Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring in Minnesota

The winter will pass, and surely Spring WILL come to central Minnesota.

There is some melting happening in the garden already.

And, the swans are back and enjoying some open water.

As this winter slowly leaves us, I eagerly wait for the arrival of Spring.  A few nights ago I fell asleep to the sound of thunder, but awoke to four new inches of snowfall.  I don't recall a winter that has tried our patience more.  So many days in a row of frigid temperatures with lots of snow & ice that created treacherous driving conditions has all made for a very l-o-n-g winter. I'm looking forward to Spring and working with fresh herbal scents helps to bring it all that much closer. 

Just cut bars of Lilac Explosion Soaps, they will need to cure and wait for Spring too.
If you visited on this soapmaking day, you might think that I had carried armfulls of lilac branches into our home. This specialty bar, Lilac Explosion is a limited edition and offered just in the spring and early summer until it's sold out.

Here I'm holding a log of our Irish Heather Herbal Soap.  I'm cutting the newly made soap into logs and then into bars.  Irish Heather is one of my all-time favorites and we offer this soap year round.  The scent is such a beautiful fresh green and reminds me of what walking into a florist shop smells like.

"The slow dark months crept onward
Upon their icy way,
'Till April broke in showers
And Spring smiled forth in May."

I have always loved the saying "April showers bring May flowers", perhaps because April is my birth month.  But also because the natural cycle of renewal in nature is a sweet reminder that even unpleasant things, like heavy snow and April rain, all help bring about very beautiful things - an abundance of fragrant flowers in May.

May's birth flower is the Lily of the Valley which means, in the language of flowers, humility, sweetness and hope.  .


"April showers bring May flowers" is also a lesson in patience.  Many of life's greatest things come to those who wait, and by patiently and happily enduring the snow and clouds of April we can more richly enjoy the sights and smells of May.  After this past winter, I am eager to embrace the thunderstorms of April, and patiently await the unfolding blooms of May!

Happy Spring!
Christine Kennedy

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Soapy Holidays and a Soapy Deal!

Holiday Shopping with All Things Herbal


Through Monday Only:  
Get FREE SHIPPING with every order of $30 or more!

It's the time of year for All Things Herbal's annual Cyber Monday Sale.  This year we are offering Free Shipping on orders of $30 or more when you enter a secret code at checkout.  Also, receive a bonus gift when you include a special phrase in the comments section.  These rare codes begin NOW and are good through Cyber Monday, December 2, at midnight.  To be sent the email, including the code and special phrase,
sign up for our newletter at this link:
http://allthingsherbal.com/index.cfm/e-mail-list-sign-up


Check out our ribbon wrapped soaps HERE, dressed up in a variety of ribbons, perfect for holiday gifting or as a treat for yourself! 

Everyone loves to open a present.  And, when I uncover my soap molds and cut the batch into bars, just seeing that sea of wavy soap tops is for me like opening a present!


A holiday classic - a Cinnamon Oatmeal bar.  Swirls of cinnamon and oatmeal with our blend of cinnamon, apples, and berries...makes this soap almost good enough to eat. 



The perfect little gift of cheer.  Mint-a-sota, layers of green & white with a generous sprinkling of peppermint leaves and scented with our minty blend of spearmint and peppermint.


And,we can't forget Cherry Almond Oatmeal, a holiday blend of black cherries and toasted almonds.

Enjoy this beautiful season.  Merry Christmas!
Christine Kennedy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Soaps for October


Now that we are smack dab in the middle of Fall, it's about time I shared some pictures of soaps & scents appropriate for the season.  Autumn Splash is a new soap this year in deep orange with dark vanilla chunks.

A fall assortment of herbal soaps.
This one is a cutom order in a variety of our bars - cut in half & labeled for Autumn.

So there you have it!  Some great colors and scents for Fall.

Christine Kennedy
www.AllThingsHerbal.com

Friday, September 27, 2013

African Hope Soap

It's always fun to share a passion with your family!  My youngest daughter, Colleen, has always enjoyed helping me with our family business, whether that's wrapping soap, making labels, bouncing ideas off of each other or helping out at craft shows.  She's also notorious for taking many, perhaps too many pictures with her camera. Just for this post I had almost a hundred pictures to choose from!

In December, Colleen will be graduating from college.  Even more exciting, for her, she will also be leaving for a 3 week trip with six students from SquareOne to Kenya and Uganda.  SquareOne is a student run nonprofit group seeking to empower local economic development by creating lasting business ventures in rural communities in the developing world.  As a fundraising adventure, Colleen and I created a soap specifically for raising funds to help the communities in Kenya and Uganda. 

Colleen in our soap workshop holding a few logs of our African Hope Soap.


Here are a few of the soaps, just cut into bars.  Dubbed "African Hope Soap", the square bars feature a very warm fragrance that we created and blended together. It's a spicy-sweet, musky blend with hints of deep sandalwood, cinnamon and orange and soft notes of vanilla, patchouli and lemongrass.

When we were talking about colors for this new soap, we decided to add in some chunks of vanilla bars that I had made earlier.  We love the deep brown colors.
The vanilla in the soap turns darker brown the more it is exposed to air.

This is a shot of the soap still in the mold.  You can see the brown and orange chunks peeking out from the soft, pale green soap.  A few swirls with our spatula and we left the soap to rest overnight.


Colleen, cutting the soap into logs.

Eight logs ready to cut into bars!


Designing the labels, printing and cutting them out with a paper cutter.

Colleen and her group will be selling these soaps this weekend at the Saint John's and Saint Ben's Homecoming Football Game in Collegeville, Minnesota.  Stop by and see the SquareOne booth if you are in the area.

  The finished soaps!
You may also support their trip by purchasing a bar from our site: http://AllThingsHerbal.com/index.cfm/African-Hope-Soap-Square-One-CSB-SJU.  We've donated all the bars of soap to SquareOne, so 100% of the proceeds goes directly to support their trip.  To learn more about Square One, follow them and cheer them on at: https://www.facebook.com/csbsjuSquareOne. Thanks for your support!


Christine Kennedy

Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Art Crawl

I’m in awe of the date on the calendar.  It's the very end of August and that means, ready or not, summer is coming to a close.  We've enjoyed being a part of many great art shows this summer and we are ending the season with something special, something we haven't participated in before - an Art Crawl.

 

Here's one of the signs along the way to our location, site #4. 
Arts off 84 has eight different sites, each filled with artists, that you can visit.  For more information about the vendors at each location and a map, check out their website: www.artsoff84.com  

Along your drive, you'll pass pastoral scenes like this.  I took this picture along highway 84, just a few miles before our site.

This was us on Friday afternoon, setting up our tent together.

I have a few of the side pieces together.

Tables next!

Early Saturday morning and everyone is ready to go.

Today was a perfect day for an art crawl!  Do you have plans for the long weekend?  Have you been to an art crawl?  There is still time to catch this one.  We'll be there tomorow too, from 9 am- 5 pm, Sunday, September 1st.

Whatever your plans, have a great Labor Day weekend!
Christine

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Midsummer Faire & Celtic Celebration

Summer is the time of year that we travel to outdoor festivals and exhibit our herbal soaps.  Last Saturday we went to the Midsummer Faire & Celtic Celebration at The Farm on St Mathias in Brainerd, Minnesota.  The weather was a bit challenging, with more like fall temps than July ones and some strong wind gusts all day.  I almost lost the tent a few times to the wind...but no pain no gain.
 
 
I love all things Irish and this is a fun show with lots going on and wonderful customers. The folks who put this show on are very helpful and the setting on the farm couldn't be more beautiful.
 
 
 
Here's a peek at all the happenings.
 
What's a Celtic Festival without sheep shearing?
 
 
Live Irish Music
 
 
Spinners
 
Face Painting for the kids
 
Our Irish Soaps
 
A Blacksmith Demonstration
 
Hens to watch
and eggs to discover!
 
Horses
 
and stacks upon stacks of hay.
 
 
Till next year~ Féach leat níos déanaí!
 
Christine Kennedy