While still in the States I have been soaking up as much as I can and learning how to do things as I find people who can teach me. Something I've always wanted to learn, was how to make my own soap. Making my own liquid laundry detergent or powdered laundry detergent always calls for soap... and this way I can create that step as well.
While I had some AMAZING teachers (who also happen to be my midwives,) they learned from other people or the internet before they shared it with me.
There are many benefits, besides a ton of creative combinations, to making your own soap. I agree with Miller's Soap Page when they say:
"We've gotten spoiled using our own soap... it leaves you clean without feeling dry and itchy. I've given it to friends who have allergies or skin conditions and they have found it to help them in clearing up the problem. If you have any of the latent chemist in your soul...you will LOVE watching the transformation as you mix the lye solution into the fat and continue to watch it change as it cures! No one can walk by a table of curing soap, without having the uncontrollable urge to pick up a bar to touch and smell it."
I helped make two different kinds: Goat milk soap that we scented with orange essential oils, and regular soap scented with "oatmeal, milk and honey" scent. We used the cold process version of soap making, (though it didn't feel like it when we added the lye.) Our fats included coconut oil (good for suds,) olive oil, and Crisco... If it sounds greasy, don't worry, fat and lye react in a really cool way: thickening up and creating the soap you're used to seeing and the final result isn't greasy at all! While goat soap doesn't absorb color well and we left it natural, we used a pretty blue and created a marble effect in the regular soap we made.
It turned out very pretty, smells amazing, is nice to use and is comforting to know doesn't have nasty chemicals.