“Smiling in my heart” on a rainy day.

Isn’t that a great notion?  “A smile in your heart” – you just can’t even think about that without getting a smile on your face!

I’m not a big fan of winter – coldness just makes me want to hibernate and wait for something better,  it’s a constant motivational challenge.  Even the soap feels soggy with all the moisture in the air today.  Not that I would ever wish the rain away – we don’t get enough of it!!  But the coldness – that can go where-ever it wants, give me sunshine any day.

Well actually – warmth – I live in a fortunate climate – even mid-winter, once the rain clouds have moved over, the blue sky appears…

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And then, just as quickly – the clouds are back.

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There are some “ups” to this season – like the neighbour’s mandarine tree which drops kilos of delicious fruit over the fence and into our hands each year:

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And the happiness of the plants around the garden after a bit of rain!

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And the alien fungi that appear – apparently a sign of garden health!

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The soap stash is feeling a bit wintery today too.  I think I have given away all the soaps I was excited about, and have had a few “interesting” batches brewing at the moment – including some of the “made in a hurry” soap, which may come into it’s own with time – I have noticed that it’s better to leave them for the full 6 weeks to reach their best.  Impatiently, I am always inclined to test them at 4 weeks!

What has really been in my thoughts lately though, is the generosity of the soap-making and online community generally. There are so many free websites and “apps” – providing recipes, tips, and places to source ingredients.

Mainstream news is a litany of the disasters of capitalism gone mad at the moment (IMO) – but here at home, in the company of bloggers & other soap makers, there is generosity, and companionship, with an amazing absence of selfishness or competition.  How unusual to feel so well supported – by folk you will probably never met, and who have nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling to gain from being so sharing!  So – to those of you who have stopped by here for a look, and to those who I turn to for tips and hints and advice (even though they will never know!) – thanks!  And it’s nice to know you’re there!  – the “Smile in your heart” factor!

Some blog posts I have been enjoying lately include:

http://www.humblebeeandme.com/sweet-orange-powdered-deodorant/

http://pioneerperfume.com/2015/06/15/a-diy-writing-retreat-in-6-steps/

https://halcyonbaths.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/how-i-make-bomb-bath-melts/

And I have discovered the Sydney Essential Oil Company – who sell organic oils, and also have a regular e-magazine – again with recipes for various products.

http://www.seoc.com.au/

So – with all this inspiration, I will have another session in the shed this weekend – I think it’s time for some more citrus – last weekend was full of roses.

For some reason, the past few batches have been really dark in colour – this has developed in the time that they sat in the mold – the “gel phase” strikes again.

When I photograph them, they don’t look as dark – but the “squiggles” are worse on the photo – the first one here is rose and patchouli, only a week old, and the second is rose and cinnamon – a few days further on – they may settle.  But they are much darker than the last time I made the same soap. IMG_2945IMG_2947

Another “odd ” soap is my attempt at “jasmine” – when all I had for fragrance was jasmine scented hair oil from the Indian grocery shop – the soap looks really nice, but the smell ain’t that grand.  IMG_2946

Meanwhile, my “Principessa” of soap – the uber-expensive sandalwood and citrus one, just sits gleaming and waiting – she looks and smells really, really, great!   IMG_2948

And the nettles have faded:  IMG_2949

My first order from the “SEOC” arrived in the week – including the most amazing mandarine oil – that smell just lifts your spirits right up towards the sunshine!  Hmmm – now I am thinking about harnessing something from those mandarines in the driveway…

Have a great weekend, where-ever you may be!

Sarah x

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