Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wanna Trade?

Lately I've been getting a few requests from other handmade artisans to trade goods or services, and I am admittedly a little slow in that I didn't know what they were talking about. DUH!!! Why didn't I think of that sooner? Trading is a great way of not only trying something new, but getting your product into other people's hands! I can't wait to get my traded goodies.

If you're interested in trading, let me know!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If My Mom Were Alive....Part I

I would lavish these beautiful treasures upon her-all courtesy of some of my most-talented followers:
Carnival Hoops by NYBlaque
Ice Cream Cookie Mix by Betty Mae Artistry

I'll be back with more finds!

Power Balls!

I'm so silly that I crack myself up! If you can't laugh at yourself, you've got issues!

Anyway, I made a batch of soap about a week and a half ago with the leftover Summer Rhubarb fragrance, and it tanked! I completely forgot how that this fragrance super heats your soap mixture, so the soap batter seized halfway through the mixing phase. But never you worry! I used the botched batch to make power balls! I call them power balls because they're much larger than my regular ones. They remind me of meatballs (in part because I equate almost everything with food.) I'm also thinking of a way to incorporate a few of these into my next batch.

I've got to order some new fragrance oils. I'm running really low....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Damn, Damn, Damn!!!!

I'm channelling my inner Florida Evans here (Good Times for ya'll who don't know whom Florida Evans is!)



This fragrance behaved for 3 whole weeks while curing-no doo-doo spots or nothing, but out of nowhere, the vanilla monster reared its ugly-ass head! I added vanilla browning neutralizer, and I kept my fingers crossed for almost a month. My lemon chiffon poppy seed soap looks like somebody took a dump on it, but it smells really good. I don't know what to do with it.....

New Soap: Mintal Case

If you haven't guessed it by now I am a mintal, not mental, case, and green is my favorite color-all shades of it. Even my birthstone is green (peridot), and my theory was right: I added the mica before I began mixing the oils and lye, and it worked! The color blended smoothly, and I did not get a super-thick trace. Of course I scented the green half in Garden Mint and the other half in Bourbon de Vanille. I didn't even bother coloring the vanilla half because it's gonna turn brown anyway (vanilla browns for ya'll who didn't know that).

The mint portion of this soap is very strong. I can barely smell the vanilla so I look forward to seeing how this soap plays out.

Ingredients: soybean oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil, and cocoa butter. My apartment was so friggin hot that my coconut oil liquified and dripped all over my counter!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What I Made Over The Weekend

The weekend was gorgeous, and I made soap (what else is new?) I find the weekends to be the best time to actually be productive-making something, that is. By the time I get home from work, the day is basically shot. I'm dog tired mentally, and the last thing I feel like doing is making something. During the week, I'm usually in my "planning" stages. I'm thinking about what it is I actually want to make, what color and scent I want it to be, and how I want it to look. I also do most of my networking and promoting during the week. That's another job in itself!

So, what did I make? I made this batch of soap scented in Pink Jasmine Musk. I don't know how to describe this scent. It's definitely feminine. It's soft. It's floral. And it is musk-y. My dining room lingered of this fragrance for hours after I poured and insulated this batch. My intent was to make this a pink and green soap, but I had a momentary memory lapse and grabbed the brown mica instead. One mistake I've been making is to add my mica at a light trace. That aint workin'! By the time I whiz the mica into the soap to get it all mixed in, it's at a very thick, pudding-like consistency. The good part about that was I was able to create these cool-looking swirls on top. I'm going to start adding my colorant right after I add my lye mixture to see how it works.

Well, what do you think? Have you noticed that I've been using my straight cutter a lot lately? No, shame on you for not being observant*-D
Epilogue: I've named this soap Pinky Musk-adero! I loved Pinky Tuscadero from Happy Days because she was soooo badass!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Check Me Out On NY Blaque!

It's hot as hell here, but I always keep things cool! I have the honor of being featured on one of my favorite blogs, NY Blaque. This was the most intense interview I've had so far. Andrea asked some really thought-provoking questions. Get the scoop here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Score This Soap!

This week's score comes from 1000 Markets. I'm loving this venue more and more as I explore all the different markets. If you are a chocoholic like me, then you've gotta love the look of this soap. It reminds me of marble cake or fudge vanilla swirl pudding. Either way, it makes me want chocolate. The name of this soap is called--what else, Chocolate Bliss by Bella Luna Crafts. It's made with real cocoa powder, and the description:

"Deep, dark rich chocolate, with just a hint of cream. Yum!"

She had me at chocolate! Check out her shop, and go score!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bitch Post #7: Handmade Soap Is Too Expensive And Other Misconceptions

Well that can pretty much be said about anything that's handmade: It's too expensive. I can get that for much less. But what are you comparing it too? Wal-Mart or Nordstrom? Hell, Goodwill can look too expensive compared to Wal-Mart, but the point I'm making is that just because it has the "handmade" tag attached to it does not automatically mean it should be inexpensive! In fact, anything that's made from scratch with human hands made with the utmost precision, and dare I say-love, should cost more than the factory-made, mass-produced version. Handmade artists have to eat just like the factory worker does.

Getting back to the handmade soap is too expensive: I was compelled to write this post following a heated discussion in the Artfire forums this week. The basis of the "discussion" was "handmade soap is too expensive when I can buy a multi-pack of soap for the price of one bar that soapmakers are selling here." I maintained my cool as I wanted to see how this would play out. Needless to say, the lady who started the thread got ripped along with anyone who co-signed with her. I love my fellow soapmakers because they came in and set 'em straight, boy! I have to really shout out Pegasus Soaps and Soapsmith who were very polite but firm in their defense of why handmade soap costs what it does. I especially love what Pegasus said about the ingredients to make soap aren't cheap-and they aren't! Olive oil is very expensive. Shea butter is twice as expensive. For a good soapmaker, it's about quality-not quantity. I could sell you a bunch of handmade soap made with primarily lard or soybean oil which are relatively inexpensive compared to olive oil and shea butter, but one: I only make vegan soaps, and two: I care about what I put into my product. Like Soapsmith stressed, we soapmakers don't make a lot of money doing this. We do it for love of soapmaking. To make a profit, you'd have to sell a lot of soap-like having wholesale clients or maybe sell only melt and pour like a lot of successful Etsy sellers do. Melt and pour soap is inexpensive relative to buying raw ingredients to make soap. And let's not forget those soap disasters when a batch doesn't come out right-and I mean, completely tanked, unusable soap.

To wrap this all up, handmade soap is the best soap for your skin bar none (pun intended). It's made with oils and butters that moisturize and nourish. It makes it's only natural glycerin-which by the way those commercial detergent bars remove so that the "soap" stays hard and lasts longer. They're unique and they are affordable in that for every detergent bar you buy, you'll need twice as much moisturizer or lotion to combat the dryness your skin will suffer. But, if it comes down to having train fare or buying a bar of handmade soap, by all means, buy that fare card and the dollar "soap"! I know times are hard....

I'd love to read your take on the matter. Oh, by the way, a very nice lady from that same forum purchased some soap from me to send anonymously to one of the nay-sayers. Hopefully, we'll make a convert out of her!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Project Wonderful Find: FancifulForm

If you have Project Wonderful ads on your blog do you ever check out your advertisers? I do all the time, and I even buy from them! My latest discovery comes from FancifulForm. O-M-G! Her jewelry is so simplistically incredible! These pieces are made from clay and acrylic and are hand-sculpted. How freakin' talented is she?

I love really big pieces that make a statement. These flower pendants are perfect. I love the white ones.

The rings are gorgeous.

I even love the little flower studs.

If you're looking for a statement or signature piece that's gentle on your wallet but fierce in style, check out FancifulForm. I know I am!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What I Made Over The Weekend

Saturday was gorgeous! I spent half the morning standing in line at the post office mailing orders and the other half waiting in line at the car wash. But you know what? It was the most beautiful day so far this year, and I didn't mind at all. I even ran into my cousin whom I hadn't seen in about a year.
I did actually do some work. Paige, if you're reading this, I'll be shipping your goodies out before week's end. I finally cut the batch of soap I made last Thursday. It's called Sage & Citrus. I tried my darndest to neaten these up as best I could. They were still very soft. I made this batch with castor, soybean, coconut, and avocado oils along with cocoa butter. I botched the colors up, but it smells really nice.

Next I made more soap balls with some leftover cp soap scraps. Pictured are Italian granita ice, blackberry apple, and.....sage and citrus. These little buggers are the messiest thing to make. I got soap everywhere! I'll be debuting some new glycerin soaps this week also. My creative juices are finally flowing steadily again. Have you made anything new this past weekend? Please share-nosey, I mean, inquiring minds want to know!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Score This Soap!

This week's score comes from 1000 Markets. I really like 1000 Markets. The site is so clean and professional-looking. This is not a knock on other sites I sell on, but this one is so soothing. I love the colors, the layout, and the market theme. Anyway, I decided to actually check out the soap scene there, and I stumbled across this gorgeous shop called Intentions. Their slogan is "Where heaven meets earth". I LOVE THIS SHOP! I am so envious of this soaper's skills. What I also love is that every soap is stamped with their company name. Simply gorgeous!

The soap I chose was full moon-reflect.

"It will send you. Really. No need to say anything else. Vetiver grabs you deep. You must just let go. Nothing, really, nothing, nothing else is needed to be said. Send me. Send you. "

Okay, I'm off to browse this shop some more. Don't be surprised if I buy some this weekend. I'm enamored.....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bergamot & Mandarin Soap

I was really nervous about buying this fragrance oil. In the black community there is a hair grease called Bergamot. It's an aquamarine blue and it has a very distinct smell. It doesn't stink, but it doesn't smell great either. My mother would grease my scalp with it weekly. One thing I never understood was why my mother would "scratch" the dandruff out of my scalp then put grease on top of it....I digress. You should know by now that I always start my posts with a personal story. I'm the female Cliff Huxtable...LOL.

Here's my Bergamot & Mandarin soap. Loves it! I smell the citrus, but the bergamot keeps calling me: "Patrice. Time to get your scalp greased....." I made this one with rice bran, coconut, and olive oils with shea and cocoa butters. I'm really loving my oxides ya'll! The colors are really rich, and you don't need a whole lot either. I literally sprinkle it like pepper into my soap batter and give it a few whizzes with my stick blender. I've learned my lesson by adding the fragrance LAST. I can't wait til this one's ready. I'm reserving one of these for my shower. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Join Me On Blockhead Radio!

The Blogfire Guild of Art Fire (of which I am a distinguished member) will be featured on Blockhead Radio next Tuesday (the 21st) at 8:00 pm! If you don't know what Blockhead Radio is, I suggest you crawl from under your cozy rock and check it out. I discovered them through The Copper Cauldron's blog about a month or two ago, and I've been creeping in and out ever since. I don't know about you, but I follow a lot of blogs, and while I don't comment on every single one, I actually do read them all. I'm a lurker, a silent creeper, and I only comment when I really have something meaningful, insightful, or cheeky to say. Here I go again, blah, blah, ramble....

Back to Blockhead Radio: It's an indie (fits right in with us eh?) radio station that features and spotlights indie artists-musicians, painters, crafters, you name it. There's a 24/7 online chat forum, and you can listen to tunes while you schmooze. I'm going to be online next Tuesday lurking and schmoozing. Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And The Winner Is......!!!

Thanks to everyone who participated in my I Love Cupcakes Giveaway, but unfortunately, there can only be one winner. The lucky recipient of 3 shea butter cupcakes is:

(winner chosen via couldn't upload the screenshot-sorry)

CONGRATULATIONS! Please e-mail me at with your shipping info.

I'll be doing another giveaway real soon. Stay tuned!

Funky Felted Soaps by Rainy Day Art

About two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a fellow Art Fire and Etsy seller about a little business venture. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first. Usually when another seller contacts you, they want something for nothing or they want to steal your technique by asking you all kinds of masked questions. Believe me, I've had this happen to me more times than I care to remember. But this e-mail was different right off the bat. Melissa from Rainy Day Art wanted to buy something!!! Go figure:-D! Melissa explained that she was a "hooker" and she was looking for some soaps to felt. A hooker in this sense is one who loves to knit, crochet, felt, or sew with yarn. You mean to tell me that you've never seen or heard of felted soap? Where have you been? Under a rock?! Felted soaps are so cool! They are literally bars of soap covered in felt. At first glance, they look like a Brillo pad, and in a sense, they are, but they're so much gentler and softer to the skin. They're a cleanser and exfoliator in one. and they take your soap's lather to new heights. After a few pleasant e-mail exchanges, she bought about 16 soaps from me! That is a heck of a score if you ask me.

Melissa made her first listings with my soaps the other day, and I already bought the Chocolate Fantasy one. It looked like a big, chocolate brownie to me, and I cannot wait to try it! This baby is going with me to New York in a few weeks, and I'll taunt and tease my family with my big, brown, funky, felted soap! Thanks Melissa! May you have much success with the soaps!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Before I forget, today is the last day to enter my I Love Cupcakes Giveaway! I'll announce the winner sometime tomorrow. See the pic on the left for details.

I'm also having a sale in my Art Fire shop. I call it the Fugly Soap Pack. It's a pound or more of dirty, sexy, ugly soaps packed really prettily and ready to ship. They're only $5.00 while supplies last!

Mother's Day Is Coming. Are You Ready?

Ever since my mom died over twelve years ago, Mother's Day has never been the same. To this day, I am so envious of anyone whose mother is still in their lives, and I tell those who are estranged from their mothers to make peace because once she's gone, she's gone. I miss my mama. I'd be a millionaire by now if she were alive because she would have marketed my little soaps so well, she'd have you thinking your life wasn't worth living if you didn't use my soaps!
Last year I didn't market or advertise at all for Mother's Day. I really lost out on that one, but this year, I'm being more proactive and starting early. I'm joining the Blog Fire carnival and I've bought an ad spot on the Mother's Day gift guide at Art Fire. Here are a few lovelies that would make great Mother's Day gifts:

Bubble Baubles

I Love You Rose Soap

Yarn Soap Trio

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grapefruit Lily Soap: Which Version Do You Prefer?

Before I go into the tale of my soapmaking disaster, I'd like to officially welcome all of my new followers. Thank you and welcome to the madness! You'll never know what to expect on any given day. This blog has been so cathartic for me.....okay, now I'm rambling, see what I mean?

Getting back to the soap: I bought this fragrance Grapefruit Lily on a whim from Brambleberry about a year ago, not knowing if I'd love it or hate it. I'm not a floral gal at all. I like earthy, fruity, or foody scents. Anyway, I was still very new to making cold processed soap, and this was probably my third or fourth batch, but only my second successful one. I did no research on color or anything. I had some pink Peacock Dye and said to myself, okay, grapefruit is pink, so I'll go with pink. I attempted to do a swirl which looked great on the top, but I didn't hold my pour high enough, so it didn't go all the way to the bottom. When I cut the soap, only the bottom of it was swirled. It's quite hilarious now that I've gotten better and more confident in my soapmaking, but a year ago, I thought this was the best looking soap on the planet!

I actually have a few small wedges of this batch left. I absolutely love this scent! It's so fresh and not overly-floral. It's definitely more flowery than grapefruit-y, but it's the perfect balance. So how could I possible improve on perfection? Remember those oxides I told you about a few posts ago? I decided to try them, and I actually had a plan, but of course I screwed it all up! When I think of lily, two things come to mind: my grandmother, Lily, and Calla Lily. I think those are the most beautiful flowers ever, but I didn't want another pink and "white" soap. I googled "lily" and found this beautiful tiger lily. BINGO! Not only was a beautiful shade of orange, but it would be the perfect excuse if my colorant speckled. I'd pass it off as Grapefruit Tiger Lily Soap. I can barely contain myself as I write this because I goofed this soap up so badly...

First of all, I stirred too long, so my trace was a lot thicker than I wanted it to be before I separated the batch in two. I chose a brick red oxide and a pink oxide-I love pink, and I love pink grapefruit. When I reached the desired trace, I separated the batch so that I color one half reddish-orange, and the other half pink. Being the overzealous person that I am, I colored half of my batch and proceeded to stir it in, when "#(#*(*&!%" I FORGOT TO ADD THE MICA!!! I knew I was doomed because my soap was already at a decent trace, and I knew once I added that mica I would have to zap it some more with my stick blender, but I did it anyway. I was determined to have two-toned soap! All it took was about 3 zaps, and half of my soap batch was as thick as cake frosting. I glopped it in my mold and spread it evenly as if I were frosting a cake because that's basically what it was at this point. I colored the other half of the soap which was still pretty liquid and very pourable. I never scent my accent color. When I poured it over the soap "frosting", it was disastrous. I made the further mistake of trying to swirl it. What I should have done was left it as it by having the red/orange soap sit on top of the pink soap to give it a layered look. Well, here's the finished result:

In my defense, it looks a lot better in person than it does in these pics. I also used a straight cutter (why?) to detail my swirl-challenged skills. You know what though? I kinda like it. It smells really good. The grapefruit is really strong, but I expect it to mellow out once it's fully cured. I also have to say that I'm really liking these oxides and ultramarines. They didn't really speckle, and had I done the right thing, the colors would have been a lot prettier. The first batch was made with palm, coconut, olive, and castor oils. The new batch was made with olive, rice bran, sweet almond, and coconut oils, and shea, mango, and cocoa butters. These are the most ingredients I've ever used in a soap. I can't wait to try this one. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Better Than Anything Cake

My family will never recover from the shock of my baking this cake, and it took me two days to do it! It came from the back of the Duncan Hines or is it Betty Crocker German Chocolate Cake mix box, and it is the best cake I've ever had! Before now, you couldn't pay me to eat German chocolate cake. What is that nasty-looking frosting anyway? It's scary-looking. Oh, I just wikied it: It's cooked caramel, coconut, and pecans. Ummm...NO!

This version is decorated with sweet condensed milk, hot fudge sauce, and whipped topping sprinkled with butterscotch chips. Dieters beware. Your diet will be shot to hell after one bite of this cake. I could literally eat this entire cake myself. I'd share though....reluctantly.

Happy Easter!

(The last Easter I wore a dress:1991-Check out the ultra-sheer purple stockings!)

Why is it Easter is the one day of the year when you can count on getting a brand, spanking new outfit-in my case, a dress, hat, and black patent leather shoes? If they weren't patent leather, you could forget it! After church, my parents, sister, and I would go to my grandparent's house for food, fellowship and to show off our new duds. I wanted to put together a collage of all my frou-frou dresses, but my scanner is acting like a butt hole. In looking back at those photos, two things were constant: my dresses were either white or sunny yellow and I wore my trademark patent leathers. Ahh, those were the good ole days. Guess what I'm wearing today? Jeans!

Have a Happy Easter. I'll tell you all about my latest soap disaster in the next post!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Score This Soap!

File this week's score under "Now why didn't I think of that?" I offer soap portraits, but this takes it to a completely different level. Creative Artworks is a relatively new shop on Art Fire, and the artist, Linda Lewis, actually, hand paints portraits onto bars of Jergens soap then seals the portrait with several coats of varnish (I assume it is skin safe) to help the portrait last through as many washings as possible. I am mucho impressed!

Linda currently offers several different designs, and they really look like ACEO paintings only the canvas is soap! How cool is that???

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coconut Lemongrass Soap

This is the best batch of soap I've made all year! Not only is it palm-free, but I actually love the way it looks! This soap was not made with a P-free fragrance oil (at least the bottle or web description doesn't indicate that it is.) I can't describe how coconut lemongrass smells. I really can't smell the coconut because the lemongrass is so dominant. Actually the description says it's got pineapple, lily of the valley, peach, and sandalwood. Whatever it is, I really like it. I was going to attempt some of the fancy-schmancy swirl techniques I've read about in Saponifier, but by the time I made the green and yellow portions, I said eff it, and stuck with my free-form rigmarole. This is also the most ingredients I've ever used in a soap: olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, and shea butter. Shea butter is really expensive, so I'm reserving what I have for certain batches.

I also let this soap sit in the mold for about 3 days before un-molding and cutting. I'm learning to be patient. Besides, I always end up with smudged soap when cutting it too soon after un-molding. I'm off to make more soap. I'm dipping my toe into the pool of micas and oxides. I find them a little intimidating because they always clump when I use them. I'll post more pics in the coming week!

It's Good Friday!

For more reasons than one:

  1. It's the end of the work week (for me anyway).
  2. I can stay up late tonight and sleep in on Saturday.
  3. My family's planning a big Easter celebration with lots of food and friends!

I am even going to attempt to bake a cake! This aint no ordinary cake either. I'm actually going to make the recipe on the back of the box, LOL! I'll reveal some pics on Sunday because it's actually a 2-day process.

I'm not catholic, although I attended a catholic grade school up until high school, but my grandmother would never let us eat meat on Good Friday. We could only eat fish, and those are some of my fondest memories. My mom was severely allergic to fish so we could never have it in the house. Just the smell of it would cause her swell up like a puffer fish (pun intended) so my sister and I looked forward to fish at grandma's house. I think I'll honor that tradition today and forgo red meat and get a fish sandwich from somewhere. Then I'll come home tonight and prepare my lye solutions for a mega soapathon tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Consolation Prize: New York

So I get a call from my sister Myia about a month ago asking if I could get the week before Memorial Day off. I knew she had something sinister up her sleeve, but I didn't think she was planning a trip to The Dominican Republic! "Nooooooooooooooooooo..." I told her. But then she told me that she paid for the airfare and hotel. Okay, I'm thinking, maybe I can roll after all, but wait: There were some hidden fees involved: expedited passport, $160.00, round trip train fare from DC to NY and back, $200-ish-probably more..." WHOA NELLY!" That's almost $400 and I aint even left the country yet!!! That, along with my lovely parting gift from the IRS has left me destitute (okay, I'm exaggerating, but all my "play" money is gone.) When I broke the news to Myia, she was silently pissed and disappointed (I think more so because the tickets are non-refundable.) So, what do I get out of it-a trip to NY for her birthday weekend. That's doable-I only have to spring for a gift and dinner. I was secretly looking forward to going to DR though. A really good friend of mine is a native of that country, and she always talks about how beautiful it is. Why couldn't I be like Jesus and whip the sin out of the tax collectors??

Going All Natural!

I've been a real hypocrite. How can I talk about going green with my soap ingredients when some of the fragrance oils I use contain phthalates? Phthalates are a large family of colorless, odorless (or low odor), oily compounds used in many everyday products. Phthalates are used for different purposes-to make vinyl soft and flexible, and to plasticize toys among other things. In the case of personal care products, they are used to make fragrances last longer. You can read more about phthalates here.

If you are a maker of bath and body products, you'll see some fragrances listed as being "P-free." Now you know what it means. The fragrance oil contains no phthalates. Southern Soapers carries a line of P-free fragrances, and Wholesale Supplies Plus has recently made the decision to transition all of their fragrance oils to P-free. While it may limit my choices, my conscious will be clear in knowing that I'm offering a product that really is eco-friendly and natural. Oh goodness, I just had a thought: What if they say the world's supply of olive oil is harvested by slave labor or something?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bitch Post #6: Sellers Who Don't Thank Their Customers

You know I'm long overdue for one of these posts:-D

Nothing irks me more than a seller who does not take the time to thank his or her buyer for their time and their money! I think it's rude, unprofessional, and a repeat buyer killer! I work hard for my money, and I don't spend it on something "extra" unless I am so in love with it that I have to have it! Case in point: I made two purchases last week on both Etsy and 1000 Markets, and neither seller contacted me with a simple "Thank You," "I received your order," "Kiss my butt..."-NOTHING!!! You didn't have a problem taking my money, yet you couldn't take the time to drop me a line? These sellers have lost my business forever (and that's a mighty long time.) If you're guilty of not contacting your client after they buy something from your shop, I implore you to start doing so. All it takes is two words: Thank You. You could lose lots of money without even realizing it!

Do You Spend Dollars Only To Make Cents?

(photo cred: imbok2000)

I have been asking myself this question since I read this humorous, albeit, true article on Etsy Bitch the other night. While the motivation of this site is to call out Etsy for all its faults in a snarky, smart-alecky way, there is some truth and useful information hidden in all the muck. The gist of this article was to refute the "Quit Your Day Job" series that Etsy regularly features. While I read Etsy Bitch solely for laughs and entertainment, this particular article has really made me think: Am I spending my ad dollars wisely? The article hit a nerve when it asked:

"Which is a good ad? An insular 10 cent spot on a craft blog with 6 readers running Project Wonderful ads because you like the chick with the blog ? Or A 10 cent Project Wonderful spot on a NON-craft blog?"

OMG: That's me! I've been spending money on ads that I know won't necessarily garner any views or clicks because I've been patronizing my friends and not being a smart business woman. Let me say that this is nothing personal against those I've advertised with in the past, and this is not an attack on anyone I've advertised with in the past. I've been running my business with my heart and not my head, and it shows! So what steps have I taken to rectify this?

For one, I'm carefully researching every site I choose to advertise on before I just jump into it. Secondly, I'm no longer keeping all of my eggs in one basket. I vowed that I wouldn't sell on any other venue other than Art Fire. I've decided to keep my Etsy shop open. As lost as I feel there, I do have some fans there, and there's such a huge audience there, that I'm not willing to let go just yet. I also have my 1000 Markets shop. I have yet to make a sale there since joining in November 2008 (I did blow the one sale I could've made, but I saved it by directing the buyer to my Art Fire shop), but I love the look of that venue. Lastly, I just opened my shop on Funky Finds. I discovered them about two years ago as an advertising venue, and they've just started a selling market about a year or so ago. I am also in the process of re-starting my own website using a dot com and re-directing it to one of my venue shops. Why should I give all the glory to these venues when I'm trying to make a presence for myself? These are just a few baby steps as I have looooong way to go. I'm tired of wasting money, and I'm getting my act together. Any other tips or words of wisdom you'd like to share?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Score This Soap!

I actually found out about this week's score on another, very popular soap blog. I instantly became a fan when I found out that this shop is located in Ashburn, Va. which is not too far from me. Soap Wish makes some of the most unique glycerin soaps I've ever seen. I have an idea about how they're made (another day, another project), but this soap immediately caught my attention. It reminds me of my mom who defied tradition and wore a blue wedding gown to her wedding (I guess being visibly knocked up with my sister played a factor too!) This soap is called Snow Day, and just looking at it makes me smile.

Thank you Soap Wish for giving me yet another memory of my mom!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Where Did All My Regular Features Go?

(Photo cred: Captain Camera)

I've been busy ya'll! I usually do my weekly regulars: Rhymes With and Art Fire Artisan Spotlight. I kinda lost my mojo a bit. Ok, I'm going to keep it real with you: I've just been plum lazy! Don't you just feel like not doing squat sometimes? Well, I'm in that kind of mode right now. I've barely been making any product or listing anything. I'm in my quarterly funk, lol.

I will resume Rhymes With next week, and I'm revamping my spotlight. They were so dang boring to me (and that's nothing against the artists. I really appreciate everyone's participation.) I'm going to make the interviews tailor-made now. I'm going to study the shop and the artist prior to submitting my interview questions, so the read is actually interesting.
I'll be contacting you, my dear followers, too for an interview soon so don't be surprised!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In Love With Lemon

I cannot get enough of this scent. I probably have about 4 different variations of lemon, and here is my latest batch: Lemon Chiffon with Poppy Seed. I got the scent and the poppy seeds from Wholesale Supplies Plus. Incidentally, that was the first online supply site I've ever purchased from. That was four years ago and still going strong!

This particular lemon scent has vanilla in it. I mixed it with equal parts of vanilla browning neutralizer, also from WSP, in hopes that it won't brown too badly. This yellow is so beautiful, I hate to have lose it, but I'm not hopeful. It smells good enough to eat, and I can't wait to use it!

I'm also in love with this grid mold. I'm into small batch soaping now, and as small as these bars may seem, they are about 3.5 oz each when cut. I've got a whole line of dessert-inspired soaps planned. Up next: Strawberry Shortcake. Stay tuned....

The Little Things That Piss Me Off

Yesterday I blogged about the little things that make me happy, so it's only fair that I talk about the little things that piss me off. I'm using my official Bitch Post pic because I don't have another disgruntled look (yet.) Again, these are in no particular order:

  1. Drivers who don't use their turn signals. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  2. When my soap doesn't turn out right. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  3. Oversleeping. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  4. Missing the opening credits to a good movie. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  5. Having to pee in the middle of the night while I'm in a deep sleep. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  6. That yucky mustard or ketchup juice that squirts out of the bottle when you don't shake well before using. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  7. Running out of wet cat food. PISSES THE CAT OFF!!!
  8. Not realizing I've run out of cotton swabs or toilet paper. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  9. When the Redskins lose a game that a Pop Warner team could easily beat. PISSES ME OFF!!!
  10. Chipping my nail polish the moment I leave the salon. PISSES ME OFF!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Little Things That Make Me Happy

I've been thinking (uh-oh). What brings me true joy-besides the obvious like having enough money to play with with, having a job, etc.? I am a simple gal, and it doesn't take much to please me, so I thought why not list the little things that make me happy (in no particular order.)
  1. Wheat Thins Artisan Crackers: They had me at "artisan." I am addicted to these cheesy wonders. No more caked on, cheesy fingers (although I still love to let it build up thick and bite it off!)
  2. Finding a good movie on TV that I've seen 1000 xs, but I still get excited about.
  3. Having all 10 of my nails be the same length (only for them to break off the moment I polish them. What's with that???)
  4. Taking a hot shower (It's my one vice, and I'm supposed to be eco-friendly)
  5. The Ped Egg. If you don't have one of those, OMG, you are missing out. I love emptying the filings (Was that really from my feet? ICK!)
  6. Jamaican beef patties. They're greasy and fatty as hell, but damn, they're good.
  7. Finding something in my size (14, on the cusp of a 12) on
  8. Sleeping til the crack of lunch.
  9. Remembering the punchline to a joke. (Your mama is so stupid, she had a boy and girl set of twins and named them Deniece and Danephew)
  10. Scoring something really cool from Goodwill. I don't care how much money you have, a bargain is a bargain.

What are some of your favorite little things?