No telephoto lens here...this is how close Mama gets when we give her peanuts. She sometimes wraps her little needle claws around our fingers as she is taking her treats.
I don't know if it was the combination of oils, the way we measured our ingredients, the way the sun and moon aligned or what, but I just could not get the first batch to come to a full trace. I don't have an immersion blender...yet...so I stirred by hand for over an hour. Being too proud to toss the batch and too tired to start over, I poured the mixture into a Tupperware container with a waffle-like pattern on the bottom, covered it with a towel and set it in the guest bathroom. The next morning, the towel had settled in the middle, sticking to the soap, and lo and behold there were little kitty footprints on top as well! And to make matters worse, when I went to release the soap from the mold, it still seemed soft and broke into various sized pieces, instead of coming out in one big block. Here is the finished product curing on my car in the garage. The waffle patterning looks neat and the orange blossom smell is divine.
After doing some more reading and calculating, the next day I tried another batch...alone...this one 100% coconut oil (because I bought a gallon of it!), lavender essential oil and ground oatmeal. This one came to trace in about 30 minutes and when I saw what a full trace looked like, I knew that the first batch had not gotten to that point. I don't know if it's because I only used coconut oil this time, or the way we measured the ingredients the first time, but it definitely traced and hardened like I expected a successful batch to do. This is my "yes!" batch.