Mission

Lotions & Potions for beautiful skin. Herbs, recipes and information to help you be your best self.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Artzfest

 
 Artzfest is coming to Thomaston, CT, on Saturday, May 17, from 9 to 5.  It is a collaboration of art, music, dance, theater and history. The theme this year is clocks and turning back time celebrating Seth Thomas and Eli Terry.   I will be there with my soaps, lotions & potions for beautiful skin. Come celebrate with activities all over town.  Click the links to see the website and the latest news on their facebook page.
     The artisans fair will be located at the Center School (1 Thomas Avenue).   Potters, weavers, steampunk, and other amazing artists will be there including Dawn Hill Designs, gifts of a lesser goddess and Silver Moon Herbals.  Stop by and say hello.  This will be my first outside venue and I'm looking forward to meeting new people and a fun filled day in the sunshine.
A sampling of my offerings.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lotion

     Yesterday I devoted the morning to lotion; the soft luscious cream I use each day to deeply nourish my skin. The process is quick yet slow.  I mix the avocado oil, coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax together and heat just until melted through.  Then I whisk gently and lovingly and walk away.  I return at intervals to whisk again waiting until it cools and thickens slightly.  This takes some time.  I no longer stand and wait for this process to happen.  I fill the waiting with other tasks.
     I wrote down every detail of each batch in my notebook, I labeled the soaps I unmolded earlier in the week, I printed labels, I started laundry, folded laundry, watered plants and a whole host of other chores while I waited for each batch of lotion to come to the right consistency to whip in the aloe, water and vitamin E mix.
     When done it looks like butter cream frosting. I carefully spoon it into jars and label them.  I have so many amazing people who love my lotion that I now offer two size jars.  I still have the 2 oz. jar and now its Mama a 4 oz. jar.

     I pick each ingredient I use for a reason.  I write about the many benefits of avocado oil in Snow Day.  Coconut oil serves as a protective layer helping the skin retain moisture.  It is a mild oil and suitable for those with inflamed, irritated or sensitive skin. Aloe Vera gel comes from the succulent leaves of the aloe vera plant.  It is used to treat burns, rough or irritated skin.  It is a wonderful moisturizer that also firms and tones the skin.  Lanolin is the protective oil found on the wool of sheep.  I use lanolin that is collected after the sheep has been sheared.  I also use anhydrous lanolin which is not processed.  It is a thick, viscous oil that is most like our own skin, making it one of the best moisturizers for humans. Vitamin E works as an anti-oxidant.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Soap journey

 
  My friend, Mare, took a soap making class at a local store.  I thought it sounded interesting so the next time the class was offered I signed up.  It was me and one other woman learning to make soap in a small barn turned shop.  A hot plate was used to heat up the oils.  It was fun.  It made sense.  I would never buy soap again.
     I made soap on my own.  A batch would last a year.  Mare and I made soap together.  She bought wooden spoons for the occasion.  I still have them.  The first is retired and will be put in the fire as an offering to her memory.  She passed from this world leaving a mark on my heart.  She soon tired of the process.  I continued on.
     At first I followed the recipe exactly.  I tried very few scent variations.  And then, I started to make it my own.  I changed things up.  I played with scents, clays, milk and oils.  I had fun with it.  I still have fun with it.  I love making soap in the winter.  I would use the snow for an ice bath.  Setting the bowl of lye and water outside while I heated the oils enough to melt.  Now, I get big bags of ice and fill the sink.  It brings everything in close proximity which makes it easier.  I can get three batches made from a sink full of ice.
     The more I play the more I enjoy the process.  It has become meditative for me.  I have a huge basket I keep my supplies in.  I have transferred my lotion and lip balm supplies to another basket.  This simple act helped.  Now I just grab the basket and I'm ready to go.

     And the failures are almost as much pleasure as the successes.  The coffee soap foamed up and bubbled over the bowl.  I continued on.  As it dried it became bitter smelling and never really set.  The entire batch had to be tossed.  I will make modifications and try again.
     I take notes every time I make a batch.  It helps me remember what I did so I can duplicate the soap or make modifications.  It also gives me a record of what and when I made something.  This helps with creating labels and seeing how fast a certain soap sells.
     My latest experiment is bay scented soap. I can't wait to see if people love the outcome as much as I do.