Archive for the ‘In The Soap Shop’ Category

reversable apron, crocheting www.anniesgoathill.com

Annie’s is not dead. Sound like a familiar movie title? Well … Annie’s Is Not Dead!

Annie’s Goat Hill currently does not have goats on the apartment patio, nor does it have fresh soap in the (non-existent) spare room…but Annie’s is alive and kicking.

Annie (Mary Humphrey – myself) has authored books (Essential Soapmaking and Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery), along with stories she contributed to the Selah Press anthology 360 Degrees of Grief: Reflections of Hope, all of these books are available on her blogs, and on her Amazon.com author page. She’s also polishing her first edition, soon to be published, of Annie’s All About Goats. Behind this writing project is the first draft completed of Jackson and Delilah’s Adventures, a fiction youth novel. Devotionals follow suit, which are in the stage of notes written in pen and ink. There may also be books from the kitchen, because this woman can cook. Did you know that? She cooks from scratch and follows the little-bit-of-this-and-that method.

Soap creation and sales may return to the agenda in late 2014. Can you imagine creamy, skin loving goat milk soap once again coming from Annie’s studio? It just might happen.

What you absolutely have not heard about, until today, is Creative Expressions by Annie. You know, she thrives on creativity – writing, DIY personal care products, sewing, crocheting, soap making, aromatherapy and crafts that work all of these things together. The photo above is a sample of things to come – a series of blog posts that she hopes inspires you to new (or renew) your passions. The world is full of beautiful things…and the freedom to use your imagination!

“In this time of ‘information overload’, people do not need more information. They want a story they can relate to.”  – Maarten Schafer

Annie’s Goat Hill – Smell and Feel the Goodness!


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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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Are you ready for a good giggle? Watch and listen up!

Giggles and Goat Milk Soap from the Red Barn Studio

It was fun.  It was impromptu.  And you got to see a curing rack full of soap.  Where’s the smell-o-vison?

And then, that’s not all of it.

As tired as I am (Can you tell by my silliness?), I went on to video #2.

Mary Humphrey from Annie’s Red Barn Studio

Dig my apron straps and lavender t-shirt? You get what you see with me.  Only the best!

Enjoy your day!

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!


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For my soap and cosmetic maker friends that do not have one of these handy tools, a pail opener, I am blogging this for you.

We purchased our very handy pail opener at a restaurant supply house a decade ago.  I wouldn’t be without it!

How to use the pail opener:

  • When you receive a new 50-lb bucket (or similar large size) you must first pull off the perforated strip of plastic located around the bottom perimeter of the lid. This can be done by hand.  The strip acts as a heavy-duty safety seal on the bucket.

  • Around the perimeter of the lid are perforations for holes, spaced about 4″ apart.  To cut a hole, place the prong (prong located next to the word cut on the opener) under one of the hole perforations.   Pull the handle outwards and downwards (away from the bucket).  Continue working your way around the pail until all of the holes have been opened.

  • Place the flat prong (located next to the word lift on the opener) under the pail edge.  Pull outwards and downwards (away from the bucket).  Repeat every 4-6″ until the lid is released.

Save your hands, don’t “leave home” without one of these gadgets!

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Imperfections are beautiful.

I think of people, embracing differences.  I think of soap, embracing the beauty of handmade, made from scratch.  We do not cut off the uniqueness from either.  Instead, we celebrate the character.

Love yourself.  Love who you are.  No discounting allowed.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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handcrafted goat milk soap www.anniesgoathill.com

As a small business we are very conscious of our budget.  Every penny counts.  Every minute counts.

I love soap, however, I am a business owner who makes soap and skin care products when production time is blocked off on the Google Calendar (far from daily).  My day is systematic.  Automatic.  8 hours a day.

From time to time we stop and look at our base soaps.  Our base soaps are those that sell well, favorites, speciality soaps from Annie’s Goat Hill.  We evaluate how well they sell, how many people purchase the soaps, and then we decide which soaps will remain on the base list, and we decide which soaps will be bumped off.

Hypothetically, instead of purchasing 15 gallons of fragrance or essential oils in a given period of time, if the soap line is not kept in-check, the business-owner stretches themselves out with 100’s of smaller bottles (that are much more expensive per ounce) that they may only use once, or never again.  Tracking all of the soap-making supplies becomes a nightmare.  I need not say more.

There’s the inside scoop to our decision-making process.

By the way, if you do want a particular type of soap that we no longer carry, just drop me an email.  I’ll quote you a price for a custom loaf of soap.

Email:  anniesgoathill@gmail.com

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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I can virtually hear the Ohio LOTTO machines in my ears, as the lottery tickets are scanned at the cash registers, “Winner…Winner…Winner”!

Of course, in this contest there were no stakes – no money involved, and the odds were much lower than 1 in a million.

The percentage of goat milk in Annie’s goat milk soap is 21.73%!

The winners of our Fun Fact Contest are:

Matt of Online Labels.  Matt submitted an amazing guess of 21% goat milk! Wow! I nod my head with a definite agreement at Matt’s comments:  “I would say that you would need about 21% goats milk to make a bar of your soap.  Goats milk is pretty rich so lucky 21 sounds like a realistic number.” The milk is definitely rich, and it fluctuates as the season progresses (grass-fed, hay fed, etc…).  Tricky stuff, the milk can be!

Jen submitted a guess of 18%.  Jen’s comments were, “I would adore a bar of soap…we have dairy goats and this is intriguing to me.  I am guessing 17.5%.  Thanks for the chance to win!” A dairy goat owner, thumb’s up!

Thank you for all of the entries.  Thank you to Becky of Twisted Fencepost for postponing your Farm Photo Friday to blog about our contest!

The winners will be telling us their choice of soaps once they receive our email today.  I am excited to see what they select!

Enjoy your day, everyone!

P.S. We have another contest in the wings, already outlined on paper.  Get your cameras ready, the prizes are larger, and the entries are going to be a ton of fun!

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Today is the final day for the Fun Fact Contest.

We are excited to announce that the prize has been changed to include any one bar of goat milk soap that we have in stock, your choice.

Hurry now, submit your entry via a comment to the original contest blog post!  As of right now, we have a little less than 16 hours until the contest closes.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Announcement:  We are way overdue for a Fun Fact Contest!

The Fun Fact Question:  What is the exact percentage of goat milk in our basic goat milk soap formula?

How to Enter the Contest: 

  • Leave a comment on this blog post, for example, “I want to win a bar of soap! My guess, your soap contains 8.57% goat milk.  Jane” Make sure you include your correct email address when leaving the comments so we can contact you.
  • One entry per person.
  • Contestant must reside within the continental United States.

Contest Dates: 

  • The contest ends 11:59 p.m., EST (Eastern Standard Time)

How The Winner Is Chosen:

  • There will be two winners! Whoever guesses the closest percentage (without going over), and the runner-up (the next closest guess without going over).

The Prize:

  • A full-sized bar of our limited-time-only Rosemary Mint goat milk soap!

Have fun!

We will announce a winner Saturday morning, February 4, 2012!

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Several lotion-makers have asked us, “What do you use to whip your lotions?” In our studio we use a commercial Waring stick blender.   Sharing our product review:

And a photo near the end of the lotion-making process:


Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

(This is not a paid advertisement for www.waringproducts.com)

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