Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Reflections of soap in gel phase.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Music To Soap By - Tenpole Tudor

Making soap needs clothes that you'd never be caught out of doors in. Like... goggles, mask and rubber gloves. There's no way I can answer the phone, or tap away at the keyboard. The workshop door remains closed, and I love to have the music on loud.

I like all kinds of music, but when I'm soaping I lean more towards the anthem type of song. Chanting, rather than sweet voiced. And drums. I've gotta have drums. I think drums are absolutely fantastic when you want to gear up ready to come out of the gate running. A bit like going into battle, I suppose. You've a long day ahead of you, and there's nothing like the drums of battle to stir things up a bit.

It's the fresh and lively bars being made today. A few batches each of Orange Tree Blast and Lime 'n Thyme O'lyptus. Make sure to check your volume if you're at the office desk. And get ready for the chorus. I warn you... the chant will be in your head all day.

Tenpole Tudor, 1981 - Swords of a Thousand Men.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pause For Thought

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward." -Spanish proverb.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Natural Ingredients - Clary Sage EO

In the middle ages, clary sage was known as "Oculus Christi". Translating as "Eye of Christ", it was a highly revered medicine. A southern European native, the stout biennial herb is flowered blue and white and grows to a height of three feet.

Distilled from the flower tops and leaves, the essential oil is very relaxing. Its smell is distinctly herby and sweet..

Antiseptic, antibacterial, and astringent, clary sage is helpful with acne and breakouts. It balances sebum, the skin's natural oil, helping to clear oily complexion. Clary sage is also cooling on pained muscles, and calming on stressed emotions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Small Stars

Sampler Box small stars, all lined up waiting to be sleeved, stacked, and packed. Back row to front: Spearmint Grapefruit, Orange Patchouli, and Sesame Ginger Me.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Family Friday

My mum is a glowing example of how not to let health problems and age drag you down. She lives her life as large as she possibly can. She came to America last year, traveling alone, and had never been on an airplane in all her seventy odd years on this earth.

One of the things she marveled about while on her visit, was how big and flashy the semi's are over here. We call them "articulated lorries" back home in the UK. Every day trip out, she had us following them, pulling up along side of them, while she was in the back of the car snapping away with her camera in whoops of delight. Towards the end of her three week visit, Jason made sure to pull in at the truck stop part of a rest area, so she could go walk among all the big trucks. She was like a kid in a candy store. She met a few drivers, and they welcomed her with open arms.

It's not often you catch my mum smiling for the camera, but she certainly had no problem beaming proudly alongside a big flashy truck. If you get the chance of a family weekend this next two days, have a great one... and make some long lasting memories with those you hold close and dear.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pause For Thought

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” -Milton Berle

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hogging The Limelight

Orange Tree Blast, hogging the limelight. Sweet orange, tea tree, and a splash of peppermint to round out the fresh.

Monday, January 7, 2013

More Of A Classic

4 ounce Classic size soap bars are being returned to the website over the next few evenings. I'm using different molds for them, which means the bars are weighing in just a little heavier. Prices will remain the same though, because I'm not getting as many Mischief Maker off-cuts from the new molds. On the left is the Classic size as it was... on the right is the newer Classic style bar. You get a little more in your hand, and I get less wastage in the workshop. I think that's a win-win all round.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Side By Side

Two batches waiting for the unmold. Classic style Goat Milk and Honey on the left, Art House style She She Shea and Lavender on the right. Time to get out the blade!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Our Natural Ingredients - Oatmeal

The use of oatmeal in skin care has a long history dating right back to the ancient Egyptians. The Romans and Greeks recorded how bathing with oats helped with healing skin troubles. The tiny oat has had a long journey through the centuries as a natural skin healer, and in 1989 after years and years of well documented and respected studies, oatmeal was finally recognized by the FDA as a safe and effective over the counter skin protectant.

The high concentration of starches and beta glucan in oats are what give oatmeal the ability to hold onto moisture, and protect the skin. Oatmeal also boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, which come from the presence of its different kinds of phenols.

The avenacins found in oatmeal, have potent anti-fungal activity as well as having a soap-like cleansing quality. When finely milled, the tiny oat particles adhere to the skin, smoothing and removing dry skin build up. When introduced to water, the ground oat powder forms a viscous barrier which is important protection from outside irritants. These different moisturizing properties found in oats all contribute toward maintaining the integrity of the skin's barrier, preventing water loss, and alleviating itch.

Among the many sugars, vitamins and minerals to be found in natural oats, is vitamin E, a valuable antioxidant. Oxidative stress is implicated in many skin complaints, and different inflammatory conditions can be helped with the protection offered by antioxidants.

Oatmeal is a natural product, and is helpful with a long list of skin troubles, including: dry skin, prickly heat, hives, sunburn, chickenpox, poison ivy, oak and sumac, insect bites, winter itch, atopic dermatitis, and allergic or irritant contact dermatitis.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! What is it they say? Out with the old and in with the new. We've spent a few days around the meeting table, mapping out plans for the coming year. We do this every Christmas break, and it does feel good to bring "new resolutions" to the Manor. Jason will be in the hot seat this weekend as some long-overdue changes to the website will be made. Some things will go, some old faves will return, and some things will be brand new. I'm excited to be stepping into 2013 and sharing it all with the ones who make everything possible - you!