Calendula petals are one of the only botanicals you can blend into cold-process soap and still hope to retain a nice colour. Others such as lavender will turn greenish-brown and rose petals will change from vibrant red and pink to an unattractive rusty brown. Another reason for using calendula in soap, and other skin care products, is that it’s genuinely good for you. Natural components found in this flower have been used by herbalists for generations to treat skin conditions such as eczema and the healing of wounds and burns. Learn

Lemongrass is one of my favourite tasting herbs, and one that I never thought I would grow at home. I use it when cooking Thai dishes and it’s just divine in a Tom Yum Soup served with a side of jasmine rice. Its lemony-ginger taste is also delicious as a refreshing tea, a cup of which I’m enjoying at the moment. Lemongrass is commonly grown from seed in the UK, and you can buy a packet of them for around £1.50. However the seeds are quite small and fiddly and

It’s been a very busy and fun weekend (is it Wednesday already?) and I only now have a chance to catch up on blogging. We had family arrive on the ferry last Thursday and the house has been alive and bouncing with excited little ones up to the beginning of this week. Over the visit we took my mother-in-law and the kids bowling, to the beach, up to the allotment and to the Royal Manx Agricultural show as well. They all had a blast. Elderflower and White Grape Jelly wins

Last night was my first night in a 4-week pottery course being taught by Faye Christian – and I’m so excited for the next! Five friends of mine and I are in her very first class, which is being held in her cute little studio in Crosby.The aim of the class is to introduce us to clay and to build a tea set composed of at least two mugs and a pitcher which we will be able to take home at the end of the month. I like that Faye

Beeswax and honey make a sweet smelling soap Honey soap smells of caramelized honey and will usually turn a golden brown color. By adding a little beeswax into the mix you’re making a truly bee-autiful soap that is also hard and smooth. Be careful with how much beeswax you use in soap though, using more than 2% of your recipe can stop it from lathering up. Honey, Oats and Beeswax Soap 700g batch – makes approx. 6-7 bars 5% superfat 98g (3.5oz) Sodium Hydroxide 200g (7oz) Water 210g (7.4oz) Refined Coconut oil 301g

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