Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simplistic Sunday

You've all heard of Wordless Wednesdays (or maybe not). Well I'm starting Simplistic Sundays. To me Sundays are about relaxation, and reflection. It's the calm before the weekday storm. So why not look at some soothing works before starting your crazy week?! Each week, I'll scour the venues in search of beautiful works of handmade art that are plain in its presentation, but gorgeous in its simplicity. This week's finds are courtesy of Art Fire!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Score This Soap!

Guess what? I was on Etsy last night looking at soap. I've yet to feature a score from Etsy, and it's about high time that I do! I get so overwhelmed on Etsy sometimes with all the different stuff I see, but I was persistent, and I found what I was looking for!

This week's score comes from Bathhouse, and the soap is called Tobacco Nougat. How cool is that?

"A bar for the gentleman who has a seductive power of masculinity, a hint of debonair, and a rustic late 19th century charm.{Perfume} Blend of Tobacco Blossom, Mandarin, Honey, Rose, Caramel."

Forget the guys, I would totally use this soap! I "favorited" it. I'll be buying it really soon. Check it out!

Friday, May 29, 2009

EAOC Spotlight: Runako Designs

I don't talk about it much on my blog, but I am a member of a couple of Etsy teams, namely CREST (Capital Region Etsy Street Team) and EAOC (Etsy Artists of Color.) I'm trying to be a more proactive Etsian, and what better way to start by giving some love to another Etsian. I stopped doing these spotlights about a month or so ago because I wanted these Q&As to be intimate so you can really get to know the person behind the artistry. I've been studying the shops and the artist profiles then basing my questions on that. So without further ado, I present Runako Designs!

Tell us how you got started in jewelry-making and where do you draw your creative inspiration?

I met a very nice lady in the mall about 5 years ago who was making jewelry for her shop. I asked her if she taught classes, and it wast there and then that it began. She taught me to make a bracelet and the rest has been self-taught through additional classes, videos and books.

I draw my inspiration from nature and other ethnic art. I keep photos and artwork near my workspace for inspiration. As for color, I don’t need to look any further than nature; it’s a natural color pallet that has inspired many of my designs.

Is jewelry-making your full-time gig or do you have a “real job?”

Jewelry making is my part time gig that I have to keep in check every now and again. As for my full time job, I’m a HR Manager for two Manufacturing and distribution facilities, and running next to that is my full time job as a single parent to a “tween” going on 30.

How do you balance motherhood and being a single parent with your artistry and all the other things you have going on?

WOW! It is definitely a balancing act, but I do my best to put my son first. I don’t get busy with jewelry until he goes to bed most nights. He’s been with me to two shows recently. For me, it’s together time for life’s lessons and I also hope that I’m inspiring him to look beyond working for someone else when he gets older and thinking about doing his own thing. He’s been asking lots of questions about business, so I think it’s working. In addition to the above, I typically schedule activities and shows around his schedule. Sometimes on weekends when he say’s “mom, you’re making too much jewelry”, that’s my cue to get in check with my top priority…family.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?

I absolutely love working with metals, gemstones and pearls. I can’t say that I have a particular favorite though, as I try to keep my options open when creating.

What brought you to Etsy?

Finding the need to diversify my presence online is what brought me to Etsy. I met wonderful graphic artists at KMT Graphic Designs, who had just opened her shop and through networking with Tara and asking a lot of questions about the Etsy community, and her encouragement, I figured I’d give it a shot. I really like the professional look of the site and the ease of opening a shop. I’m still working on uploading photos to my shop, but I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of the month.

How do you stay fresh and unique among that vast sea of jewelry makers?

Honestly, I can’t really say that I try to keep up with what everyone else is doing; it’s too costly. I design by what inspires me. As long as nature and art continues to evolve and change, so will my designs. I purchase materials that I think will enhance my jewelry style. There will always be a ton of jewelry available for consumers to purchase and lucky for all of us, we do have different styles. I learned a long time ago, that I can’t be everything to every consumer, and I can’t keep up with the Jones’, holidays or seasons. I think I’ve found my niche and those are the people that I’m catering to. They inspire and drive me every day.

Do you sell anywhere else besides Etsy?

Yes, currently, I sell through local shows, home parties and word of mouth. I also have an online store at .

What’s the most rewarding and the most frustrating thing about making and selling jewelry?

I’d have to say the most rewarding thing about making jewelry is the end result and the happy customers. My customers fuel me with energy, and because of that, I try to provide the best customer service and quality products I can find.

The most frustrating thing about making jewelry is when I hit dry spells with my creativity. There is nothing worse than sitting and looking at 6 trays of unfinished pieces because I can’t see beyond the beads and components.

What are your short-term and long-term goals with your shop?

My short term goals with my shop is to first get it loaded with lots of eye candy. My long term goals is to really dig in and find out how Etsy works, then find a niche there that I can tap into, that may be different from my online store. For instance, just earrings or just necklaces or targeting the bride, etc. I would love to have it all figured out before Christmas.

If you could do anything else besides make jewelry, what would it be?

I know it would have to be to teach. To this day, my mom still says to me “you should have been a teacher”, when she hears me talk about my frustration with the school system some days. As a child I used to play teacher and classroom around my bed, with my dolls and lots of paper. I went to private school, so I also played Nun Dee. As I got older, life’s priorities steered me away from the profession, but for the past four years, I’ve been doing more leadership training, volunteering with Junior Achievement and teaching jewelry classes… I think the Nun in me is itching to come out.

Thanks Dee for taking the time to chat with me. I wish you nothing but success and ever-flowing creativity!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Art Fire Has Arrived!

I love Art Fire. I can't say it enough! This venue has truly emerged in my opinion as one of, if not, the premiere online craft venue. For weeks members have been hearing about this new "fusion" studio where you could link all of your online stores to your Art Fire shop. OMG, I'm in Heaven! I have totally customized my shop to match my theme of hot pink and black as well as linked my Etsy, Funky Finds, and 1KM shops. Another cool feature is called The Gallery where you can post items that you've either sold or no longer sell to showcase. I could go on and on, but check out my shop for yourself. I'd love some feedback!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Coming Next Week!!!!

Mark your calendars because I've scored a major interview with one of the hottest sellers on Etsy, and I am so excited!

Yeah, that's about all I'm going to say til then....Come back now...ya hear?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Etsy Sale!

Duh, how could I forget to post this: I'm having a big sale in my Etsy shop only! Everything is 25% off til tomorrow. Head on over!

(Shop sale takes precedence over blog follower special.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Score This Soap!

I'm having a real sweet tooth right now, so I've been combing the sites looking for some delicious-looking soaps. I found it! It's called White Chocolate Raspberry Cocoa Butter soap from CopperLilly Botanicals. Not only does the name sound yummy, the soap looks yummy. I'm so envious of the swirls. They're all uniform and pretty. Check out this description. I just want to eat some raspberry truffles right now.

"This limited edition soap is fragranced with a blend of sweetened raspberries and the natural scent of cocoa butter. A white chocolate truffle with a raspberry center, if you will. I've added copious amounts of confection quality cocoa butter to my soap recipe for a special treat."

I love the word "copious." Go score!

You Won't Believe This!!!

After all that ying yang I talked the other day about not being able to snag a Treasury, I snag the frickin Treasury!!!! It's gonna snow in California!
Check it out and comment. Please. Thank you:-D

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ooh, Let's Start Some Stuff!!!

I've discovered a new blog to read called On The Dot Creations, and the recent post was "Which Do You Prefer on Etsy...A one-stop-shop or a more specialized shop?" I've always asked this question of myself because I see so many shops on Etsy, Art Fire, Silkfair, etc. where the seller is selling all kinds of stuff: jewelry, soaps, quilts, and handbags all in one shop. Personally, I prefer a more specialized shop where the artist specializes in one thing-say knit or crochet, but then offer hand-knit wash cloths, scarves, cozies, purses, etc. I'm cool with that because they're all knit or crochet. How do you feel about the subject? Do you prefer a specialized shop or a Wal-Mart type of shop?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Treasury: Afro Sheen!

I can never get a frickin Treasury on Etsy to save my life! I don't have time to watch the number fall below 333, so I've decided to do my own thing. Every Tuesday, I'm gonna post my own Treasury on the left sidebar of my favorite things. This week's inaugural Treasury is an homage to my hair. I call it Afro Sheen, and I've got a lot of saving to do. I actually want some of these things!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What I Made Over The Weekend

I did have a bit of inspiration that actually motivated me to make something! I think I'm just suffering from cold processed burnout. So I've gone back to my humble beginnings of melt and pour, and I've got some things in the pipeline.

I've re-worked my "bubble bling" soaps. They were okay, but they were a little blah in my opinion. I've been playing with micas mixed with glycerin to create these really cool effects. They're still a work in progress, but they're much improved over the plain ones I initially did. I also scented these with pure patchouli essential oil. Patchouli in my opinion is one of those take it or leave it scents. You either love it or you don't!


I've also re-introduced my bon bon soaps. I made these last year, and they did well in my Etsy shop, but for some stupid reason, I stopped listing them. Well, they're back, better than ever. I've also made some improvements to them to make them look more realistic-YUM!

So, what have you been up to????

Saturday, May 16, 2009

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

Okay, I've been for weeks. Let's keep it real: I've been putting it off because I hate doing real work, LOL. It was a hard decision because I don't like to disappoint people. I've finally chosen a name for that soap I blogged about, what, weeks ago? I've decided to go with

Citrus Bouquet! Mindy, if you're reading, contact me (see sidebar) with your mailing info, and I'll send you a bar when it's fully cured!

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Ferngully came in close 2nd, LOL!

Score This Soap!

I don't know what's wrong with me! I've been so lazy this past week and a half, that I don't want to do ANYTHING! I don't want to blog. I don't want to make soap (go figure!) I just want to veg out on my couch. Could I be suffering from burnout? I didn't even feel like doing this post-my absolute favorite! But....I forced myself to do it, and here is this week's score:

I'm going to call it Sea Sponge Soap because it technically doesn't have a name. The actual listing reads "UNIQUE MADE FROM SCRATCH SEA SPONGE SOAP(CR)YOU CHOOSE SCENT" from Soft Shell Body Shop. What drew me to this soap was the fact that the soap is transparent and made from scratch! I just think these soaps are beautiful. I picture getting a bunch of them and putting them in a dish with all kinds of seashells.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Exotic Amazon Teakwood Soap

I'm back, sort of! I managed to squeeze the last of my lye into making this unique-smelling soap. The scent is called Exotic Amazon Teakwood Soap, and this is not for the faint at heart. I call it the un-feminine soap. Here's the description, verbatim:

"Very sophisticated, with tropical notes of the rain forest highlighted by apple, bamboo, pine needles and leafy greens. In the center of this delightful fragrance, you'll find luscious green mosses, fir and balsam, spruce, teak wood and fresh cut cedar. All of this enveloped by a subtle base of amber, musk, patchouli and Mysore sandalwood. This will remind you of a high end, sophisticated spa essence. "

I made this batch with soybean, coconut, and avocado oils and cocoa butter. It's a really small batch-only 8 bars, but they're huge-over 6 oz each. I smell the "green" elements more than anything, so I'm looking forward to see how this one mellows out. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm Suffering From Blogger's Block!

I'm truly stumped for topics of discussion! I usually always have something to blabber about, but I'm just in the silent mood, I guess. I'll be back before the end of the week while I put some thought into my next few posts!
I'm still mulling over what to name that soap. I haven't forgotten!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the mamas out there, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day!

I'm usually bummed on this day because my mother is no longer with me-physically, but I feel her spirit all around me. When I look in the mirror, I see her reflection staring back at me. When I spew a string of cuss words, I feel the energy of her wrath. When I'm shopping for a new dress, I channel her awesome fashion sense. When I feel like giving up, I hear her screaming in my ear: "QUITTERS ARE LOSERS, AND I DIDN'T RAISE NO LOSERS....."

Friends, tell your mothers how much you love them. I know they can piss you off sometimes, but you'll regret it if you don't. My mom and I fell out with one another not too long before she passed, and when we started to bridge the gap, it was too late. Life's too short. The one thing we can never get back is time.

Enjoy your special day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Score This Soap!

I was going to do something different for this week's score until I came across this number. It literally boggles my mind looking at all the different elements, and the name is truly fitting:
Red Hot Mama Shea Soap by Pink Bricks Bath & Body. It's a glycerin soap with top notes of cinnamon, orange, and almond. I can just stare at this soap all day. What a cool soap! Check it out, and then score!

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Soap: Adore

It's been a whirlwind week! I've been featured on Art Fire, and I made my very 1st sale on
1000 Markets-whoot! Well, it's back to business as usual, and that of course means new soap! How did I come up with that name? It's really simple: I love Prince, and it was a toss up between Soft and Wet and Dirty Mind. I'll keep those two for later projects (wink.) Besides, Adore is my favorite Prince song.

"Until the end of time, I'll be there 4 U. U own my heart and mind, I truly adore U. If God one day struck me blind, your beauty I'd still see. Love's 2 weak 2 define just what U mean 2 me ."

The scent of this soap reminds me of raw passion and profound adoration for the one you love (or have an insane crush on at least....) So what does it smell like? Lemongrass, verbena, driftwood, sandalwood, narcissus, amber stone, tonka bean, and musk. It may sound complicated, but isn't that what love is? Complicated....

Soap components: soybean oil, castor oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. I'm countin' down the days til this one is ready to use! Your man (or lady) will surely dig it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame Are Here!!!!

Okay, it's more like 72 hours. I am the featured seller on Art Fire til May 8th. Peep me here!

Project Wonderful Find: Three Fates Design

Dios mio, why am I so broke??? Every time I post, I check out my PW ads. Lately I've been stalking this blog and this shop Three Fates Design. Victoria (the owner) and I advertise on each other's blogs and we frequently "drop" via EntreCard, but I've never really taken notice of her handy work until now, and let me tell you, this gal's got skills! All of Victoria's designs are handwoven by her, and she's a self-representing artist. What's that? I didn't know either, so I looked it up as any smart person would do: Taken straight from the SRA website, "a self representing artist is someone who creates and sells their or their immediate families work. A self representing artist does not sell mass produced beads under the SRA logo." So you can be confident that you are buying a one-of-a-kind piece. Here are three from Three Fates Design that I have my eye on:

Eortasmos Cocktail Ring

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Help Me Name This Soap and Win A Free Bar!

Believe it or not, I'm at a total loss for naming this soap. Yeah, yeah, it's green-again, but it does have some yellow, and if you pull out your magnifying glass, you'll definitely see the lavender-LOL. What's in it? Let's see...avocado oil, castor oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. The scent? It's a kitchen sink of leftover fragrances including yuzu, cranberry, and grapefruit. I'm really big on citrus scents-especially grapefruit, if you didn't already know!

Help me name it, and if I choose your scent, you get a bar-fo' free!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Shaving Soap: Conceal Your Outer Sasquatch!

I've never taken shaving my hairy legs and pits seriously until I saw my future brother-in-law Chris's body hair. OMG-that dude is so freakin' hairy, I can literally twist his arm hair. He and Robin Williams could be separated at birth! How can he stand it during the sweltering NYC heat? Ok, enough about Chris-he's gonna so bust me if he sees this....

Anyway....I make a shaving soap made from a real, vegan soap base. While the base is not handmade by me, it is made from real soap-meaning no sulfates, surfactants, or sugar solutions. Even better? They can be scented in any fragrance I offer for all my other soaps, and they double as an all over body soap. You can't say that bout Nair, Neet, Veet, or those other shaving creams!

Sunset On The Hudson

I'm baaaack!!! And I couldn't be happier. Thanks to everyone for your encouraging comments! I love getting away for a few days, but there's no place like home! New York is so darn busy-from the streets to the subways to Macy's! I am definitely not a big city gal, and I prove that to myself every time I go to The Big Apple. My sister's birthday was a success. Alisa, our future sister-in-law, made this delicious chocolate crumb cake with a chocolate pudding filling-from scratch.

My aunt Val behaved herself, and the future in-laws were actually tolerable! As usual when I'm with Myia, I have one too many cocktails. She made a pitcher of white sangria on Friday. We promptly finished it early Saturday and made a refill on Saturday night. And when I tell you we took it to the head, we took it to the head! Hell, you only turn 30 once...LOL!!! We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Havana Central (I highly recommend the Ropa Vieja. It's this slow-roasted, shredded beef in a succulent gravy served with onions and peppers with a side of yellow rice and red beans. I'm salivating just typing out this description!)

{Aunt Val (did not show her ass), Kellie (did show hers), Myia (always shows hers), moi (sometimes show mine)}

It rained most of the time, but Saturday was lovely. I took this picture from the rooftop of their apartment overlooking Central Park and the Hudson River. I've never seen a more beautiful sight. It's even more majestic when the George Washington Bridge is all lit up against the skyline. All in all, it was a beautiful weekend with my loved ones. I couldn't wait to get home though. I missed my boo-boo who promptly greeted me with a "Where the f*ck have you been? I'm starvin' here" look. So, how was your weekend?????

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Score This Soap!

If you've been reading this blog for the last few weeks, then you know I'm on this green kick. It's my favorite color, and I'm currently obsessed with using it in my soaps. So in honor of my obsession with green, I've been stalking the shops at 1000 Markets in search of some cool, green soap. And I think I found one. Peep this:

Peppermint Eucalyptus Olive Oil Soap from Chase Street Soap Co. I love the description because there's no hook or sob story to convince you to buy it (I love those too.)

"Uplifting and clarifying, a bold combination to start the day off right. All natural and vegan, scented with essential oils and colored with mineral pigments. "

Nuff said. Go score!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Taking A Little Break

me, cousin, sister

My younger sister Myia is turning the big 3-0 this Sunday, so I'm taking the train to Manhattan this afternoon to spend the weekend with her. Why do I smell a disaster just waiting to happen?

I'm going with my aunt and cousin. I love my aunt to death, but how can I put this delicately? Ok, I can't. She can show her ass sometimes around strangers when she feels she's not being treated fairly-for whatever reason. I pray that no one bumps into her or forgets to bring her a fork when we go out to dinner on Saturday. All hell will break loose.

We're staying with my future in-laws, and I love them to death, but how can I put this delicately? Well, I can't. They are annoying as hell. Nitpick til you just wanna jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. I do love the perks of staying in Manhattan though. It's like Sex In The City-only without the 5000 wardrobe changes.

So, it's going to be an interesting weekend. Just family, food, and dare I Stay tuned.