"Why Is Our House Filled with Small Useless Chunks of Smelly Stuff and Why Doesn't a Single One of Them Smell like Salmon?," Asks Chicaboita the Cat
Here's how it happened: I tried one simple soap recipe on a whim, after seeing a video on YouTube, and was an immediate convert to soapmaking. It's fun, it's creative, it smells good, you're always learning something new, and you end up with a product that's both practical and luxurious, which you can enjoy yourself, give away to friends and family, and even sell. What's not to like?! After realizing I was hooked, I decided I needed a mission statement to help justify my obsession, so here it is.
My goals in soapmaking are . . .
. . . to make healthy, natural, animal-friendly soaps that are better for me, my friends, & my family than commercially available products;
. . . to make available some varieties that are extra mild, unscented, and able to be enjoyed by those with sensitive skin and noses;
. . . to use sustainable and reusable supplies in my soapmaking process wherever possible;*
. . . to have fun inventing strange recipes and color/fragrance/texture schemes for new soaps, even if it turns out I'm the only one willing to actually bathe with them;
. . . and above all, to set a good example for my public by staying squeaky clean. Which considering the ridiculous amount of soap currently curing on my racks, is not going to be a problem . . .
*All oils, butters, fragrances, colorants, and lye are purchased new, of course, but I've been able to find almost all other necessary equipment and supplies among the donated materials offered for sale by the local I.D.E.A. Store -- "Central Illinois' Premier Eco-Edu-Art Creative Re-use Marketplace"—which is operated by the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation. Soapmaking supplies I've purchased from the IDEA Store include stainless steel curing racks and cooking pots of various shapes and sizes; soap molds in the form of cardboard boxes, PVC pipe, and silicone baking molds; silverware and chopsticks for stirring and texturing; soap wrappings (fabric scraps, dress patterns, kraft paper, and tissue paper); small decorative metal and wicker baskets for gift soaps; wooden drawers for conveying soap to craft fairs; and so on. Whatever your hobby or interest, the IDEA Store is a real treasure trove!