Natural Soaps and Herbs

Many natural soaps take advantage of herbal ingredients for fragrance and medicinal properties. Some herb and plants are believed to heal or soothe a number of skin ailments without the use of chemicals. Three worth mentioning are tea tree, lavender and calendula.

natural soap dr flowers

Tea tree essential oil, which has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, also smells great. It can be used alone, or combined with other ingredients in soaps that are friendly to irritable or acne-prone skin.

Lavender has been traditionally used in aromatherapy and bath and body products for everything from potpourri to candles to soaps and creams. It is also believed to be calming and helpful to those suffering from headaches and depression.

lavender bouquet

Calendula comes from the marigold plant. It promotes skin healing and repair. And it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Of the herbs mentioned above, I find calendula to be the most soothing and gentle. Tea tree fragrance is my favorite in the morning for its energetic scent, or at the end of a hot day – especially if sunscreen needs to be removed.

During the summertime I am able to enjoy fresh lavender. I am fortunate to have a large, healthy lavender plant. So I dry the lavender and make the oil myself, then use it as a moisturizer all winter. In soap, it’s a great fragrance to hand over to sweaty children. They smell better almost immediately.

Dr. Flowers’ store has a great variety of natural soaps. They smell wonderful and arrived promptly, wrapped in embroidered cotton sleeves. The soaps have a wavy cut, which makes them pretty to look at and shows off the herbs within. And I appreciate the eco-friendly packaging.

My order from Dr. Flowers also included small heart shaped soaps, that look nice in the bathroom. And they are very appropriate to have this time of year with Valentine’s Day coming up.

The June Bride fabric brooches

Beautiful felted jewelry made from recycled sweaters by The June Bride.

thejunebride-thumbBorn in a field somewhere in the world, each of these delightful brooches began as pure lamb’s wool, nature’s soft coat for a baby sheep. Lambswool is much softer and finer than the wool of a mature sheep. After the careful process of shearing, the wool was then cleaned, carded, spun, dyed and knit. For a time it existed as a garment, aptly warming its wearer better than almost any natural substance. And then, some way or other, it found me.


thejunebride-thumb2When I come across the right sweater, I bring it home and think about it… imagining its future life. Once I’ve settled on a happy fate, I thoroughly wash it, felt it, dry it, stretch it, cut it and shape it. Some of the wool becomes other useful objects, but my favorite little things to make are these brooches. Each type of wool has its own characteristics, and I thoughtfully choose the flower shape to best highlight its qualities. I match the petal color to a shade of green for the leaves that peek out the back to make a harmonious finished product. Some have a vintage button for a center, some have a simple gold center and some have no center at all.



tapebubba: I now offer a full 51 different colors of tape, in both gaffer tape and duct tape, and a few other specialty tapes. You can see kind of how I roll. What would you like to see? I also will build your photos/images into your custom wallet. You provide me one or two .jpg digital images of your choosing. I’ll make the insides of the world famous The Stuffer out of duct tape in colors that compliment your image(s). Then your photos will make the outsides. A tough translucent layer of transparent duct tape protects the outside.

I’m an Engineer by profession, and a compulsively creative perfectionist by genetic code. Born in Syracuse, raised in Yorba Linda, educated in Berkeley, and residing in El Cerrito, I handmake wallets, passport covers, checkbooks, cardholders, and notebooks out of various kinds of tape. All tapebubba proceeds go to Second Grader sonoftapebubba’s college fund. I supply the creativity, the tape and the labor.

People sometimes ask me why I always take a photo of each wallet laying flat. The reason is that my wallets actually do lay flat, and your wallet should lay flat too. If the wallet you are about to buy doesn’t lay flat when it’s empty, what do you think it will look like when you have put your stuff in it? Speaking of photos, something else that is different about tapebubba is that I actually take a picture of the wallet I am selling you. The photos in my listings are of the actual item you are going to receive. Seems obvious to me that you deserve that. Apparently not everyone feels that way about what you deserve.