Bubbles

Washing hands made me think about bubbles. Zero weight bubbles have the ability to bring us help in many forms.

I remember how we enjoyed creating bubbles through a straw from a cup of water with a drop of detergent that mom gave us to keep calm for washing dishes. It means she played with bubbles in her adult way, while we children admired the flying balls, reflecting all the colors of the rainbow. And of course, we tried to catch them. I can still hear our laugh in the garden.

Bubbles in the bath are also great. They create a light and even aromatic cushion into which you can bury your head and body, and there are still plenty of bubbles left to play if you want. You can enjoy it in various moods as a child, lonely or relaxing adult, or even in groups of two or more.

Remaining with literal meaning of bubbles, there is their enormous value in washing and cleaning disciplines of all kinds. Anyone who has ever tried to wash or clean anything with and without bubbles knows the truth about the difference.

But we also make no detergent bubbles. How often have you heard the sentence “Close yourself into a bubble to feel safe”? So we follow the trend. Keeping our inner self safe among billions people, we live in bubbles, losing real contact with real others.

Today’s paradox is that our mandatory isolation has helped a number of bubbles burst. As if the face mask replaced the bubble and people discovered what had not been seen before.

The Covid-19 virus is also kind of bubble inside a pandemic bubble, and works against us as well as for us.

It’s up to each of us which bubbles to choose and how to deal with them. Personally, I’m going to find a straw and return to the bubbles of childhood, to the bubbles full of rainbow.

Enjoy bubbles and share which bubbles you love or prefer, thanks!

Hug and love,  Ivana

Regarding watercolor painting, I was so focused on the bubbles that I thought about the rest only after I painted them. That’s why the dark background painted later made me crazy and additionally stole the original lightness and round shape of the bubbles. Now, they look more like snowballs than bubbles. But one learns through mistakes, right?

Herbal soap-mania

During September, I suffered from intensive soap-mania. After a summer break I felt hungry to create a couple of recipes. According to my last resolution I only worked with herbs and pure natural oils, no additional fragrance or coloring. At the first sight, the soaps might be considered boring and similar each to other. They are not models for a beautiful photo, but they still can please in the bath, especially if you are a natural type.

Working on my original recipes, I do only a small batch of each, so the recent mania didn’t overload my stock.

The shampoo bars became the first creation. I cannot imagine washing hair with the commercial products anymore, even though I did it for the most of my lifetime before. I love the natural character of my shampoo bars, as well as the flood of herbal effects that I put there myself.

Actually, I made three different recipes of shampoo bars. The first one, based on herbal powder from birch leaves and linden petals with a lot of hemp and olive oils, was enriched in the water phase by the root of burdock, other birch leaves and also aromatic myrtle leaves. Unfortunately, the lye required for saponification is a killer of gentle natural scents and you must have extremely developed senses to feel it in the finished soap. But the shampoo bars number 1 are almost ready to use.

The shampoo number two is based on herbal powder from wild thyme with pinch of Moroccan clay, traditionally used for hair care even without soap. Among range of natural oils I would like to mention adding of the neem oil which is extremely kind to hair and especially to skin of the skull. Back to herbs, I made distilled herbal water again, this time from decoction of wild thyme, horsetail, burdock and hops. This recipe could treat weak hair and problematic skin.

The third recipe of shampoo is based on chamomile and yarrow with pinch of handmade powder from oatmeal. The water phase is enriched by the same herbs plus hops. Among oils, I used a lot of almond oil and shea butter, so this shampoo is going to be calming and nourishing.

I also succeeded to make an excellent lavender soap. I went for almond and shea butter, coconut, castor and olive oils, honey and beeswax. This time I got the soap of velvet consistency, I almost wanted to eat it. I believe that honey and beeswax made an excellent job inside, cannot wait to test it.

Having a really nice honey, I repeated the trick with another recipe. I tried to use honey solo, without beeswax support. I wanted to combine it with cocoa butter but actually I was out of it. No way to wait for supply! So I took an old comfrey ointment made from castor oil and cocoa butter only (comfrey infused inside). And because I am crazy about writing the exact amount of ingredients every time, it was easy to calculate the soap even from the ointment. Also, I couldn’t think about herbs because comfrey was already there. I decided for chamomile in water phase perhaps because it fits with honey well. Again, I got a velvet soap, still waiting on the shelf.

Last, but definitely not the least was a Master of wilderness. This recipe isn’t boring! I used oak bark powder and crushed juniper berries for coconut oil infusion, and thyme, bay leaf and allspice for distilled decoction. The power of wilderness slightly won over the strength of lye, so the scent remained present. The truth is that I used also a few drops of my own juniper tincture just before finishing the soap.

You see? So much original recipes and herbal combinations, and the rules of soap-making process force me to wait about 6 weeks. Of course, I could fulfill this period of time by making other soaps, but it would be near to perpetual motion 😊 Nothing to say about tons of waiting soaps in my tiny space. So I have to spend my days differently. Fortunately, there is a beautiful Indian summer outside and walking is one of my favorite disciplines.

With love, Ivana

P.S. All my recipes are palm oil free, I work with coconut oil instead.