Saturday, December 21, 2013

Newest Shea Butter Soap -- Pineapple

It's quite the story how a new soap is born.  In this case it started 15 years ago with me learning to make soap, but, I won't bore you with the details of that.  Over the years I ask customers to tell me if I don't have a soap they want.  It may be a scent they just love.  It might be one they sniffed at a bath and body shop.  It may be a candle they have that they want to use the same scent in the bathroom.  For whatever reason, a have had many request over the last couple of years for Pineapple. 
Now, I just can't make every scent that someone wants.  I already have over 50 soap scents, and many more bottles of essential oils and fragrance oils that I use to make up those scents.  So, when I decided to change up the scents in my Fruity and Fresh category, the Pineapple was the first that came to mind.  First, it was different than anything I had already.  And, it wasn't a Citrus scent--I was overloaded with those.  So, Pineapple it was. 
But, you don't just go to your suppliers and order the first Pineapple fragrance you find.  You order from several suppliers.  You order several different pineapple from those suppliers.  You collect them all in one place and start making test batches.  If you get lucky, it works the first time.  Let's just say, that never happens!  In this case, I had three samples I decided to mix and the result was very good.  So good I sold the first batch and with a very minor tweak, I will be using this blend in the future. 
So then you have to name your new creation.  How did that name come about?   As I was thinking about this soap, I was drawn a couple ways as I brainstormed.  First, of course, came the thought of a pineapple upside down cake!  You know me, all about FOOD.  Then I got to thinking about how a pineapple is a sign of welcome and hospitality--which led to thinking about Lynn.  Well, many of you know my good friend, Lynn Upson the SpiceLady, is a yoga instructor in her other life. And then, came the thought of that whole body yoga pose, the downward dog…and how the benefit of this one pose can strengthen and rejuvenate your whole body.  That is what I think this scent in my wonderful shea butter soap will do for your skin—your biggest organ!  So, now you have spent a couple minutes in my chaotic brain.  Phew, glad to get that one named!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Doctor Suess Christmas Tree 2013

We like the unusual around this house and my favorite seasonal purchase from a craft show was this tree...which in it's undecorated state was made by my crafter friends, Jim and Lori Riles.  I was at the Micanopy Craft Fair in October and I saw a number of these walking by...the color of the bulb hanging off the top was different and they had a smaller version, but, I knew I wanted to track them down.  Imagine my surprise when I walked over to talk with Lori and saw these in her tent!!!

Traveling and doing these art and craft shows has made a chore into decorating for the Christmas season.  Some years I just don't put up anything.  This year Rod mentioned putting up the outdoor lights right after Thanksgiving, so, I got into the mood.  To a small degree anyway. 

Last year we decorated our IKEA rattan cat tree with wonderful Hallmark ornaments from Aunt Ellen and Uncle Larry.  That was VERY avant garde!  This year we just removed the things from the top of the thread case and the key rack hanging on the wall and our Christmas Tree had a place to shine.  Even Rod liked it...but I did go get the string of garland and the lights to embellish it a bit more.  Here's the tree at night!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Washington Oaks Garden State Park -- Holiday in the Park

Here are a few pictures from my wanderings at Washington Oaks Garden State Park in Palm Coast, Florida during their Holiday in the Garden Event.  The park is lovely without any decorations, but, it was magical with the Christmas touch. 

Somewhere in this area they held a "Tea with Mrs. Claus" on Saturday where the kids could do craft ornament projects, have hot chocolate and cookies and get a picture with Santa Claus.

The new stage was a project of the "Friends of Washington Oaks" group that volunteers at the park.  The long row of tents is where the citrus, plant and bake sale are held.  They also did a ginger bread house contest.  


As I was walking the park, the benches below were the first decorations I saw.  I just loved the simplicity.  They have several of these benches--maybe six or so lining this area looking over the river.  

Just a few snaps of the flowers around the rose garden.  They have the garden enclosed within a fence so the deer don't eat them. 


So, the last show of the year is done.  Now I get to be busy packing and shipping last minute soap gifts.  It has been a busy year and I am so grateful for my customers and of course being able to get out around the state and experience events like Holiday in the Garden.