We're beginning to run in high gear. Generally our busy time begins right after Halloween but it's starting early this season. I believe most folks are watching what they spend and maybe spreading their shopping out over an extended time.
Home life has taken on a faster pace too.
Roofers coming today to put on a NEW ROOF and guttering. NEW PUPPY is adjusting to her new family. End of the month tax time once again! Pondering some more home repairs. Patrick getting ready to move into his new apartment! The death of a friend last night. Driver license due. LIFE!
It seems to hit you all at once some time doesn't it?
Having said ALL THAT...
Getting your holiday orders packed and ready to take to the P.O.
Thank you for ordering early to avoid the mad RUSH. I'm also happy you're getting what was on your list. Before too long some of the soaps will dissapear! Comforting to know they will be sitting in your homes awaiting that special day, (warm fuzzy, smiling.)
I'm making every attempt to get things listed on the web site and keeping up with supply and demand. Having said that I also know there will come a time soon, you know.
Popular so far...
Muslin Soap Sacs
Myrrh & Frankincense Savon
Essential Oil Laundry Powders
Thanks to all that have ordered. I truly appreciate your patronage, truly.
Ugh... Roofers just called and postponed new roof today, high wind. Considering the pitch of our roof I think that's a good idea.
Are you familiar with the urban dictionary? You may want to familiarize yourself with a few of its slang's and meanings. For instance when I say we've been porchin' it, well take a lookie and see for yourself if you don't already know what that translates to in urban-ville.
We've been enjoying the new tree house porch during the recent Indian Summer days.
Every year for the holidays I can jars of cranberry chutney. If you're not familiar with what chutney is then please allow me to tell you. Better yet, Wi ki does such a fantastic job explaining.
I usually can six - 8 ounce jars but this year I'm going to use smaller 4 ounce quilted jars. Chutney is kind of like Jam, a little goes a long way.
Cranberry Chutney is a wonderful condiment with turkey or chicken for dipping and if you're hosting a holiday dinner party spread a brick of cream cheese and then pour the chutney on top for an almost instant tasty appetizer.
If you're new to canning making chutney is a great introduction to the vintage home keeping task.
I don't really like using the word task when describing the process because it really is fun to can. Not to mention the aroma of orange and cloves fill your kitchen.
I don't puchase special tools or equipment when I can other than new jars and lids. I simply use a stainless steel pot and wooden spoons. I am however considering purchasing a jar lifter rather than using the handle of a wooden spoon, sometimes tricky to do.
Afer your jars are filled and have cooled for 24 hours you can dress them up with pretty shrugs and ribbons and labels if you wish.
My gift baskets this holiday will be filled with cranberry chutney, Scottish shortbread, cloth napkins, cocoa, homemade marshmallows and herbal vinegars.
Lavender is considered a valuable staple at Bittersweet. We use the treasured herb to flavor more than several of our products. The seeds or flower buds are used to make sachets and wreaths and the essential oil scents our soaps and home keeping essentials.
I have experimented growing several varieties and have had success with a couple of them. Most lavenders cannot endure the harsh midwest winters to return to spring so the season is short. Therefore I appreciate and treasure the precious stems that I'm able to harvest.
On Saturday during the open house a long time friend, customer stopped by. She loved the new travel size lavender laundry powders and asked if I could furnish her with some for an upcoming party she was having.
I wrapped the small home keeping soaps in pretty tissue, doilies, lavender ribbon and tucked in a sprig of lavender from my garden. She hasn't seen them and I hope she likes the packaging.
The outside packaging offers subtle hints of what's inside but the recipient won't know that until she opens the package!
I've began working on handmade Christmas gifts. Time runs so quickly! It amazes me how fast the holidays arrive!
I thought of another great handmade gift to give and I'll be sharing the idee on my other blog, Calico Petals.
My handmade holiday list so far...
Handmade cloth napkins
Plump homemade marshmallows (sharing recipe soon) I've shared a pdf hot cocoa label before. If you put hot cocoa in the search box it should come up. Print on full sheet labels.
Cranberry chutney (a tradition of gift giving)
Scottish short bread dipped in chocolate
Aromatic soaps (kind of a no brain-er) New idee (see Calico Petals blog) coming soon.
Some of you may already know that I'm not a fan of Halloween. So funny, when I was a kid I loved it and couldn't wait to walk through the small town neighborhood I grew up in and collect a loot of candy!
Quite possibly my wavering un-fondness for Halloween is because I LOVE Christmas.
Not to mention I've been in retail for over 14 years.It seems such a waste of time to fuss with goblins and ghosts while pondering exciting thoughts of aromatic holiday soaps,twinkly lights and home baked treats.
This holiday season I went light on the holiday decor in the studio.
A few frosty trees like the one above, crab-apple branches from our tree in the back yard and fallen pine cones plucked up from the white pines next to our road.
While out and about a few weeks ago I saw these in one of the home goods stores.
I call them light blossoms! They come in a bunch along with a battery compartment that you can easily turn off. They were just the right twinkle needed in this little corner of the studio.
I know most of you have distant thoughts of Christmas.
Not me, I'm pondering handmade gifts, packing holiday orders, and searching for the perfect tree topper!
Thank you to everyone that attended Saturdays open house and another huge appreciative TY to those of you that ordered holiday soaps yesterday. I am sincerely grateful for your patronage over the years. We still have some left! Cranberry Spice seems to be the hot pick out of the three special soaps.
The open house was a delight as usual. The sunny mild autumn day led way for visitors from afar. It was nice to see and visit with each of you. My customers are the best! I mean that!
I'm fortunate in having the opportunity to serve and offer my products to you for over fourteen years. I feel very blessed to continue to do so.
By the way, that's Elle our newest family member. Isn't she the cutest cairn terrier you've ever seen? She was wore out at the end of the day on Saturday. I believe everyone that came to the open house had the chance to meet Elle.
My friend Debbie came to puppy sit during the open house. Mid day I walked out on the tree house porch and she was rocking Elle to sleep. Thank you Debbie for caring and sharing on Saturday. I don't know what I would have done without your help. The only picture of the day, by the way. Elle waking up from her nap in Debbie's arms.
Sweet Leah helped on Saturday too. Leah is a whiz on the cash register! Leah, you'll never know how much I appreciate you.
Busy week packing holiday orders so I better get going.