Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Soap Coming up Roses

To me, handcrafting homemade soap is a true, honest to goodness wholesome pleasure that engages all of my senses. I was inspired by a new Rose fragrance that I found. It is a true-to-life Rose fragrance, simply wonderful and I just can't get enough!
Once  I have something that inspires me to drag out all of my kettles, spoons, spatula's, colorants, oils, butters and thermometers etc., I start with a vision or an idea of how I want my soap to look. It seldom comes out exactly what I see in my head. It is close but not quite and is somehow a little on the wild side, like me. It is a reminder that even something as humble as a loaf of soap turns out the way IT wants to. You can look at 30 different soapmaker's and they all impart a bit of themselves into their creations, leaving their singular mark on the finished product.
There are two hard parts to soapmaking.
1. Waiting 24 hours before you can pull it out of the mold.
2. Waiting 4-6 weeks for it to cure before you can test out one of your new creations.

The rest is fun and here is how it went down....
I pictured a rose colored bottom layer with a cream colored top layer and a single rosebud peaking out from the  of each bar, perfectly centered.
What I got was a beautiful peach color on the bottom. Which is great because it reminds me of the Jacob's ladder rosebush my mother gave me. Additionally, my rosebuds ended up more toward the side than the middle.
Although they did not come up as planned, I still think they are beautiful.... and a little quirky, like me.

You will see  the loaf fresh from the mold with the imperfect sides, and the the last pics are the final product after I have cut the soap and beveled the edges. I cut the sides off in a long thin layer and then I cut those up to send as free samples with my orders.
What do you think?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mother's Day Giveaway!!!

In celebration and reverence for Mothers, I am doing my first ever blog giveaway for Mother's Day.
My own Mom is so very precious to me and I an sure your Mom is precious to you too.

The contest is simple. To enter the giveaway, become a follower and post one item you love from either one of my shops.
Black Mountain Candles
Bathing Bella

Contest ends on May 8th at Midnight and you will win one 8 ounce Soy Candle of your choice from
AND a set of Soap Cards from

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For my sister Billie.....

The Mosaic
When my baby came to me, fresh and new, she was a beautiful piece of glass, unique and one of a kind, delicate, small and fragile.
As I raised my baby, I helped her to paint her soul in rich colors, the colors of the rainbow.
Each quality I taught my child had a unique color all it's own.
Kindness was green, Love was red, patience was blue, sympathy was purple.
As the years went by and my baby turned the corner into womanhood, she was the most beautiful mosaic, still so unique but with so many colors.
I would often marvel in quiet times at how I could be so blessed with such a wonderful child, how her colors were so bold and vibrant. Sometimes, my heart would swell with Love and pride to such a degree that I felt it would burst right inside my chest. 
Soon enough, the precious mosaic that I had so lovingly tended and created was ready to strike out on her own. My world, I knew would be less bright without the constant presence of my child, for I knew that with her went all of the richness and color that she had brought into my life.
My mosaic, my child,  would fly in now and again, or call or send a card, and for a brief but sweet time, her richness and color would once again come back to me. I was happy to have it, if only for a fleeting while and my heart and soul looked forward to each time her mosaic would once again color my world.
After some time and years had passed, my mosaic called one day, she needed me badly, for her mosaic was broken.
I arrived to her and all of her rich colors were laying in bits and pieces about her feet.
She was crying, she was broken and did not know how to put herself back together again. My heart dropped as I looked at all of the pieces about her feet. I knew then that I must help her pick up the pieces and put them back together.
I assured her that although she would never be quite the same, that just as I had lovingly help create her mosaic, I would somehow, someway, help her put it back together.
We worked tirelessly on the mosaic for many days but some pieces that had fit wonderfully side by side, never fit quite right back into the same place as before.
So together we found a new pattern, a new mosaic, with different combinations and colors.
When we finally completed the mosaic, her pieces were the same but in a different pattern and we delighted to find some colors combined were more beautiful than they were before.
There was a richness about it that is hard to describe. Perhaps because we had done it together this time.
Together we stood back to admire our work.
The mosaic was stronger, more beautiful than ever because now they included the colors that only experience can bring you.
We found that tolerance is burgundy, inner strength is chartrusse and faith is lemon yellow.
Wendy Harris Cottone

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time well spent

I have an obsession with time or lack thereof. I always feel like there is never enough and before you know it, today, tomorrow and last year in fact are gone like a vapor.

It has been 1 year since my stepdad was diagnosed with Pancreatic and Liver cancer. He is still here. He has been through so much. When I asked him what his New Year's Eve wish was this year, he said "One more year."
I have been so fortunate. My Dad died when I was 10 but the universe saw fit to give me another Dad who could not love me more if I were his own. Two father's, two teacher's, two mentor's. Who could ask for more? Some people don't even get one worth having, right? I got two!

I never did get a chance to say goodbye to my biological father before he died so I really look at this situation as a gift. A chance to say goodbye. Time to talk, time to sit quietly by his bedside, time to tell funny stories, time to reminisce,  time to hold his hand, time to look into his eyes, sweet and precious time that I know is fleeting and will be gone soon.
My heart aches unspeakably in having to lose him but I think we are all just "on loan" to each other to begin with.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stealing Summer

I walked out on my deck this morning. The birds were singing, the air was warm and moist and the skies are summer blue. I found myself wishing that I could steal a bit of summer, bottle it up and pull it back out on a winter day.
You see, summer always seems to slip right through my hands before I have really had a chance to enjoy it.
Isn't life that way too if we are not careful?

I schedule everything else, I also need to schedule "stealing a bit of summer".
I'm thinking more bike rides, reading books on the deck, quietly sitting in my garden to name a few.

Life is busy, no doubt. We can all benefit from remembering to schedule some time for play.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Flowers from Mom

She showed up at my door, cute as a button, hair shooting in all directions, and she held in her hands the most beautiful vase filled with Jacob's Ladder roses.
My mother had come over for no other reason than to bring me some of her beautifull roses.
These random acts of kindness and beauty are very commonplace with her and I was the lucky recipient yesterday.

Growing up, my Mom always had flowers planted and it is from those early years when weeding the flower beds, I think I learned to appreciate the smell of newly turned earth.
She has passed her love of flowers onto all 3 of us girls and her garden is one to envy.
When I think mine looks good or is coming along well,  I am humbeled when I see her yard.

You have taught us to enjoy and appreciate so many things Mother. As simple as flowers and as full as the generosity of spirit.
Thank you for that.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baby Blankets Cute, cute cute!

Check out these swanky handmade baby blankets! They are a perfect gift for a new baby.