As one can tell from my rather lengthy list of hobbies, I’m something of a magpie when it comes to learning new skills. Generally I watch myself pretty carefully lest I accidentally pick up a new one, and I’ve been doing quite well since last spring when I took up letterpress printing, sticking to practicing the skills that I already know in order to hone my proficiency.
And then, there was the wedding. And my dear friend Kate of Om Shanti Handcrafts traveled over the mountains and through the woods to attend, which would have been way more than enough present, but at rehearsal she handed me a Mysterious Box. “That is a shower present,” she said. “You should open it now.” Having learned from the military not to refuse a direct order, I opened it.
She got me lye. She is an enabler.
Lye is sort of scary. But you can do many things with lye. One thing you can do is use it to reduce indigo, so you no longer have to buy pre-reduced indigo for turning things pretty blue. You can also use it to make soap.
So here I am with my little bucket of lye, safely stored out of the way of wayward dogs and cats and husbands, and pondering cold-processed soap recipes. Also, I am searching the intertubes for a good source of oils to make soap from, and consult with a soap-making friend halfway across the globe on the best way to not explode the kitchen while I do it, because my best beloved gets a sort of twitch when people make his kitchen explode. Hey, when the zombie apocalypse comes and civilization as we know it collapses, it would be nice to still be clean, right? And sooner or later, I will need to know how to make soap.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
 KNITTING, SPINNING YARN, DYEING THINGS WITH VARIOUS DYES, MAKING PAPER, LETTERPRESS PRINTING, CREATING RANDOM PRETTY PAPER OBJECTS, LIGHT SEWING