Monday, April 27


One day (when I have conquered the world with soap) I will have my own soap room. A room to make it in, to cure it on, to store it in. A room heavy with the perfume of freshly made soaps. A room lined with shelves full of soapy goodness...
For now though, through lack of space I have made my curing rack a centrepiece of the living room:

This is my childhood bookcase which I shared with my brother. Somehow it escaped being dismantled and sent to a charity chop. It stood in the corner of the spare room for years, gathering dust, until I remembered it in a fit of nostalgia and dragged it out of the corner and into Skyes room. As I pulled out each book to wipe away the dust I was hit again and again with memories of the stories and characters that I had forgotten.Some of the books were passed onto me from my mum, like Noel Streatfeilds 'The Circus is Coming' which tells the tale of two children who run away to the circus. Oh, how I wanted to join the circus after reading that book!
I rediscovered all the Enid Blyton books and put some of them aside to bring back to Italy and read to Skye. A week later we spent three days devouring 'The Magic Faraway Tree', a tale of three children whe enter an enchanted wood and find an enormous tree in which all sorts of creatures lived (she particularly liked the Saucepan man) and whose topmost branches led to all sorts of strange lands.
I'm giving away two of my handmade soaps and a shower scrunchie to work the lather with! Just leave a comment below telling me what YOUR favourite childhood book was. (You've got till Friday.)


  1. I used to devour books when I was a little girl ( and still do ). I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, and every sunday after church we would go to the church library and take out 2 or 3 books to read during the week. It was a magic half hour, browsing through the books, looking at the colourful pictures and imagining the stories. My favourite was " Das fliegende Klassenzimmer " ( the flying classroom ) by Erich Kaestner. And of course, I loved all the Enid Blyton books as well, I must have read each and every one.

    Oh, and great soapies, btw!

  2. My favourite was "About Teddy Robinson" by Joan G. Robinson. Teddy Robinson lives with Deborah and has lots of adventures - he even meets Father Christmas and gets sent through the post. He has a lovely turn of phrase and makes up great songs about everything he gets up to. Your post has inspired me to look out some of my old Enid Blyton and Noel Streatfield books - unfortunately though my son is very determined that some books are strictly for girls only.

  3. The Pookie books by Ivy Wallace- about a flying bunny's adventures. "This is the story of Pookie, a little white furry rabbit, with soft, floppity ears, big blue eyes and the most lovable rabbit smile in the world," were the opening lines.
    Moving around, as my Dad was in the Army, these were all given away at some point. Would you believe I mentioned this to an old friend of my Mum and she still had a couple of them! After almost 50 years my treasures were returned and I too am now a happy bunny....but minus the wings!!


  4. Hi

    Nice to meet you!
    My favourite book was 'The magic faraway tree'. I loved anything by Enid Blyton and still do. I also love Ballet shoes by Noel Streatfield but have never read the circus one.
    I'm now going to carry on reading through your blog, your soaps look lovely.
    Take care
    Beki xxx

  5. My favourite when I was young was definitely The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

  6. I was lucky enough to live in Scotland the year I was in first grade, so discovered the Enid Blyton books (which, when I was a child, we simply didn't have in the States. Don't know if they're available these days).

    As a small child I loved my Richard Scarry books -- I would literally play "in" the books, taking my little character from page to page from the airport to the farm or whatever, seeing different 'friends' who were depicted in the different settings.

    As an older child, it was the Westing Game by Ellen Rankin, a mystery book built on word play and clues. I read it again and again.

    Love your story of looking back through your books and thinking of your mum.

  7. Oh the nostalgia of reading about childrens books in your post. It brought back so many memories for me. Enid Blyton has to be the ultimate storyteller and I devoured all her books. In a household that didn't place much importance on books and reading, books were hard to come by. I got most of then by saving my pocket money and buying one every couple of weeks. I also scoured jumbles and thrift shops for them. One enlightened teacher at primary school used to let us read at the end of the day and she introduced me to Watership Down. I paid 24p for my copy and I still have it 30 years later. I have lost count of the number of times I have read of my all time favourites. Glad you like the ripple, I am really enjoying making it. Have a lovely week. Dev X

  8. Definitely the Ramona Quimby books. I loved those books and even copied her haircut, which was sad because that blunt cut bob with bangs looked really awful on me.

  9. Brilliant idea with your bookcase..:-)

    I remember Janet and John books, but my favourite books were Mallory Towers, Enid Blyton, I always wanted to go to boarding school when I read them ;-)also The Famous Five, great reads too.

  10. I loved Nancy Drew books, I wanted to be her!
    I think every living room should be adorned by soap, mine is at the moment :)
    PS I have enough soap so you can leave me out of the giveaway x

  11. I used to devour the Enid Blyton books -Secret Seven, Adventurous Four, Famous five... I've tried re-buying them second hand for my kids but they had Harry potter to compare them with.
    I also remember reading a series of books called 'Milly, Molly, Mandy' but don't know who the author is.

  12. Nell said, I read uber many books as a child . However I am envious I missed some that you mentioned.
    My all time favorite was Madelaine,
    I even read it my little sister Lucy ,as an excuse to read them again when I was a preteen. I remember dreaming of living in house as big as hers and having a friend called Pipato.I recall seeing a straw hat like Madelaine's once at Wordsworth's and being so distraught that it cost 2.00 at the time , I was only 7 and did not have 2.00 nor did I ever consider asking my parents for it.The best thing ever was for my 40th Birthday my little sister Lucy bought me a Madelaine doll, who had a straw hat and with an appendix scar , I was so touched by this, Lucy said she liked it when I read the books to her when she was little.That's why she bought me the doll when she saw it.How great is she!

  13. when i was very young i devoured all the Golden Books that my mother bought for me. i still have all of them all these years later. when i got a bit older i especially loved biographies and adventure stories although i would read anything i could find. joanna

  14. Hi Charlie, lovely post and I recognise many of those books.

    It's so lovely when you rediscover something from your childhood like a favourite book or story and pass them on or read them in turn to your little one!

    I would have to say the book I remember the most would be C.S.Lewis the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe also the Rats of Nimh was a favourite.

    Have a lovely week,

    take care,

    Nina x

  15. Love all the soaps lined up on the shelves! So pretty. My favorite book was probably "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein. Loved his imagination...

  16. First of all your soap looks beautiful! My favorite book was "The Lonely Doll" by Dare Wright. I recently saw it in an antique store and it brought back all kinds of memories of my childhood.

  17. Ciao! What a fun idea for a giveaway! I love your photos in this post. Having always been an avid reader, I have a particular fondness for bookshelves. I just love a house full of books! Two weeks ago, when I was in the States, I was going through my books and deciding which ones to bring back to Italy with me. I happened across a very well-worn copy of "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It was certainly a childhood favorite, and I couldn't resist tucking it into my suitcase. I am very happy to have it with me again!

  18. My favourite book/books when I was little were Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. My sister Nell read alot of books to me"Madeline" as you see from her comment but she also had me read Anne of Green Gables. I never bought books because those were a luxury for us we couldn't afford. I used the Library alot when I was was a great way to immerse my self in the fantasy of fiction...which I do today in all those romance novels I read.

  19. It's impossible to choose just one for my whole childhood (I loved so many), but when I was very young and being read to my favourite was Where Is The Bear by Betty Hubka.

  20. my fave was meg and mog...the witch and her cat. Took me off to many other worlds and the, they were just the best books x

  21. Kimberly in Dallas, TxApril 27, 2009 at 8:25 PM

    I loved reading Are you there God? It's me Margaret by Judy Blume.

  22. Is etsy the only place to buy your soaps or can we buy in Positano as well?

  23. your soaps look fantastic all lined up x
    for years and years i have tried to remember the name of a book that i loved as a child - it was about two bears and one of them was desperate for a real china dolls tea set that was in the local shop.....
    i can still see the picture of the shop counter and how i used to wish that i would grow up and become a shop owner and then i did :)
    anyhoo - lovely post full of folks lovely childhood memories x
    t x

  24. My favourite book from about the age of six was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. In fact, it might still be...

    Oh, I really must dig it out to read to my daughters. Thanks for the idea, Charlie! :D

  25. Oh it has to be The Princess And The Pea, i still love reading it to my little cupcakes now.

    Your soaps look so scrumpous.
    I love the cupcake looking ones.

    Catheirne x

  26. You brought back many memories for me. I remember reading a lot of Enid Blyton from Noddy & Big Ears (probably not PC these days!), The Magic Faraway Tree, Famous Five to the Secret Seven.
    Another great Australian childrens book that was read to me and I read to my children is "Cuddlepot & Snuggle Pie" by May Gibbs. I remember being frightened by the Big Bad Banksia Men!

  27. My very favourite was Milly Molly Mandy..about a little girl that got into all the scrapes that I did :) Marilyn xoxo

  28. Judy Blume books. Especially, "Are you there God? It's me Margaret."

  29. Dear Anonymous (how I hate that name!),
    For now I do not sell my soaps in Pos anywhere due to complicated Italian laws. I think if I did put them in a shop the prices would go up too much what with all the taxes and the shopkeepers percentage. I don't want my soaps to be overpriced and I haven't found the 'right' shop yet anyway.

  30. there are so many favorite books! but currently the fave is "the lost queen of egypt" by lucile morrison, only because i'd like to read it again (to my children). however, it's difficult to acquire these days, as it's out of print.

  31. Ooohhh! How exciting! A giveaway of your gorgeous looking soap, (I'm sure it smells divine too!).
    My favourite childhood book was "Flip Flop's Secret" by Molly Brett. It's all about a frog pinching toys from a toy shop, which must be every child's secret fantasy!
    Love vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  32. That shelf looks lovely and your soaps look georgeous. I didn't grow up in England and although I did read some Enid Blyton (Malory Towers), my favourites were Astrid Lindgren books. Mainly Pippi Longstocking and Naughty Michael.

  33. I was a real girly as a little girl. (into princesses and stuff) so my favorite book was a pictured story book of Sleeping Beauty although if you asked me today what the actual story was I wouldn't remember. Somebody was sleeping (not me).....

  34. I LOVED Richard Scarry's dictionary. yes, it was a dictionary, but those of you who've read it know how awesome it is. Just love the characters! Especially the snake with his cute little hat.

  35. My favorite childhood book was - Cowboy Andy - it was about a young boy going to spend the summer on his uncle's dude ranch...From the moment I read that I wanted to be a cowboy....I mean cowgirl...haha..

    Another is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

  36. I had so many favourites from Enid Blyton but I also Love Milly Molly Mandy (and still do).
    The soaps look delicious :o)

  37. Mine was "The Sweet Smell of Christmas," a scratch-and-sniff book about a little bear enjoying all the wonderful smells of Christmas.

    I have proof! I made an "All About Me" book in first grade where I drew a little picture of my favorite book. I found a new one in a book store a few years ago and now that I have a baby, I'm looking forward to sharing it with him when he's a little bigger. I love this book!

  38. I'd just found your blog before you took it down.. I'm very happy to have found you again!
    All of the soap is beautiful.

    My favorite book, hm.. I would have to say a book called the Cave Twins. It was a story about two redheaded twins (a boy and a girl) during the stone age.

    I actually had the book repaired a few years ago, I'd read it so much it was falling apart.

  39. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Something so sweet about the sacrifice and the love that the tree gives. It reminds me of a parent child relationship. Its usually not until you are older do you realize how much those who love you give.

  40. Miss Jasper's Garden
    (that cute little hedgehog!)

  41. Too late for the Giveaway but I loved the Velveteen Rabbit.. and of course anything Enid Blyton as I got older! We did have all the English books in Canada!


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