Neroli and lemongrass – “side-swirled” soap

Neroli and Lemongrass Soap

A couple of months ago I set out to replenish my stock of essential oils (EOs), and as usual added one or two that I’ve not used before to my order – and this time that included some neroli absolute.  So I used my tiny (but costly!) bottle of neroli as my primary inspiration for this soap, and tried to match … Continue reading

Zebra Soap

Zebra Soap

The technique for this month’s Soap Challenge Club is called sculpted layers, where successive layers of soap are poured and “sculpted” to create a design in the soap.  Here’s my entry: This soap was my second attempt at the sculpted layers technique.  The natural colourants I used were kaolin for the white stripes and activated charcoal for the black – although I … Continue reading

Sel de Camargue – a salt soap with Camargue salt

Camargue Salt soap bars

Over the last few years I’ve read a lot about the benefits of salt soap and so many people seem to rave about them.  But until about a week ago I’d never made a salt bar …… In my reading, I’ve learned a few things about salt bars – most notably that you need a high proportion of coconut oil to … Continue reading

“Made in Magstatt” – my new soap stamp

French clay drop swirl

As part of my prize for winning the Soap Challenge Club in October, I won a soap stamp made by Alex Kelly.  I’d been wanting to order one for a long time, but there always seemed to be other soaping supplies to buy before I ordered a stamp ….  So it is wonderful to finally have my very own! But … Continue reading

Soap making classes …..

Natural honey soap

I had a great opportunity (or excuse??) to make more soap in December, when a friend visited for a few days so that I could teach her to make handmade soap!  I’d never taught anyone before, and found the experience quite rewarding ….. so thought I’d write a few words about it – and share some photos of the soap we … Continue reading

Melting solid oils with lye – my soaping experiment!!

Swirled Scotch Pine soap

What I love most about soapmaking is the opportunity it affords to combine science with design and creativity ……  And there’s just SO much to learn; so many soap-making and swirling techniques to experiment with, that I can’t ever imagine getting bored! This post is about 2 experiments in a single soap: a new method to make soap; and an experiment … Continue reading

Poppy Appeal Soap – and a mystery …..?!?

Poppy Soap - wall pour / tall and skinny shimmy

Here’s my entry for the “tall and skinny shimmy” or wall pour challenge: My inspiration for this soap was the annual Poppy Appeal – both because it’s the “season” (Armistice Day is on 11 November), and because we were recently on vacation in Belgium, where we visited the city of Ypres (or Ieper as it’s called in Flemish), Tyne Cot military cemetery and … Continue reading

Surprising soap – with Quince

A couple more bars

We’ve had a bumper harvest of quince this year, so I’ve been busy looking for different ways to prepare or preserve the delicious, aromatic fruit – so that we can enjoy it now, but also in a few months time when the tree is completely bare! The quince looks a lot like a pear in colour and shape, but when it’s … Continue reading

Almond Milk and Chestnut Honey Soap

Almond milk and chestnut honey soap

My objective with this soap was to use 2 natural skin loving ingredients – almond milk and honey – to create a beautiful and creamy, moisturizing soap for the winter. Both almond milk and honey are well known for their cosmetic benefits, but here’s a little of what I learned about the properties of almond milk …… Cosmetic benefits of almond milk: I’m a little … Continue reading