The challenge for December was to create all types of in-the-pot swirls. It was a rather open ended challenge and the categories were only divided by the number of pours into the mold and type of mold used. The regular category had a limit of two pours while utilizing either individual cavity molds or a log mold, while the advanced category could have unlimited pours and any type of mold – featuring in-the-pot swirls, of course! This creative freedom is both a blessing and a curse as it allows for so much, but also makes it difficult to choose!
Our sponsor is Majestic Mountain Sage – known as “your one-stop supplier for soap and cosmetic making materials” and their favorite time of year is Christmas!! We are so grateful for their generosity as we move into the holiday season!
Let’s shake things up a bit and start with the winners in the regular category this month! Our grand prize winner is Lindsey Smith of in Washington State with her fabulous Shattered Eggs soap!! Lindsey chose to go the route of the individual cavity mold and a simple black and white color palette, but this soap is anything but simple:
Congratulations to Lindsey who has won a $50 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage and the majority of the votes from her Challenge Club peers! Click on the photo of her soap to read more about her process on her Facebook page, as well as see the other soaps she made for the challenge this month!
Second place in the regular category goes to Linda Whitcomb of Island Spring Soap Works also in Washington State! Linda created a stunning wood grain soap with just one pour into the mold:
Isn’t it incredible? Linda wins a $35 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage – woo hoo!! Be sure to click on the photo to read more about how she made the soap on her Instagram post!
In third place we have Irina Beketov of IB Organics in Texas with her brilliantly colored Day and Night/Spirit and Soul soap:
Irina’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage – congratulations! You’ll want to click on the photo to see her inspiration and read more about the theme behind her soap on her Instagram post!
Majestic Mountain Sage likes to choose multiple Sponsor’s Choice prize winners, but I will only announce their favorites here!! In the regular category, Beach Day! by Carlyn Hurwitz of Pagrana Naturals takes the prize! Tina Howard says, “I love the soft colors and the swooshing movement of the waves and sky. This is an ultra calming soap.”
Carlyn’s prize is a $20 gift certificate from The Sage!! Click on the photo of her soap to read more about it on her Instagram post!
The recognition awards are next!! For the best technique award, I was looking for something a bit innovative that I hadn’t seen before, and Toni Watt of White Milk Soap and Candles in Australia delivered that with her Kaleidoscope soap:
You’ll have to click on the photo to see her video on how she poured her colors into the pot! The result looks a lot like a regular “Clyde Slide” pour with excellent zig zag lines and movement of the colors, but the set-up pour makes it just a bit different.
The best presentation award goes to Argelia Ortiz of Firefly Soaps in Texas for this beautiful soap presentation of Crazy for Blue and a Hint of Orange:
I love the bright colors of the soap against the wood grain and white background. The face of the soap is definitely the focus of the photo, but you also get another angle with the soap stack behind it. Click on the photo to check out her Instagram post to see even more fantastic photos of her soap!
Best Use of Color award goes to Leslie Steadman of Luxurious Soaps LLC in Indiana for this gorgeous Over the Rainbow soap:
I don’t always choose rainbow themes for color, but this one is pretty amazing!! It’s not easy to get six different colors swirled together without muddying them up, but Leslie has accomplished that along with the white cloud base! I like how every color is easily visible throughout each bar without one color overshadowing the rest. Great job, Leslie! And yes, you can click on the photo to see her post on her Facebook page.
Finally, the Best Soap Newbie award goes to the very talented Genevieve Loxley in Australia for her gorgeous Boulder Opal soap:
Genevieve’s soap is a tribute to her dad and her memories of him cracking rocks open looking for opal. The colors are absolutely stunning and the presentation is spot on!! Very impressive that this soap was made by someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches! Click on the photo to read more about how this soap was made and the story behind it in her Instagram post.
Next, I’m very excited to tell you about the winners in the advanced category!! Our grand prize, take home the $50 gift certificate winner is Shayna Gallegos Caro of Bearfoot Gypsy Soap Co in Washington with this breathtaking Pineapple Sunset soap:
The movement of the waves and the colors of the sky are just amazing, aren’t they? Click on the photo to read more about this soap and its interesting scent blend in her Instagram post!
Second place goes to Stacey Seal of Seal Soapworks in Virginia for this incredible Earth + Moon soap:
The nuance of the colors in the blue/black sky really show off the bright moon as well as the tip of the earth in the corner! Simply gorgeous! Stacey’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage – great job! Be sure to click on the photo to read more about how Stacey made this soap in her Facebook business page.
Our third place winner is Katarina Pirman Škoro in Slovenia with this fantastic Slovenian Alps landscape soap:
Her inspiration was a family road trip to Triglav National Park where the scene not only took their breath away, but also their bickering!! The colors, lines and swirls of this soap give it so much depth and visual appeal! Click on the photo to read more about the soap and see the inspiration behind it on Katarina’s Instagram post! Her prize is a $25 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage – yippee!
The top Sponsor’s Choice winner in the advanced category goes to Lorraine McBride of Mama McB’s Soap in Canada for her teardrop soap she calls “Hydrate.” Tina Howard playfully says, “While I not only see a water droplet in this picture, I see a hair follicle. You know the cool side view diagrams we see in doctor’s offices? I expect to see arrows pointing to different parts of the soap and telling me what areas the soap can wash and what the results should be. This is a fun and playful soap with awesome color choices.”
Great job, Lorraine! You can click on the photo to see her YouTube video on how she made it! Her prize is a $20 gift certificate from The Sage.
Recognition awards for the advanced category follow next!! Again, for the Best Technique award I chose someone who created her own technique called a “Clamshell Swirl.” Congratulations to Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana for her innovative design work:
If you click on the photo, you’ll get to see her Facebook post which also includes a link to her very first video showing how she made this soap! It’s pretty fascinating how many different looks there are throughout this loaf of soap!
The Best Presentation award goes to Clare Norman of Soda and Ash in Australia for her beautiful Sunset on the Murray soap (can you believe this is her view from her holiday home??):
I just love how Clare has positioned the soaps in various ways to give interest and different views of her soaps. The lighting shows off the colorful soaps quite well with just enough shading visible to ground them in the photo. Each soap is perfectly in sharp focus! Well done!
I’ve chosen Blue Marble 1972 by Dena Mehling of Lather and Repeat in Colorado to receive the Best Use of Color award because LOOK:
The blue, green and white colors of the Earth are just stunning against the brown, copper, white swirls and black background!! Each color is well-mixed and stands out beautifully.
For the Best Soap Newbie award, I’m pleased to announce that Tania Villalba of Sunset Lane Soaps in New York is the winner with her Alaskan Skies soap:
Tania did such an excellent job with the colors, lines and swirls! The mountains look like they have snow on all the right places and the skies and heavenly places have such beautiful blue tones and clouds. Excellent gold mica lines and swirls as well. Be sure to click on the photo to read more about Tania’s inspiration for this soap in her Instagram post!
While we do have a bit of a break for the holidays, I have been working on setting up the next four months of challenges in 2019. We’ll have some incredible guest teachers next year, including Elena Nedechina of Laboratory Milaniya in Russia who will be sharing her Plant Bas-Relief and Counter-Relief soap mold tutorials in January! Here are some of the beautiful soaps she has made with these techniques:
Please check out the Current Challenge page for more information about this challenge, including the sponsors and the SUPPLY LIST, as there are some items you may not already have that will be needed for this challenge! You can also see what is planned for February, March and April!! Registration will open on Monday, January 7 with the option to register for January only, or all 4 months at a discounted rate. Make sure you are signed up for notifications about the challenges so you don’t miss it!