Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Peacocks and Coffee

So today I finally got around to making some soap!

Ten pounds worth, to be exact. I even took some pictures of the "during" to share with you guys. :)

First off, I wanted to make a odor-neutralizer soap for the kitchen sink, inspired by the gardener's soap from Soap Queen. In several books I've read about CP soapmaking, it's suggested to completely replace the water in the lye solution with double- or triple-brewed coffee. Utilizing this technique, while adding the used coffee grounds, I attempt making a kitchen soap. :)

I thought it was cute that my little ball of tussah silk perched on top of my triple-brewed (chilled) coffee. It goes into every batch, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Pouring my (now steaming) coffee-lye mix into my oils to melt them. Room temperature soapmaking is the only way I go, just because I'm too impatient to wait for temps to stabilize.

Mostly melted, only slowly stirring with a spatula. Went ahead and added coffee grounds before stick blending, to make sure it was only a nice exfoliation that was added.

Blending! Random blue tint.

You can barely, BARELY see trace here. Time to pour!

This is after letting it sit several minutes. I wanted a textured top, but my original batter was too thin. I waited, and finally sprinkled fresh coffee grounds over the top of the soap for smell and texture. The soap is scented very lightly with RE's Morning Blend fragrance, a nice, slightly sweet coffee scent. I took a spoon and folded the coffee grounds into the soap batter to make sure they stick, and to add that lovely swirly texture. :)

Onto soap number two!

I've been wanting to do a peacock/boquet style swirl for ages. I tried once, except the scent was a floral and it accelerated way too fast, so I just dumped everything together. My second attempt had the base soap accelerate as well, though my stripes were unscented. It didnt come out as nice as I'd hoped.

I guess third time is the trick, because I certainly succeeded with this one..

Before the bouquet/feather grouping. :) I scented this one using lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus EO (smart move, they move slower) aaaand a hint of musk. :)

I only scented the base soap again, which is a spatula-swirl style with the blue, green, and purple. Colors from the Conservatorie.

And then the dividers!

I can't wait to unmold these! :)

So, is there any technique you tried and tried at again, or one that was difficult to master?


  1. Beautiful soaps, Ashley! Those peacock swirls are gorgeous! I haven't tried the peacock swirl yet, but it's on my list. My swirls aren't as pretty as I would like for them to be, and I still have trouble getting nice textured tops.

    1. Aww, I think your swirls are lovely! As I learned with the peacock swirl, practice makes perfect. My other two attempts were pitiful at best (remember the crayola barf rebatch? Yeah, that was SUPPOSED to be a peacock swirl, LOL) and there are tons of batches I never posted here -- either because of crappy soaps or just being too dang embarrassed! Hahaha. If you DO try the peacock swirl, though, use EO's. That was my mistake my first two tries. My usual recipe is solid-oil heavy, but still moves nicely, not too slow, not too fast (I usually dont like olive-oil recipes because they just more SO SLOW) and I was still able to have plenty of playtime with this one. I wished I had layered more purple though -- it was the first one I did. We'll see how the whole bars turn out in a few days though!

      Good luck with your future soapings! :D I look forward to reading about them.

  2. Your Peacock swirl turned out so great! I have had many, many unsuccessful peacock swirls and can definitely say that yours is beautiful! =)

    1. Thanks so much, Anne Marie! I was so happy that this third attempt was successful. :) It was the one design that made me WANT to make soap, and now that I've conquered it, I wonder what other cool things I can do!

  3. I am waaay to chicken to try a peacock swirl...but yours turned out fabulous!!!

    1. It took me three tries to get it right, so it was certainly a lot of work, haha. :) Definitely worth the payoff though, if you do ever decide to do it!

    2. Good for you for not giving up! One day when I'm feeling very brave I may try it! :D

    3. It certainly is a lovely bar, the friend I made this for LOVES peacocks, and she was truly blown away. :) And it's satisfying to know that YOU made something like THAT. I think that's my favorite part about soapmaking!