The Happy Hermit's Bath & Body Line

Friday, August 23, 2019
The Happy Hermit offers a lovely array of handmade cold process soaps, with most of my line being Vegan.  I do still make my original soap with lard because it's just flat luxurious, and I can't totally live without it.  BUT, I take extra special caution to make sure there is never any cross contamination in my vegan products.  No spoon that has ever even touched lard will touch my coconut oil, for example. 

While bar soap is a must-have standard, I also have a bit of an addiction to beautiful molds.  I've collected an assortment of mermaids and fairies and lots of seasonal items like pumpkins and even gingerbread houses.  Yes, you've heard right - I even have zombies and tombstones!  Once a month, I also make a Hermit's Treasure soap that has a hidden crystal inside, like these bayberry hearts.  Occasionally I take the time to hand paint my soaps.  It really makes the mermaids come alive!

Body butters were a natural addition to soap making.  My soaps are super moisturizing, and butters give that extra boost to your rough areas like feet.  I'm a barefoot girl, and I couldn't live without this!

For my husband's landscaper's hands, I made him a balm with meadowfoam oil and essential oils.  I know he loves it because he's religiously used it for a year now.  Definitely a keeper.  Yeah, him, too.

Being a soaper, I wash my hands a million times a day, so I also like to have a regular lotion on hand.  I use wonderful butters in these, with my favorite being mango butter, I think.  Lotions are also great because I can ship them any time of the year.  It has to be a cooler month to ship butters and balms from Tennessee, but the good thing is that a couple butters last you longer than a TN summer - at least this year.  Boy has this year flown by!

I also can't wait for cooler weather so I can make some more lotion bars.  Not only are these absolutely fabulous, but their packaging is much more eco friendly, and you can reuse the little tins they come in.  If you've never used a lotion bar before, you simply take them out of the tin and rub them on your skin - the heat from your skin warms up the wax and butters and applies it to your skin.  I feel that the beeswax leaves a protective layer on your skin, too.  I'm looking into a vegan friendly wax for these.

Salt and sugar scrubs are something I'd never tried before a customer requested some.  These are awesome, and I love to play with different oils and fragrances!  They're my favorite hand cleanser for summer gardening time and are crazy moisturizing.  I've also got a cuticle oil that changed my life this summer.  It was my first experience using carrot seed essential oil, and now I put that in lots of my items.  I even used that on little cuts and nicks and was super happy with the results!

Not to leave out our lips, I also make lip balms and sugar lip scrubs.  I also make my lip balms with different butters because some of my customers have allergies, and we want to have something for everyone.  The sugar scrubs are also easily customized - last year we tried coffee, cocoa, peppermint, and vanilla - all were delicious.

Lip balms are another thing I want to make vegan, and I'm thinking this year, we might try some tints!

Body sprays and perfumes are something that I just love to make.  My body spray is also conditioning (of course), and use it daily after the shower on my chest and shoulders.  I even use my spray on frizzy summer hair to tame it down after drying.  It has moisture locking ingredients, and I use a dry oil that doesn't leave a residue.

THIS week, after several requests, I ventured into rose water!  People are going to get sick of hearing me talk about how much I love this stuff.  I decided to start with a foaming facial wash.  This has a delightful fragrance of rose, and I used a rosewood essential oil that added an earthy essence to it - and of course both of these are wonderful for your skin. These can definitely be tailor made to your skin type.
And after you wash your face in luxury, you can mist it with this rose water and witch hazel toner, which can also be used to refresh any time of day.  It also has aloe vera gel.  It is SO refreshing!

Since I love a bath, I also tried to get in on the bath bomb craze.  Making these in Tennessee's humidity is lunacy, so I decided to stick to bath salts.  I'm going to give these another go this winter when I make my shower steamers.  It would be really nice to have some in our gift baskets.
Also, bath salts are a more versatile item - we can put anything we want in there and not have to worry about it sticking together.  I make an endless variety of salts with butters and milks and even magnesium to help my aching bones.  One of these days I'm going to try making us some bubble bath.  Sorry - I can't make the wine that we all need with these pampering baths.  You're on your own for that one.

Another of my latest items is hair conditioner!  I was truly tickled with how this came out.  After using it for two weeks, I swear I will never buy another store bought conditioner.  I made one for "normal" hair to try out first.  It was so light that I almost couldn't tell it was in my hair, and it rinsed SO clean and left no buildup on my hair.  Within three days, I could already see a noticeable difference.  This week, I made one for dry or color treated hair.  I expected it to be a little too much for my hair, but it was even fuller than with the first one and SO shiny!

And yes, I know - now we need a shampoo bar!  That is most definitely next on my list.  After all, we are now the ladies who have everything, aren't we?

Currently, I don't have a specific shop with everything I have made and in stock, but you can find that on our Facebook page or message me any time.  I'm always happy to make you a custom batch of whatever you like, and if you don't see it here, I'm willing to try it for you.

For Your Indoor Garden

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Spring has kept me busy working outdoors in the garden, but between watering and weeding, I found a couple of new projects to bring the garden in the house.  Unfortunately, I have killed every single plant I've ever tried to grow inside.  I actually stuck my dying pothos and Christmas cactus outside in hopes to save some of it - and they are now thriving.

But when I saw the idea for these fabric covered flower pots, I HAD, had, had to make them, and I just happened to have this cool wrought iron hanger that a friend had given me years ago - and of course, I couldn't get anything to grow in the pots.

There was definitely one thing here - and a LOT of that one thing - that I can not kill.  Crystals!  So I got to work on covering my little clay pots with fabric and filling them with mini crystal gardens.  I thought these were still missing the plants, but I also realized that these are not going to be waterproof.  Putting dirt in them and watering them was not going to work. 

Air plants!  That was the answer. These little guys just get misted 2-3 times a week, not enough to cause damage to the pots.   Isn't that little baby just adorable?!

And did you notice the butterfly?!?!  Those are made with 
two layers of complementary fabric and folded origami style.

I also added some of my favorite craft to these, kanzashi fabric flowers!  These truly add something extra special to the little pots, and the possibilities are endless.  My next goal is to fill one of the fabric pots with a whole bouquet of fabric flowers and butterflies.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a few of these adorable fabric hanging owls, so of course we had to have matching pots for those!  The owls are also meant for indoor hanging - it makes a beautiful sun catcher with the caged crystal moons and array of suspended seed bead "stars."
Each of these has its own unique personality and is custom made in your choice of fabrics.  I love who whimsical this little lady is.  Her "moon" is moss agate, and her limb is adorned with faden quartz, a fiery piece of citrine and beautiful sparkling blue celestite.  I loved her so much that she's hanging over my sink.

Here are some more of the cuties!

I've got all sorts of new things coming up!  I've made my first A-Door-Nament, and we added a couple of pockets inside to make it useful as well as pretty. I keep my hand pruners for the garden and the remote clicker for my fountain lights in there.  They're always handy as I'm headed out the door.  And I've made the cutest fabric bookmarks you've ever seen!  If I do say so myself. 

AND I have a new soap mold!  The first batch of 
massage bars sold out fast!  These are going to be a favorite. 

Now I'm off to the craft room to get started on a new bag idea, wash up all today's soap dishes, and get ready for another batch tomorrow.  Summer starts in only a week, but it's time to stock up for Autumn's craft fairs.  See you again soon!

The Zipper Queen

Monday, April 22, 2019
I've been sewing for 42 years, and zippers have always been one of my biggest fears.  I just said no to anything that had a zipper.  But Saturday, I walked up to my Hobby Lobby fabric cutting counter and was greeted by, "It's the Zipper Queen!"  Apparently what I've learned in my vast two months of zipper experience has earned me a title!

My first tries were simple 6x8 open pocket pouches with a bit of lace added.  This awesome alpaca print was a custom print and is also out of print - which is such a shame because we all just loved these little guys.

Of course the next step was to put a pocket or divider inside, so I downsized to a 5x7 and added a divider and two small pockets inside.  This ended up being the perfect size for a deck of Tarot cards and a couple nice sized crystals.

Once my niece saw that I was making zip pouches, she requested a keychain credit card pouch to carry her ID, and my aunt had to have one big enough to hold 30 cards... so I had to learn how to make an even smaller pouch that opened up on the side for easy access.  Gussets are tricky... but wow, doing a zipper around a curve!  I've gotten the hang of it, but it's still something I have to stop and take a deep breath before tackling.

Knowing how much my girls and I love our crystals, I took the credit card pouch idea, added a smidge to the size, lots of pockets, and a mitered bottom, and now we have a crystal carry pouch!  The next step was to go even smaller so we could carry just a few tumbles on our keychain.

By now, I feel like I can zipper-fy anything!  And being a Sagittarian on the Scorpio cusp with my moon in Taurus... I like beautiful things. :-)  So I took one of my favorite quilting methods and created a crazy quilt zip pouch.

Then we needed zippered pockets on the front!  And THEN the small keychain credit card pouches with the zipper on the front.

To finish off my purse accessories theme, I designed a soft padded eyeglass case.

And to make things even crazier, this week I made a zippered tablet cover with a Star fabric tarot card recreation on the front that has a wristlet strap.

And next?!  I get to play with some fabulous custom printed fabric and make a large zip pouch with a zipper pocket in the front and the back, divider and pockets inside, AND done in a mermaid and dragon scale theme. Oh yeah!  Stay tuned for pictures!  Signing off - The Zipper Queen.

Spring Time in Old Hickory

Sunday, April 14, 2019
In just a few weeks, my front yard will be in glorious bloom. Noooo, it doesn't look like this now.  This picture was from a couple years ago.  What it looks like now is a tremendous amount of work!

I spent all morning cleaning up some of the winter mess and am very grateful for a helpful hubby who pulled chickweed for me for a couple of hours.  There's no way my back is doing that this year...

And this realization has led me to the creation of a pot garden... I'm sorry, "container" garden.  I've got to focus on herbs this year for both cooking and for soap making.  Last year I did get some rosemary going but never got enough to make a batch of soap with.  I did make some really lovely mint basil soap with basil from my garden, but I'm definitely hoping for more out of my rosemary.

My perennial garden isn't letting me down this spring, though!  This honeysuckle has little buds all over it and should be in full color with a couple good, hot days.  My monkey grass and creeping Jenny are already showing off some bright greens.  
BUT, my azaleas!  These things look so dead every winter, and I'm sure they're just going to peter out and die on me... then BAM!  Little pink buds everywhere!  I've always had a hard time getting azaleas to last, but I think I finally got some planted in exactly the right amount of sun and shade.  Whatever the miracle is, I accept it.

It's just too bad you only get full bloom for a couple weeks.  I do have a "leather leaf" one that has a peppermint stripe blossom that I believe Dave said was an Endless Summer variety.  That one bloomed almost all summer and gave me a bonus late fall bloom!

This strawberries and cream grass is one I'm happy to see return.  I didn't know it was a perennial.  It did really great in the shade, too.  Granted, it didn't get the 4' x 4' it's supposed to get, but I'm happy for the trade out.
My hostas are also doing really well this spring.  I've had problems with snails eating them up fast every year, but these have been in the ground here for 3-4 years now and are doing the best they've done so far.  The one on the right there is a giant variety and seems very content in this full sun spot.

The daylilies came back with a 
vengeance.  I hope to get an amazing
 amount of flowers out of them this year.

 My yellow knockout rose is full of buds already.  Tennessee has a terrible problem with these bushes getting rosacea and dying out, but the yellow ones seem fairly immune so far.  I got this for petals to go on my soaps and quickly realized I need traditional roses for that.

I'm SUPER happy that my calendula patch is filling in so quickly!  I know I can easily buy calendula for my soap, but there's such sheer pleasure in using things that you grew yourself.  I'm also still hoping to get some acceptable loofah this year, but I still haven't decided where I'm going to plant that stuff.  It might be time to move to the country.

I was really tempted to move both my oak leaf hydrangea and hibiscus plants to a "better" location, but they are doing so well that I'm going to leave them alone.  I'll focus on collecting hibiscus seeds this year and get more started in other places.

These really start SO easy from seeds, so if you have a friend that has some hibiscus, make them share a couple seed pods with you!

And if they have sedum in their yard, now is the perfect time to split that up.  The tiniest little clump of this stuff will spread like crazy over the summer, and by next spring, you'll have enough of your own to share.  This one here is very common, and I've seen lots of house plant lovers growing them inside, especially in terrariums.

And yes, I think every single picture had helicopters (maple tree seeds) in them - that is my life from now until July, first trying to keep all of them blown out of my flower beds, then going around picking all the baby maple trees out of them.

It's totally worth it when the whole yard is enveloped in color and your neighbors can't walk by without stopping to compliment you.  That one lady is STILL trying to talk me out of my giant rocks.  Walk on lady, walk on!

Next time y'all see garden pictures, there will most definitely be flowers.  I hope you're enjoying your start to spring!!