Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A New Soap Experiment ~ With Violets

When I make soap each six weeks or so I don't normally add any colouring or fragrance but I thought I would experiment a little with my next batch so sourced a Queensland soap supplier and found Big Tree Supplies from Murarrie which I just realised is in our capital city of Brisbane. I had asked a soapmaker which type of colourants she preferred and she recommended liquid colourants. I was hoping to buy Violet but it was out of stock so ordered Ultramarine Blue instead for some reason which escapes me now. She also recommended Rose fragrance so I ordered Fresh Cut Roses fragrance oil although I didn't use it in this batch.


I was very excited when my supplies arrived although they were dwarfed in the box they were packed in but they were very well protected by all the padding and thankfully arrived in once piece.  



I had been intending to use Faye's instructions for making Violet Salve but I didn't think I had enough flowers so decided to solar infuse some flowers and leaves ...



...in olive oil and use it my next batch of soap. This is the soap recipe I used which is from Rhonda's Down to Earth Book. You can find other recipes I use here.


PURE SOAP RECIPE

600g rice bran oil
440g coconut oil
460g olive oil
570 ml rainwater
213g caustic soda
 
I had read that you add the colour and fragrance at trace so I tried with using about five drops of colour to see how deep the colour would be. Hmm, not much change so tried another five...still not much change so I took the lid off and poured some in and it became a light blue so I left it at that as I really wasn't sure if I had added too much or too little. In the back of my mind I remembered reading something about the soap darkening later on so not to add too much. Oops! In between adding the colour I put in a few drops of Essential Lavender Oil which did smell nice and didn't want to overdo it as I wasn't sure if the menfolk would appreciate it being too smelly.
 
Then I noticed the soap had gone lumpy so was really disappointed but poured it into the moulds regardless and wrapped it up to do its thing overnight. I usually bang the moulds down a little to get rid of the bubbles but didn't bother as I had already made a mess and didn't want to have to wash the walls down too :-) I wasn't sure the soap would turn out alright anyway and was hoping I didn't have to throw it away. This never happens to anyone else does it???? Of course not.



 With great trepidation I turned it out of the moulds this morning and it definitely had a blue tinge and looks quite blue against the...



Calendula Soap I made last time. 

I am looking forward to using the Fresh Cut Roses fragrance oil  and might experiment with trying to produce a pink colour for that batch. I wonder if beetroot or red cabbage would produce a strong enough colour. What do you think? I am also going to pick some Stinging Nettles to dry, crush and use in another batch. Perhaps that one will be nice and green ;-)

So, as you can tell I will be doing a lot of experimenting in the next few months. I will leave you with a photo of some gorgeous roses. Some of you will have seen it already but there may be a few of you who haven't.

(Used with permission)

Aren't they absolutely beautiful! I wish I could grow roses like that. Ha ha! Can you tell they aren't REAL? Well, I was fooled and thought that Annabel had grown them in her garden. She is such a clever little vegemite...she made these herself from crepe paper which she coloured. If you would like to read the instructions then head over to her blog and say hello at The Bluebirds are Nesting. 

 
I will leave you with a real photo though - no tricks...



...this is the first Flander's Poppy to flower this year. Stunning eh?




21 comments:

  1. Nanna Chel I love the violet colour! That really appeals to me.
    Thankyou for showing my roses! Really, they are easy to make. They are a nice gift for very little outlay.
    Thank you so much love Annabel.xxx

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    Replies
    1. Your roses are really beautiful. The soap is more blue than violet but I believe it will fade a little so who knows what colour it will end up. LOL!

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  2. Soap making is something I want to try when I am retired! Can't wait to have time to do all these things. (Probably another 7 years away!)

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    Replies
    1. Don't wait that long, Joyful. Once you have made your first batch you won't look back.

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  3. Love the colour of the violet soap. Still think I will get to the soap making this year - I trying to think of you as an inspiration!! Love the poppy!

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    1. I really don't know why I bought the blue colour as I really wanted violet. To impatient to wait till it was in stock I guess.

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  4. They certainly fooled me. How clever is she?

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Lynda. It took me ages to realise Annabel's roses weren't real.

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  6. I tried mixing in fresh lavender cuttings (just like the lovely pics on so many unrealistic blogs) and it was a flop. I think I need to try and oven dry my lavender first.
    Anyways...your violet soap looks a complete winner Nanna Chel.

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    Replies
    1. I think it is lavender in soap that turns brown, Phil from what I have read. I must do some more research as I have lavender growing. I was going to pick and dry some nettles today but it has been raining lightly so will wait till we are back to the sunny weather again before doing so. It is all a bit of trial and error.

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  7. These are so pretty Nanna Chel. Awesome job. And of course Annabels roses are swoonworthy too. Love, Mimi xxx

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    1. Thanks Mimi. They are not as violet as I had hoped unfortunately.

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  8. I think making soap is trial and error every time. The end result always seems to be useable though. I really need to get going on making more here. Keep putting it off and getting sidetracked.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Yes that is true. I have never had to throw out a batch despite the soap not turning out like I had hoped.

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  9. your soap looks amazing nanna chel! very pretty
    those roses fooled me too, they are gorgeous!
    i'm using all my soaps i've made, only the 2nd batch was usable in the shower, the 1st batch gets used for my laundry powder, none of it was good enough to give away though, maybe next time, am running out of oil ...

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    1. Selina I only make mine every six weeks so don't have a lot to use up. I should experiment more and make some smaller batches.

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  10. There is a large soap making supply shop close to where you are staying at the end of the year, Chel. Maybe we could take a little trip there one morning if DS was agreeable. They have demo soap bars next to the colours so you can see what they turn out like using different quantities. Its nice to be able to smell the fragrances as well.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds fantastic, Sandi. I will look forward to it.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks Emma. It is good to experiment now and again and get out of the same rut.

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