Monday, March 18, 2019

CBe Ceramics: Redwoods Tumbler


Cate Be's art really strikes a chord within me. I have one of her goddess mugs and it is a joy to drink coffee from in the mornings. Cate, the maker behind CBe Ceramics, has been having a nice mixture of ready to ship pottery pieces for sale along with a few pre-orders. This redwoods tumbler was part of a pre-order I placed in mid-January. The pre-orders take about 6-8 weeks to be made. 


I also picked up another of Cate's fire cider tonics which I will write about another time (if I don't use it all up before then).


I love this tumbler. It is great for iced coffee, juices, tea and milk. I enjoy the small saying that Cate often includes on the back of her creations. I also love that she changes up small details in the designs so that all her creations morph and flex with her inspiration yet have the same heart and soul.


And her glazes are incredible. Rusted browns and sunset oranges run and pool with turquoise stones and jade hues. 



I was thrilled to place a pre-order for one of Cate's two-sided Totoro mugs. She will probably be having a custom order opening in late April. 

I have yet to see the redwoods but I will be happy to drink from them until I can one day. What plant or tree would you like to see in person one day?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Birbs


It's funny how this winter we had different birds come to visit and some that were missing. I did't have my regular woodpecker friend. My Tufted Titmice didn't visit nearly as much and a few others stayed away. But I did get some Goldfinches and several other birds, some of which I am having a hard time identifying. 


This past week has been busy. I had an overnight field trip with my 6th graders at the Orlando Science Center. It was fun having a whole museum to ourselves. It was a really great program. We started with a movie in the IMAX Dome, then some CSI experiments like blood typing, computer facial recognition, chromatography and such, then we headed up to the observatory and looked through two massive telescopes. We got the see four baby stars that were "recently" born in Orion's nebula (they are only a million years old compared to our sun which is about 4 billion I think). Then we saw the moon up close and it was incredible. 


This weekend I am alternating between packing, playing in my garden, reading and buying mugs. Good gravy is Adam going to be surprised when they roll in.

Hey. How funny does that yellow and black bird look up there?? Like a missile headed right to the feeder. 


Spring break starts next week on Thursday and lasts until March 31st. I am very much looking forward to it. It will be packed but it will be good. 

How is your mid-March looking? Did you notice any difference in your bird visitors? Does it normally change that much? Wondering what birds I will see when I move. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Solstice Scents: Hidden Lodge


Hidden Lodge was among some of the very first perfumes I encountered from Solstice Scents when Angela was first debuting her EDP format. Back in 2015 I fell hard for it and my love for it has only grown deeper. Hidden Lodge was built around the earthen habitat of a beaver. Angela constructed a scent that evokes that dark dank coziness with a touch of animalic warmth. I don't remember the exact cost of this perfume and it is not currently in stock, but Angela does do seasonal restocks so it will return. I am thinking it was in the $70-$80 range as are most of her EDPs with a few exceptions. 


Hidden Lodge- Notes: Dry wood blend, oud, woodsmoke, spices and castoreum (botanical interpretation). $70-$80 I believe... I forgot exactly how much I spent on this one.

As previously mentioned, Angela built her inspiration for Hidden Lodge from the hard working beaver as he constructs his warm cozy dam of a den. This woody beauty has dark dank undertones and subtle sweetness but it surprisingly wearable and it resonates with me. Pine and cedar kindling, flesh toned and brimming with fuel in their fractured bones ignite into delicate flames sending woodsmoke signals into an unmanned sky. Tufts of lightly charred oud wood plug crevices and tuck into nooks to lay a downy bed of warmth in the perfume while the castoreum is the ghost of the pelt that leaves behind its musky effulvia letting one know that this is a living creature's home. So tread with care and respect. The spices are well blended into the fragrance but play out to my nose as a hint of earthy coriander or camphorous juniper berry, perhaps a small grating of nutmeg or mace for woodsy warmth or even a grounding of tumeric or saffron. Either way the spice is not overt or kitchen cupboard but it shades and highlights the delicate construction of the scent. 


I do adore this perfume. It is beautifully rendered and is one I wear all year through.

Do you have a favorite Solstice Scents perfume? Do you prefer the EDP or oil versions?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Perfume Packing


I realized about a month ago that I was going to need some kind of system to pack up all my perfume oils for the move. I usually have them displayed on my wall in my bedroom so I did not have anything on hand in which to safely move my collection. After reading some awesome suggestions in various perfumes groups I decided to try two different options. 


This first was this 54 count essential oil carrying case I picked up from Amazon (here is a link to it - NOT an affiliate link- none of them are) for about $40. It will hold 5 ml bottles perfectly in a precut velvet lined foam tray and the holes stretch to accommodate even larger bottles. It even came with stickers and pens and all sorts of paraphernalia. 


I like that is has extra room on top of the bottles so I could fill it with all the silly little things I have collected over the years that I want to take with me. Yes, that includes lots of feathers from the birds in our backyard. 


After filling up the essential oil carrying case I knew I needed something with a little more capacity. A lady in the groups mentioned that she used a tool box that she filled with smaller padded essential oil cases. So once again I popped over to Amazon and picked up a small steel tool box for about $22 (here). I think I had the most fun just decorating it with all my favorite handmade artisans' stickers. 


The tool box did come with a tray insert but I took it out to make room for the all perfume. There was a small space left on top and I put some special vintage post cards, book plates, incense and perfume on top that I knew would travel safe there.


I was then able to squeeze four thirty bottle carrying cases into the tool box. These essential oil cases are soft and padded and ran about $12 each. They can be found here.


They stack two deep and fit perfectly.


They fit 5 ml bottles easily and up to 15 ml bottles. I can also squeeze two tall 5 mls in one spot, like the bottles that Sixteen92 or Hexennacht use. 

I still have about 25 stragglers on the shelves that I am leaving out so I can wear them. I also need to figure out how to pack my Solstice Scents and Sonoma Scent Studio and Serge Lutens EDPs. But not going to think about that just yet until I get most of the kitchen packed. Any suggestions? Are you adding up how many perfume oils I have? Not too far from one for every day of the year? LOL! I will do a collection post once I move into my new location in a couple months. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Sea With Botanicals: Quoth the Raven Candle


Though this candle would indeed be perfect for a bleak December, its embers are welcome to glow in my home anytime. Do you remember my Sea Witch Botanicals soap in Quoth the Raven? I decided I wanted to make my first candle purchase from them in the same scent too. It arrived packaged carefully with nary a crack or gouge.


Quoth the Raven- Notes: A spicy blend of orange, cinnamon and clove. $25

This all natural wax blend (soy and rice bran oil) comes scented with essential oils and a wooden wick in an apothecary style glass jar with fitted lid. A raven looks quite handsome on the front of this 8 ounce candle. The wood wick lit beautifully and burns smoothly and easily with minimal noise or need for trimming. The scent wafts out beautifully at about a medium-strong throw in a larger area. The scent of pomanders instills a cozy environment in the home. 


The wax pools deep and amber hued which matches the fragrance perfectly. I look forward to continuing my explorations of Sea Witch Botanicals' candle line. 

Do you have any favorite all natural candles?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Mermaid Treasure: Purified Art


Bill Martin is the talented maker behind Purified Art and his rings have taunted me for ages. Today I don't have a ring to show you but instead a more practical piece that I found missing in my silver accessories, a long chain.


This chain is 30" long, thin yet durable with multiple clasp locations. I was recommended Bill's chains by a few different Magpie friends. 

Sadly, Bill's father passed away and his Etsy shop is currently closed. He will probably open back up in the future. 

Do you prefer long chains or short chains?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sea Witch Botanicals: Facial Collection

This facial collection was provided free form Sea Witch Botanicals. All opinions are my own.


For the past few weeks I have been using this skin care collection from Sea Witch Botanicals. Last year I dabbled in mostly Korean skin care and then moved onto Paula's Choice. I had pretty much run out of my Paula's Choice routine items and then this bad boy arrived. Fortuitous! This kit is a simple, all natural and high quality skin care regimen.  


There is a soap, toner and face oil for $55, which is a savings of $6 if purchased separately. 


Let me tell you right here and now. I traditionally have never used a facial skin cleanser regularly other than whatever bar soap I am using to bathe my body with. I just don't have the time or inclination to make that a part of my skin care routine. Especially since I tend to use really great soap anyway. 

I decided to go ahead and start using this Radiant Pearl Facial Bar ($12) nightly while taking my bath. It is a glycerin based soap that houses shea butter, coconut oil, buckthorn extract, carrot extract, kaolin clay, vitamin e and oat protein among other ingredients. A smooth and softly fragrant lather builds easily for washing. It is a clean yet earthy scent and the soap washes all traces of makeup and dirt from the face without leaving any residue or tightness. I feel like I am finally treating my skin well and it is easy to use now that I have a dedicated dish for it by my bath tub. 


After the night time washing routine I next spray this Soothing Facial Toner ($14) all over my face. I don't use a pad or wipe. It saves trash and keeps me from pulling at my skin too much. This toner smells beautiful. The lavender is the star here and she floats lightly with sprigs of tiny herbs and button sized roses tucked into her buoyant bounty. I give the toner a few minutes to absorb before moving on to the last step. Once it dries it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and cool. The aloe keeps it from feeling tight or drying.


The last step in the skin care routine is applying this Lucidum Reishi Facial Serum ($35). A base of coconut oil, rice bran oil, grapeseed oil and vitamin e carries buckthorn, carrot, reishi, nettle, rosehip and rosemary extracts as well as bergamot and frankincense essential oils. The serum is an earthy, umber and green hue and smells strangely wonderful like walking into a home improvement store with the perfume of lumber and turps mixing with the garden area. I pat a few drops of this into my skin with my fingertips and it soaks in within several minutes. There is no greasy texture, just silken oils. 

After a few weeks of use I am thrilled with it. My skin tone looks less red around my nose and cheeks. My acne (which can sometimes be an issue) has not flared up other than my typical pre-menstrual spots here and there. My skin feels soft and looks dewy. I think this set will last me 2-3 months and I will happily pick it up again. I like that the ingredients are natural, ethically sourced, and vegan. The simpleness of the skin care set is wonderful and something I can stick with happily and at a very affordable price point. 

Do you use serums or oils in your routine for moisturizing?

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Strawberry Festival: Plant City, Florida



We made it to the Strawberry Festival this year. 

Plant City, Florida is the winter strawberry capital of the world or some such importance. I grew up in this area and have attended the festival since I was a wee babe. It is basically a glorified county or state fair with a midway, fried foods galore and hometown booths with crafters, livestock and exhibits.


Eating a strawberry shortcake is a must and the St. Clements Catholic church's build your own shortcake is our favorite. You can choose a cake or biscuit base and load it up to your liking (extra whipped topping as you can see).



Adam's personal favorite is the Fiske french fries with salt and generous dousings of malt vinegar. I admit they are very tasty. No other french fry out there quite like it.


I am an elephant ear or funnel cake gal but I didn't get any this time. Maybe next year. 


We found tons of cool things to browse. I ended up buying a clay wind chime with some birds nesting in it. Scarlette bought a wooden ring toss game. Savanna picked up a Native American beaded bracelet (you can see it in the self serve shortcake photo). My sister Darby got the cutest miniature Mexican house diorama wall hanging.


I love browsing all the artisan and crafted goods.


Scarlette loves playing the carnival games.


Darby, Savanna and I rode the Tomb of Doom, screaming, cackling and sweating bullets the whole time. I swear they made it as hot as Hades in there to mimic the actual place. But it was fun.


I was pretty impressed with the artwork on this ride.


Scarlette was successful on the midway at the water gun race. 

It was a nice morning of walking around and taking in the sights, sounds, scents and flavors of the Strawberry Festival. Do you have any agriculture based festivals near you? Do you enjoy the state or county fairs?

Monday, March 4, 2019

Melting Basket 137


Wax from the last basket that I enjoyed melting and smelling in my home: Handmade in Florida Cinnamon Donuts and Moroccan Mint Tea, Dessa's Sugar Plum Fairy and Beezy's Marshmallow Fireside (seriously long lasting!).

Bohemienne Life- Bloom
Bohemienne Life- The Green Faerie
Bohemienne Life- Fraser's Ridge
Bohemienne Life- Heart & Crown
CFTKR- Smoked Vanilla
CFTKR- White Cedar Forest
CFTKR- Woodland Foliage
The Bathing Garden- Alice in Lavenderland
Glitterati- Blood Orange/Blonde Moment (in celebration of getting on the Mystery Box List again!!)

I am hankering those floral and woodland scents with a hint of fruits to herald in the springtime weather. If you are curious about any of these feel free to drop a comment. The Bathing Garden just released the Alice in Wonderland scents which are incredible and appeal to the lavender lover in me. Carol at Candles From the Keeping Room is opening up next weekend for the first time in a couple months. I really want to grab a few since I know she ships so fast. 


The wildflower garden is coming along well. It has been very hot and dry as of late so some of the more tender and heat sensitive flowers are withering away despite my watering. I was very excited to see this cute fairy house at the Dollar Tree around Valentine's Day. I am going to try and go back for a few gnome friends if there are any left. 


I saw recently that bumblebees were added to the endangered species list. As I was wishing that one would come to my garden, two actually did. They both loved this small white and pink flowers (the photo above and the last one of the post). Savanna named one BB and I named the other Buzz. The two honeybee visitors left since the sunflowers are on their last legs and are busy producing seeds rather than nectar. 


We do have plenty of garden snails and mushrooms and even some fairies flitting about (I am sure).


How was your weekend? Did you sign up for the Glitterati Mystery Box? Do you find hidden treasures at Dollar Tree? Have you been going outside?

Friday, March 1, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft: Love Potions

These perfumes were sent as a gift from Julia. All opinions are my own.


May I present the second collection released for Valentine's from Arcana Wildcraft: Love Potions. There are six perfumes in the Love Potion collection and they all run $26 each. I believe most of these are beloved scents that have made a return with a new one or two added to the bouquet. 

The Honey Thief- Notes: A smoky, astringent blend of labdanum absolute, ginger syrup and black locust honey.
Shaved ginger root flesh tinctured in dark sticky molasses emerges from the bottle. Exuded onto the skin the viscous honey retains a little of the black strap molasses breath along with the lemony tang of ginger. This ginger is not as fiery as past gingers I have sniffed and worn from Julia so the syrup component is really mellowing it out. So it that  dreamy black locust honey. As it melts into the skin the honey lifts into an airy sweetness while the ginger teases at playing as soft cinnamon. This is not a heavy honey scent but a light sweet drizzle of nectar and spice. The Honey Thief rests from its mischievous romp into that molasses tang which I believe is coming from the labdanum. Dark, funky and wonderful. A perfume I will enjoy for a long time to come.

Amorini- Notes: A playful mix of cherry candy, three vanillas, pink musk, guava, sugar and a warm rush of cinnamon hearts.
Plump little Maraschino cherry bottoms bob to the surface of this scent. It reminds me of the time when I stayed at my great-grandmother's house overnight. Granny Conrad made me a bowl of plain vanilla ice cream and dropped a generous helping of electric red cherries on top and poured a glug of the scarlet juice on top for good measure. It was the best bowl of ice cream I ever had at an 8 year old. These cherries remind me of just that moment. On the skin those cherries play in tandem with sweet guava jelly, if only briefly. However, I do think I must be asnomic to the pink musk because after a short interlude with the cherries and guava I then smell nothing but the very faintest amber for a period of time. Eventually a soft exhalation of cherry and vanilla rise from the skin but in an attenuated strength. I am going to play with this one a bit as I am not often asnomic to musks but I am sure it was bound to happen. I am at the very least so happy to have been gifted this scent memory though. <3


Philtre: Embrace- Notes: Three ambers, French vanilla, Bourbon custard, golden musk, sweet coconut milk and a soft whiff of skin musk.
From the amber glass comes an enticing aroma of toothsome vanilla custard. It brings to mind Two Finger Ballet but less thick and sweet and more shimmery with the amber shining from underneath. Snuggled into the skin Embrace wraps lavish vanilla amber fleece woven with flaxen fibers around the flesh, ensnaring the senses. The vanillas curl about with threads of pale coconut and brown liqueur and golden amber. There is a soft bakery quality to the scent but balanced beautifully by the musks. I have a feeling Philtre: Embrace is going to age incredibly well. 

Philtre: Adoration- Notes: Three vanillas, sweet cream, banana custard, white pepper, exotic amber, pearl musk, black pepper and cardamom.
The jar offers up a distinctive blend of peppery bananas. Drenched on the wrists the bananas peel back to reveal ripe curves and creaminess, fresh tropical bananas firm and ivory. Quickly the peppercorns heat up the creamy sweetness of the fruit with their piquant wooden spice. The marriage of the two may sound strange but it works. A vivid and complimentary juxtaposition of flavors. The heart pours out vanilla and cream with just a fine dusting of cardamom to dilute the fiery tang of the pepper and envelop the bananas in bliss. The drydown features honeyed amber imbued with tobacco, tonka and vanilla facets. Truly lovely. One I will wear with joy. 


Venus Callipyge- Notes: Ripe, luscious peach halves and soft skin musk with amber, lime, frankincense, blackberry, sea salt and white cognac.
Straight from the bottle lime zest and tear drop pieces of pulp flavor the mounds and half moons of ripe fruits that bathe in their own juices. Squeezed out on the wrists the perfume drips of peachy intensity, all nectar and sweet flesh and mouthwatering flavor. Lime accentuates the pucker of the peach and I struggle to resist the urge to lick my arm. The top notes of the fruits trail down into those deeper hued blackberries but the sweetness fades under the haze of tart sea salt encrusted lime rinds. These mellow out too in time to reveal a dried blackberry suffused skin musk. It is a full-bodied beauty flush with roundness.  I can relate to this Venus as I too have quite the notoriety for my bountiful bottom. I must state here... I have finally found a fruity perfume I am happy to wear. This one will get worn often this summer.


Anodyne- Notes: Frosty peppermint is smoothed out with tranquil notes of blue German chamomile, gentle clover honey, chilled rice wine and just enough curative copaiba. 
Anodyne was the scent out of all of these that I was drooling over the most given the notes. I recently read a book, A Man Called Ove, where a doctor was described as having a anodyne demeanor. Anodyne can either mean inoffensive (deliberately so) or it can refer to a painkilling drug. I like both of these descriptors. In the dram Anodyne is redolent of a soothing tonic, honeyed and minted with relaxing blue herbs. And the juice is in fact a most entrancing shade of blue from the chamomile, I believe. Administered to the skin the mint spools out slowly from a base of honeyed Sleepy Time tea with spearmint and peppermint leaves,  chamomile and hawthorn bits, all sweetened generously with that honey. So subtle and so dreamy. A dulcet woodsy base wafts in that deepens the draught much like an extra long steep so that the sweetness diffuses and the gentler herbs float away languidly as if made of vapor. Unfortunately this one is sold out and doesn't look to return due to ingredient issues. 

This collection is full of delicious experiences. I am particularly excited to discover a fruity perfume I enjoy, another banana to fall in love with (Undead Gentleman is the only other banana perfume I have adored), a mint to settle the prickles of stress and unease as well as some sweet honeyed vanillas to snuggle up with. 

Happy first day of March! Happy Friday! Any plans this weekend? We will be headed to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City. I am going to be sporting my Merrywidow perfume and eating some strawberry shortcake.