Showing posts from November, 2011


The yellow soap turned out a very dark yellow and to be truthful I like yellow when it's mellow.  But I still like this one very much.  The smell is heavenly and although I tend to think that soaps look their best just poured into the mold and freshly decorated, I still love the way it looks.  A bit frou frou and old lady.  It is going to look absolutely horrible once it gets wet, but who cares?  It'll look very good as a gift and then it'll still smell really nice.

I have been on a roll, making more of these, but in different colours with different fragrance blends and I plant to make a few more.  I've already done one white and one black and I want to do one blue and another pink.  I'm just waiting for a fresh shipment of oils so that I can mix the fragrances that I've imagined for those.

I've also lost it!  I'm going to be in a Christmas market next weekend with my soaps and some jewelry that my sister-in-law makes.  The market idea just happened an…

I really like this one

I made this soap and I intended it to be just like one that I made last year.  I really liked that soap.  I loved the colour and the scent, and I especially liked they way it felt.  It was the first silk soap that I made.  So I thought I would replicate it.  But I didn't.  In part because I didn't have the exact ingredients and in part because my brain gets ideas most of the time and tends to want to do different things all the time.  And I let it.  Because that way, life is fun and not boring.

So I did this soap, mostly like I did last time, except I couldn't decide if I should use Annatto seeds and make it a soft yellow or use the fresh Rumex oil that I had just started and make it pink.  So I used both.  I thought: Maybe I'll get a pretty orange or coral colour.  But I didn't and it's a rather dark yellow, but that's fine because the really nice thing is that I did a fragrance blend that I really, really liked and the decoration reflected that and I th…


I've been making soaps again.  The Christmas soaps are pretty late this year, but I've been busy with many other things and so has my cousin.  Of course, I have made quite a few soaps this summer and autumn, but perhaps not as many as last year.  There are so many things that compete for my time.  There is gardening, visiting thrift shops, herbal stuff to make and of course the dying and then I have a few projects at home for some DIY.  But most time consuming has been Pinterest (  It's completely addictive.  I even saw something that I almost pinned.  It was one of those clever sayings and it compared Pinterest to Crack.  Not that I would know for sure, but I can well believe it.

I just spent an hour and a half to add a Pinterest button to my blog.  I had to try it.  It looks slightly too big, but I've given up tweeking the size for now.  But I love Pinterest and wouldn't want to be without it now.  Just a great place to store interesting book…

Lichen: Obsession no... Oh! What was it again?

Or:  The importance of being rigorous about writing things down
I had this uneasy feeling that something wasn't quite right, but since I couldn't find the piece of paper I had written my notes down on, I brushed it aside.  But I was right.  Something was wrong.  I got my Lichen soaps mixed up.  I'm not used to making many batches at the same time.  I usually make just one batch, sometimes two and I have done three at a time, but then my cousin was with me.  So this marathon soaping session was quite unusual for me.  Afterwards I was sure I had written down what lichen decoction went with what scent and what I put on top of them, but I couldn't find it.  So I tried to do it from memory and, boy does that not work!
When I started making soaps I wrote down the recipes in a notebook and then input them into Soapcalc and saved them as pdf files.  So I'm pretty organized.  But since I was using the same one for them all I just saved the first recipe and wrote the name of…

Lichen: Parmelia saxatilis - Obsession nr. 4

Parmelia is the lichen that has most commonly been used here in Iceland to dye.  It gives rather nice yellows and browns and even over to reddish browns.  And it leaves it's wonderful scent in the wool.  As with other lichen, heat will make the colours more brown so dying cold is actually quite smart.  There are three varieties of Parmelia that grow here and all are used to dye wool.  They all look very similiar, but P. omphalodes is slightly more brown in colour than the others. P. sulcata has a wrinkly kind of surface.  I think the one that I collected is P. saxatilis which is known as Shield lichen or Crottle in English.  Crottle was also commonly used in Scotland to dye wool.

I came across this lichen by accident.  Even if it is quite common here, I hadn't quite figured out where to go to look for it.  But my husband and I were taking my mother in law for a drive to see a place where we sometimes take the dogs for a walk.  It's a lovely place, only minutes from the ci…