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Hello, my name is Val, and I’m addicted to soap-making.

Welcome to my first post ever. I like to write, and although my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, I’m a very visual-  I love pictures,
(especially soapy pictures) so please bear with me as I try to figure out all of this blogging jazz. I’m hoping this may help spare my FB friends from my daily photo assault on them, but who knew there were so many features to figure out?

I was in bed the other night, watching a massage technique video on my ipod when my husband rolled over and asked, “What are you watching?” I told him what it was and he replied, “A massage video? Don’t you have that stuff down by now?”

This gave me a chuckle.  I’ve been a massage therapist for a grand total of six years already, for goodness sakes.
No, there is no way I will ever learn everything about what I do for a living. There are so many different modalities, and I think continuing to learn and grow is essential to a persons fulfillment and happiness.

This is something I appreciate about my big, fat soaping hobby, too. I call it big and fat because it is taking up a huge amount of space in my house. Who needs living space anyway?

I learned how to make soap a short year and a half ago, and who’d a thought there were so many different ways in which it can be made? It is truly a wonderful mix of chemistry and art. I’ve always been creative by nature, and will admit that I am one who enjoys the ‘art’ part more than the math.  That being said, I have to give kudos to anything that get’s me excited to do math!

True soap is made when an alkali (lye) combines with a fat (my beautiful oils) to produce a salt, which is soap. The heat-producing chemical change that occurs when these substances are combined is called saponification.  The final soap has no active lye in it, although it does retain a percentage of free floating oils (this is a good thing and is called superfat, hey! what’d you call me?) and a wonderful by-product of that chemical change, which is glycerin.
Glycerin is humectant in nature, meaning it attracts water from the atmosphere to the skin. This makes the soap feel mild and conditioning.  In commercial soap making, glycerin is skimmed from the soap and sold to produce other products.  Not only would I not have a clue as to how to skim the glycerin from my soap, but I would never want to do that!  Herein lies the difference between commercial and hand-made soaps.

As my crafty forum-friends will attest to, there is nothing like waking in the morning to a fresh batch of soap ready to come out of the mold!
This is an Activated Charcoal swirled, 100% Coconut Oil/Coconut Milk Sea Salt soap, scented with Lime, Citrus-Basil and Eucalyptus.  I find Sea Salt soaps especially refreshing in the summertime.
It smells really fresh, I’m going to call it “Cool Citrus Herbal” or something..and now the long wait for cure begins.
In my beautiful Brambleberry mold

I like to cure my salt soap for three months, so this one won’t be ready until October!

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