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SoapEh

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Hi everyone :)
I've been lurking for a bit, time to introduce myself. I'm a brand new soaper; I just started at the beginning of August, after doing lots of reading and watching endless tutorials. Now I'm hopelessly addicted!

I started soaping because I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and my doctor suggested finding a hobby or hobbies to keep myself busy, moving, and improve my mood. I initially took up knitting, loved it (still do), but found it can hurt if I do too much. I'm finding that lot of soaping is preparation work that can be stopped and started, and I can save the actual soap-making for a really 'good' day when my hands are at their best. The worst days, when I'm grumpy and sore, I can read my head off and dream up new soaps to make (I have so many notes!)

I'm a very hands-on learner -- with any hobby or task I tend to read/watch lots, and then dive in and try a few things, before finding a way that works best for me. I knew right off hot process wasn't for me; I don't think I have the strength to stir cooking soap, nor mash the soap into molds once it's done in the crock pot. It's also several hours of consecutive work and can't be paused, which is a problem if my pain really kicks up. HP soap is beautiful, but I'll leave it to those with strong hands and arms!

So I'm a CP soaper, but I haven't yet discovered an 'it' recipe. I've been... dabbling... playing with oils and butters, making recipes, learning soapy chemistry. Soapcalc has been endlessly helpful, and I would be lost without YouTube. Now that I've found you guys, I feel fully prepared -- here are real, actual people who can answer questions, people who make soap, people I can learn from. Lucky me, a whole room full of soapy nerds who all want to talk about bubbles and oils and additives and molds and chemistry. *bliss* :D

I've made a few batches of soap so far. First I tried Brambleberry's 'lots of lather' recipe (I read it's best to start with someone's else's tried and true recipe), scented with oatmeal, milk & honey. I tried a drop-swirl in a couple of brownish colours and wasn't thrilled. But... after about six weeks I noticed that the colours are changing as the soap fully hardens; initially, two colours were almost the same. Now one is lightening up and I can see the swirl more. Neat!

I made a recipe that had too much shea butter in it, and further mucked things up by adding way too much extra oil accidentally -- I had little bottles of mica colorants suspended in sweet almond oil, and didn't stop to think about how much OIL I was adding as I coloured the soap. Ended up with a loaf of beautifully swirled, gorgeously coloured mush. Oh, and it stank because of the shea butter (it was unscented otherwise). Tossed it in the back of the cupboard for a week. Brought it down, it was hard enough to slice up... I thought. Nope. So I gave it up for a loss, made soap balls out of half of it, left the rest because I got tired. Forgot about it. Two weeks later... it's hardening up, and the stink is mellowing out. It's probably always going to lather up grey, but I'm keeping the bars that are left to see what happens over time. It might turn out to be very skin-friendly soap!

I made a bar that smells divine, but could strip the paint off a car. Waaaay too cleansing. Add peppermint EO to a harshly cleansing recipe and you get a bath that smells like toothpaste and feels like burning. I'm a put that in my sock drawer and call it a scent infuser or something.

The latest loaf was much mellower; I tried lard for the first time, which was a very interesting experience. Everything before that was vegan/vegetarian, I didn't even include things like beeswax. I keep reading what great soap animal fats make, so I thought okay... suck it up and try it. Sorry piggies, you make a great soap. French green clay is beautiful as an accent against the white of a lard-based soap, too.

I'll eventually learn how to put up pictures, and show you guys my erm... creations. Meanwhile, thanks for reading, this place is awesome :)
 

Cellador

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Welcome! I am also a hands-on learner, and I have been experimenting with all sorts of ingredients too. My "crud soaps" have provided some of the best learning experiences.
 

SoapEh

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I have been experimenting with all sorts of ingredients too.

I'm finding it difficult to limit myself... there are so many possibilities!

I want to make a 'nutty' soap with sweet almond, walnut, macadamia, and coconut -- it just seems fun.

What about a classic Castile, with EVOO, OO, and pomace OO? Do you colour it, or leave it and see if it has different, subtle colours on its own?

There are clays, so many clays. I love clays, and silk OMG. Coconut milk powder, exfoliants, charcoal, and salts

Then I want to try goat's milk, by itself, and with other things, because the smell of goat's milk soap is intoxicating...

And what about enbeds? Herbs? Infusions? Tea and coffee soaps? I would love to try honey and sugar, when I get more experienced.

Then there are there the swirls and layering techniques; so many to try! Flat tops, spoon tops, Taiwan swirls, glitter, piping...

I could literally make a different kind of soap every day and never even touch the number of formulations and colour patterns I'd love to try. This is a hobby that goes on, and on, and on. I have a small family, so I'm a need me some more testers.

If, in a couple of years, you read about an insane woman in Canada who rents a helicopter and parachutes little packages of soap into crowds at big events, that's just me trying to make room in my house for more soap.
 

Millie

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If, in a couple of years, you read about an insane woman in Canada who rents a helicopter and parachutes little packages of soap into crowds at big events, that's just me trying to make room in my house for more soap.
Just let me know when you're ready, I'll join you! Welcome to the forum, SoapEh :)
 

SoapEh

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Where do you live? I lived in Ottawa for 9 years, now I'm in Portland OR. I like your name eh.
We're in Peterborough -- it's not far from Toronto (which is where I grew up). I came here to go to university, met my now husband, who was a townie attending the local college, and roped him into marrying me and moving to Toronto... but this little green spot kept calling him back. I'm very much a city girl, so a 'city' of 75,000 people feels like a tiny town to me, but since we've had our son and bought a house it has really grown on me. It's definitely home now, and really is a lovely place.

Thanks for the compliment -- I said to my husband 'you know, if I ever had a business I could call myself SoapEh, you know, like 'soapy' but with a Canadian twist?!' and he just sort of rolled his eyes. What do boys know? :p
 
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Dahila

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Welcome to the forum, I also live in Canada. My advice is to start simple :) Just remember, it is very addicting hobby :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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...If, in a couple of years, you read about an insane woman in Canada who rents a helicopter and parachutes little packages of soap into crowds at big events, that's just me trying to make room in my house for more soap.
Smack Laugh.gif
... I said to my husband 'you know, if I ever had a business I could call myself SoapEh, you know, like 'soapy' but with a Canadian twist?!' and he just sort of rolled his eyes. What do boys know? :p
Smack Laugh.gif
SoapEh, you are a breath of fresh air! I'm so delighted to meet you. I'm looking forward to seeing how many soaps you'll be checking off that list of soaps you just shared. WooWee, girl. You're in for a wild ride.
Welcome.gif
 

SoapEh

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View attachment 26385

View attachment 26385
SoapEh, you are a breath of fresh air! I'm so delighted to meet you. I'm looking forward to seeing how many soaps you'll be checking off that list of soaps you just shared. WooWee, girl. You're in for a wild ride.
Right back at you :D
I would love to make them all. And realistically, I kind of may have to... I'd love to take the advice given a few posts back and start small but erm... iss a tad late. I may -- MAY have slightly over-ordered and gotten a whole bunch of gorgeous, beautiful scents in the mail yesterday. I have a wonderful, sweet husband who just wants to see me happy, and he indulges my silly hobby insanity with such kindness.

I made the poor man test my outer space soap yesterday. I said "don't worry, it's not scented like flowers or anything" and he said "I don't care if it is, give it to me I'll try it".

I need him to not be so great because now I have all these oils, butters, smells and colours and molds and containers and spatulas and additives and so.many.IDEAS.

Halp.
 

SoapEh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
73
Reaction score
141
Location
Ontario, Canada
View attachment 26385

View attachment 26385
SoapEh, you are a breath of fresh air! I'm so delighted to meet you. I'm looking forward to seeing how many soaps you'll be checking off that list of soaps you just shared. WooWee, girl. You're in for a wild ride.
Right back at you :D
I would love to make them all. And realistically, I kind of may have to... I'd love to take the advice given a few posts back and start small but erm... iss a tad late. I may -- MAY have slightly over-ordered and gotten a whole bunch of gorgeous, beautiful scents in the mail yesterday. I have a wonderful, sweet husband who just wants to see me happy, and he indulges my silly hobby insanity with such kindness.

I made the poor man test my outer space soap yesterday. I said "don't worry, it's not scented like flowers or anything" and he said "I don't care if it is, give it to me I'll try it".

I need him to not be so great because now I have all these oils, butters, smells and colours and molds and containers and spatulas and additives and and and so.many.IDEAS.

Send halp.
 

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