Friday, August 31, 2007

Chillax Bridezilla!



I can't believe I actually managed to meet a deadline EARLY for once!!!


This week's EtsyOWLS challenge is to create something based on a wedding theme. The challenge isn't due until tomorrow (Sunday) evening but I got it done, photographed and posted in the morning before work. The bath salts are made using salts from the Dead Sea and dried mini rose buds. The fizzy bomb is the same scent as the bath salts which is "Pink Sugar" type fragrance. Isn't the "do not disturb" door hanger cute? Here's where it's listed on Etsy:







Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ramping up

There's another challenge coming up this Sunday and I'm participating again. This time it's not going to be a last minute deal. I'm planning on being well prepared this time. The theme is to "Weddings". I've decided to make a gift set specially for the bridezilla to help her chillax before her big day. I haven't decided on a name for it yet. I think I'll start putting it together tomorrow since it's more than 1 item and I want to make sure I take good pictures.
I'll keep you posted so.......watch this space!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Peppermint Patty Anyone?


I see a pattern here. Whenever I'm suffering from soaper's block I end up with chocolate. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining, because I have to admit on both occasions, I've totally loved the outcome.
So here's my creation from frustration pt.2. Scented with peppermint and chocolate.
What do you think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crap....



.....I've got soaper's block again. I've been meaning to make this next batch of soap for days and I'm having issues. I just went upstairs and pulled out all my fragrance & essential oils. I sniffed most of them hoping for a bit of inspiration but nothing. Everything seems boring right now. My original intention was to make a batch of peppermint for Christmas. Freak - maybe I'll just go do that.......alright I'm going. I'll post pics later or tomorrow I guess.
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Update - 9:27pm. (picture added). I must be going through a chocolate phase right now. What is up with that? Maybe the universe is telling me that I need a chocolate line after all which is something I've been considering. Anyway, I ended up making a swirly brown & white single layer soap. The white parts are flavored with peppermint essential oil and the brown parts are flavored with chocolate and vanilla fragrance oils and colored with cocoa powder. It smells like a York Peppermint Patty for sure. I took this picture right before popping it in the oven for the night. Can't wait until the morning to get it out and slice it up.


EtsyOWLS Challenge


Sunday, I told you all how I participated in a challenge with my fellow Street Team members the Etsy OWLS. The challenge was to come up with an item to sell that was family oriented, meaning something that could be used by any member of the family. More info on the challenge can be found here:


The public is being encouraged to vote for their favorite item and the one with the most votes wins. All entries were posted at the same time at 7:00pm EST on Sunday when the challenge began.
My intention was to make some chocolate milk bath which is always fun. I usually make this for my nephew for Christmas every year. He looks forward to his chocolate set which includes chocolate milk bath, chocolate scented body butter, chocolate lotion and some bath truffles.

For whatever reason, I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to make a batch of chocolate scented bath truffles instead (see pic). These things are so much fun and they smell wonderful. The natural intoxicating aroma of cocoa butter with the addition of fragrance and other ingredients makes for a most luxurious bathing experience. Kids love them because they fizz, adults love them because they make your skin feel soft and silky.
BTW - these puppies sold within 24 hours of being listed. YEAH ME!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

All Done


Woo hoo - they're all done, packaged up and ready to be shipped. I pulled it off and I'm a happy girl. Those little 1/2 sized soaps don't look so bad, they're actually quite cute!

....now, if only I could decide on what to make for this Etsy Street Team challenge that's about to begin in a few hours! why is everything always last minute with me???? Oh well, off I go to create again...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Problem Solved


A couple of months ago (pre-Etsy), I signed up to participate in a Bath & Body products swap on one of the soap making online groups I belong to. All products need to be in the coordinator's hands by Sept 1st. As soon as I signed up for the swap I made a huge batch of pumpkin spice soap, allowing plenty of time for them to cure. These girls are gonna love this one, I thought to myself. Unbeknownst to me, Etsy was right around the corner waiting on me to stumble on her. Needless to say since I started selling on Etsy, I have managed to sell a vast quantity of said pumpkin spice soap, thus leaving nothing much for the swap. What to do? I had a dilema. There's no way I was going to pull all the remaining pumpkin spice soap from my Etsy shop. As it is, I only have 19 bars left and I need 15 for the swap and making more wasn't an option.
This morning I said to myself: "Self, you have to either pull out of the swap and face being banned from all swaps for life (not a good thing to happen on your first swap) or you're going to have to hand over all the soap and just call it a day".
I was adamant that neither was going to happen, and as usual, just in the nick of time I came up with the solution. I'll cut each full size bar of soap in 1/2 which will create guest size bars. This means only losing 8 bars as opposed to 15. Then I could make some fizzy bath bombs in this other fragrance I have which smells just like apple pie with spices. So they'll get a fizzy bomb and a small soap.
So, that's exactly what I've done. Well, I haven't cut up the soap yet, but I have made the bombs. They smell rather lovely if I do say so myself. Since I didn't color them, I decided to decorate the tops with dried calendula petals. This picture shows a handful of them but I actually made about 18 and they're HUGE. I weighed one and it's 4 1/2 oz!!! They have sit and harden nicely for a day or so, then I'll clean them up a bit. I hope they like them:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What to call it?


I'm at a loss for a name for this batch. It reminds me of a full moon. Smells deeelish too - very girlie smelling:)
My daughter just suggested these names
"Venus The Great" or "The Hot Spot".
Any suggestions are welcome. It's set to make it's debut in approx. 6 weeks time and it'll need a name by then!

It's in my blood

Two recent events have led me to come to the conclusion that I was destined to be a soapmaker. And how do I know I was meant to be making soap? Here's how I know....

Recently, I joined a meetup group of soapmakers in NYC. It is highly out of character for me to get on a train and ride to Central Park to sit and picnic with a group of people I have never met before. Even my husband was proud of me. Anyway, one of the wonderfully talented ladies that I met was Lucie. She also sells soap on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5176018
After visiting my website Lucie sent me an email stating that we had similar behaviors as children, because like me, she used to pick flowers and squeeze them to make her own perfume. You see, Lucie's grandfather was a chemist for a bath & body products company and he also made soap, therefore it was in Lucie's genes to make soap. This revelation took me by surprise because I honestly didn't think that anyone else dreamed about making perfume as a child. I thought it was just me.
As you already know, I've been making soap for quite some time and I also make other bath & body products but somehow soapmaking seems to do it for me. I'm in LOVE with anything soap, actually correction - I'm OBSESSED with making the stuff. Anyway, I've often wondered if I had any past relatives that were soap makers because you know how certain talents or behaviors are inherited right? My mother is no longer alive and she passed away before I started making soap, plus I barely have contact with my father.
Well, this past Sunday my 2 sisters and I met up for breakfast at our local diner since we hadn't sat and had a good old fashioned "chin wag" in a while. Out of the blue I asked my older sister if she knew of any members of our family that used to make soap. Her response was "Oh yes, of course - your grandmother used to make soap. Did you not know that?" - No I didn't know that. Then she went on to describe this soap and how it was made using the ashes from the wood that was used to cook the food outside. Well, you could have floored me with a feather. Is this what Oprah refers to as my AHAA moment? I flung myself backwards into the bench seat, mouth agape and just stared at her for a while. Is this why I see nothing wrong with rising from a dead sleep at 4:30 in the morning on a work day to make a batch of soap because I just can't wait until the weekend? I guess so - it's just in my blood, I can't help and I don't want to help it. Now I can soap on in peace, knowing that I'm doing what I was always destined to do. That truly feels good!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Room with a View

Woohoo - we're in Vegas!!! I've been looking forward to this trip for months as I've been overdoing lately and this was going to be my chance to relax and not think about anything but enjoying myself.
It's now Tuesday morning. And what do you suppose I've done? I've brought the bloody laptop with me and here I sit in the room, my first morning in Vegas on the computer. I've checked my emails, responded to some, been on the Etsy forums for at least an hour and now I'm updating my blog. (Might as well, I'm paying for 24 hours of internet access). After this 24 hour period is up, I've promised myself that I will NOT touch this laptop again until we get home on Thursday night.

So, last night DH and I get to the room, drop our stuff and head out to the mall across the street. We promptly visited the liquor store as we planned to have a nice drink up before bed. Captain Morgan was put to work and what a lovely job he did :) If you look carefully, you'll see him on the table. Almost legless, we stumbled down to the casino where I promptly shoved $40 of hard earned dough into the greedy mouth of a wheel of fortune slot machine. All I could think about on my way back to the room a couple of hours later was how much coconut oil or fragrance I could have purchased with that cash. Oh well, it's gone now and today's a new day. My plan today is to win BIG MONEY so I'm off to do just that. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Etsyitus


So it's Saturday afternoon now. I think I got up at around 5:30 this morning (pretended I was thirsty), jumped right on the computer and here I still am. How am I going to kick this new habit? Do I even want to? I have to, today at least. I'm leaving for vacation on Monday and I have to give myself a manicure & a pedicure. I need to get my brows waxed. I need to pack and I need to shop for stuff to pack. Did I mention that I have to do something about this mop on top of my head? Yet, here I sit on the computer. My daughter actually calls me a fiend. But it hasn't been a total waste because I got this great idea that I wanted to have a sale on soap this weekend at Etsy. Buy 1 bar, get the second bar at 50% off. Pretty darned good deal if you ask me!
It's been so much fun. I've had lots of inquiries so far and I've made some sales. At the beginning of August I set a goal that I wanted to sell 10 items for the month. I've already almost hit that goal!!! I'm totally ecstatic :) I got one order for some foot salve from a lady in England and I'm sending soap samples to another in Malaysia. Just the thought of my creations flying around the world makes me smile today.

Oh, and I got one other brilliant idea this morning but I'll share that tomorrow (if I ever get off my butt to bring it to fruition :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Vegas Here I Come

So, I'm off to Las Vegas next week for 4 days and I'm just now getting super excited about it. I haven't started packing or anything yet. If I did I think my husband would keel over dead. My motto is "If it ain't last minute, then it ain't no fun"! I'm one of those who will be still doing laundry and packing an hour before we're supposed to leave. Anyway, I'm having these dreams of winning big money in Vegas, enough so that I can stay at home and make soap all day every day (sans soapers block hopefully). I'm dreaming about how I'd be able to afford all those experiments I've always wanted to try but daren't because of the cost of raw materials. Ooooh, I'd be the happiest woman this side of the globe. Actually, just the fact that I'm going away is plenty to make me happy and we're staying in pretty posh digs too. We'll be here at the Wynn Hotel. Love that place - we stayed there 2 years ago for 3 days. I felt like the queen that I really am!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Internet Connection

So tonight I get home from work and as usual I drop my bags and head for the pc so I can check on my Etsy shop and my Morgan St website plus catch up on emails. To my horror, there's no internet. I can't get on. My world has just screeched to a complete halt. My mind races as to what I should do. Hmmm...this is not good, not good at all. After a few moments, I calm myself down and try to think of something constructive to do. I guess I could make that batch of soap I've been thinking about for over a week. But what to make? I just can't seem to decide. I think I've been suffering from soaper's block lately. Usually I know exactly how I want it to look, smell and feel. But this time, it wasn't happening.

The oils get weighed and are sitting in the pot, the lye is dissolving the silk fibers in the water and still no inspiration! What the F is wrong with me tonight? At least by THIS stage I should have this batch already made in my head. Bear in mind, I only have so much time between the oils melting and the lye water cooling, because by the time this all happens, I have to hussle (especially because I used beeswax this time). I certainly wasn't up for wasting 4lbs of good quality oils either due to my indecisiveness.

I open up my soap ingredients cupboards and the first thing I see is a bag of organic oatmeal. In the cupboard next to it, a tin of Hershey's cocoa powder. OK, the picture's coming together now, and just in the nick of time. By the time I figured out how I was going to put this thing together, I had no time to spare. In my haste I splashed raw soap all over my face, narrowly missing my eye.

***WARNING*** Always wear protective goggles, long sleeves & rubber gloves!

Before you ask - No I don't wear any of the above. It's so naughty of me, I know but I like living on the edge sometimes. It's my one time to live dangerously so can I please?

Anywho, after splashing vinegar all over my face, I continue on and manage to get the sucker in the oven before it turned to rock in the pot.

I have to say it not only looks lovely but smells divine. I used a little sliver and the bubbles are so soft and creamy and silky feeling. Hmmmmm, this one's a sure winner! Maybe I should stay off the computer more often...now what to call it, oatmeal chocolate almond cookie? eat your oatmeal? chocoats?

BTW - DH got home from work and was promptly put to work to fixing the internet. A couple of trips between my pc upstairs, his pc downstairs, the modem or whatever that box thing with lights is called and we were back up and running. Such talent in a man is so rare :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Etsy.com is the Bomb

Curiosity finally got the better of me and after reading about this "Etsy" place here and there, I decided to take a trip to the site to see what all the hub-bub was about. What a wonderful wonderful place. Of course I had to sign up right away (as if I needed one more thing to take up time that I already didn't have).

It's been 2 weeks and 1 day since I opened my Etsy shop and boy has it been fun. I've met lots of people, made lots of trades and seem to have become addicted to the place. There are hundreds and hundreds of seriously talented people selling their wares. It's mind boggling to see all that creativity in one place.

Here's where you'll find me trying to flog my wares : http://www.morganstreet.etsy.com/