Monday, April 27, 2009

Craft Shows and Farmer's Market - the season has begun!!

Good day, my friends and browsers:

What a whirlwind of a week it has been. I've done my best to keep up with both the outside world and internet world - and, it is not easy. I didn't even twitter for two days!!! Can you believe it?

I have started my Farmer's Market season Saturday, April 18 - and it was a great day. We have a new location this year, right on Center Street (the main street that runs through downtown) and cannot be missed by the most focused of drivers. Years previous, our loyal and regular customers had trouble finding us year to year. Yay! for everyone on this deal.

I've posted pictures of the first day on my flickr account. I have not found a way to post my flickr to my blog, yet, but I am working on it. I am also wanting to add a calendar to my blog so that you may know where to find me if you are looking to see my products in firsthand.

Last Saturday, April 25 and 26, I did a Spring Garden Faire show at The Exchange Place in Kingsport Tenn. (Pictures of this event are at my flickr account also - which is the link from the title of this blog.) This is the first year I did this show without rain or cold weather. It was beautiful albeit hot for this time of year. In fact, I noticed the pups and doggies act as if we are in the dog days of Tennessee, usually occurring July-August range. Whew!
Everyone is planting now here. Annuals, perennials, and trees. I hope you are having good weather wherever you are.

I tell everyone about my blog in the last two outings. I have had two outstanding responses from others who blog, too. But, most, I could tell, wasn't sure what I was talking about. :)

I feel I am going to have to work a bit harder this year- I now have two worlds I operate in -and now that one world is kicking back up to action, I need to remember to do both worlds. Last year, I only had eBay to think about. This year, I have 5 shops online, a facebook page, my blogspot, my flickr account, my twittering, and I belong to a bath and body guild. And, I am very excited about it all. ♥

Thanks for hearing me out. I'll be back soon for more of the same. k

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Swag Bags available at EGCG

My Etsy's street team, EGCG, has put together Swag Bags available for sale at the EGCG site on etsy. Just click on the title of this blog, and it will take you there. They are a super value (18 good size sample items) for $20.00 plus shipping. You may want to hurry. It looks like there were 21 and now only 10 are left.

Also, for those who are interested, I found a new site called The Soapmakers' Exchange. It is at, and here you may list for free ads for your skin care goodies or skin care supplies. I placed three ads this morning.

I'm prepping for my first farmers' market set up this Saturday. I do this three times a week beginning in May. I also have a show and herbal skin care talk scheduled for the following weekend. Good thing I have my visuals for that talk, eh?

Once I'm ready for Saturday, I'll write a new post of some new products I'm developing now. ITM, have a great couple of days.

busily, kathleen

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Talk on Herbal Skin Care

Good Day, friends.

First, how do you like my new Etsy finds? If anything here catches your eye, just click on the picture, and it will take you to the item you clicked on within their shop. I'm sure they would appreciate you stopping by to see them.

I'm a little late with this, but I took advantage of the great weather this last weekend and worked outside until I could no longer stand two days running. Oh, the work George and I did! I am so glad for this time together and time on my herbs and garden.

So, yesterday I played catch up, and today I am back to work. I was going to make shampoo bars today, but I thought I should start here with my promised blog, list some new items, and wrap some soaps to make room for the new ones.

Herbal Skin Care

I called my talk Herbal Skin Care. My partner and I cultivate an acre of herbs, as well as harvest (with a conscience) wild herbs. It is not by accident I live in an area abundant with a variety of wild herbs. So, I approach my skin care products with an herb point of view.
In my talk, I introduce my self by telling my group how I became interested in herbs, and then how that interest progressed to where I am today. A short history, so to speak. Sometimes, a talk becomes so involved, we have to go through the aids in a hurry. And, sometimes, the aids become the talk.

I like to include the herbs I use in skin care - at least most of them. This visual aid lets them see the herb, smell the herb, even touch the herb. I include exotic herbs I use but do not grow, too. Wouldn't you want to see what frankincense and myrrh look like? ☺

Butters always fascinates people. Oils have to be extracted, but natural butters have only to be scraped out of a nut shell. Shea butter is still an unknown, and I like to tell my groups all about Shea - origin, process, size of nut, etc. And, exotic oils go over well. I show Emu oil, vitamin e - dark and viscous, macadamia nut oil, etc.

And, I like to contrast oils and herbal oils.

And, oils! Ah, how to present oils. First, I used bottles with dropper caps. No, after a time, the rubber erodes. Second, I used caps on my bottles. No, after a time of taking cap on and off, the oil will leak. This is my best idea so far - a roll on. You do not risk spilling the oil, and people can try it on their wrist or arm without a mess, a win-win situation. And, they look very attractive, they cost little, and so far very practical.
You can use your own additives/herbs/powders, etc in the bags above. I think additives, like seeds, oats, pumice, kelp, and more would make interesting visual aids and topics in a soap talk.
The same can be said of the butters and oils. I showed some herbal oils that some soap makers do not use. But, some soap makers can show olive oil colored with annatto seed. That would make an interesting visual aid.

I find people just love it if they are able to use their senses to enjoy what you are talking about. Of course, I brought my product, too. But, the raw materials used today to make homemade soap represent the exciting aspects of soap making. And, they may be used to excite the imagination of your group, just as they are used in your daily excitement of soap making.

I hope this bit of information helps. You cannot write down a whole talk, because so much material comes from the groups themselves. The easiest talk is when you are allowed to answer questions. If you have an interested group, this will become the best part of the talk.

Thanks, as always for coming by. I am seriously considering writing a couple more blogs. I'm not sure if I should have my head examined over this, but I find a couple of ideas I would like to pursue...1) a blog on shampoo bars from the Soap Makers' perspective, and 2) a blog on craft shows/display set ups for soap and skin care vendors. I would love to hear what you think on that? :) Kathleen (and how about a blog on herbs - uh, uh, isn't my plate full enough?)

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Speaking Engagement

Good day, Dear folks:
I am feeling pretty good today.

But, for days preceeding a speaking engagement, I'm a mess. I cannot think of much else, and I keep wondering why anyone would want to hear what I have to say. Anyone can find out what I know, all they need do is look it up. :)

I guess the nicest thing about my engagment last night is that my audience seemed very interested in my story. The worst thing is the hour drive and the storm coming in from the south!!

The Topic was "Herbal Skin Care" and the group is an herb society in Kingsport. It was held at a place called The Exchange Place - a historic site that was used in the 1800's for exchanging goods. It has an old schoolhouse on the grounds. I wish I had taken pics of it. I do have a show coming up there at the end of this month, however, and I will then.

My camera's flash is not working anymore. So my pics of the talk are terrible. It was a great gig, because I had the floor to talk all about my products, then I was I allowed to sell what I brought (which wasn't much). The pretty packages are gifts for the ladies, and what was left over sold. None came home. Yay!

This weekend, I will blog about the talk in a proper manner. I will outline the aspects of the talk, show you what I used for visual aids, and give you tips you may not have when it comes to speaking to a group. I have good pics of the visual aids, and you are welcome to use any or all of what I use. ;)

Before I end this, I'd like to show you a couple more things. I've been working on swirling my soap lately. I feel I'm not up to par in this area of soap making. But, my latest makes me feel pretty good about my determination to make a pretty swirled soap.

It is curing now, but I'll take pics soon and show you the cut version.

And, I've listed some newly cured soaps in my shops this last week. You might like to check them out.
Oh, I almost forgot. I'm looking for some new etsy finds that are spring like, bright, and makes us feel good looking at them. I'm on the hunt. I hope to have that filled this weekend, too. Thanks for your patience with me. Lol Kathleen