Lilac essential oil? It doesn't exist! However, I recently came across an essential oil blend that comes close. I used a number of other essential oils, the sum of which come close to how I remember lilacs smelling. After all, they are not yet blooming in my little part of the world.
I decided the best way to showcase this is by making a limited release room/linen spray. Right now, I only have 4 to sell, but I have more essential oils on order and should be able to make more pretty quickly.
For now, the idea is to keep this as a spring, limited release type of thing and probably just in the 2 oz spray.
New Product going out to The Tool Shed
These are the result of another collaborative effort between myself and The Tool Shed,,, Honey Dust in 2 flavors and Travel Gift Set. I am pleased with how they turned out!
Several years ago, I had a line of lip tints. They went over OK, but not stellar. In the last several months, I have been asked countless times, about whether I would have them again. Now I can answer YES!
The last time I tried making them, I had issues with the color "sinking" and not staying consistent throughout the container. Today, armed with an arsenal of new ingredients and ideas, I think I am close. This base formula is a bit different than my usual lip balm base (it needs to be in order to suspend the color), and I am still in the tweaking mode for the base formula, but I am happy to report that new lip tints will be forthcoming. My first sample batch is staying nicely suspended and the colors are kind of nice.
Now... What colors does everyone like for spring/ summer? I will aim for 3-5 total colors.
These are the ones I created last time and I am shooting for similar colors. Should I put them in pots or tubes?
Personally, I prefer tubes and if no one has a preference, I will probably use them. I have some translucent oval tubes that would work nicely for these.
I have been making quite a few of these lately! Whats new is that I have 2 new scents... Bewitched and Spruce & Fir.
Bewitched is an additional scent that I decided to release in time for Valentine's Day. I have a soap in this scent and now I have bubble bath as well. Its a luscious blend of lavender, ylang ylang, rosewood, patchouli, and vetiver.
The other scent, Spruce & Fir, is probably more for me, as I walked down memory lane making these. Growing up, Sunday night was my dad's "Bath Night" (yes he showered other times during the week, but Sundays was bath night). He loved to use these German bath tablets (I think they fizzed) and turned the water a fluorescent yellow/green. The only scent he ever got these in was "Fichte" (which means spruce). The whole house smelled of spruce! I LOVED it! This is my homage in all its bubbles (minus the fluorescent yellow and the fizzing).
... and I definitely have it! Yesterday, was the first market day of the East Side Green Market and today will be the first day of the Riverwest Gardeners Market. Hopefully the weather holds out!
But that's not the whole picture... we also have markets on Wednesday and Thursday. You can view our calendar here, but I will outline it in detail here.
Wednesday is the Waterford River Market. Although it has been going on for a couple weeks, This coming week will be our first week there. Its located in Ten Club Park, which is a quaint park on the river, in the downtown area. It runs from 2pm-6pm.
Thursday is the St Andrew Farmers Market which is on the north side for Racine (technically in Caledonia, but I wouldn't have known that without the market being there), on Four-mile Road. It runs from 2-5:30 and has been going on for at least a month. It was off to a slow start, but I think it will be a lot more busy as the season progresses. Getting there can be a bit challenging though. There is construction on hwy 32 south of Four-mile Rd and also Four-mile road itself, west of hwy 32. I have no issues getting there though, since it is a breeze to come in on Hwy 32 (rather than the hectic I94) and then a left run on 4-mile rd, Go down the road a couple country blocks and St Andrew Church is on the right.
Saturdays we are signed up for 2 markets over the course of the summer and this is where the calendar comes in handy. Early on, we will be at the East Side Green Market, which is in the Beans & Barley parking lot. It runs from 10am-2pm. If yesterday was any indication, it will be a great market. It has a nice, synergistic feel. Later in the Summer we will be at the Whitefish Bay Farmers Market. This will be our third (fourth?) year at this market and I LOVE it! Although it is right next to a busy commercially lined street, it is actually situated in a residential area with lots of trees lining the streets. It is not so much of a "drive to" market as a "walk to" market; usually with dog and family in tow. Of course, I can't neglect the ESGM for 2 months, so I plan on skipping a day here and there at the WFB market, to keep customers happy at the ESGM. Consult the calendar for where we will be.
Sundays we are at the Riverwest Gardeners Market. This is a new market for us, so I hope it works out well. It is in Garden Park, which is on the southwest corner of Locust & Bremen. It runs from 10am-4pm, so people have plenty of time to shop!
Beyond the weekly markets, I am also considering other events. At the moment, the only thing I am doing for sure, is the Waterford Balloon Festival in late July. I LOVE hot air balloons, so having a front row "seat" for the event is very exciting. It is an all-weekend event, but we will only be selling our wares on Friday night and all day Saturday.
Yes, I know I have said that 2012 is the year for paring down my soaps, but I love creating new soaps and a couple years I started soaping the full moons, taking inspiration from the names of the full moons. These are single batches that are not intended to be repeated. Essential oils are mixed on the fly as the whim takes me.
This year I have already made two of these... Sugar Moon and Grass Moon. Sugar moon was the March full moon and is ready for sale. The April one is not fully cured yet but will be available soon.
Sugar moon Soap I had envisioned as a sweet delicacy. I'll be honest.... I used an essential oil blend that I was developing for another soap and set aside, so I used that as a starting point and adding "sweeter" notes to it. While that was my goal, where I ended up was much less sweet than I expected, but really nice! I think my nose and palate crave more "green" in spring and this soap is headed in that direction. I used a whole mess of different essential oils like; bergamot, nutmeg, basil, cedarwood, black pepper, vetiver, japanese mint, patchouli, blood orange, benzoin, and petitgrain,
Grass Moon Soap on the other hand, was envisioned to be green and fresh and I nailed it! Stylistically, I wanted something more literal, but I am happy with the more symbolic interpretation. It is scented with an essential oil blend that contains sage, juniper, lavender, basil, lemongrass, may chang, anise, and vetiver. It also contains some clay (earth) and french green clay (grass) as well as the uncolored soap (air).
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....