Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Traditions. . . . . .

One tradition I have and love, is to make small details for family and friends in every special occasion.
Christmas is one of the most beautiful seasons and one of my favorites. It is very colorful and love all the movement of the season. 

Season of giving and receiving.

What better way to give something special, that something specially made for them with our own hands.

This year I decided to make a special recipe that was giving to me from a mother's friend, her special cookies, a Christmas pudding and candied orange skin with chocolate.

And as a happy reminder of the season....the small detail of a handmade soap, made specially for them by me.

What better sign of affection and love!!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2016!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Impression Mats - December Soap Challenge

 Persian Rug

This month's challenge was incredible for me,  I was intrigued to know how my soap would look.

It is a beautiful technique created with a silicon mat that needs a lot of patience, but in soap making,  patience is the first thing we have to learn and that is something that is not new to me. 

We can use 2 techniques, the "mica dry brush" or the "soap spread".  I decided to go with the "mica dry brush"  it looks beautiful, shinny and shows very well the intricate lines.

I decided to make my own mold and use a silicon mat, a very small one as I wanted to make a small amount of soap that can be used as a guest soap.

I used  "Gold Mica" as I wanted to make a charcoal soap that would show a high contrast with the gold.  In my mind I could already see how it would look, but I had to see if it would turn out the same as I had  in my mind.

First I apply the mica very carefully,  making sure that everything was very well covered and when I was satisfied with how it looks, I placed the mat in my mold.

With my mold and mat ready, I start making my batch of soap with; coconut oil, lard, rice bran oil, castor oil and sodium lactate. I made my batch with a thin trace as I need to be sure that all the lines of the mat were completely filled.  When I had the thin trace, I added the vegetable charcoal and my  essential oils (Frankincense, Lavender & Cedarwood) integrate everything with a spoon and poured it into the mold.

I  CPOP my batch and after a few minutes the smell of the soap was incredible, a mix of exotic wood filled my kitchen when I opened the oven to see the soap...mmmm very nice!

Here is the soap finally out of the mold,  it looks very nice.  The mold tolerated very well the CPOP  and the soap turned out very smooth on the top (later it will be the bottom) still with the mat in the soap (pink mat) and without the mat, completely unmolded.  My surprise was how big the lines were as the lines on the mat looked so thin that I was afraid the mat wouldn't work.....the soap looks so beautiful maybe less shiny than I imagined but still very beautiful, I'm happy with the results and the incredibly sexy, I like it a lot!

I cut the soap trying to have the same image on each bar.  After that I dressed it to make them look more beautiful if it's possible.

My guest soaps, look amazing!!  I'm very happy with the results.

By the way, the name of the soap was my husband's idea as he says the soap reminds him of a "Persian rug"

Monday, October 19, 2015

Alternative liquids - October Soap Challenge

Nopal, Goat's Milk yogurt & Cayenne Pepper.

This month's soap challenge is called "Alternative liquids". For that I chose the "Nopal Cactus", "Goat Milk yogurt" and a hint of "Cayenne Pepper".

I love everything about goats, the milk, the cheese, the yogurt ... everything!!  I find goats are such  beautiful creatures, for me they are like children, always playing, jumping, such happy creatures, and the best of all, they give us the benefits of their milk.
I make my own goat milk yogurt and it is what I'm using for the soap, I have a huge nopal plant in my garden and as well I'm using that as one of the alternative liquids, the cayenne pepper is used a lot in our kitchen so I will borrow a little bit for my soap.

For my oils I'm using; Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Castor oil and Lard. I love the soaps with lard, this makes such a rich soap, creamy and with a beautiful sensation.  For my essential oil, very simple...just lemongrass.

I decided to use these 3 ingredients for my alternative liquids as I want to make a very rich soap, not just with all the benefits from the yogurt and the nopal, but as well with a little bit of the heat from the cayenne pepper. I don't want to use too much of this last one as I want to try it first, and see how hot it is for the body in the quantity I am using it.  As soon as I use the soap I will let you know how it goes!

Here is some of the benefits of my alternative liquids:

Goat's milk yogurt: 
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of goats milk is its hypo-allergenic properties. Goat's milk is packed full of essential nutrients and vitamins like vitamin D, C, B1, B6, B12, and E, that feed the skin and are absorbed into the body.
Goat's milk soap delays signs of skin again due to its high content of alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid. Alpha-hydroxy acids break down dead skin cell bonds, removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface and leaving behind new cells on the surface that appear smoother and more youthful.
Goat's milk reduces skin inflammation due to its fat molecule content. The cream present in goat's milk is a moisturizer, soothing dry and damaged skin, possessing an anti-inflammatory effect. Studies now show that goat's milk is effective for treating acne and skin conditions. This is primarily because goat's milk has anti-bacterial properties that delay the growth of microbial organisms that spur the spread of acne.

Nopal (cactus):
The Nopal, also known as "Nopal cactus", is one of the species Opuntia ficus-indica. It is a popular vegetable in Mexican dishes due to its low calories and succulent, green leaves. This cactus  has two edible portions; the pad or nopal ( green vegetative part) and the tuna, which is the fruit ( prickly pear) . One study has shown that phytosterols from the Nopal contain anti ulcer and anti-inflammatory properties which combat edema. The Nopales are rich in antioxidants known as betalins.These anti-oxidants hinder premature aging, encourage healthy cells and assist in detoxification. The Nopales are endowed with a variety of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, B6, riboflavin among a host of other minerals such as calcium.

Cayenne Pepper (capsicum):
Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification.  Cayenne has an anti-bacterial properties, is an excellent preservative and has been used traditionally to prevent food contamination from bacteria. Cayenne is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats, also has "Anti-Redness" properties. Is an anti- allergen and may even help relieve allergies. It is a great herb for many chronic and degenerative conditions.

To learn more about it:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

First challenge...not just soap

I love soap making videos, but the truth is, I'm new in video making. I love to take photos, I have...... I don't know how many cameras, a Nikon D90, a Canon EOS, a Kodak, a Samsung, a JVC and I don't remember how many more between new and old ones...I love to take photos and love cameras, my last acquisition is a Go Pro, very easy to use and very handy if you like to enjoy your bicycle riding. 

Taking pictures is one thing, taking videos is something completely different,  what I mean is very easy to take a video of places and things, but taking a video of my self......well that is another story.  I realized that, when I found I have to take a video of myself during the soapmaking challenge. I never though I will need my tripod I didn't bring it with me,  that gave me the opportunity of improvise and with the help of pots and cutting boards I installed my camera to take a video of myself making soap....the first one of me making soap, oh God not so good, with all the nervousness of the challenge and the video, I completely forgot about things like..... lights and my hand between the camera and the soap making. 

I have seen a lot of good videos and I want to congratulate all of you for making this look so easy, it is not, believe me. Between taking the video, editing, subtitles, music etc. etc. all that make me realize all the love and effort you put in soapmaking, you are not just soap artists but artists in making videos as well.

Well finally and after editing, my video is in YouTube,  not the best quality,  but I will try to improve my video abilities the next time.

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I did, like a lot the editing and adding music.

My first soap.....

I don’t remember when my curiosity for making soap started. What I do remember is that the curiosity was increased because an elbows allergy I developed during the time I was living  overseas.

Unfortunately every time I asked about how to make soap, the answer was the same….It is so easy , what you have to do is buy a block of glycerine soap, melt it in the microwave and make your own soap….noooo that was not the kind of soap I wanted to learn, I want to know about the natural one, the basic one, the one that was used before….very long time ago,  the pure one with no chemicals, the answer…have no idea how to do it, the one I know is the glycerine one.

That was the same answer I received during a long time, until one day I was watching a very popular TV program and suddenly …there was a man explaining how he makes his own soap, and not just that, he was using goat’s milk  and explained all the good benefits about it.  What a good luck, I was recording the program, so I can watch it all over again.

Next thing, I went to the supermarket and buy a bottle of goat’s milk ( I was living in the Middle East so goat’s milk was very easy to find ) a bottle of local sodium hydroxide and a can of Crisco. We use Olive and coconut oil for cooking so I don’t have to buy more. For a mold I used a little tart molds I found in the same supermarket, they were so cute and made of a very hard plastic. I used my kitchen scale, not an electronic  but the simple one that I used to weight everything when I’m making cakes, desserts etc.
I was more than ready to start making soap, I follow the steps exactly as it was explained, I frozen the milk  and pour the lye very carefully.
Finally I was going to make my own soap!

I learned a lot with my first batch, learned that when you make things with love and caution, nothing can go wrong, the soap was easy to make and I wanted to know more about soap making and oil benefits.
Without knowing I was bitten by the soap making addiction!

I was so proud of my first soap, that I want to  take a lot of pictures to show my creation to family and friends,  so I wrapped the soap with waxed paper, a ribbon and a little sticker.

Here it is my first soap….a goat’s milk soap!


It was made 4 years ago with the very basic ingredients, Crisco, Olive oil, Coconut oil, goat’s milk and it was unscented.

My husband love it and since then, we just use the soaps I make.

Good luck to the new soap makers, I can tell you….. this is an adventure you will love it!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Drop Swirl and Greatcakes challenge

Ok, this is my first adventure with color and with the soap challenge of "GreatcakesSoapworks" being the first time in both things as you can imagine...I'm in panic! but very happy as this is a big step in my soap making adventure.  Love to make soap and love everything about it, from the selection of oils to think and think and think about what to mix, I'm talking about essential oils. I had been learning a lot from books, web pages etc. but nothing can be compared with the direct smell of the essential oils, sometimes can be strong, some deliciously citrus or floral.

Well....... stop talking about my fears and start talking about the challenge!.

It took me 2 batches to get what I was looking for. The first one, traced to soon and too thick, at the end I dropped the mix from above with a spoon, the colors were not what I expected,  so because I was not happy with my first attempt I decided to give it another try, this time paying more attention to the water concentration and the trace.

I'm making the same recipe, Olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil and lard with an essential oil mix of Rosemary essential oil and Yuzu. For colorants my base was activated charcoal.

Here are the steps:

            I like to organize everything first and get ready to start, here are the micas, lye and oils. 
    I have my lye and oils at low temperature, both at 90F. ready to be mixed...with careful of course.

            After mixing a little bit with a spoon I used the Stick Blender to have a very light

         With the light trace ready,  I started to fill the containers I will use for coloring the
 I fill the containers without forgetting I will need some soap mix for the base.
Let's start coloring the soap, the first color I mixed,  was the activated charcoal, I love the way it looks, very dark.
Then, the rest of the colors, gold, pink and white silver mica's, all pastel colors.
Now I started to fill the mold with the base color, the activated charcoal mix.
After that and from above I started to drop the first, then gold, then white silver.
I alternated the charcoal mix and the colors, pink, gold and white silver until the soap mix was finished and the mold was completely filled.
After that I hit the mold on the counter top to release any trapped bubbles in the soap. 
I don't have to think too much, ... decided I love the top as it is, how it looks, with the small drops...mmmm I like it and I'm not going to do anything,  it stay as it is!

And here is the soap, love how surrealistic it looks, every cut is different and very nice. One thing I noticed...the color is missing! Ok I don't mind as I love the black and white effect.
I was so right about the top...I like it a lot!
Thanks to Amy Warden for the challenge... I'm ready for the next one!


  1. I really like the simplicity of a two or three color swirl. This is beautiful.
  2. I simply adore black & white soap....very sophisticated....Beautiful Job!!!
  3. I love your soap very classic :) & the top looks interesting too.
  4. I think the black and white is a happy surprise, as the simplicity really shows off the beautiful swirl effect. I really like the simple tops as well :)
  5. very pretty - and I love the top too
  6. Very nice; I like the tops too!
  7. I love the dark and light swirls in the soap!
  8. The black and white really make the swirls stand out. And your soap tops are amazing!
  9. The swirls turned out really amazing, even if the colors didn't stick. Next time you'll know you can use a bit more. :) I'm so glad you went out of your comfort zone to join us - you're already showing that you are very capable!!
  10. Amiga te quedo precioso ,que buena idea a seguir participando en mas eventos ,un beso guapa
  11. Thanks for such nice comments, I never imagined it could be so simple and difficult at the same time (colors). Amy Warden thanks for creating this challenge is not only challenging, it is also a beautiful addiction that encourages us to leave our comfort zone.

    Mari, amiga gracias por tu comentario, claro que voy a seguir participando me encanto el reto, un mismo tutorial y creaciones tan lindas y diferentes. Un abrazo!