Category Archives: Soap

A Book Review

Hi Friends!  It’s been a while and I’ve had many things going on.  A phase maybe?  I thought I would just do a post about a book I have been reading.  The book is 300 Years of Natural Soap & Cosmetic Recipes, by Marie Gale.  After reading this book, I think of the Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 1:9  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

In the book, the earliest documented soap recipe is from 1898.  Some of the recipes are named Yellow Domestic Soap, Pale Soap, etc. and later soap names in 1918 were French White Soap, A Good Soap, etc.  The ingredients are not so different from what soap is made from today.  The difference is that today, there are many oils and butters that are readily available to anyone who wants to obtains them.

The next chapter in the book contains scent blends made of essential oils.  Some of the scent blends include names like Spanish Bouquet, Jockey Club and Lemon.  The first synthetic fragrance oil was made on or around 1898 and expanded from there.

There are more chapters with recipes for all sorts of lotions, creams, and beauty aids.  The book is chock full of information and is a great compilation of the past leading up to the present.  I enjoyed this book very much as it offers inspiration for new scent blends and other types of soap.  It is interesting that milk soaps were not made until much later when the cold process method became widely used.

Soap making has changed since it began but not very much in a few hundred years.

I hope you find this interesting and informative!

Soap Scents

Cow’s Milk Soap and A Walk Down Memory Lane

I know everyone thinks of goat milk soap when they think of milk. Really, any milk can be added to soap, as well as tea, pureed fruit and all sorts of things.  I used to sit around thinking of what I could possibly add to my soap!

The first batch of soap I ever made was unscented and it was small, it only made a few bars. I was so proud of that soap and from that moment, it was love.  The 2nd batch I made was Jasmine.  Now, that one was tricky, and I didn’t know about the term seizing, which that soap did.  It still turned out though, and I never looked back.  At that point in time, I was making cow’s milk soap!

Side note:  Seizing is when a fragrance oil reacts with the soap and within seconds can turn into a solid chunk of soap that can’t be poured.  Floral fragrances can certainly cause this to happen.  I have learned to avoid seizing and use all sorts of strategies to get around it.

So, I took a trip down memory lane and made my jasmine cow’s milk soap. I hope you like it as much as I do.  I am offering on my website and it’s up today!  It’s a pretty, floral and very like the actual flower.  Let me know what you think and be sure and tell me what other scents you like in soap!

Blog, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

  • I resolve to write on my blog more often (even if it may not be relevant or interesting, or pertain to soap in any way.  Maybe once a week, but not on the same day.
  • I additionally resolve to post “something” on Facebook, even if it’s only interesting to me.
  • Ok, about Instagram, I may or may not post pictures of myself, but I WILL post pictures of soaps since I like doing that.
  • Pinterest, I’ve got no problems with.  I know how to do that.

This is strictly a goal and by making it public, maybe I’ll stick to it.  Let’s not even mention YouTube.  I’m not ready for that, although I dream about filming a soap making video.  But, I think there are already a bunch of those out there.  Maybe I could make a soap making video outside, in the middle of a snowstorm!  Which rarely happens where I am, so I it may be a while.

I could go viral with that.  Chances are, I would just catch a virus while standing in a snowstorm, making a video about soap.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for that.  I’m off to make soap now, until next time.

A Bluebird of Happiness and Springtime Soap

Traditional Soap Making

The great bluebird quest began one winter day when a lone bluebird sat on our deck rail and looked out at the world.  That very Spring, I bought a bluebird house and put it up where I thought they might like to live.  We had visiting bluebirds but none of them ever stayed. I thought something was wrong with the house or that it wasn’t located properly.  Fast forward two years to right now.  There is a cute little bluebird family that has taken up residence at my house.  I even planted blueberry bushes yesterday in their honor (blue birds like berries), although there won’t be any blueberries for a while.  The bluebirds’ presence indicates to me that Spring is pretty much here or will be in short notice.  Their presence gives me a reason to smile on some days when smiling is pretty much out of reach.  I hope they stay for a while.

Maybe I should go and make some springtime soap colored a delicate blue and scent it with the sweet scent of berries, flowers and cedar trees.  Or, not, but the bluebirds are such a breath of fresh air and inspriation after it feels like an entire year of winter.      “And when he sings to you, Though you’re deep in blue, You will see a ray of light creep through, And so remember this, life is no abyss, Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness. Life is sweet, tender and complete, when you find the bluebird of happiness.”  Bluebird of Happiness, lyrics by Edward Heyman & Harry Parr Davies, 1934

 

 

New Soap (I’d like to make)

So, today I’m making new batches of Berries and Cream and Honey Bee Mine, two of my bestsellers.  But, I’d REALLY like to be making something new!  Although, those two are great, I really love to experiment with new soap and ingredients.  Some of the ingredients I’m looking at utilizing are not very different from things to cook with!  Soaked lentils, ground up coriander seed, and other ingredients come to mind!

I’m also wanting to go ahead and make soap for Christmas!  Did you know that Christmas will be here before you know it?  This year, I’m determined not to let it sneak up on me as it does every year!  We’ll see, it probably will anyway because right now, it’s still pretty warm here in the South and high school football is underway.  Speaking of that, my Pumpkin Soap made with goat milk is a great, warm soap for the fall.  It has notes of ginger and spice and is so great in the kitchen for hand washing as well.  Apple soap is also for the fall and I wish I had time to make more fall-ish soap!  Oh well, for now it’s wishing for Lentil Soup and soap!

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Soap Stamping

Soap stamping has always seemed so beautiful to me but I have not done it on my own bars.  When I first tried it as an experiment, my bars were soft and it didn’t go very well and so I just didn’t try again for a while.  But, for some reason, I keep going back to it.  It has to be done when the bars are just right, not too hard or too soft and that’s tricky.  I’m happy to announce that I have found a sort of happy medium and a few bars have been stamped lately and look fairly decent.  Although, there is a learning curve (for me anyway), I get some deep satisfaction in pounding words into my soap.  I don’t know if you can see this very well since the picture is small, but there’s a stamp on this bar of Lavender Mint soap.  Let me know what you think!

 

Soap Back Up Today

Back up today is Dead Sea Mud and Tea Tree Oil.  I remade Honey Almond which did not turn out right the last time, unfortunately.  Also, today I changed Scuppernong Wine to Dandelion Wine as I could not find the exact match for the fragrance oil, but I found something that is still very nice and almost the same as the old one.  That’s for all the Scuppernong Wine fans out there!

Lone Hummingbird

My husband hung this feeder just the other day.  We’ll take it down when the weather changes but for now, this little guy is hanging around.  I think they are the most interesting birds, so tiny and perfect.  I think they are so interesting also because they are so hard to actually see.  They are never really still.  I think that God has a sense of humor – you have to smile when you see them.  I realize this has nothing to do with soap, but I guess there are other things in life…

Soap Poll Results

An ocean scent, it is!  Not many people voted, but to those who did, thanks.  I have both an ocean scent and an “exotic” scent next up, but Ocean soap will be first.  I am making soap like crazy and plan on being stocked back up in the next 2-3 weeks.  For those who do not know, I also make custom soap and some of those orders cause me to also get behind in my own soapmaking.  Thanks for everyone’s patience and Happy Memorial Day!