Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here We Go Again....

So it's happened again, just as it does every year around this time: A concerted effort to subvert the real meaning of the holiday and twist it into something far removed from its origins.

To take an ancient and revered celebration and rebrand it.

That's right – it's the annual War on Wicca.

No, no. Just kidding. What I'm really talking about is the annual War on Paganism, of which Wicca is a small subset.

That's right: Every year, pagan symbols and festivities stretching back thousands of years are co-opted in the name of Christmas. Without thanks or barest acknowledgment.

Christmas trees everywhere, but no mention of the pagans and their reverence for evergreens or lighting the yule log to chase away midwinter gloom, and whose "Yule" is now synonymous with Christmas.

No gratitude for evergreen wreaths and holly – pagan symbols of the feminine and masculine and of sacred cycles.

None for borrowing Santa Claus – an iconic figure in various pagan cultures, from a fourth-century Turkish bishop to Father Yule, the Winter King.

Mistletoe today may reference chaste romance, but it echoes the earthy sexuality of pagan Saturnalia celebrations in mid-December to honor the Roman god of agriculture. Saturnalias were jolly days of feasts and exchanging gifts.

Winter Solstice has morphed from a pagan mid-winter festival of the birth of the sun into a celebration of the birth of the son.

And December 25 has gone from the birthday of the Roman god Mithra to ... well, you know.

"Most religions – one is built on another, built on another," notes Betsy Ashby of the Pagan Resource Center. "Anybody who thinks their religion is original is deluding themselves."

The resource center was located in Windsor, but recently relocated to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Ashby declines to say how she and her family celebrate Solstice – "For us, it's a time of family; we do not do the commercial thing."

Lots of Christians would applaud this. Of course, many would also say she's on the path to eternal damnation. If only she believed in eternal damnation.

The good news about the perceived marginalization or under appreciation of Christmas is that complaints have declined in recent years.

They do still crop up now and then, as in this Feedback complaint in Monday's paper, from a reader upset about a general decline in wishing others "Merry Christmas":

"Why is there a systematic campaign to destroy the roots of Christianity?"
READ MORE.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Last Sale of the Year - SAVE BIG!!

INVENTORY CLEAROUT SALE!!
Select Handmade Soaps as low as $2.36 each!
LAST SALE OF THE YEAR! This is your last chance to grab your favorites at the lowests prices ever! Turn around times are sitting at about 3-5 business days.

Thank you to all our fantastic customers for another fun year. We have enjoyed getting to know you all. And we look forward to the coming year with lots of new ideas and products. We wish you all the very best in 2010!! May you and yours have an abundance of peace, health, love, and prosperity!!

Blessed Be,
Donna, Matt & Crew

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best Video Ever!!!

This has to be the best video I've seen in a very long time. It brings a smile to my face, and warms my heart that so many participated in this project to help promote breast cancer awareness. Something that is very close to home for me, as my Aunt died from cancer that started from breast cancer and over the years just kept moving to different parts of her body. I myself have had several fibroid cysts removed and there is nothing like the fear that one endures while waiting for the lab results to come back with an answer of "yea" or "neah" on if the tissue is cancerous or not.

Please watch this video and pass it one to all you know :)

Blessed Be!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday Bonanza!!

Black Friday "Get 1 Free" Sale Spectacular!




(tell us your scent choice for free tarts in comments section)


(Warmer of our choice)


(tell us your scent choice for free tarts in comments section)


(our choice)


(tell us your scent choice for free Dry Oil Perfume in comments section)


Early Bird Gift Bag Special! Free with $20 Purchase to First 20 Customers!
Gift Bag will be scented in one of our Spring Preview Fragrances.


Gift Bag includes:

1 (6 oz) Shea Butter Glycerin Soap

1 (2 oz) Dry Oil Perfume Spray

1 (4 oz) Botanical Body Butter


Sale begins at 6:00 am 11/27/09 and ends 12:00 am 11/29/09



Shop early. Limited quantities available. Sales subject to stock on hand.



Thank You & Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Valhalla Soap Company!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coach Holiday Handbag Giveaway

Coach Holiday Handbag Giveaway

Coach has partnered with The Fashionable Housewife for an amazing giveaway! We are one of Coach’s 30 favorite bloggers and have partnered with them for their Holiday Blog-a-Day promotion this year! We are so excited to be a part of such an amazing group of bloggers and have the opportunity to show you a few pieces from the Coach Holiday collection and give one lucky reader the chance to win the fabulous Amethyst Texture Metallic Audrey Shoulderbag!!!

If you visit www.coach.com/holidayblog each day during the promotion, you can read what this group of truly talented fashionistas have to say about Coach, including giveaways, reviews, pictorials and more!

The winner will receive the Amethyst Textured Metallic Audrey Shoulderbag ($598)





So head on over to the Fashionable Housewife Blog to enter. You have 26 different ways to Enter. I LOVE this Bag!!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Lower Flat Rate Shipping Fees

We've just lowered our Flat Rate Shipping from $10.50 to just $7.95! That's a $2.55 saving over the old price.

It's our way of saying "Thanks!" to those that are continuing to shop and support online retailers and the small businesses during this difficult economic climate.

So THANKS!!!!

And we hope that the extra savings is a little extra money in your pocket for those little extras this holiday season :)

Blessed Be,
Matt & Donna

It's My Birthday Saleabration!!! 12 Hour Sale!



Today is my birthday and I'm DONE getting older!!!!

So I'm celebrating by setting back the hands of time! As of today, I'm 35 years old again! And I will remaind 35 for eternity!!!

And I'm inviting you to my Saleabration 35 Again Party!

For the next 12 hours, when you spend $35.00 or more you will get a 35% Discount.

And I'm giving everyone a FREE Birthday Gift with every purchase.


This Saleabration is Webstore Wide! But HURRY! Sale is only 12 HOURS!

It starts NOW and ends at MIDNIGHT Tonight!

So, come join the party and use the following Coupon Code:

35AGAIN


Thanks for celebrating with me :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Holiday Treats



Introducing two new Fun Holiday Products!!

PUMPKIN PIE SLICE SOAPS

It looks like a slice of pumpkin pie, it smells like a slice of pumpkin pie, BUT PLEASE DON'T EAT IT LIKE A SLICE OF PUMPKIN PIE :)
So realistic that our grandson actually thought it was a real slice of pumpkin pie! Set one on your bathroom counter in a pretty plate and fool your guests this holiday season!


Read more about this bubbly Holiday Treat HERE.







GINGERBREAD MEN GUEST SOAPS


Yes, they look like Gingerbread Men with their chocolate chip buttons all in a row.
Who wouldn't want their own bubbly, sweet smelling man for Christmas ;)
These sweet smelling guys make charming little guests soaps for the holidays!
To find out more about these adorable Holiday Dudes, CLICK HERE.







BUBBLES & FIZZ COMBO

Bubbles & Fizz in Chocolaty Mint for a perfectly invigorating bath time duo. A great bar of soap and fun bath bomb for a super price!

We've paired up our popular Handcrafted Chocolate Mint Glycerin & Shea Butter Soap with one of our decadent Milk & Honey Fizz Bang! Bath Bombs.

You can beat this Sweet Treat of a Deal!

Purchase the Bubbles & Fizz Combo Here.

Stay tuned for more fun holiday treats coming soon!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Win a Free Kindle

Just wanted to pass along that Bitten by Books just shared a link to win a free Kindle 2 !!

Enter Here:

http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=12677


Good Luck!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Going Out of Town

We'll be out of town for 10 days starting Wednesday the 14th. We'll still be accepting orders on our website and for the October Spotlight sale and will work fast and furiously to fill and ship them when we return.

Will see you all when we get back.

Take care & Blessed Be!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

OCTOBER SPOTLIGHT SALE!! SAVE 15%

For the month of October our Spotlight will be on the new fall scent “Toil & Trouble”. A dark intriguing blend of patchouli, cinnamon and cedarwood. All known for stimulating a sense of arousal and euphoria.

All products on our Spotlight Products Page are 15% Off through the month of October. You MUST purchase them from the Spotlight Products page ONLY. The discount will NOT apply if purchase from any other area of our website.




Thanks for all your support :)
Blessed Be!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flu Vaccine Exposed

The Flu Vaccine Does Not Prevent the Flu, nor Protect Against the Vast Majority of Flu-Related Deaths


"Studies show that flu vaccines are unsafe and ineffective. This presentation by the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute includes a visual depiction of flu vaccine production -- how the flu vaccine is made and what it contains."

Flu Vaccine Exposed:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Making Good on a Dare

A good friend a customer told me recently that though her husband tells everyone to buy our soaps, he won’t use them himself. When asked why, he said that they smell too “foo fooey”. I told him that we have several manly scents that he could choose from. But he said that they smell “foo fooey” too. So I told him, I was sure that I could make him a soap that smells like dirt. He said “Go for it! I dare you. I double dog dare you!”dirt_pile

 

 

 

Not one to pass up a challenge, I went in search of a dirt scented fragrance oil. Founding just what I wanted, I’ll be heading out to the shop one day this week to see what kind of dirty trouble I can get into.

Will post pics of the end results here when I’m done :)

Blessed Be!

GW

 

Blogger Labels: Dare,friend,customer,husband,soap,dirt,fragrance,shop,results,fooey

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Fun Product - Available Soon!

I've been bored out of my mind just sitting and laying around while recovering from surgery and was itching to get back into the shop. However, I'm still restricted from doing anything strenuous and cannot stand for more than a few minutes at a time.

So, my daughter and I found a fun project that would allow me to sit and we spent some time in the shop the last few days making some fun new goodies! The results were these cool little Single Use Sugar Scrubs. The original recipe came from a post found on Soap Queen's Blog. And being the mad scientists that we are, we played around with it and did some tweaking to come up with what you see here.




Sugared Pumpkin & Hazelnut Sugar Scrub Squares


Raspberries & Cream Sugar Scrub Dots

After testing among friends and family it is unanimous that they little sugar scrubs sensations are keepers! And they were so much fun to make I promise that you will see them very soon on our site in many fun and delicious scents.
Blessed Be,
Donna

Blogger Labels: Product,surgery,shop,Single,Sugar,recipe,Soap,Blog,Pumpkin,Hazelnut,Scrub,Raspberries,Cream,friends,sensations,Donna,keepers

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Walmarts Greed Shines Through

Walmart's Project Impact: A Move to Crush Competition

Walmart loves to shock and awe. City-size stores, absurdly low prices ($8 jeans!) and everything from milk to Matchbox toys on its shelves. And with the recession forcing legions of stores into bankruptcy, the world's largest retailer now apparently wants to take out the remaining survivors.
Thus, the company is in the beginning stages of a massive store and strategy remodeling effort, which it has dubbed Project Impact. One goal of Project Impact is cleaner, less cluttered stores that will improve the shopping experience. Another is friendlier customer service. A third: home in on categories where the competition can be killed. "They've got Kmart ready to take a standing eight-count next year," says retail consultant Burt Flickinger III, managing director for Strategic Resources Group and a veteran Walmart watcher. "Same with Rite Aid. They've knocked out four of the top five toy retailers, and are now going after the last one standing, Toys "R" Us. Project Impact will be the catalyst to wipe out a second round of national and regional retailers."
READ MORE....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall Scents

Two weeks ago I had been working on new Fall Scents with the first batch of "Toil & Trouble" Rune Soap poured, unmolded & stamped. I had every intention of pouring "Eye if Newt" and "Cerridwen's Cider" this past week. Then my body betrayed me, and I ended up in the hospital and underwent major surgery.

Needless to say, the fall scents may run into the release of winter scents. I hope that my recovery is quick and I can get back into the shop soon. But after over doing it yesterday, it seems that recovery will not be as rapid as I would like.

So please bear with us as my daughter and myself try to keep up with orders and production at my much delayed, and slow pace.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Decorating for Autumn

Autumn is such a fun time of year to decorate with the rich color schemes.Natural elements fit in nicely with the rustic fall colors, so there are many ways you can inexpensively decorate for the season. Instead of using your glue gun to make seasonal decor consider buying grapevine forms-wreaths in different shapes and small swags, then use ribbon and seasonal picks that you weave in and out of the grapevine, rather than gluing. You can then remove and replace these for the new seasons. You won't end up having to store the wreaths or wall decorations, instead just keep the small items in a shoebox size plastic tub for each season and switch them as each holiday approaches. When they start to look worn, you can always give them to the kids to try their hand at making their own seasonal decor!

Gather pine cones, seedpods, acorns and fall leaves to put in wicker baskets. Use these on the porch or in entry ways for simple, rustic decorations. You can also use small branches with the pine cones and/or leaves still attached and place them in vases and crocks. Potted mums this time of year are the same prices as cut flowers, or cheaper, so why not buy several, pot them up and place them around your walks, steps and porch. Tie autumn themed ribbons around the base of the pots. If you have room plant them in the ground after the blooms are gone and lay down some mulch(grass clippings or chopped leaves) for the winter.

Go for a rustic but yet dramatic look by placing a large grapevine wreath in an empty space such as the peak of the garage or the house. You don't need a bow for fall, and at Christmas you can attach a large red bow. It's simple, but adds so much!

Pumpkins and Gourds Galore! Put them everywhere. Try to find a grower or farm market instead of buying them at the garden center or store. You'll find some great buys on the "less" than perfect ones, but they are still great for decorating. We buy small and medium sized pumpkins for .50 and 1.00 each year. Grandpa always grows a biggie for the kids too! Put your gourds and pumpkins in groups...place some on upside down pots to raise them up to different levels in a grouping. Mix a mum or two in with them, and tie a few bows all around!

Winter Squash--Look for Hubbard and Turban squash. They have an interesting texture and a neat look to them. Decorate the porch, but don't allow them to freeze, and afterwards you can eat them for Sunday and holiday dinners! Group them in a large wicker basket.

Garland-Make a garland of smaller gourds with the long necks and Indian corn still in the husk. Use jute or twine and alternate between corn and the gourds. Measure a section of your porch. I have arches and hang garlands in each one. In the middle of the garland make a bow from raffia and pieces of torn rust or orange colored fabric. You can also hang the garland from a porch or deck railing.

Rustic Scarecrow: Instead of stuffing clothing, take two pieces of scrap wood and nail together a cross formation. Take a piece of muslin and place it over the top piece of wood-tie it at the "neck" and draw on a face with a waterproof marker. Dress your wooden friend in clothing, a hat and you can even put hooks on the end of each "arm" and hang buckets of flowers, a birdhouse or other fun items. Turn your scarecrow into a country lady by dressing her in woman's clothing and giving her a gardening hat, gloves, and small garden tools. The great thing with this is that you literally can use scrap wood and old clothing,and go wild with your imagination!

Tin Can Fun: Save those cans! Prime them and go to town painting them in fun fall colors. You can plant mums in the larger coffee type cans and in the others place wildflowers, dried grasses and branches to decorate outside.

Milk Cans: If you have any old worn rakes, shovels and other lawn tools laying around, put them to a decorative use. Place a couple of cornstalks in an old metal milk can, behind the tools, and tie a big fall themed bow around the milk can! You can do this with a large bucket or basket too.

About the author: Brenda Hyde Autumn is a wife and mom living with her family in the Midwest United States.She is also a freelance writer and the editor of Old Fashioned Living.

Blessed Be!
Ghost Wytch

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In the Molds

I just finished pouring a 5 pound batch of "Toil & Trouble" into the mold. And it is the most delightfuly wicked shade of boiling cauldron green you've ever seen. I'm praying to the God and Goddess that it stays this color. It does have a bit of patchouli in it so I'm hoping it does morph to a darker brownish green. At any rate, it should be ready just in time for the Spooky Shopping Season :-)

I also cut up yesterdays batch of unscented Castile. I wish I could come up with a catchy name for the fast selling Castile. I make so much it and palin old Castile is so boring to put on the labels. I need something fun as I'm feeling particularly wicked as of late. It must be the feeling of fall in the air.

Blessing Be!
GW

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Game Called On Account of...........

Bad Sportsmanship!!

This Ghost Wytch could have been and started out being a great ally to the honest, hard working stiff. We traveled this journey with it's highs and lows (more lows than highs) as comrades in support of one another. But now the journey must come to an end. It was a great ride, but unfortunately someone spiked the fuel tank with sugar.

It seems that not all are the honest, hard working stiffs they were assumed to be. And someone (most likely several someone's) do not know how to play the game as a team. They are self-seeking, and self-serving, which makes them untrust-worthy. So just who is who? And who isn't?

Remember the days in school when you would pass notes in class? Seemed like the teacher (the old witch) always caught you and made you read it aloud for all it's secrets to be revealed. Then you were embarrassed for days (maybe weeks or months) because everyone knew what you did or said. Hum...funny how that thought just crossed my mind.

As I looked over the pasture this evening I could see hazy layer of smoke resting upon the meadow. Hum....there must be a firestorm brewing....

Ghost Wytch Blessings!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dream Pillow Testing

My Amnesia Sleep Dream Pillow Blend has been "brewing" so to speak for a few weeks now so that the herbs could meld nicely together. It is now ready for testing. I will be testing tonight on my husband because with all the stress he has had lately I thought that he would be a great test subject for this blend.

The intended purpose of this blend is to make one sleep so soundly that when they wake the next morning, they would remember nothing but their head hitting the pillow the night before. And my husband could definitely use a night of peaceful, blissful, baby like, TKO sleep.

So, I shall report back with the results and if all goes well, you shall see the made up pillows available on the website soon!

Blessed Be!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Green House Days 2 & 3

It’s been a few weeks since I posted about the greenhouse. The project did not stall out, hubby just needed a few days off. And let me tell you he got allot accomplished during those few days!

On Saturday our good friend and neighbor John came over to help set the huge and very heavy windows while I was gone to my nieces baby shower. I really had no idea how different it would look once the windows were in, but it just really changed the whole appearance of the structure so dramatically.


East side door. West side door.

Windows done, the roof went on. This is where we recycled, using the metal roof and siding from the old chicken coop. It had been previously attached with screws as opposed to nails, so it was in really good shape. It was a bit of a tedious job to remove from the coop, but it was well worth salvaging. To have a metal roof that allows the snow to slide off of, instead of having to shovel it off, is a real asset around here. And it saved us a chunk of change by not having to buy it.


Full bank of windows. Total southern exposure!

On day two John came back over and wired the building for lights and power. John is an Electrical Engineer and we are SO very grateful for his talents, time and help. He also wired a few more outlets into Matt’s shop while he was here. He’s a great guy! And we owe him a case of Dos Equis at the very least!!

Wiring for outlets and overhead lighting. North wall, west and east corners.

Then it was time to put up the insulation. What an Un-fun job that is. But thankfully the insulation is finished. Now all we need to do is put up the interior walls, lay down the weed block and gravel, hang the doors and paint. I think that’s it anyway.

Light switch on east wall & insulation in ceiling & walls.

We even have enough lumber left to build potting/growing tables for the inside. And I would like to find some siding to match the house for the few areas of exposed exterior wood.
I am SO excited I can hardly stand it. I want to rush out and buy seed starting soil NOW! I do plan to at least grow greens for salad during the winter in this baby. We plan to heat it will a self contained oil heater. They are safe and efficient. And I think will heat an area this small and insulated quite nicely. I will have a small barrel pond inside as well as I hope to winter over some of my non-hardy pond plants in the greenhouse. My hope is that the mini pond will help keep the humidity level up. And of course there will be a fan to move the air.
So, there is the update. And I'll let you know how the growing goes :-)









Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Valhalla Forum!!!

We are very excited to announce that we now have a forum!!

The Valhalla Circle is a fun community for customers, friends, fans & others of Valhalla Soap Co. to chat, learn, grow & support one another. There are a multitude of subjects to chat about that are not limited to VSC products, including General Off Topic Chat, Cooking/Recipes, Crafts, Spirituallity, Humor and more.

We are still adding more interests and would love for you to join with us in this new and exciting project. We are looking for category ideas and moderators. So please browse on over the The Valhalla Circle and join the Tribe! We look forward to seeing you soon :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Impressive Meteor Shower Tonight!!

The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a good show this week for those willing to get up in the wee hours of the morning and wait patiently for the shooting stars.

In North America, the best time to watch will be between midnight to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, but late Tuesday night and also Wednesday night could prove fruitful, weather permitting.

The Perseids are always reliable, and sometimes rather spectacular. The only things that puts a damper on the August show are bad...........Read More.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Welcome to August! & July's Blog Winner!!

First a few anouncements, then I will post the August correspondences from PaganPages.org

Our Blog Follower Winner for the month of July is:

Bitten by Books
(chosen by the list randomizer at Random.org)
Congrats!! Please contact us HERE via email with your mailing address so we can send your goodies :-)


Now on to the August Corespondences.

August
Originally called Sextillis by the Romans, was later named Augustus in honor of Augustus Caesar.
August is the eighth month of the current Gregorian calendar and the third month of Summer’s rule.
Traditional birthstone amulets of August are the peridot and the sardonyx.
The gladiolus and the poppy are the month’s traditional flowers.
August is shared by the astrological signs of Leo the Lion and Virgo the Virgin.
During the month of August, the Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to Lammas, one of the four Grand Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world.

Gathered harvest are celebrated during August.

Corn Moon
Astrological Signs: Leo, Virgo
Nature Spirits: Dryads
Herbs:Chamomile, St. Johns Wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
Colors:Yellow, gold
Flowers: Gladiolus, poppy, sunflower, marigold
Scents: Frankincense
Stones: Peridot, sardonyx, cat’s eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
Trees: Hazel, alder, cedar
Animals: Lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon
Birds: Crane, falcon, eagle
Deities: Ceres , The Corn Mother, Demeter , Diana , Ganesha ,Hathor ,Hecate ,Lugh ,Nemesis ,Thoth and all Goddesses who preside over agriculture.

From: http://paganpages.org/

Don't Tread on My Garden!!

There has been a very active conversation going on one of my herb lists. The conversation stems from a large soapmaking supply company’s blog post which implies that anyone who makes and sells herbal products for the health benefits of humankind is in effect and I quote "a drug dealer", and "in violation of FDA regulations".

So, to simplify this statement, If I make a salve that is infused with herbs that are reputed to help soothe and heal minor scrapes, scratches, and skin irritations. Though I make no claims that MY product will "heal" anything, only what the herbs themselves have been believed for centuries to do. According to the above mentioned article I'm a "Drug Dealer" and to the FDA this violates theirs regulations.

Now I find out that if we make soap that is moisturizing, or skin-softening, or has any kind of “special” qualities beyond just cleansing the skin the FDA now considers that not a soap, but a cosmetic, and thereby they have the right to regulate it.

This kind of legislation makes me crazy!
Just because a bar of soap is superfatted or still has the natural glycerin intact and therefore is more moisturizing than the average bar, does NOT make it a freaking bottle of lotion, face foundation, or a damn tube of mascara! If I eat a damned hamburger, does that make me a freaking hamburger until it is digested and comes out the other end? For cripes sake!!

And to go one step further into the land of petty ridiculous government interference…..you’ll love this. Now the FDA wants us to be mind readers. We can make and sell a product that has herbs in it but make no specific herbal claims. However, if the end user (customer) buys said product with the intent to use it as a natural healing product, then we the manufacturer of said product have just violated FDA regulations. WTF!?

Now for all of you that are saying, “Oh, the FDA is just trying to protect the consumer. We need to have some kind of regulatory system in place. Blah, blah, blah.” Let me refer you to the following articles:

Aspartame - Rumsfeld's Bioweapon Legacy
http://www.rense.com/general67/rum.htm

Some of you may be old enough to remember the big gumball marketing push for Aspartame. Gumballs of every color in the rainbow were mass mailed to homes all across the U.S. Perfect! We could consume artificial coloring and sweetener all in one step! The timing just so happened to coincide with the ban on stevia. Coincidence? I think not!

Stevia & the FDA
http://www.feingold.org/PF/pf_stevia.html

Interesting how we are now seeing products like Truvia on the market that have been released by the big box companies like Cargill, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. For years the FDA claimed that there was no solid evidence to prove that Stevia was safe for human consumption as a food additive. And now all of a sudden the big companies with the big money have been given the approval to use it as such! Hummm???

Bush/Monsanto Push to Give FDA More Power
http://current.com/items/89162342_bush-and-monsanto-pushing-to-give-fda-more-power.htm

One question? Who is regulating the FDA?

Roundup—the American Weed-Killer—Is Likely Killing American People, Too
http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/roundupthe-american-weed-killeris-likely-killing-american-people-too/

We can’t use stevia as food additive. We can’t put herbs in our soap. But our neighbor can spray poison on his lawn and the shrub between our houses with no regard for which way the wind blows, thus potentially causing Sally two doors down to miscarry her first child, or Joe across the street to suddenly become afflicted with prostate cancer. And worse yet possibly contaminate the ground water in the area causing birth defects in children born to families on that block for years to come!!!

Still think that the FDA, EPA and the government in general is “just trying to protect the consumer”? Well, if so then I dare say that you are very naive indeed! The FDA is nothing more than another corrupt money making entity for the government. And we are just guinea pig pawns to be used for their experimental money making ideas.

Between this and the recent fear mongering blog posts I've been seeing lately from others in this industry, pretty soon there will be no such thing as the soapmaking cottage industry, or any other small business/cottage industry. And then big brother, big box manufacturers, and big pharmacology will have won and the general public will have no say over what they can and cannot use on/in their bodies, what they can eat or drink, etc. Gods forbid that anyone should have the audacity to think for themselves, or any little cottage industry of should possibly take one dime out of big commercialisms pockets!!

I have a cousin (in-law) with a very large farm (around 100+acres) and the flipping government pays him NOT to farm it! What is wrong with this picture? He is one of many farmers in the U.S that Monsanto and the FDA do not want to compete with. So the farmer is simply paid off instead. And we wonder what has happened to American Pride. The government has paid its people not to have any!!

What’s next? Will the government be mandating what we can and cannot grow in our own gardens? Oh, I forgot. They already do!!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breakfast Visitors

Thought that I'd share a few photos of the visitors that stopped by today while we were fixing and eating breakfast this morning.



The first arrival appearred to be alone. We watched her/him from the kitchen window for quite some time while we were cooking.
And then another appeared around the side of the shop. And we realized that there were twins. It was a joy to watch as they ran and played and grazed but we wondered were Mom was.


Then low and behold she came from the other direction and rounded up the kids. The play time stopped and they made way for home. It was a perfect start to our day as we ate our breakfast and watched this beautiful 4 legged family eat their breakfast as well.
I feel so blessed to live where I'm at and to be able to take in the beauty of nature on a daily basis. I am usually just bursting to tell or show it to someone. So, I hope you enjoy the times and photos that I share with you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There's Gold in Them Plants!

As I mentioned a few days ago, I've been harvesting St. John's Wort blossoms. Yesterday on a break from the greenhouse construction, I quickly picked a pint of blossoms from a bush that is growing right near where the back door to the greenhouse will be.



Later in the evening when it was cooler, that pint of blossoms turned into about a half gallon of blossoms. And I laid them out on my drying screen on some paper towels to dry. I just love the bright, sunny yellow color of the SJW flowers. Not only does the herb naturally enhance and improve your mood when taken as a dietary supplement, but how can one not smile when you look at these adorable, bright yellow flowers.



It did not take these little gems of goodness long to dry out in the 90+ degree temps that we have been having. And after drying, I was right back to where I started from with a pint of flowers! So into a jar they went. And I poured beautiful golden jojoba oil over them.
And now they sit in all golden and pretty as I watch and wait for the oil to turn from golden to a fantastic, rich, deep red. Which when used as a muscle rub is believed to help repaire soft tissue damage and help with the pain associated with such injuries.
This is always the hardest part for me. I can hardly wait for the oil to start to change color! It's like waiting to open a present! Gifts from the Goddess!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Building the Greenhouse - Day 1

I don't think I've ever been so excited about a construction project before in my life. It all started when we found 5 large windows for sale on Craig's List for only $100. That Ad put our dreams for a greenhouse within reach. So we picked up the windows a few months ago and they have been tucked away safe in the carport. Hubby got his normal week off for the month and we had the amount of money we needed saved so yesterday we headed for the lumber store. Thank goodness we have a big truck!

Construction started early this morning. And between the two of us (yes I do know how to swing a hammer and dig a post hole), within a few hours it was already starting to look like the bones of bones of our dream greenhouse with great southern exposure.



We kept asking Mother Nature for overcast skies and a cool breeze to get us through the day. And thankfully she obliged for the majority of that we were working. Although my dear hubby did suffer some aches and pains and a wee bit of a sunburn to the backs of his legs. Some white willow bark spray and ice packs for his knew and a bit of cider vinegar for the sunburn had him feeling better. And he felt relief and a sense of accomplishment that a long overdue and postponed task was on the way to fruitition.

I also managed to harvest a pint of St. Johns Wort Flowers from that bush that you see in the above photo right to the left of my husband. But I'll blog more about that tomorrow J




As the day wore on, we took an iced tea break in front of the pond in the front yard, and were blessed with a visit from our resident squirrel. We had fun watching him stuff his face with sunflower seeds from the platform feeder and then take a siesta of his own on the nearby fence railing.



An hour or two more of work in the cooler evening hours and we were both ready to call it a day. And we were quite happy with the amount of work completed for Day 1 of our newest project.



Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our exciting new project! We will keep updating as things progress.

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Multi Herbal Skin Soothing Salve

A few weeks ago I made an herbal salve that we have been using around the house with great results. I just drew from batches of olive oil that I'd previously infused. Taking infused oils of lavender, calendula, chamomile, comfrey root and plantain. To those I added aloe vera oil, wheat germ oil and mango butter for their skin moisturizing, protective and restorative properties, as well as oat kernel extract for its skin soothing nature. I also wanted this to be a product that was totally vegan so instead of using the standard beeswax, I opted to use candelilla and soy waxes instead.

Herbal Properties:

  • Lavender- Believed to be an excellent topical aid for soothing minor skin irritations such as insect bites, or minor burns.
  • Calendula- Reputedly known for its skin soothing effects, calendula also acts as an antiseptic promoting cell repair. It is used most commonly for skin irritations, burns, bruises, sores and in cosmetics.
  • Chamomile- Reputed to have a higher than normal amount of essential oil acting as a natural anti-inflammatory and skin soothing agent.
  • Comfrey Root- Due to the presence of allantoin in comfrey it is believed to aid in repairing damaged tissues caused by sprains, bruises, and muscle injuries.
  • Plantain- Reputed to have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties when used on minor skin irritations and wounds.

 
 

I'd like to post a picture here for you, but I realized this morning, that my husband took the camera to Utah with him and it has my as yet un-uploaded photos still on it. So, when he returns I will post a picture here.

I'm very happy with the way that this herbal salve turned out. We have been using it on everything from minor scrapes and scratches to chapped lips and mosquito bites and have been very happy with the results. Next on the list of salves will be St. John Wort as we have a huge crop of it this year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ISP Woes

My Wi-Fi has been down again for over a week now. Not just the normal sporatic, slow, worse than dial-up type of performance that we have dealt with since February. But completely down. As in no service whatsoever! I've been relying on back-up dial-up. Which means that I can't upload/download much of anything, especially photos to any of my sites/blog, etc. As I type this I'm getting a blasted error message that say "Blogger could not save.....check your internet connection."

I called tech support the middle of last week and they said that they finally had all the parts, and the mountain was clear so they could get to the tower and were repairing as we spoke. that it should be back up and running by Thursday or Friday night. Yeah!!

Then I got a call yesterday from one of the field service dudes. Seems that the tower collapsed when one of the guys was up repairing it. Yes, he was injured. Not seriously. However he did suffer a few broken bones. Now service would not be restored until Friday or Saturday night. Well, here it is 10:30 Saturday night and still no service. I called tech support again for an update and at this time, they don't have one. Great!

They did however mention that customers were going to be issued a credit for the time that service was down. Well, I suppose that does help. But honestly, I'd rather just have my service back and running efficiently for once.

I suppose it's the price I pay for refusing to live in the city. We don't get cable, DSL, or cell phone signal out here. It's DISH or DirecTV for television. And for internet your choices are Dial-up at 21 bps, HughesNet, WildBlue or Wi-Fi. So, you just kind of have to deal with whatever happens. Like storms that knock out power/phone for days. Or when lightening hits the only Wi-Fi tower in a 100 mile radius.

Here's to hoping we have a faster connection tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving Blog

I'm in the process of moving my old blog over from Valhallasoap.com/blog to this one. The old one was a custom design made about 6 years ago. And while it is pretty and matches the website, it lacks the ability to do anything creative.

So please bear with me while I'm working on this.
Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice

Tomorrow marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. In short, it is a celebration of thankfulness to the god from bringing summer and the Sun. We will be getting together with friends and neighbors for a Summer Solstice Ritual and I thought that I would share a nice easy ritual I found for those that may want to do the same. It makes for a very nice special day for the family.
Here is a link to a page with a great easy to follow ritual that I started out with a long time ago and have just adapted over time for our own liking. Enjoy!
http://www.ehow.com/how_2051483_perform-summer-solstice-ritual.html

Friday, June 19, 2009

Why Handmade Soap?

As usual business is slow during the winter months. Sometimes painfully slow. Generally we can always look toward the spring and summer months to breath new life into things. However, this year the recovery has not been as quick when everyone is suffering the effects of rapidly declining economy. And face it. Our product is not one that most would consider to be a neccesity. Most who do not know the health benefits of using naturally handmade bath soap consider it to be a luxury item that gets pushed to the back of the budget in these economic times.
Let's examine some of the reasons to consider handmade soap a regular commodity to be added to your normal shopping regimine.
NO DETERGENTS OR SYNTHETICS
These days the majority of commercial bar soap and most all liquid soap found on store shelves are actually synthetic detergents. According to the FDA, it no long fits the deffinition of "true soap".
NATURAL SKIN HYDRATING GLYCERIN
As is the way of big business, commercial soap manufacturers found a way to make and sell two products from one. When soap is made a natural occurance is the formation of Glycerin; a humectant. One molecule of glycerin is created for every three melecules of soap. So commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin, replacing it with synthetic ingredients. They then sell off the beneficial glycerine to pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. Thus making double the profits from one original product. It's quite brilliant.
QUALITY CONTROL
Most handmade soap is made is smaler batches. Any where from 5 lbs to 50 lbs at a time. As opposed to thousands if not millions of pounds at a time. By making smaller batches it is much easier to control the process from mixing of oils, to molding, unmolding, cutting, etc. You can rest assured that your handmade soap was "supervised" from start to finish.
PASSION
Yes, I said passion. Handmade Soapmakers are passionate about their skill. Not only do they take classes and stay abreast of the lastest in handmade soapmaking technology. But they love what they do. Yes, one can make a decent live at it. But few do it just to make a living. I've been a soapmaker for 13 years, and soapmaker that I've met is passionate about his (yes their are men in this industry) or her skill. They just plain enjoy making soap. Learning new methods such as "Funnel" soapmaking. Yep, pouring various colors of soap through a funnel into your mold so as to achieve a certain design in the outcoming cut bars of soap.
SUPPORT
So you can buy synthetic detergent bars or bottled lyquid in the store. But your just not going to get the love and passion, and energy put into a wholesome, healthy, beautiful bar of handmade soap full of skin hydrating glycerin like you would if you purchased some great handmade soap from a skilled, passionate Soapmaker at your local Farmer's Market. Or do a web search for Soapmaker in your area. Or go to The Soap Guild and look for a Soapmaker in your state. Be patriotic. Please support local small business and buy MADE IN THE USA!
And if you live in the Greater Spokane, WA area come see us at the Community Roots Farmer's Market every Sunday from 11 am till 4 pm. Mention this blog and receive a 10% discount on your purchase!
Shop Local, Shop USA!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Todays Drying Rack & Memorial Day 25% Off Sale

Today's soaps are made with essential oils only. This means that the fragrance used to scent them is not man made but instead comes expressly from plant materials via distilation or expressing. They are colored with natural earth pigments. These soaps can therefore be labeled as 100% All Natural.


Rain Dance All Natural Handmade Soap


Green Magic All Natural Handmade Soap

I'm still as yet undecided on a name for this one. It has a very green scent to it. And I was initially going for a green, herbal, garden feel for the scent. Unfortuantely my green soap set up faster than I wanted and I was not able to swirl it like I wanted. So it came out as you see it. And I'm not sure the name now matches the look AND the scent. Oh well, it still smells very nice.

These two batches will be ready in about 2 weeks.

Until next time. Hope your Memorial day was great. And if you have time, stop over at our website to take advantage of our 25% of Sale that ends tonight at midnight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Something Old, Something Blue.....Or Lavender

I'm late as usual reporting this news. However, though our son Brandon and Ariel are already married, they finally were able to throw a formal affair with the white dress and white tux last summer (told you I was late posting this). It was a beautiful lavender accented event held in her parents lovely backyard in Medical Lake, WA. Vows were said under a flower entwined white iron gazeebo. The bride was blushingly beautiful and the groom was handsomly nervous. Just as it should be!