First the good news -- I tried my first peacock-type swirl today in a very small mold. Tropical Yuzu Punch scented with blue, green and white swirlies. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and thoroughly addicted. I can't wait to try more in bigger batches.
However.... I got a little too confident on my next batch of soap and had my first "seizing" experience. I once got a comment on here that I should document the mistakes, too, so here you go!
This was *supposed* to be a pink pepper scented soap with rose clay for the color and poppyseeds for a cute polka-dotted look.
The fatal combination must have been the black pepper spice essential oil and a floral FO -- both can accelerate trace... but I didn't think it would be THIS bad. The soap batter turned into a solid jello-ish mass. At first I waited to see if I could pour in in the mold once it reached gel phase, but then I wasn't sure if the lye and oils were separating, too. (I'd appreciate any comments from soapers who know how to tell a separated batch from one going into gel phase.)
The only thing to do was scoop it into the crock pot and hot process it.
After checking for neutrality, I glopped it into the mold. It'll be ready to cut tomorrow. We shall see how pretty, or hideous, it turns out.