Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Moisturizing Your Skin: The Terminology

Emoillient, Humectant....what does it all mean to you? Maybe a slightly better way to put that, what does it mean for you skin? You hear those words thrown around a lot when referring to skin care products, but how many of you actually know their definitions or can give an example of one?

Let's start with Humectant. A simple, straight-forward answer: a substance used in cosmetics (and food) products to help retain moisture. These substances actually absorb the water from the air and hold the moisture in the skin. They are also very useful in skin care products for softening thickened or scaly skin. It goes to reason then, that for a humectant to be effective, it needs high humidity levels. Honey and glycerin are two examples of natural humectants.

Emollients are subtances that soothe and soften the skin. Sometimes the word "moisturizer" and "emollient" are used interchangably. However to be more correct, the term emollient should be used to identify individual ingredients and the term moisturizer should be used to describe the end (finished) product. For a substance to be considered an emoillient, it must do two things: 1)Prevent dryness and 2)protect the skin by acting as a barrier. Believe it or not, water is actually the best emollient. However, it evaporates too quickly to be effective. Natural emollients are metabloized by the skins own enzymes and are absorbed into it. They are also readily biodegradable and are of edible quality. Some natural emollients are avocado, shea and cocoa butters.

Check back tomorrow to lean how to choose a moisturizer that best suits your skin type.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Winner Is......

I didn't intentionally prolong the suspense on purpose. I woke this morning to a massive migraine....so I got up, did what I absolutely HAD to do (more bread orders to fill) and back to bed I went! By the time I had gotten up, my whole day was completely thrown way off kilter and I will admit....I almost forgot! YIKES!! So I sat down and wrote all the names down and we now have a winner of the "Very Vegan Giveaway"! Drum roll please.......CONGRATULATIONS TO VANESSA AT THE OHIO GIRL! Be sure you stop over and congratulate her...she has a really cool blog too...so be sure to sign up and follow her as well.

The winner was chosen randomly using a random number generator at random.org.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This and That Randomness...

Please don't forget to enter my "Very Vegan Giveaway" that is ending today. Open to everyone, everywhere!

Also, I have gotten in some new scents for massage candles that I am anxiously awaiting to try out: Black Tea & Roses, Spa Sea Salt (which I WILL be renaming) it is a very light, clean spa scent...very nice, and last but certainly not least, sandalwood vanilla. So be on the look out for these new scents coming soon.

Also, I hope to be listing my soy candles soon. You know, making candles is not as easy as it looks...it takes a lot to get things just right! I have been playing around with them and are finally happy enough to offer them for sale!

And I have been making soap like a mad woman....be on the look out for my gardners soap with pumice and doggie soap, too!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Soapbox: Where Has All The Customer Service Gone?

I am on the hunt for a new printer. Each time I need to print a document or some labels, I hold my breath and utter a little prayer. I am secretly thinking to myself: Will this be the time my little printer prints it's last words? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get this one last document done! Phew....success! As I have mentioned before, living in the country has its benefits and convience isn't necessarily one of them! I an error message that the overflow ink something-or-ruther is full. I can push the reset button a couple of time and make it work, but I know eventually this little game will come to an end...and I will be on the losing team. So I called the manufacturer (this is where rural living comes into play) and they tried to troubleshoot....but (oh what a surprise) this is not something that I can fix on my own and I need to take it to an "authorized repair shop" (again...surprise). Hopefully there will be one in Missoula (30 miles north of me)....but no....Great Falls is the closest! Hmmm, what do I do? Travel the 200 miles to get this fixed? Or replace? Well the choice is obvious.... so now we are on a hunt. I guess I should mention here that the customer service that I received from the manufacturer was good. Even though he was not able to be of great help, he was polite and spoke relatively good English! I give them 4 out of 5 stars!

So, here again, being relatively rural, Missoula does not offer a huge selection for us to choose from.....we have Best Buy and Staples...that's pretty much it (just on a side note...they don't even have Red Lobster or Olive Garden ?!?!?)! First stop: Best Buy. So I find the printer isle....find the models we are looking for. We were in the store for well over 30-40 minutes...NOT ONCE did a sales person come up to us and ask us if we needed any help?! Meanwhile there was a salesperson "busy" at the end of the isle flirting with two pretty little blonde college girls...who I'm sure weren't even the least bit interested in what he was selling...LOL! I was trying to make myself as conspicuous as possible....opening hatches, lifting the printer up....turning it upside down....you would think someone might take interest in what I was doing...NOPE! So out we went....no printer. I refuse to spend my money in a place that does not take interest in their customers! They get a -10 out of 5 stars...SERIOUSLY!
Next Stop: Staples. Total time spent there about 10-15 minutes. Same scenario (minus the blonde bimbos)..lifting, pushing buttons and pretty much doing everything but pick up the printer and throw it on the floor....no service....there were hardly any associates even present in the store. They did have better prices...so I would give them 1 out of 5 stars.
So being somewhat disappointed with our search for printers...especially since we didn't even speak to a single sales associate! We thought we would take a trip Costco. Can you believe that they had a printer we wanted? AND...this is where we came the closest to getting customer service?? COSTCO! The sales associate was busy in the electronics department...and he told us that he would be with us in a minute. Come on, Costco? Really?? Yes...customer service in Costco of all places. Even though we moved on before speaking to the sales associate(being pressed for time), I believe we will be spending our hard earned dollars here of all places for a piece of electronics! They had the best price....and sadly, the best customer service. I give them a 3 out of 5 stars.

With people being extra careful with how and where they spend their money, you would think that companies would kick up their customer service. They would want their associates to be overly friendly....to apporach any and all customers....at the very least, asking them if they have found what they are looking for! I know I will be approaching my Farmer's Market customers differently this year....talking to them more....making suggestions.

SOOO, am I the only one experiencing lousy customer service? Tell me your horror stories! Let me know that I am not alone...you know, misery loves company!! LOL! So share with me!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lemonade Award!

I was nominated for a "Lemonade Award"!!!!! Awarded for great attitude, I guess it goes along with that whole "given lemons, make lemonade" saying. And Gypsy Moon Designs, my friend and fellow Montanan, graciously bestowed this wonderful award upon me!

Thank You!

The rules are quite simple...

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 - 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3. Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4. Tell them they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

Here are my nominees...this is always the hard part:
1. My friend Marlene at Lucky Dog Treat Company
2. My friend Pam at Playfully Smitten
3. My new friend, who lives just a state to the east of me, at Gramatically Delicious
4. A talented young Etsian, The Milkshake
5. And last but certainally not least, my friend at The Sweet Jellybean, she makes amazing goodies!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Best Part About Blogging: The Comments!

Don't you just love reading the comments left for you by your readers? For me, I'm almost like a kid on Christmas morning, anxiously waiting to see what's under the comment Christmas tree! So what does it take to get those coveted comments?
One great way to increase comments on your blog is to show some love. What do I mean? Link other blogs to your posts. Better yet, consider doing a post every so often about the best posts you have read in the past week. Let the authors know and chances are good that they will be curious and come to your blog to see what you have said.....I know I do. They will more than likely leave a comment to let you know that they were there and they appreciate what you have to said about them.

Another great way to get comments on YOUR blog is to comment on OTHER blogs! This is pretty self-explainatory. I try to do this as often as I possibly can. The key here is make your comments relevant. Don't just run around making senseless comments; if you don't have something to contribute, move on to the next blog. Another way to look at this point: why would someone want to comment on your blog, if you don't take the time to read what they have to say and comment on their posts?

Ok...so let's be honest here, this next one is a little like bribing...but take 'em any way you can get 'em! LOL. Seriously, have a giveaway! Not only will you gain followers and hopefully loyal readers...but you will get comments and maybe some constructive feedback. By the way....make sure you enter my current giveaway going on!

Out of all the pointer, this next one is almost a no brainer! Write posts with compelling content. I know...sometimes easier said than done! But don't limit yourself. Don't just write tutorials or how-to's. Stand up and make yourself heard. Write about something controversial....take a stance! You might be surprised with the all the comments you will get!

Out of all the research that I have done; I find this last piece of advice the most surprising. I must admit I am terrible at this, but am working on improving. Answer every comment! This allows your readers to feel as though they are carrying on a conversation with you.

So what secrets do you have for getting comments? Or better yet, tell me what moves you to leave a comment for someone?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Contest: Easter Egg Hunt

So this will be soooo much fun! With Easter just right around the corner...the Easter Buny has lost all his eggs and he needs your help to find them. There are tons of awesome shops participating and lots of great prizes to be won! 2 Crazy Chics are sponsoring the event! The contest is running from today, March 25th and closes April 5th. On April 6th, 6 winners will be chosen from all the correct entries Each shop on the list has hidden anywhere from 2-4 eggs in their shop or blog or website. Your job is to find all of them! I'll give you a small hint....I've hidden 3 on my blog and 3 in my Etsy Shop. For contest rules and a complete list of participating shops, you will need to go HERE. You also get to take a peek at the awesome prizes too!


So what are you waiting for....GET HOPPIN!! GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Contest addiction!!

Ok, so it's no secret that I LOVE to have contests and giveaways! So please don't forget to enter the one I have going on right now. BUT....be sure to check back in tomorrow....I will be announcing ANOTHER awesome contest/giveaway that I am involved with. I am not hosting it, but I promise you it will be loads of fun AND you get to explore lots and lots of awesome shops....so...I'll see ya tomorrow....same time, same place! Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Artisians Challenge

Sorry for the double post today....but I'm pretty stoked! I just found out that one of my items was chosen for the artisians challenge! YEAH!! I would really appreciate your vote, so please take a moment after you have entered my new giveaway and pop over HERE and vote for me! I have entered my Edible Chocolate Body Paint. Please....and Thanks! Let me know you voted in the comments and you will get an extra entry into my giveaway!!

New Giveaway And Contest Winner Announced.

So the winner of the St Patty's Day Contest is Elaine Rosser! Congrats!! She receives a $10 gift certificate for my shop. The winner was chosen from a pool of correct answers (the most anyone had right was 2!). So the anwers to the quiz were as follows

1. A
2. B
3. B
4. A
5. C

Now here's the next exciting giveaway! In honor of launching the new vegan line...it's going to be a "Very Vegan Giveaway"! There will be one winner. The prize for this great contest will be as follows: 1 vegan lemongrass soap, both vegan solid lotion bars, and all three vegan lip butters! AWESOME PRIZES (if I don't say so myself)!!

Once Again, this will be relatively simple to enter and you will get multiple chances to win, ok here are the rules:

1. The contest is open to EVERYONE EVERYWHERE! You don't even have to have an etsy store to enter.

2. The contest will run until midnight Sunday March 29, 2009 (mountain time), with the winner being announced Monday, March 30, 2009. Winners will be picked randomly.


4. You must include in your post a way to contact you....email, etsy shop address...something! If you do not include a way to contact you, your entry will not be counted.

1. You get one for simply following me! (please do post a comment that you are following me)
2. You get one entry for commenting about my shop..your fave from my shop, ect!
3. You will get 5 entries for grabbing my button and posting it on your blog. Please post that you have my button and the link to where it is.
4. You will get 5 entries for blogging about my giveaway, with a link back to here. So simply blog about it (first) then return to my blog and post a comment with the link to your blog. Post YOUR blog entry first and then the comment....I won't go back again and again to check...I will only check once...if it's not there....no entry.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Product Line Finally Launches: Vegan Friendly Items Are Here!

Finally! So after much ado, the vegan friendly items are ready to launch. The delay was due in part to the fact that I was not quite happy with the formulas that I had tested, so it was back to the drawing board.....and now I am quite pleased with what I have formulated, and I hope you will be too!

Our Vegan friendly lip butter (or balms) contain a blend of candellia and carnauba waxes, shea butter (a higher percentage than in our regualar lip butters), olive oil, 100% all natural flavoring and all natural sweetener (stevia). Please note that these lip butters contain no colorants of any type. We will also begin to phase out colorants in all of our lip butters. We have not decided whether we will add other flavors or keep this line strictly all natural.

Our lotion bars are currently available in only 2 scents right now, but look for more coming soon. There is 100% all natural grapefruit and then a scent we called Milton's Bees....it is a dupe of that well known Burt fellow. I can't attest for it's authenticity, as I have not smelled the real deal! As with our lip butters, the lotion bars also contain a mixture of candellia and carnauba waxes and a higher percentage of shea butter. Be on the look out for more scents coming soon!
And last, but certainly not least....vegan friendly soap. This particular bar is 100% all natural scented with lemongrass essential oil and the cool swirl is done using all natural colorants. For right now, we only have this one scent, but more are on the way, I promise!

So be on the look out for these products listing today or tomorrow in our shop!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Soapbox: Designer Dogs

So from time to time I figure that I have the right to vent. To get things that bug me off my chest. Now, I don't expect this to be a weekly occurrence, but from time to time....maybe once a month, I'll get my soapbox out and get things off my chest. So for today, I thought I would tackle so-called "designer dogs". So when did this whole idea come to the forefront? When did it become OK for people to breed mutts, give them cute names and then sell them for hundreds of dollars? Just because they have a cute name?? Last time I checked it's a mutt. They may be able to sucker some people, but I REFUSE to spend my hard earned money and encourage these people who are bilking the public out of their hard earned dollars. Over breeding has ruined many purebreed...true. But in my opinion, this is what really happened....a breeder had his female come into heat...and accidentally had the neighborhood casa nova sneak into his yard one night....and being greedy and not wanting to lose money came up with this scheme. Now granted, don't get me wrong...they are cute. But if you truly want a dog, why not save yourself a few hundreds of dollars.....go to the local pound and pick yourself a puppy. There are hundreds of pounds across America that are quickly becoming over-populated. As people lose their jobs and their homes, unfortunately they look to cut corners and their best friend is sometimes the one that suffers.

So for me a mutt by any other name is still a mutt....so I would really LOVE to hear your opinion on this subject! Are you with me...against me...let me know....just remember everyone is entitled to their opinion and no one should be put down or chastised for that!

Friday, March 20, 2009


So I have like a million things to do today, or that I should do today. But what I really feel like doing, it what Stella is doing. NAPTIME! So I tried to think of things that will motivate me, but none of them really seem to be working. So what do you do? How do you get yourself motivated? I would love to hear what you do, so please share with me!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So, You Want To Be A Blogging Star?

Doesn't everyone? So what does it take? Luck? Probably not. Hard work? Definately! Perserverence? You Betcha!

I have been doing a lot of research on this subject. I waded through the vasts amount of articles on this subject and have seen several tips seem to surface again and again. So for today, I will only touch on one or two.

First and foremost...Write a good title! You need to pull your readers in. In ten words or less, you need to make them interested enough to want to read more. Make them want to click on your blog. But this is usually easier said than done. The best headline will convey general, need-to-know information, but still pull them in and want to know more. This is definately not an easy task to accomplish in under 10 words!
So what makes a good title? You would think that writing a title for your blog is the easiest part....but it really is not. There are many, many conflicting ideas as to what makes a good title...short, long...who knows! (I am personally with the shorter is better school of thought) But what does make a good title is using keywords. Using effective keywords is crucial. What are keywords? Those are the words that people (you hope) will use in a search engines and find your blog. It’s a well-known fact that search engines eat up blog titles with vigor. So, if you've got good keywords in your title, it just goes to reason that your search traffic will improve.

Just know that there are no hard and fast rules for blogging. What works for some, may not work for you. But it gives you a place to start. Take the ideas. Tweak them....make them your own. Long, short, funny, serious, but stand out and test them on your readers...you will soon learn what works with them! In today's high paced society, where there never seems to be enough time in the day...make your readers want to spend their precious time reading what you have to say.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Warning

So I had a completely different post planned for today...but it never seems to end up that I post what I plan. Hmmmm.....why is that? Anyway, I thought this was way more important! PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANTIVIRUS 360....not to be confused with Norton 360. This is a highly destructive virus or worm? hmmm...not sure which, not that it really matters, because the outcome is the same! VERY BAD!!! It acts like a virus removal software warning...but it is fake! Just by "Xing" out a pop up ad stating that your computer is infected with all kinds of spyware, ect, ect you become infected. The more you use your computer, the more damage that is done. Please be extremely careful. It could ultimately crash your computer and cause you to lose valuable documents and files. Even though I had Norton installed and running, I was still infected. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Side note: I was told that instead of xing out your pop ups, you are supposed to use ALT F4 to get rid of them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Quiz Contest & Giveaway

So in honor of St Patrick's Day, I thought I would run a tiny little contest to see who knows the most about this fun "holiday". The person who has the most answers right, will win a $10 "Gift Certificate" from my shop. In the event that there are more than one winner, all the correct answers will be put into a hat and then the name drawn from that pool. To answer the questions, you will need to send me a convo in my etsy shop, or email me at themuddymoose@wildblue.net just put the number and then your answer. The contest will run until midnight Sunday, March 22, with the winner being announced on Monday. There are only 5 questions, so you're getting paid like $2 per correct answer! Ok, here ya go......

1. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated to commemorate which of the following events?
A. The day of his death
B. The day he was born
C. The day he drove the snakes out of Ireland

2. In Ireland, what does the color green stand for?
A. Spring
B. Hope
C. Countryside

3. What is a shillelagh?
A. A Wooden Pipe
B. A Short, Stout Oak Club
C. A Leprechaun's Outfit

4. What is cured by kissing The Blarney Stone?
A. Shyness
B. Lovesickness
C. Bad Luck

5. What does "Erin Go Braugh"mean?
A. Luck Of The Irish
B. Happy St. Patrick's Day
C. Ireland Forever.

Good Luck and Happy St. Patrick's Day

Crafters In The News

Ok, so after I hyped you up yesterday. Here you go! Here's the link for you! There are some great articles, recipes patterns and tutorials! Every new issue after this point will be on the first of the month....ENJOY!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tomorrow is the BIG day!

So, I'm not really good at keeping things a secret. I get so excited that I just can't wait. I give gifts way in advance of the event....so I generally have to run out an buy another! Sometimes that can get to be kinda expensive...hehe! But I have been soooo proud of myself, I have kept this secret. I have not even told any of my family members....not even Mr. Moose knows the link! TOMORROW is the launch of a new online crafting newspaper that I am writing for! So please check back tomorrow for the link and the official "GRAND OPENING"!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lucky Dog Treat Company

Since Mr. Moose and I have no human children (yet) our pups are kids. We are even taking a Pet First Aid/CPR class today from 12-4. We can't wait!! Sometimes we love them too much and show that affection by feeding them treats! Although they are on a diet right now, we still do give them an occasional treat. Rather than giving them the store bought treats that contain absolutely no nutritional value what-so-ever, we have chosen to spend a little extra and give them homemade treats we buy on Etsy! So today I thoughT I would introduce you to another one of our favorites, Lucky Dog Treat Company!

This wonderful little company is based out of our former home state, Pennsylvania. It is owned and operated by Marlene Doyle. I asked her what the best part of owning your own business was and her reply was " I love owning my own business and being able to interact with people who share my love for all things animal"! Marlene was laid off from her "real job" last June, so Lucky Dog Treat Company is now her full time job....lucky girl! Her full time job was very physically taxing and made it extremely difficult to do both....so finding herself without a job turned out to be a blessing in disguise! On St. Patrick's Day she will celebrate her one year anniversary in business.
Marlene started selling at the local Farmers Markets, when they closed for the season, she was left with no outlet in which to sell. This led her to Etsy.

Marlene always has her eyes peeled for interesting recipes. Sometimes she sees a recipe and just tweaks it until she (or her pooches) are happy with it. Other times she finds a "human" recipe and then changes ingredients that would be harmful to dogs. She spends a lot of time researching the ingredients, making sure that they add a healthy boost to their diets and are not just a "filler" treat.

Her favorite treats to create contain fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables.....because, she confesses, she gets to sneak a bite here and there...hehe!

Her top seller, hands down, are Callie's Peanut Butter Bones. (pictured right) She rarely encounters a dog that doesn't like peanut butter!
You can find Marlene, online of course, but at the Glenside Farmer's Market, The North Hills Farmer's Market and the Farmer's Market at the Whole Foods grocery store in Jenkintown, PA. She also attends various rescue events in the suburban Philly area thoughout the year. She keeps her Etsy shop page updated as to where you can find her. She is also a member of EEAT (Etsy Edible Art Team) on esty. Which she says has helped contribute to her sucess, as well as joining her local chamber of commerce.

Her best advice: SHAMELESSLY PROMOTE! Tell everyone you talk to, find a way to work it into the conversation! She keeps fresh samples in her car and sometimes in her purse! Don't forget your business cards as well! Also don't be cut corners on them. Get high quality, full color cards. People will be more likely to hold on to them if they look impressive.

What's in the works for Marlene? Well, she has some new flavors kicking around in her mind and she currenly has three more being tested for nutritionals right now. She is also looking into some local retailers and she is open to wholesale as well.

Marlene's true passion is animals, and making sure they are treated well and cared for properly. She is a huge advocate of pet adoption, so she would like to ask anyone interested in picking out a new friend to please visit your local animals shelters rather than go to a pet store or breeder. There are so many loving animals in need of a good home!
Here's a pic of our (the Moose's) two adoptees! Stella on the left and Daisy on the right.
Be sure to visit Lucky Dog Treat Company....she is celebrating her one year anniversary on St. Patty's Day...with a HUGE sale! So go...pick up treats for you pups!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Ok, so what the heck is that word and how the heck do you say it? Well, it obviously it is a fear of something....it's a fear of Friday the 13th. Somewhere between 17 and 21 million people suffer from this fear.

If Friday the 13th is truly an unlucky day, then 2009 is an unusually unlucky year. 2009 is a triple threat. There was one in February....today and then another in November. This only happens once in 11 years. Next year, there will only be one Friday the 13th, which will happen in August.

So where does Friday and the 13th as being seen as unlucky come from. Quiet honestly, the origins are a little murky. Some believe (and I am not trying to be religious here) it all began when the 13th guest at the Last Supper betrayed Jesus. By the time the Middle Ages rolled around BOTH Friday and the 13th were considered to be bearers of misfortune. In modern day society this superstition permeates society.

Here are 13 fun facts about Friday and 13:

*Some hospitals, hotels and tall buildings skip the13th floor.
*Some airline terminals skip Gate 13.

*FDR would never travel on the 13th day of any month nor would he ever host a gathering or dinner party for only 13 guests. In Paris, you can actually hire someone to be the 14th guest.

*The number 13 may suffer somewhat of inferiority complex...there are 12 months, 12 days of Christmas, 12 items comprise a dozen, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 Zodiac signs, 12 hours on a clock....and the lists goes on. I guess 12 seems to take on the idea as being a "complete" number and 13 is seen as being irregular.

*According to insurance companies, there are less accidents, fires and thefts reported on this day. Seems people are being overly cautious and tend to stay at home.

*You are not supposed to change you sheets on Friday...it will bring bad dreams.

*Never cut you nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow.

*A ship that sets sail on Friday will have bad luck.

*Butch Cassidy, notorious American train and bank robber, was born on Friday, April 13, 1866.

*Fidel Castro was born on Friday, Aug. 13, 1926.

*The seals on the back of a dollar bill include 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle's head, 13 war arrows in the eagle's claw and 13 leaves on the olive branch.

*Woodrow Wilson considered 13 his lucky number.

*Hurricane Charley made landfall in south Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004.

For me, today is just like any other day. I'm going about my normal activities as usual. How about you? Are you superstitious? Does today bother you? Post a comment below and let me know!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Please Help Me.

So, in an effort to make my blog more appealing to my readers. I have been doing a little research and paying attention to what other bloggers are doing. And I have personally been paying attention to what I have been reading on other blogs.

So I guess my question for you, my friend, is what keeps your interest in a blog? (please be sure to take my poll...you can select more than one answer)

Do you like interviews with other artists and crafters?

Do you prefer to read articles that give tips and advice for better blogging or better business?

Do you like personal posts?

Do you like following blogs that have a set schedule of posting? ie Wordless Wednesday, Theme Thursday, Friday Feature, Saturday Seller?
Do you like blogs that have quirky news and trivia?

PLEASE let me know what you like. Let me know what you are looking for in a blog. Take a moment to post a comment or take my new poll. I am striving to make my blog better, so I am asking for your help.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Out Of The Box Sampler Review

Since I hadn't participated in this month's sampler, I thought I would treat myself and buy myself one.....my FIRST one! I first must say how FAST it arrived! I ordered it on Wednesday or Thursday and had it by Saturday! AWESOME service.

Ok, starting at the top left corner:

1. GeekDetails sent a button. Mine said "more dots more dots". Sorry don't get it. I'm not a fan of buttons either. Maybe someone out there can help me with the meaning of it?
2. Custom Candy Bar Wrappers 4 U: cute little spring/Easter chocolate. She does the custom wrappers. Cute. Great graphics.
3. Handmade Creations By C & K: cute little candle melt. Smells great, although I'm not getting the allspice and nutmeg. (sorry I couldn't link your shop, I couldn't find a web addy) Plus a 10% off coupon for next order.
4. Tartaholic: good size samples of Mulberry Spice melts. Smell awesome.
5. Strawberry Fields Candles and Gifts: carpet sprinkles. Lemon Pound Cake...smell soo good...my hubby is a big fan of this one...he loves anything lemon. She sent enough to do a small room....AWESOME!
6. Everyday Eclectic: bath salts. Generous sample...enough for about 2 baths. Great labels...very professional. Scent says "Wild Lavender"...definately NOT the scent I am smelling....smells very powdery....the only reason I say this is because my grandmother had a dusting powder she used and it smelled EXACTLY like this....definatley not lavendery at all.
7. Lori's Place: Beautiful Flower Cookie....tasted great. AWESOME decoration...sorry we devoured this immediately and then accidentially threw away the packaging. If someone could help me out here....that would be great! (Thanks Michelle)
8. Sweet Treats by Maryann...Chocolate Covered Pretzels...my fave! Gone...in an instant!

Ok starting in the very back with the chinese take out container:

1.Bubbly Creations: tucked inside this little box was the CUTEST little rubber duckie princess...who, much to my shagrin...is a little squirt gun....hubby took full advantage of this! LOL! and a soapie sample. Mae Flowers? I'm not really getting much a scent?
2. Bella Photo Design: cusom photo cards, invitations, note cards, ect....got a 10% off coupon.
2A. Country Chunkie Candles: oops almost missed one! OK....this one is my FAVORITE of all the melts! Creme Brulee! AWESOME AWESOME smell....LOVE IT! PLUS coupon....I will be using this one!
3. Daisy Mae Aromas: GREAT packaging! She sent a cute little St Patty's Day scented knob hangy.
4. M-D Candles: sent TWO melt samples. Both smell AWESOME! I got Georgia Peach and Spiced Vanilla Orange! YUMMY!
5. Memories By Olenka: sent the cutest little "green" themed hang tags that can also be used as magnets....VERY CLEVER....VERY CUTE too!
6. Deborah's Candle Magick: sent cute little melts in the shape of gold coins! CLEVER! smells like apple orchard. Great spring smell.
7. Pure Naturals: sent FULL SIZED lip balm...almond biscotti. Also sent cute little twist tin of shea skin repair....I LOVE tins! Plus coupon!
8. One Scrappy Chic: sent the cutest note card....love the pattern! Plus "coupon".
9. Hearts A Glow Candles: sent a generous sized melt. Red Hot...love cinnamon!
10. Anam Cara Candles: sent little candle melt..chocolate fudge...not quite what I get when I smell it...I get a hint of coconut...might be just me?
WOW...19 samples in all....AWESOME! To purchase your sampler for next month...go HERE! Next box goes on Sale APRIL 1ST. Be sure to get there quick...they go fast!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TAKE 2 Light Box Photo Comparison!

Let there be light.....daylight that is. So I ran to the hardware store yesterday on my way to work. Being from a small country town...the employees immediately ask you if they can help you find what you are looking for as soon as you set foot in the front door. So I told the guy what I was looking for and he was....puzzled? Never heard of one of those (surprise, surprise). Oh great I thought....just chock up another inconvience of living in way out in the country. But after he looked.....TA DA! SCORE! One daylight lightbulb!

So here, once again, is the photo that I took yesterday:

And this is the photo from today with the daylight. The only thing that I would possible consider doing in the future is adding additional light sources....right now I only have the single light for the top. But overall....I would call it a success. I am very pleased with the results.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Light Box Photo Comparison TAKE 1

Ok...since I had been pressed for time, my hubby did the shopping for me. And I FIRST must say that he did a pretty good job. I did initially question his choice of lightbulbs.....but HE ASSURED me that they were what I wanted and that they would NOT cast a yellow light. So I was all set to take picture this morning....but before I spent all that time...I decided to just take one. What I did was I looked for what I thought was my worst picture and found this one:

YIKES..that one is pretty bad..yellow, grainy....YUCK!! I am soooo embarassed!

OK...here is the photo that I took this morning:

I TOLD HIM THAT WASN'T THE RIGHT TYPE OF BULB!!! Oh well, but I think once I get the right type of bulb, the pictures will be AWESOME....this still has the yellow cast, but the photo came out MUCH CRISPER AND CLEARER! I tried to re-create the photo as best I could...but we ate the chocolate wafers....hehehe! So once *I* get the right type of bulb....will try this experiment again!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ok, So I Lied....

I am so sorry. I apologize to those of you that were looking forward to the photo comparisons. I didn't intentionally lie.....I had every intention on taking pictures today...but they never got done and before I knew it....it was time for me to go to work. I will try to get them done tomorrow!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Light Box PART 2

Ok, finally I have finally set aside the time to construct my light box. I spent a total of just under $30 for the supplies I needed. Of course, the most expensive part was the light($13) and the light bulb ($7.50). I went to a thrift store and picked up plain white pillow cases for the fabric (0.99 each). I got 3 but only needed 2.

STEP 1: Mark each side of the box 2" in from each edge...leave the top and bottom alone. The top flaps will be cut off and the bottom will be left intact.

STEP 2: Connect all guide marks using a straight ruler and cut away the center portion. Using care not to over shoot your ending points. This is what it should look like at this point.

STEP 3: Take your bristol board (I just used poster board) and mark it in (16) 2" strips and cut them out. Once you have 16, apply to the inside edges of the box. I used a glue stick and you must apply it LIBERALLY...I went through about 1 1/2 sticks just for that! Now that I have done this, I personally think that adhesive spray might work better. This is how is should look now.

STEP 4: Cut the remaining piece of poster board so that it fits inside the box...set it inside, DO NOT CREASE IT and cut it so that it is flush to the top.

SET 5: Now cut your fabric and cover 3 sides (the directions I was following didn't really say to do all 3 sides...but I did anyway) and the top. Attach with masking tape.


Check back tomorrow for photo comparisions. Can't wait to try it out! If you are thinking about building one...you should do it....it was soooo easy and only took me about two hours (I was multi-tasking) so it will probably take you less time!

If anyone has any questions...I will be glad to help you in any way I can!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Donation Day and Other Housekeeping!

So today is the big day. Donation day for the Cora Paige Benefit. This day also would have been little Cora's first birthday, so please keep her family in your thoughts as this must be an extremely difficult day. On a side note, completely by coincidence, Cora's parent's have their first meeting with the playground builders at the church today and *hopefully* everyone does what they were supposed to do and make their donations before the appointed time so they can surprise them with the numbers! $13,258.31 is the most current number I have heard and the organizers still need to hear current numbers from around 90 people! Thanks to all who participated.....We (The Muddy Moose) raised $166.75 to donate!

Ok, on a more cheerful note: Please check out my shop and let me know what you think! I took some the suggestions to heart and 1) shortened my shop announcements and 2) have a new banner. So let me know what you think of it. I hired 3 designers because I couldn't narrow down my choices any further than that. So if you don't like the one I currently have up, I have more to choose from.
PSSST...I almost forgot....the banner in my shop is done by Olliegraphic, Meg does an amazing job. Be sure to check her out if you are needing a new banner!

Looking forward to hearing what you think!
Have a GREAT day!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Well, I woke to a wonderful surprise this morning, I have been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thanks to Elizabear at The Bear Bunch for the wonderful award. I am honored you would think of me!Here are the rules:List 7 things that you love and then pass the award on to 7 people...tagging them and letting them know they won! You can copy the picture of the award and put it on your sideboard letting the whole wide world know you are KReATIV!

Ok, Here goes:

1) First and foremost, I love being married to my wonderful hubby! He is truly awesome and I don't tell him enough how wonderful he is!

2) I love living in "The Last Best Place"....Montana. We just moved here a little over a year ago, from Pennsylvania, and I still amazed every day by it's beauty!

3) I love my job...I am a Juvenile Detention Officer and I love interacting with the kids. Sometimes it is quite a challenge, but I love the feeling when you are able to finally reach them!

4) I love Etsy and the wonderful people I have met through there!

5) I love my "kids"...the furry, 4-legged kind! We have two here with us in Montana and two are with our parents back in PA....we miss them terribly! No kids of the human kind yet!

6) I love creating soaps and other sorts of bath products for people to enjoy. When I am creating I feel like a mad scientist!

7) I love to cook!

Hmmmm....ok, so now the hard part: I pass this award on to:

1. Playfully Smitten
2. Audreys Country Crafts
3. Nightmare Anthology
4. Gypsy Moon Design , a fellow Montanan
5. The Word According to Plaidfuzz
6. Lucky Dog Treat Company , a fellow Pennsylvanian
7. And last but certainly not least, Bailey the Golden Retriever

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Building The Light Box Day 1

So with the economy being the way it is these days....I have decided to save myself a few (in some cases many) dollars and build my own light box. I have new stuff to list, but this is what has been holding me back. I have looked on Ebay and other places and decided that constructing my own would be the way to go. So after reading many articles and doing some research. I found that the best instructional site to be here . So for those of you following along at home....go there now LOL!

My Materials List:

1) Box....got plenty of those lying around, big ones small ones...just about any size imaginable. And the BEST part about it, it's FREE! If for some reason, you don't have one....go to Wal Mart, grocery stores. Just remember, the thicker the better; you are going to be cutting away a lot of the box, so just the corners will be supporting it.

2) Fabric....I have read different sights and said that you could use white tissue paper, which would cut down on your costs, but makes it extremely flimsy. If you have old white T-shirts or old white sheets lying around these will also work. But if not....which I don't have either, the tutorial I am following recommends white muslim fabric. So I am going on the hunt to thrift stores for a few white sheets.....DUH....I can't believe I forgot all about the fabric!!

3)Masking Tape...to secure the fabric to the sides of the box.....I was thinking why not use spray adhesive...well incase you want to tinker with different colors of fabric, that will make it easier to change out.

4) Glue Sticks or spray adhesive...need to get these as well.

5) White Bristol Board...similar to poster board only heavier. (must get this as well)

6) Lights...the gooseneck kind. We just recently moved from PA to MT....so unfortunately, those all went into the yard sale....again going to hunt the thrift stores. Also will need to purchase daylight lightbulbs...the regular lightbulbs tend to cast a yellow light and will affect your end results.

7) Tape Measure or Ruler, Pencil or Pen (something for marking your lines), Scissors or exacto knife...something for cutting.

Well that about sums up what I need to get....so check back tomorrow for my progess...

Oh..just curious how many of you out there use lightboxes?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Morning Blahs

On Mondays, I generally spend catching up on things that have gone by the wayside after putting in my full week of work....but I still have 4 more days left of my 9 day stretch before I get to the weekend! With me working full time and running my Etsy story and my hubby works 60 hours a week a lot gets pushed aside. I think I need a maid!! Things on the adjenda for this week:

1) Build my light box...I suspect that this is going to be a multi-day event
2) List/take pics of vegan items...look for my next giveaway when these items are "officially" released!
3) Get caught up with laundry
4) Walk the dogs...try to at least daily
5) Clean the house
6) Replenish my stock...I have been wiped out from the benefit!
7) Shipping

Hmmm...that's a pretty long list of things to accomplish...and unfortunately I have a sinking suspicion that only half of those things will get done! Oh well...there's always tomorrow.

So what do you have planned for the week?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And The Winners Are.....

WOW!! I can't even begin to tell you how much fun this giveaway has been. I loved reading each and everyone one of the comments. They were GREAT!! Here is a pic of all the entries. Thanks to my hubby for drawing the winners!!

Before I announce the winners (I'm kinda drawing out the suspense…sorta like a commercial LOL), I'd like to take a few minutes to address some of the points that were made.

1. Scrubs are on the way! I am planning on making your basic sugar scrub, a solid brown sugar scrub and possibly a coffee scrub. I look for them to be out by the end of March or the beginning of May *crossing fingers*

2. Yes, I do need to work on my pics and I will be building a light box (hopefully) this coming week…so check back in to see my step by step progress and some before and after picture comparisons.

3. Soy candles are also on the way…I have been working on these for quite sometime and think I am finally happy with the end results…this I would like a little feedback on…what sizes would you like to see 4 oz, 6 oz , 8 oz or larger?

4. Flavored chocolate body paints are currently in the "experimental stage" will keep you posted on their progress!

5. I am currently looking into redoing my banner and some of my labels.

6. I will be doing giveaways on a regular basis…maybe monthly or maybe to correspond with a new product release or soap scent…I LOVE doing them, they are sooooo much fun!!


1. Tiff

2. Spell It Out Designs

**I have decided to do the giveaway slightly different than originally....I will still be giving away two baskets, however....each winner will have their choice of which one they would like!