Friday, April 25, 2014

Beer! Beer! Beer! For Those That Like Beer

I'm personally not a drinker, and I never acquired the taste for beer.  But it's something that my hubby enjoys from time to time.

Beer soap is not a new concept and soapmakers have been making bath soaps using beer as the liquid for quite some time.  And likewise I have been using beer in my shaving soaps for some time as well.   Just like you expect with my other shaving soaps you can expect the same with my beer shaving soap as well.

The beer adds an earthy aroma to the soap that can morph some scents when beer is used as the only liquid in the soap.  But to help prevent this from happening I have decided to use half the liquid as beer and the other half as water.

I make each of these different shaving soaps in about 4-5 lb batches and they are made from scratch in my kitchen. I will make various shaving soaps in various scents that are ready to ship. In the title look to see what beer is used to make each particular RTS shaving soap. But if you are ordering a custom shaving soap you will be able to select the beer of choice that you want your shaving soap made with.

I have been using Blue Moon Beer for some time now......

But now I will be adding two more beers to my options.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager.......

and Guinness Extra Stout.......

So for you beer lovers, I hope you enjoy these added options.......


Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Fragrances #4

Order 4 of 6

This order came from a larger company that I order from and so in restocking some scents I also decided to order a few new ones.  But I didn't just order scents, I ordered a few other odds and ends as well.

Restock ~ Bay Rum
This has the fresh essence of bay leaves with the bright enjoyment of orange peel and zest. This bay rum is not as strong with it’s clove notes.

A charming fragrance of radiant sunshine and wistful floral accords.

NEW FRAGRANCE : Intuition for Men
A masculine blend of cedarwood and sandalwood with rich musk.

NEW FRAGRANCE : Lilac In Bloom
Lavishing lilac radiantly blossoms with beautiful buds of sweet rose and delicate lily of the valley.

NEW FRAGRANCE : London For Men
A masculine blend of bergamot, fresh juniper, jasmine and earthy patchouli.

Restock : Gentleman's Pipe
This is the cozy scent with notes of cherry wood, raspberry, vanilla and tobacco.

Restock : Barbershop ~
Vibrant Bergamot and fresh basil leaf are complimented by earthy notes of Oakmoss and white patchouli.

Notes of exotic tiare flower are seduced with a tease of rose and softened with tender orchid in an exceptionally beautiful blossom.

New Fragrances Order #3

Order 3 out of 6

There is another small company that I order a few of my scents from.  So while I needed to restock three scents from them I did add another scent that I had purchased a small amount to test out some time ago.

Restock ~ Rose
Just like a garden full of fresh and blooming roses.

Restock ~ Sandalwood
This is the woody bouquet of cedar and sandalwood with rose and jasmine.

Restock ~ Nag Champa
This is a classic scent with the wonderful aroma of incense, patchouli, sandalwood and dragon's blood. They work together to create this wonderful blend.

NEW SCENT ~ Black Cherry
This is an extremely strong and intense aroma of ripened sweet black cherries.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Non-Tallow Shaving Soap

In an email on ebay this morning I was asked if I offered a non-tallow shaving soap.  While I do have my DdC soap which is more of a croap than a hard soap and my KISS cream which is a soft cream I decided to bring back my non-tallow shaving soap.  The shaving soap will become very hard just like my tallow & lanolin version after the excess liquid evaporates out.

I just made up a batch and poured it into a log mold that weighs a bit more than 2 pounds.   From that just like my other shaving soap can be taken and scented an individual products.

The ingredients below are given in alphabetical order in the different categories to help showcase the different ingredients that are used.   However they will be correct on the product label in accordance to the FDA regulations.

Liquids Used : Aloe Vera Juice
Oils Used : Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba, Palm Oil, Unrefined Shea Butter
Other Ingredients Used : Glycerin, Kaolin Clay, Raw Silk Fibers, Sodium Lactate, Stearic Acid, Sugar, Tocopherols
Scent : Fragrance Oil or Essential Oils are optional

The oils in this shaving soap are saponified by both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.

This will be available as soon as I can create listings for this new product and it will be available in sample pucks, all the various sizes of the pucks that I offer, shave sticks and in jars.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Emotional Day..... Cancer took another angel home....

As some of you may or may not know but cancer like many has affected my life, but also in a very personal way.  

A number of years ago I lost my dad's brother (not sure what kind), and my mom's sister to brain cancer.   My mom's other sister and my hubbies brother fought the battle and so far have won!  But the one closest to me lost.... my mom.  She lost that battle three years ago to brain cancer.  But my mom had a rare type that mostly affected children, with very few survivors....  She was only the 11th adult to have that type of cancer.    She passed away April 4, 2011 and even the best doctors in Rochester MN couldn't help.  But they are only human and maybe her case will help someone else live or at least live longer someday.

I had surgery myself October 2012 for pancreatic cancer.  They told me it couldn't be cancer, I was too young at 39, people with pancreatic cancer tended to be in their 70's or 80's..... But I did have it at 39.... the biopsy proved it as well as post surgery of course.    But I got lucky had had the more rare type that is slower growing but still just as deadly if not treated as Steve Jobs found out the hard way.  But mine was also found by accident before it could spread, thanks to a blood clot just a few weeks after I lost my mother.   I just required surgery and follow ups..... But that doesn't mean my recovery was easy because it wasn't and even required an air-ambulance flight back to Rochester!  A month and a half of being in the hospital and the long road to recovery began.   All the trauma my body went through triggered fibromyalgia so I have my own daily demons to live with. 

While I was in the hospital in Rochester we, or rather my kids and hubby befriended a family who's husband/father was also having pancreatic cancer surgery.  But he had the bad kind.... but his family treated my kids wonderfully in the waiting rooms.  The mother, the grandmotherly type (also from North Dakota) would bring baked goodies (or her daughter brought them on their weekends to visit)  to munch on and shared with my children..... when the stay got longer than anticipated they even went out and bought my kids a new game to help pass the time.....   I learned today that Larry lost his battle yesterday... April 2, 2014......  

As his family wrote on his caring page, he has a new room now up in heaven....  
May you rest in peace Larry and comfort to your friends and family that are left behind. 

I guess it's an emotional day because of the dates (mom died two days and three years after Larry) all tie in together with cancer that lead little hope for survival.  I am sure their family cherished each day together thay had just as we did.   

I have a birthday later this month so I should be happy to be 42 this year... without my surgery I don't know when it would have been found, but given the survival rate of pancreatic cancer I know I would have planned my own funeral much earlier than living life to the ripe old age and dying of natural causes like my dad's mother did. 

And Easter this year.  While we aren't overly religious we do celebrate Easter.    I try not to buy a bunch of candy for the kids and focus on a material gift instead.   But they do get a little chocolate as two of my three kids have a sweet tooth that comes from their material and paternal grandparents. 

One of three three gifts was delivered today, okay my youngest daughter actually picked it out, but with the understanding she doesn't get it until easter.  Not even to peek or snuggle with the webkinz once!  It's hidden in a safe spot for the moment.  I think I will buy another so she has a surprise.  That and they are inexpensive....   

I've got a purse on bid on ebay I think my oldest will like.... brand name (new with tags from a reputable seller) so cross your fingers I can get it for a deal!!!  If not I pay end up paying the piper to get my daughter this one.  I hope she likes it, normally I let her pick stuff out because I want her to like it, but I want to surprise her with this one.   Yesterday she had music contest and starred on her two pieces so she is going to State Music!!!    

My son... I'm not quite sure for once what to buy him, he's getting past the toy age, so I am thinking a nice handmade belt rack for his ATA taekwondo belts.  He began with white like everyone else, but he earned the yellow, the orange and the camo (begins the sparring) and now he has his green belt.  So he has a few to display already.  The C-man and his dad did make their own some time ago to hold his belts, but it's not very fancy and was made with scrap lumber from another project.  Plus it's not big enough for all his belts.  But they had a great time making it.  Perhaps he can use it for his collection of western belts instead.   If you ever stepped on the back of a belt buckle you may know why I think of re-purposing it for that reason!   He has a few more belts before his black belt.  But I did promise him a BOB when he earns his brown belt.  BOB is a man shape punching bag of sorts.  We do have a regular wavemaster bag in the basement, but he wants a BOB so I decided on the brown belt.  Still a ways off to achieve it and work for it but not as long as waiting until after a black belt. 

Anywho happy thoughts and it's almost the weekend! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Fragrances Order #2

Order 2 of 6

There is a small company that two of my scents come from, although I do have more of their scents, they just aren't my favorites.  I have tried ordering them (same names) from other companies that I order from and save on shipping and I've always been disappointed.  Although I do have some left of these two scents and they are currently listed as part of my regular scents I decided it was time to order more.  I also want to be able to make bath soaps with them, so I need more to be able to do that!  But they are wonderful scents and I wanted to be able to continue to offer them to you....

While these two scents are listed under my Other Scents as they are scents that either a man or a women would enjoy.   I had them previously listed under masculine scents but I am moving them because they are a universal scent.

Cool Citrus Basil
This is a zesty and clean fragrance infused with cool citrus and fresh basil leaves. Refreshing and Energizing! A Bath and Body Works type fragrance.

Lemongrass and Sage
This fragrance is a perfect blend. Lemongrass top notes with a fresh, lightly herbal background of sage to smooth and round out the lemongrass make this one scent you can't put down.

But while I was placing my order, there was another scent I have had my eye on for some time.  So I decided it was time to order it....  Well Cleopatra Queen of the Nile was out of stock so I selected this one instead.   A friend of mine sent me some soap with this some time ago and I did like it quite a bit.

Salty Sea Air
Sun, Sand and a wave of sea air… inspired by the picturesque landscape and the fresh scents of the waters of the Aegean. You'll be transported to an azure-lined shore, amidst a salty sea breeze, inhaling the crisp sea air.

New Fragrances Order #1

Order 1 of 6

There are several companies that I order my scents from, and this is the first order of a couple of them to re-stock fragrances and essential oils and try some new ones.

I was running low on Old Spice so I thought I would order a few others while I was at it.

The last time I had ordered I had gotten a sample of Royal Water Creed for those that are familiar with Green Irish Tweed also by Creed you may like this one as well.  With a previous order I had gotten a sample of Royal Water Creed and found it to be amazing!  I didn't have much of it but it was enough to know that I wanted to order a larger bottle of.

Fresh and cool, it's an invigorating celebration of personal spirit and a tribute to the next generation of the House of Windsor.  Regal, refined, yet refreshingly approachable – just like the young royals. Royal Water captures the glamour, energy and power of tomorrow's international news-makers.
* Top note: Fresh citrus infusion with peppermint
* Middle note: Juniper berry, basil
* Base note: Musk, ambergris

The next scent is Eau D'Orange Verte Herms, and is one that I have a vague memory of, but I also know it's still a beloved scent by many men.   As a child/teen I grew up overseas as an expat in SE Asia, and there were a few times that my mom got a call from her sister saying my grandmother was doing poorly and didn't think she would survive the night.  (She did survive by some miracle, and although wasn't the same because of so many small strokes.  She passed away peacefully Christmas Day 1991, less than a year after we returned to the United States for good I think she was waiting for that moment.)  The office of the company my dad worked for arranged airline tickets for my mum and she left us immediately to return to her mum's bedside.  Since we had frequent flier mile plan with Northwest Orient that's what they booked her on between Hong Kong and Grand Forks ND and booked her first class.  In the 80's this was the cologne added into their amenity kit handed out during long haul international flights and when my mum got back home she gave those amenity kits to me.   I haven't used this particular scent before, nor have I smelled the original scent in many years, so I can't say if it will be an exact dupe, but it did have some really good reviews by others on the site where I ordered it from.  

Herm├Ęs Colognes are generous, figurative expressions of simple pleasures. Sparkling and invigorating, it carries the green freshness of an explosion of oranges with a woody signature. Citrus, minty, woody.

This next scent I have changed the name of to suit me.   The original name was Komodo which is an animal found in Indonesia, but since I grew up there as an expat as a child/teen and attended the JIS (Jakarta International School) for ten years the Komodo Dragon was also our school mascot.  Given the discription I decided to call this one what we called our swim team..... AquaDragons!   I was privileged enough that the company my dad worked for had places for their employees to go to for a little R&R out of the city.  One of the places was what we nicked named "the islands".  It was one of the islands leased out by Pulau Putri.  It had three cabins, each slept 10 so I always brought out my friends and each cabin had their own boat, driver and unlimited amount of petrol.  What kid wouldn't like that!!!   The other was various houses they leased up in the mountains known a Puncak, around the well known area of Puncak Pass.  Curvy roads and horses you can rent as you trot along the rice paddies and the busy roads.  Good local food and buying fruits and vegetables at local stands by the road are some of my favorite memories.   But while at the houses we had tennis courts and swimming pools to keep us busy.  One even had a pool table which was quite fun! And again I brought my friends with, just fewer than the islands because we drove ourselves up to the pass so that meant one or two friends depending if it was before or after my brother graduated.

Masculine, fresh, airy and aquatic, but with reminiscent notes of mountain herbal tea, lemon peel, lavender, jasmine and mint.

Given the company offers the option to try some free scents depending on the dollar amount of your order I also selected the following scents.

* Fresh Milk ~ Creamy and very sweet, with ever so light accents of creamy florals.

* Milk ~ Our truest milk fragrance. Great in blends, to bring a warm creamy note or as a soft standalone.

* Stetson ~ Ooooh I am a sucker for this one myself, and even though I know it's a cheap drug store scent it's one I do love on a man...... It's described as being rich, masculine blend of rugged woods and spice scents.

* Jazz ~ A hip masculine scent for its time, this refreshing, spicy, lavender, amber fragrance.

Plus 4 scents of their choice.....
Edited to add the scents they sent me are as follows....

* 212 Sexy type (womans) ~ Top : Bergamot and Pink Pepper ~ Middle : Geranium, Gardenia, Cotton Candy ~ Base : Vanilla, Musk, Sandalwood

* Moss ~ no description given on their website, I hate when they do that. But it's a very green and earthy scent that is quite lovely.

* Puppy Breath ~ Playful, milky with hints of dirt, grass and mischief. (pretty accurate)

* Rain Forest Bloom ~ Green ozonic top notes with a clean linen and wild rose floral heart ending with damp earth, moss and woodland musk.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Current Items On Sale ~ Ends February 26, 2014

I have added the following items on sale on my website.
10% Off Regular Price, you must use the listing marked *sale* to get the sale price.

Aftershave Balm

Tallow Shaving Cream
Photo shown is my KISS cream because I haven't taken one of the tallow label yet.  But the product looks the same.

Walters Shaving Soap (Jar)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finally Catching Up Since The Week Of Halloween

I know I have been lax on my blog posts, but I am going to get better at posting.   Sometimes it feels like there are so many things to be done and unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day.  That and I try not to take the laptop to bed and work in the evenings when I'm bushed and need to stretch out and relax.   Fibromyalgia makes me slow down and take breaks and not work long into the evenings like I use to.

But the plus side is with my knowledge about making these types of products I have been looking closer at the medicinal properties of essential oils, so I ordered 7 essential oils just for their medicinal properties to incorporate them into a solid lotion bar to help with pain.  My hands and one elbow is affected the most, so when they hurt there isn't much I can do other than take strong narcotic pain meds is to rest them.  So I am trying more natural methods of pain relief to hopefully get away from those pain medications.   I have just began experimenting.

But I do want to highlight a new product added to my store.  I do need to photograph the product and I just haven't taken the time to do that.   It's for a hand and body lotion that is made with aloe juice and goats milk as the liquid.   Before you decide that isn't something you would use because of the goats milk I do want to let you know that there are safe amounts that can be added into a lotion without going bad.  If you add too much the preservative can't handle it and it will go bad.  That's why it's important to buy from someone who knows what they are doing when adding perishable items like milk into a lotion.  

Ingredients In Alphabetical Order.
The label on the product will be in the correct order as required by the FDA.
Liquids : Aloe Vera Juice, Goats Milk
Oils : Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter (organic unrefined)
Other Ingredients : Dimethicone, IPM, Panthenol B5, Sodium Lactate, Tocopherols, Wheat Protein
Emulsifiers : BTMS, Emulsifying Wax
Preservative : Liquid Germall Plus (paraben free)
Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil for scenting the lotion is optional
If you order unscented lotion any scent you smell will be from the natural scent of the ingredients used to make this lotion.

This comes packaged in a Malibu bottle.   I still need to photograph the finished product as I have made this recipe before, but the last number of bottles seem to find their way to my kids friends who like it as well.   Compliments of my daughters and son.  But I need to make more in the next day or two so I will photograph it then.  The Malibu bottle is a bottle that sits upside down on it's cap.  The advantage to this style bottle is you use gravity to your advantage to get most of the product out of the bottle.  The bottle looks just like the bottle that I use for my aftershave balm but just a bit taller as it contains more.

It's filled with a bit more than 4 ounces by weight, but the label reads 4 ounces.

This is what my aftershave balm bottle looks like.

I do make all my own labels.   I keep the general label saved, and change out certain information as needed such as the scent name.   I took a screen shot of the front label so you can see what the label is, until I get it photographed.  The background is white not grey as shown in the photo below.


 It's quite lovely on the skin and I'm a bit picky when it comes to the lotions and creams that I use myself.  So I wouldn't offer my customers lower quality products than I would use myself.

The last few weeks have been really busy for me.  With more orders than the usual, and no I'm not complaining in the least!  But I also had to sew and make part of my daughters halloween costume.  She went as princess Darth Vader this year.  Not because she likes either one very well, but she wanted the "huh, that is so messed up" and I quote her on that effect that it would have with her friends.   I'm afraid halloween evening was crazy and my daughter was ready to walk out the door to go trick or treating with friends before I had time to remember that I wanted to take pictures!  When she got home she was pooped and was ready for bed.  After a few treats that is.....

But this is what her costume pretty much looked like except we used a real looking tiara from the jewelry section of a store.  My son had a light saber so I used the same pink fabric that I used for the chest piece to make a sleeve for the saber so it all matched.  

    But I did take a photograph of the chest piece that I created for the front of the black shirt.  I just based this piece onto a black turtleneck so we didn't ruin a shirt for one night.  That and the fact that she already had a black turtleneck so I didn't need to go out and buy one.    I stabilized the back of this silky fabric with a very stiff pellon.

Then I had to finish a baby quilt, changing pads and burp cloths for a good friend of mine baby shower.  They don't know the sex of the baby and they were going with browns and neutral colors.  This is what I came up with for a quilt.   It is machine quilted as well.

The burp cloths are flannel backed with cotton terry, just like toweling.
You can find those pictures here.
The rest of her gifts will be made after the baby is born when they know if it's a boy or a girl. 

Then another friend is having a baby, and I only have part of their gift down.  They know it's a boy and are involved with taekwondo so this is their quilt.   This is just a quick cell phone pict as I haven't taken the time to really photograph it.  But their baby is due in about a week or two so I had better get busy and finish those baby items!!!

Then this week was especially busy with PC items.  As I had orders for Aftershave Balm, Shea Aftershave Balm and Tallow & Lanolin Shaving Soap, all of which needed new batches to be made up.  The balm I make up in 21 oz batches but the shaving soap I make up in 13+ pound batches so it will last me awhile.

*whew* Now I think my "stuff" should be about ready for me to work on in the kitchen so I can get back to work and get those last three orders finished up this afternoon.