Saturday, 21 December 2013

Finally got the Christams spirit....

I suppose I`m a lot like everyone else at this time of year, busy busy busy sorting out `christmas` I totally forget to enjoy it myself. I only actually feel slightly seasonal when opening my pressies, of course that`s after watching the kids open theirs, make a pot of tea, clear up all the wrapping paper, put the lunch on, feed the cat etc etc etc..... So, this year I have decided to decorate a small part of my home HOW I WANT IT, no 20 year old tinsel for me, no batterred tiny christmas crackers which come out year after year. I have decorated my kitchen dresser with a selection of my favorite bits and bobs from the decorations box, candles, fairy lights and kitschy snow globes. All amoungst family photos, keepsakes, favorite crockery and little things the kids have made. Hope you like it!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Tropical fruit soap slices

As a soapmaker, I often indulge my artistic side with my craft - however I have just made possibly the most surreal, crazy loaf, that even Dali would love. This is a fruity fiesta of a soap loaf, featuring, lemon, raspberry, orange, grapefruit and even a little white chocolate! I made careful layers of contrasting colours and some little circular soap inserts which I placed on top of the loaf. Once cut, the loaf really shows it`s crazy credentials - I made it for a special order for my local school christmas fundraiser, I hope the children love it!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Nest of tables

Few things make me quite as happy as upcycling old unloved furniture.  My most recent project was a ancient nest of tables which was all battered and forgotten and eventually found its way onto ebay.  I sanded, primed and waxed and painted until the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan.  It`s now looking to be re-homed with someone who will show it the love it deserves!

Friday, 22 November 2013

New Stuff 22/11/13

With all of this rain, northerly wind and general gloom, it`s perhaps unsurprising that I`ve been thinking about warming baths and pampering.  Maybe it`s a subconscious thing because two new products I`ve come up with today are bath related -

Goatsmilk and Oat bath milk powder - pop a tablespoon or two into your bathwater for a milky, creamy nutrient packed bath

I have also been making bath tea - in handy little tea-bags which con be popped into your bathwater and left to `brew`!  Packed with lavender buds, caldendula flowers, goatsmilk powder, oats and patchouli essential oil.  Goes wonderfully well with my Lavender Sleep Balm and my Goatsmilk soaps!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Oohhhh! I love lavender, I put it in cakes, biscuits, soap and now balms. I`ve just launched my new look Lavender Sleep Balm and I`ve given it a more modern, minimalistic twist. Coming soon - solid perfumes and Herbal Rescue balms (great for bumps, bruises, stings and chapped skins). XX

Monday, 18 November 2013

Autumn apples

Now that summer is long gone and we are bracing ourselves for snow and Christmas, I seem to have a glut of cooking apples to deal with. So far I have made apple crumble, stewed apple, apple pie, apple and lavender jelly and my favorite - Dutch Apple Cake Ingredients 2 eggs 175 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 85 g butter 75 ml milk 125 g plain flour 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 1/4 tsp baking powder 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced Cream togethet the butter & sugar, then add the eggs and flour, cinnamon, baking powder, milk and vanilla extract. Mix into a stiff batter and spoon into a lined baking tray. Arrange the apple slices on top and then bake for 30 mins at gas mark 5. Bloomin` lovely!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Soapy Cupcakes

It`s supposed to be summertime here in the UK, it`s rained most of the day and feel like October, however I tried to cheer myself up my making suitably summery soap and bath melt cupcakes. I`m attending a few summer fetes and fairs soon so thought I`d get cracking of a few seasonal goodies.  So, here they are - the pink ones with rosebuds are summer fruit fragranced, the green ones are tropical sorbet and the little bathmelts in the polkadot cases are vintage rose fragranced, good enough to eat!
Summer fruits soap cupcakes

Tropical Sorbet soap cupcake

Vintage Rose Bathmelts

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Upcycling project number 2 - vintage chairs.

This weekend we popped to the annual village church fete, amongst the usual cakes, jams, books and knitted teddies, there were a huge batch on vintage chairs, each being sold for the unbelievable price of £1.00 each!  I grabbed 2 of them and soon joined the long line of village residents heading home with chairs!  A quick sand-down, repaint, re-sand and wax later, I had 2 adorable `shabby-chic` style chairs, for the bargain price of £2.00.  I`ve found a home for one in our dining room, the other, I think will have a home in my soap workshop.




My new chair in it`s new home.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Nordic Noir

Here in the UK, Nordic Noir is extremely popular, whether in book or screen form.  I love Jo Nesbo`s books featuring Harry Hole, who is a washed up down at heel kinda guy.  TV programmes include `Wallender`, no not the one with Sir Kenneth, the original Swedish TV series; `Arne Dahl` , `The Killing`, `The Bridge` and my own personal favorite, `Borgen`.  It`s a political drama featuring the Danish PM with all the twists, turns, back-stabbing and personal sacrifices involved in politial life.  Dilemmas and problems encountered can easily be transposed to the UK system which makes `Borgen` totally relevent to my life.  It also features a rather sweet romance between the PM`s spin doctor and a leading journalist; who attempts to help said spin doctor face his personal demons.  It`s back for a third series really soon
In the meantime, I`ve had to make do with `The Fall` on BBC2 on Mondays - a little bit of homegrown Nordic Noir.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

I love reading and there is nothing I like better than finding something that really sparks my imagination.  I particually love historical fiction and romances - not very high-brow I know but I just love slipping back to bygone times. I think my university lecturers would have disowned me if they had known this!
One of my favorites is Elizabeth Chadwick as she writes about one of my favorite periods 11th-15th century, which was a time of great turmoil and strife in the UK.  Her heroines are always clever, perky courageous, her heroes are always handsome, smart and brave.  Just what you want on a miserable rainy day! 
I`m currently reading `The Other Boleyn Girl` by Philippa Gregory, which although isn`t a reflection of the actual events, which are still murky and still not completely agreed upon, it is a super read with twists and turns, romance, pain, unrequented love.  Spookily enough the film version is on BBC2 this Friday and the BBC is currently running a Tudor season and have adapted the White Queen for the telly - so if that`s your bag - tune in!

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Kitchenware loveliness

A confection of a  kitchen timer!

I just love items which look like other things, so, on a recent window shooping trip to Norwich I came across these lovely kitchen related products.
Oh so cutsie ladybird timers.....

Cheesy cheese knives and cakey cake slicers......

Potato nail brushes!
All these wonderfully designed  kitchen goodies are available from

I also came across this beautiful china set.  I know what I`m saving up for!!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Brrr !!!

Gosh, it`s been chilly here this week!  We haveall been bundled up in parkas, woolly hats, scarves, unstylish snow boots and ear muffs.  Our evening meals have consisted of traditonal stews with dumplings, rice pudding and other warming comfort food.
Here is the view from my workshop, taken a couple of days ago, just after a blizzard.

 Whilst the icy wind has been whistling around the house and the garden pond has frozen solid, I have been in the warm, working on my springtime soap collection.  I`ve taken lots of photos which I`m really pleased with, even the cheerful floral paper reminds me of springtime!
Anyone got any signs of spring in their garden?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Spanish sunsets and sangria

To try and cheer myself up in this cold, dark, wet and dank northern European winter, I have recently booked a springtime break for myself and my daughter in Spain.  To celebrate I have had a good look through ETSY and found some great Spainish and Spain inspired items on offer from other UK sellers.  Here are 3 of my favorite finds - click on the links to find out more!
Flamenco fever here with this colourful vintage hair comb from Elronds emporium
I`ve always had a bit of a `day of the dead` obsession!  Print offerred by Juan is Dead
An unusual and colourful map of Spain from Curious maps.

Our holiday means that we will leave my son and husband fending for themselves - I hope we still have a house when we get back!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Ukulele fun

I`m a big music fan and play a variety of instruments and over the last two and a years I have fallen in love with the ukulele.  This lovely little (and not so little) string instrument is extremely versatile and has a wonderfully user friendly reputation which puts even the complete beginner at ease.  I am a member of the Norwich Ukulele society and at our recent christmas party I teamed up with some friends to play a mini gig.  I`m on the far right of the picture on the right.  We played my personal favorite, I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper, DeDooRunRun and Find My Love by the great Eddy Reader. 

 As well as performances by other members of the society we had a great buffet, a rolling raffle and a
guest appearance by the re-entrants, who amongst other great uke cover versions, played The Ace Of Spades by Motorhead, just wonderful!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Soap Makes!

I`ve been quite busy over christmas and have 3 new soap creations on the curing rack

Lavender, lime & patchouli

Fresh Linen

Green tea & bamboo with basil leaves

I feel these are a great start to the year and I have got lots of other soap makes in the pipeline ready for the spring/summer.  Ideas include peach and goatsmilk, japanese plum, lemon verbena, blackberry & basil and orange sherbert.  I have a distinctly fruity flavour this season!


I Love Decoupage

Quite recently and totally accidently,  came across the classic craft of decoupage.  Since then, I have decoupaged just about everything in sight, even some jars for my daughters christmas gift to her teachers.  I really enjoy then creative aspect of this craft and the fact almost anything can be used. 

Here is one of my favourites so far - a nautically inspired display case, with little pictures of crabs, seahorses and lobsters, as well as shells. 

 I have used an aged paint effect on the inside compartments and a driftwood effect on the outside of the door. 

 Its really handy to display all the little bits and pieces of shells, pebbles and driftwood my children find on the beach every summer.