Monday, 14 June 2021

A cold snap, surgery and soapmaking

 As we are now in winter I suppose we shouldn't wonder why we are having a cold snap but it does seem to have come quite early in the season this year. Down in Victoria there is flooding which is bad enough when that happens in summer but must be dreadful in winter so I hope any readers from down there are doing okay and are keeping warm although I believe a lot of people lost power for quite a long time. Here in SE Queensland it is starting to warm up a little during the day which I am very thankful for.

Recently I have been going through the family history information that was passed on to me when Mum died. She was really into family history research so had copious notes, letters and photos which I have inherited. As she was from Scotland there were quite a number of photos and letters written to her and her parents from relatives in Scotland over a period of several decades. As those relatives are no longer alive and, as the letters were handwritten, I tried to find members of their family to whom I could send the photos. Would you believe it....I found one of them on Facebook and sent over the photos and letters from his Grandma or Grannie as he calls her. She and my grandfather were the youngest of nine siblings. She had 16 children so you can imagine how many cousins I have over in Scotland. LOL!

Anyway, last week I heard a knock at the door and saw a Courier had left a box on the front porch. I opened it having no idea where it came from ....... it was full of sunflowers. Then I saw a card and realised it was from my Scottish cousin to whom I had send the photos and letters. How lovely! I had never heard of the flower company Floraly but it seems they send the flowers as buds which open up within a few days which you can see in the top photo. What a wonderful surprise in a cold week and the sunflowers really brighten up the house.

The pecan nut tree started dropping its leaves recently and, as there was a brisk breeze last week when we were getting the polar blast from down south....

...all the leaves have dropped and are now making leaf mould. I followed Millie's advice on Gardening Australia when she was picking up leaves which were going into drains Leaf Mould- Garden Gold

My hubby arrived home from hospital today after having open-heart surgery last Wednesday. This photo was taken two days later before the drains came out. He was exhausted when he got back so is now sleeping.

We had our Simple Living Toowoomba soapmaking workshop on Saturday and after the demonstration we had a discussion on the different types of soap. As I had some Melt and Pour base which a friend gave me years ago and which I hadn't used I thought I would give it a try so that I could show everyone what it looked like.

I looked at lots of tutorials which can be confusing as everyone seems to have different ideas about whether to add a little water etc. so in the end I just stopped procrastinating as I thought 'How hard can it be to just melt the soap?' Ha ha! We don't have a microwave and I think it would be a lot easier to melt the soap base if you used one as I had to melt it in a double boiler.

 It seemed to take forever to melt but eventually it got to a pourable stage so I added a little colour, fragrance and dried calendula petals...

...and ended up with this. Apparently you have to wrap up the soap as soon as it is out of the moulds as it will take the moisture from the air into it and it was recommended to use cling wrap or cello bags. I only had some cling wrap which I unearthed from a drawer as I rarely use it and gave away the soap at our workshop. It can be used straight away unlike cold processed soap. 

One of the ladies at the workshop mentioned a shop in town that I hadn't heard of before,  Live Pure and Simple , and I planned to visit there soon as I heard they stocked Shea Butter. 

So I was pleasantly surprised to find a PopUp store in Grand Central Shopping Centre today and told the young owner I had planned to visit her shop this week so she saved me a trip there. 

I love the products she is selling so I am pleased that there is now a store in Toowoomba that sells Shea Butter and Castor Oil as I usually have to pay postage to buy these products online.  

I can recommend ONYA products as I have had a couple of their carry bags for quite a while now. 

Stainless Steel Pegs

I haven't seen this mould before. It could be used to make little guest soaps, bath fizzies or toilet fizzies.  Isn't it cute?

Well, I had better go and check on the patient. He isn't feeling too well but I need to get him out of the recliner to have a walk. Have a great week everyone.


  1. I hope your husband recovers from the surgery very soon, Chel.

    I heard about the lockdown in Melbourne. I hope Queensland is safe. Did you get the vaccine yet?

    1. Nil, I will get it after my hubby has recovered. Just in case I have side effects.

  2. I hope the hubby is doing better today...I am loving the cooler weather and did you get this mornings storm what a blessing....Have a great week.

    1. Mandy, he really should still be in hospital but patients are sent home so quickly now. Yes we got the storm just after I turned the washine machine on 🥴

  3. How lovely to get a surprize of the flowers at the door. Wow your husband's scar is big however life saving so a reminder to live each day. Have a good week. Kathy

  4. Kathy, there doesn't seem to be much pain around the scar but he has plenty of other aches and pains. They will probably be worse after I try to shower him 🙃

  5. Chel I missed this post, don't know how. Hope your hubby is a lot better by now, I've heard it can be a long recovery process. How are you going with this whole FeedBurner issue on our blogs, it's been quite a process for me and Im still working through the final steps with follow it. How lovely to receive the sunflowers. Take care.


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