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Crafty Wrapping

I decided to try and decorate ornaments to attach to gifts this year, instead of the usual bows and curling ribbons. I thought it’d be a nice touch and would help get me out of my blah wrapping habits. *grin* Anyway, I’ve been experimenting on a variety of regular colored bulbs, regular clear glass bulbs, and tiny clear glass bulbs. Glitter, floor wax, mod podge, stickers, acrylic paint, dimensional paint, and glitter glue have all been fair game. Not always with great results, but it keeps me occupied and being creative while I’ve been pretty much laid up for several days.

Sadly I had a beautiful regular sized bulb done with mod podge and copper and red glitters that shattered. I tried to recreate it small scale with one of the tiny bulbs, but the colors don’t pop as much when small and especially not when photographed. Lol It’s still kind of pretty I think, although only the red really shows on “film” apparently. The copper gleams a bit where light is really hitting, like in the reflection of my ceiling light.

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I also did a few solid red glitter tiny bulbs and then one tiny bulb where I mixed green and red glitters, all with the floor wax for the adhesive. I learned during this that glitter throws off the camera’s focus, so most of my pictures are blurry despite my best efforts. Lol At least there’s proof that I tried, though.

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I used an acrylic copper paint that looks remarkably plum when pixelated and added some gorgeous golden brown and burnt sienna glittery leaf stickers with little rhinestones around the outside of the bulb. Then I added a first initial sticker to another glitter bulb for a fully personalized little ornament for my niece to remove from her gift and add to her little bedroom tree if she wants, too.

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For the dimensional paint and glitter glue I had two bulbs turn out well. Both were very obviously done freehand and I really like them, especially where the paint developed a bubble and left a double line on the black ornament. I think I will try to do a few more patterns with the dimensional glitter since it looks neat and the world needs more glitter. Lol.

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I did a few swirled paint tiny bulbs that turned out pretty neat. Two in an attempt at camo and one in pastels. They look wildly different with flash versus plain lighting, so I am posting both versions. I can’t wait to see how they look under Christmas lights. *grin*

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Anyway, those are a few of my little projects that I’ve been occupying myself with. I have a few more that are still drying, so I couldn’t take pictures of them, and I don’t want to make this post seriously boring. *grin* Do you like to embellish your gifts? If so, any inspiration or tips you’d mind sharing? In the meantime I hope you have a wonderful day and find a few moments to pamper yourself. You always deserve it.

A Crafty Little Project

I hope you excuse my absence.  I have a really surprising excuse.  I’ve been a victim of mind snatching and in my place a Crafty Cathy has been dabbling.  *grin*  I’m not sure if she’s some previously unknown dual identity or what, but I’ve been having a lot of fun.  LOL 

I stumbled upon a really intriguing pin on Pinterest and it honestly sounded too good to be true, especially after the difficulties I had with the melted crayon pin.  It couldn’t be that easy and, truly, it’s not always.  I’ve had quite a mixture of success and failures, but the best part is that it’s a whole lot of fun and I think I may have finally figured out what’s been going wrong.  As you have probably guessed, that always piques my interest way more than success, so I’ve been a bit obsessed.  *laugh*  The pin (and sister link) lead to the websites: www.lilyshop.com/how-make-colored-mason-jars and www.lilyshop.com/how-make-glitter-mason-jars.  Once I started playing with one I had to explore the sister link, and then my crazy mind had to see if both processes play well together.  *grin*  Basically the first one explains how to “dye” mason jars with mod podge and food coloring.  The second is pretty much the same thing except you substitute glitter for the coloring (and the insanely girly side that hides from my typically morbid and dark usual tendencies can’t resist glitter, so it was pretty much a guarantee that I’d be checking that link out.  Although I totally realize that although the blogger says that it’s dyeing jars, it’s really just dyeing the glue, I’m going to follow in their footsteps, just because it’s a whole lot more consistent when you read my experience and then the blogger’s tutorials.  (Or you can go look now.  I’ll wait.  Unless I spot some glitter.  I can’t be held responsible for any lapses of sanity if that girly part of me spots…Oh!  Look at my new box of pretty glitters….*happy sigh*)  Ahem.  Now that we’re all on the same wave length, let’s continue.  *smile*

 

Here’s where my post is going to get picture heavy.  You take a clean jar (I got totally scandalous and branched out to sanitized spaghetti jars and old business jars…*laugh*) and pour a liberal amount of mod podge inside of it.  The blog advises quite a bit, but I have only needed that much for a family sized spaghetti sauce jar – the mason jars that I used didn’t need that much.  You add a few drops of food coloring, stir it completely into the glue, and then swirl the mixture to coat the entire inside of your jar.  Let it sit and drain for an hour or so, then flip it back over and let it finish air drying.  That’s what the instructions say.  Well….

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When I started I wanted to test if food coloring would be more effective than my soap dyes, since I have them on hand in more colors and they have such vivid tones in comparison.  The compilation of pictures are just that.  The lavender shots don’t actually go with the food coloring.  Honestly I didn’t want to overwhelm you with a bunch of shots that aren’t overly exciting, so I cropped them in with each other.  I wanted to show you the steps though, so if you are nervous while trying this project you can see that everything is progressing normally.  The lavender was a third test, using craft paint, while the pink was soap dye, and there will be a dark purple one you’ll catch a glimpse of, which was actually done with the food coloring.  (Something that the blogger very accurately notes is to not brush or scrape any of the paint mixture onto the glass.  Just swirl it around and let it naturally coat the interior.  Any forced application leaves funky textures and really messes up the look.  That was tested purely by accident, but a great thing to keep in mind if you do this project.  Just be patient and keep swirling!)

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This is what happened with the food coloring.  I retested it to see if there was a flaw in the application or process and realized that I had missed the instruction to turn the jar right side up after an hour or so (this was my first jar), so it had dried upside down, although most ran out and pooled at the opening on my paper plate.  I don’t have a picture of the retest, but it worked fine when the directions are correctly followed.  *grin*  I personally don’t care for the colors I achieved with the food dye, so I was more interested in the other paints.  Now, here’s the coolest part.  If you don’t like your results, fiddle with the coating at the lip of your jar and you can peel the whole shebang out and start over (after rinsing)!  How cool is that?!  So, you’ll understand why I’ve done these a lot of times, but don’t always have the pictures to back the comments up.  *laugh*  The second pic is the dyed glue “skin” which is absurdly fun to squish and stretch.  I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.  *teasing grin*  It’ll be our secret squishy stress reliever. 

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Now, the above is what happens if you don’t have a consistent heat source and your house is pretty chilly.  It starts out just fine, but then…I have incredibly bad timing and we had snow, freezing rain, and below zero temps, and to top it off our wood stove has been off getting repaired, so the house is chillier than usual.  I had been setting the jars in front of a heater register in the bathroom, since I could close the door and make that the warmest room, so in theory they’d have the best chance at heating.  That would be true if Abby Cat hadn’t decided that she needed some direct heat and laid down between the vent and the jars.  *rolling eyes*  The streaking also happens if the temperature is just right for the thermostat to not kick the heater on for several hours, so the glue just kind of works with gravity and pulls off of the sides.  The blogger noted that she had small bubbles develop from placing them in the oven (by the way, I never found a way to avoid at least a few bubbles, no matter what dye or process I tried.  Gentle stirring of the dye into the mod podge helped to reduce the number, but they developed on their own while I worked the mixture around to coat the interiors.  If you find a way to stop it, please let me know, but I never developed a whole lot of them, like she described with the oven process.  Just a heads up so you don’t think you’ve done something wrong.).  The way that worked best for me was to place the jar and paper plate on the floor and surround them with a heating pad, then top that with a light blanket, so it trapped in the heat.  I swear I need stock in Sunbeam, because I go through so many heating pads every year (it’s one of the few things that really helps me cope with the pain), so I always have a few handy.  For this I used a really long one, although I think a “king” sized one should work just as well.  The most flexible one you have.  After trying a few different heats I found that medium worked the best with mine.  After that first hour or so, once the jars are flipped, I slipped them back into the cocoon (with a bit of wax paper over the lips just because I don’t want to muck up my pad or blanket), and let them keep drying for at least a day.  The worst part about this is that most heating pads have that safety turn off feature, so every two hours I had to go and turn it back on.  When I slept I just left them in the cocoon and they still stayed warmer than most of my house.  *laugh* 

 

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The above is mod podge with super fine iridescent glitter that is rated as safe for cosmetics, which I use in soap.  At first it’s white, but then it dried completely clear and look at all of the pretty sparkles!!  *cheesing*  Yeah, I’ve turned the bend.  They’ll probably be coming to size me for my straight jacket soon…(Something else to note is that no matter what color you’re using, it’s going to look like a pastel at first and won’t be anything like what you’re going for.  I found that 4 drops of actual dye worked great for vibrant colors and about a teaspoon of craft paint was perfect. 

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I had a crafting mishap when I tried to make a pretty glitter covered jar weeks back and decided to dye it to see if it would salvage the disaster, and I happen to love how it turned out.  *grin*  I used Crafter’s Choice (available at Wholesale Supplies Plus, among other online retailers) in Strawberry Red for the dye, while the outside was simply the same iridescent glitter mod podged [I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I’m going with it.] to the exterior in two or three sessions (yeah, looking back that’s a bit extreme, but while it was wet it looked so pretty, so I kept going for it.  *sigh*  Lesson learned.)

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It’s now a permanent fixture on the entertainment center.  Although it didn’t photograph well it looks so cute with an LED tea light at the bottom and the fake flowers on top.  There’s a slight frosted look, plus a delicate shimmer from the glitter.  *happy sigh*

 

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I saved the best for last.  This is the lavender (“lilac”) craft paint example from the collage at the beginning with metallic purple small (not fine) craft glitter mixed in.  I found that the heavier glitter always sunk, but still looks pretty awesome to me.  I swirled like a possessed woman to get enough momentum for the paint to carry some of the glitter toward the top.  *grin*

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This is what really got us all amped up about the lavender one.  Larry came into the room as I was trying out a flickering LED tea light in the jar and said he wanted to try something.  He came back with his color changing glow sticks that he uses when he goes riding at the dunes in Oklahoma (safety measure so others know where your vehicle is at night and so it’s easier to judge where your vehicle ends, since it’s dark as can be in the middle of those dunes and you don’t want to clip someone).  The above pictures were taken in that lavender jar!  I’m not from Jersey, but those are still wicked cool!!  Plain and simple.  I think this would be awesome for a preteen, too.  There are so many glow in the dark craft paints on the market and a ton of different glow sticks, even, so they might not even need a black light.  We sure didn’t use one.  I never outgrew (nor did Larry) my love of glow in the dark things obviously and would have gone ape over this as a teen.  We plan to do some of these jars as luminaries if we get to do a morbid anniversary or Halloween party someday. *crossing fingers*  How awesome would these look in a darkened room with a creeping fog from a bowl of dry ice near them?! 

 

In the end I had several that I tore out, but all in all I loved this project.  As a matter of fact I bought a bottle of extreme glitter craft paint while grocery shopping today, so I’ll share pictures of that attempt soon.  I’m at war with myself over spending the next hour of insomnia watching the new episode of Face Off, which I’ve been eagerly anticipating, or go try out my new paint.  *laugh*  Since I’ve had limited use of my right arm for the past 36 hours from a small mishap I think the season premiere will win out this time.  I really hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my results and experiences, and please share with me your results if you try this.  I’d really love to see your creativity.  Feel free to link in the comments or email me.  It’d totally make my day.  *grin*  In the meantime, pamper on Garth. 

Blessed

Remember that slice mold I used for the “Slice of Peppermint Pie” and “Slice of Roadkill Remains”?  I’m still obsessed with it.  *grin*  This time I went a little more traditional and did a version of a fudge ripple cake.  You can’t tell that I’m in the mood for the delicious baked goods of the season, right?  *laugh*  I thought that a fudge ripple would look awesome and would break up the colors a bit, while letting me avoid trying to find more than an hour’s worth of patience.  I admit that I’ve been pretty restless lately, so I’ve been sticking with quick gratification, and this was perfect for it.  What do you think?

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I planned to frost the slices Monday since I knew that Miss Ash would be here to help, but there were a few complications.  *begins to bite my lip while trying to find a way to make it sound a little better than it really ended up being…*  Things started out pretty well.  I had all of the ingredients gathered and was measuring the FO when she came in.  While she filled me in on school and the other fun details of young teen life I started to heat the soap.  With her here I figured a half batch of bath frosting would be a wise decision, so we could have some fun together, yet still get to the bigger project that I really needed an extra set of hands for.  I wanted to get Ash used to using the scale and how to tare it, so I had her measure out the bath whip.  I should have known when the spatula bent as she tried to scoop some out that this wasn’t going to go well.  (Our woodstove is still being repaired, so the house is still pretty chilly, but I had been active and quickly overheat, so I didn’t notice this.  I’ve thought through all of this for hours and finally realized that this was the first domino that fell.  It’s only right to fill you in on my realization.  *laugh*)  Well, with a metal spoon and a butter knife we were able to get the whip out, although, yet again, warning bells should have gone off, but I didn’t notice that the spoon got impressively bent during this task.  *face palm*  Miss Ash is very deliberate and cautious, so things took a bit longer and the melted soap began to set up slightly.  (Yeah, those dag on warning bells again…*sigh*)  I showed her how to get the mixer set up and started mixing the whip with some glycerin I noticed that it didn’t have the consistency that I remembered from when I made the cookie wash soaps last year.  I held out hope and gave her the melted soap to add to the mixture.  As she did this I added some stabilized FO (so that it won’t discolor later from the massive amount of vanilla that is in Christmas Eve Cookies, the FO I used throughout all of the soap layers).  While I was putting a few things away I heard some weird noises coming from the mixer.  (You’re welcome to shake your head at this point.  We both know this is just going to get worse.  Lol.)  I turned off the mixer and poked at the mixture with a spatula, and realized that the soap had solidified between taking too long during prep and it being too cold in the room.  Hey, bath and body products require a lot of quick problem solving and that was basically my career before I became disabled, so I did a little quick thinking and put the bowl in a sink full of hot water, and had Miss Ash keep rotating the bowl around, so the soap would melt off of the sides of the bowl.  I figured the whip attachment would also help (realistically I should have used it in the beginning, but it was the least of the problems really).  After things were pliable again we whipped the mixture for a few minutes and I started to add more glycerin.  This mixture had started to look really weird, so I figured maybe a little more moisture would stabilize it.  Nope.  *laugh*  I turned it off after a few minutes and packaged it in an empty jar to deal with later, so I could salvage the rest of the night.  I’ll spare you any pictures, because it looks like curdled milk at this point, and somehow the smell got a bit distorted.  I can still detect the vanilla, although there is definitely some funk going on, while Larry insists (with a very puzzled look of “Why in the world are you topping the soap with…”) that it smells like burnt buttered popcorn.  Yum.  Nothing like curdled milk and burnt buttered popcorn to make you feel pampered, right?  *grin*

Thankfully the big project went well.  I needed to make a huge batch of heavy duty sugar scrub for Larry and then a little to have on hand.  With the movements and shaking I have some trouble with keeping the jar lip clean when making scrub now, so I figured young hands would be perfect for this.  It took a little longer than I had intended, since we took time for explanations and demonstrations of things that she was unfamiliar with, but we ended up with something like 70 ounces worth of scrub.  *happy dance*  Thankfully I use repurposed empty supply jars for his items and jarring went pretty well.  I have to admit that I felt like a superhero by the end, because Miss Ash had learned so much in the two hours together, and she totally had that awesome “mind blown” look going on.  *grin*  She learned how to use and read a pipette, why sugar is used in scrub, how can sugar be safe for your skin if your dentist doesn’t want you to eat it, what pumice powder is and how it works, what poppy seeds are (let me tell you that the seeds are incredible for heavy duty exfoliating!), what humectants are and how they work in soap, and how to convert measurements.  She’s going to be SO far ahead of her classmates now.

To make the evening end on an even better note she told me that she always loves coming over to work with me.  Not only does she get to do “cool things”, but it always smells so “awesome” in my house.  Then Miss Ash’s mom came over to pick Ash up and bought a Redneck Gift Basket.  Yay!

Although the frosting was a disgusting failure I am pretty happy overall with our time.  The actual cake soap still looks fantastic and I was smart enough to not try the frosting on ay of the soap, so I can still try again.  Larry’s stocked up on his scrub.  Miss Ash lit up like a Christmas Tree when I surprised her with a few of the glitter bar soaps that she had made at her last visit, so she can give them as gifts or show them off.  Best of all, we both learned a lot.  The youthful way of just shrugging off failures and just look to what’s next instead is something I have always struggled with, but with her literally turning and asking “what’s next?” I was finally able to.  I’m still smacking my forehead, but I’m doing a lot better with just shrugging it off and laughing.  And Miss Ash learned a lot of little tidbits that should help with school, and hopefully even a few skills to help her with life.

This Christmas I think the best gift will be this.  Knowing that a young girl can see me as a kind of rock star and not see the things that I can no longer do.  That I was able to have a good impact and that I got to see that thirst for information light up in her eyes.  No matter if the pies burn, the turkey turns out dry, or I have a fall and can’t walk between now and Christmas, I’m blessed.  And all because I believe we should all get pampered sometimes.  I couldn’t ask for much more.

I wish the same for you this holiday.  Whatever your beliefs and your traditions, I wish you happiness, personal development, and the feeling that no matter how different you are, or how your life has changed, that you are still a rock star in somebody’s eyes.

A Little Bit of Fun

I decided the other day to go back to just amusing myself and made a couple of soaps that made me smile. The first batch were some simple guest rounds with the holiday erasers embedded in them. The reindeer is just so cheerful. *smile* In order to get the embeds to show well I had to warm and brighten the overall picture up, so the soaps are more of a clear with the faintest gold to them, and not so yellow.

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After those I decided to play with dye. I haven’t played with swirling colors in a while now and got a little wild with the toothpick (stirring). I had a few that became a blended color because I got a little too into it. Lol. I love some of the swirls though!

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Gingerbread people followed, although I use that term quite loosely, since I went incredibly unconventional with them. A bright pink with glitter. Mawahaha. *wink*

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My last soaps didn’t turn out unfortunately. I tried to embed the centipedes I had found and although they looked great at first, the soaps became cloudy. I rinsed them and everything, so I suspect a little chemical reaction between the material and the FO. They wouldn’t fit in any other mold, so they were poured in a brownie mold I never used (one of those that’s suppose to make every brownie an edge brownie since people supposedly like those best. Um, I’ll let those mysterious people have those pieces and I’ll take care of those ooey gooey center pieces for them. *grin*).

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Although the last batch didn’t come out, I enjoyed myself. Nothing fancy or anything to tweet home about (especially for me since I haven’t joined the twitter bandwagon), but some fun little soaps. I got a few supplies today to keep the ball rolling, too. A new bubble wash that suspends additives, so I can put the centipedes or jojoba beads in some bottles of wash (we won’t talk about what happens if you try adding jojoba beads to a non-suspension formula…ugh!). I also got these cute little guys to embed and maybe even put on top of some fancy bar soaps (thank you Pinterest for that bit of inspiration).

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For a little size perspective here’s a picture of one in my palm. It’s plain adorable!

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With that little bit of cuteness I bid you adieu. I hope you are enjoying the middle of the holiday season and have a splendid weekend! 🙂

I’m Flushing This Fish

I had a very rare burst of energy that stayed for three days. I can’t even remember the last full day that I had energy, let alone more than one, since I got sick, so I took advantage of the energy. I made six batches of soaps, all of them experiments, and some were real flops.

First, I finally gave the whole “fair prize goldfish” soap a try. I was pretty excited at first. To start with I did a pour in a cello bag that I had balanced in a coffee mug so it wouldn’t collapse as I poured soap into it, then added the toy goldfish into the soap and kept it balanced with a Popsicle stick until it partially set.

20131024-011641.jpg Unfortunately there was a slight bit of oil on it from handling it a bit too much as I tried to get it down into the soap without plopping upside down, so the soap clouded a bit. After a partial set I added another 2.5 oz of soap “water” to finish it off. It was then that I discovered that I had experienced a brain fart after the first pour and forgot to do a light spritz with alcohol to break the surface bubbles. As you can see in the following picture there is a straight line of bubbles clearly marking the top of the first layer.

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Ugh. To top it all off I had to hold the bag in a slightly scrunched and rounded position until the second layer of soap partially set so that it looked more realistic, like how a bag with water in it would look. Between the extra labor (I won’t go into how hard it is to try to keep a top heavy item upright with a stick when you have a tremor. Lol.) and the mishaps, I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this soap concept for a little while. *grin*

The second mishap I admit I am still a bit miffed over. It was actually suppose to be a simple Christmassy bar soap. I poured a layer of dark green soap in bar molds and after a partial set I poured a layer of dark red, both layers in the new Christmas Eve Cookies scent. The colors massively changed after they set and then when you see the soap from overhead it has the oddest color; definitely not Christmassy.

20131024-012106.jpg I think I’ll try the next batch with a solid base, so there aren’t jewel tones that allow you to see the other color. I hoped jewel tones would work out though, since you can get deeper, richer colors in a clear soap. At least they smell great, so I’ll cut them up, melt them, and give them a new life. Not a total flop.

I totally like how the other four batches turned out, thankfully. *grin* I decided to experiment with the super rouge powdered pigment with some additional iridescent sparkles. When the light is just right the soaps look like Dorothy’s red shoes, fitting since I live in KS, and I loved the look so much that I did a second mold with the color. *laugh* I made a batch of small flowers to embed into other soaps, like my glitter bars from earlier this year, and then a few big hearts that I think would be really neat in a girl’s Christmas pampering basket.

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I decided to shake things up, still thinking of the girl’s basket, and did bubblegum guest rounds, but sprinkled some hot pink powdered pigment in there since I loved the look of it when I accidentally did that in some stars a few months back. Simple, but with a little pizzaz.

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Lastly I went back to the Christmas Eve Cookies (can’t tell I started to really like it, can you? *laugh*) and made another batch of flower embeds for the girl’s basket or for individual glitter bars in holiday scents to sell. I decided to add some white soap to the clear, which gave the embeds a really neat look that I love. Not a color that is a traditional holidays variety, but a mellow hue that can be enjoyed or displayed after the Christmas tree has been packed up.

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To top it all off I did a seriously overdue in depth cleaning of my supply shelves. It was hard, but I made myself part with scents that I really don’t like or that had expired, and organized all of the scents into categories to make it a lot easier to find the FOs/EOs I’m looking for. It turned into a 12 hour project, but I’m so proud of myself, and I feel all pumped up to keep chipping away at my holiday business to do list. (Shush now – I didn’t make a spreadsheet this time. I kept the nerd flag at half mast and stuck with a list. *sassy grin*) All in all it felt great to get to experiment with the new pigments and FO. I have that euphoria in my veins from getting to be all creative and artistic. *happy sigh* If this sticks around I will be able to get some new products out of my brain and available in time for the holidays. Warning – I am putting you on high alert now. If I can keep this up and make the new extra pampering line, then I will ask you to join me in a hearty round of the happy dance. *grin* Although no twerking allowed! *laugh* We’ll stick to a platonic jig, okay? 🙂

Monsters Away

I’ve been really sick, like can’t speak or eat sick, and didn’t get much accomplished. One of the benefits is that as I came out of the medicinal fog “Monsters Away” kept thumping through my mind. I remembered a friend’s daughter having trouble with nightmares and Larry’s favorite poem that I wrote named “Grim Reaper”. It’s about nightmares and what-not. I realized that I could do a twist on my Sleepy Time spray and name it Monsters Away. The base I use is skin safe and the scent doesn’t linger long, so it’d be perfect as a short-term ghost buster. *cheesy grin* Chamomile and lavender should help relax the little ones and I’ll add a few others that are believed to help with anxiety. With this name hopefully kids will believe in the power of it and a spritz in the closet or under the bed will send the creepies packing. The best part is that it’s such a safe base that the little ones can accidentally step in the path and it won’t hurt them. I’m also thinking of what herbs to put together to make sachets that can work longer term under pillows and stuff, like a dream catcher or talisman. I’ve had a few misses lately, but I feel really good about this idea. The only part that could fail is that customers don’t want it. For once I’m really thankful I got such a bad cold. *grin*

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

A Learning Experience

I packed up and went down to the Sunset Stroll to sell my products before the cancer walk last Wednesday.  Sadly I made only one sale at $6.00.  I’m going to call it a learning experience to keep from getting down about it.  It’s hard not to be though lol.  Apparently a lot of the attendees were unaware that there would be vendors, so they didn’t bring money with them and the “I do custom orders” isn’t clear enough *cheeky grin* I was asked multiple times if I’d have a booth at the church craft fair there in Overbrook next month, so I need to get on the ball and get signed up for that. 

Another learning experience to it is to somehow make “replaces soap” a little clearer.  I lost track of how many people stuck their fingers in the bath whip and rubbed it into their hands/arms.  The label says it and I kept repeating that you use it instead of a bar of soap, like shower gel is used, but this is more luxurious and creamy.  Then that finger creeps into the jar and as I repeat myself I watch it get rubbed in.  I didn’t foresee this happening, so I didn’t have wet wipes or anything for rinsing product off.  Honestly, I only had a few testers which were up front, clearly marked, and were lotions.  That creamy bit of heaven was too much temptation though.  The first time all I could think was “dang it, now I have to write off $6 of bath whip, because it’s contaminated”.  The second and third was dumbfounded blinking because I had made sure to stress the soap aspect a lot more.  After that I just gave up worrying about it and left the thing open for smelling (which, I admit, is my total fav whip at the moment – pumpkin buttercream).  My mom runs a store in the town, so I told her about it and my concern about people saying that they might have had a reaction after “trying that stuff out”.  I explained what had occurred and that if they told her about it, to clarify if it was the whip (soap) that reacted since it sat on the skin throughout the walk.  *sigh*  I tried to think of cautions and even put “do not eat” on it, which tends to be an issue since the scents are so rich, but never would I have thought of this.  Next month I will have some removal station prepared, that’s for sure!

Another lesson…I have too much stuff!  *grin*  I have so many different products, each with a variety of scent options, and tried to have a diverse premade variety on hand for the event.  My heavy duty table that I had originally bought for a marketing event as a billing consultant just doesn’t have enough room.  lol  In the next couple of weeks I will get another table, especially since I’m going to start cranking out a lot of holiday stuff.   Also, put only one of each thing out.  Apparently I’m an odd shopper, because I prefer to see my options, smell them, etc.  Others get intimidated if there is a variety, which should improve with more space, so it’s not close together.

I need a name badge or custom shirt with my info.  As I absolutely hate name tags I think I’ll get my information embroidered or iron transferred onto a few shirts.  I all ready was working on getting a banner made, but hadn’t thought of a shirt. 

The honor system can seriously cost me.  I was going over my inventory spreadsheet (to those of you that know me well – stop laughing right now *grin*) and discovered that there was a healthy amount of products stolen from the booth at the craft mall.  I knew there was a risk, but really hoped it wouldn’t happen. 

People want to test my knowledge.  lol  Thankfully I always knew the answers for this event, but next time I’ll do some cramming right before, so I’m on top of my game.  Also, greet them with my card in hand.  Most will probably end up in the trash, but hopefully a few will check my site out.  People were hesitant to get a card on their own.  They’d even ask about my site, look at the card, but would not take it out of the holder.  Yet another aspect that I definitely didn’t foresee being an issue. 

One thing I did very well was having stuff packed in the baskets that I wanted them displayed in.  Open a box and put the basket right on the table, straighten up any items that got a little wild during the ride, and we’re ready!  That will be the way I always do events now.  Having them in the baskets also helped make the table look very organized and professional. 

While standing there and realizing that the one customer was it, I suddenly had Eric Idle’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” playing in my head.  lol  I thought about all of the fun research and learning I’d be doing for the new products I want to learn to make for the holidays, the shopping I’ll do, and stuff like that.  “…always look on the bright side of death…” The worst that can happen is that friends and family get a whole lot of bath stuff for gifts.  Plus, I’ll just be stuck with some of my favorite products.  *whistling the refrain of the song*  Bummer  *wink*

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