Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time for a new Challenge

Well SAFE Team is at it again and put forth another challenge to its members to design a soap around what the Holidays mean to you. Not only the soaps in this challenge stunning, but the descriptions and stories behind each entry is heartfelt and beautiful.

Please read each description and cast your vote for your favorite soap in the comment section of this blog entry page of the Etsy SAFE Team shown below....


Monday, October 26, 2009

Special Tribute to our Veterans and Active Duty Military

In recognition of your service to our country, all veterans and active
duty military personnel
are invited to eat free at Applebee's Neighborhood
Grill & Bar Restaurants this Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.

As you may recall, Applebee's launched a pilot program last year on
Veterans Day offering free entrees to military service personnel and veterans.
Because the response was so overwhelmingly positive, Applebee's is extending
the invitation throughout the country this year.

We would appreciate your help in spreading the word. Please help us share
details across your various communication channels.

All U.S. veterans and active duty military with proof of current or former
military service will eat free at all Applebee's nationwide on Veterans
Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.

Proof of service includes: U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S.
Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings
, Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform or wearing

For additional details, visit: www.applebees.com

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Challenge....

Well our SAFE Team, Soap Artisan Friends of Etsy (SAFE) team is a group of soapmakers committed to excellence and best manufacturing practices on Etsy, is at it again! We were given a challenge to make a soap with an Alice in Wonderland theme. You know, at first I thought this would be easy. Lots and lots of ideas flew through my head like the tornado in Wizard of Oz. It wasn't so easy though!

Go Ask Alice....

My challenge entry was inspired by a picture on the website for the upcoming movie, Alice in Wonderland, due out in March of 2010. The gallery picture on the Disney website showed the beautiful row of talking flowers as only Tim Burton can conjur up.

In the 1985 movie classic Alice has a conversation with talking flowers and then meets The Red Queen, who was taking the place of one of the pawns or children of the White Queen on the chess board. Alice plays a pawn and the Red Queen tells her that only if she becomes a queen may she go home.

I could only think that my soap had to include lots of brilliant color and my own rendition of the talking flowers. The first stage of this cold process soap was to make the flower faces and to me that was the easy part! The second stage consisted of another batch of cold process soap, swirled with four different colors and then the flower faces inserted into each bar.

There are lots of great entries in this challenge and please make sure you drop by the SAFE Team Blog and post a comment, choosing the soap that you think is the winner.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Sale

There's only a little over a day left to get in on the big Labor Day Sale at The Skin You're In on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5216308

We are offering 15% off your shopping cart total through midnight Monday, September 7th on anything and everything in our Etsy shop.

The Holidays are fast approaching and this is a great opportunity to pick up some early Christmas presents.

In the next few weeks we'll be loading up our shop with lots of warm and fuzzy treats for cool Autumn days. New scents include spicy Cinnamon Pumpkin Sugar Baby Body Polish Squares, Fizzy Bath Bombs and a new soap called The Drunken Pumpkin...a new beer soap made with pumpkin puree, lots of amber dark beer and scented with the same wonderfully spicy Cinnamon Pumpkin fragrance.

On the road again...

Sang with my best singing voice...NOT! The old gentleman in the picture above probably has a better singing voice than I do!

Mark (my husband) and I love to take drives. Now, some people, when you tell them that you took a drive think that means you drive somewhere, not too far, turn around and come home. That's not us. We take those drives where we get up at the crack of dawn, watch the sunrise on the road somewhere and be as far away as possible by the time we're hungry enough for breakfast. We've been known to go to Death Valley just to eat an early lunch at the restaurant at Furnace Creek and then drive home...uh, in the middle of Summer.

Our best day driving is about 600+ miles round trip and we always come home, rarely ever staying away for the night.

One of our most favorite drives is up the beautiful California Coast, meeting the first glimpse of ocean between Oxnard and Ventura, traveling up past Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and finally to San Luis Obispo. Then we head to the scenic Hwy 1 and take the coast route all the way! It's lovely and no matter how many times we've taken this drive, it's still breathtaking! We usually take time to stop in San Simeon (the home of Hearst Castle) and have breakfast at a nice little restaurant there called The Cavalier. There's a turn out on the road where you can stop and look at elephant seals napping on the sand, playing in the ocean waves or even big bull males showing each other who's the toughest.

Another favorite stop is to what I like to call Raging Waters.

Now, I call it that just because I can never remember the actua l name until I say "Raging Waters", then I know to say Ragged Point. A very picturesque location completely with a beautiful hotel overlooking the cliffs and raging ocean waters. Also available is a nice snack shop, the ever-present gift shop (every place just has to have one!) and another very cozy restaurant. But...the thrill to us of Ragged Point is the scenery. Sheer cliffs overlook often angry seas but don't worry, you're protected by lots of fencing! LOL! On the better weather days, there is a path you can take that leads down to a very small beach below. Mark and I have taken that path and although very rugged, we managed to get to the bottom even after passing up some couples half our age who just couldn't seem to make it. Haha! Getting down there was NOT the problem. Climbing back up was!!!

Our next stop on this trip was Big Sur, specifically to the Big Sur Campground and Lodge. After paying the typical state campground fees, we walked for about an hour all around the campground, along the banks of a beautiful stream flowing through and then back to the Lodge to have a very welcome meal...we were really hungry by then.

Next stop...home! Yup, all in one day!

On the road again...can't wait to get on the road again...Thank you Willie Nelson!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If I Were a Bar of Soap...Mini Me!

I couldn't help myself! See, it's like this, I am a member of a wonderful group of bath and body artisans called SAFE Team and every couple of months we are presented with a challenge. I hope you've seen my other soap challenge entries in the past. This challenge was really tough...If I were a bar of soap. Since I couldn't lie and do something "sugar and spice and everything nice", then I had to figure out what I loved the most, aside from my family of course. Well, here's the write up in my Etsy shop and a link to the SAFE Team blog.

SAFE Team has done it again! We have these very challenging challenges every few months and this challenge was no exception. Our task at hand...if I were a bar of soap! Hmmm!

Aha, this idea came to me from my love for chocolate, my love for all things fluffy and light and my love and NEED for coffee.

I chose a soap making process I had not done before, whipped soap. For this recipe I used Deer Tallow, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil and Castor Oil. The darker layer is scented with a rich Chocolate and Amber Fragrance Oil and colored with dark cocoa powder. The creamy colored layer is only scented with a Colombian Coffee Fragrance Oil and the white layer is not scented or colored.

And because this soap is whipped, it floats!

This challenge was so much fun and you will thoroughly enjoy ALL of the entries by the SAFE Team members

Below is the link to the SAFE Team Blog. Please scroll down to the very last soap entry and click on "comments". Please leave your comment for the soap entry of your choice.


Fresh off the curing rack...

Here are a few new soapies and other new items...

Spicy Plum...yum!

I made this cold processed soap as a holiday soap but I think it will be available year-round. The scent is described as a berry blend with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. But I describe it as delicious!

Spicy Plum soap is made the cold process method with Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Skin Safe Colorant and Fragrance Oil. The top layer is left unscented and sprinkled lightly with purple Jojoba Beads.

Country Junction Beer Soap with Glacial Clay...

I love making soaps with beer. The lather in beer soaps is so rich and lavish and the scent of this soap will have you hopping back in the shower again and again! Ingredients include Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Soybean Oil, Beer, Castor Oil, Glacial Clay and Colloidal Oatmeal. The scent I chose is a combination of Sandalwood and Vanilla and it is yummy, yummy. If you think this soap is just for a man, please think again. The vanilla scent adds a softness that is beguiling! This would also make a great soap for shaving and is also available in the perfect round shape to fit into a shaving mug. Rectangular soaps are also available.

Lapis Glass Glycerin Soap...

This glycerin soap was so much fun to make. With the change of each color, I tilted the mold in another direction, making it look like stained glass.

The fragrance, called Lapis Lazuli, which means "sapphire" is eclectic, modern, earthy and has even been described as mystical with touches of rose, lilac, Egyptian musk and vanilla.

This soap is truly a sight to behold but please don't just look at it, use it too!

Sugar Baby Body Polish Single- Use Sugar Scrub Cubes~~~

Now that's a mouthful, isn't it!

These delectable little treats are so easy to use and large enough to treat your whole body to a wonderful, sugary polish. If you've ever used a sugar scrub then you will love these little sugar scrub squares because there's no jar to worry about tipping over in the shower or bathtub. Each square comes individually wrapped, just take one out, unwrap and enjoy. Each sealed container holds 6 Sugar Baby Sugar Scrub Squares.


Also, check out our new assortment of Bath Bombs on Etsy, 1000 Markets or our regular website. I keep adding new ones all the time, so if you love bath bombs, check back often. We also are happy to do special orders for special occasions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Big SAFE Team Weekend Sale

If you love bath and body products, you won't want to miss the HUGE weekend sale going on over on Etsy.com. SAFE Team artisans have all gotten together and joined hands for a weekend sale spectacular from Friday, June 19th through Sunday, June 21st.

Here is the link to the SAFE Team Blog to find out all the details and the list of participating shops:


Our shop, The Skin You're In, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5216308, will be offering 15% off everything! Stock up now for the warm summer months ahead and keep your skin happy!

SAFE Team members are committed to the art of soapmaking and safe manufacturing practices. SAFE stands for Soap Artisan Friends of Etsy. Each and every member of this fabulous group are experienced and knowledgeable artisans. SAFE Team is an eclectic group of wonderful, skillful, kind and loving people who are passionate about making the best bath and body products you can find.

Friday, June 12, 2009

To Celebrate a Life

The soapmaking community lost a most dedicated member recently and it is fitting to honor her memory here today. Below you will find a message posted on one of the many soaping forums that so many of us are a part of.

It is with a sad heart that I make this announcement.

Patrice lost her battle with cancer on May 28, 2009. Her husband, Bob, told me:

“With her last breath came a look of complete calm and just the faintest most perfect smile.
Her smile, her laugh, her bright shiny eyes, her incredibly curly blonde hair ... were all
sights to behold and yet none of these defined her. Her love, support and passion were limitless.”

Patrice was incredibly talented … as a soap maker, scent blender, formulator, and teacher. She
freely shared her knowledge, and helped many of us learn so much. She impacted many people in many different ways because of the woman and friend she was.

Patrice fought hard to win her battle, and never gave up hope that she would be victorious.
Elixir Botanicals was her dream, a concept and business that she loved and was very passionate
about. Part of her “battle plan” was getting the warehouse, creating the website and Yahoo
Group, and stocking multiple extracts rather than just doing buys. She fully intended to
resume business as usual with Elixir Botanicals once she had won.

I ask that you honor Patrice’s memory by emulating her example … seeking and sharing knowledge, helping others learn, being passionate about what you do, and giving your love and support to those who need it.

We cannot be Patrice because she was a unique individual, but we can be like her in
everything we do, letting her inspire us each and every day.

I know she will be very much missed by so many of us.

Patrice asked that in lieu of flowers," please perform a random act of kindness in my memory".

Carol Barber
DP Naturals


The following quotes came from Patrice's husband Bob, as her final thoughts...

"Do not be sad that I have passed, celebrate that I lived." ...Patrice

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave" ...Patrick Henry

Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm.

~ Publilius Syrus

She will be missed!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Loving Memory.....

William Clayton Dixon was born on October 4, 1922 in Louisiana. He was a sweet and wonderful man and we loved him dearly. He was my father-in-law. Dad was 86 years old and on Monday, March 30th he joined his loving wife, Helen and the other members of his family in Heaven.

This is in your honor, Dad:


And this is for Dad and Mom. One of their favorite songs in Church:


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luck of the Irish

St. Patrick's Day is Tuesday March 17th and will you be wearing your green? We'll be having a wee bit of a sale on St. Patrick's Day to help you keep a little green in your pocket. How does free shipping on all products sound to you? Good, cuz that's what St. Paddy wants and that's what St. Paddy gets!

Even though my maiden name is Campbell, which sounds pretty Irish to me, my heritage is actually Scottish and German, with a dash of Irish and French to round us off. Here is a little history of St. Patrick's Day:

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years.

On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

To help you celebrate the occasion, here are a few Irish toasts:

May your fire be as warm as the weather is cold.


Health, and long life to you
Land without rent to you
The partner of your heart to you
and when you die, may your bones rest in Ireland!


As you slide down the banisters of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.


May you get all your wishes but one,
So you always have something to strive for.


May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


Here's to your coffin...
May it be built of 100 year old oaks which I will plant tomorrow.


May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.


May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.


An old Irish recipe for longevity:
Leave the table hungry.
Leave the bed sleepy.
Leave the bar thirsty.

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Irish soda bread

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins.

Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

corned beef and cabbage

5 pounds corned brisket of beef
6 peppercorns, or packaged pickling spices
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 onions, peeled and quartered
1 medium-sized green cabbage, quartered or cut in wedges
Melted butter (about 4 tablespoons)

Place the corned beef in water to cover with the peppercorns or mixed pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and onions and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and brush the vegetables with the melted butter. Serve with boiled parsley potatoes, cooked separately. (The stock can be saved to add to a pot roast or stew instead of other liquid.

And what could be better than a good ol' Irish drinking song:


(Warning: May be a little risque to some...but very funny)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!