Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Bounty

One of the best Christmas gifts I ever got was this year -- my DH got me a much-longed for Kitchen Aid Mixer. Yup, the really expensive one with a 5-1/2 quart bowl and a motor so powerful you could probably mow your lawn with it. I've watched the Barefoot Contessa use hers so many times, wishing I had one...and now I do!

It took a few days to stop being intimidated by it, but yesterday I girded my loins and made whole wheat bread with it. Mmmmmm... And what a relief to not have to spend a long time kneading by hand, especially whole wheat dough, which is very stiff and unyielding. I see a lot of homemade bread and other goodies in our future now. There are attachments you wouldn't believe -- ravioli maker, shredder, sausage grinder and even an ice cream maker.

Someone posted a link to this hilarious Re-useable Shopping Bag the other day, and I just had to get one for myself. I'm going to have to hide it from my daughter, though. I expect her to try to appropriate it.

My son had his impacted wisdom teeth removed this morning. He is so stoic and matter of fact about things like this. I was a nervous wreck and burst into tears when he got home. He's been through so much to get his teeth fixed, 8 years of retainers, then braces, then retainer again, 8 permanent teeth pulled to make room in his mouth and now this. His face is swollen up but he's not complaining. I love that boy so much. How did I get so lucky?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Handmade's Tale

This is a fabulous YouTube video, A Handmade's Tale, all about Etsy! It's worth 4 minutes of your time to watch and I'm blown away by how young the founder of Etsy looks. I loooove Etsy.

When I was a kid, I was always the only young person I knew who crocheted or who wore homemade clothing, made by my mom. Preppie kids at school made fun of my homemade clothes, but I thought it was very cool that she could make me exactly what I wanted, especially during the 60's when she made me "Rudi Gernrich" and Maryanne Faithful dresses, and big wide, flower printed bellbottoms like Cher wore. I sewed my own Barbie clothes (I still have them!) and I kept at it, making many handmade things during the crafting heyday of the 70's. In the late 90's I got into soapmaking and I'm still at it.

I'm so glad that there is a current movement among younger people to revive home crafts. Despite our technological advances, there is something still very satisfying about making beautiful, functional things. It gives people so much pleasure to make things for themselves and the people they love with their own two hands.

When I was in graduate school, I had a summer research assistantship doing library searches for a sociology professor. I had to find and copy articles about "the electric cottage," for his research on how cottage industries had grown due to home computers. At the time, I thought it was just plain weird, that this professor thought that eventually millions of people could work right from their homes, for themselves or for big companies, because they were connected with computers. I am now living proof of his hypothesis, 25 years later.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post Holiday Stirrings

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a lovely one! I took a week to catch up on fulfilling orders and just being with my family. Over the past week my DH and I went to see "The Golden Compass" (loved it, despite some bad reviews I've read) and today I took myself to a solo matinee of "Atonement." Oh my goodness, that movie lived up to the book, which I read long ago when it first came out. Pure sensual, romantic and tragic indulgence.

I added a wonderful new soap to my shop today, Lemon Sugar and Candied Violets! Sounds weird, but smells beautiful and it's tinted yellow naturally by steeping annatto seeds in the olive oil that I use to make the soap.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sister Goldenhair Faery

I finally finished her, and my newest crochet dolly, Sister Goldenhair Faery, is in my shop. I think she turned out really cute.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mermaid Garden

I've been out of this for a while now, and finally the new batch of Mermaid Garden handmade soap is ready. It's filled with pastel soap confetti, in the soap itself and on top, kissed lightly with a dusting of white gold pearl mica for sparkle and shine. This is a really pretty soap and it smells so feminine, a soft floral blend of violet, jasmine, rose, musk, and sandalwood.

Next on my list to make is African Red Bush Tea, a new fragrance I just got that smells pretty amazing. I'm going to make it with real rooibos tea, which I've been drinking for years.

Yesterday I had to take my son to the oral surgeon. After all those years of braces and retainers, now his wisdom teeth are coming in and ruining everything. We saw through a video on the pros and cons of wisdom teeth extraction, then did a consultation. I never knew that some people don't have any wisdom teeth at all. Fortunately he only has them on the bottom, none on top. He's getting them out on 12/31, so he's going to spend part of his Christmas vacation recovering from surgery, poor kid.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Catching My Breath

It's been a whirlwind of activity between keeping up with orders from my shop and family matters the last week or so. Not that I'm complaining about selling a lot of stuff, but it got really crazy with packaging and shipping orders, going to the post office every day and trying to keep the house and kids going in good shape. We are very excited that our daughter, a graduating senior, has been accepted to her top choice college next year, the University of South Florida. She is over the moon!

CelticGoddess was kind enough to write a favorable review of some of my B&B goodies, which I'll share with you here. Thanks Andee! And be sure to check out her shop on Etsy.

I've added a bunch of stuff to my shop, including Pink Peppermint Candy soap, a Lavender Lover's Gift Basket, a Mint Lover's Gift Basket. And one more thing that I'm truly excited about, Skin Frosting Sugar Scrub in your choice of fragrance! You know how sugar scrubs tend to be really oily and separate into an oozing mess? My Skin Frosting Sugar Scrub doesn't do that, it's emulsified into a creamy, foamy frosting texture and it won't separate. It leaves you all soft and polished and fragrant, but not greasy. I adore it!

I mentioned a while back that the Earthpath Artisans Street Team is having a Winter Wonderland Challenge and my entry is a little crocheted Snowflake Faery. The winners will be determined by how many people heart the various entries over on Etsy, all of which you can see here. I loved making that little faery so much, I've started a new one in shades of peach and gold and maize. I'm going to call her Sister Goldenhair Faery, after the old America song. :)

I've been thinking of things to add to my product line once the holidays are past. I've decided I will be making shampoo, conditioner and body washes, from scratch. This required investing a good bit in terms of time studying and learning and testing formulations, as well as buying a lot of pricey ingredients, but I think it will be worth it. I don't see much in the way of handmade, non-base shampoo or body wash on etsy. Well, I've seen some, but there's no way they could possibly foam or cleanse very much, based on the ingredients used. I'm excited about this new challenge I've set for myself.

I still haven't seen "The Golden Compass." A few people I know and whose opinions I respect, said the movie was pretty bad. The reviews in newspapers and magazines have been mixed. But I still want to see it. My DH and I are talking about going to a matinee next week. I'm really looking forward to seeing "Atonement." I love the leading actors and the book was wonderful.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Snowflake Faery

I finally finished her for the Earthpath Artisans Street Team's Winter Wonderland Challenge. She's all crocheted with acrylic and wool variety yarns including sparkling threads and shiny beads. I think she turned out pretty darned cute, especially her little fae ears! I have a bunch of photos of her on my Flickr page, here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter Grapefruit

I've added some more new stuff to my shop. Winter Grapefruit is the most delicious blend of Grapefruit, Juniper, and Italian Lemon and it smells like a Vodka Greyhound -- really! As you can see below, I'm finally getting my swirling mojo down pretty good. These swirls aren't as delicate and feather-y as I want them to be, but I'm getting there. :)

Also new is Afternoon Delight, a gift package of Turkish Mocha and Cuppa Chai soaps paired with Lick My Latte and Chai lip balms. Mmmmmm...

Tonight I finally finished my entry for the Earthpath Artisans Street Team (EAST) "Winter Wonderland" challenge. I decided to go against type and instead of making a bath or body product, I crocheted a luminously pale white and silver and blue winter faery! She turned out so pretty cute, I gotta say it! I'll show you what she looks like soon.

This weekend my daughter is going to Orlando with her school band to march in a parade at Universal Studios, and my son and husband are going camping. So you know what that means, right? Eating whatever I want, long quiet naps with no interruptions, lots of book readings and perhaps a matinee of "The Golden Compass" or "Atonement," or maybe even both.

I've been waiting impatiently for Pullman's book to be made into a movie for a looooong time now. I can't wait to see it. And I loved "Atonement," the book, so I can't wait to see the movie. It's getting great reviews.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lick My Latte Lip Balm

I added Lick My Latte Lip Balm to my shop today. It tastes amazing!

I spent the morning running around and going back to WW after missing last week. Even with Thanksgiving and some rampant bread eating, I still managed to lose 0.4 lbs. It's a lot better than gaining, and holidays are deadly for weight gain. I gotta get back into writing down every bite I eat and tracking my points.

This afternoon I spent a couple of pleasurable hours packaging up 4 holiday gift sets. I love doing gift packs! The only part I don't like is the clear, sparkley shred that goes in the boxes, oy, it gets all over everything!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Flower Bath Teas

I frequent a wonderful forum, The Soap Dish, where people generously share ideas and inspirations. I was going to put together some Bath Teas anyway, and had ordered some big, heat-sealable tea bags. But the other day I learned how to make these adorable little Flower Bath Teas and have added them to my shop. Aren't they pretty?

These are really fiddly and time-consuming to make, each layer of the flower has to be hand-tinted, but the results are worth it. They're stuffed with skin-soothing oatmeal and milk powder, dried lavender, chamomile, calendula and roses, herbs and essential oils.

I got such a nice blend for these bath teas I made big honking Mega Bath Teas too, packed into 100% cotton wash cloths and tied up with ribbon and a flower. Here's a peek at them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quiet Forest

I just added a really lovely, intriguing new soap to my shop, Quiet Forest. It's hard to describe verbally, but it went straight from my nose to my brain's wowee! lobe -- a complex blend of woods, orange, brown sugar, walnut, patchouli and vanilla. Mmmmmmm.

And I did a little more soaping today, Vanilla Latte. It smells just like the kind I get at Borders, which I'm on a book and coffee splurge.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cyber Monday?

Well, so far it's been a bust. But at 20 cents a pop, I think Etsy is making a young fortune today on sellers who are re-listing lots and lots of items, LOL!

I have been concentrating on getting some more holiday-themed packages into my shop. I've recently added a Holiday Penguins Handmade Soap Gift Bag, and a little handmade sparkling red felt Christmas Stocking Vegan Lip Balm Trio. I also just added my all-time favorite soap fragrance, Relaxing.

Here's a peek at my little Christmas stocking.

I don't know if I mentioned this or not before, but I'm switching all my lip balms to a vegan formula. And I've added some fantastic new flavors: Chai, Latte, Pina Colada, Sangria and (my personal fave) Rum Raisin! Check them out!

I've been shopping around IRL and online for new holiday packaging ideas and found some adorable 12 oz. clear cookie jar-type canisters with blue snowflakes on them. I'm thinking they'd be perfect for bath salts.

Something I'm trying to do a couple of times a day is spend 15-20 minutes in the Promotions forum on Etsy. Often after I've posted a link to a thread asking about specific kinds of products, I'll get a sale. At least often enough for me to notice and feel that it's worth doing. You start a thread that says "L is for..." and chances are I'm going to post "Lemongrass Coconut" with a link. You ask about products with penguins, I'm going to post a link to my Holiday Penguins gifts.

Seems pretty straightforward and democratic to me. Sellers who invest time and energy in capitalizing on these opportunities to promote their shops are likely to get more sales. After all, it's not kindergarden where everyone is guaranteed the exact same number of oatmeal cookies. We gotta work for our cookies on Etsy. So I'm sometimes amazed at how many people complain about how other sellers are too aggressive or pushy in promoting their products.

Um....hello? It's the Promotions forum, right? Instead of complaining about sellers who make an effort to promote, put that energy to work in a more positive way to get your own products noticed. Or sit around going "Wah, no one complimented me on my widget, they just posted links to their own widget," it's up to you. Working hard to get noticed doesn't necessarily making you a philistine. But it might make you more successful.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends in the US, Happy Thanksgiving! We got a turkey, potatoes, gravy and dressing from Publix this year instead of cooking our own. I'm still going to make my family's favorite part of the meal, the sweet potato casserole with cranberries and a streusel topping covered with mini-marshmallows, and green bean casserole. I have to weigh in at WW tomorrow, not looking forward to it!

I added a couple more holiday gift baskets to my shop, packaged in really gorgeous velvet boxes, shown below.

Check out the Velvet Gift Boxed Skin Pampering Set and Velvet Gift Box Handmade Soap Trio. And finally, Turkish Mocha soap is back in stock.

Etsy started a series of Gift Guides for shoppers. I was pleased to see my Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap listed in the House Warming section. It's here on this page.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pepper is gone

Our dog Pepper died Friday night. We're still weepy and feeling lost. She would have been 9 in January. After fighting Ehrlichia and meningitis, then dealing with thyroid disease, we figured she was OK and had a few good years left in her. She's been fine and feisty and playful all along. But Friday night she suddenly laid down on the floor and had a seizure. This was about 7:00 pm.

We rushed her to the emergency pet clinic and they took her right in. Her heartrate was only 30 beats a minute, about 1/4 of what it should be. She crashed and they revived her, but EKG's interpreted by the people doctor said 3 of the 4 chambers of her heart just weren't functioning. She was in a coma and even a pacemaker might not be enough to save her. While we went in to see her, she died in our arms. It was 9:30 pm, so in the space of 2-1/2 hours she was gone. Here is a picture of her after we first got her.

At least Pepper didn't suffer a long time. I only hope that when my time comes, I will go as quickly. We've buried her in the back yard, in her favorite spot where she used to sun herself. We kept a candle burning for her all night. We don't know how to live without her. We're weepy and weak and lost. I'm going to miss her every day forever. It is a comfort that we still have Taffy, her little brother. He seems lost too.

Some friends on the Welsh Terrier mailing list sent us some old photos we'd circulated on the list from years ago. Thank goodness they still had them, I'd lost them when my computer crashed a long time ago. It was an unexpected gift to get them again from our friends. One of them sent a beautiful quote about animals that I'll share with you because it sums up perfectly how I feel about it.

"...For the animal shall not be measured by the man. In a world older and more complex than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not bretheren, they are not underlings, they are nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth..."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Stuff

I added a bunch of new stuff to my Etsy shop today: Lavender and Sweet Orange Essential Oil Lip Balm, Passionfruit Rose Lip Balm and Lavender Mint Essential Oil Fizzy Bath Salts.

Our 18 year old is taking her first overnight trip on her own with just a couple girlfriends on Friday night. She's going to see "Slightly Stupid" in concert in Tampa, about 120 miles from here. We didn't want her to be driving home late at night afterward, so I spent a very frustrating several hours yesterday trying to book a hotel room for 4 teenage girls.

It's not as easy as you might think. Hotels require that the reservation be made in the name of someone at least 21 years old, and the name of the person has to match the credit card you use to make the reservation. So even though 18 year olds can serve liquor as waitresses, vote for the President of the United States or die fighting in a war in the Mideast, apparently they can't check into a hotel room on their own.

Thanks to a really helpful agent on, we were able to work a deal with the manager of a nice hotel right near the concert so that the girls can check in on their own. We have special dispensation from a hotel manager named Frank whom I'd like to give a big hug for being a nice and flexible guy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tub Truffles...and a Sampler

I've been wanting to make a bath melt/tub truffle for a while now, and finally found some nice gold foil candy papers to wrap them in. Today I added cocoa butter Tub Truffles to my shop, you just throw them in the warm bath while it's running, and it fizzes up and adds the divine skin-lovingness of cocoa butter. Mmmmmm...and they even look like little heart shaped candies.

Something else I've wanted to do is a soap sampler, since so many people have asked me why I don't have any. I guess they are pretty popular, as I sold one within an hour of listing it. My Soap Sampler has 1/2 oz hand cuts from my 16 most popular soaps.

Using up some coupons at the craft store, I got several sheets of metallic-flaked red felt yesterday. I'm thinking of making some little Christmas stockings that will hold a couple of lip balms, then the stockings could do double duty as ornaments.

Cute Indie Finds is a new blog I found, and she and the Soap Bar are having a Yummy Soap contest. I'm going to try to come up with something. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Holiday Gift Tins

I added some Holiday Gift Tins to my shop the other day. I found some really pretty Debbie Mumm designer tins to hold various combinations of my bath and body goodies and priced them nicely for painless gift-giving! Check them out! :)

This is pretty exciting, my Turkish Mocha handmade soap is in a Treasury West on Etsy this morning!

I plan to spend the weekend scent-blending and doing a bit more soaping. I have several new fragrances I want to soap and they all smell fabulous. I can't decide which one to do first. I may go with the Spearmint Eucalyptus today. Yesterday I made Relaxing, which is a divine blend of French lavender and fir pine, enhanced with Egyptian jasmine, sweetened with pure vanilla and softened with delicate musks.

If only so many cold process soaps didn't turn dark! But that is the fate of all cold process soaps fragranced with vanilla -- which turns them anywhere from tan to dark brown, depending on how much vanilla is in the fragrance. For a true vanilla lover like me, though, it's worth it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lavender Peppermint Oatmeal

It's finally done curing and I've just added to my shop a 100% natural, essential oil soap -- Lavender Peppermint Oatmeal. Definitely an eye-opener for your morning shower, with lots of gentle scrubbiness from the finely ground oatmeal. :)

I added a bunch of soap photos to my Flickr album today.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Three Tenors

I've been waiting forever for Blockbuster Online to send me "The Three Tenors," the live performance in Rome by Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti from 1990. Sure I have the DVD, but I wanted to see it too. Yesterday it finally arrived and I got tears in my eyes hearing Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma. Totally amazing. It was a great way to honor his memory, to listen to him sing when his voice was still at its peak. Ciao, Luciano, you brought so much pleasure to so many people.

The books I've been waiting for from finally came too. Two books are about perfume making by Mandy Aftel, "Essence and Alchemy" and "Scents & Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well-Being." Great books for anyone, like me, who yearns to learn the perfumer's art. I would so love to get ahold of her Oil Kit to do some experimenting.

The thing about perfumery though is that it is so expensive. It's not something you just dabble in, especially because the price of many essential oils has gone way up because of drought all over the world. The cost of patchouli oil alone has gone up 3X or more in the past month.

One thing I've considered doing is getting a small still, one that will work with a smaller amount of plant material, to produce my own essential oils. I might ask for a still for Christmas. Weird, I know. That's just how I am.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lavender Lover Gift Basket

I finally got cracking and made the basket I wanted for my Lavender Lover Gift Basket. The basket was crocheted with many, many 2" strips of fabric which I painstakingly tore up and then crocheted with the most humonguous crochet hook you've ever seen! I didn't even know they made crochet hooks as big as your forearm, LOL! But it worked great.

The basket is nice and rustic and looks so pretty filled with all those lavender goodies: Lavender and Lavender Peppermint Oatmeal soaps, Lavender Fizzy Bath Salts, Lavender Vanilla Lip Balm, Lavender Roll-on Perfume and a Lavender sachet.

Yesterday I managed to take photos of the Cuppa Chai soap and posed them with one of Lowell's beautiful tea pots. I love taking photos outside by the lily pond, the light is so beautiful out there in the early morning and late afternoon.

My next project is an ocean-themed basket, I'm almost done with it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Lazy Day

Somehow I can't get off the mark today to do some product photography. I have Coconut Lime Verbena and Cuppa Chai soaps ready to go in the shop, but have no creative spark or ideas about how to do great photos. So I'm mostly dozing and reading today. That's OK though, some days you just need to do that. My batteries must need charging.

Oh, I did put my incredibly unattractive Plumberry Spice soap into my shop -- I'm calling them Homely Orphans and they're only $3 a bar. Just close your eyes in the shower. :D

I went to the library yesterday and found that I owed $35 in late fees! I have never been so late with so many books. It was a sobering experience. Of course immediately I checked out another 6 books, one of which is all about how to make Waldorf-style dolls. I've loved those dolls since my daughter was a baby and we began getting the Hearthsongs catalog with dolls like these in it.

Take the Pledge. I did! Buy handmade this holiday season!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Well, my babies have just left for their Homecoming Dance. I took some quick photos of them on their way out the door. :)

This is Vicky's senior year, so this is the big one. Her beautiful dress was made by her big sister, Tabitha, of Astoria Designs.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Crocheting a Faery

You wouldn't think crocheting a little 5 inch faery would be such a chore, but I've been whacking away at this thing for days. It's almost done now, I just have to crochet some wings for her. Or not. Maybe I'll pull apart a plastic butterfly, if I can find the right colors.

I've added a bunch of stuff to my shop, including Lilac and Lavender, Turkish Mocha and Secrets of India. I've got a couple new kinds of soap curing right now -- Coconut Lime Verbena and Lavender Peppermint Oatmeal.

Tonight is the Homecoming game at our kids' high school and tomorrow is the Homecoming dance. I want to get some photos of the kids all dressed up. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Graduating Seniors

For the four years our daughter has been on the dance team, we've watched the graduating Seniors on the football team, the cheerleaders and the band/dance members walk across the football field with their parents to the applause of their classmates. Last night we were so proud to escort our daughter across the field to a lot of wild applause from her teammates. She was beaming! It meant a lot to her that all her teammates gave her a big cheer! She got a dozen roses from mom and dad.

Our son is going to his first school dance ever, for Homecoming next weekend. We went out and got him new dress pants and shirt, shoes and tie because the boy is growing like a weed. My 6'2" husband even has to look up at him now. I can't believe how tall and grownup our son has become. He invited the nicest little girl (literally, she's about 5' tall) who plays the tuba in the band to go to the dance with him. I can't even imagine them slow dancing together. :D

This morning I did such a mom thing for breakfast. I made Vicky and her GF real French Toast, from scratch, dusted with powdered sugar, served with bacon, and I even warmed the maple syrup. Plus I decorated the plate with cut oranges. Yum.

It looked so good it made me wish I wasn't on a diet. I just went back to WW a month ago and have lost almost 8 lbs. so far. It is a good start and I know WW works. I just wish I could blast off 30 lbs., but at my age, that just isn't going to happen. Slow and steady, that's the way it always goes for me.

I made some soap today and dang, it turned out weird. It separated into what looks like applesauce, and I couldn't even stickblend it into submission. So I poured it into the crockpot and tried to cook the living daylights out of it to get it to melt and cohere, but I don't think it was entirely successful. I have another batch that did something similar recently, same fragrance supplier, which makes me leery of ordering from them again. The soap is good, lathers well and all, but it looks like hell.

I really hate wasting wonderful and costly fragrances, not to mention the cost of the soap ingredients. So I might think of something to do with these unfortunate-looking soaps. I'm thinking of calling them Fugly Orphans or something like that and selling them at a discount. I wonder if that would work?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fizzy Bath Salts

I've fallen behind on blogging again, things have just been so hectic. I'm making a lot of stuff lately!

Today I added Fizzy Bath Salts to my shop, in Rosemary Mint and Pink Grapefruit. They don't just smell good, they sort fizz and give you tickly little bubbles while you're soaking in the tub. And yesterday I put the cutest Sassy Little Crocheted Purse in the shop.

In the meantime, I've been soaping like a maniac. I made Turkish Mocha, Secrets of India and a really lovely floral blend, Lilac and Lavender. They are all on the curing rack in my office and it smells fantastic in here!

I can hardly believe it, but this Friday is Homecoming at my kids' high school. This is my daughter's senior year, so all the parents of the seniors in band and dance will be walking across the football field with their kids just before the game. A lot of the parents in past years have been dressed like they're going to a formal or something. I mean, I want to honor my daughter but I'm not willing to wear a cocktail dress and high heels to traipse across churned up grass on the field. So I'll probably go with the jeans, a nice shirt and my Crocs.

I bought the most gorgeous bracelet from charmedbyskye for my daughter. You have to see it, it's here. Is that amazing, or what? She is a member of the Earthpath Artisans Street Team, which I belong to also, on Etsy. EAST just had an Autumn Challenge that was judged by the Storque admins on Etsy. I didn't win, but I have to say the people who did win deserved to win, very talented folks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Catching Up

I added a bunch of new stuff to my Etsy shop: Apricot Freesia soap, Orange Ginger soap and Mama Mia Baby Belly Balm ™. Today I was excited to make my 100th sale!

I think I'm having too much fun selling soap. It gives me an excuse to keep buying new fragrances. The other day I made Turkish Mocha and it gave me a craving for Starbucks. Yum. And a couple people I mentioned it to have already asked me when it will be ready. So I'm not the only person who likes the idea of coffee soap. I've some Chai Spice and Vanilla Latte fragrances on the way, too.

I still can't believe my daughter is 18. You really know your kid is growing up when you feel comfortable letting them drive you somewhere and (gasp!) cut your bangs for you. I still remember the time she cut all her hair off and put it in a bag under her bed. She denied that she had cut her hair. It was one of the few times I'd seen my husband cry. We're talking hair disaster, our little girl's long shiny hair hacked off to 100 different lengths. And now she cuts my bangs for me, heh.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Kitchen Remodeling

Yesterday I put Sleigh Ride into my shop, it's such a wonderful holiday fragrance with orange, apple, mint and cinnamon. :)

I wanted to introduce you to an amazingly talented dress designer, my stepdaughter, Tabitha, owner of Astoria Designs. She just opened a shop at Etsy. I've known her since she was 15 and she's always been able to sew anything. She uses only the finest silks and laces and actually handpaints her own silks. Go take a peek at her beautiful art to wear!

Our whole kitchen is torn up and an incredible mess. My husband put a new countertop in, well...most of it, anyway. The hard part is done, where you have to take the whole sink out. Of course this means lots of cleaning up behind him, sweeping up sawdust and having to wash everything in the cupboards and drawers. Argh.

So I'm not making anything for a few more days. You can't do alchemy in your kitchen without counter space and running water.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Earthpath Artisans Challenge

I finally uploaded my entry to the Earthpath Street Team's (EAST) Fall Leaves Challenge. It's here, if you want to take a peek. The soap is Orange Ginger, soon to go into my shop.

I paid for a spot in the Etsy Storque Showcase today. I'm hoping it will bring me more sales. I've never done it before, so it will be interesting to see if it works.

I'm have a restful day today, probably do some crocheting later. I have to remind myself at times that I don't have to make something every single day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I'm pretty excited about this -- I made it into two treasuries yesterday. Take a peek at the Heard She's Down to Earth and You're So Fruit treasuries! :)

If you want to see some very talented Etsy sellers, check out the Etsy Earthpath Artisans Blog. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Whipped Mango Satin Body Butter

How's this for divine decadence? I just made Luscious Skin Whipped Mango Satin Body Butter and put it in my shop. This stuff is the bomb, 75% Mango Butter, with Meadowfoam, Jojoba, Rice Bran and Calendula-infused oils, scented naturally with Vanilla-infused Coconut oil and Lavender Essential Oil. Mmmmm...

I just returned from the post office, where I have to drive almost every day. I don't trust leaving my orders out in the mailbox, stuff might melt. Even though we are finally getting our first little taste of South Florida fall weather, we still have to put the a/c on by noon.

Finally, my 2 oz. tins arrived yesterday! I have plans for them to hold all kinds of salves and balms. I'm the kitchen alchemist. :D

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Some New Products and Saving Moolah

I'm a woman who clips coupons and I'm not afraid to use 'em! Every Sunday I get out the scissors and get all the 40% off coupons for JoAnne's, Michaels and ACMoore's. It's amazing how much money you can save that way. I used to make fun of my mom when she'd clip coupons. I'm sure she's laughing, somewhere, about my coupon-cutting now. Sorry Moms. Your were onto something. :D

There's some new stuff in my shop. I'm the proudest of my Halloween Gift Baskets, I made the fabric basket covers myself, and the baskets are filled with lots of bath and body goodies. My Lavender Amber Sonnet soap finally cured and made its debut too. It's got a little dusting of copper mica on it that makes it look so pretty. And last but not least, I finished lining the Flower Child Crocheted Purse, big and slouchy, with room for everything.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ginger Peach

I added a couple of new things to my shop in the last several days. One is Ginger Peach Lip Balm, nice and sweet and mostly peachy with just a touch of ginger. It's yummy! And I added my Caribbean Dreams soap too. I think it's the prettiest soap I've ever made, I just love that seafoam green color with pearly white mica on top, it looks like a gentle surf to me. :D

Yesterday I found the cutest round wooden buckets at Target, very inexpensive. I want to make some Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets of B&B products for the holidays, so I'll be covering them with fabric. Wally-World had the most adorable Halloween print fabric for $2 a yard, I just had to get some for these baskets. I so much want to stop buying stuff there because of the trade imbalance and safety issues with Chinese products, but dang, it's hard to resist really cute material for two bucks a yard.

Today I am going to work on several healing balms made with some very pricey oils and butters I've ordered. I've made calendula-infused oil, and just received some amazing Meadowfoam Oil, as well as new mango and shea butters. I have in mind a Baby Butt Balm, a mango butter face cream and a tattoo healing balm. I'm just waiting on delivery of the 2 oz. tins for these.

We had visitors the other day, one of whom lives in the mountains of North Georgia and has her own studio in an outbuilding on her property. When she described it, I was green with envy. I long to have a workshop apart from the house. I'd love to have one of those big sheds that you could practically live in, but since I'm way down in South Florida, it would need to be air conditioned and de-humidified. One of these days...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Coconut Lemongrass

I love how the photos of my new Coconut Lemongrass soap turned out. I made this with real coconut milk, it makes the most insanely creamy, rich lather, kind of like goatsmilk soap but I think it smells better. :)

How about that artsy tie of lemongrass? I have a huge plant that's been growing in my front yard for 17 years now. It's incredible when I make Thai food.

I'm going to hunt on TV now to see if the Tampa Bucs game is being shown by any of the bazillion stations we get on cable. I would love to see my daughter dance at halftime.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Love Swaps

In a soaping forum I frequent, I've participated in several swaps. The one I'm doing now is a Medieval Stillroom swap. I gave this a lot of thought and decided to make my dream pillows for this swap, so I had to make a dozen of them. Then I got carried away with the packaging, like I always do, and used a magickal render I did a couple years ago to explain the dream pillow. Here's the front (with the illustration) and the back, which just shows the fabric I used. I love the way these turned out. :D

My daughter left in the wee hours of the morning with her band for Disney. The kids are performing at the Disney parade at 1:00, then they have the rest of the day to play. Tomorrow they go to Tampa to perform at the Tampa Bay Buc's halftime show. So she's gone all weekend, which is hard to bear. I miss my girl when she's not here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Granny Squares

I never get tired of the basic, good old crocheted granny square. I'm making a purse right now with a pale, dusty pink double flower in the middle of the square. I was looking for a lining fabric that would pick up all the colors, but couldn't find anything with that same pink, ivory and green, so I got a pretty close match in a shades of green print. Here's what it looks like so far, lining fabric up top.

Our daughter is going to be appearing with her band in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers halftime show on Sunday. This is the second year that Gulf Coast High School has been asked to perform at the halftime show. Usually high school bands don't get the chance to perform at pro games, so it's a big deal for the kids. Last year we didn't get to see them, no local stations carried the game. I've heard a rumor that Fox TV might show the game on Sunday, so we might get to actually see her dance this time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tag, I'm It!

I was tagged by Summersea, so I had to figure out what it means to be tagged. I'm going to tell you 6 peculiar things about myself and tag 6 other people. :)

(1) I actually like getting up early and being the first person awake in the morning.

(2) I always keep fussing with things I'm making, even when I know I should stop, I can't leave well enough alone.

(3) I've been addicted to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese since childhood. In fact, my picture should be on the box. Hard to square that with efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, but there you go.

(4) I dream about problems I'm having with my 3D characters or a soaping dilemma and usually come up with solutions. I do some of my best problem-solving in my sleep.

(5) I can't stand to have other people serve me food on my plate. I always want to do everything myself. Possibly a control issue. :D

(6) I get motion sickness so easy it's not even funny, even just driving on winding mountain roads makes me ill. I am not much fun at the Youth Fair.

Now I'm going to tag some other bloggers!

Pearl's Grace

Today is our daughter's 18th birthday. It hardly seems possible. She leaves for school so early, we're doing the presents and cake after school. We're going to take her out to dinner later. I just hope she doesn't do something crazy like get a tattoo (her heart's dear desire) just because she can, now that she's 18. But if she does get one, I hope it's beautiful, small, discreet and well done!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rosemary Mint Heel Butter

I've added an eye-opening Rosemary Mint Heel Butter to my shop, richer than my Lotion Bars, for really dry and cracked heels. But it's also great for elbows, knees, cuticles and anywhere else that needs a little extra TLC.

I had an experience today that restored my faith in fast food restaurants. I had just cashed a check because my wallet was totally empty. Then I stopped at Chik-Fill-A for a sandwich, then on to Joanne's Craft Store. While paying for my stuff I noticed that I didn't have the right amount of money in my wallet, and realized that the restaurant had shorted me $10 in my change.

It was really hot and I just wanted to go home, but I kept thinking "Hey, $10 is a lot of money!" So I went back to Chick-Fill-A, found a manager and explained what happened. He was really, really nice! He counted out the drawer of the guy who'd waited on me, and sure enough, it was $10 over. So he gave me back my $10, plus two free coupons for breakfast. That's what I call customer service!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Busy Making Stuff

That's how I like to stay, busy making cool stuff and living a creative life. I spent the morning packing up two big orders and making more Luscious Skin Sugar Scrub in Apricot Freesia. I had some left over, so I put it in smaller, 2 oz. jars for sample sizes.

Yesterday I put in my shop a real bargain, a Handmade Soap Bonanza, any 5 bars of my cold processed soap for only $18. I've sold a couple already! Finally all my soaping in the past couple of months to build up stock has paid off. I am finally able to add Sandalwood Vanilla to my shop. It's a wonderful, unisex blend of exotic sandalwood and the smooth sweetness of vanilla. Yummy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Photo Op

I finally got my camera working and got two new items into my shop, both featuring Sweet Orange essential oil: Sweet Orange Mango Lip Butter and Patchouli and Sweet Orange soap. Yum!

And I took a photo of my Caribbean Dreams soap, which turned out really pretty even though it accelerated on me so quickly, I had to use a spatula to smooth it into the mold. It was pure serendipity, because the white and aqua parts blended together like waves, all textured. I rubbed some white gold mica on the tops for seam foam. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

For Lack of a Battery

I couldn't take photos of the new things I made today because the memory thingie for my Mavica needs new batteries. I've got all kinds of stuff I need to photograph, including Patchouli Sweet Orange soap and new things I've made.

I did have fun this morning making a really wonderful Sweet Orange Mango Lip Butter. I think "butter" is a better way to describe this, rather than a "balm," because it's slightly less firm, with more slip to it. It needs a little pot instead of a tube.

This lip butter is very rich, with mango butter, and castor, jojoba, olive and sunflower oils, sweetened naturally with Sweet Orange essential oil. feels so good on my lips.

I'm also working on a series of Total Indulgence packages -- soap, perfume and body cream in coordinated scents. First up is going to be Gardenia! I have to admit that I'm not a purist. I like my essential oils, but I also love my fragrance oils too.

Once I get some batteries I'm going to have to take more promotional photos. Being on Etsy is forcing me to re-evaluate my product photos and become a better photographer.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Gah, I've had the worst cold for the past few days. It knocked me for a loop. Everyone in my family got sick and I thought I'd escape the germs, but noooooo...I always get what they get after everyone else is over it.

Finally, building up my soap stock is paying off. I put into my shop today my Lilac, and my Lavender soaps. Here's a photo of the Lilac, it's the prettiest pastel blue. The soap is posing on a beautiful knitted face cloth Jennifer sent me years ago. :D

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ah, Gardenia

Finally, after a long month of curing, Gardenia handmade soap is back in my shop. This is a knock your socks off, romantic, feminine scent and it's very rich with Shea butter. For gardenia lovers, it's totally swoon-worthy. :)

Today I am making some balms and small roller ball perfumes. I finally got my big orders of supplies and I'm ready to rock.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Creating an Avatar

An online friend asked for some help making an avatar that takes into account how she looks, her hair and eye color, and so on. I'm using my 3D character Lizzie, with my Justine skin texture and a wild mane of red hair. I think she turned out kind of pretty.

My big order from Majestic Mountain Sage arrived today. I got some wonderful small, low profile jars with sleek lids, packaging supplies and cool stuff for making lotions and potions. Now I'm just waiting on the one from Brambleberry so I can get some new products into my shop.

We took our son out last night to celebrate his birthday. He loves Applebee's and consumed an entire 12 oz. steak with garlic mashed potatoes all by himself! Then we came home and had a cake. I know it's only a box cake mix, but homemade cakes just taste so much better than cakes you buy at the grocery store bakery. I put rainbow sprinkles on it too!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Fragrances

I made two big orders and one small order just before the Labor Day weekend. Is there anything cooler for a crafter than to get a big shipment of new supplies? I'm kind of stoked about the stuff I'm waiting for -- spendy oils like Meadowfoam, more essential oils, jars and lids and sealers, stuff to make even better lotions, perfume making supplies, etc.

Today I got the smallest order, 3 new fragrances. The one that intrigues me most upon sniffing is Lavender and Amber Sonnet, plus another new one, Secrets of India. The woman who blends these fragrances has what you would call a "nose," she has got an amazing talent for blending and duplicating famous fragrances and creating new ones. I don't know which one of these to soap first.

Today is my son's 17 birthday. It hardly seems possible that 17 years ago I was waddling around, barely able to breathe, awaiting the birth of my first biological child at age 42. Now he is a handsome 6'3" hunk who drives his own big, black truck and has girls calling him. And my daughter will be 18 in a few weeks. Yes, I had two kids under a year old at one semi-psychotic point in my life! :D

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Botanical Soaps

I'm restocking my shelves right now and have a line of botanical soaps in mind. I blogged about my Lavender with cocoa butter, very rich, with a blue swirl and decorated with lavender buds, a few days ago. This one is Spearmint and Sweet Orange essential oils with ground up organic Calendula blossoms in the soap and on top for decoration. It should be ready to go in another two weeks or so. :D

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Luscious Skin Sugar Scrub

I've been working on these for a while now, refining my formula to make it rich and luxurious but not greasy, and to leave your skin polished and fragrant. Finally, I've got my Luscious Skin Sugar Scrub into my shop. I'm making these a custom item, where buyers can select their own fragrances. I love this Apricot Freesia, I'm keeping it for myself. The fragrance is amazing. :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Busy Labor Day

I've been running around all day, literally. We had to get our daughter a computer. So many school projects require them to be online and using MS Office (especially PowerPoint). So we got her a laptop, an early birthday present, and got the Office suite installed at Best Buy. She is thrilled!

This morning I took advantage of the beautiful, non-glaring light around our lily pond to take photos of my latest batch of Lavender soap. It has a purple-blue swirl, is topped with dried lavender flowers and looks so good in a handcrafted blue ceramic soapdish I bought recently.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Lazy Sunday...and some Spearmint

I love Sundays, and I try not to get too ambitious about them. Got up late, had my coffee, read the paper, did some yoga, took a nap. Like that! :)

But this afternoon I was itching to use the beautiful golden organic calendula petals I got from Summersea, so (of course) I made some soap. This one is Spearmint and Sweet Orange Essential Oils with finely chopped calendula petals in the soap and sprinkled on top.

It really smells good and the flowers look so pretty. The soap has a golden-orange tint and is gorgeous. Calendula is one of the few dried herbs which keep their vivid color in cold process soap. Alas, most everything else ends up looking like mouse turds.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Coconut Lemongrass

I just made a batch of Coconut Lemongrass soap, using real coconut milk, and it looks and smells out of this world. Coconut milk adds such a lovely, creamy texture to the lather, very similar to goat's milk soap, plus it adds its own ethereal coconut fragrance. I was going to do a pale yellow swirl, but once the coconut milk was added to the lye water, it traced (thickens up and looks like pudding) very fast and there was no time for a swirl. But I think the pale, creamy ivory color is perfect for the fragrance, as it is.

I have some very tiny blue clay beads that I've been looking forward to working with. Clay adds such nice, gentle exfoliation to soaps, plus it looks so pretty. I'm trying to decide which soap to use it in. Decisions, decisions!

We had our big morning out today -- to First Watch for brunch, then to the bookstore to use up our Borders 25% off coupons. Then I got to make soap. The perfect day! It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Butching Up My Shop

A couple of people have asked me to include more "masculine" type fragrances in my soap selection, since so many of them are florals or marine. I love all kinds of fragrances, so I'm in the process of adding some soaps that are less girlie, in terms of fragrance. How about Sandalwood Vanilla, Patchouli and Sweet Orange, Sandalwood Patchouli, Salty Mariner and Coconut Lemongrass? Those are all in the works, and some are drying on the curing rack right now.

It's Friday again -- it hardly seems possible. Friday nights we go to the high school football games. Not because we're big football fans. We go to see our daughter perform. She's a dancer with the band, which performs at halftime. This is her senior year and it makes me a bit nostalgic. She's been on the dance line for 4 years now. Once football is over this fall, we won't be seeing her dance at the games anymore, but she'll still be dancing in various competitions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Secret Garden

This morning I packed up another order that came in last night! I am really pleased with selling at etsy, where there is such a large pool of potential buyers. A person with only their own independent shop can't possibly draw that much traffic. I am really loving etsy. :D

Today I added Secret Garden soap to my shop. It smells so soft and feminine with florals, sandalwood and musk. I'm experimenting with colorful photo edges on my promotional images. What do you think?

Oh, and I just want to say that I love this little soap dish that I got on etsy from LBegley. She had some wonderful stuff!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lotion Bars

Today I added Shea and Mango Butter Lotion Bars to my shop. You can have them in the essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice. I love lotion bars, they're highly concentrated so a little goes a long way. They glide on so smooth and creamy, no greasy or messy feeling. They sink right into your skin.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dream Pillows

I'm pretty excited about these, after all the research I've done on them and getting just the right organic dried herbs and flowers. Ta-Da! Finally, my Restful Dreams Dream Pillow is in my shop. More are coming soon!

It hardly seems possible that our kids have been back to school now for a week. The house seems strangely empty and quiet. We went to watch our daughter, who is on the dance line at school, perform at half-time at the Friday night football game. Her hairpiece came off in the middle of the kick line, but she just waited til they were done, threw the hairpiece into a pile of pom poms, then resumed dancing! That's my girl. She can handle almost anything. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Packing Orders

I had a successful day yesterday in my Etsy shop, 4 orders with multiple items. I spent a big part of this afternoon labeling and packaging it all up for the post office tomorrow. It's very gratifying and it makes me realize how important it is to maintain a public presence in the Etsy forums. Sometimes I wonder if any customers are listening over there, or if it's only sellers reading the forums. It only takes one good day to make you realize how effective it can be. :D

I made my first dream pillow this morning. It's really pretty and fragrant in a subtle way, with dried organic herbs and flowers. I'm going to make myself one too, and sleep on it tonight. They really do work for me. I'm going to take some photos of them, but the camera chose this moment to conk out on me. It's charging now.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Watercolor-y Batiks

I've added some clip art-type graphics to my shop, 3 cute little Anime Dollies in PSD format, 72 dpi, @800 pixels high each, with no drop shadows. These are royalty free, made from my own 3D characters, and can be used to make sig tags, banners, web pages, decorate fundraiser candy wrappers, make greeting cards, or whatever your imagination suggests. They can be used in any program which can handle PSD files.

Remember when I went shopping for fabrics to make my dream pillows a couple days ago? I just had to take a photo of these beautiful batiks. The purple splotchy one is my favorite.

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Now I'm off to make Lilac soap, then a big batch of Lavender.

Oh yes, and does anyone know how I can make my blogger page 100% the width of the page?

Friday, August 24, 2007


I made a big batch of soap this morning, scented with Patchouli and Clementine. I really does smell wonderful. The clementine sweetens and takes the edge off the patchouli. I can hardly wait for this one to cure.

I was astonished today to be contacted by a merchant who actually threatened me with legal action for selling lavender sachets, which have been around since at least the middle ages. Apparently this merchant thinks they invented them. This individual has since backed off. Now, I am simply rude because I didn't ask this merchant first before putting lavender sachets in my store. Sigh.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fabric Shopping

I did a lot of work weeding and tearing out old flowers yesterday, then planted a bunch of new flowers in the container garden around our lily pond. I've made a little album of the photos, including some of our brilliant bromeliads, at Flickr. You can see them here.

I'm gearing up to begin making Dream Pillows, filled with soothing herbs and flowers. I went shopping for fabrics yesterday and really got into the idea of matching colors and patterns to the dream blends I am making. I spent an hour admiring different batiks with soft, watercolor patterns.

I bought a yard each of 4 different kinds and I couldn't honestly say which one I love best. They are all so beautiful. I'm in a Medieval Stillroom swap with some other crafters and I'm making some solid perfume and dream pillows as my contribution. The dark purple batik with gold, pink and sage swirly dots and stars is going to be perfect for the swap.

I love swaps. I know it's crazy, I already have a ton of bath and beauty products I've made myself, but I am always eager to try what other people make. Right now I have 44 sample bars of soap sitting in a box, plus the delightful stuff I got from a Harry Potter swap. I have 7 different bars of soap going in my bathroom. I need to muster some self control about swaps.

Later on, after I do my yoga, I'm going to be working on a digital character I started a couple months ago but haven't finished yet. She's called Mitsouko, and she's almost finished. For some reason I'm just stalling on it. I need to get busy. Here's what she looks like so far.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mimi, a little faery

I made a big batch of Gardenia soap this morning and I wish you could smell it. It smells so fantastic in my kitchen!

I thought I'd show you one of my digital creations, a little 3D dolly I made called Mimi. I made all her skin and eye textures myself from high resolution photos. Mimi is a character used in a program called Poser. I just think she's too adorable.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

All Done

I'm all done with the big order of lavender sachets -- and done in, too. As nice as it was to get a large order like that, I think I learned a lesson. The beauty of handcrafts are that they are made lovingly, on a small scale. When you have to make a ton of them and it takes you almost every waking minute for a week, then it's not so much fun. I don't think I'll be taking any large orders of sachets any time in the near future.

While I was stuffing sachets last night, I was inhaling all that glorious lavender in a big bowl under my nose. While it smells terrific, it has a soporific effect on me. I kept having to take little breaks to close my eyes. Either that or I was just really, really tired.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I just received 3 lbs. of dried Lavender de Provence flowers from PoPkO. I have to say that this is the most fragrant, heavenly lavender I've ever bought, and I've bought plenty of it over the years. Fabulous product and service, I'll definitely be buying from this fellow Etsy seller again!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Still Crocheting...

Eep, still crocheting little flowers and pairs of leaves for my sachets. Crocheting takes almost no time, but attaching the leaves onto the flowers and weaving all the loose ends in is what takes so much time. I still have 24 more flowers with accompanying leaves to make. I'm just taking a stretch break now and then back to the Size E hook.

At night I've been reading up on dream pillows, online and in books. I'm fascinated by the way that some herbs contribute to sleep and others can disturb sleep, and that very fragrant herbs are not necessarily good for sound sleep. I've been studying herbs for many years and still find it a fascinating topic. I hope to be adding Dream Pillows to my shop soon. I would love to find some old fashioned herb or botanical print fabric to make pillows.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Free Faery PSD's

Today I made this blog a banner, using a photo I took of a bunch of my craft stuff. What do you think? :D

I thought I'd mention today that on my Faery Moon Downloads page I offer lots of cute faeries in PSD format. There is a list of archived faeries at the bottom of the page, just click the "View" link to see what they look like. Here's the current free faery, which stars a little character I made called Mimi for the adorable Ball Joint Doll.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sewing Away

It takes me about 5 minutes to sew each of these little cotton sachet bags for a special order I'm filling. I could probably do it faster, but I make french seams, which means twice the work. I think it's worth it, though, to do a really nice job and make sure the seams stay intact. So it's going to take me about 5.5 hours just to make the little bags. Then there's the crocheting of the little flowers and leaves, stuffing with lavender and adding a bow. I'm going to be happy when all the bags are made. I'm just a little over 2/3 done now.

What a disappointment today. I just found out that the Tropical Fairy Festival, which I'd signed up for, has been cancelled.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Being Busy is Gratifying

I am so happy today because I got an order for a lot of my Lavender Sachets for a christening next month. I have a week to make them all, so I've got to get busy. I've already been to JoAnne's Crafts this morning (thank goodness for 40% off coupons) to get my supplies and ordered 3 lbs. of divine Lavender de Provence dried flowers.'s going to smell so good in my work room for the next couple of days.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Solid Perfume Glace

Today I made two solid perfumes for my shop, both made with pure essential oils. I've added Lavender de Provence Solid Perfume and Patchouli Lavender Solid Perfume, both in 0.25 oz. pots. I wish you could smell them, they are wonderful. I get my essential oils from a distributor with the dreamiest lavender, it's so relaxing and sweet.

This weekend my stepdaughter signed us up for the Tropical Fairy Festival in Miami, October 11-13. If you live around there, drop by and see us!

Monday, August 13, 2007


One of my passions the past few years has been creating 3D characters for a program called Poser. I morph the standard characters, which are kind of homely as they come out of the box, and make more attractive faces and bodies for them. I used Photoshop and quality, high resolution photos to make skin textures for these characters. It's very time consuming, picky work, but I like doing it. You can see my characters in my Daz3D store. Here's an example of a render I did of my "Lizzie" yesterday.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

One Woman, Lots of Crafts

By way of introduction, I'm Stephanie, lover of multiple arts and crafts, computer geek, 3D graphics artist and writer. I'm into making handmade soap, lotions and potions, crocheting, sewing, wildcrafting, writing, and computers, including making 3D characters and skin textures for a program called Poser.

I'm interested in so many kinds of arts and crafts, that they don't fit neatly into one category or the other. I'm as much "Bath and Beauty" as "Computer Graphics." One thing all of my interests have in common, though, is that they're all from my heart -- Heart Crafts. :)

Presently I have several domains which feature my writing, graphics and other works, but right now I am most excited about my new Sea Sprite Soaps store on Etsy, which features only handmade items. You can see my handmade soaps, lip balms and stillroom creations there, as well as some beautiful hand crocheted items.

One of the prettiest things I've made recently are these Lavender Sachets. They're completely made from scratch by me, including the little bags and the crocheted flower decorations. Each one is stuffed full with nearly a cup of dried lavender flowers.

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The past few days I've been crocheting some saucy little camisoles out of beautiful Patons "Grace," a premium silky-smooth cotton yarn that is soft and comfortable on the skin. Check out my Key Lime Halter.