Friday, February 29, 2008

To Smell or Not To Smell...

So, another product review - this one on chemical - free deodorant. I bought Ginger & Sage deodorant from Spa Therapy on Etsy. It was $6 for a 2 oz. stick. (Have you noticed yet that I like ginger?) It works very well. I almost feel like it works for about 36 hours!

Cons: At first, the smell is overpowering, like for an hour. Maybe that's good if it's floral - it could be perfume, choose your scent wisely. It goes on stiffly. Almost a too stiffly; it doesn't glide - it's a stick, and sort of catches on you a bit.

Pros: doesn't leave any goopy residue, won't stain your clothes, won't even come off on your clothes. If you want to see it on your clothes, you will need to rub directly onto your shirt. Lasts more than a day. Lasts through perspiration and doesn't inhibit perspiration.

Will I buy it again? I very well may. What I will do is try my next one from another chem-free company in hopes of better gliding. If not, I will go back to Spa Therapy. It works very well, and I will probably have this stick for the next 3 or 4 months. I've had for about 3 weeks already and you can't even tell I've used it. It lasts. So come on, get close and smell me!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leap Day Promo!

Leap Day is special! It only comes around once every 4 years. The shops of the EAOC Team are celebrating with a Leap into Savings. These Specials are good for ONE DAY ONLY, so be sure to take advantage. Starting at 12:00AM EST on 2/29/08 and ending at 11:59PM EST the same day, the shops listed below will offer their Specials.

Mention code "EAOC Leap" in the Message to Seller to receive your discount and wait for an adjusted invoice. This is a great way to stock up on favorites and or buy gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays. - 10% Off trivets and small votives - 20% Off all flowers (sale items not included) - 29% Off all orders. Free roll-on perfume oil with orders of $29 or more (after discounts and excluding shipping) - Buy 4 blank floral cards set, get any card free - 15% off any order -20% off any order - $2.29 Shipping on any first item, $.29 for each additional item - 20% Off all scarves - $5.00 Off all items before shipping

These savings are so fantastic, they only come around once every 4 years.

Happy Leap Day from the Etsy Artists of Color Team!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Search of....

a chemical free shower gel or souffle that lathers well. I had thought about doing my weekly feature on one of the EGCG Etsy Team members this week. I ordered several products last week from different EGCG vendors. I was excited about getting them all and thought I would have a hard time choosing one for this week's featured artist. I was right; it is hard, but for the opposite reason. So here is my review on a couple of the products I tried, I will review the rest in another post.

Body washes - I am really looking for a chemical free body wash/shower gel. I ordered one in Frankincense and Myrrh from Sandy Creek Soap Company and one sample of Sweet Ginger Orange from Shower Treat Soap. First, Eco Body Wash from Sandy Creek Soap. It was $8 including shipping for a 4 oz. bottle. When I got it and saw the size, I was a little disappointed. But I thouhgt that if it was concentrated and I didn't need a lot, then that would be okay. It was well packaged, so nothing leaked out during shipping. I opened it; it smelled wonderful, I couldn't wait to try it. I put the usual amount (about a quarter size) onto my bath pouf and started to wash. I got halfway down the front side when the lather and everything quit. It was like I didn't have anything on it all. I put the same amount on to complete the shower and looked at the little 4 oz. bottle. At this rate, I would need a new bottle every 5 days - definitely not cost effective. It also has a 'melted pizza cheese'-like quality to it as it comes out. I literally had to "break" the string of gel with my fingers.

Then, the next day I turned to my sample from ShowerTreat Soap. It smells great! I put the quarter size amount on the pouf. This one I got 3/4 of my whole body done before it quit on me. My skin sort of tingled from the ginger for a few hours. I'm not sure if I liked the sensation; it was sort of like being on edge. So, this one had better lathering, but still not enough to complete a shower and the tingling was weird. That could probably be alleviated by choosing a different scent.

So, I am in search of a good lathering, chemical free gel or wash for the the shower. There are plenty of hard bar products out there, but I don't like those in the shower. If you know of a great gel, please pass on the information. If you have a great lathering shower gel and would like me to review it, send me a message and I will be happy to do so.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mother's Day in the UK!

Hey! It's gonna be Mum's Day in the UK on March 2. I'm offering a $5 Off Shipping promo in my shop to any package going to the UK. The sooner you order, the better chance you have of that $5 off being most of the shipping cost. The promo ends on Feb. 29 at 12:00pm EST. I will need just a tiny bit of time to get in that day's post on Super Fast Global Express Mail to make it arrive on the day. But don't take chances, order now so it will get there with a day or two to spare :)

Give Mum something as special and unique as she is, buy handmade!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Yarn Delights

Mmmm, so I got a gift card from Ben Franklin for Christmas and I finally got to use it yesterday. I got YARN! Lots of Cascade 220 :) My list of projects now has to be written with what yarn will be used because I remember it all. It's just delicious! Combined with the yarn I received yesterday in a yarn swap (stripe-y sock yarn!) and the yarn I traded for last week (gorgeous yarn from a hand-dyer in Germany!)

If I were going to have another child, I would name him Merino!

Believe it or not, I don't sell my knitted items. So for those of you who don't know me. I am a knitting FOOL! I've decided to put a list of what I'm working on in the sidebar, so you all can ask me about it and keep me honest and on track. I teach knitting classes in my home and at my local homeschool center. I'm usually working on several projects at once. I've turned into a yarn snob in just one year! I only like natural fibers - I've given away all my acrylics and nylons. Those are great to get started with, but if you want to create true textile art - you have to use natural fibers. I can barely buy yarn at craft stores anymore, everything is a blend with some synthetic garbage in it. Etsy, and sometimes Ebay, have become my yarn stores. I do have one locally, but I get too overwhelmed in there. I've tried going in with a pattern or project in mind, only to get easily sidetracked.

Yarn is art. People don't understand that. My family doesn't. They just think
Oh good grief, she's knitting again. how much yarn can she bring into the house?
To them, it doesn't make sense. Why can't I go out and buy sweaters, socks, and tops like everyone else? It's therapy. Hah! You try to take care of a home, homeschool your 4 kids, and take care of a couple of daycare kids. You'll start knitting too.

Okay, this got too long and started ranting. But I got lots of yarn and new projects so I'm happy. And my good friend Jenny has finally come back from Wisconsin (she was there for a month) and I get to see her tonight. She's my touchstone, keeps me sane in our twisted little universe. So, here's to good knitting and great friends! Even better if you can enjoy both at the same time :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Goin's Ons

I have been very busy over the last couple of days with my Etsy Artists of Color Team. We had a couple of founding members/team leaders leave on the same day and it was like a blow to everyone. But we have a group of good people and there has been a lot of stepping up. I'm sharing leadership responsibilities with Dee of The Ivory Magnolia shop and we have made a lot of progress in 2 days with a lot of pitching in. If you have the time, I would love for you to take a look at the Team blog, which I've been sort of revamping. There will be lots to come on that in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled. I'm sure you will discover a lot of talented artists there that you never knew about.

Etsy Artists of Color Blog

Support Handmade and Diversity in the Arts all at the same time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Got my Handcrafted Cards!

Wow! That's about all I can say. I don't ever even buy cards - not Christmas cards, not birthday cards. I figure "Why bother?" It gonna end up in the trash, why spend $4 at Hallmark. Well, I wouldn't. Since I'm an Etsy supporter, I decided to purchase 2 cards from LaMar last week because I have 2 very important birthdays - my brother-in-law and my hubby. I got to choose my colors, theme, inside greeting; that was pretty cool. I got email photos of them for approval and I thought they looked nice.

Well I got them in the mail today and I was STUNNED! They were not at all what I expected. These cards are solid! They have texture - an almost 3-D like quality! One of them is hand drawn. This is true art folks! Keepsakes! And I didn't pay $4, but I would have for this kind of quality. These are the cards that make into the scrapbook, not the trashcan.

Buy, buy, buy right now! Get your St. Patty's Day cards, Easter cards, invites, birthday cards, Mother's Day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Featured Artist - Handcrafted by LaMar

This week's artist is Handcrafted by LaMar. LaMar Lynch handcrafts his beautiful greeting cards from his home in New York. He has cards for all occasions and will personalize them free of charge. What I love most about his cards is how you can get them in any color and coordinate them with your gift or theme. He loves to do custom work and will take orders for party invitations, thank you sets, anything you want to say in a card.

He is also running a fabulous promotion and monthly drawing. You can visit his shop, or his blog, for rules on entering the drawings. Reach out and touch someone today, say it uniquely with a handmade greeting card.

LaMar and I offer coordinated gift packaging. Buy one (or more!) of my items, and for a small fee, I will gift wrap it and include your personalized gift card from LaMar and ship directly to your recipient. Please contact me for details.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reusable Market Bags

My special, delicious fabric has arrived. I have Farmers Market bags ready for the cutting table. These will be large totes with plenty of room for your farm fresh goodies. I have enough fabric to make 3 or 4 of these totes, so if you want one order now. Finished, they will sell for about $40. They will be squares set into a base color, fully lined with muslin or cotton. The base color can be changed, but the first one I make to put on Etsy will be black to make the veggies stand out.

Handmade totes in natural fibers to use every week at your local farmers market. Does it get any better than that?

Friday, February 15, 2008

B&B takes on a whole new meaning!

Last night, my honey and I went out to dinner alone - without children, no fighting, bickering, poking, etc. Very nice meal. Anyway, while we were chatting about various things - his work and dumb office politics, Miranda needs glasses, filing taxes, upcoming weekend guests; I brought up the need for us to get away together - again no kids. We almost never get to do this - not many people want to watch 4 kids for days. But I came up with this idea that I think would be very popular with us drinkers.

Take the Bed & Breakfast and make it better - Bar & Brunch! Here's how it works: nice, beautiful Victorian home with a large parlor (think fireplace). It could be BYOB, or they could serve beer and wine, turn on the tunes and just sit around drinking and talking with fellow guests. You can stumble up to your comfy room at the end of the night and enjoy a lovely, homemade brunch from 10-2 the next day. I challenge you B&B owners to turn yours into a really beneficial B&B - now that's the ultimate in relaxation. Seriously, who wants to be on vacation and have to get up at 7am to take advantage of breakfast.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cutting Day

Hi there! Just a quick post to check in. I just wanted to let you know that it's Cutting Day! I have about 2 of these a week. This is the creative time. I think about new designs and items that would expand my line. I stare at my pile of fabric and look through pages of past ideas. Then I take everything to the cutting mat and commit myself to these projects. That's a hard moment - what if I change my mind? It's too late. What if I don't cut enough? Can it be born into something else? What if my machine revolts AGAIN and I have to salvage that beautiful fabric somehow? Ah, the business of birthing sewn babies!

On my table today: one retro apron, 2 handbags with bows, and an idea or two still brewing for Prom handbags. Also thinking about cellphone cases and business card holders. Maybe even headbands, but that might have to wait for next week.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Featured Artist - Knit It Good

This week's featured artist is Knit It Good. To all you yarn-lovin' fools out there, this is a fabulous place to get hand-dyed yarn at a very reasonable price. Alexandria started dying yarn after seeing someone online post pictures of their hand-dyed kool-aid yarn. So she gave that a try and dyed 6 skeins of worsted weight yarn and hasn't stopped since!

She always start the dying processing by giving each skein(usually does 2-3 at a time) a water/vinegar bath for at least 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, she dyes each skein the way she wants (or you want, if it's a custom color order). Sometimes they don't come out the she wanted them; but then again, sometimes they're better!

You can visit her shop at or her other websites: and

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Heads Up! Chemical Free Products!

I was searching around on Etsy for I don't know what, but I found some neat stuff on there like chemical free fabric softner, laundry soap, shampoo, etc. And the more I was reading (and silently counting my dollars flying out the window towards these items), I found out that Etsy has a Team dedicated to Green, Organic, Chemical Free, hand made products. AND most everything is affordable! So my green tendencies will now leak into my cleaning supplies for bath, body, and laundry. Please do a search on Etsy for EGCG (stands for Etsy Green and Clean Guild) in "Items: Tags" and all of those products that are chemical/toxin free, natural and organic will come up. You will be AMAZED at how many there are! So, people with skin conditions, allergies, etc, HEADS UP! Relief is out there at an affordable price and you will be supporting crafty people as well. Does it get any better than that?! Love the world and yourself, go green and get clean!

Fruity Purse has been adopted!

I can't believe it! Fruity purse found a new home already! Dear friend Elizabeth has been following her construction progress here on the blog. She came over last night and feel in love with her on sight. So, I am happy to say that, not only has she found a loving home so quickly, but she will be close by so I can see her again :) I know she's just a purse, but she's my creation and I'm so proud of her! Very exciting!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Etsy Trade-a-holics Weekend Sale

Looking to get something handmade on sale? Go to, Community, Forum, then check the Promo section. Beginning tonight at 6pm ET, the Etsy Trade team (which I am a member of) is kicking off a weekend sale. So, quick! tell your honey to get your Valentine gift from Etsy - a handmade gift, made with love and bought with love. How can you go wrong?

Oh! And check out my new apron designs!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Finished Projects! Moving on...

Yay! I finally finished the Mother/Daughter Apron Set and my little fruity purse with those blasted handles! Everything came out nicely, I must say! Miranda wants to keep the Mom/Daughter Set, but alas! It must be sold.

I got TONS of new fabulous fabric this week! Robert Kauffman, Free Spirit, Chocolate Lollipop - I am ready for Spring! I will be adding business card holders, and zippered wallets to my store. There will be whole sets of coordinating handbags, wallets, and purse organizers - oh my! It'll be like a closet dream come true. I will even make a coordinating headband for the truly fashion conscious.

Make the world a beautiful place - shop with Callidora!

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Okay, so originally I thought I would write about a bunch of different things each day, but I'm finding that all lot of time is consumed with crafting and homeschooling. I do read each night for about a half hour, but it takes me about a month to get through a book at that rate. So I think my blog will consist mostly of crafting news, new finds, etsy artists, some homeschooling stuff and the occassional book review (as I finish them)

I read Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, on the recommendation of my friend Becky. This book is a very good read for people who feel like the world is falling apart at the seams. It really should be a non-fiction book, but it is told in a fictional way, so there you have it. All of the premises are non-fictional however, so it is very enlightening to be able to get to the heart of what's wrong today - and give it a name. I would love to be able to explain it all in a nutshell, but I wouldn't be able to do the concepts justice in a small space.

If you feel that the global community is sort of spiraling out of control, and there's too much emphasis on capitalism and defining the "axis of evil", and that society is breaking down, etc.; then you will want to read this. The book is ABOUT these things, it's about how we got where we are today. Because as we all know, you can't find a solution, if you don't know what the problem is.

There are two other books written by Daniel Quinn that take this concept further. I am still reading them, so you'll have to wait for the reviews or read them yourself!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Featured Artist - Keiki Boutique

Buy Handmade

To celebrate my sister's pregnancy with her 4th child, this week's Featured Artist is Keiki Boutique, the home of the Posh Pouch! (An amazing little diaper and wipe carrying thingie!)

Lacey is a SAHM to Trystan and now baby Willow, the joys of her life. She grew up with a grandmother who was constantly sewing something - a quilt, an heirloom baby dress, an afghan. Her sewing machines and crochet hooks were always going. Thankfully, some of those creative genes made it down to Lacey. She enjoys creating things especially for her children and things that make her life as a mom simpler and more fun. She is more than happy to create a custom design for you. All you have to do is ask!

You can visit the boutique at or

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gettin' Active on Etsy Street Teams!

This week I have a joined some Etsy Street Teams! I'm excited about networking with like-minded people, doing some promoting and getting promoted. I have joined the Richmond Etsy Street Team for locals to get together in person; Etsymoms, an online community of crafty moms; and Etsy Artists of Color, another online community celebrating diversity in the global artist world. Their blog link is in my sidebar - go check it out and you can see my stuff and some beautiful crafty handmade things by other talented artists.

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Visit Callidora's

Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

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