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If you wonder what Tall Skinny Shimmy is, it is the wall pour technique which became the theme of this month’s Soap Challenge Club. Amy Warden and Tatsiana Serko introduced the technique to the club members and thanks to them, there will be another series of unique and beautiful soaps created by the members of the Challenge Club.

 Though the wall pour is an amazingly simple technique, there are countless designs which you can create by using it. Depending on the color scheme, the angle and number of individual color pourings, the level of trace, etc. one can create patterns reminiscent of waves, dunes, gently rolling hills, flower petals, snow-covered meadows, fancy Christmas trees, and this is to name just a few. With so many options to choose from, it took me over ten days to decide on the design of my soap. And guess what? I could not stop at just one soap. I made four different soaps but two of them are still two soft to cut. This technique has made me a happy “Tall-Skinny-Shimmy pour” addict.

 My entry for this month’s Challenge.

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Tall Skinny Shimmy

My fascination with contour/pencil lines in soap started soon after I began making soap and for almost ten years now I have been looking for ways to incorporate lines in most of the soaps I make. This month again, I debated whether to go for a gradual change in color from the bottom to the top of the soap or to incorporate lines for some more interest. I solved the problem by finding inspiration in cake decoration. I enjoy looking at cakes better than eating them and have assembled a photo collection on Pinterest on the sole purpose of enjoying the beautiful visual appearance of those pieces of art🙂

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Tall Skinny Shimmy soap

 I am happy to say that this is indeed an upgrade in my wall-pouring skills. Three years ago, I made a wall-pour soap in white, green and red but the color contrast was not strong enough to bring out the pattern. Since then, and thanks to a large part to Amy’s Challenges, I have become more confident of using strong solid colors. For this challenge, I used Rustic Essentuals’ Buttercup Yellow mica, Blackstar Red mica and Icicle mica. The soap is scented with Lemon Slices FO, which I found at Rustic Essentuals and which never accelerated trace or discolored the soap.

I used mica-in-oil swirl for the top but forgot to take pictures of it. Taking the pics at 6 in the morning sure helps you forget a thing or two (sigh & smile).

Thank you both Tatsiana and Amy for the wonderful theme!

Maya

 

This month’s soap challenge, hosted by Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soapworks, is about using alternative liquids (liquids used instead of distilled water) in CP soap.

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Rose water soap – Red Velvet & Cotton

Since ancient times, however, rose oil, rose water, rose jam and rose juice have been used to beautify, heal and feed people. This source gives information on the major production centers and the medicinal properties of rose oil and water. Historically, rose water was “discovered” and used before rose oil distillation methods were developed. Traditionally, it has been used for food flavoring, to treat digestive problems (as a mild laxative) and liver problems. Directly applied onto the skin, it has been used to treat eczema, dermatitis, and dry skin. Nowadays, it is included in cold creams, tonic waters and facial masks. I find it both toning and moisturizing and like to use it as a room spray, too. Despite the fact that it has been known to have some medicinal properties, this article says that it is much better to use medicines specifically developed for a particular illness rather than rely on the mild effects of rose water treatment.

This month’s challenge “Alternative liquids” was a good opportunity to use rose water (rose hydrosol) as a substitute for distilled water in cold process soap as a friend of mine gave me a couple of bottles when she came back from her summer vacation. After experimenting with red cabbage juice and discovering that the anthocyanins are broken down to other substances when treated with NaOH, I decided that I wanted a liquid which would not be bullied by the caustic soda and therefore would retain the substances which make it good for the human skin and body. The four major constituents of rose water (geraniol, citronellol, phenyl ethylalcohol, and nerol) are said to not react to NaOH which makes them stable in cold process soap. Fortunately, the rose water did not change color when mixed with the NaOH flakes and I could proceed without having to worry about discoloration of the finished soap.

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Choosing rose water as an alternative liquid brought back memories of my childhood. My mother used to grow roses in our garden – dark-red velvety beauties perched on long, slender stalks. Sometimes a passerby would ask for a flower or two to take home and my mother would never refuse. I love her generosity towards people. Despite our somewhat difficult relationship I appreciate her sometimes hard love and cherish the tender moments we have shared through the years. The color of this soap was inspired by the roses she used to grow in our garden when I was a child.

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Alternative liquids – Rose water soap

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?Red Velvet & Cotton

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Rose water soap

I used the following colorants:

Madder root powder

White kaolin

Bamboo charcoal

I infused sunflower oil with madder root powder. Since I did not strain the oil some of the powder went into the soap and I think it contributed a lot to the beautiful velvety red.

White kaolin. Nowadays, I use approx. 20 g of white kaolin per 500 g of soap (approx. 4% of the soap weight). However, as I needed the soap to become as white as possible, I used 2.5 times the usual amount to saturate the soap batter with white particles and therefore make sure that the soap would not discolor to beige even if it gelled.

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Red Velvet & Cotton

The soap was drop- and hanger-swirled. It is scented with a blend of rose geranium, Peru balsam and spearmint essential oils. This blend smells very rose-like and since I was not expecting such a result at all I am very excited about it!

Thank you Amy for this wanderful challenge. It was indeed a great opportunity to learn and experiment with new liquids! I am very much looking forward to reading the posts of all the challengers this month – a lot of new things to learn!

Good luck and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Maya

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