Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Holidays Have Been Extended!

I was having a kind of "eh" day yesterday.  I wasn't feeling well and didn't get anything done that I intended while Eric was out all day.  So when the doorbell rang, I was not really keen on seeing who it was, but if I don't check, Meg (aka our "doorbell") doesn't stop barking.  If you have a dog, you know how that goes.

So I trudged to the front door, braced myself for the impending chill, and looked out.  The postman was just leaving, and in my vestibule was a fat padded envelope.  From the United Kingdom!

Did I mention I'm also a face painter and henna artist?  I am.  In fact, if you're at all interested in body art (or if you've got kids and should be interested in face paint safety for them), check out my blog on that subject.  This is relevant here only because I'm a member of several body art online discussion groups.  On one of those, many of us all around the world have become very good friends.  So a few years ago, someone suggested that we have a secret Santa exchange.

This was my gift!  What a pick-me-up for an otherwise ick sort of day.  In addition to some face painting supplies which I can't get here in the U.S., at least not easily, a beautiful card, and some wonderful organic chocolate, my secret Santa, a lovely woman, sent me a soap making book!

It's from a London publisher, and we haven't seen it in any stores here.  And man, has it got some good ideas.  We'll be incorporating those in the coming weeks and months, and you reap the benefits when the new stuff hits the store!  Well... of course, we reap the benefits too, since we do use our own products and creations, but we share, so you do also!

My favorite part of the gift, though, were the four essential oils she sent!  Lavender is a staple, so I was happy to see that.  We've got tea tree oil on order, but the order has been delayed and we really wanted to work with it this weekend, so that's a great boon to us.  And then there are cajeput and geranium!  Cajeput is a really interesting scent, close to eucalyptus, but a little bit sweeter, and with a hint of a menthol tinge.  It's used a lot in mixing henna, and is said to have beneficial properties.  It's used in aromatherapy because it's invigorating, purifying, and a natural expectorant.  It's also used topically to relieve arthritis.  I can't wait to try it!  I spent much of the afternoon researching good recipes for it and other scents that work well with it, because we like to mix.

I must say, I'm most excited about the geranium.  I really wanted some floral scents other than lavender, and was actually thinking of purchasing a geranium essential oil to play with.  It smells wonderful and will be showing up in several of our products, you can be sure.  Geranium essential oil also has been said to have various benefits, including promoting healthy cell growth, reducing scars, speeding up the healing of wounds, and in the treatment of various skin diseases.  Plus, it's scent is used for it's deodorizing properties and is an uplifting cross between flowers and mint.  I bet you can't wait for us to begin using it either!

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