Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eden's Secret soaps

The other day I received an unexpected package in the mail. I was delighted when I saw the pink box and Eden logo. But I was also a little perplexed at how Karen might have gotten my address. Turns out there was a bugaboo in her website last month. I was window shopping on the site a few weeks back and apparently the order went through inadvertently. I notified Karen immediately hoping that she had already realized the issue and had corrected it. She sent me back the sweetest email saying I could keep the soaps with her blessing. All she asked was that I talk about her soaps. Well, I can sure do that! First the eye candy...
Look how gorgeously the soaps are packaged. You've got to check out her You Tube channel to see how she hand cuts and wraps every single piece of soap she sells. The attention to detail is amazing. Those labels are hand cut around all that fancy scallop work. The soap names are hand written on the back of the labels and all tied up with curly ribbon bows.

I received 4 soaps in all. The first is Cashmere Creme soap.
I cut off a piece from the end and have been using it as my kitchen sink soap. The soap has poppy seeds in it which provide a nice gentle scrub. The lather is lush and creamy and the scent is light and does not linger on my skin. My skin is left soft even after multiple washings when cooking. I'm very impressed with this soap.

Next is Kismet Karma. This pale orange soap is reminiscent of Lush's Karma, one of my favorite Lush scents.
 Orange and patchouli. She decorated the soap with a dried orange slice and a touch of glitter.

For me the highlight of the package was the cupcake soap. I've been obsessing over the current trend in cake and cupcake shaped soaps. Especially with being on the diet, it's appealing to have my cake and NOT eat it! 
Although it looks like a cupcake, it is indeed soap. Top to bottom. Having made soap, I am in awe of the artistry involved. I'm sure it boils down to the right recipe to get the soap batter to a consistency that can be piped to look like frosting. Karen nails it. She decorated the top with some tiny soap slices and a real miniature rose bud.

The freebie soap she says is a glycerin soap which I'm guessing is what I would call melt & pour. But it's not like any melt & pour I've done. It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite commercial soaps, Primal Elements. It has a creamy rose pink base with translucent swirls throughout.
All in all I am truly impressed with Karen's work. Her soaps are not only beautiful, but luxurious to use as well. She also produces other bath & body products which she sells on her site, Eden's Secret. Do check out her store and You Tube videos. And Karen, if you read this, thanks again!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The mug to end all mugs

I made it through a very large portion of my life before developing a love for coffee. I'd always been a tea girl. But over the last year or two, I've fallen for the elixir that is coffee. Mostly flavored coffee and then still mostly chocolate flavors. Sweet with cream, please. I received a cute little 4 cup coffee maker as a gift and it's just perfect since the hubby doesn't drink coffee. Although it does irritate me that a "cup" of coffee is only like 6 oz. What's up with that? 
So I've been searching for a sheep mug to hold my morning brew. For the longest time I wanted one of Jennie the Potter's mugs, but they tend to sell out as soon as she lists them. Then recently I discovered Peg's Table Top and was smitten. Peg makes mugs, trivets, yarn bowls and platters. Here themes are mostly knitting or vegetable related. Her designs are whimsical and colorful. I convoed her and asked if she'd be willing to make a mug to my request and she happily agreed. It only took a few weeks to get my order since I happened to catch her right before a firing. Here is the piece of art I received...
I absolutely adore this mug. It is huge. Huge I tell you. She states they are 16oz mugs but mine holds that entire 4 "cup" pot of coffee. It is a literal coffee bucket. I could not be more thrilled with it. I highly recommend her shop if you are looking for a nice big mug.

....and now it's March

2011 is flying by. Work is keeping me hopping and my bandwidth has been low. There's been some knitting and some reading and tons of time spent watching indy soapers on You Tube.
Knitting...
The Tardis socks have been frogged yet again. I appear to be incapable of getting the floats and/or gauge loose enough to fit over a human heel. R suggested I might convert the pattern to mittens. While it burns me to admit defeat on the socks, I am considering the option. For now (and until work calms down and I can loosen up) the whole project is in time-out.

I finished the first Everlasting Monkey sock and am motoring up the 2nd. Again, love the pattern, love the yarn. 

The Shipwreck shawl has maybe another row or two finished. I put the kibosh to the idea of changing beads. The cost is just way more than I'm willing to pay when I've already spent this much on beads. I'm coming to terms with spending time moving beads and making sure I move them a good long way each time so I can enjoy more knitting time in between.

Fylingdales even saw some daylight this week. Oh how I love cabling. I really need to get this sweater done so I can wear it.

Books...
I read Death on Demand, the first of that series from Carolyn Hart. Since I had read a later book in the series already, I could rule out at least two of the suspects right off the bat. And it wasn't terribly hard to figure out who the killer was. But it was an easy and enjoyable read.

I'm still reading Essence and Alchemy which is quite enjoyable. I'll never be a master perfumer, but it is wonderful to peek inside Aftel's mind.  Her passion for scent is obvious and infectious.

I did not enjoy The Soap Maker's Workshop. The book can't seem to decide if it's geared towards home or industrial soap making. It was written by a husband and wife team which may account for the two perspectives. I didn't feel I gained much from reading it and wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a good soaping book. Pick up Everything Soapmaking if you want a good soap book.

And speaking of soap, I'd like to recommend some excellent You Tube channels by home soapmakers. I've purchased from some of these folks, others I've just ogled at. It is fascinating to see different methods of soaping and hear the soapers describe their soaps. These are some of my favorites in no particular order...
The Future Primitive (Tiggy)
Sugarbubbles Soap (Candy)
Beacon Creations
Wicked Scentuals
Snowblum (not a soaper but a reviewer)
Edens Secret