Sunday, November 14, 2010

Latest Batches


I finally got off my duff and made some soap. Nothing too exciting, just 3 batches that I've made in the past.

First batch is green tea. I love how this one has a soft delicate scent. I haven't made this one in a long while (maybe a year or more)

2nd batch is rose. Here I combined 3 different rose fragrances because I thought it would make it a bit more interesting instead of just a straight up boring rose scent. I like it.

3rd batch is my beloved almond. This one was always popular but again I stopped making it. It's for all those die-hard jergens lotion scent lovers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Did I ever tell you


that in the midst of streamlining my product line (which to me should mean reducing not increasing), I retired quite a few of my lip balm flavors and (don't ask me how) I ended up adding a couple of new ones. I've always wanted to offer lip balm flavors that were a little "different", you know, not your typical every day flavors, so to that end, I decided to create a LAVENDER flavor cos I'm weird like that.

When I made my first few as a test batch I was totally unprepared for their deliciousness (is that a word)?

Here I used a lavender flavor oil and added a titch of a sugar flavor to sweeten it and make it more candylike.

I must say it is truly divine and I'm not being biased - honest!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yet another change


Don't know about you but I'm never 100% satisfied. This past weekend I had my first vending event in quite some time so I took the opportunity to purchase new bottles and jars and to create new labels for them. I've always loved the simplicity of black and white labels and I think the brown packaging makes everything look a little cleaner and more like my original vision. I'm still not there 100% with the labels but I think I'm pretty darned close.

What do you reckon?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oh my, is it really October already?


and have I really been missing since May? So yes, I did close my shop so I could...ahem...streamline things. By that I mean, I was supposed to re-open with a more cohesive product line. Great idea right? Well it would have been had I followed through.

So what went wrong?

This is what went wrong. I closed my shop, the orders stopped and I took a sigh of relief. I really long sigh. So long that I couldn't even bring myself to stop enjoying all the new found free time I suddenly had, the new knitting projects, the early to bed nights and the morning lay ins. We won't even mention the days spent reading the week end New York Times or stacks of magazines that I had never gotten to, or books that I'd had for years but never read or the camera I'd had for years but never figure out how to use. So you get the picture I hope. To say it was a lovely time would be putting it very mildly.

Several books and a couple trips later, here I am. Ready to rock and roll again. It'll be interesting to see the direction my shop takes in the future considering the 2 main scents that I was building my "look" around got discontinued (2 separate suppliers btw) which I must say has been a major blow and sort of knock my plans off kilter. One must brush oneself off and carry on right?

Anyway, here are some pics of random ish from this summer.















Feels good to be blogging again :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What's in a color anyways


Look how hideous.........was going for a light purple since I'm a bit heavy handed in the color department I went real light. Lo & behold we have GREY soap. Grey like wet cement, cold concrete, gunmetal, a dirty pigeon but nothing like the lavender it's supposed to be. Maybe I'll describe it as off white. Reckon it'll fly?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garden Party in a new suit

















Only 2 colors but still kinda wild looking. Didn't intend for this one to be so bright but I kinda like it. It's my old "Garden Party" scent combo but with a new suit. A bit mardi-gras'ish don't you think?
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

ooh look

...I actually got off my duff and made soap!

There comes a time when you just have to dive in and DO IT. I've been carrying around a notebook and jotting down every idea/thought I've had for my new line. This has been going on for quite a few weeks and it dawned on me a few days ago and writing all this stuff down is doing me no good if I don't actually DO any of it.

So here's my first installment. They look a little rough right now as they haven't been cleaned up yet but still, they turned out EXACTLY the way I'd envisioned on paper but smells a little better. I wanted a look that was a bit unisex for this one since the scent is unisex. I also knew I wanted dark green because it has a rich lush forest scent. All in all, I'm happy. Just need to work on a good scent description and umm.....my photography skills too :)
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lilacs

Yes I know, I've been a bit preoccupied of late with this whole photography thing. I've had this camera for going on 2 years now and am just now getting around to learning how to use it properly. Anyhoo, I just got a new lens today so I've been playing, LOTS!

Here's a picture of some lilacs my co-worker brought me yesterday. They smell delicious!

Thats all, nothing more for me to add here.

OK, in case you are wondering, yes I am working on the new product line......sort of!
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Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Definitely Spring


Two years ago I started growing my own herbs and veggies. I'm new to the gardening lark so I knew nothing of what I was doing (actually still don't). At that time I just headed over to the local garden store, bought some little plants and shoved them in the ground. To my delight I had a bumper crop and felt like quite the farmer.

Last year I decided to try my hand at planting seeds in a little incubator type box. Those worked out well also (except for the peppers) who decided not to make an appearance at all. Well they worked out well until we got all that rain. Regardless, I managed to succeed with my cukes and tomatoes and ended up with a TON of both. There were so many cukes I pickled several jars for my pickle loving kid and the rest I pureed and froze for use in my cucumber facial soap.

This year I'm doing the seeds thing again. I've planted 2 types of cucumbers - regular English cucumbers and of course the pickling variety. Naturally I have plans for more face soap and tons of salad too.

I also got some Black Krim tomatoes and some Habanero pepper seeds that I purchased from a fabulous Etsy seller AzureDandelion

I'm quite looking forward to putting these in the ground soon!







Thursday, April 1, 2010

Color Me Crazy

...but I've been mulling something over for the past few weeks and although it sounds insane and may even BE insane I feel it's something I need to do.

I'm thinking about closing my Etsy store. Not forever, just temporarily. How temporary? I don't know yet. Depends on how long it takes me to wipe the slate, gather my thoughts and put them in motion.

Why? I've been wanting to streamline my products for a while and currently, between trying to give customers what they want, making what I like & making what I think fits, I feel my shop has lost it's focus. It looks & feels scattered (like my brain).

I'm thinking I'll take a few steps back, take a good look and then roll my sleeves up and dive back in when I know what I'm looking at and have a clear vision of where I'd like to be going.

As I'm writing this blog post I'm realizing that this is something I'm definitely going to do.

I can't help but think I may feel a bit relieved to be freed from my Etsy obligations, after being there for over 2 years, but we'll see!

Thanks for listening :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Felt like cake

.....so I made cake. Although that was a couple months ago and it only took me this long to reveal them. I'm really working on my procrastination issues here so see with me will you?


Chocolate Raspberry



Coconut Lemon

Friday, March 5, 2010

Giving the people what they want

So I've been doing a local flea market for the last month (less 1 weekend). It's been an interesting time. Mainly because I'm finding it much easier to see exactly what customers tastes are.

I set out all my fancy looking sweet smelling soaps and which ones sell the most? The plain old boring lavender oatmeal. It's a bit of a bummer because those aren't as fun to make, but apparently it's what the people want.

To that end I've decided to create a few more "not so pretty" basic looking bars using herbs and essential oils.

1) Lemongrass & Rosemary with the addition of dried lemongrass for exfoliation



2) Unscented Oatmeal with ground oatmeal



3) Clary Sage & Fir Needle with dried nettle leaves



Can't wait to see how they go over with the flea market customers!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Have machine, won't sew

I have a hate hate relationship with sewing.
My mother was a professional dressmaker whilst holding down a full time job at the local hospital and for many years I woke up to the hum of her Singer sewing machine and fell asleep to the same sound as she would try to squeeze in as much sewing as possible before & after work.

I'm not sure if it was the never ending number of button holes I had to unpick or the 100's of hems I had to hand stitch that made me despise anything to do with a needle and thread.

Either way, here I was many years later staring at her Singer sewing maching that sat in the corner with a look of disgust on my face but at the same time, a longing to create sewn lavender sachets. What was I to do?

My longing for lavender sachets overpowered my dislike for the hunk of metal that was to be the vehicle to my hearts desire.

So I bit the bullet and I fought with said machine for over 5 weeks before I finally realized my dream of lavender sachets. I'm so chuffed with these I want to keep them all for myself.

I still can't sew for ish :-)
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Positive Note

I want to share something that's happened to me lately in the hopes that someone else can benefit also.

So, not sure if I mentioned a while back that ever since reading the book "The Secret" and watching the documentary "Blood Line", reading a book by Deepak Chopra, I've been doing some serious thinking and soul searching. Not only have I questioned my religion as I know it, but also myself and my life purpose. I can't say that I've found any concrete answers yet but I feel I'm on the right path somehow and am becoming more open minded about the amount of power we all have over our own destiny.

So here's my story. It's a bit long but I have to tell the entire thing so you get the picture. You all know how I feel about my 9-5 job right? I don't have many positive things to say about it and it's been this way for a couple years now. WELL, a couple Fridays ago I can say I had the worst day ever at work. I mean, when you get an email sent directly to you from your bosses, bosses, bosses, bosses, bosses, bosses boss you KNOW you've dropped a major ball. I'm not talking a Director or VP here, I'm talking the 2nd in command of a HUGE corporation that employees thousands of people world wide. This is an individual who should not even know I exist. To say I was mortified is putting it mildly and to be honest it wasn't I who had dropped the ball but my manager's manager. But because I was "handling" the coordination of this particular project all eyes fell on me.

Fast forward to the end of that horrendous day. I still had not heard from our Director re said email so I assumed he was so mad he didn't want to talk/communicate with me. I wouldn't either had I been him. His scivvy made the entire department look bad. Monday was to be holiday and still the issue was not resolved. The entire weekend I spent feeling sick to my stomach and almost wishing I could contract some God-awful disorder so I could spend the next month or so in the hospital until the whole mess had been been forgotten about. Well, that never happened and Tuesday morning my stomach churned as I got ready for work. Husband kept saying to me "It's going to be a good day today" over and over and while I really wanted to tell him to shut up because there's no way in HELL it was going to be a good day, I found myself saying it also. I drove to work chanting those words and do you know what? It was a good day! The dropped ball was picked up (over that weekend) and unbeknown to me and I was able to make everything right within 30 minutes of being at the office. Everyone was happy. Our department was looking good again.

At the end of the day I sat back in my chair and marveled at how everything turned around so quickly and easily. I wondered if my chanting had anything to do with it and decided at that moment to try it again the next day. I did and it was. Then the next day and the day after that. I can honestly say that I've had the best and most fulfilling last 2 weeks at work and I believe I was responsible for it. Anytime I had a negative thought, I changed it into a positive thought. So long as I was thinking positive, positive things happened. And guess what? This past Thursday an email was distributed to all & sundry mentioning the great work I've done on said project. Two weeks ago who would have expected THAT? Not me for sure.

So folks, get your minds right and make it happen. Think positive. Happiness begets happiness. It's the way the universe works. Believe me, I know!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

oh look, there's more

I seem to be on a roll lately. Just don't seem to be able to get enough of making soap. I guess it makes up for all those times when my mojo disappeared on me and was nowhere to be found.

Anywho, these are 2 of my more recent creations.

Apple Oatmeal - the bottom half is scented with oatmeal, milk & honey. I added ground oatmeal to it for exfoliation. The top half is scented with spiced apple (no apples added here). I sprinkled cocoa powder between the two layers because I was feeling daring.



Lavender Oatmeal - This is kinda run of the mill. Just ground up lavender and oatmeal added at trace. Was going for a softer purple but ended up with this more intense color. Did I ever mention that lavender is not my favorite scent? That's putting it mildly of course. Not only the smell but it messes with my schedule. It ALWAYS makes me sleepy. The day I made these I had to take to my bed at 8:30pm. I was so sleepy my eyes were tearing up.



More later....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Is it Spring yet?

My, it's been a while huh?

I could say I've been so rushed off my feet I haven't had time to blog but I'd be lying. Well sort of anyways. I have been a bit busy, not necessarily with soapy stuff, more with learning how to do new things for myself. I've taken up knitting again and am having so much fun with it, I've become quite the yarnaholic.

Anyway I digress. Yesterday I made up my mind to make some soaps I've been thinking about for far too long. Parma Violets & Turkish Delight to match my lip balms. For those of you who don't know it, I'm a candy eating fool (especially British candy). Growing up I ate so much sugar I'm surprised my blood isn't treacle right now.

I used to love eating Fry's Turkish Delights but sadly they've been more and more difficult to find these days. It's a block of rose flavored gelatin like substance covered in rich milky chocolate. It is the candy that inspired me to make my Turkish Delight lip balm (combo of rose & chocolate flavors). Here I dusted the tops with cocoa powder. Don't they look edible?


Next is Parma Violets. These were little purple hard candies that were sold stacked on top of each other in a clear plastic sleeve. They smelled DIVINE and tasted like the smell of perfume if that makes sense. When I found a violet flavor oil I just knew I had to make lip balms in this flavor. Here I colored the batch with purple swirls and sprinkled purple sugar crystals on top. I cannot believe how wonderful these smell. I want to lick them each and every one!



Lastly, I made a batch of "Lilac" scented soap. Odd thing about these is that they will usually sit in my shop totally unnoticed for ages, then all of a sudden there's a mad rampage for them with requests for more. I can't say I was a huge lilac fan but I will admit that these have a very mild floral scent until they hit the water, then it's like KAPPOWWWW - you fell face first into a lilac bush!


I CPOP'd all these so as soon as they've firmed up a bit more they'll be ready to hit the streets. Spring is definately in the air!