Saturday, November 29, 2008

Orange Mocha Love!

I've had such a lazy day...I have a ton to do but I guess my brain is saying relax? Not good brain! At any rate, I decided to post my Orange Mocha Love tonight on my Etsy site. I love this bar - the boyfriend said that, of the new bars, this is his favourite. He also said that he likes the look of this one the most. Must be a guy thing? Ha ha. I've got two more coming...I'm pretty excited about all of them!

Mom's Holiday Kitchen

I just posted my Mom's Holiday Kitchen bar on my Etsy Page!!

I love this bar - it smells so wonderful and really quite similar to my Mom's kitchen in December :)

This is the first in my new line, I made these with a new mold and new cutting technique - they are larger than my old bars. I love the new mold - it's long and skinny so the sides of the mold are the sides of the bars - it lets me do much more fun things with the tops of the bars than I could with the old one.

I have 3 other bars that I will be posting for the next few days - once they are all cured I will post a 4 bar sampler pack.

It's back to the drawing board for my lip balm - I am not happy with the way it has been working so will reformulate and try again :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yay and Nay...

So, the new soaps are ready to sell but I ran out of daylight hours before I could take photos. Uber bummer. I will have to try to get pics on Thursday and start posting after that.

In other news, I returned VERY early this morning after a trip to Indianapolis and St. Louis. I spent 22 hours (at least) in the car so it wasn't so much "relaxing" as it was not. But, hey, at least I had some time to relax a little - I even watched the end of Clueless and part of My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

I got another treasury, check it out!: Kelle's Pea Treasury

Monday, November 17, 2008

Super Secret Soap Sale!

Say that five times fast :) I just finished taking another grueling 9 hour test and need something to lift my spirits...and nothing makes me happier than improving someone's bathing experience!

I am having a secret sale until 3 pm CST TOMORROW on everything on my site. Everyone who buys before 3 pm on 11/19/08 will get $2 off the cost of EACH item they purchase. Just buy the item, I will adjust your invoice and send it to you, and complete the sale as you would normally. If you pay by 3 pm CST tomorrow via Paypal, I can have your order in the mail tomorrow!

Make sure to include the phrase "Super Secret Soap Sale" or something similar in the message with your purchase! This is only for people who follow me on Twitter or on my blog.

Isn't it time to clean up your act? :)

If you want higher quantities than what I've got listed, convo me on Etsy or comment here. I can easily create a custom listing!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Soap of the Month Club

Well, after a few days it's finally here! Ha ha. I've created my Soap of the Month club! I'm very excited as _____ of the month clubs are one of my favourite gift ideas. I was going to give my boyfriend a microbrewery beer of the month club and Kermit a Dog Treat of the Month club when we moved but unfortunately ran completely out of funds :)

Here is one of the photos I took for my Etsy site:

I handmade that hang-tag myself. I was pretty proud until I saw it in the photo and thought hmm...that looks a little rough. So I ended up ordering tags from Crafting on the Court. Sometimes you just have to leave the creating to those who are truly skilled at it. Once I get the tags I will redo the photos...I plan to have an extended outdoor session with all of my new soaps as well! Seeing as it is 33 degrees right now and I don't especially enjoy winter, I'm sure that will be really fun :)

Well, that's all for tonight! I've got a BIG test tomorrow...I've been studying for weeks so am as ready as I'll ever be - just ready to get it over with. I've been taking practice tests on the computer and tonight got my highest score ever so I'm just going to review and be done with it so I can go into the test with confidence! So, that's what I'll be doing for 8 hours tomorrow (ugh!), then am going to meet a potential customer at a coffee shop to give her some samples to try before buying, then off to hopefully spend some time with my best friend while she is in town for an interview!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The new kid in town...

So, I took some time today to work on my photos, trying to find that theme that's right for me. I wanted something darker and more natural. I took some photos of the newest soaps I made - Orange Mocha Love. All in the Golden Afternoon is going to be ready to come out of the mold in a few hours here - I can't wait to see how those bars turn out :) Here's a photo of Orange Mocha Love:

It is supposed to smell mostly like a mocha with a bit of orange - but mostly it smells like chocolate which is ok, too :) We'll see how it turns out when its done curing. The swirls and brown bits in the soap is ground Gevalia espresso beans - yum! I think it turned out quite pretty, I'm pretty pleased!

I took the photo in my kitchen with room lighting - when I actually take the photos for my Etsy page I hope to take them outside or at least in natural light which is so much more flattering. But I just wanted to see what the macros looked like with my new "props" :)

Well, that's all for now! I have some studying to do, then it's time to cut All in the Golden Afternoon! :)


Friday, November 14, 2008

Pssst...I'm going to let you in on a secret!

Ok, it's about time for me to get to the point of this blog! Here is what I'm working on right now:

1) I'm building my arsenal of handmade, vegan, cold-processed soaps. So far I have made and cut two batches - they will be known as Mom's Holiday Kitchen and Orange Mocha Love. Tonight I made another batch that is either going to be known as All in the Golden Afternoon or A Golden Afternoon. I'd prefer the former, BUT I worry that it's copyright infringement with Disney (it's a song in Alice in Wonderland) and would prefer to avoid making a large corporation angry. I plan to make 2 more within the next week and then might kind of wait it out to see how these do. I've got 5 more batches planned beyond these first 5 but still want to test the waters a bit and make sure I don't end up with soap coming out of my ears!

Here's a sneak peek at Mom's Holiday Kitchen:

The full story on this beauty will appear on my Etsy page once it is ready for sale. I took that photo today trying out different background ideas for my page...which nicely leads me into...

2) I went in a Virtual Lab today to have my shop critiqued by the Etsy Lab gals (who are absolutely phenomenal, btw!). I was LUCKY enough to actually get a critique...I'm a fast clicker and I think the etsy gods are shining down on me today. Much of what I learned had come prior to them looking at my shop as I was making many of the "common" mistakes that it seems like everyone does. I have already modified a few things - shortened my shop announcement so you can see the photos when entering the page, and changed my Avatar to my dear old friend Rosemary-Oatmeal (who is now in soap heaven) so that people who see my avatar know what I'm about. I asked about the photos as I had been working on different things and was thinking of using a white background similar to the photo above. They said no way they loved the dark background. So, my dining room table placemats/runner will stick as my photo background :) Their advice was awesome and I'm adopting much of what they suggested. They also had a great idea for my shop which leads into...

3) I am going to start a Soap of the Month club!!! This is the thing I am most excited about now (other than the fact that my kitchen smells like Lilac...which I love). I plan to make a soap a month listing on Etsy as well as a soap every 4 months listing. I am working on the pricing and the details but I'm hoping to list it in the next few days. I plan to make a card to send with the item explaining what the gift is all about, then send a soap with description monthly/quarterly. This will be cool, we'll see if the interest is out there. Mad props to the Etsy girls for suggesting it, seriously, they are fabulous.

4) Last but certainly not lip balms! I am working toward a line of 100% Vegan lip balms...slowly but surely. We will be testing next week and perfecting the recipe, hopefully they will be available by December. I had intended to put 6 scents in the line-up including: Orange, Black Licorice, Tangerine, Rosemary, Grapefruit, and Vanilla. I'm torn, though as the Orange and Tangerine are so similar. I may use one in soap instead. I also may combine some of them. Not entirely sure yet. At any rate, they will all be scented with food-grade essential oils, no fragrance or flavor oils...I have kind of been over flavored balms since elementary school :)

So that's what's new tonight! I'm working to build an excellent shop...thanks for coming along for the ride :)


My front page treasury!

Well, I never was able to get the screen shot to work. Luckily I flew into Etsy Chat and Strawberrymoonbeam sent it to me...awesome person! So, here it is - my pride and joy! The theme was "Wanna go for a walk?" with subtitle "Elegant items for the Urban pet lover taking her dog to the park." I had some of the items in my favourites prior to deciding to design a treasury, the inspiration was the posh dog jacket from AcmeCouture which lead me to daydream about how awesome it would be to stroll down the streets of downtown Milwaukee in a chic outfit full of Etsy Handmades. I searched for items and added them all to favourites and thought hey, maybe there's a chance I could get one later today. I took Kermit (the dog) for a my sweatpants and crocs (not so fabulous), and returned with only a few minutes to spare. When it hit 333 I contiuously refreshed until BAM, there it was - my portal to treasury heaven.

I have NO idea why, of all the gorgeous treasuries, it was chosen. I kind of had an idea that maybe something was going on earlier tonight when I looked at the treasury to ensure the items I chose were still available and found some of them moved around. I was a little annoyed - how does that happen? But then I stopped and thought about it and realized that only admins and myself could move things...and if I didn't...maybe they did...which meant maybe they were thinking FP? Apparently so! Thanks SO MUCH admins, you just made my night. And my whole day, really. Etsy people rock.

I am also happy to say that 3 of the items I chose sold while on the front page - a hat from PiperandPaisley that was actually the other 1/2 of my inspiration (and the reason I went "urban" rather than "park"!) sold before the screen shot was taken, the adorable Cat coffee mug cozy sold during the front page, and the gorgeous red cowl with white flower sold right after the treasury was removed from the front page. I hope that the other sellers received lots of hearts and will sell their items in the future! Happy day!



OMG! Not a shortened phrase I use lightly...or...ever. But this time it's worth it!

My Treasury (my first EVER treasury!) on Etsy was just listed on the front page!

I am trying to figure out how to take a screenshot - apparently the mac function that is supposed to do so is not opening for me. If I figure out, I will post it later.



Kelle's Kitchen is on Blogger!!

Hi all,

I thought my introductory post should be...introductory :) I started a shop on Etsy a few weeks ago to sell my soaps and thought Blogger would be a great way for me to inform my customers of my latest shop news (which, as of late, there has been a lot!). I make 100% Vegan cold-process soaps as well as 100% Vegan lip balms (because I'm a self-proclaimed lip balm addict!).

My plan for this site is shop news, sneak peeks (that's right - see it before it's on Etsy!), talk about what inspires me, maybe post some photos of my adorable pets (1 dog - Kermit, 2 cats - Zazu and Shenzi, and 1 bunny - Panda), and most importantly allow me to do GIVEAWAYS!

Please see my Etsy page to make any purchase: Everything on there is what's available currently. I will make posts of upcoming soaps on this page from time to time, but please realize that it takes 3-6 weeks for soap to cure and I will NOT sell it until the pH of the batch is in a safe range.

Any questions? Just ask. Please feel free to "follow" me - As I said I will be doing give-aways from time to time and you wouldn't want to miss out on some free soap or lip balm, would you?!?

Kelle from Kelle's Kitchen