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Preservatives vs all natural


  Preservative vs All Natural     Hello, Friends     The great debate in skin care products seems to center around preservatives and all natural.  All natural is a hot button item.  What constitutes "natural"?  As a long time soapmaker, I have many times heard things like:  "I want all natural." "I don't use chemicals."  "I want a preservative free lotion."       Today's subject will deal with the truth about the various bath and body products I offer for sale. You can refer to my other blog posts about handmade soap and glycerin soaps and the great natu... » Read More

Shea Butter


Hello friends,              I will be creating a series of blog posts about the soap, bath and body care items I offer for sale.  These articles will be educational in nature to offer my customers an insight as to why I choose certain ingredients and their benefits, as well as more detailed directions and suggestions for use of my products. Today's entry is about my pure natual shea butter.    Shea Butter Information    Unrefined Shea Butter is 100% natural and absolutely no chemicals are used in the processing. This shea butter is processed by a fair trade women’s co-op in Gha... » Read More

Soapsmith's Polish Easter Celebration


Hello Friends,         I received such positive feedback from my traditional Polish Christmas blog that I decided to share with you our Polish Easter traditions.         Much of our Easter celebration centers on the Holy Week services of the Catholic Church.  Beginning with the gloriously triumphant Palm Sunday mass, through the Holy Thursday commemoration of the Last Supper, institution of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, recalling Christ’s perfect example of humility and service in the washing of the feet, the solemnity of Good Friday with the recollection of Our... » Read More

Cookie Delivery Day!


Hello friends, Today was cookie delivery day.  This is a busy day with stops to all the local recipients of my cookies.  The mailed cookies were sent out on Monday.  While it takes all day, I truly enjoy visiting friends and family and bringing a little Christmas cheer along with the goodies.  My sons deliver the cookies to their places of employment as well. Todays recipes are Classic Sand Tarts, Tassies and Chocolate Crinkle   Pecan Tassies Dough: 6 ounces of cream cheese 1 cup of butter 2 cups of flour 1/2 teaspoon of salt Combine together to form dough, similar to pie crust. Filling: 1 1/2 cups brow... » Read More

Soapsmith's Homemade Cheese Balls


Hello friends, Homemade cheese balls are a real treat.  These delicious savory delicacies are wonderful for holiday gatherings, drop in guests or a welcome hostess gift when you visit friends and family. The simple recipe is easily adaptable to your tastes by mixing up a big batch of the base and adding a wide variety of flavorings to create many variations.   Soapsmith's Cheeseball Recipe All ingredients should be room temperature.  If you have a larger mixer, you can easily double this for a very large batch. 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese 1 stick of butter 24 oz of very sharp soft cheese spread - I use Black Diamon... » Read More

Soapsmith's DOS Experiment


Hello friends, Soap makers face a problem called Dreaded Orange Spots, often referred to as DOS.  These spots have been widely discussed for decades.  As the soap ages, sometimes it developes areas of rusty colored spots.  Most people consider them to be a sign of rancidy of the oils.  The spots start off as small round dots and will spread throughout the entire bar over time. Dr. Kevin Dunn, known as the caveman chemist, is a professor and a soap maker.  He has conducted scientific testing with his students on a number of soap making issues including the study of DOS.  I attended a present... » Read More

Sacred Amber by Allegheny Hearth


Hello friends,         This edition to my series of blog posts about the soap, bath and body care items I offer for sale features my Sacred Amber products.  These articles will be educational in nature to offer my customers an insight as to why I choose certain ingredients and their benefits, as well as more detailed directions and suggestions for use of my products. Sacred Amber            Sacred Amber is a deep mysterious fragrance.  Originally developed in ancient times by a physician as a mood enhancing formula, amber is a blend of pure essential... » Read More

Haiti soap relief efforts


Hello friends,I recently participated in a Haiti relief project.  Here is the article from our local newspaper covering the details.This unique organization does great work.  As a soap maker, it was a privilege to be a part of this effort. I want to give a special thanks to my fellow guild and Artfire artisans who also contributed, job well done! There is still great need for those suffering from the earthquake.  Please help any way you can.Thanks for visiting,Bonnie... » Read More

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt


Hello friends,The affordable luxury of a long, fragrant soak in the tub enhanced with soothing music, soft lighting and relaxation at the end of a long day provides the muse for my all natural tub salts.My traditional bath soaks are offered unrefined, unscented or augmented with naturally distilled pure essential oils to provide a rejuvenating indulgence for your aching body. The inclusion of dried rose petals,lavender buds and herbs from my own garden are the final touch of rustic elegance. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt My pure all natural Himalayan salt is harvested by hand deep within the heart of the stunningly majestic Himalayan... » Read More

Monoi de Tahiti Oil


Hello friends, Monoi de Tahiti Tiare Oil   The alluring coral atolls of the Pacific Ocean offers a wonderful traditional beauty product called Monoi de Tahiti Oil.  This natural oil is made by soaking gardenia blossoms, which are known as Tiare flowers, in pure tropical coconut oil.Monoi is an ancient Tahitian word meaning scented oil. Monoi is a long-established cosmetic item for the Tahitian people. The beautiful Tahitian women, known as Vahines, use Monoi de Tahiti daily to hydrate and protect their skin and to condition their hair.        Modern tests and analysis validate the traditional uses... » Read More

Halushki Polish Cabbage and Noodles


Hello friends, Polish halushki or haluski is a simple delicious traditional dish.. I serve this every year at our Christmas Eve Polish Dinner. I will share my recipe for homemade haluski but it can be made easily with any purchased pasta - egg noodles, bow tie, egg farvel or what ever shape you choose.Of course, the made from scratch dumpling like pasta is the best but it is still good with the short cuts. Ingredients: 3 eggs5 tablespoons milk2 cups of flour plus enough to stiffen1 teaspoon salt1 head green cabbage1 to two sticks of butterone medium yellow onionsalt and pepper  Using a fork, slowly pull ... » Read More

Cherry Pit Heat Therapy Pads


Hello friends,    Soapsmith's All Natural Cherry Pit Heat Therapy Wraps These cherry stone therapy wraps are a marvelous comfort item.  For centuries, distillery workers in Switzerland would hang bags of cherry pits on the factory stoves.  During the long work day, the pits would heat up.  The workers understood the heat retaining properties of the cherry stones.  They would carry them home, using them to ease the sore muscles, shoulders and backs that came from their hard labors.  I have been offering these to my customers for over a decade.   Dried cherry pits are a superior filler... » Read More

How to make a lavender wand


Hello friends,   “The blue hues of lavender inspire a poet’s voice, an artist’s hand and a gardener’s eye…”        It is lavender time.  This beloved herb abounds in my garden, its sweet, spicy, herbal aroma wafting through the air.  Lavender invites the honey bees to partake of its nectar and begs to be harvested. During the Victorian time,  young girls and ladies of the house would sit in their elegant parlors in late spring and fashion ribbon and fresh lavender stems from their herb gardens into wands to freshen the l... » Read More

Happy Easter!


Hello friends, The powerful Easter Vigil celebration begins with our congregation gathered in total darkness. After the blessing of the new fire outside the church, the single Paschal Candle flame is carried into the church.  Each congregate lights their baptismal taper from this single flame, dividing it but not dimming the light as it is ever growing in brillance. In the gentle glow of the candlelight, the beautifully sung Exsultet announces the victory of the Light of Christ over the darkness of sin and death.   Light of Christ/Exsultet The light of Christ surrounds us, the love of Christ enfolds us, the... » Read More

Garden of Herbs


Hello friends, The Herb Woman (author unknown) She harvests yards and countryside And hangs the dried snippets tied or braided, their aromas reeling from the rafters of her ceiling - Fennel, bergamot and yarrow Plucked to song of thrush or sparrow, Coriander, mustard, squill Bay and basil, anise and dill, Catnip, sage and elderflowers. Blessed in potent thunder showers, Witch hazel leaves and cherry bark Frilled with snows of winter's dark. So she listens - gives advice Dispensing freely - herbs and spice My garden is abundant with herbal delights.  I grow culinary herbs as well as medicinal herbs.  I utili... » Read More

Old World Beeswax Ornaments


Hello friends,      The tradition of casting pure beeswax into holiday treasures has been handed down through the generations. My Allegheny Hearth Beeswax Ornaments and Figurines are hand cast in reproduction antique molds using golden fragrant natural beeswax from local beekeepers.  Your holiday decor will be beautifully enhanced with these adornments.        German chocolatiers and bakers took great pride in their artistry and workmanship creating intricately hand carved molds. To attract the buying public they wanted to display their chocolate creations in store windows but the s... » Read More
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