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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.

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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!

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!

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 🙂

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!

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.

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.

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.

I’ve been using ‘natural’ deodorant for several years now, and have tried lots of different brands.  For a year or so I have been using Lush’s aromaco deodorant – it smells like patchouli.  I’m getting a little tired of people telling me I smell like patchouli because of my deodorant (true story – LOTS of people have commented on how I smell like patchouli since I started using this).  It’s time for a change, and since I like to think I can make my own personal care products just a well as any of the major brands, I thought I’d try my hand at making my own deodorant. 

After reading several blogs, and watching lots of YouTube videos, by other peeps who make their own deo (it’s aluminum and preservative free, thank-you-very-much), I came up with my own recipe.  And here it is:

equal parts of the following:

  • beeswax
  • cocoa butter
  • baking soda
  • corn starch

2 parts coconut oil

Melt the oils together, blend in the baking soda and cornstarch, then add:

an antibacterial essential oil blend equal to about .15 oz.  I used the following, but there are LOTS of other EO’s that are antibacterial and could be used.  Next time I’m going to try a tea tree blend…this one I used smells like my lemongrass soap:

  • lemongrass
  • eucalyptus
  • lemon
  • bergamot
  • lavender

I tried to make this not too girly so that Joey could use it too.  I made 3 mini tubes (they each hold about 1 ounce) and we’ve each been using it for about a week now.  So far, so good, and it has been HOT here.  I mean, heat advisory, triple digit, don’t-go-outside-from-9am-9pm hot.  And my new deo is standing up pretty well to the heat.  And I like the way it feels on my skin better than the Lush deo I used to use…the cocoa butter makes it nice and soft.

You should give it a try 🙂

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!!

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