Dr. Brent Ridge, a contributor to Martha Stewart Living, and his partner, writer Josh Purcell, are well ensconced in their upstate New York farmhouse for the upcoming holiday weekend. But they're also busy preparing for that OTHER holiday just over a month away and are overseeing the production, packaging and shipment of their goat's-milk soap and hand woven linens, which make beautiful gifts for purveyors of the handmade. You can read their blogs and order their products at http://www.beekman1802.com. Among the lovely inclusions this year:
I intend on treating myself to this soap soon. Being a December baby (the 27th) I feel compelled to bathe with this intriguing December soap, which is described as having the inviting scent of a warm kitchen with hints of vanilla and ginger. As always, it is handmade from the milk of the Beekman goats, who graze freely on the land and drink from the waters that once made Sharon Springs one of the most famous spa destinations in the world. The soap uses the highest percentage of pure goat milk possible in each bar. You may notice a faint layer of ash on the bottom of the soap, which washes away with first use. This ash affirms the bar is made from pure goat milk using non-chemical methods. I've used the soap myself and I love it, but I'm especially eager to try my 'birth' soap.
Speaking of birth, the Beekman store now has a new line of baby goods, including soap for baby as well as these beautiful, heirloom baby swaddling blankets. Usually woven with dark blue wool, Brent, Josh and the crew have adapted an overshot weaving technique for use in this textile, which is 100% cotton. While there are nearly as many methods for swaddling an infant as there are cultures who practice it, the blankets come with a set of instructional diagrams to get you started with your swaddling cloth: perfect for the new mother or those expecting. Patterns include Hollyhock, Dyer's Broom, Pale Indigo and White.A beautiful gift box of 12 soaps. Each 3.25 oz bar is individually wrapped and presented in a 9"X12" red cedar tray, made of sustainably harvested wood. Choose either unscented or one of the seasonal scents.
New letterpress holiday stationery was designed and handmade by Brent and Josh on a 19th Century letterpress at Foxglove Printers in Sharon Springs. Each card was run in a limited edition and is signed & numbered by both of them on the back cover. The first, entitled "Unwrap. Play." is printed in crimson on a heavy cotton rag stock. It features an antique plate illustration of various 19th century toys - just like the ones William Beekman would have carried in his mercantile. The second, entitled "Star." was inspired by a lone pine tree that stands near the Beekman barn. The design, from an antique plate, runs off the edge of the card as if the reader is looking up to find the "star" atop the tree. Both cards come in a wrapped set of 10, with envelopes, and each measures 3.5" X 5." Order these soon to send them out before the holidays.