Right so now the marmalade is made my thoughts have turned to another craft which would be lovely to provide for our guests whilst staying at our bed and breakfast in Torquay, Devon. Soap making. Little did I realise how in depth this subject would be and how many hours I would spend trawling the internet for ingredients, suppliers, instructions, soap making courses, and legalities. The legal issue was one that really surprised me. According to EU law to sell soap in an EU member country you must be assessed by a suitably qualified professional person which can be quite expensive - approx 150 per cosmetic item. So if you fancy making, say, bath bombs or crystals as well as soap you would need to be assessed for each item.

Anyway the soap I am making is totally chemical free and totally natural and will have lovely natural properties such as dried flowers and aromatherapy oils in them.

I have decided to have a go at the melt and pour way of soap making which is an easier method to begin with as you buy the base soap which has glycerin in it, melt in a microwave or bain marie then add your essential oils, dried flowers, honey or even oatmeal! I have even heard of a soap with sand in it for exfoliating, well I am in the right place to gather that if necessary although the Torquay council might object to me taking too much sand from Torre Abbey beach!

I'm impatient to get going - most of the my ingredients have arrived but Royal Mail have really let me down on my essential oils which I ordered from a company in Plymouth - a total of 45 miles away. So far, a week later, there is still no sign of them, might have been better to jump in the car and got them myself.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day........ I'll keep you updated on how the venture turns out! Oh and if anyone has any experience, hints or tips on soap making, please share by emailing me.