Hello All! I’m a new member as of January 5, 2022. I am also new to soapmaking. I wanted...needed to make my own soap because buying “natural” soaps at $5 to $10 a bar was very expensive and ridiculous! I figured I’d try my hand at soapmaking. Being a bit intimidated by lye (watching tv shows like Breaking Bad), I began by using melt and pour. That was fine for the first 2lbs. of soap that I made but, I felt I could do better. So I did. After reading/consulting 4 books, reading numerous articles and posts and watching a slew of videos, I felt confident that as long as I was extra cautious, I could do it and make my own. Since the beginning of the new year, I have made 22 cold process batches of soap (usually 1000g to 1300g) and ALL are my own recipes. I most certainly did not start with beginner soaps! I wanted to learn and the best way FOR ME to do that is to read/research and then jump right in and get hands on experience! Most all of my soaps have been been made with some type of milk. I’ve made soaps with goat’s milk, cow milk, buttermilk, coconut milk, homemade oat milk and almond milk, coconut water, pink salt, clays, beer, beeswax, honey, coffee, puréed fruits/veggies, fresh whole aloe, cucumber, lard, tallow, Crisco, shea and more . I’ve used the milk in oil method, frozen liquids and such. Had the opportunity to experience and avert an almost soap volcano with beeswax (turned out wonderfully smellicious), soda ash (which I happened to love...I’m weird), and partial gel phase! I’ve tested all my soaps and keep very detailed notes. So far, I’ve really lucked up with great lathering and conditioning in my soaps! I AM SO ADDICTED! It’s so exciting to learn different things and watch a new batch birthed in unmolding! Anyway, I am happy to be here and look forward to learning more. Hopefully, I’ll get the courage to post a pic or two!