Sunday, July 11, 2010

Homemade Soap - Part Two ~ "It's a LYE, I tell you...:) :) :) :)

Hey there...here's the conclusion to "Homemade Soap"..it's a true "soap" opera in two parts :) :) :) OH, "LYE" is the caustic soda used to saponify/harden the soap :) :) :)  Click here to view part one of the homemade soap process...

OH, before I forget...my sweet friend Gerry over at "Gerry's Soap N Stuff"...also has some great soap recipes. She's been making soap for decades now. Click here to view her blog or you can find a link/button to her blog on my sidebar. She has been so kind to me in giving me all sorts of good soap information!!!

Next, Julie used this handheld stick mixer to mix the oils and lye water together. She continued to do this until the mix reached "trace". Trace is when it you mix it and the ripples stay on the surface of the mixture...but it's still pourable...



"Houston...we have liftoff..."...Ooopss...we reached "trace"...this is what it looks like...although I think I may have let it go 5 seconds too long with the blender.  Doesn't it look like a nice bowl of vanilla pudding? Except don't eat this because it'll cleanse the tar from your insides.....


...pouring the mixture into a pre-greased mould.  Julie used coconut oil to grease the bottom and sides of the mould. It worked amazingly well!!!! Fantastic!!!


Here, Julie is smoothing it out a bit with a spatula. Remember how I said this looks like vanilla pudding? All it was missing was "nilla wafers" and banana slices...and we could have had dessert...not..but it sure looked like vanilla pudding dessert.


Next we wrapped the mould in a bath towel, so that it would not cool down too fast...


..one last peek before we let it sit for the next 15 hours or so to harden up...Everything up to this point was actually done on Saturday ~ July 10th, 2010 :) :) :) Everything after this photo was done today :) :) :)


Now for the big reveal...Hmm...it hardened up nicely...but it likes like a wrinkly "shar pei" puppy...I think Julie and I were both scratching our heads a little bit.  The sides of the mould were ever so slightly bowed in a little bit.  For all of you more experienced "soapstresses" out there...can you identify if this is right or not? We both agree that this is still a great success, especially when you ....


...look at the flip side once it was taken out of the mould. This looks perfect...exactly what it's supposed to look like :) :) :) It's still just soft enough for cutting and stamping...oh, I'm really excited about homemade soap!!!!


Next comes the task of cutting it into bars. Julie cut varying lengths.  It was a lot of fun to experiment with different sized bars...


Here are some of the finished soap bars waiting to be stamped...again these are Julie's skillful hands holding the lovely first batch of soap bars...this is awesome!!!! Now we went to work trying to stamp everything...some stamps were clear , others less so...but it's all about learning and having fun...and I find beauty in the imperfections, too...We got so caught up in stamping and having fun, that I forgot to take a photo of the complete finished product.....


So I took a photo of what Julie let me take home :) :) :) Thanks, Julie...you were beyond generous with all this beautiful looking soap ;) :) :) Now it's just a matter of letting it cure for SIX WEEKS...yep, it takes that long to harden up nicely...but it's so worth the wait...You have nice homemade soap from just 6 ingredients. That makes me feel really, really good...AND you could even shave that soap once it's done curing and make your own homemade powdered laundry soap.....


Julie made me a special bar of soap engraved with the letter "H" for Heather :) :) :) Okay...how many times can I say how much FUN this is...everyone should try making homemade soap...


Here I am holding up a bar of freshly made homemade soap :) :) :) Yeah...I'm not sure you can read the excitement on my face or not...hee hee hee hee :) :) :)  I think Julie and I both decided we can now officially say we are "pioneer cool" and "super farmgirl chick"...I love being self-sufficient...I love being able to make things for myself...and thank God for people who show us how to do this.  What a blessing..


It's never too late to learn something new!!!!  Thanks again to my friend Julie for letting me help.  This was all that and a bag of chips...meaning, I had the most fun ever making this soap!!! It makes living a "homemade" life more of a reality!!! Stay tuned August 22nd, 2010...the soap will have finished curing and I'll try the soap out and report back to you all!!!!

Here's a photo of a lovely rose. for all of you..courtesy of Julie's backyard rose bush!!!  It's a thank you for reading my blog :) :) :)


After we had cut the soaps and were sitting down for a rest, Julie was thumbing through my Mary Jane Butters books...click here if you are interested in taking a look at the books. You can purchase them if you like.  They're fantastic books and have really inspired me to live a more homemade, crafty simple life...while still leaving room for beautiful things.  There are so many great stories, ideas and photos. It's a real treat for the eyes.  I know I'm not the only one out there who likes all things Mary Jane's Farm :) :)

It's been a fun couple of days. I feel really good about what I've accomplished....OH, can I thank you again, Julie...yes, I can...She's a real sweetheart of a friend who loves Jesus, her family...and now making homemade soap :) :) I think being "self-sufficient" is a good thing, in the sense of having the ability to make as many of the things you need for yourself as possible.  I'm so thankful to God for giving me the skills to learn something new...and for the people who take the time to write all this stuff out, so people like me can read and follow :) :) That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

It's been a wonderful Sunday.  God is so good to me... :) :) That's the news from Oregon for today...extra love and hugs to all for reading my posting marathon, Heather :) :) :)

13 comments:

Linda Stubbs said...

This is really really neat Heather!!!!! Thank you for the note back. The girls are all in at Micah tonight spending the night. The house is quiet! I am going to go to sleep now. I love my bed, pillow and soft cotton sheets. Can't wait for sleep!

Night sweet pea!
Linda

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Linda...thank you!!! It was so much fun...with an extra helping of fun!!!! Oh, sleepovers are fun. I hope they have a good time.
I love writing back anytime anyone leaves me a nice comment here. I'll continue to do that as long as I can...If my blog ever gets super busy, that may change...but for now, I can respond to every comment. It's a joy for me.
OH, bed sounds good too. I slept with my window open last night. There's a screen to keep creepy crawly bugs out..It was a nice relief to the oppresive heat. Oh, gotta love piloows and cotton sheets...I have a really nice king-sized quilt on my "full-sized" bed...but I like my blankets so big I can wrap myself up in them like a coccon :) :) Have a great night's sleep Linda!!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

Annesphamily said...

Heather the soap process is amazing. I really am learning something new. I work with a woman from Japan and she makes soap too! She is very smart. I am still finishing laundry. Have a good week. Hugs Anne

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Anne/Annesphamily...soap is amazing. You should have your friend teach you. It would be fun...and you could take a few photos and blog about it...or just let the photos tell the story...
Laundry...yucky...I have to wash laundry tomorrow...double yucky...but I do have homemade powdered laundry soap :) :)..That's good!!! Love and hugs, Heather :)

That corgi :) said...

that's interesting it takes 6 weeks for the soap to cure. I wasn't away of that fact before. I bet it will be so exciting to try it out after August 22nd!

betty

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Betty/That Corgi :) :)
Yeah...I can hardly wait :) :)
Hugs, Heather :)

Parsley said...

Wow. I wish I had been there for the fun! Lye scares me ever since I read about it in the Little House on the Prairie books. LOL

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

HI Parsley..
Lye is not so bad when it's in crystal form. It's just when it mixes with water that you have to be careful...but as long as you are careful and practice the tips given in Rhonda's blog on soapmaking (I posted a link on Part I of the homemade soap)..You'll be just fine. It fumed a bit, but those disappated really quickly...don't breath it in obviously..but we were fine..

OH, also check out Gerry's Soap N Stuff. She's a really sweet blogger friend of mine and she know EVERYTHING about making soap. There's a link to her blog on my sidebar...ANd a button. Check her out. She's great!!!

I'll have to read the Little House...books again. I remember an episode of "Christy"...where Fairlight Spencer and David Grantland's sister are making soap in this HUGE cast iron kettle...and they're arguing over how much lye to put in the water!!!! Have a great week Parsley. Lots of love and hugs, Heather :) :) :)

Anne Fannie said...

Hi Heather,
This is my first time visit to your blog. I love this post about your homemade soap. I am going to come back when I have more time and read your other posts!
And yes, that soap does look good enough to eat!
Hugs, Ann

Camille said...

You have been one busy girl Heather! What a great post! I think it's a little bit like Ma and her girls in "Little House on the Prairie"! I *love* "Little House"....:)

Blessings,
Camille

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Ann/Anne Fannie...thanks for paying me a visit. How did you find me? I love it when people leave nice comments. I took a look at your blog and you have a lot of really neat pink things...AND your a Mary Jane Farm girl? That's so cool. I'll join that sisterhood someday...because I want a pretty badget for my soapmaking :) :) :)

@Camille...Yep, been busy...gotta do something good with my time while I"m looking for work :) :) :) OH I LOVED "Little House on the Prairie" as a kid. One time my dad and I were out driving and going past some countryside..and I just started singing that theme song. He started laughing. He thought it was so funny!!!! have a great week!!!

Ladies...thanks so much for paying me a visit!!!! I love nice visitors and nice comments :) :)Love and hugs, Heather :) :) :)

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Heather- great photos and it looks like you guys had a ton of fun!
I didn't know you were in Ashland- we're in Crescent City...not too far away! :)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Heather/Mountain Home Quilts..
I don't actually live in Ashland anymore...but I love to drive there a lot, because it makes me happy and it's fun to walk around :) :) ): I'm just a tad further north in Medford!!! Although I'd love to move back to Ashland:) :)


Love and hugs from Oregon :)