sailorzeo: (billy)

Sometimes I think I have way too much internal snark to effectively promote my shop.  For instance, I’m currently trying to raise interest in the jellybean lip balms.  I have them advertised as “seasonal limited editions.”  “Only 10 sets available!” I keep advertising.

I’m so tempted to add on, “If you’re all trying to be polite and make sure everyone else who wants one gets one, stop!  Be selfish! Buy now!”

At least the two people who were excited for them bought theirs the day they went live (Jessica actually bought the Spice ones while I was working on the Fruit listing!).  Because seriously, if even they hadn't bought them, I'd be a lot more upset than I am.

(Plus I decided to keep a set of each for myself, because I didn't make overs of all the flavors, and I really liked that black licorice flavor)

sailorzeo: (midriff)
Last month, I started musing about "seasonal offerings" for my store.  It's sometimes tricky to think of seasonally themed items, because a) I live in Arizona; it's already in the low 90's here, and b) I don't celebrate holidays, so I tend to forget when they are.  But this time, I actually thought, "Oh, hey, Easter's coming up soon...what about a set of mini lip balms in jellybean flavors?  Both spice jellybean and fruit jellybean?"  It took a little time to get all the flavings and tubes, but Monday, I set about to make 10 sets of fruit jellybean lip balms and 10 sets of spice jellybean lip balms.

In Progress )
sailorzeo: (midriff)

This is the cutter I've been waiting for.  It's pretty awesome; it actually lines up perfectly with the soap loaves, so I cut the entire loaf into 13 bars in one cut.  I use the two end pieces (which are wavy and not nice and flat) as samples to include with orders.

These are the bars I cut today.  Front: Wild Strawberry.  Rows, left to right: Brown Sugar & Spice, Spicy Lime, Sandalwood, Coconut, Vanilla, Intense Almond, Bergamot Chamomile.

Tomorrow I need to work on labels and photography, and get them listed for sale.
sailorzeo: (midriff)

Coffee soap, in the mold.  I was pretty proud of this soap; it was made with double-brewed coffee instead of water, with coffee grounds mixed in the soap batter, and whole coffee beans embedded on the top.  It had almost no scent, though, when it finished, which is kind of okay.  The beans on top made it tricky to cut; after a few misfires trying to cut from the top (the blade would catch a bean and push it all the way through the soap, leaving a gouge through the bar), I ended up flipping the loaf over and cutting from the bottom.  I still had a lot of beans fall off as I cut and after, leading to several packages probably sounding like maracas when they arrived at their destination.  :-D

Coffee soap is said to be good for removing garlic and onion odors from hands.  I actually haven't tried that, and the entire batch sold within a week (I think, it sure seemed fast).  I need to make more; it's on the list for when I get more mango butter.
sailorzeo: (midriff)
Seriously, for as much as I don't like math, I always seem to choose math-heavy hobbies.

I had enough mango butter for yesterday's two batches of soap (Intense Almond and Bergamot Chamomile), but now I have crumbs, which is derailing my "make lots and lots of soap OMG RIGHT NOW!!!!" desire.  So I had to sit down and do math and figure out just how many soap batches I get from each pail of oil, in the amounts I usually order.

  • Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, 10 lbs: 10 batches

  • Palm Kernel Oil, 5 lbs: 12.5 batches

  • Coconut Oil, 5 lbs: 12.5 batches

  • Mango Butter, 1 lb: 10 batches

  • Shea non-relevant right now, because I got a deal on a 5 lb pail a while back, and that gives me like 50 batches.

In the past rounds of ordering, I've gotten 20 pounds of soy oil (with a pound set aside for lip balms), to make 19 batches of soap.  But I didn't do the math on the other oils, so I've run out of palm kernel oil and had to emergency order, but only ordered the 5 lb amount, when I still had 15 batches of soap to do.  I ordered coconut oil and mango butter earlier, but that was before my shop totally sold out and I wasn't planning on making this much at once, so I've run out of mango butter and am running low on coconut oil.

I did the math today on what I need to finish out the 19 soaps and still have leftovers, as well as get more lip balm supplies (mainly tubes, some flavors).  It came close to $200 before shipping and tax were figured.  I have $100 coming from my mom, and I have about $40 in my Paypal, so I may need to adjust quantities to get what I need at a price I can afford.

I live!!!!

Feb. 24th, 2015 06:36 pm
sailorzeo: (huh?)
Wow, haven't posted here in over 2 years.  I just...haven't felt the need.  I kind of wandered over to Tumblr and just fell in.

So, a quick update: lost my job in July.  Haven't found a new one yet, but I have an Etsy shop, Zeo's Soaps and Sundries, where I sell handmade soaps, lip balms, bath salts, and soon, cuticle oil.  I'm also running a GoFundMe campaign, trying to get a little extra money to help bridge the gap on weeks where sales are slow.
This has been dubbed "Soaphenge."  All of those soaps have since sold.

This week is full of soapmaking.  I have 13 more 2-pound batches I want to make, and I keep running out of ingredients.  Today, I ran out of lye, which is somewhat essential to making soap.  I have enough mango butter for one more, maybe two more batches.  I have some money coming in, so I'll be able to restock those ingredients, but dang, it's a fine balancing act I'm walking.  Once I get those soaps made and listed, I can breathe a little.

So, that's what I've been up to of late.  Anyone miss me?
sailorzeo: (Default)
1. My cat has taken to sleeping under my desk, right in the spot where I like to put my feet. Doesn't matter if I move him; he'll just come right back. This is annoying when I want to sit and write. I keep kicking him and apologizing.

2. We've been in this house for nearly three years. I just plugged in my sewing machine last night. I've sewn two things: a cool tie (neck chiller) and a pillow filled with the same polymer crystals.

3. I'm amazed that a tablespoon of polymer crystals expands enough to fill a 12"x5" pillow.

4. I've completely fallen off the FlyLady wagon. Her mails got annoying; they were more product advertisements than encouragement. Even the pure testimonials to the method had a link back to the FlyShop.

5. I don't care for most of her "Rubba" line of tools. I like the bottle brush, the mop, and the purple rags. Those I'd recommend. Everything else, not so much.

6. My kitchen is a horrible mess and I just don't have the energy to deal with it. I look at it, think about it, and go hide in the bedroom instead.
sailorzeo: (Default)
Okay, so my lotion/balm/butter obsession isn't dying down yet.  I recently purchased a bottle of avocado oil to add to my teeny supply stash.  I've been using one of my tubes of cocoa honey lip balm almost obsessively all week (yet surprisingly, not at all yesterday....).  And today, I made body butter bars

What I made isn't _quite_ exact; I was about half an ounce short on the cocoa butter, because the jar I bought last week was exactly 4 ounces, and I used some of it in last week's lip balm.  Which means I'm now out of cocoa butter.  :-(  Also, I have learned from this not to buy a one-pound block of beeswax.  It's too hard for me to cut it to size, and then getting it into smaller pieces to melt quicker.  I thought today, "Hey!  I have a spare grater!"  But damn, grating four ounces of beeswax takes a long time.  I also learned that while the one-cup Pyrex measuring cup may be a fine size for lip balm batches (small lip balm batches), it's too small for this recipe.  I instead used a small glass mixing bowl and the microwave.

I don't have any molds, so instead, I'm using the silicone food cups I bought for my lunch boxes, set in a muffin tray to keep their shape.  I keep wandering out to the kitchen to see how the bars are solidifying.  It's strangely fascinating.

Playing around at Mystic Mountain Sage, I put together an order of basic supplies.  It's over $100 before shipping.  But, if I cut out the lip balm tubes, caps, and lotion tubes, it'll, it'll still be over $100, but _just_ over $100.  Matt's supposed to be allotting me $100 "play money" out of his next paycheck, which is in two weeks.  So I guess we'll see what I feel like then.  I could always cut the sizes of most of the supplies in half, 8 ounces rather than 16, see what that totals to. 

Then again, in two weeks, I may have a totally different obsession.  :-)


Jun. 6th, 2009 04:41 pm
sailorzeo: (dante content)
Today, I was in the blahs, and really wanted to do something creative/crafty, something that could be done quickly, something I haven't done yet but have wanted to.

So, after a jaunt to pick up supplies, I made lip balm.  To be specific, Chocolate Honey lip balm. 

I now have 8 tubes and 2 jars cooling on the kitchen counter.  I smeared a little of the overflow on to test it; it seems nice and smooth, and has the definite lip balm feel on, but right now, I don't taste the cocoa or the honey.

I made the tube version, but want to try the pot recipe later.

I've been wanting to get into balm/soap/lotion making for a while now.  This is a good first step, plus I still have most of the supplies left (other than the containers), so I can try some other variants of lip balms, too. 

sailorzeo: (bath relax)
Why is today a good day? A number of reasons.

1. It's my day off. Always a good thing.

2. Morning Spark, that caffeinated drink mix I found in AZ for $1 but was $3 here? Is back down to $1 a box at my local WalMart. You can believe I stocked up. Eight boxes: three each of cranberry and ruby red grapefruit, one each of apple and orange.

3. I made my own sugar scrub, since after a few months of searching, I can only find it at the expensive bath boutiques, not WalMart or Target anymore.

My recipe:
8.5 oz bottle of sweet almond oil ($7)
.25 oz bottle of fragrance oil ($2)
2 cups pure cane fine sugar (about $0.60, since the 2 pound bag was $1.20)

If I throw in the cost of the jar ($1.87), that works out to $11.47, which is still less than what Bath and Body Works charges ($20), and since I can reuse the jar, my next batch will be less than half what they charge. I might look into different fragrance oil options, too. Michael's had soap fragrance, which was $2.50 a bottle, but if it takes less of that to scent the batch, it might be worth picking up.

Now I need to start thinking about lunch. Matt'll be home from work soon, and I promised to have lunch ready, and dinner when he gets home from class. I have no idea what to make. That's the trouble with actually having food in the house. Too many options, too hard to make up your mind!

ETA: Reason number 4 it's a good day: Matt came home from work wanting General Tso's, and had his $12 jury duty check to put towards it.
Reason number 5: Avatar disc 5 came in the mail, so we got to watch that while eating our Tso's.
Reason number 6: I found an online wholesaler that sells 10-pound tubs of sugar scrub for $50.

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