Sunday, September 9, 2012
Saponification Sunday. That was then, this is now.
My first bar of soap (above) was hideous. Oh sure, at first glance it doesn't look too bad but inside it was pure ugly. Made of store bought EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), Crisco Shortening and Lye Water, it barely made any suds and made my skin feel like I been to a Brillo Pad Spa.
I cut it up and showed it off like it was a brick of gold, I was so proud. My husband and number one fan grabbed one for the shower and even when he came out of the loo with bleeding limbs he still claimed it wonderful.
Which is probably why I went on to make even more soap. Nothing like false praise to keep a beginner in the race.
My next batch was even more glorious as I "advanced" to coloring my soap with a neon blue Crayola Crayon and I scented it with some old perfume I had. Evening in Paris I believe. Yes, it was THAT old. I think I may have used some coconut oil as it did give me some lather. A well meaning family member suggested I try selling some. Perhaps hoping there would be none left to gift her with.
Oh great, now I was really encouraged.
So I kept at it. I made tons of mistakes. I watched tons of You-Tube videos. Some were even about soap making...insert groan here...But why not? If you can learn to castrate pigs via video You-Tube then why not soap making I rationalized. I am embarrassed to admit I never took a soap making class preferring to bumble through alone.
A wonderful daughter gave me a soap making book about a year into this new hobby. Should've bought myself one at the beginning but that would've been too easy. It helped tremendously. As I got better, I pitched the crayons, latched on to using natural plants for colorings and essential oils for scents. I experimented with all kinds of GOOD oils and pitched the Crisco.
I even stopped using the Crisco in my cooking switching to the wonderful coconut oil I had laying around in 5 gallon buckets. Makes better soap and turns out better for our veins as well. I continued to learn by watching really good soapers make soap, reading endless soap blogs and getting totally hooked on the facebook Soap Page (The Soap Bar Blog)
Over the last two years both my soap making skills and my soap photography skills improved. And my husband no longer comes out the shower oozing ruptured RBC's
So to all you beginning soapers who wonder what you've gotten into and why...I really have no idea, just thought I'd share my soap story :)