Happy Spring!

Happy Spring everyone!

Wow! I am still turning in circles at Michigan’s weather this winter, and now its spring! We have been very fortunate here this year. Our winter was very mild and ended in temperatures in the 70’s.
I am absorbing every ounce of sunshine, as are my outside animals. I hope everyone is happy and healthy at your house.

Well our little kitty that I found in the barn last year will be one year old on Good Friday. He is running the other two cats in our house ragged. He is actually kind of a bully! But I love him so much. What a sucker huh?

I played around with some different soap this winter and have had a blast with it! I was going for a wild side and used a Lush dupe of Rock Star to create… “Watusi”
Watusi
Watusi has quickly become a favorite among the young adult set and the Baby Boomers. We hope you like it as much as we do.
Also added to the line up is…
“Dragon’s Blood”
And “Up North” has a new look
I am having fun going through scents to start pouring additions to the line for summer.

All of these soaps can be found in the catalog page under traditional soaps.

If there is a soap we have carried in the past you would like to see again, please let me know. I recently had someone inquire about the multi apple fragranced soap we carried during the hiolidays, Forbidden Fruit. So I will be ordering that scent to carry again.
I guess I had better get busy and quit banging away at this keyboard if I intend to make any soap this week.

I sure hope all of you are enjoying your first day of spring. It is a wonderful thing when all of the new shoots start poking their little heads up through the soil, and absorb the sun and rain to grow strong and tall. It gives me a fresh new outlook on life as well.

Until next time,
God Bless.

All about Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot Kernel Oil — Prunus Armeniaca:

Apricot Kernel Oil is expressed from the seeds of apricots. It is produced from the kernels of the apricot pit.
Apricot kernels are poisonous, but not once they have been roasted.
It is very good for the skin. It is light oil rich in vitamins A, D & E and in both oleic acid and linoleic acid.
Apricot Kernel Oil and Sweet Almond Oil are frequently used in cosmetics to soften the skin.
Apricot Oil can also be used directly on the scalp to help improve its condition.
It is suitable as a super fatting oil in solid soap and is used as an essential ingredient in making clear, cleansing liquid soaps.

Apricot Kernel Oil is a yellow to golden carrier oil.
It is widely used in lotions; creams, massage oils, soap making and lip care products.
It is also used as carrier oil in some pharmaceuticals.
It works great on mature or sensitive skin, and also for skin that is inflamed and dry.
It has been said to aid in the repair of elasticity in aging skin, and is very moisturizing.
It is also known to help retain the clarity, and suppleness of the skin.
According to Press Release Log Website, it contains antioxidants that target and inhibit the cell damages of things like ultraviolet rays, smoke and other chemicals.
Apricot Kernel Oil absorbs quickly, is light, non greasy and is moisturizing.

Although it is higher in oleic means a more stable shelf life, it will oxidize as is normal for oil, and should be checked along with your other oils.
Apricot Kernel Oil has a shelf life of 1 year.

In conclusion, Most small time home soap makers such as myself save this particular oil for use specialty soaps, mainly because it is more expensive than most of the basic oils used in soap making. And I feel it is better used in a leave on products such as lotion, rather than a wash off product such as soap.

Winter Winter Go Away!

Ok, maybe I am being a baby. No offence to all of the snow lovers out there. I used to love it too, but the older I get, the less I appreciate it.

Well enough grumbling, we are almost on to Valentines Day and I am trying to decide on new fun scents for the up coming spring! Yay Spring!

Something fresh and crisp is in order, if you have a favorite fragrance you would like us to carry, any suggestions will be considered.

The goats are ready to be out in the sunshine playing again, and they are enjoying the sunshine we are blessed with today. Our little orphaned kitten (Itty Bitty) is growing up fast and has the older two cats on the run! He is quite the charmer when guests arrive; he has everyone snowed into believing he is a sweet, quiet kitty. Ha! Little do they know the antics he brings to this household!

Our newer soaps that we added this winter have been very well received. Maui Wowie, Bite Me, Honey Bunny and Aqua Di Gio have been very popular and we will be keeping them on as part of our line. They can be found on the catalogue page under traditional soaps.

I did pour a Dragon’s Blood log of soap recently, but I made a boo boo. So I will be trying that one again soon. Everyone so far has really liked this fragrance, and I have had several requests to try again.

I think it is time to feed the goats before I get fired. Have a wonderful day everyone, and enjoy its beauty!

Until we meet again,
Pam :-)

Wow Christmas is almost here!

Wow Christmas is almost here! Are you all getting ready?
I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, we had a nice dinner and visit with our little family and enjoyed just being together. Well, maybe I should say they did as I was in and out of bed most of the time that day. I was not up to par as I have Fibromyalgia, which sometimes interrupts our get togethers. But dear hubby was a gracious host and took over for me. “Thank you honey.” *grin*
Well we have added quite a few nice soaps for the holidays. We now have Tinsel, Bite Me, Honey Bunny, Maui Wowie, Pumpkin Eggnog, Forbidden Fruit and the last two that should be added to the site within the next two days, Mt. Dew and Christmas Candy.
All are so yummy and fragrant and a couple make a striking display. Sometimes I surprise myself haha!
I will also be adding to the site this week a Winter Mint Lip Balm for those of us who have to have a better balm than can be found in the stores. It is NOT a waxy sticky balm, it has wonderful organic oils in it and vitamin E. It is all I will use, it really is so much better than the icky stuff they sell in the stores.
Well, my tree is not up, but before you boo and hiss at me too much, it is on the short list of things to do.
I have been a busy soaping woman these last few weeks, making balms and soaps and such.
That reminds me, Solid lotion bars will be available soon as well. Got to fight old man winter you know.
Where we live we have no wind break, so that bitter winter wind really takes a toll on your skin. I have to have good moisture protection to make it through the cold seasons.
So if you have a minute or two, go to the catalogue page and check out all the new goodies.
Guess I had better go feed the goats before I get fired. Have a wonderful time enjoying the festivities that happen in the wait of Christmas and be warm and healthy. Do something good for just one soul everyday, it comes backs to you . 😉

Fall is here!

Well yes, fall is finally here. The time of beautiful color, and bountiful harvests.
I love harvests time!
I love the little kiddies out on Halloween in all their cute costumes, Apple cider and goodies, and then the leaves in huge piles and the corn stalks all tied in towers.

It’s all just so nostalgic and beautiful! But for folks like me, it’s also a very busy time, for getting soaps and other things stocked up before the holidays. I have been trying to play catch up on pouring soap.
We have a new mens soap that is sure to be a favorite with the guys, and some gals too. It is found in the Traditional Soaps section on our catalogue page page.

We named it “Up North” and is a sort of camo soap. It’s scent says “Hunky Sexy Man” for sure!
We’ve also made our Energize! soap in The Coconut milk formula, for all of our milk soap lovers. The scent was just too good not to give it a second option. It can be found on our catalogue page page under Milk Soaps.
There is more coming soon so please stay tunned.

For all of our down on the farm fans, the farm is getting smaller as we grow older. I made a big decision this weekend to sell all of my hens, Well all…I only had 11 hens, but to me that was a flock! haha!
I am glad to report that they have went on to live with a very good friend of mine and her much larger flock of barred rocks.

I talked to her the morning after moving them, and she reports that They have adapted and mixed in rather well. One even laid an egg for her the very first morning. That made me feel much better about the decision.

I made this move because it is getting harder for me to fight the snow drifts out here with the winds, and taking care of one barn instead of two twice a day will make a world of difference. We have big wind out here with no wind break, this makes for BIG drifts and I am short, which does not help at all.
But I will still have my goats, and if I can’t stand being without my girls I can always try again in a while. But for now I think it’s time for a break.

Itty Bitty Kitty is doing well, growing like a weed and I just can not wait for him to be fixed! Fat Boy and Jackie Cats would appreciate it too I’m sure. He has so much testosterone that they don’t want to play with him. As my Mother would say “He is hell bent for leather!”

Well have lots of fall fun everyone and have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Cream Pie Soap Returns!

Wow I still can’t believe summer is going to be over already! I guess I missed spring, *poof!* it always seams to elude me.
I am not a winter lover, so I have decided I am going to sit inside and sip warm, wonderful mugs of something and make lots of soap!
I am already dreaming up some lovely ones for the Holidays, so if you have a scent you would like us to try, let me know and I will do my best to make it happen.
I have some good news for all of our Pumpkin Cream Pie fans. Back in 2009 We lost our supplier for our beloved Pumpkin fragrance oil. I started searching for a replacement, but never found that special one. Nothing seamed to come close enough.
However, last week I was at one of my suppliers that I used to buy lip tubes and other miscellaneous items from. I thought…what the heck, I might as well see what they have for fragrances, maybe I’ll get some new holiday ideas.

I ordered a bottle of Lavender oil from them to try, and several sample bottles of assorted fragrances. Well low and behold, the Pumpkin sample smelled remarkably like the oil we used to use. I had saved the last bottle I had from the old supplier, knowing I would need a tiny bit for comparing purposes.
I ran to the computer and looked at the site again where I had ordered the sample from. I couldn’t believe it! Right there in front of my face on their fragrance oil page, it tells me that they bought my old Pumpkin oil suppliers fragrances back in 2009!
Well I don’t mind admitting I felt like an idiot! It’s been there all along!
I of course wasted NO TIME and ordered a bottle. I expect it here in 3-4 days and am so happy we can make our Pumpkin Cream Pie soap again for you all.
I know to some of you this seams like nothing to get this excited over, but I am telling you this soap has its own fan club! haha!
We also have a new page at the site called, Oopsies! & Butt Uglies! You can access this page here on our catalogue page. You will see Oopsies! & Butt Uglies! in the sidebar on the left of your screen, just click on it and wha! La! you are there. This is where we will have all of our soaps that have imperfections like, the color isn’t what we were trying for. Or we cut them wrong, or I just plain made an ugly soap that I don’t think is pretty enough. From time to time we discontinue some of our soaps, these will be offered here as well. The best part of these soaps is that they still bubble and clean well, and are a great buy for our customers as they are priced at 50% off regular price.
This gives you a less expensive way to try some of our products.
I will include in the description, why these soaps are in this category.
I am going to try and enjoy the last 5 days of summer, I hope you are all well and happy!
Thanks for tunning in!
Until next time, God Bless.

Using FD&C Colorants in Handmade Soap

FD&C colors are made in a lab, so no, these are not a product that you will find on the shelf marked “ Natural. ”

Having said that, they have a huge pallet of colors to choose from. Any color you can imagine.

The FDA website tells us that a color additive is, “any dye, pigment or substance which when added to a drug, food or cosmetic, or to the human body, is capable (Alone or through reactions with other substances) of imparting color.” The FGA is responsible for the regulation of all color additives for safety and labeling of food, drug and cosmetics.

There has been a lot of balk about these colors though. In 1976 Red no.2 was banned for its possible links to cancer.
Now keep in mind that in most of if not all the processed foods we eat, like candy, french fries, cheese, boxed dinner mixes, sodas, medicines, vitamins, etc. etc. The list goes on and on of the things we use every day in life that contain FD&C colorants.

They are easy to use and inexpensive to use as well. The attractions to using these colorants in handmade soap are that they mix very smoothly, and are highly concentrated.
Because of their high concentration, I would advise anyone using FD&C colors when making handmade soap to cover you work surface with plastic, or a heavy craft paper.

I always wear my soap making gloves when using these colors, as they will stain clothing, hands and surfaces. These colorants will remain clear in melt & pour soaps.

They are not considered stable in an alkaline environment such as cold process soap. Some will change color in cold process soap, such as green. Green can turn purple or sometimes blue depending on the color of oils used in your recipe. If this concerns you, my suggestion would be to make a small test batch, to see how the colors will turn out with your recipe.

I tend not to concern myself so much with this colorant, being used in such tiny amounts in a wash off product such as handmade soap.

I have as have many other soapers, used them for just that. It is a learning experience using them, but most places that sell these colors for use in handmade soap have a lot of advice on how to use them.

They can also be mixed with a little Mica, to achieve a nice color effect. I find using the pearly micas is very nice with the FD&C colors, but to each their own.

General directions to mix these colors are to mix 1/16 tsp. Colorant to 1 tsp. of water. These colorants mix very easily in water with just a little stirring. Then add a little at a time to your soap mixture be it melt and pour, or cold process, until desired color has been achieved. I would suggest to start out using these colors with a dropper for control as a little colorant goes a long way.

There are FD&C colors also available already mixed in water for you. Some soap makers find these to be more convenient.

Some even have a color wheel to show you how to mix them to get the desired colors you want. And will also advise you on how much you should use in your handmade soap. This gives you some freedom to experiment to find your desired color.

These are fun colors to work with, but they will bleed, and certain colors will bleed more than others as well. As I have said before, it is a learning curve.

When purchasing FD&C colorants for handmade soap, I suggest buying them from companies that are intending you use these in handmade soap.

New liquid soaps are on the way

Hi everyone! We are finally up and running enough to bring you the soap catalogue. We will be adding in some new things soon such as, Liquid soaps for all you LS lovers. (myself included *smile*)
No/No soap (No color/No scent), for all of you with allergies. Just a lovely creamy soothing soap.
Bay Rum soap is on the curing rack right now and will be ready in just a couple of weeks, and I don’t mind telling you my office is smelling pretty good! ha! ha! Just one of the great perks to being a soapmaker is when you are in production your house smells great.

I think most of you who know me know that I rescued a little kitten who was born in my barn by a Farrell cat and just left to die. Well after sleepless nights of getting up for feedings and all the other craziness that goes along with it….( Yup just like a newborn human baby!)
He has turned into a living, breathing, running, jumping, biting, obnoxious, little monster that the other two grown cats run and hide from. Actually Steve and I do to from time to time.
We named him Itty Bitty because he is, but I think now a more appropriate name may be hmmm… let me think…Yes, I think TRAIN WRECK would cover it! Ha! ha! But all in all we love him very much. I will be posting pictures of the animals on the site soon.

Well I am really starting to enjoy the fall season. It feels wonderful outside, I hate freezing or boiling temps and this is just nice.
Fruits and veggies are starting to ripen and it makes me feel productive to be able to set a fresh table for my family.
I hope this blog post finds you all happy and healthy.
Enjoy this lovely season,(because you know what’s coming behind it ha! ha!)
Peace, Pam :)

The dog days of summer

Well here we go folks. The outlook for the next two weeks is . . . HOT! HOT! HOT!
I must admit. Those two words “Hot and Humid” make me run for cover. But I will take them over the ice and freezing winds we get out here on our little farm in the winter months.
I can remember a time when I LOVED the winter months. What? Was I going nuts!? My feelings sure have changed about that over the years. I am told this is normal with the aging process. Ha.Ha.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, here we are roasting in the heat, trying to stay comfortable and not melt. I worry more about our animals outside more than anything during a heat wave. I keep thinking what it would be like to have to stay outside on days like these with a fur coat on. UGH!

Please make sure all of your fur babies have plenty of water, and a place to go out of the direct sunlight. And all pets and livestock should be checked on, several times throughout the day.

We do not have air in our home with the exception of the bedroom. Luckily, our home is partially under ground. This helps keep it a bit cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. And for those of us without air in our homes, I have gathered a few helpful tips on keeping cool during the dog days of summer.

1. Drink lots of water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
2. Keep the shades pulled and all doors and windows closed, this can help maintain the cool of the morning throughout the day keeping the hot air outside. I also have the fans running.
3.Doing the majority of your chores between 4 and 8 A.M. also helps as this is the coolest part of the day.
4. Dressing is very important. Dress in loose clothing in cool colors like white or other light summer colors, it helps if the fabric is a light cotton or linen.
5.Between 2 and 6 during the day is a good time to go to the grocery store, a movie, the library, you get the idea, a place with air conditioning.
6. Try not to generate too much heat while you are in the home such as, lights left on, the stove or oven. A cold plate lunch and dinner with cold meats, cheeses and fruits work well on hot days. This would be a good time to get better acquainted with your microwave.
Lastly, if you must (Like a certain husband I know.) be out in the elements doing chores and what not. Take a cool, wet, hand towel or dish towel and drape it around your neck, and refresh it under a running spigot or hose when needed. Don’t forget to keep a hat on to shield your head from the sun, and use a sun screen.
A life-threatening heat stroke can happen quickly, and before you know it, your in deep trouble. Some signs to watch for are:

Skin may become moist and clammy, or it can go opposite . . . hot and dry.
Fainting, nausea and fatigue are also associated with heat exhaustion.
So friends, please watch yourself, your loved ones, and your pets closely during these hot times.
Hope these tips come in handy. Stay cool!
Pam:)

Using Clay in Handmade Soap

Using Clay in Soap

Today I’d like to talk a little bit about the use of clay in handmade soap.
Clays come in many different particle sizes, on a general average the denser the clay the more drawing on the skin.
There are many clays that can be used in handmade soap. We will cover some of the basic ones now.

Kaolin clay- is a light fluffy white clay, it lends a silkiness and creaminess to soap. It can also be used in masks for aged dry skin without adding color. It also works well as an alternative to talc in most recipes.

Bentonite clay- is a light green clay that is highly absorbent. It also produces a slip in handmade soap, this makes it a good choice in shaving soaps. It is also used in small amounts to mask recipes to give them more elasticity.

Rose clay- is a medium weight clay that is also highly absorbent and adds a nice silkiness and slip to soap. It also gives a lovely soft rose pink color. Iron Oxide gives this clay its rosy hue.

Rhassoul clay- is a light brown clay. It is very absorbent of oils and impurities that our skin comes in contact with on a day to day basis. The micronized variety of this clay gives a nice bubbly sudsing soap.

Usage rate: 0.5-1 Tablespoon per pound of handmade soap mixture. At light trace add to a small amount (1-2 cups) of the soap mixture. Blend well and back into soap.

I hope this has answered any questions you may have had, about using the wonderful clays that are available to us all. Play with them, have fun learning what a great addition they can be to your soaping adventures.