Thursday, June 23, 2011

In the beginning .....

Our dream is coming true!  In early May we began work on our house to "perk" it up so we could put it up for sale.  The painting took two weeks as the painters recommended adding a texture coating to the walls and ceilings.  This house was built back in the early 50's.  The walls were plaster and with multiple "patch" jobs having having been done in the past due to earthquakes and other modifications, the walls were not completely flat.  On top of that with the earth under our feet continuing to move here in Southern CA, we had newer cracks that needed repairing.  The painters started with repairing the cracks and spraying on the texture coating.  Next came the actual painting and then the final touches of baseboards, doors and trim.

This first picture is of our it used to be.  No, that trash can wasn't always there, just when I was throwing a way a bunch of trimmings from doing labels.  My desk is to the right of the bakers rack that held, not only our regular printer but a lot of soaping supplies and equipment.  Just a little history on our trash has an automatic lid with a sensor in the front so you never have to touch the lid of the can to throw the trash in...I'm gonna miss that trash can!!!

 This is the same kitchen getting it's facelift with texture coating on the walls and ceiling, along with a beautiful coat of white paint.
 This picture is looking the opposite direction from the actual kitchen area to the dining area.  This was one long room because Mark and his dad had long ago removed the wall that separated the two rooms making it so open and beautiful.
 Equipment, equipment and more equipment.  This picture is the back bedroom with the big air compressor on the left of the was so loud!!!  We won't even talk about the amount of dust for days and days, even after they had completed this job, the cleaning and dusting by us went on for at least a week.

 This picture directly above is of the back bedroom...its turn to hold painting paraphernalia.  The picture to the right is of the front bedroom.  The painters repaired windowsills too...they were very thorough.  We had taken off all the closet doors but we were afraid they would forget to go back and paint them, so Mark put all the doors back on...just in case.

Here are a couple pictures of me working hard on the computer. HAHA!  I was probably just checking email and chatting with my family and friends on Facebook and the Etsy soaping groups I belong to.  Hey, a girl's gotta keep in touch you know!!

 We had to change where we hung out while the painters were here each day.  When they were ready to do the next room, we moved elsewhere.  Here, they had just started the kitchen, so they just wheeled me from the dining/kitchen area to the living room.

And once the kitchen was done, they wheeled me back in there.  Instead of musical chairs, we were playing musical rooms. 

The following  pictures show the rooms as they were completed:

The wooden blinds were put back up, ceiling fan blades reinserted and what's left of the furniture was put back in place....AWAY from the walls...far away from the walls! 

Our bedroom.  Woe is me, reduced to living out of sterilite boxes and a mattress on the floor.  We didn't have the new mini blinds put up yet and we did this with the mattress because we had to pick it up and place it against one of the paneled walls in other rooms while the painters were here.  We needed to be as "mobile" as possible.

This is our bedroom finished and the angle is looking out through the hall into the living room.   The color we chose for all the walls, except for the kitchen was called Navajo White which was kind of a light beige.  All the trim and doors were painted in bright white.  This affect really made the color pop out and the white on the trim pop out. 

This is the main bathroom in it's completed state.  It came out so beautiful!  I took pictures of every room in the "before" stage but don't know what happened to them.  Just take my word for it, the changes were amazing! 

This used to be one of my soap storage areas.  I had two shelving units in this closet that held completed products, complete with labels.  It also held various molds and most of all containers.  I had bags and bags of jars of all sizes, bottles of all sizes and lids, pumps, sprayers to match, all in their separate, sealed large zip lock bags.  It was amazing how much "stuff" was in here when I started taking it all out.  This was only one of two closets that held soaping things.  I also utilized the bakers rack in the kitchen, one full cupboard, the entire utility room. 

 Ahhh, our front door.  I also had a before picture of this but lost it in the shuffle.  The door had scratches in the paint from our dearly departed fur baby Princess who would go ballistic when the mail carrier would put our mail through the slot in the door.  Consequently the paint on the brass mail slot was also scratched.  The whole door restored beautifully, as did the mail slot.

This final picture is of the mail hallway.  It still amazes me the transformation of this entire house in just two weeks' time.  We had done a few improvements as the years went by but nothing completely changed our feeling about this house until this painting was done. 

Well, this blog post has been a work in progress for some time now and I think our story is about done.  But actually our journey is just beginning because............

After we were confident that most of the necessary work was done on our house, we called our realtor, Steve and told him we were ready to put our house up for sale.  Steve had also sold Mark's dad's house after both his parents had passed on and we KNEW he would again work his magic.  We listed the house on Tuesday, June 7th and by Thursday, June 9th it was already in Escrow.  WHOOHOO!  This will be a short escrow too because it was a cash purchase.

Now, on to find the motorhome of our dreams and begin our mobile  journey.

Oh and not to forget...we still make soap and will continue to make soap in every RV park we settle in. 

We can still be reached on Etsy at:  XOXOXO

Friday, October 8, 2010


Can you feel it???  The nights are growing cooler, darkenss falls earlier in the evening and foliage is covered with morning dew.  Although, here in Southern California, most days are still quite warm with warmer days throughout the coming weekend but you can still sense the changing season.

I belong to this wonderful Etsy Team called SAFE Team.  This month our "challenge" was to formulate a soap using the colors of the region you live in.  We have members from far and wide, including Canada and Alaska and even a member whose heart is still in her native Scotland, so the color diversity is amazing in the challenge entries of some of our members.

My entry for this competition is called Pumpkin Butter Autumn Harvest Soap.  This soap was so much fun to make and even extended a bit more creativity to swirling in a few different colors in the top portion.

This hunger-inducing soap is made with Organic, sustainable Palm Oil, Distilled Water, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Mango butter and Cocoa Butter. It is scented with a delicious variety of pumpkin pie spices, rich and delectable! The skin safe colorants of orange, yellow and burnt umber depict the colors of the leaves in deep Autumn and the brown represents the rich and fertile soil.

Here is the entire SAFE Team blog post for your enjoyment.    When you click on the link below, after drooling over all the the magnificent entries in this challenge, please vote for your favorite by adding your comment.

For another breath of fresh Autumn scent, I'd like you to meet Autumn Faire Perfume.

Autumn Faire Roll On Perfume is easy on your skin because it contains Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils and a dab of buttery vanilla fragrance oil to round it all out. You'll smell a delicate blend of spiced oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, nutmeg, a dash of cinnamon, a pinch of Bitter Almond Essential Oil, Vanilla Essential Oil Blend and the icing on the cake is the buttery vanilla fragrance oil. Interesting combination, you say? The scent comes full circle from the first whiff to the gentle aroma that lingers on your skin.

Autumn Fair Perfume was my contribution to another one of SAFE Team's challenges for August.   We were given the task of formulating a perfume blend, something I've dabbled in, in the past and one which rekindled my love for blending Essential Oils, Resins and some enticing Fragrance Oils.  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A new shop in Zibbet

Zibbet is a wonderful new selling venue that I discovered through my Etsy friends.  Even though there were a few snafu's due to growing pains for Zibbet, they are now up and running on brand new servers.  I highly recommend it if you are considering listing your handmade products in an on-like marketplace.  Their format is easy to use and they even have the ability to set up gift certificates.  Right now, Zibbet's $8.00/month premium accounts are selling out.  They sold over 250 accounts in just four days and only 214 left at that price. 

Here is the link for Zibbet:

Right now, if you sign up for Zibbet under my referral link above, the more people who sign up using this url, my selling account will be free for life.   You can do the same!!  But you have to hurry.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time for a new Challenge

Well SAFE Team is at it again and put forth another challenge to its members to design a soap around what the Holidays mean to you. Not only the soaps in this challenge stunning, but the descriptions and stories behind each entry is heartfelt and beautiful.

Please read each description and cast your vote for your favorite soap in the comment section of this blog entry page of the Etsy SAFE Team shown below....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Special Tribute to our Veterans and Active Duty Military

In recognition of your service to our country, all veterans and active
duty military personnel
are invited to eat free at Applebee's Neighborhood
Grill & Bar Restaurants this Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.

As you may recall, Applebee's launched a pilot program last year on
Veterans Day offering free entrees to military service personnel and veterans.
Because the response was so overwhelmingly positive, Applebee's is extending
the invitation throughout the country this year.

We would appreciate your help in spreading the word. Please help us share
details across your various communication channels.

All U.S. veterans and active duty military with proof of current or former
military service will eat free at all Applebee's nationwide on Veterans
Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.

Proof of service includes: U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S.
Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings
, Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform or wearing

For additional details, visit:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Challenge....

Well our SAFE Team, Soap Artisan Friends of Etsy (SAFE) team is a group of soapmakers committed to excellence and best manufacturing practices on Etsy, is at it again! We were given a challenge to make a soap with an Alice in Wonderland theme. You know, at first I thought this would be easy. Lots and lots of ideas flew through my head like the tornado in Wizard of Oz. It wasn't so easy though!

Go Ask Alice....

My challenge entry was inspired by a picture on the website for the upcoming movie, Alice in Wonderland, due out in March of 2010. The gallery picture on the Disney website showed the beautiful row of talking flowers as only Tim Burton can conjur up.

In the 1985 movie classic Alice has a conversation with talking flowers and then meets The Red Queen, who was taking the place of one of the pawns or children of the White Queen on the chess board. Alice plays a pawn and the Red Queen tells her that only if she becomes a queen may she go home.

I could only think that my soap had to include lots of brilliant color and my own rendition of the talking flowers. The first stage of this cold process soap was to make the flower faces and to me that was the easy part! The second stage consisted of another batch of cold process soap, swirled with four different colors and then the flower faces inserted into each bar.

There are lots of great entries in this challenge and please make sure you drop by the SAFE Team Blog and post a comment, choosing the soap that you think is the winner.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Sale

There's only a little over a day left to get in on the big Labor Day Sale at The Skin You're In on Etsy:

We are offering 15% off your shopping cart total through midnight Monday, September 7th on anything and everything in our Etsy shop.

The Holidays are fast approaching and this is a great opportunity to pick up some early Christmas presents.

In the next few weeks we'll be loading up our shop with lots of warm and fuzzy treats for cool Autumn days. New scents include spicy Cinnamon Pumpkin Sugar Baby Body Polish Squares, Fizzy Bath Bombs and a new soap called The Drunken Pumpkin...a new beer soap made with pumpkin puree, lots of amber dark beer and scented with the same wonderfully spicy Cinnamon Pumpkin fragrance.