Lupine soap - looking for lime green, but no such luck!
I did make a soap while he was in the hospital. I woke up in the middle of the night and got this strong urge to visit him. Which I did. I have learned always to listen to such urges. When I got back home I was still wide awake and decided to make a soap using the leftover Lupine decoction I had from dyeing earlier.
Lupine is an alien in Icelandic nature. It was originally imported as a soil improving plant, because it has the ability to bind nitrogen in the soil. Unfortunately it is a thug, colonizing large areas of land and in the process it eradicates the more delicate native species. Instead of 20 species cohabiting, we now have this one. Very showy, but a poor substitute for the local Flora. But since it gives a very lovely lime green when used as a dye plant I've sort of semi-forgiven it. And at least by picking the flowers, I can prevent it from setting seed and spreading even further. So that is a satisfying, if quiet, revenge.
Lupine flowers make the most wonderful dye. One would think that they would produce a blue or a purple, but they give the most wonderful lime green colours to both protein (wool, silk) and cellulose (cotton) fibers. Naturally, I wondered if I could get the ever elusive green colour in soap by using Lupine decoction. It would have been so much fun. But it didn't work. Instead I got this quite soft yellow. Not bad, but not green. I fully intend to try it again and use lower temperatures next time to see if that makes any difference. Since I made this soap in the middle of the night and was quite tired, I didn't bother to wait for anything to cool down much, so I soaped this one at unusually high temperature (130F instead of the more usual 90F) and that may have had an effect on the colour. I'm also pretty sure that the temperature is the reason it seized on me, but I did get it into the mold alright, in spite of that.
Olive oil 40% 200g / 7oz
Coconut oil 30% 150g / 5.3oz
Grapeseed oil 10% 50g / 1.8oz
Rapeseed oil 10% 50g / 1.8oz
Cocoa butter 10% 50g / 1.8oz
Water 33% 165g / 5.8oz (this was water that I had simmered Lupine flowers in for an hour)
Lye 70g / 2.5 oz
I added some lavender and Cubea Litsea EO for scent and that smells lovely. Lupine doesn't have any scent itself.
I was thinking as I made this soap, tired at five o'clock in the morning how amazingly relaxing it is to make soap. I realized that I now relax by making something, creating something rather than trying to relax by laying down on a couch like I used to. And what a wonderful way to relax. And have fun at the same time. Naturally.