Monday, June 29, 2009

More Garden Whimsy

The spirits of nature who stand watch over my bit of paradise while I sleep.

Garden Whimsy

I love the unexpected & whimsical in the garden. Liberated & shared plants, statuary, cast offs, and yard sale finds all find a place in my eclectic garden. Come and wander...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shaving 101( with Handmade Shaving Soap)

Goat Milk & Shea Butter Shaving Soaps with skin conditioning clays, provide a silky close shave, the natural way.
Once you try real shaving soap, you'll never use commercial shaving cream again!

A rich, lotion like lather gives great razor glide to prevent razor burn & irritation,
Leaves your skin feeling soft & conditioned. Women are loving these shaving soaps for the same reason men are: a smooth & nick free shave & the skin softening qualities of rich goat milk & emollient shea butter`.

Taking a few extra moments to shave correctly makes a huge difference. There's a CORRECT way to shave, you ask? Yup! Try the method below and see if you don't notice the difference!

Shaving 101 or A Better Way to Shave

"Wetshaving is just what the term implies – keeping your face (or for women, their legs) wet with plenty of hot water before, and during, the entire shave. In fact, you should always shave after a hot shower, not before (if you need to shave without taking a shower, washing your face with hot water for a few minutes will suffice). With a layer of hot water between your skin and the lather, the blade skims the surface instead of dragging on it, which is the main cause of irritation, redness, and “shave bumps”.

" Wetshaving gives you more effective shaves and better looking skin. The hot water opens the pores of your skin and relaxes your facial muscles, and it softens your whiskers for more effective cutting. Believe it or not, but your whiskers are tougher than the edge of a razor blade, and shaving “dry”, or mostly dry as with the vast majority of shaving creams, foams, and gels on the market, means you’re literally tugging on each and every hair on your face instead of neatly slicing it at the skin’s surface and moving on without irritating your skin. The key to proper wetshaving is keeping your face as wet as possible at all times during the shave. You’ll marvel at how much closer and more comfortable shaving can be when you keep your face hydrated at all times with lots of hot (not scalding) water."

Goat Milk & Shea Butter Shaving Soap @ Avail. in fragranced & unscented for sensitive skin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Angel Garden

I was outside doing some product photography today and my eyes were continually drawn to the angels peeking out of the ferns & greenery in one of my many gardens. Each one has a special meaning for me. Felt like I wanted to share them with you.

There Are Angels Among Us.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fundraiser at The Bear Cage

Another great event is happening up the Mountain on the most beautiful mountain top around. All the locals have alway hiked out to "Bear Cliff" to enjoy the panoramic view and enjoy the solitude. This fundraiser is for the upkeep & maintainece this special place. The folks in Cragsmoor always throw a great party, so don't miss this one!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Funny Farm

In my previous post, I talked about Bark in the Park & the organizations that will benefit from this event. The Walden Humane Society & Second Chance Farms will be the recipients of the proceeds from this day. I'm grateful to both of these organizations for all that they do, but especially for these special pets: *

*Buddy, the one eyed yellow lab was adopted from the Walden Humane Society. A breeder brought him in to be destroyed. Born with micro-opthalmia , he was "unacceptable" due to his "less than perfect" appearance. He's a wonderful companion to " Miss Johnson" & a great family dog

*Several year ago, Alice, from Second Chance Farms asked me to foster a pregnant stray and provide her with a quiet & safe place to have her kittens. After, she would take the mother & kittens and find them homes. " Mamma Kitty" wanted only to be fed & left alone. After giving birth to 5 kittens, Mama & two of the kids remained with us. Slowly she became more trusting & decided that we could be her people. Mamma died recently from cardiac problems, but we know her life with us was a good one.

Here are some of the rest of the crew. Hard luck stories all, but they are a welcome part of the Funny Farm Family!

Max, a Standardbred race horse was off the track due to injuries while still a young man. He was reschooled as an English pleasure horse & came with his own companion. If we took Max, we had to take his side kick Rhoda( an older quarter horse who had been passed around many times in her life) So, Max & Rhoda ( don"t they sound like a retired couple from a Catskill Hotel?)
joined the funny farm. Rhoda was a steady old gal & I used her to teach my kids to ride. She was part of our family until she passed. Max is still with us @ 27yrs old. Handsome, but the old injuries are bothering so he's "retired" & dosent seem to mind being "a lawn ornament".

Our small goat herd were about to be slaughtered for meat when they got loaded into the van & joined the family. They don't seem to mind their lives as goat-dogs & like everything here, will die of old age.

A few winters ago, 4 domestic geese wandered down the path by the barn & demanded a meal.
I did not want anymore geese, but they had other ideas. After looking for their owners, it seemed that they had been "dumped " on the road by someone who decided that keeping geese was not their cup of tea. One pan of cracked corn ( they were hungry!) & guess who became the somewhat unwilling owner of 4 grey geese? They made themselves right at home, bossing all the other animals & acting as our own alarm system for the whole property.

As I re-read this post, it occurs to me, that most of our animals came to us when we were not looking to add more animals to our lives. Who chooses? I think they choose for us.
(check back for pictures of the Funny Farm crew. )

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bark in the Park

We have another great community event taking place on June 20th. Terri, from Pampered Pets Grooming ( who also does amazing wildlife wood carvings) has organized a fundraiser for The Walden Humane Society and Second Chance Farm that is a MUST ATTEND for pet lovers and people who support animal rescue

Our Humane Society does a wonderful job of trying to help the huge numbers of animals that come thru their doors. Volunteers donate countless hours , but there is always a need for animal food, kitty litter, & cash contributions.

Second Chance Farm is a local rescue organization run that cares for abused, neglected, and homeless pets. Run by Alice, our local Vet Tech at Walker Valley Animal Hospital, they are always in need of donations, supplies, vet services and of course loving & forever homes for their animals.

For those of you who are local, a Rabies Clinic will be offered .
Please make sure your cats are in carriers & dog on a leash.

We'll be making up a gift basket of Natural Dog Products by
Sunfeather, as well as our own "Dirty Dawg" Pet Shampoo
to be raffled off that day. See you at the park!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Strawberry Time!

You know that summer is truly here when the fresh, local strawberries appear at the farmers markets. Saturday, June 13th is Strawberry Day at the Pine Bush Farmers Market from 9-1:30pm.

Goat Milk & Shea Butter Soap that smells just like
Grandma's Strawberry Jam from the "Into the Garden" Series.

At the market, in the shop, or @
Get 'em while they're in Season.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Scoop on Soy

Soy candles are the eco-friendly solution to traditional petroleum based paraffin. Since its invention in 1992, Soy Wax candles have quickly become the choice of environmentally conscious consumers. Here's why:

Soy Wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil. Crafted from American grown soybeans, it is a biodegradable & renewable resource that supports the farmer.

The burning of soy candles does not increase the CO2 level in the air.

Soy candles produce 90% less soot than paraffin. Soy burns cleaner & cooler and is less likely to trigger allergies in children & pets due to the absence of toxins.

Soy candles last 50% longer than paraffin candles.

Scented soy candles distribute more fragrance. The low melting point of soy wax results in a larger wax pool that distributes fragrance faster.

Wax spills are easily cleaned up with soap & hot water.

To help your Soy Candle Last Its Longest:

Establish it's memory. ( No, I'm not making this up!)
A soy candle should burn 1 hour for each inch of its diameter until you establish a full melt pool. For example: A 2" diameter candle should burn uniterrupted for 2 hours on the first burn to establish it's memory. Without a proper memory burn, the wick will burn a tunnel down the center and cause a poor scent throw.

A lit candle should always be within your sight. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep candles out of reach of children & pets.

Its time to clear the candle shelves to make room for our new line of soy candles. The more you buy, the more you save. Combined & flat rate shipping for the best possible price on multiple purchases.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Old Fashioned Day

The Walker Valley Fire Dept hosts Old Fashioned Day every June here in Walker Valley. This event was started some 20 years ago by Judge Greg Greer & his wife Dorothy. It was an opportunity for friend & neighbors to gather and see the way things were done in the Old Days. Music, Food, demonstartions of Old Time Crafts & great childrens games. The fire dept sells "fair food" at Old Fashioned prices. While a soap making demo is a little too dangerous for a crowd, I'll be demonstarting bees wax candle making and selling my old fashioned soap.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Market Season begins

Time to hit the road again. I will be at the Pine Bush Farmers Market on Saturdays until October.

Moving Day

Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My shop will be moving downstairs to bigger & more airy quarters sometime in the next few weeks. ( If you look at my barn, the shop always wanted to be downstairs) Once the move is complete, upstairs becomes my studio complete with soap kitchen. ( Soap lady doing the happy dance here!!) It will be so nice to have a work space that dosent serve any other purpose. To have all my supplies in one place & the room to spread out and create without distractions is something I've dreamed of since I made my first bar of soap!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Abalone & Sea

Had to share this beauty with you. The inspiration for this soap came to me on Ocracoke when I purchased some Abalone shells for a great price. Was sitting looking over Pamlico Sound early one morning when the idea for this soap popped into my head. Love my natural, cold process goat milk soap...but its all BROWN. There's a soap artist lurking in my soul! This is a Dead Sea Salt Spa Bar with a lotion like lather that exfoliates without scratching. Feels like a polished stone on your skin!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are...

One of my customers, wanted to meet the chickens who supplied his family's eggs& took a stroll with me to the chicken house. As we walked thru the gardens, he commented on the different plantings. " You seem to be infested with Gargoyles..." slid effortlessly into out conversation about green gardening . Very dry...

Monday, June 1, 2009

A beautiful day in the country...

A dear old friend, gone these last 10 years would always greet his neighbors with: " It's a beautiful day in the country>" No matter what the weather or the season, to the "Judge" , a day in our valley was always worth commenting upon. I think it was his was of gently reminding us to slow down enough to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us here in Walker Valley.
This morning, as usual, I had a list of things that needed to be accomplished before today was yesterday. My intentions were good, I felt motivated and goal oriented. I was looking forward to completing each task and the satisfaction that goes with checking it off the list. And then I went outside.
In early spring, when the weather is fine, I start each day wandering my gardens: coffee cup in hand, to check on the progress of all growing things. I wander the gardens in my nightgown, listening to the birds greet the rising sun, with no one to see me but the animals. It's a peaceful way to start my day& something I dream about during the long frozen winter mornings.
Today was not the day for my to do list. I wandered , puttered, planted, potted & pruned.
I sat on a bench and planned the bentwood arbor I would build to shade it. I pictured it covered with vibrant orange trumpet vine & humming birds keeping me company while I rested in it's shade.
I repotted a water lily with root ball so huge it's pot was bursting. I looked at the tiny gold fish in my little water garden and thought of them so large I would have to find homes for many.
I rearranged the decorative trash & treasures that make up my garden accents & create whimsy when you least expect it. Moving things about, elevating statuary, moving chimes where they catch the breeze in a different way, changing the waterfall in my little pond so that the sound will carry to bedroom window as I lay in bed. It dawned on me that I wasnt wasting time. I decorated my outside world in a way that soothes my spirit & took a day to just "be".