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?