Thursday, August 27, 2009

Appalachian Fair 2009 Eye Candy

Hi. I'm doing a show at the Appalachian Fair this week. It is a tough week, because this show is 1 1/2 hours from my home, and I am commuting daily. It is also from 3 to 10 pm., and I am usually abed before 10 - so the schedule throws me off a bit. I also demonstrate at this show, and that requires some serious prep work.

I would like to just post some pictures today. I'll be back with some more...but this will get us started.

One of my favorite things about this gig is the herb garden cared for outside the building I do my show. It is the nicest herb garden in a formal setting. I enjoy sitting out here when I take a break. I also walk it before I begin my show. It has herbs from other cultures and many varieties of standard herbs. I just love it.

The museum will raffle off their quilts, one each year. This is a magnificent quilt - pictures cannot do it justice. I keep telling the ladies I appreciate their watching over my quilt like that. I bought 3 tickets! :D

Of course, there are other crafters there, as well. If you are invited to participate, you may demonstrate your craft, set up your booth, and sell your products for free. Other booths cost $550 and $750 each. So, I feel this is a really good gig, a win-win situation, because I am adding to inventory and selling my wares all at the same time for free (just my gas). It is also my time to prove my authenticity to my local customers.

This is my fourth year at the Fair, and these ladies are here every time. They volunteer their time to work on quilts for the Museum during the Fair week. I am impressed with their dedication and skill.

Inside the farm and museum building at the fair are other buildings. There is a small cabin showing beds and other antique furniture. And, there is an old fashioned candy store, too. It is a big hit at the Fair.

This is my Lavender Sea Salt soap at the Fair. I have to tell you it is my best seller so far. I sold 3 Monday, and 3 yesterday. This is the only one with which I've sold 6 soaps. My pet soap is next
with 4.

My set up Monday. It looks different today, mostly
because I thought it looked too busy here. I took out the organza bath teas and some of the gift items, and it seems easier to manipulate with your eyes now. I will take another pic of it today to show what I mean.

And, finally but definitely not least, I meet some
really neat people. And, these ladies were two of the finest.

As always, thanks for looking. You readers are the best in my book. ;)K

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Blog on Soap Making


This is a short post to announce my new blog. The address is I would love you to check out this new blog I've created. I've just published my first post on Olive Oil Soap Making.

I want a blog that is more business oriented and allows me that outlet for talking about the professional aspects, the opinions that abound, new products, new processes, and all other aspects of being a business soaper.
I love this blog you are presently reading for all my other writes, especially on herbs and herbal products. I will keep this more garden and personal oriented.

I hope to see you there as well as here. I appreciate all of you who read me and make such wonderful, thoughtful comments. Thank you very much for that.

Sincerely, kathleen

Thursday, August 6, 2009


German Chamomile or Matricaria recutita (or chamomilla)

A skin care herb I use a lot in my products. In fact, I often tell customers my top three herbs are the three C’s – calendula, chamomile, and comfrey; followed by marsh mallow, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, echinacea, meadowsweet, lemon grass, basil, eucalyptus, and more.

Chamomile is widely available in three species: roman, german, and wild. Interestingly, while the roman and german share many properties and appearance, they do not share the same genus. All three seem to have beneficial properties for our skin and in aromatherapy.

I personally like the essential oil of roman and the plant herb of german (although I grow the two species and the wild grows here, too). I have tried all three oils and all three herb plants – and I have my favorites.

I love the german chamomile herb. The flowers dry faster and better than the roman and have greater aromatic value than both the roman and wild. It produces a very aromatic herbal oil, especially if macerated with an odorless oil, such as almond or grape seed. (It is very important to have dried herbs when making herbal oils – otherwise rancidity will set in quite quickly.) I make this oil with elderflower for some of my products; and, I make it with st. johnswort for other of my products. Both oils are done in sweet almond, and smell just so good. I add the one with elderflower to my eye oil (MEmu), and it makes this fragrance-free oil smell deliciously and sweetly herbal.

German chamomile is better known for its anti-inflammatory properties (even though the roman and wild both have some), while it is less known for its sedating properties (while the roman is more know for this).

According to my RD Magic and Medicine of Plants, studies support many of the traditional benefits of chamomile. It seems chamomile also treats upset stomach and menstrual cramps. And, studies also support the anti-inflammatory action of chamomile. I use it in my first aid salve for that reason. I also use calendula to speed cell replacement and st. johnswort to staunch the bleeding...but the chamomile is for the pain and/or swelling resulting from the wound.

The most exciting side effect of this “medicine” is the aroma. Wow! It is so soothing and pleasing, it makes treatment a pleasure.

As always, thanks again for reading what I think I have to say. :D

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rosemary in the Home

Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis

A skin care herb I am loving in my garden, in my home, on my skin, and in my hair. This is a luscious herb I enjoy very much.

My RD book writes this about rosemary...”a reputation for strengthening the memory, it soon became an emblem of fidelity for lovers...etc.” Another book writes that "students wore sprigs of rosemary in their hair while studying, brides wore it to show they’d remember their families, and the dead were buried with it to show they’d not be forgotten".

Most of us are familiar with the culinary aspects of rosemary. There are many recipes written for this herb alone, especially used in meat dishes of lamb and pork, as rosemary aids in the digestion of fats. Rosemary makes awesome herb butter and is delicious in baked potatoes, too. The stems of rosemary are placed on a grill to discourage insects and release a fantastic aroma.

You can also bring in a few fresh branches from the plant to create a wonderful aroma in the air of any room. This is perfect for the bathroom...lovely and aromatic.

I’ve used rosemary all these ways and more. I have placed a few leaves of rosemary in my bath to stimulate my poor blood circulation. It is quite therapeutic in its aroma, I think. It is written that it helps with muscle aches, too.

I know its reputation for eliminating lice and lice egg sacks from the hair. It also seems to impart good health and shine to hair, also. I’ve read it is for dark or red headed people, but I have light headed customers who enjoy it very much.

It is also a strong disinfectant – a good house cleaning essential oil. (I think Pine, Lemon, Rosemary, and Peppermint are the best for this use. A future blog?)

Rosemary can grow in mild to temperate zones with many varieties to choose from. It actually can thrive in a pot and brought indoors during winter. Rosemary does not need a dormancy time. So, most of us could enjoy rosemary year round. If you choose to grow herbs, this should be in the top 5, in my opinion.

My favorite way to enjoy rosemary is just to smell it. I love its fragrance so very much; I can smell this daily and not get headaches from too much aroma.

And, I AM hoping it IS improving my memory, because, as most come to know, I sure do need that.

As always, thanks for reading! :)k