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Today I made my first batch of beer soap, and man, did it stink when I mixed the beer with the lye.  Note to self to only mix beer with lye outside from now on.  Even with the windows open, and my lye bowl right next to a window, it still filled the entire house. 

This batch was a beer shampoo bar – my first attempt at a shampoo bar as well.  I have read that beer is supposed to be good for hair, and I had been wanting to use some of Joey’s homebrew in some soap, so seemed like a match made in soap heaven.  So this batch has homebrewed Bavarian wheat beer – yummy!

I mixed in 3 essential oils also good for healthy hair, and it smelled quite lovely when I poured it…not like the stinky, beer/lye mixture that I started with.  Now I have to wait to see how it turns out….that’s always the hardest part!

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I’m excited about my newest soap that is freshly cut and just out of the mold today – lemon poppy seed.  It’s doing time on the soap rack for at least 4 weeks, but I can’t wait to use it. 

lemon poppyseed soap loaf, just out of the mold. This makes 5 bars.

This was my first successful attempt to use something natural (not a colored oxide) to color my soap.  No artificial colors for me, as pretty as they may be, I don’t want them in my soap.  I’m only using plant-based materials to color and scent my soaps.  All previous attempts ended up various shades of the same color – brown.  But this soap turned out a lovely, creamy yellow – just what I was hoping for.  I squeezed 3 lemons and used the fresh juice mixed with water for my lye mixture, and, wa-la – yellow soap.  And it smells de-li-cious – just like fresh lemons (go figure!).

creamy yellow lemon poppyseed soap, colored with freshly squeezed lemon juice

This will become one of my regulars – going to make a large batch stat.  Hmm, now that I think about it, to make a big batch with the same proportions as this tiny batch, I’ll need a bunch more lemons.  30 actually.  That’s a lot of lemon juicing.  I’m going to need a lemon tree and one of those automatic juicers.  Or maybe my pathetic excuse for arm muscles will be my juicin’ tool.  Then I could say I’m juiced.  Ok, I’m done 🙂

I’ve always loved how artistic soap can look, and have been trying to successfully execute the swirl lately.  I’ve seen demos, watched YouTube videos on swirling and read countless articles online about the many different ways people swirl, but still I have yet to get it right.  I tried a batch on Friday (smelled really yummy – a blend of palmarosa and lavender) that I swirled with rose clay.  This was my second attempt to swirl this soap with rose clay, and I still don’t quite have it down. 

My first batch I measured out part of the soap and mixed in the clay separately, but then it started to thicken so quickly I was really rushed on the important part – swirling.  I poured the soap with clay back into the pot with the white soap and then poured into the mold.  It actually came out ok, but my clay was not mixed in well enough.

The second batch from Friday I decided I would pour half the batch into the mold with no color, and then pour the colored soap into the mold and swirl with a stick.  I thought I would have lovely swirls throughout, but no such luck.  I either didn’t swirl enough, or maybe this method is more difficult to obtain swirls with.  Not quite sure, but back to the drawing board on this one.  Sigh.  Apparently I am not blessed with the gift of swirl.  More testing, here I come!

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