Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reading and Reading

Jumping into a new adventure like soap making is certainly not something to do lightly, or with half your brain tied behind your back. One thing I noticed in common on all the Internet articles I found on soapmaking was the dangers of using lye. Heck you have to sign a hazmat waver just to order the stuff! But over all, the reading was plenty interesting.

One site I stumbled on, quite by accident, was Brambleberry.com. Now HERE was soapmaking I could get my feet wet with! No muss... no fuss... Just Melt and Pour... and of course add any interesting scents or colors you can imagine or scrounge. Hey! They even will ship the goodies to your house! Now what could be more convenient? I ordered several pounds of various soap bases, quite a few molds (it's hard to stop), some good smelling stuff, and I was ready!

It only took a couple of batches, melted in the microwave and poured into various molds before I was totally hooked and begging for more! My daughter, who has very sensitive skin, was overjoyed to be able to use these beautiful creations and not have her skin crawl or break out in a rash. Heck! I was on a roll! But Melt and Pour was just the beginning. I was certainly getting closer to being ready for the challenge of making soap "from scratch."

I have to give it to Brambleberry. Even though I have graduated to what could be described as a "hard core soap maker," I still spend a lot of time on their site, and keep melt and pour handy for any late night "need to make a batch of soap." They have a very good supply of basic oils and various other goodies for my "from scratch" stuff, and have been my only source for lye so far, mainly because I am so comfortable with them.

Just to give you a small idea of how much fun I am having with this little "learn from the Internet" experience, here is a photo of my latest creations. Trust me, this is just the tip of this little iceburg. In the last 6 weeks, I have shared probably around 30 pounds or so of various melt and pour handcrafted goodies with friends and family. This is just what I have left. Our daughter Kelly comes to visit and goes straight for a paper bag and the master bathroom to "see what's new, and maybe pick up a little something." I love it!

Stay tuned! The adventure is just beginning! I have discovered a very special software that makes this "good clean fun" even MORE fun! It's a great tool, and the next GEM in the Mrs. Wizard lineup of great software!

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Beginning

A few weeks ago, after spending quite a few dollars on some lovely soaps, I realized how happy something so simple could make me. It's a great feeling, looking at the lovely shapes and smelling the lovely scents.

Shortly after, I happened to be browsing around my favorite newsgroup and just for giggles, did a search for "soapmaking." Before I could say "Lye," a pdf appeared of a book published in 1946 on soapmaking. Well, my curiosity was certainly aroused, so I downloaded the thing and began perusing those pages. Reading about what our grandmothers and great grandmothers had to go to just to get a bar of soap was enough to curl my hair. By the time I got through the section on the hazards of Lye and what happens when it mixes with grease, not to mention they had to "cook" that stuff in pots outside to keep from being overcome by the fumes. You can imagine the new appreciation I had for those gals. Geez! The fat had to be rendered from animals (now THAT had to be a job)or in many households, the ladies just saved their old cooking grease until they had enough to make a batch of soap. A thought occurred to me... "Gads! That stuff sounds serious. Betcha those gals didn't have body hair issues!"

I'm a firm believer in the Internet as a very powerful research tool, so after having my curiosity sent to a raving lunacy of heights, determined to find out more about how soapmaking has evolved. I just knew someone out there has to be making these beautiful, "all natural, good for the skin" bars. Perhaps I could find some real "how to's" in my quest.

Good old Google... My first search used the term "soapmaking" and that was all I needed to begin what has become a wonderfully fun quest!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

You can learn ANYTHING with the Internet!

This is the beginning of what will be a marvelous tale. A tale that will inspire, inform, amaze, and possibly help you combine the cleanest fun you will ever have with your computer and the Internet.

Here's what I have learned so far, just over the last few weeks.
1. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
2. You can learn something entirely new using nothing but the Internet.
3. NEVER stick your thumb in a stick blender while it is plugged in.

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 12, 2007

I FINALLY found it!

Something that can actually pull me away from the computer for a few minutes at a time!
It has also inspired a new series of articles I think you will enjoy.
Want to know what it is? Stay TUNED!