24 January 2011


I have reached the conclusion that soap is a living being, and a bad humoured one at that. At the weekend, I made a double batch of CP Cedar and May Chang soap. Cedar is a lovely woody fragrance which is set off beautifully by the lemony-sherbet May Chang (exotic Verbena) and this soap is one of my favourites.

I measured out my ingredients, stuck them in the slow cooker and did everything I normally do. I popped it in the mould and left it, I would like to say patiently but I would be lying, until today when I went to unmould it.

Problem 1. The soap decided that it was not going to leave the mould.  I pulled at the lining paper, which came off in my hand. A great deal of banging it upside down on the worksurface did no good at all, so with a great deal of under the breath muttering I took a knife and cut out the offending log.

Problem 2. Ash, and lots of it. So much in fact, that about an inch at each end of the bar crumbles like Cheshire cheese. Once that had been cut off, the soap looked fine, just a tiny bit of ash around the edges which I can cope with.

Ash is an issue that all soap makers have, and no-one seems to be able to give a definitive reason for it. I would love to know what makes such innocent ingredients behave like someone in line for an asbo. It is the most annoying thing and convinces me that soap is alive. Either that, or there are gremlins at large the kitchen!

18 January 2011

Time has run away from me again.

I have a buying event tomorrow evening, and as usual I have left preparations to the last minute. At least this time, I do not have to spend the evening making body butters like last time. I really do not know why I do it. Will I ever learn?

I will be launching the first of the new Silk Route Collection. This represents the Persian part of the Silk Route and is fragrance with a rosey blend of essential oils. It has Babassu oil and a touch of silk for real luxury.

08 January 2011

The Fire

I can't light it for a few days, and I am going to need to decorate, but here is the new woodburner while it is still nice and clean! Undecided on whether the shelf works or not.


I was supposed to have a wood burner installed before Christmas, but with perfect timing, the snow arrived and the installation had to be postponed.

So today, is the day. I telephoned the shop yesterday to see what time the fitter might arrived and was told 9.00am. Imagine my surprise when there was a knock on the door at 8.00, and with me still in my pj's.

I have spent all morning banished upstairs. It forced me to do some more work on the website, which is no bad thing, although it is still not finished. I also have packaging issues and have been looking for gift boxes. Packaging is such a nightmare, especially if you know what you want. It will be a case of not being able to find it; or finding it but in the wrong size or colour; or worse, it is perfect but out of stock. I would love to be able to tell someone what I am looking for and them getting them to do it for me. It would make life so much easier.

On a more productive note, I made wedding favours last week, just as a trial batch. I found some lovely little hear moulds which I thought would be perfect. They are cold process which is something I have done much of and I am delighted at how they have turned out, although I could have done without the ash formation. Next time, I will leave them in the mould a little longer and it has been suggested that covering them in clingfilm might help.