Monday, April 29, 2013

Gratitude List 4.29.13

My Gratitude List for this past week. 

My new shortcut to work

1. A surprise dinner visit from my son
2. An unexpected check in the mail
3. Finding a new shortcut on the way to work
4. My iPod, that makes boring jobs more tolerable
5. The full moon Friday night

What are you grateful for this week?

Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why l only use essential oils

My collection of soap making essential oils

I once was the person who could spend hours in a Yankee Candle store. I loved all the different fragrances, the strawberry, pumpkin, lemon chiffon, milk and honey, winter snow, ocean mist and baby powder.  And walking into Lush was like walking into heaven. So when I first started to make soap, I used fragrance oils. I had so much fun ordering them.  They all sounded delicious. I couldn't wait till they arrived so I could smell them. Soon though, I started getting headaches.  The debilitating kind of headache where I couldn't eat, think, or function. I would have to go straight to bed. And sometimes, even after I woke up, the pain was still there.  It didn't take me long to realize the headaches were caused by fragrance oils, and they had to go. Using them in such a concentrated form was no good for me. I started playing around with the essential oils and found they didn't bother me at all. So that is why I use them exclusively.  When people request/suggest I make a soap made with a fragrance oil, I will refer them to one of my soap maker friends who can use them. That way, we all win.

 Lavender, Lemongrass, Geranium, Orange and Peppermint

Grapefruit, Ylang Ylang, Anise and Rosemary

Some samples of Spearmint, Wintergreen and Carrot Seed

Clary Sage, Clove, and Beragmot

Tea Tree, Coriander and Camphor

Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gratitude List 4.22.13

The bombing in Boston this past week has me thinking that we are all just one phone call away from our knees. Life is so random, we never know what will happen one second to the next. This weeks list is a little somber.

1. Things are finally over in Boston.
2. My friends in the Boston area are all safe.
3. My faith, to help me through life's atrocities.
4. My legs, I can get up and walk.
5. My arms, I can type this, make soap, and hug my family.

What are you grateful for this week?

Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Perfume making

I have a hobby that I no longer have too much time for, and that is perfume making. I should probably pack away my supplies, but I keep hoping that soon I will have time. And besides, sometimes I just like to sit down and smell all the essential oils, absolutes and resins I have.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I have assisted Charna Eithier of Providence Perfume when she comes to teach her Natural Perfume classes in NYC. Before I was her assistant, I took both of the classes she teachers and started making perfumes.  I felt like a little kid again, mixing oils, diluting the absolutes, and tincturing whatever I could get my hands on. I also ordered Mandy Aftel's Perfume Workbook, along with the oil kit. Mandy's workbook takes a more structured approach to perfume making, but I enjoyed every part of it. Once I decided to turn my soap making hobby into a business though, there wasn't much time for perfume making. Still, I love all my perfume making materials and enjoy looking and smelling them.

The "perfume organ" that my dad made for me. (Thanks again Dad!)

Accessory notes from Providence Perfume

Base notes from Eden Botanicals

The perfume corner of my soap studio.
Charna has opened a store in Providence and isn't able to come to NYC so the next perfume class will be given by Julianne Zaleta. I'm looking forward to seeing how someone else approaches the craft of perfume making and learning more about the hobby I no longer have much time for.

Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gratitude List 4.15.13

1. The first sunny, warm, drive-with-your-windows-down day of spring this year
2. My visit to the Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center
3. Finding an hour of free time between appointments and a thrift shop to spend the time
4. The acoustic version of Matthew West song Forgiveness
5. A clear, starry Monday night

Yours in Gratitude,

Friday, April 12, 2013

My TA bag

I have lots of bags.  I have a pocketbook, a yoga bag, a lap top bag, a beach bag, an evening bag (not that I need one too often!), a travel bag, an indoor craft fair bag, and an outdoor one.  But one of my favorite bags is what I call my "Marla" bag, or my TA bag.  If you read one of my previous post, you can see that I travel to the city to help Marla with her Bath & Body University. I find it helpful to have this bag packed and when she has a class, I just grab my bag and go.  I keep it filled with everything I'll need to help Marla and her students.

In this bag I keep

Dawn dish washing detergent-the only soap that will clean up all those rich oils and butters
Rubber gloves-to protect my hands from the raw soap
Masking tape-to label things once they are weighed out
Apron (from the Handcrafted Soap Guild, of course!)
Ziploc bags
Plastic grocery bags-in case someone needs a bag to carry home all the goodies they made
Paper towels-for spills
Terry cloth towels-to dry glassware
Hair clip-to keep my hair out of my face and out of the product we are making
Extra pens and pencils-there is always one or two people in class who forget to bring them

I like having everything in one place, it makes things simpler, don't you think?

Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Gratitude List 4.8.13

My Gratitude List this week has a theme...getting where I need to be.

1 .My legs, they get me where I need to go.

2 .My car, also gets me where I need to go.

3. The Long Island Rail Road. Some may say it's impossible to be grateful for the LIRR, but I hate to drive in the city and when I need to go in, I am grateful I can get there without driving.

4. My parents, who taught me the direction to go in.

5. My husband, the one I want to travel with while I get there.

What are you grateful for this week?

Yours in Gratitude,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Customer of the Month

Sharon is my April Customer of the Month. I met Sharon at a Holy Trinity High School Craft Fair. Sharon is camera shy.  Since my Limited Edition soaps are her favorite, she requested I post a picture of them.

I'm a senior citizen who is comfortable around people and who loves animals. I like the luxury of beautiful handmade and exotic soaps and enjoy long, hot, relaxing baths.

I have been using Alegna Soaps for a year and a half. I wish I knew about them sooner. The Limited Editions are my favorite.

In my spare time I like to go to craft and street fairs. I enjoy my pets and spending time with my friends. I have four cats.  Three of them are very independent but the fourth one is very affectionate.

I like movies with Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, and Barbara Streisand.  Pretty Woman was one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, due to illness I haven't been able to go to the moves in a while. I don't really follow sports, but I do enjoy watching the summer and winter Olympics.  Occasionally, I will watch Basketball and Golf.

A perfect day for me would be a day without pain, with plenty of sunshine, spent with friends.

I prefer tea over coffee and am a night person.

I am inspired by the strength of those suffering from a serious illness.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know Sharon!

Yours in Gratitude,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Gratitude List 4.1.13

My kids

1- A beautiful full moon
2- My dad's last chemo treatment!!
3- A great Easter weekend with my husband and children
4- A sunny Monday
5- Local raw honey in my jasmine green tea

What are you grateful for this week?

Yours in Gratitude,