Sunday, March 20, 2011


More in-depth information about the ingredients that I use...this time, beeswax!

Beeswax is a golden yellow wax produced in the beehive of honey bees (genus Apis). It’s made up mostly of the esters of fatty acids and is chemically very closely related to the other oils used for soap, lotions and balms.  The beeswax that I use in my products comes to me in small beads that have been cleaned of impurities and are easy to weigh and pour.

In the hive, beeswax is used by bees as the structural foundation for their honeycomb storage system. People have used beeswax for centuries for a variety of purposes. In candles, beeswax is preferred because it’s clean burning and does not produce smoke like petroleum based waxes do. The Roman Catholic Church requires that the Easter Pascal candle be made of beeswax.

It has been traditionally used in art for lost wax casting and to make beautiful Russian Pysanky eggs. For many generations, beeswax was used by bagpipers to wax the hemp that protected the joints on drone and chanter stocks. The smell of beeswax always reminds me of my early years in music.

I melt a bit of beeswax with sweet almond oil and gently rub it onto the wood in my house to protect it.  This is especially great for the cabinets near the sink that seem to always get splashed with water.

In body products, beeswax makes a wonderful, natural thickener and adds a protective barrier which locks in moisture. It also smells wonderful on its own and adds a hint of lovely amber color to products.  I use beeswax in my highland Fling Soap, and in all of the lip balms and lotion bars.  It's a wonderful, natural addition!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


And the winner of the birthday soap is...Marcia T!

She said: "Happy Birthday to you!  I love cake any day of the year, but on my birthday I need to have an ice cream cake. One layer of cookies and cream and one layer of chocolate is my favorite!"

Marcia, please send me a message ( with your mailing address and your choice for the second bar of soap and I'll get those out in the mail to you.  

Thanks everyone for commenting and helping me to celebrate.  It was a good birthday!  I DID get my raspberry and marzipan Princess Cake, along with flowers, some priceless cards from my kids, a visit from my brother, and some great music to celebrate.  Happy early St. Patrick's Day too!!  


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birthday Give-Away


Today is my birthday, so I think it's a good excuse to do a soap give-away.  

I've spent the morning trying to choose my two favorite soaps for one lucky winner to help me celebrate.  The problem is, I'm having some trouble choosing.  My soaps are a little bit like my children...I love them all, but in different ways.  So I think I'll narrow it down this way: the winner gets one bar of Highland Fling Soap, since it's almost St. Patrick's Day (and yes, I know this is an Irish holiday, but it's Scottish bands who play MOST of the Irish venues on St. Pat's anyway, so I figure it works).  In addition, they get to choose another bar on their own.  Both will come in tins.  

This is a one day give-away, so SPREAD the word FAST!  Tomorrow's not my birthday anymore...

To enter, answer the following question in the comments section:
What flavor birthday cake do you like best for your own celebration?  Or maybe it's birthday pie, or birthday prime rib...whatever.  I like white cake with raspberry filling and a cream frosting & marzipan.  Yummm.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shea Butter

I've decided to start a new series of blog posts that give a bit more information and background on many of the ingredients that I use regularly when making my soaps and personal care products.  I'm going to start the whole thing off by taking a look at shea butter.

Shea butter is an ivory colored natural fat that comes from the nut of the African Shea or Karite Tree (butyrospermum parkii). It’s high in un-saponifiables and is richly moisturizing. It’s also believed to have anti-inflammatory, humectant and emollient properties. The shea butter that I use comes from western Africa and is extracted by cold-pressing.

In Africa, shea butter is used for everything from hair care to cooking. Outside of Africa it is used primarily for skincare products and, occasionally, in chocolates as a replacement for cocoa butter, since it’s entirely edible. Shea butter will start to melt on contact with warm skin, making it a great ingredient for lotion bars, lip balms  and soaps.  I use shea butter in several of my products.   A little goes a long way, and it 's a wonderful addition that nourishes and moisturizes the skin.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Wedding Show

I'm excited to be participating in a new wedding show this year.  It's called  The One Wedding and Events Showcase, and it will take place in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle on the evening of Thursday, March 31st.  It's at a really cool venue called Urban Light Studios, which has great indoor and outdoor space with an artsy, eclectic feel.  There will be over 30 wedding and events related vendors there to show folks what they have to offer.  I'll be displaying some of my custom work, handing out out samples and chatting with people all evening.  I hope you can stop by!