December 26, 2022

 I've wanted this candle making kit from Bramble Berry since last Christmas. I was happily surprised when my daughter gifted it to me this year. I enjoy making candles and this kit takes all the work out finding the right wick to go with the wax and size of container. They came out beautiful!

The best part is the fragrance and eco glitter. The fragrance is heavenly and the glitter adds that bit of sparkle that every candle needs. Now I need to stock up on everything in this kit to keep making these. I'm sure that's the point of the kits, right?! They want you to love it so you keep buying more. 😂 Nice work Bramble Berry, nice work! 

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December 18, 2022

 Oh my gosh! This is the first year that Christmas has snuck up on me. I'm usually done shopping for prezzies by the last week of November and at this time I'm watching Christmas movies by the fire and nibbling on the cookies I baked, but I'm sooooo behind. I thought I had at least a week and half beforeChristmas but realized over this past weekend how wrong I was. I finally finished making my Christmas cards so hopefully they make it to everyone on time. I'm relieved I got the cards done because it's the one of the things I really enjoy doing making this time of year and I think people really love receiving them.

I'll start my shopping tomorrow.  


I did manage to decorate for Christmas the first week of November though so I'm not a total failure this year. 😀

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December 15, 2022

 Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by the winter market and bought soap or purchased my soaps through Facebook this holiday season. Your support allows me to continue doing what I love and I really appreciate it. 

Now it's time to get some Christmas shopping done. This is the first year I've not finished by December 1st. I don't know why but I keep feeling like there is so much time left but in reality it's just 9 days away!!! Time to get moving. 

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December 9, 2022

Tomorrow December 10th my daughter and I will be back at the Winter Walk in Northfield. This will be our last day before the end of the year. 

I'm still debating on whether I should open an Etsy account or a new website. I'll decide by Sunday so check back if you want to purchase any soaps for Christmas.

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December 4, 2022

I am so excited to finally have my own spinning wheel. My friend Susan gifted me this Ashford Traditional spinning wheel a couple days ago. It just needs a few minor repairs and then I can begin spinning. I've been spinning wool for several years on a top whorl drop spindle but it has always been my goal to learn the wheel. Wheels are quite speedy and they look kind of complicated so I've never purchased one. Now I have my own and can't wait to make the repairs and get spinning. 

Today I'll be ordering the pieces I need to get it up and running and I'll make sure to share my progress.

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December 3, 2022

Today was another great day at the winter market in Northfield, MN. Several people asked if I sold soap online. Sadly, I had to tell them that as of mid October I no longer had a website, but great news is I've decided to open an Etsy shop. I'll be selling on Etsy after December 10th so if anyone wants to pick up some soap for Christmas I'll be there. I'll share the link to my new shop on here December 11th.

Maya and I had another beautiful day at the market. We met some really nice people and got to spend some time getting to know a couple from Georgia, the owner of Cannon Belles Coffee & Ice Cream, and the owners of Cannon River Fiber Farm. We also found out there is space for us in the 24th annual Winter Walk Event so we'll be back in Northfield to sell soap again on December 8th during the festivities.
We'll be bringing several new fragrances with us so make sure to drop by and take a sniff!
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November 29, 2022

Maya and I sold our soaps at the winter market in Northfield on November 19 and now we are headed back for round 2 this Saturday. I’ll have 10 different batches for sale so if you’re in Minnesota and close to the area, come by and see us at 115 5th Street West. 

We’ll also be returning on December 10th and I’ll be introducing five new batches of soap on that day. Two of them are pictured below. Strawberries in champagne and orange peel. Both smell incredible! 

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November 19, 2022

 My daughter and I sold at the Northfield, MN Winter Market today and it was lots of fun. I didn't expect to see so many people considering it was 17 degrees outside, but they came out to shop and it was great to see everyone. 

Maya and I arrived extra early since we weren't sure how long the drive would take us so we were both quite tired by 2 pm. Here's Maya right after we set up our table. She's not quite awake yet...and she was the one who had the coffee. 😂 

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September 15, 2022

Today my daughter and I took a class on identifying edible vs toxic mushrooms in the wild. Since I was little I always wanted to know which mushrooms I could and couldn't eat but no matter how many times friends with mushroom knowledge would point out an edible mushroom I just didn't trust it. 

Growing up my mother was a wealth of knowledge when it came to edible and medicinal plants but not when it came to mushrooms. She had this long list of stories she'd share with us about people she knew or had read about who had died eating the wrong one and died so we were told to admire fungi from afar. As an adult that warning was ingrained in my head but I know it's silly, sort of, so I decided to take a class.

Will I be eating wild mushrooms now? Um... not likely.  If I do I'll stick to a select 2-3, but I definitely won't be branching out to all that's available. It was fun to explore in the woods with our guide and talk about mushrooms though. Even if I never eat one my daughter and I learned a lot. 

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June 12, 2022

A few years ago we decided to remove the majority of our grass in the front yard to make room for pollinator gardens. We removed about 1/2 of the lawn and planted numerous Minnesota natives to feed butterflies and bees. In our backyard we added several native trees to help feed the birds. Immediately we started seeing the benefits of both. The birds come to the trees to nibble on the fruits and the pollinators visit the flowers for pollen and nectar, but this year we were surprised to find this...

While I was up in Northern MN at our cabin a few years back I found a plant growing wild down the road and thought it was interesting. I looked it up to find it's name and whether it was native to the area or not. It's called pearly everlasting and it is a native to MN so I decided to plant it in my front yard. I ordered 3 plants from a local native wildflower nursery and put them in. Two years later (today) I noticed they had spread quite a bit. Three small plants that took up a total of a foot space had now spread to about 4 ft around. I thought that was exciting since I want all of my plants to spread. I went out a couple days ago to water and discovered what looked like dying pearly everlasting. I thought maybe it had some type of fungus or mite since it was covered in a white powdery substance with black flecks and it looked like it had little cobwebs all over the top. I started pulling back the webs and was surprised to find caterpillars inside. By the time I was done counting I found over 2 dozen caterpillars. I rushed to my resources to find out what they were and it turns out we created a home for the American Lady and Painted Lady butterfly larvae. 

The pearly everlasting is a host plant. The caterpillars live as individuals in nests made of leaves and silk. Here are some photos of what I found.

This is EXACTLY what we wanted to achieve when we removed our lawn. In our front yard we have three sections with native wildflowers that feed the local pollinators. It's very exciting to see the fruits of our labor. 

We also found that the butterfly milkweed we planted is covered in Monarch caterpillars. I didn't expect this. I assumed Monarchs would only lay their eggs on the common milkweed. Here are a few photos of what we found on the butterfly milkweed. 

Now I know that the Monarch will lay her eggs on all 9 species of milkweed but the common milkweed usually has the highest number of eggs. 

We have a lot of common milkweed growing so off to the garden store I go to get more butterfly milkweed. 

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May 13, 2022

The following soaps are currently on the website for sale. At the end of May I'll be uploading the Spring collection.

All of these soaps are made with skin loving butters and oils: almond oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, babassu oil, shea butter, and mango butter. 

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May 12, 2022

My daughter and I have been attending the Shepherd's Harvest Festival for years and this year I decided it would be fun to apply to sell my soap there. All artists are juried so I was ecstatic when I got in. It's always nice knowing event organizers love the look of my soaps as much as I do. 

Here's my daughter Maya bundled up in the morning before the sun warmed up the building. 

The Shepherd's Harvest Festival is always held over Mother's Day weekend and due to covid the festival was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 so it was super exciting to not only be selling there this year but also being able to see so many people at once in the same place. It was such a wonderful time with all of the positive energy swirling around us. Everyone was happy and just glad to be seeing the sheep, alpaca, and all of the yarn and raw fiber for sale. Of course we didn't just sell, we also bought. When you knit, spin, and weave there is no way you can leave the Shepherd's Harvest without buying a bunch of fun things to play with. 

Here's the stash I walked away with:

My first knitting bowl.

Fun fibers to experiment with on the spindle.

I bought this yearn from my vendor neighbors. Stitch Stuff Yarn is run by a mother daughter team in Wisconsin. They currently run their business out of their basement. They were so very nice and extremely helpful. I'm not a fantastic knitter so they gave me tips on how to improve and even bought some soap. They had some of the prettiest yarn at the festival so I bought to hanks. One hank is currently being turned into a hat for me by a friend who is much more skilled at knitting than I so I can't wait to share it here.

One of my favorite fibers to spin: Superwash BFL (Bluefaced Leicester)

And life is not complete without raw wool. This is a blend of several fibers: 1/2 Teeswater, 3/16 Romney, 5/32 Blueface Leicester, 5/32 Suffolk.

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