Monday, March 31, 2008

Where Oil and Water Mix

It finally happened.  I helped my sweet mother-in-law make soap about a week ago.  I waited until now to tell you about it so I could get some final product photos and because, well, I am just now having the time to sit down and write about it.  :)  I am reading a book given to me by my mother-in-law that explains how to make a variety of natural soaps.  It is quite interesting as it gives some tidbits on how soap was developed and how it works.  I must admit that I have a whole new appreciation for this product that I use everyday with little thought to how it does what it does.  It was more of a mentality of "Well, it's always here and I was told to use it."  Rather than really knowing the whys and how's of it all.  It's an interesting process that happens really fast... at first.  Once the soap is poured in the "soapbox" then a whole new process begins to happen and it's a game of hurry up and wait.  The box then needs to sit in a thermal stage.  The box is covered with a top and a BUNCH of towels to keep the heat in that is emitted from all the chemical reactions going on in there.  It helps the soap set up.  24-hours later we open the box to find a lovely batch of soap.  But the process is not done yet.  Even three days after the thermal stage the soap is still feels like a soft cheese.  Not really what you want when you head to the showers.  At this point the soap is ready to be cut and have a variety of decorative things done to it if one so desires.  Then the soap usually needs to sit exposed to the air for another SIX WEEKS to harden and cure (making sure there is no live lye still in the soap.)  So, while it is a timely process it is quite fun.  I hope to be making my first batch on my own in the coming weeks.  YAY!!

In an attempt to further my pampering creative skills my sweet mother-in-law gave me a recipe to make lotion.  It was beyond me that I could really make my own because, you know, like beef, lotion comes from the store!  (ha ha!!)  Well, I gave it a whirl and it didn't come out half bad!  However, I must admit the fragrance isn't the best.  I think that I must have used a bit much of the essential oil and I think this particular one needs to be coupled with another fragrance and not just stand on its own.  All in all, the lotion itself is really quite nice that it light and not heavy and oily.  It feels really nice on the skin.  I may try it again.  But I am not so sure what to do with all this lotion that I already have.  Maybe I will just use it on my feet for now.

So, I will let you know how my first batch of soap comes out in the future and any other recipes that I try in this arena.  So many ideas!!


  1. Jess, this is SO cool! You are so crafty :)

    On a sidenote, I was going through my old blog the other day--back from before, during, and a short while after project, and was FLOODED with sweet memories.

    Here's an excerpt for you:
    "Oh, and my discipler is Jessica who's on staff at the Univ. of New Mexico. She's so excited and I'm so excited because she'll get to visit me some weekend next year!"

    How cool is it that you actually LIVE in Phoenix now? I was thinking about that the other day before I went back in time on the blog. Anyway, since we live so close, can we grab lunch sometime soon? Pretty please? :)

  2. You are becoming a real domestic engineer! Full of amazing talents and skills...But it seems you smell kinda funny!