My interest in soapmaking began when I received a little book on making bath products as a gift.  My sister-in-law and I contemplated making bath oils, bath bombs, soap, and candles.  I bought a kit and made a few votive candles and we mixed up a batch of bath bombs (that bombed literally as they swelled out of the molds!)  I researched what was involved in the creation of made-from-scratch soap and was completely scared off by the prospect of using lye.   (I was afraid it would blow up in my face!)

As the years passed, I tried my hand at numerous types of crafts and although I enjoyed all of them - the challenge that soapmaking presented remained in the back of my mind.  My fear prevented me from facing it.

Then I began buying soap from a local soapmaker to supply to my bed and breakfast guests.  The bars were lovely and the guests enjoyed them - but every time I ordered, I kicked myself and said "I could make those!"

A year passed and I purchased more soaps from the local soapmaker - this time, full size bars for my giftshop. And I kicked myself again - "You REALLY should try making these yourself."  I reluctantly decided to do more research and see if I could overcome my fear.  I suspected that if I could just make ONE BATCH, I'd get over it and be fine from there on out.

It was 2006 when I found a website that had a soap recipe that was 100% lard.  Just three ingredients required - lard, water, and LYE.  Could I handle that?  I searched further and found other soapmakers that I could network with.  After asking a ton of questions and spending hours reading archives, I was ready.  I went to the hardware store and purchased my lye.

Within about 48 hours, I made four different batches using different recipes and ingredients.  The first had to be rebatched because the wise soapmakers I was learning from informed me that it had too much lye (despite the recipe being found in a soapmaking book!)  The second batch was horribly drying.  It stripped every bit of natural oil from the skin.  The third and fourth batches weren't half bad and upon curing, were actually pretty nice soaps.  I began formulating my own recipe...   I think at that point, the soap bug got me - and I have yet to blow up my kitchen!