Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snowfall in our sleepy little town of Evesham


Pretty lights in the trees - the park side of our river


'Trying' to get dark...I love the light in this pic.

The river starting to freeze!

One of our finest trees covered in lights. You can purchase a bulb each year to honour a loved one..usually one who's passed over.


The view from the workman bridge...




Matt and bird friends


A lovely snow-laden tree in the meadow.


Frozen river..again.

A beautiful sun aura.


The top of the Abbey Park.

Our trusty old Bell Tower.
Hope you enjoyed those! I've not seen snow like this here since the 1980's and it's showing no signs of stopping yet. More is expected today! Haven't driven for almost a week now and don't intend to. Shopping has been a proper chore. I remember my Mom doing the shopping this way when we were kids...so I'm not going to complain that I can't take the car to Tesco. I'm just getting on with it. I'm doing my xmas shopping in short bursts with large reusable bags. Yesterday I did the meat shopping and some xmas pressies.
Today it's vegetables and tins. I'm not looking forward to the tins at all...so I'm going as local as I can then will trudge into town for more fun and games and money spending. Surprising what you can get in town these days! I'm enjoying myself!
Yesterday I got a maxi dress, some new knickers and a pair of shoes for just £11. Even the girl at the till laughed when she gave me the total.
Merry Christmas to all who read my blog....hope you're all having the most wonderful time too.
I have until 4th Jan off work at my part time job so expect a lot of new soap pics! How excellent to have all that time to do what I love to do.
Wooo Woooo!
xxx

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Snowdrift....



It's back! but not for long mind....
The soaps I have available are the soaps made in the CPOP videos on the YouTube Channel.
Click the pic to be directed to the shop and to take a peek at the fragrance description.
It's truly wonderful...but only here for Xmas so be quick if you want to bag one.
I have about 11 left out of the batch of 43 made!
Madness.
xx

Thursday, 9 December 2010

CPOP pics - Herbaceous Handmade Soap


a slab of herbaceous soap


herbaceous logs

more logs and more logs below!



Hello again.
If you click and enlarge you can take a good look at how these soaps turned out after being oven baked on a very low heat for 1 hour...then left in the oven overnight.
These were so nice to cut and not at all messy like my usual cold process soap.
As you can see they came out really well.
This of course is not to say all CPOP soap will come out so well....time will tell and I'm sure I will have more hiccups as I progress with this method.
For now, I'm loving the immediate results. It's fantastic to not worry about cure times at the busiest time of the year.
These I will leave a couple more days to fully harden.
The No.11 soap I cut the other day looked the same as this only now it has been left a good few days, it looks just like regular cured soap.
So happy!
x

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Re-Stocks and CPOP!

I'm having a Jo moment! She too is having to try the CPOP method of soaping to try to get soaps cured faster. I've never been so rushed for the run up to xmas so have had to take drastic action to get soap made rather than just sell out.
Let's face it, come January we may not get any orders at all so if I can make the most of this crazy period then it's all good. I'm just telling myself to remember to breathe deeper rather than fast and frantic. Stressed out or what!
Anyways, you may have watched the vids I put up on You Tube showing the results of my CPOP (if not, it's here and another here). Not sure what you make of the vids that I do but they're there if you wish to see 'em.
The first went badly! Crumbly tops, which I put down to not covering my soap when in the oven. I think the crumbling may be half due to the clay content in this particular soap (Elijah's Comfort with the red clay) and erm....yeah...not sure! they kinda puffed up but only on the first 3mm of topping...the bottom was much better but went a bit 'weird'. Not happy with that little lot so I will do another batch and see how it goes.
Sharon from Platypus Dreams told me to cover it up when in the oven so for the last two batches (No.11 & Herbaceous) I did just that and whaddya know?! Perfect 10! They are amazing.
Two days curing afterwards has hardened them up no end. I can't believe it. They're like smooth rocks...so shiny and new looking. Even when I cure for 6 weeks or so they don't go this hard. I will report on their ability to stay put once I've used them. By that I mean how long they last when using them daily.
Sharon from Morgan Street said I'll never look back once I've done this and if it all goes well like the last two then I'll be stoked.
I will put some pics up of the CPOP successes later...need to cut 'em up.
Now...as for Jo's batches I can't explain what on earth has happened there. I've tried and had a think but can't work it out. I guess after a few more goes at this we will have enough notes to pass onto others wanting to give it a go.
Next up on tonight's agenda is a new batch of Lavenders Black. God this soap smells good. A good un for blokes too. A blend of Lavender, Juniper, Black Pepper and Vetiver. Cooorrr!
We'll see how this one CPOP's.
Oh...what I did with last night's Herbaceous was cooked it at 80C/175F for 1hour then turned the oven off and left it in there overnight. My oven is relatively new and the top oven I put it into has no fan...whereas the bottom one does and I've heard that can cause more problems too....
I must say however that I love the tradition of regular cured cold process soap. It has a feel of old about it...a vision in my head of old barns in Marseille filled to the brim with curing soaps...and an old geezer going about his daily business making his soaps for the local yocals. Ya get me? Innit!
x

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Number Twelve

A new hair salon opened recently in Evesham and is being run by a good friend of mine called Graham West. He has been hairdressing since we were at college and has been on an amazing journey having worked as a trainer for Toni & Guy, Vidal Sassoon and Matrix.
He has opened up his new (and rather beautiful) salon on Vine Street, Evesham. The salon is called 'Number Twelve' and is decorated in gorgeous vintage French style.
They have just taken their first delivery of goodies from FuturePrimitive.
They are the 2nd stockist to take the whole range (or a very substantial part of it). They are stocking Soaps, Bathing Grains, Aromatic Perfume Oils and a brand new product - SWASH POTS (sugar wash).
The salon is in one of the best locations in town and Graham's business partner Angelina has a real customer led attitude (a sell sand to the Arabs type o gal) so I'm really hoping she gets that stuff flying off the shelves....it's certainly her intention!
They are already hugely busy, but then they would be as Graham's loyal followers will go wherever he goes...and I'm on the cancellation list! (in need of a few layers myself).
I think this is the beginning of something very special for Graham and I wish him and Angelina and all the staff the very best with their new business venture.
Expect great things people of Evesham....you've NEVER had it so good.
Evesham was just screaming out for a salon of this calibre. We haven't been blessed with such an amazing hairdresser in years.
I'm excited!