Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The package arrived!

A little while back, Carrie of Under the Willow Shop had a giveaway of her products and I won one of her two prizes. I finally got around to going to the mailbox and lo and behold, there was a package from Carrie. I had forgotten that she does such lovely packaging

And then to find all this inside, was like Christmas as a kid all over again. Actually better than what we got for gifts as kids, mom would give us underwear and socks.

There was the new Mistletoe Mountain, Cambridge Rum and Lavender Grace laundry soap, along with a "sample" pack of household cleaner (I laugh because as you can see, the sample pack is huge!) along with samples of the Honey and Ale, Cambridge Rum, and Berries and Porter soaps.

I think I'm going to put the soap samples into hubby's underwear drawer to keep his delicates smelling nice, but I can't wait to try out the laundry soaps. I think it's Mistletoe Mountain that I smell the most and it's fabulous!

So once again thank you so much Carrie, for hosting a giveaway of your wonderful products.

Friday, 23 December 2011

That's what friends are for

A friend emailed yesterday to see if she could come for a visit today. We used to carpool together, and since I'd quit my day job, of course I haven't seen her as often and so it was nice of her to call.

We always have a nice time chatting, and at this time of year exchanging Christmas gifts. She had bought some soaps previously for her co-workers who said they loved them. This time, she wanted to buy some gifts for friends and family and ended up taking home about 40 soaps. Just as I thought the Christmas sales were over, she comes along and makes up for the lack of sales from the salon.

I may not have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are special and wonderful.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Who knows what gifts ideas lurks in the minds of people?

With deepest apologies to the creators of The Shadow for the title of this post.

Since this is the time of year to spend money with reckless abandon for some people, it seemed appropriate to try and sell my soaps wherever possible. My hairdresser liked the soaps so I dropped of a basket of one of each type of soap at her salon, thinking her clients would pick up a soap or two as a stocking stuffer. That was approximately two weeks ago .

I called her today to follow up and she said there was no movement whatsoever.  She will buy a couple, but none of her other clients wanted any. One woman had shown interest in an animal soap for her granddaughter, but when shown the product, she didn't want to spend $6 on a gift for a 2 year old. Is $6 too much?

This just means that I have to work harder at trying other avenues. Or I just take the rest of the holiday season off to enjoy with friends and family because that really is what this time of year is all about, isn't it?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Do you journal?

I've been reading a couple of books lately that says that to inspire creative ideas and help people find themselves, it's important to keep a journal. To me, that is the hardest thing to do, well next to doing math. In university, I took a lot of English courses, but only because like I said, math and science were not my forte and so English made for a good elective. Verbosity is not my strong suit, 2000 word essays were the bane of my existence. I could say what I wanted to say in 500 words or less, so I spent more time counting the number of words I'd written (do "a" and "the" count in an essay?) than actually trying to write the essay itself.

Which leads me to the title, do you journal? And if you do, do you do it on a daily basis? Has it helped you to unleash your creative juices?

Monday, 12 December 2011

It's cookie time

Every year, my friends get edible gifts for me because I figure it's one of those gifts that won't get re-gifted, and who doesn't like cookies? I tend to make the same cookies each year but since it's only once a year, no one seems to mind. One cookie I make that everyone seems to be impressed with is the Neopolitan cookie. It's easy to make, but looks like a lot of work.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond or peppermint extract
5 drops red food colouring
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

Line a 9x5x3 inch pan with waxed paper, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over the sides of the pan.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until mixture is fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until the ingredients are combined. Slowly add the flour mixture beating on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until ingredients are combined.

Divide dough into 3 portions and place each into a separate bowl. Stir almond or peppermint extract and food colouring into one portion. Stir chopped nuts into second portion and the melted chocolate into remaining portion.

Pat the pink dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Pat the dough with nuts over the pink dough and top with chocolate dough. Cover the pan and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until the dough is firm enough to slice.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove the chilled dough from the pan by lifting the waxed paper ends, remove the waxed paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half. Cut each cookie block crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4" wide slices. Arrange the slices about 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm and light brown. Cool cookies on sheet for 1 minute then trasnfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield:  72-84 cookies.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

What do you do when it's no longer crafting season?

I feel at a bit of a loss at the moment now that the two shows are over. I know I was chomping at the bit to have them over with but that was only with the provision that I sold off every last Christmas soap I made. The preparations leading up to the shows, the lack of sleep the late nights seemed at the time a chore, but they were also somewhat of an adrenaline rush. Now I'm having to clean things up, figure out which soaps to give as presents to friends and work on the paperwork side of things which is a bit boring by comparison.

I still have one more possible lead, that is my hairstylist. I went in for a cut today and to drop off a basket of soaps at her salon to see if her other customers might be interested. Like me, she was more interested in the basket the soaps came in than the contents. So fingers crossed, she will give me a good order by the end of the week.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Qualifying the event

When I first started thinking about going into craft shows, I vaguely recall reading something about checking out the shows before entering. That's great for someone who's careful and plans things out, but not me, I wanted to jump right in and do the fairs this season.

So, of course, the first one went very well, especially considering it was my first time and I knew nothing about what I was getting into. After that, I thought, easy peasy, the second one will be a piece of cake.

I'm not blaming the organizer of the second event, I'm surprised that a mother of 4 would even want to set up an event like this, but for all I know, she's a Type A personality to the extreme. What I should've tweaked on maybe though, was that it's out in the 'burbs. Not in the affluent 'burbs where people spend money, and not in farming 'burbs either where people would support local business. No, this is, and no offense to anyone, a middle America wannabe 'burb. If it ain't in a store that's come up from the States, it's not worth having.

The fair was also not a crafters only event, there was everything from local crafters to Mary Kay and Tupperware reps there and so it drew a very eclectic crowd there. The set up for the show was very bizarre as well. Where I'm used to going to shows where each vendor has a back curtain and side curtains separating them, those of us in the centre of the room were backing onto the people behind us, with no division and the tables were set so they were touching each other. Without the back I wasn't able to set up my signs and had to rely on people coming closer to see what in the world I was selling.

Fortunately the show was only 1.5 days as the crowds we were told would come on Saturday never materialized. It got to the point that some of the vendors even packed up early and left, which is demoralizing for everyone.

Needless to say, I'm not going to go back to this show next year, I've learned that I need to show my soaps in an environment that's more craft friendly and in a town that's more supportive of the arts, whatever they may be.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The next one cometh

Tomorrow is my second and last craft fair for this year. I'm hoping that I can sell more of the gift sets that hubby worked so hard to make. He'd come home after work and make the boxes, cutting them in the garage where it's cold, and then come inside to do the detail work like sanding down the corners of the boxes. He'd even considered at one point of making Saturns for the spaceship gift box out of the same material as the box. Fortunately, we found some space stickers and saved him time and aggravation (and me watching the air turn blue with his swearing).

I admire people who are involved in a ton of craft fairs at this time of year, it must be very tiring to be doing show after show after show. The rewards however must be huge as people do keep coming back and doing them year after year.

After this, I'll need to start working on my wholesale costs and listing out stores I want to approach with my soaps. Obviously I'm a little behind, I should've been hitting stores back a month or two ago, but I'm chalking this one up to experience and by next year I hope to be well ahead of the game rather than staying up all night for weeks prior.

Monday, 28 November 2011

No longer a (craft show) virgin

I had signed up for the MakeItVancouver show not knowing anything about it except that it still had space and I hadn't missed the deadline to apply. It was also appealing because on the application form, it said that the products had to be designed and made by you and in Canada.

After many weeks of madly soaping, being dazed and confused, having hubby kick my butt figuratively but help me out literally, D-day arrived. Or I guess maybe it should be called c-day for craft?). It was a mad rush right up to the end. Loading the car was a bear, but thankfully we had dad's CR-V to use rather than trying to fit everything into our Mini.

The event is a four day event, starting on Thursday and ending on Sunday. Needless to say, Thursday was a long day, what with setup and then having to work the floor. Friday was a big success, many visitors came and bought. Saturday was equally good and by then we'd also found our groove. One of the best sales I had was a little girl, probably about 3 years old who wanted a mini chocolate frogs. Her father came back later to buy another soap and he told us this is the only time he's ever seen her hold onto anything that tight and not let go.

Another wonderful customer was a little boy about 7 years old who knew exactly what he wanted. He told his mom he was fine with her going to look at other booths and he was going to pick out what he wanted. With the help of hubby, he put together a box with the LEGO blocks and LEGO men.

Our fellow artisans were also major contributors to a very positive experience. Their upbeat and friendly attitudes made the time fly by. I also have, fingers crossed, two potential wholesale clients. So all in all, it was a very successful show. I've learned so much from this show and now I can't wait for the next one.

Diana and Lianne of Little Dreambug and Ainsley of Flirty Fortunes

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A sale, a real sale

My friends have been very supportive of me so far in my endeavours to make this business run, but today I got what I consider a "real" sale.

The very sweet and talented Carrie Garvin of Under the Willow ordered a couple of soaps for her grand girlies. (Ssshhh, don't tell them, it's going to be a surprise). This is the first order I actually have to mail out, so I'm very excited. Carrie is kindly letting me get ready for my craft fairs before I send out her order. What more could I ask for; a sale and the freedom to send it out at my convenience. Thanks again Carrie!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street

With directions like take a left at the blue house then go down the road until you see the post. I don't have a GPS so I have to use the old fashioned way of finding my destination. I need to go back to Sesame Street to learn my alphabets again.

When I package the alphabet soaps, I put them in backwards so that they show up properly in the bags. It should be an easy task, however, it doesn't always seem to be that way for me. Can you find where the error is here?

That's right, the Q is backwards. It's easy to spot when it's facing the right way, but harder to spot when placing them backwards.

Today's episode of Bubbles in my head is brought to you by the letters J and Q, two letters I can't seem to figure out are facing the wrong way when I put them in backwards.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Customer Service

In reading up on how to be a successful business owner, it is always emphasized that you must treat your customers with respect, and respond in a timely manner. As I mentioned previously, I had trouble getting any sort of response from the local companies when I requested packaging estimates.

Today, after much searching, we found a company that can supply us with some of the packaging material we need. ULINE is based out of the States and when they say they'll respond as quickly as possible to any questions, they mean it. I sent them an email asking about some adhesives and 15 minutes later, I got an email back with an answer. I ordered the supplies I needed on-line, and they will ship on Monday to arrive by Tuesday. Amazing! This is what I really like about the States is their customer service; they are friendly and helpful. Oh and I came just short of the minimum order to receive a free Hall & Oates CD, darnitall.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Turkey Run

Thanksgiving in Canada is in October, which means we have leftover turkey a month earlier than our friends to the south. For me, this means we've had almost a month to get over that turkey bloat. So, as a way to get ready for Christmas time, I decided to make turkey pot pie. To paraphrase Mrs. Tweedy, "chickens go in, pies come out."

Since the oven was on, I decided to make an apple pie as well. Or maybe it was the fact I bought a huge box of apples that needed to be made into pies that made me make the turkey pie. I used a Bon Appetit recipe, five spice apple pie. I had my doubts of whether hubby would like it or not since he's not normally a five spice kinda guy, but apple pie a la mode is delicious, regardless of the spices.

Friday, 4 November 2011

It's all in the details

You know that saying about "success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration? I have a variation on that: Detailing is 15% inspiration, 80% cleaning up the bits of soap that don't belong and 5% cursing and muttering under my breath. It's so rewarding when it does come together as it should though, I love to see the colours pop and make the soaps come to life.

Today I actually had a bit of revelation while colouring the dots and fins on the fish - if I keep the soap heated up to the proper temperature, it makes it alot easier to work with and less likely to harden up in they syringe. I know, it's almost a duh statement, but getting it to that point of the right consistency is much harder than it sounds, at least for a newbie. Like everything else, it takes practice to get it right, but when I figure out the magic formula of timing, heating and perfect amount of soap to use, I'm sure I'll send much less time cursing and cleaning.

In the meanwhile, these are three examples of the soaps that require detailing that I'm working on for the upcoming shows. Apologies for the not great picture.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Lessons I've learned

It's been almost six months since I started this business, and usually this is the time when an employee has a job evaluation. Since I'm not only the owner of the company, but also the only employee, I won't be firing myself any time soon. So instead, I'll review what I managed to learn over the last six months.

  1. Write down everything! Treat each soap making process like a science experiment and note each step. I'm not a computer and don't remember everything. In fact, a soap I made early on, I have no idea to date what colour I used to make it like this. I know the general group of colour, but how did I get there? No idea.
  2. Focus. Do one thing at a time, but if there are several soaps that are using the same colour for detailing, do them all at once to save time.
  3. Keep the bottle of rubbing alcohol handy at all times. It breaks up the bubbles and it helps the soap fill the mold a lot easier when filling in specific areas. This is why an apron with pockets is good, so I can have the bottle in my pocket. On my worktable, I leave everything out, so my bottle of alcohol sometimes gets hidden behind other things.
  4. Label the leftover soap. Put down the type of soap, colour, scent and what mold it was used in so that it can be used towards the same soap the next time.
  5. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this business.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The packaging solution

As I mentioned previously, I didn't have much luck getting any packaging companies to provide me with any pricing, so we had to come up with something ourselves. Hubby is creative and enjoys a challenge, and so he designed gift boxes for my soaps.

He's not one for the typical, so instead he decided that the boxes should be designed for each type of soap. The kids soaps will be made according to the type of soap that will be placed in them.

This, for instance, is the "aquarium" for the fish soaps. A "starfish" soap will be added to the box, as well as "sand" to complete the look.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I was going to post about the boxes that hubby's been making for me to package my soaps, but I haven't taken a picture of it yet. It has to be done during the daytime to really show how good it looks with light shining through. So instead, here's another thing I'm making for the craft show: crayons. I love the fact that I can pour one colour and then let it do its thing. I did give them all different scents, yellow with pineapple cilantro, purple with moonlight pomegranate which has the scent of cassis, and so on. And since the mold comes has 5 molds in it, I end up with 5 sets pretty quickly. The crayon soaps do still need a paper wrap around them like crayons usually do, but that should come together pretty quickly. We (the royal we of course) are going to make a Crayola type box to hold these crayons.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

To Infinity, or at least to the craft shows

Instead of trying to stick with a few products for the trade show, I decided to try out even more molds, just because I like to challenge myself. That or I'm too ADD to stick with any one thing, you pick.

This time, it was the spaceship and alien craft. I had put off trying it because I wasn't sure how to make it really interesting. I could've just followed Soapylove's directions, but I don't have any superclear soap, so I didn't want to put the little alien guy in just yet. So instead, I thought I'd make the spaceship first and try playing with colours.

My first attempt at the spaceship. The red and blue look nice, but the green sparkle didn't make the body pop like I wanted.

So, to make the body more bright and showy, I decided to make it out of goat's milk soap instead. I knew the labcolour red would bleed into the body, so I used the non-bleeding red instead.
The non-bleeding red turned pink, not quite the colours of NASA.

Hubby said the spaceship should be more metallic in colour, so I added some grey and sparkle to the body and came up with this

Hard to tell from the picture, but believe me, the spaceship is more grey in colour.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Baking Season

Fall is that time of year when I want to bake. Okay, I want to bake quite often, but in the fall and winter is when I especially want a warm, nice smelling kitchen. Bon Appetit tweeted the other day an apple galette based on the one by Chez Panisse. It looked so good, I just had to try it.

I had a couple of nectarines left over that were as hard as a baseball, so I figured they would make a good substitute for the apples. Other modifications included using the jam I had in my fridge rather than using the apricot preserves as suggested, and adding a dose of apricot brandy along with brown sugar to sweeten up the tasteless nectarines.

For some reason I couldn't roll the dough into a circle. And no, I hadn't been imbibing prior. 

Folded in the ends. Guess I should've paid more attention to the picture they had to see how it's done.

Fresh out of the oven
 I think if I had made it to their specifications, it would've been great. As it was, I didn't fold up the dough well enough and ended up with a bit of a mess in the oven. Good thing there's no smoke alarm in the kitchen,

Monday, 17 October 2011

Countdown to Panic

Thanks to the organizers of the first craft fair I'm going to be attending, I'm keeping track of how much time I have to get all my soaps made. Of course, since this is the first show I'm attending, I'm not sure what's going to be a great seller versus a good seller. (I'm thinking it's all fantastic, but I'm biased that way).

Hubby had told me to keep track of the formulas I use in each of the soaps, and I know that's what I need to do, but I continue with my deluded belief that I can remember what colours I used and the proportions for each soap. Well the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the monkey.

Obviously, my formula keeping skills needs to be improved.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Packaging Design

I'm very grateful that I have a husband who can conceptualize ideas and put them onto, well in this case, foam core board and matting material. As mentioned yesterday, we had to figure out a way to package up the soaps in a way that would be different and enticing. Since the holiday season is coming up, we thought it would be good to have soaps all packaged up so that people could purchase a gift box without having to put in too much thought.

This is his conceptualizing with the soaps.

Bevelling the edge so that it can be folded at right angles.

The completed box with the top being formed.

A completed prototype

Second prototype completed

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

If you want something done, do it yourself

In keeping with proper practices, I had contacted 3 different packaging companies for quotes on packaging. Two contacted me, one even came to my house to talk about the specifics of what I wanted. After a follow up email immediately after the visit, saying he'd be in touch soon, nothing. Nada, Nil. Zilch. Same with the second company that returned my call, took down the specifics then said they'd be in contact soon. Again, haven't heard a thing. Is there a rash of alien abductions of packaging salesmen that the news isn't telling us about, kind of like the Wall Street occupation when it first started?

So, today, hubby took me down to an art store where we looked at all our options on how to build our own boxes. We finally decided to try using foam core board to make the basic box and then using mat board as a lid. Pictures to come.

Monday, 10 October 2011

A different take on a visit to the optometrist

Is there such thing as the perfect soap for everyone? I don't think so. It's like going for an eye exam, which one works better for you, picture A or picture B? Personally it gets to the point where both diagrams they show look exactly the same to me, and it feels like I'm supposed to guess the right answer.

Just like at the optometrist, there's no right or wrong answer here either, just which is your preference?
Monkey see, Monkey Do
(I know which one Michelle prefers)

You can't hide, your lion eyes 

No contest with this one.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Adopt a Critter (Soap)

I have two sets of critter molds and I'm trying to perfect the colouring for both. Since they are obviously aimed towards a younger set, I need to make them look more fun and inviting. These are two more that were made today.

I tried to swirl brown and white soap, but it didn't work as you can see. Next time, maybe it'll have a white ear and a white tip on the tail.

 This lion was made using a clear yellow soap and I tried to scratch out spots for the brown soap to show through. Again, not quite the results I wanted. I like the pads though and I think I'll have to do the same for his whiskered face so it stands out better.

Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The new microwave

It's amazing how we get used to something and when it breaks down, we're just lost. Usually that's my computer I'm talking about, but this time it was the microwave.

We bought a new and improved version the day the old one died, but we had to wait until the next day to pick it up. This thing is huge! 2.2 cubic feet, enough to fit 4 lap dogs in it comfortably, or at least 3 large measuring cups full  of soap for melting. I can't wait to use it for melting two different types of soaps for making a swirly soap.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Not everyday's about making soaps

Today was a productive day, not in the soapmaking sense, but in the I have clean laundry and clean floor sense. My microwave oven finally bit the dust after 19 years of service. Pretty darned good if you ask me.

Since I didn't have a microwave to melt soaps, I had time to start other parts of the soaping business I need to do, like make sure my inventory is correct and start writing down more details about what materials I put into each soap.

I did have one more critter soap completed, and here he is.
Pretty cute huh?

Thursday, 29 September 2011


The weather was nice today, so I had to get out and enjoy it before it turns cold and wet again. That meant however, that soapmaking was not part of today’s plans, well not completely anyway. I had tried out some molds I hadn’t tried previously, so today was the day to unmold them. I’m going to have keep working on the colours, they’re not as brilliant as I’d like. Although I normally hate it when my molds don’t come out, I’m actually glad the dog came out missing his nose. I can now try and re-colour him. This is what I have so far.

I melted the pink highlights when I poured in the yellow body. So much for my thinking I could tell the temperature of the soap without the use of a thermometer.

I'm going to have to fill in his ears and maybe highlight his whiskers and mane.
I'm going to make the cat a different colour, maybe more brown, what do you think?
I think he's turned out the best. I used Anne-Marie's technique in making seashells on this frog. I poured a thin layer of green soap, then scraped off some of it and added a thin layer of black before filling up the rest of the mold with green. He's rather cute, isn't he?

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Company's coming

Actually they've come and gone by the time I get this post completed.

We had people over on Saturday, it's a good excuse to try out new recipes and ensure the house is clean. The above pictures are the two bouquet of flowers people brought in lieu of having to bring food. They ended up in the same vase because I'm not a big fan of cut flowers, so I don't keep vases around.

I also got this birthday card. We hang out with weird people because we're birds of a feather.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Third time's the charm?

Actually the second time didn't turn out badly either. The mod soaps I tried to make using the instructions from Soapylove didn't work out so well, so I altered them slightly. I used a mold with 4 rectangles instead so I wouldn't have to cut a straight line. I can't even walk a straight line most of the time, so what makes me think I can cut one? I think they turned out much better, this is my second batch of mod soaps. They're more geared towards male clients, with their neutral colours and Beau Brummel scent from Otion. Manly yes, but I like it too!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Waiting is the hardest part

Tom Petty knew what he was talking about.

Now that I know I can make soaps, I need to find a way to package them. I could do the usual plastic bag way, but I want something to help it stands out more. Afterall, it's all about marketing nowadays. I have a couple of vendors who need to get back to me with quotes on their products, so I wait with bated breath since my presentation to my potential clients is dependent on how I package. In the meanwhile, I'll keep working on perfecting my soapmaking techniques.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Matching Soaps and Bathrooms

My latest experiment was trying out a design from the Soapylove book. Maybe my silicone pan was just a little too flexible, but it didn't turn out as pretty as the picture in the book.

It doesn't look too bad here, but it didn't come out quite the way I want. So, more soap for us to use. But it will look fantastic in this just re-organized bathroom, won't it?

Friday, 16 September 2011

Back to the drawing board

Today started out so well, got a bunch of things accomplished, and then I decided to tempt fate and make some more soaps. I had two leftover cut outs from the water soluble paper so I thought, okay, I know what I did wrong last time and I can rectify it this time, I am woman, hear me roar!

Wrong, so wrong. I'm going to have to watch the tutorial on how to embed water soluble paper, frame by frame to see what I'm not doing.
See how the white base soap seeped under the paper? I could've sworn I had pressed the paper into the clear soap hard enough. Note to self:  next time, pound it into the clear base. :P
This one looks good right? Well it fit perfectly into the mold and the white soap went on smoothly, but when I turned it out, the clear soap stayed in the mold.

And to add insult to injury, this is how my bread turned out.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Dammit Google, I'm a new business owner, not a doctor

I admit, I’m a PC user for a reason, and that is, I like things simple and spelled out for me. When I signed up with my domain host, it came with a $77 Google Adwords credit. After completing my website, it seemed like time to put my credit to good use, right?

Holy Hannah, I need a universal translator to figure out how to fill in the blanks. Cost per click versus cost per thousand impressions? What? My eyes glazed over just trying to read their help pages, and that’s supposed to be help. To me, help would be someone coming over and clicking on the right buttons for me. Maybe when I’m super rich, I can hire people to do that sort of thing.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

I'm impatient, I expect to get everything done right the first time. I think I get that trait from my nephew. ;) One of the new molds I had purchased was a wedding cake mold and decided it'd look nice if I coloured the roses and left the cake part white.

Well, the roses were waaaay more difficult to colour in than any of the other molds I've attempted. I thought I could spoon the coloured soap, but because the roses are small and delicate, I ended up having to scrape it all out and start over with the injector. Also, because the roses go up the sides of the mold, it meant having to tilt the mold while trying to inject just enough soap into the roses to give it colour, but not to overflowing to the other parts of the mold. In the end, I managed to colour it all, and it looked alright, except for the rose right on the very bottom of the mold, the one that should've been easiest to fill in. That one didn't stick to the rest of the cake mold.

You'll have to excuse me now while I go stick my face into a pillow and scream.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's official

My business cards and banner arrived today from Vistaprint. I can finally hand out business cards when people ask, which is very exciting. Now I just need people to ask me for them.

I had told a friend of a friend I'd make some soaps with his brand on it, so hopefully that will get done this weekend. According to the Soap Queen tutorial, the paper has to cure for a few days after being printed. It's difficult to wait because I'm itching to try out this process. But at least when I do send him his sample, I can include my handy dandy business card with it.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Who Needs a Fairy Godmother

when I have a sister as wonderful as mine? Anyone who knows her, knows what an incredibly sweet person she is. Not only did she send me this wonderful birthday gift and card, all handmade of course because that's the sort of talented person she is, she also sent me a pack of 50 droppers. Which means now I don't have to spill my scents and colours all over the place and I can actually measure out my ingredients which is such a bonus.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Like a kid in a (soaping) candy store

I needed to get some water soluble paper, so we decided to get up early and head across the border to Otion today. Big mistake. Did I mention that it's the Labour Day long weekend? Yeah, mental headslap for not thinking about it sooner. Actually I sort of knew, but figured, hey it's the weekend, people will sleep in and then head down right? Wrong. 1 to 1.5 hour wait at the borders, so we went to the furthest one we could without heading to the next province, and it was still a 40-50 minute wait there.

We did manage to get over the border without any hassles at least and enjoyed the nice weather heading down.  We went as far as Tulalip Outlet Malls thinking we might as well do some shopping while we were there. There was not a parking spot to be had! You'd think it was an Armageddon sale or something or the stores were giving away Coach handbags for free. That was fine, we didn't need to spend money on things we weren't planning on purchasing anyway, so we headed back north, back to Bellingham.

I love going to Otion, it's got tons of nice smelling scents and although I had my list of things I needed, it didn't mean I couldn't be tempted into buying other things. I managed to keep semi to my shopping list, which included the Beau Brummel, Sandalwood and Energy fragrance oils and some mica, but hubby also persuaded me to buy 4 new molds (there's only 3 in the picture because I already started the soaps in the fourth mold). I can't wait to try them all out. It really is like being a kid in a candy store, minus the empty calories and cavities at the end.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It's the little details

You wouldn't know it from my flakey ways, but I can be a very detailed person. Yes I'm easily distracted, so when I'm making my soaps, I forget to spray with rubbing alcohol, or don't pull out all my scents and colours beforehand so I'm left scrambling. When it comes to making soaps though,  it is the little details that I really enjoy. Thanks to my sister for giving me a PJ Soaps Custom Mini Tool Kit, it has allowed me to make my melt and pour soaps more interesting. I loved detailing the spider in its web, a time consuming process with much cursing involved while trying to fill in the web, but in the end it was well worth it.