Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WVFD Used Book Sale Starts July 31st

July31, Aug1,2,3, are the days to head down to the Walker Valley Fire Departments Used Book Sale, Flea Market, Farmers Market, & Yard Sale.

Kelli & Greg Greer & their helpers have been sorting countless volumes and have set up the entire social hall like a library for your shopping pleasure. All sorts of vendors are scheduled to be on hand to make this a fabulous & fun event! Don't miss this one!!

I've been down almost everyday and have come away with a wonderful selection of books & movies! And I'm not done yet! Stock up on all your summer reading and support a great cause!

I'll be down on Sunday with a selection of goodies from the barn and some great SALE items! Its never too early to start thinking about your Christmas gift giving!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pine Bush Sweet Corn Celebration

What says Summer better than fresh picked roasted ears of sweet corn? Saturday is the Sweet Corn Celebration at The Pine Bush Farmers Market. All market shoppers can sample fresh corn, roasted to perfection . Roasting gives corn a nutty flavor that can't be beat! Take home a dozen and try it yourself!

We'll be there with our cold process goat milk soap, handmade African Market Baskets ( NEW SHIPMENT & great selection), handmade beeswax candles, and our " Goat in a Sweater" handfelted soaps!

The market is located behind the Crawford Cultural Center in the municipal parking lot at Main & New Streets

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Market Baskets are Here

We just got a new shipment of African Market Baskets. We never know what we'll get exactly, so its a bit like Christmas when we open them up

They are shipped to us flat and need to be re hydrated and reshaped before we can put them in the shop. They are shipped to us inside one another, so getting them apart is the first adventure.

Miss Johnson is a great help with the baskets. First she removes the customs tags from each. Then she fills up the 'basket bathtub' . Each basket is then dipped in tepid water for about 15 seconds to give the grass a chance to soften. She's very careful not to wet the leather and carefully counts out the time for each & every basket. Then mom reshapes each and sets them out to dry. They will be re tagged before they are brought to the Farmers Market and placed in the shop.

Our baskets are a Fair Trade Federation purchase from the Bolgatanga Region of Ghana, West Africa. Basket weaving is mostly done by the women of this region to supplement their income from farming activities. The mission was to assist poor rural women in earning a fair income from the fruit of their labor in order to care for their children. If the women can create an income, it provides for the children as well as promoting self-esteem for the weaver, the children, and the village.

How are these baskets made?

Elephant grass straw is collected from the tops of the stalk, and each piece is split in half vertically by biting through it.

Each half of the split straw is twisted tightly by rolling against the weavers leg to give it strength.

The straw is put in bunches and dyed. For bright colors, the straw is first dyed yellow, then the color.

The weaver selects appropriate straw for the base, sides, and handle. The selection of the proper straw for the various parts is critical to good weaving.

Weaving starts at the base and works up to the rim. Rims are generally wrapped with straw to form a tube like edge.

The handles are wrapped around a grass core and leather handles applied by local leather workers.

Remaining bits of straw are carefully trimmed off. The trimming determines how the basket feels to the touch.

A medium basket takes three days to weave.

Each basket is made entirely by hand, and varies slightly in size & pattern. The individuality of each weaver shows clearly in these baskets. No two are identical and each is one of a kind. Such is the beauty of handmade!

These beautiful handmade baskets are available at The Pine Bush Farmers Market every Saturday and Wed-Sun at 1846 House Soaps & Hand Made Gallery.

Farm Eggs for Sale

Horatio and the girls are hard at work to provide you with Farm Fresh Brown Eggs each week at the Pine Bush Farmers Market. The market is held on Saturdays from 9-1:30 behind the Cultural Center. Come early, because the hen fruit has been selling out every week! You can also get your eggs at 1846 House Soaps & Hand Made Gallery , Wed-Sunday from 11-6. There's always something new at The Barn!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Goat in a Sweater

Pure Romney Wool is hand dyed, wrapped around a bar of our goat milk & shea butter soap,
then hand felted to create " GOAT IN A SWEATER" . As you wash, the wool continues to felt, acts as a mildly exfoliating washcloth, shrinking as the soap does.

No slivers of soap to chase around in the shower. You can use every bit of your handmade soap. The wool wicks water away from the soap is help it last a long time. As with all handmade soap, keep in a soap dish that allows it to dry between uses.

When the soap is gone, you have a one of a kind felt bag to open & keep a tresure in, or a felted cleaning pad for your face.

Our cold process goat milk and shea butter soap is handmade in small batches, cut, and allowed to cure for at least four weeks before wrapping. Food grade oils, creamy goat milk, and African shea butter combine with fragrance and essential oils to create a natural soap that cleanses gently, smoothes, and softens.

Handmade from start to finish, no two bars will be identical. This is a Pot Luck auction. In my "felting frenzy" I lost track of the fragrances! So you will be getting a surprise scent felted the varigated wool romney

Goat in a Sweater felted soap is now in my shop @

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Manager

Grey Girl & her Sister Brownie allow me to have my shop in their barn. The girls were born in the barn and are as fat, spoiled, and sassy as any house cats. Their move to the house will be a bit of an adjustment for all of us, but I'm sure they will learn the advantages of being house cats quickly!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Soap Barn

1846 House Soaps & Handmade Gallery is a brick & mortar store in a restored 1850's barn located at 3697 Route 52 in Walker Valley New York.( 5 miles West of Pine Bush) Situated in the Heart of the beautiful Mid Hudson Valley, we are located on the Scenic Byway & are on the way to Sam's Point Preserve. Hours are Wednesday - Sunday from 11-6. We are at The Pine Bush Farmers Market every Saturday from 9-1:30 till Oct.

Our signature cold process goat milk soap is handmade in small batches, cut by hand, and cured for at least 4 weeks prior to wrapping. Our mission is to create a gentle, healthy alternative for those who prefer a more natural soap. Simple, pure, and good for your skin.

Come and browse our selection of beautifully restored vintage textiles. From the Victorian Era to the 1950's and everything in between. Elegant, eclectic, and functional: vintage textiles coordinate beautifully with today's contemporary or yesterdays treasured antiques.

A good selection of Fair Trade, Handmade, African Markets Baskets of sturdy Elephant Grass from Ghana are always on hand with new shipments thru out the year.

Flying Pig Pottery, Monro Granite Cheese Boards, The Lace Toadstool, Happy Herbs Soap & Incense, Bill Mohl Pottery Lamps, & SamsArt Jewlery are currently featured in our hand made gallery.

We are seeking talented local artists to join us in our gallery. Space is limited and all submissions will be juried. For additional information: 845-744-2995 or

If you can't make it to the barn, 1846 House Soaps is open 24 hrs a day at:

A different kind of shopping is waiting for you in the barn...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Walker Valley Used Book Sale & Flea Market

What started out with Kelli Palinkas Greer volunteering at The Thrall Library Used Book Store in Middletown New York, has turned into a wonderful fundraiser for the Walker Valley Fire Department.

Several years ago, the Cragsmoor Library contacted Kelli with many cases of used books they no longer needed. Soon, Ellenville joined in & Kelli's whole studio was filled with books waiting for a new home. She brought boxes weekly to Thrall, but the books kept on coming. Together with Greg Greer ( past fire chief & now Kelli's husband) the idea was discussed with the Walker Valley Fire Deptartment who agreed to provide the space, tables, and help.

Over 1000 titles found new homes last year, and the funds raised were donated to the FD to help purchase new turnout gear & protective clothing.

For those who love to read, bargains galore await you! Hardcover books are $1. Paperbacks are 50 cents. Romance Novels are 25 cents & kids books are 10cents. When was the last time you stocked up on a whole summers worth of reading material for yourself & your family for a price like that? My daughter & I left last year with a shopping bag full of books for each of us for a few dollars.

The event was so successful, that this year it has expanded. The bigger & better event is scheduled for: July 31, Aug1,2,&3
This years event includes the used book sale, but also a flea market & garage sale, vendors, craftspeople, farmers with fresh produce, & prepared food to take home or eat as you shop.

Everyone is invited to set up shop. There is no charge for the space. The event will take place at The Walker Valley Firehouse, Route 52, Walker Valley NY. Prior registration is required and spots will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Call Greg Greer @ 744-8757 to reserve your spot.

Donations are still being accepted & can be dropped off at:

Quimby & Smith Main St Pine Bush

or 1846 House Soaps in the Old Red Barn
Route 52 , Walker Valley ( Hrs Wed-Sun 11-6)