunity to literally shine:

Unicorns and Glitter by Raven Ave Handmade Soaps

She wins a $50 gift certificate for her efforts! You can click on the photo to see her slideshow on how she made the soap (best seen on a mobile device).

With just six entries, there were only three left for our sponsor to choose from and of course it was impossible to leave anyone out, so they didn’t!! All three remaining entries will receive a $25 gift certificate from Lovin Soap!! Congratulations to Sara Hart, Chad Vickers, and Jane Whipp for pushing yourselves to do things you had never done before with soap and put your work out there.

If you’d like to see their entries, just visit the Newbie category HERE, and the rest of the Experienced entries are located HERE.

In my last blog post, I announced that these would be our absolute last three challenges in October, November and December. I’ve received so many wonderful messages from former and current members wishing me well and thanking me for doing the challenges the past four years. I will most certainly miss this!!

The good news is it’s not too late to get in on the final two! Registration for the November & December challenges will open Monday, October 30. Our guest teacher for November is Joanne Watkins of Nature’s Potions Handmade Soap with another amazing fluid pour technique called the Dirty Pour. These are the soaps she has created for the tutorial with this technique:

Dirty Fluid Pour soap by Joanne Watkins

We will have a voted category and a juried category. You can read more about that on the Current Challenge page. I just made my first practice batch yesterday and will be making another one today with a few changes based on what I learned from that batch!

For December, our guest teacher is Toni Watt of White Milk Soap & Candles and she will be demonstrating Straight Line Designs. These are some of the incredible soaps she has made with this technique in the past:

Example of Straight Line Soap by Toni Watt

This will be one big challenge with some really fun prizes from many of our sponsors, including some great coupons and prizes just for entering! You won’t want to miss it! Get signed up for notifications about these challenges if you haven’t already:

September Challenge Winners & My Big Announcement

For the month of September, guest teacher Helene Glemet of ChezHelene showed us how to create 3D Shower Jelly soaps similar to the designs of edible 3D gelatin cakes. We injected cold process soap into melt and pour jelly bases to create beautiful designs. The challenge was sponsored by Rustic Escentuals, a fabulous supplier of jelly base, as well as tons of fragrances, micas, and so much more! There were only 24 entries this month as it is a busy time of year and many were unable to participate. Instead of each member getting 3 votes, they were only given ONE.

Grand prize goes to Maja Zuvela-Aloise of Bubbledream in Austria!! This is her second time with a first place finish in the Soap Challenge Club; the first time was with the CP + MP Designs which goes to show she is very talented at combining these two mediums as she did again for this challenge. Her Sea Urchin Soap is a spectacular display of color and beauty within the jelly base which shows off the design perfectly:

Sea Urchin Soap by Bubbledream

Maja wins a $100 gift certificate from Rustic Escentuals – congratulations!! Be sure to click on the photo of her soap to see more photos at different angles (you will be surprised at the shape of her mold!) on her Facebook page.

In second place by just one vote we have Shauna Veilleux-Shultz in Pennsylvania!! Shauna is a long-time member of the Club and I have watched her get better and better each month! Her beautiful Cardinal Rules soap is completely unique from the rest of the entries. Shauna’s soaps are always super creative, and I was impressed with how she made this one with modified drinking straws as her tools:

Cardinal Rules soap by Shauna Veilleux-Shultz

Shauna’s prize is a $75 gift certficate and a whole lot of pride in a job well done! Click on the photo to see her practice batch and more information about her soap on her Pinterest board.

Our third place winner is Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana with her absolutely breathtaking chrysanthemum soap!! Teri did something completely unique as well by coloring the jelly soap pink and injecting white cold process soap for the flower. Bet you couldn’t figure that out just by looking at the photo:

Chrysanthemum soap by Tree Marie Soapworks

Teri wins a $50 gift certificate from Rustic Escentuals – great job!! Her photo is linked to her Facebook post with more photos of her process that you won’t want to miss!

Amy Coker of Rustic Escentuals chose Marty Johnson in Minnesota as their Sponsor’s Choice prize winner. Marty’s (Once in a) Blue Moonflower soap captured Amy’s heart. She says, “Its beauty is in its complex simplicity. The design is not overdone and has resulted in a realistic flower.”

(Once in a) Blue Moonflower soap by Marty Johnson

Marty’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from our sponsor! Her photo is linked to her Pinterest board (which seems to be having a bit of technical difficulty at the moment, but has some great photos!).

Finally, the jury members have chosen an entry to receive free registration for the October, November and December challenges. We chose Jane Whipp’s simply stunning Purity soap for this honor. Tatiana Serko says, “I like that the master took a risk and took the mold in the form of a heart, despite this it turned out to be a very harmonious flower. And I still liked the simplicity and elegance.” Jane’s company is Butterfly Soap Studio in Queensland, Australia, and here is her soap:

Purity soap by Butterfly Soap Studio

You can check out the rest of the entries HERE.

I have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT to make! As I have started working with a large wholesale client, these will be the final three challenges:

October – Rainbows & Unicorns theme soaps, Experienced & Newbie Categories; Nature’s Garden will sponsor the experienced category, and Lovin Soap will sponsor the newbie category.

Rainbow/Unicorn soap by Amy Warden

November – Dirty Fluid Pour Technique with guest teacher Joanne Watkins of Nature’s Potion Handmade Soaps, Juried & Voted Categories; Elements Bath & Body will sponsor the juried category, and Custom Soap Stamps will sponsor the voted category.

Dirty Fluid Pour soap by Joanne Watkins

December – Straight Line Designs with guest teacher Toni Watt of White Milk Soap & Candles, one big challenge with prizes galore from many of our sponsors!! Bramble Berry is providing a $100 gift certificate for grand prize, Symphony Scents is providing a $75 gift certificate for second place, Majestic Mountain Sage is providing a $50 gift certificate for third place, as well as some special goodies for all participants who enter a soap in the challenge, and For Craft’s Sake is providing a $25 gift certificate for fourth place. Bramble Berry will also give every participant who enters a soap in the challenge a coupon for $10 off shipping.

Example of Straight Line Soap by Toni Watt

These should be super fun!!! I am so grateful to our sponsors for their absolutely amazing support over the past 4+ years that we have been doing the Soap Challenge Club every month. I couldn’t have done it without them!! I am also grateful to all of the fantastic soapmakers who have found the challenges inspiring enough to keep coming back for more! I will miss you all and the inspiration you have given me as well. It has been such a rewarding experience! I wish you all the very best in your soapmaking journeys.

Registration opens Monday, October 2 for these last three challenges! More info on the Current Challenge page. Be sure to sign up for the notification if you haven’t yet:

Intaglio Soap Challenge Winners Announcement

For the month of August, the Soap Challenge Club took on the Intaglio technique which was created by Clyde Yoshida of Vibrant Soap. He’s made three different types of designs with this type of carving technique and was excited to see what the Challenge Club members might be able to create. Strictly speaking, intaglio is an etching or engraving that refers to an image that is created by what is carved away. It has been used in printmaking processes. For the challenge, members were simply encouraged to etch a design in their soap that was no more than 1 cm deep. The design could be created from what was left, or from what was carved away using at least one thin layer of a contrasting color to really make the design pop.

The challenge was divided between two categories: juried and voted. Majestic Mountain Sage was our sponsor for the juried category and participated in choosing our top three winners as well as their Sponsor’s Choice winner. Other members of the jury included Tina Moenk of Natural Suds N More, Jelena Vasiljeva of Soap Techniques, Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking and myself. Those who entered the juried category were scored according to their adherence to the technique, difficulty, effort, skill/talent, uniqueness, presentation, theme and overall aesthetics. Since there were only 16 entries this time, all were scored by the jury members and everyone who entered this category will receive their scores as well as personal feedback from me about their soaps.

All of the jury members agreed that the top 2 spots in the this category could have been interchangeable as they were both SO incredibly amazing! In the end, there can only be one winner, and with just 4 more points than second place, here is the Grand Prize winner: Linda Irawan of Moia Soap in Indonesia!!! Linda has placed in every challenge since she began participating with us. She has incredible talent (and patience!). Her winning soap is Panthera Tigris, an amazing display of color and excellent use of thematic elements, and precision in design.

Panthera Tigris soap by Moia Soap

Congratulations, Linda!! Her prize is a $100 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage. Check out more photos of her beautiful soap on her Instagram post by clicking on the one above!

In second place, and equally fantastic is Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana! Teri has been the Grand Prize winner in the juried category the past few months and always creates outstanding designs. She took the opposite approach by creating her design by what was left rather than by what was carved away. The result is this stunning Plumeria Bouquet with three layers of color:

Plumeria Bouquet soap by Tree Marie Soapworks

Teri wins a $75 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage to keep her creative juices flowing. Click on the photo to see more about her process and how she incorporated parts of her practice soap into this one.

Third and fourth place were super tight also! With a margin of just four points, our third place winner is Belinda Williams of Love Your Suds in Canada! With Halloween just a few months away, Belinda’s soaps are Something Spooky. The clean lines and simple black and white color scheme really showcases her designs beautifully:

Something Spooky soaps by Love Your Suds

Belinda’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage! Congratulations!! Read more about Belinda’s soaps on her Instagram by clicking on the photo.

Finally, the Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Lyn Arnhart of Garnet Tree Designs in Florida. Lyn’s Quilt Blossoms soap caught the eye of Tina Howard of Majestic Mountain Sage for several reasons. She says, “Quilting is similar to soap, it can be so very basic or it can be extremely creative. The colors chosen, as well as the whole image on her site, showed that she prepared her soap much like an intricate quilt – with a lot of preparation. These soaps, as a whole, felt like a quilt with the appliqued top and the peek-a-boo fabric underneath. A good choice of colors representing the concept of quilting as well as the art of marbling. This soap was well done, very well done.”

Quilt Blossoms soap by Garnet Tree Designs

Congratulations to Lyn for winning a $25 gift certificate from The Sage! Lyn has a great write-up and plenty of process photos on her Facebook post. Just click on the photo to check it out!

Now for the voted category! These winners were voted on by all of the members of the August Challenge Club, and sponsored by Nurture Soap. We have a stand-out winner who has been participating in the challenges for several years and this is her first time placing!! I’m so happy for Rama Mbaye in Paris, France becoming the Grand Prize winner this month! Her soap is inspired by a mosaic pattern which was beautifully executed in great detail:

Intaglio Mosaic soap by Rama Mbaye

Rama wins a $100 gift certificate from Nurture Soap – woo hoo!! Click on the photo to see her inspiration and process photos on her Instagram post.

Second place goes to Holly Shelton of Kapia Mera Soap Co in Tennessee! She is a faithful member of the Challenge Club for several years with quite a few prizewinning soaps during that time. Holly’s soap this month is a fabulous landscape design that was translated into all four bars. She had to perfectly place each color underneath to carve out the shapes each one represented:

Intaglio Soap Carving by Kapia Mera Soap Co

Excellent work, Holly! Her prize is a $75 gift certificate from Nurture Soap. Be sure to click on the photo to read Holly’s blog post about her process and see the video.

In third place, and just 2 votes behind Holly, we have Carmen Iclodean of Earth’s Raw Beauty in Nevada! Carmen has been participating in the challenges for several years as well and placed one other time. She used every ounce of patience she had to create this stunning “Paisley Pain” soap with excellent detail and clean lines:

Paisley Pain soap by Earth’s Raw Beauty

Your efforts paid off, Carmen! She wins a $50 gift certificate from Nurture Soap. This photo is linked to Carmen’s Instagram post if you want to take a look.

The Sponsor’s Choice winner was chosen by Carrie Thornsbury of Nurture Soap. Congratulations to Kelley Conway of The Corner Handmade in Massachusetts! This is her second month in a row to win Sponsor’s Choice!! Carrie said she appreciated the clarity of Kelley’s carving as well as the excellent color contrast in her Tribal Football soap:

Tribal Football soap by The Corner Handmade

Kelley’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Nurture. Be sure to click on the photo to see more photos and information about how and why she created her soap on her Facebook page.

Don’t miss the rest of the entries, and the announcement of the top 10 in the juried category located here:

Juried Category

Voted Category

The technique for September is 3D Jelly Soaps!! Helene Glemet of ChezHelene is our guest teacher, and will be showing us how to make this soap:

3D jelly soap by Helene Glemet

We are doing one big challenge with Rustic Escentuals as our sponsor. The supply list has already been posted on the Current Challenge page. Be sure to check it out and join us as registration opens Monday, August 28. You can sign up to be notified below:

Announcing the Winners of the Soap Dough Challenge!

What is soap dough, you ask? It’s a specially formulated cold process soap recipe that starts out moldable, but then hardens like regular soap. It gives endless possibilities for those who enjoy sculpting projects as it can behave similarly to polymer clay. Our guest teacher for this technique was Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso. She shared her special recipe with us and showed us how easy it is to mold soap into an amazing dragon eye! Members were given the task of starting with a “bar” of cold process soap, and embellishing or embedding it with soap dough. The soap did not need to be practical to use, however, and members could choose to use small non-soap embellishments also. The results are absolutely astounding!! The challenge was divided into two categories again this month: juried and voted.

Members who wished to learn a new technique and have some fun, and/or may be new to soapmaking were encouraged to enter the voted category. All of our members were eligible to vote for the winners in this category, except for the Sponsor’s Choice winner. Lovin Soap is our incredible sponsor in this category. They have a multitude of resources for soapmakers, from recipes and tutorials to business information.

Members who wished to be pushed to their maximum potential, possibly with aspirations to improve or begin online selling were encouraged to participate in the juried category. A panel of four jury members decided the winners for this category, including our guest teacher Tatiana Serko, Jelena Vasiljeva of Soap Techniques, Kenna Cote of Modern Soapmaking, and myself. Each jury member chose their top 15 picks and scored each entry on a scale of 1-10 on each of the following criteria: technique, difficulty, effort, skill/talent, uniqueness, presentation, and overall aesthetics. Seven categories with a maximum score of 10 from each of the four jury members would give a perfect 280 points. The scores from each jury member were added together to see who the top three winners would be. Our wonderful sponsor for this category is Nature’s Garden, and they chose a Sponsor’s Choice winner as well. In addition to many other wonderful supplies for soapmakers, Nature’s Garden is one of the premiere suppliers of fragrances, with more than 800 unique, concentrated scents!

Let’s start with the winners from the juried category. The jury members agree this was the most difficult time we’ve ever had trying to decide the winners. The creativity and presentation of these soaps is top notch!

The grand prize goes to Linda Irawan of Moia Soap in Indonesia with 243 points! Linda was the first place winner in the voted category last month, and now she has proven her skills in the juried category as well. Her peacock soap is completely breathtaking in its beauty. Can you believe this is her first time working with soap dough? The tail feathers were created with the “caning” technique used by polymer clay artists:

The Peacock by Moia Soap

Linda’s prize is a $100 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden! Congratulations on a job well done! Be sure to click on the photo of her soap to see more photos of her soap on Instagram, including some in process.

Our second place winner is Lyubov Evteeva in Russia with 242 points (very close to first!). This is her second time participating in the challenges, and her first time to place in the top 3. The scale of her soap dough creation is what is most stunning about her work. She had to use a magnifying glass to accomplish it! Her soap, “In heaven from happiness”, is a replica of artwork by Mary Zherdeva:

In heaven from happiness by Lyubov Evteeva

Congratulations to Lyubov for winning a $75 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden! Click on the photo of her soap to read her blog post about how she made the soap and to see the inspiration behind it.

Third place goes to Nadezhda Uskova of Master Soap in Russia with 234 points. This is her first time participating in the Soap Challenge Club, but not her first time creating with soap dough. However, the subject of her masterpiece was something completely different from anything she has attempted before. An elf baby!! Her work was also inspired by another artist, sculptor Diana Guelinckx De Becker. Again, the details and scale of her creation is most impressive:

Elf baby soap by Master Soap

Nadezhda wins a $50 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden for her fantastic work! She has written a blog post about her process which you can read by clicking on the photo of her soap.

Finally, Deborah Ward of Nature’s Garden has chosen Erin Reynolds of Raven and Rain Soap Co. in Oregon to receive the Sponsor’s Choice prize for her Bathtime Fun with Rubber Ducky soap! This is Erin’s first time participating in a challenge. Deborah says, “Looks just like a real bath tub, and the little ducky adds an extra touch of cuteness!”

Bathtime Fun with Rubber Ducky by Raven and Rain Soap Co.

Erin’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden – woo hoo! Be sure to click on her photo to read more about her soap on her Facebook page.

The rest of the juried entries can be found HERE, with all of the top 10 entries posted in order.

For the voted category, there are some equally amazing entries also! Grand prize goes to Julie Franson of Cold Pocket Farm in Idaho! Julie has been a member of the Challenge Club for quite some time but this is her first time winning a prize for her work – and her first time playing with soap dough. Her subject of choice is a beautiful horned owl head with glass eyes:

Owl of Soap “Clay” by Cold Pocket Farm

Congratulations to Julie for winning a $100 gift certificate from Lovin Soap! If you click on the photo of her soap, you can see more photos of her process on her blog post.

In second place we have Irina Bukhanova in New York, another first time participant with an elegant peacock soap. Her soap proudly displays a colorful bird with multi-layered tail feathers and detailed flowers on the breast:

Peacock soap by Irina

Irina wins a $75 gift certificate from Lovin Soap – woo hoo!

Our third place winner is Ronda Scorpio (Soap by Kick it Up a Notch) in Canada! Ronda is new to the Challenge Club, but certainly not new to soap sculpting! She has created her own play dough soap recipe and hosts a Facebook group dedicated to the craft. Her prize-winning entry features the endearing characters Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. She calls it “Hunny Log”:

Hunny Log soap by Kick it Up a Notch

Ronda’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Lovin Soap. Be sure to click on the photo of her soap to see the YouTube video she put together.

The Sponsor’s Choice winner for the voted category is Yvonne Pedersen of Såpe Conditoriet in Norway! Yvonne is a long-time member of the Challenge Club and this is her second time to win a Sponsor’s Choice prize. (She’s been in the top 3 twice as well.) Amanda Gail chose her Soap Cottage because as she says, “This soap is adorable! I love the color scheme with the varied pinks on the yellow base. The flowers, though simple, are quite stunning when all assembled on the soap. The detail and texture on the door, window and roof really complete the piece. And of course the little bird up top is adorable! Great job!”

Soap Cottage by Såpe Conditoriet

Yvonne wins a $25 gift certificate from Lovin Soap. Her write-up about her Soap Cottage is great – click on the photo to read her blog post!

You’ll find the rest of the entries for the voted category HERE.

I hope you’re excited for the June challenge! We are doing Ombre Techniques. Here is the soap I created for the video tutorial:

Ombre soap by Amy Warden

Registration will open Monday, June 5th for this challenge. We will have juried and voted categories once again. Click on the photo for more information about our sponsors and prizes!

If you would like to receive a notification as soon as registration opens, sign up here:

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!

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 Nicole’s Artisan Soaps 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 Nicole’s Artisan Soaps

Nicole wins a $100 gift certificate from Custom Soap Stamps – congratulations!!

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 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!

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