Merry Christmas!

I hope you have had a wonderfully joyful holiday with loved ones near at hand to share the happiness & togetherness!  I wanted to pop in a post a quick note to mention a fun swap I participated in recently, a Secret Santa swap amongst a group in Facebook called Lye Masters.  We’re an eclectic group who’ve had at least two year or more experience in soapmaking and either sell publicly online or in some other manner.

We exchanged names several months ago and kept it simple.  Just three items.  Only 3 and they should include at least one bar of soap.  The rest is up to us to decide.  I was sent two bars of soap and a small jar of a salve that the maker described as a drawing salve she’s known for. Penny Krier, a very talented soaper and herbalist who has many skills to offer as a soaper, not the least of which are bath & body care classes, teaching Beginner Yoga, and runs her business, Back To Eden with an extremely high level of knowledge.

Of course, I’d already dipped my fingers into the salve, drawn immediately to its earthy scent, enjoying the intensely herbal fragrance – that of resins, tea tree, and rosemary, though there are other ingredients to contribute to make it a drawing salve.  I love the scent and would likely use it whether I needed something like that or not.  I know my cuticles loved it when I tested it out on them!  The two bar soaps are equally herbal in tone with Rose Geranium in one and an ale, Black Bavarian Ale, with Aloe in the second.  They both are fragranced with essential oils, something I definitely enjoyed receiving.

These lovely bar soaps are a treat I’m genuinely looking forward to trying out as I’m no different from all other soapers I know in trying out others’ soaps to see what they’re like.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what other soapers expect to achieve from their formulations when they craft their own soaps & recipes.  Many have specific criteria or goals that all must reach with few exceptions. For example,  I like for all of mine to be moisturizing.  That’s excepted by those soaps I formulate for cleansing extremely oily skin types.  Oily skin types would be higher in cleansing oils & include one or more clays.

I’d also like to branch out a bit and have a more natural line in 2015. It would include soaps crafted with milks, silk proteins, clays for their detoxifying effects as well as subtle tinting, using botanicals-infused oils, no micas, and fragranced with essential oils if any.  This year will be a fun one of discovery and stretching  my creative wings, broadening our selection and product line as much as possible.  This Secret Santa has helped me to see what else is out there, try new things, enjoy the variety that others techniques offers and we’ll see what happens from there.

Secret Santa from Penny Keifer (1024x768)

Penny Krier’s soaps of Black Bavarian Aloe Artisan Soap, Cranberry Seed & Rose Geranium Artisan Soap and Herbal Soothing Salve.

Her web site is http://www.backtoedenpw.com

Happy Holidays & have a fun, safe New Year all!

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