After the success of my Christmas gift giving, I was inspired to learn more about soap making and building upon the skills I had learned. For two years, I learned everything I could about making melt and pour soap. I tried different techniques and molds, colors and scents.
I searched for pictures of soap online like some people search for porn. In those searches, I ran across pictures of beautiful soaps made using the cold process method of soap making. I was intrigued, but scared. Cold process soaps are made using lye. Lye dissolves skin. Lye blinds people. Make one mistake with lye and it could be your last. So I admired those soaps and soap makers, but only from a distance.
A new chapter begins
Image credit: Books HD by Abhi Sharma, on Flickr. CC by 2.0.
In December of 2011, my mother’s health declined further and in June of 2012, she passed away. During those months, I didn’t think about or make soap. There were more important things going on.
For several months after my mother’s death, I struggled to discover who I was. My identity for the last seven years had been “My Mother’s Caregiver.” I had adjusted my work schedule to have Friday off for “Mom Day.” Now that I didn’t have to keep Friday free for Mom’s appointments or errand running, I didn’t know what to do with myself during my free time.
I didn’t know what to do with the space in my brain that was no longer taken up with worry about her. But, I knew that I didn’t want to fill that space with worries about something else, so I turned back to soap. I figured it would be good to have a hobby. I started making melt and pour soaps again but quickly became bored with the process and wanted to challenge myself.