Category Archives: Artisan

Sweet Treats From The Backyard – Sweetness Sundays

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Colourful Carrot Mix Organic Seeds at Cubits on Etsy.

 The message is out there, but are we listening? When you hear the term “buy local” in reference to your food, how local are you thinking? Would you say local is your country? Maybe it is your state or province, or even your town. All better options than buying something shipped in from afar, something sprayed in wax, grown with preservatives, and hauled in from overseas or across borders.  In most places in the world, there are limited local options, but in others, where we have seasonal weather and a variety of soil conditions, we can think about growing much much closer to home. As in at home, as in “our own backyard” or a small planter on our balcony or patio.  Today’s sweet post is about the sweet treats and sweet pleasures of growing your own.

Organic Watermelon Radish Seeds at Cubits on Etsy.
Organic Easter Egg Blend Radishes Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.

I love vegetables, I always have, and if it was up to me, I would be happy to eat salads and baked squash and grilled zucchini and eggplant all day long. For various reasons, that is a dangerous proposition for me, but my love of vegetables, the fresher the better is a reality.  Where did it start? Well, I honestly think this one goes back to my childhood and a lovely cottage in Muskoka, Ontario. I was a very lucky kid to grow up with a place to go to every weekend and all summer long, there were very few rules, lots of things to do, and we had a huge property, even by today’s standards.

Organic Alibi Hybrid Pickling Cucumber 30 Seeds at Black Ridge Trading Post and Gardens on Etsy.
Radicchio Rouge De Verona Organic Seeds – Red Italian Chicory at Florentine Garden Seeds of Quality on Etsy.

While we spent winters buzzing about on our snowmobiles, building giant snow forts and sculptures, and ice skating on that frozen solid lake, summers were another story entirely.  Very early on, my parents squared off two very large garden plots, perhaps 12’x12′ each. Maybe larger, it is hard to remember. My mother planted and tended to cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, sugar snap peas, and other wonderful vegetables.  As kids, we would think we were very sneaky indeed, yanking small sweet carrots from the garden, running for the lake and washing them off, and eating them as we sat on the dock, dangling our feet in the water. If you have never had a carrot fresh from the garden, you are missing out on nature’s candy.

2011 Tomatoes – White Currant Seeds, Naturally Grown, Organic Seeds at Frog Pond Gardens Organic Seeds on Etsy.
Organic Heirloom Peacevine Cherry Tomato Seeds at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.

My mother would carefully collect all those small cucumbers and heaps of green tomatoes, and she would pickle them in huge batches. We would have garlicky dill pickles and green tomatoes, bread and butter pickles in jars by the dozen all set out in the ‘cellar’, a small room in the basement. My mother actually had to find ways to use the tomatoes, there were just too many for one family. Everyone got gifted, and she even tried some very odd culinary experiments. I remember a Green Tomato Pie, sweet, not savory, that she assured us tasted just like apple pie. In retrospect, it is more likely true than not, since Tomatoes are actually a fruit.

Organic Seeds – 3 Packs of Your Choice at Hollis Plus Hunter on Etsy.
Vegetable Garden Organic Seed Pack at Hollis Plus Hunter on Etsy.

At the end of the season, we would decorate the exterior of the house with the pumpkins and squash we had grown. My mother had a great sense of humor, and always kept aside any vegetables that looked ‘odd’, often resembling faces or other body parts.  I remember a huge carrot that looked like a woman’s legs crossed at the knees, it sat on the ledge above the kitchen sink.

Organic Garden Seeds, 6 Organic Heirloom Seed Packs Of Your Choice at Hollis Plus Hunter on Etsy.
Organic Heirloom Purple of Sicily Cauliflower Seeds RARE at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.

If you have access to a backyard, hopefully you have a compost container out there, if you do, you are likely brewing up some of the best natural fertilizer than can be had.  If you have a small patch of land, even just a few square feet, you can create a little patch of heaven in your own backyard. Some neighborhoods offer community gardens, places where you can sign up for a plot of land, often at no cost, to grow some fresh food for your family. 

Organic Heirloom Broccoli Romanesco Seed RARE Gourmet at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.
Organic Heirloom Blue Pumpkin Jarrahdale Seeds RARE at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.

My point is, there is no reason to buy heaps of ‘long distance’ semi-fresh foods when you can grown at least a few of them in your own backyard.  Have a picky eater in your house, a child that claims to ‘hate’ vegetables? School programs that have children participating in a vegetable garden project often find that kids are far more likely to try foods they have grown themselves.  The faster you can get a food from garden to table, the higher it is in nutrients, and the better the flavor. Refrigeration is death to the flavor of the tomato, mushrooms that are washed are tragically ruined, and carrots are meant to be heavy and juicy, not dry looking and frail.

Organic Heirloom Onion Red of Florence Seed RARE at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.
Organic Heirloom Sugar Snap Pea Seeds at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.

So let’s see, you can save money, grow without pesticides and herbicides, you can have vegetables and herbs literally at your fingertips, your kids are more likely to eat the veggies you grow yourselves, and you can reduce the carbon footprint caused by the long-distance shipping of perishable goods. WIN – WIN! Not  only that, but you can grow the things you like best, the varieties you treasure, and you can go organic in the true sense of the term. There are a handful of Etsy sellers that have the most magical and lovely Organic Seeds for stunning varieties of veggies available for purchase, and now is the time to start thinking about your spring garden.

Organic Heirloom Eggplant Diamond Seed at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.
Organic Heirloom 3 Beet Variety Seed Blend – BEST SELLER at Kenyon Organics Heirloom Seeds on Etsy.

First things first, know your zone.  Find out what will grow in your area of the country, and what is less likely to thrive. Second, plan your garden size, and where you will put it, then watch to determine the sun exposure vs. shade in the average day.  Find a local garden supply store that supports home gardeners.  Plan for the supplies and tools you will need for your garden. Don’t think you have to buy everything, up-cycle is the key to making this a great project.  Use an old cake sever as a trowel,  if you need to grow some seedlings before directly planting in the garden, find  a series of small cups or glasses that can be used, or even use a cardboard egg crate as a perfect seed starter. Reclaimed boards or wood scraps can make great stakes for your plants or can make the perfect box frame for your garden, helping keep weeds out without chemicals.

Organic Parsnips Harris Model Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.
Organic Victoria Rhubarb Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.

After you determine how much space you have and what you are planning to grow, get the best seeds you can find. Order yourself some of these non-biologically engineered hearty organic seeds, all found on Etsy.  These pictures are positively mouth watering, and I just can’t wait for spring so I can set up a planter and grow some carrots on my balcony.  I am not good with flowers, but something tells me a few chives and carrots will look great in a long trough planter on my balcony. 

Organic Spring Lettuce Mix Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.
Organic Carrot Cosmic Purple Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.

Some of these seed types are rare heirloom seeds, and they are only available in small amounts, but they will give you an idea of what is out there.  It is truly remarkable to see the sheer range of colours and shapes in a single vegetable family, and each colour had it’s own unique nutritional benefits.  Some seeds cannot be shipped by mail across certain borders, so make sure you can get the product you want shipped to you before you make the purchase. The friendly vendors at Etsy are almost universally thrilled to answer any questions you may have, and when it comes to those who sell seeds, they have often grown the varieties they sell personally, so they are the best people to ask.  Bet you can’t get that at the local Walmart

Organic White Pumpkin Seeds Casper White Pumpkins at Cubits on Etsy.
Organic Long Island Improved Brussels Sprouts Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.

Even if it is just something you jot down on your ‘something to do someday‘ list, having a look at these pictures will help to inspire you to try your hand at home gardening.  If you are a seasoned gardener, or ready to give it a good shot, then it won’t be long before spring arrives and you will have a chance to tastes these sweet treats from your garden, and savor the flavor that can only come with knowing you grew something with a little elbow grease, a lot of love, a the sun, soil, and seeds that are the recipe for fabulous garden fun.

Organic Round Zucchini Squash Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.
Organic Jalapeno Pepper Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.


Note: All images in this post and products mentioned are copyright/intellectual property of the respective Etsy vendor indicated under the image. Please contact vendors for more information about specific products and prices.  No infringement is intended.

Organic Perfection Savoy Cabbage Heirloom Vegetable Seeds at Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. on Etsy.
LiMa beAn Heirloom Seeds From Our Organic Garden at Pailanita on Etsy.
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In The Fairy Garden – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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Elfin Garden Set Custom Order by Pandora Jane on Etsy.

 My Mother’s garden is infested with fairies, it’s true. Not only do they live in her garden, they magically know exactly what the children who visit are up to. The fairies have been known to leave tiny “notes” under a series of rocks on a small wooden ledge in the back of the garden where they live. Each child has their own rock of course and if my nieces and nephew leave a note under those rocks, the fairies actually reply.  Reading of these notes is a secret and special activity, and the only one who reads the children’s notes are the magical wee folk that reside in this backyard garden.

Fairy Door – Round Elf Style by Casualee on Etsy.
Made To Order Custom Fairy Doors by Muddy Muse Pottery on Etsy.
Oak Path [Goes With A Fairy Door] by Casualee on Etsy.
Gnome Home by Shanas Woodland Whimsy on Etsy.

The children, ranging in age from 6 to 14 are absolutely certain of this fact. They all know that the fairies are there and that they seem to know details about their lives that only those who possess magical qualities would know, such as when a tooth is lost, or a report card is received.  In the summer sunshine, you can see the flashing lights  that flicker across the trees and fences indicating that the fairies are about.  When the children arrive for a visit with their grandmother, they often insist that they have to go “check on the fairies” before any conversations can be had, they have their priorities straight, obviously.  Even my eldest niece, now just into her teens, has not forgotten the magic that is ‘real’ and alive in our lives.  She once asked me, “are they really real fairies”? I answered her, “what does your heart tell you?”  We both agreed that even if other people don’t believe, there is no harm in us believing in fairies, magic only lives in the hearts of true believers, as does faith in anything.

Fairy Tale Toad House by Clay Soul on Etsy.
3 Mushroom Garden Stakes – Ceramic Fairy Purple Amanita Muscari Fly Toadstools by Enchanted Mushroom Land on Etsy.
Garden Fairy Door Curlycue with Acorn Porch Light by Enchanted Pumpkin Art on Etsy.
Little Nook City Fairy Door by Sunny Side Up Studio on Etsy.

 So how do you know if you have an enchanted fairy garden on your patio, in your planters, in your backyard or garden? Simple, you need to put out the welcome mat and let them know they are welcome to stay.  It is as easy as placing a note in the right place, or providing the Fae with a wee portal, a doorway through which they can magically enter our world for even a few moments. Creating a fairy space is just that easy, a few tiny items, whether made by your own hands or purchased from the amazing artisans who specialize in fairy accouterments, and the whimsical fun can begin.

Hobgoblin Portal by Faekeepers Fairy Doors on Etsy.
Miniature Gnome/Faerie/Fairy/Elf/Hobbit Rustic Garden Arbor Archway by Nothin’ But Wood on Etsy.
Wooden Fairy Door, Daisy Magic Gnome Door or Portal, Maroon, 10 inch Tall Wood Door by Lovinglee Crafted on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Fence Pair – Goes With A Fairy Door by Casualee on Etsy.

 Today’s Teeny Tiny post is dedicated to the magical thinking of childhood, and how you can bring just a little bit of whimsy and magic into your life with tiny Eco-friendly touches that turn out to be a great way to get children interested in nature, in protecting all the tiny creatures in their backyard, and someday, understanding that our world is worth the effort to save.  Create your own fairy environment in your neighborhood, and use it as a launching pad to have a discussion with your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, about what is going on with the plants and animals around us.

Green Man Faerie Door by Faekeepers Fairy Doors on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Stove Pipe – Goes With A Fairy Door by Casualee on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Small Rock Bridge – Goes With A Fairy Door by Casualee on Etsy.
Mushroom Garden Stake by Hollyrocks on Etsy.

 There are many wonderful creators on Etsy, the home of the most lovely and accessible hand-made and vintage items for your home or garden, and some of them have a magical connection to fairies.  They have an exclusive license to build and share the portals, landscaping items, and decorations for a perfect [and perfectly easy] fairy garden.  Some of these items are meant for garden fairies, others are for the city dwelling wee folk, because let’s remember, fairies can live anywhere.

Miniature Garden Fairy Door, 7″ Tall Sunshine Door Garden Kit  [Window, Door, Bench] by Casualee on Etsy.
Tree Stump Pond Miniature Hand Made Dollhouse Garden Decor – For Fairy Gardens by Enchanted Mushroom Land on Etsy.
Pre-Order Very Cute Small Fairy Door – 3.25″x2.25″ – Die Stone Cast by Nirkin on Etsy.
Miniature Sign Wood Burned Dragonfly Rides Mixed Media Art Original by Walk Softly 13 on Etsy.

 Many communities are creating bylaws banning the use of pesticides and herbicides, added chemicals that not only get into our water system, but can harm the natural order of the Eco-system. What does this mean? It means you will have a wilder garden to contend with, perhaps a few more dandelions or wild flowers, and you will have a lot more wee pollinators buzzing about. Our environment doesn’t need the chemicals, and neither do the children who love to roll in the grass and pick tiny budding flowers. So embrace a little less order in your garden and use it to your advantage. Weeds and moss at the base of a tree make the perfect place to tuck a small fairy portal, it will be naturally camouflaged.  Fairies are more partial to wild spaces, or so I have heard.

Leaf Green Round Wooden Fairy Door with Blue Morpho Butterfly (4 1/2 Inches) by Entrance2Enchantment on Etsy.
Gnome Doors, Fairy Doors, Faerie/Elf – 9 Inch by Nothin’ But Wood on Etsy.
Fairy Door – Hobbit Purple by Enchanted Pumpkin Art on Etsy.
Fairies Live Here – Little Sign Marker Stake for Garden, Plant Pot, or Terrarium – Custom Made To Order by Sunshine Ceramics on Etsy.

 Why do the fairies in my Mother’s garden leave notes for the children? I think it is because they know my mother, a former teacher, appreciates that the children have to read the notes and respond to them by writing back.  It is a lovely little tradition she has started with them all, and it is a secret activity that makes the kids enjoy the visits to her backyard even more than you might expect. I have seen how thrilled they were to find these secret letters, and how upset they were when none was found for lack of their writing back in a timely fashion. My mother has to be quite stealth sometimes in being certain these letters are ‘in place’, sometimes the printer in her office begins magically producing multiple small notes on a single 8 1/2 x 11 page of paper, all in the most charming pastel coloured ink, just ready to whisk away and into place under the specific rocks on the ledge.

Toad Abode and Patio Stone Miniature Folk Art by Walk Softly 13 on Etsy.
Miniature Garden, Fairy Door 7″ Tall Kit [Includes Door, Window, Foot Bridge] by Casualee on Etsy.
Gnome Home Kit [Door, Window, Mailbox Stake, Welcome Mat] by The Gnome Shack on Etsy.
Fairy Garden Fence – Rusty Fence – Miniature White Picket Wooden Fence 2″ x 18″ Long by Teresa’s Plants & More Store on Etsy.

 This is a small sampling of some of my favorite fairy garden must-haves, and the links to the shops where you can buy these itty bitty magic-infused items.  Start planning for your spring garden now, and you will be all set once the nice weather arrives here in the Northern Hemisphere.  If you don’t have a garden, or live in an apartment or condo, as I do, think about a planter or a terrarium. There are many items on Etsy, not shown here, that are far more detailed and fragile, and not meant for outside use.  If your child has severe seasonal allergies, or is hyper-sensitive to sunlight, then consider creating a plant free fairy environment. Even the tooth fairy needs a small doorway into our world. Some of these doors can go in a child’s room or hallway, and there are many decals available as well that can give you the look of fairy inhabitants without the 3D profile. Make room for some Teeny Tiny guests and have a little fun with your green space.

Fairy Travelers Caravan Custom Order by Pandora Jane on Etsy.
Gnome/Fairy/Faerie Door, 12 Inch Rounded With Lion Knocker by Nothin’ But Wood on Etsy.
Miniature Garden Fence by Seeded Eucalyptus on Etsy.

Non Pro-Tip 

A Fairy Light Catcher

In my Mother’s backyard, the most magical feature of her “fairy garden” is created by the most unbelievably simple process. In my first pass on Etsy, I didn’t come across any of these Fairy Light Catchers, but I can tell you how to make them in a snap. And give you a link to a supplier than can provide the raw materials you will need.

Items Required: Small mirror pieces (Clear or Colored), any shape, approximately the size of a quarter or smaller and one or more reflective glass beads or clear/plastic bead from your stash. Fishing line or other clear string, if you prefer to use a natural thin rope that is weather proof, you can still achieve a similar effect.  A paper clip or ornament hanging hook. Hot glue gun or strong permanent weather-proof adhesive.

How To: Take two pieces of mirror (or a reflective glass bead) and place the two pieces so that the non-reflective sides are together. Create 5-8 pairs of mirrored pieces. Take a long piece of fishing line, approximately 2 meters (2 yards) in length. Place a bead (any sort) on the string and fold the entire string in half. Knot the string, or tie it, so the bead is secure.  Open one set of mirrors and add glue to both back (dull) sides of the mirror. place the string over one of the mirrors, just a few inches (8cm) from the bead, then place the paired mirror over the string so both reflective sides are facing out.  Continue this pattern, adding mirror pairs up the length of the fishing line string.  Finish the strand by placing the ornament hook or paper clip at the top end of the string, tie it firmly in place.

 You now have a strand of reflective garden fairies or Fairy Light Catchers. Hang from a planter hook, branch, or other object in the garden so that the strand can move gently in the breeze and catch sunlight. Light reflected from the mirrors will appear to “dance” over your garden, fence, and trees, and plants. It gives the appearance of small  moving “fairies” over the surfaces in your garden.  You can experiment with length of strands, beaded accents, and size and number of mirrors to achieve the effects you desire.  These Fairy Light Catchers hard to detect from a distance, as they blend in with the leaves and trees around them, and that is why they appear to be so magical.

If you are big on the Upcycling, and we all should be, try using broken shards of old DVDs or CDs, or any other reflective do-dads instead of mirrors. You can also create really long strands, several feet in length, that you can drape over a long tree branch or fence post or wall. It really depends on what you have to work with in your area. Enjoy!

Sweetness That Lingers On Your Fingers – Sweetness Sundays

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Vanilla Mint Mousse All Natural Handmade Soap by Milk And Honey Naturals on Etsy.

  Today’s sweet post is achingly tempting to look at, these images look good enough to eat. If I told you I had a big thick bar of wonderful handmade chocolate – you’d be drooling – if I added the word “soap“, you would look at me as if I was insane. Maybe I am a little insane, but luckily that is not the topic of this blog post, today it all about the amazingly beautiful art of handmade soap.  Often made with the most pure and natural of ingredients and scented in any number of combination, these stunning blocks of bliss are all about getting hands on. 

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie Handmade Vegan Artisan Soap by SV Soaps on Etsy.
Sweet Vanilla Soap Vegan Cold Processed Butter Blend Handmade Olive Oil Shea Butter Romantic Cottage Style by A Breath Of French Air on Etsy.
Gardenia and Fresh Honey Handmade Soap UK by Soap Dragon on Etsy.
1 Bar of All Natural Blushing Jasmine Handmade Vegan Artisan Soap by Ocracoke Soap Company on Etsy.
Anise (Licorice) Soap – Cold Process Soap by Joan’s Gardens on Etsy.
Maple Pecan Streusel Soap – Sweet Vanilla, Warm Syrup, Southern Pecan by Symbolic Imports on Etsy.

We live in a suddenly germ phobic society. We have managed to add “antibacterial” ingredients to just about every home product, from dish soap to all purpose cleaners. Do you actually know what constitutes that “antibacterial” property? You guessed it, it a bunch of harsh chemicals kids! As a nurse, I actually had to study how to properly and safely wash my hands, and I can tell you, the most important part of hand washing is not the chemicals in the soap, it is the length of time you spend lathering and the friction of rubbing the bacteria and dirt from your hands.

Lemongrass Mint Essential Oil Soap / Cold Process Handmade Soap Bar / Chunky by barebare all natural on Etsy.
Sweet Red Clover Soap – Cold Process Soap by Joan’s Gardens on Etsy.
Sweet Grapefruit Vegan Soap by Gold Creek Soap on Etsy.
Japanese Peppermint Soap – Handmade Shea Butter Vegan – Perfectly Pink for Valentine’s Day by Kreated by Karina on Etsy.
Sweet Summer Rose Soap Bar – 5 oz. by Gourmet Soaps on Etsy.
Handmade Soap – Brown Sugar & Fig – Wild Figs, Maple Sugar, Musk (Cold Process Soap) by Petals Bath Boutique on Etsy.

It doesn’t matter how much antibacterial soap you use, if you have handled the taps and and door knobs with dirty hands, and you don’t spend enough time scrubbing your hands, drying them, and touch only ‘clean’ surfaces after washing, you are just wasting your money and throwing a pile of chemicals down the pipes into our water system.

Green Apple Handmade Soap by Pink Parchment Soaps on Etsy.
GINGER SOUFFLE Scented, Natural Vegan and Handmade Glycerine Soap with ALOE Vera by Olivia Morgana on Etsy.
Goat Milk Soap, Sweet Almond Cookie, 5 oz. Scrub Bar with Rolled Oats and Almond Oil, Handmade Herbal Soap by Hammer and Coil on Etsy.
Sweet Oranges and Cinnamon Spice Handmade Cold Process Soap by Dogwood Rose Studio on Etsy.
Pomegranate Soap – Handmade Cold Process by Inner Earth Soaps on Etsy.
Groovy Garden Cold Process Soap – Palmarosa, Patchouli, & Sweet Orange Soap – Handmade Vegan Soap by Pigeon River Soaps on Etsy.

I don’t use antibacterials in my home, it is a conscious decision. I am not interested in adding any more chemicals to my life or the ecosystem.  Not only that, but I have done my own research into the issue, and even the FDA has acknowledged that the use of antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers has not been linked to any sign of a decline in infection rates among it’s users, not any statistically significant shift in all the years since it’s proliferation. Not one bit of evidence suggests that using an antibacterial soap will make you any less likely to become ill or shorten an illness period. In fact, many anecdotal studies suggest that the perceived benefits of antibacterials and hand sanitizers actual has led to less effective hand washing.

Sticky Sweet Caramel Soap – Caramel Apple Scent by AJSweetSoap on Etsy.
Sweet Orange and Vanilla Soap by Annie and Elmo on Etsy.
Apple Cider Soap – Eden’s Allure Handmade Soap – Juicy Apples and Sweet Spices Scented Soap by Body Language Soaps on Etsy.
Lime and Herb Handmade Soap with Shea Butter by Hidden Blessings on Etsy.
Satsuma – Japanese Mandarin Handmade Goat’s Milk And Shea Butter Soap by Soothing Suds on Etsy.
Rhiannon, Handmade Soap – Lavender, Bergamot, & Lemon – Cold Process, Essential Oil Bar (Natural, Vegan) by Sacred Suds on Etsy.

If you wash your hands before meals and as needed, and you do it properly, you will have an edge over any anti-bacterial or anti-microbial soap sold in the grocery store.  We are more likely to pass on infections if we put our faith in a bottle of soap as opposed to the common sense that says to slow down, do the job right and well the first time. Our grandparents used the most basic of soaps, many times simple glycerin soaps, and they were often much healthier than we are. We seem a society intent on creating super-bugs, germs that can foil our most basic cleansers and bacteria that make antibiotics useless for those who desperately need them to work.

Soap – Sweet Orange Salt Bar Circle Bar – All Natural Glycerin Soap by Sunbasilgarden Soaps on Etsy.
Chocolate Indulgence Soap – Made With Shea Butter and Sweet Natural Chocolate Valentines Day Gift by Symbolic Imports on Etsy.
Cranberry Orange – Handmade Goat Milk and Cocoa Butter Soap by Soothing Suds on Etsy.
Sweet Lemon Cream Soap Handmade Cold Process, Vegan Friendly by Blushie on Etsy.
Sea Salt Caramels Handmade Cold Process Soap – Soap Bar by Lippincott Soap Co. on Etsy.
Sweet Lemongrass Soap Handmade Soap by Comfort and Joy Soap Co. on Etsy.

So back to these beautiful bars of soap, and a simple question, why buy the bottled soaps that all contain chemicals for fragrance, bacteria reduction, and color, when you can  buy a gorgeous bar of Eco-friendly soap in a color or fragrance that is naturally lovely, and does the job just as well, if not better.  Washing your hands becomes a pleasurable experience when you slow down, roll the bar in your hands, develop a bit of a lather and that lovely scent begins to build.

Sweet Orange Patchouli Soap by Body Luminosity on Etsy.
Green Tea Citrus – Handmade Soap by Dirty Deeds Soaps on Etsy.
Chocolate Dream Handmade Soap with Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, and Goats Milk by EcoSations on Etsy.
Fresh Orange and Papaya Clear Glycerine Soap, Luxury, Delicate Feminine Fruity Sweet Fresh – Yellow Perfect Gift by Cat’s Little Corner on Etsy.
All Natural And Vegan Sweet Orange Clove Soap, Two 5oz. Bars by Bellissima Minerals on Etsy.

Whether it is the lightest of vanillas, or a rich patchouli, a citrus twist or a floral bouquet, you can find a handcrafted bar of soap to match your personal tastes. Perfume does go “off”, the alcohol it it turns, and you may be wasting your money by spending a fortune on a scent you rarely wear. Using a naturally scented soap will leave a lovely scent on your skin or body, and it will linger in that gentle way that good fragrance should. People that get close may notice it, they may wonder what smells so wonderful and can’t pin it down, and they may begin to associate that scent with you and you alone. Not a scent lover? There are also plenty of unscented all natural bars available too.

Almond Marzipan Poppy Seeds Goats Milk Glycerin Soap, Scrub Peeling Moisture – For Him or Her by Cat’s Little Corner on Etsy.
Creamy Pear Handmade Vegan Soap Large Bar by Crown of Rue on Etsy.
Goat’s Milk Oatmeal and Honey Cold Process Soap with Shea Butter – Sale Benefits the SweetBea Fund by Lake House Soapworks on Etsy.
100& Natural Orange Honey Blossom Soap Bar – 5oz. Organic & Fair Trade by ZABANA ESSENTIALS on Etsy.
Sweet Honeysuckle – Shea Butter Handmade Soap by Loves Lather on Etsy.
Hot Process Apple Sauce Soap – Old Fashioned Sweet Apple Cinnamon Hot Process Soap Super Sudsy by Soap For Your Soul on Etsy.

If you have been scrolling through these amazingly gorgeous photos of some of the most appetizingly sweet bars of soap, you might like to know that not only are these soaps gentle to the environment, but gentle to your body. Some are organic, others are vegan friendly, but whatever your reasons for buying handmade soap might be, never allow the perceived cost to hold you back. Most of these bars are priced around the $5 USD per/bar range, depending on the ingredients and the size of the bar.  It works out to about $1 per oz. of handcrafted soap, there are few artisan goods that are this affordable in price. You can sometimes get bars for much less if you purchase a sampler or multiple bars at a time.  Find a vendor that is located close to you, in the geographic sense, and you will not only save on shipping, but also leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Sandalwood Vanilla Soap – Handmade Cold Process by Inner Earth Soaps on Etsy.
Sweet Papaya Handmade Shampoo Bar, Vegan by Sweets N Things on Etsy.
Sweet Pea Goats Milk Soap by Country Soaps By Marlene on Etsy.
Lavender Oat Face & Body Bar (100% Organic Oils.Butters) by StoLat Organics on Etsy
Coffee Soap – Kitchen Soap – Exfoliation Soap – Cold Process by Joan’s Gardens on Etsy.
Canela & Vanilla Cream – Cinnamon – Goat’s Milk Soap by Five Sisters Soap Company on Etsy.

These soaps would make the most welcome of home-warming gifts, and there is nothing better to give a new parent who has their hands on the delicate skin of a new baby all day and night, or to a friend who is under the weather.  These soaps are great gifts for teachers, friends, and the people you love. Everybody needs to wash their hands, this is not just a ‘girl’ thing, men deserve fresh smelling natural soaps too.

Mango Shea Butter Soap by So Stinking Sweet on Etsy.
Orange Cream Cold Press Soap – Warm & Sweet – 100% Natural by Get Clean on Etsy.
Honey Almond (EO) Handmade Soap 4oz. Bar by FB Essentials on Etsy.
Peach – Handmade Cold Process Soap by DECA Candle and Bath on Etsy.
Sweet Lemongrass Scented Organic Cold Process All Natural Soap by Rustico Natural on Etsy.

If you have a fragrance free workplace, and can’t wear perfume, it can be hard to find unscented soaps and shampoo. Many of these artisans offer unscented natural bars that are lovely to look at and use, but so very gentle to the skin with only the scent of the body friendly ingredients left behind. If you knit, sew, or crochet, thing of how often your hands touch those delicate wools and fabrics, wouldn’t you rather have a mild and natural scent on your fingers when you work on something so precious for someone equally precious?

Grapefruit & Marzipan Handmade Soap (One Bar) by Chemical Teatime on Etsy.
Goat Milk Soap “Monkey Bars” Handmade Cold Process (Banana, Strawberry, Kiwi, & More!) by Moeggenborg Sugar Bush on Etsy.
Sugared Almond Exfoliating Handmade Soap by Silver Maple Soaps on Etsy.
Miss Maple – Organic Maple Syrup / Soft Golden Sugar Soap Handmade, Natural – Plus Beautiful Postcard by Soapstar Canada on Etsy.

Sweet Cherry Almond Oatmeal Handmade Soap by Pegasus Soaps on Etsy.

 Treat yourself to a bar of handmade soap today, there is no reason to wait. Pick one that is appealing to the eye as well as the nose, and don’t be afraid to give up the “anti-bacterial” chemical soap.  The only people who need to use harsh chemicals to clean their hands are surgeons and other healthcare workers when they are AT WORK.  Even this nurse will tell you that once I walk into my home after work, the last thing I want to see is yet another bottle of harsh soap.  Give me a bar of gentle soft butter smooth soap that makes me remember I am a person whose hands do more than perform various procedures, give me a scent that makes me smile with pleasure, the simple pleasure that we all deserve to enjoy. Grab yourself a bar or two of lovely handmade soap and be sweet to yourself, your family, and mother earth.

NY Black and White Snickerdoodle All Natural Handmade Soap by Milk And Honey Naturals on Etsy.

All-Natural Sweet Tea And Honey Soap, Two 5 oz. Bars by Bellissima Minerals on Etsy.
Spice Cake – Clove, Cassia & Sweet Orange Cold Process Soap – Handmade Vegan Soap Bar – Spice Soap by Pigeon River Soaps on Etsy.
Sweet Pea Cold Process Soap – One 4-5 Ounce Body Bar by Long Leaf Soaps on Etsy.
Yellow Mandarin, Sweet Orange Peel and White Peach – All Natural Handmade Soap by Milk And Honey Naturals on Etsy.