Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busy Making Soap Baskets and Filling Soap Orders

 It has really been a great month for me so far. I sold a lot of my soaps plus a few soap gift  baskets and finally my Blythe doll sold for more than I thought I would get, so I am excited. Christmas is back on for us. Yeah! Not many people knew, but because of the economy, we were so short on cash that we couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas tree this year, let alone gifts to go under it. But now, we can have a little something this year.

 My soaps are REALLY REALLY good. I know everyone says that about their soap but they truly are very nice bars. They are so large that I compare them to a slice of bread. I show a video of them next to and on top of a slice of bread on my YouTube channel.  (1dreampainter) I found that most people like the large size and then they cut off what they need. Someone suggested that I keep my larger sizes just for that purpose. I have and people seem to really like it and I know I have. I cut one into 3 pieces and only use a piece at a time.

 I am really getting into making soap, it seems my mind is always trying to come up with something different to make. I am looking for something to set me apart from the thousands of other soap makers out there. I am still working on labels. That seems to be my biggest hang up. I have come up with a soap recipe I love and packaging is really nice now too. I have great looking biz cards but the labels always seem to lack a little something. I need "GREAT" to catch peoples eyes. Like eye candy. lol I think I am close to getting it right. But for now the labels are handwritten and kind of sad looking. lol

 So far, the new packaging has passed several testers opinions and I am happy with them too. In fact, several people that bought some soap for Christmas said they looked so cute they didn't want to open them. So that is GREAT news. Tomorrow I will be printing out a couple of new labels, if I don't like them it will be back to the drawing board. Until next time. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I have been busy making Christmas Items

  I really want to do another mosaic but for some reason, I just can't seem to get motivated to do another one. I don't know why, I have a ton of ideas. So I have been making soap like crazy. The pictures above are my Pumpkin Spice & my Sweet Sugar Kisses. The next pic is of one of my new Body butter bars. I also made a double batch of Blueberry Pomegranate, a double batch of Peppermint Candy, which I think I am going to call "Hard Candy Christmas". I also made a Rosemary Mint gardeners soap. I made another batch of soap that didn't turn out at all, so I am trying to figure out what to do with it. Can I save it???? We will see. lol On top of all the soap making, I have been making bath salts, honey salt scrubs, body butter bars and sugar body polishes. I just need to make myself get busy making labels. It just seems that I always procrastinate on those things I don't like doing. Sometimes, well, most times, I get in my own way. Not a good thing to do but I can't seem to help myself.

 I have been trying to make labels on the computer of late but get frustrated because they are not going the way I would like. Well, you can guess how that ends up. lol I am really trying to get some of my stuff out there but it's  not going as fast as I would like. I am very impatient, it is very hard for me to wait the 24 hours to check my soaps too. Sometimes I just have to peek inside. I know it is not good for the process but........    I just listed several of my new items in my etsy shop tonight. I hope someone likes them enough to try them. I know I have good products, it's just getting them out there. 

 I will be redoing my Etsy shop in the coming new year. I think I am going to make a new shop just for my mosaics. I think I will keep alittledream for my soaps & body products and slowly fade out the jewelry. My heart is just not in the jewelry anymore and there are just so many jewelry makers on Etsy. I will also try to improve my banner in this shop as I have been putting that off too. I hope this new year also breathes new life into the economy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finished Fleur de lis and Reunion Party

I finished the Fleur de lis in time and the lady loved it. YEAH!!!  She really was very appreciative of all my work and kept thanking me over and over. I am just glad she liked it so much. You never know what someone will think of your work. I was very happy with it and my husband loved it, so I felt I was safe and all would be ok. lol

 Change of subject: My husband and I was invited to a family reunion by one of my husband's friends. I thought this was a little weird but it seems a lot of people bring friends to them. Who knew?? lol Anyway, it was a little strained at first since it was 300 miles away from where we live and we only knew him and his immediate family. Plus they were all LSU fans and they were all outside their campers watching and cheering the TV. Let me tell you this, I was so bored and disappointed but after the game was over. The fun began. They were getting drunk and laughing, dancing, singing and acting a fool. I got some video of them and if you click on link below, you can see them.  Most of them were Cajun French or (coon-ass) with a very thick accent. I didn't understand a lot of it but it was fun. They were very funny and the music was zydeco style most of the night. Country music was the other choice and that is what you are lucky enough to get to see.  I am glad we went.

One of his Aunts was very friendly and I really liked her a lot.  At one time, she went around with little shot cups and gave everyone a shot of tequila Rose. (She is the one passing out the pineapple) She said you have to put the tequila in the freezer first. It was awesome and it tasted like a fruity smoothie. They roasted a whole hog over open flames and everyone provided side dishes to go with it. It was truly a good time and I haven't laughed like that in a long time. We were invited to come again next year and I hope we have even more fun. Check out my video of some of the party.

Laissez les bons temps rouler - translation "Let the good times roll!"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Nice Commission Piece

I have gotten a nice commission piece to work on. They wanted a Fleur de lis, somehow done in a stained glass mosaic. So I have pretty much free rien of this piece. I know they love the Saints football team and that is their logo. Well, it is pretty much a symbol for the south as is the magnolia blossoms. I LOVE color so black and gold is pretty dang plain to me. I can't see just making a plain piece. So my plan is to make it as colorful as I can. After all, when the light shines through the more color the more sparkle, right? 

It is a surprise for the wife so I think I can get away with the colors. Of course, I will show the husband my sketches and see what he thinks. I drew up a couple of Fleur de lis' and used my colored pencils to color them in the way I want the colors to be. I think kind of like a rope twist or waves would be nice? Not sure which will look better, so I have about three proofs almost done. More choices then three and the clients usually get confused and start wanting to add more and more complicated things. I showed my husband my favorite and he said "WOW" that looks awesome. I am pleased. It takes a lot for him to show that much enthusiasm for art. lol. We shall see what happens. I will email the proofs tomorrow and I should have it completed by Friday so he can get it on sat. I am excited. 

It seems I punish myself by staying away far to long from my love. I feel so completed and at peace when I am making my glass art. I often feel it is such a pleasure either I don't deserve it or other things in life MUST come first. Only then, when those things are completed, am I allowed to PLAY. My heart is singing right now. Pure pleasure and fun is what this is for me. Oh, how I have missed it.

I have a kitten face where the mosaic part is completed but the frame, hooks and chain have Not been added yet. I must make myself do this so I can list it in my etsy store. It is small but cute. I also have several more ideas for some mosaics I will make soon and I will MAKE myself take time out to do. Here is what I have in mind. One of the Eiffel Tower, one of a log cabin on the lake, one with a lake, moose and canoe, and I have ALWAYS wanted to attempt to make one of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. It has ALWAYS been a favorite painting of mine. We will see.

I will try to list some pics on my blog as I work on them. Until next time! 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Making NEW Accounts so you can FIND me

Well, I am finally trying to get in on all the on-line hoopla going on. As a struggling artist it is really tough to wade through the ocean full of other artists showing their works as well. You strive to be great, different, original but that is really a tough thing to do in today's world. You see so many images on the net sometimes the line is blurred on what is REALLY your idea or someone else's. As a mixed media artist I have tried so many things to make myself and my work stand out and make people take notice. Nothing I have done to date has accomplished that yet. I say YET because I TRULY believe one day my stained glass mosaics WILL stand up and make people notice. I love making the mosaics more than any other art form. Yet I still struggle with taking short cuts and trying to make things cheaper, easier, and faster so I can pay my bills. If I just stay TRUE to my heart and continue to strive to make the best mosaics I can, I think they will eventually make me a little money.

I am NOT trying to get rich from my art but I am trying to help out with a few bills at my house. Let me be clear on this touchy subject, I DO my mosaics because I LOVE to make them. ( but in reality, we ALL want to make money off something we love to do right?) In the mass appeal of fast access internet, we strive to promote ourselves to the best of our knowledge. I am slowly learning how and where to go to promote myself. It is extremely hard and takes mass amounts of time to get it done. Sometimes I feel like that is all I do and my art gets put on the back burner, but promote we MUST do to get noticed.

I now have so many accounts going I have had to write all my info in a book to keep track of what goes where and passwords, info, etc. I am STILL adding to my lists.Today I added 2 more accounts and I am vlogging, blogging, tweeting, selling, auctioning, you name it I am trying to get out there. I have 2 myspace accounts, one online store domain I purchased, two stores I sell items in on Etsy, (well one of those is empty at this time), and I am trying to get a facebook going and a flickr account too. So eventually I should be an internet whiz upon completion. lol. It seems every week I learn of at least one more place I should be. Yes, I am keeping track and writing them all down. One day I will eventually get those accounts started too. To keep from being overwhelmed I must take it one step at a time and just go day by day. 

The hardest part for me is keeping the negativity at bay. My mind is a tricky and conniving thing. It likes to bring me down and tries to make me give up. I am striving to overcome this negative pattern I have fought my whole life to get over. The critic in me is strong and perfection is unattainable. I have tried to be the perfectionist and people pleaser my whole life. Slowly I am letting go and trying to live in peace and just do what my heart NEEDS and WANTS me to do. Make great art and have a GREAT time doing it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Soap Log

I made a new soap log yesterday and I don't know what to call it. I used some very sweet essential oils and it smells like candy or a very sweet drink. I have posted a video on YouTube about my name that soap contest. You can view it by putting 1dreampainter into the search. It is made up of four luscious layers. A lavender color on the bottom (not scented with lavender), a natural unscented soap on top of that, then an oatmeal pink lemonade soap on top of that. Finally another layer of unscented natural soap again. Then I topped it off with dark blue dried flowers.

It was a long process in making this log. I started with making just one batch but realized too soon that it wasn't enough soap so I had to quickly start a second batch to finish it. It is pretty and smells soooo good. I LOVE making soap it is so much fun experimenting and playing with it relaxes me.

I wish I could say the same thing for my other interests. Some of them stress me out to no end. I ALWAYS think everything has to be so perfect. I strive for that and it never happens. I am trying to learn to just let go and just BE. Just enjoy the moment and see where it takes you. After all, you do only get one life so Stop all the craziness and start enjoying it. (I know easier said then done, right?!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Making Soap

 Today I made a new batch of cold process soap. I tried a new fragrance oil, I usually use essential oils or e/o, they are better. I only had rose petal in a fragrance. I know where I got it but I don't like to talk ill of people or their business unless it's really awful. Anyway, getting back to the soap. This fragrance oil ruined my batch. I have been making soap for some time now and never had this happen before. It seized on me. What that means is: my soap was just getting to a good trace, so I added the fragrance and it suddenly got hard with my hand blender still in it. This totally freaked me out. It got hard fast, no warning. One minute I have a great batch of soap and seconds later it's a hard mass in my bowl. So I naturally try to fix the problem, I don't like to waste things and in this economy who can afford to? I shaved it down immediately and put in my soaping crock pot to remelt and try again. (this is called re-batching or hand milling) I added more colorant and stirred it in. I let this sit and slowly melt til it looked ready to put back into my mold. It is still in the mold at this time but the color looks great so far and it smells like roses. 

I am not fond of this rose petal fragrance. I like roses but only a couple kinds have a really great fragrance and so far I haven't found a fragrance or essential oil that mimics those. I will cut this batch into bars tomorrow and make labels to fit them and then list a couple in my esty shop to see how they sell. I usually only lightly scent my soaps as to not over power them. This fragrance and my Victorian memories soaps are the strongest I have made. Tomorrow I plan on making another batch but using my essential oils this time. I am thinking of using the honeysuckle scent. We will see. 

If there are any other soap makers out there that would like to talk soap or share some of their knowledge and experiences let me know. I would love to hear about them.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My second post

So this is my second post. I am still learning and trying to come with things to post here. Not much happens around here and I need to add some pictures and make it more professional looking. If you stopped by, I thank you much and hope you will visit again. I do have several other places you can find me that are almost done. Just to name a few:

Please stop by my store or my etsy shop to take a look. Everything in both stores are one of a kind pieces made by me. I just listed several new things today. I have a few more ideas that I am going to try later today to see how they work out before I list them. I am always trying to add new items. Well I need to run to the store so I will post again later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just things to ponder

So this is my first ever blog and I had a few problems setting it up. I am NOT so internet savvy, if you know what I mean. That is where my daughter comes to the rescue. She can sit at a computer and open something and within a matter of seconds knows how to work it. She figures things out that it would take me weeks to do. I envy her with all her technology know how. She has tried her hardest to be patient with me as I learn how to finagle my way through getting my art out there for others to see and hopefully buy. I have been dabbling in art for years and years and years. (you get my She made my website which is and she set up my esty account which is She showed me how to use both sites but I am still not real good at working my store yet. I think I have etsy down pretty good though. I just need to figure out how to get more people there to look at my art.

I have always had problems trying to figure out how to price my artwork. I sometimes think that things are worth a lot because of the cost of materials and my time that I put into them. Then again, I think people won't pay a higher price because they won't see the value in it. I met somewhere in the middle of what I think I should get and what I think people will pay. Hopefully right now, we will both be happy until the economy gets better and I get my art out there. Other artists have told me that you take the cost of your materials and your time and triple or quad it to get your asking price. I am not really sure if that method works. If I used that as a basis for my glass mosaics, I think they would cost to much for most people to purchase. (They take me a long time to do.)

I really think that most artists get the shaft in selling their art. After all they spend so much time creating the piece only to have others ponder why it cost so much. Society doesn't value art as it once did. Just because we don't clock in and out five to six days a week doesn't mean we are NOT working. It also does not mean our time is any less valuable then anyone elses. I get so tired of people ALWAYS asking me to make something for them but not wanting to pay up when I am finished. Anyone else have this problem? They see my work as good enough to do them a favor but not worth the money I want when the job is completed.

Words to ponder.......What do you think art is worth? Do you think artists should be paid like everyone else out there doing a good job? What are your thoughts on cookie cutter art? (you know, art that others copy and claim as their own.) for instance.... Suzi Blu makes cute little girl paintings, she teaches classes on how to make girls just like hers. Now the internet is being flooded with everyone trying to sell these petite dolls that all look the same. Suzi, I am sure was not the first to paint this way or will she be the last. But for crying out loud, can you put some of your own personality into the work? That's all I'm saying. I LOVE SUZI BLU! I am NOT downing her, I am downing the copy-cats out there using her style without changing it to fit themselves. Then they also use her name to promote their art for sale. What do you think about this? Am I the only one who thinks like this?

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