Friday, March 11, 2011

Ooh La La

I've been reading about this technique in soapmaking called hand milling or rebatching.  I've also seen it referred to as French milling.  i love how you can add the word "French" to something and it immediately increases the ooh-la-la factor.  Whatever the object or act is, it immediately seems to gain a certain amount of rustic sophistication.  I mean, think about the french fry.  Okay, maybe it doesn't work for the french fry.  No, wait, it does work for the lowly fry.  In Quebec, they dip fries in mayo, real mayo.  It's really good actually.  And it does make me feel a little more shii-shii than plain old ketchup.  Not that a fry needs a lot of help but I can imagine that I can dip my fried in mayo and still drink a glass of red wine with it.  Anyways, I digress . . .

So back to hand milling.  Hand milling can be used when a batch of soap is good but didn't quite turn out the way you had hoped, thus the term "rebatching".  But what really has me interested in hand milling is that you can continue to add ingredients to your soap after the initial soap making process.  And because the soap has already gone through the saponification process, more of the benefits of the additives are retained.  There is some debate as to how much of the benfits of such ingredients as botanicals are retained after the cold process of soap making.  Another bonus:  it gives the soap a nice rustic look.  Okay, enough words.  Let me show you what I have been up to.

pink grapefruit poppyseed

honey almond milk 
I added real honey, milk powder and ground almonds to this soap.  No added scent.  It is just what it is.  it reminds me of Cleopatra.

fudge soap
For my fudge soap, I took the chocolate soap I had made a few weeks ago and added whole milk to it and a little more orange essential oil.  I am so excited about this soap because it looks just how I wanted it to look -- like a big old piece of chocolate fudge.

My soap making adventures this week haven't been just about hand milling.  I also experimented with using PVC pipe as a mold.

The light coloured disc is simple unscented soap.  Absolutely no scent.  The other two discs are vanilla bean with a hint of orange essential oil.

I received confirmation last night that I will be participating in a craft sale in April, just a month away.  I'm really excited because it's my first time.  I'm also really nervous because it's my first time.  With my Etsy shop, there is still a certain amount of annonymity even though I'm putting myself out there.  A craft sale?  it's just me and my soap.


  1. these look yummy. i think you'll do well at your craft sale! have fun and enjoy spreading your love of soap to people!

  2. Oooh la la is right! They look great...I want some of that grapefruit one...sounds divine!! I like the round ones from the pvc...they look very upscale. ;-)

    I think you'll have fun at the craft fair...I haven't done one in a long while, but I always enjoyed them when I did.

  3. It won't be you and your soap for long! these yummy soaps will sell fast! love the almond milk and honey soap. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog - so nice to 'meet' you.

  4. Now I'm craving fries and mayo. . . who knew?!

    Gorgeous Soaps! You'll have so much fun at your craft show:)

  5. i am afraid that if i bought the fudge soap,i wouldn't be able to stop myself biting a huge chunk out of it!! it sounds delish!!
    i have to agree,adding french does up the wow factor,same with if you change the name to the french translation,
    good luck at the craft show:0)

  6. Oh yes...that fudge soap looks SO real.

    Where abouts is the craft sale? Maybe I should pop by. :)

    Oh how I love french fries...although I prefer ketchup...or poutine, if I'm being honest. :)

    Can't wait to make my soap. Definitely going to try the almond and honey. Sounds wonderful. xo

  7. Don't be afraid- You will be awesome as always!

  8. Oh my...I oohed and ahhed at each lovely piece of soap. You're going to knock 'em dead at your craft show!

    And I'm with you on the french fries with mayo thing...yum! But I also like my french fries with just a bit of vinegar. (try it, it's tasty)

  9. I'm with you on the French thing. We had French lentil soup last week--so much more exotic than regular old lentil soup.

    Those soaps are A M A Z I N G. Good enough to eat.

  10. Tara I can almost smell the pink grapefruit through my looks fabulous and the fudge soap just makes me want to eat it!! The disc soap turned out perfectly!! Amazing job!!! Your french fry comments made me smile in fact all your posts do :)

  11. That's so fun and the soaps are beautiful!


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