Friday, March 4, 2011

Soapmaking Hiatus

Well, a lot of stuff has happened. First, I damaged my right thumb beyond belief on mandoline. Not the musical instrument, the kind you use to slice vegetables. Or your thumb. It was pretty awful. After a month, I can finally remove the bandage. My thumb has a different shape now. It still skeeves me out to think about it. The idea of handling lye any time soon is a sphincter-tightening notion. As a result, I am out of every kind of soap except for a select few.

In addition, supplies for soapmaking have skyrocketed. The same 50 lb pails of coconut and palm oils that cost $50 (plus $25 shipping for each one) have essentially doubled in the last few months. Since they are major ingredients in soap, the price of making it has literally doubled. Then there's higher gas costs for shipping. Oh yeah, and fragrance oil prices have gone up too. I think the days of the $5-6 bar of handmade soap won't last much longer.

For all these reasons, I'm going to sell what I've got left at Sea Sprite Soaps and go on hiatus until I can figure out if it's worth doing anymore. If I come back to commercial soapmaking it will probably be on limited basis with a lot fewer kinds of soap. I may just do my ocean and sea-themed soaps. That would keep supplies and shipping costs down. I've also thought about sticking to just roll-on and solid perfumes and forgetting about the soap. I'll have to see how I feel after a while.

For now, I'm going to sell off my remaining stock and take a break. I still have a good amount of Sea Glass, Oatmeal Stout and Pumpkin Lager left, plus a few bars each of Fata Morgana, Ocean Rain and Cedar and Saffron. If you like my soaps and want to get some, please check out my shop.

In the meantime, my digital products have been doing very well. My Mingzhu for Mavka has recently been released on Renderosity. I'm working on a skin texture and morph for Daz's Victoria 4 now and hope to have it finished soon.

A couple of things to love about digital products:
  • No overhead
  • No physical storage required
  • Unlimited inventory (make it once and sell it forever)
Stacked up against soapmaking, digital products seem the way to go, to me. I know I'm going to miss my soapmaking business though.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ambrette for Mavka

Just for fun I made the dearest little dollie for smay's wonderful Mavka. Introducing my newest little character, Ambrette!

On the soapmaking front, I've got Winter Festival back in stock and a bunch of new ones coming soon for winter. I'm particularly happy about Pumpkin Lager and Oatmeal Stout soap.

Our dear, dear Welsh Terrier, Taffy, died 3 months ago at the age of 10. All of us are still feeling the loss. We've always had a boy and girl doggie, and our girl WT, Libby, seems lost too. Tomorrow will be a happy, but bittersweet day. We are going to Sarasota to pick up a new boy Welshie puppy. His name is going to be Fergus. Pictures to follow. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ghislaine for S4, V4 and A4

Finally, after many months of hard work in completing this 3D morph and skin texture for Poser, my Ghislaine is in the store at Daz3D.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Copyright Violators

My friend Lucie is an amazing digital artist. She had a very bad and, sadly, typical experience with a scrapbooker redistributing her original artwork without permission. You can read about her experience in her blog.

The first paragraph is in French, but the rest is in English. It's a shame how low people can go to make a few pennies, without regard for taking money out of a real artist's pocket. And the gravy, of course, is that they slap their own copyright on stuff they never made (or even bought as a resource, but grabbed somewhere illegally), violate the terms of use and then get all pissed off and defensive when they get caught. And believe me, they always get caught. The internet is not such a big place as they think.

Fortunately the shops where this "vendor" was trying to sell my friend's work have all pulled this person's products from their stores. Hopefully Lucie's post will help more people become aware of this problem. It is a big problem in the digital artwork community. A little dose of shame for this miscreant is in order too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Three weeks ago our dear, 10 year old Welsh Terrier, Taffy, died. It pretty much knocked the stuffing out of me. We've taken it very hard. I'm gradually getting back to work.

I took advantage of ArtFire's new promotion of a lifetime price of $5.95 per month, and opened Sea Sprite Soaps on ArtFire. I don't know why ArtFire doesn't get more traffic and sales, but they have some wonderful tools and get their listings right into Googlebase, so this is a relatively inexpensive gamble I'm taking to get my shop out there.

I'm still tweaking Ghislaine's skin textures after some constructive criticism. As usual, every little change takes way longer than I ever think it will.

Monday we went up to Tampa to help Vicky celebrate her 21st birthday. We went out to lunch and she had her first legal cocktail in a restaurant -- a Margarita! Her dad had one too, so I drove home and he snoozed all the way back to Naples. I can't believe my baby is 21. It doesn't seem possible, but it must be true. Next year it's Geoff's turn.

One of my favorite suppliers, Southern Soapers, is going out of business. Not only will I miss their wonderful fragrances and fabulous service, but it's going to cut a hole in my stock. They had stuff I couldn't get anywhere else so some things, like Havana Nights, Twilight Rose and (especially painful) Tassie Lavender will be no more.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Featured in Treasury

My Sea Glass soap is featured today in this beautiful Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water Treasury on Etsy.

My baby girl is back home from New York. We are soooo happy. Unfortunately one of her hermit crabs died while she was gone, in our care. We are feeling very guilty about that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back from Long Island

Our Vicky is coming home from her 2 week visit with her boyfriend on Long Island tomorrow. Yay! We've missed her so much. I haven't been to New York in many years, so it will be fun to get her perspective on it. She said she took over 300 pictures!

Today I need to make a couple batches of soap. I am so far behind on getting my stock whipped into shape. I'm out of a bunch of stuff. There's only so many hours in a day and lately I've spent most of my discretionary time making Poser stuff. To be honest, it pays better, no overhead, no storage problems, no supplies or materials. All imagination and pixels.

I'm working on a new Poser character for Stephanie 4, tentatively named Ghislaine. I like that name and have been waiting to use it. She's kind of French looking, if there is such a look. Or maybe Italian, like a Chiara?

I have in mind an unconventional looking beauty with fair skin, natural looking eyebrows and without a ton of crazy tattoos and garish makeups. I'm so tired of all those ridiculous character packs with 95 eye colors and makeups, none of which any sane person would ever have or wear.