Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Soap Making Day

I spent all afternoon whipping up some new soap recipes. They foamed a little more than I would have liked in spite of the extra olive oil I added to the recipe, but they are still very lovely. I made three different varieties:
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

Rustic Country Maid Chemise on Etsy

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.

My First Flea Market Afternoon...

...made it painfully clear that flea markets, or at least that particular market is not the correct venue for me. I only made one sale in the three and a half hours I sat there. Everyone wanted to look at junky antiques and bootleg DVDs but not the items I painstakingly spent hours creating. It was very discouraging. The wind also ruined my displays and the rain earlier in the day kept most customers away but left plenty of puddles for my displays to be blown into.
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

Cleaning House

Since I am currently jobless, I am trying to be more proactive (hence my pretty new blog page and new banner on Etsy). I really need to make enough cash to pay my car insurance until my job as a tutor hopefully starts.
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

Upcycled Hibiscus Beach Tote

Sorry it took so long to get this photographed, I finished it last week. It is a Hibiscus Beach Tote recycled from a sun dress I found. Though it may be a bit hard to see (why did I choose a blue background? I was going for symbolism of the ocean... anyway,)I ended up putting slender denim straps on it. There are two pockets in the front and the bag is roomy enough for you towel, suit, sandals, and of course sunblock. I'm not sure if I'll post this on Etsy, I am attempting the flea market again on the 22nd, if I don't sell it there I may list it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flea Market Attempt Thwarted

I was supposed to go down to the flea market this weekend, I had my displays designed, my tapestry throw ready for the table, all merchadise had price tags, etc. Then we started having extreme wind gusts. Large branches were falling out of trees, trash cans were rolling in the streets. My crafts are not hearty things made of lead and stone, but delicate pouches and light weight metals.
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

Gothic Beauty Tutu Skirt on Etsy

A very kind young woman named Allysia was recruited by the model of my Whimsical Woodland Tutu Skirt to model the next skirt in the series.
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

New Upcycle

"Lord we know what we are, but know not what we may be..."
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.