April’s soap challenge sounded really hard to me: rustic packaging. Why? Because rustic packaging has been done to death over the past few years. So I had to really rack my brain to come up with something unique. It was also a challenge because I chose to make a hot process soap, which innately has a more rustic look. I’ve only made hot process soap twice before, and those were in a crock pot. This one was in the microwave!
In order to get my inspiration for this challenge, I decided to look around my own property. As we were told in the soap challenge description, rustic can be defined as “having a simplicity and charm that is considered typical of the countryside.” Ding, ding ding! I live on 20 acres of some of the prettiest countryside you can imagine. Surely I could come up with something from my place.
My first thought was making use of the tiny, delicate spring flowers that are out now. Gather a bouquet, tie them on front with a pretty ribbon… Then I remembered that flowers die. And these tiny flowers don’t dry well. Whoopsie. At least I realized that before I actually packaged the soap!
But then I was reminded that there is another natural resource all around our place that I absolutely love. Rocks! My 20-month-old son basically lives outside, so I have a lot of time for ground-gazing. I’ve been sort of collecting cool rocks since we moved here. They can be found randomly strewn about my house, and I may try to blame it on my son, but nope, it was me! (And now I totally want a rock polisher again - I never got one as a kid, maybe it's time to get one for myself!)
My favorites are the chunks of quartz. In fact, we’ve even found arrowheads made of this quartz! I don’t know which tribe of Native Americans lived here first, but I wish I did! These rocks are pretty easy to find since we had to clear out some land in the middle of the woods for our home site.
So I decided to make a soap that mimics the look of the quartz that I find. I made a hot process with gold sparkle mica pencil lines running through it. Then I chose a neat rock to wrap around it with twine. And of course, I can’t do ANYTHING without some color involved, so I included a piece of purple tissue paper underneath the twine. Oh, and it’s scented with White Tea & Berries. Smells DIVINE!
P.S. I apologize for the abysmal photography. I couldn't make soap until later in the day, and then the storm rolled in and took all my last remaining natural light.
P.P.S. If you click on the gallery, the captions should pop up. They explain a little bit more about the process.
If you didn't see it on Facebook or Instagram, here's what hot process soap looks like after it's been heated. This part requires vigilance, or you could end up with a dangerous mess!
Does your soap float? Mine doesn’t. The stuff I make, I mean. Growing up though, all Mom bought was Ivory, which is famous for its floating, and I spent plenty of time zooming it around the bathtub like a boat.
The secret to floating soap is simple, even for those of us with science-challenged brains. Whip enough air into the bar of soap so that its density is less than water, and – it floats!
Ivory tells their story of discovering floating soap this way: an employee left on their lunch break, and forgot to turn off the mixer, which added extra air bubbles to the vat. Nothing was thought of it until phone calls started coming in, asking for the soap that floats!
According to this article, that may not be exactly the way it happened, but I’ll leave that to you to decide. Either way, I’d recommend checking out this newspaper article from 1979. It’s pretty cool!
So now what’s left for me to do but to try to make floating soap myself?? Stay tuned!!
P.S. I saw this super cool Ivory soap box at my husband's grandmother's house this weekend. What perfect timing for this blog post!
Hey there, friends! Let me tell you about the soap challenge club I'm in. An awesome soaper from Great Cakes Soapworks hosts a once-a-month challenge for other soapers. It's an excellent way for us to make new friends and keep our skills sharp with a different technique to practice every month! Since the soaps I sell are all the same size, shape, etc., sometimes the opportunity for creativity gets slim. With this soap challenge club, we get to have fun trying something different.
January's challenge was to soap with a collaborator - someone you don't regularly soap with. My friend Valerie has been around since I first started making soap, but had never tried making it herself. It was so much fun for me to get to share one of my favorite things with one of my favorite people! (Actually, she got a taste of it by making fabulous melt & pour bars for Christmas gifts, but cold process is a whole different animal!)
Thank you so much for watching, and be sure to let us know what you think!
Keep it clean,
Welcome to my Tansy Patch customers! I've been talking about this re-brand for months, and now it's finally here! In between brands, we moved to the country and we added a little fella to our family. Thank you so much for your patience during this transition time!
I am so excited to be back making soap for you! Instead of creating a list of "official products," I want to hear what YOU want me to make. The first 5 products that are up on the site now were made in response to requests from customers like you! Email, send a message, call or write to let me know what fragrances you've been craving in your life. I can't wait to see what new products we come up with!
Keep it clean,