The Royal Bison is coming!! May 3-5!

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 7.31.05 PMI can’t believe it’s almost time for the bison! This spring has been a bit of a blur with the Make It Show and Flock & Gather! But, save the best for last, right?! I’m really excited to get to comeback to the Bison this spring. Last winter was my first time at the Bison, and it’s now my most favourite craft show to be at! Thanks edmonton for making this such an awesome event for artists, artisans, crafters, bakers, and more!

IMG_5021 IMG_5048Some new products you will se at the Bison for the first time in Edmonton include: my new reclaimed apple wood & mountain ash soap dishes. Pretty neat, heh? Why wooden soapdishes? Keeping your soap dry keeps it lasting longer, and a reclaimed wood soap dish speaks to what I do, using local ingredients as much as possible. I’ve been asked for soap dishes in the past and hadn’t gotten around to making them or coming up with a plan to ensure I sourced the wood locally, but I figured out a plan, and hope you like them! All the dishes either have holes for drainage or groove patterns that have been hand cut. EAch dish is sealed with a special linseed oil coating to protect from moisture, which means you can take your dish in the shower if you like!

IMG_4437Also look out for my “uncomplicatedly awesome deodorant” in:

  • rosemary & mint
  • lavender & lemongrass
  • boreal forest musk

IMG_4938 IMG_4975Felted soaps (Soap & gentle loofah in one!), artisan castille soap bars, whipped beeswax creams, beeswax lip butters,

IMG_1077IMG_1492Spring cleaning favourites:

  • Soapnuts laundry detergent
  • Citrus all-purpose surface cleaner
  • Soapnuts veggie wash
  • Peaceful warrior yoga mat spray (back by popular demand!)
  • wool dryer balls (last 100+ loads)

Studio News

Things have been busy this week in the Studio! Can you believe the Make it Show is less than a month away?! It’s one of the best shows I’ve been in and am so excited to be a part of it again this spring!

I’ve been making lots of soap and and happy to let you know there are new scent blends for you to touch & smell. Bet you can’t wait right?

  • Yerbe Mate Tea
  • Rose Garden – smells like roses and is covered in dried rose petals!
  • A special one-of-a-kind truly local soap with: Organic oils from” Mighty Trio Organics, organic oats from Gold Forest Grains, Beeswax & Honey from Lola Canola Honey, wild harvested lilac, and essential oils to give it a lovely fresh forest inspired scent. The soap is being made for the Slow Food Gala delegates gift bags. Exciting!
  • Felted soaps in many colours and scents! I’m hoping to have a felted and unfelted version of all my soaps available for sale @Make It! Should look pretty awesome on display!

I’ll also have new creams and my new cream club card! Check out the picture on the left. What is a club card, you ask? Like a typical rewards program, but better as it’s entirely local and supports a handmade artisan. i.e. me! Buy 10 creams, get 1 free. Simple. I raised my price of my creams from $10 a tin to $12 this year after developing a new formula with even higher quality ingredients than before, and I wanted to still make it affordable for everyone. So, with the club card it’s close to the same price at $10.50 a tin, factoring in getting a $12 cream for free. Pretty good eh?

My partner Mike has been taking a Permaculture course through Verge Permaculture course and the topic of soaps both commercial and handmade have come up in discussion regarding safety for grey water collection systems.Most of us are still hooked up to the city water system, but for permies wanting to save water and divert some of the grey water, such as laundry water, to a collection bin to be used on their garden, knowing what’s going into the water is of utmost importance. I am happy to report that my soap nuts laundry detergent is indeed grey water safe! I was pretty sure of this, as I new it was plant-based, biodegradable and bio-compatible, but wanted to make sure I could verify this with certainty to my permie friends that it is indeed grey water safe. Next, I will be formulating liquid soaps like hand soap and shampoo that are grey water safe too. Coming soon!

Knowing how awesome soap nuts are, I’ve been formulating new cleaning products that are all natural, safe for you and the environment, and smell great! New products I have are:

  • Soapnuts laundry detergent in both 500mL and 1L bottles. (1L bottle = 36+ loads, 500mL bottle = 18+ loads)
  • All purpose surface spray cleaner. Made with citrus oil infused vinegar and soap nuts, this smells great and gets surface squeaky clean with no residue or streaks!
  • Yoga Mat Spray. Made with soap nuts, witch hazel and calming antimicrobial essential oils, it is great for the gentle warrior who wants a clean mat with no stress!
  • Soapnuts veggie wash. Give your veggies a little rinse in this and get the dirt, waxes, and any chemical residues off your food so you can savour the flavour!

These products are currently available and can be purchased online through my etsy store or at locations/events that I’m at. I won’t be at the city market this weekend, but will be returning on April 28th! See you then!

New listings in my Etsy store (Soapnuts cleaning trio & felted dryer balls)

ImageSoapnuts Cleaning Trio: Deluxe Collection.

The trio includes:

  • 1L bottle of liquid laundry detergent (your choice of scent from: Lavender & Lemongrass, Lemon & Clary Sage, Lime & Bergamot, or Unscented) (40-60 loads/bottle)
  • 500mL Veggie wash (20-30 washes/bottle)
  • 250mL spray bottle of: Citrus-infused all-purpose surface cleaner (made with fresh infused orange peel cleaner & soapnuts)

Felted Dryer Balls. Unique, needle- felted handmade with Lavender buds in the middle. Dryer balls are an all natural alternative to dryer sheets. They are made from wool and contain a terrycloth sachet filled with lavender buds in the centre. These might balls, get rid of static, soften your clothes and can even cut your drying time, which saves you money. They can be used indefinitely too. So, no more waste in the land fill.

Tree Collection (Set of 2)

Purple Collection (Set of 4)

Market Collective, Calgary, Alberta, March17 &18

Hi everyone,

I’m excited to announce that I got selected to be in the Market Collective event in Calgary the weekend of March 17 and 18. St. Patrick’s Day weekend! Perhaps you will find some lucky deals or a clover or two!

In case you haven’t been before, Market Collective is a 2 day affair of crafty-arty goodness! Come and meet local Albertan designers, crafters, artists, musicians, etc. who make, create and design handmade items from clothing to photography to soap and to jewellery, etc. It’s a great way to support local artisans, get ideas for projects, and connect with the handmade community.

I’ve been busy in my studio these past couple of weeks and will be up until the event, to bring you new items I have been working on, such as felted dryer balls, felted soaps, new hand creams, lip butters, soaps, soapnut products, such as my popular laundry detergent, gentle warrior yoga mat spray, veggie wash, and more!

Not only are these events great for supporters of handmade, they are great for the artists themselves, giving us a venue to connect with others, share tips, tricks, and get ideas for each other. I’m looking forward to going to down to partake, so if you live in Calgary come on by!

The information on where and when to find this great event, is in the poster on the right. Hope to see you there!


Soapnuts Laundry Detergent

Soapnuts are so fascinating! This nut, which is also called a berry, grow on trees in South asia in Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Nepal. There are many varieties. Check out the link for more information on the plant. They are one of the few plants in the world that has natural saponins in them aka natural soap. Another plant that contains natural soap is called soapwort

Soapnuts can be used raw by putting them in a cloth muslin bag and tossing them in with the laundry. Here is what they look like. You can find them in many health food stores or green living type stores.

While, I love the idea of just using the nuts in their raw form, I found myself wanting a liquid detergent for hand washing and so that I could add a nice scent with essential oils to leave my laundry smelling fresh and lovely.

I crafted a recipe a couple of years ago and it’s been one of my best selling items. customers can’t believe how soft their clothes feel after using the detergent. They are often surprised that they now longer need fabric softener or dryer sheets.

I love telling people that the detergent is gentle enough they could take it camping and dispose of it on the ground with no harm to the environment. It’s even gentle enough to save and put on your plants.

Here is a picture of the soap nuts detergent ready for bottling. How did I make the detergent? Boil the nuts in water and your water becomes a detergent after boiling for a certain period of time. I boil down the liquid to ge a high concentration that is still gentle, but strong.

This specially formatted concentration means that you only need 1-2 tbsp. per load. So, let’s do the math, for a 1L bottle, and 1 tbsp. = 15mL, that means the bottle can give you 40-65 loads. Wow!

This photo is of the Lavender & Lemongrass scent. It is the original scent I crafted and one that people love! I have made 2 more scent blends recently which include: High Tea (Hints of bergamot, grapefruit, and lime), and Lemon & Sage (Lemon and Clary Sage mix together to remind you of a stroll through the forest after a rain).

Here are the 3 scent blends mentioned above. I also make an unscented version, which is great for people with sensitive skin, cloth diapers, etc.

I sell my soapnuts laundry detergent on my etsy store. For those of you who live in Edmonton, if you are interested in purchasing it, you can buy online and won’t be charged shipping if you can arrange pick-up. I also sell at craft events and fairs. Watch my blog, follow me on twitter (@AmeyaStudio), or ‘like’ my Facebook page for the latest event information.