Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Soaps

I've added several new soaps to my shops, including Twilight Rose, Coco Lime Verbena, Pink Carnation and Lilac & Lavender.

Have you ever noticed when you're in a spirited discussion with someone who has an opposing viewpoint, they'll always start a rebuttal with "Actually..." and then go on to tell you why you're full of crap? It's almost always a prelude to someone flexing what they think it their superior knowledge. When I hear "actually" I know a lecture will soon follow. Whether it's accurate or not.

I've decided that the Promotions forum on Etsy reminds me of The Thunderdome, from the old Mad Max movies. You gotta have a strong stomach and boundless energy to keep up with it. But posting there does seem to work, at least for me. Etsy forums are a kind of madness, the pace is incredible. It's always amusing to see how many posters will answer a question in exactly the same way. A couple of times I've answered a soap question, but 20 other people will also chime in with the exact same response, as if they'd never noticed that 19 other people already said the same thing. The only thing I can think of is that it's a way to get their names noticed and hopefully a visit to their site. See what I mean about The Thunderdome?

It's been very cold here lately, at least for Florida. We don't like 38 degree nights here. Brrrr. I have to bring the cats in when it's cold, after the dogs are crated and put to bed for the night. It's always fun when one of the dogs has to go out at 5 am, like this morning. First I have to stumble around in the dark, find the cats, put them outside, pick up the kitty litter box and put it away, pick up the cat food and water and put that up high, then release the dogs for a pee. Then put the dogs back in the crate, try to go back to sleep with ice cold feet, give up, and go sit in the living room and wait for the newspaper to be delivered while everyone else is sleeping peacefully. I am a doorman for cats and dogs.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Juried Sites, Elitism and How it All Doesn't Matter Anyway

A few months ago the Etsy forums were agog with news of a soon-to-open, juried shop that would spend a lot on site design and advertising. Many successful Etsy sellers, including soapmakers, had applied to and been accepted by this site. So I thought "What the heck" and I applied with my best product photo. I was rejected so fast my head spun, within 5 minutes.

Not that it was a great blow to my ego, but it stings a little to be rejected, eh? Especially when I'd seen the work of some sellers who had been accepted. So several months go by and the new shop opens and guess what? No one's buying much of anything there. The site design and listing fees have received a lot of negative feedback and the administration branded, with some supporting evidence, as a bunch of loons.

So I guess it really doesn't matter too much about not getting into this site. And like Groucho said, "I don't want to belong to a group that would accept me as a member." Ha ha. Seriously, I'm not going to spread myself too thin anyway. I'm on Etsy and ArtFire, as well as my own domain site, Sea Sprite Soaps. It's hard enough to promote yourself on Etsy forums, which I lovingly think of as the Thunderdome.

I've added a couple of new and renewed soaps to my shops -- Bitter Almond, Winter Solstice, Divine Vanilla Spirit and Calabrian Violet & Bergamot. Coming soon: Twilight Rose, Pink Carnation, Coco Lime Verbena and Lilac and Lavender. Plus more Coconut Cardamom Custard, which I can hardly keep in stock!

On the home front, Vicky was here for the long MLK weekend. I love having her at home and it's always hard for us when she goes back to school. We drove to Tampa and met Lowell's new great-granddaughter, Sofia. She is such a beauty, and very smart and strong and alert for a 3 month old!

Geoff has been accepted to one college for the fall, but is still really hoping for USF. I'd hate for him to be in Tampa too, but at least he and Vicky would have each other as a support system. And I keep reminding myself, "It's only a two and a half hour drive." Sniff.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day...

A new president. Today I am so proud of my country.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Positive Feedback

This is pretty exciting -- today I reached 1,000 positive feedbacks on Etsy. It took a looong time, over a year, but it's a very satisfying figure.

Looks like flat rate Priority Mail postage is going up, but at least we're going to have a new small flat rate box available via the USPS site.

A week from today, a new President of the US will be sworn in. It can't come a minute too soon for me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Two New Soaps

I've added two wonderful new soaps to my shops! Check out Winter Solstice and Divine Vanilla Spirit! :)

We drove up to Tampa to see Vicky yesterday. We are all homesick and missing each other. It was a nice long visit. We got to see her new hermit crab and went to Ybor City, the old Spanish town where the roads are made of brick. We walked around a small farmer's market and got Vicky some cute handpainted peace sign earrings. Then we ate at the Columbia Restaurant, the amazing Spanish restaurant that's been there since 1905.

It was like sitting in a European courtyard, all splashing fountains, colorful tiles, arched doorways and impeccable service. Plus fabulous food! One of the things I really miss about Miami is Cuban food. I haven't had a good palomilla steak with fries since we used to eat at "Lila's" 25 years ago. I had some yesterday and it was sooooo good! Even the kids liked the food, and they are usually picky and prefer homogenized, predictable fast food. I have that Columbia Restaurant cookbook somewhere and I'm going to have to dig it out so I can make the gazpacho. It was wonderful (like everything else)!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

I was so pleased to see my Rose Lip Balm featured on the Autonomous Artisans blog -- Thanks Lynne!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lemon Verbena Soap

My Lemon Verbena soap is featured in this treasury today, so go give it some love if you have time! Today I added Chai Tea to my shop on Etsy and ArtFire. Also new: Eastern Amber!

After having Vicky home for 3 weeks, it's a shock that she left last night to return to Tampa. We've had some tearful phone calls. It's hard on all of us, this going back and forth. And now Geoff wants to go to USF too. Sigh.

Speaking of Geoff, here is his senior class picture. If you've known me for a while, you'll be surprised to see how grown up he is now, all 6'3" and 140 lbs. of him!