Saturday, June 28, 2008

Yellow Springs Farmer's Market

So much happened this week on the liquid soap front. I was so happy with the soap I made I decided to sell it! I remembered suddenly that the Yellow Springs market is a free setup, and the village is full of the kinds of folks that would appreciate this, so I thought it'd be a great place to start. I had been by the market about 2 weeks before to scout it out and saw they had 2 soapmakers selling there. I think my product is different enough to stand apart from the others, so I decided to go for it. This meant, chaos...especially since I had NO in labels, biz cards, display etc. It really wasn't too bad though. I had only 6 20 ounce bottles of the soap on hand. Usually I wouldn't even do a show with that few products, but I figured I had nothing to lose, and it was a great way to test the market. So I set about designing labels, cards, and a display. It was wonderful that I didn't have so many products to outfit, so I was able to focus on the look I was going for: Earthy, Natural, and Green...literally. My labels were green. I can't give you all my secrets, but lets just say, I had to do some pretty creative upcycling and repurposing to end up with what you see before you.
So how did I do? I sold 4 out of 6 bottles, which is great, considering that I was only there about 2 hours. You see, it started raining and thundering really hard,. I didn't have shelter, and Princess Snaggletooth is terrified of rain, thunder and lightening. For some reason she's really worried about hurricanes and tornadoes. I think if I'd stayed the whole time I would've accomplished my goal of selling everything. I will return next week, because it was a great experience.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buttons & Bows

So tonight my daughter asks me if we can have workshop. I am dead tired, I mean, so sleepy I can't see straight. But I go ahead and say yes because I've been blowing her off about 'workshop' for the past few weeks. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day between all the things that need to be done, and the stuff that has to be done. Anyway, tonight we have time, but I'm just tired and chronically sleep deprived. All I wanted was to crawl into my bed and watch TV till my eyes fall out, or I pass out...probably the latter. I say yes anyway.
'Workshop' was my brilliant solution to the 'mommy-can-I-helps' that inevitably happens when I'm in the studio trying to create. This would usually lead to frustration as I can't get anything done because a little person wants to 'help', or needs supervision. So I decided (rather ambitiously) that twice a week I would let them come in the studio and create. Of course, twice a week is a lot, especially during the school year. Workshop almost became obsolete during the 'Annie Jr. months', when she was in late rehearsals for the play.
So tonight, I say yes, sleep be damned, and I had a great time! She ended up making a bracelet out of some cute buttons I've been saving for the right project. As I found out, the right project is what you make it. She made a button bracelet, and I made a bunch of button barrettes, and one bow-rette. At the Mocha conference in Chicago I attended a couple of weeks ago, I saw a lady that makes and sells these, and I was like "hey, I have those same EXACT buttons!". Now why didn't I think of that??? They were quite simple to make too.
No, I will not be selling these. I just made them for fun, and for my girlfriend's daughter's birthday this weekend. SJ really loves these bows, so I'll make a couple more as a present.
I will try to get the pic of the bracelet that Princess Snaggletooth made. She went to bed before I could get a picture.
Here are the pics of what I made, and a picture of my generally always messy worktable. Also I've added another picture of my liquid soap with my working label. Please critique if you'd like. Okay, I will now find my way to bed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eat To Live

Here is a picture of tonights dinner above. Isn't it just gorgeous How the red 'pops' off the green? That would be the graphic designer in me talking. The dish you are looking at is Basil Pesto 'Pasta.'
Look closer. That's not the traditional pasta you are looking at. You are looking at thinly shredded fresh zucchini coated in a basil pesto sauce and topped in fresh chopped tomatoes tossed with some seasoned rice vinegar (my favorite!). And yes, it's all RAW. And deelish!
Anyone who knows me knows I love food. Chicken, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw. If it tastes good, I'll eat it. I'll try just about anything once (as long as it's not bugs or strange creatures, yecch!). If I don't like it, I never have to eat it again, is my motto. I was a vegetarian for about 5 years, and it was great, I felt healthy, and good, but I just couldn't bear the thought of phasing out a whole food group altogether. As long as good food exists, I can't phase out a whole segment of food just as a general policy.
Now, that being said, a good portion of my family's diet is still vegetarian. The husband is still staunchly vegetarian, which leaves me either cooking vegetarian, or cooking two meals for dinner. Since I don't want to spend my whole day in the kitchen, I usually cook what everyone can eat, most of the time.
I went to the farmer's market yesterday and stopped by the Raw Passion Bistro and they served this dish. As I always do whenever I sample a great dish, I did the copycat at home, and the results are above, right. I think I pretty much got it dead on...after all, there's no cooking involved. Bon Appetit! The dish is tasted even better since I got my ingredients from the farmer's market.
Oh, and the cooked pasta dish on the right is what the kids ate, since I know they won't eat the food (except for the oldest, she leans vegetarian.) I used Gimme Lean Sausage style in this, but I used real mozzarella and Colby-Jack cheeses. It was all good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Liquid Soap, Yay!

Those who know me know that I used to sell my handmade soaps and lotions. I've made both bar soaps and liquid soap using the cold process method. I'm considering selling it again, but I have to see how I'm going to make it all happen. I'm way too talented for my own good! This is my blessing, and this is my curse, a la Spiderman.
Anyway, I took a loooong hiatus from Soapmaking. In the interim I've used both bars and shower gels, but nothing compares to my handmade soap. Last night I made a batch of the most delicious, richest, most soothing batch of Liquid soap! I'm so excited at how easy it was, and how well it turned out. The whole thing took approximately 4 hours, but about 90% of that time was oven time. I didn't take pictures this time, but next time I definitely will. I might even do a tutorial for anyone out there who is interested in making some. If there's enough interest I will sell it.
The batch I made used cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut & corn oils. Can you say rich and soothing??!! I used it this morning and my skin is loving it. Washed my hair with it, and I didn't even use conditioner. Awesome.
Like I said, I didn't take pictures of the process, but I will put up a picture of the pot, and the bottle below.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boite Nouvelle

I just love surface patterns. Fabrics and papers, etc. I love creating new patterns. I guess more than anything I consider myself a surface designer. The dream is to one day design fabrics and paper. Until now, I'm happy selling my 'one-off' pieces on etsy. Check out my new pencil cups on your right. Peace.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This RePurposed life

In my ripe old age I continue to find ways to recycle items around the house. For instance, I've converted a dresser into a kitchen island, amongst other things. Lately, I've been focused more on making smaller scale items. Check out my new line of Pencil cups at my Etsy shop. The humble soup can is one that piles up rather quickly, and is quite versatile. Anyone can do this at home, but not everyone has access to my lovely adinkra-inspired designs. For those who are less crafty, I offer my creations. For the rest of you, please remember to reduce, reuse, recycle!