Thursday, February 2, 2012

OLA February Seller of the Month!!

Every month, a seller is chosen to be OLA's Seller of the Month!

I'd like to introduce you to Jill & Rod, the owners of LatherUpSoap!

From their interview:

In Jill’s words, meet the Lather Up Soap Team, Rod & Jill ...

How long have you been selling online?

Rod & I have been selling online since August 2011

How and or why did you start selling online?

I am a “do it yourself” person in every sense of the word, and bought a book on how to make soap, and Rod said; “honey hey this is really great let’s make a go of a soap business online!” (In 2006 I had an eBay store selling odds and ends, antiques, my sons stuff, good friends South American jewelry etc…)

What is the most interesting thing you’ve bought or sold online?

Books and DVD’s on, of course…how to do it yourself!

But really, we think the one thing we bought that saved us the most money was a DVD on how to dress out a deer or elk, Rod is a hunter and we count on that to fill our freezer for the following year-

Our soap is the most interesting to me, anyway.
What hobbies do you have besides selling online?

Rod, well he would say his hobby is work … oh-well- laughing.

Myself, love photography, sewing, beading, creative cooking, tile mosaics, watercolors, growing our own food, making something from nothing like drift wood art (frames) too much to list here!

Can you please share a tip for other users regarding selling on OLA.

Don’t underestimate the power of a Tweet, and the super mega power of a photograph, it will speak 1,000 words, and then some!!

Now, if you want to see some of the fantastic things that they make and sell, take a peek!!

This one I know is just yummy!! Lots of gift ideas (pay attention, guys!!) and more!!

So, CONGRATULATIONS, LatherUpSoap!! We wish you continued success!!


Over the last few weeks I have written blogs about German music, where I come from, Art and Animals. Today I like to give you some background infos about the City where I live right now: LUGVALIUM. ...
YouTube Video about Carlisle. - Don`t miss it. ...
Carlisle is the county town of Cumbria, and the major settlement of the wider City of Carlisle in North West England. Carlisle is located at the confluence of the rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril, 10 miles (16 km) south of the Scottish border. It is the largest settlement in the county of Cumbria, and serves as the administrative centre for both Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council. At the time of the 2001 census, the population of Carlisle was 71,773, with 100,734 living in the wider city.
Historically the county town of Cumberland, the early history of Carlisle is marked by its status as a Roman settlement, established to serve the forts on Hadrian's Wall. During the Middle Ages, because of its proximity to the Kingdom of Scotland, Carlisle became an important military stronghold; Carlisle Castle, still relatively intact, was built in 1092 by William Rufus, and having once served as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle now houses the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment and the Border Regiment Museum. In the early 12th century Henry I allowed the foundation of a priory in Carlisle. The town gained the status of a diocese in 1122, and the priory became Carlisle Cathedral.
The introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution began a process of socioeconomic transformation in Carlisle, developing into a densely populated mill town. This combined with its strategic position allowed for the development of Carlisle as an important railway town, with seven railway companies sharing Carlisle railway station.Nicknamed the Border City, Carlisle today is the main cultural, commercial and industrial centre for north Cumbria. It is home to the main campuses of the University of Cumbria and a variety of museums and heritage centres. The former County Borough of Carlisle had held city status until the Local Government Act 1972 was enacted in 1974.In 2012, Carlisle will be one of the official stop off points for the Olympic torch before it makes its way down to the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
Much of the ancient history of Carlisle is still unknown and what is known is sourced mainly from archaeological evidence and the works of Roman historian Gaius Tacitus. The earliest recorded inhabitants were the Carvetti tribe of Brythonic Celts who made up the main population of ancient Cumbria and North Lancashire. According to early historians Fordum and Boethius Carlisle existed before the arrival of Romans in Britain and was one of the strongest British towns at the time. In the time of the emperor Nero it was said to have burned down. The town was named Luguvalion or Luguwaljon, meaning 'strength of the god Lugus'. This was later Latinised into Luguvalium and later still was derived to Caer-luel (Caer meaning fort in Brythonic). By the year 73 CE (AD) the Roman invasion of Britain had reached the River Eden and a fort was built that winter at a strategic point overlooking the confluence of the River Caldew with the Eden, where Carlisle Castle stands today. The created civitas was the only walled-town in the entire north west region of Roman Britain, for this reason it is reasonable to assume that the settlement did exist and served as a tribal centre for the Carvetii before Roman occupancy, following the pattern of other civitates made by the Romans. General Gnaeus Julius Agricola advances through Carlisle in 79AD.In 79AD the two main Roman generals active in north Britain, Gnaeus Julius Agricola and Quintus Petillius Cerialis, advanced through the Solway area as they continued their campaign further north. As a result it is likely greater control was achieved at Carlisle over anti-imperialist groups. Something which is signified by the fact the fort at Carlisle was able to be refurbished in 83AD using oak timbers from further afield rather than the local Alder. At this time the fort was garrisoned by a 500 strong cavalry regiment, the ala Gallorum Sebosiana. By the early 2nd century Lugavalium had become established as a prominent stronghold and the 'Stanegate' frontier, which consisted of itself and several other forts spanning east to Corbridge, was proving to be a far more stable frontier against the Picts than those established deeper into Caledonia. In 122AD the province was visited by the Emperor Hadrian who approved a plan to build a stone wall the length of the frontier. With the wall a new fort was built at Carlisle in the modern day Stanwix area of the city north of the river. The fort, Petriana, was the largest along the length of Hadrian's Wall and was eventually completed in stone by around 130AD. Like Lugavalium, which lay within sight, Petriana housed a cavalry regiment, Ala Petriana, which at 1000 strong was the sole regiment of this size on the wall. Hadrian's successor Antoninus abandoned the frontier and attempted to move further north and build a new wall between the Forth and the Clyde. This didn't prove successful however and after 20 years garrisons were returned to Hadrian's wall. Until 400AD the Roman occupation of Britain saw many fluctuations in importance and at one time it broke off from Rome when Marcus Carausius assumed power of the territory. He was later assassinated and suffered Damnatio Memoriae, one of the few surviving references to him was uncovered in Carlisle. Coins excavated in the area suggest the Romans remained in Carlisle as late as the rule of Emperor Valentinian II from 375 to 392AD.
The death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 began the end of turbulent relations between the Scots and England. With no English heir, James VI of Scotland also became King James I of England and was determined to bring peace to his 'United Kingdom'. He applied far stricter penalties than those which preceded against those caught reiving. The borderers were not quick to change their ways however, many were hung and whole families were exiled to Ireland. It was not until 1681 that the problem of the reivers was acknowledged as no longer an issue. With the kingdoms uniting Carlisle Castle should have become obsolete as a frontier fortress but in 1642 civil war broke out and the castle was garrisoned for the king in 1642, and endured a long siege, Carlisle’s eighth, from October 1644 until June 1645. Eventually the loyalist forces surrendered after the Battle of Naseby. The city was then occupied by a parliamentary garrison, and subsequently by their Scots allies, who destroyed the cathedral’s nave and used the stone to rebuild the castle. Cerlisle continued to remain a barracks thereafter. In 1698 travel writer Celia Fiennes wrote of Carlisle as having most of the trappings of a military town and was rife with alcohol and prostitutes. In 1707 an act of union was passed between England and Scotland, creating Great Britain, and Carlisle ceased to be a frontier town. This again didn't end Carlisle's position as a garrison town. The tenth and most recent siege in the cities history took place after Bonnie Prince Charlie took Carlisle in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. When the Jacobite's retreated across the border to Scotland they left a garrison of 400 in Carlisle Castle. In ten days the Duke of Cumberland took the castle and executed 31 of the Jacobites on the streets of Carlisle.

Planting vegetables, the basics, part one..

Last year we planted zucchini, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets and 3 types of tomatoes. The weather was so cold and rainy till about July, that nearly nothing grew. 

The tomato vines got big, but the fruit just grew about 1/2 way and shriveled up, the broccoli had ONE tiny little bunch and a big stalk, the Brussels sprouts went nowhere, and even the zucchini, (that usually goes crazy), only grew about 1/3 the usual size, then rotted. (.. the beets were eaten by a sneaky horse..) This year, I'm determined to get a headstart on the veggies... I'm going to try and start some inside, and hope they can get established long enough to make some FOOD! There's no comparison to the taste of a homegrown veggie with those in the store. They're like a completely different plant!!

I found this at Planting Vegetables for it's long, so I'll make it into 2 parts... 
"You can plant vegetable seeds indoors or outdoors. If you plant seeds indoors, you transplant them into your garden later. With direct seeding, you skip the indoor step and sow the seeds directly in your garden. If you're serious about growing vegetables, you'll probably end up using both options. Consider these points when making your choice:
  • You get a jump on the growing season when you sow seeds indoors. This process is called seed starting (or starting, for short). If you start at the right time, you can have vigorous seedlings ready to go into the ground at the ideal time. In areas with short growing seasons, starting seedlings indoors really gives you a head start.
  • The best candidates for an early start are plants that tolerate root disturbance and benefit from a jump on the season, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, leeks, onions, parsley, peppers, and tomatoes.
  • Seeds are easier to start indoors than outdoors. You can more easily provide the perfect conditions for hard-to-germinate or very small seeds, including the ideal temperature, moisture, and fertility.
  • Some vegetables don't like to be transplanted. These vegetables include many of the root crops, such as carrots, beets, turnips, and parsnips. They're cold-hardy vegetables, so you can direct seed them pretty early anyway. Crops like corn, beans, and peas are also pretty finicky about transplanting and grow better when you direct-seed.
 Harden vegetable seedlings that have been grown indoors or purchased from a greenhouse before exposing them to the elements. Hardening off is a way of increasing your plant's stamina before planting — similar to slowly acquiring a base tan before taking that outdoor, tropical vacation. Plants that have been growing outside at the nursery can go right into the ground, but greenhouse-grown plants are lush and soft and have never known a single day of sunshine in their lifetimes. You have to introduce them slowly to the harsh, real world.
To harden-off seedlings, leave the plants in their containers and put them in a shaded area with some indirect light for a few days. A north-facing, covered porch is ideal. Whenever a freeze is predicted, bring the plants inside overnight. If these are shade plants, you can leave them in this protected site for a few more days and then put them in the garden. For sunny-spot plants, give them a few days in the shaded area and then place the plants in a sunny location for an hour one day. Give them a couple of hours of sun the next day, and so on, increasing their exposure each day. At the end of a week, the plants are thoroughly accustomed to sunlight and wind and are ready to go into their new home.
Don't overharden your plants. Certain crops, such as cabbage and broccoli, can bolt (flower before they're supposed to) quickly if seedlings over three weeks old are repeatedly exposed to temperatures lower than 40°F (4°C) for a couple of weeks.
Before transplanting your seedlings, you need to prepare your soil and sculpt beds or rows, and your garden must be ready to plant. When setting out plants in biodegradable peat pots, make slits down the sides of the pots or gently tear the sides to enable the roots to push through. Also, tear off the lip (top) of the pot, so that it doesn't stick up above the soil surface and pull moisture out of the soil. With premade growing blocks encased in netting, cut off the netting before planting.
Choose a calm, cloudy day to transplant, if possible. Late afternoon is a good time because plants can recover from the shock of transplanting without sitting in the midday heat and sun. If you don't get an ideal transplanting day and the weather is hot and sunny, shade the plants until the sun goes down. Don't be alarmed if your plants look a little droopy after you set them out because they'll soon recover. Cabbage seedlings can droop and look almost dead, for example, and then be up and growing in a day or two."

While you're waiting for spring, here are a few veggie-related things I found at!

Sprout jar with 3 lids from Classic_Chloe!

Deluxe Rada Vegetable Peeler from DebsVarietyShop!

Silver King Kutlett Lettuce Cutter from restaurant parts!  Boy, this brings back memories of my years at Pizza Haven cutting billions of heads of lettuce for our salad bar!

Stay tuned for part two!! And please add any comments and suggestions for successfully growing yummy fresh veggies - I need all the help I can get!