Thankful, I am

My littlest boy, just 19 months old. He reminds me to look at things as if I’ve never seen them before. Each step in life to be appreciated, even when I’ve taken that step hundreds of times before. He makes me smile.

My oldest boy, 4 years old. His constant questioning reminds me of the sometimes simple, sometimes complex answers of the world around us. He reminds me, even as I tire of answering “why”, to never stop asking questions, never stop questioning further, delving deeper. He reminds me how amazing it is to be a sponge, to soak up all the knowledge we are willing to provide, and then some. He makes me smile.

My youngest daughter, 12. Growing so much closer to adulthood, womanhood. She has grown from a child into a young woman. She reminds me that opinions and thoughts may change and evolve as a person learns and grows. And it’s ok to change your mind, even to suit your mood. She makes me smile.

My oldest daughter, 15. A young woman, so close to adulthood, yet sometimes so far away. She reminds me the future is always so close, even if it’s years down the road. She walks through life bouncing and ready for tomorrow. She makes me smile.

My husband of only 8 years, 9 months and a couple weeks. He reminds me how lucky I am to have someone to walk through life with, hand in hand. He is my partner, my equal, my love. He makes me smile.

Myself. I love the person I am today. All I have learned and will learn. I look forward to growing old, enjoying life, watching my kids grow and have children.

Life. I love my life. I am thankful for all I have. I enjoy remembering yesterday. I enjoy today. I look forward to enjoying tomorrow.

Tree of Life Pendant

SS Tree of Life Pendant

Now available for purchase at Madaise’s Etsy Shop (Madaise – that’s me 🙂 ).

Last year, I met an incredible jewelry man who told me “Whatever you want, I can make it.” I took him up on his offer, or maybe the challenge. Continue reading Tree of Life Pendant

Vanilla Cream Handmade Soap

Vanilla Cream Handmade Soap

The intoxicating scent of vanilla has a relaxing effect on the central nervous system, contributing to its reputation as a mood enhancer. Men and Women both love and enjoy the fragrance of vanilla. It’s reputed to be an aphrodisiac.

This creamy vanilla will ready you for anything; be it relaxation, or romance, or just because you love vanilla.

Oatmeal Milk and Honey Handmade Soap

Oatmeal Milk and Honey Soap Recipe

Delicious! Ok, so soap isn’t suppose to smell good enough to eat, but this one does! Be sure to tell the kids the bar of soap is NOT a cookie. The scent of almond is enough to make you wonder ‘where’re grandma’s cookies?’.

Tasty smells aren’t your thing? Mine either, typically. I have been told time and again that this is the most awesome scented soap! It’s a huge favorite. And as much as I don’t care for those tasty fragrances, this one rocks! You’ll want everyone to smell it (it’s just that good!) and then you’ll realize it’s time to hide it so you can savor it all for yourself – yes, it really is that good!

Here’s one of my favorite soap recipes. It’s simple and easy to remember.

Creamy Olive Oil Soap Recipe

80% Olive Oil
20% Palm Kernel Oil

5% Sodium Hydroxide

1 Pound Recipe:

12.8 oz Olive Oil
3.2 Palm Kernel Oil

2.18 Sodium Hydroxide

To figure liquid*, a safe range would be to multiply the lye amount by 2.2. I usually use a range somewhere between 1.7 and 2.0 for figuring my liquid requirements. For new recipes, I recommend 2.2.

If you want to use real Milk, like goat milk or buttermilk, then you want to measure your needed amount and put it in the freezer. Goat milk will get hot fast when you add the lye to it, so making a frozen slush of it is the way to go.

Now, you’re down to the nitty-gritty details of goodness for this soap.

1 TBS Honey, per pound of soap
1 TBS finely ground Toasted oatmeal
1 oz, per pound, OMH fragrance oil**

**You can leave it out the fragrance oil and it’s all good and yummy. But if you want an extra special kick to it, one that will make all your gift recipients sigh when they smell it, you need to add some ‘Oatmeal Milk & Honey’ fragrance oil to it. My absolute favorite Oatmeal Milk and Honey fragrance oil is by Brambleberry.

If you want a soap with more lather, reduce the amount of olive oil to 65% and add 15% Coconut Oil.
Remember ANY change you make to a recipe, or any time you make a new recipe, be sure to run it through a lye calculator to ensure you won’t be “lye heavy” and your percentages are correct!

Like with my Lavender Oatmeal soap, I like to toast my oatmeal… Here’s how I make my Powdered oatmeal – I toast whole oats in the oven until lightly browned. Then I ground very fine in a coffee bean grinder. Same as the lavender powder, my typical usage rate is about a tablespoon per pound of oils. I also like to add a bit of organic baby oatmeal cereal. I like that it has the extra vitamins. Whether they hold up in the soap process or not, the idea is nice.

Egyptian Spice Handmade Soap

Handmade Egyptian Spice Soap

An exotic, erotic blend of myrrh and frankincense. A spicy fragrance that is warm, sexy and oh-so compelling. While it has particular holiday-time appeal, this is a year-round scent-sation! A unisex scent to please all.

Another swirled soap; colored a warm brown with copper and gold swirls. As beautiful as it is sensual.

Blackberry Sage Handmade Soap

Handmade Blackberry Sage Soap

A heavenly fragranced handmade soap scented blackberry sage using only top quality fragrance oil made for soaps. As beautiful to look at as it is to smell, this handmade soap is colored green with a white ribbon entertwined with a berry looking purple swirl.

Don’t let this eye-catching soap sit around looking pretty for too long. It’s made to be used. 🙂

Ugly Handmade Soap

Handmade Ugly Soap and Soap Balls

When you make soap, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with some soap sitting around longer than what you’d want to give it away for gifts. Especially when you’re experimenting and learning new recipes, fragrances and colors.

What to do with all the soap scraps, soap slivers and odds and ends pieces left over from making your soap bars?

Here’s where you end up with “ugly soap”. If you sell soap, this is a great “label” for soaps.. many people love buying ugly soap, whether it’s different sized chunks, odd ends, shaved tops, scraps of all sorts.. Here’s a few things to do with that ugly soap.

Soap Scraps

Stitch up a felt bag, about 3 inches by 5 inches, leaving one short side open. Fill bag half way with soap scraps and shaved pieces. Tie the end off and put in the shower… to use, get wet and work into a lather, and use it to wash.

An alternative to stitching up a felt bag.. knit or crochet a soap bag. This also works well for bar soap, but it’s a great way to use up your soap slivers and scraps.

Make Soap Balls

This is always fun.. or not, if you have a lot of soap to ball up. 😉
If I am using odd scraps (like shaved edges, tops, soap log ends), then I try to always make my soap balls up while this is all still semi-moist from a fresh batch. The soap is more easily mold-able.

Weigh out about an ounce (give or take depending on the size you want) and then squeeze, mash, and roll into a ball shape.

If the soap is older and you want to ball it.. you’ll need to work it a bit more. Shave it down into the smallest pieces you can.. then add a tiny bit of hot water. If the soap is really dry, you can put in a pot over a burner on low heat and use a potato masher to work some moisture into the soap. Once it’s a little moist, pliable, mold-able.. start balling by smashing, squeezing, mashing and then roll into a ball shape.

This last method allows for adding a tiny bit of fragrance, should you want it. Usually the soap balls smell pretty good, even if they are a mixture of scents… it still ends up smelling clean. But, I do try to keep the fragrances separated.

If it all seems like too much work, don’t despair, just throw a few ounces of soap scraps in individual bags, slap on an “ugly soap” label and sell or give away to friends.