Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Accidents

Hiya, Wonder Turtle friends! Sorry it's been so quiet around here. It has been ca-razy here for the past couple of weeks between popping in and out of town, getting ready for a craft show, and working on a soapy order for a dear friend!

(By the way, tomorrow, Saturday, November 20, I will be at the Santa's Workshop Craft Show at the Navarre Conference Center from 9-4, so if you're in the Navarre, FL area, please drop by and say howdy!)

Anyway, I recently had an awesome happy accident. You know how you have one thing in mind and it doesn't work out, but what emerges is still just as cool or even cooler? That's what happened to me in the soaping kitchen a little while back.

I was making some Lavender soap with my loaf mold, and I was aiming for a particular effect. I've seen two-layered soaps, especially cold-process soaps, that have a bottom layer that's one color with another layer on top of it that's another color. The two layers kinda mingle just a little bit, making the middle a little wispy and uneven.

Here's what I said to myself: I'll bet I could do that with melt-and-pour. I'll just pour a layer of one color halfway up my mold, and then immediately pour another color the rest of the way up. It'll be like when I double-pour side-by-side except this time I'll pour up-and-down - the colors will each stay on their side as long as I pour cool enough. 

Yeah, I know. It sounds ridiculous to me now as I type it, but that was what was going through the ol' noggin. Unfortunately, when I was concocting this plan, I forgot about the existence of a very minor thing called gravity.

So, I poured my cooled purple layer of Lavender-scented goat's milk soap halfway up the mold. So far so good. Then I immediately poured my cooled layer of white soap on top of it. For some reason, I was surprised when the white soap just disappeared into the purple soap, which rose to the top of the mold. To make matters worse, ugly patches of white mottled the surface of the purple soap.

"Well, fiddlesticks, that didn't work!" I muttered to myself. (Those of you who know me probably can guess that is not exactly what I said, but, hey, this is a family show.) I was tempted to just pour the soap out of the mold, mix it all together to make a uniform purple loaf, and repour. But I thought, No, just leave it alone and see how it turns out.

The next day, I nervously picked up my mold and inspected it. When I flipped it over to see the top, I felt my hopes stir. The white soap had pooled at the bottom (or top, really) in an intruiging way, and I wondered if the middle of the soap looked just as interesting. I popped it out of the mold and eagerly cut into it.

And, boy, was I glad that I had left it alone! Delicate swirls of purple wafted around the white portions of soap, like I had totally intended for that to happen. I had accidentally discovered a really cool technique that I can actually use.

I love a happy ending. Have you, dear readers, had any happy accidents of your own, soaping or otherwise? Please do share - Wally the Wonder Turtle and I would love to hear about them!