I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! I started the year on a high note by seeing my 373 life bird on January 1st! This was an incredibly special bird because it really has no business being in Ohio. It’s called a Brambling and it’s a very long way from home.
Image credit: Brambling by Kev Chapman, on Flickr. CC by 2.0.
This small finch is typically found in Europe and Asia. Occasionally, it crosses into Alaska and can travel into the western United States. More rarely, it can travel east with flocks of other migrating birds. Ohio has seen only one other Brambling. It arrived 28 years ago less than five miles from the location of the current bird. You can read more about the current bird and its location here. Special thanks goes to the owners of the property the bird has been frequenting and to their neighbors across the street who have patiently allowed dozens of birders to stand in front of their house for days. I hope they know what joy they’ve provided to the members of the birding community.
There are so many creative soap makers that inspire me. Check out some of my favorite finds on Pinterest! (Are we pinning buddies there? We should be.)
- Soap behaving badly – If your New Year resolution is to learn how to make your own soap, I recommend learning all you can about the things that can go wrong with a batch of soap and how to prevent problems before starting. The Soap Queen blog is a great place to start.
- Troubleshooting – From cracking soap, to soap volcanos, a lot can go wrong when making soap. Lovin’ Soap Studio breaks down several common issues and provides great tips for how to handle them.
- 5 top mistakes when working with color – Color can be one of the hardest things to master. Soapmaking Made Easy breaks down how to get the best color with 5 easy tips.
Good, clean fun
If you’re not following Emmet Street Creations on Twitter, here’s some of my tweets, retweets and comments you’ve missed over the last month:
- A yeast alternative to palm oil – Palm oil is used in so many products. It would be a huge win for the environment to have a viable substitute.
- Watermelon water is now a tasty thing – Well, it has always been a tasty thing. Now it’s a tasty thing you can buy!
- Single oil soap experiment– Here is another great way for novice soap makers to learn about the properties each oil brings to a bar of soap.
Previous musings from Emmet Street you might have missed
Last year I started a series called, “Soap Making Secrets” to help educate my readers and customers about the many different components that go into making a batch of soap. If you’re new to the blog and want to learn more, I recommend starting with “Why buy handmade soap,” “Is lye safe to use in soap,” and “Why is handmade soap cured.” These three posts answer the most frequently asked questions I receive about the soap making process. Look for further secrets to be revealed throughout 2016. If there’s something you’d like to know about the soap making process, leave your question in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it in an upcoming post.