The call to soapy glory was put out by Anhoki. The challenge - "Pick a country, any country, then design your soap around that country. Inspiration may be a scent, an item (ie plate, flag etc), a memory, anything." So team members set out to make the most fabulous creative bars based on their country of choice. How do we know they are fabulous creative soaps, you might ask? Well... they are all made by Safe Team Members of course!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to browse the photos, read each team member's inspiration snippet, then decide who you think has used their country to create the most unique soap icon to represent. The winner, decided by popular vote, will win a gift certificate generously paid for by the participants and Kelly Bloom from Southern Soapers. Kelly has matched the entry fees paid by our participants - Thank you for your generosity Kelly and thank you to all our participating team mates!
To vote, just leave a comment here on our blog. All voters will have their names entered into a drawing to win the Spring Challenge winning bar! Plus, don't forget to stop on over at each participant's shop - many will have these bars available for purchase and some will be offering discounts in their stores for voters!
Now without any further fanfair... Here are our Spring Challenge Contest Entries!
1. A Breath of French Air -
A dirndl is a type of traditional dress worn in southern Germany and Austria, based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants. Dresses that are loosely based on the dirndl are known as Landhausmode.
The dirndl originated as a simplified form of folk costume; the uniform of Austrian servants in the 19th century (dirndlegewand means "maid's dress"). Simple forms were also worn commonly by working women in plain colours or a simple check. Originally, each village had its own style and crest. The Austrian upper classes adopted the dirndl as high fashion in the 1870s. Today, dirndls vary from simple styles to exquisitely crafted, very expensive models.
My family is from Germany and when I was in High School, I visited this wonderful Country. My soap represents the dirndl. The lightly colored layers represent the layers of the dress, and the fluffy white top represents the white puffy shirt worn under the outfit.
2. Lily Pond Soaps
I have always been fascinated by the colors used by artists in China. They are very vivid and without even studying their culture you get the feeling that color was and still is very important to their everyday life.
Traditional Chinese physics taught that the five elements are water, fire, wood, metal and earth. They correspond to black, red, blue-green, white and yellow, respectively.
Scent is Asian Plum: National emblem of China is plum blossom. The plum blossoms are the only flowers which blossom in peak winter season. Though the surrounding is colder and covered with thick snow; the plum blossoms keep on blooming. In this season, no other flower can sustain. As a result, the flower has become the symbol of survival.
3. Anhoki -
Sun-drenched beaches, tropical breezes, Bob Marley, jerk chicken, rice and peas, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (My ALL-TIME favorite coffee).. Bacardi and coconut rum, banana liquor, cranberry and pineapple juice.....Jamaican Me Crazy here!!!
I've never been to Jamaica but, to me, it feels like home. I love the whole idea of being on the beach and literally minutes from EVERYTHING. The friendly people, wonderful food, atmosphere...What's NOT to love?!
My soap is a reflection of everything I love about Jamaica. The crystal blue water and the colorful people who call this awesome island home. A wonderful bouquet of rose, jasmine and geranium dances with a bowl of tropical berries lotus blossoms and vanilla orchid. Extraordinarily delicious.
4. The Skin Your In -
The country I chose for my challenge soap is Ireland. My maiden name is Campbell and I always thought my heritage was Scotch/Irish, after my sister did some tracing of our ancestry, we are actually Scottish, German, with a little bit of French and Irish thrown in to make a hardy stew!
This is an excerpt from an Irish verse by an unknown author:
Whenever I dream, it seems I dream of Erin's rolling hills,
Of all its lovely, shimmery lakes & little babbling rills.
I hear a colleen's lilting laugh across a meadow fair,
And, in my dreams, it almost seems to me that I am there.
O, Ireland! O, Ireland! We're never far apart;
For you & all your beauty fill my mind & touch my heart.
5. Indulgent Creations -
Japan - I was inspired to make this soap from my fascination with the beauty of the Japanese Kimono. The furisode, a formal kimono for an adult single woman, is usually made from fine quality silk and is brightly colored and patterned. They are representative of a turning point in a young woman's life, the time when they become of age and are recognised as an adult. This soap, "Kimono", represents the beauty of the furisode, the silkiness of the material and the vivid colors and patterns they create in my mind.
6. Pacific Paradise Soaps -
I have been fortunate enough to go to the Bahamas a few times. Once while there, I kayaked around an island & came upon a gorgeous sandy beach with a few islands off in the distance. I stopped to explore a bit & found dozens of conch shells. I really wanted to take one of these gorgeous shells home, they were so beautiful. But to honor the island I left them all there, but I did put a few together to take pictures. I colored this soap like the beautiful pink of the inside of the gorgeous conch shell. After my memorable kayaking adventure I sipped a Strawberry Daquiri & watched the sunset while gently swaying in a hammock tied between 2 palm trees. What a perfect day! I stamped this soap with palm trees and the sun setting over the ocean in an assortment of micas.
7. KB Shimmer -
America is a land full of diversity. People of many different nationalities and religions have worked together to form what we now know as the United States. United We Stand, with new hope, new vision, and a bright future ahead of us, we are rising above troubled times to show the world how a nation full of diversity, full of bright minds, full of vision, can can use the fruits of our labor to overcome and once again lead the world with our strong vision.
In my challenge soap, I wanted to showcase the diversity I see in our nation. I choose eight different colors to swirl this soap. Reflecting our bright future as a nation, I choose the brightest of colors, neon's, to make the color shine. The fruits of our nations labor are represented by the sweet scent of fruits, lime, lemon, raspberry, orange, with notes of banana, mango, patchouli and sandalwood.
I hope that my vision of a sweet today, and a brighter tomorrow for America is reflected in this soap. Thank you.
8. Thistle Delight Soapworks -
This soap is all cp soap (true soap) and all made and cut by hand, and not a cookie cutter etc.
I am born and raised in Scotland, so flying the flag (St. Andrews Cross) means you have Scottish Pride. This is why I named it Scottish Pride, I made the white batch first, then cut out the crosses by hand with a very sharp knife. Then I placed the crosses in the mold and poured the blue batch into that. I scented this soap with scottish heather, since our hills and glens are covered in heather most of the year. Just like Scotland, this soap is mystical in nature, during the day in daylight, it is royal blue and white, in the evening in electric light, it is purple and white.
Very magical and mystical soap just like the country it was named for.
9. Soap Scentsations
French style! I've always wanted to go to France. As a toddler my baby sitter was French and had we stuck around long I am sure I would have picked up some French words at that wee age. My High School English teacher was a native and her daughter (born in the US) ironically taught French! I know weird! But those early encounters with the French language and culture have always stuck with me. To me France is about three things: Art, Fashion, and FOOD! What French meal would be complete without wine, crusty bread, cheese, and lets not forget the DESSERT!
This luscious cream soap is scented with the rich flavors of creme brulee! It smells almost good enough to eat! (Custard cup and french accent not included!)
10. Swan Mountain Soaps -
I was born in the US, but I think my soul was born in Greece. And I’ve never even been there! But our family makes many visits to Greek Orthodox monasteries in Washington and Arizona every year, and I think that is as close to Greece as a person can get without actually going there! That is where my soul is at rest, soaking in the troparia and kontakion sung in melodious Greek tones, living simply and humbly according to an ancient schedule – and devouring all of the incredibly delicious Greek food I can get my hands on! . Coincidentally, I *look* Greek (so I’m told) and very often other Greek visitors will come up to me and start chatting away! I love the Greek language, the way people seem to express what they feel, without pretension or artifice, and I love the traditional Greek way of looking at life. It is, to a large degree, about simplicity, and yet it is incredibly complex too.
11. Gourmet Soaps -
Ginger Pear Soap - My first memory of handmade soap is of my mother taking a large 6 oz bar of brown, unscented soap and beating on a shirt on a washboard. We were stationed in Korea at the time, and I was only 6 years old. That memory is so vivid in my mind. I remember asking her what it was, and she replied, "Soap" as she wiped the sweat from her brow. As an adult, I realize that the soap was probably made of tallow, and I could not bring myself to recreate an unscented, tallow soap. So I scented this soap w/ a fragrance oil that smells sweetly of ginger and pears. The Asian Pears in Korea can grow to be a bit larger than softballs. It's so sweet and juicy, and not at all like the pears here in the states. This scent coupled with spicy, sweet ginger takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of simple pleasures like sweet pears eaten on a hot day as I soaked my feet in a cool mountain spring.
12. Green Springs Body Works - Moonlight over the Adriatic
Last summer I traveled to Croatia and swam in the beautiful Adriatic Sea. My ancestors come from that area and I have dreamed of going there. Croatia is known for it's beautiful scenery, deep green olive oil, and lavender fields. I tried to recreate the Adriatic in my soap.
Asti Eye Candy Soap - I chose Italy because I have always been fascinated by the culinary culture there. My soap incorporates two essential elements-- healthy, mild olive oil and delicious wine, I named my soap Asti after the area of Italy that produces the well-known sparkling Spumante, and added some micas to the soap to represent the sparkling bubbles of the wine. You can almost smell the bubbles!
14. Pink Parchment Soaps
One of my favorite wines is a red wine that a friend brought back from Spain.
Sangria is a Spanish wine punch that normally consists of red wine and chopped or sliced fruits. Sangria is served at informal social gatherings.
What could possibly be better than having good friends, good wine and good food!
Well... There you have it! Such creativity displayed in each and every bar! Don't forget to comment for your chance to win and to place your vote for your favorite SAFE Team Spring Challenge bar!