Thursday, May 26, 2011


Oatmeal is not just nourishment for our bellies anymore. Oats have been great addition to many skincare recipes for a long time now. Don’t you remember taking oatmeal baths to help relieve the itching of your chicken pox?  Many of these recipes you can make at home right now. Oats have also been clinically shown to help heal dry, itchy skin. It gently cleanses your skin. Oatmeal is a great for exfoliation of sensitive skin (just make sure you grind it up a bit). People can also use it to create simple recipes for facial masks using a little lemon and finely ground oatmeal to make a paste for their face.
My favorite cold process soap (Oatmeal,Milk and Honey) has oatmeal right in it.

As always be mindful when using natural skin care products to review all ingredients and avoid any which you are allergic to (i.e. nuts are found in many recipes forfacial scrubs).

Here are some simple recipes you can make at home:
Oatmeal, Milk  and Honey Bath
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 tbsp honey
Place all ingredients in a small, natural fabric bag (muslin and cheesecloth are great choices). Hang the bag under the faucet as you fill the tub so the running water disperses the skin loving yummies throughout your bath. You can even add a some relaxing lavender buds.
Here is another
If your doctor or other health provider recommends you give your child an oatmeal bath, you have the option to buy the commercially-prepared product at around $6 for eight single-use packets, or you can make your own at home for around $1.
Here's how: You'll need a blender,
food processor or coffee grinder and 1 cup of oatmeal. You can use instant
oatmeal (unflavored), quick oats or slow cooking oats- all work equally as
well. For babies, you'll only need about 1/3 cup per bath.
Blend or process the oats
on the highest setting until you have a very fine, consistent powder. To test the colloid property of the oatmeal, stir 1 tablespoon of the ground oats into a glass of warm water. If the oats readily absorb the water and give it a milky look and a silky feel, you've blended long enough.
Giving the bath: Sprinkle the oatmeal into a tub of running water and stir the water with your hand several times toensure even distribution. Feel along the bottom of the tub for clumps and break
up any you find.
Take care assisting your child into the tub as the oatmeal will make the tub even more slippery than
usual. Allow your child to soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes and pat dry with a soft towel rather than rubbing.
You can use this bath once or twice a day or more frequently as your doctor advises.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I am going to try making monthly newsletters for my soap business. It got me thinking that I could do this for my students parents as well. As a parent would you like monthly newsletters from your students teachers?

Sign up for monthly newsletters from TandJsoaps here!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creative Friendship

I NEED to share this post from the Art 21 Blog. A great show about friendships between creative people is being held at the Craig F Starr gallery (they are located at 5 East 73rd Street, NYC). I love Eva Hesse, she is one of my favorite artists. Unfortunately, she died from a brain tumor when she was 34. Her and Sol LeWitt were very close friends. When I was an undergrad art student I used to read their letters to each other. It helped me understand their creative processes and I always liked what Sol LeWitt told Eva about her anxieties. I am sad that it is almost over and I will not make it to see it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be a donor!

Thirty is rearing it's ugly head whether I want it too or not! A couple of weeks ago I went to the DMV and had a new photo taken. I had to have my eye exam done anyways...and I felt like a new photo was this weird right of passage for me. I have a few strange rituals. This time while I was there I decided to become an organ donor.

I got my new license in the mail today (uughh!... the date of DOOM looms closer) and saw that they put this cute little heart on the front of the ID.  My thought behind is simple... I won't need my body anymore so why not let it do some good for someone else. I decided to look up some information. Here ya go!

Every year, more than 1,500 people receive kidneys, livers, and hearts that have been donated for transplantation. However, with more than 8,000 New Yorkers still on waiting lists, the need for organ donations far exceeds the supply. One person who donates organs (hearts, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines) can save up to eight lives, while a tissue donor (corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, tendons, veins, etc.) can improve 12 or more lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infections in burn patients and preventing the loss of mobility and disability.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How do I come up with ideas / recipes?

Matcha Tea Vegan Cold Process Handmade Soap
My Matcha Tea Cold Process Soap
A fan on my facebook page recently asked how I come up with ideas and or my recipes. I thought that was a perfect post for the blog. It's pretty simple, and I do use my art background to help me.

The first thing I do is smell my essential and fragrance oils. Then I visualize how they should look based on the scents.  I think of all of the colors associated with that scent (i.e. pink for honeysuckle). Then I figure out how to use them in the soap. Do I want stripes or swirls? Solid color? Do I want to swirl in the pot or in the mold?

For example- Bay Rum- made me think of Green (Bay), Rum (white) and Blue for the ocean. Matcha tea is a powdered green tea used in Japanese Tea Ceremony. Instead of just making a green soap, I decided to use the colors that make green and swirl it into the soap, so yellow and cyan are swirled into white. Color harmony- like the harmony that is needed to participate in tea ceremony.


Bay Rum Cold Process Vegan Handcrafted Soap
My Bay Rum Cold Process Soap

When it comes to my recipes, a lot of it is trial and error. You have to know what the different oils do. Coconut oil adds to the lather and hardness of a bar of soap and moisturizing too. Too much coconut oil can be drying. Palm oil also adds to the hardness of the bar. Olive oil gives a rich, smooth, feel and helps to create a very hard bar once fully cured. I made a post earlier in the year about the qualities each oil brings to the soaping table!

For the minimalist soap- I used my base recipe, but since it had no fragrance I wanted to add some luxury oils. I like the way hempseed soaps feel so I added that and I have been experimenting with the avocado butter. Really everything is trial and error.