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Posts Tagged ‘Intermountain Nursery’

postheadericon A Glorious Day

Mr. MoonCat and I ran away once again to the Sierra Foothills for a day filled with fabulous food, great music, and lots of greenery.

It was time again for the annual Harvest Arts and Peace Festival at the Intermountain Nursery.  If you recall, we went up there last year and had a wonderful time.  I had a fantabulous Portabella Mushroom Steak sandwich and hubby ate some luscious-smelling Greek food (couldn’t tell you what it was..)
We saw many neat booths and sights:
Listened to some great music by Poor Man’s Poison:
And made some purchases of our own:
Isn’t this Garlic Keeper neat?
Hand-blown glass cabochon
Spooky gourd ghost – HIS


Basketball-sized Magician cat gourd – MINE

postheadericon Soap Making Class on a Soapy Saturday

This past Saturday was full of good, clean fun and learning at my very first soap making class! My sister-in-law Cindy and I went to a Botanical Soap Making Class taught by Justine Crane. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you’ll remember the Natural Perfumery class of hers that I enjoyed so much last August (read about it  here: What a Workshop!)

**Check out our soap making supplies checklist**

Soap making class for Red Barn Blue Skies

The Soap Making Class

The soap making class was held again at the Intermountain Nursery. We were out on the patio/potting shed area. While it’s a beautiful spot out there and ideal for the classes, we were unseasonably COLD! Leading up to the weekend we were worried we’d be overly warm as the previous weekend was in the 90s (as is usual). Instead, we were treated to a record-breaking 57 degrees for May 22nd. It had been 112 years since that record was challenged! Thankfully, the nursery had a fire pit made from an old washing machine tub (I should have taken a photo – it was really neat) and a propane heater shown below.


Cindy Stirring Soap for Soap Making Class


There were 11 students eager to learn the correct methods from Justine on making cold process soap.  Since it involves lye, Justine emphasized following proper safety procedures at all times.  We were all wearing long-sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and breathing masks.  Safety first!  (Cindy is planning on procuring us the long white lab coats to complete our look for our next soap making class adventure)

Cindy the Mad Scientist for Soap Making Class


We learned the best natural ingredients to use and the reasons or benefits of each. Justine also discussed and showed us the proper tools and equipment to have on hand. She took us step by step through the process and allowed us to each be as hands-on as we wanted. Everyone got to take a turn in some part of the creation of our soap.

Pouring in the Lye for the Soap Making Class

One of my favorite parts was the blending of the scent. We broke up into teams to create top, heart, and base notes from the essential oils. Cindy and I were responsible for the top note. We used bergamot (yum, Earl Grey tea….), lime, and a bit of lemon. Very clean and fresh smelling! The other teams mixed up the heart and base notes and then we combined them all together. It turned out to be an amazing scent.


After all of the measuring, blending, and experimenting with some color,  this:

Became this:

Happy Happy Happy

The soap making class was everything I had hoped it would be. Being shown how to do something and getting to be hands-on really makes a difference in learning some things for me. I’d been reading about making this type of soap for years but was leery of trying it – mostly due to the lye and a few questions I had that went unanswered until now. Justine armed us with the proper methods and the safety precautions and I’m now anxious to get started.


I’ve gathered my soap making ingredients and tools and will be ready to go on my solo soap flight in a short time. I actually stopped to buy lye at the hardware store in Prather after we left the nursery. Cindy and I excitedly bounced ideas off of each other all the way home. I was thrilled that Cindy was able to go the class with me. We always have a lot of fun together and seem to really work well as a team. I think this terrifies our husbands at times…..

Thanks Justine for a great class once again. Check out Justine’s sites Oh True Apothecary and The Scented Djinn for more info on natural perfumery and working with botanicals. She also has an online perfumery course!


postheadericon Harvest Arts and Peace Festival

What a great weekend we had. Hubby and I played hooky from all of the moving and rigmarole associated with it. We ran away to the foothills for a play date at the 17th Annual Harvest Arts & Peace Festival in Prather, held at the Intermountain Nursery (same place I took the wonderful Natural Perfumery Workshop that you can read about here).
The weather was perfect, warm with a slight breeze. Lots of patrons strolling the lovely grounds of the nursery looking at their plants and natural landscaping:

Lots of demonstrations and informational booths such as the one on falconry that this beautiful peregrine was staffing:
Way too many wonderful craft booths for someone on a tight budget like I am supposed to be following. I couldn’t resist to add another piece of Halloween decor to our new home:
And thank goodness I have such an understanding and supportive husband. I couldn’t leave the nursery without these new herb babies:

We ate delicious Portabella mushroom ciabatta sandwiches and drank natural root beer – YUM. It was a great day and we really enjoyed our little escape from the boxes and mess that is moving.
More on the rest of the weekend tomorrow.

postheadericon Finally Friday

Friday, Friday, it’s Finally Friday…

It’s been a long, annoying week. With the worries about Mom, the hurry up and pack your #(%* and move out, and everything else; the weekend just couldn’t get here fast enough for me!

I did take Mom to the doctor yesterday and he put her on Lasix as she has been accumulating fluid around her lung again. He seemed pretty optimistic that it will relieve the pressure she’s been feeling and help ease her breathing. We’re very fortunate to have doctors on Mom’s team that are on the ball and very caring. They are also being encouraging and optimistic instead of all doom and gloom like some I’ve been around in the past. It helps that they seem to have a sense of humor since Mom is such a great, upbeat person and jokes around with them alot.

Anyway, besides the “bleh” week itself, I’ve been looking forward to the weekend because I get to go to a really interesting class on Saturday. It is a Natural Botanical Perfumery workshop being held at the Intermountain Nursery up in the foothills of Prather, CA. It’s being taught by Justine Crane of The Scented Djinn. I’m really excited because when I first found out about this class several months ago, I didn’t think I’d get to go. But, I called them last week and found out there was still a couple of spaces left in the class. Hubby said “Just Do It!” so I signed up. I’m really looking forward to creating my own scent and learning about the different notes and fragrances. Whoo hoo, a ME day that combines learning and fun surrounded by plants! And to boot, the weather is supposed to be a bit cooler – only 95 degrees. This time of year ANYTHING below triple digits is “cooler”.


Have a wonderful weekend all – I will tell you all about my new-found knowledge next week!