Mother’s Day Weekend

I’ve been thinking a lot the last couple of days about community and friends and opportunities.  You know, really deep thoughts about gratitude and stuff.  In recent years friends have pointed me toward opportunities for new jobs, new homes, childcare, all kinds of things.  This year, my friends have been helping me with Bucklepenny.  Old friends are field testing products and buying soap. Neighbors are pointing me to new opportunities for sales outlets. New friends are sharing farm implements that we can’t yet afford. Even Bean and Liliputian are doing their part by providing moral support. And Fixer? Forget it.  He’s just my rock. Not only supporting this hobby, but literally doing all the heavy lifting for this cockamamie scheme I’ve cooked up. I feel really, incredibly blessed. 
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Remember this guy?

IMG_5696What a difference a week can make! It’s been incredibly hot here this week, popping up into the 90s several times.  We’ve been planting our veggie garden and the heat has just been scorching the starts in pots so it’s been a scramble.

IMG_5701The potatoes are fairly rocketing out of the ground. I can’t wait to see how big they get my harvest time in September.

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The lavender is doing well.  One variety has bloomed. Yeah, that’s right. Four whole stems from 64 plants, but I’m stoked since it’s the first season.  My plan was to get them in now so we could get a season of good growth in before winter and maybe have a small harvest next year.  Lavender takes probably three good years to grow to any real size.

coconut milk soap apricot freesiaI’ve been soaping a fair bit the lately, but not nearly what I want to be.  The top photo with the blue mica swirl is my first try at a coconut milk soap. It’s unscented and I got the recipe from Amanda at LovinSoap.com. You can find the recipe I used here.

The bottom soap is a lovely apricot freesia swirl. I’ll post when these soaps are available on Etsy.  I posted several new soaps to Etsy this week. You can find my shop here.

I also picked up a book this week on masterbatching from Kenna over at AmathiaSoapworks.com. Masterbatching is a means to speed up production prep.  Making soap a single batch at a time can be very time consuming while I wait for the solid oils to melt, add in my liquid oils and wait for that to cool and then do the same for my lye solution.  Masterbatching allows a soap maker to spend less time waiting and more time designing.  Yay for that!

I’m not quite ready for masterbatching since I’m in a period of reformulation.  Amanda has convinced me to remove palm oil from my oil repertoire because it’s not a sustainable oil and it’s production is evidently very hard on the orangutan population and who wants to be a part of that?  I do feel like I could probably have taken a more measured transition though, since all of my recipes contained palm. Every. Single. One. But I went cold turkey because I ran out of palm and didn’t have a local source anyway.

Last night’s project was coconut passionfruit papaya with poppy seed soap.  I’ll post more pictures later.

Today we rototill one last section of lavender field so we can plant the last 120 plants or so. Then I think we’ll call it a season.

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