Monday, March 31, 2008

Last Post About Snow... Promise!

Just in case you thought I was complaining about a little snow.....

Ok, I know. I'm sorry. I'm done. Promise! Stay tuned. Tomorrow, I'm all about the bubble!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...Give Away!

One must embrace that which one can't control...right? We have snow today. As a way of thumbing my nose at it, I put together a cute Spring Pedi Kit with Twin Birch Tingle Foot Products.

Tingle is the name because of the cooling, soothing properties that these treats bring to the party! It's made up of 3 great products to get our peds back in the groove; Tingle Fabulous Foot Soak, and Tingle Fabulous Foot Scrub, Tingle Fabulous Foot Lotion! I also popped in the adorable Pedi Flip Flops, Foot Brush, and Toe Spacers for polishing up! I fell in love with the organza mesh bags, too.

Guess what? I think it would make a great One Bubble Give-Away! I'm sending it to one of you... to be announced on April 4th. Let's say "no!" to snow and "yes!" to flip flops and beautiful feet!

For those of you who can't wait, click here to check it out on Etsy! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Did I Mention the Chickens?

Here in Vermont, they call me a Flatlander, Citygirl, & a not-so-nice term for someone from Massachusetts. It's all tongue in cheek and I can take it. I'm glad to be from a cultured, well-heeled part of the world... I love Paul Revere, the Sox, the Pats & Faneuil Hall.

When Cora, our third baby, looked at me with beautiful mocha eyes and asked if we could take home some of the kindergarten chicks that hatched last year, I couldn't say no. That's too bad. I should have said no. Here's why:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Please Pass the Salt & Pepper

I made my required Love You Lavender CP the other day. It's nice and safe.. I swirled in some Lime because I was a little bored with it... can't help it. So then I started thinking about how much soapmaking is like my other passion- cooking.

Somehow I dreamed up Cucina Cubes. They are an extra hearty CP . In a feverish search for a savory FO, I happened upon a brand new bottle of Black Tea from Bramble Berry. It's a great fragrance. When I stirred it in, it disappeared behind the smell of the oils. I was bummed. Well, we all know that I'm a CP newbie, so this has probably happened to everyone else, but I was shocked to find that it's coming back as the soap cures! FUN!

Anyway, I dusted the cubes in sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. It might be a little funky, but I really like them. Can't wait to try them after a little garlic-chopping! It will be fun to see if they sell on Etsy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Fun

We are so lucky to enjoy a fabulous Easter tradition with family! Every year we trek down to the flatlands (that's what Vermonters call Massachusetts) and spend Easter Saturday with my brother and his wife and my sister, brother-in-law and our 3 nephews. Then we go to brunch in Boston at the Langham Hotel with Gerry's parents, siblings, spouses and all of the 10 cousins. It is a truly wonderful way to celebrate the rebirth of Spring, renewal of life and joy of family. By the way, not only is the company fabulous, but the food is spectacular!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Red Stripes!!!!!!!!

The boys tested for their Third Gup Red Stripe last night and passed! Now that they are Red Stripes, they are only 2 testings away from their Black Belts. This is where the hard work begins.
Not only is there the strenuous physical work, but also the discipline & humility needed to earn these last high ranks! Master Chase had the boys do 20 push-ups in front of the rest of the gym as soon as their new belts were tied! Time to get humble and work hard!! I am so proud of you guys!!!

Here's a link to the Blue Wave Tae Kwon Do Association. If you're in the Northeast, there's probably a gym near you!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby Bubbles Gift Set

And now a word from our sponsors~ :) Ok, not really, but I do want to show off the new Birch Baby Bubble Set. It came to be because I fell in love with these little retro suitcases. Aren't they darling? In a nutshell, the set includes Baby Wash, Shampoo, Shea Lotion & Massage Oil. All in our yummy Baby Dreams scent.

I don't know anyone who can't remember the smell of their baby's first shampoo. Baby Dreams is the perfect smell for a new little one. A little lavender & vanilla and maybe the nicest part of baby powder, but not in a BABY POWDER kind of way.

It also comes with the cutie slippers & pouf. My girls (7 & 5) are ALWAYS trying to make off with the slippers! I'm always telling them that they can't have the inventory!

I decided today that this little set would be the perfect gift for a big brother or sister to give to their new baby sib. Click here to read all about it on Etsy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lessons Learned

I LOVE the soaping community! It's full of kind, encouraging & interesting people! I enjoy chats on Pixielee's Soap Forum. I love reading comments here on this blog and also leaving comments for people on their blogs! I love the Etsy community and it's amazing craftiness. I was so flattered recently that Anne-Marie gave me a shout-out and a chance to share my technique for my SoapCakes. So many great things have come from my experimentation in the world of bubbles!

A couple of days ago, I was poking around Etsy and saw a product that was cute. It looked a lot like one of mine, which I thought was adorable! I clicked on it and was shocked to find the EXACT WORDS FROM MY DESCRIPTION staring back at me! I actually LOVE the fact that we all put our own personalities into similar products, so that's not my complaint. But to look at my own words on someone else's site was a bit of a bummer.

I found a great line on Indiepublic that they offer to crafters to use as a step toward protecting our hard work and creativity. (feel free to cut & paste :)! Thanks for Sion Lee of Indiepublic for sharing her expertise! Let me know what you guys think~!

All contributed content © {your name or company here}

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Loofah LifeSavers

Remember those rolls of LifeSavers that had all of the citrus flavors? My Nana used to share them with me when I was little, always with the words, "Don't choke!". As if...

I love making these Spa Bars. They are a quick project, and they are amazing in the shower and I'm always entranced by the colors... they make me think of LifeSavers. My next batch will be Pamplemousse Spa Bars because I am head over heels for that fragrance!

Spa Bars are starring in a Welcome Spring Special at my Etsy shop. They will be included in any order for only $1.00 extra. I know I have a Spring Fixation, but I can't help it! We still have 18" of snow! How many of you think I should move South! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rocking in the Randolph Dojang

One of the coolest things that we ever got talked into doing, is TaeKwonDo. A long time friend named Master Peter Chase "chased" us around for a long, long time telling us that we should have the boys participating as students. We finally joined them up about 18 months ago. Gerry decided to join with them. Cora started in September and I hope to join with Ella in about a year (when she's old enough.) Master Chase and his son, Master Tom Chase are amazing instructors full of great encouragement and constructive instruction. It's a fabulous workout, too! Can't wait to get myself in the dobak (uniform!) especially for the hips, etc!

I didn't know a thing about TKD before we joined and thought it was all about self defense and fighting. WRONG! Happily, it teaches lessons of patience, perseverance, self-confidence & good sportsmanship. Although the boys also enjoy team sports, this is a sport where you get out exactly what you put in. There are a number of great families in our dojang (gym) and I am so psyched that this is part of our lives.

Last week, Great Grandmaster Lee visited our dojang from South Korea. Yes, he came to tiny Randolph Vermont but he is also "touring" the region. There are many Blue Wave TKD dojangs in New England. The boys and Cora were so lucky to benefit from his instruction. It was great to watch the class!

Here's a group shot. Notice all of the black belts in the crew. Master Gordon White, pres of the Blue Wave Association, Mister Michael Wood and Mister Matt Wood all visited our dojang to work out with Great Grandmaster Lee. As you can see from the color of people's faces, it was a
serious work out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who Knew?

No, this isn't me. It's Ella Little-Miss-Five on a day when she wasn't ready to be awake. Tonight I know just how she feels....

So, I've been listing body products on Etsy for about six weeks. I sold a couple of things in the beginning and then had a dry spell. Thank goodness for the Blue Moon Boutique here in town and several friends who ordered potions for themselves or gift baskets for friends, etc. I haven't gone without some pending order since Christmas. (I am so thankful!) But, the etsy thing didn't seem to be on fire.

At some point yesterday that changed. Since yesterday morning, I have packaged and shipped
sixteen orders. (?!) I'm a little bit tuckered but very happy and totally hooked on the satisfaction of bundling up my wares and sending them hither and yon. Here is a peek at the big seller:

Cute, right? I got the duckies from WSP. I love them, but I had no idea that they would sell so well. It gives me a giggle. The duckies also give me a giggle. I guess it's good to have fun with it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Good Clean Fun with Melt and Pour

I've been enjoying my new adventures making Cold Process soap a ton. I know I've said before that it's like magic to me the way it all comes together. For that reason, it's also a little unnerving.
I mean, I'm a total novice so who knows what's going to happen?! I love it, though. The good, bad, and not-so-bubbly.

I fell in love with Melt & Pour (MP) soap making the moment I tried it. It's a great family craft, it
gives you (almost) immediate results and the possibilities are endless. Plus I found a great M&P base which has all natural ingredients and acts like a love while you work with it. It's from Bramble Berry and it's phenomenal. If you haven't tried it, you must.

So here's to the predictable and beautiful fun of melt & pour soap! Look for Starry Night Kaleidosoap on Etsy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Stormy Weather & Scrubby Love

Our never-ending snow storms have turned into pouring rain "events". I consider myself an upbeat girl, so I'll take the rain! At least we're a little closer to seeing some grass (we should have that breakthrough by the 2nd week of April.

Yesterday Peter had a few buds over to celebrate his birthday (which was Feb. 25th) We had decided to embrace our circumstances and have a Snow Bash party. It ended up as a Play-Football-in the Rain/Snow-and-get-soaked Party. You've got to love 10 year old boys. They were totally into it and declared it "AWESOME!", when the came back in. We could hear their winter clothes spinning in the dryer while we had pizza and cake.

We had a great date night last night. Dinner and a movie.. Definitely/Maybe. It was cute. The wind was HOWLING all night and I was worried about the Twin Birches. Happily, they are still standing!

I hear a lot about the dry heat of the Southwest. I'd like to share that there is some serious DRY COLD up here in Vermont. I've always been a scrub junkie and I've been making it by the truckload for myself and some of the girlfriends who share the addiction. I make two: Silky Sugar & Shea and Silky Salt & Shea. So far I've made them in Champagne Chic, Starry Night,
Amy's Alchemy (Amy is one of the Girls... she came up with a Patchouli/Lavender blend... it's nice). I have girls asking for it in Energy, Grapefruit Lily & Marmalade Sky. For fun it has Shimmer Dust in it. It's a great way for us to show of our Inner Sparkle! Of course, it's on Etsy !:)Yay for soft skin!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Pamplemousse is my favorite French word. I've always thought that it is the cutest word... it's fun to say and fun to imagine what it could possibly mean. Since I was such a great French student for six years :) I know that Pamplemousse is French for GRAPEFRUIT! Isn't that just perfect?

In keeping with my Cold Process Addiction and to celebrate the return of my bubble groove, I am naming my latest batch Pamplemousse. I love it and I know you will, too! I have been sniffing a bottle of Juicy Grapefruit fo for awhile now. It's tart, mouth-watering, fresh, vibrant... I really like it. In a moment of "where did that come from?" I decided to blend it with a rose fo that I don't really like but that some of my customers adore. I did it 4:1 grapefruit:rose. I love what happened when they married! It mellows the grapefruit just enough to round out the scent. Yay!

To keep it fun I added some Pink Himalayan Sea Salts on top and I threw in some rose petal for visual interest and for exfoliation... I'm not sure about the petals. I also added gobs of shea butter. Soft skin here I come!

I can't wait to put it on Etsy! Only 3 weeks and 6 days to go....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Made by Kids for Kids!

Do they say that the bubble doesn't fall far from the ... ? Maybe not. I love the enthusiasm that my kids have for creating soap, working with me and making Twin Birch a family affair! Yesterday the boys were poking around looking for something to do, when they spotted these little Ninjas that I picked up from Oriental Trading. "Mom, can we go make some soap?!" Off they went down the stairs to the Bubble Lab to start creating. Like me, they have their favorite fragrances. Peter loves Cucumber Melon and Austen loves Energy. (Yup, they are from Bramble Berry! :) )

They did a great job, don't you think? I thought they were so great, that I listed them on Etsy. They are called "No More Dirt! Ninja Soap." This is the first listing that I didn't personally make, but the pictures were perfect to post on there. If all goes well, I'll get to make, and ship, a ton of them! We are going to use these as party favors at Peter's birthday party this weekend! Fun!

Based on yesterday's post, I'm hoping that this is a sign that my Bubble Mojo is coming back to me!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Not So Great

It was bound to happen. I've been in the bubble groove for the past week. Everything has been turning out the way I've expected with the exception of some ash on my last CP batch. (It's still
quite lovely and smells yummy!) Today I hit the bubble skids.

I recently found some really cute individual bundt molds made out of silicone. I knew I wanted to use them for soap as soon as I laid eyes on them. I was so excited when they arrived, I ran downstairs to create.

My need for warm weather has been influencing every fragrance choice I've made for the past 3 weeks! Today it was all about that yummy Island Coconut FO that I've had on my shelf forever.
I was thinking about some kind of Coco-Mocha blend and I wanted to do a dark chocolate drizzle on top using Chocolate Espresso from Bramble Berry.

I was totally grooving until I tried to get the right chocolate color for the glaze on top. I spotted some brown oxide pigment and grabbed the glycerin to mix in to my batch of super smelling mocha glaze. It didn't drizzle exactly as I'd hoped, but it was going in the right direction until I did the Try It Test. (Yep, I try EVERYTHING I make... usually that's not a bad thing at all!)

As you can see in the pix, I made a boo boo. Upon washing my hands with the least pretty mini bundt, my skin and sink turned very brown. Not what I was hoping for. I know this can turn out the way I want it to, but for today I'm going to put it on the shelf and clean my sink!
It will be awhile before they show up on the Twin Birch Etsy site!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Murder and Mayhem

One of the coolest things about living here (besides the cool/cold snow!) is that we have some really kick a#$ friends! The past few weekends have been filled with great get togethers with various families. These nights are always filled with great food & drink and tons of fun!

It could be that the Pelletiers threw the party of the Century last weekend. I know it was that good because we are all still talking about it and LAUGHING ourselves silly. They had the great idea of throwing a Las Vegas Murder Mystery Party. It involved about 12 couples and no kids *gasp!* We were all assigned characters ahead of time and went in costume. There was a loose "script" to follow and at the end of the night we all found out that Mardee (Hailey Highroller) had murdered Peter (Ace High). Some of the most distinguished people I know were at the party and I will tell you that I have never laugh/cried so much in my life. I'll share only a few pictures. Some of them belong in the vault until we've all departed!

I'll admit that Gerry and I did a shot of courage in the Pelletiers driveway... what? that's wrong?
I have never had so much fun or been so thankful for all of the crazy, hysterical, kind & ridiculous people that I count as dear friends!