Friday, November 07, 2008

A few weeks ago, my friend Joe - who generally has no creative inclination of any kind...who really has no inclinations other than to drink beer and play poker - told me he wanted to learn how to make soap. And so I made fun of him, as you do.

There is still a part of me that balks at crafts as being for grandmothers and hippies. It was only in the past few years that I realized the carte blanche aspect of crafting allows for almost all of them to be used to make something "cool". But, at least when Joe mentioned it, soap-making was one of those rare exceptions where I saw no potential - unless there's a way to make your own soap molds, in which case I'd make a Dragon Warrior slime shaped one (note to self: find out if this is possible).

Then, during an etsy browsing session, I clicked on a thumbnail for what I thought was a piece of cake (in retrospect, this may have been a stupid the time I assumed that orange stuff on sushi was cheese) but was actually a piece of soap. That got me to start reading all the descriptions of handmade soaps and I was impressed with the variety of scents, nutrients, molds, etc.

So then I decided I wanted to make soap too, and I finally got around to trying it for the first time tonight. I bought an opaque soap base, which I assume is the soap-making equivalent of a cake mix. You basically just melt it in the microwave, throw in some drops of scents and coloring and pour into a mold and let it sit there for about an hour.

One of the soaps I found most intriguing on etsy was an orange creamsicle soap, so I dug up this recipe and got to work. And while I was waiting for the vanilla part to harden, I went ahead and made a peppermint scented soap as well. The verdict in poorly taken photographs:

Top of the soap

Bottom of the soap

I should definitely work on getting the bottom more even and not so jagged. And, more obviously, I should learn how to swirl colors throughout the entire bar and not just the bottom.

I took a shower (shocker, I know - maybe this will be an upside to this new hobby) and used a creamsicle bar. It worked fine, I think, and smelled good - but I don't think the scent "stuck" to me as much as I would have hoped. Then again, there's no one around for me to shove my arm into their face and ask if it smells like a popsicle.

I'm not sure I will ever get interested enough in soap to start making it from scratch, nor am I sure I will ever try to sell it - but I will keep messing around with it. People who know me can probably expect some of it for christmas.

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