Top left – oatmeal and clove on the bottom, orange rind and turmeric on top.
Top right – Cypress & rosemary swirled with green clay.
Bottom left – Cocoa and cinnamon shampoo bar. Unfortunately this one smells more like dog biscuits than chocolate. Oops.
Bottom right – Cardamom & bergamot and French clay.
I ought to be grovelling apologies and writing a catch up post about all the stuff that’s happened in the past few months, because there have been some major events and changes. But I won’t. Either because those things are too momentous to be flippantly bound up into words just yet, or because I am just plain old contrary. Or perhaps a little of both.
Instead I’ll tell you what I’m excited about at the moment. Soap! Doesn’t sound very exciting. I appreciate that.
Personally my main association with soap is as an uninspiring last-resort gift for someone you don’t know well enough to find something better for. Or as a slight sense of disappointment after excitedly opening a prettily wrapped present. Usually followed by a sneeze caused by the synthetic stench. (Could this be the origin of the phrase ‘not something to sneeze at’? Or is that the other bastion of last-resort gifts, the hanky?) It’s the sort of thing people regift.
But (and like mine, it’s a big but) it turns out that when you make it yourself, it’s almost as exhilarating as performing secret-garden-shed-bomb-making-alchemy! Mixing ancient ingredients like lye and tallow (not that I’ve used tallow myself), stirring til it changes form and becomes an altogether different creature. Or the slight burn as you discover that in your enthusiasm you’ve slopped some on your wrist and haven’t noticed in the blur of excitement and rush to get the stuff glopped into the form before it solidifies. The agony of suspense having to wait a day til you can pop it out of its form, chop it up and see what it looks like, and the mysterious changes in colour, texture and scent over the next few weeks as it cures.
Am I calling to you yet? No? You surprise me.
What if I attempt to lure you in with the promise of a soap-of-all-trades? One that you can use in the hand basin or the shower without drying out your skin, that you can also use to wash your hair (without stripping it of all its defenses and requiring gobs of conditioner to restore to the point of brushability), and that allows you to lather up to a sleek foam which will impress even your razor? Imagine ditching the various bottles of guff in your shower and having just a single bar of soap.. Sound appealing? It does to me.
Plus you get to heat water just by stirring in some tiny white beads of caustic soda, and there are warnings splashed all over every soap making guide about how you can accidentally make a volcano if you add the ingredients in the wrong order. Oooh! Full permission to don a lab coat and goggles, and cackle like a mad scientist!
Well, I’m still working on the perfect all-in-one bar, but when I’ve finished tinkering with recipes, I’ll get back to you.
Now I’m going to inflict it on all my friends and relations for Christmas.
I’m hoping the cocoa butter smell will rematerialise once it’s finished curing.
I’m increasing! That’s what people used to call it, and it seems fitting. Gestating, breeding, gravid, a nine month work in progress. Though I can’t describe it as carrying concealed, not anymore. Not when I can barely see my own feet.
Actually, of all the various terms, gravid seems the most fitting as I seem to be operating within my own personal field of extreme inertia and high specific gravity, resulting in a much closer relationship with couch, and the only things being made here with any regularity lately seem to be meals and messes. And little things like eyebrows and toenails.
So yes, apologies for the lack of activity around here, I had an all consuming case of morning sickness (and whoever named it that had clearly never experienced it, otherwise they would have called it something like ‘unremitting nausea coupled with a misleading sensation that eating everything that run away will somehow lessen the queasiness’. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve had too many friends who had the ‘constant vomiting’ version.)
And no, I’m not planning to post any instructions on how to make this particular stitch, and definitely no photo tutorials, but there might be a pic or two of the wip later on.
tiny heartbeat grows within
form begins to swell
dark liquid world
where wonder takes root
what do they dream
within that pulsing red cocoon?
unconscious yet determined
vulnerable yet contained
predetermined yet incomplete
the sun’s dying rays
gleam from the headstones like blood
or heaven’s gates
While I play around with the boundaries of haiku, figuring out what is and what isn’t, I’m going to call the ones that don’t quite fit the rules ‘laiku’, because they are.. well.. like haiku.. To my shame, I can never resist a bad pun.
moonlight makes cutouts of the trees
summer night walk
And because this week I seem to be particularly indecisive, or maybe I just had an extra image I wanted to squeeze in, I tried rewriting this as a tanka. Well maybe in tanka format, if not quite in spirit!
summer night walk
dim air still bears the day’s heat
moonlight makes cutouts of the trees
shadow forest underfoot
Folding the washing:
sorted, scented, neat piles, and
the leftover sock..