Though it may seem a bit off-season of a craft, for some reason I've been pretty excited about soapmaking this summer. One more than a few occasions this month, I've found myself up well past the kids, at in the kitchen on making the latest batch (being that night time is when the kitchen is free - in theory - of kids, pets and food, and therefore safe(r) for using the lye). Maybe it's the open windows that are a lot easier to bear in summertime (again, for the lye) or maybe I'm thinking ahead towards the holidays. Of course, I'm totally fooling myself by saying that, because there is no doubt that I will start giving this stuff out just as soon as it has all cured, as I'm terrible at keeping gifts for surprises. So I'm sure I'll be happily making more in October.
Though I am a true beginning soap maker and nothing fancy has come of my efforts yet, I'm finding that like sewing, or knitting, or any other crafty adventure, it's becoming more enjoyable the more time I spend doing it. Partly, that's familiarity with the process, but it's also the result of having not only a nice stash of supplies (mostly purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs and Brambleberry), ingredients and tools on hand, and a designated place to store them. All of that means that if I'm suddenly inspired by a recipe I want to try, it's very possible I have all of the ingredients and can just get rolling while the inspiration is hot. I'm not really ready for making my own recipes (perhaps I fear the math, and the waste that would come from a mistake), but thankfully there are plenty of wonderful recipes out that that I've been eager to try. I picked up a new book - Pure Soapmaking by Anne-Marie Faiola this spring and everything I've made lately has been from that. The green and rose are Comfrey & Spirulina, the round ones are Buttermilk Honey, and the small cubes are a simple Castile-Brine. Next up is Nettle & Yarrow, I think.
This week, though, the garden is truly starting to come into the kitchen and I think my nights might be spent in there preserving food more than anything. But then again, there is the new cross stitch kit that arrived and those sewing patterns too. And I just got word that my latest batch of fiber is due back from the mill any day now. Oh! If only I could find a way to add a few more hours to each day for all of these good things!
And you? What are you making these days?