I have a lot of books. I bet you do too. Some of my books are used more than others. They have notations and phone numbers scribbled on their covers (front and back), are wonderfully worn and dog-eared. I can’t live without them and I’ve been known to panic and buy another copy if one is misplaced for more than a month.

This is one of those books. I’ve never had to replace it, I’ve carried it in my bag on hundreds of subway rides back and forth to work when I lived in the city, I studied it, wrote on it, used the recipes in it, made changes to the recipes, and did not pay any attention whatsoever to any of those changes the next time I used the recipe. I remember buying it and how I felt when I picked it up and saw it for the first time. It seemed like an extravagance -When would I ever have time to make soap with three little kids running around? Me use lye????!!!!! Understand saponification???!! (I still really don’t, I am no chemist, Lol!) But over the years I’ve made soap from scratch over and over again. I’ve used it, given it away to family and friends and even sold it. I’ve rarely had a batch that didn’t turn out right and when I did, it was always because of the same reason – I was too


Last night I made soap again, and I did it a little differently. Usually I make cold process or CP soap, (takes 6 weeks to cure). But it took a long time to trace so I made HP (Hot Process soap). You don’t have to wait for it to cure. Wait! What? That’s right, if you do it right, you can use the soap right away. Anyway here are a few photos of my experience last night and this morning and finally the book about CP soapmaking that I love. Oh yes, and another thing I love about soapmaking- being a “soaper” -I read it on the internet so it must be true! Oh no Q I am going to make you spend more money!!

PS when I lived in the city, they stopped selling lye in the hardware store because of the whole meth thing. I would have to order it special and secret like.  I walked into the Farmer’s Co-op here in Greenfield and asked if they had pure lye, -sodium hydroxide. The woman answered “To make soap? Sure we have it, it’s in the housewares aisle.” I am definitely home!

Lye water has been added to the oils

Lye water has been added to the oils

It's 2 am and it still won't trace

It’s 2 am and it still won’t trace

Into the crockpot this morning

Into the crockpot this morning

Finally "cooked", poured into a mold and sprinkled with lavender flowers

Finally “cooked”, poured into a mold and sprinkled with lavender flowers


About Marjorie

I dye, print and sell my work here:
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9 Responses to Soapbox

  1. Vicki W says:

    That’s the same book that I use too. It’s excellent!

  2. Pamela says:

    Love your story – it is a mini-book!

  3. The local feed store is one of my favorite places! They carry all sorts of useful items!

  4. Curls & Q says:

    Q- dang you! One of our local “farms” offers soap making classes. I’ve been able to “ignore” it because of my fantastic will-power! Lol! Seeing this blog, thinking of my lavender and verbena! Sigh….. You are so bad! The soap looks fun to make and you speak to my chemists heart when you “say” the words Sodium Hydroxide! Sigh…… And, of course it’s true if you read anything on the Internet. Lol. Now please read my blog today and tell me what I can use naturally to get a lovely pink shade of dye.

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