Archive 2010 continued

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Healthy Skin Naturally: Skin Structure, its dermis and subcutaneous layers

Welcome to the second section of Chapter One of Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles.

The dermis layer consists of two layers:

  1. The papillary binds the epidermis and dermis together. Papillae are the ridge-like projections that make up your finger prints. Containing capillaries and nerve ends, the papillae are super-sensitive to touch stimuli.
  2. The reticular layer is made of elastic mesh-like fibers that give skin its resilience. But as we age, this layer’s strength and tone diminishes, collagen formation slows, and wrinkles begin. This layer contains fat cells, blood and lymph vessels, oil and sweat glands, arrector pili muscles, and hair follicles.

Subcutaneous means ‘beneath the skin’. A fatty layer connects the dermis to the underlying muscle tissue. This fatty layer is a shock absorber, insulator protecting our internal organs and gives your skin a smooth, strong foundation.

The photograph below shows the skin layers discussed above.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Healthy Skin Naturally: Skin Structure, the epidermis

Welcome to the first section of my discussion on Ms. Tourles’ book, Naturally Healthy Skin. As mentioned previously, I’ve divided my discussion of this chapter into three sections. For me, learning happens faster if I digest smaller bits at a time. It’s important that I learn the new terminologies and their functions.

Skin structure, the epidermis

Skin structure varies in thickness depending on its function. Skin is thickest on our feet and hands. After all, our feet and hands are the two body parts that we use most to sense our world. On the other hand, our thinnest skin is our eye lids. Our eyes are our very delicate; they would need a soft layer to protect them.
Skin is a complex organ because its functions are so varied. It protects us internally as well as externally. Within one square inch of our skin’s surface, our skin contains hair, sebaceous glands, nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands, cells, nerve endings, sensory cells, temperature sensing apparatuses.

Our skin is made up of three layers: epidermal, dermal, and subcutaneous. Within each of these layers are additional layers.

The epidermis contains five layers:

  1. Stratum corneum is our outermost layer of skin composed of large, plate-like envelopes filled with keratin, which are dead cells that have migrated up from the stratum granulosum; this layer protects us from environmental elements and helps keep our skin hydrated by preventing water evaporation.
  2. Stratum lucidum is found throughout the body but is thickest in the soles of our feet and in the palms of our hands; it is composed of between three to five layers of keratinocytes, (forms the keratin layer that protects the skin and underlying tissue from environmental damage such as heat, UV radiation and water loss).
  3. Stratum granulosum (or granular layer) keratinocytes are called granules that contain keratohyalin (a protein that may promote aggregation and cross-linking of the keratin fibers).
  4. Stratum spinosum also called ‘prickle-cell’ due to its spiny appearance creates a hydrophobic barrier that prevents dehydration.
  5. Stratum basale, the deepest layer of the epidermis, is a continuous layer of cells, considered the stem cells of the epidermis, are proliferate and create ‘daughter’ cells that migrate

The photograph below shows the different layers.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Reading Naturally Healthy Skin

Chapter One of Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles discusses the structure and function of skin. Knowing what our skin is and does is a perfect place to start.

After reading this chapter I felt that I wanted to know more. So I went to Wikipedia as an alternative research reference. It’s easy to get to, is relative easy to read, has some terrific graphics and photographs, and contains linked references for those of you who want to dig deeper. Always using more than two references pretty much gives you an accurate picture of your subject.

This chapter became a bit longer than I initially thought so I divided my discussion of it into three sections: Skin Structure, the epidermis; Skin Structure, the dermis and subcutaneous, and Skin Structure, its function. With all the new terminology, I’ll need more time and effort to digest what I’ve learned.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Learning how to care for your skin — naturally

I’m always looking for ways to improve my goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions. I do this by reading, and reading, and reading. Dozens of books and articles on skin care surround my desk. Emails clutter my desktop because they have skin care tips that I want to pass on to you — my customers.

Knowing how to care for my skin means more to me today than it did twenty years ago. You know, before the wrinkles and sagging muscles became visible. It’s amazing how invincible we were back then. Tanning and experimenting with different foods and drinks was so much more fun than eating well and caring for myself.

My skin is paying for it now. That’s why started a goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotion business. All of my products are developed after considerable, in-depth research. We research everything by a variety of research techniques: Anecdotal, statistical, and scientific research methodologies are all helpful.

I learned how to learn when working on my first graduate degree.But more importantly, I learned how to gain creditable knowledge. That’s exactly what I’ve done with soapmaking and lotion making. Now I want to take my knowledge on natural skin care to a higher level. And I’d like to take you along with me as I learn from the masters.

We’ll study work from professionals who have dedicated their careers to natural skin care. Academicians who educate technicians and trend setters who monitor consumer needs are continually producing research papers on their subjects. During this journey we’ll identify people who have raised the bar on skin care knowledge — in lay terms.

My plan is to share the highlights of my research with you. Here’s the rub: I want to gain this knowledge so I can improve my goat milk bath and beauty products. So, the information will be biased. I will, however, let you know what I’ll be studying so you can to get the materials for yourself, if you want.

The first text we’ll study is a book by Stephanie Tourles named Naturally Healthy Skin: Tips and Techniques for a lifetime of Radiant Skin.

My next blog will cover Chapter One.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Photos of soap making

Ingredients must be weighted for accuracy.
Oils must be melted so they will blend together.
Frozen goat milk and lye in early stages of blending.
Always wear protective gloves and eye ware.
Mixtures do get HOT.
Final stage includes a water bath so the two pails will cool within 5 degrees of each other.
Ingredients have been blended, fragrance oil and color has been added.
Close up of log.
Another close up of soap log.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Take a day off

We took Sunday today off and loved it. Working from home has its benefits but it also has it drawbacks. Those of you who work from home know what I’m talking about.

On one hand I’m glad that I’m able to work from home; but, on the other hand, I’m always working when I’m at home. The sameness sort of closes in on me at times. Please don’t get me wrong, Working from home is a dream come true. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have the freedom of working where ever I lived. I digress … .

Bob and I watched a movie while still in our jammies. Surrounded by sleeping dogs, we lounged around all morning and most of the afternoon. That’s a picture of our bliss.

We slowly ate breakfast around 2:00 p.m. After that we put on our barn duds on to go check our critters. Yesterday I noticed that one of our little goats had been limping. We caught him and discovered that his little leg was broken. I wrapped it temporarily and game him something for the pain. I’ll call a vet tomorrow so he can come set it properly.

I hate that I don’t know enough to give proper care for our goats. Studying veterinary technology is probably the one field of study I need the most. Self-taught book learning will have to do for now, though. I’ve had enough schooling.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shy on college degrees. Unfortunately, none of them have anything to do with raising goats. But I did accomplish what most schooling should teach: I learned how to learn. I’ll hit the books on mending broken bones tomorrow.

I’m happy to learn the basics, but when it comes to diagnosing and prescribing medicine, I’ll leave that to the professionals. But everyone needs to know the basic first aid techniques — for humans, dogs, cats, and all the other species that you live with. After all, they’re counting on you — the human.

Did I say I took the day off? Well, make that the morning off. I’ve got to go take care of a little guy with a broken leg and feed his mama. Then I’ll figure my formula weights for tomorrow.

Happy soaping, Pat

Friday, September 03, 2010

Soap Gentle Enough for Your Mother’s Skin

Many of you have asked: “What’s in this soap that will help my ________?” Fill in the blank. Everyone has issues with their complexion, their elbows, ankles, heels, face or their dry skin.

Personally, I have light skin that sunburns easily. But first I freckle, Hey, I like my freckles so — bring ’em on. But my mother, bless her heart, has hated her freckles for 87 years. Can you imagine how miserable she must be by hating her skin that long? Her skin is, after all, contains her very being.

That’s another reason why I decided to make goat milk bath and beauty products. Helping her be happier with her skin MIGHT help yer realize how adorable her freckles are. The jury is still out on this one; but, I could keep you posted.

My mother-in-law (94), on the other hand, has skin that bruises quite easily, along with being dry and very delicate. With both of our mom’s having delicate, thinning skin, I needed a soap that would cleanse their skin without damaging it further. Since I’ve been a researcher for decades, I started investigating what makes some soaps gentle versus what makes other soaps more harsh.

To discuss my findings would require more time/space than we have here. But suffice it to say, I found that a well-balanced soap is a requirement. Too much of some oils may dry your skin (hard to believe but true), while others may leave a greasy film on your skin.

I’d already research the benefits of goat milk in soap; so, I knew it would be helpful. The key points being that goat milk fats and proteins are transformed during the soap making process and thus leave a nutritious, moisturizing barrier on your skin. But which oils would enhance the goat milk even more?

All this research led me to develop my Nurture Collection. It has goat milk, olive oil, shea butter and sodium hydroxide. Goat milk contains nutrients, olive oil brings its healing ingredients, shea butter melts at body temperature and carries the benefits into your skin more readily. While sodium hydroxide is mandatory when making soaps, it too is transformed during the soapmaking process and is no longer in it’s caustic form. It’s my job to make sure I put just enough lye but not too much.

My Nurture Collection is gentle enough for my mother’s skin (87) as well as my mother’s-in-law skin (94). Skin that bruises easily, is thinning, very delicate and dries all too easily needs all the protection and nurtured as possible. Both of our mom’s use my products. I figure that if I can get my parents to use my product, I must be doing something right. Have you noticed this, too?

Mother likes my soap but she still isn’t too crazy about her freckles. Some things just take longer to alter than others … don’t they.

Happy bathing, Pat

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Who is GraNann?

It’s every grand mother. In my case, it’s a combination of Gran’ and Nanny. GraNann.

Doesn’t that sound more exotic than Granny. Grand Mother would be acceptable but it’s too long. I wanted something that would be easy to remember and short. My grandmothers were Mamaw and MaMa. Hummm … .Did not want to be called either of those names.

Children need something special to call their grand parents so I thought I’d give them something I would enjoy being called. No telling what youthful minds would come up with. It could be something really bizarre.

OK. With that being said, I don’t have any grand children — yet that is. (It’s a long story. Probably like many of your stories; it’s best left to your imagination.)

Returning to the point: When I’m in the barn with my baby goats I realized that I really am a grand mother. Their mamas (the does) are the parents. I truly can enjoy the babies then leave them to their mothers. Oh blessed day. How comforting to realize their mama’s are waiting for me to leave so they could have their babies back.

Frequently babies need their hooves trimmed, need vaccinations, deworming, or handling of some sort. It’s best to handle them when they’re young so they’ll be used to me picking them up. Besides, I hate chasing critters. I always lose, get winded, trip and fall, or otherwise get frustrated. Trapping works, but having them come to me is the best.

I’m happy being Mom to their mothers. After all, they were last year’s babies. We all worked together getting them into this world. More than likely I held them to their mama’s teat so they could nurse. Or I milked her then fed them their ever so important colostrum.

I like being GraNann, especially with it comes time to feed the newborns every two/three hours. Seeing a newborn nurse on her mama is truly magic. The vision warms my heart and fills it with memories I will take to the grave with me.

Now you know why we named our company Gran’ Nanny’s. We are mother centric here and have dozens of grandmothers as well as great grandmothers. But we do let go when the babies are old enough. It’s time for them to move into someone else’s life and share the pleasure of Goat World. It’s  memorable place because they are incredible creatures.

If you’re lucky enough to have a goat, then you’re lucky enough. Bless you.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gift Wrapping Compliments Gift

Gift wrapping has more delicate variations than I had ever imagined. From paper embossing, color theory, ribbon texture to tag font design; each nuance builds upon the other to create a special gift for your loved one.

After quite a bit of research, I am amazed at how much attention each component receives.

Please join me as we pair goat milk bath and beauty products with specialized gift designs that compliment each other.

Pictured is our signature cello packaging design. Goat Milk Soaps are wrapped with red or cream colored tissue paper then tied with natural raffia.

Each gift has a tag describing the contents and a tag for your signature. Most cello packages contain either three or four soaps, it’s your choice.

Visit our site above for ordering details.

How may we be of further service?
Pat Allen, President
Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goat Milk Oatmeal Soap Making Recipe

One of my favorite books about milk soaps was written by Casey Makela in 1997. Milk-Based Soaps: Making Natural, Skin-Nourishing Soap contains recipes for soaps as well as benefits and reasons why milk is so good for your skin.
My copy is tattered and torn on a page or two but it’s loved and well-worn. Every time I read this book some new bit of knowledge reveals itself. It’s fun reading my old notes on a few pages, seeing my thought process as I was learning soapmaking.
Of all the recipes about milk soaps, my favorite is Oatmeal Soap (page 66). Oatmeal goat milk soap was the first soap I made and always keep in stock because it makes my skin feel wonderful every time I use it — without exception. The recipe follows:
Oatmeal Soap (makes 32 4-ounce bars)
3 pounds pure vegetable shortening
17 ounces extra-light olive oil
12 ounces safflower oil
8 ounces canola oil
3 pounds goat milk (one gallon weights 8 pounds)
12 ounces pour sodium hydroxide (lye)
1 ounce borax
1/4 ounce white sugar
1/4 ounce glycerin
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 ounce almond fragrance oil
1/4 ounce vanilla fragrance oil
Special instructions. Prepare the oatmeal by putting 1/2 cup of rolled oats in the blender and grating it for 60 seconds, or until you get a medium-course powder.
Refining the oatmeal in this manner helps it to better blend into the soap, an creates a more finely textured soap.
Add the oatmeal when you run the liquid mixture through the blender for the first time, and add the fragrance oils when you run the liquid mixture through the blender for the second time.
I highly recommend getting this book if you’re interested in making milk soaps. Then read it about 7 times so you’ll ‘get it’.
Space is too limited here to discuss PROCESS but it is critical. To learn more about process, go to the following website.
Kathy’s Soapmaking Links lead to a wealth of information on soapmaking and soapmakers who share their talents and skills. These links are excellent places to begin your research on how to make soap.
Happy soaping!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Soap Making Lessons Learned: Before and After

I remember the first time I made a batch of soaps from scratch. Uncertainties gurgled in my throat: the heat, working with lye, would my mold be big enough? Feelings of uncertainty filled my chest. Don’t you hate that feeling? But, as you probably know, you just gotta BIG-UP and go for it.

All those unknown/first-time-things concerned me. Being a rookie is scary, especially if you’ve never worked with much chemistry. Oh sure, Kitchen Chemistry, of course I could do that. But, to me, working with lye is hard core chemistry! Sigh … . By the way, I’m still afraid of lye and that’s a good thing. Lye does major damage to everything it touches. More on that later, but for now I’d like to talk about soap making.

This yellow photo is of my first batch of bergamot goat milk soap. I remember not knowing how to figure out how much soap needed to fill the mold. So I doubled my formula. HA … still didn’t fill the mold. See how thin this bar is? Or short, if you’d prefer that word. Need I tell you how easy this batch was to cut? They were so short, any knife would go through them. (We can talk about cutting tools later, too.)
My first soaps had been made in an old wooden office drawer I purchased at a second hand store. Well, Husband Bob would have none of this second-hand-stuff-for-his-wife, so he made a log mold measuring 44 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Actually, he made two. (Thanks Darlin’.) They’re wonderfully efficient and the log molded soaps were easier to cut.

This second photo is my most recent batch of bergamot soaps. Quite a difference, huh!?! Practice makes perfect. Well, better anyway. My design swirls are better, formula is better than ever, AND I know how to figure volume so I can fill ANY mold nicely. (You guys pay attention to high school math; you’ll need it!)

Yes, I know the website photographs need updating. I’ll get to it soon — very soon. We’ve grown in so many ways; better formulations, better labels, better designs, better packaging.

Speaking of packaging, Bucky is still the cover boy for our bergamot soaps and always will be. All of our products showcase a special goat. After all, without our goats, we wouldn’t have milk products for you.

I am always looking for just-one-more technique that accentuates the benefits of milk, like blending it with a particular oil or managing its heating properties more tightly. After all, it’s GOAT milk that we believe in so strongly.

More later, but for now, I’m going to take my morning bath and get this day going.

Happy soaping, Pat

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps Retailers in Stanly County

Be on the lookout for our countertop displays at your local stores. Many retailers have the countertop display pictured on the right. It holds an assortment of soaps and lotions and talks about many goat milk benefits for your skin.

Our larger retailer stores have a full-line of our products on the Bakers Rack like the photo below.
God’s Country Outfitters, Hwy 52 in Albemarle and McCoy’s Feed on Hwy 24-27 at Hwy 601 have the largest displays with selections ranging from individual bars to gift wrapped packages complete with a gift tag waiting for your signature.
Select the title link above for a retailer located near you.
Happy soaping,

Pat Allen, Soap Maker

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crochet Face Cloths and Coordinated Soap Savers

These face cloths are fun and easy to make. Starting with 4-ply 100 percent cotton, I chain stitch about 30 links. Turn then single crochet in each chain. SC one then, this is where the creative part comes in. You can either single crochet the entire cloth, or you could use a half-crochet or any other stitch you want. The main thing is to make the cloth as square as possible.

The sample is the photograph has a colored trim because I wanted more color. The coordinated flower and trim on the soap saver are made with the same colored trim. Mainly because it was fun.

The soap saver is a smaller square that I close to make a tube. About one inch from each end, weave the contrasting yarn through the stitches (like a draw string) so you can close the ends, keeping your soap pieces inside the saver.

This saver is a blessing in our household. The hubster doesn’t use the little pieces; they just stuck on the walls in the shower until they dissolve. This little saver has saved more than the soaps. (need I say more? … didn’t think so)

For more crochet gift ideas, visit my website. Enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goat Milk Soap Gifts Available on WebSpecials

Each creamy colored metal bucket can double as a soap dish and comes with three goat milk soaps:

  • Maschio Motivo’s Espresso Caffé Latté,
  • Wayland’s Patchouli Plunge, and
  • Dean’s Orange Delight.

All three soaps are for combination skin types and contain essential oils for a gentle aroma-filled bath.

  • Our Maschio Motivo (Italian for Main Man; Bucky is our main man) Espresso Caffé Latte contains espresso coffee grounds for a special exfoliating feeling.
  • Wayland’s Patchouli Plunge fills your senses with a fresh herbaceous, earthy aroma; and
  • Dean’s Orange Delight completes the aromatic tones with a cleansing citrus scent.

Our goat milk is high in fats, proteins, and vitamins that naturally moisturize and enrich dry, sensitive skin.

Ingredients: saponified oils of shortening, palm, coconut, olive, corn & castor oils, goat milk, essentials oils, cocoa butter glycerin, borax, salt and sugar.

As a free gift, we’ve included a bathing puff and a gift tag for your convenience. To purchase these Goat Bucket Gifts, follow this link to our GoatMilkBath website.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New soaps are on the drying shelves

The new soaps are looking and smelling very good. Husband Bob checked ’em out last night. To us, ‘checkin’ ’em out’ means touching, smelling, and seeing the soaps. (Although there is a ‘taste’ test for lye soaps, we don’t do that. ughhhh)

The hearing sense takes place when Bob purrs while he’s investigating the newest batch. If he doesn’t go uuuuuuuuuuuuu and ahhhhhhhhhhhh, that batch goes no further. We only want the really nice, fine goat milk soaps.

Bob is our Inspector General and a tuffffff job it is. His facial expressions either make or break a batch. So far … so good.

This new batch is still very wet so they’ll need extra drying time. I added a bit more goat milk then usual but the difference will be worth the extended drying time.

Be on the lookout of a photo. I’ll post one after they’ve been polished and are closer to being ready for you. Thanks for visiting, Pat

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

so much to do … so little time

Finally weaned the babies from their mamas. Now it’s time to milk, milk, milk. Shazammmmm, do we have milk for our soaps! We’re cranking soaps out as often as possible.

AND a few of the babies are for sale. We got a super batch of babies this year.

Check ’em out at this link.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Plenty of milk for new products

We have enough milk to add more products and a larger territory. What a wonderful feeling having our goat milk products so widely received. Thank all of you for your support.

Clary Sage was popular we’ve decided to keep in the Gourmet Collection permanently. You voted by your purchases. We listened.

Be on the lookout for our newest release of Clary Sage Goat Milk Soap.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How important is it that the merchandise you receive match the photo on the web site?

I ask because I’m always experimenting with designs, new colors, textures, exfoliates, and sizes. Swirls are my passion now and will be until I master them. Then I’ll move onto another design challenge.

How would be the best way to convey my designs to you without upsetting you as customers?

My formulas are pretty much established; that is, until I learn of a different oil combination that improves our products significantly. The industry is bursting with creative people. All of us love our craft and want to make the best products possible. The goats are pretty set in their ways (whew that’s a good thing).

But aromatherapists and suppliers are constantly inventing new products or finding new suppliers.

The industry changes frequently. Tell me the best way to communicate with you about our products:

Should I update my website with every new batch?
Should I remove individual photographs and just have a photo composite of our products?

Please let me hear from you on what you expect.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milk Proteins and Milk Fats in Milk-based Handmade Soaps

Soap made with milk is naturally protein and fat rich. Milk fats absorbed into handmade milk soaps produce a naturally moisturizing soap.

These unique properties of milk-based handmade soap are an all-natural way of moisturizing dry, delicate skin.

The two tables compare the protein and fat percentages on a variety of animals.

Percentage of protein in milk
Animal — Percent protein
Cow — 3.5
Goat — 3.5
Sheep — 5.8
Buffalo — 3.6
Reindeer — 10.3

Percentage of fats in milk
Animal — Percent fats
Holstein cow — 3.55

Nubian goat — 5.0
Saanen goat — 3.5
Sheep — 6.4
Buffalo — 7.9
Reindeer — 20.3

Of these animals, I prefer the goat. Cows can and do step on you and that hurts. Sheep are too labor intensive. Buffalo are too big and often refused to be milked. Reindeer, on the other hand, are cool weather critters who probably wouldn’t be happy in North Carolina. But I sure would like to try some reindeer milk soap.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Saponification is the making of soap

Understanding the sanctification process could be daunting if we delve deeply into the chemistry. But let’s not to that. Why don’t I just tell you how I make soaps, generally speaking, of course.

Simply stated: Saponification is the chemical process of making soap.

I used to be very concerned about the process of making soap until Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs came into my life. Honestly, most of the situations that man gets himself into are insane. Soap making is a breeze compared to what some folks do for a living. I honor them all and now thoroughly enjoy soap making.

BEGIN WITH THE GREATEST OF CAUTIONS. Be alert, aware and focused at all times.

I recommend working with stainless steel or glass utensils and containers. Aluminum will melt, wood, and some plastics, will burn. Have plenty of water available in case something is spilled and it will. Vinegar is a neutralizer for lye so keep that handy too. By all means, protect your skin/eyes/breathing at all times. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area because the lye fumes are dangerous, too.

I won’t go into formulas/recipes because there are so many available online or in books. I’ll mainly share my experiences with soapmaking. You’ll need three main ingredients:

  1. sodium hydroxide (lye);
  2. liquid (usually water); and
  3. fats and oils (fatty acids).

Since the oils/fats take longer to blend, I begin the process by weighing them. Because some of the oils/fats are in two different forms (solids versus liquids), you’ll need to heat the oils/fats mixture until they have melted and blended together. Careful: it gets HOT.

Remember: Oil and water do not mix. So you need to mix the water and lye together first. Be careful with this mixture because it gets HOT and lye is dangerous. Mix thoroughly. Sometime a crust forms on the bottom of the mixture if it is left too long without stirring.

More than likely, you now have two different mixtures at two different temperatures. It’s been my experience that the oils/fats take longer to cool down than the water/lye mixture. Doesn’t matter; I stay with these two containers without interruption (no cell phone, animals, or distractions) until they are ready to blend.

When both containers are in the low 100s, I put them in a water bath (large utility sink outside my garage door). I stir and watch each of them closely until both of them are in the low 90s or high 80s AND within 5 degrees of each other. At that time I pour the lye mixture into the oil mixture and begin stirring like a crazy woman.

After the initial blend, I carry this cauldron inside to my factory where the essential oils, coloring, and molds are located. Mind you, the factor work areas has been sanitized and the molds have already been prepared or lined. They are ready to go because once the soap ‘traces’ I’ll JUST have time to pour the mixture into the molds.

The faster you stir or agitate this hot mixture, the faster it will setup. I recently purchased a super big deal blender and have yet to use it at full power because the mixture traces too quickly. Darn, I want to play with my new blender but can’t. Sigh … . I digress.

You should know your design strategy (molds, colors and essential oils) before you begin. Again, you will NOT have time once the saponification process begins.

Again, exercise caution: this mixture is hot with heat and is hot chemically. You can/will get burned both ways.

Carefully pour your pudding-consistency mixture into your mold. Cover with blankets so it will cool slowly.

Here’s where I stop. I leave all my tools, mess, buckets, containers alone until the next day. It’s all hot and will burn me with heat and chemically. By the next day it’ll be cool enough to wash.

The exception is the lye mixture mess. I pour vinegar/water in the container and put the utensils inside. I make sure this container is concealed so no critters can get into it. By critters I mean chickens, goats, birds, or dogs. The chemistry could really hurt them.

I frequently check the soap for hardness then cut it when it’s firm enough to keep it’s shape; but, soft enough to cut. If you wait too long, it’ll become too hard and you might not be able to cut it. (I did this once and still have some of that log.)

Happy soaping …

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps LOGO

We’re unveiling the logo for our companies. We have two: One is for our goat milk soaps; while the other is for our goats.

We raise Nubian dairy goats for sale. That is after the babies have been weaned. In some cases, the mama and baby will be sold together. It depends on what you’re looking for. I seldom milk the does because our freezers are full. My does give me plenty of milk in addition to them nursing their babies.

I’m amazed at how many requests I get for goats in-milk. That’s why I started selling the does. I want to supply what you want. Along with the sale of a goat, I also share a list of my resources for goat management tips, soap making, and cheese making. While I don’t make cheese for resale, I do make it for friends and family.

Even though most of our does in-milk are for sale. We do keep our retired ladies as well as a few of our favorite friends. Our goats have taken good care of us, it’s our time to return the favor.

To check out our sale goats, please visit our website:
Sleeping Dog Ranch Nubians

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Looking for gift ware sales firm in the southern region

We’ve decided to expand our market and are looking for a sales firm to pick up my line of handmade goat milk bath and beauty products. If you know of anyone in the Charlotte, North Carolina region, please let me know.

Sales firm must know gift ware industry in the southern Region with possible expansion to the west.

Independent representatives are encouraged to contact us.


Oatmeal exfoliants remove debris while soothing your skin

The surface of your skin not only traps interior waste and toxins but it traps exterior pollutants as well. Bathing with an exfoliant helps remove those wastes while stimulating your healthy cell growth.

Exfoliants are irregularly shaped textures that helps release debris collected on the skin’s surface. But rubbing too hard could damage your skin.

At Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps oatmeal is our primary exfoliant because it is a gentle exfoliant that soothes your skin while cleansing it.

Goat Milk, Oatmeal, & Honey Soap in our Nurture Collection contains oatmeal that has been finely ground, gently chopped, and coarse flakes. Our application of oatmeal exfoliants benefit your skin in the following three ways:

  1. Our finely ground oatmeal powder spreads the oatmeal’s gentleness throughout each bar;
  2. the chopped granules gently exfoliate your skin; and,
  3. the coarsely chopped flakes float in your bath water allowing for greater penetration of the soothing properties of oatmeal.

Further protecting your skin, I’ve added moisturizing nutrients via shea butter and castor oil into our exfoliating formulas. These nutrients help reduce irritation and dryness. Remember: Always rub your skin gently in small circular movements and rinse your skin thoroughly.

Learn more about how goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions benefit your skin …

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps Uses Shea Butter

Shea butter has been used as a moisturizer for centuries, one of the most stable, natural fats known; it is easily absorbed into the skin because it melts at body temperature, thus creating a moisture barrier between sensitive skin and the environment. Because of these properties, shea butter is an excellent carrier for moving nutrients of goat milk and oils into your skin.

Known to have anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter acts as an emollient and humectant by attracting moisture to your skin.

Research indicates that shea butter could be an effective treatment for the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. (Wikipedia)

Learn which Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps can help your skin become softer and more supple.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps Superfats All Her Soaps

Superfat means that additional oils used in my soap formulas do not turn into soap but remain as oils in the soaps. I do this because I want my soaps to be as nurturing as possible. These additional oils stay in the soap until you bathe at which time they gently soak into your skin. Leaving it feeling moisturized, supple, and softer.

Learn more about the benefits of using Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps …

Friday, August 06, 2010

Vitamins absorbe through your skin

Goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions contain a rich supply of vitamins and minerals that absorbs into your skin.

In particular, vitamin A nourishes various parts of your body:

* Vision
* Gene transcription
* Immune function
* Embryonic development and reproduction
* Bone metabolism
* Haematopoiesis
* Skin health
* Antioxidant activity

Research indicates that vitamins can be absorbed through your body as well as through the food you eat. That’s why we use goat milk in every product we make.

Replenish your skin often with goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions from Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps.

To purchase goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions …

For more information about vitamin A … 

Monday, July 12, 2010

GraNann’s Goat Milk Lotions is new and improved

You talked — we listened. You told me that you wanted lotion that would soften and moisturize your skin without exfoliating it. Soooooo, I’ve altered my formula so the lotions gently soak into your skin without the exfoliation.

Healing olive oil is still our main oil so your skin has all of it’s healing properties.

Ordering information is on our website.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, July 05, 2010

More milk is accumulating in GraNann’s freezer

Production will begin as soon as all the babies have landed, so to speak. We have one more doe in baby watch. As soon as her babies decide to join the Sleeping Dog Ranch herd, we’re off and running into soap and lotion production.

In the meantime, I’ve been focusing on getting the barn clean then keeping it clean. So far, so good. I’ve learned that if I clean it a little bit every day, stuff (our natural fertilizer) doesn’t pile up so high. Hence, it doesn’t weigh so much so I can carry it. Whew, what muscles I’m building.

I love my new horse. Don’t get me wrong, but it sure would be nice if he’d poop outside. How do I train a horse to not poop in the barn?

I’m open to suggestions from you horse owners out there who can tell me how to poop train a horse. The water hose gets him moving but I can’t stay out in the barn and watch him all the time. I would if I could, he is handsome. I dreamed about him last night … but … that’s another story.

As I said earlier, we gave plenty of goat milk frozen and ready for production. All I gotta do is get these babies on their feet so I can get in the factory. Everyone one is doing well and progressing as expected. So, I’ll be in the factory pretty soon. Looking forward to it.

I’ll let you know when our production line begins.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Producing unscented goat milk lotions today

I’m making the freshest goat milk lotions possible. The mama goats are producing so much milk that the babies can’t drink it all. (Yes, they try.)

Check out our website,, for prices. Availability is NOW.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We’ll be attending a few festivals this year

This is our first year to have them planned throughout the year. We’re looking forward to meeting you and getting to know your preferences first hand.

Please check out our Festivals schedule for more information. I’ll update it often so it will be as accurate as possible.

See you at the festivals!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crochet Face Cloth Sets

You’d be amazed at how bathing with a hand made crochet cloth enhances your bathing experience. That’s why I make them.

I use 100 percent 4-ply worsted cotton yarn for its softness and durability. Please allow for normal 100 percent cotton sizing and/or shrinkage. Do not wash in hot water, it dries out your skin. Use warm water for best results.

Bathe with a handmade crochet cloth for a baby soft touch but with an ever so gentle exfoliation. Sizes vary but each cloth is approximately 11″ x 11″.

Visit our website for more color selections.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Even though smelling essential oils alter your senses almost immediately, soaking in tepid water deepens its affect.

Aromatherapy further enhances your bathing experience while soothing your skin and adapting your mood — from a morning pick-me-up to an evening settle-me-down.

We at Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps use both essential oils and fragrance oils in our products. But we’re picky and use them with caution. The basic difference between the two is that essential oils are extruded from plant material while fragrance oils are synthetic.

Being picky, we’ve established two different product lines so you’ll know which aromatherapy oils work best for you. Botanical essential oils are in our Gourmet products (see Gran’ Nanny No. 5 above), whereas fragrance oils are in our Fiestaproducts (see Willie’s Apple Wooooooo below). Fragrance oils are loads of fun and reflect the seasonal holiday moods.

Visit our website for more information about aromatherapy and our product lines.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Benefits of Goat Milk Soap

The secret is in the butter fats that get turned into soap during the saponification process. Saponification is the chemical reaction that turns liquid, lye, and oil into soap. Goat milk contains butter fat, water, lactose (a milk sugar), casein (proteins), and salts.

But because goat milk is naturally homogenized, the butter fats and milk proteins react with lye and form a fat rich soap that contains vitamins A, D, E, and K.

For  more information on the benefits of goat milk skin care products, please visit our Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps website

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Goat Milk Lotions by GraNann

Our goat milk lotions contain olive oil because its healing and soothing properties have been know for centuries. By combining goat milk with its moisturizing properties and olive with its nourishing properties, we offer an all natural lotion that soothes your dry, cracking skin.

Bound together with emulsifying agents like goat milk protein fats and beeswax, goat milk lotions won’t clog your pours and offers the vitamins, proteins, and minerals that your skin needs.

By using our goat milk lotions after your goat milk soap bath, your skin will be gently moisturized and supple.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Healing Properties of Goat Milk Olive Oil Soap – Our Nutrure Products

Because the healing properties of olive oil have been known for centuries, I wanted to make a goat milk soap with as much olive oil in it as possible. But saponification (making soap) can be a tricky process; the ingredients must be balanced correctly or the soap could be too hot and burn your skin or too gooey and slime your skin, or too oily and float on your skin. Precision is important.

Goat milk has so much to offer your skin that I wanted to enhance its vitamins and minerals with a comparable oil. It took some doing; but, I figured it out. Our goat milk and olive oil products offer the gentleness of olives balanced with the richness of goat milk minerals, proteins, and vitamins.

Developed for the most delicate skin types, our Nurture product line is made with a 100 percent olive oil base. This pH balanced, creamy soap is the most gentle soap available. It is also our softest and therefore must be kept dry when not in use or it will dissolve prematurely.

I initially made this product for our mothers: one is 86 and the other is 92. Both have thin, delicate skin that is sensitive to cleansing chemicals and harsh environmental drying conditions.

Our Nurture product line contains only three ingredients: olive oil, goat milk, and lye. Yes, lye is required to make soap; otherwise, you’d have a oily milky gooooo that would sour over time. But the process of making soap, saponification, transforms these three ingredients into soap. As ingredients, they ALL change.The oil is no more. The milk is  no more. All three ingredients are now soap. Isn’t chemistry fun! I love it. No, the milk does not sour because it is now soap.

All of our Nurture skin care products are made with a goat milk and olive oil base. Additives are selected to produce special benefits like exfoliation with finely ground oat meal or detoxification with Dead Sea Salt. But keeping our Nurture products soft and gentle for delicate skin is our primary directive.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Minding the Garden Muses

I’ve tried. I’ve REALLY tried. Honestly, I tried. But I can’t help myself. The Garden Muses own me. They tug at me unceremoniously until they get what they want. This year they’re making me improve our chicken yard. Since it’s in our front yard having a welcoming area makes sense.

Well, it’s actually a chicken AND goat yard for now. We’re breeding a buck with three delightful ladies and needed the space and shelter. Sooooooooooo the chickens had to move over.

This picture was taken last summer (2009). Jordan (my goat-helping angel) went bonkers on us after sheering 25 goats. By the time she got to Lester, she HAD to express her creativity. Isn’t she terrific! Lester deserved it, don’t feel sorry for him. Mr. Wonderful is our beloved pain-in-the-bottom. More about him later. His antics could fill volumes. Every farm needs a Lester; he’s ours.

The chicken yard is in the background. Containing two structures: a 10×10 chicken house and a 4×10 chicken tractor (designed to be portable), the area is shaped like a kite, sort of. With only two 90 degree angles and long unused algebra, I have no idea of the square area. It isn’t THAT important.

Since this photo was taken we’ve added heavy mulch and steel edging around the beds OUTSIDE the chicken area. Notice the bird bath area. The rock driveway was added last year. While clay makes for highly nutritious mud, tromping through mud at the front door is NOT good.

The umbrellas have been removed (needed for summer shade); and, the goats have eaten down the grass. The chicken tractor (first photo foreground) has a brown tarp wrapped around it so the goats would have shelter apart from the chicken house. The tractor’s floor began as dirt but with all this rain it’s major muddyyyyyy. Since goats don’t do wet feet, the goats are residing in the chicken house. Sigh … .

The trash cans are food containers and store various chicken-related tools. With the land grade being slightly down hill from the barn (see background) all water drains through the chicken yard down to the front door. NOT a desirable result.

Lots of mud. Lots of wet, slimy, slippery mud. Did I mention that this mud has chicken AND goat poop mixed in with it? If you’ve ever fallen is ‘poop enriched farm mud” you’ll know the choice words used on the way d-o-w-n. Luckily water hoses are everywhere. In the summer I don’t mind hosing myself down before going inside; but, during the winter it’s tufffffffff. But poop drenched clothes are NOT permitted in the house. Not even mine.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Long hair donated to Wigs for Kids

Well, I did have a few hair cuts during those years. But it was always long. Will some one please tell me why men prefer long hair? Please!

My husband likes long hair so I accommodated him — for 29 years. For 29 years, I washed it, brushed it, braided it, and lugged it around. Had headaches because of the added weight on my head. Duh … .

He had no idea what a ‘big deal’ it was to care for. Hey, HE maintained his short hair cut. And, along the way, managed to loose a bit of hair. So HIS hair maintenance got easier while mine got longer and required more time and attention. Well, there was the obligatory pony tail. Vundebar, it was EZ.

Those of you with long hair know what I’m talking about. But he liked long hair so I accommodated him. Hummm … .

I finally found a value in having long hair. When I DID get it cut, I would cut off 12 inches then donate it to Wigs for Kids. This organization promises that the recipients incur NO costs. Wigs for Kids supplies hair to kids who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy treatments.

I donated a few lengths and was happy to do it. But after cutting 12 inches I realized how heavy my hair had become. Then I cracked. I HAD HAD ENOUGH! I went to my hair stylist, Chris, and told him to ‘cut if off’. Being cognisant of the shock one goes through with dramatic hair cuts, Chris cut just a bit more than usual. It wasn’t short enough.

The next visit it would be shorter. THIS time Chris got to the new program. Thank you, Chris!

My long hair time is over. For the next 29 years my hair will be short short short. Hey, it took me less than 10 minutes to wash my hair last night and it dried B4 I went to bed. With long hair, it would take hours and hours for my hair to dry.

May I encourage you long hair divas to donate some of your hair to Wigs for Kids. It is a worthy organization that guarantees NO COSTS to the recipients. Those folks have enough to deal with. Kids need your hair. Please help.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Our new barn frig broke on Christmas Eve

Darn, don’t you hate it when you purchase a new appliance only to have it STOP working when the freezer is FULL of food?!

It had worked for the past month but all of a sudden it decided to stop working. Luckily I checked it and was able to relocate all the meat so no food was lost.

Since it’s new, we were still under warranty. The service man arrived the next day, Christmas Eve, thank you very much.
As we escorted him to the uninsulated barn, he asked one question about the broken frig, “How cold was it in the barn when this frig stopped working?” Well, come to think of it, it was in the 20’s that day.

This man is good. He diagnosed the problem immediately. Outside the frig was colder than inside the frig so the sensors told it to turn off. hummm …

After installing a Garage Add-on, the frig was purring like a sleepy kitten. This Add-on warms the sensor just enough to keep it working year around, whether it’s in an insulated barn or not.

Don’t you have it when your frig is smarter than you.
We do.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Production schedule updates

Throughout the holidays we had time opportunities to evaluate our product lines. Since we’re all back, setting the production schedule will be one of the first things to do.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Getting into the swing of things

We had a super holiday. All of us rested, played, worked, completed household projects, ate ate ate, and took a nap or two. Probably the best part was having most of the family together again so we could get caught up with each others lives. We all live at such a fast pace (like you).