I waited for for 2 days before pulling the violets off of the paper. I had to give them time to harden up enough to take off the paper. I put the violets on paper to dry a little more last night.
|The Purple Violets on top|
I started by gathering wild violet leaves today. Violet leaves are supposed to be very good for the skin. I washed them and then added about 4 ounces of boiling filtered water. This will form an infusion which I will add after I mix the lye into the oils. I removed this amount from the amount of goats milk that I will use for the soap. This will keep the soap from taking too long to cure.
My goat milk is frozen in half gallon bags. So I start by using a clean hammer on the outside of the bag to break up the frozen milk. The only problem with this is that I sometimes get larger lumps. This means that it takes a little longer for all of the milk to melt. I try to add the lye just a little bit at a time so that the milk doesn't get too hot. This helps to prevent DOS or the dreaded orange spot from milk sugars caramelizing.
While the milk was working I measured out my oils. I started by reserving 6 1/2 ounces from my olive oil for my colorants. After figuring how much I still needed for the initial measurement I poured it in the bucket along with rice bran oil, palm kernel oil, and shea butter. I blended all of the solid oils up with the liquid oils to make it easier to blend after adding the lye solution.
|With white violets on top as well|
I added the lye solution to the oils and blended briefly. It really didn't take long to get this batch to come together. After the soap started to come together I added the violet leaf infusion and the fragrance oil. I mixed by hand and then gave it a few quick spurts with the stick blender.
My next step was to separate the batch into 1 large and 2 smaller equal parts. To the large part I added zinc oxide mixed with 2 ounces of my reserved olive oil which I also gave a quick whir to avoid having any lumps of zinc oxide. To the smaller parts I added 2 1/2 ounces of alkanet infused oil with a little bit of indigo mixed in to one, and to the other I added 2 ounces of comfrey infused oil with a touch of green pigment mixed in. I hand mixed the oil colors. I was planning to do a drop swirl design, but that didn't happen because I managed to let my batter get too thick. I am disappointed, because I think that this soap would have been awesome with a drop swirl design.
Since my soap was thicker I did a layer of white, topped by a layer of split green and purple, and then repeated. After getting all of my colored soap in the mold I did a simple figure 8 swirl before topping it with the remainder of the white soap.
Now for the fun part. I had purple and white violets and leaves to cover the top of the soap. I tried to alternate the colors along with interspersing them with leaves. After I had all of the flowers and leaves placed to my satisfaction, I gently pressed them down to get good connection with the soap underneath. I am hopeful that this will help to alleviate any breakage of the flowers during cutting. I am pleased with the way the top turned out.
As a side note, for those my area, I will be a the Smith County Ag Building in Carthage on March 29th from 9 AM to 4 PM. I would love to see you there.
I am linking with the following blogs: