Saturday, October 17, 2009

What to do When There Just Isn't Quite Enough!

A few weeks a go I was on a soap making binge! I made about eight different batches of soap in less than a week and still had ideas cooking in my head.

Problem was, I ran out of ingredients! Most of the time I can make a substitution or two and not sacrifice soap quality, but this time it was different. I ran out of sodium hydroxide (Lye), which is the ingredient that makes soap what it is...SOAP! Without it, there is no chemical reaction of the oils mixed with it that hardens it into a viable bar of soap and has great cleansing action.

This is not an ingredient you can just hop over to the store and buy. They don't sell it craft stores. It is definitely a specialty item that requires special care in handling.

So, here was my problem. I was busy making my next, and last batch of soap, although I didn't know it at the time. I had my oils ready, I had my colors ready, my fragrance oil ready, had my liquid ready (in this case, it was wine). I had donned my apron, my gloves and my mask and my tools were out and ready to go. I carefully measured my sodium hydroxide out....and there was only half as much as what I needed!


This stuff has to be measured out according to the content of the oils and I didn't have near enough!

Not to be thwarted by a small (?) planning glitch, I quickly re-evaluated how much soap I COULD make with that amount of sodium hydroxide. A few more minutes and I was on my way again, only making less than half of a batch. I had to revamp my soap mold to create a smaller version too! I typically used an antique countertop drawer lined with wax paper. It has wooden dividers in it to make smaller molds. I was already using a smaller mold and the only way I could make it even tinier was to create another temporary divider. I quickly grabbed a thick piece of cardboard, cut it to fit the loaf mold, placed it inside the mold and relined it with wax paper. I used the leftover bottle of wine to hold the cardboard more securely in place by placing it inside the mold just behind the cardboard.

Voila! It was a REALLY tiny loaf mold! I made the soap, poured it in the mold, realizing that it was going to be pretty small in height, even with the cardboard adjustment. I'd worry about that later.

When it came time to unmold the soap and cut it, I knew I had to do something to compensate for the smallness of the soap. I ended up cutting the loaf into small guest sized (1 to 1.5 oz each) bars, and wrapped them in cute organza bags.

There you have it! The creation of my guest sized BERRY WINE soaps!
Fun little soaps wrapped in organza with the decadent fragrance of berry wine!
This soap is made using real wine to provide your skin with all the ingredients that wine contains. (Yes, there are ingredients in wine that your skin LOVES!)

This is a hot process method soap which means that the fragrance usually doesn't change as the soap cures. This scent smells just like a heavenly Merlot sweetened by Raspberry, Blueberry and just a hint of Blackberry. This fragrance is a great scent in the fall, when the leaves turn their gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow.

I put a lot of innovative ad-libness to this batch!

Hope you enjoy!


katw0man said...

ooooh, Trish, that sounds heavenly!!!!!!

i want to smell it through the monitor!


great improv!

(speaking of wine; i could not absolutely could not sleep. voila, wine is my sleep aid (occassionally). then i noticed my daughter did not turn off the computer. and now, at 1:13 AM what are we doing but blogging!

I will pay for this tomorrow lol!

Talk to you soon!