Archive for the ‘DIY Personal Care Products and Projects’ Category

Advanced Soap Making; Removing the Mystery www.anniesgoathill.com

I am excited to announce the release of my new book, Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery, co-authored with Alyssa Middleton of Vintage Body Spa.

Coverage from our Amazon.com page, where the book is available, “Enter the world of progressive soap making through Advanced Soap Making: Removing the Mystery. As if you were attending one of their private classes, the authors, Mary Humphrey and Alyssa Middleton lead you through step-by-step instructions, tips and formulas: * How to create unique soap formulas and size the formula to any mold * How to make luxurious goat milk soap * How to beautifully swirl and layer * How to blend natural scents like a pro * How to embed and rebatch natural soaps You will also gain extensive knowledge of common and exotic soap making oils, butters, herbs, unique liquids, hardeners and waxes. The glossary and resource guide erase any remaining advanced soap making doubts with easy to read terminology and locations to shop for ingredients, packaging and other soap making needs.”

My personal goat milk soap making techniques are included in the book, as well as the formula that I follow. Goat milk soap, including most made from scratch soaps, are worth every penny you either put (or pay) into them! Learning how to make the soap yourself really does pay off – for the health of your skin!

If you are new at soap making, or even if you are more experienced, I feel you will find this book to be a great resource.

Happy reading, and happy soaping!


Share, Encourage, and Grow

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diy plarn rug www.anniesgoathill.com

I am enthused with the early results of  my latest project, a crocheted outdoor mat made solely from recycled plastic bags cut into strips (plarn).

I’ve seen various instructions online for these types of projects, but I opted to be stubborn and begin this do-it-yourself project without a set pattern. You know how it is, instructions tend to confuse me. You too?

Materials needed:

  • plastic bags (grocery, bread, or shopping bags of fairly equal thickness)
  • scissors
  • aluminum crochet hook size N  – 9.000 MM


  1. Cut the bottom off of bags
  2. Cut the bags into strips  (plastic yarn = plarn) 3/4” wide medium-thin plastic, up to 1 1/4” wide very thin plastic (cut one continuous strip from each bag  – picture an apple peeled in one spiral strip)
  3. Chain plarn (to desired length or width of rug)
  4. Single crochet in each chain
  5. Chain one
  6. Single crochet in each single crochet
  7. Repeat steps 5 -6 until desired length (or width) of rug is obtained

I plan to single crochet around the outer edges of the finished rug, and I might add a decorative fringe.

I’ll post updates as the rug progresses.

What do you think? Do you like it too?

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dish cloth pattern www.anniesgoathill.com

I’ve picked up a hobby between book writing. So far, I have crocheted a stack of dish cloths.

They are 100% cotton, which I love. They are machine washable and dryable.

I appreciate the pattern because it provides texture, which is always helpful when cleaning up messes or hand washing dishes.

Did I mention, they are easy to make? Isn’t that a plus?

They make great gifts, which is why I’ve needed to make more since my prior post.

Here’s another photo of some of the color varieties that I’ve made –

hand made dish cloths #2 www.anniesgoathill.com


crochet hook, size H/8, 5.00 MM

100% cotton yarn, approximately 1.75 ounces per finished dish cloth, worsted, 4 ply


13 dc and 6 1/2 rows –  ins (10 cm)

Stitch Types

sl st (slip stitch)

ch (chain)

sc (single crochet)

dc (double crochet)


Ch 5. Join with sl st to form a ring

1st round

Ch 3 (counts as dc). (Ch 2, 4 dc) 3 times in ring. Ch 2. Join with sl st to top of ch 3.

2nd round

Ch 3 (counts as dc). 1dc in each of next 3 dc (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 space. *1 dc in each of the next  4 dc (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 space. Repeat from * twice more. join with sl st to top of ch 3.

3rd to 8th rounds

Ch 3 (counts as dc). *1 dc in each dc to next ch-2 space (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 space. Repeat from * 3 times more. 1 dc in each dc to end of round. Join with sl st to top of ch 3.

9th round

Ch 1. 1 sc in each dc around, having 3 sc in corner ch-2 spaces. Join with sl st to first sc. Fasten off.

You can also find these instructions inside the sleeve of the Peaches and Cream brand 100% cotton yarn –

handmade discloth www.anniesgoathill.com

Next, I plan to delve into place mats, followed by throw rugs. If you know of some great (and simple) patterns, let me know.

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handmade discloth www.anniesgoathill.com

A few days ago I stared at my ragged dish cloths and contemplated purchasing new ones. I realized that I did not want just any “plain old” dish cloth. I wanted a product that was handmade, all cotton, and durable.

I ended up making the natural dish cloth that I wanted – just one so far. All it took was a few minutes short of an hour and the opening up of my memory banks. The real plus is that I didn’t have to pay someone to crochet the cloth for me.

For those of you that make handcrafted soap, or even those that have a back-to-basic creative yearning in life, I can guarantee you these are easy to make. And if you aren’t so perfect with a crochet hook who really cares?! We’ll just call it au’ abiance! Right?

Pssst…inside the paper wrapper are simple instructions.  All you need to do is learn how to crochet a chain, and single and double crochets.

Another pssst…I can see these as a colorful addition, in the right pattern and yarn hues,  to a gift set.

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Arnica (Arnica montana) is a perennial herb that is often an ingredient used (diluted) in liniments, ointments, and other preparations for strains, sprains, and bruises.

I believe in the the use of medicinal plant materials, the practice of aromatherapy, but only with education and caution.

Arnica is a poison when eaten, and can cause irritation when applied to the skin.

I suffered from an ankle sprain three weeks ago. My treatments so far have included: ice packs applied to various parts of my foot 20 minutes each hour (during the first week), soaks in Epsom salts and warm water, and raising of the foot above heart level at least twice a day. And, each day I have taken anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications, such as Ibuprofen.

The bruising continues, and so does the pain. Apparently it takes much longer for deep tears and bruising to heal, especially when it involves ligaments that are torn in areas above the ankle.

Today, I began using my own dilution of arnica cream, about 2 ounces of cream, 7 drops of Arnica Flower ExCO2 extract. I lightly applied the cream to the bruised and sore areas of my leg, foot, and ankle. After two treatments I am feeling a noticeable difference.

Arnica treatments are not for everyone, but in my case, it seems to be helping. It isn’t the first time I have had better results from plant-based materials.




Content on this site is for reference purposes only. It is not intended as a substitution for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare professional. Annie’s Goat Hill products – including written materials – are not intended for the treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease or health condition. Do not rely solely on the information provided. Always read labels, warnings, and directions before using a product.

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