Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I hope you all have been enjoying your holidays with your friends or family or with your pets or at work. Whatever you have done, I hope you have had a warm and safe time and found love somewhere. Here is a little love from me :)
Monday, December 21, 2009
Potters Bar organic soap
This is what Tiggy Fiander says about this soap:
Originally designed and made for Matt....who likes to make pots. His hands always seem to be red...from the clay he uses; so we made this soap with wheatbran to exfoliate and remove ground in clay and grime. Gardener? Then this will work equally as well for you. It will remove all the compost and slugs from your hands, leaving them feeling sparkly clean and softenend. Scented with Lavender, Eucalyptus & Lemon essential oils. We also added raw silk and unrefined organic cocoa butter.Below are some other lovelies she makes....
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Carrie Garvin (a.k.a. Carrie Gigi) sent me some handmade laundry soap to review and I was super excited. I had heard about laundry soap being made from cold process soap, but never actually tried it. How could it work? Wouldn't it be weird and not leave a nice scent behind?
Carrie sent me three handmade pouches in different patterns and included a fine stitched washcloth with a small plastic scoop tucked neatly in its pocket to scoop out the perfect amount of soap for each load of laundry. There were directions for top loading machines and high efficiency (HE) machines that are front loaders (which I have and actually loathe- another story, another day).
I was eager to get home and try the soap, but not so eager to do the wash. You know how that is. But since it was Carrie's soap, wellllll... I got going. I tried the Cambridge Rum because we were a fan of her Cambridge Rum soap in this family. I opened the bag. Woah. The smell was strong! I started a load and ran it right through to the end and when I dumped out the dried clothes on my bed and put the warm clothes to my nose, my senses were tickled pink with delight. It was a soft, delicate, clean scent that was unique, and very Cambridge Rum-my for those of you who are familiar with her Cambridge Rum scent, you know exactly what I mean. It is a hard scent to describe. I'll give you her description: A rich bay rum scent with notes of woods, the shore, & more... So, yes, it is wildly strong out of the bag. In fact, it helps my garage not smell so much like a garage, which is a godsend of sorts. But when you run the soap through the wash the clothes smell delicately scented, not smeared through perfume. Oh no, it is the perfect whisper of scent, I assure you.
Her laundry soap comes in three gorgeous scents: Home For The Holidays, Cambridge Rum and Lavender Grace. They really all smell amazing and our wash is clean clean clean!! For $8.00 for 2 cups, (80 loads!!) it's a no-brainer. Get yourself a batch, because not only will your clothes smell fresh and wonderful, but you will be supporting an independent soap maker, and another thing: Carrie Gigi ROCKS.
Here's some usage information:
Usage (each envelope): 2 cups will clean up to 80 loads!
Top load: 20 very LARGE loads, 40 medium/ small loads
HE/front load: 40 LARGE loads, 80 medium/small loads
Some interesting facts about Whispering Willow Natural Laundry Soap:
--Little or NO suds(no detergent!)
--NO fabric softner needed~ clothes dry very soft
--Use in all temperatures
--Created with all natural ingredients
--Measuring scoop will be included
--White decorative washing cloth will be included
--Sample of other scents will be included
--Laundry envelope is an exclusive pattern created ONLY from Under the Willow
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Today I had a good taste of what Christmas was all about. My grandkids were unusually cranky, Nina was carrying this baby doll around for 4 days as part of a health science class assignment. At first I said "not to the mall." Nina replied, "I have to because I can't find a babysitter at this late time and mom doesn't want to babysit again." Joanna has been incredibly supportive, but Brad says Nina is suffering from postpartum depression because she has been crying a lot lately. Of course this is the funniest thing I ever heard, which makes Nina cry even more (those damn hormones)
Anyway, Desmond was very irritable and tired today. We got to the mall, he ate ravenously, then proceeded to fall asleep on a seat outside of Bloomies. Nina is prancing around outside of Jessica McClintock to show me the different "formal" dresses she likes. Of course, there is no prom, no weddings, no parties, which is usually why we buy such an evening dress, but hey, why should I burst her bubble. Now Desi wakes up and says, I saw something in Brookstone that I'd like to get. After all, Nina is getting a princess dress, why shouldn't I have a remote motorcycle. Off we go, and Nina is in the mall prancing around looking for her grandmother to show the blue taffeta pick. I just keep moving and don't look back.
Now I call my daughter, who is home trying to spend an hour or two with her husband. After all, she worked all day (today is Sunday) trying to drum up business at a holiday parade that passed in front of her store. "Jo, could you come rescue me. The kids are due for a melt down and I can't do another one with them." Sure she says.
Jo & Brad show up 1/2 hour later, pull the kids together like they always do, effortlessly, confidently, without the screaming & threats which their grandmother sometimes resorts to. What a beautiful sight. I believe it's called competence.
Anyway, we all kiss good bye and I proceed to leave the mall and spend the next 2 hours searching for my car in a security van. How embarrassing. It's hard growing older. I do believe what I want for Hanukkah or Christmas is one of those pink plastic flowers you put on the aerial of your car (aerial. Nobody has an aerial anymore. I'd better stop while I'm ahead). Is this humiliating?
I got into my car at 9:00 p.m., pulled out my pump of creme fresh, smeared it all over my hands, lips, arms and under my nose. I knew it would bring me out of my temporary depression about getting old, senile and everything else. As usual, it did the trick. I'm not my mother after all. She never smelled this good. Good night.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Anyway, write to me: jo(at)productbody(dot)com if you are interested. Otherwise, have a
Upcoming review: Laundry soap from Under The Willow!!!!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
No. 11 Organic Soap by Future Primitive (UK)
Bear with me...
Thursday, December 3, 2009
That was the last time I saw that package until 5 nights ago.
The sublime Lemon Biscotti taunted me from the Etsy shop. I kept eyeballing it. I KNEW I had it here, but where? I clearly had forgotten where I had put the package.... Did I use it and black out? Did it accidentally get lost? I was beside myself because I remember smelling it and feeling so full of excitement about hitting the shower and trying that baby out! But it ran away, and took it's pastry-ness with it.
The Muse and I wrote back and forth. We were sad together. I blamed my husband, as I was sure he had done some stupid thing with it. He does that. But then... so do I. All too often, sadly. Finally, I had just assumed it got carried off with the trash somehow. UGH!
All that frustration fell away, I moved on, and Karen of Alchemic Muse sent me a small sample to replace the full bar. Oh yeah, it smelled good. It is hard to do a review on a sliver, folks. It's hard to have the full experience in the shower. So the sliver was nice but didn't impress. I like to shower with a full bar of soap 2 or 3 times to get the full effect and then continue to see how the fragrance changes, because it often does change. Morphs. The quality bars have subtle changes and I like to experience the ride. The quality fragrance oils morph beautifully while the crappier ones fall flat and ruin the soap experience. One can make a great soap but if you use an inferior fragrance oil, your reputation will suffer. And so....
So when I found the box of soaps Karen sent me I yelped with delight. Yeah, true story. Yelped. Squealed, really. It was like my birthday. I was sitting on the floor cleaning out my closet. The floor of my closet was getting taller and taller and I couldn't stand it any longer so it was time to pull everything out and reorganize. You know when the bottom of your closet starts touching the things that are hanging? That's the sign.
Ahhhh, I found my long awaited Lemon Biscotti and it still smelled heavenly....
I have to tell you, when I walked to the shower with that full bar of Lemon Biscotti, I was thinking to myself, "You better be good, be reallllllly good, because I lost you, there was drama. I found you, and much is resting on this review. Make me love you!"
I mean, I was really talking to it walking to the shower.
It did not disappoint. In fact, I was beyond happy. The bar itself smelled heavenly: Not too lemony and citrusy, or astringent, and definately not too sweet and bakery-like. This had a perfect biscotti-balance. The name was spot on. The consistency of the bar is what made me fall in love. It is an exfoliating bar, which I LOVE! Not only was it scratchy good, but it didn't slip out of my hands. :)
sweet cinnamon, spicy cardamom and warm ginger topped with fresh
orange slices finished off with a light dusting of sugary vanilla.
This decadent soap is naturally scented with fragrant amber resins
and a touch of vanilla in a base of earthy patchouli.
Black Walnut ~ limited edition
Light notes of warm citrus rests atop a heart of roasted walnuts, brown sugar, and hazelnut java, fused
with black anise seed, earthy patchouli, and Madagascar vanilla, and winds down to a rich musk base.
Pictures from the lady herself!!
look at the yummy bits!
A delicious, bakery fresh recipe of lemon and bitter almond essential oils to brighten and refresh dull skin.
Traditionally, lemon has been used in many cultures to brighten and refresh the complexion. Moisturizing sweet clover honey helps soothe and condition the skin, while creating an extra bubbly lather.
We added sweet almond meal to this all natural soap for exfoliation to leave skin soft, smooth, and sweet.
Aromatherapy Benefits: Uplifting, Refreshing, Clarifying
Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Distilled Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Honey, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Amara (Bitter Almond) Kernel Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Citrus Gandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Yellow Iron Oxide, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Fruit
Oh she must make this again, so that you, too, can experience it, too.
DescriptionHeavy duty steampunk pendant and necklace. $74.99
The focal point of this piece is a skeleton face pocket watch movement that has great gearing and cog detail. The front of the pendant has roman numerals with visible gears which move as time ticks away. The back of the pendant has gold and silver gears and is accented with red jewels. The piece is encased in a magnifying orb with pronounces the details of the pendant.
The piece also has a winder with a blue tip and a small bell like tassel. It has a brass like finish which goes very well with the heavy weight link chain which measures 20 inches. The pendant measures 2 inches across.
The pendant and chain will be mailed in a velvet cinch pouch.
Here is another awesome item qa create is offering:
Sterling Silver Ring with Peridot Crystal $69.99
DescriptionIndustrial style with simple elegance.
Handcrafted steampunk ring made with a watch movement that contains complete gearing. The watch works has gold cogs and multiple jewels.
I secured the movement to a sterling silver ring that has a very elegant band. The ring is a size 5.
The oval movement measures approximately 1/2 inch. I added a stunning peridot Swarovski Crystal.
I will ship the ring a velvet cinch pouch
I love the things I find on Etsy!!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
So now it's got me thinking about stuff/objects/things/material objects.
Wow. I didn't EVER expect to stumble to this place. I was never a thing freak or materialistic, but cool stuff was...well..cool, and I used to like it when I had it. Did what I needed to do to get it. Get a job, barter, whatever. So now, I think about what I want so I can help my 12 year old, and I can't come up with one thing?!
So, this is a list of things about me that I am digging in, pulling out so I can evaluate my inner bits. Maybe make some sense of it.
I think about my dreams when I'm not sleeping.
My sleeping dreams are bizarre fantasies that are more detailed and more interesting than most movies I have watched and often times they continue like a tv series. For instance, I will fall asleep and my dream will pick up in the exact location and in the same situation I was in last Tuesday night. Ongoing drama.
I think about the ocean more than I visit it.
I want to believe everyone means well.
I think I'm younger than I am before I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
I love animals, the snuggly kind, and the ones that like me, too.
I like things made by hand just for me. It makes me feel special.
I love the sound of wind rustling through leaves, especially palm trees.
I'm addicted to soap.
I love what I do.
Laughing hard is the best feeling.
I prefer independent and foreign films to blockbusters.
I hate pain.
I hate being broke.
I miss being a kid and playing dress up and getting ice cream cones and Fire Island.
I miss smoking.
I wish I had more friends.
I'd pick me for a friend if I weren't me.
I've made online friends that I wish lived closer.
Green is my favorite color. And black. And espresso.
The ocean is my favorite sound along with the sound of my children's laughter.
I love the smell of cookies, banana bread, cake.... any dessert baking is pure delight for me.
I play a mean game of air hockey.
I like games: cards, backgammon, Marco Polo, Trac Ball, Tetherball, Pictionary, Balderdash, ping pong, charades...etc.
I can snap a damp kitchen towel like nobody's business so don't mess with me once I've started kitchen clean-up or so help you.
Violence upsets me terribly, although I do watch MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). That's different, though.
Sponge Bob Square Pants is funny. I especially loved his teachings on how to blow a bubble...."and arooooouuuund the town...". :)
Frisky Dingo was just about my favorite animation show and I am so sad it is off the air.
I love opal stones.
Soft cotton pajamas and slippers may be my favorite thing to wear.
I love my bed. I could lie in it and fall asleep anytime of day or night.
I love lard bread from Brooklyn. If you aren't from Brooklyn, you won't understand.
I prefer squeaky wood floors, antique furniture and colored paint.
I like foreign food, wine, films, countries, languages and people. And YES, I believe they all deserve to be here if they want to be!
Sunlight streaming in my room makes me feel nice.
I hate feeling hunger, pain and loss.
Random hugs feel good.
There's my list. For today. I have more.
Did I get any closer to figuring out an answer for her?
Not a chance.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I do know I have heard a lot of REALLY good things about Carrie Garvin over at Under The Willow Gifts and her fantastic laundry soap. Customers here have also asked if I would make some for them. They buy my soap, now they want me to wash their clothes. How 'bout that? Next they'll want me to wash their hair, their dog, their house and pay their mortgage...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
My dear soap has been put to bed.
I cooked that sucker with oil and water and some coconut milk and I stirred and stirred and I stirred and it started to look like a beautiful vat of cooked fudge. My hopes got high and my spirit lifted, but the smell wasn't right... almost ammonia-ey. I tongue tested and zapped myself into oblivion.
I kept cooking added more water kept cooking. I was determined. I smushed every little soap bit into mush and I stirred and stirred and stirred.
Fudgey. Smooth. Got zapped again two hours later. You know, soap tastes revolting if you've never tasted it, I'll save you the trouble of feeling the urge to know if maybe it tastes good. Nope. This was chocolate soap and soap is soap, no matter what scent it is. I'm sure it was nice to watch me make a nasty face, spit a few times in the trash can and run over to grab a lollipop to kill the flavor. Bleh.
My arm was exhausted, my hand cramped and I even think I wrecked a nerve between my thumb and my index finger because it hurts like a MUTHA! So now I am mad at my soap.
I've learned my lesson. Don't leave lye solution out for three days and expect to make soap with it. I'm still learning.
That was just a ton of soap to learn with. I still say: BAD SOAP!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Well, that very next day scurried by even faster like Runaway Ralph (a famous mouse on a motorcycle) and I had no time, not even at all, to get to making soap that day. As I was walking out of the door, I glanced at my lye solution and crossed my fingers and left for the day (the second day).
Day three: Started making soap and got to the lye solution and peered in. Hmmmmph. The solution had little shards/plates of solid lye and liquid. I figured that would all change when the lye and the oils would come together and heat up. I know, I know.... At this point, my inner lightbulb should have turned on and sparked my brain to say, "hey dummy, go make some new solution and make some great soap instead of taking a chance on 16 lbs of beautiful soap that you have made with expensive materials you've added such as babassu oil, loads of cocoa butter and kokum butter!" My reasoning? I didn't want to pour it too hot and I was scared that if I sat and waited for the lye to cool, the soap wouldn't be made again that day because of my formulating schedule.
I forced that soap to be made. I took that chance, which I happen to do with life in general, and my soap came out so beautifully. But when I went to cut it it was brittle. I did the tongue test. And I was zapped. HARD. The soap was acting as if I had added too much lye. But I didn't. I think it just didn't dissolve into the oils and there are particles floating about.
Bad soap! BAD!
C'mon. Let me blame the soap. My friend, Kim came by to chat yesterday and thankfully she chopped up two of the four loaves of soap into tiny bits while I made Coconut Milk Bath Soak. I will be cooking up that VERY BAD SOAP, adding water, stirring, adding more water today.
Are they complete piles of garbage at this point or do you all have suggestions to save these spendy loaves of soap? I think I put in 9 ounces of cocoa butter and 4 ounces of kokum butter... so I am having trouble just throwing them out.
I need your help.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I wonder if those wooden gift crates can be used as soap molds. I will be measuring mine when I get to the shop!
Vicki, I wish you the very best luck in whatever you choose to do. =)
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Thursday, November 12, 2009
So I decided that I haven't touched on hemp oil here. The wonder oil in soaps. I still haven't tried it raw or in a soap, but in looks nice. Wonder what it smells like. Pot-ty?
Here are some beauties, I think you'll agree.
by Point Pleasant
This soap on a stick is handmade glycerin soap blended with 100% pure cold pressed hemp seed oil, hemp seeds and patchouli essential oil. Soap has real hemp seeds & hemp fiber blended in.
by Red Eft Designs (redeftshibori.com)
by Good Enough To Eat Soap
by Nature's Edge Farm
by Mooka Soap
Monday, November 9, 2009
Two years ago, a guest blogger wrote about Daybreak Lavender Farm and particularly about a soap that I only now am seriously drooling for: Vanilla Bourbon & Tonka Bean soap.
I think two years ago when the post was written, I had been so inundated with artificial vanilla scents my entire life, that I was Vanilla-Overdosed, if you know what I mean. It wasn't until recently that I have found a new understanding and appreciation for the real Bean. In fact, my appreciation is turning into something of an obsession to find the right scent for me to create so that I can cook up my own bubbling potion in my cauldron. I am not there yet, but my journey begins. That later.
My desire (obsession) made me wander and I found the Bean and she had already been discussed here and I didn't realize it. I found her on my own. Doesn't the soap look down right edible?
The ingredients sound loving to my skin: Handcrafted of Ghanaian unrefined shea, mango and cocoa butters at in a rich base of Grade A olive oil with high oleic sunflower oil, coconut oil, pistachio oil, and castor oil.
This is how they get their soap prepared SIX MONTHS ahead of time!
Starting six months before soapmaking day, we take an insane number the finest Madagascar Vanilla beans to infuse our sunflower oil so that the orchid's elusive perfume deeply permeates every molecule of your bar.
We then add extravagant amounts of Vanilla Absolute and Vanilla Essential Oil -- along with Tonka Bean Essential Oil for a rich bottom note -- and just a touch of something very secret for the briefest of top notes.
A connoisseur's collection designed for the soap aficionado, Herbal Apothecary soaps are all handmade in small batches using the cold process method. We use only pure plant-based ingredients including natural oils, butters and waxes. We scent this exclusive collection with only pure essential oils. This creates a gentle, mild soap which is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, moisturizing and cleaning your skin.
I wish I had a little slice with my coffee right now so I could attach it to my nose, do some relaxing breathing and then have it join me for a bit of a shower. Doesn't that sound like a Vanilla Bean Dream?
Or am I in a Vanilla Haze?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Curing soap takes 4-6 weeks with the cold process method. To make Christmas holiday shopping deadlines...hmmmm...that makes the deadline for making cp soap ...ummm... Okay, if you made a loaf of soap today, you can sell you soap on December 2nd (4 weeks), but if you are like me, and wait 6 weeks, we would have to wait until December 16th which means, we'd better get CRACKING!
Anyway, with work and other things I have to get accomplished I get squirmy and stressed because I should be making at LEAST 2 loaves of soap a day. More. I should be making more, but I just don't have time! grr.
Funny....I started soaping SO far in advance - - extra soap, more soap, lots of soap...I was SO on the ball folks. Really. This time, ME, this one, Joanna, right here, I was so prepared. And then one day a wholesale customer called and asked me what I had in my curing cabinet and claimed loaves and loaves. Oh, it's all good. I can't complain. The soapy business is good and my soaps are getting more and more popular. I am selling a lot of soap. Love it! But my soap stock is down and now I don't look quite as prepared as I once was. My cabinet is full, but my excess is not bulging. Yet.
So ... I will be on a soap making spree as I am sure some of you are already on or will be on very soon.
Tell me about YOUR soap situation this holiday season... :)
Monday, November 2, 2009
Just a personal Halloween photo...
My daughter and her friend were crayons. My daughter is the "puke green" one (yes, she chose the name for her color). They made the costumes themselves. Oh, oh... didn't you think they bought them at Target? ;)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Scent: Beach House
by me at Product Body
Eden by vervainsavon
scented with Essential oils of Amber, Patchouli, and Jasmine.
Also included resins of amber, patchouli, rose and vetiver.
Scent: combination of rustic cracked amber, satiny white lavender and deep earthy sage.
Scented with an ancient, mysterious black amber fragrance
Features pine green and billowing white peaks, fresh pine scent with notes of
campfire smoke, patchouli and amber!
Fragrance is a mix of rare woods, spices and amber including several essential oils such as Sandalwood, Patchouli, Clary Sage, Vetiver, Mandarin, Lemon, Grapefruit, and Neroli.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking 25 miles to school every morning....
Uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways….Yadda, yadda, yadda
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it.
But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.
You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia!
I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue.
There was no email. We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen... Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take, like, a week to get there.
Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us.
There were no MP3' s or Napsters! If you wanted to steal music, you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning of the song. There were no CD players. We had tape decks in our car.
My grandpa had an 8-track. Oh yeah. Did you even ever see one of those? In A CAR?
We didn't have crap like Call Waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal.
And we didn't have Caller ID. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know. You had to pick it up and take your chances.
We didn't have any fancy Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had PONG. Pong rocked. Of course nowadays, if you put Pong on the tv, kids would look at you and be like, "what is this lame game?"
Then came Atari with games like Space Invaders and Asteroids. Your guy was a little square. There were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen. The game just kept getting faster and faster until you died!
You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on TV. You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel. NO REMOTES. A lot of TVs were still black and white. At least in my house.
There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!
And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove.
You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!
What do YOU remember??
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Debbie Chialtas, of Soapy Love, for her creative coconut shaped soap. Take a look:
Debbie will get 1 months advertising for free on The Soap Bar blog.
All of the straight coconut scents, as I had feared, left me wanting more, desiring that nutty milk that I could almost smell but that turned into a plastic-y sad something else. The soaps smelled very nice, but all of the soaps that I received had a common cousin, so to speak. Do not get me wrong. Every soap smelled good. Just not quite like a coconut..... Like the inside of a Mounds.
You know what I mean.
Here are the lovely soaps that came to my door. Every soap maker was kind enough, brave enough and generous enough to get their bars to me for the challenge and I take my fancy hat off to them. Thank you, thank you.