Learning and learning and passing it on.

I looked at my blog the other day and thought: What the he.. happened to my soap blog?  No soaps!  I would blame ADD if it wasn't for the fact that I just have so many interest that I just don't have time to tend to them all.  But I have to admit that soaping hasn't been high on my list of things to do recently.  I have made soaps, but just some of the ones I keep making again and again, like shampoo bars.  And I figured that repeating recipes probably isn't all that exciting.  Unless I learn something new.  Which incidentally, I did the other day and didn't post about it.  So it's coming up.

But that's what this is all about.  Learning something new.  I am insatiably curious about a lot of things and I research stuff to the death.  Lately I have been chasing down books about natural dyes, especially lichen and mushroom dyeing.  I found one old Norwegian book in a used bookshop in Leiden in Holland, ordered a book from the Faroe Islands (in Faroese and yes I can read it) and also found some books in Sweden that I'm interested in, but they don't accept credit cards or PayPal.  Which they didn't in the Faroe Islands either and that was a lot of bother.  So I didn't order any Swedish books, but I found a very old Swedish book (or a series of booklets published in 1805-1809) in electronic format in a New York library active (which was really good because the last time it sold, it sold for almost 1500 dollars).  Another interest that I have been nurturing is spinning.  I don't know how these things come to me, but I have developed an intense interest in learning to spin.  So I watch videos about that.  And bookbinding.  I just know that I'm going to be making my first book very soon.  I love the Internet and how it makes getting information so easy.

I get very excited when I learn something new and I always need to tell someone.  I'm compelled to.  Even if I think it would be smart to keep things to myself, like a business secret, it's really hard for me.  I tend to just blurt it out, really to whoever is standing next to me.  Can't keep knowledge to myself, I have to share.  I think I am a teacher at heart.

I used to teach part time and I loved it.  Through teaching I discovered that I'm quite good at public speaking.  No nerves.  On the contrary, I can't stop talking.  I never speak from a script, just straight from the heart.  My recent talk at the Horticultural Society about Rhubarb came about as a result of my sharing some of my Rhubarb recipes in a newspaper insert a year ago.  Then they asked if anyone had articles about visits to Botanical Gardens for this years annual publication.  Since I had recently visited four gardens in the US with my mom I promised to write about that.  Not very exciting, but they like to have some articles like that.  And then I was asked for some more short articles and recipes for this years insert and I did the Dandelion recipes that I blogged about, the Dandelion coffee, the Dandelion pesto and the Dandelion honey.  I skipped the one about Dandelion dye, thinking gardeners may not be interested in dyeing wool.

I did make a new soap tonight.  I was inspired by the soap challenge that Great Cakes Soapworks has been doing.  Even if I haven't been that creative with soaps lately I read all the blogs.  The soap I did was a graduated Rhubarb soap.  I'm really looking forward to cutting it to see if I managed to make a nice ombre effect.  That would be cool.


  1. I know what you mean with having so many interests ;) It's the spice of life though and it really sounds like you're having a blast learning about dyeing and spinning wool! There are so many fascinating crafts and skills to learn aren't there?


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