Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Making soap...

I have the honor of being acquainted with some very talented and artistic women.  We share stories and skills, seeking always to take care of ourselves, our families, and the earth in the most natural and healthy way possible.  We learn through classes on canning, fiber prep, beekeeping, chicken rearing, and so much more.  Each of these women has given me inspiration, delight, and sometimes lovely and silken soap!

Lately, my favorite soap is the gorgeous Oat & Honey from the artisan hands of Roses Ridge Farm.  It's a lovely nut brown color and soothing to the skin (my skin is incredibly sensitive and riots at the least provocation!), and is now available at lots of stores locally, including Whole Foods!  And I buy it all the time.  Take a moment to visit their website and view all the handcrafted, eco-friendly, and healthy skin care products, including soaps, lotions, balms, scrubs, and gentle baby items...  http://www.rosesridgefarm.com/

So wasn't I excited when a cold-process soapmaking class was offered at Roses Ridge Farm??? 
Our gorgeous soapmaker, Kylene, holding a good resource, The Soapmaker's Companion

I was one of a dozen students greeted by the bull, the goat, the sheep, the chickens, and the turkey babies as we arrived at Roses Ridge Farm.  We chatted outside in the cool breeze of April, and unhurriedly made our way into the farmhouse.  The class gathered in the part of the house that was built in the 1700s, windows open, home-love surrounding us.
Adding a protective apron, then gloves, then eye protection when using lye

Adding the lye to the distilled water

Stirring the lye/water mixture; vapor rising 

Checking the temperature

Lye/water mixture in cup, oils in bowl, scale, blender, distilled water

We learned SO much about lye and oils and molds and temperatures and equipment and safety!  Two hours flew by so quickly!  Each of us left with a small bar of Roses Ridge Oat & Honey Soap in a darling gingham bag, full instructions for beginning our soapmaking journeys from the Soap Queen website, and the joy of spending the afternoon with each other in such a sweet environment.
Mixing the oils with the immersion blender

Adding the lye mixture to the oils

Blending to emulsify and bring to 'trace'

Trace = pudding consistency and 'trails' left behind

*contented sigh and soapmaking anticipation*

Soap mold lined with freezer paper

Soap mixture, trace reached and poured into mold
Unmolded soap after 24 hours


Abbi said...

I so much want to try this. I have all the ingredients now on hand but I was waiting for warmer weather because I thought maybe it would be better (because of the lye,) to do it outside. I see you all did it inside. Also I am wondering if it is okay to use pans, immersion blender and such that I will later use again for food. Do you know if that is okay?

donna rae said...

Hi, Abbi! We did our class inside, but with LOTS of ventilation! I was thinking I would try it the first time outside. Don't lean over the lye mixture... the fumes are quite intense! Anything that you use for soapmaking is forever for soapmaking... don't use any of these items for food. You will want to wear gloves, an apron, shoes, and goggles or glasses. The lye is very caustic and must be handled with the utmost of care. I strongly recommend reading the instructions in the link to Soap Queen and/or a soapmaking book. I wish you the very best in your soapmaking adventures!!!

free range chick said...

Great post thank you for sharing this- though it still seems daunting to me it looks so fun.
Have a lovely day.

Anne-Marie said...

Sounds like you had such a blast and what a fun place to take a soapmaking class in. Happy Soaping!