Mad Oils

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

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Location Is Everything - A Soap Challenge About Your Locale

You people never cease to amaze me with the beauty you create.  Some of the entries were downright amazing but I can only name one winner and one runner up.  Over the years, I have found more joy than you know, seeing your soap creations and what you take from the soap or photo challenges I have offered you.  It brings me such happiness when you stop for a few moments in the madness of your lives and really think of the challenge.  I know down deep, you know you can take on each challenge, because you will try new things and learn new things (scary things) through self discovery, whether or not your final piece comes out the way you want it or not.  Many of my major flops were my biggest learning experiences, which is unfortunate sometimes, but true nonetheless.

Many of you just lurk, but one day, perhaps you will share with us.  If you do play along but don't post your pictures, then I can only hope that this blog has inspired a piece of you to think outside the box and expand your artistic expression.

This challenge was to evaluate your physical surroundings, whether it was your street, neighborhood, city, rural landscape, anything and recreate it in a design through soap and explain it.

Mad Oils has sponsored this challenge.  Mad Oils is giving a $50 surprise gift set to the winner and a $25 surprise gift set to the runner up.  FUN!!

This is the hardest challenge I've had to choose a winner.  There are so many really thoughtful, planned out, gorgeous soaps that you all made.  There wasn't one bad one!  I am so proud of every one of you who tried this challenge.  I feel like you really did DIG DEEP.

UGH...This is seriously hard.

The Winner for this challenge is Kimberly MC with her NYC skyline at night!

"This is my first time doing a challenge and I'm happy it's this one. I grew up in New York City. Once in a while, if you're lucky and on the right side of the East River, you'll catch a beautiful cloudy, red sunset that reflects into the water. Those are the days that you find yourself seeing more than dirt stained concrete and man made towers. You realize that even in the concrete jungle, nature somehow finds a way to share her beauty. Scented with leather and colored with activated charcoal and blends of micas, this soap is my way of saying I Love New York."  - Kimberly

Kimberly:  As you know, I am also a NY girl, and this "scene" you created I've seen a million times.  It's very well executed, the colors are perfect and it is structured without being too unnatural and flows without being messy.  Great job.

The Runner Up for this challenge is Cin Dee Rella with her piece of South Dakota!

"GRASSLANDS OF SOUTH DAKOTA U.S.A. My entry is based on my overall description of S.D. I was born and raised in a big city in CT. so when my husband proposed moving to Lemmon S.D. I looked at the map and gasped they won't even have chocolate up there , I can't live like that. We moved, and I fell in love with the emptiness. At first nothing from my previous life was as scary as being out in the middle of NOWHERE with nothing, no house, tree, bird, dog, NOTHING for a 100 mile radius.  GRASSLAND dominates the state hence my entry which nearly ended up in the trash as my batch was too brittle to play with. It is colored with spinach powder & parsley, the dirt portion is coffee grounds."   - Cin Dee Rela

Cin Dee Rela:  This was a very unique interpretation of your locale.  Kudos to you for thinking outside of the box on this one.  It is not only very good, but a rare piece that shall remain on this blog for years to come.  :)

Kimberly will receive a $50 surprise gift and Cin Dee Rella will receive a $25 surprise gift from Mad Oils.  Please send me an email jo(at)madoils(dot)com to give me all of your information so we can send it your way!

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard for this challenge and every challenge we have done together.  I am proud of you! 

Here are a few other entries that didn't make the top two, but made it hard for me...

Carla Hughes of Smyrna Beach, FL

Curtis Hayden of Charleston, SC

Gorill Olsen who dreams of coming to the USA one day
Carma La of Minnesota

If you haven't been chosen, keep your chin up.  Don't let this get you down.  One of these challenges will be the one where you will shine.  Lots of love xoxo Joanna

Until the next Challenge!  If you have not joined our challenge gallery group on facebook and would like to, please join us:  SOAP CHALLENGE GALLERY

Love, JO

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Location Location Location!

This month's challenge is about your individual location in the world.  When I was making soap at Absolute Soap, we were asked by a local magazine, Palm Beach Illustrated, to create a bar of soap that represented Palm Beach, Florida, for their 60th Anniversary glossy magazine edition.  We gave it a lot of thought.  Palm Beach is known for some of the most expensive real estate in the country, Worth Avenue is Palm Beach's version of Hollywood's Rodeo Drive, there were cute narrow side streets with historical and tiny houses and then massive grand mansions with separate entrances for deliveries and separate buildings for the owner's staff to live.  Crazy wealth. We had plenty of ideas to represent wealth, but the idea that kept pulling at me was the beautiful blue-green ocean lining the island along beaches that are mostly untouched and pure.

Our creation for the magazine assignment turned out to be our top selling soap:  Palm Beach Illustrated soap.  Scented with a tropical sweet fruity and floral blend which matched perfectly.  This was our interpretation of Palm Beach's ocean.

I added ground oatmeal for my bottom layer (sand), apricot meal pencil line (crushed shells), white chopped soap embed layer (large shells and rocks), blue/green Peacock mica swirly layer (ocean) and topped with a sprinkle of Goldfinger mica (which represents the wealth all around the island).

So the challenge for you is to evaluate your surroundings, whether it's about the traffic or hustle and bustle of your city, or the scenery.  You can be as detail-oriented or as broad stroked as you want about the place you are living in right now.

When you post your pictures on the Facebook page: The Soap Challenge Group, please explain the design and how it fits with your location.  Also include #locationiseverything

The winner and runner up will be announced and posted here on this blog along with their photo, name and business name (if provided in their challenge post).

Thank you for being a part of the Soap Challenge group!  And if you haven't joined the Facebook Group, come and request to join and I will accept your request as soon as I see it!

Challenge due date:  FEBRUARY 7, 2015

I wish you all inspiration and fun on this project.  Dig deep, as I always say....

xoxo  Joanna


Sunday, January 4, 2015

More Than Meets The Eye Soap Challenge Winner

I try never judge my insides with other people's outsides.  Meaning: never compare how you feel on the inside to what others LOOK like they feel on the outside.

A few days ago, a friend of mine from college killed himself.  He just couldn't take the pain anymore. "He was in a black place for a long time... for years", our mutual friend told me.  I can't help but think that Facebook and other social media had something to do with multiplying the inner turmoil when he already suffered from the abyss of depression.  Social media spits out mini mouthfuls of people's lives that they choose to share.  Someone's happy selfie could be the mask behind a deeper, darker truth.

I believe this Soap Challenge came at the right time in more than one way.  The challenge was to create a soap where the outside represents how you believe you're perceived and inside how you actually feel.

I want to thank everyone who posted their photos for participating, but I'd like to remind you that this was a challenge about making your soap to reflect YOU.  Inside.  Outside.  I don't think a few of you understood the challenge.  It's okay, though.  Moving forward --------

More Than Meets The Eye Challenge Winner 

Bethany Petri of Infused

Bethany tells about her soap:  
"I am very quiet in person. Some even see me as cold/dark. But once I get to know you, and you me, and I let those barriers down, there is a world of endless discovery! I also love to reuse and re-purpose. So this soap is a complete re-batch of older batches that I had laying around. Not one new soap was used. And I always wanted to make a planetary soap and finally did!"


Tanya Rasley of Canard Labs

Tanya about her soap:
On the outside: Loud, Colorful, Somewhat Organized, Extraverted
But inside: Beautiful Organized Chaos. A secret introvert (blue) surrounded by creativity (green), with a touch of beauty (white), kindness (pink) and joy (yellow)

Thank you for putting your heart into this one.  It was a heartache for me, even though I didn't get to show you my soap.  I left it with family.  I will update.....

Peace.  And until the next time.... be yourself and don't forget to say "I love you"

Today, I dedicate everything to Greg.

All of the challenge entry photos were posted here (with the hashtag #morethanmeetstheeye )