Monday, March 31, 2008

Homemade Treats for Dogs and Cats

Sigh...yet another home made project...

Home made dog and cat treats, made by yours truly in my kitchen! I am a former Culinary Arts student and have been trained in proper food handling techniques. I am also ServSafe certified. I first made these last summer for my doggies and just recently decided to make more to sell at the local Farmer's Market. I also have some on Etsy. I have made veggie flavor with real shredded carrots and parsley flakes as the main ingredients. I also have meat flavored with bacon bits and chopped chicken and beef. I have large treats as well as small size treats. I created a treat for kitties as well, as suggested by a customer on etsy. They are nuggets with salmon flavor. My dogs love all of these treats and beg for more.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jewelry Making Supplies-Clearance Blowout Sale!

With a heavy heart, I have decided to close down my bead shop on Etsy. Unfortunatley, it seems that jewelry making supply shops are going in the same direction as jewelry shops, too many and not enough customers. I have been selling beads and other supplies online for about 5 years now, the last two on Etsy and this past year was the worst for sales. I have seen loads of shops open and surpass me in sales by the thousands. I guess I have been weeded out and it is time to move on.
So, I am going to sell off the rest of my inventory at below wholesale prices to move it out. Right now I have about 80 items listed and I have lots more waiting to list, but I need to sell some things first and pay my Etsy bill, then will mass list the rest of my inventory.
I will continue to make bottle cap necklaces and pony tail holders and continue with soap making.
BeadsOutWest, RIP...2003-2008. It's been a fun ride.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My First *Real* Attempt at Soap Making

Okay, so I finally did it. I finally had enough supplies to make a batch of real soap. I followed a recipe by Delores Boone called "Simply Soap". It consisited of castor oil, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, lard(yup, real lard!!), lye and distilled water. I used the hot process method with a slow cooker. I was convinced that I would screw it up somehow or end up in the ER with lye burns. Well, I suprised myself with no burns and a great batch of soap so far. The entire process took maybe two hours including molding. Some of it I scented with lavendar and some with patcholi. Smells awesome. I tried using dye in the lavendar batch, but all it did was turn a grayish color with bits of the color suspended in the soap. Looks kinda cool anyways. The first 5 bars in the photo are lavendar and the other three are patcholi. My drying rack has seen better days, lots of paint!! The rest I molded in a handmade mold-from a plastic container that contained coffee creamer. I lined it with parchment paper and secured the bottom with plastic wrap left over from Halloween. It looks a bit scary but I think I will have some nice round bars once they are hard enough. This batch I left out the fragrance. I will probably use most of it for hand-milling. That is where you take soap that is already made and remelt it and mix with other things to make a totally different bar of soap. I am anxious to get started on that project as well, just awaiting some supplies to come in the mail. I am also anxious to use this in the shower, as I am NOT a fan of bar soap...hate the sticky feeling with it after showering. I may have a different opinion of it fter I use my own soap. I noticed the difference after cleaning the bowls and the pots that had left over soap in them. It lathered really nice and my hands felt smoother. So we will see...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bottle Cap PonyTail Holders! Featured item!

I am updating today with a post about my latest favorite project (and I have a lot of favorite projects...LOL).

Today's feature is elastic ponytail holders with an attached unused bottlecap with an image. So far in my Etsy shop I have Bobby Jack the monkey, the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. My daughter's influence is pretty obvious in these creations, don'tcha think??? I also have High School Musical, Minnie Mouse and another set of Jonas Bros made but not listed yet, saving these for shows.

These were suprisingly easy to make and they hold up well. They have been tested on my daughter's hair. I have finally found a glue and sealer that won't run the image colors that are printed from my printer. Yay!!! (See my previous post below about glue)