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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great Giveaway from One of My Favorite Blogs

I read Perfectly Imperfect every day no matter what is on my schedule. I have been known to carry my laptop to bed with me just because I haven’t had time to check out her blog that day. No she is not another soaper or a cosmetics maker or even an herbalist. She is a decorator with fantastic ideas and great taste and a super sense of humor.

CSN is giving a $45.00 gift certificate to use in one of their over 200+ stores online. Shaunna is reviewing this beautiful lamp for CSN. I am green with envy!

Pop on over to Shaunna’s blog and sign up for the gift certificate. The address is

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Catching Up and Asking for Help!

This is just going to be a short blog to catch you up on what is going on here at Pigeon Creek Soaps. The 2010 Farmer's Market season will be over soon with our last dates being Oct. 22-23.  I have to admit that this has been the longest and most difficult season that I have ever worked. Plus the most costly due to losing 2 tent canopies. Part of the reason it was so difficult was due to the extreme heat and partly because I have been going to 2 markets this year instead of just our regular Downtown Evansville Farmer's Market.

To be honest, some of the difficulty may be just due to age creeping up on me. Honestly it was much easier to lift and carry heavy tubs of soap 20 years ago.  I hadn't thought much about gettin older until yesterday.  My birthday is coming up on the 12th of October and my husband was cracking jokes about my being an "old" woman this month.  Normally, age has never been a problem but I realized that I am going to be 60 this year and it hasn't been that many years ago when I though that 60 was ancient.

This ancient soapmaker has a couple of weeks more of the Farmer's Market and then the plan is to buckle down and concentrate on my new Artfire shop, writing for the blog, working on promoting the Artfire shop and working on my not so secret passion of refinishing furniture and a variety of small crafts.

I have started playing around with small sewing and painting projects in honor of the season. I started them for my own family's use since Halloween has been our family's most favorite holiday to decorate.  My daughter Seanna, who has William's Syndrome, is 31 this year and still loves dressing up for Halloween parties and trick or treating.

Here is where I would like to ask for your help. Do you have any suggestion for what you would like to see in this blog?  Would you like to be a guest writer for the blog or do you know someone who might be interested?  The topic does not have to be on soapmaking or toiletries.  If you have noticed the original name of the blog and business was A Scentsible World, so anything that makes sense in the world around us is an appropriate topic. Tutorials would also be great. If you are interested or know someone who may be interested please email me at  Be patient please. My computer is down so I am having to share with my husband until he gets my computer fixed or I get a new one. (Fingers crossed)

Also, before I forget I wanted to let you know that I took up Artfire on their offer on their Pro Account and I am in the process of making Artfire as my main sales venue. Please check it out at

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great Giveaway on Another Blog!

I found this fantastic blog with a wonderful giveaway that you should check out. I have to apologize for not writing more lately but between 2 Farmer's Markets, early Fall festivals and craft shows and my on line shops I have been swamped. I promise I will catch up and have some goodies for you in the next few weeks.

In the mean time, check out this great blog with her fantastic crafts. Also, she is running this giveaway for a week starting from Sept. 19 so go check it out soon! Here is the address

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Beat the Heat!

As the temperature rises and the risk for heat stroke increases, people should be aware of how their bodies are handling the heat. Many of us vendors of handmade items depend on the money we make at Farmer’s Markets and craft shows throughout the summer months. Minimizing the stress of heat on your body by staying hydrated will help keep you healthy throughout the summer.

Heat-related injuries can range from a relatively minor problem like heat cramps to a more serious condition like heat stroke, which can be fatal, so we need to pay close attention to ourselves as well as our neighbors.

Tips to stave off the sizzling summer temps!

Slow down! Strenuous activities should be reduced or eliminated, or rescheduled to a cool time of day. Try going early and giving yourself extra time to set up. Take your time and if you possibly can, leave before the extreme heat of the day. I have found here locally that most of my customers come early during the hottest days of summer, especially at the markets with little or no shade. I have found no major decrease in my earnings if I leave at 1 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. I have even handed out notes that I put with my customers purchases that explain that during times of extreme heat & humidity that my hours will be different that normal. I also have handed out coupons with 10 to 15 % off to ease the inconvenience as well as giving my home phone number and telling them to call me and we can arrange a pickup at their convenience.
Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic fluids. Your body needs water to keep you cool and functioning. Drink plenty of fluids even if you are not thirsty. Caffeine drinks should be minimized. Water and sports drinks are better for you.

Don’t take salt tablets unless prescribed by a physician.
Dress for summer! Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing in single layers. Light colored clothing helps reflect the heat and sunlight and helps you maintain normal body temperature.
Stay out of the sun! If you don’t have a tent to cover you and your products bring an umbrella. Always wear a sunblock (SPF 15 or greater) even on cloudy or hazy days.
Please keep an eye on your neighbors. Older people and children are more susceptible to heat injury and often do not recognize it in themselves.
Get a small "Playmate" type cooler, and fill it with ice and water. Take a small towel (an older, thin dish towel is great) and soak it in the icy water in the bottom of the cooler. When you need to cool off, take out the towel, wring it out a little, and drape it either over your head or across your neck and shoulders. If you have a large enough towel and it is especially hot you can fold it over and wrap up some ice, letting is slowly melt and cool you off. At the extreme heat and humidity that many parts of the country are experiencing it is more important to keep cooler than being “well dressed”. Heat stroke or heat exhaustion can be deadly.

Recognize the signs of dehydration, heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Thirst, dry skin, fatigue, lightheadedness, confusion and dry mouth and mucous membranes are symptoms of dehydration. In cases of mild dehydration, simple rehydration is recommended by drinking fluids. Many sports drinks on the market effectively restore body fluids, electrolytes, and salt balance. More serious cases of dehydration should be treated as a medical emergency and a trip to the hospital will be necessary.

Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life- threatening emergency. Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following: an extremely high body temperature; red, hot and dry skin(no sweating; rapid strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; unconsciousness.
What should I do if I see someone with any of the warning signs of heat stroke?

If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
• Get the victim to a shady area.
• Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
• Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
• If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
• Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
• Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Monday, May 31, 2010


We often forget about giving our skin the TLC that it so richly needs and deserves. We need to suppliment our daily skin care routine with a weekly mud mask facial. A mud mask is often the only way to remove the dirt and debris embedded deep in our skin layers. Our skin cells are constantly being replaced while dead cells accumulate and slow down our epidermal (outer layer of skin) function. The regular use of a mud mask removes those dead cells and stimulates the circulation of blood in your face. It can bring oxygen and other essential nutrients to the skin. Using a mud mask once a week to hydrate and tone your skin is the best way to help encourage healthy skin.


First cleanse your face completely and rinse well with warm water. If you have oily skin you can use our All Natural Exfoliating Dead Sea Salts prior to using a mask.

For a real treat you can apply some honey, (preferably organic) under your eyes and dip some cotton balls into your favorite (cooled) herbal tea to place on your eyelids while you are relaxing during your treatment.

Apply the mask thinly to your face with very gentle strokes, moving your fingers away from the center of your face except under your eyes. For the eye area, gently stroke from the outer cheekbones inward towards your nose. Once the mask is thoroughly spread over your face, massage lightly into the skin. “For those of you who are like me and can not afford the sybaritic pleasure of a facial massage done by a professional, I always put a comfortable chair in our bathroom. Here is where I lie back into the chair with my eyes closed and covered with cotton balls dipped into a cool herbal tea and gently and slowly stroke my mask covered skin. If you are stressed out, worn out or just plain tired-This is the cure.” If you have a partner, talk them into a mutual facial. This can be a great experience. You just have to be careful and not completely spoil your partner!

After applying the mask lie down in a peaceful, comfortable place or relax in a warm bath for 15 to 20 minutes. To enhance the serenity and add to the experience dip cotton balls into cooled chamomile or your favorite herbal tea and cover your eyelids.

To remove the mask spread a warm washcloth on your face to soften the mask and then the mask will more easily wash off. Follow by dipping the washcloth in cool water and apply to your face. This will help close the pores of your skin and while refreshing you.

We recommend you use our Dead Sea Mud Mask with Moor Mud & Rhassoul Clay.

This mask is great for all skin types from dry to oily to acne prone. It evens out skin tones, soothes and calms your skin while it firms and improves elasticity.

This unique, natural and effective mask is formulated with Dead Sea Mud, Moor Mud, Rhassoul Clay and Coconut Oil which has been infused with skin loving herbs. This natural mask boosts cell renewal and revitalizes your skin while it tightens your pores. As the mask begins to dry the rhassoul clay gently pulls out toxins and impurities known to clog pores and cause visible signs of aging. The Moor Mud which contains almost no clay and consists mainly of organic remains of flowers, plants, herbs and grasses. Its mysterious ability to heal, nourish and detoxify has been observed by people for millennia and has been used scientifically in European Spas for well over a century. It is used not only to beautify, but also to heal. It has anti-aging, natural antibiotics, biochemical and anti-inflammatory actions.

The small molecular structure of coconut oil allows for easy absorption through the skin, giving it a soft, smooth texture. Easily absorbed into the skin the coconut oil which has been infused with Gotu Kola, Comfrey and chamomile carries the beneficial herbs into the skin. Gotu Kola strengthens the skin, increases the concentration of antioxidants in wounds, and restores inflamed tissues by increasing blood supply to connective tissue. It enhances the synthesis of collagen that results in the thickening of the skin which we know is necessary to combat wrinkles created from thinning skin. The comfrey has an ancient reputation as a wound-healer. The comfrey is loaded with the healing agents mucilage and allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells while the chamomile reduces inflammation, irritation, skin redness and it promotes granulation and skin cell regeneration.

For acne prone skin we recommend that you begin your facial treatment by cleansing your skin with our Moor Mud Bar. You can find the Moor Mud Bar here  here  You can add some of our All Natural Exfoliating Dead Sea Salts to the suds that you create with the Moor Mud Bar and gently exfoliate your skin to brighten, refresh and help firm your skin while removing oil and bacteria known to clog pores and dull your skin. Then follow up with our Dead Sea Mud Mask with Moor Mud and Rhassoul Clay
For dry or maturing skin follow up your mud mask with a quality facial moisturizer.

Someone Else Likes our Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse!

Wow! Even though this has been a terrible month for many of Etsy's wonderful crafter's and artist's, including me, because of Google's tweeks to their algorithms I am still a happy camper. One of my products was mentioned again on the Truth in Aging blog by another of my fantastic customers!

She was responding to the article “Junko- Old Hair and New Hair”. Laura wrote 2 responses to Junko mentioning my Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse and my newest product "Packaged Herbs for Creating Your Own Herbal Vinegar Rinse or Hot Oil Treatment".

You can find the article and Laura's responses to it here:

If you get a chance you should check out the Truth in Aging Blog at   It is full of interesting information.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You Can Make Your Own Hair Care Products!

I finally have received and packaged up all the herbs necessary to create your own Herbal Vinegar Rinse or Herbal Hot Oil Treatment that is specifically targeted for your hair.

It is easy to create your own special blend of Herbal Vinegar Rinse and Herbal Conditioning Hot Oil Treatment All you will need is Apple Cider Vinegar from the grocery for your rinse. For your Herbal Conditioning Hot Oil you can use Olive Oil from your local grocer. If you want a lighter oil you can infuse your herbs into Apricot Kernal Oil or grapeseed oil if you want an even lighter oil. Usually you can find these oils in your local health food store. The only other thing you will need is a quart canning jar or a jar with a lid that has a rubber seal.

Each package of herbs has been carefully chosen for you. Now you can make your own Herbal Vinegar Rinse or Herbal Conditioning Hot Oil Treatment and save money. These packages include enough herbs to make 1 ½ gallons of Herbal Vinegar Rinse and/or Herbal Conditioning Hot Oil Treatment for less than the cost of 2-8 oz. bottles of already prepared Herbal Vinegar Rinse. You could also use the same blend of herbs to create a weekly conditioning hot oil treatment. Each order contains a brochure with the complete instructions on how to make your own Herbal Vinegar Rinse and Herbal Conditioning Hot Oil Treatment. Choose from these herbal packets:

Blonde Hair- contains chamomile, calendula, horsetail/shavegrass, nettles, lavender, lemon balm, comfrey, mullein and marshmallow root.

Brunette Hair- Rosemary, Sage, lavender, nettles, horsetail/shavegrass, Lemon Balm, peppermint, marshmallow root, calendula

Red Hair- nettles, horsetail/shavegrass, rose, hibiscus, lemon balm, peppermint, comfrey, plantain, ginger, sage & rosemary

Dandruff Blend-peppermint, arnica, cloves, juniper, lemongrass, nettles, horsetail/shavegrass, rosemary, comfrey, plantain, orange, licorice root, ginger, Dead Sea Salt and Tea Tree Essential Oil and Rosemary Essential Oil

You can order yours here:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Stolen Weeds

Some people, if they knew the truth about me, would probably try to have me committed to the nearest mental institution. Several years ago we moved from our huge 2 story Victorian home with its substantial yard. I had devoted years of work to my garden with all the perennial beds, herb garden, rose bed and my “natural” lawn with its treasure chest of common weeds that provided me with a bounty of herbal delights. My husband was responsible for the mowing and I took care of all other gardening which to me was not work but a joyful pastime. But as we got older and he became more disabled, the huge house with the large utility bills and upkeep and yard with its demands became too difficult to maintain and we decided we needed to downsize. We sold the house and moved into a lovely triplex with a beautiful lawn surrounding us on 3 sides and a tiny but manageable private backyard.

Like idiots we ended up moving in the middle of the snowiest February recorded in the past 50 years. After a couple of months to settle in I decided that I was pleased with the change. But then Spring arrived and I realized that I was going to make a major change in my life. I was no longer going to be able to step out my back door with my bucket in hand and stroll through my yard and pick the major portion of the herbs necessary to make many of my products. The dandelion, chickweed, boneset, red clover, milk thistle, stinging nettles, shepherd’s purse, coltsfoot, burdock, eyebright- had all been eradicated from our yard because someone’s idea of a lawn is a perfectly maintained green expanse of Ky. Bluegrass, not marred, nor broken by weeds. This was a disaster!

As that first Spring and Summer passed I would enviously look at some of the neighbor’s yards so blessedly full of the unruly drifts of puffy dandelions, noxious spreading chickweed and the spikes of plantain that reach up over the grass to let you know it is time to mow. Finally I knew what I had to do. I had to plant weeds! I would cagily take my dog out for walks in the evening as the light was fading and “borrow” the puffy seedpods of the neighbors dandelions and break off the seed producing spikes from their mature common plantain. Thankfully I don’t think anyone ever saw me while out on these hunting trips and no one ever asked me what I was doing. It would be difficult to explain. But this is my third summer in our triplex and I am happy to announce that I have a glorious yard full of carefully stolen weeds.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Apple Cider Vinegar, a Girl's Best Friend

Recently, one of my customers sent me an email letting me know that she had mentioned one of my favorite products in an article that she wrote for a fantastic blog, called Truth in Aging. It was a small mention at the end of the article but it felt GREAT having one of my products mentioned with some of the great hair cair companies such as Aubrey Organics and Nutri-Lift. Check out Kim's article and the Truth in Aging blog here:

Vinegar, most especially Apple Cider Vinegar, is one of nature's finest gifts to mankind. All alcoholic
beverages, whether made from apples, grapes, hops, wheat, or plain white sugar will turn naturally to vinegar, once it is exposed to air.  Bacteria in the air  converts the alcohol in cider, wine, and beer, into acetic acid, which gives vinegar its characteristic sharp sour taste.

As far back as 5000 BC the Babylonians used the fruit of the date palm to make wine and vinegar. They used it as a food and as a preserving or pickling agent. Around 400 BC, Hippocrates,  prescribed apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for a variety of ills including the common cold. Roman soldiers drank a drink of diluted vinegar (posca) as an tonic to energize them, just as modern atheletes now drink "power drinks".

Apple Cider Vinegar has a long history of use for many health benefits, including being used as one of the earliest recorded hair "conditioners".


The outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, covers the hair shaft and protects it like bark on a tree trunk. The cuticle on the shaft of the hair is made of overlapping layers of scales that lie along the surface of the hair like shingles on a roof. It is the condition of the cuticle scales that determine whether you are going to have a bad hair day. When the cuticle is in good shape, your hair has a smooth appearance. When the layers of the cuticle are tightly knit together, the light reflects off the cuticle. This is what makes hair shine! The cuticle opens when we shampoo our hair. When the cuticle layers are open and not knit together, the hair will feel rough, coarse and brittle. The hair will absorb the light rather than reflect it, which gives the appearance of dull and lifeless hair.

The use of Apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps to create healthy hair. The acidity of ACV is very similar to  natural hair. It is a great cleaning agent. Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will help balance the pH of your hair and remove the buildup that can result from the use of styling products and inexpensive shampoos. Commercial shampoos contain conditioners that weigh your hair down.

The acids and enzymes in ACV kill the "bottle bacillus", a bacteria which is one of the main causes for  scalp and hair conditions such as dandruff, itchy scalp, hair loss and sometimes baldness.The bacteria clog the hair follicles which cause dry crusts to form that itch and flake.

For an easy treatment for dandruff and itchy scalp, apply about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of our Herbal Vinegar Rinse to your scalp, rub in, and leave on for a half hour to an hour BEFORE washing your hair.

We infuse all of our natural Vinegar Hair Rinses with nettles, plantain, calendula and horsetail for the benefits they give to your hair. Plantain has historically been used  for dry, irritated scalp, dandruff, and seborrhea. Horsetail or Shavegrass is loaded with silica to strengthen the hair shaft. Nettles contain
biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. The astringent properties of nettles have been known for centuries and it is used for dandruff and overly oily hair and scalp.

Chamomile and Citrus is healing, soothing, and mildly antiseptic. Citrus will lighten hair, combat oiliness, promote microcirculation of the scalp and is great for blondes or light colored hair.

Rosemary & Lavender- Rosemary is stimulating and invigorating to the hair and scalp. It promotes healthy hair growth and shine. It is antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral. It is excellent for all hair types but especially good for brunettes. Lavender is a cleansing, balancing herb that has antibacterial properties.

Rose & Nettles- Rose is cooling and astringent, but very gentle and soothing. It has been used for centuries to treat skin wounds and inflammation. Nettles thickens hair texture, helps eliminate dandruff, aids in preventing hair loss and aids in restoring hair growth.

You can find these in our shop by themselves at this listing:

Or if you want to order our special all natural shampoo and herbal vinegar Hair Pair here:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Everything You Want to Know About Natural Laundry Care

Maybe this should read as “Most Everything I learned from my grandmother about “Old Fashioned Laundry Care”. It amazes me that the older I became, the smarter my grandmother became. One of my very first memories of my grandmother is helping her push her old wheeled Maytag Model N 'Chieftan' out the basement door onto the concrete pad of the back porch. Every Monday, rain or shine, was laundry day. If it was raining, she would wash clothes inside in the basement and carry the baskets upstairs to the side porches on each side of the house where my grandfather had placed clotheslines. If the weather was good the laundry was hung on the 4 strands of clothesline that ran from one side of the yard to the other.

I can remember the wonderful clean scent of freshly washed and dried clothing as I undid the clothspins and grasped each garment to my chest to keep them from dragging on the ground. I couldn’t understand why my mothers laundry never smelled like my grandmothers’, but my mother was a “modern” housekeeper. Her washer was almost a twin of the one I use today, plus she had a wonderful time saving electric dryer. Our clothes never saw the light of day except when we wore them. Sunlight is part of the formula for wonderfully white clothes and linens. Bleach is great but often bleach can actually cause the “graying” of your white clothes or linens. If you have a medium to high manganese content in your city or well water the bleach will interact with it and turn your clothing grey.

                                                                        Mantas Ruzveltas
Laundry-The Natural, The Environmentally Conscious Method or How My Grandma Taught Me


Simply pre-soaking with your detergent or laundry soap for ½ hour will help clean heavily soiled clothing.


1. Add your laundry soap or  in 1st- Let powders dissolve or liquids dilute before adding clothes.

2. Loosely load the washer with dry, unfolded clothes. Overloading can be the cause of poor cleaning, extra wear and tear on fabric, extra lint and overworking your washer.

3. Load larger items 1st, then small items and then the medium articles.

Solutions for Stains

Ink stains- a. Moisten with vinegar, then add paste made of vinegar & cornstarch. Let dry then wash as usual.

b. Place cream of tartar on stain, then squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on top. Rub into stain for 1 minute then rinse well.

Perspiration stains- a. Saturate with equal parts vinegar & water and let set for ½ hour. Wash as usual.

b. Add 4 T. salt to 1 quart very hot water. Saturate and let sit for ½ hour.

Perspiration Odor- Add ½ cup of vinegar to wash cycle.

Stained or stinky socks- Dissolve 1/3 cup baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water and let soak for 30-45 minutes.

I Forgot the clothes were in the dryer odor or mildew odor- Run the clothes through an extra rinse cycle with either 1-2 cups of vinegar.

I Use Bleach but my Whites Are Not White!

How Do I Whiten my Laundry?

First you need to find out what makes your clothes dingy. Until you find out the cause the solution may escape you. Too much detergent or improper rinsing and/or hard water are often the main causes of dingy looking whites. Using less detergent is often a simple solution. Also I find that I overload my washer if I am not paying attention. Smaller loads with higher water levels will often help as well as simply adding a ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

The absolute best method of whitening your whites is something many people are re-discovering, Laundry Bluing. I have only used one company’s which is Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing. It is the only one I have ever found and it was a difficult search. I had to go to four different groceries before I found it. Bluing is fantastic. It whitens whites and also brightens colors—Without harsh chemical! It is not only biodegradable and non-toxic, it also prolongs the life of your clothes.

What is Bluing and How does it Work?

Bluing is a simple, very concentrated liquid made of a fine blue iron powder mixed with water or a colloidal suspension. “Mrs. Stewart's Bluing is a simple, concentrated blue liquid that optically whitens white fabric. It does not remove stains, does not "clean", but adds a microscopic blue particle to white fabric.”

This is the explanation the Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing gives for why it works. “Because blue-white is the most intense white, most artists, when painting a snow scene, will use blue color to intensify the whiteness. As color experts would explain it, the proof comes when two pieces of fabric are placed under a spectrograph - the one with blue added will reflect more light, making the fabric appear its whitest.
Other great uses for Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing:

My absolute favorite use of bluing is one that I learned when I was 6 years old. My constant companion and very best friend was a parti colored Black and White Cocker Spaniel. Our “playground” was 120 acres of tilled earth that was planted with corn one year and soybeans the following year. It consisted mostly of a yellow clay that was impossible to wash out of my long haired dog. The solution for making “Tammy’s” white hair bright white and her black hair beautifully shine was a simple solution of ¼ teaspoon of bluing to 1 gallon of warm water.

According to MSB farmers use it in stock tanks and homeowners use it in bird baths, fish ponds and fountains to retard algae growth.

I have learned another great use for bluing. Are you tired of all your white flowers? Stick your freshly cut flowers in a container filled with a fairly strong bluing solution in warm water. Ever seen a blue rose?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No Admittance

It is now 8:07 p.m. and I have been sitting at my desk for the last three hours doing one of my very least favorite jobs, working on our yearly taxes. I had to take a break before my eyes literally crossed from looking at all those figures on the lines and tiny little boxes.

My husband is in his room working on a friends computer so the television in the great room is off. I have already listened to all of the day's news on NPR and the house is silent for a change. Usually it is not this quiet until after midnight but tonight I am doubly blessed. We are having an early spring this year so I have my window in the office open. Normally I hear one of my favorite sounds long into the wee morning hours. Across the road and midway across an open field the county built a lake on this property. The county owns, I would guess about 80-90 acres of land surrounding one of it's newest buildings built on the edge of town. I find myself, a long advocate of the "Early to bed, Early to rise theory, staying up later and later working in my office with the window open listening to the lonely, haunting calls of the Canadian Geese flying in and landing on the lake on the property. Tonight, I hear an owl for the first time since selling our house and moving to "the city".

Several days ago just before the sun dipped completely below the tree lined drive I happened to hear a sound that I was unfamiliar with. Similar, but different to the honking of the Canadian Geese. I looked out my window just in time to see a pair of huge white birds fly in below the tree line onto the lake. That was the last I had seen of them until yesterday morning. A pair of big white birds drifting across the end of the lake dwarfing the geese in size. A pair of Trumpeter Swan? A rare event anymore. Their nesting grounds have all disappeared and like many of America's natural beauties, an almost dying breed.

Strangely, I want to walk down this gently curving drive and follow it to the lake that seems to beacon to me with its water's that ripple and reflect the morning's light sending little pricks of sunlight that are there and then almost instantly vanish to be captured and sent in another ripple and off in an other direction. I want to stand and admire the raucous Canadian Geese who fly through the night honking and calling as if they were coming in from a boozy night on the town. I want to search to see if that is truly a pair of Trumpeter Swan that I have seen.

The land is gently contoured with a slope falling gradually to the edge of the water. There is an back entry drive that curves round about from the road beside my house and passes around the far edge of the lake and leads up to the building with a line of trees that obscures most of the lake. Across this drive is a barricade forbidding entry to this property save for those that have a pass and a valid reason for entry.

Still, I want to enter the property. I want to share in the beauty the county has provided with a small pocket of green grass and still waters with homes for the ubiquitous Canadian Geese, the lonely noctural owl and the rare Trumpeter Swans. But, I have no valid reason- unless I do walk down that drive to the lake. That would give me a valid reason! Yes, I could become a resident of that county building by walking onto the property since the property is the new City/County Jail.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

With My Deepest Gratitude

Today I was very honored to have my products and myself mentioned by one of Etsy's most creative and inspired crafter/artists, Mikiye of Mikiye's Creations at  To give you an idea of the diverse skills and beautiful work she does here are some photos from her shop.

Be sure to check out her shop  (especially you brides to be) at
and take a peek at her blog (It is one of the prettiest I have ever seen) at

I am in LOVE!

I was thumbing through Etsy again yesterday and I think I have fallen in love, that is if one can fall in love with inanimate objects. I have always admired the work of many potters. In fact, I have always had a secret desire to play with clay or mud but never had the funds nor room to own a kiln or the space to put one. I did take a class about a hundred years ago in my freshman year of college. All that did was whet my appetite for more but the opportunity never presented itself. Now all I can do is admire the work of others and I definately admire the work of Tara of AugustMoonArt. You can find her shop here:

Her work is beautiful and unusual. I have been trying to pick my favorite piece to lead this this off this article but that is impossible. I will just take them in line as I find them.

Blue Sponge/Soap Holder
You can use this beauty in your bath or your kitchen to hold either your bath sponge or kitchen sponge plus a bar of soap. This sponge "cosy" is wheelthrown, then altered with slots on the side to hold the sponge. She also adds drainage holes on the bottom but she isn't satisfied with plain old circular drainage holes she adds lovely teardrops.

     Agate Butterfly Pump Soap/Lotion Dispenser
Of all of her Soap/Lotion Dispensers I love this the most. Probably because I am a butterfly nut. Of all of God's creatures on earth I think the butterfly from egg to caterpillar to butterfly are each miracles. As Tara's description reads, "This wheelthrown bottle is glazed in a wonderful Agate green glaze, and adorned with a leathery looking ring of butterflys. A natural bark top cork adds an organic element that holds this dispenser a head above the rest. "

White Crackle Teapot
Now I have to admit that I am an addict, teapot addict that is. I am only moderately addicted though, since I only own 6 of them. I inherited two of them and back during the time when I used to have money (pre-disability) I bought the other four. And before you ask, yes I do drink tea although my primary drink is coffee. This teapot is a beauty. I love the crackle finish on it. Here is Tara's description.
"This teapot is wheelthrown with Speckled Brownstone clay, and glazed white, with a white crackled accent glaze, and a deep dark chocolate brown interior. The handle is hand-pulled and has a comfortable feel. Enjoy your tea!

Approximate dimensions 10" wide x 5 1/2" tall.

Holds 5 cups or 40 oz.

Microwave, dishwasher, & food safe.
Pierced Agate Jar
The stoneware jar in the above pictures has a hundred potential uses besides just sitting and being beautiful. I grow elephant garlic and this would be a perfect vessel for it!
Wheeltrown and pierced with teardrop and round piercings, and glazed in a wonderful Agate with a dark rich Temmoku inside. This stoneware jar is no lighweight; it is quite substantial and weighty.

Useful in many ways.... I love it with a candle lit in it in the evening, wish I could capture a pic of that but I'm not so camera savy and can't turn off the flash! It can also be used in the kitchen as a garlic keeper, in the living room as decoration, to keep knick knacks in, or in the bathroom for cotton balls etc...
Approximate dimensions are 7" x 7".
Food safe.

Remember her shop is here:  She has many more beautiful and different pieces. Check them out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good News/Bad News

I’ll start this off with the good news. I had tried for several years to get into the Women’s Club of Newburgh Arts and Crafts Show. I was either too early, too late or they already had too many soapmakers. After several years I finally gave up on it which was too bad since this was one of the prime shows of our area. I suppose that was all I had to do was give up because this past summer I was approached by 2 different members of the Womens Club and asked to apply to the show, which I did naturally.

The show was on Feb. 27 and it was fantastic. Not only did I do well, but I had a great time and met some very talented and nice people. And of course I came home with a lot of goodies!

Unfortunately, I will have to tell you the bad news now. I have been so excited and hyped about the new Zibbet shop that I opened for Pigeon Creek Soaps. It was supposed to have all the bells and whistles for the shopowners that Etsy lacked. Plus, I had gotten in early and the rate for a Premium shop was extremely reasonable.

Sadly, after spending hours and hours building the shop and creating the marketing, plus the money for the ads and new labels, it turned out to be a disaster. A number of people told me that they could not join in order to purchase and of the actual purchases each one had something major wrong with it. I have decided to close my Zibbet shop when this payment period is over which is in just a couple of days. In the future I may consider opening a shop on ArtFire, but I am going to put a great deal of thought into it before I make the leap.

Those of you who also have shops may understand my reasoning behind my desire for a different sales venue. I definately love Etsy, but with the price of almost all of my materials having increased, then I have to pay to list on Etsy, pay when it is sold on Etsy and then PayPal gets its' share. On a venue like ArtFire or Zibbet you pay a monthly fee and nothing else except your PayPal when sold.

If you have any thoughts on this, send them my way. Tell me how you have handled this changing economy or if you have any suggestions, let us hear them.

I would like this blog to be a place where people feel free to drop in and say hi and tell us how they are doing and what they are thinking. Tell me what you would like to see here!

Friday, January 29, 2010

All in the Family or I found Some Great New Jewelry!

If Etsy was a book, I would say that I was leafing through Etsy the other day and got very lucky. But Etsy is not a book but I still am very lucky because while looking through Etsy I found a pair of (yes, a pair) of talented jewelry makers. You can check out their shop at and tell them where you heard about their shop.

Monika, does beautiful polymer clay cane work along with her other talents. This is the first time I had seen such fine and delicate work with the acrylics and the added Swarovski Crystals.

Then I looked further and I saw my favorite! Her husband makes beautiful and unusual copper jewelry.
Is this not a delightful piece of jewelry. Per their listing ""Naja" - Crescent shaped pendant hanging from the end of a squash blossom necklace. The crescent "Najah" is believed to go back into Moorish designs".
I would have a fight on my hands if I owned this. I would have to fight my husband over who would get to wear it. Monika's husband has a great eye and the vision to carry it through.

A very simple but beautiful piece.

The only problem I can see with this web shop is that when they are truly discovered they are going to have a very difficult time keeping items in their shop. So Monika and husband, you might want to work some more because your work is great!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Skin and A Simple Daily Regimen to Care For It

I was in the doctor's office the other day and had a conversation with a lady who was not quite as old as I am. In our conversation we discovered that we both had Type 2 Diabetes. She told me that she was amazed that with the diabetes my skin looked so normal. Now to be honest the word normal was not the one she used but I am trying to be humble here. Of course this was an opening to tell her what I make and sell and to extol the benefits of using handcrafted soaps. But further into the conversation I found out that she bathed twice a day in hot water and she used a commercially made deodorant soap.  After thinking about her I decided that maybe some information might help my readers. We lead such full and busy lives that we can't be expected to know everything.

Our skin is our body’s largest organ and our protective barrier against the environment that we live in. It actually breaths and can absorb many things through it. We often take it for granted and fail to realize that it needs daily care just as brushing our teeth. If our skin is not taken care of properly it can become dry, flaky, cracked and inflamed. This can make it vulnerable to infections, fungi and even wart viruses. We should all practice a daily skin care regimen.

We all have a natural oil covering our skin. This oil, called sebum is created by tiny glands in the skin. When we remove this oil by using harsh drying agents such as most modern commercial soaps, frequent hot showers or baths, the skin becomes very dry which can lead to flaking and cracking. This can bring inflammation and itching.

Daily Skin Care

1. Each day that you take your bath or shower use warm water, not hot water. If you are sore and achy by all means have a hot bath but do not do it daily. Lukewarm or body temperature is actually best. Hot water dries out your skin. Limiting your bath or shower to 10-15 min. is best. You should only bathe once a day or risk removing your skins natural oils.

2. Avoid using harsh soaps that dry the skin. Naturally, I would recommend handcrafted soaps since all the natural glycerin is left in the bar and most are superfatted to help condition and moisturize your skin. If you must use a commercially made soap we recommend using Dove or Basis. We do NOT recommend the use of deodorant soaps as they are very harsh and drying as well as having chemical ingredients.

3. When drying off always blot or pat dry with the towel rather than rubbing the skin. It is best to leave your skin slightly damp.

4. Next, while your skin is slightly damp, apply a good moisturizer. If you have oily skin you can safely skip this step. A good commercially made moisturizer for normal skin is Lubriderm.

5. This is a very important step! All areas that are exposed to the sun, hands, neck, face, ears, arms or any exposed area of skin should have sun block with a moisturizer or a sunscreen of SPF 15 applied daily. Sun screens and sun blocks prevent UV damage to the skin. With UV damage you can have wrinkles, age spots and most importantly skin cancer.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Pairs and Trio Listings and General Musings

I have to apologize for being so remiss in  writing regularly. I guess it may have to do with this Winter weather. Now I love a good snow because there is nothing more beautiful than a bright winters' sun reflecting off of snow drift. I also love to watch the birds greedily feeding on the black sunflower seeds that they have knocked off of the feeder onto the packed snow underneath. As you can see from the photo above I have a fairly nice view from my office window. I share it with T-Bone now. He has a chair that sits in front of the window where he lays his head on the window sill to watch for the deer that often come out of the woods to feed.

But that is not what we have had for the last few weeks. We had 2 short days of wonderful snow and the rest have been gloomy, dreary rainy days. Not a glorious storm that shows us the great power of Mother Nature. Not the rainy days of Spring that precede the early blooms of crocus and early spring flowers, just dreary and cold enough to remind us that we have a long time before we can expect those blooms and buds.

O.K. now back to business! I have started some new listings in the Etsy shop. I am listing pairs of products that go together and giving a discount for purchasing both items together.

The first pair (which I have already listed) is the Hair Pair. You have your choice of Herbal Vinegar Rinses and your choice of Shampoo Bars. Normally by themselves they cost $8.95 for Vinegar Rinse and $7.95 for the Shampoo Bar. I am knocking off a $1 off the price of the pair together.
You can find this listing at

Later today I will be listing at least one other pair and one trio. This will be for our Bug Off and Bite Be Gone and the Trio will add our Jewelweed Balm to that Duo. Check it out. Remember that Spring and Summer will come and bring mosquitos and chiggers with them.

You can find these listed on Etsy at