Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Soaps by Dianne

I'd like to introduce everyone to my friend Dianne.  I know you'll recognize her from pictures I've posted of her at The Hitching Post.

Dianne is the smiling woman behind the fudge counter.  I guess I have her to blame for my fudge addiction!  Whenever I'm at the lake I always make a special trip to Aurora so I can visit with the girls at The Hitching Post and stock up on fudge, soda pop and coffee. 

The store is usually bustling with activity, so I stand around and wait for a break in the action so Dianne and I can chatter away like 2 magpies on a fence.  We always have so much to talk about.

And we're always laughing hysterically at something....

Last spring I happened to run into their bathroom, which is about the cutest, most country looking bathroom you'll ever see.  Sitting on the sink was a soap dish and when I washed my hands I couldn't help but linger over the soap - it was so smooth and silky, and it had such a heavenly scent.  I walked back out by Dianne and asked her what kind of soap they had in the bathroom.  She just smiled from ear to ear and shyly admitted that she had made that soap herself. 
Once we started talking about it, I found out that she makes a variety of soaps and sells them at the store.  Let me show you a couple of my favorites.  Aren't the colors wonderful?

The apple moonshine smells like heaven!  I almost want to eat it.

The citrus blend is my favorite one to use in the shower and it has nice scrubbing ingredients on the end.  So nice for my dry skin....


I asked Dianne if she'd like to do an interview about her soap making process and share her passion with us and she happily agreed.  So please keep reading:
How did you get started making soap?
A few years ago I met a young lady who made her own soap, I quickly became a customer. I loved the soap so much that I decided to research the process of soap making. After many hours of reading books, blogs, online material and watching endless hours of YouTube videos I decided to give it a go. I then started to acquire the necessary safety equipment, supplies and tools of the trade.
How often do you make it?
At present time, because of my full time seasonal job, I'm making soap about once a month. However, when I was building my inventory a few months back, I was making soap a couple of times a week. I enjoy it so much that I'd love to make it weekly, maybe one day I'll have the clientele to allow me to do so.
What types of oils do you use?
I use a variety of oils and butters, which is what attracted me to the process. The combinations seem endless but here's some of what I have used.
  • Olive Oil-A great base oil, wonderful for use in a mild or baby soap.
  • Coconut Oil-Makes soap lather beautifully, even in hard water.
  • Castor Oil-Used to attract and hold moisture in the skin.
  • Palm Oil-Makes for a great hard bar of soap (long lasting) and has great cleansing properties.
  • Lard-Makes a nice lathery, white bar.
  • Safflower Oil-Wonderful moisturizing properties.
  • Cocoa Butter-Excellent skin softener, holds moisture to the skin.
  • Shea Butter-Nourishing to the skin.
There are many more, but I think you're getting the idea of the endless possibilities. 
What is it about the soap making process that initially appealed to you?
Great question Kim. I didn't take anything more than a basic chemistry class in school, however, chemistry is a big part of making soap. It's so cool that you can take both hard and soft oils (using proper amounts and temperature) and your lye mixture (also using proper amounts and temperature) and create a bar of soap that you can scent or color any way you want.  You can create one that is gentle enough for babies, one that will help relieve itchy dry skin, one that will help with oily acne prone skin, one that will clean those hands after a day in the garden or working on the car. And you know what is in the product that you are using and that it'll be kind to your skin. 
What’s your favorite part of the process?
The moment that your soap reaches "trace."  That's when the soap mixture reaches a thin pudding-like stage and you know that everything has come together and you're on your way to another great bar of soap. For those who like to can, here's a comparison for you. The clink, clink, you hear when the lids on your jars have sealed....that very same feeling. 
How many different scents or varieties are you currently making?
I have made just shy of 30 different soaps, using about a dozen different recipe combinations. Some are naturally scented, some are scented with Essential oils others with Fragrance oils. I also make soap using Aloe Vera, Goat milk, Coconut milk and will continue to explore even more ingredients.
What’s your favorite bar for personal use?
Honestly, I thought I'd have "favorites", however I have found that whichever bar I am currently showering with is my favorite! I know, I know that sounds a bit arrogant. Please believe me when I say I do not mean it that way. I give all the glory to the ingredients that are used. There are no harsh chemicals and no drying detergents. So it makes sense that they would all make you feel great. I have a friend who loves the Goats Milk soap for shaving her legs. I have a relative who's favorite is the Sandal Wood, she loves the scent. And another customer who's Son enjoys my Pine Tar soap. I never imagined that I'd make so many different soaps when I first started. I thought I'd keep it simple. Well that didn't exactly happen, too many wonderful oils, butters, natural additives and fragrances calling out to be experimented with! 
You currently sell your soaps at The Hitching Post & Old Country Store. Where else are you selling them?
I also sell at The Hodge Podge Gifts & More in Benton, KY. 
How long have you worked at The old Hitching Post?
I have been working for Miss Su for 6 years now. The store is a historical site with customers from not only our United States but from other countries such as Seoul Korea, Australia, Germany, The United makes for some very interesting conversations. I have met some very nice people and have come to find out how very much the same we all are. 
How can people contact you if they want to direct purchase some of your soaps?
You can currently email me at  and I will be happy to send you photos and prices. I am currently researching website possibilities, but for now this is working for me. 
Do you make anything else besides soap?
Yes I do Kim, I knit, Can, and make blankets using a technique called Swedish Weaving......but I won't get started on that right now :)
What’s your favorite thing about living in Kentucky?
The beautiful scenery and the laid back atmosphere. Of course we can find beauty wherever we call home.

EXTRA EXTRA!!!   For a limited time Dianne is offering a special especially for my readers. 
If any of you would like to receive a free sample of her handmade soap, please email her at and leave her your mailing address. Dianne said she would love for you to feel it for yourself. There are no colorants or fragrance in the one she will be sending out.   Thank you Dianne for your generous offer - I know anyone who tries your soaps will love them as much as I do.

Many thanks to Dianne for coming by and sharing her love of soap making.  It's a fascinating process and she's so enthusiastic about it.   With the holidays looming on the horizon, keep her in mind when you're looking for a special gift for someone on your list.  And Dianne, I'll see you the next time I'm down at the lake!
Hey everyone, don't forget about my Nocciolatta give-away.  Hit the link here to go leave a comment on the original post so you can be entered!  Do not miss out on this great opportunity.


  1. Thank you Miss Kim, we do have a wonderful time when you stop in don't we?
    That's one of the nicest perks of working at The Hitching Post & Old Country Store, meeting all of our wonderful guests :)
    Please don't be shy now,there's a sample of soap made just for you!

  2. If her soap is as good as the fudge, it's a winner!

  3. Great Post Kim! Dianne I wish I were close enough to try your fudge! I am going to email you about the soaps. I have always wanted to make soap yours do look wonderful!

  4. I think this post is great. How nice that you are promoting your friend, and her product on your blog, Kim! Very interesting to read what goes into making soap.
    I will email Dianne for a sample bar. Thank you for the info.

    1. Thanks Debbie. Soap making is an interesting process. I used to make my own soap but my bars were never as nice as Diannes.

  5. Awesome post...soapmaking is a wonderful art that I'm glad to see is still alive and well. I can remember my grandma making old-fashioned lye soap when I was young. These soaps sound heavenly...I can't wait to try a sample!

    Care xo

  6. GREAT post Kim!! Thanks for sharing! I am going to get me....and my pregnant daughter!! :D a sample!!

  7. How interesting! The whole idea of making soap is mysterious to me, but I'd love to give it a try. Anything that doesn't include artificial everything sounds like a good idea to me! I'm hoping you'll find out more about swedish weaving, too - I've never heard of it!

    1. I thought the Swedish weaving sounded interesting too so I'm going to have to prevail on Dianne to do another post.

  8. I just left a comment, where did it go?

  9. Okay then lol my first comment was... Great post! I love homemade soaps, and I would love a sample of Miss Diane's soap!

    1. Let me know what kind you get. Blogger has been doing something and stuff keeps disappearing. :-(

  10. Such an interesting process! I'd love to try Dianne's soap. I'm emailing now. Thanks Kim! :)

  11. Enjoyed reading about how you create your unique soaps Dianne! Thanks Kim for the intro!

    1. You're welcome Cathy. I think it's an interesting process too. xo

  12. Good evening Kim! Already, I'm so taken to learn more about Dianne's variety. (Yes, I'm in a Christmas-shopping-sort-of-mind!) I've just e-introduced myself to her, but wanted to stop and say 'thanks' for the recommendation!

    1. Thanks Myra - I appreciate you stopping by. Miss Dianne is a sweetheart and I hope you like her products. xo

  13. My goodness all the wonderful words going on here :)
    The response has been incredible and I'll be getting those samples sent out the first of the week.
    Miss Kim you have been heaven sent,and your introduction of my soaps is so appreciated. I'm giddy as a kid!
    And when I have more time,I'm looking forward to checking out all the wonderful blogs here. I've only had moments to check here and there and now feel like I'm missing out on exciting adventures :)
    My work hiatus cannot come soon enough!!
    Happy Saturday everyone!

  14. How sweet of her! You KNOW I love handmade soap and she has some fun scents, doesn't she? Thanks for the nice review and the generous offer! Sweet hugs, Diane


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