Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolution: 2013

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that everyone had a safe, happy, and healthy new year! I rang in 2013 with my husband and son, watching my son play trains and munching on popcorn. Simple, easy, wonderful!

My husband and I discussed whether or not we would be making any new years resolutions this year. I have tried to make resolutions in the past, but they always fell flat after a few weeks. However, this year, we are determined to make our resolution stick!

My new foodie blog!
We have resolved to stop eating so much take-out and fast food, and we have resolved to cooking most, if not all, of our meals from scratch!

I've already got a few resources under my belt for some great looking recipes from Pintrest. You call check out my food board here. But, I know that I have to keep myself accountable somehow, and I am hoping that the blogging world can help me do it!

So, I have officially started a blog to track my family's eating habits! Fellowship of the Dinner Plate was born at 2am on January 1, 2013! Make sure to go and check out out daily. I'll be updating with photos and recipes and musings on the day. And make sure to leave me feedback! Feedback is crucial, and I want to hear what everyone has to say!

I am really looking forward to this resolution/project that my family has decided to venture into. I want to get healthy for myself, and I want my son to grow up with healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle that he can take into adulthood.

Happy 2013, everyone!

A Year in Review

2012 has been a fantastic year for me and my soap business! I thought I would end out 2012 by focusing on all of the positives of the year.

HUGE Achievements for me this year include:
  • I attended my first craft show in August, which kicked off a great fall/winter craft show season!
  • I was asked to be a part of Bramble Berry's Fall/Winter S.O.A.P. team, and my youtube videos were featured on the results page!
  • I sold over 180 items in my Etsy shop!
  • I had my first International sale!
  • My facebook fan page currently boasts over 600 fans!
And in my Etsy shop:
  • I debuted lip balm in tubes, and now boast 23 different flavors, with three new ones coming in January!
  • My bath bombs debuted in July, and have become my biggest sellers on both Etsy and at craft shows!
  • My hot process soaps debuted over the summer, opening up a world of new fragrances and dyes that are unstable in cold process soaps.
  • Wax tarts made their debut in September.
  • The Soap of the Month Club and the Bath Bomb of the Month Club debuted in November!
I was also featured in three blogs this year:

I am sure that there is more that I am forgetting, but just looking at the list above, my business has improved by leaps and bounds this year! I am so proud and humbled and completely happy with the progress that my shop has made, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for me! Check back next week when I preview a little of what I am planning for the coming year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Featured Post: Rebecca from GoodDogPetPortraits

If you are looking for a truly unique piece of art for your home, make sure to check out Rebecca from GoodDogPetPortraits. Rebecca takes any photograph that you provide and makes a one of a kind digital piece of art featuring your fur baby! Wow! Each piece is unique to its inspiration. Learn more about Rebecca below:

Who are you and what do you sell?
 Good Dog Pet Portraits- Custom Pet Art

What inspired you to get started in your craft?
I just recently learned how to draw on the digital tablet and that has been really inspiring and very challenging. I have been drawing and painting my whole life, though.

What is your favorite part of your process?
I love the beginning when it’s just a bunch of scratchy lines. But I also love the moment when I’m filling in the background color because I know it’s almost finished and that gives me a rush.

What inspires you the most while you create?
Music, coffee, my dogs, my fiance, and the thought of making someone’s day with my art all inspire me while I’m working.

If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
A couple of the black Labrador examples are of my own dog, Jasmine, and she is the light of my life so I really like those ones. I always tell her on the days she is really popular and has lots of views.

Anything else that you want to share?
After doing almost 100 pet portraits for people, I still get nervous whenever I send one out to my customers. I guess it’s an artist thing.
Make sure to check out Rebecca's Etsy shop and learn more about here in her About page! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Craft Tutorial: Salt Dough Ornaments

Cutting out stars
With the holidays upon us, and my two year old up to his neck in the Christmas spirit, I thought it would be a fun idea to get him into the Christmas crafting spirit as well! After much careful thought, we decided to make up some salt dough and personalize some ornaments made by Benjamin to add to our Christmas presents! He had a blast making and decorating them (and getting a little messy in the process!) and I know that the grandparents are going to adore them!

Making holes
Here's what you will need:
-2 cups of flour
-1 cup of salt
-1 cup of water (approximately... I needed a little more)
-Mixing bowl
-Wax paper
-Cookie cutters
-A pencil, pen, crochet needle... Something to poke holes with!
-Baking sheet
-Paint (we used the acrylics that we had lying around the house!)
-Ribbon or twine

1: Combine your flour, salt, and water in a mixing bowl and mix together until you get a dough consistency. I needed a little more water than 1 cup.
2: Put your dough on your wax paper with a dusting of flour and work it out until it no longer sticks to your hands!
Painting, toddler style!
3: Use your cookie cutters to cut out shapes and use your pen or pencil to make a hole. I used a crochet needle to make my holes and it worked great. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip your ornaments and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let them cool before decorating.
4: Time to decorate!! We were super simple and just used acrylics and finger tips, but you can get really creative with glitter, markers, more paints, or ribbons and buttons to glue on!
5: Add a ribbon for hanging and you have the perfect ornament, stocking stuffer, gift tag, or homemade gift for a grandparent!

Merry Christmas, everyone, and I hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Featured Post: Jerzy from 2goodponiesvintage

Vintage Jug - Blue and White Pottery
If you want to check out an interesting collection of vintage goodies from all over the world, make sure to check out Jerzy's etsy shop: 2goodponiesvintage. Jerzy's shop boasts all sorts of vintage items, from dolls to jewelry to an amazing pipe collection! Her items are in fantastic shape and well taken care of., and her eye for vintage is amazing! Learn more about Jerzy below:
Who are you and what do you sell?
My name is Jerzy. I am a tattoo artist by night, chicken herder, cat wrangler and etsian by day. On etsy I am currently helping my parents destash their large vintage/antique collection, with some of my stuff thrown in the mix at

What inspired you to get started in your craft/start collecting vintage?
My mother is the collection queen! Even after moving all over the world, she still managed to collect stuff. As she is the queen, I am the princess and love to hit the local flea markets on Sunday morning. It is the only time you will find me up early.

What is your favorite part of your process?
Vintage Copper Cuff in Aluminum
The thrill of the hunt for something really cool-looking that I can work into my art projects or use to decorate my house. I also like to give things I collect a history. Finding out who owned the item prior to me and when and where they got the item connects me to the present in some way.
Going through my parents things has really expanded my personal knowledge of my family roots. Sometimes my grandmother and great grandmother passed things down with little hand written notes on the things they treasured the most. I am getting a real sense of where I came from.

Vintage: What draws your eye when collecting vintage?
Vintage Castello Pipe
I like to collect household items like mantle clocks, furniture and really odd gadgets. I have an awesome pair of old medical lights that look great in my living room. I also like old cars and trucks; I have VW bug and 1960’s pick-up truck.

If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
My dad’s old pipe collection

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Supplies from Aroma Haven

Right before the end of the new year, I found myself with only 4 empty lip balm tubes left in my stock! Oh no! So, before I ran out (my lip balms were very popular this year as stocking stuffers!), I put in a quick order from Aroma Haven. And whenever I put in an order to Aroma Haven, I cant get just one or two things...

Peach and Blueberry Lip Balm Flavors
So, here's the fun, new goodies I got!

First, I decided to add a few more flavors to my line of lip balms. Instead of unique or "strange" scents (like Snow Cone... That one really intrigues people!), I got some old faithfuls. My new lip balm flavors are Blueberry and Peach! They are both very true to their fruit counterparts, with just the right amount of creaminess that makes them perfect for lips!
And, of course, I restocked my lip balm tubes and my tamper resistant bands.

One of the great things about Aroma Haven is that when you purchase an order over $15, you get to pick out two fragrance oils to try for free! My original thought was to stock up on scents for Valentine's Day... But, as I looked around the site, it hit me... MEN! So, I grabbed two masculine scents that caught my eye, and I made excellent choices.

New Masculine Scents: Pipe Smoke and Barbershop 1920's
The first scent is called "Pipe Smoke." My husband adored this fragrance as soon as I told him it was on its way. It is light and musky, with some cherry middle notes. It is not heavy or over powering. I was so excited about this scent that I have already used it! I used the fragrance in a salt bar paired with nettle for a natural green color... That soap will be cured and in my Etsy shop in the first week of January.
The second scent is called "Barbershop 1920's." It really reminds me of the old timey barbershops, with that classic shaving cream smell. I do smell hints of bay and maybe a dash of rum or nutmeg. This would make a great shaving soap, or maybe a new beer soap? Not sure yet, but I'm definitely inspired!

My new soaps and lip balms will go live in January 2013! My little Kodak camera is on the fritz, so I am hoping to get a new camera for Christmas (*HINT MOM!*). :o) Keep an eye out for them!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Featured Post: Karla from emisminis

Chicken Caesar Salad Fridge Magnet

If you are looking for perfectly made polymer clay or bright, fun, and sparkling accessories, look no further than Karla del Valle of emisminis! Karla's etsy shop is full of beautifully made items that will make you grin from ear to ear! I absolutely adore her chicken salad magnet... Isn't it the cutest thing ever?
Karla's shop also helps to support causes like Hurricane Sandy relief. Part of each sale goes to help out folks in need.
Learn more about Karla and her shop below:


1.Who are you and what do you sell?
My name is Karla Noemí, the -emí from Noemí is behind the inspiration for the name Emi's Minis. I sell handmade and hand decorated accessories and I strive to keep the prices as affordable as possible. I believe everything in my shop is less than $9.99. The accessories featured in my shop are always growing. I started out with my handmade polymer clay charms, then added necklaces, key chains, rings, iPhone cases and most recently, molds I made at home of popular cabochons.

2.What inspired you to get started in your craft?
Chocolate Swirl Charm and Chain
My inspiration was seeing cute things like what I sell, but at very high prices and I couldn't afford to buy them. So instead, I decided to research the materials, buy what I could and learn how to make them myself. I'm going on 3 years now with sculpting clay and a year on 'decoden-ing'.

3.What is your favorite part of your process?
My favorite part is learning new things to make, challenging myself, especially since I mostly use 'tools' I have laying around in the house. Clay tools are extremely expensive when they add up. I'd rather buy blocks of clay than a bunch of tools.

4.Handmade: What inspires you the most while you create?
Happy Christmas Cookie Charms
I forget what's on my mind when I'm creating. It's a great escape for me, like reading an awesome book that you just can't put down. I lose myself in my crafting and before I know it, the entire day has gone by. I love it.

5.If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
My most favorite item.. Hmm.. Either my Cuppycakes To Go ring or my Emi Supernova magnet. It's too hard to choose. I love all my little babies ☺

6.Got any social media links?
Twitter: @imasupern0va
Instagram: @imasupern0va
and of course,

7.Anything else that you want to share?
I donate a dollar from each sale my shop makes each month to a charity, good cause, organization, etc. I feel like it's the least I can do to give back. I may not be making enough to live off of from my shop, but it's so important to give back and help others because you never know when you'll be the one needing help. November's donation will be going to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. October's donation went to the victims in Syria. I know what it's like to need help and no one offer you anything. I know what it's like to have everyone turn the other cheek to me and I can't do that to anyone else.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Milestone: My soaps are headed to London!

Creme de Menthe Lip Balm
I just wanted to take a moment and share a big milestone of mine that I passed this last week: I shipped my soaps to London!

I am so excited about my soaps catching someone's international eye and I felt such pride when I waved goodbye to that package as it headed out to travel over the pond to the United Kingdom... Cheesy, I know, but I just cannot express my excitement and gratitude!

I love this milestone, I am so excited to reach it, and I am over the moon that something made with my two hands is reaching someone so far away. I hope she loves her goodies!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Featured Post: Phillip from streetflowerart

"Clouds spitting out clouds"
Some of the most amazing photography to come out of East Tennessee has came from Phillip Kelley of streetflowerart.  His photography features nature, and he captures beautiful, bright colors and gorgeous scenes in nature. Phillip also makes amazing, natural jewelry from metal, stone, and shells, and his shop boasts both poetry and bible versus! Learn more about Phillip in his own words:

Hello my name is Phillip Kelley and I sell handmade jewelry and poetry (either framed or in a book form), and I also take a lot of photos which are turned into framed art. Most of the photographs are of Nature or landscapes.
Seashell and metal Bracelet
I have always found inspiration in creation. I enjoy sitting outside in order to watch a sunset, sunrise, clouds, waves crashing, or life among the trees. The complex yet simple meet here and I always find that inspiration comes during these times of solace.
My favorite part of the process would be taking that one amazing photograph, making jewelry that people are blessed with, and writing a poem that encourages someone heavily. The part that I do not like sometimes, is adding items on Etsy! Hahaha! It is a tedious process.
Nature and creation have always inspired my work. And also the one who put the Joy in my heart. Christ my Savior.
My favorite Etsy item in my shop is hard to pick. But overall I would have to say my first ever published poetry book. It turned out really well. I am thankful that I was able to complete it after 10-12 years of writing.
Turtle Greeting Card
I am blessed and thankful to be part of Etsy and the creativity of people all over the world. It is simply amazing to see what gifts and talents people possess. Thank you for your time and allowing me to continue my craft. LORD Bless.
You can follow Phillip on Facebook here:
And make sure to check out his Etsy shop this holiday season!