Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's All Happening

Growth is great. It can also be very frightening. Because in order to grow, things must change. What was once new becomes old. And a new "new" comes along.

We celebrated our third birthday back in July. The web site will soon be two years. And the What's Happening page just turned 1. At the beginning of July, the Manor Hall Soap Blog was born. I'm not very techy. But after six or seven weeks, I'm now getting to grips with how to make a post all by myself. It's much easier than having to wait for my techy guy to upload the What's Happening page to the web site. Yes. Growth is great.

So as September begins, this is where you can keep up with all the goings on inside and outside of the Manor. This is where it's at. This is... What's Happening. And as for the soaps in the picture above... I'll be telling you about them soon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Come the Fall...

I've really gotta share this sneak peek with you. Sorry, but I'm bursting with it...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tea For Three

Chamomile tea has many beauty benefits. The herb lessens the levels of the stress hormone, ACTH, which is produced by the pituitary gland. It relaxes, without making you sleepy. Fill a muslin baggie and toss into bathwater. Brew some and rinse hair with it to soothe the scalp. Or just sit back with a cup of it and feel the calm.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Mal For All Seasons spotlights the best in independent designers & artists, eco-friendly and sustainable products.

Situated on the Gulf Coast in New Orleans, Miss Malaprop (aka Mallory) brings an interesting perspective, not just to indie shopping, but to socially responsible living. She gutted out Hurricane Katrina at her mom's house in Mississippi and was part of the relief and recovery there, returning to New Orleans two months later in October of 2005.

Just a couple reads of her blog and you can tell she's a genuinely friendly and funny person with a talent for discovering unique, environmentally conscious products from independent designers and manufacturers. A talented crafter herself, she makes the supercool reconstructed clothing and accessories over at Dismantled Designs and is a member of the New Orleans Craft Mafia. Her blogging partner is her longtime friend, Miss Mischief, who recently wrote up a review of Manor Hall's Facial Cleansing Grains.

During the summer, Mallory took a well earned break from her New Orleans craft scene, to go out and about tracking down cool Indie Finds. All the way to San Francisco, and along the way even got to show off her photography eye. Because who was in her suitcase, but little chappie of the season, "Ruby Moon". That allowed me to add the unbelievable city of San Francisco to the ever-growing Around the World page. And it also meant that Ruby Moon got the treatment on both coasts this summer... from San Fran, CA all the way to Cape May, NJ.

Miss Malaprop, who reviewed Manor Hall soaps last November when her site was still in its infancy, and was even kind enough to include them in her Best of 2006 writeup has recently celebrated her first blogging anniversary, and so I believe a few congratulations are in order. Congratulations, Mal...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Naughty Boys Club...

To make it for a classic jacket, you've gotta be pretty near perfect. Okay... each bar of soap is different from the next because I cut them by hand. So in that respect, no two bars are ever really the same. But there is a standard here at The Manor, and the chappies have to meet it when being chosen for their designer labels.

Over the summer, we've been clearing out to make room for the new of Fall, and the other day I rounded up all the cheeky chappies that never made the grade for one reason or another. It's something I've been meaning to do for a while. Soaps, salts, bath oils, cremes. The usual crowd who won't sit still for their labels, or who get too boisterous when being bottled and jarred. Usually, they find their way to friends, or family.

As we've grown, so too have our cheeky ones. Way too good to just ignore, and with little personalities all of their own, the Mischief Makers are now making noise at the Manor. Which one's shouting your name...?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Crafty Cube August Sampler

I've just been to the Crafty Cubes site. There's only seven August Cubes left. I'm not surprised.

If you've never heard of the Crafty Cube sampler box, then you're really missing out on something. Different beauty businesses send along their products to be included in them. It's run by Brenda and Shannon, two female entrepreneurs and longtime handcrafters. Last month, I sent a troop of the soap chappies to be included in the August sampler. Check them out.

And if you're an indie business, what are you waiting for? Get your stuff in the October cube. They're taking samples now.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Blooming Lily

Laurie Warshawsky runs Elle-a-Belle Designs, and is the creator of bright, bold and beautiful bracelets, necklaces and earrings in a variety of unique textures and color combinations. Her jewelry is really cute and amazing. I'm soaping all day long, so I don't wear much in the way of jewelry, but I see these and I want them all. I'm absolutely in love with the Falling Mums Necklace. All of her pieces are either limited edition or one-of-a-kind. You can check them out here and at her etsy shop.

Laurie also runs a great independent style blog called Blooming Lily, where she blogs about fashion, jewelry and beauty and reviews all kinds of cool things. Recently, Laurie put up an entry about Manor Hall's new Froot line of foot care products. You can view it on her site, and also at the updated Manor Hall press page. Check out what Blooming Lily has to say, and don't forget to check out her incredible jewelry along the way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kissy Kissy

Your lips take the punishment of both winter and summer. And because they don't have little oil glands of their own, they soon become chapped and dry. Exfoliate with a little sugar and olive oil. Moisturize with a little honey or castor oil. And exercise, with lots of little puckers and smacking together. Love your lips - naturally.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August Yule, Y'all

So... it's a Yule day today. Bet you didn't know that. Otherwise known as Lammas. And okay... a host of other names too, I daresay.

Grab a loaf then. Cos that's what Lammas means. Loaf Mass. The festival of the first wheat harvest of the year. Hmm... I always think of Bette Davis and that film of hers whenever I think of Harvest time. Or was it a mini series on telly? That's what it was... a mini series. The opening music terrified me everytime I heard it. One of those, "setting the tone" musical wonders that still messes with your head long after it's stopped playing.

I love Bette Davis. That book about her and the other woman from the day... what's her name... Crawford. That's the one. Joan Crawford. Yes... that's a book to sit and have a good laugh to. Like, OMG... serious me-aow stuff, girls. Pick up the book, and you can't put it down. Try it. It's better than a powder room fluff-off.

So... the first day of August, and it's Harvest time here at the Manor. The festival of the first wheat of the year. Wheat is what gives us wheatgerm oil. From the germ... the seed of the plant. A wonderful healing plant oil which promotes skin cell formation. Medium in density, it is naturally rich in vitamin E and penetrates the horny layer of the skin with ease. Wheatgerm oil is a wonderful soother for those with dry skin troubles. And with a mineral content that includes zinc, iron, sulphur and potassium, it's a natural nourishment for the skin too. It's known to be very helpful with following:

Cracked and dry skin
Aging skin
Overworked muscles
Burns, and sunburn etc

You can see why I love using natural plant oils in my recipes. And yes, I love to use wheatgerm oil. You can find wheatgerm oil in my Sea Buckthorn All Natural Lotion Stick. I made it handy so you can have it with you wherever you go. It's in a push-up tube, for easy application. Just stroke on... dry gone.

Lammastide, first day of August. The August Yule. Doesn't seem two minutes since it was the first day of the year. Time has this way of moving on...