I've been wanting to do something non-bookish on the blog but couldn't think what. I'm not much for cooking, I can't garden worth a darn, and I don't sew, knit,or do anything creative. Then I remembered that I make soaps, bath salts, and sugar scrubs, and that's both creative AND crafty. Every other Saturday I'll share some photos and recipes and chat a bit. I'm by no means an expert, it's a casual hobby, though for a few years I did have an online store. I still sell if you ever want to place an order.
I use melt and pour soaps, AKA glycerin soap. It's easy to work with and there are no harsh chemicals involved. I was inspired years ago when one of the women's groups at my church made some for our annual harvest fair, a big fundraiser for our church budget every year. I picked one up and thought, "I can do this." So, being a book person and not yet captured by the internet, I went to Michael's Crafts, bought a book and a soap kit and began experimenting. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning such as using food coloring to color the soap. Yeah, don't. Every time I used those soaps, the dye rubbed off onto my skin. These days I buy supplies from several different online sources and there are some lovely colorants, both powdered and liquid, available.
This is a coyote paw, inspired by Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. I bought this mold, and a few others, from Acorn Naturalists. While not intended as a soap mold, it works quite well.
I heated cubes of white M&P soap in the microwave until they were melted. Then I added scent, 4 drops per ounce of soap, and stirred. Once I was satisfied with the scent, I poured the melted soap into the coyote mold (make sure your mold is on a flat surface), sprayed it with rubbing alcohol to remove bubbles, then left it sitting out on the counter until it was completely cool. Since it was a smallish mold and made of flexible polymers, the soap set in under an hour. I poked it gently to verify that it was done, picked up the mold, flexed it, and popped out the paw. I let it sit for 24 hours before wrapping it in plastic wrap.
Here's another coyote paw, unscented, made from honey glycerine.
Next time, I'll show off some wolf paw soap that I've made.
What crafts or hobbies do you enjoy? Share in the comments.