Our New Soap Shop

In our third year, we have been busting out at the seams in our current location (in my house). We have been looking at different options for the expansion of herb/o/logy. A brick and mortar would be the next logical choice for us, however with the state of the things right now it seems a very risky venture. We see brick and mortars closing more often now due to Amazon and other online access stores. So, what can we do? Well, how about a mobile herb/o/logy shop?

We have purchased a 1967 Pathfinder vintage trailer. With some elbow grease and some frame work (sigh) our mobile shop will debut at the Ladies Night Out in Sycamore! It will be a work in progress but if you are lucky enough to come to herb/o/logy headquarters you will be purchasing from the trailer. It will remain stocked for your shopping pleasure!

See you on the Garden Path (where you will find the herb/o/logy trailer!)

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Holiday Deals Herb/o/logy Style

Happy Holdays!

As a way to thank you, we are pleased to offer some exciting discounts for our herb/o/logy line. If you have wanted to stock up or get to know the herb/o/logy skin care line better this is for you!  

Happy Holidays from herb/o/logy! 

See you on the garden path 

Sugar Scrub Herb/o/logy Style

Sugar Scrub Herb/o/logy Style

On the eve of Halloween all was prepared awaiting guests for the sugar scrub party!  Five brave souls came to this ghoulish event to brew some fantastic skin care!

Awaiting guests

Oil station to try on different oils on their skin

First we sat down to discusse some basics involving sugar scrub formulation and ingredients. Then we tried out some oils to get a feel of them on our skin.

Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble

Crafting sugar scrubs

They were given two recipes to pick from then they were off, working like made scientists on their skin scrubs! Do I spy a little local wine in this picture?
Myself and my fellow brewmiester helped as needed but these ladies needed no assistence! We had partook in some wicked treats  and some equally magical raffle prizes.

Here is our class picture! We will be having another scrub party soon so stay tuned to the herb/o/logy face book page for further details!

What our participants had to say:

I am having so much fun making sugar scrubs at the herb/o/logy headquarters! ~ Heidi

The scrubs we made and prizes we won! ~ Viva

See you on the garden path!

The Art of Soap Making

The Art of Soap Making

The Making of a Salt/Brine soap.

‘Mariner’ was created for the men’s line Grit, to take care of the greasiest hands using 100% coconut oil and salt water (brine). When doing research to find the perfect de-greaser, I noticed a trend. The second or third ingredient in leading dish soap was always salt, why? Because salt is a natural de-greaser and helps boost the soaps de-greasing power.

Coconut oil is used in salt soap because it’s one of the few oils that cut through the minerals of the salt water that interfere with the cleaning ability of soap. Coconut oil soap is very cleansing and makes a beautiful sudsy bar.

Gathering the ingredients

Coconut Oil

A very simplistic recipe, oil and brine/ lye solution. Next up, colorant and fragrance oil, go into the pot. The colorant is an all natural plant called Indigo, which produces a “Blue jean” color.

Mixing the lye/brine with the Oil

I put a small part of the “batter” into a separate container for colorant to add the design on the top of the bar.

A bit of a messy process, but then poured the batter into the oval mold then let it “gel” for about 4 hours. That night I was able to un-mold the bars and put them on the curing rack for 4-6 weeks, so the bars will harden. That’s it!

Mariner salt bars!
See you on the garden path (my path is getting very chilly!:) )


Herb/o/logy DIY Diaries

Spa night herb/o/ogy style! Open your kitchen cabinets, put on some spa music and pamper yourself for the evening.

First, let me get on my soap box a minute (get it? Ha!). The health of your skin starts on the inside, with a miraculous substance called water! Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water. Water is the most abundant material in all tissues,with the exception of bone. With enough water the elastin and collagen matrix on the dermis layer of your skin stays plump and hydrated. Dehydration can cause your skin to age prematurely.

Lets get started, ready?

Spa Night Essentials

First,cleanse your face.

Strawberry Cleanser

Ingredients needed.

4 ripe strawberries sliced (stems removed)

Peppermint or Lavender essential oil (optional)

In a small bowl, mash the strawberries and smash the pulp through cheese cloth/ strainer and catch the juice in a bowl, add essential oil if you desire. Rub onto your face, neck and decollete area. Massage in for one minute and rinse with warm water.

Next up, the eyes.

Brew some green tea, cool the tea bags and apply to closed eyes for 15 minute (remember the spa music? Listen now).

Use the cooled green tea as a toner for your face and dont forget to drink some too!

Lastly, bathe.

Fill your tub with warm water and add a 1/4 of powdered milk and/or oatmeal, grab a good book and wash your cares away!

Don’t forget some herb/o/logy soap for your bath. I would recommend Sea Spa for the exfoliant properties!

That my friends is a spa night herb/o/logy style! Indulge yourself, you deserve it!

See you on the garden path

Herb/o/logy Celebrates Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Herb/o/logy Celebrates Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog month Here at the herb/o/logy family we have two “shelter” dogs and one that just wasn’t wanted, alas, we have three puggles. They make me tired just thinking about them! Lol! They may be cute but don’t let that fool you, these are high need dogs and a lot of work.

Sarabe, the leader and head know it all, is nine years old and very wise ( just ask her). We purchased her because the owners backed out of the deal.


Chaz, the super hero cuddler, is six years old and is an amazing little boy who spent his first months in a large shelter in Chicago. Which you can still see in him today, he gets very scared to be left. We adopted him from Paws For a Cause from Chicago.


Sarafina, our newest and youngest puggle, is two years old and this is her third and final home. She is sweet, loving and absolutely loves her puggles
siblings. She was adopted from Tails Humane Society.


To round out our giving back, our family volunteers and works for Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue. A wonderful organization that was founded by our close friends and is a breath of fresh air for huskies in need.


William hugging furry babies

Herb/o/logy launched our Canine Campanions Line to benefit dogs in need.

herb/o/logy Canine Campanion Line

Go take a look for a special gift of pampering for your fur baby!

Indulgence Dog Soap – Refreshing and pampering for your favorite canine!

Smokey’s Date Night Spray (Leave in conditioner) – Fresh and clean for a night out on the doggie town.

Romeo’s Mousse – Soothing for nose and paws!

DJ’s Dry Shampoo – For a quick spruce in between full baths!

Yahtzee’s Wheel Dog Wax – Paw-saving balm for pups!

Give back, volunteer, donate, just give to pets in need!

Hug your fur babies for me and

See you on the garden path!

Mushroom Dyeing Seminar

Mushroom Dyeing Seminar

Mycopigments Workshop
Exploration of mushroom and lichen dyes

Our instructor for the day was Alissa Allen. “Alissa has been experimenting with mushroom derived pigments and sharing her enthusiasm and experience with others for over 15 years. Raised by a forager in the Pacific Northwest, she has been a student of the natural world her entire life. She currently calls Massachusetts home but spends most of her time travelling; studying regional fungi, and teaching residents how to recognize and utilize their local mushroom dye palettes.”

Alissa and the many colors of mushroom dyes

We learned about mushroom safety, identification basics,habitats and ethical harvesting. There has been no evidence of a reaction from skin contact when dealing with mushrooms. There have been cases of people getting sick from poisoned mushrooms, so don’t eat the poisoned ones! 🙂 When harvesting mushrooms be sure to take the ones on the ground or on dying tree branches. You can harvest fungi from trees but not lichen because you would ruin their ecosystem.

Mushroom identification is a learned process, Alissa provided us with a brochure with colored pictures to help assist us with proper identification. She recommended joining Facebook groups such as the Mushroom Dyers Trading Post and visiting her website for more information.

Next up! Dyeing the mushrooms! We helped chopped up different mushrooms and lichen for the jars full of water.

Cortinarius Semisanguineus

You can now lower or raise the PH levels to cause different color variations, but not too high! Alissa also discussed how to use mordants in the dyeing process.

Recipe card examples

We were given some recipe cards and handouts for our future fungi dyeing experiments.
We were also able to dye some beautiful silk scarves to take home with us.

If you want to learn further information on mushroom dyeing, I would suggest taking one of Alissa’s very unique seminars!

Special thanks to Julie Saalsaa and her husband for opening up their farm for us!

Click on the pictures for more information

See you on the garden path!

On the road for Education

Herb/o/logy is on the road again always in search of learning how to make a better product for you!

Our quest has brought us to the Thorough Bred Center in Lexington Kentucky, where we met up with like minded individuals for a two day soapy convergence.

Day one 

On a beautiful Kentucky morning we learn from a pharmacists about her perspective of incorporating the natural into the medical.

Dr.Virginia Lemay precepts Doctor of Pharmacy students participating in community pharmacy-based clinical rotations at The University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy.
First up Lice!

Lice is transmitted from head to head and cannot stay off the source for more 24 hours. Some natural suggestions would be Tea Tree and Lavender Oil.

Next up Poison Ivy – some people are more susceptible then others if you are in that latter group it’s best to stay away by identification. Some natural Solution would be Apple Cider Vinegar, Oatmeal paste( to help with the itching) and of course the power house is Jewel weed!

Dry skin (eczema ) as we age we lose natural oils and also some medication including Diuretics can deplete the skins moisture and also with aging comes the thin skin. She then gave us some natural solutions that included Lemon balm tree and Comfrey for itchy skin even shingles.

Next up the always engaging Dr Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is the Elliott Professor of Chemistry at Hampden-Sydney College. His book, Caveman Chemistry, brought him to the attention of handcrafted soap makers and because of this he has undertaken a series of research projects on the chemistry of handcrafted soap

The good doctor introduced us to the chemical compounds of soap. He explained the atomic processes of how soap is fused. He then talked various recipes to make glycerin melt and poor the natural way. As a side note did you know that cocaine is a as natural natural as Lavender?

Margaret Neff

Margaret is a retired special education teacher, from the farmlands of central Ohio.


Making and talking about Rice Milk Soap

We Learned all about making soap with different types of milk!

First up Rice Milk

Bring 1 cup of water and a 1/3 cup of rice to a boil cover and reduce to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Drain off excess water then transfer to a blender and add 2 cups warm water. Blend and add another cup of warm water, let sit for 30 minutes skin the top and strain

Voila Rice Milk!

Margaret talked about the different methods of using milk in the soaps.
Katie White “Duchess of Suds”of Royalty Soaps

Katie White began soap making when she took a class at her home school co-op in September 2010, her junior year in high school.


Katie demonstrating piping on cold process soap

Katie did a demo on soap pipping. She gave us a fabulous recipe to give us the extra time we need to pipe on soaps! First she started with a drop swirl. With some beautiful blues with a white batter. Then she did some creative pipping on top of the soap loaf!

Day 2

This day was dedicated to all demonstrations by the above mentioned speakers.


Me, Katie and my cupcake

We even decorated some cupcakes!

Glycerin Melt and pour anyone?


Teach and the Dr. demonstrating different ingredients for clear glycerin soap

And last but certainly not least our “teach” Cathy McGinnis talked about taking the very best product photos we can! She talked of using a white back round and using clear compelling images. Of course branding!

Cathy McGinnis Catherine’s you tube channel, Soaping101 is the most popular non-commercial channel for soap making tutorials. The style and know how she brings to her videos and the community is an extension of her genuineness. She considers soap making an industry where information should be freely shared and appreciated.


Teach and me

Special thanks to Cathy McGinnis for putting this wonderful educational event on for us to learn even more about our craft! You can find more about Cathy on www.Soaping101.com

Thank you for coming on our journey for education!

See you on the garden path


Queen and Duchess of suds

Click on any of the pictures for more information on each speaker

Herb/o/logy DIY Diaries 

How about some all natural bug spray for those evenings sitting outside?
Mr herb/o/logy found this recipe and he used it the night of the herb/o/logy garden party. It worked great and we were bug free for several hours. 

Use equal parts:

  • Stale Beer
  • Epsom Salts
  • Mouth Wash

Combine and put in a clean sprayer

Ingredients for Bug Spray

One nice thing about this spray is you can use it on anything and very heavy.

Here at herb/o/logy we opt to use natural pest and ground controls so we can keep our gardens organic as possible for use towards our soaps – and for you our faithful herb/o/logy customer! 

See you on the garden path

Herb/o/logy Anniversary 

Happy one year anniversary herb/o/logy! It’s been a very enlightening year! So many lessons learned and some the hard way. Number one lesson that I learned? This business is not about me! What? No one told me that one! 

One of the positive learning aspects of running any business (and number one concern) is getting to know the customer. That has been an amazing journey going from, little me’s, to a smart sophisticated person who cares for the environment, loves all things handmade and loves to give back to the community. The herb/o/logy customer is most savvy in natural products, they want to learn but want to be able to trust in the brand.

The evolution of the herb/o/logy lines has been a thrilling ride, based on customer feedback. Herb/o/logy started with three basic lines; Origins, Celebrations and Tranquility. Origins was about the original formulas of the soaps, our first ones. Celebrations was about using creative fragrance oils and colorants celebrating every day life to the holiday spirit. Tranquility (remember the business is about me?) I wanted a line full of spa experiences for bathing pleasure. 

Based on customer’s response these lines began to evolve into beautiful elegant refinements. Origins is now about essential oils and natural colorants concentrating on skin loving ingredients. Expeditions, formally Celebrations, is about frivolity and adventure from the garden. Tranquility’s line has changed products multiple times, and will continue to change as the spa industry changes.

We have added a men’s line and a Canine line, can you guess what’s in the works? 

I retired from a educational field and one thing I always believed is you can never stop learning. Albert Einstein once said “once you stop learning you start dying.” Learning makes us grow and want to extend ourselves. 

I vow to always keep learning to help the herb/o/logy customer make good choices for their skin in the most natural way possible. 

Thank you herb/o/logy customer for an exciting year, And here’s to many more!  

September Sunset in the Garden

See you on the garden path