Sunday, March 29, 2015

Proud Of My Peeps

We are all busy with life.  I know it now more than any other time in my life.  Starting Mad Oils has been the hardest and most challenging life change I've ever made.  Busy, busy, busy.  I work way more than I should, but things need to get done and so hours fly by... and the great thing is: I love my job!  I DO know about time limitations and the fleeting moments in my life that I take to focus inward.  Everyone's life is filled, but you took the time and dug.

The idea for the latest Soap Challenge was memory based and certainly emotional.  It required you to dig deep, remembering experiences from the past and somehow translating your memories into a planned, colorful soap.  This type of challenge begins to extract parts of you that need to be tapped into.  It helps an artist translate a memory or feeling into something tangible; whatever the medium.  This challenge was for creating a "Colorful Memories" soap and the entries were posted on the Soap Challenge Gallery on Facebook.  The challenge was to take a fond memory and translate it into soap, whether literally or in an abstract way.

I'm very proud of you for trying this very difficult task.  I think this may have been the hardest one I've thrown at you, so kudos to you for attempting it!!  I'm also going to guess that you feel a bit proud of yourself as well.  And you should be.

The winner of this #colorfulmemories challenge is:  
Mandy Oian Davis, of Minnesoapah Handcrafted Soap

Well done, Mandy!  Your translation was spot on and I was transformed back to that night with you as you told the story.

Mandy explains her inspiration for this design:

"Every summer weekend of my childhood was spent at my great aunts cabin on a lake. Unless it was pouring rain, this meant bonfires on Friday and Saturday nights. We had two spots, one up by the field to the rear of the cabin, and one down on the lake shore. I remember so many nights of playing under the stars until exhaustion would take over myself and my many cousins and we would gravitate towards the bonfire and the adults. Great Auntie Bev always had a stack of quilts, and she would lay them on the ground, inviting us to crawl in and rest, then tell us stories and sing us songs while we stared at the fire. To this day, I am mesmerized by the dancing flames of a bonfire.

I used chunks of an old soap to make the "logs" and worked to do a hanger swirl only half way down to make the flames jump and dance. It is scented with Witching Hour, the combo of cinnamon, smoke, and the patchouli is so wonderful with the idea of the fire and the handmade quilts that were stored in a cedar chest. Thanks for this challenge, it was fun to come up with the idea and translate it into soap! "

Runner Up

 Curtis Hayden, of Haus of Hayden

Wow, Curtis, you put so much thought into this soap and your description sounds so fun.  What a special time in your life, now in tangible form for you to share, use, look at....  Way to go!

 Curtis says this about his soap creation:

"This soap had A LOT of thought put into it so forgive me for going into such depth. One of the BEST times of my life and the BEST memories came from my trip to Europe! I was able to explore so many different countries and do so much that I never thought I would be able to do! This soap represents my trip as a whole! The title is "The Edge of Germany" which is a reference to "The Edge of Glory" which was my song that played everywhere throughout Europe. I fell in LOVE with Germany which is why there is the German flag in the middle and also as a Mica top came from! The colors as a whole represent me having pride in the fact that I am German but also the fact that I went to gay pride in Germany!! Individually these colors also stand for things as well! The Red=London telephone booths/buses. Blue=Jumping into the Bay of Monaco. Green=The apartment we stayed in London had NEON green balconies. Yellow=The Eiffel tower lighting up at night. Purple=Regular trips to parliament and such (the chairs were purple). Pink=Going to the Nicki Minaj concert in Berlin. Orange= Sunsets in Switzerland. Also since I was going for a German themed soap of course it had to be beer based and have German Chamomile essential oil!! And the center smells like Spiced Ale while all the colors are super citrusy and uplifting because every time I think back on all the fun I had it makes me super happy! And I wanted all the colors to intertwine because in my mind the entire trips memories flowed one into another. I hope you enjoy my entry and thank you for taking the time to read all my crazy inspiration that went into this!!"

I enjoyed every single photo entry along with the amazing stories of your memories.  I feel blessed that you have decided to share with me and that you involve yourself with these challenges.  I want to thank ALL of you for participating and being a part of this piece of history.  Our history.

I hope you do this for you and not just for "the challenge".  These challenges are meant to open up your artistic passages so you can breathe again and see things you stopped seeing or never saw before.

I raise my coffee cup to all of you and, MAN (!!),  I am a proud challenge-giver-blogger-woman-soaper this month....


Love, Joanna


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Colorful Memories

It's easy to allow day to day stress to push our fondest memories out of our minds.

This past weekend, my daughter turned eighteen years old and my memories of our past came flooding back. The whole pregnancy was amazing, the birth was hard, and the first few years with her was the finest time of my life.

The idea for this soap challenge is definitely based on your individual experiences from many years ago, whether it be from your childhood or young adulthood.  Bring forth your fondest memories of a time that will always have a special spot in your mind.

"How can I do that in a soap?," you ask.

I imagine that you need to pluck out things, colors, feelings and whatever fits from your memories and show how you felt back then.  Express yourself.  You know that if you make soap, then you are an artist, so don't short change yourself.

Don't minimize your talent and abilities. 

I believe there is incredible talent that you haven't tapped into. 

Believe in yourself.

You have 3 weeks to complete this task.  This project can be expressed however you see fit, but you have to explain it.  Please do not post a soap you have already made.  These challenges are meant to open a piece of you and challenge your inner self as an artist.

I ask that you please take a picture of your soap in natural light and that it be in focus.  When you post it in The Soap Challenge Facebook Group, use the hashtag #colorfulmemories so I can do a search for it and your photo will be included in the judging.

Deadline:  March 27th (Friday), 2015

Good luck to everyone!

Dig deep...

xo  Joanna