Monday musings: Handmade soap and good, clean fun

 

Princess Ledges Natural Area

We’ve had amazing weather in Ohio this fall so when we get the chance, we are outside enjoying it. Last week, we found a “new to us park” near Brunswick called Princess Ledges Nature Preserve. It’s a small park but it’s packed with character. The beautiful rock ledges were worth the trip!

Handmade soap

There are so many creative soap makers that inspire us. Check out some of our favorite finds on Pinterest! (Are we pinning buddies there? We should be.)

  • DNA helix swirl – Part of the fun of making soap is figuring out what the top of the bar will look like. This DNA helix soap from Jelena at Soap Techniques is beautiful! It almost looks like a Monet painting.
  • Mexican lace – Clara of Auntie Clara’s is a master at making elegant soap with unique tops like this amazing Mexican lace soap.
  • Stack of soap – I love the subtly different textures in this stack of soap from Tiggy of Future Primitive Soap Company. (I have a weakness for stacks of soap.)

Good, clean fun

If you’re not following us on Facebook, here’s some of the fun you missed:

  • How to avoid the 3 p.m. slump – Does your work productivity come to a screeching halt around 3 p.m.? Try some of these tips to get back on track.
  • New music from Missy – I don’t normally dance but Missy Elliott’s music always gets me moving. (In the privacy of my own home. Alone. With no one watching. Ever.)
  • Pecan Pie – Want.

Previous musings from Emmet Street you might have missed

The holidays will be here before you know it. Are you ready for all the gift giving? No? Don’t fret, we’ve got some easy ideas for gift baskets that will satisfy even the most fussy person on your list.

Want to pamper the host or hostess of your next holiday party? We show you how to create an amazing spa day basket for them. After all that cooking, they’ll appreciate it!

Treat the tea lover in your life to a basket filled with their favorite tea, a cute mug and aromatic bath tea.

Need a gift for your child’s teacher? Give them the gift of health. We show you how with our teachers gift basket idea.

Last minute Christmas shopping? We can help.

Still looking for the perfect gift? We can help.Still looking for the perfect gift for a teacher, tea lover or spa aficionado? Maybe you just need a few little things to fill the stockings you’ll hang by the chimney with care?

It’s not too late for Emmet Street Creations to help you out! As long as you order by December 19, you will be sure to have the perfect handcrafted gift for someone special.

We have some new seasonal offerings that will conjure up happy holiday memories with just one sniff: Cranberry Fig and Peppermint! Clever Christine has been busy experimenting in her soap laboratory adding chocolate scented Cocoa Butter soap and sweet and spicy Chipotle Caramel soap to our handcrafted soap lineup.

Whatever you choose, you can be sure it will smell (and look) great. Since our soaps are loaded with all-natural moisturizers such as olive, rice bran, coconut and avocado oils, you can be assured the recipient of your gift will have their skin feeling great, too.

You can’t go wrong with any of the scents we offer in our Etsy store; just ask our customers! But, if you’re not sure what to pick… we take Etsy gift cards, too!

Know someone who loves giving handcrafted gifts? Why not let them know we can help them with their last-minute shopping needs? It’s easy! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Christine’s big (soap) adventure: Episode 1

Editor’s note: To celebrate Emmet Street Creations’ first anniversary, we’re reposting the series Christine wrote detailing her journey to bring Emmet Street Creations to life. Enjoy!

A few years ago, if you told me I would be starting up a soap making business, I would have laughed at you.

It all started with a Christmastime lunch date with three of my girlfriends. I knew this was a perfect time to give them a token of my affection—something I don’t do often enough. But I had no idea what type of gift to give them, and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend.

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of making gifts by hand, so I started to poke around the internet for ideas. That’s when I stumbled upon this article on craft maven Martha Stewart’s website about making glycerin—also referred to as melt and pour—soap.

One of my early melt and pour soap creations.One of my early melt and pour soap creations.

“Wow! How beautiful and easy,” I thought. So, I carted myself off to my local craft store and stocked up on melt and pour soap base, colorants, scents and molds. I congratulated myself on how much money I would save on my gift giving because I planned to make soap for everyone I knew.

My friends weren’t the only ones who got a gift that Christmas

During that time, some serious life stuff was happening.

I was dealing with the declining health of my mother and living in a constant loop of doctor’s appointments and errand running. I was in a state of constant worry over every detail of her life: Is she living in the best place? Is she eating enough? Are these medications right for her? Am I doing enough for her? Is she in pain or angry or scared or lonely? In addition to the mom worries, my significant other, Matt, was out of work. I was the only one bringing in a paycheck , so money was tight. Needless to say, when my thoughts weren’t on my mother, they were on Matt, money and bills.

But, one Saturday in December, I decided to spend the day focusing on nothing but turning those blocks of soap base into beautiful creations for my friends and family. It was a welcome distraction…