Thursday, 30 October 2008

I have been nominated by 2 of my blogging pals - Lomond Soap and Fresholi Bites - for The Friendship Around the World Award - how cool is that?

The rules for acceptance of the award are as follows:
Pick 8 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on their creativity, design, interesting material and also for contributing to the blogging community, in any language.
This is a fantastic way to spread the word about our talented blogging community.

I have nominated...............

I could add a lot more as there are some fantastic blogs out there.


Well, the end of October is fast approaching and the shops are full of Hallowe'en bits and bats, pun intended, but do most people know what the true meaning of what this special event is? I suspect not so I shall do my best to let you know.

I found this information on the BBC website and it does sum up the event fairly well. There may be a few innaccuracies but on the whole it is good.

Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn') is a very important date in the Pagan calendar for it marks the Feast of the Dead. Many Pagans also celebrate it as the old Celtic New Year (although some mark this at Imbolc). It is also celebrated by non-Pagans who call this festival Halloween.

Samhain has been celebrated in Britain for centuries and has its origin in Pagan Celtic traditions. It was the time of year when the veils between this world and the Otherworld were believed to be at their thinnest: when the spirits of the dead could most readily mingle with the living once again. Later, when the festival was adopted by Christians, they celebrated it as All Hallows' Eve, followed by All Saints Day, though it still retained elements of remembering and honouring the dead.

To most modern Pagans, while death is still the central theme of the festival this does not mean it is a morbid event. For Pagans, death is not a thing to be feared. Old age is valued for its wisdom and dying is accepted as a part of life as necessary and welcome as birth. While Pagans, like people of other faiths, always honour and show respect for their dead, this is particularly marked at Samhain. Loved ones who have recently died are remembered and their spirits often invited to join the living in the celebratory feast. It is also a time at which those born during the past year are formally welcomed into the community. As well as feasting, Pagans often celebrate Samahin with traditional games such as apple-dooking.

Death also symbolises endings and Samhain is therefore not only a time for reflecting on mortality, but also on the passing of relationships, jobs and other significant changes in life. A time for taking stock of the past and coming to terms with it, in order to move on and look forward to the future.

Ancient Celtic Celebrations
Not only did the Celts believe the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead dissolved on this night, they thought that the presence of the spirits helped their priests to make predictions about the future.

To celebrate Samhain the Druids built huge sacred bonfires. People brought harvest food and sacrificed animals to share a communal dinner in celebration of the festival. During the celebration the Celts wore costumes - usually animal heads and skins. They would also try and tell each other's fortunes. After the festival they re-lit the fires in their homes from the sacred bonfire to help protect them, as well as keep them warm during the winter months.

A Samhain Blessing

Blessed Be! oh Guardians
Blessed Be! loved ones and friends
Another year's upon us
As the wheel has turned again
We invite the ancestors one by one
To join us at our meal
We raise our cups in honour
And share memories with zeal
We share a harvest's bounty
And know deep in our hearts
The past must be cleansed away
For the future to start
The veil is at it's thinnest
We walk between the worlds
Diviners bring their instruments
And mysteries become unfurled
And now the witching hour is upon us once again
We share a blessed circle with our loved ones and our friends
Blessed Be to Guardians, To deities and more still
Blessed Be To You,
Let The Harvest Your Heart Fill
So Mote It Be!

by Rev. Brightrose Aradia

The picture above is from the web site There is some absolutely fantastic artwork on that site and if you are interested in such artwork I urge you to take a look. Stunning indeed.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

A quote I like. Sounds just like me.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Run, run as fast as you can......

You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man.
Little gingerbread men soaps, with piped decorations. The fragrance is ginger, what else!!!!! lol.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Well folks, It's October and Christmas is in full swing. The advent calenders have been in the shops for ages, all the pressies and cards have been written and I only have 2 months to go before I can enjoy it all. By 'eck, who am I kidding. But.............. I did make a Christmas cake even if it is made of soap.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Ode to Autumn

I'm feeling in a poetic mood so....

Ode to Autumn (J Keats)

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Monday, 13 October 2008

From a Railway Carriage

Whilst we were on holiday in North Yorkshire, we were able to go and see some old steam trains. It reminded me of a poem I read when I was very young and one that I thought was really clever. It was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. 1850-1894.

From a Railway Carriage

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!

Funnel Swirl Soap

I have found a wonderful method of creating swirls that are totally unique in my soap. It's a very simple process of using a funnel to pour different coloured soap batter through into the mould.

I wasn't too happy with the Winter Solstice soap but that was because I cut it too soon in my impatience.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Some more pictures taken during our 'Off Roading' experience

These are a few of the pictures that I took whilst we were going around our route. The mound is Blakey Topping and is owned by the National Trust I believe. The standing stones are also in the same area.

Off Roading

Just recently Mr S and myself went over to the Scarborough area for a small holiday, the fact that I was dying with 'Man Flu' is besides the point. We took our trusty caravan, which some pillock managed to reverse into whislt we were staionary at red traffic lights in Bedale, and parked her on a very nice Caravan Club site.

On this site thay have a small information hut and I was nosing around it one day, as you do, and found a leaftlet for Langdale Quest, which is a company that specialises in Off Roading experiences. So we went. It was a lot cheaper to use our vehicle.

Off we went, GPS, map and radio in hand around a route that was in reality a bit tame and not much of a challenge but it did take us through some lovely countryside that we wouldn't have normally seen if we'd not been 'off roading'. Most of the route was through the Dalby Forest area. I, being the navigator, had to radio in at every checkpoint to let them know where to find us in case we got lost but being a brill navigator we didn't.

There was one section where we had to go through a gate that was in a dip. It was very muddy and muggins here was the one that had to get out and open and close it 4 times, once going and again coming back. I got wet and muddy.

Note to self, buy a good sport's bra for next time or eye protection from bouncing boobs.

Wedding Anniversary ditty

On the 7th October it is my wedding anniversary. My other half forgot, but then what's new? He can remember the date of his wedding anniversary to his first wife but not ours. Do I feel let down, hurt etc? Damn right I do but my friend Ruth decided to write me a little ditty to mark the occasion. And just for background info, we live on a farm.

Who's Slurry Now?
It is our Special Day todayI woke up full of joy
What would I get to celebrate
Chocs, flowers or a toy ?
I smiled and I waited
The day wore on and on
He never said a thing to me
Ate breakfast, then was gone
I went outside to find him
He was nowhere to be seen
Then I saw him in the distance
Hardly looking " Loves young dream
"His back was turned towards me
I was so angry I could spit
Crept up right behind him
And pushed him in the pit
Was this the thing to do ?
I listened to him scream
Watching as he struggled
I remembered we're a team
I grabbed him by the arm
And pulled him out the pit
Felt guilty that I pushed him in
Although he is a tit
I walked back to the farm
With my husband made of Poo
He said how much he loved me
I said " I love you too
"On the kitchen table Sat pressies just for Joy
He had put them there for her
Chocos , flowers and a toy.

The moral of this story
Don't be hasty in what you do
Don't push him in the pit
Just love him like you do

But I'd just like to point out there was no card, flowers, chocos or a toy in sight. He did take me out for a meal though.

Who says romance is dead, it was never alive in our relationship to start with.

Snowflakes keep falling on my head.

As I have mentioned before, I love doing different things with my soaps and as Christmas is coming I thought I'd make some soaps to hang on the tree instead of chocolate (not as fattening you know and a gal does have to watch her figure you know?).

I made a slab of soap and used an appropriate snow fragrance oil and dusted them with a pearl mica, I am very pleased with the effect.

Chocolate muffins

I enjoy getting a bit creative with my soaps and made some choclate muffins in some silicone moulds that I bought off eBay. My son is seriously miffed as he can't eat them and wonders if I am ever going to make real food? Don't be daft Robert, what on earth would I want to make real food for? Lol

Monday, 6 October 2008

Another snazzy little soap.

More than anything I enjoy being creative and am always looking at ways to be creative with my soaps. I tried an experiment with a slab of soap and this is what I came up with. Feedback so far has been good.

A handsome chappie

And just to prove that MR S does sometimes look half decent.

Weddings etc.

Last weekend, well the weekend of the 27th Sept was my step daughters wedding. I made her some wedding favours to go on the table at the reception. The overall comments were very good although one of the bridesmaids was a tad disappointed she couldn't eat them.

The fragrance was blackraspberry and vanilla. Very nice. And the little organza bags came from a fantastic company up in Scotland called Islepac.

A rose by any other name is a .......

It's been a while since I last posted and so much has happened, not all of it good I might add but today I had a whole day to myself and decided to have a go at some fizzy bath melt souffle type thingies.

I found a recipe but had to modify it slighty, it seems to have worked. I used an English Rose fragrance oil from Gracefruit. It is a lovely rose smell, and then topped each little pot of fizzy bath melt with a rose bud. I coloured the mix with a small amount of pink which didn't mix in all that well but I like the effect.


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