Another strike against making soap is that there doesn't seem to be a way of sensibly scaling down the proportions (without having loads of bits of ingredients left over) such that you are not producing soap on an industrial scale. Fine if you find it's terrific fun and a great success, but I tend to be a bit more cautious than that and want to start small.
The alternative to soap making, was to make BATH BOMBS - those fragrant cricket ball sized powdery balls that you drop into your bath and they go mad fizzin' round the place and making the bathwater all soft and lovely.
I found the method at the soap kitchen website, and was delighted to see the I already had most of what I needed. Although I bake and sew, I'm not much of a one for 'home made gifts', but thought that I might be onto something here for Christmas presents, and so I was keen to get stuck in.
I mixed bicarb of soda and citric acid, then added red and yellow food colouring (hoping to make orange) and then blended in some orange extract; spritzed with a little water and pushed the mixture into a couple of little dipping pot moulds before leaving them to 'cure'.
The first one collapsed a bit when I got it out of the mould later, and so I squashed it into a ball shape instead, and that's the one I had in the bath this evening - oodles of fizzing and a wonderful orange aroma; really lovely!
Er - a downside, however, was the colour. Now I do not know why this is, but the bath bombs ended up a sort of green, with yellow/orange patches. In fact, if you bring to mind the image of a really mouldy orange, you've just about got it.
If I were to make these as presents - and there is certainly mileage in this idea - I would have to seriously sort the colour thing out!
So week 9 challenge: done!