On occasion I receive messages asking how to mix soap dough colors.
Ideally it is preferable to make the soap dough with the color mixed into the oils before lye-water is added. I use soap stable micas; some from TKB Trading, Nurture Soap Supply and a few other places.
First try making the basic colors, or primary colors – red, blue and yellow. With these prime colorsthe secondary and tertiary colors can be made. Having white soap dough will give tints of any of these colors.
Here is a video sharing when soap dough has not been made properly and what it looks like when it has been made properly.
Some how, moving brings out the most inefficient in me. My very nature abhors moving, but I’ve done it more times than anyone I know. So that, too, must by my nature. A crab changes it’s shell each time it grows out of the old one. I hope this is the case for me too.
More than anything I hope this last period of growth is over for awhile. Well, this type of growth anyway – out growing my shell. I still want to grow in awareness, compassion, understanding and most importantly, creativity.
Once this move is over, we are all settled into our new home, all Sorcery Soaps have carefully and safely nestled into their new apothecary-ish soapery, I can level-up to my new creativity. I’m looking forward to this experience, manifesting new sorcery, sharing insights and tales of creativity in the new Sorcery Book and expanding the Sorcery Soap products.
Some magic needs to expand.
If you’d like to contribute to moving this Soap Witch, I’ve offered a coupon. Use “MovetheSoapWitch25” at checkout.
Once the coupon expires, this Soapery will be paused until we are completely ready to ship your order unencumbered by the anxiety of changing shells.
I’ve been wondering what is important in this life.
In this wondering I realized the one thing I have avoided my entire life was control. In that avoidance of control I have not allowed any one thing to be so important it has controlled me. Some have tried to control my honor with money; some have tried to control my creativity with power and money; some have tried to control my expression with influence and promises.
All this I have avoided. Because I have avoided this control I have been homeless, penniless, and friendless. I have never been alone. Not just because of my trusty sidekick Truman (he’s only been with me for a few years) but because I have had my internal guidance – mostly.
Having an internal guidance wasn’t always the case. I realized I did not have an internal guidance when I was 17. On my own for the first time and I realized my internal voice sounded like my mater’s. My inner voice was absent. I didn’t have a thought that wasn’t tinged with her venom, her harsh criticism or her out-right hatred for me. I had no idea what was right or wrong for me.
When I began this life, thrown into it without the simple knowledge of how to open a checking account, I had $300 and one change of clothes which was my work uniform. More than the lack of material goods and lack of home I did not have an honor code. There was no bottom line for me. My judgment had not grown.
I had only known what actions and words would cause violence and or shouting.
There is much to consider from then till now, but without writing the book, I will summarize… I have never allowed myself to be so controlled since. I didn’t realize this was the under current of my actions and choices until today when I asked, “what controls me?” Why didn’t the money make me stay? Why didn’t those words make me choose differently? Why didn’t that threat make me cower?
I have tested the waters, learned what my conscious has to say, found my bottom line by testing where I begin and end and come away knowing more about what I am attracted to and what repels me.
I have since maintained an inner dialogue about my surroundings that is true for me, even when the rest of the world did not see things the same way. I have stood up against the group of “friends” when they shunned me and stood up against society when “their way” wasn’t my way. I have told my truth to others who did not want to hear it and the cleave was so vast the friendship broke apart.
I can say I have not allowed myself to be controlled from that first lesson. I did not see this undercurrent of desire for freedom until today.
Today, with my little soapery, amazing co-conspirators in the art of soap molding – Soap Witches and Soap Sisters – I have created a world I can live in with honor and independence. I now have an inner dialogue so clear and true that when expressed is seen with as much delight as created it.
Thank you, each one of you, for being you and contributing to the weave of our fateful, magical web.
Do you remember the last time you went to enjoy a beautifully crafted meal by an amazing chef?
Do you remember the last time you went to this same restaurant, had the consciously and precisely made plate set down in front of you?
Do you remember sitting there with the perfection of that plate sitting in front of you and not eat it?
Do you remember asking, “this meal is too beautiful to eat, could you put in a doggy bag for me? I want to keep it.”
Of course not.
You would eat it, enjoy it for hours, days or even the rest of your life. Why? Because of the experience. You would ponder it long afterward, wonder if you could dine at the that restaurant again and enjoy that chef’s creations.
Food creates memories. Why not soap? Soap is much more personal.
Why would you NOT use a beautifully constructed soap? Are you not worth it? Using this soap is what is meant for… To be enjoyed, to be used, to be experienced.
And, soap lasts so much longer than a meal.
Sorcery Soaps are not a corporate production. Hand crafted to the most minute aspect, all thought out as much as any creation can be. Each soap more perfected, each soap with just a bit more sorcery added. All this is just soap… Meant to be used, enjoyed and experienced… And possibly experience a touch of magic.
Soap dough is made from cold process soap which saponifies anywhere from 8-36 hours. After all the lye molecules have attached to the fat/oils, the soap is safe to touch. (For those who have purchased either of my two books, see “Fear and Danger: Lye Safety” section) AFTER saponification is complete, lye is no longer active. The process of soap and how ingredients make soap.
After you know the process of saponification the next step is a course of logic – curing. Curing is the evaporation of water used to activate and carry the lye (sodium hydroxide) to the fat/oils. It takes 4-6 weeks to cure soap – for all the water to be evaporated from cold process soap. Evaporation of cold process soap is equivalent to curing.
The curing process does three things:
Curing hardens the soap bar, because water softens the soap,
Curing enables the soap to be correctly weighed, with the water fully evaporated, you are left with the weight of the actual soap,
Curing shrinks and hardens the bar, so the soap can be correctly packaged. If you want to see how much your soap shrinks during curing, wrap a piece of paper around a freshly cut bar cold process soap as tight as possible and leave it for fully 8 weeks. You’ll see how much your soap shrinks, by how loose the band will be. Not accurate but this experiment will give you a visual of the curing process.
Now that you have a working definition of “curing” you can see how the next step to maintaining your Sorcery Soap Dough is to keep your soap from evaporation.
How to Store Sorcery Soap Dough
By wrapping your soap dough in plastic wrap, placing it inside a plastic airtight bag or container, your soap dough will maintain its pliability. So, keep air away from your soap dough and your soap dough will stay moldable for months. Even the best air tight containers will allow some air, and the soap will have a harder form, simply work the soap dough in your hands and your soap dough will soften. It softens from the heat of your hands along with breaking the structure of the soap.
Working this information backward, what keeps the soap pliable is water.
Cold process soap is made with water,
Saponification takes 8-36 hours for the lye to be come inactive, touching soap after full saponification is perfectly safe,
Curing i.e. water evaporation takes approximately 6 weeks,
Maintaining water in cold process by wrapping in plastic, avoiding air exposure, keeps soap pliable and therefore “SOAP DOUGH”.
I have to say, supply delivery days are probably some of my favorite days of the year. Some of which I love more than my birthday and even Christmas. The best delivery days are the ones when I have fragrances delivered, especially fragrances that I have never smelled before. Each time I open a new bottle, a flurry of soap designs seemingly explode from my mind, creating whirls of inspirational ideas. I begin to imagine all the different colors the scent is calling for – the designs and swirls that will compliment it perfectly. These types of days are such happy days, full of imagination and bursts of creativity. My daughter enjoys these days as much as I do. In fact, I have been banned from opening any supply boxes without her. If she is gone for long periods, this can be absolute torture. But I wait. I keep the peace.
This past summer we had a doubly delightful delivery day. I had bought a large selection of fragrances from someone who was down-sizing her stash. The thing that made this bunch of fragrances extra fun was that they were mysterious. I never had the opportunity to do my usual ritual of pouring over the descriptions and scouring the reviews to decide which ones I wanted. Someone else picked them out. Most of them just sounded good so I bought them.
One particular fragrance was “Fruity Rings”, a Fruit Loop dupe. When my daughter and I smelled it, the whirlwind of ideas began swirling between us like a tornado. We kept smelling it and shouting out ideas, and then smelling it again. Then we had to go buy a box of Fruit Loops because of the intense cravings the scent created.
Several days and many design ideas later, we finally decided we wanted to create miniature bowls filled with cereal and milk. Sadly, as it often happens, everyday life caught us both up in its tendrils and we kept putting our project on the
back burner. This time however, we ended up being very thankful for the delay. Towards the end of the summer, I finally jumped in and made my first batch soap dough using one of Bee’s recipes. I was immediately hooked and began making different creations, imagining all the amazing things it could do to enhance my soap designs. This new discovery ended up playing a huge part in our final project.
Jump ahead several months and the January challenge for Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club was announced. The challenge for this particular month was to work with a collaborator to make soap. My daughter and I immediately looked at each other and exclaimed “Fruit Loop bowls!” What a perfect opportunity to finally put our design idea into action.
Our original idea was to use a muffin pan for the individual bowls and to make our own mold from real Fruit Loops for the cereal part. Once we got down to the actual design however, we realized the full-sized cereal wouldn’t look right with the mini bowls we had planned. Soap dough to the rescue!
Our plan magically fell into place when we realized we had a connection: Fruit Loops have six colors and the the muffin pan we were using was for six muffins. Eureka! We decided the bowls would all be a different color, each the color of a Fruit Loop, and they would all be made from soap dough batter. We would then scoop out the centers of each bowl and put the excess into sealable plastic bags. The bowls would be allowed to continue on and cure as they would for a normal soap. However, the soap we put in the bags would remain pliable and become the dough we needed to create our bits of cereal.
The rest of the project was a lot of fun putting together. After we made countless little Fruit Loops, then made spoons using a silicone candy mold, and then made even more Fruit Loops, the day finally came to combine all the different components. We were ecstatic! We made a thin, fluid batter, coloring it white for the “milk” and poured it into each bowl and then allowed to set up just enough to support a little weight. A
spoon was then carefully placed on the edge of each bowl, dipping into the milk just a little bit. We delicately scattered little bits of cereal around on the surface of the milk. For the last part, we used a squirt bottle that had been filled with some of the white batter to place a very small amount on each spoon. To this, we added a few bits of cereal.
We were beyond thrilled with the results! They were so unbelievably realistic looking it was hard to believe we couldn’t just sit down and start eating them.
This was such an incredible project and was so much fun to create. Not only did it give us both the opportunity to fly with some of our crazy ideas, but it gave us a chance to spend some quality time together, just the two of us. This is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life!
Some tips we learned:
When playing with soap dough, it is good to have some cornstarch nearby to help if it gets a little sticky. The powder usually gets blended into the dough and disappears – unless you use too much. Using too much can also dry out the dough causing it to crack in places. We used these facts to our advantage and liberally coated each tiny ball in corn starch before we shaped them. The results were fabulous! They now looked like they had the baked on sugary texture found on actual Fruit Loops.
Water can be a good thing. It can help make a surface smooth. It can also help when you want to stick two parts together.
Water can be a bad thing. It can act like glue, which is not good when you want to keep it from sticking to things like tools and other bits of soap dough. Water can also create a sticky surface causing unwanted things to stick to the dough itself, like dog hair and other debris, bits of paper, or as we noticed, basically anything and everything!
Rubbing alcohol is another helpful tool. Not only does it help to keep the dough from sticking to your tools or cutters, it is also a great way to smooth a surface when you want a little less impact than what you would get using water. We kept a spray bottle filled with it nearby.
Wash your hands and clean your work surfaces often. Thin layers of the dough can stick to your hands and work surface without you realizing it and flake off when you are working on another part.
If you are working with Fruity Rings fragrance oil, keep a supply of the real cereal on hand. The scent triggers major cravings. Seriously. It’s not worth fighting. If you don’t, you could end up eating some of your masterpiece and who would that benefit?
And the most important tip:
You don’t always have to have a plan. Whether it’s soap dough, regular soap, or some other creative endeavor, you don’t always have to follow a specific plan. Some of the best results I have had making soap are those where my heart took over, instead of following what was in my head. And some of the biggest “mistakes” I have made have ended up being the best things I have ever created.
When working with soap, use a muslin bag filled with corn starch to keep the soap from sticking to the work surface and itself. Too much corn starch will leave your soaps looking powdery so use with frugal care.
Spraying tools with 91% alcohol will keep cutters and plungers from sticking.
Spraying with water will make soap dissolve. Remember how soap behaves in the shower?
Once removed from the sealed container, soap will begin evaporation and curing.
Be patient with yourself, if you want to make embeds by hand, it will take time to learn.
This is a basic recipe, created with easy to access ingredients at your local grocery.