Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My opinion of 2008

It's been a bit of a rubbish year, so for this year's cake I was going to do a big bare Santa bum poking out of a chimney until my other half suggested that maybe Santa could pee down the chimney. So, after a bit of faffing here's the result. Bit revolting, but it made us smile :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Food for thought

There's been some debate on the Fresholi forum lately about "chemical-free" claims made by some skincare/bodycare manufacturers. Elaine has written a post on her blog which sums up the facts pretty well in my opinion. There isn't really any point me posting anything more, as she says it all very neatly here.

Good for you Elaine!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's official - chocolate can be good for you!

I went to an inspirational seminar for women yesterday, and met a lovely lady called Galia. She has a company called CHOC CHICK and offers kits to make your own healthy, yes healthy choccies. Yipee!! What a fab idea, and for people like me who are dairy-intolerant, the perfect excuse to eat choccies without suffering, and without feeling too guilty.

There's a page here explaining the benefits of raw chocolate, and a recipe page here

Galia was offering us tasters of her chocs yesterday and I'm very proud to say I managed to snaffle 2 (oink, oink) and they were both delicious.

I wish Galia all the very best with her business as it's a great idea.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I think I've done it!

Well, I think I've managed to change the look of the blog to something a bit more interesting than it was, so until I get my act together & learn more about editing html code and know what I'm doing, I'll make use of the amazing work available for free that's out there for our enjoyment & use!

This background I found on a great site called
where there are all sorts of goodies to play about with.

Friday, October 31, 2008


I've spent hours and hours recently trying to change the look of my blog without losing all my widgets etc. Not having much luck as you can see, so until I can get the hang of this html code malarkey, you're stuck with looking at a very boring layout. Sorry!

Note to self: buy book on how to do it properly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Smelly Chick's Giveaway

Smelly Chick's is a great site, and now there's a chance to win a giveaway too! Go and have a look, read & enjoy.
If you could mention that you heard about this on my little blog, that'd be great :o)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Golden Wedding Anniversary cake

My Mum & Dad celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary last weekend. I planned to make them a cake a couple of weeks ago (Christmas cake recipe so it really needed to be "fed" with brandy for a couple of weeks at least) but I've have had a really vile flu/chest infection so it was a bit late! Anyhow, I made the cake on Sunday and then spent almost 8 hours decorating it yesterday. Their sofa is quite a long one, and the way I've positioned them is pretty much how they always sit. It was a real labour of love and I think they really appreciated it.

Here're a few pics for posterity before it gets eaten!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A truly horrible week!

Well, I don't know when I'll next be making or posting pics of any soaps/disasters.... I went to Portugal for a week with my sister & a friend of hers. What a week! I'm absolutely knackered.

Here we go:
I got accosted by a Brazilian nutter at Gatwick airport before I'd even left the UK; the windscreen wiper flew off the hire car before we'd left the airport; I took the girls to the lovely old town of Loulé to show them around - and forgot the place shuts on a Saturday afternoon; we had 3 days & nights of the most horrendous thunderstorms so had no sleep; on the 4th day we decided to mooch around the shops because the weather was lousy and came home to find my beautiful house had been burgled :-( The scumbags kicked the door in and stole quite a lot of stuff - including my camera (complete with all my soap pics, boo hoo). I then dealt with the Portuguese police (who were wonderful by the way despite the dreadful press they've had lately) on my own - had to translate and make sure my sis & friend knew what was going on as they were both pretty freaked out by it all; spent almost 5 hours in the police station getting the right police reports for the insurance - good job I speak the language or we'd have come home with reports that were wrong and wouldn't have been able to claim anything from the insurance; arranged to have the doors repaired and secured; went to renew the hire car for a couple of extra days and watched some woman being arrested for attacking an airport worker 'cos she'd missed her flight.........on the whole it was a very weird experience!

Good things to come out of it:
1 The scumbags weren't in the house when we got home. It could have been so much worse
2 I now know I can deal with an emergency in Portuguese if I have to!
3 I didn't go to pieces even though the thing I'd dreaded the most had happened.

Anybody want to go on hols with me? Hah! I doubt it very much.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A slight pause in transmission...

I know you'll all be devastated (whistle, whistle), but I won't be around for a short while as I'm off to Portugal again, & that means there won't be any new croaps for a while either. Boo hoo! I'll have severe withdrawal symptoms again when I come back, as well as a brain overloaded with ideas and no time to do anything about them. Awwww, shame innit? :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chocolate cheesecake

This one is supposed to be a chocolate cheesecake! I tried to do a whipped top but when I added the FO it made the whipped soap go runny so I couldn't pipe it as I'd planned. In the end, I just slapped it on & poked at it for a while (technical terms). I'm hoping it will hold its shape & not disintegrate overnight. Fingers crossed as it smells gorgeous!

This is it before I covered the top with the "whipped" soap. Interesting how it's discolouring - it's supposed to go a chocolate brown so it was a bit of a shock when I cut it & it was a fudge colour in the middle.

Monday, September 15, 2008

An interesting gentleman

For the past 10 months, I've been a partner in running a small leather goods shop. The past 25 years of my working life have been spent in a first-floor office so everyday life at pavement level has pretty much passed me by. Opening the shop hasn't exactly been a roaring success but I've met some very interesting people, a few of whom have become friends now.

One regular visitor is Gordon, a gentleman in his 80s who pops in for a coffee and a natter on a regular basis. He enjoys going to Sussex University to sit in on lectures, and has a passion for understanding all the things that make us human. He carries a book around with him called "Why Love Matters" (Sue Gerhardt) and is on a quest to understand more about how we develop as humans depending on how a mother's love is given during the first 2 years of life. He has several blogs going, but this one is his current passion - check it out and leave him a comment :-)
Gordon's blog is here

Why the croap crown is mine.....

I wanted to have a go at a "round" soap and finally managed to find somebody eating Pringles, so I stole the tin and had a go. Eek! - I've no idea what went on in that tin during gel, but it's a very weird- (and rude-looking) soap to me. Or is that just my dirty mind? :-) It smells good though - a mix of strawberry-coconut with milk.
I suspect it got too hot during gel - anybody knows the answer, please let me know!
It doesn't look too disgusting cut, but I might have to set the cookie cutters on it. We'll see.....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

First funnel soap!

I discovered this fab new technique and thought I'd give it a go. I'm gobsmacked at the result, to say the least. It looks completely different cut than it does in the mould, and no two slices are the same. I scented this one with "Blue Amberwood" and as it's a discolouring FO, I'm hoping the "cream" swirls will eventually go a browny colour. So far it's gone a bit of a strange yellow but we'll have to wait & see.

In the mould


Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm exhausted, and still no soaps......

I still don't have any soapies to post here as I've been away in Derbyshire for a few days staying with my friend Joy. On Friday we went to Buxton and met up with our friend Zoe (we all know each other from the Fresholi forum) and to finally meet in person was great. It was a lovely giggly day despite the hideous weather. On Saturday we managed to produce 5 batches of CP soap and very proud of ourselves we were too. Joy showed me how to make whipped soap, so watch this space. Sunday we went to a trade fair at the NEC in Birmingham. Picture it - 2 grown women going a bit giddy when they found a cake decorating place that had silicone moulds perfect for making soap in. At one point certain people were brought a chair as they were a bit overcome by it all (and it wasn't me) :-) It was good fun but very tiring and we came away with some great ideas.

My only problem now is too many ideas (and a head about to explode with them all) and not enough time to put them into being. Drat.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I haven't fallen off the edge.........just yet!

I didn't realise it'd been so long since I posted. Well, I've been away hiding in Portugal for a few weeks, contemplating my navel and wondering what to do with my life. My dream would be to live in Portugal and make my croaps, and if I can make some sort of money from it - great! When things were going well for us a few years ago, we were lucky enough to buy a house there and there's just something very special about it. The house almost gives you a big cuddle when you go back - sounds mad but I know what I mean. Might be something to do with the resident spirit we have (and yes, I know her name, which part of the house was hers and a bit about her family - courtesy of her granddaughter who turned up out of the blue one day last year after living in France for 40+ years!). My friend even commented that the house was happy to have us back and had seemed very sad when we weren't there. So here's a pic which doesn't really do her justice but I love her anyway

We also had a visitor who brought us her kittens last time we were there. She hasn't been seen for a few months, but 2 days after we arrived she appeared (sadly without kittens this time). After a few weeks she was having a bit of trouble with the word "feral". We called her Suki which I'm told means happy in Japanese - suits her really well.

And for those friends of mine who doubted that the Croap Queen took her crown with her so it couldn't be stolen while she was away, here's proof! Hah!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Been a bit busy lately!

I haven't posted much lately but there'll be some pics soon of what I've been up to. I've been concentrating on sorting out my safety assessment and all the associated red tape that we have to cope with here just to sell a bar of soap. I had a meeting with Trading Standards today who are more than happy for me to sell my soaps. Scary stuff!! Now I've got to decide on a business name & identity, and that's not as easy as it sounds. Oh, and sort out insurance, and packaging, and labelling, and allergen declarations, and weights for labelling.......and the list goes on! I just want to have fun making soap and hope to be able to sell some. As for reading the 351-page document relating to EU Cosmetic Directive changes coming up, I don't think so!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Not that I'm addicted or anything........

I've made 4 soaps in the past few days - 3 ok and one disaster.

This one is Seabreeze and I was hoping for reasonable swirls all the way through. Not too bad for a first go at this way of swirling, but I didn't really want the base to be blue blobs. No idea why it's got greenish bits in it either, or white feathery bits.....I only used blue colour.

This one's Rhubarb & Custard. I went into shock when it came out of the mould because it turned out more or less as I'd imagined. A first for me!!!

Then came Raspberry Yoghurt. I can't get the hang of in-the-pot swirls no matter what I try. I've tried different traces and nothing seems to be quite right. I'm not keen on the smell of this one either but it's getting a bit less pongy as it cures.

All going too comes the disaster. Beautiful smelling FO but a swine to work with. I had soap on a stick and no time to even smooth out the top once I'd dolloped it into the mould. The contrast colour wouldn't mix in so I had a hissy fit & just chucked it on top. It went to gel within 15 minutes, and doesn't look much better when cooled. Hopefully I can rescue it by slicing off the lumpy bits from the top and making little sample sizes out of what's left.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I made a hot process soap this week for my niece - the FO is a dupe of a perfume she loves. I'd not tried the Celestial colours in hot process before and whilst they don't react like they do in CP, they hold up quite well and mix in fine. I even went mad & brushed some mica on the top just to show off a bit.

Shell bracelets

I finally got to meet my friend Joy last week - we'd only ever spoken on the 'phone, and we had a really nice day. Got some strange looks in the pub with a table full of soaps & fragrance oil bottles but hey, we're soap addicts so we don't care. Anyhow, she very kindly gave me some kits to make up bracelets from shell buttons and here they are.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Washcloths & Danglies!

I've been playing about with some cotton yarn and made a few crochet washcloths for my friends. I hope they work ok!

I also enjoy making "Danglies" - bag or key charms! Here are a few pics - some I made especially for my friends and others I'm not quite sure what to do with! I should sell them in my shop, but I'm not sure what to charge or whether they'd sell. Hmm.

Lavender goat's milk

Second ever goat's milk soap just using lavender EO as fragrance. First pic is of the soap wet and before it went into the fridge. Yet again, the colour is a bit different than I expected and because I didn't gel this one, I didn't know what'd happen to the colour. For a change it went vaguely right and ended up a lavender-ish colour.

Honey Baby

This one worked a bit better than the Pink Peril. I tried to do a proper in-the-pot swirl this time but didn't take out enough uncoloured soap for the contrast swirl. Still, I've learnt from yet another mistake!

Pink Peril

I got some lovely new colours from the US to play with last week. Believe it or not, this was a combination of fuchsia for the base and the swirl was wine-coloured. The fuchsia didn't colour the base as I thought so I kept adding a bit more. Oops. Look what happened once it had gone through gel.

Before she spontaneously combusts from her pinkiness, here she is cut - to make matters worse, photographed on a pink background and in a pink bathtub. :-)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Internet trouble

I've spent over 4 hours on the 'phone this week trying to sort out a faulty internet connection and given that all technical fault calls are routed to India, does this picture explain why they are unable to sort out my problem?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fruitarama & I are not speaking

This is REALLY unfair. If I'd wanted pink & purple soap I'd have made it. I wish I had a "strop" emoticon on here. We are not on speaking terms this monster & I. Hmph.

Monday, April 21, 2008

27 different soaps so far, and still counting......

I thought I should just post a few pics of other soaps I've made before starting the blog. Am I getting better or not?!!

Hot process Tea Rose

Hot process Anastasia

Special facial soap I made for my Mum's birthday

Left back: Antique
Right back: Orange Blossom
Front: Rice Flower


This week's effort is a fruity little number - smells of all sorts of tropical fruit. I stuck to a fairly basic recipe for this one - just olive, coconut, avocado & cocoa butter. But, true to form, when I mixed the 3 colours one of them was actually turquoise (well, for a while anyway) until I turned round and it had gone - surprise surprise - brown. So, my pattern (inspired by the amazing soaps at Alkali Soap Studio) is no longer red, orange & turquoise. Who knows what'll happen when it's finished gelling etc. Your guess is as good as mine!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hot process for a change!

I thought I'd make a hot process soap this week for a change - I get very twitchy waiting for cold process ones to be cured and ready to test. The rubbish effect on the top is NOT what I was aiming for (I was hoping for something vaguely resembling those of & as you can see, I didn't come remotely close!) but it looks a bit better than I was expecting when I cut it.

I don't think that'll last though - this fragrance oil is known to discolour to a dark tan, and I quite like it pale. Bum!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Garden Path

This was supposed to look like a meandering garden path surrounded by pretty flowers, not like a garden shed collapsed and flattened any flowers along the way. The base is actually green in reality - not sure why it looks yellow in the pic. I'm not gelling this one in the hope that the embeds don't move (although maybe I should gel it and it'd cover up the topping). I used lots of avocado oil in this one so hopefully the soap itself will be lovely and conditioning. We'll see what happens when I attempt to cut it later in the week.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Snow in April!

We don't often get "proper" snow this far south. It was forecast for this weekend but we don't take much notice here. Right by the coast, we rarely get what's forecast so it was a bit of a shock this morning to wake up to this. Most of it's gone now though, but it was nice to look at while it lasted.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin