Flora & Pomona’s debut at Marché Angus

Yesterday, October 7th, I debuted Flora and Pomona at Marché Angus’s Parc Jean Duceppe location. It was a gorgeous day, tall blue skies, lots of sun and summer-like temperatures – perfect for an outdoor market!

I was the first one to arrive, clearly the newbie on the block. So I poured myself a cup of lemon balm and peppermint tea and started setting up my stall.

In addition to my soaps, I also brought two types of bath bombs, chocolate mint bath truffles, aromatherapy tea cup candles, an herbal balm and two types of lip-balm. The coconut lipbalm turned out really well, if I do say so myself.

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All my soaps are cold processed and in bar form, except this keychain soap sampler. Isn’t it cute? I got the idea from a baby book my daughter has.

There are five soaps on the rope: peppermint, lavender, orange, cinnamon and unscented. They are all colored with natural herbs and spices. The hemp string has a bit of a story. Apparently, it’s made by an Italian family owned company that has been making hemp rope for five generations, and this was from the last roll the Montreal store received from them before they went out of business. It’s very fine string indeed. Marche-Angus-Flora-&-Pomona-October-7-2016 (41).JPG

This teacup aromatherapy soy candle is called “Woods – Relax” because it is scented with an essential oil blend of Siberian pine, cedar and ho wood. Pine and cedar are good for relieving nervous tension, anxiety and stress. Cedar has a calming effect, helping you unwind and relax, while pine gives you a lift when you’re feeling down. Ho wood is referred to by aromaweb as a “peaceful” oil that helps you relax and unwind and like cedar and pine is perfect for someone who feels anxious, stressed and has trouble sleeping. This candle is ideal for the holidays, in so many ways. Smells like walking through an evergreen forest, or sitting next to your Christmas tree. I’m very happy with how it came out 🙂

At the end of the day the sun came around into my stall. At the far end I had my bathbombs, bathtruffles and teacup candles. But of course, the soaps did better than the bath products, and out of the soaps, the best seller was Pink Salt and Grapefruit. It’s my favourite as well 😉

Flora & Pomona will be back at Marché Angus next Friday, October 14th from 3-6PM. The location can be hard to find unless you know the area, but aiming for the corner of William Tremblay and Augustin Frigon you will get you right into the market. Hope to see you there ❤

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Handmade Cold Processed Soaps

Hello! This is my current menu of handmade cold-processed soaps. All my soaps are made with high quality vegetable oils and butters, and they are superfatted by at least 6% to ensure that they are gentle and don’t dry the skin. And of course, because they are handmade, they naturally contain glycerin, a humectant that helps keep your skin moisturized.

My soaps are free of synthetic fragrance oils, petroleum derived products, animal by-products, detergents, preservatives and SLS. I like to keep my soaps as natural as possible and like to add natural colorants, and botanicals and clays that further enhance the soap’s nourishing and cleansing properties. Instead of fragrance oils and synthetic perfumes I use essential oils. I choose and blend the essential oils to match the soap’s properties and purpose: for example, in my shampoo bar, I have added essential oils that are good for the scalp and hair follicles: rosemary, basil, eucalyptus and lavender.

Another thing that is important to me is to minimize the use of plastics. Handmade soaps do best when they can breathe anyway, and so my soaps come wrapped in a simple paper cigar-band. For packaging gift bags and gift boxes I use 100% recycled kraft paper.

I am very pleased to say that four of these soaps – Unscented Bastille, Butter & Cream, Oatmilk and Shea Butter, and the Bastile Sampler Soaps, are available for sale at Les Petits Monstres on 2124 Mont-Royal east.

If you are interested in buying any of the other soaps please contact me on twitter, facebook or on my  webpage.

Salut! Voici mon menu de savons faits à la main à froid. Tous mes savons sont faits à base d’huiles et beurres végétales de haute qualité, et ils ont un surgras d’au moins 6% pour s’assurer qu’ils sont doux et ne séchent pas la peau. Parce qu’ils sont faits à la main, ils contiennent naturellement de la glycérine, un humectant qui aide à garder votre peau hydratée.

Mes savons ne contiennent pas des parfums synthétiques, des sous-produits d’animaux, produits pétrolier, des détergents, des conservateurs ni des sulfates. J’aime rester au naturel le plus possible et donc mes savons contiennent des additifs naturels, comme les argiles, les huiles essentielles, les herbes et les épices. Afin de minimiser l’utilisation des plastiques, mes savons sont enveloppés d’une simple bande de papier.

Quatre de ces savons – Savon Bastille sans parfum, Beurre et Crème de Coco, Lait d’Avoine & Karité, et Savon de Bastille Échantillonneur, sont disponibles à la boutique  Les Petits Monstres sur 2124 avenue Mont-Royal est. Si vous êtes intéressé à acheter un des autres savons s’il vous plaît me contacter sur twitter, facebook ou sur ma page web.

Almond Latte – with Komodo Dragon coffee and organic coconut milkalmond-latte-soap-fp

Butter & Cream – with organic cocoa butter, raw Shea butter and coconut creambuuter-n-cream-soap-fp

Chamomile & Aloe Shampoo Bar for blondes – with fresh aloe and chamomile infusionchamomile-aloe-shampoo-bar

Green Clay & Wakame – with algae infusion, avocado oil and raw Shea buttergreen-clay-wakame-soap-fp

Rose Clay & Grey Clay with Pine and Cedar his-n-hers-clay-soaps-fp

These soaps were designed as companion soaps for a wedding, a kind of his n’ hers soap bars, with a romantic touch. The clays give these soaps rich lather and added cleansing properties.

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Lavender and Bergamot

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Lavender and Bergamot: all natural scented with essential oils and colored with tumeric and alkanet root infusion. Superfatted with sweet almond oil this is a

Anise and Peppermint – with activated charcoal and pure essential oilspeppermint-and-anis-soap-fp

Unscented Bastille – perfect for sensitive skin, children and babiesunscented-bastil-soap-fp

Citrus and Yellow Clay – with raw Shea butter, yellow clay and Australian red clayimg_3905

Pink Himalayan Salt & Pink Grapefruit – exfoliating spa bar with lotion like lather IMG_4240.JPG

Oat Milk & Shea Butter, unscented: with organic colloidal oats and raw Shea butter

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Oatmilk & Shea butter : unscented with 7% superfat  / Lait d’avoine et Beurre de Karité : sans parfum et surgras de 7%

 

Bastille All Natural Soap Sampler: peppermint, orange, cinnamon, lavender & unscentedmarche-angus-flora-pomona-october-7-2016-20

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Presenting … Flora & Pomona!

Hello Dear Readers,

Flora and Pomona is the name I have chosen for my soap company! Flora and you may know is the goddess of spring and flowers. Pomona, her less known sister, is the goddess of the orchard, the flowering fruit trees. When I was searching for a new name to best represent my budding business I thought of all the ingredients I use and the direction I want to take. It was clear in my mind that botanicals play an important role in my products, and my increasing interest in herbalism would continue to influence how I create my recipes. The soaps and bath products I make are made with the flowers and fruits of the earth: from sweet almond oil I use in most my soaps, to chamomile infusion in my latest shampoo bar. I have decided to keep the name Marsbalms for this blog, at least, for now, and I will continue to post updates on my latest developments. I will be building a website with a online store, and in the meantime will keep a webpage up with the essential information available. I am participating in this year’s Marché Angus, on October 7 and 14. Hope to see you there!

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Testing Natural Green Colorants in Cold Process Soap

I use natural colorants in my soap, as much as I can. Things like paprika and tumeric make excellent soap colorants and they are easy to find, economical and have the benefit of being natural (for those of us who prefer that). But some colours are hard to come by in the natural world: blues, purples and even true reds (read about my misadventure using rose hip powder here). I still haven’t been able to find indigo root in stores, and certainly not online at a reasonable price. The colour green falls somewhere in between. On one hand it’s easy enough to find green tea and spirulina, but on the other it can be difficult to predict how these organic materials will react to lye and a long cure. Usually clays are very reliable since they are not vegetable matter and so are more stable. But green clay isn’t really green. And as I just found out, many clays sold as colorants are actually mixed with micas or oxides (French pink clay, Brazilian purple clay).

Last week I saw a bag of green powder at my local Middle Eastern grocer. The kind owner was surprised and delighted that I knew about carete, a middle eastern ingredient, and apparently a favourite of hers… I didn’t have the heart to tell her that not only did I not know what it was, I planned to use it in soap (the leaves of the jute plant, or Jew’s mallow, are often used as a soup thickener in Middle Eastern cuisine). At 2.50$ for 250 grams it was worth the gamble. At the same store I had recently also purchased some spirulina and chlorella, which I had yet to use in soap. And finally, I had some dandelion leaves, which I had picked and dried myself the previous summer. I had 6 different possible green colorants and so I decided an experiment was in order! To test all of my green colorants, six in total, 3 of which I had never used in soap before: green clay, chlorella, spirulina, macha green tea, dandelion powder, and jew’s mallow.

I decided to use a muffin silicone mold with six cavities, and a 14 oz Bastile recipe. I would leave it unscented of course and would have to measure it in grams because it’s important to be precise with small recipes like this. Usually we are told to use 1 tsp of colorant per pound of oils, but I decided that if I wanted the differences to be apparent I would have to increase that ratio to 2 tsp/lbs of oils. I calculated that each cavity would hold 14 oz/6 of oils = 2.33 oz of oils which is 6.8th of a pound. 2 teaspoons is 9.8 ml, almost 10, so I divided 10 by 6.8 and got = 1.4 ml. A quarter teaspoon is a bit less than that, so I decided to use quarter teaspoon.My hypothesis was as follows:

  • That chlorella and spirulina would come out looking the same: a darker mottled green. Possibly speckled as well and possibly not very green. I did not think that the blue-green of spirulina would actually be visible.
  • That the green clay wouldn’t look very green at all, but instead, kinda grey.
  • That the dandelion powder would be the most yellowish of the bunch, speckled as well.
  • That the matcha green tea would be the punchiest of the greens, not speckled or mottled. The ideal colorant in other words.
  • That the Jew’s mallow would do one of the following: 1) thicken the soap batter and possibly burn during forced gel. The fact that it’s used to thicken soups worried me a bit because starch means sugar and sugar means heat. 2) Come out looking like the dandelion soap, another leaf, but less mottled.

My final hypothesis was that all colorants except the clay would look some shade of green. That all the colorants except the matcha and the clay would have some form of speckling effect, because the powders are still broken down vegetable matter, but the green tea is made of tender young leaves and is therefore more powder-able. That I would be most impressed with the macha. Here is what happened.

I premixed the colorants with some of my oils, then brought my soap batter to light trace and measured equal amounts of soap into 6 containers and added the colorants. I was happy to see that I had calculated the amount of soap correctly and each muffin cavity was filled to capacity. From top left to right, and bottom right to left: Green Clay, Chlorella, Jute Mallow, Dandelion, Matcha green tea, Spirulina.

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At this point, I had high hopes for the Matcha. I put the muffin tray into a preheated oven for about 2 hours, then when I started seeing alien brains on the jute mallow soap, I opened the oven door to cool it down a bit. Eventually all the soaps except the clay soap developed mild alien brains.

In the end this is what happened:

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  1. All of them except the clay developed some form of alien brains in my heated oven.

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    Jute or Jew’s Mallow Soap: overheated during gel phase and developed alien brains.

  2. The matcha was really disappointing. It turned from the brilliant green when wet to a muted darkish green to brown – not a nice shade of brown either. I’d be curious to see how it performs in hot process soap.
  3. The green clay stayed stable, as expected. Not grey though, more of a tan colour. A stable non-colour essentially. Like Joni Mitchell said: “constant in the darkness – where’s that at?”
  4. The spirulina and chlorella looked almost identical at first, but after a few days, the chlorella started taking a  yellowish, faded tone, while the spirulina stayed on the bluer side of green. I guess this makes sense, since spirulina is blue-green algae. Surprisingly, the chlorella also got pock marked! Here’s a closeup:

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    Notice the pock marks and yellowish tone in the chlorella soap… 

  5. The jute mallow also got pock marked. From over-heating I suppose, which I had suspected would happen due to the starch. But overall, it performed really well. The tone is nice, if a bit subdued, but provides a nice natural-looking green. Best of all, it has stayed that way, and after a two month cure has barely changed.
  6. The dandelion was the most mottled, as expected since it wasn’t as fine a powder as the jute mallow or matcha. However, it is also the most stable of the plant colorants. This was really surprising, and now two months after the experiment, the dandelion soap still looks the same shade of green and hasn’t faded or turned yellow. It is also, in my opinion, the nicest shade of green. But alas, it’s mottled and not a solid colour. The dandelion also happens to be the only one I didn’t pay for. It was “wild crafted,” as they say.

Here they are at the six week mark. The difference between spirulina and chlorella is more pronounced than it was after a few days, the matcha is browner and the dandelion, jute (as far as I can tell) and clay are the same (!).

Natural-green-soap-colorantss-6wk-cure-mars-balms (2)

And lets see what they look like inside:Natural-green-dyes-6wk-cure-inside-marsbalms In conclusion, out of these six materials, I’d say only four qualify as worthy green soap colorants: chlorella, spirulina, jute mallow, and dandelion leaves. The superfine french green clay is a nice soap additive, but as a colorant produces a tan, not a green, colour. The matcha green tea makes soap green for about five minutes, then turns brown. Spirulina beats chlorella as a green colorant but not by much, and while both are worthy soap colorants that produce solid green tone, they loose points for fading and turning yellowish. Jute mallow is a new discovery for me, as a food and possible soap colorant. I have never heard of anyone using it to colour soap so it was nice to see it perform so well. Just beware of overheating. Ironically, my handpicked bunch of weeds – what some people pay and work so hard to get rid of – has to win this one. I have never heard of anyone using dandelion leaves to colour soap either, but it was an idea that paid off. In spite of the mottling, I find that dandelion produces the nicest green tone, which is surprisingly stable and doesn’t give off a smell (unlike the algae, which do).

Doing this experiment was so much fun, and I can’t wait to do another one. Thanks for reading 😀

What do you use to colour your soap green? Have you used any of these materials before in your soapmaking? I’d love to hear your stories.

 

 

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Victorian Rose: a Cold Process Soap

It started with a trip to Coop Coco. I had arranged to get two hours to myself from a pretty intense nursing schedule: I only had about two hours between feeds, because baby wasn’t doing the bottle, and an hour of that would go to the commute. Under the circumstances, (and not because I don’t love being with my little one) I relished an hour on the bus to myself. When I opened the door a bell chimed, as if announcing my arrival to this soap-makers’ mecca. Shelves upon shelves of soaping goodies and an hour to look at it all! Of course, this wasn’t my first time at Coop Coco, but it had been so long since I had been able to do anything for myself. By myself. And as a time-strapped mother these moments are all the more sweet for it. I think I must have picked up every single box and bottle. But my favourite place in any herbal or soap & candle store is the essential oil shelf. Oh how I sniffed, and read, and smelled again, and pondered… Why is there no more Siberian Pine? Where is all the Frankincense? Will they let me buy the tester? In the end choose about 5 or 6 essential oils, and would have gotten more if they weren’t so low on supplies (I suspect a pre-Christmas rush). Of course, the one thing I couldn’t smell was the rose otto because it’s behind a glass case. I’ve been pining for rose otto since forever, but alas, it is worth more than gold and therefore not a realistic soaping ingredient. But there in a section I don’t usually peruse, I saw Victorian Rose. I studied Victorian lit once upon a time, so right away the name conjured up images of Goblin Market and the beautiful, luminescent tapestries by William Morris. WilliamMorris-Galahad_grail-inspiration-MarsBalmsblogI looked at the label and it said “origin: botanical,” and “100% natural.” I never use fragrance oils in my soaps, because one of the main reasons I started making my own cosmetics was to get away from synthetics. I am not against lab-made products (isn’t a distillery a kind of lab?) but I feel that with EOs you have the chance to further enhance the quality – and add therapeutic qualities – to your artisanal soap. We are inundated by strong synthetic fragrances every day of our lives, so when I smell a soap delicately scented with EOs I find this further sets it apart from industrially-made products. Of course, I’m sure there are some quality stuff out there, and can’t say I’m not tempted from time to time. But Coop coco assured me that this was no fragrance oil, but an essence. So I bought it and an almond essence while I was at it.

When I got home, I started thinking about the soap design I would make and looked up some of William Morris’ tapestries online. I knew I wanted something darkly romantic – like a Gothic rose – and decided to use a madder root infusion I had been brewing for a few weeks. Madder-root-maceration-MarsBalmsOn Wikipedia I found out that “Morris rejected the chemical aniline dyes which were then predominant, instead emphasising (sic) the revival of organic dyes, such as indigo for blue, walnut shells and roots for brown, and cochineal,kermes, and madder for red.” A kindred spirit perhaps? I love when things come full circle! These are some of Morris’ designs that inspired me:

I decided to color the whole soap batter with madder, by putting it in the lye solution and then using my madder maceration, titanium dioxide, and activated charcoal to get the detail tones of darker red, pink and black tones. Victorian-Rose-cp-soap-colors-marsbalms

I paired the Victorian Rose aromatic essence with some Geranium bourbon essential oil to cut the sweetness and make the scent a bit more “raw” and less romantic. I wanted it to smell like a wild rose with thorns, not a hot-house valentine. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pour it, but had made sure to use a slow moving recipe. I considered trying for some type of Ebru design, or marbling, another art form that was popular during the Victorian era, mostly as a way to decorate book covers (due to advances in printing, books were now being printed at unprecedented speed). I happen to have a book from the early 1800s with some rather nice marbling in red, black and blue and although it was inspiring to look at 1805-Endpaper-ebru-MarsBalms-n-soapsin the end I opted for a drop swirl. Here I am dropping the last of the soap batter into my mold.The-last-pour-Victorian-Rose-cp-soap-MarsBalms

I overworked the top, so it came out a bit muddied.The-wet-top-Victorian-Rose-MarsBalms

The next day, I was so excited to cut my soap. Excited like a kid on Christmas. In fact, it was right around Christmas. The top was even more disappointing dry: the black blended with the other colors and turned it all greyish. This was the result from me not being able to put the chopstick down. But after the first cut I quickly forgot about the top. These images are stills from the cutting video. On the bar on the left I see the outline of an opening rose. What do you see?

The  colors and tints came out just as I had imagined and although there was a fair amount of blending going on, the black stayed relatively intact, creating the outlines and shading detail you often see in tapestry design.

 

All in all, Victorian Rose turned out exactly as I wanted it to, even better:) I can’t say that very often. This is what I love about making soap – you never quite know what you’re going to get -and to me, it holds more promise than a bud about to open 😉

Thank you for stopping by ❤

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Baby Crafts, part 2: Felt Cat Rattle

One of the greatest things about the Waldorf store Grande Ourse, jouets pour la vie is that they sell the supplies to make textile toys similar to the ones they carry in store: things like real wool felt sheets, felting wool, thread, needles, and these beautiful embroidery scissors that I still haven’t bought but that I want. Badly. And the prices are affordable. I had bought a bunch of felt sheets with the idea to make a nursery mobile in the Waldorf style but had yet to start this project. While still in the googling stage – looking for ideas on how to theme my mobile – I had come across a bunch of pictures of felt plushies. felt-plushies-googlesearch-marsbalms

They looked really easy to make. Some of them anyway. And being Scandinavian (and born in the 70s) I decided to wanted to make my version of a Scandi Cat, a ridiculously retro looking and cute plush toy made by a British lady (!). I would have to make my own pattern of course, but this wouldn’t be difficult because the Scandi Cat is basically just an oval topped with two triangles. I sketched him out on some paper then folded it in half to make sure that both sides were the same shape and that the ears were aligned. You can see the lines I drew with a liner – doing this is a good idea to make sure you line up the features.

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Made my own pattern by sketching out the cat on regular paper, after tracing the body, I cut the face out, after tracing the face, I cut the features out.

I would have to sew on the features. Again, no biggie, because the Scandi cat, and almost all plush toys are cartoony with simplified features. After using the pattern to get the front and back part of the cat (you can see this in the pic above) I cut the features out of the pattern: the face, the nose and eyes and used these smaller parts as mini patterns. Here below you can see the cut out features.

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First you sew on the smaller parts onto the face using the blanket stitch. This is the same stitch I used to sew the cat together because it prevents the stuffing from coming out. It’s really simple and there are a ton of videos on how to blanket stitch.

The only parts that are not blanket stitched are the pupils and the smile – those were back stitched – basically a straight stitch that starts where the last one ends. I didn’t even know it was called back stitch, it’s so simple you can figure it out just by trying to sew an uninterrupted line. Incidentally, I also pulled each subsequent stitch up through the last and found that this made a neater line without spaces, especially since I was sewing curbed lines. Here’s a bigger pic.SAM_4219

Imagine that when you come back up with your needle instead of pulling it up next to your last stitch you pull it up into the very last millimeter of your previous stitch, essentially piercing through the thread and splitting the fibers of the thread a bit.But that’s nitpicking. It’ll probably be chewed to bits anyways, right?

Ok, then when you have sewed the features on you sew the whole face on, as you see above, with the blanket stitch. Then you have your front completed and unless you want to put a tail on the back part, sew the front and back together with the blanket stitch: SAM_4221 and leave a hole at the bottom and begin stuffing. Don’t cut your thread yet though! Just leave it hanging. I chose to stuff with wool. SAM_4222

Using a wooden dowel, I stuffed the face first, getting the ears good and puffy and then continuing my way down. In the middle I inserted a brass bell. You see them tied around the necks of the golden easter bunnies in stores now actually. You can get them at craft stores too. I was told that to make it chime I would have to encase the bell in a hollow ball first because the wool would damped the bell. But no, it does not and a year later still sounds clear! So, I just wrapped wool around the bell loosely, then put it in the middle and stuffed wool all around it. I made sure not to stuff it too much though, because in order for baby to be able to grab it the toy needs to be soft and have some give. The same goes for when you get to the end: it’s easier to sew it up if you don’t stuff the bottom too much, so after stuffing the cat I sewed up the hole a bit more, then stuffed the bottom with the dowel and then stitched it shut. SAM_4224

Ok, so I forgot (e.i. was too lazy) to give this cat whiskers and a tail. But, he’s a unique fellow. Kinda looks like the Cheshire cat, don’t you think? Like all the baby crafts I made while pregnant, I was worried that my baby wouldn’t like it. But she loves “katten” (cat in Swedish), especially the ears which she have chewed and sucked into little dark points. Here he is one year later, a bit mussed up, but loved. Felt cat rattle, plush toy Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Next time: how I made a felt and wood Sun, Moon and Stars Mobile!

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Baby Crafts: How I made my own Baby Toys. A series in parts…

This time last year I was pregnant with my first baby. I wasn’t working and since it was winter – and it was a brutal winter – I spent most of my time indoors, watching youtube videos on how to cloth diaper, and reading babycenter.com threads on morning sickness. I watched the blowing snow bend the two pines in the backyard. A peregrine falcon visited us a couple of times – eating his fresh caught prey on the pine branches. It was too soon to set up the crib. I wanted to paint, but had to wait until we could open the windows. There wasn’t really much I could do. I had started to visit a Waldorf store on Duluth street called “Grande Ourse: jouets pour la vie” meaning, toys for life. I love the toys in that store but I couldn’t really afford most of them. One day I picked up a piece of wood I had found on the mountain (In Montreal we are blessed to have a forested mountain in the middle of our city) and I started to whittle. This was the first baby item I made myself. It became a teething spoon. The two days it took to make it went really fast and as soon as it was done I thought: what else can I make? Here is a series on how I spent last winter, crafting baby items for my growing bump. Hope you like it!

PART 1: The Wooden Teething Spoon

So,  I found a piece of wood on the mountain. I think it’s probably maple, because the mountain (well, all of Montreal, and Quebec) is covered in maple. I’m a gatherer by nature so I have a lot of odds and ends around, and this time it proved really useful. As a small baby myself, I bit up a whole wooden dining room table so I knew teething toys might come handy. I watched a couple of videos on whittling and got busy. The first thing I did was saw off a manageable piece, about the length I wanted the spoon to be. I was lucky enough that the stick was already split in half. If it hadn’t been I would have had to split it by hammering in a knife point down the middle, if that makes sense. Next I roughly sketched the spoon out with a pen and “sketched” the outlines with a Swiss army knife.

Sketching out the wooden teething spoon

After that, I whittled away, making sure to whittle the handle away from the bowl of the spoon so that I wouldn’t slip and take away part of the bowl. I didn’t have proper spoon carving tools, but I did have a small whittle knife with a v-shaped blade and I used that to dig out the bowl. Sometimes I would stick the blade of the Swiss Army knife down the sides, but other than that a knife is pretty useless when you’re carving a bowl. SAM_2874

The spoon took the shape that felt comfortable in my hands, and I had to do it one small slice at a time. Glad I have a vacuum cleaner…

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Starting to look like something!

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After this I started sanding the spoon with coarse grit sandpaper, slimming it down and getting more elegant lines.

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Then, a finer grit sandpaper…and voila! A teething spoon! I finished it all off with a baby safe wood-finish I made myself, using beeswax, linseed oil (boiled flax seed oil) and olive oil. This kind of coating is often used on wooden Waldorf toys btw.

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Wooden teething spoon, done!

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Side view, showing the grain of the wood.

Whittling proved pretty fun, if tiring on the fingers. And messy! Especially if you don’t have the proper tools. But I was happy to find out that you can make cool things with so little: a Swiss army knife, some Dollarstore sandpaper and a couple small wood working tools I got in Chinatown for under 5$. It kept me busy for a few days, then I had to find something else to do! Next part: how I made a felt cat rattle!

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