All posts by Annemarie

Conquering procrastination

Today I eventually conquered my procrastination after my treatment.  I had a batch of melt and pour soap base. I melted and added a half teaspoon of Spirulina powder. The powder provides an amazing light green colour that no other colourants can provide. However, I would advise using the powder with caution as too much can give your soap a bad smell.  I added French green clay and Peppermint fragrance. It has a great lather and the colour and smell is wonderful. My neighbours are very happy with it.

Struggling with disability.

I’ve been too unwell to make my soaps but I will get back to it. However, I have been learning designing with Adobe Illustrator. I would recommend this to anyone interested in designing. Its a monthly subscription with fourteen days free trial. I was at first like a fish out of water. I also added a course by that helps people understand Adobe Illustrator. Its thirty days free trial and like the Adobe program its money back guaranteed if it is not for me.

Soaps hopefully back up and running in April

Behind every disability is a person

People in general that consider themselves in reasonable good physical and mental health don’t always understand the traumas faced by those less fortunate. However, most people irrespective of this lack of understanding are usually more empathetic to others less fortunate than themselves.
It is disgusting that a government minister who claims to have grown up with mental health and depression issues is willing to see others less financially fortunate go without.
I worked from the age of sixteen. I have put myself through University three times. I have paid my taxes and national insurance. I am now unable to work owing to my dialysis treatment three times per-week. I would like Mr Freeman to know that I would much rather be earning a high wage rather than living on a pittance on disability.
Mine is a physical disability. Mental illness is worse. It is a hidden illness. Mental illness can cause people to act irrationally. This has led to a loss of lives.
George Freeman is a man that the public elected to represent them in parliament. This is a man who worked his way up in the government. This man was given a responsible job to a constituency that no doubt includes people with disability reliant on help from the government.
Why after such comments is this man allowed to remain in government. Why was he ever referred to as a “BIG brain” in May’s government? God help us all in that case! Just as well he is not ambassador to Trump.
The truth is everyone is born with brains. How we use our brains is dependent on our cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities derive from specific neuronal networks. Our memories, learning and understanding are reliant on our cognitive networks.
The brain also provides one with the ability to apply common sense and rationality. Common sense is an ability to perceive, understand and judge situations rationally. NOT TO MAKE JUDGEMENT.  For people experiencing mental health common sense might prevail but not always rationality.
Mr Freeman if what he says about his childhood is accurate appears to lack on the memory and rational thinking side of things.
A biomedical degree like every other degree requires good learning and memory skills. However, one doesn’t need to have much common sense irrespective of whether it is a first or second class degree.
For a man claiming to have as a child experienced alcoholism and depression his comments suggest that his level of common sense and rationality is at an extreme low.
For a man whose life can be described as privileged his cognitive networks have let him down. His memory of his own childhood should tell him that Mental Health and other forms or disability exist throughout the social classes.
Mr Freeman have you ever heard of the phrase “If you had brains you would be dangerous”? Well this week you have been a shining example Mr BIG brain. You of all people should know that behind every disability is a person. Please treat us like people.


I have had a tub of melt and pour goats milk soap base in my cupboard for sometime. It was almost as difficult to cut as the bigger melt and pour clear soap base.

Last week I made a lavender melt and pour soap base. I tried to use this to make some twirls and add the melt and pour goats milk b ase

My twirls weren’t the best but at least it was an attempt. I then placed them into the mold and sprayed them with alcohol

I forgot to take pictures of how the goats milk soap base looked on top of the lavender melt and pour twirls. I added Jasmine to the GM MP base and a Lemon Drop colour. This is the outcome

The twirls didn’t work out how I wanted them to. I won’t be attempting that again. But the soap is beautiful. The Jasmine works well. The colour of the soap is a pale yellowish colour just like Jasmine. The lavender patterns around the bottom and edges. Its a lovely soap. I’d probably find another way too mix colours in future.

This soap day discouraged me from sitting around munching. I almost had to force myself to eat lunch. However, one of the two Toffee crisps in my fridge didn’t make it. My cousin also a chocoholic called me and I associate her with chocolate. BUT proud to say I was satisfied just to eat one. The other has survived until today. I seem to be sticking to my one bar per-day regime.

Melt and Pour Saturday

Yesterday was cold and snowing. Perfect for a duvet day, movies and lots of munchies. I am determined not to fall back into that pattern. The lack of energy doesn’t mean I need to give up on willpower. Okay so I’m a chocoholic but I ignored the two Toffeecrisps smiling at me from my fridge saying “take us to sofa and munch us”. That would have only made me nip downstairs to the Sainsbury and buy more.

Instead I tackled cutting up my monstrous block of clear Melt and Pour Soap. It took a long time. It was sweaty and thirsty work. Due to my lack of energy I took breaks but I can still feel my muscles bouncing out my arms. At least I had some exercise! Thankfully I invested in a good cheese knife although expensive it is well worth the money as this block was a beast too get through.

From this block I was able fill two bin liners of cubes. I used white bin liners as they are said to keep the melt and pour soap base fresher. Black or any other coloured bag would eventually mark the the soap base.

I would recommend if you are serious about soap making investing in a double handed cheese knife. I purchased this from ebay















Well today it’s freezing outside. I’m still recovering from that terrible bout of pneumonia and wont brave going out.  However, after messing around in my cupboards I came across some melt and pour soap cubes.  I don’t often make melt and pour but these opaque cubes have been there for a while. I had two bags of these

I melted half of cubes into my only two faithful silicon loaf molds.  I added lavender fragrance and lilac colouring. Note that this batch has bubbles appearing. I should have sprayed the alcohol inside the silicon mold prior to pouring. However, I’m not really worried about this because I am planning to use these bases to make soap twirls. All I have to do is use a cheese scrape to take the bubbles out or scrape from the side of the bars.

The second batch I melted I added the Drop Lemon colour with the lemongrass fragrance. I sprayed the mold prior to adding the soap. It looks really good. The Lemon drop colour is also very nice but my pictures do it no justice.

Melt and pour needs at least three hours to set. I left it resting on my kitchen worktop. My kitchen is always cool but I might leave them inside the molds until tomorrow.

I will post more once out of the mold and the twirls. If anyone dares look at this I’d appreciate some tips


New Year, new start. I am just recovering from a bout of pneumonia and will resume soap making in a few days. I have been reading up on it and had a lot of help courtesy of the Soap Queen. Your feedback is important to me.


I posted this recipe for baby soap from the Soap Queen. The only thing I would probably change is adding the baby carrot and water. I am not  to keen on the colour. The baby soap is also good for people with dry skin and there is no added fragrances just pure oils. 


Buttermilk Bastille Baby Bar Recipe:


Olive Oil – 27 oz
Coconut Oil – 5 oz
Buttermilk – 8 oz
Carrot Baby Food – 2.5 oz (make sure it says just carrots and water)
Lye – 4.3 oz

Melt Coconut Oil (hard oil) and add to Olive Oil 

I briefly stirred the oils and then remembered I had not prepared the lye and buttermilk……..The night before freeze buttermilk in ice-cube trays. You will need to mix the lye directly with the buttermilk.  REMEMBERED PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

Fill a bowl with ice and place jug with weighed buttermilk cubes inside bowl. Then weigh lye and gradually spoon lye into cubes. This helps prevent lye scorching milk. It may take some time.

The lye and milk will eventually combine. Add to the lye the baby carrots (baby carrots and water) I purchased a small jar from pharmacy.

I was uneasy with this technique as I noticed white bits in my mixture. It wasn’t lye and it eventually cleared leaving a pale salmon colour

Mix until there is good trace. Not to thick. I found my trace could slightly pattern but it was smooth (too used to hot process soap).

I probably should have left out the baby carrots. I think a more natural colour would been better for this soap. I used small molds. I probably should have used the loaf mold as this is a little messy.

This will take six weeks to cure. I will put up more pictures once soap is cured. 

Lemongrass and Lavender Hot Process Soap SOAPY SATURDAY


The feedback on the Lemongrass and Lavender was positive. I promise to make the CP version soon. Soaps wrapped but I could do with some wrap training


Well the Lemongrass and Lavender soap smells delicious. BUT it’s messy. As I said below probably better as a cold process soap. Or perhaps its just me who prefers CP to HP. CP is far less messy. I also tried my hand at some wrapping (see below). I have added a ink here for Soap Queen/Brambleberry lye calculator. It is helpful in measuring the right amount of oils and in my case a blessing to stop me either having too little or too much fragrance……




Well it’s a been a few days since I last said anything. I am delighted that I have had two positive comments that are worth one million comments to me.

I have been unwell again for a few days and a little exhausted. My family visited me also over the past week so its been hectic with Christmas, putting up the tree and gift wrapping.

This morning is the first I’ve had any energy. I’m having a Christmas high tea tomorrow and needed something nice to wear. I felt a little exhausted on the bus to Marble Arch at the crack of dawn today. However, I found what I wanted by 10:am and took a nice walk through Hyde Park. It was busy with Winter Wonderland tourists even at that unearthly hour in the morning. But the park for all it was dull and misty was beautiful and chilly. The air was fresh and the squirrels ran around everywhere. Joggers and cyclists and me enjoyed the beautiful crisp morning.. I tried to capture some of the beauty below.

Recently the French artisan bakery and patisserie Paul opened it’s doors locally. There had been such a fuss because it was opening directly next door to Greggs.  I thought whilst on the bus after walk through the misty Hyde Park I’d stay on a couple more stops for the sake of stopping outside Paul’s. I am a secret baker and love making bread so I was optimistic to treat myself at Paul’s. I sat on the bus hungry having only eaten breakfast just after I envisaged a delicious chicken or tuna baguette or a delicious sandwich. My tummy rumbled and the hunger pangs made the fifteen minute journey seem like an hour. Then I was there at Paul’s.  The fabulous cakes on display suggested I was in for a real treat. Greggs looked a little drab.

BUT I was met with a long queue  AND as I wondered along the counter I was met with NOTHING but flat bread rolls and flat looking sandwiches. The window display was about the only thing at Paul’s worth looking at. As a keen bread maker and  from watching countless Paul Holliwood youtube videos and reading his books. I learned the art of kneading and know what freshly baked bread looks life when kneaded to perfection. I also have had several failed attempts with bread and the bread in Paul’s looked exactly the like the countless baguettes I have thrown into the bin.  Fresh bread must also look scrumptious to eat and unfortunately. One batch of baguettes I attempted was intended to copy one I liked in Subway. They were a tad on the large side but soft and  scrumptious. I made a hasty retreat to Greggs and had the perfect Tuna and red onion baguette. I doubt Paul’s will last long.



SOAPY, SATURDAY….Lemongrass and Lavender Hot Process Soap

I will upload pictures tomorrow but from the Soap Queen   I gave this soap a try tonight. However, I did not have the right size mold. I will see tomorrow how it worked out.

2.1 oz. Sweet Almond Oil
1 oz. Avocado Butter
4.2 oz. Coconut Oil
8.4 oz. Olive Oil
4.2 oz. Palm Oil
1 oz. Shea Butter
2.9 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
6.9 oz. Distilled Water
0.6 oz. Sodium Lactate

1 tsp. Spirulina Powder
1 tsp. Green Zeolite Clay
1 tbsp. Lavender Buds

0.8 oz. Lemongrass Essential Oil
0.6 oz. Lavender 40/42 Essential

Crinkle Cutter
2 lb Wood Loaf Mold
Silicone Liner for 2 lb Wood Mold
pH Strips

If you make this project I’d love to see it!