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Beer Suds Soap

Beer Suds Soap

Beer Suds Soap, made with Great Lakes’ Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and ground up New Zealand Pacific Jade aromatic hops, combines the moisture-rich qualities of our soaps with the wonderful properties of beer. The next time you grab a beer to drink it, you might consider for one minute the possibility of applying it to your face instead. Then, you will likely drink it anyway. I don’t blame you! Well after a bit of research, we learned all about beer on your face. Here we go!

Beer applied to your skin can prevent free radical damage to the skin and assist it to look more youthful. Beer can also clear up your complexion, treat dry flakes, and make the skin smooth and supple thanks to the pantothenic acid and vitamin complex. The brewer’s yeast in beer is instrumental in the prevention of wrinkles and restoring the skin. Brewer’s yeast can also help improve the symptoms of acne by slowing down the sebum production and killing off the bacteria that trigger acne. Much like the antibacterial qualities of beer which fight acne, beer’s astringent component makes it useful for cleaning out pores. But that’s just the beer-ginning (beginning). We also added freshly ground hops into our soap as well! Hops just happen to be a stellar exfolliant and have anti-inflammatory properties which help soothe your skin gently. Hops boosts collagen and elastin levels which both improve skin’s structure and appearance. Humulone in hops can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and decrease surface blood vessels. Overall, beer and hops together make an excellent skincare team!

Our Beer Suds Soap is full of rich, sudsy, creamy lather and since the hops and beer do not scent the soap very well, we have added a little bit of fresh cedarwood oil. Oh how we just adore the scent of cedar with its fresh cedar forest appeal.

So suds up! Beer Suds Soap is available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/183731834/beer-suds-soap-eco-friendly-and-natural?ref=shop_home_active_17

Our shop is always open, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftybynaturestudio

So next time you reach for that beer and are about to drink it, just think, “I might want this beer on my face!” And I know when no one is looking, you might just dab some onto your face just for giggles.

Beer Suds Soap

Beer Suds Soap

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Coming soon is the newly made Charcoal Soap with Patchouli-Vanilla Swirl, made with activated charcoal and a wee bit of plain soap swirled together. The activated charcoal comes from burnt coconut fibers and it helps to draw out impurities and toxins right out of your skin, leaving a clear and clean complexion. We always add extra moisturizing shea butter and aloe vera to each soap so it leaves your skin feeling renewed and lovely. Our soaps will never dry your skin because we cherish happy, moisturized skin! This is the 2nd time we have ever done a hanger swirl and we are quite pleased. We actually use a coat hanger to swirl the soap; imagine that! It works like a charm! It is so exciting to see the soap once it is cut into bars and you can see all the swirls. I’ll have to post more pictures of that soon, now that they are cut. For now, here is the big soap block right before I sliced it into bars.

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We are about to launch a new body butter and could use your help! We’d like to ask you what scent of body butter would you prefer the most? Please take a couple seconds to help us out! Thank you so very much! We are so excited to have a new body butter; a lot of people have asked us for one.


palmfreesoap

I did it. I thought it would be impossible but I made a rich, lathering, moisture-rich, sudsy, bubbly, and lovely soap that contains zero palm oil. Palm oil is a very delicate subject. It is both a soapmaker’s dream and their worst nightmare at the same time. Palm oil is ideal for making a very nice bar of soap. It is semi solid at room temperature and it is renowned for producing big, fluffy, wonderful lather. So what’s the problem? Well, if you are like I was up until recently, you might think people were nuts to not embrace palm oil. That was until I read the articles on NPR, Wikipedia, and countless other sources. To sum it up, palm oil harvesting involves chopping down mass quantities of perfectly healthy trees, never replanting them, destroying the land and displacing or killing endangered species like orangutans and Sumatran white tigers, releasing large quantities of carbon into the air, and furthering global warming. I will have no part in this dirty soapmaking now that I am fully aware of the true light of palm oil. Watch out for palm oil in some of your favorite packaged foods, too, as it is used far more widely in the food industry than it ever was in soap or cosmetics. Now we can all be proud to be clean AND green with palm oil free soaps! So it’s official: I have completely rewritten my soap recipe and I now completely exclude any palm oil from any of my products. Time to celebrate! The first soap I made palm free was my Lavender Orange, which is nearly sold out already. Pure Patchouli soap with ground oatmeal for extra soft skin and Lavender Fields soap also with oatmeal are ready on August 1, 2013. I will have to make more soaps this weekend, and practically every weekend for a good long while. Through using other soapmaker’s soaps that were palm-free, I thought it would never be possible to get a wonderfully fluffy lather without palm. I tried some soap from another soapmaker (no names will be mentioned ever) and it only produced slime when I washed my hands with it. SLIME! Absolutely no lather. My hopes were lost at first. But in the end, I tried my hardest to write a wonderful lathery soap recipe and it is really paying off. Goodbye, palm oil and hello big lather! Who knew? I am so very happy.


We are going to have a great month full of craft shows to peddle our wares. We’ll have all our latest pottery as well as all our latest soaps and lotions on hand for these shows. If you will be in the Columbus, Ohio area this month, you should definitely stop on by! We will be one of many vendors at these events so the great news is there will be lots of diversity of all sorts of art and crafty goodness to select from and browse.

Our show schedule is up on our website here at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/upcoming-shows

This Saturday will be the wonderful Columbus Craftacular, held at Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville!

Next Saturday, May 11th will be the Migratory Bird Fest, Plant Sale, and Arts/Crafts Day at the Audubon Center!

The following Saturday, May 18th, Will be Green on the Green in Worthington at 161 & High St!

ALL THREE FESTIVALS are ecologically friendly themed. We are right where we want to be!

See you there! Mention this blog post and get 25% off any item in our little shop. Woo hoo!


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Exactly 4 weeks ago, I set out to make my very first swirl soap using rose-colored kaolin clay. I was beyond excited and could barely wait until TODAY. Today is the exact day that the soaps became fully cured and ready for use. Today is the day I got to try my new swirl soap. Did it lather? Oh yes it sure did quite a bit! Does it seem moisturizing enough considering the clay content? Again a definite yes! I think by mixing the clay with avocado oil before introducing it into the soap really helps to boost the moisture content. Does the multiple essential oil blend smell great? It’s wonderful, woodsy, uplifting, and bright! In fact, when I tried this new soap today, my husband was home and nearby. I tried the soap, decided it was pretty awesome, and said to my husband, “Here try this” and handed him the soap. About 60 seconds later he was saying, “I like this soap; it’s manly.” I consider that a big compliment.

The swirl part was one area I know I can improve. I ended up with a really wonderful soap full of ridiculous lather and gorgeous essential oil scents, but the swirl was not so very swirly. Next time I will more aggressively blend the swirl of the rose-colored kaolin clay into the plain colored soap.

I should mention the wonderful aromatic of this soap. I made a blend of litsea essential oil, patchouli essential oil, lavender essential oil, and lemon essential oil. The result is a gorgeous, rich, full, woodsy lemon aromatic. It is bright and uplifting. I have made this soap before, just without the swirl. Every time men get to sniff this soap, they tend to really like it. My husband is a big fan of this aromatic.

If you are wondering what litsea is, it is very similar to lemon essential oil but more intense and woodsy. Litsea grows usually as a tree but sometimes a large shrub. It produces small, inedible fruits that contain a lot of the litsea essential oil. I believe they also utilize the leaves to get the essential oil of litsea, too. It holds better in cold process soaps than lemon essential oil does as it has more staying power due to its full, rich, earthy scent.

I love litsea and I really love this soap! Next time, more swirls! Next up on my agenda for new soaps is an interesting new one; sea clay swirled green man soap! I am excited for that one! Here is my swirled lemon chiffon soap available for sale:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/119723426/lemon-chiffon-swirl-soap-eco-friendly


I became intensely inspired and determined to make a swirl soap. I used my own recipe for making the soap and modified it slightly to incorporate the swirling in of some natural rose-colored kaolin clay which is great for the skin. The aromatic blend I selected for this soap is very interesting, uplifting, and fresh. I used four essential oils and they make quite a wonderful aromatherapy blend when combined. The first one is Litsea, a very intense essential oil that smells like concentrated lemon zest. Litsea Cubeba is an evergreen shrub or small tree with lemon-scented leaves and small, pepper-like fruit. Litsea’s flowers, leaves, and fruit are used to extract the essential oil. The second was patchouli, a very woodsy, outdoorsy scent from the patchouli plant. Patchouli is also a shrub but it is a deciduous herb in which the leaves are used for the aromatic essential oil. Then I used a little bit of lavender essential oil and finished it up with some lemon essential oil. Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from the lavender plant’s flowers and leaves. Lemon essential oil is of course extracted from lemon trees. The resulting combination of essential oils is what my husband likes to call “Man Soap” but I was thinking perhaps I might call it “Greenman Soap” instead. It is like a woodsy, earthy, and bright lemon aromatic. I really love this soap! It will be available for sale after it is finished curing for 4 weeks. Made on December 10th, it will be ready by my birthday on January 7th! What a great birthday gift! I can hardly wait to use this one!

swirled


Today I had the pleasure of speaking at a women’s teacher’s group at one of their meetings.  I had met the president of this group at the Worthington Green on the Green festival last year.  She bought an “I Love You Lotion” and mentioned her group and that she might contact me to see if I’d be interested in speaking about my small woman-owned business to her group.  Well that day finally came and was today.  I went through the history of how my little business got started and how we have progressed.  It was great because I hadn’t realized the dates of some of my milestones that had occured until I looked them up on old blog posts actually.

Some of our milestones for Crafty by Nature have been…

2009:  I developed our first product which started out as a Christmas gift, but ended up as Working Hands Skin Repair.

2010:  I vended at my very first Art & Craft show at the Grove City Art & Craft Show

2011:  I developed the recipe and made my first “true” lotion called “I Love You Lotion.”  I call this a “true” lotion because it is emulsified oils, water, and wax that stays blended.

2012:  I made a great journey to Rapidan, Virginia to learn soap-making from one of the pros, my soap mentor and now friend, Michele Blackwood.  I knew of her through buying her soaps and absolutely falling in love with her soaps.  Now I can make my own soaps that are awesome, using my very own recipe I wrote.

After my talk with the women’s teacher’s group, members of the group bought a bunch of my lotions and soaps.  It was really rewarding and wonderful to be able to spend time with this group and give everyone the opportunity to really learn about my business and my products.  I went over some of my pottery workshops information as well and some were interested in taking a potter’s wheel class sometime.  Overall, this was a really rewarding and exciting day for me to introspect and learn about my own milestones in my little business and share everything I have learned along my journey so far with some wonderful women today.

I am thankful for this opportunity.  It really allowed me to stop and look back at my prior milestones and see how far I have come and gives me hope and inspiration for carrying on into the future!  I feel so motivated now!

Yay!


Becki Cooper, director of Avant Garde Art & Craft Shows, was interviewing me and posted this little article on their blog.  We will be at the Columbus Avant Garde Art & Craft Show on August 19th from 1:30 to 6:30pm.  We will be there along with 125 other local artists and crafters.  It is at the Greek Orthodox Church in the Short North.  The location more specifically is The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral-               555 N. High St, Columbus, OH 43215.  Admission is $3 and proceeds benefit Local Matters, a non profit that educates people about healthy local foods & produce.
Hope to see you at the Columbus Avant Garde, and now here’s the blog interview…
Meet Karen Buoncristiano from Crafty By Nature…
I can’t stop making my own ceramics, lotions, and soaps. After I got married and no longer had a wedding to plan, I became stir crazy and needed a new challenge.  Most years for Christmas, I began making gifts by hand for at least a good portion of our gift giving. About 10 years of dabbling in all sorts of various arts and crafts, I narrowed it down to two categories I truly loved: ceramics and handmade bath & body goods.
    I am married to a wonderful husband who also loves making pottery on the potter’s wheel and he is doing great, picking up lots of skill. We spend a lot of time with our two loving dogs, hiking around for some fresh air and to immerse ourselves in nature.
I have been a potter for about 8 years. I have been a lotion & soap maker since 2009. I have been creating a wide variety of art as well as crafts since about 1992. Before that, I spent my entire childhood drawing, sculpting things, and painting.
My creativity is such a huge part of me, that I think it has always been there. My parents were both artists and showed me a lot of encouragement for doing art. I was definitely raised with the idea that art has a lot of value and appeal. I thank my parents for that.
I started making ceramics in the early 1990s and have always loved it. There is only so much of your own handmade pottery you can fit in your house, so I began selling my work. The reason I got into making my own lotions & soaps was curiosity. I wanted to see if I could make lotions & soaps, and I found out I can!
How I got into selling my craft.. One year for Christmas gifts, I decided to make up my own recipe for gardener’s hand salve and include it in a garden themed gift basket. People LOVED this hand salve and insisted I make more, and asked me if I would begin selling it. I said yes and the rest is history!
My creative process.. Sometimes I just make something on the potter’s wheel and I feel like “it” decides what it is going to end up as. Other times I plan ahead. For lotions and soaps, I try to think what would smell really great and yet be very moisturizing at the same time. Sometimes it takes several attempts at a soap or lotion recipe before I get it good enough for my standards.
I think my most favorite item so far would be my “little bird” teapot.  I really love how that turned out and it makes a great cup of tea!
I am hope is to one day be able to leave my full-time job and do Crafty by Nature full-time. I’d love to be in many more retail stores, do more craft shows, and make much more ceramics. Time is sometimes a constraint for me at the moment, but nothing will hold me back from creating!
Lastly, I’d like to thank my husband for the faith he has had in me and especially the patience he has displayed when I said “I just bought a potter’s wheel,” and “I just bought a seven cubic foot kiln that weighs 280 pounds!” He has been very patient with me living my dreams, and he has even become a potter himself too! Thanks Nick!

We just made more soaps of the Lemon Poppyseed variety and also the Almond Soap variety.  We also made two brand new soaps, a Vanilla Spice and a Coconut Soap.  They all are such a lovely aroma!

The Lemon Poppyseed and Almond soaps will be ready June 30.  The Vanilla Spice and Coconut Soap will be ready on July 8th.  All cold process artisan made soap must be cured for about 4 to 6 weeks time.  This allows the soap time to mellow a bit so it is not overly cleansing and also allows a lot of the water to escape from the soap.  The less water in a bar of soap, the longer it will last in your bath, sink, or shower.   No one wants their new soap to melt away after only a few uses, so the curing time is important.

Despite my knowledge about how important the curing time is for soap, it is not easy to wait the entire month or so for the soap to be ready.  I always feel like a kid on Christmas morning when it is the 4 to 6 week anniversary of the soap and it is ready to try!  I like to reserve a sliver of soap for me to try out of each batch I make just to ensure it is lathering enough, cleansing just right, and moisturizing so it leaves your skin oh so very soft and clean.

What is a wonderful artisan made soap without a proper soap dish?  So I decided while I am on the soap theme, I would make more wonderful soap dishes.  I actually had a lot of help this time from one of my part time assistants!  Together we made 12 new and wonderful soap dishes, most of which have leaf impressions from various local plants and trees.  The way we make our soap dishes is 100% by hand from natural clay and we of course fire them in the kiln two times.  The first firing is always to prepare the clay for the glaze and is called “bisque firing.”  The second firing is done after we apply the glaze to the bisque phase to get all our colors and finishes.

11 out of the 12 new soap dishes have leaf impressions from maples, japanese maples, ferns, junipers, birch, and honey locust trees.  The 1 out of 12 that is different is now adorned with a Claddaugh symbol, an Irish symbol made up of a heart with hands around it and a crown on top.  The Claddaugh can be explained a bit by the saying, “With these hands, I give you my heart and crown it with my love.”  It is a lovely symbol indeed and very popular among many people and especially the Irish. 

Next time I make soap dishes, I want to focus on even more variety of different leaves to push into the clay and leave their impressions.  We press the leaves into the clay when it is a good pliable texture and not quite “leatherhard” state just yet.  We do not leave the leaves pressed onto the clay because we like to re-use the same leaf many times.  We have another technique to make the leaf impressions even more distinguishable, but that is a secret so I better not tell!  We always put small holes in the soap dishes so that they promote drainage of the water away from the soap.  No one wants soggy soap so the drain holes are important.  And lastly, we have to add little legs onto all those soap dishes so that they can sit properly and drain properly.  Finally, we sign the bottoms, which I am just realizing I forgot to do!  Better write that on my to-do list for next time in the studio!

That’s what I have been up to this week!  Hope you can get a chance to get your hands onto a good bar of soap soon.  Artisan made soaps made from all natural, vegan ingredients are the best ever in my opinion! 

I have some listed on my etsy site right now, and will have more in 2 weeks, then even more by July 8th!

You can shop around online easily on etsy and here’s my page:
www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com

Have a wonderful and creative day!