Well Hello Dear Readers,
I hope you’re all well during this most magical time of the year.
It’s bright and warm after a heavy downpour through the night. The rain pounded with such force on the roof while the trees bowed in the wind to Mother Nature. I love rainfalls in the evening. It feels so cleansing not only for whatever my mental state might be but for the earth. The green and growth that ensues is glorious. No one is ever in our nearby forest park so Henry and I get soaked so we can spend some time in solitude with the towering ancients.
This is one of my absolute favourite times of the year – mid-summer, the magical month of June. Perhaps informed by the fact that my birthday is right around the summer solstice, the cusp of magic. But aside from that – all the green and flowers and promise of summer before you! If the evening is fine, I’ve been sitting on our deck writing in my journal under a pink and blue twilight sky. Wisps of cloud billowing into cotton candy tufts under a crescent moon. The other evening while out around 9 pm with the moon and sky (and crows, can not forget my friendly crows) I was pondering what to share with you in here: the deck gardening, dying projects, house renovations, beach combing, camping? But after all that, I remembered that I had our handmade soap curing to be put up in the shop. So, my friends, I present you with our handmade rustic soap <3
In a rustic kitchen, in a colourful house that sits alone against the mossy spruce woodland, my mom and I make a large batch of homemade soap. We have been doing this together since we moved to rural NS 14 years ago. I can honestly say that I have not purchased soap in those years. Even when Jamie and I moved to Toronto for school, we took with us a big batch of soap. Visiting at Christmas or for the most sacred summer time spent in the East Coast, I’d return with more soap 🙂
When we first opened our little shop, we did include our homemade soap and we have been intending to add it again just to share with you another small handmade thing that comes from our home and hearts. The bars are small – roughly: Height: 6.5 cm (2.5 in) Width: 6.7 cm (2.5 in) Depth: 1.7 cm (0.7 in). They are made with all natural ingredients and no harsh preservatives: Calendula infused olive oil, palm oil, soy oil, lye, spring water, lavender, steel cut oats, and a dash of table salt. The combination of lye mixed with the oils is known as saponification. The infused oil is made from plants picked from my mom’s rural NS garden that sits amidst salty air and crisp evergreens.
We make the soap together in her kitchen and let it cure for a couple of months. This is a necessary step for the soap to be useable. The soap needs to be placed on an aerated dish otherwise, it will begin to turn a bit soft. You also must be mindful of your eyes because it will sting.
This is the first batch that we made especially for the shop. So in a lot of ways, this is an experiment for me in terms of the packaging and shipping, etc. Unfortunately, shipping is very expensive in Canada unless you are mailing letter mail. I wish I could amend the shipping costs but they will have to be shipped as packages so that will be reflected in the price. I do hope you will try our rustic soap. It has been a great joy to use over the years and helps us feel a little more connected to our roots.
And aside from soap, I have been knitting a few pairs of mittens using my stash of local wool. I don’t know why I’m so addicted to knitting with the coarse maritime wool, but I am! I think it’s my potato famine and highland clearance ancestors that have imbedded in my DNA to not waste anything so one of my absolute favourite parts of knitting these, is using up the leftovers of my stash. My next shop update will feature 3 pairs of these mittens (perfect for the solstice :))!
And then we have been having our daily walks. Multiple times a day to the woods, to my favourite quaint maritime community that looks like New England – with rock walls and towering pine trees. The walks have been so pleasant lately. Where we live now, the bugs are no where near as ferocious as on the island so that has been very, very nice.
And lastly, I’ve been very quiet in the shop lately. The summer months especially May and June, I generally step away from it. I’m really not interested anymore in using social media. If instagram went back to what it was 5 years ago then maybe but I’m done with the over stimulation, engaging with facades, narcissism and invasive ads and “sponsored” posts. No thank you, I’d rather read, write and no longer be influenced. The blog does have almost 700 readers so, dear reader perhaps I focus my drive to share aspects of my work here instead?
An invocation that I hope you’ll enjoy <3 Merry Part!