Saturday, December 18, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I'm optimistic that I'll be able to have some in my shop by the new year! I'm having friends test my bath salts so they can join the inventory in January as well.
Now I'm trying to decide on packaging for both of these items. I like balms to be in tubes instead of tins because it doesn't get your hands messy, nor does it put your germy hands in your mouth. I really like the oval tubes, they are better shaped for the natural curve of the lip, but they also tend to be about twice as expensive, so I don't know if it's worth it.
The salts could either go in some sort of jar or bag- again, I'll see what is both classy and economical.
Recently I've also had the random idea to make a set of Sherlock Holmes dolls. I'm a big fan and have been working my way through the canon for a while now. I checked, there doesn't really seemed to be much in the way of Holmes/Watson dolls out there. Though, if I do make them it might not be for selling... I might not be able to part with them.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I've been stocking up on fragrances, essential oils, etc. for some new projects (more on that later), and some arrived today.
This morning I made a new soap called "Captain Wentworth" after the hero of my favorite Austen novel, Persuasion. It is a blend of tobacco flower, blood orange and leather with a little sea salt for exfoliation mixed in. It smells so fresh and clean- and it's not super masculine so females could totally use it too. I think I'm going to have to make a 'man soap' gift pack with this scent as the centerpiece. My new gunpowder fragrance blend is gorgeous as well. I had a female friend request that I make her a solid perfume with the scent.
My next projects on the horizon are bath salts, sugar scrubs and lip balms. I've already started playing with bath salts, making some lovely eucalyptus scented salts the other night. For the rest of the year every order will come with a small sample of my new bath salts- I have some friends testing them as we speak.
I've found a recipe for whipped sugar scrub which intrigues me, so I'll be playing with and tweaking that. And as soon as my beeswax arrives I'll be playing with some lip balm recipes as well. So, I'm keeping busy and finding new inspiration for my soap shop.
I will be putting my first shop, Blackbird Crafts, on vacation for a while and just focus on Morning Valley Soaps. I see that being a better long term focus.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I decided that I may as well, that selling things for less is better than not selling anything at all. Happy shopping everyone, please stop by one or both of my shops, you can get a preview of all my fun gifts in my Etsy Minis to the right.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I'm planning on renewing everything on Black Friday and I even added a few new items to my first shop, hopefully I'll move some merchandise before the end of the year.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The Holiday (hopefully) Rush will soon be here, I've noticed my focus shifting more to my soap shop which I have been stocking with new varieties and gift sets. I just got a new camera a few weeks back, so I put up some jewelry I hadn't been able to photograph before in my first shop.
Before the holidays I want to put a few more items in both shops and on Black Friday I'm probably just going to go through and renew everything.
I've been playing with some new recipes for lip balm, bath salts and bath bombs which I probably won't have ready by the holidays, but would like to introduce them in the new year at any rate.
I'm probably going to put Blackbird Crafts on vacation mode for a while after the holidays so that I can re-evaluate what is going on with that shop and focus on Morning Valley Soaps for a while- in a business sense I think that shop is going to be more lucrative, almost everything in my other shop is one of a kind and sort of specialty. MVS is a little broader and I can make multiples of all my items. That just seems like a better business strategy on Etsy.
Etsy Bloggers are holding a big Holiday Sale and I'd really like to participate, but most of my stuff is already priced down to where I make minimal profits, I'm afraid if I put everything on sale that I'll lose my profit margin entirely. Everything I make basically goes straight back into buying supplies, but that's okay for now. I just enjoy what I do and want to be able to afford doing it- I'd like my hobby to pay for itself, that has always been my goal. If I can go beyond there that would be awesome.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
It's a simple cardboard backing (recycled from some boxes) wrapped in unbleached muslin with a hand-written card listing the scents in the package and all tied up with a silky brown ribbon. I think that might be the standard for all my multi-soap sets.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The worst part is that due to various circumstances I couldn't even sell at the craft show this past weekend. The craft show I help set up, no less. It's a bit depressing, especially since I had to quit my part time job.
I love making things and I've been doing it for myself and my friends for so long, I just really hoped to take it to the next step and be able to make a decent portion of my living off of it eventually. It's been very difficult and after the holiday season I may take a little time off to work on other things, re-evalute what I make and how I market and see if I can or should come back.
At this point I'm not optomistic. I'm a bit exhausted. My sales aren't even equaling the cost of my materials.
Monday, October 11, 2010
We've been having so much rain lately that suddenly new tomatoes are sprouting from my plants and I fear they'll be killed by the rapidly approaching first frost. In one of my literature classes we've been reading a section of Walden and Thoreau describes watching his area in the woods flood, an eerily familiar sensation lately.
Say what you will about Thoreau (my dad already has), but he was right about one thing: we should take our cues from nature, not contrived social classes and customs. And we should simplify above all else. Everyone wants things to be more and more complicate- a phone that's also a music player/computer/planner/ereader- it's too much for me. (Maybe it will save a couple trees, but I could never use a Kindle or whatever, I like paper books.)
I made and listed new soap and some solid perfume today and then I went to practice at the archery range, not a very eventful day, but one of my few holidays from school, so I tried to enjoy it.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Check it out please!
I'm going camera shopping today, so I can finally photograph all my new soaps and necklaces.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
None the less, I found a great bedside table/mini chest of drawers for $5. I also got my findings at the craft store and found something I've been meaning to get for ages: a fake neck. On sale were little velvet stands that have that neckline shape for modeling jewelry. That will keep me from taking any more of those awkward photos of my own neck with the necklaces on. It is a hard angle to photograph correctly and it makes me self conscious about how pasty I am. Unfortunately I have to mooch camera time again before I can photograph my new items, until then I'm trying to renew what I have and get it sold if I can.
I also found out about a website yesterday called "This is Handmade" I heard about it on an Etsy thread and it proves a great point about how difficult and tedious hand making things can be. I would love to make my out video, even if I can't contribute it, I could stick it here on my blog for perspective customers to see. One interesting thing about all the videos of different crafters is how they all set up their respective work environments. It made me chuckle that one woman was listening to a recorded lecture about string theory or something while she worked.
Friday, October 1, 2010
In my desperation, I took to wandering around the community and found two things of interest:
1. The Holiday Boot Camp Mascot has been selected as Lou the Monster:
And he terrifies me. Look into those wild and desperate eyes- eyes that imply weeks of nothing but nicotine and coffee. Eyes that could kill. I think he's supposed to represent Etsy sellers at the end of the holiday season, so probably pretty accurate. I already feel that way, but it's school related.
2. Etsy On Sale- a hack that lets you put certain sections of your shop a particular amount on sale for a designated period of time and sort of promote it. In my desperate Lou the Monster state, I have put all my apparel 15% off starting tonight at midnight through the weekend. Great costume pieces, already reasonably priced and now on sale!
A Bonus Third Lesson from one of my convos:
3. One of the fragrance suppliers I've been in contact with may be able to get me *Gun Powder Fragrance Oil*! Oh the manly bath and body possibilities! Actually stems from a request of my father's he likes to restore and shoot antique firearms.
So, an educational night overall.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I wonder if I can find a woodsmoke fragrance? Though, it might smell too artificial and pale sadly in comparison to the smell of real woodsmoke that clings to your clothes and hair.
Unfortunately, the reason I am back so early is that I'm a bit ill. Hopefully nothing viral, it's probably just a bit of my low blood-pressure acting up.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Still I made two scents that I originally intended to be a his and hers set, but now I'm not sure if the one is manly enough.
The hers scent is currently called "First Frost"- a combination of heady leather scents with some sweet vanilla and cool peppermint.
The his scent is, by the suggestion of my brother, currently called "Mukluk"- leather, spiced plum oil and ground cinnamon. The soap is colored a deep, rich brown from the cinnamon, I have a no artificial colors policy.
I have to get things together for a photo shoot this week. Someone convo'ed me and asked if my soaps could be used for facial cleansing. In good conscience I couldn't say yes, I've never tested them for facial use and know that glycerin isn't usually recommended for facial use. Oh well.
Friday, September 24, 2010
"I, MorningValleySoaps/CraftingBirds, pledge to participate in the Etsy
Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every
week, do my homework, and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read
weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the
weekly blog posts, check off the checklists, and salute the mascot.* I promised
to share what I've learn with those who need it, support my fellow
indepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I
understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage
goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift
givers and give-ees everywhere!"
*Note: I don't make a habit of saluting things, so whatever silly mascot they choose, I'll acknowledge it and show proper... respect (?) to it, but that's all.
I've been working on more autumn/winter jewelry for Blackbird Crafts and creating a recipe for Pumpkin soap for MVS. Also, I just order some soap/solid perfume supplies! They should be here soon and then I can make up some new scents. I have an idea for a "Pamper Your Man" three soap set. Also, for ladies I want to sell a set of a soap with a matching solid perfume.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
My friend Faith (a fond user of my soap) suggested I call the creation a brittle, it refers to the homey, slightly imperfect nature of the shape and continues the "Almost Good Enough to Eat" theme I've been using.
My new Winterberry soap is the first of this new composition that I've listed, but I made another batch of soap last night. On the top of the bar I had poured dried oats, so one side is slightly exfoliating while the other is just a gentle, soothing side. The bar has eucalyptus oil in it which is great for clearing up sinuses as well as having an relaxing aromatherapy effect. It also has fresh aloe juice from my own plant for moisturizing properties.
In the near future I would like to move into lye soap and solid perfumes (hopefully by early next year). I love the creamy texture that a lye soap can have, but will still continue making some of my glycerin soaps, especially if I build up a customer base that will continue by their favorites. right now I'm stocking up for the Craft Fair in about a month.
Because I have run out of most of my fabric, I haven't started any new sewing projects, but I'm hoping that the season's demand for costume pieces will move some of my inventory out.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
This semester I've really packed my schedule, some of it inadvertantly. I'm only working my off-campus job for maybe 18 hours a week, but I have some upper level classes that require alot of outside work, a campus job, several extracurriculars (some needed to keep scholarships), I'm involved in my bible study group, as well as trying to maintain personal relationships, and run my Etsy shops. I hate wondering when I'm going to have time to do laundry again next (since I have to use the laundromat).
There is so much I want to do and need to do, it's hard deciding what might have to go. In the end, though I love having money that doesn't all have to go on textbooks or gas for my car, it will probably be my off-campus job. I'm hoping the manager can work with me and let me come back for the holidays or the occasional weekend and then pick up a fuller schedule in the summer, it was hard to find a job in the first place, so I don't want to give it up. I also feel like I might let them down, they're a bit short-handed at the moment. I'm going to give my new schedule a few more weeks to see how I settle in before I talk to my manager- I just might be initially overwhelmed.
I wish my Etsy would take off a little more, then I wouldn't be so worried about the money. Today I went and stocked up on soap and jewelry making supplies since I still have an income. I made a Winterberry Soap Brittle (long strips of soap cut from a loaf) after work tonight. It has vanilla, juniper berries and a hint of cinnamon and ginger.
I did come home to a sale which cheered me up a bit, my bottle-cap necklace has been purchased. That makes my third sale on "CraftingBirds." I guess I'm technically not an undiscovered newbie anymore. I hope this leads to more discoveries very shortly.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I think it's fairly unique- not a soap or a salt, but will be equally healthful for skin and pleasing to the senses.
I'm making a few small batches so that I can debut the teas at the crafts fair I'm organizing in mid-October, we're still not 100% sure about the date yet, we have it narrowed down to two days. I'm working on advertising and finding vendors.
Tomorrow I have to go into town to the home and garden shop to buy some more terracotta pots for my indoor winter herb garden.
Friday, September 3, 2010
As CraftingBirds I made one last month called "A Guide to English Literature." Mainly because I am a geek, you'll see a reading/writing/literary theme in both my treasuries.
Now, I have had a long week and I need to spend tomorrow doing tons of laundry and homework before work, so I'm off to bed.
"I've found it's a very good idea to do a search for yourself on Etsy Treasury.
It turns out I've been featured in three different Treasuries, only one was to my knowledge. That's encouraging.
Things are still painfully slow on both my shops. I am a bit discouraged, and don't really have the money to buy more supplies or list more items until I sell something else. The craft show for this October looks like a go, at least that's good news. I have to work on recruiting other crafters now. So, any Pennsylvania crafters should be sent my way.
Now I must finish my chai tea and get to class. I also have to get to work on the hat I'm knitting for my professor's new baby."
Oops. Well I finished the hat last night anyway.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I loved it, but I also went a little crazy with all the new friends I was making. I remember I'd stuff my backpack with dolls and play at inappropriate times throughout the day, specifically with a girl named Kelsey. One day our teacher just had to take my backpack away and I was crushed.
For a while after we saw an cartoon about penguins one of my male friends and I would pretend we were penguins. Everyone had to call me "Snowflake" and I would walk with my legs together like a penguin. One day because of my weird penguin walk I fell and skinned my knee. I cried so hard it was ridiculous and then I stopped walking like that.
Since I grew up in a fairly rural area I also remember that we would go to local farms for orchard tours and nature walks- we also made butter one day by taking turns shaking a jar of buttermilk. I think we made green eggs and ham one day in class as well.
I start back to my college classes today, school is very different for me now.
This is my entry for Etsy Bloggers' Blog Carnival.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I suppose I should also be more mindful taking down the serial numbers and the companies that create the fabrics I especially like, it's so hard to find them again once I've used them up. Unfortunately, I find myself in a difficult position with the fabric I made the Country Maid chemise and blouse out of- it was made from some fabric a friend gave me, so I have no idea of where or when she got it or who makes it. I'm starting to run low on it now, but I adore it. It has a beautiful texture and a nice natural color.
My quest to find more must now begin...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
My biggest problem lately is that I have plenty of costume and accessories to photograph, but no models at the moment and my computer is still not fixed, so downloading photos is a problem, I can't do that on the friend's computers I briefly borrow to check in on things.
I also need to order my text books.... I probably should have a few weeks ago.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
*Buyers from my new soap shop will get a small sample of my homemade potpourri with order this weekend only as well!
Most Etsy Bloggers are participating in the sale, so visit the blog
Or the main web page for more info.
"What are you doing this weekend? Let's go shop @EtsyBloggers 3-Day WEEKEND SALE!"
I hope to add more soaps soon, but I haven't been able to download any new pictures because my laptop died, so I'm on a friend's computer this week.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Hopefully this will assist in my networking and boost more traffic into my shop.
It's quite exciting.
My primary shop was just too crowded and the clothing and accessories were the dominant product, no one was really looking at my soaps in there. I think I have enough varieties set aside to branch out and hopefully start making some money. I've only sold about four bars of my soap so far and I have a huge box full of my creations cluttering my craft room. I have given a few away as gifts, and had friends and family give me feedback. It's been very positive so far.
Hopefully this will be the beginning of some Etsy greatness.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I really hope sales pick up soon. I've had another offer for a swap, but I've mostly stopped buying jewelry (the main products of the other seller) in lieu of only wearing my own creations. I also need some more supplies, I'm trying to think of projects that will use up fabric I still have, I'm out of most of my soap and jewelry supplies now.
Well, hopefully the craft show for the fall will come together. I want to do one more market before the summer is out, my friend Amy and I will probably team up and share a table again.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
My friend will be back next week so I can borrow her camera then. She's off doing some internship to gain credits for her masters degree. I've also made a new chainmaille and pearl necklace that is a bit more detailed and has more theatrical presence.
Hopefully when the vacations and heat of July fade, autumnal shopping will pick up. I've decided not to open a separate soap shop until mid autumn. I've been making potpourri sachets with some of my botanicals as well, it will be good to pack away seasonal clothes with or putting in drawers to keep stale winter air smells out. Cinnamon Apple is my favorite, but Lavender Mint is nice too. As home to essential oils I've been using rolled oats that are dried and mixed with the other ingredients.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
My first project was a men's chain maille cuff for the wrist. While I was selling at a local flea market a man admired one of my chain maille bracelets and asked if I made them for men. It seemed like a good idea. Creating this bracelet was extremely time consuming, it is two inches wide and about eight inches around. I was trying to make a pretty pattern with the links, but realized I had to be careful not to lose any of the width as I worked on the length. I ended up with a thick, somewhat primative mesh of links, but I think it looks pretty nice.
Since I had plenty of links to play with I next began work on a gypsy belt. The length of it it created by links occasionally accented by a triangle of links dangling from it as well as gold bells. I wanted to add some color to the piece, so using bits of ribbon and jewelry making caps, I created these sort of tassels that hang by the bells. I really like it.
Well, I had to make something to go with the fabulous gypsy belt, so I have started work on a skirt. It has a black drawstring waist band and panels of fabric in various colors and patterns, I'm leaving the bottom of the panels open so I can add flairs of other fabrics for extra movement and visual interest. That will hopefully be finished by next week. Photos will be forthcoming.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
For my recycled line I've made a few bottle cap necklaces from some organic iced tea I've been drinking. I love the quotes on the caps. I'ved overlaid the caps with wrapped wire pendants, the one above is a Lucille Ball quote and a pink heart pendant on hemp.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Even though this blog occasionally turns into whinge-city, she is patient and mentor-like to an emotional novice like me. She is a lovely woman with an incredible talent for wool.
Visit her blog here.
I'll back back next week with pics of my latest projects.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I know she was in no way trying to offend me and probably didn't even think about how I would feel. She was just following a whim, that's what she does. It just feels a little unfair that I've been hitting the pavement, sitting out in the heat at flea markets, setting up web stuff, sending out inquiries, even getting involved in organizing a crafts show so that I can sell my products. She throws a party and has now thoroughly saturated the market of our social circle and made it so I can't throw a craft party without looking like I'm stealing her beat. I don't know, I've always thought that when you're serious about actually starting up some sort of business it's better to build your clientele out of strangers than friends and family, once your friends buy their token purchase to make you happy, you don't have sustainable sales base. Still, I'm just a little irritated that now I don't even have the option, also irritated with myself that I wasn't talking my business up more before this, that I never made a bold move like she is.
This is how my brother described my current situation:
It's like Bill Gates is just starting out and a friend of his comes to
him as says, "Bill, I just had the greatest idea. I'm going to sell a
computer programming system that will link everything in your computer and make
it run smoothly. I think I'm going to call it 'Doors.'''
He likes to tease me, but sometimes it is good to unburden myself to him, so I called him and told him about it.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today I recieved an email from Renaissance Magazine about their annual bussiness directory, I called and now have a free listing in this year's directory. The free listings are pretty bare bones (I'm not even sure if my website will be listed), but it's a start.
This winter I will be creating stock like mad to be ready for live shows next year and I'll be saving up for a tent. I hope all goes off and I get a bit of attention.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Here are a few of their songs on YouTube:
Wagon Wheel (Bob Dylan Cover with additional lyrics by Ketch)
Down Home Girl (Rolling Stones Cover)
Fall All On My Knees (live)
I Hear Them All
Crazy Eyes (live)
I finished my Rustic Country Maid Blouse listening to them.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Although there were many vendors with wonderful displays I mostly contented myself to looking and stealing ideas.... er finding sources of inspiration. I did buy some incense and some lavender flowers which I put to good use.
On the way home my party and I stopped to get some dinner and use the bathroom before our long ride home. At the restaurant I met a very nice couple that happen to be vendors that were working the faire. They own La Wren's Nest and we had a very nice chat. They gave me some tent advise (hopefully in a year or two I'll be able to invest) and invited me to come check theirs out at an event this fall that they'll be at and I'll likely be attending.
I did see some jewelry and apparel at the festival that I found unique or attractive and might like to emulate in certain ways.
Currently I'm making new soaps, most recently Espresso and Lavender Milk, and remolding some of the brittle bars I made last week. I'm also sewing a Rustic Country Maid Blouse made from the same fabric and in the same style as the chemise. Obviously it will be shorter and I'm using different ribbon for the ties. Updates and pictures of those as well as new necklaces later.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
-Strawberry Feilds with lemon essence and slices of strawberry
-Apple Pie with real chunks of apple, baking spices and vanilla
-Ginger Bread made with spice ground ginger along with vanilla and other spices
I also made Green Tea and Aloe After the Sun soap for soothing sunburn. I was inspired by my redness inducing day at the beach.
Perhaps I'll set up a seperate Etsy just for soaps eventually, perhaps if I get myself established at some local shops it'll get me a customer base. A friend of mine bought a bar of Hot Cocoa soap as a graduation present for a friend and Sweet Peppermint for herself. She's really enjoying the peppermint, says it helps wakes her up in the morning.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Above: Black Satin Lady Floor Length Skirt. A simple black satin skirt with a drawstring waist, perfect for any costume or evening wardrobe. Also just listed on Etsy.
Above: Green Rose Upcycled Tote Bag. Not yet listed on Etsy, but my favorite Upcycle project so far. Every piece was harvested from one (very loud) skirt, but I think that it's much better suited to its new role as a tote.
I have been keeping busy! This weekend I will be experimenting with some new soap recipes, I'll record my progress.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
The weather was hot and sunny so there were many people there. I also got sunburned on my face, forearms, shoulder, and collar bone, but not as badly as Amy was burned. The better weather actually spurred me to moderate success today. I sold three necklaces, making much more than at my last afternoon at the market. The bags and soap were fondled and smelled, but not sold today.
Poor Amy on the other hand, faint from hunger and sun exposure did not sell anything. She and her husband make leather "Holsterettes". Much like a holster used to carry weapons, her holsterettes mount on the wall and can be used to hold appliances such as hair dryers. Very cleverly, it clears out cabinet space and looks pretty sassy. They can even make them to actually hang on a belt for hairdressers that would like to keep them on hand while working. It was a case of great product, wrong venue. I believe we will both make out much better at the craft show I'm helping to organize this fall.
or Etsy Store
Thursday, June 10, 2010
It has a decorative panel along the front and accents on the shoulders as well as peplums. it will be unboned for comfort on hot days or for those ladies that simply cannot stand constraint. Now I just need to think of a clever name for it all...
It should be finished by Monday and I will have two models wearing it for me (not at once). Then I will be posting it on Etsy.
I also made two new bags in the last week. One and Upcycle tote that is very fun and funky, probably the brightest colors and patterns I've ever worked with, and one based off a picture of a reproduction from the Revolutionary War Era, so I'm going to call it the "Molly Pitcher Bag." The body is made from a light toile print cotton and the flap closes with an antique bone button, the strap made of muslin can be worn across the body, or tied up for a single shoulder carry. Pictures of these are forthcoming.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
She asked me to help head up a committee for organizing the fair and when she learned about my experience in English and journalism, asked for my help with PR and organizing a newsletter for the market and all their events. I miss my days helping out with the ren. faire and this is so close to home, it's ideal. Besides, I'm always looking to gain more experience to set me apart from the thousands of other student journalists looking for a career in the shrinking market. I'm very enthusiasic. They want to host an "Energy Fest," eco-friendly event this fall that I could help out at and possibly sell my Upcycled bags.
This could be the beginning of a beautiful collaboration.
Friday, June 4, 2010
It has been, by far, my most popular item, having recieved more views in its short time on my site than any other item I've created. I enjoyed making it as well, it fits into the style of things I'd like to make and sell at the Ren Faire. I think I need to make more of this sort of item. I was very excited to see I had a sale. It was my most expensive item as well, so now I can buy more supplies.
I made two new soaps this week as well, Orange Grove and Citrus Mint. I had to mutilate several oranges for the ingredients of those.
I am also in consideration for the "Etsy Blogger" team, so I was told I would hear soon. That could be a fun project for me this summer.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sweet Mint- I put fresh mint leaves from my garden in each bar of this cool refreshing soap
Cinnamon Spice- Real cinnamon sticks and nutmeg make these the prettiest bars I've created
Hot Cocoa- Milk, Dutch cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon oil make this smell like heaven
They will take two weeks to cure and then I will take them with me to a new farm market I have found. I've also listed for a local crafts show this fall. I need to buy more honey so that I can make Milk and Honey soap, I may also make some Oatmeal soap next week. One recipe I've pieced together from several sources and am very interested to try is what I will call: Outdoors-Man Soap. Using aseptic and bug repellent essential oils along with garden sand it will be a highly exfoliating cleanser perfect for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. I will let you know how that prototype goes after I've gathered all the ingredients.
I've been keeping busy making jewelry and sewing at least a little everyday, but I start a new job at a bakery next week so I won't have quite as much time for my crafting. I was hoping that I would sell well at the flea market and start picking up more on Etsy, then I wouldn't have to take another job. Alas, maybe someday.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I realize that the chemise looks a little crooked in the picture, I was trying to adjust it, it was hanging from an easle at the time of the photograph. I posted it on Etsy this evening.
The chemise is the perfect foundation garment for anyone attending a Renaissance Faire or reenactment as a peasant or middle class character from nearly any past age. It's period appropriate with no elastic and is completely hand stitched. The neck and sleeves are gathered with slender navy ribbons (that can always be changed out to compliment and over-garment of any shade). The edged are left with a soft fringieness for an authentic effect. I enjoy wearing chemises as nightgowns on cold winter evenings and have been known to wear one all day when a snow day pops up.
The whole day would have felt like a waste, but fortunately I met a very nice young woman up from Colorado and her father, we had a nice chat and they were my only sale. I think the renaissance faire/celtic fest/craft fair circuit will yield better results. I did have the distinction of having the prettiest table at the market.
I finished a few more pieces this week that there will be pictures of soon.
I'll also likely list a few more things on Etsy.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Unfortunately probably starting next week I will be temporarily internet-less and good camera-less. I have to find someone else to borrow a decent camera from or else it is back to dark and blurry for me. Alot of things are happening in my life right now, but I still have to make time for me and things that I need to do. This isn't just a hobby, it's my current occupation.
Next Saturday I am going to the flea market and I will sit there until I sell everything on my table, or until they close up for the day. I have been invited to dinner at my friend's house that evening, so I will either spend the whole evening elated or sulk through the meal. We'll see.
I hope going grassroots to sell my creations and prettying up my site will help. Or else it's strictly Ramen and bicycles this summer (not that I would mind bicycling everywhere, but I live miles from everything and there's only a narrow road winding between the mountain and the river to get anywhere- not safe).
Sorry about the whine.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
I had a terrible vision of myself chasing my products across the market like my cats on bath day. So, begrudgingly I'm waiting until next week. I just made a new necklace last night, I'll keep bulking up my inventory. There's another smaller local market I discovered this week as well, I may try that one too.
All the Celtic Festivals I've contacted have given me very discouraging figures for space rental. One was as high as $1,500 for one weekend. The best rate I found for such events is actually at the renaissance faire I used to work at, only $80 for the weekend. Depending on the dates of this year's festival I may try that.
Oh well. Looking toward next week.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The skirt has a black banded drawstring waist and a red tulle body with black satin tabs at the top and red bows to pinch up the skirt at the bottom. It is now listed on Etsy.
Here are some pictures from our photoshoot, unfortunately, I didn't have as fabulous a location for this one. These are pictures I didn't use on my Etsy, visit there to see others.
Monday, May 3, 2010
This dress had no idea it would become a beach bag, but that is precisely what I'm doing. It's still a work in progress, but more photos in a few days. This is just a teaser, it is a bit dark. The hibiscus print lends itself well to a shore atmosphere I believe. Now to figure out what kind of straps to put on it.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Finally, I have expanded my work space into the library so I have more floor space to cut things out and an almost empty closet to hang finished items.
It is a great relief to me that I can spread out a bit and stretch my legs so to speak. Mostly, I'm doing some last minute inventory bulking (between the 72 other things I need to do over the next two weeks) and on the 8th I'll finally have time to hit the flea market. If the weather's bad, it'll be the 9th.
Monday, April 19, 2010
A similar technique was used for making a present for my mom the other week. I used one length of 20 gauge wire and shaped it into the word "Love" with bead accents in the grooves of the letters. I think these will move well at the flea market. I can't go for a few weeks, I'm so busy with other things, but I've been liberally handing out business cards and attempting to find better photography methods in the meantime.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A double layer front with green bead accents.
A single layer of links with four rust toned freshwater pearls.
A bracelet with mauve bead accents.
My "Mixing Metals" Necklace- a mesh of links bib in the front with a pearlescent pendant, and a fine silver chain for the body of the necklace.
I might post one or two on Etsy, but in a few weeks I want to take a bunch of things down to the flea market to enjoy the fine weather and the spring crowds.
Monday, April 12, 2010
With this in mind, I'm having a sale on the jewelry in my Etsy shop so that American and international customers can treat themselves at an affordable price.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
So lately I've been experimenting with a chain maille style jewelry. Several vendors at the faire sold jewelry that used the basic principal of interlocking llinks, ranging in their degree of similarity to actual armor. Many people I've spoken to like the idea and think it's very intruiging, but are hesitant to actually try and sport some of the very intricate, armor like pieces. The pieces I've been making are very light and usually consist of a single strand of links that have decorative layering spread throughout it with beads or pearls. (One such necklace is pictured a few posts down, the bracelets are very hard to photograph I've found.)
However, I've been looking at various link configurations and have been thinking of doing something a little more authentic. Though this might be cheating, I've been buying my links from an adorable old man I know who sells jewelry making supplies. I've been too busy to actually sit down and make a batch of links, to make sturdy, even ones, the method I've read usually encourages a hot process for the metal, which can be delicate and dangerous work.
So, I'm going to pick up some more links today. I'll record my progress here.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
You can purchase their CDs through Barnes and Noble I believe, they can also be found on iTunes or some things on Playlist.com. Here are some links to their YouTube channel where you'll find the most complete collection of their music, here are some of my favorites:
Cover of Oasis's "Wonderwall"
Cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
Bob Dylan's "Lay, Lady, Lay"
No Doubt's "Bathwater"
Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole"
There are plenty of other artists they cover as well; they do some amazing tracks of Nirvana and The Killers.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
There are several others on Etsy to show the skirt from a variety of angles and Zoya in many poses.