Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thyme to Blog Again

It seems (ha!) I've been remiss in writing posts here.  I've maintained but not increased!  This needs to change, and I'm working on it now.

I've gone through some changes in the last couple of years - some major changes.  My partner of 9 1/2 years is gone now - for 2 years.  Things had degraded so bad, I wasn't sure I would be able to continue being a professional soap maker.  The land around our home had become a landfill (partner bringing home "treasures" found in "dumps"), our home had become a mess, and our hearts were broken.  My 16 yr old son was scared to death and took his frustration out on me.

Through the mire and the muck, we turned things around.

Except for my school loan, I'm now debt free.  The land around our home is cleaned up 90% with 5 cords of wood, presently, for the coming winter.  We now have a well with running water in the home...a new development.  I spring cleaned my home last late winter, and it's clean and clutter free.  My soap making ingredients are all organized and easy to access.  Our hearts are mended, too.  My (now) 18 yr old son and I are very close with few frustrations.  And, I've been able to continue slowly build my business and maintain self-employment.  Also, as with so many other times, other family relations began to improve, as well.  It's amazingly true, but once I begin to put my own life in order, other outer situations seemed to fix themselves!

So now, 2+ years later, things are much better than they were.  We have enjoyed improvements in our finances, environment, and feelings.  Life is good again, and it is thyme to now start building on our improvements.  We no longer need to mend, we need to build on what was made good.

My son is enjoying a relationship with another 2 years now.  And, we've become a family.  This family is full of love, hope, encouragement, and help.  I think I'm ready to focus more time on the business end of things and to build on that.  I hope you forgive me for the lapse of posts and enjoy what is to come.  In the meantime, enjoy some pics of a new family!

Thanks for reading...Kathleen

Local Farmer's Market 2013

Jeremy n Paige

Michael n Maddox

market day

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lip Tints Are Here To Stay!!!

Hi again.

I'm here to tell you about a new product.   Oh, yes, I've tried them in the past, but I kept banging me head against the wall using Lanolin in my recipe.  I was determined to use Lanolin, because that is a good medium for lipstick, it is said.

Using lanolin, my lip tints became hard and sticky.   Color did show up but not as I would have it....smooth and silky.  I would get frustrated with the quality of my lip tint, then take it back out of my shop and display.  I did this twice in two years.  It certainly posed a challenge.  Was I up to it?  Could I make my lip tint smooth and silky and with a bit more color?

I love my lip balms, but sometimes I like a bit of color to my face without wearing make up.  Even though I make products that I don't particularly enjoy myself, I am more motivated if I do.  Apparently, I was motivated.   Three things were changed in this attempt, and all three seem to show such good results.

1.  Well, lanolin is not the only medium!  So, I went to the drawing board for a third time a couple of weeks ago.   I decided to try castor oil and eliminate lanolin altogether.  I don't use lanolin in any of my other products.  I just had some on hand out of curiosity and thought this would be a good use for something I don't use anywhere else.  (Guess I won't be buying any more lanolin for awhile.)  Truthfully, I thought the tint would be too soft.  I really thought I was going to have to do a mix.  But, for now, I'd try this tint with castor oil only. 

2.  Another new tack I took was mixing my color before I made the tint instead of mixing it in the warmed liquid of the tint.  I mixed the colors as you would for make up.  I crushed the powders together to get that right color for the three shades.  Oh, that was fun!  And so much more efficient!  Then, with my recipe in the warm liquid state, I added a substantial measure of color.   It looked just like warmed melted lipstick in a glass cup.  It is beautiful, I thought.

3.  Then, I poured this lovely liquid into a .07 oz. slim natural tube.  These tubes are smaller than lip balm tubes..more narrow and finer application.  This tube can put the color at the top of your lips easily without going off the lips.  The slim tube has an elegant appearance, and because of its unusual shape, is easier to find in our purses and bags.  It's long, so it doesn't get lost in your pocket.   What had stayed me from using these in the past is I thought it would be hard to pour such thick liquid into these slim tubes.  Surprisingly, they poured quite well.

Have you tried one, yet?  Oh my, my!!!  This is my ideal lip tint.  Castor oil worked like magic!  This tint is quite hard in the tube, but goes on soft, smooth, and silky.  It leaves a color almost like soft lipstick.

This month only (February, 2012), for every order $10 or more, you get one of these free with your purchase.  You can even choose the color you prefer. If you enjoy lip balms and color on your lips, this is quite the product.  Bees wax, aloe butter, and castor oil make up the balm, and lip safe sparkle micas and oxides make up the color.  Each tint is fragranced with a companionable flavor oil.  I made Cherry Red (with maraschino cherry all natural flavor oil), Strawberry Pink (with strawberry cheesecake flavor oil), and Chocolate Bronze (with dark chocolate flavor oil).  They are all delightfully smooth, silky, sweetly fragranced, and lovely to wear.  You may want one of each!!!

Thank you!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!!

Decorating a tree has been on the Solstice for my family has been something I've done for more than a decade now.  It's late compared to everyone else, but it is my way of celebrating the longest night of the year! 

Today, I'm decorating a real tree Jeremy, my 16 year old son, and his friend will chop down for me.  I'll put Christmas music on and make some hot chocolate and decorate the tree.  It's also "Mom" time. 

Mom has passed on two years ago.  But, I have a lot of "Mom" times....whenever I'm in the kitchen baking or cooking a big meal (I always got to help).  As an adult, I called Mom many times to ask her how to cook or bake something in particular; ...crocheting, doing crossword puzzles, and other odd times.  But, decorating a tree was something she really liked to do, and she made it special.  The tunes, the hot cocoa, the oohing and aahing over ornaments and lights and the finished tree.

Well, traditions change and remain the same.  As a child, we put up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  As an astrologist and one aware of cycles, I like putting mine up on Winter Solstice.  Same, hot cocoa, (real) tree and lights, etc., but not the same day.

Why they call it the first day of Winter is beyond me.  Almost all of the time, winter weather has already come upon us.  But, it definitely is the longest night and shortest day of the year.  And, while Jeremy is growing up, I let him stay up this night as long as he wants.  After decorating the tree, he has something to look at and dream upon until sleep overtakes him.  

And, the best part of Winter Solstice is the "changing of the guard", so to speak.  The days will now become longer; oh yes, slowly at first, but it picks up as it goes along until we reach the Summer Solstice where it changes again.  Winter Solstice is dark, but it has the key to hope and longer days.  I love it for that and celebrate it with lights on the tree for brighter days.

Happy Solstice, friends.  May the light of days become more radiant for everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Facebook Give Away

Good morning.

I am doing a Salt Soap Give Away on my Facebook Business Page.  There are rules and everything!

1st Give Away
Rules: You have 24 hours from time of question to message me your answer.
One answer per person. Second and subsequent answers are not accepted.  You have to have "liked" my business page to qualify for an answer.
Each person with a correct answer has their name written on paper and put into a bowl for random drawing tomorrow morning.
The winner will be announced then. The winner gets a choice of a Salt Soap variety with free shipping (domestic or international).
Here's the question.........

I have 4 soap molds. I make 4 soaps every soap making day. Some days, I'm able to make 5 soaps. How is that possible?

Hint: I've written about this a few times here and in my blogs.
If you would like to participate, use the link above, like the page, and submit your answer.  I would love to see you win!!!

Thank you! kathleen 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's that Time of Year again!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I often laugh at the term "old school".  I think..."well, get with it then".  But, I think the term applies to me in this way!  I do not begin to celebrate Christmas until after that Thanksgiving meal.  So, I'm old school in this matter, I think.  LOL

My parents would put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  My Dad would work every Friday after Turkey Day, and then Saturday, we would put on the Christmas music and decorate the tree as a family.  This is when I grew up believing Christmas begins.

Now, I'm a small business owner.  I find that many businesses, the majority of them, begin Christmas even before Halloween.  I know, financially, it is the most lucrative time of the year.  However, I still feel the same about beginning Christmas after Thanksgiving, and I run my business that way.  I am only today putting Christmas packages of soap and skin care together for the Farmer's market I set up at every Saturday.  And, I begin my Holiday sale in my online shop Thanksgiving night.   Some things just stick.

My Holiday Sale:

For domestic orders - no minimum: Use coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS2011 - this will take off the shipping costs upon checkout.

For international orders - no minimum.  Do nothing.  I will reduce your shipping and refund the difference to your account.

For international orders $65 minimum, under 4 pounds: Use coupon code MERRYHOLIDAYS2011 - this will take off the shipping costs upon checkout.

And, this is it.  I send at least one free sample (soap sample, lip balm, butter, or salve sample) with every order.  This doesn't change with the Holiday sale.

I also package your order as a gift.

Thank you to all my existing customers, and I am going to appreciate all you new ones.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ~ kathleen

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shampoo Soap Retraction No. 685

Okay, no...this is my first retraction; however, I can see how this may escalate when there is no way to erase online comments, posts, and more.  And, this is important.

I'm continuing to get messages about the hard water and shampoo bar issue.  My last post on this subject was wrong, and I was corrected in this comment on the same post.  I went to the site to which the comment had directed me, and the answer to why an acidic or chelating rinse is needed in hard water was laid there before me.

Yes, I know.  I didn't make a big deal out of it, did I?  That's the shame, and I apologize.   It seems quite simple now, but the fact is that a chelating agent is needed when rinsing hard water out of our hair.  A chelating agent is a substance that makes minerals and organics water soluble.  When we rinse our hair with hard water, minerals and other substances that are not soap cling to our hair.  A chelating agent makes those substances easy to rinse out and hence the "final" rinse.

Since learning this, I've discovered a supplier that sells chelating agents in powder form and am curious if using in shampoo, would we need a chelating rinse?  My next experiment.

Again, my apologies for misleading you all.  I thought I knew something, but as you see, I did not.  I'm glad to learn this, and I sincerely hope you are, too.  AND, I am always open to knowing I am wrong.  Thank you for that comment, Anonymous!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Free Shipping This Week

Good morning...

Just a short note to let you know Free Shipping is being offered for all domestic orders in my etsy shop, as well as reduced shipping for all International orders.

This will run September 13 through September 18 9 pm EDT.

I hope you take advantage of this offer.  Many of you do.  : )

Thank you all for your magnanimous support!!

yours, kathleen