Saturday, October 20, 2007

I was on the Front Page of Etsy!

It happened last weekend. I was just hanging out in my own shop (is that pathetic?), and noticed that the views on my soaps were going up and up. One soap in particular, my Gardener's Soap, had views that were growing exponentially by the minute! So I started looking around and found this soap on the home page of Etsy! What a thrill -- it was directing all kinds of traffic to my whole shop. I managed to capture a screen shot of my moment in the spotlight.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This Week's Soap Poll: Additives

Last week's soap poll was such a success, I thought I'd do another this week. This week's poll is all about the ingredients which can be added to soap to decorate, exfoliate, pamper, or otherwise make it a little unique from the average bar.

Please take my new, 3 question poll, right here ---------->

The highlights from last week's poll (with over 60 participants) include:

72% of handmade soap users prefer essential oils for scent, yet
9% prefer completely unscented, fragrance free products. The remaining 18% prefer cosmetic grade fragrances.

46% of participants prefer a fruity or citrus scented soap, and 40% overall prefer a moderate scent vs. a lighter or heavier scent.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Busy...or Thrashing?!

Today will be a busy crafting day -- and that is how I prefer to work. On my crafting agenda today I'll be making a batch of soap; completing a few jewelry pieces and starting a few new ones; wrapping eight bars of soap that were purchased yesterday; doing some photography; catching up on my bookkeeping (yuk!); and pulling a few garden weeds around my herbs that are often used in my soap recipes.

I love being busy. The trick is to keep "busy" from becoming "thrashing." Thrashing is what I used to do: flitting around from one task to the next, wasting a lot of time, and never quite completing anything. Now, I force myself to do just one thing at a time and see it through to completion before getting involved with something else. I discovered a unique feeling of accomplishment when I stopped the thrashing.

So here I go. But first, I think I'll make a pot of coffee to begin the day. Even "busy" requires caffeine!

Until next time, enjoy this picture of a monarch chrysalis that I found ready to hatch on my patio yesterday afternoon. When it hatches, it will be one of the longest living, 4th generation monarchs that flies to Mexico for the winter, then comes back in the spring to start next year's generations of monarchs. Unbelievable!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This Week's Poll all about scented soap. I will be using the results of this poll to help me focus. I have so many ideas for scents and scent blends that I thought it might be a good idea to get input from customers and potential customers.

For those that aren't scent savvy, I'll give a quick overview. Essential oils are distilled from plants - leaves, stems, flowers, bark, etc. Essential oils can be blended together for more complex scents. Essential oil soaps tend to be a bit less heavily scented, or less "perfumey." Fragrance oils are manmade, and the sky is the limit for variety and strength.

And the rest is about personal preference. Do you like your soap to perfume you? What is your favorite scent family?

Thanks for all the responses! Stay tuned for more soap listings on Etsy. Seaside Spa, Ambrosia, & Lavender Bliss are just about ready to come off the curing rack to get their handmade paper sleeve and sticker. (See photo above)

Bath & Body Bliss on Etsy:

Friday, October 5, 2007

Have you ever noticed...?

So many artisans these days don't do custom orders. Many say it stifles their creativity, or that they just don't need that kind of business. But I've found the opposite to be true. Have you ever noticed how custom requests can actually spark your creativity and push you in a direction to try something new that you might not have tried otherwise?

That happened to me just recently. A co-worker wanted a pair of earrings to match a necklace she had recently purchased. We talked to get a general idea of what she wanted, and I made two pair for her to consider. The pair pictured in this post sparked an idea for a different handmade earwire, hammered on the end to anchor the stacked beads, then hammered above the beads so everything is secure. I'm sure this isn't a "new" technique. But the request for a pair of beaded "stick earrings" forced me to try something I had never done before!

As it turns out, I'm actually making a third pair of earrings for her to consider. It is going to be a combination of the first two pair I made. Ahhhhhh, customer satisfaction... :) This pair is now listed in my "Just Silver Stop" section on Etsy!

Later, Dana

Etsy Shop:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I'm literally bailing water... I set a goal for myself to blog at least 3 times a week. After all, what is the point of a blog if you never post or update it? In the midst of this new goal, I have been juggling packaging of soap for an Etsy "soap swap" (the first ever, as far as I know!), and jewelry custom orders. So swamped with water must be a good thing!

Back to the soap swap -- I have 28 individual, 1 oz. samples of soap almost ready to mail off. In return, I get 28 oz. of other soaps from other Etsy sellers. Doesn't that sound like fun? I love trying other recipes from other soap makers! And of course, it never hurts to compare mine against the competition. So here is the lineup of flavors I'll be sending off: Rosemary Mint, Goatsmilk Gardenia, Gardener's Soap, Purity, Seaside Spa, Ambrosia, & Sandalwood. Here is what they look like waiting to be boxed up. That's a lot of soap! If these flavors have tempted you, most can be purchased (now or in the near future) from my new Bath & Body Bliss section on Etsy: