The world lost a beautiful soul …

A week ago today I received that phone call that no one ever wants to receive. My dear friend Annette, who I’ve known for nearly 40 years, lost her battle with the Big C. Annette fought courageously and with dignity but lost her fight far too early. Life is so, so unfair sometimes. I kinda knew that the day was coming, however, it doesn’t make it any easier. There will be no funeral, we did discuss this some time back, back before we knew that the end was neigh, but rather a Celebration of Life.
Annette … I will miss you always, miss your infectious laughter, miss your smile, miss those hugs, and miss our catch ups. ♥ you always my dear friend.

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September already …

I am seriously wondering where this year has gone. I mean it’s the 5th of September already. I was honestly going to start writing on my blog more often, yet January was my last post. Ok, in my defense, I have taken on a few projects this year and now also work 2 days a week elsewhere … not much of an excuse really is it, but it’s mine and I’m going to stick to it.

So what has 2017 held for us so far …
exaltation-of-larks
I’ve read many books so far this year (mainly digital) and have even joined an International Book Lovers group on Facebook. In the short period of time I’ve been a member I’ve purchased one book recommended by one of the groups members – James Lipton’s An Exaltation of Larks. A quirky book, with over 250 beautiful engravings and everything I need to know about group terms (real & fanciful) from the 15th – 21st centuries.
Other books in digital form that I have read this year are predominately from the Samsung-Kindle deal we have here in Australia, which allows a Samsung phone/tablet owner with the Kindle app, one free book a month from a choice of 4. It has enabled me to read books in genres that I probably would not normally have looked at and something I am eternally grateful for.

As you may know, I love photography and am currently on the committee (treasurer) of a camera club that I belong to. This year I also took on 2 very different sub-committee roles, in addition to the above.
1st position was to help organise an exhibition that our club held back in July to celebrate the club’s 20th Birthday. From all accounts the exhibition was quite successful, and as much as I learnt and enjoyed the whole experience, I was super thankful when it was all over! The image below was one of 2 images I had in the exhibition and was voted 2nd in the people’s choice awards.

IMG_0076
The 2nd position was to chair the sub-committee to organise our annual weekend way, which was held a few weekends ago. Again, it was an interesting experience, however very thankful that it’s done & dusted!

On that note … I will finish today.
Life is short … work hard … play harder!

 

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I think I am …

I think I am a terrible blogger. I seem to get all enthused for a short period of time, then life gets busy and my blog gets neglected. There really isn’t any other good explanation or reason.
I’m not promising anything this year about how often I may post here but I will try and make an effort.
Soap making … is still going strong and I have made a large number of batches since last posting. I made a conscious decision at the start to not ever use palm oil due to the environmental disaster of this oil. I’ve stuck to that. I also made the decision to only ever use natural products very early on and as alluring the pretty micas are and as wonderful fragrance oils are, I have steered well clear of them. My soaps are coloured by use of herbs, spices, clays, fruits or vegetables and are only ever scented with essential oils, if at all. It’s a really hard choice to stick to sometimes when you see what can be created with bright, strong colours, but the choice was made and I need to be me.
Crafts … still taking many photographs and even receiving acknowledgement for my growth in this craft when entering competitions in my camera club. This photo was taken just last night at a club outing. img_9646
Papercrafts … I’m on a roll at the moment and have started making cards ahead of time trying to keep on top of things so that when life throws unexpected curve balls I’m not trying to make up for lost time or rushing and creating a card at the last minute. Although I often work well under pressure!
On that note I will end today’s ramblings.
Striving for a positive 2017!
Chelle

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Welcome 2016 …

Here I am thinking it’s only been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. Oh my … where does time escape to?

I think I am in love with soap making. I know I may have mentioned this late last year but I really, REALLY mean it. I’ve made 29 batches now to date and there is just so much to absorb and learn. Grateful that there is such a wealth of information out there if one truly seeks to learn via books, video, blog posts, companies sharing tutorials, artisans & more.

I have made 10 batches so far this year using my own recipes all bar one. I’d read so many fantastic posts about the infamous Liz Ardlady’s Shampoo Bar I had to try that one for myself too. Still on the cure rack so I’ve not tried it yet but I love the pure, clean white of the bar! I tend to use a fair bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) so if left uncoloured most of my soaps tend to have a green-yellow colour quality. Not that that is a bad thing as they are all natural, just saying. I love that you can practically use any ingredient to make soap with (this week I used Pumpkin!) and I have so many more ideas for other soaps.

Pictured below are some of this years soaps, currently on the cure rack
Buttermilk & Coffee … coloured with cacao
Pumpkin, Oat & Calendula
Lavender & Sage
Rose Geranium & Lavender
Lemon, May Chang & Sage
Lavender & Ginger
Goats Milk & Calendula

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I love soaping …

I think I may have mentioned that this soaping stuff is pretty addictive. I have so many ideas running through my head of soaps that I want to make. On my to try list is carrot, pumpkin, banana, strawberry, aloe, and the list goes on! I’ve got a few more creations to share today starting with

Soap #11 Coloured with Alkanet & Red French Clay and scented with cedarwood, orange, vetiver & cinnamon leaf
IMG_3733

next I really wanted to try a soap with honey so this one #12 is very ‘clean & simple’ with a blend of olive & coconut oils and honey, colloidal oats & hemp oil added at traceHoney Oatmeal

now feeling a little more adventurous I decided to try a milk soap and remembering I had buttermilk in the freezer (left over from making butter) that was my chosen ‘milk’ and so soap #13 was born ‘Milk Chocolate Mint’ … smells good enough to eat. Coloured with cacao powder and scented with peppermint EO
#13

Soap #14 another take on the honey & oat soap (#12) but this one has added beeswax and I used a local honey “Fewster’s Farm Honey” … no added colour or scent
IMG_4020
Soap #15 this is the last soap I’ve made to date, its a Rooibos Tea with added honey & colloidal oats. This one caramalised beautifully and not only looks but smells just like toffee … no added colours or scents
IMG_4024so there you have it … now I am all soaped out for a wee while as I am waiting on all of these lovely soaps to cure ready for testing!
Hope you have a wonderful day …
Chelle 

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Soaping …

It seems this soaping caper is somewhat addictive! I now have a number of batches under my belt and thankfully, no disasters to make mention of.
After the Orange Poppyseed I made this Gardener’s Soap with Cedarwood, Tea Tree & Lime Essential Oils
Gardener's Soap

Next came a salted soap with added French Clay and Activated Charcoal scented with Lavender & Vetiver Essential Oils
Lavendar, Vetiver & Salt soap

Next came a ‘blue’ request from Olivia so I created this Blue Energy Soap
Blue Energy

This was followed by a request for a face bar by our son … loaded with activated charcoal & scented with tea tree & lavender
DJ's face bar

Oh, then one of my favourites scent wise … Lemon, Basil & Sage, scent is very refreshing!
Lemon, Basil, Sage

Something purple-ish … my Cranberry Fig
Cranberry Fig

Then I felt the need to make another Orange Poppyseed, this time with no poppyseeds added into the mix, but rather sprinkled on top, again coloured with Paprika and scented with Orange, May Chang & Cinnamon Leaf
Orange Poppyseed  06.11.2015

I have more to share but will save them for another post … until next time
Chelle 

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Orange Poppyseed

When I ordered the goods I needed to make soap I didn’t take into consideration exactly what I wanted other than to make soap so I ordered some micas & ultramarine colours and fragrance oils.  Then I discovered this wonderful group on Facebook using All Natural Ingredients in soap. I got interested very quickly in what I could do to make my soaps all natural and it’s pretty easy actually. Replace the micas and ultramarines with herbs & spices and replace fragrance oils with Essential oils. Yes, Essential Oils will add to the cost but they also add a whole range of other wonderful properties to the soaps. So here is my very first all natural soap – Orange Poppyseed, coloured with Paprika and activated charcoal and scented with Valencia Orange essential oil. Made on the 14th October.  Very happy with the results!! Orange Poppyseed w-activated charcoal (1 of 1)

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