New Soaps- Spring Collection

About a month ago, I had the idea of creating a “Spring Collection” for my soap. So, I researched some scent combinations and natural color options. I came up with four soaps (I have made three of them so far). I picked colors that remind me of the spring such as green (leaves coming out), dark orange (tree bark and buds), tan (the earth) and red (first flowers of the season). In my mind they come together like in a painting representing a Spring morning (note to self: paint what I imagine). Furthermore each soap has a special characteristic.

Green Swirly Soap- this is colored with Parsley powder and scented with Lavender, Rosemary and Juniper Berry essential oils. I add parsley powder to the soap at two different times to get different greens and swirled them together.

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Honeycomb Soap- the natural tan color comes from the honey and the ground oatmeal. I left it unscented. I used bubble wrap to create the honeycomb design while the soap was cooling.

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All About Shapes Dark Orange Soap- The dark orange color comes from orange peels. I scented it with Cinnamon and Lavender essential oils. I used different molds such as milk cartons and coffee cans as molds and also cut up some older soap to create some designs in the square bars.

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Red Soap- not made yet

This line will be available for sale through Local Roots (if you live in Atlanta, get the app (available the 1st week in March), Ill deliver the soap to your house :) ) and my Etsy shop.  It will be release Mid-March.

 

An Awesome Weekend Spent Outside Learning

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Our set up (mine is the one on the right)

This past week and weekend I attended the Florida Earthskills Gathering.  I had an awesome time learning, hanging out with friends, meeting new people, dancing, singing, walking, camping, etc. There are not enough words to describe how much I like going to these gatherings, they always make me feel like I am at home among people that share similar interests and lifestyles.

This time I learned a variety of hand skills such as Naalbinding. It is an ancient technique for making socks, mittens, etc that predates crochet and knitting. It originated in Scandinavia. The beginning can be a bit confusing, but I found it pretty easy to catch on. I also took a class on finger weaving, which for some reason was harder for me to catch on  but I do want to try it again at some point.

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I also learned to make a rug with cloth and a toothbrush needle. This is really easy and quick to make. It does use a lot of cloth but I have enough old clothes/fabric, I think, that I can use. I am also going to make one with the plastic bags I have to take with me to future classes (to keep my butt dry).

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I went on two herb walks and they were both great and entertaining. The first walk was with Green Dean , which, if you live in Florida, I would highly recommend you check him out. He does a lot of walks throughout the state.  On the last day, I went on a walk with Doug Elliott. It was highly informative and entertaining; not only did he teach us about a variety of plants but he also sang songs and told stories. I also highly recommend taking his classes and checking out his books. Plus, I saw my first bald eagle so that was awesome!

I also took a class on fermented foods. Even though I have been fermenting a variety of foods and learning as I go, I wanted to take an actual class with someone. So, I took Marissa Percoco’s class and it was awesome! One of her mentors is Sandor Katz.  We got to try 19 different fermented foods, including cocoa nibs and bamboo.  The class gave me tons of ideas on what to make next, the sky really is the limit. So, I am looking forward to many new fermented creations. I highly recommend taking her class if you can.

Some other cool things that happened at this gathering:

  • I got a massage
  • I sold a bunch of my stuff in the Ancestor tent
  • I met new people and got to hang out with friends I only see at the gatherings
  • I got to know the First Aid folks quite well. I had hurt my finger prior to the gathering and they took great care of it and me. One of the herbalists there was the Herbalista, which if you live in Atlanta I would check out.
  • I probably walked several miles a day from and to camp, up and down hill
  • Stewart and I took a Contra Dance class on the last night and it was so much fun! I don’t think I have ever been so dizzy! It was lead by Michael Ismerio and a local band played.
  • I got to spend 5 whole days outside which was awesome and very much needed

I am looking forward to the next gathering.

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1st rug finished. We are using it as a bathroom rug.

Hearts Everywhere- from Soap to Sewing

I am not into decorating for the seasons except a little for Christmas (Christmas lights with ornaments hanging from them and a wreath on the door). But this year with my body care business and my sewing classes, I jumped the wagon and incorporated hearts in a few places.

It started with these pink hearts:

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I fell in love with their pink color. I used French Red Clay (Australian Red Clay is known to give a deep red color, I can’t wait to try it) to get that pink. It was my first time using clay to color my soap and I liked it, the color seems more soft and subtle.

My favorite thing about playing with different natural coloring mediums is that the final color of the soap is not always determined by the original color but by its chemical reaction with lye and/or oils. (I always make an 8oz batch of soap when trying new coloring mediums). I am looking forward to playing with a variety of clay to color my soap in the future.

I decided to embed the hearts into a bigger piece of soap and loved the way they turned out.

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In my sewing classes, my students have been making mini heart quilts. They all turned out super cute and the students enjoyed making them. They will also be hand sewing some smaller hearts to add to their pencil case.

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Luscious Body Lotion Recipe

Today I am sharing with you the lotion recipe I make for my shop.  I have adapted Rosemary Gladstar’s Famous Face Cream recipe to make it my own.

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This recipe makes about 2 cups of cream.

Ingredients:

Oils-

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2oz beeswax

½ cup apricot oil

¼ cup grapeseed oil

Water-

½ cup aloe vera gel

¼ cup distilled water

¼ rose hydrosol

8-10 drops of lavender essential oil

Supplies:

2 glass measuring cups, Immersion Blender, spatula, Bain-Marie set- up, containers for the lotion (glass is always better).

How to:

  1. Gather all of your materials

  2. Weigh out your oils in one of the glass measuring cups. Start with the liquid oils first (apricot and grapeseed), then the coconut oil.

  3. Weigh out the beeswax and add it to the measuring cup.

  4. Pour the content into a your bain-marie set-up. Melt the oils slowly on low.

  5. Once the oils have melted, remove them from the heat. Retransfer the liquid oils to the measuring cup. Let them cool until they form a creamy white texture (it can take between 1 and 8 hours).

  6. Once the oils have cooled and thickened, measure out the “water” ingredients into your remaining glass measuring cup.

  7. Using the  immersion blender:

    • Leave the oils in the glass measuring cup and add your essential oils. Using a spatula stir the mixture, if the scent is too faint add 1-2 more drops.

    • Start mixing the oils on low with the immersion blender as you slowly add the “water” ingredients.

    • About halfway through adding the “water” ingredients, increase the speed to high

    • Continue mixing until the immersion blender starts to choke/makes a different sound and the lotion looks like white whipped cream

    • Pour into containers

Cleaning tips:

  • Whatever amount of cream that is left in the blender/immersion blender, spatula, and measuring cup can be used to apply allover your body/share with others. My measuring cup sometimes stays out with leftover cream for a week so every day I take some from it for my face/body.

  • Use a paper towel to wipe the cream off the immersion blender.

  • The cream has a shelf-life of at least a year

  • If your lids come with paper inserts remove them, otherwise mold will grow on the cream

  • No need to refrigerate

Let me know if you have any questions.

If you are not a DIY person, you can purchase my cream right here.

Holiday Crafting

Here are a few things I have been working on these past few days. Somehow it got to be the week before Christmas and I realized that I barely had any gifts put together but I knew what I wanted to make/get for most people. So, it all came together pretty quickly. I still need to make a pouch for my sister and maybe a few more pot holders but other than that I am done. Here are a few pictures:

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A small quilt for Anais.

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Marshmallows for the bonfire we are having Christmas Eve. Recipe from Three Lily Farm.

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Pot holders for various people (I have made 4 so far) with English Paper Piecing Flowers.