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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanks and Black Small Cyber Sale!

Cucumber Soap made for a garden club talk 
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday, hopefully with loved ones.  My husband, three of my kids, and my friend, Janet, spent the holiday together, enjoying the delicious feast of turkey and trimmings, as well as good company.  I sincerely thank Jesus for his provision and bountiful blessings.


Thankful is one of those things that is often hard to really be.  If you're like me, and I suspect that you are, you find it easy to fall into complaining and self-pity, especially when things are not going the way we want them to go.  Sometimes, it's just inconvenient or annoying; other times, things really are bad.


It's important to take a step back and think.  Some of the best advice I've ever received was, "Don't sweat the small stuff."  It's actually profound and yet, practical.  If it's not small stuff, face it head-on.  Either way, count the blessings you do have, and find a way to help someone else.  That will help your attitude and eventually, your (our) circumstances.


Surely, you've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  You may also have heard of Small Business Saturday.  Well, I'm rolling all three into one event.
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Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday Sale!

All three days, rolled into one

FIVE & FREE SALE! - Buy any 5 products and get one free

Note terms and conditions below:

*Sale continues until midnight EST, Monday, Nov. 28

*Free product is same or lesser value to products purchased

*Possible limitations due to my unlikely limitations in offering product, meaning if I can't get the supplies in a timely manner I may not be able to offer it to you. I don't anticipate it as a problem, but, just in case.

*Shipping for heavy objects, such as large terra cotta pots, incur higher shipping costs. I will email you with the exact shipping price.

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Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 

Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above.

Lotion: Hand 
and body lotion - 4 oz., $7, 8 oz., $12


Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, 
and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Where does the time go?  The last time I posted on my blog it was summer, and now here it is, mid-fall!  Apparently, the fall hustle-and-bustle took its toll on me and my blogging.  Now, instead of sitting in shorts and eating a peach, I'm in jeans and a sweater, eating an apple.


It was a weird summer, weather-wise, and autumn no different.  I didn't get any Hydrangea blooms (boo hoo), but I have some flowers blooming now that one would never expect in NY in October.  I'm posting some of those pictures, but I've also noticed Clematis, Centaurea Montana, and even a rose blooming.  Honestly, I don't know if that's good or bad!  Thankfully, my area was not part of that east coast ridiculously early and awful snow storm of last Saturday!


How about you?  Does hustle and bustle describe you?  Has your weather been weird?


About soap:  I've been slowly working at labeling and shrinkwrapping my stockpile of soap.  If you want something, go ahead and ask.  I might have it ready, or I may have it ready in a hurry.

The Begonia is what is showy here

Coryadylis, usually blooms in May

Pixie Lily

Geranium

Another Begonia
Here is the current ad.  Order Today!



It's gotten cold here in NY.  Leaves are falling and we're getting our first hard frost.  We're thinking chili, hot tea, and our favorite autumn scents, pumpkin and apple and spices.

To celebrate, we are featuring our two fall soaps:


Spicy Pumpkin Pie
Cinnamon Apple

They are available for just $5/bar, $1 off of our usual $6.  Don't hesitate, though, they are available only while supply lasts!

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Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 

Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above.

Lotion: Hand 
and body lotion - 4 oz., $7, 8 oz., $12

Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, 
and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Love

You might think this post will be about summer romance, but nope.  It's about loving summer.


I do.  I love summer.  I love the warmth and sunshine, going outside without donning boots and coat.  I really love gardening and watching my gardens growed, dressed in their summer finery of flowers, fruits, and herbs.  I love eating summer fruits and veggies and using fresh herbs in my meals.  


Indeed, every meal can be an adventure for the summer-hungry palate of a northerner!


Take tonight, for instance.  I had a very healthy Lamb's Quarter (Chenopodum album) plant growing in one of my containers.  Crazy?  Maybe, but I'd be hard-pressed to agree.  I cut it down to the soil and removed the leaves.  Then, I steamed the leaves in a little water as you would for spinach.  I sauteed it for just a minute in butter and then added lemon juice.  Yuuummmm.  Better than spinach.
Lamb's Quarters


Lest you think that Lamb's Quarter is a useless weed, consider this:  it's high in fiber, vitamin A and a bunch of other vitamins, calcium, protein, potassium, calcium, and iron.  Certainly worthy of vegetable status!  I've even seen it for sale at the public market.
A closer look at Lamb's Quarters


What about you?  What do you like best about summer?  Do you ever eat weeds?


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A simple summer sale:  Buy 5 products, get the 6th free!  Your free item will be the least expensive one.  We carry soap, lotion, scrubs, lip balm, everything a gardener needs.


Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 
Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above. 

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7; 8 oz., $12
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.
Look for Soap and Garden on Facebook and Twitter.  We just love gardeners!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Soap and Garden - http://www.soapandgarden.com



Friday, July 15, 2011

Let's Talk Soap!

Independence Day Fireworks.  Looks like Globe Thistle!



Misconceptions regarding soap abound in our society.  Gone are the days when all soap was truly, soap.  Nowadays, anything that cleans is called "soap."


You see, real soap is a chemical reaction created when oils meet an alkali.  Yes, modern soapmaking involves an  alkali, a caustic soda, if you will.  Before you recoil in horror, it's important to understand that like a relationship, the two meet, become closer, and finally marry.  We soapmakers call this point, "trace."  They're such a good match that they become a new product--soap; and not just soap, but a mild, yet cleansing product.


How does this differ from the commercial soaps you'll find in the store?  Well, the short story is that commercial cleansing bars and liquids are usually at least partially synthetic detergents.  If you didn't know that's what you were using when you bought soap, you likely are.  


You might be wondering if it matters.  The answer is, not if you only care if you're cleaner after using the product than before.  If you simply want to wash up, then commercial soap might suit you best.  But, if you want something more pure, you want soap.  Since it's made with natural oils and fats, it's not synthetic, the only synthetics being the alkali (which changes on the molecular level once it's soap), some colorants (added at fractional levels), and scent, if it's not an essential oil.  In addition, a by-product of soapmaking is the presence of glycerin, a humectant, in the final bar.  Humectants draw moisture to the skin.


Real soap, in fact, has been used throughout the ages, being spoken of even in Biblical times.  It is biodegradable.  You can purchase beautiful soaps that you will enjoy displaying in your bathroom or kitchen.  You can get soap in literally hundreds of scents, whether from essential oils (gotten from plant material) or fragrance oils (at least mostly synthetic, but used at a very small percentage of the total).   Soap is biodegradable.  Soapmaking is a time-honored skill that has been passed down by men and women throughout the ages, and although some practices change with the times, the basic concept remains.




What's not to like?  


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A simple summer sale:  Buy 5 products, get the 6th free!  Your free item will be the least expensive one.  We carrysoap, lotion, scrubs, lip balm, everything a gardener needs.

Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 
Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above. 

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7; 8 oz., $12

Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.
Look for Soap and Garden on Facebook and Twitter.  We just love gardeners!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Soap and Garden - http://www.soapandgarden.com

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Three Things I Loved About Portland

Rhodies in Portland

I recently made a combined business/pleasure trip to Portland, OR.  The Board of Directors strategy meeting for the HSMG was held there and involved me, so that was the business part (not to say it didn't include pleasure), and meeting my newest granddaughter was the pleasure part (it didn't include any business, unless one were to call changing diapers, work).


Of course, being the gardener I am, seeing the local flora was also on my to-do-in-Portland list.  I wanted to visit the Portland Rose Garden and see what was growing in the area.

Isabella and Mommy
We came in a little early so we could spend time with our dd, sil, and grandbaby, Isabella.  This is a totally unbiased opinion, of course, but she is nothing less than adorable!  A mostly happy baby, she smiled and cooed and charmed her grandpa and me in a moment.  We loved spending time with her.


She was very nice about taking me to the rose garden, as well.  For those of you who don't know, Oregon is an ideal location in terms of climate for rose growing.  The famous rose company, Jackson & Perkins, began not too far from me in New York, but moved west when somebody saw how well roses grew in Oregon.  After visiting the garden, I could easily see why.  And it isn't just roses that grow well there!  Oh, no, the Rhododendron was absolutely spectacular, with large bushes just bursting with color, from white to pink to purple and red, and every shade thereof!  I even saw one that was blue-violet, which I had never seen before.  Our trip to the garden, with a baby in tow, was short, but not too short to fill my eyes and brain with breathtaking color and beauty!
A gorgeous rose in Portland Rose Garden


The strategy meeting, my first, went very well.  Charting out the course of an organization is never an easy task, but necessary, and I believe that we made some strides and decisions that will benefit the HSMG members for years to come.  I was privileged as a newbie to be in the company of some very smart and dedicated women, working to make the organization the best it could be.


Once we finished the meeting, instead of jumping on a plane for the east coast, we lingered in Portland and visited Multnomah Falls.  It was awesome!  Beautiful, majestic, picturesque, all could be used to describe the waterfall and area.  Again, I enjoyed checking out the flora and took lots of pictures.  Soon, it was time to head to the airport to begin our long trek home, and that's all I'll say about that!  Well, except this note to myself:  "Self, never, ever, book a flight with two stops again!"

Oh, wait.  One more thing about the flight.  It was overcast much of the time during our stay in Portland, so I couldn't see Mt. Hood until the plane went above the clouds after taking off.  Wow!  It was amazing!  We saw not only Mt. Hood, but Mt. Rainier, St. Helen's, and Mt. Adams (I think).


I will say for home, though, it felt good to be back in the warm weather and sunshine!  Photos of Multnomah to follow.


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Reminder:  June is still bustin' out all over here, and so is our sale, but just through the 30th!  



Here's this month's offer:  With any $30 order, get a bar of soap free!

Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 
Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above. 

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7; 8 oz., $12
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.
Look for Soap and Garden on Facebook and Twitter.  We just love gardeners!

Tell me the three things I loved about Portland, and get an extra gift with your order.  :-)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Moon Over Miami

View of Miami from my hotel room
I recently attended the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild conference in Miami, Florida.  It was not only my first trip to Miami, but my first conference being a member of the HSMG Board of Directors.  The conference was fantastic, offering attendees a variety of informative speakers, good food, and even a couple of great parties!

You might be asking yourself, "Do soap makers really have conferences?  Are there enough of them to even have a conference?"

The answers are yes and yes.  The HSMG boasts some 1,500 members worldwide, although the majority of members are from the USA.  Over 300 of them attended the conference.  Our members are either in the process of making a business selling soap or are in business selling soap.  The guild exists to support those members, offering programs and services to promote them.

Each person who attended returned home inspired and motivated to put into practice what she has learned.  Keep in mind that while most members are female, we do have male members, also.  It's just difficult to be grammatically correct without excluding one gender or the other.  But, I digress.  

Our keynote speaker was Barbara Corcoran, of NBC's Sharktank, as well as appearing on the Today Show, showing homes for sale throughout the US.  Barbara was in turn funny, a little crude, and motivating.  She was also kind enough to sign her book and take photos with attendees.  We certainly enjoyed her and gained tools to use in our businesses.

Other speakers helped us with business or with soapmaking techniques, and I for one, hope to swirl better, making soap with greater artistry.  I will employ better business methods that I hope will help my business grow and will serve my customers better, all without losing that personal appeal.

I'll be posting more photos this week, so stay tuned!

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We northerners are just getting out in our gardens.  It's muddy, but it's now time to transplant perennials and to sow outdoor seeds.  It's also Lilac time!  The lilacs are ending their bloom, but the scent is still heavenly.


We are getting dirty, so I've been making good use of my Gardener's Soap.  It features natural "scrubbies" to help clean out the dirt, yet it's still moisturizing.

It comes in several types:

Classic:  essential oils and exfolliants such as cornmeal and poppy seeds for men and women

Salt Bar:  uses salt for exfoliation and a floral scent.  Lovely lotion feel. Very pink!
Cedar & Sage:  same exfoliants as Classic, but specifically for men

Garden Walk:  fragrant floral for women, with exfoliants

Get 5 bars for 25.00!

Don't forget about our lilac-scented products!  Get 10% off of any Lilac scented products totaling $20 or more!

Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 

Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above. 

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7; 8 oz., $12

Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Look for Soap and Garden on Facebook and Twitter.  We just love gardeners!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet Violet

Violet Flowers & Leaves


I picked a bowl of violets and their leaves a couple of days ago.  I'd pick more, but it's been raining.


Did you know that violets are useful herbs?  They are!  They've been used infused in oil and as a tea for centuries, and are even known as an herb that inspires courage, which is rather interesting, since it was thought to help a person sleep.  Ah, the dichotomies of life!


Assigned as a cure in the past for respiratory illnesses, it was taken as a tea or oil.  It was used to fight insomnia and as a laxative, and contains an aspirin-like property.


Considering how prolific violet is, it's no wonder people used them extensively in the past; and yet, they are rarely used today. A pity, methinks.


It seems unfortunate to me that the violet's scent is so fleeting.  If I pick a handful of flowers and take a sniff, I catch a momentary fragrance that never fails to delight.  It's a light, refreshing floral, to my mind.  I would be a very happy camper if I could bottle that scent!


You might be wondering what I plan on using mine for.  First, I make a batch of Violet Eye Cream every year.  I love how it smells and how it makes the skin around my eyes feel moisturized and appear non-baggy.


For the last two years, I've made violet syrup.  Yum!  I wish I could think of more things to use it on, but alas, only ice cream for now.


This year, it's the eye cream, for sure.  Then, assuming I can harvest more before their short season ends, I will make tea and try it in lemonade.  One of my Facebook friends suggested that, so I hope I get the opportunity to experiment.  Since I can dry it, I can create at my leisure--even though uttering the word, "leisure," makes me laugh!


If you're in a region where violets are blooming, go ahead and pick them, provided they are subjected to pesticides and herbicides or vehicle exhaust.  Make a tea and allow yourself to sit and enjoy one of the plants that God gave us.

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May Ad


I would like to introduce you to my Classic Gardener's Soap.   
It took me several tries before I found the formula and additives that made it a winner in my book, but I am very pleased with my final product.  It's as natural as soap can be, with exfoliants to get the dirt out, but not harsh and drying to the skin--and it contains skin-loving essential oils, to boot!  Both men and woman use this one.





Classic Gardener's Soap

I'm so concerned about products for gardeners, that I now have gardeners in mind for all of my products and tailor them for gardeners using herbs and other wonderful things from the garden.  Of course, any of them can be used and appreciated by those who claim to have brown thumbs, too!

If Classic isn't enough, you might like one of our other types:

Classic:  essential oils and exfolliants such as cornmeal and poppy seeds for men and women

Salt Bar:  uses salt for exfoliation and a floral scent.  Lovely lotion feel. Very pink!

Cedar & Sage:  same exfoliants as Classic, but specifically for men

Garden Walk:  fragrant floral for women, with exfoliants

Get 5 bars for 25.00!  Try it today.

Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 
Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above. 

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7; 8 oz., $12
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Look for Soap and Garden on Facebook and Twitter.  We just love gardeners!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Into the Garden!

It dawned glorious, sunny and warm, a treat for us in upstate NY as we experienced a difficult winter and spring.   Wednesday was just lovely, and it was a pleasure to help in the herb garden at the Tinker Home in Henrietta.


The garden was the brainchild of my friend, Arleen, a number of years ago.  She was instrumental in its design and implementation.  She also did a great deal of the maintenance, keeping the garden spiffy and beautiful for park-goers to enjoy.


It was a lovely garden, with interest for both adults and children; but, due to circumstances, it quickly fell into the chaos that gardens do when left unattended.  Occasionally, groups would come and do some weeding and tidying, but as anyone with gardens knows, a garden must be tended faithfully in order to keep it in check.


Along came a group of Master Gardeners, headed by John C. and Kathleen R., with a plan and an army of gardeners to renovate the garden.  Hallelujah!  Since I have an interest in and history with this garden, I was immediately enthused by their project, and offered to help.  They have developed a plan for the garden and the work that needs to be done, and Wednesday was the first work day.


I am happy to report that in just a couple of hours, we were able to lay down cardboard and mulch on almost 1/4 of the garden's perimeter.  I wish I could get that crew to come to my garden and work.  Just think how fast it would go!


The work wasn't easy, but it felt good to be out in the fresh, warm air and sunshine and to work outside with the herbs.  It gave me a spring in my step for the remainder of the day.  I came home and took a shower, using my freshly made Classic Gardener's Soap.  It took me several tries before I found the formula and additives that made it a winner in my book, but I am very pleased with my final product.  It's as natural as soap can be, using exfoliants to get the dirt out, but not to be harsh and drying to the skin--and it contains skin-loving essential oils, to boot!
Classic Gardener's Soap


I'm so concerned about products for gardeners, that I now have gardeners in mind for all of my products and tailor them for gardeners using herbs and other wonderful things from the garden.  Of course, any of them can be used and appreciated by those who claim to have brown thumbs, too!


Here's to hoping for many more of those beautiful gardening days.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



We are getting dirty, so I've been making good use of my Gardener's Soap.  It features natural "scrubbies" to help clean out the dirt, yet it's still moisturizing.

It comes in several types:

Classic:  essential oils and exfolliants such as cornmeal and poppy seeds for men and women
Salt Bar:  uses salt for exfoliation and a floral scent.  Lovely lotion feel. Very pink!
Cedar & Sage:  same exfoliants as Classic, but specifically for men
Garden Walk:  fragrant floral for women, with exfoliants

Get 5 bars for 25.00!  Try it today.

Not on my site, but also available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - just $2/ea. 

Liquid shower gel: Natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00;  8 oz.  $11 -  In any scent listed above. 

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7; 8 oz., $12
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, Lavender, and any other scent I sell. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Look for Soap and Garden on Facebook and Twitter.  We just love gardeners!