I finally found the power cord to my sewing machine, so I was able to put into action, some ideas that have been rolling around in my head for some time now... Waxed cotton sandwich wrappers and lunch bags. These are simple in design and work beautifully now that they have been put through their paces. The idea is that waxing a piece of cotton fabric with beeswax, makes it water resistent and make the fabric maleable and moldable to hold its shape around a sandwich and keep it fresh until you eat it.
I toyed with several designs and finishing techniques, but ended up with the simplest version working the best in my trials. It is a basic square of fabric with edges finished with a zigzag machine stitch, then dipped into hot beeswax to completely saturate the fabric with wax, and then clean all the excess wax off to make it user friendly. When they are new, they are quite stiff, but soften up with repeated use.
The zigzag stitched edges are so that there is very little food and crumbs that are caught and held by folded over hems. The stitching is essentially "held" down by the beeswax. to maintain, all you need to do is shake the crumbs off and wipe it down, If its really dirty, it can be washed. I would recommend hand washing over machine washing and NO dryer. It drys pretty quickly just air drying.
I have 2 shapes for these wraps. The above one is for more "traditional" sandwiches, which are more square. I also created a rectangular version for sandwiches created with more oblong artisan bread or tortilla wraps (shown below).
Since I was on a roll, I also created some reusable lunch bags that have a shape similar to the tried and true brown lunch bag. These are also waxed and have a wonderful structure to them. I have several different models, and lots of fun colorsfor spring so there should be something for everyone. There is even one, I am tempted to use as a purse!
I was accepted into a new event called RitzCrafters in Madison and it was held last weekend. First off, Thanks to all that came out!
Since it was held at the high Noon Saloon, which is a great location, but a bit tight for a art/craft event, we were all allotted 6'wide and 5' deep. WHAT? I am used to 10'x 10' for my summer markets, so scaling down to such a small booth required a change. And I was allowed to bring my honey... which needed its own space.
Several weeks back we bought a whole hiveyard of old beekeeping boxes and pallets. Most were rotted out and not salvageable, but those that weren't, had STORIES. They are made from wood not readily available anymore, with names of apiaries stamped, burned, or carved into the sides; years of use showed with layers of beeswax and propolis. We took seven of them, cleaned them off, sanded, scraped and later waxed them to use them for my display. The shelves and backs are parts of salvaged beehives as well.
This is my set-up at the event. Sorry for the goofy lighting, it was a bit dark, so we needed lights and there was a series fo windows beyond my booth, which made picture taking a bit of a challenge.
I really like how they turned out, however they *could* be a bit lighter! What they allow me to do is to carry and store my product in the same box. Before, I would need to carry my items in separate containers and individually set them up on shelves. Now, I just set it upright, and do a bit of arranging. Works awesome!
Thanks to Danni for the following pictures!
I have quite a bit to report (that wil teach me to not update regularly!).
First off, I made some complexion soaps - one for dry/mature skin and one for problem/oily skin. I haven't taken pictures yet, although they are going to be cured and ready in the next week or so. To differentiate them from my "regular" soaps, I decided to pour them into my heart shaped molds. They will be a bit smaller than my regular body bars, but facees are smaller as well. I have loaded both bars up with oils that are high in linoleic and linolenic fatty acids, which are wonderful for facial skin. I also added silk, buttermilk and carrots
I have been using the dry one on myself for the last week or so and it I have to admit it is nice (now and will only get better with time!). I need to check my recipe to see what essential oil blend I used, but I have to say I really like it. It is a blend of oils suited for dry or mature skin. I also added silk, buttermilk and carrots
The oily complexion soap has buttermilk added as well, but the addition of rhassoul clay and charcoal powder give it a dark grey color and help to clean problem skin. the essential oil blend is intended for balancing oils and helping to improve complexion.
I think that is all the new soaps I have made. I need to get working on some restocks! Market season will be here before I know it.
I like to walk the line between the creative and the analytical. Making soaps and other body care products allows me to explore both sides. I am always in awe of bees and what gifts they provide for us. There are many things to be learned....