My patchwork rug and some thrifted bed linen and cushions this month!
I used to make my own soap (the easy way) all the time but have been slack in recent years.
Melt and pour soap bases are amazing. They come in all sorts of types, vegetable glycerin, goats milk, coconut, shampoo bar, shaving soap, Castile, olive oil, Shea butter….you name it!
I bought some clear glycerin base and some goats milk and set about playing with adding herbs, spices, clays and oils.
The first step to any of these soaps is to melt the base – a minute or two in the microwave, and the soap is ready for the herbs and spices.
First up was a turmeric and cardamom spice soap.
I mixed powdered turmeric and cardamom into the soap base.
Then added some ginger and orange essential oils.
Poured into soap moulds and refrigerated for an hour, and the soap was ready.
I also made a catnip soap with green clay, spearmint and lavender…
A Himalayan happiness soap with pink Himalayan salt, geranium and grapefruit essential oils…
A Yarrow Goats Milk soap with lavender, patchouli and yang ylang…
A Dead Sea Mud facial soap with lavender, bergamot and sandalwood….
And a mugwort cleansing soap with red clay, rosemary, thyme and lavender…
Such an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, making soap amongst the scents of herbs and oils and the colours of clays and fragrant spices.
Having discovered my word for the coming year, it was time to set some intentions as well.
Something that I have realised this year, is that looking after myself, taking time out is really important. One cannot grow if one burns out!
So I have five intentions, five methods of self care that I am going to pursue, and make sure I really make time for, every single week, or even every day.
1. Yoga Practice
I absolutely love doing yoga and find that it always makes me feel amazing. But for some reason I really struggle to push myself into actually doing it. Once I’ve rolled out that mat and put on a DVD or YouTube video I am in heaven, but I put off doing it and I cannot work out why.
So, my intention this year is to make more time for it and to really push myself to unroll that mat more regularly!
I am a bather. Having a bath is my go to for relaxation and regeneration. My bathroom is one of my favourite spaces.
So how is this an intention if I’m already there? Well I certainly don’t have to push myself with this, but I’m excited to expand on the theme.
I have recently bought this book all about sacred baths and bathing rituals. There are 52 rituals in the book, which nicely translates to one a week, so that’s my Saturday nights planned for the year!!!
3. Essential Oils and Herbal Remedies
In the last year or so I have returned to my roots a little and have incorporated more essential oils back into my daily life. I make bath salts (of course), I use them in a diffuser or as a roll on perfume for various remedies and make my own skin care products. I would like to expand on that by making soaps, herbal teas and tinctures, really bringing all that fabulous plant magic into my daily life.
As I experiment, I will share some of my favourite recipes here on the blog.
Meditation has some incredible health benefits (better sleep, lowered stress levels, less anxiety, improved immune system to name just a few), but it’s REALLY hard! At least, it can be, without help.
I’ve had the free version of the Calm app on my phone for about a year, and used it occasionally, but always baulked at forking out $60 for an annual subscription to unlock all the incredible content until now. When I sat down and realised that was just $5 a month I decided to just do it. I mean I spend that on a coffee more than once a month and don’t think twice about it (my local cafe does a mean chilli mocha!), and given the health benefits, why wouldn’t I?
I have been using it daily for more than a week now, and I’m loving it!!!! (And just to be clear, this is NOT a sponsored post, I receive nothing from the creators of the app, I just really like it.)
There’s a large collection of guided meditations for lots of purposes, I particularly like the anxiety relief and sleep meditations that I’ve tried so far.
There’s also soothing music and bedtime stories, nature sounds and all sorts!
So meditation is going to be part of my daily practice in 2019. 🧘♀️
5. Crystal Healing
I have been collecting and working with crystals for over 20 years, but more often than not they sit in a dish passively sending out their energies and I forget they’re even there.
So I recently took an online crystal healing course, and am researching, studying, learning as much as I can about these little gems. I have added to the crystal books in my library- my latest fave is this book by the founders of the Energy Muse online store (great site, although I’ve never bought anything from them. I follow them on Instagram, and love their posts).
I am trying to incorporate them into my life more consciously using them for health, wearing them, drinking crystal water even adding tiny crystal chips to my essential oil roller ball blends.
So there you have it! Intentions set, self care planned, and a year of growth, healing and wellness ahead!
I have been inspired by a good friend of mine, and one amazing spiritual sister, Tyrene Hickman https://www.instagram.com/p/Brt3miAglXs/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1a2lznzldegtd to come up with a word for next year.
I pulled cards from four different oracle and tarot decks for guidance as to my own word for 2019.
After some reading of the meanings behind the cards and some meditation on the right word for me, it became apparent my word for 2019 is “GROWTH”. Other words associated with the cards were abundance, nurturing, instincts, inspiration and protection.
So, also inspired by Tyrene, I decided to create a prayer flag for next year, around my word and goal of “growth”.
I began with a green gingham placemat as my base for my flag. I’ve had it for a long time, it came from a relative and has been in my fabric stash for years.
I gathered some other fabric from my stash in colours I associated with growth.
I wanted to create a patchwork effect on my flag, so I cut some cardboard pieces to fit.
Then I cut pieces from my collection of fabric to fit the pieces, as I do for patchwork.
once I’d sewn my pieces together….
I needed to sew them to the flag. It was important to me to hand sew all of the elements of my flag, so my hopes, thoughts and prayers were immersed in the creation of my flag.
I also wanted to sew some leaves to the flag, using embroidery thread and chunky stitches.
Once the leaves were sewn, I needed stems for my leaves to grow from. Wool, sewn down with embroidery thread fits the bill.
Some additional embroidery embellishments and some tassels added further details.
Using bright yellow embroidery thread, I seed the flag to the hanging stick (a piece of eucalyptus), and then I used puff paint to write my word on the flag.
With a plaited wool thread to hang from, my flag is done! I’ve hung it in my living room, where I can see it every day.