Pepper Grass, Benches and Scraps..

I am a bit bored with some of the florals I have and seems my regular place to get them does not carry the selection it used to. Sooo, I am on a hunt for a new vendor with some exciting selections. Around the shop you will notice I carry more than just pip berries.. I like a wide variety and like some unusual stuff.. everything from coleus and dusty miller to wild grassy picks.

This rustic looking floral is Pepper Grass and I am loving it in just about anything I put it in. It is a neat color.. going with the traditional burgundy, mustard and brown.. and also with some of the new reds and sage greens we are seeing. I have it in rusty pots and here it is in an old kettle.

These little Deacon Benches are back in stock and are a nice way to add some height to an arrangement. Made with pine that has a  medium stain and a rusty star, they go with just about anything.

No matter how careful you are making candles and melts.. some wax always ends up on the counter. Usually, we scrape it off and that is what I use at the house in my warmers. But, I have been burning some candles and have decided to try something new. Now we are bagging our scraps and selling them for .50 an ounce. Our regular melts are $1 per ounce, so you are getting your wax at half the price. There is no telling what you will get.. but that is half the fun. So, while we have it, come try an assorted bag of scraps and enjoy fragrance at an unbeatable price.

Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 3:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Soap Sudz

As much as I love old beat up stuff.. I have to draw the line at my skin. As I get older, I refuse to have my skin get older with me. I learned many years ago to get out of the sun and take better care of my skin because I refused to look my age. I accidently learned how nice hand-made soap and lotions were for your skin.. and I have never looked back. My mother had purchased a bar of cold process soap for me and I had it sitting in a dish because it was decorative. Well, I ran out of soap and was forced to use the decorative bar. WHAT a difference in my skin. I was hooked and on a path of learning to make my own.

 Hand-made soap does not tend to dry your skin and you can even use it to wash your hair. Chemicals added to commercial products to increase and stabilize lather are not found in hand made products. They will initially feel a bit different on first use, but you will be loving the feel of your skin. If your skin tends towards an oily side, use soaps that have clays in them. The clay absorbs the skin’s oil and the clay leaves a silky smoothness behind. Adding things like goat milk and oatmeal also affects the final bar and the properties it brings to your skin. 

 Because of the time it takes to make these products andthe expense of oils like olive , they are more expensive than a bar of soap you purchase at the grocery store.. but believe me.. you are worth it. Give up one coffee a day and splurge on a hand-made bar of soap for a special treat. Cold process soap involves combining oils and butters with lye to create a new product ~ soap. By choosing oils and butters by the properties they bring to the finished soap, you can create bars that have great lather or are very moisturizing.

Castile soaps, made with 100% Olive Oil are the most moisturizing for your skin. Using a high Olive Oil content in any soap will increase the bar of soaps conditioning value for your skin. This oil is good for dry skin and creates a long-lasting, non-drying mild bar of soap with creamy lather. No other soap making oil contributes its unique set of characteristics. It retains moisture to the skin by forming a breathable layer but does not block the skin’s natural functions while performing its own.

Another favorite oil for me to use in soap making is Grapeseed. This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential fatty acids which help strengthen tissue cells. This oil helps preserve the natural moisture of the skin and is great for damaged or aging skin. You will find I also like to add this oil to butters and lotions as well.

To get a nice, rich lather in a bar of soap I use coconut oil. This oil will produce a bar of soap that will lather in the hardest water and even sea water if the bar is made of a high percentage of this oil. This is a light and penetrating oil that when used in soaps makes lots of rich, creamy lather that will not clog pores and is readily absorbed into the skin. To see other oils used in soap making and their properties check out THIS PAGE on our web site.

Hand-made soaps are a process. Because of the lye, care must be take with their creation. And to be sure all the lye is use by the soap oils to become soap, calculations determining how much lye is needed have to be figured. When we create our soaps, we do what is called super fatting. We calculate the oils needed to convert the lye and have 5% of the oils that remain unreacted with the lye.. a safety margin and extra conditioning factor for the soap.

The required lye is measured into water and it immediately heats up to over boiling. This must cool down as you melt your solid oils and butters. Again, each oil has to measure exactly to the formula specifications. When everything is about 100 degrees, the lye solution can be combined with the oils and mixing then begins. Some recipes blend into soap in about 5 minutes, some take several hours.. and a few can make instant soap. Not a fun thing to put into a mold. It can easily take half a day to make a batch of soap.

Our soaps are ready to unmold the next day. They will air dry another day or two before we cut them and put them away to dry for 6-8 weeks. This is a cure time for them. Water evaporates from them and they become more solid and hard. I have used a week old bar in the shower with no harm.. they just tend to go quicker because of their softness.

After they drying process our soaps are then shrink wrapped and labeled. We hope to get in the back and get more of our soaps made this month. Soap making is not easy to do when the shop is busy because of all the measuring, and when the batch starts to turn to soap, it has to be poured immediately. When we do get some made I will have some small pieces that I will offer as samples. I have used hand-made soaps and body products for over 10 years now.. and because it has made such a big difference in my skin I want to encourage others to experience it as well.

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 1:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Another YeaR

01010622Here it is September. It is Fair time and also our anniversary. On September 18th we will have been open for 2 years. It has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Our downtown is growing and we have fun events like Sidewalk Sales, our Fall Fest and Christmas around the Square. In the shop we have a week long event the week before the Thanksgiving week called Hunters Widow Party. During that week we have our specialty Dip mixes made as well as delicious, hot Cider and you shoot our Big Buck of Savings for your discount. If  you land in the grass or trees, or even hit the wall,  you get a 5% discount. Better shots will get you larger discounts.. all the way up to a ‘kill’ shot worth 30% off you merchandise. It is a fun time for everybody as most of the men are in trees hunting the Hardin County bucks and the women are preparing for the holidays. You can get a head start on Christmas gifts or just add some holiday cheer to your decor at great savings during this week.

gasgasMost businesses keep stats on sales figures, weather and whatever might be related to their sales figures. We have been doing that almost from the beginning as well. Tracking weather, foot traffic and starting last year, the price of gas. Since we started a new year it required a new spread sheet. I copied the old one and began changing the figures to reflect our new year.  One thing I noticed was our gas prices a year ago were $1/gallon higher. Other September events were hurricane Ike headed to shore and around the 15th the Market crashed.

So much has happened over the last year.. good, bad, exciting and ugly. Here at the shop we are looking forward to what this next year will bring.

Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More Rearranging

img_0119_2This old hutch is really neat. It is beat up and the doors are in pieces in the back of the shop. It is rather deep so I often have a difficult time showing off items I put on the shelves.

img_0120_2Though difficult to see in the picture.. I took one of my 140 bulb Deco Rice Light sets and wove it behind things on the top two shelves then ran them through the garland on top. I have had more people want the lighted garland since I did this. Though the Deco 140 lights are a bit much for the garland alone, we do carry a smaller Deco 35 light strand that would be perfect for adding that touch of light to a garland draped like this one.

img_0122_2Here are some of our Grubby  Battery Tapers. This is a nice, heavy candle pan with a colonial finish. The colonial finish is a very dark brownish black.. not the flat black many of them come in. We added some color coordinating candle rings then a fun little sign. These tapers are lit.. a bit difficult to see in the picture.. but they are a warm orangish yellow and have a gentle flicker to them.

img_0126_2OK.. I absolutely love, love, love these lighted balls! Again, difficult to see in the picture, each of these 10 twig balls have a little light in them. Are they not awesome in this treen bowl? They also looked great in an old, cast iron pot I had them in around Christmas time. I had 6 of these before Christmas and they were gone in 2 days. I got a dozen this time and once again, they are moving out quickly. I can think of lots of cool primitive containers for them.. baskets, bowls, pots, crocks.. you will find many delightful places for them as well. When you do.. send me a picture so I can post it here.

Back to Work

We are finally feeling better.. not 100% but heading the right direction. We have got taxes done and now have more time to get some things done around the shop.

img_0078I don’t have anything new this week to show you and what is coming in are re-orders on our silicone dipped light bulbs and 50 light strands with the brown cords. Also coming in next week are the squatty silicone dipped bulbs with the standard light bulb sized socket. Those squatty bulbs combined with our glass jar and primitive fixings makes a really nice accent on a table. Expect those bulbs back in stock the end of next week. With the squatty bulbs will be some new sizes in light bulbs as well.

img_0081Lighting is such a hot trend right now. Light bulbs, lamps, window lamps, accent lights and night lights are constantly going out the door of the shop. Nothing makes a house feel like home more than warm and cozy lighting. This canister light can be customized with a candle ring of you choice and makes a delightful piece in any room.  This item is another best seller here at the shop.

img_0088Finally, a picture of our Battery Operated Tapers. We hand dip the tapers 3 times in Beeswax and roll them in a special primitive grubby mix. These tapers will run 700 hours on 2 AA batteries. From left to right the colors are: Burgundy, Gold, Mustard, Brown, Sage and Cream. We also do a Barn Red and a Navy.. but we still need to get those dipped.

8127381Mid month we are expecting the shipment of Mini Revere Wax Warmers. For smaller spaces these warmers are just the thing being only 3½” diameter and 7½” tall. Able to melt any full size 1 oz melts as quickly as the bigger warmers, they quickly throw scent into your home. And, becuase of the punched patterns, they offer that cozy lighting we all desire in our homes today. Don’t forget we offer over 90 fragrances in our Melts and Candles and we are working towards offering 150 different and unique fragrances in our products.

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Reed Diffusers

022100281With the changes in the Candle Room, we are enlarging our selection of Reed Diffuser Oils. We mix these super strong and if you don’t see your favorite oil on the shelf, we can make up your favorite fragrance in these oils in just a few seconds.

Reed Diffusers are really nice ‘Personal Area’ fragrancers. In a bathroom, on a desk.. these are just the trick. For scenting larger rooms, the candles or melts are a better choice. To get the best performance from the sticks, follow these guidelines:

  • Never mix fragrances on one set of reeds. They can not be made rid of the previous scent and over time, they do lose their ability to wick fragrance. The reeds are not expensive so replace the reeds when you replace the fragrance oils.
  • Flip the reeds end over end on a regular basis. Flipping the reeds encourages the wicked oil to travel in another direction and gives better disbursement of your scent. Once a week is good.. but they can be done every couple of weeks.
  • Be VERY careful with the fragrance oils. Most women have accidentally removed furniture finish with nail polish remover somewhere in their lives. These fragrances are no different. They are caustic and will eat the finish off most things. I recommend pouring the fragrance oil into the display container over the sink. That way you can set the empty bottle down in the sink and any drips will not cause damage.

The industry standard life for this product is about a month. Here around the shop we tend to get a few months out of them. Like candles and melts, they add another dimension of fragrancing your home.

Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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They’re Here!!

After being called 2 days ago and told the battery tapers would not be in until the first of April, talking to someone today and being told AGAIN.. they won’t be in until April.. guess what got delivered?? One thousand battery tapers!!  Woo Hoo.. happy dance. I will be dipping these in our special Grubby mixture this weekend so they will be available Tuesday when we open.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Valentines Day

I hope everyone is having a special day today!! The shop has been busy with men.. doing some last minute shopping for their Sweethearts. Of course, I am still getting new items out and rearranging things.

The March/April issue of Early American Life is in. With more articles than advertising, this magazine is a real treat if you love prim and colonial decor.

We also are finally getting out the floral stuff we got at Market back in January. Nice candle rings with the mixed berries and rusty stars, they have some brighter colors than what I have seen in the past. Sage green, various shades of brown and a nice antique red. these will look especially nice around the Thompson Candles we are expecting in next month.

The Candle Room is still undergoing change. We are adding several more Reed Diffuser fragrance oils as many of you have asked for more selection. At any time, if you don’t see a fragrance in the diffuser oils that we have in the melts or candle.. just ask and we will make it up for you. It takes seconds to make them so we can easily accommodate these requests.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!! You will receive a thank you coupon to get one of our candles for only $10.00. These candles burn approx 115 hours and regularly sell for $16.00. Then, you will receive our February newsletter to get 10% off any of our Hearthside Plates. After that, every month you will receive a newsletter only special. Pass the signup info to your friends so they can take advantage of the sweet deals too.

Published in: on February 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Old Flame

02050005_smWell, the boxes keep arriving. Today we got in some Wick Trimmers. Anybody that loves to burn candles really needs one of these. Not only do they snip your wick off, they catch the trimmed part to  allow easy removal of the burned wick. Keeping wicks properly trimmed will allow your candle to burn cleaner, reduce fire hazards and keep your candle from smelling like smoke when you get to the bottom. Having old pieces of burnt wicks in your melt pool is not only unattractive, it allows the scent of the burned material to permeate the melted wax. And, as it burns, the scent of the burned stuff will overpower the fragrance left in the candle. Keeping your candle covered when not in use to keep out the dust will also improve your candles performance.

Also in are several more framed prints and some cool little shelf sitters. We got the neatest little “IDK” sitter.. from the text messaging acronyms [I don’t know]. Yet to come is “LOL” for Laugh out Loud. These stitters are a  nice size for sitting on your desk or perfect for that texting teen. Also in and really cute are some black faced sheep. I want one for myself.

Still to get put out are some more floral stuff.. candle rings and picks. We also got some new jewelry and need to rework the jewelry area. Since my DH and son are riding me pretty hard about taking it easy and letting my ankle heal, I’m not real sure when I’m going to get it done. Taking it easy does not come naturally to me.. especially when there is so much fun stuff to do. Eight more days…

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gotta Love it

It’s been two weeks since market and we are still putting things out. We did a Candle Fundraiser for Ridgemont and had to stop putting out the new stuff to get the candles made. Now that they are almost done, we are back to putting out the things we got from Market.

4-armThe battery operated Grubby Tapers that we have are big sellers. They can be put in candle pans, candle trays and our candelabras. At Market we picked up some 2 and 4 Arm Chandeliers that have a nice twist to the  arms.  Add some nice berry candle rings and you have an awesome decor piece in your home. Right now we are waiting for the tapers to come in. They have been back ordered since before the holidays. I have over 1,000 due to come the end of February. As soon as they hit the shop we will get busy dipping them. Currently we offer these tapers in Barn Red, Burgundy, Brown, Mustard, Gold, Sage, Country Blue, Cream and Brown. Each one is dipped three times in Beeswax and rolled in our special Grubby Mix. You will not find tapers like these anywhere  else. The lights will run 600-700 hours on two AA batteries. In the works are dipping the battery operated t-lights in our Grubby Mixture. Check out our complete selection of Chandeliers.

Also going out today are some nice new florals. In pretty pastels, they are a refreshing change from the foot of snow outside. We got some wreaths, small and medium candle rings and some cute, rustic watering cans. After the shop closed I spent some time on the candle ring display. I have three wire peg racks that used to be in the shape of a triangle in the candle room. Since we moved some new bins into the candle room to hold more melts, the racks came out and I put them in a relatively straight line. That allows me to use both sides for displaying the candle rings. Originally, I had them all by size.. smalls on one rack, mediums on another and so forth. After I got the new stuff put out, I decided it would be much nicer to arrange every thing by color. That way if you need something burgundy.. it is all there in one area.

We have also added two new fragrances to our candles. The Sandalwood Vanilla is a big hit in anything Bath and Body we put it in. Lotions, Body Butters and Parfaits all fly out the door in this fragrance. Now you can get this Best Selling favorite fragrance in our 18 ounce Antique Jar candles. And, in a few days, we will have the melts in this scent available too. Another addition is Hazelnut Coffee. We have had this fragrance in the past but have needed to replace an inconsistent supplier. So we looked around for a replacement and found this one. It burns strong and has been a favorite around our house.

New fragrances poured last week to be tested are Bamboo Grass and Snicker-doodle. More along the lines of Spring is Peony. All of these fragrances were burned at the shop today and they are looking to be strong scent throwers. We also got in about 40 new samples to test and more are on the way. I  have been looking , it seems like forever, for a good sugar cookie. I have two that have come highly recommended and can’t wait to get them in wax. Other testers  to look forward to are: Amish Harvest, Lemon Pound Cake, Green Tea, Botanical Orchard, Sandalwood and MORE!! You want a good addiction..try fragrances. They’re as good as caffeine and won’t make you jittery.  🙂

As much as we have added there is still more in the back. And, with February around the corner, more new items are scheduled to arrive. Man I love this job!

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 3:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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