Introducing your hostesses at From Goats To Soaps:
My name is Isabelle. I am the proud mother of 4 children ( Dominique, Denis, Sophie and Fanny). With my husband Jacques, we came to live in Canada from France in 2001. We bought our farm ( Ferme Bonne Mine) in 2006. As fibre addicts, we decided to buy some fibre producing animals like alpacas, llamas and angora goats. We really fell in love with the goats. As we came to enjoy their fibre (mohair) more and more, we decided to open a farm boutique Les Belles Bouclettes where you can find our products for sale.
When we began to work with their fibre and milk, I met my wonderful and so talented friend Grey Dove, who makes all our bath products and does some creative and beautiful knitting and felting.
During my fibre journey, I also met the Twistle Guild , the marvellous guild of spinners and weavers in our area. They taught me and still teach me a lot of things about fibre.
Expanding the boutique to an online site, and now setting up its blog are all new adventures.
I love my goats, working with them, with their fibre, selling our products and experimenting with new products.
This blog will let me share all these things I love with other people who feel the same.I’m looking forward to getting to know you all on this new stage of my fibre journey!
Grey Dove is my craft name and I am a soap-maker and fibre artist. While I had been making and selling soaps for a few years it was after I met Isabelle that my line of personal care products began to take shape. Isabelle was able to do what I had not succeeded in doing, promote my products. Her steady interest, and unfailingly cheerful encouragement opened possibilities that had not existed before and allowed me to try making new products. Once she asked me if we could use goat milk in our line of soap things began happening. I was challenged to expand my skills and try techniques I had only read about. The Hand-made goat’s milk soap was the first result, and family, friends and customers voted it a success. Many other bath and body products followed and they are now available on Les Belles Bouclettes.
When I am not pouring soap, rolling bath candies or molding fizzies I am likely to be working in one of the other mediums that I enjoy. I have knitted since I was a young child and I love the different fibres and the textures they give to yarns. I adore the glitter of beads and generally prefer patterns that incorporate bead work. Often lace garments show off the delicate fibres and/or stunning hand-dyed colours of yarn I usually choose so they feature in a lot of my knitting, however, something simple and well made in stocking stitch (like our little soap sacks) made in a deliciously soft yarn has a charm all its own.
A few years ago I learned about needle felting which gave me a new way to create with and use fibres, sculpting. Then last year I discovered yet another application for my favourite materials; painting with fibres. This is also done with needle felting and creates a two dimensional image by felting wool, alpaca and/or mohair rovings onto a background fabric. These designs can be a delicate piece an inch long made to wear as a pin, or a highly detailed scene a foot square stretched and ready to hang on your wall.
I am inspired by nature and both wild and domestic animals are all close to my heart and influence my creations. Whether it is painting a butterfly, sculpting a rabbit, or using wool to make a two dimensional painting/sculpture of a raven I always feel close to the elements and the spirits of the creatures who’s images I am depicting. I live with several animals, and my home is in a rural area allowing me to feel closely connected to my favourite subjects.
This blog is a wonderful opportunity to meet people who share my passions and I look forward to discussing many aspects of soapy creations and fibre crafting with you all.