Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sacred Suds - Soaps With Divine Intent

I am truly excited to share with you Sacred Suds, a unique shop filled with the dazzling aromas of handmade soaps made with the finest natural ingredients and essential oils. And I can personally recommend her soaps after purchasing some last week. Oh the lather, oh the fragrance!! And she sent me some lovely samples to go along with my original purchase. I have to admit it is sometimes difficult for me to leave the shower.

Shop owner, Andrea, shares her story with us in this feature:

"I started making soap several years ago after receiving a bar of handmade soap as a wedding favor. We were living in Maine at the time, and it was winter, so my skin was a scaly, papery wreck. Before I even used the soap, I was in love with it. I loved the way it looked (chunky with bits of oats and cinnamon bark), I loved the way it smelled (real! no fakey synthetic smells), I loved the smooth texture, I loved the weight of the bar in my hands. 

And then I tried it, and I was blown away. The soap was rich and creamy, and my skin soaked it up like milk. Standing in that hot, steaming shower, inhaling cinnamon essence, knowing someone had lovingly crafted this bar of soap for our friends, I could feel the soul in it. I began researching soapmaking as soon as we finished that bar. I don't think we've bought a commercial bar of soap since.

I'm a pretty spiritual person, and I practice all sorts of faiths, or practices, or whatever you want to call them. My biggest spiritual awakening happened when I was introduced to the feminine face of God (which is commonly called Goddess ;-) by a good friend of mine. As a woman, who is a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, and a girlfriend, this was HUGE to me. I could never really relate to God, to be honest. I'm not masculine. I am not a father. I have not lived a male experience. I have a father and
a mother, and it was my mother who gave birth to me, who brought me into the world. So it makes sense to me, since life is created by the union of male and female, and is actually birthed through the female, that the creative force would include the feminine. That we would have a divine Mother in addition to a divine Father.

Once I was introduced to the idea of the sacred feminine, I began to explore all sorts of faces of the divine. Not just feminine and masculine, but strength, compassion, love, sexuality, and so on. And I was delighted to find that throughout history, cultures have honored deities that "embody" these energies. These energies, these essences of being human, are what inspire me.

More recently, as my Yoga practice has deepened, I have added Yoga inspired soaps to my collection. These soaps, like Prana and Om, bring our attention to the energy of being alive (Prana), or with the Om (Aum) bar, to our connection to each other and to the Source, the All, God/Goddess, or whatever you choose to call your higher power.


I am a big believer that by giving something our attention, either through prayer, meditation, or the simple ritual of mindful bathing, we give it power to grow and manifest in our lives. My mission with Sacred Suds is to provide soulful soaps that help channel the energies represented by these different faces of the Divine – love, strength, joy, etc. - and each soap is mindfully created with that goal in mind. I craft the soaps with intention every step of the way, from the spiritual entity that inspires it, to blending scents to stir those energies, to writing labels and descriptions that best capture the intent of the soap. 

My favorite part of the process is probably blending the scents. I work mainly with essential oils instead of synthetics because essential oils feel like they carry the spirit of something alive. They feel real, like they have soul. When I first started crafting these spiritual blends, I did a lot of research on aromatherapy, on skin-care benefits, and on the magickal properties of plants and essences. I am by no means a trained aromatherapist, herbalist, or perfumer, though, and after working with essential oils for a while, I began to just blend by how the oils made me feel, and what energies they seemed to raise in me. For example, citrus oils make me happy. Florals feel feminine. Spices are exotic and sexy, woodsy scents are earthy and grounding, and evergreens feel vital and prosperous."


You can find Sacred Suds on Etsy and on Andrea's website.
You can also find Andrea on twitter, Facebook, or MySpace.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Many Malas For Many Hands

Recently I was asked to do a very special wholesale order that I would just love to share!

I was asked to create several malas from stones that correspond to the seven chakras (or energy points). Each chakra has associations to colors, gemstones as well as specific qualities and are said to connect to our being on many different levels. Admittedly, I had not done much work with chakras before and found the research aspect of this project so much fun!

This was such a rewarding and enjoyable endeavor for me, I just had to share a few pictures of them with you. I created a 108 bead aragonite mala, 27 bead fluorite mala, 108 bead sodalite mala, and a 27 bead red jasper name only a few!

My favorite part is shipping them out and wondering who will be meditating with them in the future!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Short Story Of Frankencake- And How to Make Your Own

As many of you may know, I have a penchant for baking.....

A kind hearted tweeting friend  @skipthezip reminded me that "Baking is like Buddhism. Stay true to the recipe, and it'll turn out perfectly."

Well, I didn't stick to the recipe....not on purpose, but through my distraction I mistakenly used baking powder instead of the require baking soda. I was terribly aware of this baking no no just as I put it into the oven. This may seem trivial, however, this was my very first attempt at making a vegan chocolate cake and my intention was to bring it with me on a very important visit to a yogini. 30 nail biting minutes later, out came something I affectionately called Frankencake.  It was an odd consistency and a little flat, yet surprisingly edible!

The lesson here. Awareness.  

I ended up mixing all the correct ingredients again and finally arrived at something truer to the vegan chocolate cake I was searching for. It looks fabulous and it was really quite simple. It has been praised as "the best chocolate cake that just happens to be vegan"!

This recipe was sent to me in reply to a call for good vegan dessert recipes. Thank you @richtayl! 
You can find the recipe he recommended here. I think it is going to be a winner! It is soft, moist and heavenly sweet.

Until my next baking adventure.....