Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daytona Beach Seed Swap Dates for January 2013

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  I have dates set for our next Daytona Beach seed freedom swap for January 2013.  Please mark your calendars.  I received an amazing collection of seeds from WinterSown.org and I am looking forward to sharing them with our group.  I also have seeds that came too late for our last swap from Garden Hoard and Moonlight Microfarm.  Bring open pollinated seeds to swap.  No hybrids.  No GMO seeds.  Please also bring small envelopes for seeds.

The dates and times for our next swap are as follows:

Sunday January 27th 4 PM at the Bonner Center Community Garden in Daytona Beach.  The garden is located behind The Chiles Academy which is at 868 George W Engram Blvd, Daytona Beach.  The garden entrance is behind Chiles off of Laura St. 

Tuesday January 29th 10 AM at the Ormond Beach Library in Meeting room 4. This is one of the smaller meeting rooms in the back near the office, not the large area used for voting. The library is located at 30 South Beach Street, Ormond Beach

Save the dates and save your seeds!

Please feel welcome to forward this message to your gardening friends also.  You can RSVP on Facebook for Sunday or Tuesday

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Green Friday Sale and CyberMonday Sales at AquarianBath

Green Friday Sales with EcoEtsy

This year I'm participating in a green Friday sale together with my EcoEtsy Team mates. You can search Etsy for Teamecoetsy and GreenFriday to find participating shops. Check the individual shop announcements for details on discounts. The coupon code 'greenfriday' can be used at all shops. I will be offering 10% off in my Aquarian Bath Etsy shop.

CyberMonday Sale at AquarianBath.com

On Monday at my main site, which is AquarianBath.com I you can also use the coupon code 'shophandmade' for 15% off.

I hope you will stop by and check out all of the beautiful new Microwave Flaxseed pillows that I have been making.  Here are a few of my favorites.

One of a kind  SOLD Squirrel and Hazelnuts Microwave Flax pillow with Organic Flax and Lavender
2 other squirrel and Flax pillows are available in Tan 

I have this beautiful large print botanical fabric made up unscented, with Lavender, with Lavender-Rose and with Spearmint-Lavender-Chamomile

My husband helped me pick out this fabric.  I love the autumn colors.  I made this fabric up in Lavender and Spearmint-Lavender-Chamomile.

 Have a great weekend.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my followers. I appreciate you and hope will have a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Enjoy your day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

3 Tips to Maximize the Shelf Life of Handmade Soaps

Lavender Patchouli Mint Hemp Oil Soap

Do you love handmade soaps?  I'm happy to share my tips for making them last as long as possible. Since soaps are made from natural oils and fats, they are vulnerable to oxidation (becoming rancid) just as food oils.   Handmade soaps are also rich in Glycerine (unlike commercial soaps in which the Glycerine has been extracted) they need to be allowed to dry out completely in between use.

1) First, start out right by buying soap from a reputable seller.  If you live in a humid or hot climate you need to be careful buying soap at a Flea Market or other outdoor selling venue.  It is possible to get good soaps at a flea or farmer's market, but often times the soaps that are sold are over exposed to the elements which can shorten the shelf life.  If you are living in a cold and relatively dry climate, then you should have no problem finding good handmade soaps at a market.  Here in Florida, I do not to take my soaps out into the elements most of the year.  Soaps I have seen in Florida out at markets or pow wows during during the hot part of the year show signs of damage from the elements: oily off-color patches, dust or general yellowing which is a sign of oxidation.  In the past when I tried taking my soaps to outdoor summer markets in Florida, the soaps always suffered the consequences oxidation and a shortened shelf life.  There is one exception I have found, which is that sea salt soaps do not suffer from oxidation due to the preserving properties of the sea salt.

Lavender Spearmint Sea Salt Soap

2) When you receive your soaps, unless your soap is completely sealed off from the air with a layer plastic (I don't use plastic packaging with my soaps), then you should take them out of the box or cigar band-type packaging.  Store the soap that is not in use naked and not touching other soaps in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.  This will allow water to continue to evaporate from the soaps.  The soaps will become even harder.  The harder and drier the soaps, the longer they last once they are in use.  Some people like to store their soaps in linen or clothes drawers.  This is a great option.  Soaps should still be used within a reasonable period of time 1-2 years, since they are made with perishable vegetable oils.

3) Dry soaps completely in between use.  A Cedar soap deck such as the ones I recently added to my shop can help dry out soaps quickly and completely.  If you have a lot of people in your family using soaps it can be hard to dry out soaps completely, even with a wooden soap deck, so consider having a dedicated soap and shampoo bar in the shower for each person.  The more the soaps are allowed to dry in between use, the longer they will last.

Western Cedar Soap Decks 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bitter Seeds Documentary

Cotton Plants
November 3rd is the last day to watch the documentary Bitter Seeds for free on Vimeo. Bitter seeds tells the story of Monsanto BT cotton and farmer suicides in India. It is so sad to see the lives of these farmers ruined. They can no longer purchase conventional seeds. It is a real eye opener to see the marketing methods that Monsanto has used in India as well as the roll of the US in this situation. Don't miss it.

Etsy Front Page with my New Pumpkin Pie Soap Set

Etsy Front Page October 25, 2012

Hope you are having a lovely autumn.  I was very excited the other day to have my pumpkin pie soap gift set on the front page of Etsy from including this this Pumpkin Soup Treasury.

I have neglected to post the new gift sets until now.  So here they are, and I hope you like them.  Pumpkin Pie Gift set at Aquarian Bath or on Etsy.

Pumpkin Pie Soap Set

Below is my other new bath and body gift set.  You can mix and match one soap, shampoo bar, and lip balm and each box contains 2 cedar soap decks.

Natural Handmade Bath and Body Set with Soap, Shampoo Bar and Lip balm of your choice.