Inspiration, LIfe, Natural, Skin care

Discovery

Yesterday we were scheduled to be at Palm Beach Markets. So all packed up we headed up at around 8 am driving through some rain. We arrived to find there were no stalls at where the market was meant to be. It was cancelled. And of course, I had a number I could have called at 7 am that would have told me just that 😉 Details. So we headed out to the Boathouse, our fave place and indulged our senses… it just has a sense of abundance with loads of flowers hanging out off baskets, vintage baskets and trunks and the most stunning timber pieces. A nice leisurely breakfast, a bunch of the most glorious tulips and roses and we headed back home to the rest of our long weekend. Image Last night I was looking at these tulips and wondering how they hold their own and find their own unique way to stand in the vase even after being cut. They are just gorgeous and I love how each stem takes its own path…. Image So where am I headed with this story? Sometimes you have to wander to get to where you want to be 🙂 A few days ago I finished my 2 kg pack of Raw Honey so needed to get some more. I found Ambrosia at our local farmer’s market and paid $13.50 for a kilo. Image   I also wanted some bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis to add these to my Shea Butter & Coconut Oil… create some magic, shall we? I headed down to GoVita where I found this same Ambrosia Organic Honey for $19.50. Right next to the Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen etc… And decided to look around a bit. The prices of Royal Jelly and the Bee Propolis vary from about $7 to about $27! And I found it strange that you can get Honey from the farmers but the the other stuff is “owned” by the pharmaceutical companies. Uh Oh! So we are back to where we began…. Coconut Oil is a miracle, so is Shea… and Honey. If it is raw, organic, it retains all its therapeutic benefits. So I am back here. Banaban   With the simple Coconut Oil, Shea Butter & Raw Honey. I will whip up a very indulgent, deeply nourishing, vitamin bursting goodness hair mask made with just these 🙂

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Inspiration, LIfe, Natural, Skin care, Soaps

Artisans… passion, reality and what is in between :)

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Artisans are a wonderful community. Passionate and in love with life, the joys of creation. 

A little bit delusional too.

Like, we dream. And then there is the reality. 

O, I have created all this stuff. What shall I do with it? Is there a practical use for all this stuff? Like all these pieces of paper I am hoarding because something may get created from it?

Then, there is a flurry of stuff to get what you have created out of the door. 

Like, going to markets. Talking to other artisans. Being on FB!!!!!

I stumbled on making soaps a little more than a year ago, and then went to my first market about six months ago, because my hubby, Dad, Mum, sister, friends, cousins, trespassers could not possibly use all that I made. 

So I went to a market, which believe me is TOUGH. You wake up at about 3 am. That is if you have been able to stop all the activity in your head mocking up how your stall will look and how you will talk to your customers & visitors at your stall…. then by the time you finish, you are still on a high figuring out what you could change, what you would do differently, blah blah. O stop please, any time now!

So hubby dear (to save his own weekends) coaxed me to jump online. So I built my own website, started a Facebook page, found a gorgeous online directory and online communities who are so warm, welcoming and supportive of budding wanna be Artisans…

And hence started the online business…. works like a charm…. my Paypal on my phone goes “cha ching” and I race to the computer who has ordered what!! Simple pleasures!!!

Then, pack the goodies, print off a label on “Click & Send” and deposit it with the friendly girls at my local Post Office. 

Until now, it is going to become so much dearer…. hence this post… please support us by signing this petition, so Australia Post can continue to let us compete with the big guys… 

 

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Inspiration, LIfe, Natural, Skin care, Soaps

Playful Goats, Milk, Soap

I am part of a truly wonderful community of soapers. They handcraft soap, research ingredients and generally have a lot of fun. Mostly this group is utterly supportive of each other.

I have now been making soaps for about a year. What initially started as a hobby has now become a passion. The caterpillar in me is totally out to play. And what I seem to chase the most is getting stuff to make soaps straight from where it is “born”.

And so, when I found Shelly, I had to go and see her goats and get fresh, raw goats milk and see what happens, really 🙂 I totally was not expecting a bunch of playful, naughty kids prancing about the land, wanting to follow their “mum” into the house and wanting to play.

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When they saw me, they wanted to suck my thumb, nibble on my tee, laces … whatever they could get their mouth on!!

This is Lacey. I was talking to Shelly and she started biting me. “You are biting me dear” I said to Lacey. She stopped and proceeded to try and get under my legs! OML. They are the most divine, beautiful, playful things I have ever seen!

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And here is the one month old slipping on the pile of hay she clambered onto! This is what her mum says about her “Oh that’s Blue Brook Kalamitty! & yes she’s full of mischief but very affectionate  Her mum is the 2nd highest milk producing British Alpine in Australia at the moment – so not only gorgeous but hopefully will give me lots of beautiful creamy milk too”Image

So I got about 15 litres of this divine goats milk and brought it home. It is frozen, which is perfect for soaping because when you add lye to the milk, it heats up. This is what it looks like with the lye gently and slowly added to the frozen milk.

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It looks so creamy and intensely lick-able! You absolutely cannot!!

This beautiful creamy mix is then blended with virgin oils and raw shea butter, cocoa butter to make soap.

Yesterday I felt like it was a “roses” day so this was my soap with rose essential oil and rose buds on top.

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This morning, I wanted to make something warm, spicy & citrus-y. So I chose clove and orange essential oils.

 

So here is the soap… swirled with some cacao powder on top and then textured! Smells beautiful!

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If you would like some goat milk soap, you can get some on my website!

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Inspiration, Skin care, Soaps

For my kid sis…

My kid sister is a green guru. Hi there, if you are reading this!

We love each other dearly, but my mum would not know this 🙂

Like, it is a strange kind of love, one that may not be apparent to the naked eye.

So, the green guru, aka my sister, has recently started following my blog. Hence, this one is for you, sis. 

I was really really really surprised when the soap you picked for yourself was the rose geranium block. It is very pretty, undoubtedly. You are the practical one, though. What will you do with the rose petals and buds that will keep falling off?

And how will you possibly lather yourself with this block? It weighs a little over 400 gms and is 90 cms * 90 cms. And you are gettting this for Christmas.

For any soap makers out there, the orangey colour is zeolite pink clay.. which is always a shade of rusty pink in my soap… how on earth is it orange? The brown is from organic cacao… that looks nice, I reckon. I like the pattern… love the smell… there is something about rose geranium..

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Inspiration, Skin care, Soaps

Soaping Challenge… is this aboriginal art !!

So I love making soap. I started in February this year and don’t completely understand why. I love it. I think it is the explorer in me. Or perhaps the creative mad hatter.

When I read about Amy’s challenge, I thought, this should be fun. Squeeze soap out of a bottle into beautiful, flowing patterns.Ha!

In my head, I was drawing little flowers, fluidly, like our friend, Michelle Holtzclaw. or the chrissie trees a la Nancy.

So I decided to make use my signature blend (it has virgin shea and cocoa butter with the usual coconut, olive, sunflower and castor oils) in my usual batch size. So quite an expensive experiment in my art skills!!

For colour I wanted something dramatic, so used activated charcoal and turmeric… thought that could be nice orang-ish flowers with black centres (what are they called again?)… I didn’t have the squeezy bottles so bought two squeezy ketchup bottles and washed them out thoroughly to use for my soap. I also decided to be clever and “calculated” out a smaller portion of soap to make first. Talk about getting complicated.

Well, the beautiful flowers were ahem. I wasted more than I used.. Here is what the art is like… Image

I reckon I could pass this off as a child attempting to do some aboriginal art… I can keep gazing at it…just as I would at my child’s art and say it is a beautiful thing.. look at those patterns my lovely one… they are awesome!!

And of course the child would believe me.

It smells divine though… lemongrass, and I hold this soap more tenderly than any other 🙂 And I do think it is growing on me. Actually, I think it has grown on me. I will love it even if no one else does.

And then I wanted some swirls and texture on the top end..that I am very happy with … Image

And when I present these at the markets I am going to… this is perhaps how I shall display them…

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I think I can give up on my dreams for art that anyone would buy, or I would put up in my house.

Soap though.. yes, most definitely. I shall keep making those!

It does smell so beautiful; I have discovered that CP is kinder to Lemongrass EO, and also rosewood and rose geranium… is that true?

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Inspiration, Natural, Skin care, Soaps

My very first video of making a soap… in photos though :)

Spiced Orange Cocoa goats milk Soap in the making…

Some one called me the other day to potentially export my soaps. They wanted to see how soap is made and whether I genuinely make these “by hand”.

Jason was the person taking the video and he kindly extracted some stills from his video for the eager beaver (me!)

Here is the lye solution…

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The lye solution being added to the blend of oils and butters…

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Saponification starting to occur as the lye/goats milk solution blends with the fat..

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Next I added the blend of orange peel and orange essential oil..

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Took some of this out and blended with a mix of cocoa and cloves to get the dark handsome colour…this went into the mould “delicately” (NOT)… as strangers were watching 🙂Image

Then went in the main soap…

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A drizzle of the cocoa/ clove soap..

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Another layer of the orange peel soap and then another drizzle of the cocoa…

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Some more orange peel soap..Image

Then the fun part… CP soap is so forgiving for not staying the path…

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Insulated, left alone for a couple of days and then cut!

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Inspiration, Natural, Skin care, Soaps

Life is precious…enjoy it!

Like a caterpillar, I have stepped out of a 25+ year corporate career and become addicted to making soaps! 

I have always liked pampering. And soaps. And beautiful smells. And beautiful surrounds.
Sometime last year I stumbled upon Crunchy Betty and over the last year or so have completely stopped purchasing mass produced beauty products.
I started making soap in February this year, inspired and encouraged by David Fisher’s video on how to make goats milk soap.
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Since then, I have made about 50 different soaps and have now secured some seriously nice prices for organic, virgin oils, butters and botanicals.
I would like more people to be able to buy handcrafted soaps. They are so  much nicer than the commercial soaps…
This is a very new business for me. I have enjoyed my experience at the three markets I have showcased my products at. Thanks to the gorgeous people who stopped by, took the time to look, touch and smell the soaps… I have learnt a lot!
Lets all slow down a tad, smell the roses… indulge in life’s simple pleasures…
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