First Saturday = New Public Market day!

Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month, which means it’s New Public Market?Day in Fort Worth.? This is my favorite monthly market – I wish it were more often.? For all you Fort Worth locals that haven’t checked it out yet, it’s at the corner of Hulen and Camp Bowie in the parking lot of the ‘Into the Garden’ store.? Everything at this market is locally produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.? There are usually at least 10 different vendors, plus lots of other local stuff on hand.? A great selection of local produce, baked goods, tamales (my favorite!!), meat, cheese, homemade pasta, olive oil, honey and lots of other goodies.?

I’ll be there with the other local vendors braving the heat from 8-1, or until sell-out.? Would love to see you there!

new soaps in testing

Here are a few new soaps I’m testing out right now.? I’m working on my fall and holiday scents, and have more ideas than I’ll be able to do, so only the best will make the cut.? Let’s start with the soaps I don’t have pics of yet (either because I just haven’t taken them, or I’m not quite happy with how it’s looking so am not going to show you 🙂

Last week I made a spiced cider soap, with apple cider instead of water mixed with the lye, and orange, cinnamon and clove essential oils.? I also added some brown sugar, which gave it a weird texture.? Not sure I’ll keep the brown sugar, but it does smell really good.

Earlier this week I made my second batch of a chai tea soap.? It has black tea as a base instead of water, half and half, honey, and an essential oil blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger and black pepper.? Smells pretty good to me.

And here are my 2 favs?so far:? triple mint and Mexican hot cocoa.? I made these on the same day, and the smells mixed together and made the most heavenly mint chocolate smell ever.? I’m already thinking of how to combine them.

Mexican hot cocoa soap
triple mint soap = peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen. Spirulina used for the green bottom.

Next up in the test kitchen:? an orange pine blend and a white chocolate almond soap.? Too many ideas!!

another great YouTube review!

I’ve been busy sending samples to ‘YouTube Beauty Gurus’ lately.? Here’s another fabulous review of my stuff, this time by Kate on her YouTube channel about beauty products.? Isn’t she cute? (I’m not just saying that because she’s gushing about my products, promise).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9CivU09988&playnext=1&videos=BmoPcG674oM]

natural colorants experiment

2 weeks ago I attended the Lonestar?Soap and Toiletries Soapmakers Seminar in Austin – it was great!? It was a full day of talking about soap, which I don’t get to do very often with other people who actually LIKE to talk about soap.? Lots of great info shared, including an experiment that I participated in about natural colorants.? Thought I would share my contributions to the experiment here, as well as a link to the entire collection.?

I made 2 batches for the experiment (all that participated made a 1 pound batch with the same recipe and no extra additives besides the selected colorants).? I have had success in the past with lemon and orange juices in my soaps, so decided for this experiment I would try pomegranate and fresh squeezed OJ.?

used fresh squeezed orange juice instead of water mixed with the lye
pomegranate juice (POM brand) mixed with the lye instead of water. This one reacted violently - won't be trying this one again 🙂

David Fisher, writer for About.com’s Soap and Candle section, took all of our soaps with him and made this wonderful gallery of all 34 soaps that were made by different Texas Soapmakers.? I bookmarked this page immediately, and have already started more experimenting!

my tasty root beer experiment

Recently?I brewed my very own, from scratch (whatever that is) all natural root beer.? From actual roots.? True story – there are actually lots of roots in root beer.? Go figure….that fabulous, herby, sweet beverage doesn’t just come from a sugary artificial extract.? This was my second batch – I wasn’t quite happy with the first, so I tweaked it and tried again.? It is actually quite tasty!? And easy to make.? I researched for about a month before ordering the hard-to-find roots online (at Mountain Rose Herbs) and coming up with this recipe.????

ingredients to make homemade rootbeer
  • 1.25?quarts filtered water
  • 1/4 oz sarsaparilla
  • 1/2 oz sassafras*
  • 1/4 oz dandelion root
  • 1/8 oz burdock root
  • 1/8 oz licorice root
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 1?pound white?sugar
  • 1/4 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 5 drops wintergreen essential oil

NOTE – measure the roots and sugar by weight, not volume?
*sassafras was banned by the FDA in 1960 because it’s oil, safrole, was labeled a carcinogen, so root beer?today does not contain it.? It is a primary ingredient in old rootbeer recipes.? I decided to use it since it is such a small amount, but please do your own research on the subject.???

?
Add everything except the vanilla and wintergreen to a pot and bring to a boil.? Simmer uncovered for 1.5-2 hours.? Remove from heat and strain out the herbs.? Add vanilla and wintergreen, stir well.? Let cool, and funnel into glass or plastic bottles for storage.? Keep in refrigerator or may also store in freezer.???

concentrated homemade rootbeer syrup ready to be mixed

This makes a concentrated root beer syrup that needs to be mixed with soda water before drinking.? Use 1 part root beer syrup to 4 parts club soda or seltzer water (I like the seltzer water best)???

Tasting Notes:?
I really like this root beer!? It’s a little rootier?(is that a word?) than what you think of as root beer?and not quite as sweet.? Really refreshing, and I like that it’s all from roots and herbs instead of artificial flavors.? It is lighter in the glass than store-bought root beer, but I’m?gonna guess?that’s ’cause there’s no artificial color added to it.? This batch is darker than my first batch, though, I think because I boiled it longer.? Next time I think I will try brown sugar instead of white, and I might leave out the wintergreen all together.? Even with only 5 drops, it’s pretty strong, but gives a nice rootbeer?flavor.? I might also up the sassafras a little next time to make it even more root-beery.???

my homemade rootbeer all mixed up and ready to enjoy!

Did I mention this whole experiment spawned from me wanting to make root beer soap?? I figured I should know what goes in actual root beer before I try to make a soap that smells like it.? Stay tuned for the soapy version 🙂

my blogging confession, and body scrubs

I am a blog posting delinquent.? It has been 3 weeks since my last blog post.? I was doing pretty good there for a while and posting more regularly, and then, I just don’t know what happened.? I guess I haven’t had anything interesting to say.? Or maybe it’s because I always forget to take pictures of the interesting things I am doing and I feel like a blog post without a picture is not worthy.? Either way, I’m back from hiatus and have some fun new posts planned.? I’m putting that out there to hold myself accountable.? I feel better now.

Now, on to the body scrubs.? I’ve been making these salt and sugar scrubs for a few months now, but have just now posted them on Etsy.? These scrubs are, of course, all natural with no preservatives or artificial anything and are scented with essential oils.? They are really popular at craft shows and markets, and I have several customers who are already hooked on them.? They tell me they don’t need moisturizer after they use them in the shower – they’re that good.? I’m just sayin’.?? Check them out on Etsy (shameless plug).

sweet orange brown sugar body scrub
margarita sea salt body scrub - yum!
lavender brown sugar body scrub

check out my rack

my SOAP rack, that is. :)? Here’s my latest soapy creations, all on the drying rack right now and ready in the next 3 weeks.

margarita soap topped with sea salt and colored with ground parsley - smells just like the drink
pure patchouli soap with hemp oil - for the patchouli purist who likes it straight up
orange vanilla (dreamsicle) made with fresh orange juice, heavy cream and kaolin clay. Super soft and smells divine...may be my new favorite (but don't tell the other soaps!)

Where I'll be this weekend

This Sunday I’m doing an event at Lola’s Saloon in Fort Worth called the Panther City Bar Bazaar, and I’m pumped!? This is definitely?the one of the most unique event I’ve done…it’s at a bar and there will be lots of live music all day.? Lots of my fellow Etsy Fort Worth members will be there as well, so thought I’d share the list of artisans in attendance.? Lots of great stuff!

There will also be several bands playing throughout the day – check out the list on the event Facebook page.

See you there!

My first YouTube review!

I recently sent some products to?Cathrine (misscathid on youtube)?in Norway who does a YouTube beauty channel about cruelty-free products.? She posted a review this week, and I’m so excited!? It’s a really nice review, and I’m so psyched for it to be on YouTube.? Check it out!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk0jKbzpyZs]

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