Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

There is a lot of buzz about new year resolutions on the internet. Have you resolved to make one?

I found a site that I could relate to when it comes to how hard it is to change something. You can go to and read Anna Johnson's take on what it takes to make and keep a resolution.

I started my soap vending business 4 years ago January 18. The first year, I forgot I had a family. My second year, I resolved to spend time with my family. Each year, I make a little more time for my family without compromising my business. It is slow, but there is progress.

I think it hard to change a habit, too. I quit smoking four years ago last October 8. This was not a gradual thing; I quit cold turkey on October 8. I had a lung infection, it was not hard to start the quit, though maintaining it was difficult. And, I still want one occasionally.

I personally think everyone should resolve to try at least one handmade natural soap this year; from me would be nice, too. :) This way, they can find out how wonderful their skin was made to feel upon bathing - so clean, soft, and not dry.

Whatever you decide to do, Happy New Year to You! ♥

Monday, December 29, 2008

When Is a Pattern Yours?

I crochet and have for many, many years. I have come to the point in my crocheting in which I don’t refer to any pattern. I see what I want to crochet (albeit crocheted, knitted, sewed, or manufactured), and I crochet something as close as I can get it. This leads me to a serious question: When can you call a pattern yours?

It is my thinking that most everything that can be done with yarn has been done, at least as regards to patterns. I see new yarns coming out all the time, and I know these “new” yarns are really new. There are yarns being made out of milk fibers and shrimp shells, for goodness sakes! But, patterns? I really don’t see much that is new.

But, I have seen the same pattern claimed by many. That is odd.

I crochet a skinny scarf I have been crocheting for years for gifts and to sell. It is a simple mesh stitch that I did not look up, but I know it must be a common pattern. It is just a simple mesh stitch all through the scarf. But, is it mine?

If I wanted to write a Crochet Pattern Book, what patterns can I claim? If I create something I haven’t seen before, at what lengths do I have to look to see if it is out there by someone else? I know I cannot claim the patterns I find and duplicate.

I found a beautiful pattern for a pair of fingerless gloves. This pattern is not mine. But, if I find a different stitch and make one in the same dimensions, is that mine? If I cut it quite a bit shorter, is it mine? If I trim it out differently, does that make it mine?

This topic has been heavy on my mind, lately, so I thought I would write about it. I would be so glad to hear any comments from anyone so inclined.

Thanks for reading me out! :)

ps: I will be introducing some of my hand crocheted pieces in my etsy shop this month.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vinegar Rinse or No?

Hi guys:

You know I have a store at etsy. Well, I have learned how to bring etsy to you. Up above includes some of my etsy finds. Some of my favorite sellers are up there. You might be interested, too. All you have to do is click on the picture, and it will take you to that listing in their store. Happy shopping.

And, here on the right are my own etsy items. You will find all these items in my shop at the etsy store.

And, it seems we are still discussing shampoo bars. Do they need a vinegar or acid rinse or not? This seems to be a hot question online today.

NO, should be the answer we soap makers give to all our customers. "No, you do not NEED a acid rinse to use and benefit from a shampoo bar."

Here's the scoop on acid or vinegar rinses:

The first reason they were ever used, back before there were bottled conditioners or any type of synthetic soap, was to soften the hard water with which we rinsed our hair. In my herb books, this rinse is explained as the way our grandmothers conditioned their hair. Much of our water here in the states is hard. Limestone and other minerals abound in our water. And, most of us use water that runs through metal pipes, which adds mineral to the water. So, we deal with hard water. Vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, and other acids will work to soften water; thereby softening our hair.

Now, as I peruse shampoo bar threads, I see that many people are under the misconception that a vinegar rinse is needed if you shampoo you hair.

I might be guilty for part of that, because I recommend using vinegar if you feel the need for a conditioner after using a shampoo bar. Why do I recommend this? Because, we want to keep it all natural on our head. That is the only reason.

We do not need an acid rinse to rinse out all the shampoo. In fact, an acid rinse just might do more harm than good. Because, if a shampoo bar is made well enough, then there will be lots of glycerin to condition the hair (without any help), and an acid rinse just might rinse out that extra glycerin. That would be sad.

I used vinegar for quite some time. My water is heavy in limestone, and I added essential oils for extra hair care. When I quit, my hair has less in it to weigh it down so it feels lighter and just as soft as ever. I thank the customer who challenged me on this.

And, I get a lot of these questions, because a lot of people are reading an acid rinse with shampoo bars is either necessary or makes it better. And, it just isn't true.

Well, I have said my piece. Everyone probably has one! :)

BTW, I made two soaps is Cucumber Parsley Face Soap (swirled), and the other is Eucalyptus Shampoo bar. It will be four weeks to list them.

Thanks, guys. I appreciate being your read. ;)

ps. Hi Mom♥

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Products in the Making♥

Hi guys:

It has been awhile, but I have been so busy you would not believe. Not so much with orders (though I have had a few), but with everything...making soap, making salves and lip balms, cleaning house for the holidays, attending my son’s basketball games, unpacking from the craft shows, taking pictures for online stores, building new stores, baking, etc., etc.!

My Mom received her fingerless gloves, and I think she likes them. Thanks to everyone who asked. I would like to say what I am making her for Christmas, but someone told her about my blog, and I think she is reading it now. So, that will be a secret until after I send them. –

I am making some fun products this week. Yesterday, I remade a very popular fragranced soap: Honey Almond. It is an all natural fragrance oil put out by They have a few others, as well. I’m not crazy about their cucumber, but it may smell better in the soap. I haven’t tried that one, yet. But the Honey Almond I made in August wasn’t here long, so I am doing it again. Then, my UPS driver buys 6 of them, and they are not even out of the mold yet, much less cured for 4 weeks! lol

I’ve been using a recipe in which olive oil is the major oil with enough coconut and castor oils to make this olive oil a lathering soap. I give this recipe out at, if you are interested. But, the fun part is deciding on the additives. This soap, my additives are aloe butter, grape seed oil, calendula petals, paprika, and honey almond fragrance oil. I swirled the calendula and paprika mixed in with some of the soap into the base soap. And, it looks beautiful (it is pictured at the top of this blog). The calendula and paprika mixed to create a beautiful almond brown color.

Today, I am making my recipe for my Tropical Butter Salve. This is the first salve I made for the business. The gist of this recipe comes from Glory Bee’s catalog of 2004. It is rich in butters, coconut oil, avocado oil, and vitamin e with a fragrance of vanilla fragrance oil and grapefruit essential oil for a very tropical, “Where’s that Pina Colada?” At least, that is what I think of. It is very popular in its texture and fragrance both. I have a wholesale order for a few 1 oz. sizes that I am filling today.

When it rains, I have no Internet service. I use wildblue satellite, and it doesn’t do rain at all. It is rainy today, and I wrote this on Word. As soon as it stops raining, I will post it.

Thanks for coming by. I appreciate you doing so. Kathleen

(I am working on a new store at Only 3 soaps listed so far, but when the rain stops today, I will be putting up more. Thanks, guys!
It is now December 13 – and sun is shining. Up goes the post! ☻

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So much to learn...

Hi folks:

I see by my google analytics that I have a few visitors popping in. Thanks for stopping by. It is good to know that I am not writing for naught! :)
I have a couple of things to say today:
1. I thought I had published my former blog a few days back. It is just going up today. I thought it had posted, but it was sitting in my list of blogs on my dashboard but nowhere on my blog page. It is published now, though, if you care to read it. It is what I promised to show when I finished my crocheted fingerless gloves.
And, I still have to learn how to post links to other sites on my blog. Haven't learned that one, yet. Well, I consider myself slow to catch on, but once there, never gone! I have an eBay store that I just got to look the way I wanted months ago. I guess that is not a bad thing unless you are online, then the speed thing kind of takes over!

2. This post is about my shampoo bars. I have been following a forum thread that is reviewing shampoo bars from different soap makers. I think mine is the 9th one reviewed, and it was a long wait. But, oh, so worth the wait. It received an excellent review from said author of blog. And, I have already received a customer from this review. See how fast everything is here online? Oh, gosh, you already know that!

She has a review of 9 different shampoo bars, and she is now comparing interview questions for 5 soaps makers, and I find this just as exciting as the reviews. If you would like to check her out, you might find some interesting reading.

I am answering questions on Yahoo, too, to spread my business name a bit; but also to let people know there are all natural alternatives to all health and beauty situations. And, interestingly enough, I am getting great feedback from the questioners regarding my answers.

And, real important to know is it does not have to be expensive. Watch those companies that want to take advantage of the "natural" trend. You want to stick with those who will be doing this before during and after a trend passes through. Their prices will be reasonable and consistent.
I am going to work on this page today and try to learn a few things. If you have any comments, I'd like to hear them. Otherwise, have safe fun! (At 52, safe fun is very good!)

Thanks, Kathleen