Summer Holidays

Happy New Year, readers!

So, what have I been doing? Well, not a lot really, just rolling around and blissfully losing track of time! Which is just what I wanted. We were away over Christmas in sunny Queensland (in some lovely rainforest, see below), but more recently, I went for a little trip locally to the beaches down south.

I’ve always been fond of Kingston Park, a north-facing beach (unusual for Adelaide), though it is sadly losing its appeal with some pretty ugly oversized lumps being constructed. Fortunately, they’re unlikely to touch one of my favourite places to visit there, a terraced group of apartments, probably from the late 1950s or 1960s. Just looking at them makes me hum “I Found My Love In Portofino”! So breezy, look at them:

I think Sophia Loren lived here once. No.

I think Sophia Loren lived here once. No.

Apart from that, I have been relaxing at home, watching the sun rise and sun set with our feline master, Chickpea:

The future is MINE

The future is MINE

But, the holidays are nearly over and I have started to prepare for the year. I have nearly run out of all soap in our store, so I’ve started in earnest, today making a batch of Pink Moon Face Soap. This won’t be available for four weeks. I have a lot of plans for this year, I have some new products to come out and I can’t wait to tell you about them!

I hope 2019 is a good one for you, all the best for you and yours!


I’m at home with palms.

I’m at home with palms.

A Brief Holiday

Through the grainy, hyper-coloured lens of Harinezumi

My partner and I have just returned from a short holiday to Melbourne.   We drove along the Great Ocean Road, which has to be one of the world's great coastal drives, and I took along my bag of cameras, including the Harinezumi.  This little toy digital camera has a number of effects but they all come out looking roughly like a super 8 film, faded or saturated with time. 

We arrived in Melbourne via Geelong.  I hadn't been to Geelong before, and I loved it.  It had a lot of great domestic architecture and was very atmospheric.  I felt the past, being in Geelong.  Of particular note was the Eastern Beach precinct.   It was a dream for nostalgics, with sweeping lawns, a brilliant blue paddling pool, handsome red brick kiosks, brightly coloured picnic seating and, best of all, a whimsical fountain of joy!   The fountain itself was wonderful to look at, with lots of shells and stylised dolphins, but surrounding these were four large water birds standing on turtles!

We also visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art.  There was a wonderful exhibition of work by Emily Floyd called "Far Rainbow".  The exhibition was made up of a number of different media; prints, wood sculptures, a slide show, even grass matting!  I thought it captured an idyllic early 1970s feel with its primary colours and wooden toy-like shapes.  Of course, there is a more substantial reading of the work, but you can find this out for yourself here!  The two snaps below were taken at the exhibition (no flash, of course).

Gift Buying for Her

A selection

Eeek, what happened?  It's December already?!  No, I'm not ready either, but no need to worry, I've got some ideas for gifts for those occasions when you just want a small token to give to a lovely lady! 

Top Row
Love Lies Bleeding - a lush rosey scent
Lemon Meringue - mouth watering lemony scent
Riviera Escapade - citrus and lavender blend

Middle Row
South Pacific - exotic ylang ylang and may chang
Madame X - a spicy rose scent
When in Rome - bracing basil and spearmint

Bottom Row
Spring Sherbert - a fizzing lavender and lemongrass scent
Spearmint Julep - fresh as a daisy spearmint
Odalisque - romantic rose geranium and may chang

All of these soaps, and more, are currently available through the Shanghai Lil and The Scarlet Fez shop now.  Or, if you can wait, I will be at That Dapper Market on 14th December from 3pm onwards.  Each soap is $7.50 and is beautifully packaged ready for gift-giving.  And of course, all Shanghai Lil and The Scarlet Fez soaps are vegan, all natural and hand-crafted in South Australia!  I do not use palm oil.

So, if you want to see your friends and family dance with glee, give them a Shanghai Lil and the Scarlet Fez soap and sit back and watch:

Photo from Shanghai Lil and The Scarlet Fez collection.

One Fine Summer

A new soap!

If you're a daydreamer, you'll understand how the first days of summer hold a special resonance in your vivid imagination.  Whether it be lying in the grass looking up and pondering how blue the sky gets, exploring the pine trees by the beach, or sipping your first Pimm's No.1 for the season, it's a bright and happy time.  

And bright and happy really does describe this soap!  Starting with a base of olive oil and coconut oil, it is further lavished with macadamia nut oil, shea oil and super-charged with olive pomace.  A superb blend of oils to condition your skin, with a dash of castor oil to make your skin feel like silk.  

One Fine Summer is gently scented with green geranium and Madagascan tagetes, a green floral with sweet citrus notes.  A sweet and youthful scent.  Natural chlorophyll colours the soap a perfect soft green.

One Fine Summer is all-natural, vegan and pure luxury!   It will be available in Shanghai Lil and The Scarlet Fez's shop in two week's time.  

I'm Done With Winter, It's Time To Dream

Remember those tropical reveries you have while you're sitting at your desk at work?  You've finished re-arranging your pens, reading the 'bunch-of-dates' quotes for the next week and you're on your third cup of tea by 9.30am?

Remember blue skies and sunrays?  Well, I've created a soap that will let you enjoy your reverie and take you to your own Bali Hai.  Say 'aloha' to South Pacific:

South Pacific is made with olive oil and coconut oil, superfatted with cocoa butter and apricot kernel oil.  Cocoa butter is an excellent emollient and skin conditioner while apricot kernel oil is super-gentle and nourishing.  Who needs a holiday tan when your skin will look and feel so good with this soap!

It is the dreamy, delicate scent of ylang ylang and maychang, however, which will send your mind drifting away to where the palms sway over the yellow sands.  And it looks good too, with it's soft green swirls like ripples in a lagoon.  You've got to dream, right?!

So, click on the gorgeous song below and get ready to see South Pacific in Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez's shop. Mahalo!

Aloha Oe by Hawaiian Artists on Grooveshark
Holiday snaps

I was fortunate enough over the Christmas break to visit the beautiful coastline of north New South Wales with my partner.  As usual, I took a bunch of cameras with me, including the Harinezumi and my trusty old Holga.  I had purchased a new roll of film for the trip, Kodak Ektar 100.  This film is touted as having fine grain and high saturation, which is great, but I was using it for the Holga - the unpredictable photobeast.  So, who knows what would happen.   

I have just got the photos developed and nearly every one of them is a dud!  Completely washed out, with brown staining on the top and bottom of the negatives.  I know it was warm up there, but I've taken the Holga out for a walk in the deserts of Arabia (ie, downtown Dubai) and the prints were fine despite the heat exposure.  So, I'm at a loss to know what has caused this.  I guess the roll was exposed to light somehow.   But that's life with film!   Here is one print I like, looking like a hand-tinted early Kodak; the lighthouse at Byron Bay.