September 25, 2012

100% Cotton

Hand-Crocheted  Cotton Wash Cloths
I love wash cloths. From what I understand not everyone in America was raised using them in the tub! I have fond memories of being little and my parents gently bathing me with a soft wash cloth. We never had hand crocheted ones like this. They were made out of the same  materials as our towels. Probably a combination of natural and synthetic fibers. But nevertheless using one brings back memories of home.

Some may think that wash cloths are simply a luxury but they really are better than just rubbing a bar of soap on your body. They increase exfoliation and help remove dead skin cells. A wash cloth is especially useful in getting sand off your skin when returning home from the beach!

I very much enjoyed making these. They are made from a 100% cotton yarn. I use the same stitch pattern my grandmother taught me...adding even more nostalgia to these fiber gems. Use one and you will see...they are magnificent! They are also really great to use as basket fillers in a house warming gift basket. I sometimes wrap a bar of special, handmade soap in a wash cloth and tie a piece twine around the cloth and tie a bow to create a uniquely wrapped gift. These wash cloths also look really great folded in a basket and displayed in the bathroom. I keep a small, dark brown basket on a shelf near the shower so my hubby can grab a fresh wash cloth once he gets in the shower. Totally convenient and such a great addition of texture to my bathroom's decor.

Even orangutans like to use washcloths!  

Beauie, my studio cat, wanted to be included in the photos.....
After all, he does work VERY hard...


September 22, 2012

Soap Making!

Silky Lavender in the mold!

Pam's Soap Studio is doing so great! I've been experimenting with a variety of soap making oils, herbs, natural colorants and essential oils. Soap takes about 3-4 weeks to cure so my bars are not available in the Etsy shop yet, but they soon will be! The soap pictured above is my Silky Lavender bar. It is made with a combination of palm oil, canoal oil, coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin e, shea butter and tussah silk. I know, I know...not 100% vegan but the tussah silk came to the studio as a gift and I was assured it is cruelty free. It adds increased lather and a luxurious silky feeling to it.

For those who have not heard my story (and are interested) here is how I came about making my own soap:

My interest in natural skincare began with a general interest in natural living. I grew up in a very "make-it-from-scratch" type of family. Having a vegetable and herb garden when I settled into my own home was a natural addition. The gardens have not only inspired me to pay close attention to what I put in my body but also what I put on my body.  The skin is our largest organ and it our first defense against all elements such as microorganisms and pollutants. When I started looking at the ingredients list of my skincare products I was truly shocked. As I did more research I learned that not only were the ingredients used potentially harmful to my body the manner in which they were developed and tested were harmful to animals. I knew a change was needed.

I bought handmade soap from a couple local craft fairs and farmers markets and totally loved them. They were gentle on my skin and left my skin feeling clean and moisturized. My “make-it-from-scratch” genes kicked in. I HAD to learn how to make soap for myself! And so the research began. I learned more and more about aromatherapy and the healing benefits of natural oils, herbs, clays and spices. I am also a ceramic artist, so the process of creating soap molds and using a formula to create an end product were all very natural to me.  I wanted to share my creations with others and so I decided to open an Etsy shop.

Mint Soap, Curing
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