My mini-tank

How do you guys cut your soap? I tried and tried and tried with a knife, every time cutting my bars unevenly and having to trim off most of the soap later. I start off fine, but then somewhere in the middle I realize I am too pro and decide to do a quick swish with the blade. I end up with a 'top-thick bottom-thin' bar or else a 'top-thin, bottom-thick' bar. Grrrr...
So with my sad cutting stories I was on the verge of giving up. See, I don't have that much coal to buy me a tank cutter and frankly I really don't need a tank to cut some six bars of soap. Then came along the spoon-swirl frenzy and I reached the lovely French lady's video (I think her name is Ka fee??). The spoon-swirl soap was terrific, but I was looking at something else. Hey!! What is she cutting the soap with?? Some wire kinda thing. First I thought it was a saw with the blade replaced with a wire. The bulb slowly lights up....there is hope!!! Finally I might be able to use an even bar of soap. I decided to make it the instant I set foot in India. No idea why I keep linking everything to the moment I set foot here or there...always trying not to set foot in my mouth though (I do have that disease, let me tell you)!!

Without further ado, let me introduce to you:

The Mini-tank aka Tortenschneider (cake cutter)
(Google image)

All I had to do was set foot in the local grocery store. Cost me 2 Euros. Hallelujah!!! It does need a guide though, any two pieces of wood or two cutting boards...else my soaps end up not just uneven, but wavy too. It gives are real clean cut. A great buy for budding soapers/profi soapers (who can spare that much cutting time). Its fun to shower with an even bar of soap!!

Sunshine soap

These days nothing gets thrown away before careful never know what can be used to make soap. I held onto a broken umbrella handle for a few months too, while my husband wondered if I lost my marbles. So we got two cans of Pringles (thankfully the small size) that travelled with us to Slovenia and came back with us empty. The chips flew lightly out of the can and settled heavily in the butt. I am at a loss to understand how a few grams of snack can turn into a few kilos the second they hit the mouth.

I am one of those green soap lovers and have been wanting to make one for sometime now. The contents of a bag of nettle tea leaf had been soaking in olive oil for more than two weeks now. Molds were ready. Something was missing...what could it be? Has to be something to make me break into a panic sweat in the last minute of soaping. Well this time it was the cardboard tube around which aluminium foil is rolled. Now that is exciting enough. The grand plan was to do a soap embed with fresh soap in a different color. See this was supposed to be a morning soap, with the sun rising from the center. I can be imaginative too people!!

The outcome wasn't too bad actually. The cardboard pulled up a little too much soap with it. I shouldn't have waited so long before taking it out from the mold. Wish the green was a little greener and the yellow (from turmeric)  a little yellower/orange. I couldn't give the sweats a miss was really hot here yesterday.

Hoping the sun doesn't set on me, by fading away

Scented with Mint, Tea tree and a tick of Lime essential oils. The mint masks the green smell really well. Thanks for the mint tip Amy W from Soapy Stories. About 11% Shea butter and 10% superfat. I drastically cut down the Coconut oil too this time.  A little bit of the end piece lathered very well. Not big bubbles, but nice small and creamy ones. :) 

Why do I even try to cut with a knife???
Had to make corrections later.
Little heart samples.
Funnily they turned green with turmeric??
This soap is fully natural, including the colors. I feel pretty good about it!! :)

The Cocobong magic

Last Saturday I was checking the post every few hours as I didn't want to keep the parcel waiting. It was Cocobong's salt bar that I had won and I just couldn't wait to see what it looked like, smelled like, felt like...

Cocobong's blog was the first one I found once I knew about handmade soap and it was love at first sight. I was mesmerized by the soaps that Julia makes, the pictures she takes and her beautiful style of writing, so heartfelt, warm and imaginative it carries me into a peaceful and happy place immediately.

So you can imagine my happiness and excitement when the packet was in my hands. I opened the envelope to find not just a salt bar, but also a sample of Cocobong's Lemongrass soap and a perfume. The scent that wafted out of the package was heavenly and comforting. Each soap wrapped in a simple cream colored paper with a cigar wrap around it. A perfect match to the creamy soaps that they hold.  

I first washed my hands with the Lemongrass soap made with coconut milk. The lather was creamy and the bar had such a soft and silky feel. And the scent is wonderful to say the least. It has this mild fresh smell, yet warm and comforting at the same time. The type of scent that makes you close your eyes, take a deep breath and just drift into a dream. I washed my extremely dry hands with it. Usually, a few minutes after washing I see the skin cracking up and flaking. That didn't happen with this slice of soap. I also washed my face with it and didn't have to use a moisturizer afterwards. Wow!!

Next I tried the perfume L'air de la Cocobong. A small label, handwritten in gold adorns the glass vial. First to float up is a breezy coconut followed by a sexy spice that mellows down the coconut beautifully. I am not crazy about coconut scents, but this is something I would definitely love to wear.
Oh that sexy spice!!

I saved the salt bar for the end. Another lovely looking bar of soap scented to perfection. Made with goat milk and honey, but not tan colored. A milky white hard bar of soap. I read that salt bars don't lather much, but this one lathered beautifully. Not the un-ending kind of thick lather, but decently big and lasting bubbles. Maybe the water is softer here? This is my first time with a salt bar. I like the soft and clean after-shower feel. I just moisturized my hands and face. My arms felt a bit dry afterwards, but I like to let my skin breath every few days. I surely want to make some salt bars in the future. If they turn out even half as good as Julia's I would call it a mega success. Julia makes soaps that many of us can only dream of making. I almost forgot to mention, this soap is quite tasty too. ;)

Sorry I didn't take a pic before using it
So this was my amazing experience with Cocobong soaps. As much as I was excited and happy to receive Julia's soaps, I was also very scared to write about them. What can you write about the soap goddess and her creations?

Thank you so much Julia for Cocobong and the chance to cherish your lovely handmade miracles!! <3