Saturday, November 14, 2015

Green Apple Tall and Skinny Shimmy

Well this week has been such a crazy week. My hosts are having an early Thanksgiving dinner this week and I have been trying to help out. Now of course I am down to the wire entering the soap challenge for this month. I have to say I think I need to practice a bit more.

This is my first soap, the colors didn't turn out quite how I wanted. I made the mold from foamcore as suggested, but I didn't follow the instructions too well. I made the box so that the skinny part of the mold was 2.5". Well I then didn't calculate for the new volume so my soap was squarish. I didn't achieve the cute little "s" design and I had tails. I also has a difficult time getting it out of the mold. So I went back to the drawing board.

This time with my leftover foamcore, I made a longer mold. I calculated the proper volume for this mold this time. I didn't have big enough paper cups so I used my condiment containers. Since my scent is green apple, I went with a graduated green for my color scheme.

I have to say that I did like using the paper cups as suggested. It was a bit difficult for me to keep the soap flowing down the side of the mold. I had trouble keeping my mold on one pencil of the other. The heavier the mold got, I had more slippage which may have been one reason I didn't get the "s" design. Plop! Ugh.

My nephew really wanted to help out
 I didn't want to leave the top plain, so I did a quick design. This soap was also difficult to get out of the mold even after waiting three days. I don't usually have to wait very long especially with a Trinity soap batter. Not in my neck of the desert and not with a water discount. Next time I will be using sodium lactate. I ended up having to shred that mold.

Here is my finished soap. It is pretty even though I didn't get the design I was hoping for. I love how the colors turned out.
I do plan on making another mold, though with the plastic sign board my friend gave me. It is blank. I am going to try again. That is once I get my things back from storage. I had so much fun doing this soap challenge, it has helped me so much get out of a funk. I look forward to the next one.

Carol H.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Announcement! I have a website and an Etsy store!

Well with the encouragement of my friends and family I have decided to sell my soaps. I really don't expect a lot of sales at first. And really, I only want to sell my soaps so that I can support my addiction to making soap so I can make more soap. Thank you to all my friends and family who have supported my little hobby. I enjoy making soap and I enjoy when my soaps get admired.

Here are the links: The Ladybug's Soapbox website
                               My Etsy Store

I have some more soap to add. I took a little trip to Bisbee to raid our storage unit. Cowboy Preacher had no clothes for the colder weather so I took advantage and grabbed a few of my supplies and products.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Carol Harvey
Head Artisan and Owner

Happy Dance!

PS: I'll be offered some more coupons for the Holiday season.

Head Lice!? ICK!!

You know, as a child, I remember endures lice checks at school. I never had them. I am certain that if I did, my mother would have be just as grossed out as I was, if not more so. (Does anyone know how freaked out Asians get about being dirty, associated with being dirty, and how they will do just about anything to be clean?) School started in Las Cruces in August. I had heard in the news about several states having problems with pesticide resistance head lice. Like any other person, I thought that THAT wouldn't happen to me.

The schools here had a major outbreak. But I homeschool, so I wasn't worried about it. The laugh was on me. My children have been enjoying playing with their cousins who, of course, go to school. One thing lead to another and yes, they did get lice. I had lice, Cowboy Preacher had a few lice. ACK!

Here is what I did. Due to a little Facebook poster all of Las Cruces had a tea tree oil shortage, but since I keep a bottle of the stuff in my purse I had some around. I put some in the shampoo and conditioner. Since Cowboy Preacher is allergic to tea tree oil, I bought some homeopathic lice spray and shampoo. By the way, Lice Freee is some awesome stuff. One application to Cowboy Preacher and the lice never came back. Being very sensitive, he said the stuff did sting a little. Then I used a lice comb and combed everyone's hair. That is nasty to do, if I have to say so myself.

I spent even more money going to a laundromat to get all the bedding washed. Then I had Cowboy Preacher buy some diatomaceous earth which I sprinkle everywhere we slept. On one boy, I had to dust his hair with the DE since he was finding it a little difficult to rid himself of the ugly little pests.

After a few days, I added some tea tree oil to my hair coconut oil. I learned later from a friend that lice don't like oily hair. Which confounds me since both Cowboy Preacher and I have really oily hair. But I was happy that my intuition lead me to start oiling up everyone's hair (except Cowboy Preacher, of course). I had only used the coconut hair oil on my daughter and myself before. I also left a lot of conditioner on my hair. 

We were completely lice free that first week, but I kept up the oil for a few weeks after that. I have to say these lice were a bit difficult to get rid of being pesticide resistant. I knew a few people who tried to use the pesticide stuff to handle these ugly pests, but they didn't work well at all. The homeopathic stuff worked great, but I wanted to try to save what little money we had and work with what we had. I do have 5 children after all. The bottle of spray wouldn't have lasted long. The spray smelled like a cross between anise and Chloraseptic. 

I pray that this never happens again, but if it did, I am going straight for the tea tree hair oil again. That seemed to have worked the best. Notice I didn't give any amounts? I did that purposefully. I did my research and I know how much to use for my family. I don't know who reads my blog but I am sure that everyone is different. What I use for my family will most likely not work for yours. I did my research, you do yours. I know for a fact that Cowboy Preacher is allergic to tea tree oil. I know my children are not. I also know how to use this essential oil properly on my family due to my extensive research. Please do your own research. Use of essential oils is serious business.

Update: Where the Heck Have You Been?

So after Independence Day we packed our final possessions into the storage unit and made our way towards Las Cruces, NM. It was rather stress since we did get a call from the Chairman of the Board demanding we vacate that day and that we should've left the house the day before. I really wanted to remind the Board that 30 days should have started on the day we were informed not 30 days from when they decided fire us. But we chose to just leave, because all that would have done was stress my children out even more.

Since we left Bisbee we have been staying with a really good friend. Her family has been good and kind to ours since I was 11. It has been a really blessing. The adjustment for both of our families hasn't been too bad. I mean, it has to be a shock to a family of three to welcome the chaos of a family of seven.

Meanwhile, we have taken two trips across the country in search of another church to serve. Both of those didn't come to fruition. And as a result, my children will never go again on a trip for an interview. Churches always want to see the whole family but they do not take into account the children's view when for whatever reason we don't get that church. The mother in me does not want to see the crushed spirit in their eyes in looking for another church home.

Thankfully, we have found a church home in my home church. The church that ordained us has accepted us into their ministry team. Cowboy Preacher and my home pastor will be co-pastors and I will once again be helping out with the children's ministry. I didn't realize how much I missed being a part of children's ministry until I started doing this again.

I had not written in such a long time because, well, a lot of different things really. One: I am thankful for my friend, but realize that we are basically living out of her guest room. The possessions of seven people are stored in that one room. The kids sleep on the sofas and floors in the living room, but come morning it has got to go back into the guest bedroom. Granted that after living here awhile, some spillable has occurred (ie. our homeschool boxes are in the dining area and some of my soapmaking supplies are in the kitchen.) I try to contain as much of our things as we can, but with 5 kids, things do tend to be messy.

Two: Shockingly, time has been a factor. I do laundry at my brother's home and my dad's. If you have ever had to take your laundry to the laundromat, you have some idea of the amount of time that takes. We have plugged into a wonderful homeschool group here in Las Cruces and I do need to spend some time schooling as well. We also help around the house with chores and clean up my dogs messes. My friend has asked for my help with organizing her possessions as well and I try to do that in between cooking, laundry, teaching, and so on and so forth. Time that sneaky concept that slips through fingers without notice.

Third and final: Healing. I needed to heal quite a bit. Having to leave in such a hurry was extremely stressful. Moving again in less than a year since moving to a new home and job and having to find a new home and job so suddenly. I had to deal with my children's hurt, their insecurities and their loss of friends once again. I needed to support my husband. I needed to be a beacon of hope for my family while all I wanted to do was fall apart and cry. 2015 has been a year of loss. My mother-in-law and Aunt-in-law passed away weeks away from each other before we were fired. Then as I was frantically packing my cousin Barbara died. I wasn't really close to her, but I remember my father talking about her and we were getting to know each other better via Facebook. Then the complicated emotions to deal with when my own mother suddenly passed away in August. I really need to heal first. Words did not want to form into sentences. I had no desire to write. I still have no desire to video as yet. But I have started to heal due to my home church. I know the Lord watches over me. I know things could have been a lot worse. I am so thankfully for the congregation at Agape Christian Church. Their name says it all. Agape.

So that is where I am now. We have a church to serve the Lord, now we need employment and our own house to make a home. I am ecstatic that we will be staying here for awhile. It has been wonderful to see my brother, my sister, and my father so much. I am so happy to come back to the church that taught us that we all as christians, are part of the greatest family ever created. God's Family has always been enough for my little family and it is great to be part of a church who realizes this same truth. My biological family may also be in this same town, but my family has once again grown. I have been supported by my brothers and sisters in Christ and also gained new brothers and sisters. Together we will spread God's message across our town and further.