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gdawgs

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Hello! I've been here two or three months and figured I may as well throw a post up here. I got into soapmaking indirectly from my wife. She LOVES going to craft stores, so I get dragged into going with. While she's off doing her thing, I go wandering around to see if there is anything interesting. Several stores have soap making supplies(melt & pour) along with soapmaking books. So on numerous occasions, I've picked up the books and started reading. I don't know why, but for some reason soapmaking fascinated me. So after a couple years of this, I finally bought a book did some researching and made the plunge.

I've now made 13 batches including a couple HP(one shaving soap), castile, and pine tar. I'm to the point where I feel pretty comfortable with the basics, so I want to try to figure out how you guys make those amazing looking soaps. I tried a swirl the other day, and it doesn't quite look like the ones pictured on here. :) More learning.

I'm a mechanical engineer by trade now. I used to be a music teacher. That's a long story.
We have three kids ages almost 15, 12 and 8. We've had a rough year so far with regard to things going on with kids. Our son(12 year old) was diagnosed with anorexia earlier this year. He spent some time in the hospital then we had an aggressive re-feeding at home. He is now fully recovered and doing amazing! It's an awesome feeling to have our real son back.

We are also in the process of adopting a child from Burundi. This is a LONG process. We are now in over two years. We are just waiting for a match which could be very soon(or not). Who knows.

I've learned a ton off this forum already and I know will learn a ton more. This is a great group of folks. Thanks for your help and I look forward to making more soap and learning more.
 

lsg

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Welcome to the forum. I am so glad that your son has recovered. Bless you for taking in another little one. I have learned a lot by watching Soaping 101 and the Soapqueen videos. Enjoy your soaping journey.:)
 

dibbles

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Welcome to a fellow Minnesotan! It's good that things are going well with your family and that you have another exciting change on the horizon. Swirling takes practice and what I see when I cut is usually a surprise, but almost always something I like. My first swirl was an in the pot. That isn't too difficult and is pretty reliable. If my batter gets thick too quickly I just go for a spoon or chopstick swirl. YouTube will be a good source for watching different techniques, and before long you will probably be chasing the elusive butterfly. Good luck - it's so much fun!
 

navigator9

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Welcome, and congratulations on your soapmaking efforts. I think it's a good idea to try different methods and types of soap, because everyone has a niche or two that they fall into, something that strikes a chord with them, and that they enjoy more than the rest. Fancy looking soaps are another story. It takes much practice and also some luck, and some of us never manage to do it really well, (like me!) but even if your swirls are never prize-worthy, the handmade soap you make will be far superior to anything commercially produced. Best of luck with your personal challenges. Soaping is always a good diversion, and the upside is, lots of great soap. :)
 

IrishLass

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Welcome! I'm so glad to hear about your son overcoming anorexia. I have a family member who battled with it in her teenage years, so I can relate not a little bit to how hard it is for a person to change the , "I'm so fat" visual mindset who is literally nothing but skin and bone. Thankfully, she overcame it, too.


IrishLass :)
 

MySoapyHeart

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Welcome!
I am so happy your son is doing well, it is obviously because he has such a wonderfull and supportive family who really take good care of eachother. Support in a scary situation like that is priceless.

And adopting a child from Burundi? Yay, I love that. Hopefully your wait will soon come to an end and your new familymember can start his/her new life with you guys!

Btw - the jump from music teacher to mechanical engineering is cool! Those occupations may sound unrelated (yup, pun intended), but actually are not that far from eachother in my book. How I see it, both of those professions takes a lot of creativity and imagination + the skills to put things into a specific order to produce something specific to fill a need.

And both of them involves production & designing. Designing or teaching musical notes or making metal parts that goes with other notes or metal parts, made to create and pass on a coherent dance between many different shapes that turns into a movement, wether it is musically or mechanically...

Seems soapmaking is the next logical step, and right up you your alley!

I foresee many lovely swirls in your future, Mr. gdawgs : )
 

gdawgs

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Thanks for all the well wishes. As far as eating disorders go, we knew nothing about them before this happened. I can tell you this, if you made a list of conditions/illnesses you wouldn't want your kid to have, eating disorders should be right at the top. It is BAD! Anorexia has the highest mortality of any mental illness. We were told that it's roughly the same as leukemia. So it's serious business. The problem is that the person who is suffering doesn't realize they are sick and they don't want to get better. They would rather not eat and just die than to get better. Their minds really get screwed up. When our son was sick he would actually say that, "I wish you'd just leave me alone so I could die". "I hate you" was very common. Things that our son would never say otherwise. He was awful to be around. Now that he's back to his old self, he is so happy, full of energy, and just a joy to be around. It's such a weird illness. Thankfully our son recovered unbelievably fast, so we didn't deal with it nearly as long as many do. Some people fight the battle for years. And some die. I belong to a forum for parents of kids with eating disorders. There is a family on there whose daughter died a few months back after a long battle. Very sad.

As far as the adoption goes, we just got an update today. It's a generic update, but the committee that does the matching is going to meet "very, very soon". We were told that we are next on the matching list, so hopefully it will come soon. But there are no guarantees in the adoption world. We just trust that the big guy upstairs has the timing all planned out for us.
 

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