Tag Archives: soap

First batch of Soap at Home


Now if you’ve been reading along for any amount of time, you probably know that I share my follies right along side with my victories.   And as much as I am excited about becoming a soap-a-teer (yep I just made that up) it does not make me good at it 😉 This first batch was definitely a learning experience. It all seemed straight forward when I had Rene from Karma Suds at my side giving me step by step instructions. However on my own was a bit trickier

Now I had bought myself cute scale, and had all my new soap making ingredients set up, (if you want more information about how it all works click here) Spent a few days thinking about my recipe and what I was going to make. I decided on a coconut and olive oil based soap, with green swirls of  olive leaf extract and blue swirls of organic colour. I chose the essential oils of neroli and jasmine – I know fabulous right ?!

making soap with lemons are for licking

Now one of the great things about customizing your own soap recipe is you get to add little extras, like shea butter or an exfoliant. For this batch I chose avocado oil, it’s so great for the skin and we are heading into those hot days of the beach where we might like a bit of vitamin A  n’ E and more moisture. Great idea but also part of where I had my learning moment.

making soap with lemons are for licking

When taking the soap to “trace” I got a bit over excited and I think I added my avocado oil a bit too soon, my lovely soap stopped thickening. And was loosing heat instead of building heat in the reaction that takes place when you make soap – saponification

In a panic I reheated the batch on the stove. I was really worried that I had messed it up beyond repair and would have to start all over 😦

Bringing it back up to temperature did kick-start the magic again. I got it in my mold cleaned up and went to bed.

The next day when I removed my pretty cake of soap from the mold, it was so lovely to behold….But it was kinda soft and oily looking and well just not quite right.

making soap with lemons are for licking

beautiful to look at but odd and oily

After a few e-mails to my teacher and checking of my recipe, it was concluded that I over oiled (or under lyed) my soap. Its pretty  likely that I went wrong with the math of my lye solution, or by adding my avocado oil too early I  threw off the balance of the reaction.

making soap with lemons are for licking

can you see the odd texture?

 The good news is that it will be usable but soft and possibly mushy if left in the kids bath. It takes about 6 weeks to cure all the way so I will soon know how usable this batch is.

making soap with lemons are for licking

extreme close -up

Its all about the journey here in my lemony home, I’ve started thinking of the next batch already.


  It took me a few weeks to get this out, and you know what? My weird soft soap is usable ! I think it would melt away quite fast if left in the shower, but its great for in the kitchen where I wash my hands like a zillion times a day.





And now for Something Completely Different


Ok here we go on a bit of a tangent…

I’ve gotten all inspired this past winter, to make home-made soap. I had bought great bar of all natural hand crafted soap from a table at a fair.

I loved it ! !!

It was beautiful and smelled great, made my skin feel so soft. Next when we were on a family vacation in Tofino I picked up a sample pack of naturally crafted body lotion, bath gels and well a whole lot o’ stuff.  Now I’m hooked on artisan soaps !!

See I have sensitive skin, I get contact dermatitis from some dish soaps, laundry detergent, fragrances in lotions, make-up…the list goes on and on. So does my daughter and the boys most likely do too, they just have never been overly exposed to anything that isn’t formulated for sensitive skin. The crafted soaps are amazing for my skin. I went all summer with out an eczema outbreak ( I know kinda gross but a major yay for me all the same) So of course me being me I wanted to find out if I could make some too. And you know what?  turns out the amazing lady from Karma Suds (who I bought that first great bar from) teaches soap making ! she runs a whole on-line soap making school. But for us lucky peeps in the GRVD she offers classes in her studio!

So you guessed it, I took her class. And now I am obsessed!

Now I wasn’t thinking that this would become something that I would blog, so I don’t have good photos of that first cake of soap being cut or anything (I know how silly of me) I cut the bars small to share with my friends and family.


What I really loved about her class is how Rene taught us about special additives and creating swirls and artifing the soap. The end result is so lovely. This is what has caught my fancy too, making these beautiful looking cakes where the swirling colours are full of anti-oxidents or skin purifying agents. Everything is lovely and beneficial to your skin at the same time.


This one bar was made thinking of my daughter, each additive promotes clear skin and reduces redness.  And the fragrance used was lavender, lime with a hint of bergamot.

Since then I have made a second cake of soap all by myself at home. There will be another post soon about that.