Bogside Gallery in the Hydrostone Market (5527 Young Street) in Halifax, Nova Scotia’s North End is a treasure in itself. Built post-Halifax explosion, the Hydrostone Market has a uniquely European feeling and is a great neighbourhood for a leisurely stroll, a delicious coffee and croissant from nearby Julien’s European Bakery.
Barbara carefully curates the selection at Bogside Gallery and features Atlantic Canada’s artists and artisans. You’ll find a great selection of gifts and art for yourself and anyone you might be shopping for. Bogside stocks our wet shaving kits, a selection of soaps and baby care.
The Crofter in Sackville, NB – home of Anointment Natural Skin Care headquarters. Owned by Heather Patterson, The Crofter is a great little gift and toy shop located in the heart of downtown Sackville on Bridge Street. Snuggled away in a heritage building the hardwood floors creak as you walk in while Heather and Eva work incredibly hard to create beautifully merchandised displays to pique your interest. In business for over 40 years, The Crofter is definitely a landmark in downtown Sackville. It’s worth the drive!
In front of our house stand three majestic maple trees whose leaves turn brilliant red, yellow and orange each fall. Set against the bright blue sky on an incredibly mild fall day, I couldn’t help but lay down in the pile of fallen leaves with the kids enjoying the crunching sound under me, the smell of fallen leaves and the colours. A day of gratitude to remember in the cold of February.
:: Ate a left over bowl of chili cashew chicken noodles, a recipe by Donna Hay. Note that mine looks nothing like her photo. I also substituted pine nuts for cashews since that’s what was in my cupboard. Perused a back issue of Stitch Magazine to gather ideas for Christmas gifts I will have no time to complete but still like to think about.
:: I had prepared three more batches of Belly Butter for cooling before I went for lunch, so when I came back, I emulsified, whipped and jarred them all. I typically do three batches at a time and usually two sets of three to end with a decent amount of product. This is only a fraction of what I need to complete this week.
I’m still working on the Rose Toner and have 45 minutes left before my two older children arrive home from school. Their little brother will be along shortly, he spent the morning with my mom and providing the rain doesn’t pick up, she’ll walk him home in the stroller. I’d best get moving.
:: It’s a rainy grey day outside and the lighting is poor in the workshop today, sorry for the shadows and sharp contrasts! Filling Rose Toner bottles one at a time…
:: Had only just started filling the Rose Toner bottles when the butters for Belly Butter had cooled and were ready to go. There is a trick to cooling the butters, but I’m going to keep it my little secret…
:: Adding the lot number stickers to the jars in prep for bottling. The lot numbers correspond to the date the product was made NOT the expiry date (which is generally about 12 months from production).
:: The butters are combined with oils and emulsifiers and whipped at high speed until they reach an optimum thickness – it is REALLY tricky to do this, it is either too thin or it thickens too fast. Time, patience and lots of experience is the only way to get it right. Temperature also plays a HUGE factor. Too hot and it won’t solidify, too cool and it hardens too fast. I had lots of trouble in the heat of summer getting product to set properly.
:: The results of one batch of Belly Butter. Tiny, tiny batches!
:: It appears that I could use more sleep! Got my ‘soapmaking buff’ on – far cuter than a hairnet but makes me feel like a Russian Matroyshka doll. Pencil securely tucked behind ear. Here’s what I’m listening to while I work: 8 Tracks Mashups.
:: Stainless Steel bowls sterilized and ready for Belly Butter-making.
::Essentials: production notes binder, super-secret well-loved folder of recipes, black Sharpie, good pencil.
:: Melting the butters for Belly Butter, our most labour-intensive (pardon the pun) product!
:: Sterilizing and Disinfecting the Rose Toner bottles
:: Step 1 of Soothing Skin Ointment: the herbal infusion. Inspirational (and good reminder) plaque hanging behind the stove.
I often get asked by people new to round soap (and handmade soap) what kind of soap dish to use. The best answer is a draining soap dish that has slots to allow your soap to dry between uses. Natural soap contains a significant amount of glycerine which is produced in the super-interesting but complicated-from-a-chemistry-perspective saponification process. This glycerine makes your soap soft, silky and a treat for your skin. Our soap also contains 50% olive oil, which makes it soft and remarkably gentle. If the soap is allowed to sit in a puddle of water, you will eventually end up with ‘smoosh’ for lack of a better technical term. Drainage is key and with proper storage, your bar of Anointment soap should last for weeks – well beyond the commercial stuff!
This summer I went to check my mail box and found this lovely gift carefully wrapped and packaged from one of our longtime customers – you know you have a loyal following when your customers send you gifts in the mail, it was a treat that warmed my heart – and don’t worry, I sent a gift back as a thank you!
This soap dish fits all the requirements for a natural, round soap like Anointment‘s. It is crafted by Sarah Bonnyman, a potter in Tatamagouche, NS. The raised slots allow water to drain and the size is just perfect for our soaps. Having looked on her website, I don’t see said soap dish available, but if you happen to be in Tatamagouche, check out her shop, or give her a call, I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!
This topic has come up a few times now but this is the first true customer testimonial that has come in complete with photos! I have three kids, a dog, two cats and eight hens (not in the house – most of the time). I have a lot of messes – and when it comes to carpet and bedding, I certainly reach for a bar of soap and start scrubbing. I have noticed that it works really well to get tough stains (vomit, peanut butter on carpet and paint are three that come to mind recently) out.
Another friend and longtime Anointment customer sent me a quick note one day to tell me that when her usual stain remover didn’t work, scrubbing with a bar of Anointment soap DID!
And this recent email (and above photos) from my dear friend and long-time Anointment customer, Taryn (also a mom of three):
“[My daughter] got paint on her top at preschool. I wish I had more pics. I tried hair spray, rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover with a nail brush – nada! So I grabbed the bar of lavender and used it to wash away some of the above mentioned chemicals. Magically the stain looked lighter. More lavender and a little nail brush, gonzo!!!! This shirt was ruined. Not now!”
If you’ve got tough stains and a bar of Anointment soap (scent doesn’t matter), scrub away! An easy, effective and environmentally safe way to deal with stubborn messes around the house! Let me know how it works – leave your comments below!
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