Friday, November 30, 2012

Featured Post: Roslyn from RazzleDazzleMe

Ear Cuff with Red Grizzly Feather
This week, we are featuring the incredible talents of Roslyn from RazzleDazzleMe! Roslyn makes incredible and unique earrings, ear cuffs, and other jewelry featuring charms and feathers. Her jewelry is just fantastic!

I'm Roslyn LaDuke and I sell ear jewelry. I sell ear cuffs, ear pins and earrings.

Feather Ear Cuff
I took a jewelry class about 3 years ago, and I have been addicted ever since. It is not a matter or inspiration, it is a matter of addiction. I would be miserable if I could not create my jewelry.

Thinking of designs and making them a reality is my favorite part of the process. Although, I now enjoy taking photographs now that I am learning more about my camera.

My favorite item in my shop is this one because it is unique and has sold all over the world.

Gold ear cuff with Swarovski Crystals
Roslyn was kind enough to send me one of her gorgeous ear cuffs to review for her blog post. I ended up picking out this fun royal purple feather cuff. Roslyn's shipping was fast... I think I received the cuff within three days or so! The cuff came in it's own gift box with a silver ribbon .
The cuff is great! It fits on my ear perfectly and I can wear it all day comfortably! Roslyn's craftsmanship is impeccable. The piece is absolutely flawless! To give it the ultimate test, I actually wore it throughout an 8 hour craft show. I was up, down, and moving all over the place. The ear cuff stayed secure on my ear the entire time. The piece was comfortable throughout the show, never slipped or moved, and looked great the entire time! Roslyn's pieces are amazing, and I am absolutely in love with mine.

Make sure you stop by Roslyn's Etsy shop and check out her fantastic jewelry!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Treasury Wednesday: Gifts from the Mountains

To go along with my feature posts on Fridays, I decided to do another weekly update called "Treasury Wednesday!" Each Wednesday, I'll feature a fantastic treasury made on Etsy (by me or someone else) and you can check out all that Etsy has to offer!

This week, it's "Gifts from the Mountains" by me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh Christmas tree!

Me and my family put up our Christmas tree the day after thanksgiving. I can't believe I waited, but I did! My son loves the multicolored lights and loves to tell me all the colors he sees. Our ornaments have all migrated to the top of the tree, just out of reach of that feisty little 2 year old!
We even hung our stockings this year using command strips. I live our stockings... I bought and decorated my husband's stocking at our first Christmas. My stocking with the angel is from my childhood (my sister even had a matching one!). And my son's was hand embroidered by my grandmother shortly after he was born. The stitching took her almost a year, but it is absolutely perfect!

Happy Christmas Season, everyone!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Presenting New Lip Balm Flavors

Naked lip balm - no flavor
After a flurry of brainstorming and experimenting, I have come up with four fantastic new lip balm flavors, just in time for the holiday season. And I wanted to take out a moment to show them off. :o)

My first one is one that I have had in my head for ages: Naked Lip Balm! No flavors, no essential oils, just beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil! It's perfect for folks who just need a basic lip balm, but want to buy handmade.
Tea tree lip balm

Second, it's one that my husband suggested: Tea Tree lip balm! My husband uses fabulous little toothpicks that have soaked in tea tree oil, and he begged me for this lip balm. I just had to oblige! Tea tree essential oil is known to have many properties to help your health, but I just like the taste. It's an interesting blend of herb with pine and fir and other needle trees.
Mint Tea Tree Lip Balm

Third, it's a combination: Mint Tea Tree lip balm! This one came after some brainstorming and combining of what I already had around, and this great lip balm was born! Mint and tea tree blend together perfectly; they work together to balance each other out.

Mint Chocolate... my fave!

And last, my favorite: Mint Chocolate lip balm! I am a HUGE mint chocolate gal, and I cannot believe that I have not come up with this combination sooner. I already have a peppermint lip balm and a chocolate lip balm... I guess if it was a snake, it would have bitten me ages ago. And best of all, I used cocoa powder in the balm for the chocolate scent, so the finished balm is a lovely chocolate color.

Come by my Etsy shop and check them out: SecondSpringSoaps

Friday, November 23, 2012

Featured Post: Rodger from rodgeranddelilaplace

My favorite ring, featuring a boulder opal!
If you are looking for beautiful handmade sterling silver jewelry, look no further than Rodger and Delila from rodgeranddelilaplace! Roger and Delila's jewelry is absolutely amazing, featuring gems, stones, and gorgeous sterling silver metalwork!

Here's a little more about Rodger and Delila in their own words:

The Lady Captain
Our names are Rodger and Delila Higgins we are from western Ky area, and we make and sell Jewelry. We do a lot of custom made items!

I started one day making something for my wife because she wanted a certain type of ring and could not find it so as a welder by trade I told her I could make it and it started from there.

My favorite part is making something and seeing the smile on someones face when they put it on. This is why i like the hand make my jewelry.
Sterling Silver and Turquoise Ring

My favorite item in my shop would have to be this item:

You can follow Rodger and Delila on Twitter:

And make sure to go check out their Etsy shop and add them to your circle!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale at SecondSpringSoaps

Green Apple Bath Bombs
It's that time of year again... Black Friday weekend! Fill up on turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, then go out and fight the crowds for deals! Whew... I am still leering from last year's fight over a $5 waffle maker (which I didnt get! Curses!).

Any who, this year, you can search for deals online, in the comfort and privacy of your own home! I'm happy to announce that this year I will be holding my own black friday weekend sale in my Etsy shop! From Thursday, November 22 - Tuesday, November 27, you can stock up on your favorite soaps, lip balms, and everything else in my shop at 10% off!! Awesome!

Hot Chocolate Soap
And, for being such amazing, wonderful, gracious blog readers, you can also use the coupon code "2012BLOG" and get additional free shipping! The coupon code is already live, and you can use it until December 19, which is my cut off date for holiday shipping!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of you guys for your love, support, and encouragement over the past year! My shop has done amazing things this year, and my readers, fans, and customers are a constant source of inspiration. Thank you so much, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Featured Post: Karyn from PinkMouse

One of my favorite Etsy shops to look through is PinkMouse, filled with the creations of Karyn Milner! I love to look through her shop at all of the beautiful colors and fantastic patterns! Her clothes really make me want to have another baby... maybe baby #2 will be a girl!

Enjoy learning more about Karyn and make sure to check out her shop!

Fun Headband for Fall!
Who are you and what do you sell?
My name is Karyn Milner, my etsy shop is Pink Mouse Boutique. I make and sell kids clothing.

What inspired you to get started in your craft?
I started sewing when I was young. I think it was an inherited gift as my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother were all seamstresses. I have even inherited their sewing machines!
I started making kids clothes to sell on etsy after I had a car accident in 2009. The accident left me unable to stand for any length of time so I couldn't cut out large pattern pieces but I could sit and cut out smaller kids clothes. Etsy became a life-line for me, giving me something to do besides watch TV and play farmville!
Beautiful Purple and Cream Set!

What is your favorite part of your process?
Combining fabrics into a finished piece of clothing. I love working with excellent quality cotton fabric in designer prints.

What inspires you the most while you create?
My mother. She made almost all of my clothing when I was younger, including my dance costumes, wedding dress and maternity clothes. She was a first class seamstress!

If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
I love this little dress and pantaloons! I like the old school design and fabrics. My mother would have made this little outfit for me or my daughter.

Got any social media links?
Twitter - @thepinkmice
Facebook -

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall/Winter Holiday Craft Shows

Man... A few months ago, selling at a craft show was a pipe dream. I had applied to one and had not heard anything back... Now look at me! I am booking craft shows all over East Tennessee!  I have been loving every minute of the show season... I really love connecting with folks who love my soaps!
My craft show set up!
I just wanted to give a quick update on where you can find me for the rest of the year:

Saturday, November 17
Christmas Stop and Shop
Townsend, TN

Sunday, November 18
Tinsel Town and Tasting
Newport Civic Center
Newport, TN
12:30pm - 5pm

Saturday, November 24, December 1, December 8
Johnson City Farmer's Market
Johnson City, TN
9am - 2pm

And remember, you can always find me on Etsy at my Etsy shop!

Come back by on Monday to see what my awesome Black Friday weekend sale will be!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hot Process Goat's Milk Soap (In Pictures)

Here's a quick picture tutorial for my hot process goat's milk soap! Super easy... Just remember to stick by it and keep an extra eye on the soap as it cooks!

Oils melting! I used olive, castor, and tallow.
First, you will start off like normal, melting your oils in your crock pot or double boiler. When you make your lye solution, you will keep out part of your water to substitute with milk. (For example, if you are supposed to use 12 ounces of water, just 8 ounces instead, and keep 4 ounces of milk to the side) Please take loads of CAUTION with your lye solution, because it will be stronger than a normal batch! Put your milk in the fridge to chill it.
You can use a stick blender or a whisk. It will trace fast!
Once the oils are melted, add your lye solution (BE VERY CAREFUL! It will be extra strong!) and mix until traced. Your soap will trace faster than usual, because of the water discount.

Add your goat's milk!
Now, slowly add your chilled milk and mix together. Your soap may take on a neon yellow or neon orange color. This is normal, dont panic! As the soap cooks in your double boiler or crock pot, keep a very close eye on it and stir it often. Your soap will take on a natural tan color as it cooks. Remember, oil separation is normal in the beginning stages of hot process soap, so no worries!
Almost ready! It needs to cook a little longer...
Once the soap takes on a mashed potatoes-like consistency, you can add any fragrances or additives and toss the soap in your favorite mold. I added some ground oatmeal to this batch for some scrub!  Once cooled, your soap can be cut! Some folks like to use hot process soap right away, but I still let mine cure for 4-6 weeks.

Goat's Milk Soap with Oatmeal
Enjoy!! It may take a few times to get it right, but hot process goat's milk soap is fun, fantastic, and addictive!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Featured Post: Catherine of cwporche

Another great artist in our series of features Etsy artisans is Catherine from cwporche! Catherine hails from Erwin, TN; a small town nestled into the rich Appalachian Mountains. Catherine's shop boasts beautiful artwork and beautiful classic crafts, like handmade quilts and bunny rag dolls, as well as her famous felt mice! I could go on, but I will let Catherine take the wheel!

Quilt: The Christmas Garden
I am Catherine Porche of I am a passionate watercolor painter, quilter and crafter! I sew purses and little felt mouse figurines and sell any of it as well as accepting custom orders.
I have been sewing since the seventh grade and making and selling my mice since about the eighth grade (a long time ago!) My mom taught quilting classes, so naturally I learned traditional quilting. Rag quilts offer me more freedom and I've always loved the play of colors against one another.

For each of my artistic endeavors, even though they seem very different, my favorite part is being fully present in the portion in front of me. When I am imagining a mouse character I am dreaming up a back story and how to convey the costume well. If I am envisioning a painting, I let go of all my daily concerns and go where the paints take me. With formulating a quilt's color scheme I just mentally swim around in all the available fabrics until I am smitten with a collection I have made. That immersion in the process itself is such a joy to me; it is truly my favorite part!

Catherine's beautiful watercolor, "Led"
Being inspired to create isn't really how I feel about it. For me, it's more like a craving that must be satisfied. I yearn to make something beautiful or quirky or cute or comforting. I neeeed to make something, sometimes very small but I feel anxious until I can get to that part of my day. Beautiful photos and magazines of crafts, gardens and artwork are fuel for my fire but my favorite inspiration is the smile on the customer's face when they are loving getting it as much as I loved making it.

To pick one favorite item from my shop would be like picking a favorite child. My favorite painting right now is "Led".  It seems mysterious and thought provoking to me. My favorite quilt is The Christmas Garden.  I think its a fun useful way to make a room seem ready for the holidays. And my favorite mouse is Little Red Riding Hood. I just finished her and hope to have her posted soon-she's so cute!

You can find more about Catherine here:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hot Process Goats Milk: mystery revealed!

Every soap maker, from the newbies to the seasoned soapers, either loves or loathes making goats milk soap. The milk can separate, curdle, cook, discolor, or stink! It is a big pain in the booty, but the outcome is so lovely! Goats milk soap is truly worth all of the sweat and tears!

After just a few craft shows under my belt, I began receiving more and more requests for these tricky suds. So, one evening, after apparently losing my mind, I attempted to make goats milk soap with disastrous results! My soap stank, looked bright orange, and was just a mess... So, bound and determined, I set out to perfect the art of making soap with milk, while hot processing!

Keep on the lookout for my tutorial!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Featured Post: Linda from SewUpscale

Every Friday through the holiday season, I will be featuring a different artist, craftsperson, or vintage collector from Etsy! I have met many wonderful people through Etsy, and I would like to take out some time to showcase their talents!

This week's feature is Linda from SewUpscale!

1.Who are you and what do you sell? Hi! My name is Linda Johnson and my shop is Sew Upscale. The main focus in my Etsy shop is quilted fabric postcards. I'm passionate about mountain landscape scenes. I also make small quilted wall hangings. I have a few vintage items and some destash craft supplies

2.What inspired you to get started in your craft/start collecting vintage? I've always loved to sew. I started out designing and making doll clothes when I was about 10 years old. I discovered quilted fabric postcards a few years back one day when I was searching the internet. I loved them and taught myself how to make one. Since I was still working full time outside the home at that time, it really fit me since they were small and relatively quick to finish. I hadn't actually seen any landscape postcards but that is what I started making. I have developed my own style which I think is fairly unique.

3.What is your favorite part of your process? Designing the card and choosing the fabric that creates that certain look.

4.What inspires you the most while you create? I would have to say it is the fabrics and remembering a scene. I see quilted postcards in everything.

5.If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop? I actually sold my favorite postcard Monday but here is one I love also. It is a mountain scene with a hiking trail and a campsite with a campfire. It is so tranquil.
Linda's Postcard: Hiking and Camping

6.Got any social media links?

7.Anything else that you want to share? I can also take your favorite landscape photo and recreate it in fabric. Postcards are also sold at Mountain Made in the Grove Arcade in Asheville, NC. A new store opening in Black Mountain in March 2013, Faison O'Neil, will also be selling my mountain postcards.