I hadn't planned on doing anything special today, but my mom called and asked me to come out to lunch. Bob had to work today, so it was just me. We had a nice lunch, and I stayed out there a couple of hours, then came home. I normally would have stayed out there all afternoon, and maybe for dinner also, but I had a lot of stuff i wanted to accomplish today. I didn't really get a lot done, but I did make a batch of soap, and photographed and posted some new jewelry in the shop.
Bob had been using my cucumber-melon soap in the shower, and he was almost out, so I made him some more when I got home. I just made a small batch, but I thought to photograph it while I did. I've been writing some small "how to" articles at eHow, and I've wanted to do one about making melt-and-pour soap, so I can use these photos there, too.
It couldn't be simpler, really. I start out with a premade melt-and-pour base. There are several different kinds, but for this soap I used an avocado cucumber base.
You need something to use for a mold, a glass measuring cup to melt the soap in, color, and scent.
You cut the soap into pieces, pile it into the measuring cup, and melt it in the microwave. I usually set the timer for 60 seconds, take it out and stir it, then melt it for about 30 seconds more. It can take more or less, you just want to have all the chunks melted, but not boil the soap, so you need to take it slow.
Once the base is melted, add soap colorant and soap scent, or fragrance oils. In this case I'm using an already blended scent of cucumber-melon, since I already know that Bob likes it. I also used a "seafoam green" liquid colorant. Since the soap has already been colored white, any color you put in will result in a pastel color, but that's fine for this particular soap.
Then pour the soap into your mold, and that's it! If bubbles form on the top, spray with a little bit of rubbing alcohol, and they will pop. The bar in the bottom right looks odd because I waited to long to spray it and it had already formed a skin.
I'll leave the bars in the mold overnight, then in the morning I'll stick them in the freezer for ten minutes or so, then the bars will pop right out of the molds. After that, I'll probably let them dry for a couple of days before I give them to Bob to use. The longer they dry, the longer they'll last, i.e., they won't melt as quickly in water.
After I made the soap, I photographed some more jewelry that I made last week, and posted it in my Etsy shop. Most of the earrings I made were using some very cool ceramic beads that I'd had for awhile, mixed with my favorite silver discs. There are some things that I find that I love, and buy a lot of, and those silver discs are one of those things. I love them.