Friday, December 28, 2007

Debut of Devo4 - Our Newest Natural Perfume

I'm so excited about this new perfume! It's been in the works since November, 2006 and I'm really happy with how it's turned out.

The main notes are Vanilla and Bitter Orange, supported by Patchouli. It also contains splashes of Himalyan Cedarwood, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, and just a touch of Black Pepper. And all of these essential oils are in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.

A huge thanks to my friend Devon, who was the inspiration for this blend :)

We have several glass roll-on bottles available right now for $9.65 + tax.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"If you are ready to reject aggression, revenge, and retaliation you are ready to be happy."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things from my Children!

My children are loving learning how to bead :) Here are some of their recent work.

This first one is a choker using memory wire that Nathaniel (who's 10) made. It has a focal piece of aqua blue glass, accented with green freshwater pearls and mother-of-pearl chips.

The second one is a choker using memory wire that Elonna (who's 7) made. It has a focal piece of lime turquoise with green glass seed beads and wooden oval beads. She also made matching earrings using sterling silver French hooks.

The third one is another choker from Elonna, using 2 aqua glass beads and red bamboo coral beads and green glass seed beads - she was going for a Christmas-themed necklace :)

And the last one is another choker from Nathaniel. It consists of a blue resin focal piece accented by rectangular glass turquoise and silver beads with glass seed beeds. It also has matching earrings.

If anybody wants to see them up close and personal, I'm keeping them at the store just in case anybody wants to buy them. They do beading at the store after school until it's time to go home. And they absolutely love doing it :) They will keep quite for hours, with just a little help from me when they need some wire wrapped...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Looks like another obsession!

The last time I was obsessed about anything was when I started making candles and soaps, back in 2000. Now I have another obsession...

I recently purchased some beading supplies for my two younger children, who are 7 and 10. They've been making simple bracelets, rings, earrings and chokers (which I have available at the store if anybody's interested). So, the last 3 evenings while watching tv, I've been playing with some copper wire, and this is what I've come up with...
Nothing fancy, and I can spot all the mistakes. But it was so much fun watching me transform simple copper wire into something that I'm now wearing on my wrist. And it fits perfectly! I don't normally like bracelets as I don't like dangly things around my hands. But this fits like a glove :) Almost as if it was made for me - oh, wait, it WAS made for me, BY me :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Local Food Bank Drive and Sale on Lotions

We are collecting for the local food bank - Caring and Sharing - for the month of November. Starting today and ending 7:00 pm Friday, November 30 bring in a non-perishable food item for the food bank or a new item for a present for a child for the Angel Tree and we will take 10% off your purchase. The Holiday Season can be stressful enough at the best of times, let alone for families who have fallen on difficult financial times and aren't sure how they'll come up with enough food, let alone something special for their children. Please help us spread a little peace and happiness to those that aren't quite so fortunate.

We are also having a sale on our Body Lotions until 5:00 pm Saturday, November 3. Regular price is $10.53 + tax, now on sale for $7.90 + tax. This is for 250 ml. Our Body Lotion is very thick and non-greasy feeling. It sinks in quickly and helps to keep your skin moisturized. All of our Body Lotions are scented with essential oils.

We have the following scents in stock:
Lavender Orange
Grapefruit Vanilla
Indonesian Interlude (essential oils of sandalwood and geranium)
Secret Temple (essential oils of vanilla, sandalwood, and patchouli)
Challenge (essential oils of lavender, sweet orange, sandalwood, and carnation absolute)

Happiness Quote of the Day:
"Happiness is far too important a thing to be wasted by critics, cynics, and the quarrelsome."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Unexpected Store Closure

The store will close early on Wednesday, October 17 (at 3:30 pm) and will be closed all day Thursday. We will be re-opening on Friday, October 19.

My aunt has passed on after battling cancer for a very long time, and we will be going out of town for the service.

My thoughts are with my cousin and her partner in this very tough time, and with my mother (and the rest of my aunts and uncle).

I'm happy that my aunt is now at peace - she has suffered miserably from this horrible disease and now she is able to go on free of pain.

Today's Happiness Quote:
"Think of fear as a grain of sand and joy as the highest mountain."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What "haven't" we made?

We certainly have been busy since our last message.

We've made 2 batches of our Stick Incense - Bamboo and Biscotti.

We've made several batches of tarts - Biscotti, Buttercream Crunch, Buttery Gingerbread, Casablanca Lily, Cinnamon Bun, Cinnamon Stick, Cranberry, and Cucumber Ivy Mint.

We still have lots to make, but we're going back to the Fun and Funky soaps for now. As soon as we have finished them all, we'll be going back to making the incense and tarts.

Happiness Quote of the Day:
"There's no happiness to be found in tyranny."

Friday, September 7, 2007

Oodles of Soap!

We have been busy busy busy the last few days making our Fun and Funky soap! Now on the shelves are: Creamy Vanilla, Cucumber (a new one for us), Dark Rich Chocolate, Dreamy, Energy, English Rain, Fantasy, Freesia, and Fuzzy Peach (yes, we're going alphabetically!).

Over the next few days we're taking a breather from soap and working on other items. We're in the process of restocking our incense sticks as well as our tarts. We're also working on soy container candles in stainless steel tins. We're still in the testing stage, so we'll be burning them at the store to see how well they do. As soon as we're happy with their performance we'll be introducing them to our customers.

It's supposed to be a beautiful day today :)

Must get back to work - the wax for the tarts is almost melted...

Happiness Quote of the Day:
"Happiness can be found in other people's words. But not in being forced to speak them yourself."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cranberry Fig Fun and Funky Soap

I just returned from a wonderful couple of vacation days :) We didn't go anywhere, but it was my son's 10th birthday and I wanted to prepare for that, rather than be at the store all day. It's hard to believe that my baby boy has hit the double digits - time to teach him how to do his own laundry! ;) Katerina managed the store while I was gone, and it was a lot of fun playing hookey :) Being the boss has its perqs

We did get one new batch of Fun and Funky Soap made before going on vacation - Cranberry Fig. We'll be making more over the next couple of days - gotta get those shelves filled!

The nights are certainly cooling down. Fall is definitely in the air, and the days are simply gorgeous! Not too hot, sunny, with the occasional rain. It's all good!

Well, best get back to work now, or we won't have any new soap made today!

Happiness Quote of the Day:
"Happiness lies in putting off 'til the day after tomorrow what you can do tomorrow!" - I don't always feel like this, but it sure was nice while having a few days off!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More Fun and Funky Soap Made!

We have more Fun and Funky soap logs made and out on the shelves. Pomegranate, Mango Mango, Christmas Potpourri, Dark Rich Chocolate, and Coconut.

We also made a batch of Secret Temple Bath Melts, scented with oils of vanilla, sandalwood, and patchouli. A very yummy-licious, seductive scent :)

We don't have a Happiness quote today. I am playing hookie from work today to enjoy the sunny day with my kids, and my Happiness book is at the store (I'm updating the blog with this very small post from home).

I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

More Fun and Funky Soap

On Saturday, we didn't quite get as many batches of Fun and Funky soap made as we had hoped. We only made 3 batches - Challenge, Chamomile, and Chamomile Bergamot. We hope to get a few more batches made today, but we have some orders to fill first. We'll post an update as soon as we get more made :)

I need to put together an email newsletter today. I'm still not sure what we're going to put on special for the upcoming week... I think I'll hold off on any specials and instead get on the ball and start making some soy candles in tins, scented with essential oils... Once I have some of those ready we'll price them at a special Introductory Price.

I've been doing some more research on herbs & botanicals for our Herbal Teas. My daughter unfortunately inherited the same genes I have for poor eyesight. I've been drinking bilberry tea a lot lately, as it's supposed to be wonderful for improving eyesight and helping to repair eye damage from diseases, etc. So my daughter (who's 7) was all excited about trying some. I made some for her last night and boy, she did not like it :) I think she was thinking it would be more sweet. I think I'll try making it into an iced tea for her, and add a little bit of honey to sweeten it up just a tad. I'm looking at sourcing some dried bilberries (either organic or wildcrafted) to purchase in bulk so I can offer it here at the store. I will also be creating some information cards for the herbs & botanicals that we sell at the store with what they can be useful for and how much to use for tea. I was surprised how tasty a straight cinnamon tea is. I have tried it in blends before, and I was expecting a much spicier taste. But it's rather sweet, along with the spice.

And due to several requests, we are introducing our Soap Grab Bags! These have 3 end slices of soap in each bag, and each bag weighs between 175 and 200 g. You don't get to find out what types of soap are in each bag until after purchase (we do include the soap label with ingredients on each slice), but you can see one slice through the window in the bag :) Each bag is $2.63 + tax. We just introduced them yesterday, and have already sold several of them :)

Happiness Quote of the Day:
"Happiness is not about public opinion."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Chai Tea Fun & Funky Soap

We're now working on restocking all our Fun & Funky Soap - we were sold out of most of them and in the next few days they should be completely stocked up again!

Yesterday we made our Chai Tea - a spicy-scented soap that really does smell like a cinnamony chai tea.

We'll be working on several more types today - we hope to have another 7 made today. We'll update the blog on Tuesday when we get back into the store with what types we made :)

Today, we have thunderstorms forecast. I absolutely love watching & listening to thunderstorms. The rain pouring down in sheets, the quick flash of lightning, and counting the seconds until the BOOM to see how far away the lightning was. I can literally feel the electricity in the air. When I'm home during a storm, I can usually be found sitting on the front deck taking in all Mother Nature's majesty. It grabs my heart to witness the power, and I feel extremely lucky to be able to experience it...

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"The happy person often walks, unshaken, along the path that a thousand unhappy people insist is wrong."

Friday, August 3, 2007

Juniper Alert Goat Milk Soap

We have a new soap on the curing racks - Juniper Alert Goat Milk Soap. It contains oodles of olive oil like most of our soaps, along with coconut oil, palm oil, avocado oil and shea butter. We've also used goat milk for the luxurious lather, and we've added silk to it, as well. And it has a gentle swirl of pink clay.

For scent, we've used a blend of juniper berry, pine, and rosemary essential oils - all oils that are known to help you stay alert. It's a bracing scent that will be good for a morning shower when you need a hand to wake up. We also have this essential oil blend available in 10 ml bottles to use in an oil burner or diffuser.

This soap will be available the second week of September - just in time for going back to school!

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Happiness is being someone - not something."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rant Ahead - Turning off Vehicles

We don't live in the Dark Ages as far as I know. Every day you either see it on TV, read it in newspapers or books, hear it on the radio or from friends/coworkers.... Our Earth is suffering from "Environmental Change". Global warming, no matter what some government officials are saying, is occuring. Our Earth's climate is going to be a lot different for my children when they become adults and my grandchildren (if I'm ever blessed to have them) then it is for me. And already it is slightly different now from when I was a child.

I love the ad campaign entitled "Flick Off". Every time I see a bedroom light that one of the children have left on, I yell downstairs "(name of child here), Flick Off!". And they're learning - I have to say it less often now. I used to have to say it at least once a day, and now some days go by that I don't have to say it at all. I have had to explain to the kids that it's not about saving pennies - it's about preserving our home planet. We need to make some changes, or Mother Nature is going to whallop us with a huge change of her own, and I don't think many of the human population will survive it. As bad as the movie "Waterworld" was, I think it had an important message. I don't think that it will get that bad, but there will certainly be some changes.

Anyway, I started this rant because of one main observation I make here at the store almost daily. My store is in a little strip mall that also contains a hair salon, a nutrition clinic, and a convenience store. My whole front wall is pretty much glass, and I see people every day park in the parking lot and leave their vehicle running while they go into the store to pick up the lottery ticket, or cigarettes, or milk, or bread, or whatever the case may be. Their vehicle is left running, with nobody in it, for sometimes 1-2 minutes at a time. Why??? Is it so very difficult to turn the key and take it out of the ignition? Does it take so much energy on the driver's part to turn the ignition back on when they get back into the vehicle? It doesn't save more than a couple of seconds by leaving the engine running, and yet by leaving the engine idle for 1-2 minutes when the driver isn't even in the car wastes fuel (which we don't have an infinite supply of) and puts emissions into the atmosphere adding to the "Climate Change" factor.

Seriously people. if we want the Earth to continue to be good to us, we need to be good to her...

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Happiness is in the warm summer sun... the red leaves of fall near you when your light is low there on the autumn breeze's on the warm wind near you when your faith is dry."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shea & Silk Soap

Last week, we did a new batch of our Shea and Silk soap. This is a very decadent bar of soap that we've left unscented so anybody can use it. It contains a large amount of olive oil, along with oils of coconut, palm, shea butter and avocado. We use coconut milk for the creaminess it imparts to the lather, as well as silk for that nice, smooth silky feel. The soaps will be out on the shelves the 4th week of August.

We have a new camera which we've been having lots of fun playing with :) Here's a pic of our Shea and Silk soap with our new custom made soap stamps.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Think of happiness as a kind of mental gardening."

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A New Soap - as yet unnamed

I cut a brand new soap yesterday and it's now curing for the next several weeks. Despite what the title says it does have a name, but it's part of a duo and until the second soap is made I'm not publishing the names of either one.

This new one is in our Silk line, and contains a blend of essential oils that combine for a wonderfully earthy, grounded scent. It has oodles of olive oil (it's main ingredient), lots of coconut oil for a fantastically sudsy lather, shea butter, avocado oil, and palm oil. It contains coconut milk for a creamy lather, and contains silk (which really does make the lather feel silky!). For scent imagine a blend of cedarwood, ylang ylang, vetiver, vanilla, and patchouli. I was trying to come up with a blend that would make me feel like I was sitting at the very base of a tall mountain in the middle of the night during a new moon with no breeze whatsoever to disturb the black, utter stillness of the moment. And I think I came pretty darn close :) It will be on the shelves mid-August.

We made it through our store's 1st Anniversary celebrations! We still have some cards left in our draw, so until they're gone we'll be offering everybody who makes a minimum purchase of $25 the chance to draw a card from the box. You can save anywhere from 5-25% off your purchase, or get an item for free :) This includes all internet/mail order purchases as well.

We have a new Farmers Market in the area that just opened today. I was very excited to hear about this, as I'm a huge supporter of buying local whenever possible. I'm currently reading a book by Barbara Kingsolver entitled "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A year of Food Life". Not sure about some of her statistics as she doesn't reference them, but it definitely makes you think about where your food comes from. And it confirms by own belief about supporting local producers. Unfortunately, there weren't any produce vendors there today, but it is only their first day open so I'm hoping that they'll show up soon. I'd much rather give my money directly to the producer/farmer than some middle man/grocery store. Good thing about going today, though, is I found out the name and contact info for a local CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) organic farm. It's too late to join this year as they're already several weeks into deliveries, but I'll be on the list for next year's shareholders. For anybody in the Elmsdale area, the new Farmers' Market is held on Saturdays 8am-1pm at the Elmsdale Legion on Highway #2. Please go out and support our local producers :)

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Happiness lies in becoming unafraid of change."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tea Tree and Lavender Soap / Store's Anniversary / Summer Solstice

I just finished cutting a new batch of our Tea Tree and Lavender Soap. This is our second top selling soap - it's received wonderful comments from people with acne that use it as a facial soap.

We infuse olive oil with calendula petals (well-known for its healing properties) for several weeks and then add coconut oil, palm oil, avocado butter and castor oil. We add alkanet root powder to the water for a lavender colour, and scent the soap with essential oils of Tea Tree and Lavender.

We still have some left from our last batch, and these bars will be ready to put on the shelves the last week of July.

Tomorrow marks the Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year. We're celebrating by giving every purchase (whether in-store or online) 15% discount (good for purchases made on June 21 only). Long Live the Sun!

And Sunday, June 24 marks our store's one year anniversary. It's hard to believe that a whole year has gone by already. It's been an absolute blast. Some stressful times, several "Aha!" moments while learning the ropes, and countless happy moments. We're celebrating our anniversary all of next week by having every customer draw a card from our Anniversary Box. Inside this box are many cards (one with each purchase) that entitle the customer with anything from a free lip balm, bar of soap, candleholder, etc to 5%-25% off their purchase. Our online customers won't be able to draw themselves, but we'll draw for them (and we promise not to peek!). Please join us in our celebrations :)

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Happiness can come free and unexpectedly - don't seek it too desperately. Relax and it will appear."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Massage Oils Galore

We put making soap on hold for a couple of days while we concentrated on making our Massage Oils. We made several batches of our new Trial-sized massage oils (each bottle contains 30 ml of massage oil - plenty for 2 or 3 full-body massages). Each Massage Oil contains pure essential oils (no synthetic fragrances) blended in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil.

We have the following types available:
Unscented - for people that want no scent or have their own essential oil blend at home they want to use
Lavender Orange - made with essential oils of Lavender and Sweet Orange
Grapefruit Vanilla - made with essential oils of Grapefruit and Vanilla oleoresin
Indonesian Interlude - made with essential oils of Sandalwood and Geranium
Secret Temple - made with essential oils of Vanilla oleoresin, Sandalwood and Patchouli
Challenge - made with essential oils of Lavender, Sweet Orange, Carnation absolute, and Sandalwood
His - made with essential oils of Bergamot, Sandalwood, Lemon and Roman Chamomile
Hers - made with essential oils of Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Clove Bud, Geranium and Jasmine
Sweet Baby - made with essential oils of Lavender, Neroli and Roman Chamomile
Mommy-in-Waiting - made with essential oils of Mandarin, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus and Sandalwood

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Finding your own happiness is like finding the source of a great river that has been dammed up by others trying to make you happy."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sage Soap is Curing

I made a new batch of Sage Soap on the weekend, and just finished putting it up on the curing racks. Sage is astringent, so this is a good soap for oily skin. I infuse the olive oil with sage for several days, and use that with coconut oil, palm oil and castor oil. I leave the sage in the olive oil so it has a slightly speckled look that is accented with a swirl of cocoa powder. It's scented with a blend of clary sage, bergamot, mandarin, geranium, cedarwood and sandalwood. Katerina was saying the other day that this is her favourite soap.

We still have some small bars of Sage Soap on the store shelves, and this batch of large bars will be out on the shelves the 3rd week of July.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"The world will not devote itself to making you happy."

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Citrus Soap, Chicago Blues, and Mowing the Lawn

I am standing in my store, listening to some amazing Chicago-style Blues music from the 60's & 70's on the CBC Radio 2. It makes my body sway to the Mississippi-inspired notes of Muddy Waters and then switch up a couple of minutes later to jive to the more upbeat rhythm of Chuck Berry. I'm going to to be a dancing fool today :)

I just finished cutting our latest batch of Citrus Soap today. It's a very uplifting scent, anchored by just a touch of spice. It reminds me of holiday baking. It's scented with the essential oils of lemon, bergamot, lemongrass and clove bud, and will be on the shelves the 3rd week of July. We still have some of our small bars in stock and ready for purchase, but we're out of the large bars until this new batch is finished curing.

This week I purchased a human-powered reel lawn mower. I'm so tired of the gas-powered and everything about it - the impact on the environment (use of oil & gas, emissions into the atmosphere), the noise - that I decided to make the leap and get one that is more in tune to my way of thinking & acting. I'm absolutely loving my new "toy". Although it's hardly play-time when using it. I've only been able to mow for 15 minutes or so each day so far, so I haven't even finished mowing our front yard. But knowing that I'm not doing anything to harm the planet while mowing the yard now makes my heart sing. I've actually been singing and humming while mowing :) Along our driveway we have a couple of lilac bushes. And whenever I'm pushing the mower in the direction of them, I can smell the blossoms from the other side of the yard. It's a beautiful change from the stench of gas fumes. On top of everything else, it's great exercise :)

I won't be using it for the whole property (I simply can't imagine mowing 1 1/2 acres with this). I'm in the process of changing our front yard into a formal garden with raised beds and walkways meandering between them. I'd also like to have a fountain in the middle. I haven't decided if I would prefer a round garden with wedge-shaped beds, or a rectangular garden with square/rectangular beds. I'm designing both styles, to see which one appeals more to me. But I'm thinking more towards the circular... I plan on planting mostly veggies, with some herbs and a few flowers. We'll see how it turns out, and I'm sure it will be a work in progress. But I'm very much looking forward to teaching (and learning with) the kids the bounty that Mother Nature will provide if we show her care.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"The path to happiness can be found by taking a good long laugh... at yourself."
Well, I should be extremely happy then, since I probably laugh at myself almost every day ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ancient Mysteries Soap

I just finished putting this soap on the curing racks. This soap has been my husband's favourite for some time now. He likes the slight scrubbiness that the ground chamomile flowers give it. And it has a spicy scent that appeals to a lot of people. It's scented with the essential oils of lemon and cassia. It doesn't have very much cassia (it's considered to be an irritant, so I only use a tiny amount), just enough to give it that spiciness. It's a bit of an odd duck of a scent though - you'd think that with lemon and cassia oils you'd smell a spicy lemon. But nope! It actually smells very similar to that cherry/almond scent that Jergen's lotion had when I was younger (perhaps it still smells like that - I haven't used commercial lotion in years).

Ancient Mysteries isn't made with my typical recipe, as it's one of my earlier recipes. It contains soybean oil, coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa butter and castor oil.

This new batch will be out on the shelves the 3rd week of July.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Experience your unhappiness while you've got it, you might never be unhappy again!"

Monday, June 4, 2007

No, Really, I Meant to do That! and Pirates

So, my parents volunteer to take the kids for a sleep-over Saturday night. I was going to just work at the store Saturday night and all day Sunday, but I was invited to see a movie with a friend. And who can resist a good Pirate? We went to the late show of Pirates of the Caribbean 3. I've always had a soft spot for Johnny, ever since the very first Nightmare on Elm Street when I was but a young, impressionable teen girl. As for Orlando, he's really just a boy. He was quite the fetching elf in Lord of the Rings (and I've always had an eye for elves - thanks to an old friend of mine by the name of Sean), and I can see the appeal to the younger crowd. But I'm not a fan of Orlando's looks - in the other movies I've seen him in (including the first two Pirates movies) and in the one interview I've seen he's just too... too... slimey looking and goofy looking both at the same time. But my oh my... He most certainly was a pleasure to behold in #3. In my eyes, he actually came ahead of Johnny dear. He seems much more manly. Perhaps there's a chance for him after all...

Now, because of going to the late show (and I did some shopping first at Chapters) I didn't get home until the wee hours of Sunday morning. And I slept in a tad since I didn't have any children that needed feeding. What bliss, to be able to wake up to your own internal clock, listening to the birds singing in the trees outside the window. That's my idea of the perfect alarm clock. After I had a nice breakfast of homemade steel cut oats with chopped up apples, freshly pulverized flax seeds and just a drizzle of maple syrup from a friend's maple shack, I headed to the store. I had grand ideas for making a couple of batches of soap, doing some paperwork that has been piling up, and picking the kids up in time for bed. The soap sprites had other ideas, unfortunately...

We're completely out of stock of our Sun Island soap. So I decided to make some as the first batch. This one takes a bit longer to melt, as I add some beeswax from a local apiary and it has a very high melt point (which is one of the reasons it makes a lovely candle - it takes a long time to melt so the candle lasts a long time, but I digress). For those that have used it before, you're used to a bold red swirl (made from french red clay) in the cream-coloured soap. I mixed the red clay with a touch of water so it would be a smooth paste. Put it aside. Measured out my essential oils of Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Benzoin (not really an essential oil but a resin), and Peppermint. Put it aside. Mixed all the other ingredients (including olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, unrefined fair-trade shea butter, avocado oil, and the aforementioned local beeswax) and started stirring. Realized after 1 minute that it was already starting to thicken so I poured some of the soap into the red clay paste and gave that a brisk stir to make sure the clay was well-incorporated into the soap. Went back to the big soap pot, and it was already like custard! So, in go the essential oils and I now have what appear to be instant mashed potatoes that smell eyes-watering strongly of eucalyptus. By the way, this mashed potato appearance is NOT supposed to happen... By the time I managed to get the essential oils mixed into the soap, I knew that not even Orlando or Johnny would be able to entice this soap to allow a red swirl into its midst.

So this batch of Sun Island Soap will have a thin layer of red soap in between two layers of cream coloured soap. And those customers that don't read this post will be none the wiser...

Thought of the Day:
"Man worries... it is our natural state. We fear the future, are rarely content with what has passed, and dread death."
What do you think about this quote? I think there are far too many people that this statement is true of. I try not to worry, as it takes up time needlessly. I do not fear the future - I say Bring It On! Bad things happen - Learn from them. Embrace life - all of it, not just the good times. Everything we experience makes us who we are, so how can we fear it? How can we not be content with what has passed? And death, it's just the ending of one chapter. All you need to do is turn the page for the next chapter to begin....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bath by Chocolate

Yesterday, we cut our Chocolate Soap. Oh. My. Goodness... This soap smells absolutely good enough to eat (but I "know" that it won't taste as good as it smells!).

It's a rich, dark brown colour from the cocoa absolute used to scent it, with sprinkles of "white chocolate" (really unscented white soap) on top. We used extra shea butter and avocado oils in this soap to make it even more decadent than our regular soaps, and I think that this soap - along with our Mocha Silk - is going to simply fly off the shelves.

It will be on the shelves the first week of July. Enjoy!

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Happiness does not depend upon getting other people's approval - it depends upon getting your own approval."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Celtic Gospel Soap

Yesterday, we made our newest batch of Celtic Gospel soap. This soap has been popular ever since we introduced it a few years ago. The scent - a blend of lavender, lemon, rosemary, peppermint and clary sage - is enjoyed by both men and women. It's just a really fresh-smelling blend.

We still have some bars on the shelf, but we know we'll run out before too long. This newest batch will be available the first week of July.

We're now completely out of olive oil and castor oil and just waiting for our new shipments. I have enough olive oil left (already measured and poured into a soaping pot) to make a completely new soap - and it's going to be Chocolate!!! Scented with pure Cocoa absolute, it will make a delicious addition to our regular line-up of soap. We should be able to finish it before closing the store in 3 hours :) And then that will be it for soapmaking until next week :(

It's an absolutely gorgeous day today here in Nova Scotia. The sun is shining, it's currently 16C (it was warmer earlier, but the wind has picked up a bit). The forecast is calling for a chance of thundershowers tomorrow afternoon - I hope we get one! I love watching lightning, or even just hearing the thunder if it's too light outside to see the flashes.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"There is no wrong time for happiness." Indeed...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Laurie's Own

I finished cutting a full batch of Laurie's Own soap yesterday. This is my mildest soap - the main oil is olive, with just a touch of cocoa butter and a splash of carrot infused sunflower oil. For those that like Castile soap, you will indeed enjoy this one.

I started making this soap when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia several years ago. I wanted to make a soap that she would be able to use while in the hospital receiving chemotherapy, and Laurie's Own Soap was born. Laurie fought the cancer like the goddess she is, and has been in remission ever since.

I donate 10% of all sales of Laurie's Own to the Canadian Cancer Society, so when I sell the last bar of this latest batch, it will be another $21.04 donated. Not a huge amount but every dollar helps, and my thanks go out to everybody that buys it.

I still have a few bars of Laurie's Own on the shelf, but they're almost gone. This new batch will be available the first week of July.

Happiness Thought of the Day:
"Happiness cannot be found by following other people. Find your own way."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

One Old Soap and One New Soap

I'm going to start at the end today, which is one of our regular soaps. I made a new batch of our Heathbell Meadows soap a couple of days ago. This is a highly moisturizing soap, with loads of cocoa butter and olive oil. It's scented with mainly lavender, and just a hint of thyme. When I first started selling soap, I would cut all the bars as soon as I took the soap out of the mold, let it cure for a minimum of 6 weeks, then wrap and label the bars for selling. Then a couple of years ago, I decided I would leave the soap in log form, and cut off the bars when they're purchased. Well, I found out the hard way that Heathbell Meadows refused to be cut once it gets a few weeks old. It's almost as hard as a rock and ends up bending my cutter! So, when I took the soap out of the molds on Sunday I cut it all into bars. It will be on the shelves during the first week of July

The first batch of soap that I made is a new to us soap, and it smells absolutely scrumptious!!! We're calling it Mocha Silk, and it will be available during the last week of June. It's loaded with olive oil (as with most of our soaps the main ingredient is olive oil), and also contains palm oil, avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and castor oil, scented with coffee essential oil and cocoa absolute, with a dollop of powdered silk (it really does make the lather silkier!) and red clay. Next time, I'll probably leave the red clay out. This soap is a dark, rich brown - almost as dark as bitter-sweet chocolate! - and so the red clay isn't even noticeable.

I took pictures, but I can't find the cable to upload them here. Once I find that cable (wherever it chose to hide this time), I'll upload the pics so you can see.

And the sun has finally decided to grace us with his presence! Yay!! My line is filled with freshly washed sheets, drying in the sun and brisk breeze. When I get back home from the store, I will bury my face in each sheet as I take it down off the line. I love the scent of sun-dried clothes. No dryer sheet or fabric softener will ever match the scent that Mother Nature blesses us with...

Quite some time ago, I bought a book on Happiness. Here's a quote that I'd like to share...
"The moment you commit yourself to allowing happiness into your life it will be followed by a string of events that otherwise would not have happened, as providence comes into play." I love that quote. In fact, there are a lot of quotes in this book that I enjoy and find very inspiring. I'll share some of them in future postings...

May your day be filled with sunshine.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Buttery Goodness

In between customers at the store (which is a bit more quiet now that Mother's Day has passed), I've been busy making lotion bars and lip butters, which are now out on the shelves again. We had been sold out for a few weeks, and I've finally been able to take the time to make more.

For your skin's pleasure, we have our Lotion Bars in Indonesian Interlude and Secret Temple back in stock! Our lotion bars are wonderful for extra-dry skin (especially areas like the bottoms of your feet, knees, and elbows - or anywhere you find "lizard skin"). They contain unrefined, fair-trade shea butter and cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, local beeswax, vitamin E, and essential oils. Our Indonesian Interlude is scented with the essential oils sandalwood and geranium. Secret Temple is scented with the essential oils of vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli.

And back in stock is our Bodacious Rose Lip Butter in our clear pink tubes. This oh-so-smooth lip butter makes your lips feel very kissable. It contains local beeswax, unrefined free-trade shea and cocoa butters, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, vitamin E, and Bulgarian Rose absolute. So for everybody that has run out and have been patiently waiting for me to restock, they're ready for you!