Sunday, 24 February 2013

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

Yes, yes you should smell like dirt right?!
Gah, I cannot wait until I can smell the soil in my garden again.
Spring is my favourite time of year...well, apart from summer & autumn.
I love the anticipation of seeing my bulbs flowering and planning the garden for the coming season. However, this year we plan to completely cover the garden with a new natural stone patio.  I do plan to have some huge pots full of bamboo and several other companion plants though, I couldn't handle a plant-less garden!
I'm plants crazy, but have found that in our tiny little garden we can only handle a few large specimens, which is a real shame as the big monster plants are my favourites. Our garden has lacked charm over the past few years, mostly due to Matt and I being too busy to deal with it all...even with it being small it's still a bind to keep on top of it.  I do hope that changes this year.
I feel like we need some order out there rather than the higgeldy piggeldy garden we've been used to for a while, so I would love a nice natural (but rusty/black) coloured stone with lots of stuff around to catch the eye.
Here'a a little pic of our garden taken around 2007.
Ya see how new it all looks? It was! But it very quickly became a tangled mess and most plants had to come out. The only thing I can see in this picture that we still have is the palm to the left, which is now approaching 8ft tall!
So, I plan to take out the gravel path, which only leads to the shed and replace all of it with a nice Italian stone, a nice table to sit at, some big floor cushions to sit on and lots of little things to tinker with.
If I manage to pull it off I will post pics of course.

So...back to soap.

  Our Spring release went live on Thursday, which was a hoot. We did really well so a big thank you to all who ordered.  I made sure I had plenty in stock this time as all other previous releases have been sell outs, which can be a pain - not just for the customers but for me too.  Re-stocks can be a bind when you have a pile of orders to send out beforehand.  As the business grows I'm starting to plan ahead just a little bit better, which helps me feel prepared for the rush.
This coming week will be an order packing frenzy, but I've gotten pretty quick at it so hopefully I can get back to playing with soap by the weekend. I have a few new techniques I'd like to try.
I tried my first oil in mica swirl last week, which I loved but was a little disappointed that the swirl I did inside hardly showed at all. Lesson learned.
Here it is, scented in a Lush dupe (American Cream) and not for sale since the dupe is a US fragrance oil, which we are not allowed to use to sell over here in the UK due to the allergen content being missing from the MSDS :-(

I used a Vintage Blue mica and then dusted over a copper mica afterwards for some contrast.
Oh, the soap formula is pretty bad on this one too since I ran out of coconut oil. I thought I'll try a palm & olive soap with a few extras, so I went with Palm (quite a bit), olive, sunflower, rice bran and a small amount of avocado oil. It's gunky, slimy, sticky and well, not very good at all but after tweeting about it being the worst soap I ever made I was tweeted back by Hayley of Paintbox Soapworks who mentioned using Palm Kernel oil next time if I wanted to try a coconut oil free soap in the future. I just may one day.
I think it came out pretty good, but nowhere near as beautiful as the creations made by Emily.
If anybody can pull this technique off to it's full out extent, it's her. What an incredible talent.
I plan on doing some gradient soaps and a few others I have up my sleeve shortly (once the coconut oil arrives!), so will be sure to share once I've had a play.
To finish, here's a pic of our new labelling on a jar of Ethereal Seas Body Whip 
(my fave from the current line up).
Have a happy Sunday x


RityFaerie said...

What a lovely garden you have Tiggy! Really sweet, I only have a porch in rented accomodation at the moment, but when I get my dream house in Malvern, lol, I must have a garden! I am also plants mad and plan to work in Horticulture at some point. Unfortunately I just cannot squeeze enough onto the porch, mainly edibles and climbers :-) Really excited about trying the new Spring scents I haven't tried yet, you go from strength to strength. Rity xxx

Tiggy said...

Hi Rity. I hope you get your dream home in Malvern, it's such a beautiful place.
If you find a place to work in horticulture let me know. I know a LOT of people in this area with nurseries as I used to serve them wholesale when I worked for Cotswold Garden Flowers/JustMust Perennials.
I may be able to put in some good words...xx

RityFaerie said...

Oh Tig thank you! When I move, planning to January/February, I will let you know. May take a while to get something! I do miss Malvern alot and look forward to going back :) Getting more horticultural experience with Cardiff council at the moment working in the nursuries, conservatories and parks xxx