Friday, August 12, 2016

Please welcome.....

Today at 5:42 pm I finally got out of it's mold a new soap.  It took literally ALL day.  I tried many, many things to get it to even budge a bit, but I can now say I'm a proud new parent to a brand new soap for Dusty Tree Soap.  I feel like I was in labor all day over this thing - I swear delivering my second child was easier!  Seriously!  I pushed him out in like 10 minutes.....this soap took forever!  

I've been meaning to make a shaving soap for ages and had a few requests in the past and always thought yeah, I'll get to that someday then I had a gentleman speak so kindly of my other soaps to me and asked a few times if I would ever consider making a shave soap.  I figured it was about time to get cracking on it.  I decided to use a new mold - a PVC pipe so the soap would be circular in shape instead of the regular rectangle shape.  I studied articles online and books about different oils and other ingredients I knew I wanted to incorporate.  I developed a perfect recipe and jumped right in to get started.  I was so excited to have a go at this new soap that I completely forgot to prep or line the PVC pipe with freezer paper so it could release.  I just poured it in - even trying to be so precise with swirls, put a lid on it and then it hit me - I forgot to prep the pipe!  I turned to google to see if others had any recommendations on what to do.  My husband told me to quickly scrape it out and slap it into a regular mold, but I didn't want to risk loosing my swirls or half of the soap being all gooey in the mold.  I'm happy to know I'm not the first person to do this either. I tried so many thing to get it to budge ....putting it in the freezer for a bit and then running it under really hot water for some condensation.  I used a mason jar lid and a wooden dowel to try and push it out.  I hit the end of it repeatedly on the driveway hoping it would budge.  I got so frustrated that I actually tossed it a few times on the ground to see if the shock would break the seal.  I can tell you that this sucker sure does went flying into my perennial garden bed.  I put it in our vice clamp and pounded it with a rubber mallet.  I was about to give up and didn't know what to do so I just put it back into the freezer and forgot about it for a few hours.  Once I took it out I threw it on our basement floor and pounded the end again - and it moved...slightly.  I was thrilled!  

I continued to push on the pipe to get it to move ever so slowly.  My hubby came down and saw what I was doing and with his manly upper body strength it finally came out.  I know I will never forget to line that mold again!  I'd cut the soap, but I have to wait until it thaws - it is frozen solid!

But here is it -   //  Dusty Tree's newest SHAVING SOAP /// 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Natural Dye - Marigolds

I absolutely adore Marigolds!  Lovely flowers that bloom all Summer long + they are excellent at natural dye.

I'm a knitter but not really a sock knitter - preferring other wearable accessories and sweater knitting over socks, but I've always wanted a pair.  I purchased this sock yarn way back in 2008 when I was pregnant with my first child with the hopes of it becoming socks, but never got around to it.  The poor skein has been shoved around in my yarn stash box for years now, since I'm not that impressed with the color it lay neglected.  It is way to blue and I've often wondered why I even bought it in the first place.  It is Lana Grossa Meilenweit - colorway 8007 (blue, tan with a bit of yellow - maybe some grey)


I found a bag of Marigolds taking up freezer space and decided to finally use them.  
Frozen since 2013! 

 over 12 oz of flowers for my 4 oz skein is a bit much 
so I raided my closet for something to add to the dye pot.  
I found a 100% cotton summer tank 
that is just a boring white.  
Tossed both in for an alum mordant

Here is the after yarn dyed with Marigolds and a quick half skein dunk in an Iron post mordant

I divided the skein into two equal mini skeins for easy sock knitting.  
Love the green, yellow earthy tones! 
 I cannot wait to cast on

I plan on knitting the Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson 
since the pattern is full of tips and tricks for the not so
sock knitter - kind of knitter, like myself!

Friday, April 8, 2016

So many new stuff & things.....

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Indie Knit & Spin - THIS SATURDAY!!

Dusty Tree Soap

What got you interested in your art of choice? 
I’m a ‘retired’ archaeologist who used to spend her days happily sitting in pits of dirt, squinting at tiny pieces of fragments in rather dirty hands all day. I used to get paid to play in the dirt – it was a dream job really, but if I think back it was also research. Research on how cleaning products would scrub away a days worth of digging while most also scrubbed away the natural oils in my skin. I used to have really sensitive hands, dry cracked knuckles and cuticles. Who knows what type of store bought products I was using and thought nothing of it. Fast forward years and I had kids, I knew right away I wanted to use pure natural soaps to cleanse their brand new skin. Nothing but the best for my babies. So I made my own soap, a rather utilitarian object, but I always experiment with different herbs & oils to create winning combinations.
Do you have a favorite item or colorway?
I have two – my Pumpkin Charcoal Soap that I use daily as a facial soap. It contains bamboo activated charcoal, tea tree essential oil and pumpkin puree. My other favorite is Shea + Clay. Which contains raw unrefined organic shea butter, Moroccan red clay and lavender essential oil – a winner for my dry skin.
What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
I strive to provide them with a better way to cleanse their skin. Dusty Tree Soap is vegan handcrafted soap made using edible vegetable oils, pure essential oils and nothing synthetic. I leave out palm and soy oils too. I made a pledge to myself that I would never put anything into my soaps that I didn’t feel good about.
What is your fiber arts superpower?
I don’t think I really have a superpower any different than most knitters other than after working in a yarn shop for a bit I have an unusually keen knack for fixing mistakes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wool Wash!

- Wool Wash -
coming to an 
Indie Knit & Spin
near you!

// Made with all natural ingredients + Lanolin //
(restores moisture & helps protect your woolies)

Progress shots:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

goings on.....

Indie Knit & Spin
February 6th
Wilkins School Community Center

- Spicy Clove -
handcrafted with:
Clove, Orange + Cedarwood Essential Oils
paprika for natural colorant

- Lavender Oatmeal -
Handcrafted with:
Lavender Essential + Colloidal Oatmeal
alkanet for natural colorant

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Rosemary Peppermint

tingly freshness
slight spark of earthy

Rosemary Peppermint

Handcrafted with 
edible vegetable oils
Rosemary + Peppermint Essential Oils + 
Rosemary powder for natural color

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

new sOaPs for 2016

I've been admiring some newer scents 
of Essential Oils and decided to give 
some a go.....

First up - Rose Geranium

handcrafted with Moroccan Red clay 
for a
 people + earth friendly 
natural colorant

simply divine!

Another new one -
Rosemary Peppermint

handcrafted with 
rosemary powder for a 
natural colorant
(photos coming soon!)

Not a new Essential Oil for 
Dusty Tree Soap
but oh so popular.... 

Drunken Hippie
made with
beer and Patchouli Essential Oil

- raw soap in the mold - 
will be cut tomorrow

Stay tuned for an even BIGGER reveal soon......
an ecommerce website - YES!  
Watch this space !