(lavender from my neighbors yard)
October is here bringing everything that comes with fall, pumpkin in everything, warm spices, falling leaves of every color size, and shape, cooler weather, knitted sweaters with matching socks, and fall soaps! Fall is my favorite time of the year, not just because my birthday is in October, but because it brings the harvest to an end and we all start together indoors to spend our time together, and the world seems to slow down and enjoy the bounties of the work we have done all year long. It is a time to enjoy family and friends, and start planning our next adventures, gardens, and how we will enjoy our days in the sun once again. Cooking stews and soups, making hot kettles of tea, baking treats, and bread, using dried herbs and spices from the garden, canning fruits and veggies to use later in the year, and spending time learning new skills, like scientific plant names, Greek and Latin roots, along with ways to use local plants are some of my favorite fall activities.
(Me in my witch hat waiting for the full moon)
Collecting items before or in some cases just after the first frost is an essential part of soap-making for me, for I use items from every season in my batters. Rosehips, herbs, tree sap, bark, and flowers on their last push before the snow are some of my favorite items to collect in fall. Using local items that are readily available to me helps me to create a one-of-a-kind item that represents myself as a Washingtonian. We may not have fancy citrus fruits, and tropical plants here, but we do have a beautiful selection of microclimates that are packed full of natural gems if you know where to look. Washington is blessed with deserts, rainforests, mountains, woods, ocean shores, bogs, rivers, streams, and much more. Fall is a beautiful time to start a reflection on the year and work on our goals and dreams for the new year to come. Taking notes in my garden book helps me to know what is to come with each month, and helps me prepare for next year’s gathering and harvesting.
(My late Grandma Flow at our wedding)
Many of us have not had the chance to see our family or loved ones all together for almost two years now, and I hope each and every one of us gets to be somewhere with loved ones this holiday season! Gathering indoors can cause a lot of concern this year, and masks and hand washing will be coming along with the new normal. Using high-quality soaps formulated for your skin can help lessen the agony and dread of handwashing that can lead to overdrying of our skin in addition to the dry cold winter air. Spending quality time with family learning how to make traditional recipes passed on from generation to generation, and doing the dishes by hand while talking over a glass of wine are some of the things in life that mean the world to us when we look back and remember special times with the ones we love. Creating new traditions and practicing the old, and as our families grow and marriages bring new traditions. Spend our time together learning how others celebrate their holidays and pay respects to our elders and those who are no longer with us. As the fire brings us closer together to listen to family stories and gossip about what is to come, I encourage you to sit with your elders, ask them questions, and listen to their stories of the past and present, for one day we just may get to be lucky enough to be the one who gets to pass on these beautiful stories and traditions. My Grandmothers and Grandfathers have taught me so much about life, and it has given me the beautiful ability to not just see someone for their AGE but for who they are, and I have been blessed with friends of my own my Grandmothers age and I am grateful for the beautiful friendships we have made. Listening to my elders has taught me so many useful home remedies and repurposing ideas that I use on a daily basis and gives me so much joy in sharing them with others. The life lessons that come with practicing the old ways of healing and preventing issues naturally is a powerful tool that I am proud to practice, and have had the privilege of sharing with others.
(The turkey my sister and I made 2020)
(More of our beautiful turkey)
Knowing that not everyone is blessed with a family who loves and cares for them is also important to remember during these times, and inviting others who may be less fortunate over to share in our bounties should be something we all strive to do. My grief-stricken heart goes out to each and every one of you who has ever lost a loved one, especially recently! Giving back to our community and those who have helped us grow along the way, practicing sharing, and giving compliments are skills that can take us further as individuals and as a human race. We often do not realize what we have until it is gone, just like the passing of the seasons and changing of the weather, while practicing just living in the moment can lend extra enrichment to our lives. Working with seasonal ingredients helps to remind me that change is ok and is a part of life and nothing should last forever and should be treasured while it is with us. We need the cold winters here in Washington to help keep the bugs at bay, keep water on our snowpacks for our summer springs that fill our lakes and rivers, and for our plants and animals to flourish naturally.
(Annatto seed Christal Clear Soaps)
Spending time growing as individuals is pertinent to becoming a strong community with strong individuals to help create a more understanding world, we do not have to all be the same to be an important member of society. Self-care should be something we all look forward to, without feeling bad or selfish about it. Taking care of ourselves is one of the most important things we can do for those we love, and putting ourselves first sometimes is something many of us struggle with. It is not selfish to include yourself when delegating your time. For me, the process of making soaps helps me to calm my mind and body and be in a creative state of mind and gives me a lot of personal joy, and when cutting and stamping my soaps the next day is one of the most exciting things I can do for myself. Sharing my items brings another layer of joy to my functional art, and helps me to get out of my own shell and work with those who are like-minded in my community. Fall can be a great time to work on honing your skills and dabbling into new and interesting hobbies.
(Curry powder Christal Clear Soaps)
As winter approaches and holidays get closer and closer, gifts are something that comes to mind. Finding special gifts can be a daunting task that not everyone enjoys. Hand-made soaps are a great gift for all ages and for all occasions of life. Custom soaps can make shopping for year-long gifts a joy knowing that everyone will be getting a quality self-care item that they are sure to love. Don't forget to think about yourself during this time of giving and include some time for some self-love. Look around this fall and you just may find some items that you would like to include in some custom soaps of your very own. Charcoal soaps are one of my favorite items to add to stockings as a functional lump of coal, you don't have to be on the naughty list to enjoy these beautiful bars. Soap is more the just a passion of mine, it is my way of expressing myself and it allows me to connect with nature, myself, and others and gives me something to share with you all. Being trusted with your skin is a privilege that I am proud to have, and thank every one of you for taking the time to learn more about me, and encourage me to grow as an artist and a person. Have a wonderful fall and holiday season!
(Activated Bamboo Charcoal Christal Clear Soaps)
Christal Clear Soaps Ingredients: Coconut oil, Olive oil, Palm oil, Water, Lye
All Natural * Fragrance-Free, Custom orders available
*Check out my soaps on social media and read my weekly blog for self-care tips and tricks.
*Leaving reviews and liking my posts and items helps to grow my business, gives more people the ability to see my products. Each like, share, and review is greatly appreciated!
Posting photos of your soaps and tagging them with my hashtags below is a great way to help any and all small businesses grow naturally.
*Thank you to every one of you for supporting me and my dreams of being an artisan soap crafter. Every order is important to me! I appreciate each and everyone who has bought my soaps along the way, either from Etsy, local art shows, local vendor malls, flower shops, and from me.
* All soaps are made by my own two hands, cut, stamped, cured, packaged with hand stamped logos by myself.
* Each and every bar is a unique piece of functional art and may look just a bit different than the pictured photos. My soaps are all formulated to be used and are not just for display. Colors are all-natural and some get darker or lighter over time. Stamp imprints may be deeper or shallower due to the hardness of each individual bar.
Here is a list of my completed blogs! Learn a bit about Cold Process Soap and Christal Clear Soaps, and how I got started making all-natural fragrance-free soap.
2) *True cold process soap https://christalsglass.wixsite.com/christalclearsoaps/post/what-is-true-cold-prcoess-soap
3) *10 random facts about me https://christalsglass.wixsite.com/christalclearsoaps/post/10randomfactsaboutmyself
4) Activated bamboo charcoal https://christalsglass.wixsite.com/christalclearsoaps/post/activated-bamboo-charcoal-christal-clear-soaps
7 Rose & wildflower
8) holiday gifts
9) In the garden
10) What’s in my bag
11) Fall is here
12) Essential oils
14) Favorite self-care tips
15) Spices are not just for cooking
16) What I am thankful for
17) New in the shop/stocking up with Christal Clear Soaps
18) An accomplishment I am proud of
20) Selfcare during the holidays