Saturday, September 10, 2011

Craft show prep continues...

So, I'm making progress in getting ready for the Red Kettle Craft Fair. I've redone most of my labels, and have several bottles of Cleanse made now.

Cleanse is currently available in unscented (an excellent choice for those with allergies, sensitive skin, or sensitivity to fragrances), lavender, lavender-tea tree, citrus spice (orange, lemon, and clove) and spa day (chamomile, rosemary, and lavender). I've got plans to do a "flower garden" blend, but I haven't quite found the right blend of floral essential oils yet.

Once the Red Kettle Fair is over, that will be a priority so I can have it ready in time for the Murfreesboro fiber festival. I'll be vending there at the end of October with all sorts of fiber-related items.

In the midst of these preparations, I'm also busy with projects for holiday gift-giving. I like to give hand-made gifts when I can because I feel they're more special and personal, and yeah, I'll admit that a lot of times, it saves me money (and I'm gonna knit stuff anyway, so I might as well knit some of it for gifts.)

I'll try to post again soon, maybe even with more pictures!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back in Business

First, my apologies for the extremely long span between updates. A death in the family derailed last summer's plans for a while, but we're back on track now.

I've been quite busy lately. I signed up with my friend Beth, aka Eclectic Willow, to do a booth at the Red Kettle Craft Fair this month. The fair is on the 24th, and I've been working on some redesigned labels for my bath and body products, as well as creating some jewelry, bags, and other handcrafted accessories for the booth.

One thing that I really love to do in many of my crafts is upcycle. This morning I finished a bag that was made from some salvaged satin, a Goodwill courdoroy skirt, and some leftover tapestry fabric I had in my stash.

That skirt has already created one other simple bag and I still have pieces that will likely become another bag of some sort. My favorite part of today's bag was the pockets.

See that little zipper pocket? That was the zipper of the skirt. If you look closely on the left, you can see the edge of the waistband. I cut right next to the front pocket on the skirt, which didn't leave a lot of fabric on either size of the zipper, so I used that complimentary burgundy fabric to add enough depth for the pocket to hold something like a cell phone or iPod securely.

On the other side of the bag I created two pockets by stitching the sides and bottom of a pocket cut off the skirt, but leaving the top at the original waistband open. I also left a belt loop on there which can be handy for attaching keys.

The strap and closing flap are both made from that burgundy tapestry-type fabric, and the flap closes with a magnetic snap. The inside is an ivory satin-like fabric from an old dress. I could see this bag being a great purse or knitting/hobby bag, and in fact, as a knitting bag, it could carry a decent sized project inside while using the outside pockets for a small wallet, cell phone, keys, etc.

I find that I really enjoy taking a cool piece of clothing and random scraps of fabric, ribbon, trim, etc. and coming up with a design from it. It's almost like using fabric to make a functional item in a collage format.

I will be busy with more inventory for the craft fair, but I hope to be posting on here as we go. I may even do something for a discount and/or give-away, so please keep reading!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Busy building inventory

So after making 14 bottles of Cleanse yesterday (the 7th, I'm writing this after midnight), I jumped back into production today with even more stuff.

Body Butters
I have 2 so far that have both been quite popular. One is a very carefully created "Skin Soother" for super dry skin that has helped me, my family, and some of my customers with various rashes, dry cracked skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. After the first batch went out for testing, the scent (which comes from the herbs infused in the oil as well as some essential oils added) was dubbed "Spa Day" by one tester (thanks Squiddy!) and that scent has since been recreated in a special blend of just essential oils so it could be used in lip smoothers, tub treats, and Cleanse.

The other, originally created by request, was a peppermint body butter. It's a much simpler and more basic recipe, intended to do no more than smell like peppermint and moisturize the skin. As a bonus, Aimee discovered that the peppermint helped relieve her fibromyalgia pain flare-ups.

Both these are now done and labeled and ready for sale. If you don't see it in my etsy shop, just convo or email me, or leave a comment here, and I'll let you know if I still have some.

Sugar Scrub

I have a small batch of my orange-rose sugar scrub, made with a mixture of brown and white sugar, moisturizing oils, glycerin, nourishing vitamin E and crushed comfrey, and of course, rose petals and orange essential oil.

I will soon be making a new batch of the coconut-vanilla scrub, with real coconut and vanilla beans!

Aroma Balms

I mentioned a few days ago that I was making these. Well tonight I finally got around to the shrink wrap. Now I just need some photos so I can get them put up on etsy. These are the same aromatherapy blends as the "Clear Head" and "No Stress" oils, but in a convenient lip-balm tube so you can carry them around and apply directly as needed. (Don't carry them in your pocket, though. That much body heat will melt the aroma balms and lip smoothers - just ask Joy!)

My plan for the next few days
  • get caught up on photos and postings on etsy.
  • update my facebook fan page
  • make some more products (still to come - flower garden body butter, more tub treats & lip smoothers, and herbal dryer packs)
  • check in with my local boutiques to see what they need from me
  • check my ingredients on hand to see what I need to order soon.
The shop has quite a lot in it now and more will be added soon. Check it out, share it with friends, and happy shopping!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Taking a Big Step

Okay, I'm a bit nervous about this, but here goes nothing... I'm preparing to take a pretty big step with my products, specifically Cleanse. My dear friend Star has created a banner ad for me to use on the Ravlery site and once I've got my shop updated and she's done a couple minor changes on the ad, I'll be advertising!

This should be exciting, and I'm looking forward to tracking the impressions and clicks and seeing what new customers I might get from this.

Today, in preparation, I made 14 bottles of Cleanse in unscented, lavender, and lavender-tea tree. I need to order some ingredients before I can make more, but this is a good start!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Aroma Balms!

I've just finished up a batch of No Stress Aroma Balm and will soon be making a batch of the Clear Head Aroma Balm as well.

These balms come in lip balm tubes, just like my lip smoothers, only in black tubes so it's easy to tell them apart at a glance. They're a slightly different formula, blended for a smooth consistency but not particularly for moisturizing like the lip smoothers (though with the cocoa butter, glycerin, and grapeseed oil, they'll be somewhat moisturizing too). Then each one has my original aromatherapy blends added to them.

If you have tried, or thought about trying, the headache or stress oil blends, but want something easy to carry around, or with less mess to apply and less chance of oil spills (because we all know how hard an oil spill can be to clean up, right?) this is the thing for you! Just pull out whichever Aroma Balm you need, and smooth it on the temples, forehead, wrists, pulse points, under your nose... The idea is to let the aromatherapy do its magic while you sit back, breathe, and relax!

More to come soon - I'm hoping for a busy day of creating!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Delayed Update

I have done stuff since mid-May, I'm just sure of it, but apparently I never got around to blogging about it. Sadly, the cord to my camera is MIA so I can't add any new pics just yet, but I'll get to that as soon as I can track it down.

Lately - I've made a nifty purse from a recycled sweater, and have plans to make many more purses, bags, etc., which will soon be going up in their own etsy shop (name to be determined).

I've also made some room sprays. In addition to the Energizer and Cube Calmer that I was already carrying, I finally got a new bottle of Geranium oil which allowed me to make a No Stress room spray. It's the same EO blend I make for the No Stress Calming Oil, and I will soon be making it in a convenient balm style as well.

I hope to be updating again soon with details of many new products going up in the shop. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finally - Progress!

After focusing much of my energy and attention on my daughter's prom, birthday and graduation (all happening within two weeks), I've finally been able to devote some time to business needs! As such, I have a number of new products made, a couple "in development" that I'll be making larger batches of this week, and have even managed to get them where they need to go.

Some of these new products are now at Mesh here in Murfreesboro, while others are listed for sale on the Stones River Market and my Etsy shop.

I want to share here the one product I'm most proud of. CLEANSE. It's my own creation - a carefully developed and thoroughly tested no-rinse cleaning soak for handmade items and delicates. I tried a number of different formulas. I sent out small bottles for people to test. It's gone through a bunch of tests on various types of yarn, natural and synthetic, animal and plant, commercially spun/dyed and hand spun/dyed, knitted/crocheted/skeined. It's also been used on a few delicates such as lingerie and hosiery. It leaves these things soft and fresh, and the scented version add just a hint of scent to the dried item without leaving behind a bunch of residue buildup.

CLEANSE is all natural and earth friendly, and is currently available in the Etsy shop in unscented (for sensitive skin), citrus spice, or tea tree & lavender. It comes in 8oz. bottles, amber glass, just like the oil blends.

I'm really excited about this and hope you will all enjoy it and the other new products available, too.