Sunday, December 09, 2007

Stocking Stuffs

I think over the next week or two, I'll recommend some Buy Handmade goodies for the holidays - hopefully I'll turn you on to something new you'll love, or second a recommendation you've read elsewhere and tip the scales for you. Remember, it's not just the holidays for others - it's the holidays for YOU. Buy yourself a little somethin' and sneak it under the tree. (I've already picked up some roving and a new Piddleloop pouch for Travis to put under the tree. He finds it easier than trying to figure out what I'd like best.)

Disclaimer: I'm not being encouraged or rewarded for recommendations - actually, none of these people know I'm trumpeting their glories all over the place. No affiliation or compensation, know the drill.

So! I'll start with some non-fiber yummies. I'm one of those people who loves giving bath products as gifts. I've been like this since I was very young - I always loved giving my mom bubble bath for every special occasion. The poor woman was probably always on the lookout for creative ways to rid herself of bubble one could ever bathe as frequently as I apparently expected her to.

So yeah, I'm one of those "Merry Christmas, I'm not saying you don't smell the way I'd like but here just try this" kind of people. It's borne of my own obsession with soaps, gels, lotions, and scented ANYthing - and while I'm a big fan of the stuff, I'm also very fickle and tire of things easily; something I couldn't live without last month will find itself shoved to the back of the medicine cabinet and abandoned until the next quasi-annual bathroom exorcism. (You cannot even imagine the depth and breadth of that event. Do you have ANY idea how many perfume samples I can amass in the span of two years? I don't even WEAR perfume.)

Due to my lifelong affiliation and love affair with all things sniffy and silky, you can bet I know my stuff. So trust me when I make recommendations. I may not always be right about yarn. I may not always be right about fiber. But if I tell you to buy a soap? BUY THE SOAP. Plus, the ones I'm recommending were all recommended to me, one way or another. So rest assured that you're getting two resounding cheers for the price of one. Also, I don't have pictures. I don't tend to take pictures of soap....but there are many glorious and flattering pictures of these items on their etsy shops, check that out!

So, first up, Frost Fish Cove Soaps. Tory makes these amazingly rich cold-process soaps, and every fragrance has a different combination of ingredients, various bases and fragrances and essential oils - they're also beautiful. We've been through three pounds already, and I don't have plans to change any time soon. I love these soaps, but even more important, Travis loves these soaps. Like with every man I've ever met in my entire life, I've devoted myself to making him give a crap about yummy handmade smelly soaps. Like every man I've ever met in my entire life, he could give a damn, as long as he doesn't smell funny or still have dirt on him when he's done. But - wait for it - he actually ASKED for this one. As we approached the end of the bars I ordered originally, I mentioned ordering some laundry soap from her (I also swear by Tory's laundry detergent.) And he said, "Oooh, get some more of that Muscle Relief." Asked for it BY NAME. (She was out of the Muscle Relief but recommended Lush Blend - yes, he reacted just as favourably. Get that one if you're a morning showerer - minty and awakening.) Order a pound or four and spread the love around.

It's not all soaps there, though - I've also tried her ultra salve, great for really dry hands or squeaky spinning wheel bobbins. (Anyone want to take a stab at how I figured that out? If you guessed, "Because you're too lazy to go get the lubricant and just figured you'd give the hand salve on the table right next to you a shot," you win our prize!) Plus I've given her lip balm and her Supernatural Lotion (in Tangerine Dream, YUM) a try by way of samples sent with my orders, and both of those are absolutely heavenly too.

For yummy soaps, I should also mention Soap Deli. She does the food smells better than just about anybody. You want to smell exactly like hot apple pie? Oh, Rebecca will make it happen. My personal recommendation, though, is the Lettuce Gardener's Soap. Great smell, nice scrubby effect, and leaving it in your bathroom or kitchen makes the whole place smell fresh and clean. (I enjoy things that are tricky like that. Candles that make the house smell like I've been baking, soap that smells like I've been cleaning. Ha.)

Last and definitely not least: Sweet Spice. I'm willing to bet all her products are incredible, so I wouldn't hesitate to try whatever she has lying around in the shop. But the one thing specifically that I've just picked up and am completely obsessed with: the Sugar Scrub. You NEEDS it.

Buy big jars for yourself. Buy some little jars for gifts. Secret Santas, coworkers, friends, family...pretty much everyone you know. It's really, really, really yummy. It's not abrasive, it's not all greasy...I got some salt scrub from Origins once and I felt like I'd rolled around in a vat of Crisco, and no amount of rinsing made me feel any less like an oil slick or smell any less like an olive grove. But these sugar scrubs are melty and sweet and leave just enough fragrance behind. And OH the fragrances. I picked up Warm Pumpkin Pie and Snowflakes - both are delicious, but the pumpkin pie scrub makes me want to sit down in the corner of the shower and eat the whole jar. (And I'm not going to lie, after reading the ingredients, which all appeared pretty food-like, I might have tasted it. Shut up. It's for the benefit of science. And it really smells just like pumpkin pie. It tastes like sugar scrub, though. So I recommend it mostly for that intended use.)

Plus, it feels exactly like rubbing warm cake frosting all over your body. And if you can really sit here and tell me that doesn't sound like something you'd want to do every morning, we clearly have nothing in common.

Happy splurging!