Lavender Festival! July 16 2013, 9 Comments
Our monthly car rental for a supply run just so happened to line up with a local lavender festival put on by a local supplier of ours. I had wanted to go last year, but it just didn't work out. This year was different and we happened to make it! It was a lovely time. Upon arriving at the farm, all you could smell was sweetness in the air, it was amazing. I'll let the pictures tell the story...
This is what you see upon arriving at the farm. A glorious view of Mt. Hood. You could also see St. Helens and I believe it was Mt. Adams as well. While I do love my job, can you imagine working here?! All the employes were happy and cheerful. I would be too! What a beautiful place to work.
I really wish I could capture the sound of the bees hard at work. While you could hear the wind blowing through the trees, there was this overwhelming pulsing hum of millions of bees! It was pretty incredible. They didn't seem to mind us harvesting and would move off to another area while we picked.
The variety that we collected was called, Buena Vista. It has a very sweet aroma, almost fruity! It's not at all medicinal or camphorous. They distill this variety on site and I walked away with a bottle. Of course I'll be soaping it ;) This is an organic farm, too. Nothing but the best!
Matt can't help but make faces during picture taking, what a man-child. At any rate, we walked away with four big bundles! Enough for personal use and for soaps.
This was my favorite picture. Trying to capture these little guys is hard! I think I got lucky here.
When I first began my adventures in perfume and soap making, I was always drawn to the most exotic ingredients. I overlooked classic and simple essential oils. Lately, I have been having a love affair with the simple "basics" lavender, rose, bergamot. They're timeless scents. Lavender and sandalwood, lime, rose are pairings that come to mind. I think I'll be using the oil that I bought on site for a Lavender Pumpkin soap sometime shortly after the fall release. I managed to make up a pretty great pumpkin accord, blend that with this amazing Buena Vista lavender and a touch of sandalwood and I think it'll be a heavenly bar of soap!
So tell me, what is your favorite pairing with lavender? Or your would be favorite?
Summer musing. July 02 2013, 8 Comments
Hi friends! Just touching base with y'all. We've been taking it easy the past few days due to a heatwave. Riding our bikes into work gets us super sweaty later in the day, so we've been hitting the office during the coolness of the very early morning and only staying for a few hours. There's been a LOT of custom perfume work this week, which is nice because things have been rather quiet around the Haus. It usually is during the middle of the summer. A wee little break before the oncoming craziness of fall and the holidays! Today Matt and I are working around the house and taking care of some domestic chores. I'm having a late morning coffee break and figured I'd catch all of you up with what's been going on.
I've been plotting out our pre-fall Reverie release (which is going to be super awesome!) and our full Halloween lineup. I've been inspired by a natural area I like to visit during the late summer/early fall dry phase, right before the fall rains hit. Huge walnut orchard, with wild pear trees and the sweet smell of dry grass. It'll be very harvest themed. Faded perfume, pears, wild nuts and apples, antique lace, sweet grass, dried herbs and... cornbread! I'm really excited about it. You'll see a lot of return scents for the full Halloween release, and it's gunna be HUGE! Old favorites like, Ghost Puffs and Pumpkin Queen will be around for sure. I have a few new scents in mind. Something smoky and leathery, that'll really round out our fall offerings I think.
Our beautiful and very popular Butterbombs will be coming back too. Along with a brand new product that I've been using myself for quite a while now, hair oil! Made with virgin argan oil and lots of lovely extracts. We haven't quite decided what scents we'll be offering them in, but we are very excited to be releasing this new product. It'll be affordable as well. I think a lot of the high end hair oils out on the market are ridiculously over priced. And I almost forgot! Our newly formulated propylene glycol free whipped soap will debut with the Halloween release as well.
Well, that's all I have for now. I hope that all of you have a lovely and safe Independence Day! We're hoping it's kind of quiet, the cats get so scared of the fireworks. The old lady cat takes to hiding under the bathroom sink!
Thanks for reading all!
Views From the Haus - 04 April 19 2013, 0 Comments
Good morning everyone!
It's been a minute since I've done one of these ;) Right now it's raining and it's also my birthday! So I'm taking the day off to enjoy the rain and eventually some burritos and beer, followed by cake and ice cream! 27 was great, but I plan on making 28 kick ass!
I thought I'd share with you what's been going on in Instagram land...
A neighbors cat, keeping a sharp eye on me while I walked to the gym one day.
Simple delicious noms! I like my bananas nice and spotty too, is that weird?
Ok, this thing... IS AWESOME. It's, indescribably delicious. It's a cashew and coconut cream based treat with tons of pure vanilla flavor and these chunks of cocoabutter and cacao that just melt in your mouth. They're expensive, so I don't buy them often, but they're worth it.
Moss carpets everywhere this time of year.
I can never make enough of these buggers! I need elves.
My hair has faded from this brightness. It's almost pinkish up front now, my hair always fades more in the front. I think it's due to running my fingers through it and it coming into contact with water and cleansers on a daily basis. My goal? Lavenderish locks and a tan this summer. Oh, how I love the sun.
The first of many maneki neko bits that will be in our reception room. They're symbols of luck and beckon in good business.
Reading a lot about fairies these day.
Lots of soap production last week and even more next week. As a matter of fact, that's all I plan on doing next week. Soap, soap, soap. I plan on getting all of general catalog restocked along with summer soaps done too. So excited to soap up White Blueberry! I think it'll be awesome.
That's all I've got for now. I have a huge backlog of Instagram photos I want to share. I may break it up into themes, I have so many flower and custom perfume pictures.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Good Afternoon Tuesday - 04 February 12 2013, 1 Comment
Hi everyone! It's been pretty hectic around here. We had family in over the weekend and that kept us pretty busy.
I'm keeping this short and sweet...
- We will be doing restocks on all Valentines products this week.
- We will be moving into our new warehouse this week.
And that's all. I won't be working on general catalog restocks until we are in the space. It's going to be a crazy weekend trying to get in there! So, with that, I leave you with lots of pictures of the warehouse! We're so excited to get in there. I can't wait for the dust to settle and get EVERYTHING restocked.
This is the reception room. There's a pond just out across the parking lot. Lots of ducks and herons hang out there! There's another office off to the right. I think we'll be keeping the soap in the right hand office because it'll have better climate control.
The room on the right.
The large bay door on the other side of the warehouse.
And looking back down from the bay door. Floors need a good scrub and lights replaced. My production area will be along the right, and Matt's area, along the left.
Hooray, a bathroom! :P
That's all I've got for now. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Soap Pot 01 - Avocado, coconut, aloe. January 15 2013, 2 Comments
I spotted some pure coconut and aloe water in a local health food store a little while ago. Needless to say it got my soap making wheels turning. I thought it would make a luxurious liquid to soap with. Not stopping there, I picked up my favorite brand of coconut milk and a fresh avocado, also for soap!
Here we have the lye solution all mixed up, cooled and ready to go.
I also had some fresh aloe in the kitchen that I picked up at an Asian food market. Naturally, this had to get soaped as well. I trimmed off a small one inch chunk, peeled and diced the gel.
Once I added the lye to the precisely measured oils, I used my handy stick blender and mixed until the raw soap came to trace. At this point, I went ahead and added my diced aloe, avocado and super creamy coconut milk - blending until completely incorporated. I added a wee bit of French green clay for color and of course I had to scent this bordering on edible soap up! I wanted to evoke something clean and fresh, but creamy, because of the addition of avocado and coconut... I formulated a blend of pure essential oils: Parsley, local peppermint, howood, petitgrain, kaffir lime, bergamot and dry gingergrass. It's a tad sharp on the nose when you smell it freshly blended, but once soaped, it takes the edge off and becomes quite creamy.
In the mold it goes!
I really like to gel my soaps, I just love the mild translucency you get. Gel phase is when the lye and oils begin the magical process of saponifying. This creates heat and you can encourage this heat by keeping your soap mold in a warm place. I like to use the oven at the lowest temperature and I pull it out once it has completely gelled up.
And our final product, an insanely luxurious bar of soap!
This batch of soap will be available in our Etsy shop once it has cured up. Thank you for reading and looking!
White raspberries, May 02 2011, 14 Comments
This is the product of a Reverie scent I whipped up not too long ago. It's a tart smelling raspberry and a clean cream accord. It's a totally new design soap wise (for me!), and I was really pleased with how it turned out. I used a long divider down the middle of the log to achieve the layers. Matt poured one side and I did the other.
I took the in-the-mold photos at dusk, so the color looks a little odd.
I want to make another batch already. I'll have to play around with this method some more, tons of possibilities! You'll find this soap along with our summer LE release.
There will also be an announcement on summer dates soon!
Fresh soaped Zazz! April 28 2011, 6 Comments
Zazz is probably my most favorite fresh scented soap that we make. Matt loves it too. The fragrance in the bar really lasts. I had a few hidden bars from last year and they're still smelling really good and strong and they're a dream to use.
You'll find Zazz soap in our Summer collection of products!
Friday Photo Fling 01 April 08 2011, 8 Comments
(A recent Moon Dog batch, pretty pleased with that swirl!)
(Cracknip, we keep this guy outside safe from Toki. I've never seen a cat more obsessed with catnip than him!)
(Typical. He's too cool for pictures.)
(Our old snagle-tooth ladykins, having a sunbath on the deck.)
(Chocolate cupcakes with almond paste centers. So good!)
(Vegan dream: a good and well done peanut butter cup! Salty, sweet and perfect. More on these gems later!)
Posting will resume & a few notes! April 05 2011, 3 Comments
I know it's been quiet around here. I got back into town late Friday night, after spending a week visiting family before they make a cross country move. Got to see all of my brothers and sisters all grown up and my parents. It was a wonderful time!
Today begins hardcore Body Emulsion and Pumpkin Butter making! I got this bad boy in the mail just yesterday:
We went from small 60 oz batches to 5gal batches! Crazy huh? It'll make life so much easier and help keep more products in stock, more often.
I'm also in full swing summer scent blending. All that has been on my mind is warm florals, cantaloupes and ripe Oregon berries! We will have three new fragrance and two returns of last year limited edition fragrances. One of which will be going full time catalog! More on that, soon ;)
Also, we will be sending out a very important newsletter (it will also be cross-posted here) first thing tomorrow morning, so be on the look out.
All that said, regular posting will resume starting now!