I did end up liking the soap I molded in my silicon heart molds----but not liking the soap molded in my silicon Lego mold. I think that spells the death knell for the Lego molds, therefore, because I didn't like it with crayons or glycerin soap or even muffins, either, and after a good scrubbing you'll likely see the big and the small Lego molds up for a few bucks in my pumpkinbear etsy shop.
For this batch of soap I used a kit and recipe bought from The Kitchen Girls. Although I'm grateful that I had the kit the first time, to sort of baby me through, I won't be using that recipe again or buying another kit. Instead, here is a selection of the library soapmaking tomes currently residing in my house:
- Soapmaker's Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How (Natural Body Series - The Natural Way to Enhance Your Life)
- Essentially Soap: The Elegant Art of Handmade Soap Making, Scenting, Coloring & Shaping
- Handcrafted Soap
- Designer Soapmaking
- The Everything Soapmaking Book: Recipes and Techniques for Creating Colorful and Fragrant Soaps (Everything: Sports and Hobbies)
Out of these, I think that I'm going to use a basic cold-process soap recipe from The Soapmaker's Companion--perhaps the Soap Essentials recipe, or the hemp soap recipe, or the sunflower oil soap recipe--but make it without essential oils or dried herbs.
The independent hardware stores (but not the big-box ones) have the lye that I need, and I'm hoping that I can get most of the oils, the olive and coconut and whatever, either from a sort-of nearby restaurant supply warehouse that might have super-low-grade olive oil and such, or from Sam's Club. Whatever I can't get locally, Scott at Barefoot Kids said he could order online for me, and Barefoot Kids already has all the dried herbs I'd want to use in their brick-and-mortar.
After my basic cold-processed soap has cured, however, I think that I'm going to try hand-milling that soap in small batches (this is also called rebatching) to make the scented, herb-infused specialty bars that I want. There's a great Homestead Blessings DVD tutorial for this, if you can get past the denim skirts and gender role stereotyping and blessings of the Lord stuff, which I pretty well can if I'm in the right mood. Rebatching will keep the essential oils from altering their scent like they did with my cold-process experiment, and I like the idea of being able to make a single bar at a time of whatever random stuff I take it into my head to make soap out of.
Since rebatching also avoids the possibility of lye exposure (unless you messed up your soap in the first place), I'm thinking that's how I'll be able to include the girls in my soapmaking.
Although they do make a mean melt-and-pour glycerin bar already.