Showing posts from January, 2012

The mysterious affair of the brown Rumex soap...

Puzzled by my brown soap, I thought that maybe I hadn't used enough Rumex oil.  I generally use about 15-20 grams (0.5 -0.7 oz) of the infused oil in one recipe.  My recipes are small, either 500g or more usually 700 g (about 25 oz.)  The obvious solution was to use more oil, maybe double it, and see if that would change the color to pink.

So I did.  But it didn't.  Still stuck in the thinking that yellow and pink somehow go together I threw on some dried calendula and calluna, with a bit of yarrow.  It probably looks better on the brown background than it would on the intended pink,  but I will not be repeating that combination any time soon.  I scented it with Bensoin, Sweet Orange and Geranium.  Tha was a nice combination, which I might repeat.  The Soap was Olive oil, Coconut oil, Soy bean oil and Cocoa Butter.

I love the brown color though.  It's just really nice.  I sometimes forget how nice brown can be, I tend to think of it as a dull color, but it is so useful. …

The Surprises of Nature

December was cold.  We got a lot of snow for Christmas, which was incredibly nice, but now it just feels like it has been snowing forever.  In this weather I just want to snuggle up in bed, preferably under an eiderdown.  It is amazing to me to think that in late November I was out on the allotment, building raised beds and digging manure and seaweed into the soil.  There was quite a lot of weeds that I had to get out before I dug in all the goodness, so I was actually weeding.  At the end of November!  That's a new one to me.
Fortunately Dock is a very common weed in the allotment ground, to the dismay of many people, and my delight.  I dug up quite a few fat and beautiful yellow roots.  This is the most perfect time to dig up roots, when all top growth has died down and all the goodness of the plant is stored in the roots.  Next best thing is this spring, just before the plant starts to put on new growth.  This, by the way, applies (very logically) to all roots.
I still had a l…


I am the happy owner of 3 kilos of uncleaned eiderdown.  I originally bought a small bag, perhaps 600 grams, of Eiderdown at the Good Shepherd, a local thrift store.  Even if I knew that, cleaned, it would yield only 300 (10,5 oz) grams and a duvet for a full grown person requires 1000 grams (or 1 kilo/35 os/2.2 pounds) I thought it was worth it.  I had to pay a bit of money for it, probably about 60$, but Eiderdown is incomparable when it comes to duvets.  Mine is old and getting to be rather thin.  So I had the idea that I would start to collect eiderdown for the duvet that I would have for the rest of my life.

Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to find some more Eiderdown at the Good Shepherd.   This time it was 2,5 kilos of uncleaned down so I knew that I had all the down I needed for my new duvet even if more than half is straw, seaweed and feathers.  I couldn't believe my luck.  And this time I only had to pay around 40$, making the total outlay for the down about 10…