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Friday, August 23, 2013

Soap Crafting with Anne-Marie

Anne-Marie Faiola AKA The Soap Queen, has published a new book titled "Soap Crafting" and I was lucky enough to be asked to try a recipe out of the book and blog about it.

My choice of recipe is from the natural colors section and contains Alkanet Root for the color, and Sweet Fennel essential oil for the scent.

I was delivered a kit containing everything I needed to make this batch. I couldn't wait to get started, but of course I have to over think and plan...and plan some more....so how to do the soap? There are 2 ways to use the Alkanet Root, either straight in the batch for a speckled look, or infuse the herb into the oil for a smooth non speckled appearance. Decisions decisions....what to do....
I decided to go ahead and get my infusion started as I began to plan my design. First step is that I sealed 2 TBL of the herb into a heat and seal tea bag to infuse into 4 ounces of olive oil. (The book calls for sweet almond oil, but I have never used that so I kept with one of my two fave infusing oils...my other fave is jojoba oil) 
I simmered this in my double boiler for 2 hours. 

Look how beautiful the color is...sadly I soon find out this does not last.

Now I am ready to begin...and I have my design worked out in my head...lets hope I can make it work. Since I cant choose if I should use the herb either infused or straight...I decide to just be wild and try both methods at the same time...since I am fresh off the mantra swirl challenge I use that as my guide and do a modified modified mantra swirl...instead of columns I decide I am going to layer it.

I brought my soap to a light trace and divided the batch up and added the infused oil to half of the batch...it turned grey. :(

Then I added a thin layer of uncolored soap batter...

Next I add the herb straight to the last part of the soap...it starts off as such a pretty reddish purple...

 You can see in the bowl the pretty reddish color, and then on the measuring spoon the difference in color when mixed with the soap batter.

I added the speckled layer and took my handy dandy high tech tool here and inserted it into the batch bringing it up and down while moving across the log.

I took some remaining infused batter and swirled it on top of the speckled batter, here it gives you a sneak peek at the difference of the color range the herb gives in the two methods...

...and here is the end result.


I am so happy with how this came out!!!
(that rarely happens) 

Even though I was going for a technical angle to compare the 2 methods, I love that I was also able to incorporate a creative design.

There is a huge difference in looks between the 2 methods, and I don't know which I like better, they both offer a beautiful look to your soap.

I really enjoyed this challenge and I want to thank Alee for contacting me to join, and also a big thank you to Anne-Marie for writing a great recipe in her new book. I can't wait to try more from the book.

What do you think?


4 comments:

SoapJam said...

Your soap came out pretty! I would like to try to achieve that design. :-) I've never tried alkanet and fennel, so I'm curious about them.

Cee Gee said...

Great post Stacie, and I LOVE how your soap came out! How cool that you incorporated a mantra swirl in there, it looks so pretty!

Shelly Morris said...

I think it looks great! What fun that you were able to participate in this blog tour!

Lynn Theesfeld said...

Wow that turned out amazing!!!!!