Aug 31, 2010

Breakfast on his face!

I have been really loving learning more about soap making and making more soap with the knowlege I have been gaining. It is something I could see myself doing as a small cottage industry in the future. Sadly, my salty, sea faring husband, has thus far refused to use said soap.
He is no metro sexual type and will not wash with anything he says,  "that can be picked to be put in a vase or eaten out of a bowl" - He said  "he was taught not to play with his food and now I want him to wash with his breakfast"  Why do I feel the need to roll my eyes at this ... So there is no oatmeal, milk and honey.  No honey and cinnamon. No goats milk, No orange, no Calendula, no lavender, because all these wonderful things = husband not using my soap.
 However, I do know he likes Sandalwood and I know he likes Patchoulli ( both plants ha ha) so I made a batch of soap with both these in it. It passed the husband smell test, so I am waiting for it to cure so he can use it.
Now, I like Sandalwood and I like Lavender, but don't want to make a full batch, so I decided to re-batch a few blocks of the Sandalwood and a few of Lavender..
This is done by grating up the soap...there is more Sandalwood then Lavender.. smells nice in here in the kitchen though. I have one large pot sat inside another like a double boiler, but the water comes up the sides of the pot containing the soap.
Now you melt it all slowly. this can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour depending on how old the soap is, mine is just a week old so still has a bit of water in it, I did add about 50 mils of water to the bottom of the pot. You can use milk if you like.
It melts down quiet well, I try not to stir to much, but squish it more with a fork blending it all together..
When it is the consistency of mashed potato you can put it in a mould. It wont be as smooth as normal soap. I let it cool for about 5 minutes, and then with gloves on, slightly wet, I make the soap into balls.
After about a day I get a nylon pot scourger and smooth of all the lumps and bumps and the "polish" it with a damp sponge.. Yes,  I did say the dreaded  nylon word, it is not something I like to use in the house, but a metal one wouldn't work, and until I find an alternative, then my old nylon one with have to suffice. These soap balls can be used straight away, but will last a whole lot longer if you let them dry for about 4 weeks.
And this soap makes lots of bubbles, the bubbles had started to dissipate by the time I thought to take a photo of them. It smells sooooooooo nice and I can't wait to use this one.

Aug 28, 2010

In the Yard today

You can tell spring is in the air here, well it didn't feel like it really left to be honest, but outside this afternoon was lovely, so out came the camera to take a couple of piccies of what was out there...
Can you guess what this is? Well I tried to take a photo of the Mama but for some reason she wouldn't photograph clearly, she is most beautiful, but with this many babies and more due, I am kind of glad I am moving out... have you guessed yet, no? Well they are baby spiders. There are two webs full, each holding maybe 700 bubs and another cocoon close to hatching.
I do not know what kind of tree this is but the flowers smell soooooooooooo good.. and the shot would have been clearer if Ms Bee would have sat still.. This is the tree was the back drop for all the photos of our handfasting.

Every garden needs an owl, sadly I do not have enough tree's for an owl, so this is perfect for now. I am hoping when we move back to Victoria in about 12 weeks, we will have more owls about.

This is my beautiful old Crone, she sits here as happy as, although the first day I put her here, DimSim aka Sacred Temple Cat gave her a jolly good slap around the hat.. just to show who was the boss. Looks like she has been picking flowers and putting them in her hair.

Now lookie what I found, a kid and a kitty.. Miss C wanted to dig some weeds out of the lawn, and Dimmy came to help.. or hinder. When ever anyone is tugging weeds or digging, the cats afoot.

Last but not least, a rather wonderful Gargoyle, sitting between the water feature and the patio door. He sits over looking it all... I love Gary, isn't he handsome. The photo really doesn't do him justice. 

Aug 25, 2010

Little House Sprites and Bath Bags

Well, since I was here last, Miss C  turned 12 and I survived the trio of giggling young girls.Two large trays of homemade pizza and garlic bread - not to mention a large chocolate cake were eagerly devoured by said girls affectionately renamed the 'house sprites' as well as two older brothers, one brothers girlfriend and a husband.
Really they were a pleasure to have over, even if they did have the insane red headed step mother act at 3.30am, when they managed to wake us up from way down the other end of the house.. maybe I am just to out of practice...or they woke to play brownies in the middle of the night.
They are a little bit cute though...
This week so far has been taken up with sorting the store room, I swear I am going to disappear in there never to be seen again.. It's like a whole other world in there.. maybe if I get bold I will take a photo to show you the chaos.. far more fun was pulling out my box of botanicals and essential oils for some bath bag making.
Everything I need grounds and whole oats, Chamomile, Lavender, Passion flower, Rose petals, Calendula  and Lavender essential oil..
Into a bowl go all the botanicals, the lavender is mixed with a little Natrasorb (natural starch) then added..
It really smells lovely, even without the lavender essential oil, the chamomile comes through nicely. When it is all mixed, it goes into bags like big tea bags and sealed with an iron. Here is the finished product. 

Already for my Made It store. ... oh and my bathroom :-)

Aug 19, 2010

Simple Things

When I was younger, much much younger I was like many my age on the, ' I want it,  I need it'  merry go round...  clothes with a tag that said it was made by someone another my age might recognise, bottles of perfume, more make up than I could use, half of it got chucked away in the end,  I had more watches than I could wear at anyone time - my motto was, "you can never have enough watches" I collected them like I did hand bags.. and in those handbags was everything I needed... I couldn't even begin to list half of what I used to lug around with me. If I wanted it I bought it, even if I didn't need it - I really didn't seem to place much value on things, I guess I was like that until I got to my mid to late 30's... then things changed somehow.
I'm not sure if any one thing bought about the change - be it my brush with cancer, numerous surgeries, my job working in palliative care -  The sentence that comes to mind and I quote it often, even though I do not remember where I first heard it... "People are more important than things" 
I have in the past, left a 15 year relationship and took nothing but a suitcase and a box - got on a plane and flew to a new country!  It was both terrifying and liberating, now that showed me how much "stuff" I didn't need.
Today again I have a house not mine, and it has nice things in it... eBayed, free-cycled and bought new.
My DH and I sometimes wonder through a mall or store and joke about having a new projector tv, and Blue ray and a this and that and then we roll our eyes and we have a laugh. We are happy and content with what we have and you know the simplest things, made with love often make me the happiest and give me the biggest rewards..
Like this wonderful wooden soap mold made by my husband.
 Who has the confidence and ability to fix multi million dollar military weaponry, yet he said he wasn't much good at carpentry.
He wasn't sure if he could build me a soap box with a couple of bits of scrap wood and an old and barely functional saw.
Well he did, it's simple, has a divider for smaller pours and it is absolutely perfect and I love it-  it works a treat and is just what I needed.!
See, perfect shape for my latest soap, which is Calendula and Orange, sitting here waiting to be cut -

Random Little Things
More white board madness. I think this is a deep rooted primal urge being released. I have Neanderthal children...Bless them

Aug 17, 2010

Busy Days and Pooh!

It has been a crazy sort of time this past week... I'm getting over my infection, I have been sorting a store room full of *stuff* into piles of keep and off to the op shop you go,  Have had housing inspections/meetings with Defence Housing, had the kids to their Nans for the weekend which meant D and I had time to take a breath and discuss when we leave, no decision made there... we have two birthdays this Friday one being Miss C who is turning 12, and on a daily basis we have been reminded.. I can't work out why she thinks we could have possibly forgotten... and I have turned my kitchen into a oil infusion factory.. Calendula which I turned into some *fingers crossed* nice looking soap today, I have Chamomile as well as dehydrated orange and carrot infusing in Macadamia nut oil.. they will be soaped if I have time in a day or two.. pictures to follow..
Short tonight, but I am trying to finish off knitting another couple of things for my Made It store.. but I would like leave you with a sweet wee quote from Pooh.. Bless him

"You are braver then you believe, Smarter then you seem, and Stronger than you think" Winnie the Pooh

Aug 11, 2010

Just drink it!

I have been such a slacker lately as far as my blog has been concerned. I am absolutely chocked full of yet another sinus infection, about my squillionth since December, will maybe squillion is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is about my seventh course of antibiotics, hoefully my last. Why you may ask, well on Monday I went to see a pretty neat lady, Anita Gilbert from Womens Health Naturally  she is has been a naturopath for 15 years and came well recommended.
I had been procrastinating over making an appointment for, oh about 6 weeks I think... not long at all really in the greater scheme of things, thats my justification and I am sticking to it, just like the stick it note with her number on, stuck to the phone.
Anyways, I got to the point where I was sick of feeling sick and tired, and after an appointment lasting well over an hour and a half, I came away a little wiser and with a new hope that while there may not be instantaneous miracles, I will start to feel better as my body has a chance to heal it self.
Some things I was really surprised at, those of you who have a knowledge of natural medicine may already know these snippets, like the sinus problems I have been having, are a very common complaint in menopausal women due to low estrogen... so umm... why didn't my Doctor tell me this 7 sinus infections ago? Wait, what about all the money I have spent on the tests the Doctor said I needed for all the tummy problems I have been having for near 2 years, so ummmm.. why didn't he tell me that the change in the dominance of hormones can and does cause some pretty painful digestive problems.. Not to mention the joint pain, fatigue and insomnia... I was really honestly starting to think I was loosing the plot, that I was developing some sort of nutty hypochondria.
But guess what, it wasn't my imagination, I did and do have REAL symptoms,  that can be fixed.
Maybe the surgery I had, couldn't have been avoided but some better information would have been nice.. I am trying to quell the feelings of wanting to pull his boy bits over his head, for leaving me in the dark on this stuff for nearly 18 months or more..
Rant over.. I am now taking this, potion tailored for my personal needs, a mix of Eye Bright, Passion Flower, Dong Quai, Ginger and some more herbs and it tastes like.. well it tastes like something I have never experienced.. Badly burnt coffee - come compost, mixed with a hint of licorice. Num Num Num - Tried it straight, tried it mixed with juice, tried it mixed with water - end of the day - just drink it!

Aug 3, 2010

Nice People

We have had a busy sort of a weekend here. We really wanted to spend some time with the kids and just hang out,since they have been wondering about our posting as much as we had.. hence the reason I haven't blogged for a few days.
This morning I had an email via my Made It store, from Alison over in Melbourne (East Coast of Australia) and the place we are heading too but I digress though.. Alison sent me an email saying she had featured me along with two other crafters over on her blog Hill & Vale for Tuesday Treasures. Now how cool was that.
It was so totally out of the blue and such a nice gesture, that I thought it was well worth mention here. She also has a Hill &Vale on Made It ...pop on over and take a look.

Random Little Things
The things I find on the white board.. The Wheat Bix versus Cornflakes debate is just one of many such conversations.