Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fiber and Soaps. . .

I am on to something that combines both my avocations.  I am thinking more and more about what I want to have for the booth I'm part of at the Utah County Quilt Festival in July.  I showed the soaps I have so far to some others that are part of the group, and they asked to buy some of my inventory!  They also thought my soaps would sell well, so I am really encouraged.

I had one batch of soap that I wasn't happy with- I cut some up into small bars, the rest I rebatched.  Then I remembered that I had some wool roving I got in Moab a year or two ago, planning to do fiber bowls.  Never happened!  So I got out the roving, watched a YouTube video on felting soap, and then went at it.

This shows the soaps I covered, some of my first attempts, and some of the roving I was using.

Three hours later, I had about twenty of these small felted soaps.  I got quite the upper body workout, but loved the results.  I have five larger bars from this same batch that I will cover, then I decided to cover another less than successful soap, with some purple and pink roving.  I think the soap is fine, but I just am not happy with how it looks.  I'll post those when I get them done.

And, I had to make more soap.  The Peppermint Honey Oatmeal has been a favorite with almost everyone I've given it to, so I did another batch- but this time, I reworked the recipe to make it palm free.  I used cocoa butter in the place of palm oil, and I am not sure I like the results.  The color is different, and even allowing it to sit twenty four hours after unmolding, it felt sticky.  But, it is sliced and on my drying rack.

Hopefully after four to six weeks curing, it will be fine. However, I am going to re-think how I changed the recipe, and will play with that again.

I also made another soap recipe I've done before, with an added twist.  I put silk fibers in the lye solution, and let them dissolve.  Silk is supposed to add a nice 'slip' to soap, so I am eager to see how this feels.  I also used an ultramarine colorant, and hopfully got some nice swirls in the soap.  Here it is, unmolded along with the oatmeal soap before I cut it.

I think I will be happy with this one!

I signed up for a Craftsy class I've been eyeing, waiting for it to go on sale.  It's on product photography, and I am hoping to improve the looks of my photos on the blog, among other things.  These are my first attempts to 'stage' a photo shoot with my products- we'll see what the teacher says! I am enjoying the class, and know I'll refer back to it.

We have finally gotten some good weather, and I suspect that has helped my mood and motivation immensely.  Next weekend we will be in Moab for the art festival- another Moab event I thoroughly enjoy.  And, there is something brewing with the Tangled Textiles group- I got a package in the mail, with instructions to leave it unopened until the 21st.  I can't wait to see what Lisa is up to!


Libby Fife said...

All positive stuff! Glad to hear it too. Curious about the wool covered soaps. What do you do with them?

Debra Spincic said...

Does the wool act as a washcloth?

What Comes Next? said...

what a great idea with the roving, and an excellent way to save a batch of soap. Hmmm haven't gotten my package yet from Lisa...I wonder what she has planned for us?

Vicki Miller said...

As I can't use soap, I am jealous of your friends with all these gorgeous pretty fragrant soaps. I wonder if I could felt the sorbolene soap alternative I use. I think the felt covering would be beautiful to use.
No parcel here yet, maybe tomorrow.