Thursday, January 31, 2008

Almost February

Just a few more hours and it will be February. I can hardly believe how January flew by! That means two more weeks to get your sweetie a Valentine's Day gift. If you're struggling with what to buy, may I suggest my Chocolate and Roses Gift Set? That's one each of Chocolate Truffle and Attar of Roses fine handmade soaps, heart-shaped and beautifully packaged in heart print bags and tied with a shiny red bow.

Our new dog Libby is making herself right at home. We were prepared to take it slow and help her make adjustments to living with a family, but she's just glided right in and seems very comfortable. Loud noises and sudden movements still scare her, but she's stopped trembling almost completely and is having a ball running around the yard with Taffy, our other Welshie.

I finally did some much-needed maintenance on my domain site, Sea Sprite Soaps. It's kind of tricky keeping track of inventory on two sites. While Etsy brings me more traffic, I still get a lot of orders through my domain site, so I want to keep it up to date. I've also added Google Checkout as an option, since so many people don't want to use PayPal, for various reasons.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Back Home

We are finally home with our rescue Welsh Terrier, Libby. She is 4 years old and spent most of her life in a cage, having one litter of puppies after another. Our wonderful friends, Holly and Steven, fostered her while she healed from her spaying, then they drove over a thousand miles to meet us in Atlanta this past weekend to bring her to us. We drove 1,100 miles in 36 hours to get our Libby. We love her to pieces! She is the sweetest, most affectionate little dog. A little shy and nervous, but we know she will continue to be more outgoing and confident as she becomes more used to being loved and pampered. Here's a photo of our sweet little girl.

Back in my shop, finally, Caribbean Dreams soap! It smells like surf and ocean breezes, such a nice spa-like salty tang. Mmmmmm.

I'm really low on a bunch of soaps all of a sudden. I have to make more of several kinds, but I couldn't resist soaping a new fragrance the other day -- Calabrian Violet and Bergamot. Oh boy. It is fantastic! I am a sucker for a really good violet, and this one rocks!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Kind of T Shirt

This is too cool! I can't tell you how many times I've been on trips and to meetings with my laptop, driving around and lurking in parking spaces outside internet cafes to see if I could jump onto their wireless network to check my email!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tassi Lavender Handmade Soap

Mmmm...this has been curing on the rack in my office and it smells divine. I just added Tassi Lavender handmade soap to my shop. Tassi is short for Tasmanian, which is what New Zealanders call it. Hard to get ahold of and less sharp and camphorous than regular lavender, this is a sweet and sassy lavender fragrance has quickly become my new favorite!

My son had two friends spend the night last night. You wouldn't believe the opening and closing of doors, opening and shutting of the refrigerator, crashing of the microwave, lights going on and off all night. Argh. We barely got any sleep. I was so tempted to wake them all up this morning around 7:00 am, when I had to get up and let the dog out. But I'm a good mom, so I restrained myself.

Speaking of dogs, we are going to get our rescue Welsh Terrier, Libby, this Friday. She was rescued from an Amish puppy mill. Apparently some Amish people are not sentimental about dogs, they just treat them like livestock. I'm sure I'll hear something to the contrary from someone Amish, but there are many cases of this known to the Welsh Terrier Rescue group.

Anyway, Libby was spayed a couple weeks ago and has recovered. Some wonderful friends of ours in Kentucky, Holly and Steven, are sheltering her now. On Friday they are going to drive her to meet us halfway, around Atlanta. I'm just so touched by their generosity in driving so far to get Libby to us. That's over a 500 mile drive one way for each of us, so we'll be going for quite a long drive on Friday, be back Saturday. We're pretty excited about meeting our new little girl. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Calming Massage Oil

I added Calming Massage/Bath and Body Oil to my shop just now. I am really happy the way my product photos turned out. The sun was just right to get brightness without glare, out by my backyard lily pond.

It was a good day for photos, so I finally got some nice ones of the new crocheted, 100% cotton bath accessories I've been making. One is a big Bath Pouff, the rest are Soap Saver/Scrubbies, great for making lots of lather and gentle exfoliation.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pink Carnation

Yesterday I added sweet, spicy, clove-y Pink Carnation handmade soap to my shop. It smells really great!

I've been a member of the Soap Dish Forum for many years. So many of us Soap Dishers are on Etsy now, we have formed the Etsy Soap Dish Street Team which has its own blog here. I'm pretty stoked about it! When you're shopping on Etsy, use the search tag "Disher" to find great soap.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Stuff and a New Deal

I added a bunch of stuff to my shop today! African Red Bush Tea Soap (Rooibos) and a Handmade Soap Bonanza, 5 Bars for $20, for a savings of $3.75. Also new today, thanks to Summersea's suggestion, a new perfume, Lavender Vanilla, 100% natural and made with only essential oils, vanilla-infused oil and jojoba.

I have done some trading recently with LandJArtsnCrafts, and I have to tell you that everything they make is wonderful! Yesterday my daughter was thrilled to receive this Ying Yang Pendant and matching Ying Yang Earrings, plus a Beatles bracelet, all of which she proclaimed were "Tight!" (her highest accolade these days). Thank you Joy!

When I'm not doing something else, I'm working on a little Goth Faery for my FaeryKnots shop, and today I came up with a new soap saver/scrubbie design that I like much better than my standard one.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chocolate Truffles and Roses

I added Chocolate Truffle handmade soap to my shop today, and a special Valentine's Day pairing of Chocolate and Roses soaps for 15% for the pair, including one each of Chocolate Truffle and my Attar of Roses soaps! They are wrapped beautifully in red heart print cello bags and tied with shiny red ribbons. Pure romantic impact for your sweetie!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Attar of Roses

I've been waiting so long for these to cure, but today I added Attar of Roses handmade soap to my shop. These were made in Celtic and plain hearts, as well as a Celtic Oval, tinted a tender pink naturally with French Pink Clay. This is a fresh, "green" rose fragrance, not one of those overpowering, overly sweet, cloying roses you find so often. It is truly beautiful and would make a perfect Valentine's Day gift -- or even a gift for yourself.

My shampoo-making efforts yesterday turned out pretty good, but not perfect. I have to get the formulation a bit thicker, but even my picky 18 year old daughter liked it. She likes the scent especially, which is a wonderful Clementine Lavender blend. So I'm going to have to keep tweaking this shampoo until I get it just right.

I've been keeping a handwritten soaping journal since I began soaping back in 2001. I keep track of every batch, the ingredients, the FO characteristics like discoloring or acceleration, anything unusual that I'd like to know next time I make that soap, etc. I keep all my B&B formulas in there too. My journal was finally filled to the brim and I needed a new one. Thanks to my $5 Border's coupon and another 25% coupon, I found the most beautiful Laurel Burch designed journal today. She's always been one of my favorite artists. Now I have hundreds of pages to fill up again with soaping information. I wonder how many years it will take?

I was bummed out to read that the skater, Christopher Bowman, died. He was only 40 years old. I can remember watching him skate when he was only 14 or 15 years old, a slim young dynamo, a hotshot, a cowboy and a very cocky but talented young skater. He always blew it on big performances, but when nothing was at stake he was really quite brilliant. My mother and I used to love to watch him skate. Reading about his death, I am reminded once again how much I miss my mom and the many, many things we used to share.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I'm pleased to tell you that I made a separate Etsy shop, FaeryKnots, for my crocheted faeries, which will also have mermaids and other magickal changeling creatures too, as I make them. The newest one is Sugarplum Faery, in shades of purple, plum and fuschia.

I've temporarily diverted my domain site, Sea Sprite Soaps, over to my Etsy shop. It is a bit frantic, trying to keep both sites current, especially keeping stock of inventory, on two different sites. I need to tweak my domain site a bit before I put it back up.

I'm soaping more Caribbean Dreams today. I'm completely out of it. See what I mean about keeping track of inventory? And I need to take some photos of my Valentine's Day specials. I have the most beautiful red velvet boxes for gift sets. So far I have Chocolate Truffle, Attar of Roses and Pink Carnation soaps lined up, and will be doing an excellent Love Spell soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lazy Day

I haven't done much of anything today except crochet. I'm working on a purple faery and spent a couple hours making her dress and hair. I love doing stuff like that. I really wanted to soap my Fresh Carnation fragrance today, but somehow just couldn't make myself do it. Tomorrow the kids go back to school and things should be a little quieter around here. So I'll probably get to it tomorrow.

You know who is really annoying? Besides Oprah Know-it-all Winfrey? Dr. Phil. Argh, it doesn't surprise me that they found each other. As a clinical psychologist, it embarrasses me to see his public pronouncements on everything. In this article, he speaks about Britney Spears' psychological problems.

One of the most basic, elementary tenets for licensed psychologists is confidentiality. That means you don't go out and give interviews to newspapers and radio and TV shows about your clients without a release of confidentiality. Maybe Britney told him "OK, go ahead and tell everyone how messed up I am." Or maybe not. Psychologists also must refrain, ethically, from diagnosing people they have not formally evaluated. Very odd, Dr. Phil. Maybe he just can't resist the lure of any microphone, anywhere.

And now to cap off my perfectly unproductive day, I'm going to watch Iron Chef. Jamie Oliver battles Mario Battaglia, yay!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Valentina Faery

I added a new little crocheted creature to my shop today, Valentina Faery. The hair on this one gave me fits, it was very soft and hard to "root" into the head. But I think she turned out cute!

I'm thinking of starting another Etsy shop just for my faeries and other changeling-type crocheted items. I'm going to wait until I have a few more made, then do it. People don't normally go to a B&B shop to buy faeries! :D

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

3D Geisha Dollie

I've been fooling around with my 3D Ball Joint Doll for a while this evening, turning her into a little Asian dollie. I think she turned out kind of cute. Click on the images to see them full size. :)

Also had a mini soaping marathon, making 36 bars of Tassi Lavender (Tassi for Tasmanian) and another batch of Relaxing. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I was so ready to see the last of 2007, a very difficult year for me in which I lost my beloved mother and, a few months later, our much-loved Welshie, Pepper. And some wild moments in the painfully awkward and trying period of adolescents growing up and my re-thinking of creative outlets, changing from mostly skin texturing and character creation for Poser, back to an old love, soapmaking. I'm ready for a somewhat smoother ride in 2008. I hope to be better organized and more focused on making my Sea Sprite Soaps shop even more successful.

It is somewhat of a miracle when all four of us are actually home together for dinner these days. Since Geoff can hardly eat anything except soup, and Vicky and I love Panera's Broccoli Cheese Soup, I found a recipe for it here. I followed the instructions exactly and if you love it as much as we do, you have to make it. It's insanely rich and delicious! Just to gild the lily, I made Magic Bars, those decadent bar cookies. If you've never made them, you don't know what you're missing!

So now I'm real thankful I don't have a gallbladder to worry about anymore, given the richness of this meal tonight. Back to lentils, beans and lots of veggie stir fries tomorrow.

I hope anyone who reads this is blessed this new year. I hope we all have a glorious 2008, filled with peace and contentment, challenges and triumphs.