After a year off from soapmaking due to major house renovations (including our kitchen) and my daughter getting married, I thought Amy's latest challenge, Soap Curls, would be a good motivation to begin soaping again.
My mother-in-law has been asking me for Christmas soaps, so I decided I wanted to do a Christmas Tree. I found some quilling pictures of trees on Pinterest at artsycraftsymom.com and quillingcard.com. I drew a couple of pictures using their art as inspiration and to see if I thought I could make the soap curls fit in the size mold I was using. I really wanted an image that would work on a single bar of soap. I tested curls with a year old soap I had and thought it would work.
I made three colors--green (Blackish Green), gold (Gold Shimmer) and red (Really Red). None of my colors really came out the way I wanted. I would have liked stronger, deeper colors but I think, after not soaping for so long, I was a bit light-handed.
Since I wanted small tight curls I cut my loafs into bars and used my planer across the long ends. That allowed me to have my curls the height I wanted--1 1/8"--the width of my normal bars.
The hardest part was placing the curls. I had used Moroccan Mint FO thinking it would give me more time, but it gave me too much time! I felt like I was waiting forever for the soap to firm up enough so I could place the curls without them falling over and toppling others already place. I had several that fell over that I had to fish out and discard. Finally I got them all in place and firmed up enough to add the second half of my soap batch. And "O Tanenbaum" was born!
Although the tree soap is the one I am entering, I had so much soap left from the original color loaves that after I made my tight curls I decided to use my cheese slicer to make larger curls. I wanted to make a more abstract bar and not curl the large ones tight but instead have them slightly interconnected by their "tails". The little curls were used in that soap to fill in spots.
My main regret with my abstract soap is that in placing the little curls in the center of the curve of the large ones, all I see are breasts! (My family does not agree with me but I think they are being kind.) I thought about calling that one "Merry Christmas Breast." My husband suggested "Christmas TATAs" : ) But I think I've settled on "Christmas Ribbons & Curls." The picture of the abstract soap is below. It was really fun doing both soaps and maybe I'll try another soap with soap curls in the future! Thanks Amy!