Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 25 August 2011

Sweet smell of soap making

I spent a lot of time over the summer holidays doing various craft things with Compostgirl and her friends. I have already shown some of the sewing we got up to but we also did various other things.In the last week of the summer holidays Compostgirl and two of her friends came round and we made soap and beeswax rolled candles.

The soap we made using organic melt and pour base, then we added various essential oils, natural colours and abrasives and dried flowers to the melted soap. I had previously made up the natural colours by infusing oil with Alkanet (pink) Annatto (yellow) and Paprika ( orange) and we used dried lavender and rose petals from my garden.

I used various moulds and we all made some very nice scented soap! The children were delighted with what they had made and were very proud of themselves.

We also made some rolled beeswax candles which smell divine and again the children loved doing this. We talked about bees, how you get beeswax and how important bees are in all our lives.

I make soap and candles as part of the craft workshops and courses I run, but I usually am working with adults so it was nice to pass on the skills to younger ones.

When the children are a bit older, we will make cold process soap, but for now using melt and pour soap base seems a better option.

I have really enjoyed doing crafty things with Compostgirl and her various friends, it has been good fun. The shildren have had lots of free play running around outside time but during the day wanted to " do something" so we have made things. lots of things! We have done sewing, cardmaking, mosaic making, shoe box threatres and puppets, soap and candle and paper fabric making.

Am looking forward to half term so we can do some more stuff.

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