Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oct. 10

Sorry I missed yesterday's entry but I had a busy day and I was sick on top of it.  I know, it was horrible to leave you all in suspense about the outcome of my soap.....

Tada!  A success!  I had checked when I got up yesterday morning and it felt quite firm but I figured I should leave it the full 24 hours to be sure.  I only made it to 23 hours though cuz I was so dang anxious to see how they'd look.  I cut 10 good sized bars (just under 5oz each), admired them, then put them up for the next step... 4-6 weeks curing time.

I was so happy, and so amazed that it had all been so easy and had gone exactly as it should.  I was *really* wanting to do something with color and/or scent now.  Back to the messageboard for ideas of things to use, then waiting for the mail to come to see whether or not my book and oils would be there (they weren't), then it was off to town again.  This time I bought cocoa powder, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and baby food carrots.  I'd been told the cocoa would not leave any scent but would be good to do a dark brown swirl.  The pumpkin would make an orange soap, and the spice would make a brown soap, and if the two were swirled it would be cool looking.  And the carrots (juice or puree) would either give a lighter orange soap or a cool orange swirl.  All awesome ideas as far as newbie me was concerned.

I spent more time reading and asking questions and eventually thought I understood the process of adding extras to batches.  I was anxious to make a batch but hubby was willing to take me to Hobby Lobby in Oshkosh so off we went.  They had several fragrance oils to choose from.  I ended up buying just one (Honey Almond) because I already have a bunch ordered from an online supplier.  This Hobby Lobby bottle was just something for me to play around with, to try my hand at making something scented.  Hubby and I had decided if I scented the white/brown cocoa swirl soap it would be like a candy bar.  Once again,  I was totally excited and couldn't wait to get home and use it.

We got home later than I'd hoped and I decided it was too late to make a batch.  An hour later though I decided 'I need to do this!' and hurried to get everything ready.  I remembered to line my mold this time!  Everything was going fine.  I poured out enough to use for the brown part and squirted the fragrance into the main part of the batch.  Stirred up the fragrance part, and turned to stir up the cocoa part.  It didn't want to mix!  I got kinda panicky and frantic, knowing I didn't have tons of time.  It finally started mixing and I turned back to the main batch to give that another stir.  That one was already setting up!!  GAH!!!  I started stirring like crazy then decided there was no more time for that and I needed to get this mess into the mold.  Poured some brown on the bottom, tried to pour some of the white but it was like lumpy mashed potatoes and I had to kinda plop globs into the tray.  Deciding there was no time to try for layers or swirls, I just poured and plopped everything in the tray.  It looked horrible and I was positive it was trash so I tried a bit of swirly action....then just ended up smooshing everything down, trying to at least get it flattened in the tray.  It looked like a tray of either vomit or mashed potatoes and gravy.....

I was so upset, I swear I almost burst into tears.  There are plenty of stories on the messageboard about letting what seem to be failed batches go thru their process and you might still end up with something cool even if it's not what you originally wanted it to be.  Sooooo, I covered it and tucked it away to let it do it's stuff, but I really was upset.  Thoughts of 'whatever made you think you could do this' were bombarding my brain.  In just a span of a few moments I went from grand dreams of opening a shop to the lowly despair of feeling like an idiot and never wanting to try again.

After the initial shock I started thinking about it.  Why did it do that?  What exactly had I done?  Could I have avoided it?  I started recalling things I'd read, and I think the fragrance oil should have been the very last thing I did.  I also think I need to get some different containers because if the one I'd used to mix the brown portion would have been bigger I could have really stirred, and if the tray I use for a mold would have been deeper I would have been able to attempt swirling better.  I've noted all these things and had slowly been regaining a bit of courage and desire to continue with this crazy new hobby.

When I checked it this morning before work I found this.....

It was very dark and appeared to have gone into the gel stage overnight so I had a bit of renewed hope.  All thru work I was wondering about it.  I know for a fact it won't look anything like it was supposed to but maybe MAYBE it might still turn out ok enough to use....?  I got home a bit after 7pm, which would be 22 hours after pouring.  It still looked quite dark but felt quite firm.  I decided to let it sit longer, go the full 24 hours, and have just now checked it again.  The scent is definately it still just does not look as solid or as 'dry' as my first batch did when I cut it.  I'm tempted to just cut this anyway.  Hubby's anxious to see too cuz he just called from the other room 'It's been 24 hours.'

Ok, hubby's convinced me to cut it anyway.  While it's nowhere near what it is supposed to be like, and it's riddled with air pockets, I was quite surprised by what I found inside....

Even so, I'm still quite bummed at what a fiasco this was.  It's killed my desire to rush into more batches.  Since my book and my oils didn't come in today's mail either, I think I'm content to just wait until my next day off to maybe play around with Batch #3.

Off to bed now.


  1. They all look great to me! Good for you for jumping in head-first and just going for it!

  2. Thanks!

    I'm hoping to do Batch #3 tomorrow. I'm still kinda leery though after that marble-y batch. I'll definately post pics though... whatever happens. :)

  3. I think it looks really cool! (And I really like the pic of your first batch, too, btw.)

    You know, it's awesome that although you felt crushed by it not turning out the way you wanted, you started figuring out what went wrong rather than swearing off the whole thing. I think that's major for us all-or-nothing perfectionist types. :)

  4. I know I keep saying it, but it's frustrating having to go thru this whole learning process, the whole trial and error thing. And then having to wait four weeks to know whether it's even something you like....gah.