Saturday, April 25, 2015

Amazing Certification Soap

Photo Courtsey of
My husband and I spent this last week in Indianapolis Indiana for the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild's annual conference.  Indianapolis is a beautiful city.  It was a fun place to visit.
This is the view from our room.  

While we were there, we got Certified as Cold Process  and Hot Process Soapmakers.  The certification is from The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild, which we are a member of.  I don't think most people know what a big deal that it is to be certified as a soapmaker.  But to a soapmaker, it is a Big Deal!

The certification program is very thorough, and requires soapmakers to have a complete knowledge of soapmaking in order to pass the testing.  Being certified also benefits our customers too.  Our customers can be assured that we use the highest standards of quality and safety in our handmade soap.  Our customers can be sure our soaps are exceptionally gentle, and of the highest quality.  Being certified shows that we are committed to continuing our education and staying well informed about the handcrafted soap industry.

Brent and I with our Certification Certificates
Brent and I are BOTH certified.  We both got Basic Certified in Cold Process and Hot Process Soapmaking.  And then I went on to get Advanced Certified.

Part of what I needed to do for my Advanced Certification was to show I could design a good recipe.  And then show that I can re-size the recipe or make changes to the recipe.  Then re-figure the amount of lye and water needed for that recipe, all without using a computer!  This is not as easy as doubling a recipe in baking.  With soapmaking, it is quite complex.  Each oil requires a different amount of lye to turn the oil into soap.  And if you have too little lye, the soap will not lather, and will go rancid.  If you have too much lye, your soap will be harsh and possibly not safe.

Most modern day soapmakers use computers to figure exactly how much lye to use for their recipe.  I have always been in awe of the genius mathematics lovers that hand figure their soap recipe.  So I was excited to give it a go with this testing.  The soap I had to make needed to be a good bar without any scent or color.  It was tested on things like scent, appearance, hardness, residual alkalinity and lather.
Amazing Certification Soap

Our Amazing Certification Soap is all natural, and so beautiful in it's simplicity.  I love a pure white, uncomplicated soap made with good, healthful ingredients.  The lather is very creamy and fluffy.  One of my favorite things about the bar is the texture of the bar itself, hard and smooth.  The soap rinses cleanly, and leaves your skin in good condition.  These are going online tonight.  So if you want to try one of our Amazing Certification Soaps, head on over to our website at Sego Lily Soap.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Making Wild Watermelon Swirl Soap

Wild Watermelon Swirl Soap
Once again I participated in a soapmaking challenge with other soapmakers from around the world.  This technique is called the DNA or Helix swirl.  I want to start by saying, that this challenge looked so simple!  But it was actually harder than I thought it would be.  For this one I wanted to use a slab mold instead of our regular log molds, since this swirl is on the surface of the soap, rather than in the middle.  I don't really own a slab mold.  But I did have a box! And a box makes a nice slab mold.
Supplies for DNA swirl soap

It has been so spring-like here in Utah, I decided to do some pretty spring colors in shades of pink.  For the swirls I used Grape (Blue #1) Auraura Pink Dayglow (Polyester 3, Red 28 and 2)  Purple Raspberry (Red 33), Brick Red Oxide and Titanium Dioxide white.  All the colorants were from Magestic Mountain Sage.  
First I did a base in a pretty pink.  It was scented with Sour Watermelon Candy fragrance oil.  It is a fun fragrance that smells more like Watermelon Starbursts than actual watermelon.  

Maranara box full of soap!  
Then for the fun part!  I used squirt bottles to squirt lines of soap all across the base soap.  The lines looked pretty cool just as they were.

Making stripes of soap with squirt bottles.  

But then when you run a chopstick through the lines, that is when it really starts looking fun.

After you make the chevron shapes by running the chopstick back and forth, you finish the design by making "S" shapes down.  Alternating directions of the s shapes.  This was the hard part for me.  It was hard to get the s shapes just right.
Making "S" Swirls

Luckily, even when the soap does not turn out just like you had it in your mind, they usually turn out pretty anyway.  I do love how these turned out.  And it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Elusive Butterfly

 This month I took part once again in a soapmaking challenge hosted by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks.  This month's challenge was the Butterfly Swirl.  I was excited to learn this advanced swirl technique.  I love to use color and design in our soaps, and this technique make such pretty soaps.  Go to the link above and see the winning soaps.  They are stunning!
Rosemary Butterfly
I made two batches, trying to find a butterfly. But I never did.  I don't consider these soaps as failures though.  They are beautiful!  And I will keep trying.
Bright Colorants

Peach Papaya Soap in the mold.

I made 4 logs of soap this day.  And then I had to rush off to work.  So my sweet husband did all the dishes for me!

Rosemary Butterfly 
Peach Papaya Butterfly

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First Annual Christmas Drive

Sego Lily Soap
First Annual Christmas Drive

Sego Lily Soap is sponsoring a family who needs some help this Christmas season.   We are donating the proceeds of two of our bestselling Christmas soaps, Winter Dreams and Peppermint Sticks.  The money we make selling these soaps will go to help this family in this time of need.  We are keeping the cost of ingredients only from each bar, and donating the time it takes to make them, and all the profits. 

Peppermint Sticks Soap

This family is a mother with two children.  This family has run into hard times with their finances.  They are in danger of losing their place of rent, and the kids may go without Christmas.  The mother has MS, and is not able to work due to her illness. 

I personally know this family.  We are keeping their identity anonymous so not to embarrass them.  This is a good mom, who works and sacrifices as much as she can for her family.  Her kids are good, well behaved kids that do well in school.   Her son is 10 years old, and he loves sports.   Her daughter is 7 years old and she loves dance.

Winter Dreams Soap
These soaps are handmade Cold Process soaps.  That means they are very gentle for even sensitive skin.  These soaps are high quality and luxurious.  The lather is thick, rich  and creamy.  The Peppermint Sticks soap is smells like candy canes, and is scented with pure essential oils.  The Winter Dreams soap is a cozy winter fragrance, full of Christmas memories.  They would be great for pampering yourself, or as thoughtful gift for friends or family.  The soaps are listed on our website.  They are well marked so you will be sure to tell them from our regular line of soap.  Please go to our website, Sego Lily Soap to order either Peppermint Sticks soap, or Winter Dreams. 

Thank you!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beautiful Mistakes.

One thing I love about making soap is, even the mistakes usually turn out pretty.  Well, at least most of the time.  I've been making soap now for 12 years.  And most of the time, what I have in my mind's eye, usually turns out pretty close to what I get.  But there are so many factors that can effect how a soap turns out, (usually the fragrance oil) that sometimes it doesn't turn out how you expected.  Here are a couple of my most recent "mistakes".

For my Black Raspberry Vanilla, I wanted to layer three colors, and then hanger swirl them together.  This picture is an example of what a bar looks like when you hanger swirl layers together:  
Hanger Swirl Example, Cranberry Crush soap.
Three layers of colors in a white base.  

So I made a large 15 pound batch in three log molds.  I painstakingly layered each mold with three layers of color in a white base.  Then after making a stunning mantra swirled top, that I was so proud of, I realized I had forgotten to actually use the hanger in for hanger swirl.  So instead of something like the soap above, I got this:
Black Raspberry Vanilla 

It's still pretty, but not quite what I had in mind.  Can you imagine how pretty they would be with a hanger swirl?  Next time....

At least the tops turned out really pretty.  I love the texture and how the colors flows together.  It makes me want to touch them.

For this next bar, I had in mind a two tone bar, with a pencil line, and smooth even halves.  I used a fragrance that in the past has been pretty easy to work with.  It was a Myrtle fragrance oil.  (Lovely fragrance,  horrible name.)  I mixed the oils just to emulsification, fragranced the batch, then split the batch and colored both halves.  I poured the bottom layer in three of my 5 pound log molds.  I carefully put a layer of cocoa powder for the pencil line, and cleaned up all  the sides of the soap so the top layer would be clean.  By the time I got to the top layer, it has almost solidified in the pot!  It was thicker than Vaseline.  My husband heard my cry of distress and ran into the kitchen to help.  We scooped out the soap, which was hard on my poor arms, and glopped it onto the tops of the soap already in the molds.  Then with gloved hands we pushed the thick soap down into the mold, trying to get rid of air bubbles and make it lay flat.  The soap was HOT and was the heat of it was burning my hands through the gloves.  We had to push the soap down so hard, I was wondering what it was doing to the pretty bottom layer I had already poured.  

The next morning we cut the soap, and this is what we got.  I think I love how it turned out better than how I had pictured it in my mind.  I like how the top layers look like waves on water.  And the lines and waves in the top layer caused by the glopping of the thick overheated soap look like churning foamy water.  It's hard to see from the picture, but it is very pretty.  
Biscay Breeze Soap
Original HoneyComb Goat Milk Soap
This final mistake is one of my favorite bars to make.  It is a Honeycomb Goat Milk soap.  I make a honeycomb design by lining the bottom of my log molds with bubble wrap, and then pour soap over it.  So when the bubble wrap is removed, that then becomes the top of the soap, and there is a nice honeycomb design where the bubble wrap was.  The design goes really nicely with a soft honey fragrance.  The picture with the red background is the normal look of my Honeycomb soap.  

Honey fragrances are notorious for overheating.  And since my Honeycomb soaps are also goat milk soaps, milk soaps can overheat too.  I think this time my issue was I used a new Honey fragrance, and I added too much fragrance oil.  The soap got super-hot, and started to volcano!  It was my first and only volcano so far.  A volcano is when the soap gets so hot it starts to climb on up out of the mold!  This picture of the soap in the mold is my Honeycomb batch that overheated.  Notice the ugly bumpy part coming up above the mold.  I had actually poured it smooth, and below the edge of the mold.  So when I cut this batch, the bottom (shown as the top in this picture) is not flat.  It kind of looked like a bumpy brown butt on the bottom of the bar, with the pretty honeycomb design on the top.  Plus this batch was scented WAY too strong in my opinion, although my husband liked it strong.   

Overheated Honeycomb Soap.  Volcanoing out of the mold, ugly, and too strongly scented.  

I grated the ugly batch, and then made the beautiful batch below with it.  I didn't add much scent at all, and just let the grated soap from the ugly batch provide most of the fragrance.  So now this batch is scented perfectly, with a soft Honey scent.  And the bar is really pretty with the layers!  I love the fix better than I like how the original bar looks!  I am considering making my bars this way all the time, just because I think it is one of the prettiest bars I have ever made.  But it is so labor intensive, that I probably won't to do it again on purpose.  

Fixed Batch with old batch grated into it.


Viva La Juicy.  
 The last two bars were also mistakes, or fixes that I think turned our really pretty.  I had Planned a totally different swirl for my Viva La Juicy soap.  But the soap seized really quickly.  So I just had to slam and glop it into the molds.  It got so hot, it looked all rough.  But rough soaps look so pretty when cut with a crinkle cutter!  Crinkle cutters often make ugly soap pretty.  

Pink Berry Mimosa

Chunking up messed up batches, and putting them in another batch is always a good idea.

Whenever I mess up a batch, I usually complain, and get upset about it at first.  My husband reminds me that they always turn out beautiful and to just wait till we cut it to judge it.  The cool thing about making soap is, it is very hard to make an ugly soap.  Even the messed up ones are really pretty.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Frosted Peppermint Glycerin Swirl

There are many ways to design soap and infinite decorating options.  That is part of the never-ending fun of soapmaking!  I always want to try new things. This time I took an old family favorite, our Peppermint Ice soap that I have been making for over a decade, and gave it just a little bit of a new twist.  I made the bar like normal, but this time I mixed some glycerin with some shimmery mica to swirl on the top.   When you mix the mica with glycerin, and leave it on the surface of the soap, something cool happens.  As the soap cures, the glycerin is absorbed into the soap, leaving shimmering mica lined craters and ravines on the soap surface.  It looks really cool.  For this batch, I kept the mica swirl fairly simple.  I used just one color of mica and used only glycerin.  Another time I will do more experimenting with using more colors of mica, and exploring with texture when swirling with both glycerin and oil.

I liked how the swirls in this soap turned out.  The tops are frosted with pearly swirls and divots.  I like how the drop swirl in the base of the bar turned out too.  The flowing swirls of blue and white combine with the shimmering glycerin swirls to make a very pretty bar.  I'm calling this soap Frosted Peppermint.
If you would like to try this bar, they are ready for purchase at Sego Lily Soap.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lilacs in Bloom

I recently joined a bunch of other soapmakers from around the world to learn something new.  I joined a Flower Power soapmaking challenge hosted by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks.  This challenge was to make a new type of floral soap with Cold Process soap.  I love floral soaps!  So I thought that would be fun.  We could do anything we wanted to do.  But were encouraged to try something new.  I have always wanted to learn to pipe raw soap with cake decorating tips.  But to me it was a bit scary to pipe raw soap.  But I will never learn it if I don't just jump in and try.  I am not ready to do roses yet.  But maybe lilacs...
My makeshift slab mold. 
It is a freezer paper lined Kirkland Maranara Sauce box from my last Costco trip. 

I'm afraid the whole process was just a bit overwhelming to me.  So I didn't get any pictures during the process.  I will try it again sometime soon and get pictures.  But for now you will have to be satisfied with my description and with finished pictures. 

I used my normal soap recipe.  It is a good recipe and usually moves slow enough, as long as I don't add a fast moving fragrance oil.  Floral fragrance oils are notorious for moving fast and seizing.  So I decided to make a solid colored slab and to fragrance it with a nice Lilac fragrance oil.  I soaped cool, with only a slight water discount, and I poured at thin trace.  It only barely starting ricing, and stayed pretty smooth.  I used Lilacs in Bloom from WSP.  It smells soooo good!!  I love lilacs!  And it is pretty realistic fragrance oil, at least out of the bottle it is.  We will see if it holds in soap.  So far, now three days old, the soap still smells amazing!

I left the soap unscented for the blossoms and leaves.  I didn't want to risk it seizing on me.  The base slab has enough fragrance to make the blossoms smell really nice.  For the blossoms, I used a large condiment bottle, and just did a bunch of dots in two different colors of purple.  I was hoping the two colors would add a bit more dimension to the flowers.  For the leaves I used a leaf tip in the corner of a large Ziploc bag.  Making leaves was actually pretty fun!  I got better as I went along.  So some of my leaves were better than others.   But all together I think they look nice. 

I am very happy with how these turned out.  They do need to cure for at least a month, and these will be for sale then.  But if you would like me to reserve one for you, message me, or email me.