a couple of new treasuries

This week my products were included in 2 lovely new fall treasuries, so I thought I would share them here with you, my faithful blog readers.

This one titled ‘Southernmost Autumn’ is a warm weather fall treasury. ?It certainly doesn’t fee like fall yet at my house, so this one is right up my alley. ?This treasury includes my key lime lip balm.

‘Fall is in the Air‘ includes all Etsy Fort Worth members and lots of lovely fall colors that I wish I was experiencing. ?2 falls ago Joey and I took a trip to New England to see what fall is really supposed to be like. ?It was beautiful, hot cider drinking, sweater wearing weather that I wish we had here in Texas. ?This treasury includes my soap chunks grab bag.

where I'll be this weekend

This is week 3 of the fall show extravaganza, and I have 2 markets planned for this weekend. ?On Saturday I’m heading to the Deep Ellum Market in Dallas. ?This is my first time doing this new monthly market, but I hear it’s pretty good. ?It’s right in the heart of Deep Ellum (by Cafe Brazil) and there will be live music. ?And raffle prizes. ?And a smart car rally cruising past. ?AND it’s a free event. ?If I wasn’t a vendor I’d be heading down there to check it out ’cause it sounds like a good time (hint, hint).

The Deep Ellum Market is from 11am – 5pm on Saturday at 2820 Indian Blvd.

Next up, the Beach St. Market. ?This is a monthly market I have been doing on and off since the spring. ?It’s always the third Sunday of the month, and it seems like every other third Sunday there is a holiday or something that prohibits me from attending. ?Ok, last month I was on vaca, so I guess that’s a lame excuse for not going. ?Anyhoo, I’ll be there this Sunday with some great local food vendors. ?Last time there was a local Mexican restaurant there selling fresh tortillas and chips….soooo good. ?I hear they’ll be there this time too (yea!). ?That reminds me, I need to remember to bring a jar of salsa this time….

The Beach St. Market is this Sunday from 10am – 2pm at 3789 N. Beach St. in north Fort Worth

See you at the market!

more swirly soap – chocolate and cherry and almond, oh my!

So I think I’m finally getting the hang of this ‘swirl in the pot’ soap swirling thing. ?I even managed to swirl 2 colors this time (this is where you ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhh’). ?This soap was actually inspired by a crafty friend, Stephanie of Robot Pop. ?She has become one of my ‘testers’ and has given me several great ideas for new?scents. ?This is one that she suggested to me, down to the swirl. ?I’m saving a bar for Stephanie for the great idea on this one – it smells fantastic!

chocolate cherry almond cold process soap, swirled with cocoa powder and rose clay

I’m going to make a bigger batch this week so it will be ready in October…I hope the swirls come out this nice on my big batch!

Clean the World recycles soap

I came across a link to the Clean The World site today while reading another soapy blog (Great Cakes Soapworks), and immediately decided I needed to be a part of this program. ?They collect soap (from hotels, soapmakers, whoever can donate), re-batch the soap to make sure everything is sanitary, and send it off to impoverished countries all over the world and to homeless shelters here in the US. ?They explain on their website that simply having access to supplies to properly wash your hands can help kill germs and reduce the spread of illnesses, like acute respiratory infection and diarrhea, illnesses that people die of everyday. ?It seems like such a simple thing, to have access to soap to cleanse yourself and keep yourself healthy, and something that I clearly take for granted.

Here’s the big box of soap I packed up today to send off to Clean the World. ?It weighed in at about 15 pounds, and after I taped it up I found more to send. ?I’m planning to send a box once every few months, or whenever I’ve collected a bunch of unsellable soap. ?Most of these bars (and pieces of bars) where early test batches that I ended up changing in some way, so I won’t be selling them. ?Some of them have been sitting on my shelf for months, and now they have a place to go! ?I’m so excited I found this site and am happy I’m able to contribute to a great cause.

You can donate soap or shampoo by mailing it to:

Clean The World
8026 Sunport Drive, Ste 306
Orlando, FL. 32809

Or visit their website to learn how else you can help.

my (very tiny) TV premier

This morning my products were on TV for the very first time! ?I’m so ridiculously excited about it…even though the mention was all of 10 seconds. ?I’m participating in a craft show this weekend called the Dallas Flea, and they are doing a bunch of press to promote it, including TV appearances. ?I sent some of my products to the event coordinator (Brittany, featured in the video), and she picked my stuff to include on this morning’s appearance! ?My products are featured about half way through the video, which I encourage you to watch here.

I’ll be available for autographs all week 🙂

whoa – it's a double market day…so intense

Tomorrow is my first day to have 2 shows in one day, and I’m a little nervous. ?I knew it would be a lot of work to get everything ready for 2 shows at the same time, but I think I underestimated how much work. ?I’ve been wrapping soap, making lotion bars, lip balms and scrubs and packaging like crazy this week. ?I’m just about ready and am going to set-up for the Cowtown Indie Bazaar later today.

Here’s where we’ll be:

The New Public Market is happening from 8-2 tomorrow. ?Word on the street is the Cooking Channel is going to be there filming one of the local vendors (Machacek Bakery) for their show Food Crafters. ?Pretty exciting for our little farmers market, and so great for the bakery. ?I won’t be at this market, but Mr. Soap Addict (Joey) will be ‘manning’ (haha) the booth all by himself.

I’ll be at The Cowtown Indie Bazaar just a few miles away. ?This is my first major show of the fall season, and I think it’s going to be great. ?It’s being hosted by Etsy Fort Worth, a group of local Etsy artisans that I’m a part of. ?There are going to be more than 80 local, handmade artisans, live music, goodie bags for the first 50 in the door, raffle prizes and activities for the kiddos. ?It’s a free event and goes all day from 9-6.

I think it’s going to be a great way to kick off the holiday weekend!

cuticle oil

A few months ago my mom called me and said she was having a difficult time finding a good cuticle treatment that wasn’t filled with chemicals. ?She was at the beauty store and started reading me the ingredients on some of the ‘natural’ brands, and they were filled with all kinds of unnecessary stuff. ?I offered to make her a cuticle oil, and then began researching what to put in it.

She’s been using it for a while and said it works like a charm. ?It also lasts forever. ?Since it’s a mixture of concentrated vegetable and essential oils, a little goes a long way. ?I gave her a 1 ounce bottle size, and I bet it will last her at least a year. ?I decided it was time to share the cuticle oil love, so I made a small batch last week. ?I bought the roller ball bottles from a fellow soaper who didn’t need them anymore, so I only have about 2 dozen of them. ?They hold .35 ounces of oil.

Recipe ?(this makes 1.4 ounces, filled 4 of my little bottles perfectly)

  • .75 oz olive oil
  • .2 oz almond oil
  • .2 oz jojoba oil
  • .1 oz vitamin E
  • .05 oz lavender EO
  • .05 oz rosemary EO
  • .05 oz lemon EO

Blend ingredients together and pour into containers. ?Couldn’t be any easier!

I used my trusty aromatherapy book for guidance on the essential oils to use. ?I chose these 3 because they are known to strengthen nails and are all antibacterial.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to sell these or not. ?I have a show coming up this weekend (The Cowtown Indie Bazaar), so I may just make a bigger batch and see how they go over.

swirly soap!

I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a swirled soap that I think looks good for a while. ?Every time I do a test batch, something seems to go wrong and it doesn’t swirl. ?It either traces too quickly and is too thick to swirl, or doesn’t get quite thick enough and just blends together. ?I even made the mistake of trying to swirl a light color into a dark and the light just disappeared into the soap. ?Oops.

Well here it is folks – my first successful swirl. ?I like it – what do you think?

pine orange scented soap colored with Spirulina

This is a new soap I’m testing out that I may do for the holidays. ?It’s scented with pine and orange, and colored with Spirulina powder. ?When I first cut it, it was this beautiful bright green color. ?After curing for about 3 weeks, it’s faded quite a bit to a brownish green. ?I think the color works for a pine soap, but I’ll have to try something else for a true green.

Happy Birthday Mom – have some limoncello

Today is my Mom’s birthday – Happy birthday Mom! ?To celebrate, I made her homemade limoncello – here’s how I did it.

My mom LOVES limoncello, and is planning a trip to Italy with my Dad in the fall, so I decided I would try my hand at liquor making and give her a (hopefully) super tasty treat for her birthday.? Turns out making limoncello is pretty darn easy (it has only 4 ingredients), but does require some serious patience. Don’t start this project 3 days before the gift-giving event (or 3 weeks…more like 3 months would be good – think xmas gifts).

ingredients for step 1 - lemons and alcohol

Ok, here’s the scoop on what you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle of grain alcohol (everclear or vodka)?- the stronger the better
  • a bunch of the prettiest lemons you can find (I used 8 )
  • 3 cups water
  • 2.5 cups sugar

Wash the lemons really well – scrub all the wax off with a scrubbie brush.? Then peel them all with a veggie peeler, making sure not to get any of the white part under the rind (it will make it bitter).

day 1 infusing

Dump the peels into a big glass jar and pour in the alcohol.? Set in a dark place and forget about it for at least 45 days (I let mine sit about 70 days – I kinda did forgot about it)

infusing day 70

On day 45 (or any day after that if you let it sit longer), make a simple syrup with the sugar and water.? Let cool completely, then add to the lemon mixture.? cap it again and put back in that same dark place for another 2 – 4 weeks.

I only waited about 2 weeks, and I tasted it after one week to see how it was coming along. ?It mellowed a lot by week 2, so I decided to strain and bottle it. ?I used a tea strainer on the top of a pitcher to get all of the lemon rind out. ?My strainer has a really fine mesh, so I only strained it once, but I’ve read others strain it several times. ?Once was good for me.

Here’s how the final product came out. ?I got these bottles at World Market and made the tags to go around the necks. ?I also put a recipe on the back of each tag.

I gave these to my mom last week since I saw her then, and we enjoyed the limoncello together, first straight up, and then as a bellini mixed with some champagne. ?It turned out very tasty, and I already have my second batch infusing.

Cowtown Indie Bazaar goody bag sneak peek

It’s less than 2 weeks until the Cowtown Indie Bazaar in Fort Worth, and I’m pumped. ?This is going to be a great show, sponsored by Etsy Fort Worth, a group of local Etsy artisans of which I am a member. ?I really enjoy doing shows that only allow handmade artisans, and I always have a hard time not spending all of my earnings.

I decided to donate mini soaps to the goody bags for this event, and the Etsy Fort Worth blog has a great sneak peek into the bags I thought I would share. ?The bags are FREE to the first 50 people to show up, and from what I hear they are going to be stuffed to the brim. ?Free goodies and samples practically exploding out the top. ?If I qualified for a free bag (I don’t since I’m a vendor), I would most definitely be there at 9 when the doors open to snag one of these babies.

Check out the full article here.

The Cowtown Indie Bazaar will be held Saturday, September 4 from 9am – 6pm at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. ?Admission to the event is free.

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