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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Kid Combos

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I got my Oriental Trading delivery today and think the kid combo packages turned out really cute 🙂 I wasn’t sure since I don’t always have the best of luck with their packages, but couldn’t resist trying for spring. The little box is barely tall enough for 1 oz bottles to stand in. I figure that I will either lay them down or angle them. I thought that kids would care more about the box than how the contents are set inside *grin* I’m so excited! I also got some transparent basket bags that were on sale and some clearances holiday packaging for this next December. A bit early, but so cheap that I don’t mind storing them and passing along some savings! Now that I have a list of what scents to use in the combos I just need an energetic day to make up some products lol

Truffles and FOs

My lovely young helper came by after school today and since I haven’t been feeling so great it was mostly just a relaxing visit instead of getting a lot of product done. As she sniffed the new scents she started firing questions at me and I did my best to answer every one of them, although some details are beyond me, like how exactly do they know which chemicals to go together to make an FO. (Pretty complex thought, isn’t it?! The explanation that an FO is a blend of chemicals to reproduce a scent made sense, but the exact lab activities…dude. *grin*) Anyway, as we chatted I could almost see the wheels start turning behind her eyes, saw an eyebrow go up, and then she asked how I know to identify the notes in each scent. I started to explain, although I could tell that she wasn’t overly satisfied by my first explanation. When she started sniffing White Chocolate Raspberry and I said that it reminds me of a truffle she said that she didn’t know what a chocolate truffle was. Cue lightbulb above my head if I was in a comic *grin*. I got out my well guarded box of truffles that I have been amazingly good at limiting my indulgence in, so that they last. We each took one and started nibbling. Not only did I get to share in her first step into feminine indulgence (lol That first bite of incredibly wonderful chocolate should become a celebrated day in my opinion *sassy grin*), but here was a perfect way to help things become clearer for her. I asked her what she tasted and she flashed me one of my own infamous duh looks, and told me it was chocolate. “Really good chocolate, but chocolate.” Lmao. Touché. I managed to keep from laughing (now I realize I need to limit my use of that look since that is a rather insulting look lol), then started naming ingredients. With each nibble, each flavor and nuance I said, she started to nod. She became very excited as things clicked into place, and I said that for me smelling an FO is like eating a gourmet truffle. I enjoy every little thing that makes it the wondrous thing that it is, and each of those “flavors” is what comes together to make it distinctive. The most beautiful grin spread, ear to ear, across her face, and hurriedly she started reopening bottles to sniff again. Bouncing on the couch, then unable to contain her excitement she had to jump up to move around the room, she started sniffing the lids and announcing the more subtle notes that she detected. It was very helpful to have her give a name to a few notes that I wasn’t able to put my finger on, but most of all it was beyond awesome to see that connection and excitement. She has a very unguarded and expressive face, so I could easily see her dissecting memories and applying this new concept to them. *happy sigh* This lazy day has been way more satisfying than any other work session we have had! 🙂

Now that she understood the concept behind putting scents together to make a different variations she started to truly understand how I come up with custom blends. It was so neat to see that newly wise nod of agreement that the freshly zested lemon would work really well with buttercream, and become a more indulgent scent then (although she didn’t know what I meant when I said I wanted to make a blend close to a lemon bar, so guess what we will be baking next week? Lol). She piped up moments later that mojito had a soft note of orange under the lemon and mint, which stunned me. When she catches on it’s like a wildfire! *grin* She is excited for me to start making some products and blends, to see what notes she can distinguish in them, and how the combination of the notes makes something totally new sometimes. Miss Ash was greatly impressed that she could smell the vanilla (“…like the ice cream usually in it!”) in my rootbeer float blend (soda shoppe), and understood that without that note it wouldn’t have smelled like a float, just rootbeer.

Anyway, it was a blast and she gave me a lot of ideas to consider, like the scent combos she recommended for the new kid combo I want to make and how I should package the adult cocktail combo of margarita and mojito scented items. I chose right in ordering some bright plastic baskets to use for the combos, according to her, and next week we will work on repackaging the products bagged in holiday cellos into more year round themed cellos. Apparently I need to get to work on making some donut and ice cream cone soaps though. *grin* My bad lol. I suspect that this is what she wants for her “payment” for helping. So as soon as I get some energy I have a lot of new things to start making. By the way, in case you are as ignorant as I am, kids “…just aren’t that into…” lotion, so “…stick with the bubble washes.” *grin* Lesson learned! Lol

I surprised myself

I managed to fill all of the orders I have today except for figuring up prices. I pushed myself to work on lotions today since I’m feeling a tiny bit better. When I scooped base into the pan to warm and prepare to accept additives I somehow scooped within 2 oz of what I needed without having measured. Booyah! I totally impressed myself lol. Just a little overpour. I even got all of the ordered soaps done thankfully. Of course my legs are in absolute agony and I won’t be doing much for a few days, but what a sense of accomplishment!

Now from my prone position with legs elevated on a stack of couch cushions I get to look at sale items for Spring combos while watching my fav DVRed shows. A good day. *smile*

I also get to sniff my new FOs and determine what notes I catch. Some names are so inaccurate, so they’re getting renamed lol. Banana Cream Pie actually smells like banana taffy. I may play with adding vanilla FOs to see if I can make a cream pie scent, since that would be light and still decadent. Watermelon Mania is exactly like watermelon bubblegum. It has that sugary, fun scent of bubblegum instead of a crisp fruit scent that I expected from the name. I’m delighted with it, but definitely expected the fresh version. Fresh lemon zest is amazing, yet will definitely be a note in products and not be a stand alone. It’s so sharp and tart that it’ll be amazing with a little buttercream to mellow it out. Secret Crush has a really nice combination of floral notes. I’m sad to admit that I can’t even smell one FO at all, Relaxing. It’s suppose to be a crisp, citrusy, and soothing scent. Such a bummer! Mojito has a great crisp minty scent that I’m going to use it a lot I think, while Margarita is mostly all lime. I’ll have to figure out some variations to make it a bit more appealing I think. I’m still excited to plan out some new items.

Now I’ll write my to do list and enjoy some Downton Abbey. *grin*

My month away

First, my apologies for a month lapsing. My health issues have me in la la land and to be honest, I’m really surprised I didn’t blog while out of it. *grin* As I’m currently waiting for a double dose of medicine to kick in, I may just succeed at a very odd entry. Lol.

I did fairly well over the holidays and mostly all due to my amazing family and friends. I turned a profit for the first time, which in the overall accounting means I finally came out even on all the Paypal fees I’ve paid in the past year. *wry smile* I got almost completely caught up in Quickbooks (damn secretary slacked on her job and didn’t enter stuff since the cancer event in September…I’d fire her, but it’s hard to fire yourself *wink*) and Quickbooks took away all that excitement about that first profitable month. Of course, I’m now going into the slow months too. It’s for three years that the IRS accepts a business in loss, right? *teasing grin*

Accounting aside, I am now disassembling my holiday baskets that I had pre-made and deciding what items will get renamed to sell year round. My inventory spreadsheet is absolutely useless at the moment with disassembling. I gave up making sure that my inventory count matched between Quickbooks and my spreadsheet. I learned that I can just override that QB warning that I don’t have enough inventory to sell those items on an invoice. Lol. Georgia’s own spreadsheets FTW! *grin*

I got notification from my wholesaler that my order is in processing. I’m excited that I’ll finally have the necessary bases on hand again and have some really neat new seasonal offerings that have cheered me up. I got invited to be a vendor at a Welcoming Spring-type event that I won’t be able to attend due to distance, etc, but it drove home that I need to plan for spring and summer events.

I got a watermelon FO that has top ratings from other crafters and both age groups love it, so I’m hoping for a real winner there. I got a margarita FO and mojito FO to really provide some fresh and fun options. Honeysuckle FO, a fresh laundry variant FO with hints of marine and ozone notes, and then also a different floral FO. It’s called a Secret Crush Type, so it’ll have to be renamed to keep me out of trouble, but crafters write that they can’t keep it stocked because it sells so well. That would be a nice problem. Lol. I also got a Vanilla Noir type FO also that I really look forward to smelling. 5 star peer ratings and it was one of my customer loyalty freebies, so doubly exciting.

Of course, it wouldn’t be me ordering if food and desserts were missing! Banana Cream Pie FO, White Chocolate Raspberry FO, and a fresh lemon FO to play with. I want to do a lemon bar or cake type of scent. A nice play with some buttercream to sweeten that baby up. Mmmm mmmm. I saw a Whoopie Pie scent which I thought would be pointless to order, since I have all of the scents needed all ready, so time to try to make it. They called it “Making Whoopie”, which, like the Sex in the Shower scent, catches the eye, so I want to make a play on that too. That, if it turns out right, would be a very indulging scent that would be perfect in a variation of the seduction basket. I guarantee that you open up a bottle of that oil and a girl smells that luscious chocolate, she’s going to come investigate. *sassy wink* All in all, some exciting possibilities. More to come as things go on sale, if I can get profitable. My debit card might get taken away if I do too much preparing for the season and don’t see enough return. Lol.

A few other changes I’m excited over are new packaging options. My aunt brought up a great point in testing some Goat’s Milk lotion. It’s hard to get out of the bottle. (It can be a real razzle frazzle to get it into the bottles too! *teasing smile*) So, I found some jars to package it in. They’re amber, since clear was sold out and I declined the wait on the order for the clear to come in, and the other type of jars that I loved had really expensive lids, which is just stupid to pick then. I really try to keep things affordable and a lid that’s as expensive as a jar is just pointless to frugal (great word choice, right?! *grin*) me. I’m really super duper oddly excited about the new packaging option for bath salts. I noticed at the holiday craft sale event (seems like so freaking long ago) that everyone put down the salts when they saw how expensive they are. Well, a pint of dead sea salt plus additives IS expensive, even for me, but when I take a bath I indulge. I can go through a quarter of a canning jar of salts in one soak. I saw these new little cello options my wholesaler just came out with, that look like cellophane carrots, and are 12″ x 6″ cones. Perfect! Way cheaper than glass canning jars, cheap to ship, a more affordable sampling of how awesome my salts are, and look so freaking adorable I felt like I was 4 all over again looking at my Easter basket. If I do different layers of colors that’ll look even more adorable. Dude, if I wasn’t so meh I’d be doing a happy dance. *grin*

A few last additions that I’m happy about is trying out a gentle face cream and some pure aloe gel. I have a recipe for a leg relief gel using aloe and some EO that I’ve wanted to try since I saw the recipe months ago. The gel was on sale and I had been holding out for the base that I really wanted, so I finally get to try. That might make a great city wide garage sale seller come May and June. *crossing fingers* As to the face cream, it’s suppose to be so gentle that it can be used on faces or even babies, so I’ve had my eye on it to finally become available. I would like to see if I can add a few appropriate additives to it and add it to the acne line. It would mean a lot to me personally to have some options for teens, especially if it truly, naturally helps. If I don’t take that route, I might just make an official line for sensitivities and illnesses. I can’t legally say that it helps, but I can say that I experienced no reactions, so the population that has the same issues as me might have good experiences with this line. That’s a strong consideration. I’ve wanted to help Fibromyalgia and Arthritis sufferers, but when I can’t buy in bulk like the big guys, it’s just not affordable at either end. Maybe this could be the compromise.

Anyway, one last happy part to my order is a package of sliced luffa (loofah). I actually experimented with a small order I had on hand and gave as Christmas gifts, and I’m pretty proud of how they turned out. I pushed a slice into each round silicone mold (just a tiny bit wider than the mold, so it got jammed in if I’m being honest). Then I poured whatever Shea soap base in and saturated the luffa. After they set I popped them out and they became perfect rough spot soaps. Now, I did them in the experimental blend of Root beer Float too (*happy sigh* heavenly I tell you). The luffa should stay fairly soft now because of the exposure to the shower steam and water, as well as be submerged in the Shea soap. What a great soap to get heels ready for sandal season! There are several practical uses for this soap, so I’m excited to actually get the supplies on hand to make part of my line.

I just need a healthy clone of myself to actually make this stuff,, especially since I’m really excited. I also need to update my website I realized today. I took down Christmas decorations the day after the holiday, but still have those products promoted all over on my site. Time for some virtual housekeeping I suppose.

Thanks for being patient with me, for all of the encouragement, and I look forward to telling you about some new adventures for this next season. By the way, any input on one thing – I love the name “naughty elf” for one of my wintery seductive scents. I’m kind of thinking of leaving the name year round because it is catchy and cute. Any thoughts? Anyway, I hope everyone has a fantastic day and is sleeping well. Please cross your fingers that my doctor figures out a new treatment plan so that I’m no longer alternating between a narcoleptic and insomniac. *goofy smile* Waves from a snuggly Bo dog too!

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