Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays: Non-Bookish Hobbies

Musing MondaysThis week’s Musing Mondays question is “Do you have any hobbies outside of reading? Or do you collect anything?

As a matter of fact, I have a really fun, somewhat new hobby that I have mentioned a couple of times on this blog. I make cold process soap. Cold process is another name for making soap from scratch, which means I mix lye and water with oils and fats to produce soap. Melt and pour is a process by which you take soap that has already been made, such as a glycerin base or a bar of commercial or handmade soap, and melt it down, then forming it into shapes or bars. I have not tried that particular process, which is considered a little easier, but also gives you a little more room for creativity with shapes and colors (that’s just my observation).

I blog about my soap-making adventures at Suds Life. I have also recently opened a store on Etsy and a Facebook fan page (feel free to “like” it!). I have actually sold one bar of soap and would love to sell some more, so check it out! I am adding new soap all the time.

I love making soap. It is a very zen sort of activity. I have complete control over all the ingredients that go into my soap. It is not unlike cooking that way. I can also try new things and experiment. Interestingly, I find I like to experiment even more with soap recipes than I do with food recipes! My favorite soap so far is a pumpkin pie soap I made not too long ago. I love the way it turned out. Although I have to say that the most recent soap batch I made, Cinnamon Apple Cider, turned out extraordinarily well. Here is a photo:

Cinnamon Apple Cider

It looks and smells just like applesauce. I think it might be a major contender for a new favorite.

I enjoy everything about this hobby, and I look forward to many happy years of soaping.

Aside from making soap, I also write and love to participate in NaNoWriMo every year. I also like cross stitching, though I don’t do it often. I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I like Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes (BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch), Doctor Who, and The Big Bang Theory.

It strikes me that readers tend to be hobbyists fairly often; specifically, readers tend to be “crafty” types. I know a lot of readers who knit, make books, paint, crochet, sew, or cook. I wonder why that is. Any thoughts?

Basic Soap Making, Elizabeth Letcavage and Patsy Buck

[amazon asin=0811735737&text=Basic Soap Making] by Elizabeth Letcavage and Patsy Buck is a quick, easy-to-read basic instruction manual for beginners to homemade soap making. The book includes basic instructions for several kinds of soap as well as great information about handling lye and making your own mold and cutter (those wooden molds are very expensive!). The photographs are great, and the step-by-step directions seemed very easy to follow. I can’t wait to get started now!

I decided I wanted to learn to make soap, and the recipes I’ve found online and pinned on Pinterest look wonderful, but they’re not very basic, and I am definitely not sure I’m ready for them without trying more basic recipes first. I have always been a fan of homemade soap, and one of my favorite products is this great Dead Sea mud/spearmint/lavender soap I bought at the Riverside Farmers’ Market in Roswell. I can still order this soap online via the seller’s website for a fairly reasonable price, but seeing all her wares made me want to try making soap myself, and I especially wanted to see if I could learn to make soap as well as she does. The nice thing about making your own soap is that you can scent it with essential oils in your own favorite scents, and you can give soap as gifts, too.

It’s going to be a while before I can try my first batch, but I am really itching to start after reading this great little instruction manual.

Rating: ★★★★★