Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Be warned...this is a Rant

Back in June I found that my store website had been hacked. Didn't put anything in to steal credit card info or monitor emails. Just a bunch of annoying pop-ups and links to sex sites. Well to be on the safe side, I decided to start fresh. I Started with a new up to date OS (operating system) for the site. CRE Loaded, a great premium OS. Great shopping cart and easy one page check-out. Updated my template to the new OS. And finally after multiple and multiple testings, trying this and that. Tweaking everything I could find to tweak. Then... tweaking stuff I didn't need to tweak and testing some more. Tweaking and testing, testing and tweaking. You get the point. I loaded it with products. Pat was a happy man. It went LIVE this past week. Two and a half months of work. I was tickled.
Sunday I am at home sick, trying to enjoy some soup I couldn't taste and I get a message from a fellow twitter er that my index page (front page on site) was hijacked. Some yahoo that is unhappy with our government and President posted a picture of the Iranian president on my front page with a caption. WTF is that! What the hell is going on! I get hacked, then hijack my page. I must be on a list to mess with or something. The site is clean again, thanks to backups. New security measures are in place. This makes me want to exercise some of the skills I learned 20 years ago when I was in the military. With extreme discretion. But I digress. Looking on the web, I see lots of people and businesses are having there sites hit. All I can hope for is to be left alone. hhhmmmm I feel better now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

27 other uses for handmade soap, by Patricia Mills, The Soap Guru

I found this very useful infomation by The Soapguru, here is a link to her site

All natural handmade soap is not just great for washing your body. Here are 27 other uses for your wonderful bar. I have tried many myself, but not all. Feel free to share other uses you have come across.

1. Prevent soot build-up on your cast iron camping pots/pans. Rub a bar of soap over the bottom before cooking over open fire.

2. Use as a fabric marker when sewing. It will wash right out.

3. Deoderize your car, luggage and drawers. Just put peices of soap in a mesh bag and store/hang to keep things smelling fresh.

4. Get stuck zippers moving again. Rub a bar of soap over the offending zipper to lubricate it.

5. Detect leaks. Make a spray be melting 1 cup shredded soap into 1 cup of water. Spray the solution onto gas pipes, tires, air beds, etc…if you see bubbles form, you found your leak.

6. Remove a broken light bulb. Shove the corner of your soap into the base and twist.

7. As a plant spray to get rid of or ward off insects: 1 cup shredded soap melted into 2 cups of water. Spray all over and let dry.

8. To remove wall paper and/or it’s glue make a solution soap 1 cup shredded soap in 1 cup water. Sponge over the area.

9. To get old drawers moving, rub over the metal runners.

10. To make metal move through wood easier, lubricate screws by driving them into a bar of soap first, or rub a saw blade with soap.

11. Easy pun cushion. Cover a bar of soap in fabric. The pins will be lubricated by the soap as well, preventing snags.

12. Clean dirty window sills by running the wet edge of a bar along them and wipe with damp cloth.

13. Snap siding into place easier by lubricating the zip tool with soap solution.

14. Repell rabbits and deer from garden. Make sachets with strong smelling soap: like peppermint, place around garden.

15. Pre-treat stains. Wet area and rub soap into it before laundering.

16. Keep your finger nails clean when gardening. Scrape your nails over a bar of soap before digging in the dirt. It will keep the dirt out and make washing up after easier.

17. Relieve the itch of a bug bite. Rub a wet bar of soap over the bite and let dry.

18. Use as a shave lotion. Make a solution of 1 part grated soap melted into 1 part water.

19. Rid your house of fleas. Put a solution of 2 parts shredded soap melted into 1 part water into a dish. Place the dish under a lamp over night. The light will attract the fleas and they will drown in the soap.

20. Make your own foaming sponges. Shove soap slivers into the holes.

21. Use as a handwash for your delicates.

22. Make a great all natural pet shampoo. Melt 1 cup shredded soap into 1 cup of water.

23. Make your own fruit and veggie wash. Melt 1/4 cup shredded soap into 2 cups water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Wash and rinse well.

24. For a great window cleaner use the above solution in a spray bottle.

25. Clean your jewelry by soaking in a solution of 1/2 cup shredded soap melted into 1 cup water. Gently scrub with an old tooth brush and rinse.

26. As a mild antisceptic wash: wash scrapes with soap. As an antisceptic paste, make a gel by soaking 1/4 cup shredded soap in 1 tablespoon water until gel-like. Add enough white sugar to make a paste. Put a little on a splinter or boil, cover with gauze.

27. To ward off poison ivy rash make a solution of 1 cup shredded soap in 1/2 cup water. Apply over exposed skin that may come into contact with the plants. It will act as a barrier to the rash causing oils.

By: Patricia Mills, The Soap Guru

Monday, June 29, 2009

Organic Bug Killer

I have been trying to grow a Stevia plant. Its in a little pot, and doing ....mmmm ok. It shot up to about two feet very quickly. I did some massive pruning to get it to bush out. Its starting to sprout on the sides. (Thats what those ugly black line are showing) Now I have a pest. The Egg Lady told me they are called Leaf Hoppers. Little light green, grass hopper looking things, about inch long. I have been manualy killing them, the pinch and squeeze method. Very effective at killing them, but others follow. They also like to have a snack on my smudge sticks and other dried goodies I have in the store. I can't put anything on the dried items in store because...I dont want to contaminate them. But the Stevia plant is up for experimentation. I found some "Organic" bug killer. Made with Thyme Oil, Clove Oil, Seasame Oil, Water, Soybean Oil, Wintergreen Oil and Lecithin. Brand name is Green Light, Home and Garden Spray. With these ingredients it sounds like a "cool pick-me-up" oil blend that I could use for a massage. Have to see if it gives the stevia a spicy-bite taste. So far...no new bugs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An artical about us

Check out our review by "The Flossip", this was posted yesterday in her blog.

Harvest Moon Soapworks in Florence, SC

So much going on

This is just outside my store window. What a beautiful Hibiscus.
Been working on the website. Installed a brand new website format, got most of it working. They come out with an update. That's installed now. Had to get a new template because of system changes. That's looking better, but there are still some layout issues. All and all its working out. I have had the "Webmaster" hat on way more than the "Soapmaker" hat. Need to get back to that. One very big issue with the soaps is the humidity. In my old store it was easy to control. This new location....dealing with 62%, not good for the soap curing process. Many soaps are not firming up. Will be building a drying room soon. That was in original plans, but it was axed.
The summer soaps are back in stock - Magnolia, Mom's Gardenias, Carolina Peach are ready. Honeysuckle is taking its time. Its a wee bit soft yet. Lavender, Coffee, Mocha, lemongrass, Oatmeal and everything else I am about and out of is slow drying.
The Pomegranate will be ripe soon. This one is decadent.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthing of Carolina Peach Soap, 18 pounds 15 ounces

Here she is... fresh but still in the comfort of her mold. A wee bit soft but full of fragrance mmmmmm.

Now she opened to the air.
This lets her breath and lot of good smells come out.
After about an hour, she is easier to hold.

She gets to rest for a while. Still a little soft to handle.

All naked to the world and ready to cut into loaves.

I think this would hurt, being cut with a wire, but they never squeal or move a bit.

Now cut into bars... they are about 4 ounces plus each.
The smell of cut fresh peaches is in the air...

Here they are! Set nicely on the Drying Rack. They will need to stay there for about 4 weeks. So they can cure. Then they will be ready to join the others in the store.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Flower Show -

Our new fragrances are out! We have Honeysuckle, the scent of Honeysuckle in the morning with Calendula Petals for a little color. Magnolia, smells just like Magnolia blossoms and Carolina Peach. A light and clean fragrance with a touch of sweetness. Sweet Almond has a clean scent, but not over-powering. The Old-Fashioned Lye Soap is ready. Made from lard, no added fragrance. Very white, cleans well, but not a moisturizing soap. Very nice selection of the Natural Glycerin Soaps are ready in new spring fragrances. Jonquil Fleur, Strawberry, Violet, Lavender, Moonglow and more.

The Flower Show is today through Sunday. Come out get some flowers, a Funnel Cake and some soap.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Morning News-Herbs gain popularity among gardeners

A mention in the Morning News. I heard they had a picture of the store in the paper. Have to find a copy.

indie breakfast

This is Donna Maria Coles Johnson Of Indie Beauty Network and Jason Keath, Social Media Consultant. Indie Business hosted a breakfast meet about social media. Got loads of useful info and had a great time. Checkout there sites, very informative.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This is a cool story about "Soap Smugglers" I found through Indie Business
ABC News http://tinyurl.com/ckzj22
NPR http://tinyurl.com/cldrs4

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lye Soap

My first experiment with CPOP (cold process oven process) soap. A fellow Soaper, Aimee Moran turned me on to this. It's regular CP soap set in a warm oven to complete the process. Looks good so far. This is made with lard. It will be harsh 'cause I made it that way. Lots of request for this. Think another name could be "Not safe for bath" Soap
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FDA Globalization Act 2009

FDA Globalization Act Update
by Donna Maria Coles Johnson
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

One Eared Cow Glass

Has unique blown glass for garden decoration
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Booth Shot

Just a 6' table, small setup. Have sun at my back, a little warmth yessss
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Beautiful day, a blue sky and a wee bit cool. Come out to Riverbanks Zoo. The gardens are in bloom, do a little shopping, have some fun. From 9-4 today.
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Springtime in the Garden

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Animal Soaps

A preview of the Animal Soaps. These are made with our Natural Glycerin Soap and have fun foam animals inside. They will debut at the "Spring Time in the Garden Festival" at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Saturday March 21st, 9:00-4:00

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Girl Scouts making soap update.

There soap poured and firming over-night.

Here is the finished product, slightly used.
Displayed by Miss Emily LaFrance.
All had fun. Thanks to Patricia for doing the class :)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Girl Scouts Making Soap

Girl Scouts from Troop 81 came in for a Soapmaking Class. Patricia taught and showed how to make embossed cup soaps.
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Friday, February 27, 2009

HP Soap 9 ... The Finishing

A couple of images. You can see the stuff that looks like chunks, well it is...but it was the dried out soap on the surface in the slow cooker. After mixing I let it set for about 10 minutes and just stirred it all in. Magnolia Soap, wanted white this time (had a green top last year), but not just a plain white bar. So the texture was added. The rough sides make it stand out.
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HP Soap 8...The Second day

Just unmolded and paper pulled. Very grainy. I was going for texture this time instead of coloring the soap.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

HP Soap 7

All squashed into mold. This is a 1 loaf, about 6lb. Show in a couple days.
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HP Soap 6

Spoon it in your mold. I line mine with freezer paper. Why? Its easy to work with, inexpensive, does not leave that weird haze on your soap. It will be thick like mashed potatoes, but not sticky. Push it all down into the mold. Level off the best you can.
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HP Soap 5

Mixing in fragrance oil (FO). Scrape sides to get all mixed. Its stubborn so take a little time.
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HP Soap 4

After about 2 1/2 hours... tongue test was good, crunch down with masher mixing well.
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HP Soap 3

Almost two hours. Wants to come out.
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HP Soap 2

ITS ALIVE! About 30 minutes in. Folding over in pot, bubbling around edges.
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Hot Process Soap 1

Here is the process for Hot Process Soapmaking. I use a little water discount, but not as much as for Cold Process. Mixed all oils to heavy trace in Slow Cooker. Now time to cook on high for...we will see.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Fragrance Time

This spring we are bringing back some favorites... Sweet Magnolia, Mom's Gardenias, Honeysuckle and Coconut. Pink Grapefruit is a new one for soap. It has the exotic warmth of grapefruit with a touch of sweetness. I will use essential oil, so the scent will be true.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snow days

Snow in the south. Not a common thing. Schools close, stores run out of milk and it gets yucky. Anywhere up north, just another snow day. But its special... The dog freaks because he has not walked in snow, people just drive crazy and kids and grownups get to throw snowballs. The Market closed so it was a day working at home.
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