Tag Archives: Handcrafted
I made a decision on Black Friday. No matter what is going on with my help, and how much help I have to ask for in order to accomplish it, I’m going to end the hiatus and get back to making products to pamper and hopefully help others.
I have to admit, it’s overwhelming. The government has a lot of rules and I’ll have to redo every recipe that I have, if I want to continue any of my previous creations, since the guidelines have changed. Also, L and I had to have a real heart to heart discussion about the financial aspect. It’s no secret that I’ve always been in the red. I create products in an area that prefers to spend the same amount for a bulk package down at Walmart or the like. And my health isn’t well enough to try enticing customers at the Farmer’s Market when it’s in season. Not to mention that my time off meant that most of my ingredients expired, so I would need to replace anything I really wanted to focus on at the beginning. My therapist has been encouraging this for a while and after a lot of deliberation, we decided to invest in starting my crafting back up.
Thank goodness for online sales on Black Friday! I would have spent three times as much just to get my base ingredients replaced. It was still expensive, but it also helped me evaluate what I truly want to do with this little business of mine. I want to create. I want to be whimsical, gory, unpredictable, and sometimes a bit cheesy, nerdy, or girly. I want to make some products for kids to enjoy, so I got bubblegum and fruity scents for them. I got some *ahem* downright sexy scents (in my opinion at least) to help make more of a male and unisex friendly line. And I got some dessert and sweet fruit scents because I really want to play with making dessert-type soaps that you can just lose yourself in when you’ve had a tough day. A candlelit bath or shower, delicious scents swirling around you, and maybe your day will get just a bit better. I’ll continue to make my tongue-in-cheek monster line creations too, though, because they’re just plain fun.
I also got some micas and glitters that I can’t wait to experiment with! Unfortunately, during my hiatus suspension soap base was discontinued even with other wholesalers, so I get to learn how to suspend particles the harder way. Since it requires a lot of science and getting temperatures right, L got me a laser temperature gauge to hopefully help ease the learning curve a bit (candy thermometers just don’t cut it for me for some reason).
I decided to start small and be entirely selfish with creating just what I like to create with scents I prefer, instead of trying to get my previous decent selling products back up, since I never came out even anyway. This is going to be my creative platform instead of trying to be my money making supplement, so I realized I can do whatever I want. That was strangely a concept I never really had soak in before and it is so exciting now to get back to trying new things, and even revisiting a few others that I really liked or were really beneficial products in theory, like the goat’s milk lotion and products made with honey.
I have always struggled with asking for help, even as my illness progressed, but thankfully my therapist has finally gotten through my thick skull that it’s not a weakness or a limitation to be angry about. It just something different to accommodate new needs. I basically just needed to get over myself and my fierce desire to prove to myself that I could still do things I did before my illness became so prominent. Isn’t that a funny thought? Sometimes you have to get out of your own way in order to get where you need to go. 🙂 However, I’ve all ready set up some help and will ask for help from others if needed. I truly want to make my eclectic creations again.
I’ll have to wait until I get over whatever bug I’ll inevitably catch due to the holidays, but then I’ll slowly start to go through my supplies, dispose of outdated items and organize what’s left or newly purchased, and then redo recipes I want to play with again. And I need to change up my website. I’ve all ready changed my payment system back to PayPal, although I’ll be doing some test runs with that to make sure all goes well, and make some decisions on going more retail or keeping the site more informative, so I have the ability to work directly with the customer to make sure they get what they really want or need. I’m really not sure about having an impersonal online store where you just select how many you want of some item, click a few buttons, and move on. I kind of think the extra involvement and ability to answer questions or help guide customers is what sets me apart from the big boys.
So, look for some changes coming to the site (how long has that under construction sign been up on my site now? Lol), some possible grumbles about how stupid I think it is for some of the regulations and limitations the government imposes even on crafters instead of actual businesses, and hopefully with another month at least a few WIPs (work in progress, in case you’re not familiar with that one, which will probably be an acronym I’ll toss around a lot in later posts). *grin* And expect some shiny shinies. *laugh* My biggest inspiration while shopping were the metallic-like micas and glitters. Once I get that suspension technique down, I’ll be letting my girly side out to play, which doesn’t often happen.
No bath bombs though. I’ll let Lush dominate that area and worry about staining skin and bathtubs. *laugh* If you’d have some ideas nor product names you’d like to have me see if I can use, please don’t hesitate to comment or email me! I can always use more inspiration!
Anyway, that’s my happy little update. If you celebrate them, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy, and safe, New Year’s! 🙂
I am so excited to have a few soaps I’ve been working on finished, tested, and ready to sell! Time for the business restart to begin. *big grin* I only have a few at the moment, especially since one product was a trouble child that required a few batches to get it right and even now I think I could probably do a few more changes to improve, but hey. I seriously love some of the scene set ups I managed. I guess that waiting period for the next conference call and to hear about the BIS has been fruitful, since I have been trying to keep myself distracted. Without further ado, here is the grand reveal (although you’ve all ready seen the Ale one, since it worked out the first time and just depends on what notes your own nose is able to pick up on, instead of being a problem with the soap.)…
Zombie Ale Soaps at $1.50 each. Made with real light beer added to the soaps. Some users are unable to pick up on the beer notes, but the bright cherry note comes through very nicely and even my male tester doesn’t mind this soap. The “foam” part of the soap is softer than the “ale” bottom, so if you’re gift giving, try to be gentle with the top and make sure it’s on top.
The Missing Piece Soap at $2.00 each, with other color choices for the same price. The soaps all smell like original Cotton Candy and have a very soft shimmer. The white has a lot more shimmer with red highlights when the light hits it. Only photography edit to this was to turn it into HD. By the way, these would make great gifts for someone that you know is adopting (looking for their missing piece) or especially as a gift to the new family member!
Swamp Slime Soap at $1.75 each; every soap is completely unique due to the “dirt and muck” color swirling. This soap has a top note of rain and a medium note of dirt. Note, the only picture editing is making it HD, so that you can see that some soaps have more swirl on one side and mostly a single algae-like spread on others.
I literally have a page full of ideas to work on in the next few months, especially since I want to be able to market come November, so I’m excited to have taken the first step back into the mad creator’s world. 🙂
I’m going to be back in the suds, baby! *grin* I couldn’t resist. I’ve been thinking a lot in the past couple of months how “I should go make a batch of soaps and then do the dusting afterward” and such, but a lot of my fragrances had gone out of date, so I couldn’t. I kept saying to L that “maybe once we get Kiddo and if she wants to make stuff, I can get some supplies and resurrect the business”. It shouldn’t take the adoption when there’s all ready some motivation and I have pages of ideas I’ve been writing down all of this time. I’m going about it very differently this time. I replaced the most popular scents, added a couple new ones and an educational set on helping to make your own blends to get more miles out of your milliliters, and some packaging materials. If I actually get business, I’ll keep replacing and slowly expand back out. I think I just gave way too many options the first time that it got overwhelming. Regardless, it’s all going to be heading down a new path, just like me. *smile*
I’m definitely in more of a theme frame of mind. I really want to expand the Monster Line and am so excited about some of the new products to work on! I don’t want to share too much in case something doesn’t work and I hope to generate a little interest/excitement. I will let you in on what a few of my mental hamsters have been spinning around on…”Transylvania Tickle”, “–unknown– Morsels” (still fiddling with it), “Gargoyle Dust”, “Rotten Bakery”, “Dreadful Delights Pie”, “Bullfrog Slime” or “Zombie Boogers”, “Spray the Bitch Away” (excuse the curse word, but I think that’ll be the selling point *laugh*), “Zombie Stout” (that might be a bit beyond my ability, but I’m going to give it a lot of effort, especially since it actually smells like popping the top off a cold one on a hot day with bright, summery notes), and maybe a few other Zombie themed items. It’d be pretty fun to get wild and see if I can get some yellow swirls into some black soap without them blending. The line will be a mixture of adult and kid friendly items, so I’m thinking of making little starter combo packs with some “Monsters Away” spray and whichever green liquid hand wash I end up with (that’s the slime vs boogers debate *laugh*). I want to do a few areas, like more feminine based humor such as the spray and a few crimson type items, plus I’ll probably add the Love Bites over in that section. A fun Christmas gift would be a combo of the monster “sweets” soaps, zombie items, and vampire items.
I’m still debating some names for standard family friendly items and what I’ll use some of my top scents, like Fruity Patootie and Bubblegum, in other types of molds. Although I’m not as excited about it, I’d really like to work on some male-friendly items that they would even consider buying for themselves, although I think I won’t hold my breath for that. *grin*
I also need to come up with what would work well as slices from a loaf mold, with layers or embeds in it. I’m not sure if I’m going Monster or standard. I definitely think sticking to mostly Monster items or somehow making all of the products into the Monster theme would make me stand out. I might have to make a fantasy line to it too, if I do that though, because I really want to use “Naughty Elf Oil” for a body/shaving oil with fun holiday notes. *laugh* I don’t know why, but I’m obsessed with that one. Maybe because a favorite book series right now is about a Winter Elf.
Any which way, I appreciate any ideas and feedback, if you have any. I also need to get my thesaurus out (hello Alexa) and come up with less discouraging names for things like biohazard, deadly, and such. I’m also toying with the idea of sending some of the Monster products to the Irish YouTube show “Sharuf”, in honor of Rufus being a monster puppet, and the host usually is amazing about sharing the information about the person who sent items for them. Ironically the viewers are mostly American, so it could get me some good national exposure.
So, cross your fingers please that I can get in there once the products arrive and get back to creating. It’s part of my “bringing Wednesday back” challenge to myself (see the Wednesday post on July 15th, if you missed that). I’m tired of the infection, and the antibiotic that is kicking as hard as the infection, and hope I’m getting close to being active, since I have been trying to do a little bit each day even if it’s just to change (Spoonies will totally understand how that is an accomplishment sometimes). Although my life will be all about the beautiful blessing we adopt, once that ever happens, I really need to get back in touch with the rest of me first, and a clock might actually be ticking to get this done soon. *big grin with crossed fingers* Hopefully Zombie Boogers wouldn’t keep Kiddo from learning how to make product…that’s a chemistry tie in project, but I do worry that my morbid humor is going to keep people away (although few ever bought the regular stuff anyway, so I’m kind of focusing more on fun this time).
And now a little nerd humor to close this one… 🙂
Tonight I’ve been experimenting with painting ornament soaps. It’s been a couple of years since I did painted soaps, and I have new types of dyes compared to the basics from back then, so I knew there’d be at least a couple of soaps getting demoted to home use after this. *grin* I found that powdered pigments reconstituted with glycerin just plain didn’t work and I don’t even have examples, since it literally didn’t dye the soap. A couple of oxides were definitely a bit too strong for my taste and they make me a little nervous that being so strong on the surface of the soap might dye the skin a bit, so those will become “Goodyear soaps”, for Larry to use when he’s all ready stained up from the plant. *laugh* After a while I found that the “stained glass liquid colorants” worked the best and looked the best as decorative touches, instead of painted over most of the surface. Without further ado here are the hits and misses of a few Buttercream scented hand painted ornament soaps…
I really like the star ornament that accidentally took on a fall color scheme, plus the polka dot one that I photographed individually, and I usually hate all things polka dot. *smile*
I definitely don’t care for the brightly painted blue, purple, and red ornament. Meh. Just a little too bold maybe. I’m really disappointed about the burgundy soap. Although I usually love glitter it totally didn’t work the greatest as a coating over the paint or when it was mixed into the paint. One, it’s a serious pain to try to paint with chunky paint, especially fine details when a tremor and involuntary movements all ready make an intriguing challenge. Two, when the paint and water dried the glitter began to flake off. I have glitter all over the couch, my pajamas, my tray, my walker, and maybe not so accidentally the dog’s head. *laugh* When you break an egg you might as well enjoy an omelet, right? Instead of griping over glitter getting all over just smear a bit on your dog’s head and admire how cheerful he suddenly looks. That’s today’s tip for trying to stay cheerful. *grin*
I always forget until I do these projects just how much I miss painting. I was always so critical of myself, but it’s a lot of fun, and rather relaxing, except in my shoulders. I think I’ll paint a few more of the polka dot ornaments and call it good, otherwise I’ll end up needing shots in my shoulders again from getting them too inflamed. No thank you.
Depending on how well I can get stuff prepped for Thanksgiving and on how my feet are doing after some uninterrupted bedrest, maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to work on the cake slice soaps. *crossing fingers* I hope your holiday prep, if you are celebrating, goes smoothly and you can enjoy some extra time with your family or a few moments to yourself for some pampering. 🙂