Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Soap Making

I love Bookmobile Wednesdays. Not just because I LOVE books, and because Mr. Mike, the Bookmobile librarian is a super nice guy, but also because my good friend, Lady L., and her five kids come to visit. We always find something interesting to do, and the time flies by so quickly.

This week was no exception. While Tex was outside showing the boys his COOL new practice swords and daggers from Vision Forum (sorry, no pictures...I'll have to remedy that one), and they were blissfully bashing each other senseless, inside, the ladies were watching the Homestead Blessings dvd about Soapmaking, and being inspired to try their hand at making soap.

Just as the dvd finished, I remembered picking up a soapmaking kit at my mom's old school on her last day before retiring last June (can you believe someone was actually throwing it away, so it was FREE!!), and hunted it down. Inside of it, we found enough unscented base soap to make four remilled bars, some lavender fragrance, and a soap mold. Yay!

I also remembered that I had some lavender from one of Hubby's trips overseas on his old sub (Italy, I think), and ran upstairs to drag that out of the drawer. Then we grabbed a sturdy pot, two graters, the girls, and got to work.


First, we let the girls help grate the soap into the pot (wasn't that nice of us?). According to the video, remilling the soap means it will cure harder the second time, and it also gives you a chance to make many different types of soap out of one batch of plain soap.


We decided we wanted to try for a Lavender-Oatmeal soap, so we ground up a bit of oatmeal, crushed some lavender, and once the soap shavings were heated into liquid, we added the dry ingredients and the lavender essential oil.



Lastly, I poured the soap into the four-bar mold and sprinkled a bit more of the lavender on top for fun.


We let it cool, and within about an hour, we popped it out of the mold and decided that for a first try, it smelled pretty good and didn't look half bad! We each had two bars of soap and a sense of satisfaction over an adventure successfully completed when we were finished. (The next day, Bubba came over and liked the soap so much he asked to take one of my two bars home with him...I think soapmaking is going to be a popular pasttime, or at least the products that come from it will be!).


I am fairly inspired now to try the whole thing from scratch. The West Ladies describe making some pretty neat looking coffee soap (it's supposed to get funky odors off of your hands) and some cute cupcake-type soaps that would make adorable gifts. I will need a few more ingredients to do that, and a cooking thermometer, but the dvd was very clear about the process and so now it doesn't intimidate me the way it used to.

I highly recommend that you borrow these dvds from your church library (or purchase them. if you can), if you have any interest (but little knowledge) of some of the more homesteady arts. Invite a friend over, watch a dvd together, and have fun trying something new. We sure did!

I'd love to hear about any of your adventures into soapmaking...good and bad! And I am always open to hearing useful tips. Thanks!

Blessings,

Heather


5 comments:

Laura O in AK said...

I've yet to try making my own soap, but this looks like fun.

Visiting from the TOS Crew as I make my way through all the blogs.

FM Laura

Briana said...

Fun stuff! I went through a soapmaking phase a few years ago. It makes me nervous to use lye with little ones around so I've set it aside for a few years.

I'm visiting from the crew blogwalk.

Lindsay said...

Looks fun! I am just walking by on the TOS crew Blog walk and I am a new follower of your blog!

Have a very blessed day!

The Freemans said...

I have yet to try soapmaking. We have the Homestead Blessings DVDS also. We are seriously wanting to make some soap but have never taken time to do so.

I am a newbie with TOS crew and am a new follower of your blog!

Thrift Schooling said...

I want to try soap making as well! I have books, lye, and even goats for the milk now I just need the time!!!

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