Monday, January 28, 2013

Lavender Valentine Gift Set Giveaway!

To end off January and start February off on the right foot, I have decided to host my first giveaway! To celebrate Valentine's Day in style, you can enter to win a gift set of the Lavender variety!

You can enter to win a bar of handmade lavender soap, a lavender bath bomb, one lavender/vanilla wax tart, and one tube of lavender/vanilla lip balm!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to come back daily for more entries! The winner will be announced on my facebook page on Sunday, Feb. 3!

Etsy SEO Information

To go along with last week's post about Etsy Relevancy, I also created a quick pdf file with some basic SEO information as it relates to Etsy itself. You can find the .pdf below: Again, if you have any questions, comments, or additional information, please feel free to add it below! As this information changes, I will provide updated pdf files on my blog for you to check out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feature Post: Matthew from TrickShoppe

Hanging Wooden Cogs
If you are looking for fine craftsmanship and exceptional woodworking, look no further than Matthew of TrickShoppe on Etsy! Matthew's talents are amazing, and you can learn more about him below!
1.Who are you and what do you sell?
My name is Matthew, and I'm a fourth generation woodworker, beginning with my great-grandfather who started in a veneer factory. I sell unique furnishings and accents which are ideal for the home, workshop, and place of business. My background and experiences are a harmonious combination of engineering, cnc machining, and excellent customer service, aside from my passions lying in music and video documentation. I have been recognized by artists and executives for my skills, from R. Lynn Costlow (Vice President, Multi-Channel Strategy & Operations for US CELLULAR) who exemplified my customer engagement techniques at a semi-annual business meeting regarding revenue, to Michele McLaughlin (world renowned pianist and composer) who had come across my piano playing videos a few weeks ago on YouTube and gave me excellent feedback on performing her songs. My woodworking has always been a hobby until May of this year, when I left a full-time position with US CELLULAR to establish my first lineup of wooden projects (usually falling within the lines of home furnishings). My leaders all had confidence in my abilities and aspirations, and even helped me to establish a short-term plan for getting my brand established. Needless to say I still have a lot of work to do, but i'm excited to see where my work will take me. Now I spend a part-time schedule receiving and dispatching rental vehicles, and when i'm off the clock i'm either in my wood-shop, or giving piano lessons to those who have the same passion for music as I do!

2.What inspired you to get started in your craft?
Jesus on the Cross Wooden Scultpure
When I started making these projects, it was for my own home. When my friends and relatives would see my work, they would get more excited than myself!! It was when they were telling their friends and relatives about my work, that people started paying to take my things home with them. I don't know what was more inspiring?; that people were dropping dollars to take my projects, or that my projects were now a part of their homes and everyday lives! One thing was for certain, that I could make even more unique projects to reach even more people. That is how professionals get started; Aside from gaining the knowledge that is critical to your profession, finding people who love your work, and then the word of your success spreading from one household to another!

3.What is your favorite part of your process?
My favorite part of the design and manufacture process (and hardest part) is finding that creative edge that gets me started on a new project! Building something new is like writing a song, it starts out with a feeling and then grows into something unique and genuine. Of course my second favorite part is seeing the final product and looking back at the hard work and passion that was necessary to create a new item for the first time!

4.Handmade: What inspires you the most while you create?
Over the years, I have branched out to friends and former coworkers who share a similar background. Reaching out to these people and seeing their drive to share knowledge is what I find most inspiring. Sometimes it seems as if the world is full of stingy people who want to keep knowledge and ideas to themselves, but once you've inspired others with your goals and perspective, you will find that people want to be a part of your journey, and give you whatever they can to help you succeed! Those are the ones I'd like to think for getting me started!

5.If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
Oh gosh! If I HAD to pick a favorite project, it would be my Hanging Wooden Cogs. They are large, fun to make, and now that I have produced many sets they are somewhat easy to replicate! They use a lot of materials, and require a few days to make, but regardless I can offer them at a very reasonable price! I love to show them to someone for the very first time, and the initial reaction is always the same.. "I want them!"

6.Got any social media links?
Related to my woodworking, is my only media outlet. However, I have a lot of fun on YouTube with my piano playing. Feel free to check it out! here is a link to some of my videos
Here is one that has one of my pieces:

Regina Spektor is an artist I find most inspiring! Her music really brings people together, and like myself, she strives on her ability to create.. Also she has fun with it!! For my birthday this year some lady-friends and I got together to reenact one of her music videos she made years back.

7.Anything else that you want to share?
Autumn Trio
I've chosen to name my brand "TrickShoppe." When working in the woodworking industry, I've found myself surrounded by empowerment and slang-terms! When I created this name, I wanted to encompass the customization potential for my current items, the support from my level-headed and innovative team, and the versatile category for projects that are currently in the making! Basically I wanted a name that could easily stand behind ANYTHING that I choose to make! The term "Trick" is one way of saying "Awesome," "Unique," or "Wow I've never seen anything like that!"

I love Italian food and a good glass of wine on occasion!

Being outdoors will put me in a great mood, even on a cold and rainy day! I get a large chunk of my creative influence from nature.

If I can give one word of advice to help anyone achieve a goal in any profession, I would say that practice, prayer, and motivation will get you to wherever it is you want to go. "Ask and you shall receive" is what I've heard many times growing up in church. Nothing ever comes easy, but just keep your faith and stick with what you love, and God will grant you His will to your success!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Etsy Relevancy Information

One of the trickier parts of being a seller on Etsy is simply being found in a search by potential customers. Being found in searches is so important, second only to great photographs, and Etsy relevancy changed in mid to late 2012. I wrote up this short and compact Etsy Relevancy guide for my local team, and I have decided to provide it on my blog as well. Please check back next week when I will have my Etsy SEO pdf file for you to check out! If you have any questions, comments, or anything to add, please feel free to comment below!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Feature Post: Jeri from jeridiehard (Jeri's Jewels)

Valentine's Conversation Heart Earrings
If you are looking for some fun jewelry filled with color, sparkle, and whimsey, look no further than Jeri of Jeridiehard on Etsy! Jeri's Jewels are amazing! I bought a pair of her Panda earrings over the summer and they are strong and sturdy and I wear them constantly! Learn more about Jeri in her own words below.
This is how Jeri's Jewels was born...
At the age of 49, I had never wore a pair of earrings that dangled. I was a post/stud woman only. My friend at work came back from a cruise with a gorgeous pair of earrings from me. The were pretty, but the were least one inch!! I was unsure about wearing them, but to avoid hurting her feelings, I knew I had to do it.

After debating for a few weeks, I wore them. Then the next week, I wore them again. Then I bought MORE dangles, then more. While visiting a local craft show, I found my neighbor made earrings, so I had to have one of each color to match every outfit I wore to work. They were all dangles and I loved them.
African Opal Bracelet

After a few months, my neighbor advised me she was leaving to go out west to pursue her career. I was devastated. My personal jeweler was moving. I then thought and thought, what could I do?? Who would I get to make my jewelry?? Would they do it on a moment's notice and to my liking??

After much deliberating, I decided to ask her to teach me to make earrings. I was so excited to be learning a craft. I was hooked on beads immediately from the first earring. Then came bracelets...then necklaces. After learning the basics and getting them down, I dipped into the hard stuff. I went and bought sterling silver and semi precious stones. Then to feed my addiction, I started SELLING them!! I was a bead dealer and it was LEGAL!! I went to craft shows and people loved my beads.

Pineapple Quartz Earrings
I was completely hooked and knew that I could never quit. Beading was the high I needed. I loved it. I dreamed of beads. I bought them a carried them home in little brown bags. I hid them in my purse. I was truly addicted. I decided if it was legal to sell them on the streets of most cities, I could sell them online. I started my website on Etsy and people from all over the world bought my beaded works. The addiction grew stronger.

Now at 56, I am the proud owner of my own home business, Jeri's Jewels and sell beads to anyone and everyone.

Friends, if you are easily hooked on thing, stay away from the beads. Just come shop with me as I am a confirmed beadaholic and sell my wares at

My favorite earrings are my guitar pick earrings. I take photos of national landmarks and have them put on picks and then make earrings, necklaces, magnets, bookmarks, tie tacks, and key chains out of them.

I love creating and my best ideas come while I sleep. I keep a notepad by my bed to write them down so I don't forget them!!
I love compliments, but even more, I love the giggles and oohs and aahs that I get from ladies and even some gentlemen at craft shows. Then when they ask me if I make ALL this and I say yes, I say it with pride!!
I love that the only limit on my creativity is NOTHING!! I love being able to get up and get dressed and if I don't have jewelry to match, I can go into my studio and make it!!
You can find Jeri's Jewels online:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

YouTube Tuesday - Testing High ph LabColors

My colors look amazing! I cannot wait to get started making all sorts of beautiful soaps with them!

Interested in LabColors? Make sure to head over to and check them out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Supplies are in!

My great new LabColors!
To kick off 2013, I placed some pretty large orders with my suppliers, and I was so excited to pick up my boxes this past weekend! I was so happy with my supplies and so inspired to create new, beautiful soaps and products that I just HAD to share my goodies with you!

I bought lots of goodies from, including citric acid for my bath bomb base, deodorized cocoa butter for my lip balms and lotion bars, rose clay to be added to soaps, and castor oil for my soaps, which adds big bubbles to the lather.

My favorite products from Bramble Berry are their LabColors. Their high ph colors are fantastic in cold process soap, and I decided to get the classic 6 colors: Brick red, Vibrant orange, marigold yellow, azure blue, grape, and soft jade (green). I am so excited to start working with these gorgeous colors, and I am beyond excited to have a great, stable blue and purple in cold process soap!

Supplies from Bramble Berry!
I also got some fantastic fragrance oils from I sadly found out that my most popular fragrance, Granny's Green Apples, is being discontinued, so I ordered 3 16oz. bottles of it in order to stock up as much as I could. I also bought the following fragrances:
Fig and Sweet Almond
Marigold Mint
Love Spell
Pink Hydranga
Cinnamon Buns
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Sea Kelp
White Jasmine
Lime and Coconut
Green Tea and Cucumber
Tibetan Black Tea
Loads of fragrance oils!

I made one last order to a new supplier, I was in need of a plain Cheesecake fragrance oil, and they fit the bill! I also grabbed some great new 4 ounce jars and lids, so I am looking forward to making and listing some brand new salt scrubs in my Etsy shop!

2013 is going to be a great year! I am going to start working with my new fragrances tomorrow, and I will be diluting my new colors and testing them in cold process soap. I cannot wait! Keep an eye out on my Etsy shop to see all the newness coming your way!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Featured Post: Tish of ArtfullyTish

Brass Swirl Necklace
If you are looking for beautiful wire jewelry, then look no further than ArtfullyTish by Tish! Tish uses gorgeous sterling silver, brass, and copper to make amazing geometric jewelry. Tish comes from East Tennessee, and her creations make the world a little more whimsical and beautiful! Learn more about Tish below, and make sure to check out her Etsy shop!
I am Tish of Artfully Tish Jewelry Designs. I design and sell Sterling Silver, Brass, Copper and Beaded jewelry. Over the years I have had various creative outlets. Until about 5 years ago, I was once again on the hunt to express my creativity. I was attending a jewelry home show, when I thought “Hmm, I bet I can do that”. So I did my research, bought supplies and got started with stringing and simple wrapping techniques. I took classes and read a lot about jewelry making. Learning the art of
Sterling Silver and Brass Cuff
metalworking is an on-going process, so I am always looking for new techniques to try and add to my skill set. Thus, the style and look of Artfully Tish is forever
evolving. Currently, I am enjoying working with mixed metals. I love the look of pieces with freeform wrapping and different metals. It adds such fun and whimsy to a piece. Also, the art of soldering has really opened up a lot of creative options and some difficult challenges, but it is fun trying to figure it all out.

I think what inspires me the most is simply beauty – beauty is all around us. And if you look you can find beauty and inspiration just about any place. We just have to see it and let it move us. I want to create beautiful things. And I hope that what I create, others find beautiful too.

My Favorite piece would have to be the Copper Triangles with Brass Dangles. They are big and whimsical.
Sterling silver and brass triangle earrings

You can find Artfully Tish on:
Etsy at
I am also in Tirzas Imports in Apex, NC

Monday, January 7, 2013

Coming Soon in 2013

Last year, I ended 2011 with a post about what I was working on for 2012. I figured I would keep up the tradition and give everyone a preview of what I am working on for January 2013 and beyond! 

Pipe Smoke Salt Soap with Nettle
First, I am excited to announce that I will be debuting a whole new line of soaps, starting this week! They are salt soaps, made with real sea salt! All of the soaps will be made with coconut oil and castor oil, so all of them will be vegan friendly. They will come in many different scents and colors and shapes! I love the salt soaps because the salt works to exfoliate the skin and soften it at the same time.

Next, be on the lookout for three new lip balm flavors! I was excited to get these for Christmas from my husband... The new flavors are Blueberry, Peach, and Margarita! The blueberry is sweet and juicy, the peach has a creaminess to it that reminds me of peach oatmeal, and the Margarita has a little bite to it. Yum!
Blueberry Lip Balm

My face scrubbies are going to be getting a makeover soon. Before now, my face scrubbies have been a grab bag of mystery colors. Starting soon, you will be able to purchase the exact colors or patterns that you want! It makes shopping much easier!

As 2013 gets underway, I am looking forward to adding two new products to my shop: solid lotion bars and sugar scrub! I have formulated good recipes for both products, but I am still working out the kinks with packaging and shipping. As soon as I can get the technicalities worked out, these two new products will be live on my Etsy shop!

Also, keep an eye out for new YouTube videos, new tutorials and featured posts on my blog, and new scents in my Etsy shop!

2013 looks to be a fun, fabulous year, and I am excited for you all to see the fun new soaps I have been working on! Happy Bubbling!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Featured Post: Brenda and Alea from AlistDesigns

Silver Chalcedony Necklace
Brenda and Alea of AlistDesigns are a mother/daughter team who make the most beautiful jewelry! Their pieces boast bright, gorgeous gemstones and wonderful craftsmanship! Want to learn more about Brenda and Alea?

1.Who are you and what do you sell?
We are a mother/daughter team who love creating original jewelry designs. We offer handcrafted earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings using sterling silver, 14k gold fill, precious/semi-precious gemstones and pearls. Custom made sterling silver metalwork is also available.

Carnelian Turquoise Necklace
2.What inspired you to get started in your craft?
I (the daughter) started making jewelry in 2004, as a stress reliever while I was in college. My mother joined me in 2007 because she wanted customized pieces to match outfits.

3.What is your favorite part of your process?
The end result is the best part because it's exciting to see the things we've imagined come to life.

4.What inspires you the most while you create?
Things like nature and architecture frequently influence my pieces, and my mother is influenced by the colors of the seasons.

5.If you could pick, what is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
Our favorite piece is the sterling silver arrow necklace, and it's also been our best-seller.

Blue Topaz Earrings
6.Got any social media links?
Official website:
Youtube channel:

7.Anything else that you want to share?
We would just like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Treasury Wednesday: It's my birthday!

It is my 29th birthday! To celebrate, I made a treasury of all kinds of goodies that I just love! Enjoy!