Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Soap, herbs, cheese, maters, chicks

 Ok here we go. Thanks to Mercury my computer screen died and then flickered back to life. I'm going to get these pics up before it disappears again. I spent the morning putting all my pics on an external hard drive, just in case. Back those computers up, y'all!
Do you have things go wrong during Mercury retrograde? I do every time!

I made four batches of soap this week and they all came out really nice. Think fall. Cedarwood, fir needle, coffee beans, pumpkin, cocoa, cinnamon, patchouli, lemon, orange, dried calendula petals, seed pods, harvested rosemary. All subtle fragrance, but they are very artisan in appearance, I'm very pleased!

I used skin nourishing and moisturizing ingredients and clays and essential oils for soaps that are silky smooth, create great lather and are kind to your skin. They might be ready to go out into the world soooon.
The first bar was made with coffee, it's more brown than the photo shows. It has layers of cocoa, peppermint, patchouli, calendula, and kaolin, all things wintry and cozy.The second one was made with green tea, shea butter, and green clay and it is darker green than the photo. It smells of a fall walk in the woods. Fir needle, cedarwood, ho wood and lemongrass, topped with seed pods from the yard, rosemary from my garden and calendula petals for skin soothing. Third one is made with pumpkin, cardamom tea, cocoa powder and kaolin, with layers of cinnamon and calendula. The fragrance is lemon, ho wood, litsea and cedarwood, like a fall day.  The last one is a shea butter citrus blend of orange and lemon, with labdanum and cedarwood for depth. There is a lower layer of rosemary powder, then topped with calendula petals for nourishing the skin and just decorating the bar with fall happiness.

Soap logs before cutting. This last batch was a major effort and I pushed myself a bit farther than my capabilities right now, but I think it paid off. There are very talented soap makers out there that would certainly put me to shame here, but I'm pleased with these and pleased with the progress I see from the first batch I made and the second failed batch and the third nearly there batch. These are good. Still work to do on the fragrance, but I have been using some of the cured bars from the clay batch and they feel so incredible. Why in the world have I been buying grocery store soaps?!?!?!

I love the layers of pumpkin, cocoa and cinnamon in this one. Looks like a fall harvest.

Gerry gave me a cheese making kit for my birthday and here is my first effort at making mozzarella. It wasn't as stretchy as it should have been, more like a ricotta, but it was delicious. I celebrated by making a tomato sauce with tomatoes, basil and oregano from our garden and topping it with the cheese. Unbelievably good! I took photos but I had the camera on the wrong setting so it looked more like something the dog might have thrown up....

 We have harvested the last of our summer tomatoes. I cut a bunch of my herbs and tied them up for drying. We are getting one egg per day, the other two girls are not interested in the egg making business yet.... but the ones we are getting are so great. I'm quite the homesteader these days, haha!

".....and she said......" , girls just gotta gossip :) , but aren't they the prettiest things!?


Pam Wiseman said...

Beautiful soap! I can almost smell them! And yes, your girls are gorgeous!

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Pam, the scent is mild but very nice, still working that!

June Perry said...

Those are exquisite looking soaps Tracey.

Those toppings are scrumptious. Are you supposed to use the soap and let the topping come off naturally, or do people take them off before using? I haven't seen anyone address this.

Love your color combinations too. Brilliant to make a seasonal line!

June Perry said...

Those are exquisite looking soaps Tracey.

Those toppings are scrumptious. Are you supposed to use the soap and let the topping come off naturally, or do people take them off before using? I haven't seen anyone address this.

Love your color combinations too. Brilliant to make a seasonal line!

Lori Buff said...

Your soaps look and sound beautiful. I can almost smell them from your descriptions.

I can’t believe how fast the chickens have grown.

Tracey Broome said...

June, the toppings are totally decorative, I think personally I would give them a trim before using. I have used some soaps with herbs on top and they wash away almost immediately, it's really just an aesthetic thing, not much point in it except it was fun to do and they look pretty:) however, the calendula petals inside are beneficial for the skin and they are nice.
Lori, I know, my chicks grew way faster than I expected, just like my daughter! Glad you like the soaps xo

June Perry said...

Thanks Tracey. I thought that was the case. Wish I could smell those soaps. I can only imagine how great they smell - maybe like pumpkin pie, or?

Michèle Hastings said...

The soap is beautiful! I am always attracted to soap with the decorative element. I leave it on and let it wash away. I never considered taking it off!
The strange thing about handmade soap is that I can use it late spring, summer, and early fall, but once winter hits the only thing I can use on my face is Dove soap. If I don't use the Dove I get a patch of excema that hands around all winter.

Tracey Broome said...

Michele, that's really weird.... Dove soap always irritates my skin. Here are the ingredients for my soap:
Coconut oil, Palm oli, olive oil, Shea butter, essential oil, coffee, green tea or distiller water

Why I quit buying store soap:
Here are the ingredients listed online for Dove:
Stearic Acid
Coconut Acid
Sodium Tallowate
Sodium Isethionate
Sodium Stearate
Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Sodium Cocoate and/or Sodium Palm Kernelate
Sodium Chloride
Tetrasodium EDTA
Trisodium Etidronate
Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate

Dennis Allen said...

The girls look gorgeous ! That soap looks like it should be behind glass at a fudge store.

Vicki said...

Homesteader is exactly the word that came to mind when I saw these fabulous photos, Tracey.
You should be very proud of your soaps, they look beautiful! Will you sell online? And, I wonder if they'll be available to send to Australia - with customs etc?

Home made soft cheese is the best! Especially goats. Love it. Enjoy your new fresh, homegrown/made delights.

Your hens are so lovely. They're a joy aren't they? Love chickens...

Yep, as you'll know from some previous posts of mine, Mercury has been known to play merry hell at my place when he's dancin' backwards :)
And his influence is already showing signs around here. Ugh, two and a half more weeks...

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Dennis, I know, it looks like you could just take a bite out of it!
Oh Vicki, damn Mercury anyway!! More computer problems after this post, ugh! I don't know about the shipping rules for soaps, have to check into that.....

Tracey Broome said...

Michele, re: previous comment about Dove, I don't think those are harmful ingredients necessarily, but some have environmental impacts and how are they sourced, produced, etc..... My ingredients are organic, from sustainable farms and non gmo.....
I have also had problems with Oil of Olay that is supposed to be for sensitive skin, don't know which ingredient bothers me, but I have had no trouble with these I am making, Skin is funny isn't it?!

oldgreymareprimitives said...

You are really doing a happy dance these days...YAY!

Trish said...

Tracey.. ALL the photos are great, from soap to chickies...:)
I can just imagine the soap homemade soap. Good goin'. :) T.

Michèle Hastings said...

Tracey, your are right, skin allergies are definitely baffling. Aside from Dove soap, the dermatologist also suggested Cetaphil. Cetaphil works for me but it feels sort of filmy on my face. It was totally ineffective for my daughter, who just sticks to Dove soap. I have no clue what is in it (or not) that makes it effective.
Some essential oils leave a burning sensation on my skin and I have to be careful with them too.
For the most part, the rest of my body isn't as persnickety as my face.

Tracey Broome said...

Happy dance indeed, Suzan, just gotta be making something!
Hi Trish, thanks, the fragrance is getting there, still too to grow...
Michele, I have also used Cetaphil, it's a nice alternative.

Sandy miller said...

Well that soap, is it really soap? is lusciously beautiful! Can't imagine using it! Remember those little pink rose soaps your Grammy used put in a cut glass bowl in the bathroom? If you used it you got you clouted and were told the Fels Naptha was for kids. LOL oh those were the days!!

Wow your girls look Spring Time Fresh too! Is it the soap? My bitty's are molting at the moment. I dare not take pictures as I would arrested for animal cruelty. They are looking bedraggled for sure!

Tracey Broome said...

Sandy, my girls have not started molting yet, I thought it was time.....
On my grandmothers sink sat a cup with her teeth in it, cleaning in that denture cleaning stuff:-). I don't recall the soap, just the teeth