All posts by ruthsoaper

Soap Making Part I

Hello and Welcome!

Before we get started, I have to tell you that for me writing a soapmaking tutorial is not the ideal way to teach you all how to make soap. If I had my way, there would be about six of us gathered in my kitchen and we would be making a batch of soap. I would be explaining everything we were doing and why and you would be asking questions and maybe even taking notes.

For many reasons that isn’t going to happen (unless you live in the area and would like to spend a couple hours here with me making a batch of soap in which case leave me a comment and we will see what we can work out).

One thing that remains the same is that I encourage you to ask questions. I may not have all the answers, but I’ll do my best.

I have decided to break this tutorial up into a series of posts. In this first post I will give some definitions; Part II I will talk about equipment you will need for making soap; Part III I will write about ingredients and give you a recipe; and Part IV will be the actual process of making the soap.

Let’s get started.

Soap DefinitionNote: this definition or explanation comes from the US Food and Drug Administration which is the agency in the United States that regulates, among other things, the soap and cosmetics industry.

“Ordinary soap is made by combining fats or oils and an alkali, such as lye. The fats and oils, which may be from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources, are degraded into free fatty acids, which then combine with the alkali to form crude soap. The lye reacts with the oils, turning what starts out as liquid into blocks of soap. When made properly, no lye remains in the finished product. In the past, people commonly made their own soap using animal fats and lye that had been extracted from wood ashes.”

They also tell us “Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most body cleansers, both liquid and solid, are actually synthetic detergent products. Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water and don’t form gummy deposits. Some of these detergent products are actually marketed as “soap” but are not true soap according to the regulatory definition of the word.”  Source

Lye Definition – “1: a strong alkaline solution (as of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide) 2: a solid caustic (such as sodium hydroxide)” Source

Both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide can be used to make soap. I have never made soap using potassium hydroxide; however, it is my understanding that potassium hydroxide makes a softer soap. It is also worth noting that sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are not interchangeable, meaning a recipe would require a different amount of sodium hydroxide than potassium hydroxide.

Since lye is a strong alkaline it does have the potential to cause harm if it comes into contact with our skin and can be hazardous if spilled so, along with safety gear that I will cover in my next post, I would like you to read this article about how to neutralize lye spills.

Soap Making Methods – There are two methods of making soap from scratch. They are cold process and hot process. I have never used the hot process method and will only be writing about the cold process method. The two methods however are interchangeable, meaning that a recipe that can be made using the cold process method can also be made using the hot process method.

If you ever hear or read about someone making soap without lye, then they are not making soap from scratch. They are talking about what is called melt and pour where a premade soap base is melted down and then colors and fragrances may be added, and it can be molded into fun shapes.

Hopefully this first post has answered some questions that might otherwise come up later. Again, feel free to ask questions about anything that is not clear. Thanks for reading.

Farewell My Friend Until We Meet Again

Our hearts are broken, and tears are falling. Our beloved Trooper has gone to wait for us at the rainbow bridge.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

We’ll miss you Trooper but will forever cherish the memories. ❤

Soap Update

Hello and Welcome!

Back in November I wrote about the new soap recipe that I made, and I mentioned in that post that I would let you know how it turned out. I used an oil combination of 40% coconut oil, 40% tallow and 20% olive oil. I also added aloe to it. The types and amounts of oils used in a soap will determine things like how hard the soap is, how cleansing, or conditioning it is and if the lather is creamy or bubbly.

My husband and I have been using this soap for several weeks now so I will share his thoughts as well as mine.

First my husband’s comments, “I love it!” (Short and to the point.)

Now my critique: I find it to be a nice balanced soap. It is a hard bar of soap but not so much that I couldn’t cut it. (In the past I have made some soaps that crack when I attempt to cut them.) It can be worked into a nice creamy lather and it it does not dry out my skin. (Normally this time of year the skin on my calves gets really dry but that hasn’t happened yet.) My favorite part about this soap is the addition of aloe. Aloe gives kind of a silkiness to the lather that makes it a great soap for shaving.

When I posted about making this recipe one of my readers asked me for a soapmaking tutorial. I have decided to break the tutorial up into 3 posts that will be done over the next two or three weeks. If you are interested in learning to make you own soap, you can follow my blog by email or for those with a WordPress account you can follow along in your WordPress reader.

Thank for visiting.

2021 Our Homemade Christmas

Hello and Welcome!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We sure did!

Before we move into the new year let’s take a look back at what kept me busy throughout the month of December.

You may remember this post back in October back in when my daughter, Lindell, saw me wearing one of the shirts, a hoodie, that I had made and decided I should make one for her. I told her “Christmas is coming”. Then when I asked my other daughters, they all decided they would like one. Each of the girls told me what color they would like, except Tina, who said “anything but pink”. Before I went fabric shopping, I decided to give them the option of having me make them a cardigan instead of the hoodie. Kara was the only one who took me up on this offer.

I also asked Tina what I should make for Jackson and Addie and she gave me some ideas.

It was toward the end of October, when I had my materials list ready, that I grabbed my sister and dragged her to the fabric store. LOL! Just kidding. If you know my sister, you’ll know she was more than happy to go to the fabric store with me. It’s one of our favorite places to spend time together.

I will say that I took some creative liberties with choosing fabrics for the girls. I didn’t want to make shirts that were just one solid color; I wanted to design one-of-a-kind garments that I thought would suit their individual style(s).

Hanna’s color choice was black, so I selected the snakeskin fabric then trimmed it in solid black.

Lindell asked for this army green, so I selected this tied dye green and white for trim.

I chose this blue print for Tina and the solid blue trim is actually sprinkled with glitter.

This shimmery stretch corduroy for Kara’s cardigan was so beautiful that I decided to use it for the entire garment.

Making these garments for the girls went pretty smoothly since I had previously made the hoodie pattern three times for myself, and I had made the cardigan pattern once before.

Then it was time to learn something new. The patterns that I selected for Jackson and Addie were both new to me and both posed some new challenges. While all of the garments were made with TLP (Tender Love and Prayer) there was probably more prayer that went into these.

For Addie, who loves to dress up, I made this dress with color blocked sleeves and a double layer skirt.

For Jackson I made this dragon hoodie.

I was so excited when Christmas finally arrived, and I could give the girls their gifts. Kara and Lindell had both told me that they were excited about getting them.

Christmas was a wonderful day – the house was filled with life, laughter and love (and food). After brunch (breakfast food for lunch) we opened gifts.

Below are a few pictures of everyone modeling my handiwork.

Beautiful Addie!

I was thrilled to see that Addie’s dress was a perfect fit. Actually, I was amazed as I watched each recipient open their gift and slip it on, that they all seemed to fit just right – answered prayers.

Jackson showing off his dragon wings.

After seeing Jackson’s dragon hoodie my daughters asked when I was going to make them each one. HaHa!

The sister picture. (Ranger photo bombed this one. LOL!)

Each time I get together with all four daughters I try to get a sister picture with the four of them together. It doesn’t happen very often nowadays. The last time we were all together was over a year ago.

Here’s a challenge for readers who don’t know our family personally: can you put the girls in order of age from left to right?

I also try to get a picture of me with the girls. This time around we were able to get Aunt Donna, my mom’s sister, in the picture and my granddaughter Addie. Four generations.

My husband doesn’t mind me saying that he is not a very good photographer. He needs to work on focusing and staging because while I wanted this picture to highlight their new Christmas clothes, I can’t help looking at those feet. LOL.

In the meantime, at least I can edit/crop the pictures to change the focus – the beauty in digital photography. No more crazy feet.

Well maybe one more look. LOL!

Thanks for visiting.

As 2021 comes to an end, we wish you a Happy New Year and a blessed year ahead. May God’s light guide your way in 2022.