Tag Archive: creativity


It’s been a big week. A good week, filled with satisfying work, family, research and making soaps. So this morning was my ‘sleep until you wake’ morning. A morning where I could laze to my heart’s content, coming to the surface of consciousness and then sinking again, without regret, into the sweetness of well-earned sleep. With Andy and Sam leaving early to go to a football game, the penultimate one of the season, that left me and Zac at home to sleep to our heart’s content. Because Zacky is like a dormouse in the morning; soft and snuffly and snuggly and disinclined to leave his duvet. Perfect.

Yet, when they said goodbye at seven o’clock this morning, I didn’t pull the covers back up and nestle back into my warm bed. I got up and went to unmould my beautiful soaps. It feels like Christmas morning, to see what wonders the hours have wrought on them. I have to look at them, smell them, run fingertips along edges, and admire them. If I like them enough, and I do, I take photos.

Last night, I made two 1kg loaves, one using Calendula infused grapeseed oil and essential oils of Cedarwood and Orange, and the other, a gentle Lavender, with a whisper of Marjoram. They smell beautiful, their scents are natural and grounding and lovely, yet delicate and gentle. I totally love them both.

 

 

Lavender and Calendula Loaves

Lavender and Calendula Loaves

Calendula with Cedarwood and Orange

Calendula with Cedarwood and Orange

Lavender

Lavender

 

Happy Saturday everyone 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well we did it. The kids and I moved things around, created a space and organised the gym equipment in the garage into something approaching usability. We did this just before we rushed out the door to look for cheap, second hand, wooden picture frames that we could transform into paper making frames. Because I can’t just keep making soap constantly, much as I’d like to. Already I have a huge wire basket in my office, filled with Lemon Tea Soap and round cakes of Cinnamon Soap, coloured a reddish-pink with paprika oil. Then on the stove-top, large, rose-shaped cakes of Pure White Soap, sit on a wooden plate and next to them, the same soap but in a simpler, round shape. Stamped with my first acrylic stamp.

Tucked away in the laundry cupboard, I have the first and second soaps I made. The Peppermint and Eucalyptus and the Pure Oatmeal. 

So you see, if I make any more I’ll run completely out of space. Luckily there are only a couple of weeks to go before my first one is cured and ready to use. For other people to use. Because I’ve actually already started to use it and I completely love it. It makes my skin feel luxuriously soft and smooth and it lathers and bubbles so satisfyingly in the shower. The only change I’ve made in subsequent soap recipes, is to the proportions of oils, to reduce any ‘squeaky-clean’ sensation after I dry my skin. Altogether though, I’m completely hooked.

So. Paper making. I was looking at wrapping and packaging, with a view to Christmas gifts and things and I came across some eco-packaging, which I liked the look of. From there to DIY paper making was only a few clicks of the touchpad and I was fired with enthusiasm.

We stopped at an art shop, where Zac chose an air-drying clay set to play with and then at a couple of Op shops (charity shops) and bought some cheap wooden picture frames.

Later, we all sat on the tiled floor and, while the kids made clay figures and stories to match, Andy and I hammered and glued window mesh onto the backs of the frames. After I’d removed the glass and backings of course.

I used super glue and was careless…. I glued my finger and thumb together in the ‘OK’ position and then could not pry them apart. At first it was funny, oh how we laughed, but panic ensued when I truly couldn’t unstick them, not with methylated spirits or vinegar. Andy suggested hot water but I burnt my fingers and stopped quickly. Then he suggested cutting them and I decided not to listen to his advice anymore, though I did pick up the scissors….

In the midst of all of this and while we were still laughing, albeit with an edge of desperation in my case, Zac quietly went to the bathroom and filled the basin with warm water. He came and got me, and with much gentle and earnest reassurance, led me to it and instructed me to submerge my hand. I knew it wouldn’t work, hadn’t I already tried hot water?, but I was touched by his care, so I did it. Then he turned on the hot tap. “It’s going to be okay Mummy, just tell me when this gets too hot, alright?” I nodded, smiling at my beautiful, beautiful boy and then, lo and behold, it worked! He was so proud and I was relieved.

It was too late to make paper by the time we’d finished making the frames and having dinner but, before I came to bed tonight, I shredded some paper and put it in a bucket to soak and pulp overnight. I’m using white paper for this first experiment but after this, I’ll be recycling all sorts of paper. I can’t wait!

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Best Laid Plans

All day, while I was working, while I was driving, shopping, walking, cooking, I’ve had ideas for posts running through my mind and then, the email….

It was from my sister. She’s planning a soap-making day on Saturday, which I’m going to, and it included times and an ingredients list. I’ve made soap once before, except it wasn’t really soap-making, so much as glycerine soap melting and adding things to make pretty smelling soaps. There was no actual saponification process. Oh yes, saponification is now in my vocabulary! 🙂 Simply put, it’s the process that turns oils and caustic soda, or lye, into soap and the reason I know this, is that I’ve spent the latter part of the afternoon and most of the evening reading about it and watching Youtube tutorials on the subject. Which drove all other post-related ideas from my mind.

I like the idea of making my own soap. I enjoy the thought of doing something that feels self-sufficient and natural, of using a product without chemicals I don’t recognise. Mostly though, I love that my sister is gathering us to do it together at her house. There’s something very nurturing and connecting about it. So I get to do something new, in the company of my sister, my mother and her friend. Roll on Saturday.

I knew I’d bought those wooden crates for something…..

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