Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poser Play

Well, I had to treat myself to Bettine for A4. She is too adorable for words. Fabi makes the most exquisite character and clothing packages. Here's a quick little render.

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Soap and The Tudors Season 3

I've added the most beautifully fragranced, peachy-pink soap to my shop, Fata Morgana, named for the rose-gold sorceress of Arthurian legend, Morgan le Fay. It's also available in my Etsy shop too.

Today I made a vast quantity of lip balm base, from scratch. I have to do that periodically, then I use it up as I get orders. I'm really proud of this lip balm because it's taken me over a year to perfect the recipe and it's full of truly luxurious oils and butters, like extra virgin coconut, mango butter, calendula-infused oil, avocado and cocoa butter, to name but a few.

I have to set aside a big block of time when I make a batch of lip balm. I use a natural sweetener that's derived from licorice, to make the lip balm flavors really pop. It's a little expensive, but I love it and don't have to use a nasty bitter sugar substitute. But it takes forever (OK, about an hour) to constantly whisk this sweetener until it's incorporated and the balm is cool and firmed up. Lots and lots of stirring.

I like a slightly sweetened lip balm and get a little annoyed with PC sobersides who contend it just makes you lick your lips and dry them out. Maybe they don't want to take the extra time and expense to add a sweetener. And maybe some people don't like to have those decisions made for them. I think buyers should have a choice. To me, unsweetened lip balm is like unscented soap -- What's the point?

I've been waiting sooooo long for Season 3 of The Tudors. I finally got to see it online this afternoon. It's available here and here too. Oh my, that Henry is a very naughty man. And Cromwell is on his way to getting a good dose of karma.

I've been playing in Poser a little bit the last few days. I did so much character creation and skin texturing for so many years, I totally burned out on it. But lately I've been thinking about how much fun it was just to make pretty pictures, instead of trying to earn money from it. If I buy anymore cute characters, it's probably going to be this adorable little Bettine.

This weekend we traded in Geoff's truck, his big bad black Tundra, for a new Altima. He is a very, very happy boy. The mileage is easily better than 2X what he got on the truck. It's very sleek and beautiful too. We got a new Corolla for Vicky too, trading in her old Scion, which was a bitch to maintain, especially the way she drives. We got outstanding trade-ins for both cars that made buying new ones possible. So yeah, we went through all that sphincter-tightening experience of car buying twice in 4 days. I don't recommend it, however.

I'm going to keep driving my 2005 Sienna til it drops.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Little Magazine

I subscribe to The Essential Herbal, a very cool magazine about growing and using herbs, and green living in general. I've picked up all kinds of helpful tips about infusing oils, making balms and salves with them, and some delightful recipes using herbs (Lavender Sugar!) from this magazine.

In honor of the arrival of spring and the White House putting in an herb and vegetable garden, they have put up a free issue they did last year that focused on green living, with a collage of Victory Garden posters on the cover.You can read that issue here for free!

Today I'm in this Garden Gate treasury on Etsy, featuring my Herb Garden soap.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blog Love

I was delighted to see my Lilac and Lavender soap mentioned on the ReadySetCraft blog today. Thanks Joanne!

I'm featured in this treasury today too!

I've been working on my domain site and have actually set up a Zen Cart that appears to work. Take a look at my newly freshened-up Sea Sprite Soaps! As much as I love Etsy, the listing and transaction fees are a killer. I'd like to sell more from my own site and via my newsletter, and will start offering my monthly discount only to customers who buy directly from my domain site. I've got to start somewhere.

I've also been working hard on restocking many of the soaps I've run out of. I've got to start making larger batches so I'm not always low on stock. Yesterday I made more Blood Orange Patchouli, a really big batch, since it's a strong seller. And I made a new one, a Plumeria Lavender blend inspired by one of my best Etsy buyers. In her honor, I'm going to call it Kay Ann's Aloha Dreams!

We are so happy that Vicky is home for spring break this week. And Geoffrey has been accepted to Florida Gulf Coast University for fall 2009. Pretty soon both of my babies will be in college. Sigh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Today Lowell and I are celebrating our 28th anniversary! And to those who said it wouldn't last, well....Phhhhhft!