Sweet Sheep Featured Flavor: Lemon Lime

In the interest of fighting the rainy-day blues, I’ve decided to extend the 15% off sale I’ve had running for Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. (Are you part of my mailing list? I occasionally run sales that I only announce there, and this was one of them. Do sign up if you haven’t already, I send out news only about once a month!) But, since it’s rainy and gross and I’m wishing for the sun, the spring sale will now run through April 8th. Enter SPRINGSPRUNG at checkout to earn 15% off your purchase! This week I’m featuring the sunniest of lip balm flavors that I make: Lemon Lime.

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Lemon Lime lip balm

Why I love it: This lip balm tastes/smells like sunshine in stick form. It’s bright and energizing, summery and sweet. I admit to always loving lemon/lime flavors, as a kid I consistently chose Sprite over Coke and would eat all the yellow Starburst candies if I had my way. Both the lemon and lime flavors come through here for a fun, vibrant lip balm.

What it pairs well with: I don’t have nearly enough citrus scents in stock right now, but the Lemon Cake lotion bar would make a nice little gift set with the Lemon Lime lip balm and Lemon Cake soap. The Kumquat lotion bar is another energizing citrus that I can guarantee you’ll love if you’re drawn to Lemon Lime.

What’s your favorite sunny, springtime scent?

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Rhinebeck is Imminent!

It’s here, it’s here! Rhinebeck weekend is here! If you’re in the Kingston area tonight (Friday 10/16), be sure to check out the IndieUntangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show occurring in the Best Western Plus, 503 Washington Ave. from 5pm – 9pm. I created a limited edition Rhinebeck! scent available in both sheep-shaped goat milk soap and lotion bars just for this event.

Rhinebeck is Imminent! | Woolen Diversions

Rhinebeck! soap by Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

I tried to capture the essence of a great fall festival in this scent. It’s autumnal and fruity, with notes of fig, apple, cinnamon, fallen leaves, and mahogany. There are less than a dozen of each, so grab them at the show while you can (any leftover from the festival will be listed in the shop next week).

Rhinebeck is Imminent! | Woolen Diversions

Kelp-y Kelpie shawl

My new Rhinebeck goal is progressing at a steady pace. Thank you for all your kind words on my last post, I appreciate the solidarity and encouragement! I’m one stripe further along than the photo shows, which means I have one final stripe, a garter stitch border, and a top edging to finish before tonight so that it can block and have it ready to hit the road with me tomorrow. We have a lot of driving to do today for Nana’s funeral, so I’m still hopeful that I will finish in time, but it is certainly down to the wire.

If you’re heading up to the festival this weekend, I hope I get a chance to see you there, and if not, I promise to take pictures!

Sweet Sheep In Da House

I realized when I posted a picture on Instagram of a nearly-finished lotion bar, that I’ve been in business for over a year and have only one other time actually finished a bar. The first scent I ever made, Sweet Almond, is the only one I’ve completely finished using up. Why is that? Yeah, the bars are really long-lasting because you only use a tiny bit at a time, but it’s also because I literally have lotion bars in different scents all over the house.

I keep a sample-sized bar at work (Pumpkin Spice), in my purse (Kumquat), in the desk in my office (Coconut LIme), in the yarn bowl in my knitting corner (Basmati Rice), and on my bedside table (Lavender EO). When I tell shoppers at fairs and festivals that it’s handy to have one in multiple places, I’m not just selling them a line,  I mean it, I live it! That old adage of the shoemaker’s family going barefoot apparently doesn’t extend to handmade body products, because my skin is never, ever dry. 🙂

In addition to that silliness above, I wanted to let you know that I’ve restocked some soap!

First, I’ve made more of my popular Lavendar Vanilla soap. This version is made with a honey soap base (purple) and topped with whipped goat’s milk and castille (olive oil) soap (white). These went quickly at my last market so I was eager to make some more!

And second, I used slivers from the edges of the Lavender Vanilla soap as embedded pieces in my new Summer Fields soap. This contains the honey and goat’s milk goodness of the Lavender Vanilla soap within an aloe vera gel soap base. It’s scented with a new-to-me fragrance oil that I can’t get enough of called Grass Stain. I know, the name sounds crazy, but this fragrance is totally delightful. It’s herbal and sweetly floral, while being refreshing and not overwhelming in the slightest. It reminds me of rolling around in the grass on a warm, sunny summer day.

I have so many more soap plans rolling around in my head but only limited time to make them lately so that’s all I have for now. What’s your favorite summer scent?

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Here’s what the Great Blizzard of 2015 looks like from my home office today:

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Blustery!

The nice thing about my job is that I can more or less do it from wherever there is a computer with internet/network access. However, that means I don’t really get snow days, I get ‘work from home’ days. At least I’m still in my PJs, right? And I’m honestly just grateful that I don’t need to be out in that mess.

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Overdyed Cypress vest, inching towards the finish line.

Here’s a small mess I had to tackle this morning. I knit on my vest all weekend long, racing through the neckline decreases, feeling the possibility of finishing this thing inching ever nearer… only to discover when I reread the directions that I was supposed to change the rate of decrease about halfway through the neckline before reaching the shoulder shaping. Rip, rip, rip. Luckily, I only had to rip back about 3″ of knitting and with all of the decreases there really aren’t too many stitches on the needle right now (benefit of knitting in pieces vs. in the round!). It’ll be a bit of a stretch to finish this by part three of my birthday celebration this Saturday, but I’m still harboring hope. If I can finish the front and block the pieces today, I can seam tomorrow night, and hopefully whiz through the armhole and neckline ribbing and tubular bind-offs (because tubular bind-offs are ever so speedy — ha!). And then, of course, we’ll all have to keep our fingers crossed that the thing actually fits.

Baby It's Cold Outside | Woolen Diversions

My first Plucky

I’m remaining focused on my vest, but my newest yarn acquisition is begging to be knit. I acquired this lovely grey-with-the-slightest-hint-of-teal skein of Plucky Bello Fingering (55% Merino, 45% cashmere) specifically to knit Thea Colman’s Black Tea hat design. I handled the sample at the Knitting Weekend (part one of my birthday celebrations) and fell in love. The luxurious yarn is held double and the cables stand out nicely even while the fabric is covered in a delicate halo from the cashmere. I fiercely coveted the hat, so I hunted down the yarn and now can’t wait to get started. It will be my post-vest prize, other knitting goals be damned (I’m the worst at plans).

Speaking of the weekend, my parents came up to celebrate part two of my birthday extravaganza. We saw John Oliver perform at the Foxwoods casino (I’ve never heard anyone utter the phrase ‘like a menstruating snail’ in my entire life, but it was hilarious. Go see him, he’s genius.) and managed not to lose too much money. The next day we headed to The Breakers, the ‘summer cottage’ of the ridiculously rich Vanderbilts in Newport, RI. It was gorgeous. There’s a whole string of such mansions to check out, if you’re so inclined. (There were people surfing in the water, btw. Crazy!) Then we headed to an excellent Irish pub and ate the hell out of some whisky-and-Bailey’s-infused desserts. Well worth the caloric indulgence, I’d say.

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Last day of the sale! Click for shop.

I’ll leave you with a wee reminder that today’s the last day of my 30% off birthday sale at Sweet Sheep.

Are you experiencing a snow day? How are you spending your time?

Name This Scent! Vote

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with name ideas for this lovely, sweet, spruce-y, holiday lotion bar scent:

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We had some really, really great ones! The random number generator chose comment number 2, so congrats nerdinthebrain! Once this fragrance has a name, I’ll stick a label on a bar and send it your way. Now, I narrowed down the names to TEN choices based on logistics (had to fit on the label!) and some subjective opinion. 🙂 Please vote for the one you like best, and tell your friends! Whomever supplied the winning name in the first place, will receive a lotion bar and lip balm of their choice. Voting will close this Thursday, and winner will be announced Friday.

Which name do you think best fits the holiday scent depicted in the photo above?

I’m excited to see which name wins, and thanks to everyone who made suggestions, it was tough to narrow it down!

In related news, I’ve added some of the new winter scents up on Sweet Sheep! Hover over the photos below to see their names.

New scents means some of last season’s are now on sale for 20% off. And while we’re at it, I should let you know that the last day to place ready-made orders before Christmas is Friday, Dec. 19th, I’ll be traveling on the 20th and will ship before I leave. The last day to order custom items (like our custom gift sets!) will be Friday, Dec. 12th. Shipping will be delayed starting Dec. 20th and will resume again on Dec. 29th.

Well, all of that pretty much took up my entire weekend. How was yours?

Name This Scent! Contest

I’ve come to realize that some of my Sweet Sheep lotion bar fragrances are more challenging to name than others. An example of an easy one is Kumquat.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

Kumquat!

This bar smells exactly like how biting into a kumquat tastes: bright, fresh, juicy, tropical, citrus. If you’ve never eaten a kumquat, by the way, I recommend that you do so as soon as possible. It’s the only citrus fruit with an edible rind. The rind is thin and very sweet which plays nicely off the sour pulp of the fruit. Anyway, back to the problem at hand: other scents are harder to capture in a name.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

Down by the Bay

For example, the above photo represents the bar I call Down by the Bay. The fragrance oil that gives its scent was named Tobacco & Bay Leaf by the supplier. I did not think that name evoked the right emotions for the way the lotion bars smelled. To me, the scent is herbal and tangy, citrus-y and a little salty. It reminds me of bright beach days and sweeping expanses of sea. ‘Down by the Bay’ seemed to fit much better.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

The scent that needs a name!

Now, for the current dilemma! I’m having the hardest time coming up with a good name for a new holiday fragrance depicted above. I think the photo captures the essence of the fragrance well enough, but a good name is eluding me. The scent has a base of spruce, is clearly a holiday/Christmas tree kind of scent, with an almost candy- or berry-like sweetness to it. It evokes a sense of merriment and cheer, cold days and warm nights. It’s woodsy without being completely herbal, and sweet without being overwhelmingly sugar-y or fruity. When I smell it I think about opening up boxes full of Christmas decorations, but something like “Old Tinsel & Ornaments” just didn’t seem right… ha.

Here’s where you come in!

If you’d like to play along, please suggest a name you think best represents the holiday scent in the third photo. Post your suggestion either in the comments below or on Sweet Sheep’s facebook page. I realize the difficulty in naming a scent you haven’t smelled but brainstorming is fun and winning stuff is even more fun, so why not give it a try? Every person who suggests a name by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday 12/7 will be entered for a chance to win one lotion bar of this fragrance. On Monday I’ll compile a list of my favorite suggestions and open it up to a vote on the blog. If a name you suggested wins the poll (voting will end next Thursday), you’ll receive a lotion bar and lip balm of your choice! (If more than one person suggests the same name, then I’ll use a random number generator to determine who wins.)

So how about it, want to play along?

Keeping Things Sweet

Halloween is here, which means the rest of the holidays are not far behind. To celebrate the start of the holiday season of thankfulness, I’ve decided that every Sweet Sheep order placed during the month of November with a subtotal greater than $10.00 will receive a free sample-sized lotion bar as a gift!

Woolen Diversions

Free sample-sized lotion bar with every order over $10.00!

This is just one way for me to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for being a customer! I will send a scent at random but if you have allergies or know that you ‘hate fruit scents’ or something like that, feel free to indicate that in an order note and I will try to accommodate you. The sample will be a fun way to try a new scent, or share it with a friend to spread the sheep-y goodness! Since the gift-giving season is nearly upon us, I’d appreciate as much exposure as we can muster: follow Sweet Sheep on facebook, sign up for the newsletter, and tell your friends! Everyone should have a handmade holiday, yes?

Woolen Diversions

Homemade pepita brittle.

I hope you’re all having a lovely Halloween! I’m usually a bit of a Halloween humbug since I hate dressing up and really can’t afford to eat candy (physically speaking), but I’m trying to get in the spirit a bit this year. I woke up about 2 hours earlier than I had intended and couldn’t fall back asleep so I figured, what the hell, let’s make candy.

I followed Smitten Kitchen’s pepita brittle recipe and it was super easy! I had never made candy before and wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but it tastes fine so no harm done. The transformation from sugar, (an alarming amount of) butter, water, and corn syrup to finished candy was interesting to watch. There was a lot of foaming involved, and the addition of baking soda and salt caused more. I kept waiting for it to turn a deep brown color like in the blog photos but once it began sticking to my spatula like taffy I figured it was time to mix in the pumpkin seeds and spread it out to cool. The resulting candy is VERY buttery tasting, which surprised me, but is also delicious, so yay for that.

What’s the most recent new thing you’ve tried, just for the heck of it? How do you celebrate Halloween?

Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show

While I’m filled with an epic sadness that I will not be at Rhinebeck (my friends keep insisting on planning their weddings in October!) I’m super excited that a sample of my Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe products will be there.

Woolen DiversionsIf you’re lucky enough to be going this year, check out the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show tonight from 5 pm – 7 pm at The Garden Plaza Hotel in Kingston, NY. A whole slew of awesome vendors will be there and I hear there will be giveaway prizes, as well. Get your Rhinebeck splurging started early with the likes of Canon Hand Dyes, June Pryce Fiber Arts, That Clever Clementine, Skeinny Dipping, and Knitspot’s Bare Naked Wools (to name just a few).

Woolen DiversionsI’ve sent up a selection of 10 different lotion bar fragrances (including autumn scents like Frosted Cranberry), 5 lip balm flavors, and 3 different gift sets (the All Natural set that Hunter reviewed, Fall Favorites, and Coffeehouse Specials). I hope some of you can stop by and sniff/sample in person!

And one last thing: I finally got around to setting up an e-newsletter for Sweet Sheep. If you sign up, you’ll receive a coupon code for my shop as a thank you (sometime next week)!

I’m bummed that I won’t be there to say hello and enjoy the festival, but I can’t be too sad that I’m heading off to California to celebrate the marriage of some dear friends! (Even though I can barely fit it in my carry-on, my new camera is packed and ready to take epic photographs of redwood trees, wooohooooo! I am ridiculously excited to see some big trees. BIG TREES!!!)

Have an excellent weekend, wherever you’re spending it. 🙂

Housekeeping Friday

So many things to tell you about today, I’ve had to put them in a numbered list!

  1. Remember my Blue Sky Alpacas giveaway? Well, we have a winner! Congrats, Naomi, and thanks for liking my blog page on Facebook! (I’ve emailed you for your address and will ship your prize out straightaway.) Thanks to everyone who participated, I loved reading your comments about your favorite travel destinations. Now you have me itching to visit places like the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and The Grand Canyon (I could hit those up in one weekend, right?). Also Norway, France, Italy, Australia… sigh. Too many places to see!
  2. Hunter Hammersen has very graciously agreed to review my Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe lotion bars and is hosting a giveaway, as well! Head on over to Violently Domestic to check out what she thinks and enter to win a lotion bar and lip balm of your choice.
  3. Sweet Sheep is proud to be one of this month’s sponsors over at the Knitted Bliss blog! I’ve been a long-time reader of Julie’s blog, and especially enjoy her Pin Up (Pinterest roundups) and Modification Monday series.
  4. October means it’s time for the annual October Stockpile event in the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry, which means my Malabrigo-specific patterns (Dissipative & Syrinx Shells) are both on sale for 20% off with the code ‘MalQuick’ through the end of October! Get your quick and colorful cowls on the needles, the holidays approacheth!
  5. Have I told you that I’ve added some autumn scents to the shop? I don’t think I have! If you’ve been itching to get your fix of seasonal sensory delights like Pumpkin Spice, Autumn Harvest, and Apple Butter, I can hook you up. And if we ever get a sunny day in New England again, I’ll post photos for new Kumquat, Honey Oatmeal, and Frosted Cranberry scents, too (like my shop on Facebook to be the first to know as soon as new fragrances go up!).

Happy Friday, all!

Back in the Saddle

It feels like it has been quite some time since I’ve made any lotion bars, what with June and July being consumed by the wedding and honeymoon. However, it’s about to be All Sweet Sheep, All The Time around here and I got the ball rolling this past weekend whipping up a few batches of scents that had sold out.

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe Coconut Lime Lotion Bar

Coconut Lime – get it while it’s hot!

I spent much of Sunday brainstorming new scents to develop for a fall lineup. I’ve decided to split the year up into three scent seasons: January – April (late winter and spring), May – August (spring and summer), and September – December (fall and winter). This means that I’ll soon be phasing out some of my more summery scents (keep an eye out for sale info soon). And I’m starting to get super excited about cooking up batches of lotion bars with names like Apple Butter, Autumn Fig, and Gingersnap (to name a few).

Vending on August 17th in Swansea, MA.

Vending on August 17th in Swansea, MA.

We have not one, but TWO vending opportunities this month. The first is this Sunday, August 17th, from 10 am – 4 pm at Venus de Milo in Swansea, MA. This craft fair is a fundraising benefit to help a young woman go on a mission trip. (If you wish, you can donate directly to her cause here.) I hear that kiddos will also have a chance to get their photos taken with Queen Elsa from Frozen, so that’s pretty awesome.

Coventry Regional Farmer's Market

Logo snipped from their webpage.

Our second vending opportunity will be the following week during the Honeybee Hullaballoo at the famous Coventry Farmer’s Market. This event runs from 11 am – 2 pm on Sunday, August 24th in Coventry, CT. The Fiasco and I used to live right down the road from this market and we dearly miss it, so we’re super excited to be vending there! Please do come by and visit Sweet Sheep in the wild, we’d love the chance to meet you and help you find just the right lotion bar fragrance.

What’s your favorite autumn or winter fragrance? What scent gives you that cozy, cooler weather, holidays-on-the-horizon feeling?