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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!