Monday, July 27, 2015

The Condensed Version

I know I left this blog high and dry and it really wasn't intentional but I got caught up in my new life here in London. I really did. Not that I've been rushed off my feet or anything, quite the opposite to be honest. I've never in my life had more time on my hands to do absolutely nothing, and trust me when I tell you, that's exactly what I've been doing.....absolutely nothing, and while it's been a wonderful change from my past life, I've now become bored. Hence my return to this here platform.  Prior to my departure from Uncle Sam's land, I did promise to write about my experiences in this country which I did (in my head). For those of you who are mind readers you know exactly what's been going on, for those who aren't, I shall give you the condensed version as best I can, but you really should learn how to read my mind to save us all some time going forward.

So I moved back to the UK in August of 2011. I threw caution to the wind. Took a massive chance. No job, no home, no prospects, no nothing!  When I left CT I left the vast majority of belongings behind, as they say, I arrived with the just the clothes on my back and a dream to be happy.

My little girl and I lived with my best friend for 3 months until we moved out and into our own place.  Because I had no job at the time I had to pay 6 months rent in advance. Lord knows it was leap of faith, but as luck would have it within a month I was offered a contract position that would start immediately after Xmas 2011. I started a job and managed to stay there for 18 months before landing a permanent position with the company I'm with now (one of the largest construction companies in the UK).  You may not know but my background is in construction.  It has been a huge change for us. We have moved from a pretty huge 4 bedroom house in the US to a teeny tiny 2 bedroom flat here in London with zero storage (I can't even buy  multipacks of bathroom tissue as there's no where to store it).  We live a very basic existence in comparison to where we've come from but guess what? we love it! There's something liberating about living on less and with less. We have learned a lot and have realised there is far more to life than having 'things' and that happiness can be found in the simplest of forms. Yes we are both very very happy so it's been a successful journey in my books.

There is just one thing missing and that is soap. I miss my soapy existence. I need a kick up the arse. Somebody, anybody? PLEASE?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

WOW - this feels weird

I don't even remember how to work this blogging thing anymore. It's been almost 4 years since I left the US and possibly even longer since I last blogged.

A few days ago I received an email from an individual who had a comment on one of my posts which took me totally by surprise because it hadn't even dawned on me that people might still be reading the blog. So, after much stress (and cussing) I managed to retrieve my password to this here site last night and here I am. It's good to be here (if anyone's out there listening).

Now, what to write about?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lard Soap

Years ago when I first started making soap I made a batch with lard and as I recall it turned out really lovely. I don't even remember the reason why I didn't do it again at the time but as years wore on it sort of became unfashionable to use lard for soapmaking.

Recently I get a penchant to do it again and decided I'd do a 100% lard soap for utility purposes. It came out fantastic. I started using it for all kinds of things around the house. Washing dishes, cleaning, laundry, etc. It's the hardest and whitest bar of soap I've ever produced. I made it with zero superfat and assumed it would be kinda harsh on the skin but to my surprise it's not. It cleans like a charm and rinses off easily.

This batch I added a little orange essential oil for interest and I think it worked out well.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Latest Batches

I finally got off my duff and made some soap. Nothing too exciting, just 3 batches that I've made in the past.

First batch is green tea. I love how this one has a soft delicate scent. I haven't made this one in a long while (maybe a year or more)

2nd batch is rose. Here I combined 3 different rose fragrances because I thought it would make it a bit more interesting instead of just a straight up boring rose scent. I like it.

3rd batch is my beloved almond. This one was always popular but again I stopped making it. It's for all those die-hard jergens lotion scent lovers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Did I ever tell you

that in the midst of streamlining my product line (which to me should mean reducing not increasing), I retired quite a few of my lip balm flavors and (don't ask me how) I ended up adding a couple of new ones. I've always wanted to offer lip balm flavors that were a little "different", you know, not your typical every day flavors, so to that end, I decided to create a LAVENDER flavor cos I'm weird like that.

When I made my first few as a test batch I was totally unprepared for their deliciousness (is that a word)?

Here I used a lavender flavor oil and added a titch of a sugar flavor to sweeten it and make it more candylike.

I must say it is truly divine and I'm not being biased - honest!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yet another change

Don't know about you but I'm never 100% satisfied. This past weekend I had my first vending event in quite some time so I took the opportunity to purchase new bottles and jars and to create new labels for them. I've always loved the simplicity of black and white labels and I think the brown packaging makes everything look a little cleaner and more like my original vision. I'm still not there 100% with the labels but I think I'm pretty darned close.

What do you reckon?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oh my, is it really October already?

and have I really been missing since May? So yes, I did close my shop so I could...ahem...streamline things. By that I mean, I was supposed to re-open with a more cohesive product line. Great idea right? Well it would have been had I followed through.

So what went wrong?

This is what went wrong. I closed my shop, the orders stopped and I took a sigh of relief. I really long sigh. So long that I couldn't even bring myself to stop enjoying all the new found free time I suddenly had, the new knitting projects, the early to bed nights and the morning lay ins. We won't even mention the days spent reading the week end New York Times or stacks of magazines that I had never gotten to, or books that I'd had for years but never read or the camera I'd had for years but never figure out how to use. So you get the picture I hope. To say it was a lovely time would be putting it very mildly.

Several books and a couple trips later, here I am. Ready to rock and roll again. It'll be interesting to see the direction my shop takes in the future considering the 2 main scents that I was building my "look" around got discontinued (2 separate suppliers btw) which I must say has been a major blow and sort of knock my plans off kilter. One must brush oneself off and carry on right?

Anyway, here are some pics of random ish from this summer.

Feels good to be blogging again :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What's in a color anyways

Look how hideous.........was going for a light purple since I'm a bit heavy handed in the color department I went real light. Lo & behold we have GREY soap. Grey like wet cement, cold concrete, gunmetal, a dirty pigeon but nothing like the lavender it's supposed to be. Maybe I'll describe it as off white. Reckon it'll fly?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garden Party in a new suit

Only 2 colors but still kinda wild looking. Didn't intend for this one to be so bright but I kinda like it. It's my old "Garden Party" scent combo but with a new suit. A bit mardi-gras'ish don't you think?
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

ooh look

...I actually got off my duff and made soap!

There comes a time when you just have to dive in and DO IT. I've been carrying around a notebook and jotting down every idea/thought I've had for my new line. This has been going on for quite a few weeks and it dawned on me a few days ago and writing all this stuff down is doing me no good if I don't actually DO any of it.

So here's my first installment. They look a little rough right now as they haven't been cleaned up yet but still, they turned out EXACTLY the way I'd envisioned on paper but smells a little better. I wanted a look that was a bit unisex for this one since the scent is unisex. I also knew I wanted dark green because it has a rich lush forest scent. All in all, I'm happy. Just need to work on a good scent description and photography skills too :)
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