Thursday, 28 January 2010

Summer Holidays...

I am in the middle of a week off. This is what I have been up to.....
Our spare room has been in dire need of a 'freshen up' and I decided to use this time off to do something about it.

First, the untouched room (kinda messy I know!)...... dark and dingy with lovely apricot walls!!!

Then the bogging, plastering and sanding (some seriously big cracks here folks!)....

This is my handy(man) husband.... bless.......

Then comes the undercoat and edging (we are using a Dulux colour called Monterey Green in a quarter tone) should be lovely and bright.....

More soon....just waiting on the first coat to dry.....

Friday, 15 January 2010

more new soaps!

I couldn't help myself...... I tried, but I was just too weak....... it was such fun the first time, I didn't see how it could harm anyone...... I just had to do it all over again!
I made more soap!!
These are my second, sorry... third try - the second did not work out (very messy!) - at the cold process soaps I mentioned a few entries ago. I went with the olive oil or 'castille' soap again and this time I split the final batch into two lot and fragranced them separately.
One I did with Lavender and Geranium essential oils (I have recently rediscovered Geranium - I love it as an essential oil, but the aroma just kills me! By putting it with Lavender, it's mellowed out nicely enough that I really like them together), and the other with Rose and Vanillla natural fragrance oils and a dash of pink clay. I wanted to see if there was any difference in curing times and such between using straight essential oils and fragrance - turns out the fragrance oils set the soap quicker. Interesting.
As before I have rolled them into the balls and this time I 've also coated them in lavender flowers and rose petals respectively. A bit tricky to get the lavender flowers to stick evenly, but I am happy enough with them all for my first try.
Just waiting on them to cure and try them out. All going well, I might be able to have some on the stall for the Design Centre market that's due to happen at Festivale here in Lonnie in Feb. If not then they should be ready for other markets sometime after that.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Nebulous Kingdom

A big Thanks goes to Tabitha Emma for introducing me to this completely wonderful french artist Anne-Julie Aubry.

In fact I was so taken with her work that five minutes after I found her through Tabitha's blog, I bought some prints from Anne's Etsy site here.
The two prints I bought are below and I am waiting with such anticipation of their arrival! Plus I am planning my next buys as I can see a wall being covered with these amazing illustrations!
Les Cocquelicots (Poppies)

The Red Room

**Photo's courtesy of artist**

Saturday, 9 January 2010

new soap on the block...

Just a quick one to show what I have been up to of late. Since we are so hell bent on racing right into the new year as if Christmas never happened, it's been a challenge to find the time to just sit down and write a blog entry or two. Not to worry, am sure I will get back into the flow of things soon.
I have been wanting to get into whats known as Cold Process soap making for some time now. Our kitchen in our old house in Brisbane was so small I had no room and I am not totally sure why it has taken me so long to do this now I have the space here in Tassie - but last Wednesday I got myself a hankering and I made my first batch of soap complete from scratch!!
Cold Process is the age old way of making soap - combining a lye solution (caustic soda + water) with a fat or oil. Traditionally lard or tallow was used along with ashes from kitchen fires. But we have come a long way since then! Check out Erin from Inner Earth Soaps goodies here for an idea of some of the great possibilities!
I have always loved castille soap made from olive oil, so thats what I have made here. It can take a little longer to make and is quite a soft soap to work with, but I am looking forward to its awesome skin benefits when we start using it!
I have been wanting to make hand rolled soap balls for a while as well, so I have had a play with that and have even rolled some of them in poppyseeds to see how that goes. These ones might be good for say, a gardener, who needs a little more help with removing soil and grime.
I scented the batch with a dash of sultry Ylang Ylang, a splash of uplifting Bergamot and a squeeze of zesty Lime.
Now all I need to do is be patient for the 3-4 weeks it will take for the caustic to cure out and the soap to be safe to use! At the moment I still need to use gloves to handle the soaps.
I can see now how these kinds of hobbies can take over your spare room......then your house....then your life!!