It's almost the most wonderful time of the year! Please join us at our upcoming amazing Christmas markets to find the perfect gift for those you love, and maybe a little something for yourself! Everyone loves handmade soap...most especially ours! See below for details. Hope to see you there!
Who is this young beauty you ask? And what does she have to do with Tanglewood Organic Soap? Everything! She is the reason and inspiration our soap came to be. She is my daughter Rheanne. ❤
After thriving through cancer by utilizing surgery and natural/alternative protocols to heal her, it was important to keep her skin, our largest detox organ, clear and free from toxins. Unable to find a 'natural' soap I felt comfortable with her using, I researched and began crafting our own using premium organic ingredients, skin-soothing herbs from our gardens and woodland, and raw goat milk from our Tanglewood Farm goats! It quickly became a family staple in our community and now we are humbled and thrilled to share this soap of premium goodness and love with others throughout the lands! Available at over 40 retail locations throughout Western Canada and online everywhere else. Our Rainbow after the rain! Rheanne now happily wraps soap while she saves up for her first car!Continue reading
This past month I have been harvesting poplar buds. Sticky sappy poplar buds are good plant medicine! They smell so fantastic- earthy and fresh; a beautiful teasing of glorious spring amongst this calm, scentless mid-winter! I will use these to craft skin soothing soap, flavoured healing honey for colds, a skin salve, and herbal cough drops.
The superb Boreal Herbal book by Beverley Gray states that "balsam poplar winter buds are emollient and help soften, soothe, and protect the skin. They are also vulnerary, helping heal cuts and wounds; and demulcent, helping soothe and protect irritated or inflamed tissue."
In this photo you can see the glorious sticky poplar bud resin rich in medicine!
I will pour 2 cups of olive oil over 1 cup of poplar buds in a double boiler and gently heat for an hour, while singing a sweet lullaby to the buds- giving thanks for the goodness they will gift to others! Once strained and cooled, I will bottle for future herbal use in soap, lotion, and salve.
See how these gorgeous buds opened up beautifully, releasing all of the goodness into the olive oil
Poplar bud oil is great as is for tired shoulders and applied to the chest for colds and congestion. For a salve add equal parts warm oil to melted warm beeswax. Stir together well and store in jar for use on cuts, wounds, and dry parts. Use within one year.
Repeat with honey, in lieu of olive oil for tasty, easy-to-use plant medicine during colds and coughs. Poplar bud can be tinctured to use in homemade cough drops.
Poplar buds tinctured in grain alcohol. For later use in cough drops
The sweetest photo bomb ever! My daughter (cancer survivor, reason and inspiration for Tanglewood Organic Soap) and her best friend photo bombing my poplar bud tincture photo shoot
As you can see poplar bud has so many marvelous uses! Happy healthy crafting with these gorgeous wild Canadian beauties!
Cautions: poplar buds can cause an allergic reaction in people with tree allergies.
I crafted the last batch of Christmas Joy last week. It has become like a dear old friend to me, many hours spent late at night together, quietly pondering life and thinking about all of the good people who were going to receive this joyous soap. Thinking of all the smiles, love, and fun shared together this Christmas!
In the fall I spent many a lovely morn in the forests surrounding my home gathering the wee little wild Alberta bunchberries that elegantly grace the top of Christmas Joy. Although not edible, I've always loved these cheery red little berries, and was happy to have found a way to further enjoy them. These mornings spent picking little Miss Bunchberry were quiet, reflective, and happy, allowing me to connect and ground with the Earth. I thank all of you for that. Had you not bought my soap I would not have had the pleasure of these special moments, just me and Mother Nature. With her teaching me so much each time. Her wisdom is available to all of us, we only need listen.
And then, there was the collecting of the kinnikinick! This bright evergreen is also one of my very favourites. There are large blankets of kinnikinick growing in the west country that are simply gorgeous. This tough little ground hugger reminds us just to merrily keep on going; no matter the obstacle, we can grow, move around it, or clamour over it, if need be. This little gem even stays shiny green in the winter! The kinnikinick I conscientiously harvested for Christmas Joy was done so often in the warm sunlight of late afternoon. Just like the bunchberry, much gratitude to all who bought Christmas Joy for the lovely hours I spend quietly, joyously collecting it! Also, deep gratitude to these plants for allowing me to harvest and share their generous, gorgeous gifts!
I did not keep count, but I hand crafted and embellished hundreds of bars of Christmas Joy, each one near and dear to my heart. This beautiful soap won second prize for best soap in 2015 from the Canadian Guild of Professional Soapmakers, so I am humbled and proud to have crafted it. It brings me great delight to think of all of the people already enjoying it and all those who will lather up with it after Christmas!
Like a good book, I am saddened to say good bye. I learnt a lot from this soap. This soap improved and honed my skills as a soap crafter. It taught me more about patience. More about perfecting something. Christmas Joy will stay with me for some time. And perhaps like many good things do, this soap will become a tradition, like a dear friend I get to await and revisit once a year! To all of those who bought and received Christmas Joy -Enjoy! Know that each bar was made with lots of love, joy, and care!
From me (Shantel) and all the fine plants and their generous goodness that make up this beautiful soap! We wish you so much Christmas Joy! Warmest wishes for all of the joys this festive time offers- laughter, love, celebrations, kinship, fabulous feasts, special moments, and merriment! Enjoy this luxurious spiced soap in honour of this marvelous season and its entire splendor!
May peace, joy, and love be yours!
We are incredibly excited to offer our amazing organic soaps and other goodness from our garden & farm online. Enjoy a browse, and if you are inclined to learn more about our fine organic herbal soap, how it came to be, and how it is hand crafted, please check out our About Us page located on the upper right.
Would you like to be the first to know about the newly available intoxicating soaps, receive herbal wisdom and tips, learn more about marvelous wild Canadian plants possibilities for medicine and food, read about the funny trials and celebrations of our daily farm life, or perhaps receive a delicious, healthful garden recipe? If so, please feel free to sign up for our monthly newsletter. Cheers and have a simply marvelous day!