Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Soap Opera

It’s a good thing Jenny has good ideas, because she has lots of ideas of things I should do—the latest being soap-making ! Actually, she found a book I had bought who-knows-when and had never used. So yesterday we made soap together, and boy, did we make soap! We were on a roll!

We made four different batches. The first three came from just 5 bars of Ivory soap Jenny shredded in the food processor. The last one came from four bars of clear Neutrogena soap. We made:

Cinnamon-orange (white soap, red palm oil, ground cinnamon, dried orange peel, and essences of cinnamon and orange)

Oatmeal-sage (white soap, olive oil, ground toasted oatmeal, dried sage from the herb garden, and essences of lavender and thyme)

Rose, honey & milk (white soap, natural honey and honey-comb, powdered skim milk, baby oil, dried rose petals, oat bran, and essence of rose)

Rose spice (Neutrogena, baby oil, rose water, rose petals, ground cinnamon, and essences of rose and violet)

Here are some pictures of our endeavors. If you have enough brownie-points at Christmas, you just might get a bar of our home-made, love-infused soap! In other words, we need guinea pigs!

First, we grated the white soap in the food processor. Next we put it in a Pyrex measuring cup in a pot of boiling water to melt.

Here I am with the help of my man-eating shark pot holder, holding on to the hot measuring cup in the boiling water.

When the soap began to melt and clump, it was time to add the water. We stirred gently, mashing the wooden spoon on the lumps & even resorting to mashing with a whisk to break up the melting lumps.

After all the water was incorporated, we had a cottage-cheesey kind of mixture. Then it was time to add whatever oil we were using and stir it in. After that, the fun part came. It was time to remove the Pyrex from the hot water and add the botanicals and scented essences.

Then the well-mixed soap got put into molds. Wal-Mart having failed us and living too far from Hobby Lobby to make a run for molds, we had to resort to whatever was on hand. That turned out to be muffin pans & little Pyrex cups--well greased with Vaseline. Note to selves: Vaseline doesn't wash out in the dishwasher!

After an hour or so in the freezer to set up, the soaps were ready to be unveiled. We pried them out with a knife and put them on a rack to finish setting--and to admire them! We followed the directions, which said to put oil on our hands and smooth the soaps before we put them aside to dry for several weeks. The directions didn't give many details, but I think I added something extra when my greasy fingers knocked over the giant new bottle of baby oil all over the tablecloth! Oh, well, at least we had plenty of oil handy for smoothing the soaps!

And finally, here I am with our creations! Thanks to Jenny, photographer, and Jenny, blog-teacher. If it wasn't for her, I'd have probably thrown both her and my computers out the window before I got these pictures loaded!

One final thing about this project--clean up is really easy! All your equipment is covered with soap, so you just turn on the warm water and start rubbing! Another nice thing is how pretty the room smells from all those scented soaps sitting out to dry--out of the dogs' reach, hopefully, since Hero apparently likes the taste of it and can definitely reach anything on the counters without even trying!

Well, if I keep on like this, I'll never have to worry about anyone reporting questionable content on my blog. I bet I have the cleanest blog on the internet! :)


  1. Love the shark pot holder! I will be first in line to try out any of your new soaps. I sure hope St. Nick will put some in my stocking, or Santa can bring some by to put under the tree. Sounds like fun -- can't wait to try some. Hugs!

  2. Cute posting... if I do say so myself! May I add, it is so fun to have grand ideas around Mom because she actually makes it happen; she shops, organizes and executes projects so beautifully! If it were left to me, I'd just have grand ideas, a bag full of them but not product to show for it. We make a good team ;-)

  3. Wait till you see the rest of the shark, some day when my computer is behaving better!
    Don't underestimate yourself, Jenny. You have no idea how long that book sat on the shelf waiting for you to come . . . As you say, we make a good team!


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