Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

First of all - Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers, father figures, Godfathers, etc out there.  I hope your day is wonderful!

After last week's batch of Lavender and Lemongrass, I was itching to do a re-make on a lot of our soaps. (Maybe itching isn't the best word to use).  I actually made 4 batches of soap last week.  I normally make soap on Mondays, but because warm humid weather is approaching, and because we do not have central air, I decided to make soap while the sun didn't shine - so to speak.

 I noticed that I was almost out of Lemongrass - so I made a batch of that:

Then I discovered I was almost out of Country Roads  - so I made a batch of that.  
Actually, I made a batch of this a couple of weeks ago and the colors bled and morphed.  Good soap, but not terribly pretty.  I was thrilled with the way this batch turned out.

My Lavender stock was dangerously low (it's always dangerously low) - so I made a batch of that.  
I was so excited by how this turned out that I had to try an idea I've had in mind for a while.

So - I made one more batch.  I'm calling this one Americana.  It  got a lot of attention on our Facebook page.  Now I have a ton of ideas swirling in my head for some special edition Christmas soaps.

I have also been experimenting with different flavors of fudge.  We have added Snicker! Snicker! to our line.    Made with peanuts and caramel bits, that one disappeared pretty quickly.  

Click to see full size image

Next was a fudge inspired by Heath Bars.  This one has almonds and toffee bits.  We had a contest on our Facebook page and the winning name was Almond Toffee Delight. 

Click to see full size image

 I want to do a pink peppermint fudge for Fall and Christmas which will have some of those soft peppermints ground up in it. Then there will be a Peppermint Patty fudge which will have Junior Mints in it.  Now I am getting bombarded with other ideas from several people.  I have this summer to finalize all of this and then in September we start getting orders for Christmas Stockings. (Which we have been working on since January)  

October starts our Fall craft shows and we have added two more to the four we usually do.  And to add to the fun, we are having a change in leadership at our parish (where I work when I'm not playing with grandkids or making soap, fudge, candles, and rugs.).  Not only will we have a new priest, but for the first time in my time at the church, we will have a man as our business manager.  Lots of changes ahead.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Out of yesterday's chore list, I managed to do everything except package soap.  I finished a rug I have been working on.  I love the colors in this one.

Today's chore list included: Cutting up and processing sheets. Harold and I went to a graduation party on Saturday and stopped at a couple of garage sales on the way down. I found lots of sheets. Anna also found me some on Sunday. I washed them all yesterday. I like to get them ready for cutting before I store them.  I love the colors in the stack on the left so I am keeping those together for a pink and turquoise rug.

Evening update:
Oh, my aching back.  It has been a looooooong day.
I managed to get everything done that was on my chore list.
I made a batch of Lavender today.  For once I will wait to cut it because I won't be home tomorrow.  I'm excited to see how this one will turn out.  I did the bottom layer in pale lavender with purple jojoba beads sprinkled in.  The top layer is white with lavender and purple swirls.

I packaged up and weighed the rest of the Hunter's Green scent masking soap.

Photo: Hunter's Green Scent Masking soap, cured and ready to go!

I also packaged the Lavender and Old Lace.  I did a little more straightening in the dungeon.

I am finishing the last of the 10 stockings that I need to take down to Nina's tomorrow.  When that is done, it's PJ time in the big chair with my library book.

Monday, June 10, 2013 - Cutting Lemongrass Soap

Ugh, my big chore for the day is to get soap oils measured. It's my very least favorite part of soapmaking. I have somewhat streamlined the process, so it isn't as bad as it used to be. The part that makes it so tiresome is actually only measuring the hard oils. I hate having my hands all greasy, but at least with the coconut oil, soybean oil, and palm oil, I can scoop it out and be done with it. But cocoa butter - oh, that evil cocoa butter. In order to keep prices down, I order it in a 50 pound chunk. It requires a hammer and a butter knife to chip off the chunks. And my lovely scale always decides to shut off before it is all measured. Today I hammered the butter knife down so far into the chunk that I couldn't get it out again. Sooooo, I have one batch of oils measured. I will pour these into four smaller buckets and each of those is enough for one batch of soap. I think I will do several of these today and then I won't have to bother with it for a month or so.

The girls were here this morning so I finished my Lemongrass video from yesterday.  They like to watch me cut soap and they absolutely LOVE to sniff it.

Friday, June 7, 2013 - Lavender and Lemongrass soap.

It seems to be either feast or famine with my blog posts.  I actually like to blog, but there are so many things I like to do and so little time.  Yesterday I tried something different for one of my old soap recipes.  I love to blend fragrances and during the summer, Lavender and Lemongrass are my absolute favorite blends.  In the past, this soap has had a rather lackluster appearance.  Lemongrass fragrance oil results in a kind of dull translucent soap.  I decided to add Titanium Dioxide to the main batch before separating into colors.  I love how this turned out!  I did a video of this batch.  I have a new camera and while the video is much better, it takes hours to upload.

I also finished a praire rug today.