Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Handmade Gifts Feature ~ Soaps!

A consumable gift as defined by Organized Home is "one that will be - used up, not stashed in a closet for the next yard sale. A consumable gift is something that can be eaten, sent, read, or enjoyed by the recipient."

Generally speaking, a 'consumable' gift is usually food. But there are a few other consumables that may strike a chord with your gift giving mood as well. Handcrafted and amazing smelling soap is one consumable that I LOVE to give.

Here are the two companies I buy my house hold soaps from most often. Both are run by amazing people who inspire me with their integrity and ingenuity. I love supporting these wonderful soap artists!

Ballard Organics

Ballard Organics was started by my friend Ben. I met him at the Ballard Farmers market, and within the 2 1/2 years I worked there his product had taken off and he was just too busy to stay at market. He moved into a bigger building and has been making his now famous, local soaps for people from coast to coast. All of their products are certified organic and they have maintained their dignity and integrity through all of the changes their company has over gone in the past couple of years. Which I find inspiring!

My personal favorite of his soaps is the Tangerine liquid foaming soap. It smells amazing and fresh and I use it for everything from hand soap, to face soap, to back up dish detergent. No joke. It's amazing stuff and a dispenser of it would make an AWESOME gift mixed with some washcloths or hand towels. The first year he and I worked side by side in our market stalls I gave one of the foaming soap pumps and a refill of the same scent to each of my girlfriends for Christmas. They were a huge hit! (Many still use the same soap two years later!)



For bar soap and shower soaps I turn to a different friend. This is my friend Kristarae's shop and I have to say she sells the most amazing smelling bar soap that I have EVER smelled! She is a practiced herbalist and so each scent is chosen with care and knowledge. She has a wonderful sense of what will smell perfect together! Many of her herbs are wild crafted so the soap is made in small batches with the season when the herbs are in tip top for bringing out their more flavorful smells.

Every year or so I stock up with her and I store the soaps in my linen closet above my water heater where they perfume my towels and washcloths. Each time I open that closet I get the wafting scents of this wonderful soap. How wonderful to know that the scents she uses will are not damaging to me as many of the commercial perfumes are! I can sit there and take in each of these amazing scents and never worry that they are giving me brain cancer, or going to make my babies sick in an allergic fit. Not to mention that I have never smelled one I didn't like! Each one is chosen so beautifully that it is like a symphony for your nose as you wash your hands.

(She is also my source for a wonderful cough and cold rub, however, that is a little harder to 'gift'. lol...)


Perhaps someone on your list just loves a good, well made soap?

Ways to make soap into a wonderful gift:

  • Add a beautiful washcloth or small towel that matches your recipients bathroom.
  • Add in a pretty soap dish (I personally love the bamboo or wood ones!).
  • Wrap several bar soaps in a brown paper package and decorate with ribbon and dried flowers.
  • Add a small mason jar of sweet smelling dried flowers (which could coordinate with the soap scent you chose) with a mesh lid for a natural bathroom potpourri. Tie both soap and jar with a beautiful matching ribbon. (Some fun recipes for natural potpourri here.)



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