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And God Spoke

July 23, 2010

and said… “Thou shalt make things with thine hands.”

Well, maybe not. But I think after the wreckage of the industrial era, if he were to speak up, that is what he would say.

We tried those hands at soap making last night. Ryan Palmer came out and was kind enough to lead us through an epicly long lesson on goat milk soap. I think the long part was the seemingly fruitless ‘vigorous stirring’ at the end. We all vote: electric mixer for next time. Jared and Ryan are now in slings. Broken bones, muscles, tendons from said ‘vigorous stirring.’I kid.

Unfortunately, the boys kept pouring me wine: an aggregate 2 ounces, which, for all who don’t know me, renders me incapable of driving, operating machinery, vigorous stirring, and… remembering to take photos. (Wah, wahhhh…)

I did manage to come to this morning after wicked night of binge drinking and snap this:


and this:

Close Up

This time around, we made it with lard, or Manteca in Spanish like the armpit town in the central valley of CA. Now, I’m no fan of lard. But this is what we had to work with for our lesson. Will be a good way to see what lard soap is like to work with, the finished product, etc. so when we’re making soap with oils we’ll have something to compare it to.

Lye was a fun adventure. I didn’t realize that the lye heats the milk… with out a heat source. The chemical reaction heats it to about 200 degrees! Once all the ingredients are mixed together, the boys took turns with the “vigorous stirring” for literally about a half hour. Apparently, when you use an electric mixer this part takes about 3 minutes. You have to stir, or mix, until the soap mixture is tracing. Then pour into a mold and voila! Two months later you have soap.

Anticlimactic, no?

So, now we wait. For weeks. Six week actually, not two months. That was more for effect.

Not sure what the crystals on top of the soap are. Hopefully, some fabulous soap makers out there will have some insight. I mean, the crystals look like the soap/lye mix clumped up and raised to the top. Will this burn 3 layers of my skin off when I use it? I’d love to find out.

Next up on the “making” queue is more deodorant. The batch I made burned my pits. Ouch. I could be having a reaction to cinnamon oil, apparently its not too unheard of. But I’ve been using it for quite a while now with no reaction. I’m going to try a different ratio of ingredients this time.

Then the next thing, today, hopefully, is JAM!!! This, I will take photos of. I know, for all you jam makers out there, that it’s not hard. But I’m really excited. <—- Geek.

There was a wicked sale on flats of raspberries and strawberries at the market. So I bought some of each to try my hand at jams. Our blackberries are about to burst in a few weeks, so I want to be ready.

Time to go milk a goat.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. xan permalink
    July 23, 2010 11:19 am

    Hey D.
    Reserving comment on the lard (ew! lol!), the deodorant issue: Was it a baking soda, corn starch and coconut oil-based recipe? I just started that myself. I saw comments on the DIY I used ( that said that the b.s. could cause issues, even after a long time with no problems. Or, it could be the cinnamon (essential?) oil like you say.

    I used lemongrass and a tiny bit of tea tree oils, for a very mild scent, and very good results (H used it in a side-by-side test: Tom’s of Maine in one pit, and DIY in the other, and DIY worked almost perfectly where Tom’s … shall we say failed! ;P ) Of course, I barely smell ever, being as pure as the driven snow inside and out, but so far so good for me, too.

    I find it pretty crumbly, though, and will probably up the coconut oil and/or add aloe for the next batch. Or I might just eject this one and re-mix with more oil and aloe, and put it back in the tube.

  2. July 23, 2010 12:05 pm

    It’s a rendition of a similar recipe. I’m using shea butter as the base, and it has baking soda, clove oil, cinnamon oil and olive oil. I was thinking the baking soda may be the issue. Today’s batch will include much less baking soda and less cinnamon oil. Then test it on myself. Jared didn’t have any problems with the first batch, and I have notoriously sensitive skin. So, we’ll see.

    • xan permalink
      July 23, 2010 1:33 pm

      Ah, I actually read that clove oil specifically might cause problems. Odd, since it’s used to numb mouth/tooth problems, huh?

      I also just read today another deodorant idea. Apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. That’s it. Spray it on, let it dry, the smell evaporates. The man who posted it (didn’t bookmark it, sorry) said it works for him “for a minimum of 14 hours”! I don’t know how your skin might react to ACV. The same guy said it cleared up a rash he’d gotten using another deodorant, so maybe it’ll be good?

  3. July 23, 2010 2:26 pm

    Can’t wait to hear how it all turns out… Exciting stuff. Way to go Miss Make-It!

  4. July 30, 2010 7:43 am

    having success with the new batch of deodorant. yay!
    now, for anyone that wants some, there’s a ‘sensitive skin’ version. it doesn’t quite have the same high octane b.o. fighting power. but it works all day, and doesn’t burn me.

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