Tag Archives: Handcrafted

Sugar Whipped Soap Scrubs

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Yesterday my mom came over to help me get ready for the holiday boutique I will be doing next Saturday (more details on this to come!). One of the products we made for my table is sugar whipped soap scrubs. I love this product so much I’m almost willing to stop using soap and use this exclusively. (I did say almost didn’t I?)

Sugar is mixed with bath soap and whipped until it is light and fluffy and then scented with essential and fragrance oils. Unlike apricot kernals/seeds (which can tear your skin), the sugar in our scrub is very mild and can be used all over your body (except the face). Some of the scrubs even have additional scrubby action with natural jojoba beads as an ingredient.

The scrubs will be available for sale on the website and at the holiday boutique. Each scrub is 10 ounces and current flavors are peppermint, lavender and for the holidays, pumpkin spice.

I absolutely love this scrub. Not only will it slough away dead skin cells, you will be squeaky clean from head to toe. Even my little big mom will tell you “Use this scrub!”

Camille

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All Soap Is Not Created Equally

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This summer, while on vacation with Fernando in Jamaica, I came across a store selling naturally crafted bath & body products. Of course, being a soaper, I was more than happy to buy a few of the local bars to bring home with me.

Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub (bottom) and Milk & Honey with Ginger

Blue Mountain coffee is my absolute favorite coffee to drink. It was only natural that I would totally pick this soap. Plus my own attempt at making a coffee soap had been disastrous at best, so I was more than happy to try someone else’s. Honey is another favorite of mine and I grabbed this bar as well.

I finally got around to using both soaps and I have to say I was disappointed. It reminded me that no matter what ingredients are used, not all handcrafted soaps are created equally.

The first thing I noticed was that the bars were much lighter than what was stated on the package. The package claimed each bar was 4 ounces, but in reality they were more like 3.2 and 3.3 ounces. (Yes, I totally busted out my scale to weigh these) In my experience, most soap makers will tell you the exact weight of the bar or give you a range, but will not sell you something that’s under weight. That’s just poor business practice.

The second thing I noticed was lack of suds between both bars, with the coffee bar being worse then the milk & honey bar.

Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub

Milk & Honey with Ginger

My friend and fellow soaper, Danielle of skycovespa also makes a honey soap that is amazing.

Danielle’s Honey Bar

Look at the difference between the suds of the top two bars compared to Danielle’s bar. And with Danielle’s bar, I didn’t have a tacky feeling after I got out of the shower. It could be the Jamaican bars are not balanced between the ingredients used, but either way, I would not buy these again. I think that they are okay for kitchen/garage sink use because they will get you clean, but I’d prefer something else for whole body use.

Even though these soaps were a bust, I’m glad I got to try them. In the future though, I’m going to stay away from coffee soaps. I just don’t have any luck with them. But to drink, pour away!

Camille

Unscented, Uncolored, No Nonsense Soap

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This is one of my favorite soaps. I love how pure and simple it looks. And, while it’s my basic recipe with no frills, it leaves you squeaky clean. Once you try it, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do.

This is just one of the soaps that will be offered during our online grand opening. There’s more to come!

Camille

Herb Walk, Part 1

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Hey young world!

As I was going through my pictures from the herb walk weekend, I realized I had so many that this will be a mini series of posts. Now, let’s start at the beginning…

Friday

Last Friday, I made my way down to the Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, California. Mount Madonna Center is a conference and retreat center set amid the beautiful redwood rainforest about 2 hours south of San Francisco. It seems that their primary focus is yoga, but there is a school for children from kindergarten to high school, and there are continuing education classes (of all kinds) happening at the center all the time. Kathryn and my class was only one of the many held there this past weekend.

Two hours on the road and I’m here!

After checking in with my herb teacher, I went to find my sleeping accommodations in the Oaks Campground area. I had signed up for a private room, but Mount Madonna had many choices for how you could stay on the property. Some people chose to camp, others chose to share a dormitory type space, and some, like myself, chose private accommodations. I don’t really mind sharing a room, but I really wanted my own bathroom. Plus, I had been camping the weekend before, so I wanted to live a little more comfortably for my stay in the redwoods.

So, off I went to look for my cabin. I had a sneaking suspicion I would not have a bathroom, but I kept an open mind. When I saw the first cabin, I was completely charmed! The next building I saw was the toilets and shower rooms, confirming my suspicions that I wouldn’t have a bathroom en suite. Ah well, c’est la vie. I spotted Kathryn’s car in the lot and of course, started walking around yelling out her name. She popped her head out of Cabin #3 and we had our girly hug greeting. Finally, I found my cabin, #6.

Super cute cabin #6

After thinking my cabin was super cute, I noticed it was set back the furthest from all the other cabins. Then I noticed the little statue in front of it.

Ummmmmm…

Suddenly Blair Witch Project came to mind. Remember that scene where the kids come out of their tent to find little rock piles/statues in front of it? Yeah, that scene. Even though it was broad daylight, I already started to get a little spooky. Then I checked my cell phone and there was no signal. What if Blair Witch tried to get me? What if Freddy Kruger showed up? How would I make it out alive? Who could I call? When I got inside my cabin, I was relieved to find out the door bolted on the inside and I could see Kathryn’s front door from mine. I promptly told her that I would be screaming for help and that she would have to rescue me.

Yes, I am that kind of girl.

But, in spite of my spookiness, I still liked the little cabin and I was glad that our teacher put Kathryn and me so close together.

The rest of the evening was pretty calm. We had dinner at the center and then had an evening class where we set our intentions for the weekend. My intention was to learn as much as possible from the plants to be able to cultivate them in my own garden.

Saturday

Saturday started with a mini herb walk with Kathryn as the guide. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera on this walk so I don’t have pictures of the herbs and plants she identified. Some of the plants we came across were rosemary, rose geranium, Mexican sage, mullein and pennyroyal. Rose geranium is one of my favorite essential oils to use and I was thrilled to see one up close. After our mini hike, we met up with the rest of our class and began our foray into the wild herbal world.

1. Yerba Buena

We found this yerba buena growing right next to the road. It tasted minty and smelled like oregano. This plant is native to California and loves the moisture from being on the coast. It’s been used in teas for taste and medicinally when someone has a cold or a cough. This plant can be dried also, and will last for about a year.

2. Horseweed (also known as Fleabane)

A second shot of horseweed where you can see the top and leaves more clearly.

This plant is considered a weed but has so many uses. It had a very refreshing taste and reminded me a bit of cilantro. My teacher told us that this plant was used for bleeding, cuts and sprains. It can be used as a tea to help with internal bleeding and as a poultice/compress for external bleeding, due to its astringent properties. It was also used in the past on animals in poultices. This plant generally grows near animals/barns and can be found all over the United States.

3. Pearly Everlasting

Unfortunately, the flowers had already died, so this picture is just dead flowers. Sorry! I did get to taste the flower and it wasn’t to my liking. I don’t remember quite why, but it’s not something I’d make in a tea unless I needed it for medicinal reasons. Most people dry this flower and use it for decorations. (When dried, it lasts for a couple of years) Medicinally, this flower is used in teas for wet, boggy lung type colds. It is anti-microbial and a very good expectorant.

4. Magenta Lambsquarters

Here is a shot of the full plant.

I absolutely love the coloring of this plant. It almost looks as if the magenta color was spray painted onto the plant. It has a very strong green taste and is extremely nutritious. It is anti-inflammatory and full of amino acids, in addition to being full of vitamins A and C. You can eat it raw or steamed, but you only use the leaves and the top of the stem. It can be an invasive plant and some consider it a weed.

5. Purslane

This is one tasty plant being both tart and sweet at the same time. It is a late summer plant, and while some consider it a weed, you can actually buy it in Mexican grocery stores. This plant has anti inflammatory properties and is good for your digestion system. It has also been shown to heal ulcers. It can be eaten every day but only the leaves and tops of the plant should be used. This plant is also high in omega 3 & 6’s. My teacher mentioned that chickens love it.

I’m going to take a quick break but should have Part 2 up shortly.

-Camille

Herb Walk

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Happy Friday everyone!

This weekend I’m meeting up with my good friend Kathryn for an herb walk in the Santa Cruz mountains. We met in an herb class last November, and since then, have been making tinctures, salves and all kinds of goodies together. I’ve been really looking forward to this weekend because while I know how to use herbs, I have a hard time identifying them in the wild. Northern California has an abundance of wild herbs, so I can’t wait to get out there. I’ll be taking a ton of pictures to share with all of you.

Speaking of Kathryn, she owns a fantastic herb shop in Cambria, California called Heart’s Ease.

Heart’s Ease Shop

A few weeks ago, my family went down to Cambria and we hung out in her shop. None of us wanted to leave. There were herbs, soaps, lotions, oils, jewelry, perfume and the most amazing backyard garden. She even has two little fairy villages in the garden! Kathryn’s store really does need it’s own post to do it justice, so stay tuned because it’s coming.

Have a great weekend!

-Camille

Online Store Update

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It’s Wednesday again, and I have to ask, where has summer gone?

Today’s post is going to be a short one, but I wanted to give you a quick update about our online store. We’ve been building up inventory and should have a small online store mid September. We’re going to start with several of our most popular blends and add to the mix.

There will be special deals with our grand opening that you will not want to miss!

-Camille

Wine Soap

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Since I made beer soap, I couldn’t leave wine soap out.

These bars were made with Tableaux Red Table Wine and my usual soap recipe. Since this is a complete experiment, I wasn’t sure how the bars were going to turn out and I’m not sure just how soapy they will be. But that’s the fun part when you make soap. You never quite know what you are going to get…

Anyone want to try out the bars with me? I have 5 to give away when the bars are fully cured. (Around August 10th)

Have a great weekend everyone!

­-Camille