Friday, June 13, 2014

Almar Acers Natural Soap, My new venture

This is one "hobby" I never thought of. God knows I have plenty of hobbies; quilting, genealogy, photo restoration just to name the major ones. I'm a busy woman. I can't sit still. But this little hobby was not one I dreamed up, it was my mother. You know when they say "mother knows best" it's true. She had a problem and she knew I was the one that could handle the solution.

Ok so I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Let's back up to how Almar Acers got started. My husband and I and our three children moved onto the family "hobby" farm about four years ago. My parents are not getting any younger and really wanted us to join them and enjoy the farm with them. We could help them with the farm and allow them to live out their life where they loved instead of moving into town where we were at the time. Now I know that makes my parents sound really old, but honestly they are very active for their age. They were just thinking ahead for the day when they wouldn't be so active. Now they have nothing to worry about.

So the farm......I was always around farm animals. My mother just can't help herself, she just loves raising, breeding, showing and all around farm work. When we first moved out here my parents had a few head of cattle and three horses. Then she went to a fair, saw and feel in love with a the Nigerian Dwarf Goats she saw. I think it was all over from there. My mom can sure change her mind plenty, but when it's made up, it's a done deal. So she decided the big animals ate too much, didn't give back enough for what they ate, and were getting too hard for her to handle, but not these little goats. So about three years ago she started breeding Nigerian Dwarf Goats. She named her farm Almar Acres. Which is cute because it's a combination of dad's name Alvin plus her name Marilyn. It must be a thing with us. That's how I came up with my daughters name by combining James, my husband and mine, Amy to then name our girl Jamie. Ok a little side tracked there, so last year she started showing and grand championed her first goat. She's on a roll. Her herd as grown to.........I Lord let me count.......I think about six buck, about 10 or more does and now a dozen or so kids. Well when you have 10 does giving milk, some as much as a 1/2 per day, yikes my kids don't love milk that much!

So now back to the Start of Almar Acres Naturals. Mom walked in my house in early spring toting a pail of milk and said "You know Amy I think you need ANOTHER hobby!" Holly Smokes mom have you not seen all my hobbies? Where the heck am I goging to find time for ANOTHER hobby? So I asked "oh yeah, what's that." Really expecting to laugh at her and tell her she was crazy. "You need to learn how to make goat milk soap." Hmmmmm. Dang it she knows me too well. She knew I wouldn't laugh and tell her she was crazy. She had my curiosity and she knew it! So I did what I always do. I got on line and researched, read, watched videos, shopped for supplies and with in a week I was making soap. Well sort of..........

My first batch failed when I added scent and liquid color that seized my soap. I learned enough lessons in my first batch you'd think I would have given up, but no. I never give up easily. So I did more reading, watching video and learning that hey that batch didn't have to be tossed, I could rebatch it! Cool! Not bad actually. It's not how I would prefer to, or would like to again, but it worked. At least I didn't have to throw the batch away and we could still use it for the family. I did experiment with using crayons in that one, since I had to heat it up. Uhhhh I won't do that again. Pieces of crayon that don't get fully melted don't feel good on sensitive skin. YIKES! OUCH! So another lesson learned, painfully I might add.

After that I was on a roll. I began to do more reading and decided that I wanted my soaps to be all natural. Health is important to me. I'm not a fanatic about it, but I do walk and jog daily and watch what my family and I eat. So to finally find a way to provide my family with an all natural soap that is chemical free was a really cool thing. So I found out the Essential Oils were a perfect way to add fragrance to my soaps in a natural way. Not the chemical stuff I tried the first time that seized up my soap. So I made my first couple batches unscented while waiting for my essential oils to come in. Then I wanted to add color, but how can you do that naturally. For a while all I saw was Mica's which are beautiful and brilliantly colorful, but they aren't natural. Then I ran across a couple articles that introduced me to natural colorants like herbs, spices and clays. Now I had the whole plan in mind. All natural soaps. From there Almar Acers Naturals was born. After all it was my mothers idea. What would I do with out her?

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