16 February 2010


I have an obsession I should probably admit to. Soap. Not that I am obsessive about washing, although I like a good soak in the bath, and I do have a bit of a scrub in the morning. No, I am talking about making it.

I had been thinking of trying for some time, but when you look at on-line tutorials, those demonstrating soap making look like they are dressed in hazmat suits. Luckily, I received plenty of encouragment by people who know what they are talking about, and late last year I gave it a go. I loved the results, and so do the people who have been acting as guinea pigs for me. I like knowing what is in the products I use and I like knowing that they have not been tested on animals. Since I started making my own soap, despite the cold weather we have had over the winter, I have used far less handcream than I would usually have done.

I have had some success with my soap making, although it took me a while to get the colour right. I tried some alkanet root a while ago, to see what colour the soap would turn out and loved the result. It looked like chunks of Welsh slate. I tried again with the last batch I made with a little less of the alkanet in to give it a paler colour, and it looked like cat vomit. Not what you would call much of a success and not one which will see the light of day.

I have just applied for my Safety Assessment, which is very exciting but scary at the same time. I need to think of how I package my products, and look for ways of selling them. Each time I think that I have decided I know what I am going to wrap the soap in, I see something else and then change my mind.

I made a whipped shea butter today for a pregnant friend. Actually, I made two, the same recipe but two different methods. They have turned out very different indeed. One looks like lightly whipped cream and is mousse like in texture, and one like stiff whipped cream. One took two hours and one took half an hour. I will send them to my friend, and she will no doubt give me her honest opinion. This the first time I made whipped shea butter, so I have much to learn. I really enjoy experimenting and it is great fun even when it does not quite work.

We are in for a cold snap later in the week, with accompanying snow. I thought that we had seen the last of the white stuff for this winter and I am not looking forward to more.

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