Thursday, May 10, 2012

Something new to dew

Every so often I find the inspiration, or hear the call, or feel the drive to discover and learn a new craft or skill. Mostly they are homemaking type things (spinning, dyeing, gardening, etc.) and once in a while it may be some type of painting, sculpting, or some other art simply for art's sake. So, today, my friends, I am announcing my new "thing"........ soapmaking!!! I was at Joanns the other day perusing their craft books (I can never leave the fabric cutting counter without checking out their new books) and I saw, to my delight, a book I had been wanting for a long time, but couldn't bring myself to spend the $25 on it. It is called "A Green Guide to Country Crafts". It is actually from England, so the measures and terminology is all British inside (so interesting), and the ladies who wrote it have a farm in England. Anyways, I picked it up longingly, and browsed through the chapters; Creative Candles, Natural Dyeing, Weaving, Patchwork & Quilting, and, yes dear friends, Soapmaking. When I saw that chapter, I was hooked by the first picture I saw; a dreamy shot of little neat cakes of homemade lavender soap tied with raffia with a twig of lavender peeking out from beneath. And that was it. I asked Mom if she had a 50% off coupon, which she did, and I bought the book. I read the entire soapmaking chapter on the way home in the car. When I got home, I looked up all the supplies I would need for my new venture, and am about to order them online. The book gave me a reference for Bramble Berry Soapmaking Supplies and I looked them up. (lovely store!)

 

So, now I am eagerly waiting for my 2 lbs of lye, soap molds, and several bottles of essential oils to come in the mail. I am so excited! A couple nights ago I was discussing my new interest with my family at the dinner table. I began telling them how the lye (sodium hydroxide) reacts with the oils and when mixed enough, forms the goopy soap "batter", which you then pour into the molds, let them set, then let them cure on a rack for a whole month before using! When dad heard "sodium hydroxide" he said, "That's, uh, really nasty stuff, Elizabeth. You know you can get seriously burned with that..." I said it was no problem, I would wear gloves, glasses and long sleeves. He just raised an eyebrow and looked at Mom.  "It's.... it's how they did it in the old days," I suggested. Nothing I ever bring up about how "they did it in the old days" seems to impress Dad. But he had no objection. My brother found out that you can use sodium hydroxide to make bombs (oh joy), but Dad quickly put an end to that idea.

 

I'm so excited about trying my hand at this! Stay tuned for updates on this new venture. :) Have a lovely day!


4 comments:

Sarah said...

What a wonderful sounding book! I will have to look for it. : )

I have tried my hand at soap making, and I must admit my first two attempts were disastrous. But with perseverance I did end up making successful lavender soap! It is really fun and I so enjoyed using soap I had made myself.

In fact my fiancé and I are planning to make large batches of homemade soap and hand cream as wedding favors for our wedding next June.

-Sarah

Princess of the King said...

That sounds so exciting! I love how your shop has many different varieties, it makes it so interesting! My family can never get me out of Joann's, I am always imagining the next thing I could create. I'm sure the soap project will turn out marvelous, as you're very talented at everything! My mom and I love your "Emma" drawing by the way :)

Rose M. said...

Wonderful idea! Can't wait to hear how it turns out!!

~Rose M.

Miss Elizabeth said...

Sarah, thank you for the insight. I tend to dive right into new projects with confidence that my first try will be perfect, which it usually is not. :) I remember the first time I tried to dye wool. I wanted a lovely sky-blue shade, but it ended up turning out a horrible purply-navy color. :) Thus was the fate of 2 lbs of good corriedale wool. :) By the way, that is such a lovely and creative idea for wedding favors! I'm sure they will be beautiful....

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