Monday, July 25, 2011

Exciting Partnership with Fiesta Yarns

Jeannie Duncan, owner of Fiesta Yarns, with Amy Olson, VP of Marketing

I am thrilled to announce that Milk and Honey has partnered with Fiesta Yarns, to distribute our Honeybee Lotion bar to the knitting world. Fiesta yarns is an Albuquerque-based international yarn company that specializes in luscious hand dyed yarn beloved by knitters far and wide. As you may know, I am a knitter myself, and I have had fiber artists of all kinds tell me how perfect my Honeybee Lotion Bar is for their hands. Handling fiber can draw moisture out of your skin, leaving it dry and vulnerable to cracks. Of course our Lotion Bar not only soothes and softens that dry skin, but the oils absorb so quickly, that you can go right back to your fiber work without getting lotion or oil on your project. Our lotion is also non-reactive with dyes--something Fiesta Yarn lovers particularly appreciate, as they are working with their lushly-colored, hand-dyed yarns.

Our Honeybee Lotion Bars will be available to knitting stores and catalogs through Fiesta Yarns, as well as traveling with Fiesta to such exciting knitting events as Stitches Midwest next month.

Knitting and Honeybee Lotion Bars go together like sheep and yarn!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Goats' New Home, Part 1

In early August, my goats will be moving to a new home in Agua Fria Village, about four miles down the road from where I live. I am thrilled to be part of a working horse farm, where folks come to do therapeutic work with the animals. Beekeeping friend/supplier Steve Wall keeps some hives there too.

I am in the process of converting a chicken coop into a Goat Dream Palace. This will be the third--no the fourth goat barn I have built or retrofitted, and I realize I now have a pretty good system. I will be posting more pics as we progress, but for today, I received a load of 30 straw bales for insulating the barn (also makes it so pretty and peaceful inside! And is yummy, I think, for the goats to snuggle up against in the winter) and 12 bales of protein-rich alfalfa. The pic here shows the first laying out of the bales inside. I'll snap another pic of the completed interior. Turns out I'll need about 15 more bales to really line the walls to the roofline. There is a sweet little window one wall complete with a shutter that opens or latches shut. I plan to install a feeder within the window, so I can just put flakes of hay right in from the outside. Cute!

I've taken this move as an opportunity to purchase some new tools, like my wheelbarrow pictured here, a rake and a shovel, parts for my drill, a new tarp, etc. I guess these things are hardly worth mentioning really, but they are the tools of the farm, the brass tacks.

Tomorrow friends Janeen (who milks once a week for me) and Claude will help out for a couple of hours. We'll expand the size of the yard a bit, continue cleaning/mucking from the former chickens, and secure the strawbales with fencing.

Look for tomorrow's progress report!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Smelling Like a Rose

I am smelling like a rose . . . and sandlewood, and local pinon and tulsi and redwoods . . .

I have just returned from a visit with Christa Obuchowski, our local, world-reknowned aromatherapist, herbalist, perfumist and font of knowledge of exotic plants, scents, cosmetics, etc. etc. etc. Do I sound a little wowed? Yes I am.

Christa, who collaborates with Ashana at Agua de Flora Botanicals to create scent blends, botanical perfumes, and the essential oil blends for the custom soaps I make for them, is working with me to develop my first custom essential oil blend for my Honeybee Lotion Bars. We are looking for something with the feel of vanilla--itself a very expensive, rare essential oil. When you use something vanilla scented, it is most likely a synthetic fragrance oil. However, vanillin exists in many other plants and can be extracted and isolated. People love the scent of vanilla, Christa explained to me, because it reminds one of "mother's milk"--comforting, sweet, safe. How perfect is that?

Leaving her studio--which was like a mysterious palace filled with the scents of exotic places from India to Germany, as well as our own native New Mexico, my head started to spin with ideas for Milk and Honey. A high-end line of lotion bars, packaged in stunning, custom tins, scented with unique organic oil blends . . . transitioning to all organic essential oils for all my products . . . collaborating with Christa to create special soaps scented with local pinon--which is healing for the skin . . .

More to come--stay tuned!