Not Cooking or Decorating…

Okay. You got me. When I’m not cooking, decorating, sewing, or whatever else I’ve been showing you here on these pages for the last couple of years, I make soap. A lot of it. Especially at the beginning of the year. The rest of the year I sell it.

At the Honeyfest, September 2014.

At the Honeyfest, September 2014. See D’s cool pumpkin?

Because if I didn’t, we’d have enough to last us well into retirement. And I like making soap. It feels good. It smells good. And I can play with color on a consumable. Quilts are great and all, but they don’t get used up. Unless you leave them out on the bright sunlight, wash them with rocks, or give them to a dog. Even small babies can’t really do any damage to them. No teeth.

Recently, I had a friend tell me that I was doing myself and you a disservice by not sharing all my soap stuff on these pages. So here you are. Pretty pictures of some of my favorites. And see that link to Genoa Soap in the right sidebar? There are more there. The pretty pictures will be updated later this summer, but in the meantime, maybe you can help me get some of them out of my house.

D— took pictures of me making the Patchouli so I could put up a new slideshow on YouTube. But it’s been so long since I did the last one, I have to relearn the details for how to turn a bunch of stills into a slideshow that you will want to watch. I’ll get there.

Stirring up the 5 different colors that went into this one.

Stirring up the 5 different colors for Patchouli.

Pouring one at a time.

Pouring one at a time.

Yup. I work in my kitchen. But I’m a safety girl. I always wear my glasses. For one thing, they are prescription readers, and I can’t really see what I’m doing without them. On the other hand, they protect me from splash backs.

And I have these really great nitrile gloves that come up above my elbow. I read about some soapers – that’s what we call ourselves – who only wear dish gloves or even worse, those latex gloves that nurses and dentists wear. Not enough protection believe you me! There’s lye in the mixture, and until it has cured for 12 hours or so, it can still burn you. (After that, the lye and oils undergo a process called saponification in which the combination is transformed into something else altogether. It’s one of those cool chemistry things.)

The mold I’m using makes 26 bars of soap; 27 if I’m lucky. And they’ll be ready to use in 4 weeks. Until then, they are here…

My drying rack

My drying rack.

 

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