October 21, 2014

Holiday Traditions May Vary

I've seen posts today about how movements to improve health and diets are killing our holidays, the "big three" in particular. While I can see where the writers are coming from and agree with some of their points, I'd like to point out, holiday traditions may vary.

toddler girl with pumpkin
Sneak excited by the pumpkins and fallen leaves her second fall season.

Not everyone has the same idea about how holidays should be celebrated, and that's okay.

October 8, 2014

Product Introduction: Ow, My Aching Everything!

A couple weeks ago, I talked about the process of formulating this newest item. The formula was finalized Monday evening, and I'm currently working on getting the first dozen or so jars listed in the store or delivered to U. G. White Mercantile in Athens.

Anti-inflammatory ointment made with essential oils
Ow, My Aching Everything Therapeutic Ointment

I have to list all the ingredients by their scientific names on the back label, so I thought I would break them down by their more recognizable names here. The active ingredients include castor oil, rose hip seed oil, lemongrass oil, cinnamon leaf oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, wintergreen oil, and rosemary oil. Coconut oil is used as a carrier and adds a moisturizing element to the ointment.

September 24, 2014

Upcoming Products: Formulating a Therapeutic Ointment

Back in late August and early September I had yet another flair up of carpal tunnel and what I now know to be the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. I tried the usual over-the-counter creams and found them lacking. They helped, sure, but they burned, produced an exceedingly weird "cold burn" sensation, and left the skin feeling dried out and sticky.

Virtually all of them used menthol or capsasin as their active ingredients. Menthol is an anti-inflammatory agent found in members of the mint family such as wintergreen, spearmint, eucalyptus, and peppermint just to name a few. Capsasin is found in peppers and more of less just overrides the pain by producing a burning sensation. Knowing this, I decided to try and make a better anti-inflammatory cream.

Therapeutic ointment
Hubby demonstrating the texture of our lotion formula once we'd perfected it.
I studied up on different essential oils. I found several which are known to be powerful anti-inflammatories and then began experimenting with them. The first attempt worked, but the smell was like someone doused you in lemon Pledge. Plus the ointment left a greasy film behind, which I wasn't happy with either. Still, after three days of applying the ointment three times a day, my hands were back to their normal size and functionality. Since then, that first batch proved effective at relieving strained muscles, inflamed tendons, tension headaches, migraine, and dampening sinus pain long enough for decongestants to kick in.

September 23, 2014

Fall Season Kickoff: The Geek Gathering

Our fall event season got started this past weekend with The Geek Gathering in Sheffield, Alabama.

All in all, it was a good convention. Turnout was high, and the costumes were amazing. They had some good guests, especially considering they are a young convention. Oh, and Hubby finally got his picture taken with the TARDIS. There were so many other photos we wanted to take, but idiot me forgot to pack the camera.

TARDIS and Adipose Plushie
Hubby posed with the TARDIS and baby Adipose.

August 28, 2014

Your Words Matter: The Long Term Impact of a Teacher's Word Choice on Elementary Children

Here in the U.S. there seems to be a mindset amongst officials, parents, and even some teachers that the early years of a child's school career only matter as a starting point. Pre-K through third grade mostly focus on teaching a child to sit still and be quiet for hours at a time, to read and write and count and tie their shoes, and how to follow rules. Beyond this, little counts. Marks given in these grades don't count toward graduation or college acceptance beyond the child having passed through them to get to the next level, so what does it matter?

First Grade/Pre-K field trip to Cook's Natural History Museum.
Yet, it's in these early grades where we develop deep rooted ideas of self. Ask a child to describe themselves at the end of each year, and you'll see almost every one will have the same answer from third grade through the rest of their lives. Where do they get this self-image? Where did you get yours?

July 21, 2014

Upcoming Interview - The Will Anderson Show

I will be joining local talk show host, Will Anderson on air during his show on Wednesday, July 23. The show airs on WTKI and WEKI weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. central standard time.

We will be discussing my debut novel, Right of Succession.

July 9, 2014

Working Behind the Scenes

I know it looks like nothing has been going on since Con Kasterborous the last weekend in June, but there has been a lot happening "behind the scenes" so to speak.

Hubby and I both came down with con crud, and both girls had a bad case of hay fever that weekend. So the whole first week of July, we were all miserable. I'm thankful Hubby and the girls are back to feeling at 100%. I've had a cough and sinus issues that refuse to go away, and I woke up on July 4th almost completely deaf in one ear. Because of this, I have avoided any and all crafting, but that doesn't mean I've been idle.

Soap and Perfume Booth at Craft Fair
My booth at last year's Homespun.

June 24, 2014

Fragrance Introductions: The Physicist and Master Detective

Calling fans of Stephanie Osborne's Displaced Detective series. Here are two fragrances inspired by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Skye Chadwick-Holmes requested and licensed by the author.

Sherlock Holmes inspired original fragrance
Master Detective Goat Milk and Glycerin Soaps
First up is Master Detective, a complex and spicy blend of tobacco blossom, caramel, honey, mandarin, rose, black amber, clove, nutmeg, musk, coffee, cinnamon, and evergreen. The soaps are largely glycerin with a swirl of goat milk.

Dr. Skye Chadwick-Holmes inspired original fragrance
The Physicist Goat Milk Soaps
Next we have The Physicist, a green and warm blend of oakmoss, sandalwood, tonka bean, cedar wood, lemon, petitgrain, black amber, clove, nutmeg, musk, fresh cut grass, and evergreen.

June 23, 2014

Right of Succession is Available!

Long time readers will know I've spent more than half my life working on my first full novel. I've written other things in the past nineteen and a half years, but I kept going back to Right of Succession.

Well, it's finally been finished and published!

A. B. England's break out novel

It is available on Kindle and in paperback form. In fact, you can snag an electronic copy free from Amazon if you head over and download a copy by Tuesday, June 24.

For local folks, I'll be at Con Kasterborous this weekend, and I should have about twelve paperback copies available for purchase at my booth. (If they arrive when my publisher says they will, that is.)

Personalized, signed copies will be available through contentedcomfort.com along with all bath and body, knit, and crocheted items come mid to late July when I finish integrating my storefront with the main website. My Etsy store will stay up as a means to accept inquiries from existing customers and to direct returning customers to the main website.

If you read and enjoy, please help a new novelist out and leave a review. And as always, thanks for your support!

June 18, 2014

Fragrance Introduction: Dragonback

Here's yet another requested fragrance. Dragonback was inspired by dragon lore.

Dragon lore inspired original fragrance
Dragonback Glycerin Soaps
The soaps are solid glycerin in an ever variable swirl of red, green, gold, and black. The fragrance is a spicy blend of wood smoke, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, black amber, musk, and evergreen.