Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- Ebru 

Howdy fellow soapers and others who might be reading! This month’s soap challenge was to create soap using the Ebru technique. To be honest, the hardest part was choosing a design that could be done with soap and trying not to make it overly complex. You don’t have too long to make intricate designs before soap batter starts to thicken. 

I wish I had a couple more tries to make other designs I had in mind but ugh! Need more time and energy! I’m less than a month a way from my due date (yes pregnant!). But, as always, had loads of fun exploring the new technique and giving it a shot!

So here it is in the mold:  

Kitties and flowers using a single skewer.

I started with a plain blue/green background and did a little swirl (with a single skewer) on half for the background. 

   
 

Then I added the kitties and flowers.

  
  
I wanted the flowers and kitties to pop out a bit to add something special to the soap. So at a little thicker trace I poured in the flowers (using ketchup/squirt bottles).

I took my inspiration from many photos but this one gave me the biggest idea for the background:

 

Thanks for reading and big thanks to Amy Warden for hosting another wonderful challenge! Sorry I was short and didn’t take too many pictures! I’m trying to make the deadline 🙂 and this pregnant lady needs some sleep (it’s almost 1am!). Hehe.
 

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Another flower picture tutorial & new leopard cupcake

        

Thanks for looking 🙂

Thank You!

Just wanted to say thank you to all the soapers that voted for my Mini Desserts in The Great Cakes Soapworks Mini Dessert Soap Challenge! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that’d I’d place in a contest the carries such talent. I guess I got lucky! Thank you! 

Please click the picture below to read Amy Warden’s post about it (you must see all desserts submitted! They’re incredible!):

  
Also check out Cee Gordon’s fun blog! She guided us soapers through the challenge with helpful tips!

Flower Cupcake Soap

Here’s a little variation of a cupcake soap I made in the last blog post.      

Flowers are made of a week old CP soap! My last post shows how to make the flowers! xo

Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- Landscape

With cherry blossom season coming up here in Tokyo/Yokohama, I decided my landscape soap challenge submission should include some cherry blossoms! Here is my inspiration photo:
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I chose this particular photo because it looks like the trees are shedding their blossoms and the green leaves are starting to show. This is one of my favorite times to go see the cherry blossoms! It rains pink petals! And everything turns pink. It’s magical :).

I had no idea how I was going to make these cherry blossoms!! I actually have a small half-inch cookie cutter of a cherry blossom but thought it’d be fun to come up with another way to make them without embeds.
So here’s what I did!

PREP

Slow-moving recipe:
50% olive oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, shea butter, castor oil

Cherry blossom fragrance from WSP

Special tools:
Five squeeze bottles
Skewer (to swirl top)

STEPS

MP
1. Made tree trunk/branch embeds using MP soap & cocoa powder. Set aside.
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CP
1. Stick-blended melted oils until emulsified (not to trace!).
2. Divided soap into five squeeze bottles added a pre-made colorant (colorants mixed with a bit of oil) to each (cocoa powder, neon pink, rose clay, green pigment chromium oxide, TD).
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3. Filled log mold half way full with neon pink, rose clay and TD using dots and lines.
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4. Placed MP embeds in mold. These were long enough to be suspended in place by the pressure of ends of the acrylic mold. In other words, the soap was too soft to hold these in place. It definitely needed to be sort-of lodged in place :). The other option would be to wait until the CP thickened.
5. Filled the rest of the mold in the same manner while adding in the brown and green.
6. Swirl top with skewer.

IMG_3723And here we are!IMG_3771-0
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This one has the sunlight coming from the back. You can see that the branches are actually lighter brown.

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Thanks once again to Amy Warden for
hosting the challenges every month. And thanks to readers and soapers for inspiration!

Cafe de Savon Acrylic Molds and Soapmaking Supplies

Cafe de Savon (a popular Japan online soap shop)

Recently I’ve been asked by many soapers about Cafe de Savon’s acrylic molds. Even though translated, Cafe de Savon’s global rakuten shop might be hard to navigate if you can’t read Japanese. So here’s my attempt at helping those soapers who are interested.

LOG MOLDS / LOAF MOLDS

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There’s 3 basic sizes for log molds (first link under each is the full set including the extra plate. And the second, is without the plate. I’d recommend the plate set in order to push out the soap neatly):IMG_3493

1. Cafe mold-

Inside dimensions: 9.8 inches (L) x 2.6 inches (W) x 2.4 (H)

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081201/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081202/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en

2. Milk mold

Inside dimensions: 7 5/8″ (L) x 2 5/8″ (W) x 3 (H)

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081203/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081204/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en

3. Tall mold

Inside dimensions: 9.8″ (L) x 1.8″ (W) x 3.3″ (H)

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1101201/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1101204/

There’s also half size molds of each style. These are great for test batches or making soap for personal use.

1. Cafe half size mold:

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081206/

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081208/

2. Milk half size mold:

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081207/

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081209/

3. Tall half size mold:

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1120501/

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1120502/

LONGER MOLD

“More type” mold:

(this one is longer than the basic molds above)

15.7″ x 2.4″ x 2.4″

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1110501/

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1110502/

SLAB MOLD

Brownie mold:

6 4/8″ (H) x 6 4/8″ (L) x 2 1/8″ (H)

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/cafe-de-savon/a1131201/

THOUGHTS

I have the milk, tall and brownie mold. I love the milk mold the best :). It’s the widest of the log molds and I fill the soap up all the way to the top to maximize the space. I think the skinny mold produces soaps that feel a bit like guest-size soaps. Still nice to have! The brownie mold is great as long as you’re ok with the size. You can get 4-6 bars decent sized bars depending how you cut. I didn’t care to buy the cafe mold because it was less wide than the milk mold.

ACCESSORIES

Styrofoam cube:

This helps push the soap out of the mold

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1110503/

It definitely helps! You’ll want something to help evenly push out your soap. I’m sure you can just cut out some styrofoam to fit or find something else will help push it out. It was less than $2 so I just bought it and def don’t regret it!

Should I buy the mold with or without the extra plate?

As an example, this “milk type” log mold includes the plate: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081203/

And this one doesn’t include the plate: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1081204/

I’d go with the mold that includes the plate. So after you make your soap and after gel/ or 24 hrs later, you remove the bottom tray (and Saran Wrap), and you place that plate underneath the soap and cube underneath the plate to push the soap out. So the cube isn’t touching your soap when pushing out. The cube pushes on the plate which evenly and nicely pushes out the soap. It’s nice and simple (even if I make it sound complicated)! Pretty much the plate helps not dent or harm your soap while pushing it out and fits perfectly. I included some YouTube videos (not my YouTube videos, videos I’ve found) to help understand the process and to show the products better). (See bottom of the page)

Acrylic mold handles: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/a1091106/

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They’re suppose to be for the “Milk type” or “cafe type” log molds. Looks like you’re suppose to attach them to each end to help have a better grip while pushing out the soap. I don’t think this is necessary at all but reviewers love them! (See first YouTube video link at the bottom of the page)

Other soaping items that I love :)-

Soap cutter items:

IMG_3482IMG_3479

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/f3081202/

http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/f3090601/?s-id=borderless_recommend_item_en

To mix lye solution: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/s1091107/IMG_3484

I have a big container with my masterbatch lye solution and use this one to measure out some of the solution for each use. I love the lid! No spillage! 🙂

Alphabet stamp: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/cafe-de-savon/item/f3140803/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en

Pretty Good Shop aka pregoo.jp

As I was debating whether or not to buy acrylic molds from Cafe de Savon (see previous blog), I found another really interesting Japanese online soap shop- Pretty Good! They have see-through / clear silicone molds! IMG_0730.JPG
The sizes are bigger than Cafe de Savon’s acrylic molds.
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I was blown away by their other products too- cute soap stamps and molds!
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And unique silicone products such as their texture sheets and arch structure.
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Be inspired and check it out-
Pretty Good Shop
Photos by Pregoo.jp