Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Report from the Soap Guild Day 2:

I could talk about the great speakers I heard today, but I'd rather talk about the PARTY!

Each year Debbie and Dave May (pictured below) from Wholesale Supplies Plus host an evening event at the conference.  These generous folks really know how to throw a party. Great food, drinks, and lots of fun relaxing after a long day of paying attention and taking notes!!  This was a great way to meet folks in a different environment.
Things really started to rock when the Elvis impersonator arrived!!  Who said soapmakers don't have fun!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Report from Day 1 of the Soap Guild Conference:

My inspiration today was Sandy Maine's talk about Artisan Soapmaking.   She is the founder of SunFeather Natural Soap and the mother of hand made soap!  During her keynote address she spoke  about the  :

LOIS:  Local Ownership & Import Substitution
  • working control of business resides within a geographically defined area
  • whenever it is cost effective to produce or procure goods locally, one should

TINA:  There Is No Alternative
  • Representing the Big Box stores

Small business owner take unite.  
I'm off to my local bookstore to find a copy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tag Sale Find

Today we took off for the Handcrafted Soap Guild conference in Vermont.  I'll keep you posted over the next few days about the conference, but first...our trip there yielded these beauties.  Saw them from the road as we passed a tag sale.  Turned back and got all three. you like them??  We're always looking for watering cans for the shop and these are especially nice.  

The conference is being held at the Inn in Essex near Burlington, VT.   We arrived about 5 PM and settled into a lovely room.  Met soapmaker colleagues from Alaska...Janie and Barb of Denali Dreams and had cocktails and dinner with them.  A great start to the conference!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hello Kitty

I love my cats, all 3 of them.  But this week I discovered that they can do a number on garden plants.  

The plant in question -Valerian (herb).   See how I found it on Friday. (top)  I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't leave it alone.  All of them took a turn.  Rolling in it.  And when I would shoo them away, they would come right back.  

 Then Saturday...completely keeled over.  (the middle photo)  I finally googled it and found that Valerian smells like catnip to them.    Good bye, Valerian.  Hello, kitties.

French Pickles

My Favorite Receipt By Royal Baking Powder Company, Royal Baking Powder Company (1886)

"Mustard Pickles 2 qts cucumbers 2 qts green tomatoes 2 qts small onions 2 qts cauliflower soak in a weak brine overnight drain and cook each separately till tender For the paste 1 gal vinegar 1 large cup flour 1 Ib mustard Ibs sugar stir the paste tiil it boils then pour it over the vegetables Katie Heinz Brookdale N.J." 

In trying to locate more complete directions for an old recipe in my collection, I found this....and the only way I could copy it was by sending it to my blog.....didn't have I do.  So I named it for the recipe I was researching!

Below is my recipe for French Pickles.  I've had it forever.  Think it was my grandmothers.  I have made it before, but a long time ago.  I just remember it was delicious.  Just not sure now about that 'first vinegar'

French Pickles (relish)

Measure after putting thru meat grinder:

1 c. sweet red peppers
1 c. green tomatoes
1 c. cucumbers
1 c. onions
1 head celery
1 c. cauliflower

Sprinkle with salt and let stand over night.
Drain and cook in first vinegar about ten min.

2 qts. vinegar
1 T. tumeric powder
2 T. celery seed
2 T. white mustard seed
3 lbs. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour

When it begins to boil add pickles and cook about 15 mintues.  If cukes are rather large I cut out the seeds.

This is verbatim from my recipe card.