Category Archives: Crafting

Olio – November 7, 2015

Six batches of soap made for the December Holiday Market.

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Four cut and curing.  Two are cocooned until tomorrow.  After much discussion with others and self arguing, I decided to have my 4 signature unscented soaps; Coffee Scrub, Jasmine Green Tea, Lavender Bud Oatmeal, and Rosemary Oat.  With 5 scented soaps settled on are Lavender, Winter Mint, Bergamot Ylang Ylang, Mountain Man, and Tree Hugger.

To simplify the lotion bars and to try to make pairings easier, there will be Lavender, Rosemary, unscented, Mountain Man, Bergamot Ylang Ylang, and Tree Hugger.

As the beard oils are also Mountain Man and Tree Hugger, gift sets can be assembled for the Market.  K and I took a trip to Michael’s and found some small boxes to facilitate making sample gift sets.

I recently went out for breakfast with a friend and she introduced me to an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal essential oil blend in a carrier oil that she had been given by her SIL.  Later when I was talking to my daughter, she knew the oil by the name I gave her and another name from a Therapeutic essential oil company.  Figuring out the component oils was fairly easy and coming up with my own blend was not too difficult.  This oil blend carries with it a tale called the Legend of the Four Thieves.  After reading many versions of this tale, I decided to come up with my own summary variation and have printed little scrolls of the legend with the uses of the topical oil to attach to each little 1 ounce bottle that I have prepared.  Thinking that a one ounce bottle with a dropper wasn’t a very good way to carry it with you, some of the oil mixture was blended with a carrier oil and a bit of beeswax to create salve in one of the little screw lid tins as well.

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I await my shipment of more tins to be able to make a supply to add to the wares going to the market next weekend.  Our Farmers’ Market is mostly vendors of Organic produce or pasture raised meat, so I am hoping that adding these two products to the Comfrey Salve and Biker Bum Balm will be items that are successful with the crunchy crowd that frequents it.

My little natural first aid kit that I carry in my shoulder bag now has one more item in it.

Two nights ago, K and I moved two beat up hens and two young roosters to the cull pen with the meat birds that are destined for freezer camp next weekend.  Last night, Mountaingdad and I went out on a date night and K locked the birds up after dark when their family came in from getting pizza.  At least she thought everyone was locked up.  This morning, I found the remains of both hens and one young rooster outside the cull coop but inside the run.  There is a 4 foot fence around the run, a secured gate at the end and no evidence that anything dug in, so I’m not sure what got them, but it had to be able to go over the fence and get back out after eating.  Tomorrow after today’s rain ends, I will attempt to make the electric fence hot again, strung along the top of the runs and around the back of the cull coop near the ground.  Whatever it was did not get into the coop, so the birds must have been hunkered down somewhere in the run.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been knitting a shawl for a cousin.  It was finished last weekend.  Earlier this week, I got the ends woven in, washed and blocked.  It took forever to dry as it is a cotton yarn that she picked.  The package was mailed off and she received it today.  She is delighted with it.

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I hope I get a photo of it being worn.

Confidence or Folly

As the Holiday Market Autumn edition is only 9 days away and the Winter edition a mere 5 weeks from now, more preparations are underway.

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So far 5 Soap Saks have been made, one more currently in progress.

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The soap making station set up and Mountain Man is cocooned in a towel until it can be cut tomorrow.

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A batch of Winter Mint (Christmas Mint or Holiday Mint) is being prepped. What would you name it?Tomorrow when those two molds are freed up, or maybe later today if I choose to use the other molds that I don’t like as much, I will make another batch of Tree Hugger as Mountain Man and Tree Hugger coordinate with my Beard Oils and would make a nice holiday gift for a bearded fellow.

I can’t decide what other scent(s) to make for another scented soap for the Winter Market. My goal is to carry my 4 unscented signature soaps and 4 soaps scented with pure essential oils. What would you buy if you wanted a scented soap?  

A resupply of a few essential oils is necessary. I can purchase tiny bottles from the natural foods store, but I need to order larger bottles of my staple oils.

Perhaps I should get some small boxes and pair a soap and Beard oil or Lotion bar for the display.

 

Hooking Away

Ok, get your minds away from there, not that kind of hooking.  Normally, I knit and spin, but occasionally I pull out a crochet hook to do finishing work on a project.  I actually crocheted before I learned to knit, though I only made afghans and lace edgings then.

Before I did my first craft show a few months ago, I was weaving on a mini loom to see if that was another craft that grabbed my attention.  I’m into crafts that don’t have a huge investment in the cost of the equipment, and don’t take up a lot of space once purchased (ok, so the spinning wheel was a major investment and takes up a few square feet of space in the loft, but that was an indulgence that has soothed my soul a many of stressed out evenings).  I thought about adding Soapy Bags to my items that I was to vend.  A little woven bag made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen or hemp that hold a full bar of soap, with a drawstring top and can be used as a washcloth then hung to dry until the next bath or shower.  I made exactly one before the show and then did not even bother to take it with me.

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It is a cute little bag, but it took too long to weave, sew together, braid the drawstring and thread it through that I just didn’t think that I could make enough of them or sell them for enough to make it a worthwhile addition to my shop and supplies.

As I pulled out my wares to repack them in the little crates, boxes, and trays that I am using for the Holiday Market, I found the little Soapy Bag and thought again that this might be a good venue to sell a few of them.  The focus of this market is buying local for your gifts that you purchase for the holidays.  I really didn’t like the mini loom, but I still had a few balls of fiber and a set of several sizes of crochet hooks.  I knew that I could whip out one in a hour or less if I use larger cotton yarn so I set to work yesterday to add to the supply.

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They are very portable and I have two nearly complete, two different size yarns, two different fibers, two different colors.  If I work on them in the car and while sitting with Mountaingdad as he watches TV, I may get 10 made before the first market day.  Arranged in a basket with a seasonal bow, they might actually sell.  What do you think?

It puts my sweater on further hold, granddaughter might get her socks for Christmas, but maybe they will make a nice stocking stuffer for some Holiday Shopper’s loved ones.  If they do sell, perhaps I will get some in my Etsy Shop to go along with the soaps, lotions, salves, balms, beard oils, and yarns currently available.

For now, I need to go start a couple of batches of holiday soap and get back to hooking.