Sunday, November 29, 2009

Soap, Soap, & More Soap

I've found it difficult lately to get any new soap on Etsy. Seems my regular customers want to buy the stuff by the whole soap loaf...and it is all I can do to keep up with their requests. Maybe someday life will afford more time for more soap making in a 24 hour period!

In the meantime, I wanted to give a little tip on Lavender soap. Lavender seems to be a "love it" or "hate it" type of scent. And, lavender soap (the kind that is scented with lavender essential oil), is a bit temperamental to make because it has a tendency to develop a white ash coating on the exterior as it cures. It is just a cosmetic thing, but many soapers, including me, don't want to sell soap with white ash.

However, if you are going for a straight lavender scented soap, just add a little ylang-ylang essential oil to the batch to keep white ash from developing! Yes, it works! A teaspoon or so of ylang-ylang will not alter the lavender scent, and it will prevent the white ash from ever developing.

Some other good mixes with lavender, either essential oils or fragrances, that prevent the white ash include: orange, rose, and mint.

Enjoy your own soapmaking...or just purchase from those of us who do.

Soap Sense on Etsy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Are Anklets "In" or "Out"?

...doesn't matter, I still enjoying making them for summer. I think they are very cute with sandals, maybe when other jewelry is just a little too heavy in hot weather.

I like to design all my anklets (or ankle bracelets) to be adjustable. You can wear one above the ankle, tight enough so it doesn't slip down...or, more loosely below the ankle. It is impossible to wear an anklet directly across the ankle, otherwise, even the most sturdy construction will snap with the pressure from bending your foot.

I've found that 9 inches is about medium-sized for an anklet. So a small section of chain makes it adjustable up or down by 1/4 inch. Wrap a cute little Swarovski dangle at the end of the chain, and the anklet is ready to go.

The anklet shown here was made with Hill Tribe, hand stamped tubular beads, tiny rounds, and pastel freshwater pearls in pink and aqua. This piece is for sale in the Anklet Section of my Etsy shop, DLPom Handcrafted Expressions.

Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A New Venture - Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Pendants

I love it when a little window of time opens up and there is a chance to try something new! Creative people always have a thousand more ideas on their list than what they really have time for. With my little window of time, I tried my hand at a new jewelry venture that has been on my list for quite some time...or should I say "adventure!"

Hand stamping sterling silver jewelry does take a little practice, and you will likely "mess up" your first few attempts. (So don't try this for the first time on your expensive sterling silver!) But it really is easy once you get the hang of it.

For beginners, I recommend measuring twice, just to be sure! And take into consideration any holes at the top of a pendant which will lower the visual center of your piece. When ready to stamp, I've found that 2-3 confident whacks with the hammer give a better quality stamp than 9-10 tentative taps. You will also need a very smooth, steel surface on which to stamp so as not to introduce any unwanted marks on your project.

I had previous experience with oxidizing, brushing, and repolishing silver pieces. So these steps came naturally after the hand stamping was completed. The results of this entire process are some nice, organic pieces that look awesome on a ball chain!

Check out my website for more pictures and details: DLPom dot com

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Smaller, Rectangular Soap Bars

For those that liked smaller, rectangular soap bars in my poll --->, here's the perfect solution. The same amount of generous soap, just sliced down the middle for convenience. These are my Feng Shui soap bars, just recently listed on Etsy. Let me know what you think!?

And the scent, is a blend of bamboo and cedar entwined with lemon, tangerine, and ginger. A must try for all handcrafted soap lovers!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Etsy Treasury!

Thank you, curiousmess, for featuring my new batch of Gardenia Goat's Milk Soap in your Etsy Treasury!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Best of All Compliments

...when someone else features your shop on their blog, of course! Lisa, of yourgreenshopper, recently did this for my Etsy shop, Soap Sense. I really love her ambition to become as sustainable and self-sufficient as possible! Please check out her blog and Etsy shop, WinterDreams, for ecofriendly art, clothing, and accessories.

More blog posts coming soon, I hope.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Handcrafted Soap Addict's Soap Dish

Can't have only one bar of handcrafted soap at a time? Bits of different soaps globbed together in one dish? Can't wait to finish one bar before trying another?

Yeah, that's me! And I may be worse than the average person because I'm always testing my own bars of soap, and of course that requires using many different bars at a time!

So why fight it? Here's my attractive, earth-friendly, and organized way to handle your soap addiction. Each bar can have it's own slot to drain and air dry! Perfect!

See this soap dish and many others in the Linen Closet section of my Etsy Shop, Soap Sense.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Entrecard Top Droppers for January!

Drumroll...and here they are -- my Top 10 Entrecard droppers for January:

Limitless Adventure
Silver Sachet
Youniquely Chic
A Rose By Name
The Fashion Lovers
Dieting Talk
Top Model News - blog no longer available

Thanks to everyone for increasing my blog traffic! Hope to see you in February!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Win This Gardener's Vetiver Soap Gift Set!

Win one of my fabulous, Gardener's Vetiver soap gift sets! Just visit Lynde's Bath, Body, Candle blog for official contest rules and how to enter. Good luck!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lavender Soap, Straight-up...or Not!

Lavender is a love me or hate me scent. Nothing is better than straight-up, lavender soap if you love the scent. If you don't, lavender is a great mixer for other essential oils, and gets tamed down just a bit when blended. I have both in my soap shop, Soap Sense on Etsy. A straight-up lavender soap bar, and another blended scent that is an orange-lavender soap. Neither of these are what grandma used to use!

Aromatherapists recommend lavender essential oil to calm anxiety, minimize depression, relieve headaches, ease the itch of insect bites, soothe muscle pain, and more! Orange essential oil has many of the same aromatherapy qualities. And while I don't tout any of these remedies, I do know that these scents calm my mind and soul at the end of a long day.

Try'll never go back to store bought soap!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Feeling Crowded... I went to a wider, 2 column format for my blog. Instructions for how to do this, and how to switch to a 3 column format, can be found on The Blogger Guide.

As you can see, my banner is now "Under Construction!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Raising Sand Treasury on Etsy

Kara of BeadedandButtoned was kind enough to include my Desert Palette Necklace from DLPom Handcrafted Expressions in her Etsy Treasury. Some gorgeous Southwest colors here!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gemstone Mania to Win a Pair of Custom Earrings (We Have a Winner!)

I wanted to do something a little different with my custom earring giveaway this time around. All you need to do is be the first to identify the semi-precious gemstones in the jewelry below. You'll have to figure out where to get hints if any of them confuse you, but check the comments because I may also be giving some clues along the way!

Here's the fine print:

1. The winner's custom earrings may be choosen from any of the semi-precious gemstones and metal findings I have in inventory - see my Etsy shop, DLPom Handcrafted Expressions for ideas! I will work with you to achieve a design that you love!

2. You may post more than once if you want to correct one or more of your answers, however you need to repost ALL of your answers, not just the corrections. Your latest post will be considered your answer.

3. Contest ends when someone correctly matches my list of semi-precious gemstone names -or- by Saturday, January 24th, 2009. At midnight on the final day, the recipient with the most correct answers will win, and any ties will be broken by random drawing.

4. Only U.S.A. and Canadian participants, please. Be sure to leave an email or link so I can contact you if you win! I will post in the comments section as soon as I identify the winner!

Good luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Paper is Handcrafted Too?!

Many people are often surprised to find out that the paper band around my soap is also handmade. When I started selling my soap (rather than just giving it away to family and friends), I wanted to find a way to package it that was unique and professional, and a bit kinder to the environment as well. I had made paper pulp before and had used a mold, deckle, and paper press to shape and dry it. So it was a natural extension to use these handmade sheets of paper as soap bands.

These photos are from the backend of the process. The sheets have been drying in the press for about a week, layered in between sheets of absorbant (and reusable) paper towels and dish cloths. After the finished sheets are released from the paper press, they are torn into narrow strips to wrap around the soap bars as bands.

All of the paper used to make the pulp comes from clean, ink-free scraps that I save from around the house. It might be scraps of computer paper, colored paper, or tissue paper. This paper gets a second life rather than just immediately being thrown away. Collecting different papers really doesn't take up that much space, and what a great way to recycle!

I try to make colorful papers that match the scent and/or color of the soap. The first photo is my Orange Lavender essential oil soap with matching, Orange Lavender paper. Once the soap is cured, you'll find it nicely wrapped on my handcrafted soap Etsy shop, Soap Sense.

What do you do to make your craft even more handcrafted?