Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Working On Close Buy Catalog Orders...

Close Buy Catalog (our all Maine made super awesome local school fundraising catalog) orders are in!  I'm working to pull, label, package, wrap, ribbon,tag, box all my items.   Here is more about Close Buy Catalog, in their words:

"It’s adorable when kids are selling stuff...

… and especially great when the money is going to support schools. But you may ask yourself, “Why can’t these cute kids be selling stuff I would like to buy?” From the belly of these conflicting feelings, Close Buy Catalog™ was born.

Maine is rich with beautiful, wholesome, delicious and useful products. This catalog has gathered some of Maine’s best goodies together in an effort to raise money for schools, support local businesses and artisans, and teach kids about responsible business practices".

This year Casoc Bay Soap Co. had 3 products in the catalog (a 2 pack of soap, Lavender and Unscented Laundry Detergent) among soo muan other beautiful items.  Purchase items were sent on Friday and I got a start on fulfilling my orders.  More pictures to come...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

There Is Nothing To Fear From A Bar Of Soap

I get asked from time to time, if I make liquid soap "because I don't want to touch the bar" and I hear a few people say that they don't use bar soap anymore "because of the germs".  I tell them that soap bars are the original hand sanitizer!  It's soap and has been around for-ever!  It is fine!  But I never quite get through to people.  Some have already made up there minds, I guess.  Well, her is Ruth's take on the matter.  Thanks Ruth!

My new friend Ruth over at Sirona Springs Soaps put together and posted a great article on her blog. I asked and she said it was A-okay to re post it here. Credit to her blog and a link: http://sironasprings.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/theres-nothing-to-fear-from-bar-soap/
"As the maker of bar soap, I often get asked by customers if I also make liquid soap. Many folks believe that bar soap is somehow unsanitary. I’ve even read that bacteria can grow on soap bars, and that people shouldn’t share bars because it can spread disease. Ick.
So I went looking for some evidence that bar soap is this vector of contagion. I found several studies that show that bar soap, especially when left to sit in a puddle of water or in a wet soap dish can harbor colonies of bacteria. It makes sense since bacteria love to hang out in wet places.
But one study in 1988 went a step further and asked the question, “Can the bacteria found on soap get transferred to someone else?” That’s really the issue, isn’t it? What happens to the bacteria that is living on a bar of soap?
So the researchers took some bars and spread a whole lot of bacteria on them: 70 times more than anyone had ever found on any soap bars before! Then they asked the volunteers (brave volunteers) to wash their hands with the soap. When they tested their hands for bacterial contamination, there was no detectable bacteria on any of their hands. So they reason that it’s very unlikely that germs that are present on soap bars will be transferred to someone using the soap to wash their hands. It makes sense to me, since that’s one of the great things about soap, that it dislodges bacteria and makes it much easier to just rinse it away.
I don’t make liquid soap, by the way, because I believe that handmade bar soap is better overall for the environment. It doesn’t contain any detergents or petrochemicals that can get into our waterways. And there is much less packaging involved with a bar of soap: some shrink wrap (like mine) or maybe a paper wrapper or box. While plastic pump bottles may be recyclable, I still like the idea of trying to make less of the plastic stuff to begin with.
And you can’t beat handmade soap bars for variety! You could never get bored with all the scents and colors and designs…
So fear not! Use your bar soap, keep it in a draining soap dish to let it dry out between uses, and enjoy!"

thanks Ruth!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Notes From The Universe

I get "Notes From The Universe" sent to my inbox everyday.  Some days the notes are good and some days they are great.  Often, they encourage me to look at something a different way.  Sometimes, I forward them to friends.  Today, I share it here with you.  More to come?   Maybe I will post them to the blog every now and then to boost you along too! 

"I still don't get why people are so surprised that the turtle beat the rabbit over the long run.
Consistent effort, no matter how small, sparks magic, fills sails, butters bread, turns tides, instills faith, summons friends, improves health, burns calories, creates abundance, yields clarity, builds courage, spins planets, and rewrites destinies.

No matter how small,

The Universe"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summer Markets Are Over

The outdoor market season has ended.  I had a great Spring/Summer/Fall season and once again loved being with my fellow vendors selling at such great markets.  Flamouth continues to be a steady market full of regular and loyal customers.  Often we had 20 or so vendors setting up to sell everything from fresh eggs, baked goods, local raised meats, farm fresh veggies and fruits, handmade cheeses and of course, soap!  Freeport was a bit different.   Full of tourist and day shoppers, my soaps proves to be the perfect items to tuck into travelers shopping bags.  The crowds are a bit different between the two, but I love it just the same.  If you add it all up, I should have attended 50+ markets! I did miss a few due to rain, vacation or personal time.

(This is our market group getting set up outdoors in Freeport)

I'm gearing up for my next market adventure, The Brunswick Winter Market at Ft. Andross in Brunswick.  We vend indoors all winter long in a beautiful old mill on the Androscoggin River. ( In 1809 Industrialist developers of the Brunswick Cotton Manufacturing Company, harnessed the Androscoggin River's power at the Pejepscot Falls and built the first cotton mill in Maine to make yarn).  Starting November 12th and running every Saturday through the end of May.    I have a few weeks off before this starts up, so time for me to catch up and make you lots of soaps!

( Ft. Andross, from Thopsam looking over the river, towards the mill.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

(Photo found on:  http://www.fotoblography.com/)

It's that time of year and today is a very fall, chilly and rainy day....I'm pulling out my favorite recipe and re posting my blog post from last year.  Pumpkin Bread is on my list of things to do today.  I add candied ginger to my recipe, yum!

Fall in New England means apples, state fairs, pumpkin picking, apple pie, wood stove fires, apple cider, falling leaves, pumpkin bread, hay rides, corn mazes and getting the house/yard ready for the winter. I made up some delicious and easy Pumpkin Bread to get us in the spirit. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
* Stir in some of these favorites to make your bread extra special: dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips (or regular size!), pumpkin seeds, or your favorite nut.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 New Soaps!

I am always making your favorite soap fragrances, but often find a moment to squeeze in a fun, new test batch here and there.  I recently made up small batches of 3 new soaps, we will see how they sell...

Bayberry ~  Traditional Holiday fragrance, spicy, green, soft, woodsy.  Swirled with two tones of green.

A Pirates Life ~ Fragrances of leather, citrus lime and spice!

Naughty & Nice ~ Spicy Clove & Sweet Vanilla with poppy seeds.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cleaning With 8 Legs!

WE were cleaning the garage over the weekend and look what I came upon....AHhhhhh!   I spotted it first and was shrieking and pointing, my hubby was the brave one that captured it.  We did some research and this is a White Banded Fishing Spider.  They are hunting spiders and not snare web building spiders.  As you can see, they are quite large spiders and are indeed Maine's largest native spider.  Hubby put the penny in for size reference.  We let him/her go out on the back porch, to find a new home for the upcoming winter. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apple Pie and I'm Still Here!

I've been gone...just gone from this blog.  Busy working on finding the right direction for my soap, my next move....but I am back. I will try to keep on blogging as often as I can, I do enjoy it!   Sometimes, there is just too much to do, too much pulling me in other directions....

Fall is here, it is a cold and rainy Sunday here in Maine and there is a fire in the woods stove and an apple pie in the oven.  

here is a link to the recipe i used today, it was divine!  Fresh picked Maine apples, crumb topping and fresh whipped cream....Mmmmmm hmmmmm.  What New England is all about.  Make this pie, you will be happy you did.