Saturday, May 31, 2008
I just love the leather flowers at Viridian! Handcrafted from genuine leather with beaded centers for a bit of sparkle, they absolutely add a bit of luxury to your life, but without the luxury-class price tag. With a price range of $6 to $22, you can add one to your jacket, another in your hair, and wear yet another as a necklace. In fact I love these so much that I'm giving all Viridian shoppers 10% off any chain order. Just contact me after you've purchased your flower(s).
Thursday, May 29, 2008
But I'm also trying to figure out to manage everything while I'm gone. My darling husband will be shipping orders for me, so I'm happy to not have to put my Etsy or eBay shops on vacation mode. Trying to get through all the other daily stuff may not be possible, so I thought I'd try a Mr. Linky to help with my Entrecard drops. If you're here to drop your card, take a few seconds and add yourself to my Mr. Linky list. (If you're not here to drop your card, click on over and get yourself a card!) I figure that anyone who took a minute to read instead of dropping and running has earned a spot on my list. While I'm gone I'll drop on these blogs before I drop on any others, and I'll be curious to see if it speeds things up for me.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
A few years ago my family and I had decided to make all 'handmade' gifts for each other for Christmas. I've always loved making gift baskets, so that year I decided to make bath baskets for all the ladies in the family. From that I went to the craft store and bought a soap making kit. It was so much fun, but I never did anything seriously with it after that. Until about a year ago when I found etsy, and started buying handmade soap online.
I've always wanted to try my best to live a healthy lifestyle, and using natural products on my skin fit perfectly with that. After trying several different types of soap from various etsy sellers, and loving them all!!! I decided to give it a try myself--learn more about what's good for your skin, and start making my own.
At first, I was just making soap for myself and my fiance, but once you've got so much of it around, you can't possibly use it all within a reasonable amount of time, so I decided to really educate myself and start selling soap on etsy.
There are a few different ways of making soap, and some day I want to learn the cold process method, but for now, I'm happy working with batches of natural soap base, and creating my own special blends.
What I love about working with soap base, rather than mixing the base from scratch is that for starters, it's much safer. Creating cold process soap means working with lye which is not only combustible if you mix it incorrectly, but it's also very hazardous to your health if you breathe it in. Also, cold process soaps take weeks to cure, while working with natural soap bases and adding my own special ingredients, I have fresh new bars of soap within a day's time.
It's a matter of preference as a soap maker really. There are benefits to both ways of making soap. The cold processed soaps are a bit more expensive, naturally, because they are made truly from scratch.
But, I tend to lean toward working with soap bases because I have more flexibility in presentation, it's a bit more affordable both as a soap maker and as a buyer of bath and body products, and it's safer to work with as well.
I've always loved to cook. I love trying new recipes, and blending different flavors together. I also love to decorate, and I'm inspired by a variety of crafty things. I also have a jewelry shop on etsy, but to be honest, I really feel like I may have finally found my passion in crafting. Making soap for me, is a great way to blend so many of my hobbies and interests into one project.
I get to play with color. I get to play with fragrance, essential oils, and I'm learning so much about aromatherapy and other natural ingredients that are great for your skin. I get to play with the presentation of my soaps by using pretty molds and packaging, and I get to learn and educate others about natural ways to care for your skin and your body.
For me, making soap is so much more than simply making soap. It's about living a healthy, natural lifestyle, and I love being able to share that with others. I know that I still have a lot to learn about soap making, as well as the benefits of different things that can better your skin, but I'm loving every minute of it, and I'm SO enjoying the ride!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
what they're doing with their checks. My favorite is the person saving for a trip to the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championship in Anchorage, Alaska. This guy is Willi Chevalier of Germany, the 2001 World Champion in Full Beard Freestyle. Who wouldn't want to save up to hang out with a bunch of guys like him?
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
2. The traffic to this blog has increased significantly, and it's not all drop-and-run as I feared it would be. A fair number of Entrecard users take the time to stop, read, leave comments, even check out my jewelry and temari. I've come to believe that you get out of Entrecard what you put into it, and if you make the effort to read and interact with the others, people will do the same with you.
3. The ads I buy (with credits I earn, not real money--perfect for my current budget!) on other blogs give this blog exposure to everyone and anyone who might be reading those blogs--many of whom are not entrecard users--bringing new blog readers here and potential customers to my Etsy and eBay shops.
4. The powers that be have come out with a free new ebook to help new entrecarders and seasoned droppers alike. My favorite part about the ebook is that they included MY AD as part of an illustration (see page 8), but it's also full of a ton of helpful tips and info.
5. Entrecard has just been updated so that you can have more than one blog on your account, and switch between them quickly and easily. This is terrific news because I'm planning to launch another blog in the next few weeks and I'm looking forward to using Entrecard to help get traffic moving to it.
If you're a blogger and not in the Entrecard network yet I recommend you have a look around, read the ebook, and feel free to ask questions.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I listed this braided Kumihimo necklace in my etsy shop today. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out until I was a good way into the braiding because I made it with windowpane yarn. If you've never seen windowpane yarn, it looks like two strands of string connected by little ribbon flags. This was my first time using anything like it, and I love the way this necklace looks! I also refreshed myself on kumihimo history today so that I could answer a customer's questions, so here's a mini history lesson for you: Kumihimo is a centuries-old tradition, dating back to the days of the Samurai who used kumihimo braids to lace up their armor, wrap sword handles to create a secure grip, and to hang a sword on their belts. The Samurai warriors were expected to be able to repair their braids if they became worn or damaged, so by the time they were too old (or maimed) to do battle they were able to earn a decent living by making kumihimo braids.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Seven Random Facts
1. I married my sweetie in a hot air balloon ceremony over Niagara Falls. It was the best ceremony I could ever imagine!
2. I rarely go to movie theaters, or for that matter watch a DVD in one sitting. I like movies, but sit still for that long and I'm sound asleep (see #6).
3. When they were filming Bull Durham I worked in an office near the ballpark. I spent more than one long lunch break sitting in the stands. If I learned anything it was that watching a movie being made is really boring (but still better than working for someone else).
4. I have 3 adult children, 2 school-age step-kids, and 2 grandkids--with one more due any day now.
5. My closest brush with fame came when I was working for a book design and production studio. James Dickey, famous for writing Deliverance, is also an accomplished poet. He phoned to say that he was worried about making his deadline because his dogs ate his page proof, and could I please get him a new set.
6. I struggle with insomnia more than not, so most nights I fall asleep with the television on (see #2).
7. HTML has been known to bring me to tears.
Twelve Great Blogs
I love the creativity of artists and crafters, so I'm tagging some of my favorite blogs from creative types:
Lizzy T, who knits the sweetest creations.
Cutting Edge Creations, needlefelting treasures
NanjoDogz, amazing beads in the shape of dogs.
Sam McLean Designs, you've got to check out the pie!
Aerten Art, where even the doodles are fabulous.
Funky Folk Art by Memekiwii, pottery that's fresh and funky and folksy.
Caroline Parsons's Art Blog, paintings I could look at for days on end.
Althea Peregrine, sumptuous silk art
Strawberrycouture, bright and colorful hats that practically scream FUN!
Carolina Patchworks, creations from a fabric addict
Connie at The Tiny Fig, who makes "sweet figments of the imagination."
An Artful Mess, unique art masquerading as greeting cards
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Right now I'd love to jump on the bandwagon with the others who criticize the actions of the Myanmar government. There were human rights issues galore there before Cyclone Nargis struck, and now that the government is restricting aid to its homeless, starving, and injured citizens, the number and urgency of human rights issues in that country has soared.
But I'm too embarrassed to say too much. You know, it's that old "he who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones" saying. The U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay has become a global symbol of U.S. human rights violations: illegal detention, denial of fundamental legal rights, and torture. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to improve the image of our Guantánamo Bay facility, and it will serve as an embarrassment to the United States for generations. I agree with Amnesty International that the only proper recourse is to close the facility.
Tearitdown.org is Amnesty International’s global initiative to end illegal U.S. detentions. You can do something about Guantánamo: Click the image below and sign the pledge. Hang around for a few seconds afterward and watch the show--and let me know if you manage to see your own name (I couldn't sit still long enough to wait for mine).
If you want to do something on a more personal level, host a foreign exchange student--it's a handshake toward future global understanding, tolerance, and peace.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Mother's Day is just a couple of days away. Are you done shopping? If not, this is your lucky day! I offer a selection of LuckyGirl Gift-of-the-Month Clubs: you can choose pendants, earrings, a mix of pendants and earrings, and even Temari. All gifts will be shipped directly to the mom of your choice and customized to her unique preferences. Place an order by this Sunday and I'll email a color preference questionnaire with a gift announcement to your favorite Mom. And a bonus just for my blog readers: I'll add one free month on to whichever gift club you select. Just send me a message after you order that says "It's My Mom's Lucky Day!"
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
–START COPYING HERE–
Here are the rules:
1. Copy from “START COPYING HERE” to “STOP COPYING HERE”.
2. Add your site(s) to the list. Just be sure to post the “StumbleWorthy List” at each site you add.
3. Let Blanne know your blog’s name and url by leaving a comment HERE. Blanne will add you to the master list.
4. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often. This will allow the newcomers to achieve equal benefit as the late comers do.
5. Register in StumbleUpon and install the toolbar.
6. Go to the sites found on the list and give them a thumb up (I like it!).
7. Add Blanne as your friend in StumbleUpon: Blanne.
Note: Your url will be deleted in the Master List if you do not comply to the given rules.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE LIST. OR CLICK HERE TO GET A BANNER THAT YOU CAN PUT ON YOUR BLOG. THE MORE PARTICIPANTS, THE GREATER INCREASE IN TRAFFIC!
1. Hit-or-Miss 2. Mommy’s Little Corner 3. A Simple Life 4. moms….. check nyo 5. The Journey 6. Sigh 7. Photo Hook 8. Say Cheese 9. Make Every Day Your Lucky Day 10. YOUR BLOG/SITE HERE!
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Hearts of Love Slippers with burp cloth and bib, $23
Denim Blue Slippers with burp cloth, $15
Pink Dotted Slippers with burp cloth and bib, $23
Monday, May 5, 2008
I've shipped so many packages since we moved that I'm on a first-name basis with our mail carrier. Well, at least I could be, he's told me his first name--twice. I think it has an "r" in it. I am so terrible with details, I knew I should have written it down.
Anyhow, I'm looking forward to asking my kids to carry food to the mailbox to help fill his delivery truck this Saturday in honor of Mother's Day. Many years ago I was on the receiving end of the donated food and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. I think learning to give when needed is one of the best presents any child can give a parent. (Kids, if you're reading this, I like flowers, too--but canned food first please!)
Sunday, May 4, 2008
After working in publishing for 16 years I have a huge aversion to turning down page corners to mark my place. Little scraps of paper usually fall out and disappear, and besides, I figure that many people put a lot of work into producing that book, so it deserves a decent bookmark. Today's lucky find is cserpentDesigns. You can find gorgeous beaded bracelets and other jewelry there, but I really love these bookmarks!
When Pigs Fly Bookmark, $15
Blue Hug Bookmark, $15
Pink Bear Lampwork and Swarovski Bookmark, $17
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I'm #63 on the Million Blog List. I read that there are over 70,000,000 blogs in existence (I wonder how long it would take to read all of them?). This site is an experiment to see how long it will take to get 1,000,000 blogs listed. As I write this post there are 1,239 blogs listed--is yours one of them? Run on over there: it's quick, easy, and more fun than working to check back to see how the list has grown and explore a few new blogs.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Green Elegance Necklace, $115
Russian Royalty Necklace, $135
Princess Anastasia Necklace, $115