I can hardly wait until the end of March/beginning of April when I have spring break. It is not because we are going anywhere exotic, or even cross-country; hell we're not even leaving town! I am pretty happy about just hunkering down and doing things that need a couple days to do - like soapmaking.
I love making soap almost as much as I love making bread. Not the melt and pour stuff that you can buy in a large craft store but the real deal. The kind of soap that makes you say "mmm" when you smell it and when it lathers up it is creamy and fresh smelling. The kind of soap that you just know that only natural ingredients are in it.
I used to make huge quantities of handmade soap and sell it when my kids were little. It helped to supplement our income and allowed me to stay at home with them. As well, I wasn't allergic to it and it made the whole house smell great while it dried!
The hardest part that I find when I make soap is deciding which of my twenty-three different scents to make! Do I do my Rosemary is for Remembrance, Citrus Sunshine (hubby's favourite), Christmas in the Wilderness (one of my favourites), or do I do Euphoria or maybe Aphrodite's Delight? I know for sure that I am making a batch of Aphrodite's Delight already for a couple friends who sell honey-based products. It is a lovely, light soap with all of their honey's nourishing properties.
Making soap is not hard, it just requires a few safety precautions and patience. Generally, it takes about three hours from set-up to the end of clean-up to make a batch of soap. Then it has to sit overnight before you can cut it. After that, it has to sit for a month before you can use it. A lot of recipes say to let it sit for only two weeks before you can use it but I am more comfortable with a month. It needs that extra timeframe to become milder and it allows the bars to harden. My batches are large because I have only the large frames and large recipes that I developed when I made it in bulk. Forty-eight bars of soap will last us awhile so choosing the one I want to use for a long time is important - to me anyway.