Sunday, December 28, 2014

Potentially, New Items Coming In The Future

  Don't be concerned about my leaving the soap industry to go and make toys and bread! Oma's Workshop will continue to make goat's milk oatmeal soap as well as all the others. But there will be some other items added to the menu here.

   Months ago, I planted several tomato, pepper, and other fruits and vegetable plants, with the thought that I could use the produce and sell or give away what was excess. We haven't had any excess yet, and the plants are very slow to grow and develop. In fact, some have died. So, at this  moment, there will not be any produce for sale. The plants are being grown organically, and some are even growing in the hydroponic system. I plan to sell the produce that will one day come, for $2 a pound. I will let you know when the produce comes in, or at least when there is enough to sell. I will call my gardens, 'Oma's Mini Acres".

  I have been baking in the past, so the baking part of it is not so new. But I will add it to the Oma's Workshop menu and see if anyone wants to order some cinnamon loaf bread or gingerbread man cookies. Also, I have some special chocolate chip (or variety chip) cookies that I can make. I can make either the regular version, which contains very good ingredients or I can specialize and use organic ingredients in these items. The organic items will be more expensive than the regular ones, as organic food is more expensive, unfortunately. But I think organic is the best anyway, so it is worth it to me. Regular cinnamon bread loaves will sell for $2 a loaf, while organic will be $3 a loaf. Gingerbread man cookies will sell for 50 cents and the ones made with organic ingredients will be 75 cents each. (Prices could change if I calculate the price of the ingredients and divide per cookie.).

  Last but not least, I am so excited to announce the making and selling of dollhouse items, also known as miniatures. I know there are people who collect miniatures as well as those who are building doll houses and adding to them over time. I have so many ideas and want to sort them out so I don't become overwhelmed or just going from making one item and then another, leaving several projects undone (which I have been known to do). I also want to build doll house rooms with flooring and walls. Right now, I am researching the materials and watching/reading tutorials on how to do all this. This could be an all consuming project, and I want to make a good product, so it will not come overnight. But I will post pics as soon as I finish them.

  Oops. I completely forgot the jewelry line I was working on. I'm learning how to make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I have some already made.

   My memorable jewelry story comes around the time I was pregnant with my son, about 22, 23 years ago. I was making some earrings out of something called 'friendly plastic' (I wonder what ever happened to this wonderful product) while my daughter came up with a pretty earring made with a little coin shaped piece. We got a lot of our materials from a local craft store and put out the goods on the day of the craft show. I don't think I sold any earrings, but all the earrings made by my daughter sold like hot cakes! People would look at her earrings and comment positively on them! Mine didn't even get noticed. Oh well. I will go for more beaded items next time.

  I do have some afghans available too. I will sell them at $65 each. The newer ones will be a little more pricy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Yummy Lemony Soap

Yesterday, I made goat's milk oatmeal soap. The goat's milk oatmeal soap is under the category of 'Soaps For Life at Oma's Workshop', which simply means that a portion of the money made from this soap goes toward 'Sanctuary Ministries' which is a ministry that assists struggling women who are pregnant and have chosen to go through the pregnancy instead of having their babies murdered. Also the sheep's milk oatmeal soap is in the 'Soaps For Life at Oma's Workshop' category.

Tonight I made lemon soap. Last year, I made this lemon soap but was disappointed because the scent did not stay in the soap for long. This year, I used another type of oil, lemongrass, which should stick much longer.

  Last year when I made this soap, it turned out very pretty. The soap itself is yellow, but the lemon rinds turned orange as the soap was curing. It looks like the lemon rinds are turning orange in this batch. It should be a successful batch of soap that will smell really nice and will look pretty as well.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lemon Scrubby Soap

Last year I saw a picture of lemon soap and found a recipe for this kind of soap. In the soap, I used lemon oil. It had a very nice, clean smell to it, and because I used the rinds (grated up) in the soap, it turned out like a scrubby soap. All the lemon rinds settled on the bottom of the mold and made a natural scrubby on one side of the bar.

  Unfortunately, the soap did not hold it's scent. Using essential oils that are made from citrus does not make a nice. long lasting bar of scented soap. But, the good news is that I have heard that Lemongrass oil holds the scent better. I ordered some and have used it a couple of times.

   I am going to pull a lemon off my lemon tree and grate the lemon rinds up and will use them in the soap after they are dried.

   Lemon soap is really cool.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Future Additions To Oma's Workshop

  I am excited about some future possibilities for Oma's Workshop that I think you will enjoy. I have had a lot of different ideas and have made some items to sell at craft shows, yet some of those items just do not sell. For example, I made these little animals that wore dresses and they were placed over an air freshener. They were not hard to make, and I brought about 6 of them to a craft show. A man came along and bought them all up. All I could think of, was that if I had made more, he would have bought those too, so I made 30 air freshener dolls up. I have yet to sell any of them.
  I had wanted to make a bakery to go with Oma's Workshop. I could do a bakery, except for the fact that I don't want to use ingredients in my products that are not safe, such as unbleached flour. I did come up with an alternative, and can use organic flour instead, but it is more expensive, and a loaf of bread that I make will end up costing $ 2 instead of $1. Loaves of cinnamon bread will be sold for $2 a loaf now, and I can make them for you if you want.
   I have considered making pine tar soap. Old time soap makers make pine tar soap, but recently there has been an accusation on pine tar soap containing a substance called, 'creosote', which is supposed to be carcinogenic. I have found conflicting information on this, yet, it is something to consider. On the one hand, people request pine tar soap because it has helped many with skin problems. I think I can make this and sell it, but I am not going to put it on a table at the craft show and advertise it. I will sell it to people who want it and ask for it. I also found a pine tar company that processes their pine tar in such a way that it doesn't contain creosote. They won't say that it doesn't have creosote, because they don't test it to see whether or not creosote is in it.
  But the exciting new is this; I might be able to have a nursery! I am growing a lot of plants right now, and will be able to take seeds from some of these plants and sell the seeds. Also, I can grow plants like mangoes and avocados, and pot them up and sell them to those who desire such plants.
  It gets even better though. I might be able to sell some produce. I won't have tons to sell, but I should have some tomatoes that I could sell to my friends and customers. Of course, this all depends on how well my plants grow, and if they can survive whatever comes their way to destroy them (fruit worms, heat, frost). If I do grow enough, I will post whatever I have available with prices. More on this to come later.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oma's Workshop Updates - New Products, New Ideas

The work load at Oma's Workshop has been rather light lately. I am still tossing around a lot of ideas I would like to implement. Of course, I need to work on one at a time, and I am guilty of trying to do too many things at the same time and getting overwhelmed.
  I have thought about making Pine Tar soap. You may know that there is a controversy with this soap. Old time soapmakers love making this soap and have never seen a problem with it. With new information though, we have found that there is a possibility of pine tar containing an ingredient called, 'Creosote', which is a carcinogen. We really don't know for sure if pine tar soap actually does contain this ingredient or not, but, to make the issue more complicated, supposedly the way the pine tar is processed, can affect whether there is any remaining creosote in the pine tar.
  I contacted a company that sells pine tar, and asked them about creosote. They process their pine tar in the way that will end up with little to zero amount of creosote in it. They said they can't guarantee that their pine tar doesn't have creosote, because they do not test it to know the results.
   I would feel safe using this brand of pine tar. But there are other complications with selling pine tar soap. Pine Tar soap is known for helping people who have skin problems, such as eczema. Selling this kind of soap could require having a special kind of licensing because the finished produced would be under the category of health/beauty instead of just a soap product. I probably could make it and sell it if I had people who specifically ask for it, but I am not able to give descriptions on how it can help with your beauty, unless I were a certified cosmetician.
  So, if there is an interest, let me know personally, and if I get enough requests, I will make it. I will give more information and updates as I hear more about this.
   Someday, I would like to add a nursery to my little store. I would sell organic plants and seeds. More on that to come later on as well.
   I ordered some 'soapnut' seeds. There is a plant which grows 'soapnuts' which can be used to wash clothing with or in ways similar to how we would use soap. Hurry up plants and germinate!
   I also just planted some indigo plant seeds. The color from the indigo plant can be used to dye soap with. It can also be used to dye other things with too.
   I have quite a few bars of goat's milk oatmeal soap, and some are in different scents like lavender and apple-jack if anyone is interested. Also, sheep's milk oatmeal soap is available. Goat's milk oatmeal is $3.50/bar (4 oz.) and Sheep's milk oatmeal is $4/bar. Some of the money from the Goat's or sheep's milk oatmeal soaps goes to Sanctuary Ministries, which helps support women who are pregnant and decide to go through the pregnancy and deliver their babies.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Item - Earrings

   I made this pair of earrings for me, but will be making more of them. The beads are small. I'm also collecting materials to make silver earrings.

Gold earrings with green and gold beads

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Change of Size Label

   Just a heads up on my relabeling. I am going to change the name of the sample size soaps to 'small' instead of 'sample'. Samples are usually just that. A sample, a tiny piece of something to try out.
   I weighed the 'sample' sized soaps and they are at least 2 ounces. I was surprised at how many people like this size. I am ready to make more soaps in this 2 ounce size, but I will call them small, unless I think of a better word.
   So, sample size will now be called small. In the future, I will probably have a real 'sample' size soap. This size will come in handy for many things too. In the mean time, I will not have any actual sample sizes for sale any more. I will as soon as I get the mold in or come up with another way to make sample size bars. But the small bars will be available. They will sell for $2 a bar.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Experimentations Are Fun!

   Within a month, I have made bath fizzies , aka bath bombs, Castile soap, and now tallow soap. Because the bath fizzies do not have to cure, I am able to use them right away, but for the soaps, well, they have to cure before I can use them and that takes about 3 weeks. (I have cheated though one time)!
   I have been studying soap and researching different recipes and affects of ingredients that are in some soaps. One that is interesting is 'pine tar'. People who use soap made with pine tar rave about how well the soap does on their skin. I would like to use pine tar in my soap making, but there is one big problem. Pine tar contains an ingredient called, creosote. Years ago, people started making garden beds out of old railroad ties (not sure why this would have been considered a good idea?). After a couple of years, these experts changed their minds. The reason was, creosote was found in the railroad ties. No one wanted to make their garden beds out of railroad ties after that. At least I have not heard of anyone wanting to do that.
  Now, there is some pine tar that doesn't contain creosote, but it seems to be difficult to find. If I ever find it, I will buy some and use it in soap making. I want to make a product that has such good results as people say that pine tar soap does. In the mean time, I will keep searching for this pine tar.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Thank You and Notes

I want to thank all of you who recently bought some of my homemade soaps. I hope you and your family members are enjoying them! I have made a couple of observations on my soaps that I want to share. Whenever I make soap or soap products, I use the item as well, so I make sure that it is acceptable and enjoyable for you. I notice that when I use the glycerine soap, the bathtub is easier to clean out. Not sure why that happens, but it is a nice benefit. I was using a bath fizzy tonight and now I understand why women like these. They have oil in them which ends up on your skin and makes the skin smooth. But it can also get into the bath tub. I think we should have a warning on our soaps to be careful when we get out of the tub as soap or soap products can sometimes make the floor slippery. I would hate for anyone to slip on a bar of soap I made, or, slip while getting out of the tub because of the oil in the bath fizzy! I remember when I was little, hearing the story about John Glenn, an astronaut, slipping on a bar of soap! I think he ended up hitting his head and was unconscious for a while. We need to be careful when using soap for that reason mainly. I know in nursing homes, there are rails on the sides of the shower or tub. Those can come in handy when we get out of the tub. Please be careful when you get out of your tub! But do enjoy your soaps and fizzies! 80% Castile soap is curing. It is lavender scented so it will really smell nice. It kind of smells like my dad's shaving cream that he used to use years ago. I wonder if they scented shaving cream with lavender????

Lavender scented 80% Castile soap

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Home Made Castile Soap

Ta da! Finished! I made Castile soap tonight and it smells yummy! I used lavender EO and it is made from 80% olive oil, 10% palm oil, and 10% coconut oil. I could have made it from 100% olive oil, but it would have no lather or bubbles from what I understand. I will experiment with this after it cures and see if it will cause the homemade laundry detergent to gel. I wish you could all smell the room! Think of lavender in your mind and maybe you can virtually smell it!
Lavender Castile Soap Just Poured Ready To Cure

Thank God For Rain and Lye Calculators

I am so glad it is raining today, for that means I can collect more rainwater to make soap with. Yes, I use rain water. You can use distilled water for making soap too, but there's something fresh about using rain water. I hope my pot fills up! I want to make a castile type of soap. I have a recipe for making laundry detergent, and one of the ingredients is a Fels Naptha soap bar, grated. I have used this and the laundry soap turns out great. I don't know what it is about this Fels Naptha soap bar, but if I am not mistaken, it is probably a Castile type of soap. Castile soap is made with olive oil and is a good cleanser. I have used soap scraps from my soap to make laundry detergent, but the detergent never gels. It gels if I use the Fels Naptha bar though. So, I will try this experiment as soon as I get the chance. In soap making, using a lye calculator is helpful. In order to find out how much lye to put into the water, you put the amounts and types of oils into the calculator, then when it processes the recipe, it tells you how much water and lye to put in. Here is a url for calculating lye and water for soap making: You might be surprised to know that all genuine soap is made with lye. Lye is very caustic and dangerous to be around. You have to use it properly or you could get hurt! But, something happens when lye is mixed with water, then added to oils that have been heated and cooled. After they are mixed together, a process called, 'saponification' takes place. The oils, water, and lye combine and form a mixture that looks a little like pudding mixture when thickened. After the mixture is thick enough to pour into molds, the soap has to 'cure'. It takes about 3 weeks for the soap to fully cure. The affects of lye are no longer found in the soap. Now it is a nice product that can be used on your skin (if it is made right!) and can smell pretty. There is technically no more lye in the product, which is a good thing. The lye becomes something else when combined with the oils.