The Dust is Settling

img_0129_2Well, things are finally getting back together at the shop. I moved the white Hoosier type hutch over into the corner and moved this little drop leaf table in next to it. I added a little primitive bench and put a cute Spring birdhouse on top. Added a nice mat hand made by a local Amish man and put some hyacinths under glass. A basket with greenery fills out the back and 2 fluffy yellow ducks are added for color.

img_0128_2Here’s the Hoosier.. angled back into the corner. A wreath stand with a nice twiggy wreath and one of our new, hand made in Kenton, lighted houses adorn the top. We still have the easy to fix dip mixes in the top. The shop favorite is Beer Cheese. My favorite is the Lemon Cheesecake. I pretty much like cheesecake plain.. but I tried this at market and fell in love. When I brought it home my stepson and a friend tore into it and got almost done before they realized it wasn’t ‘regular’ cheesecake. But they loved it.. according to the empty pan.

img_0131_2Nothing fancy here. But I love this chair. My personal favorite way  to decorate an old chair like this is to set a rustic basket with some greenery on it. Something hanging over the side of the basket to soften it up and enable you to see the back of the chair. I had a muted ivy and some soft, pastel hydrangeas on it once and almost took it home I liked it so well. Old chairs can often be found for just a few dollars and they are a unique way to add a little something special to a corner or narrow wall space.

img_0134_2This cabinet I drug around the corner and put the cookbooks and party napkins in. Have some friends coming over? Get these cute primitive dinner and cocktail napkins to bring your prim flair to the party. The cookbooks are those really neat brownie/cookie in a jar type of recipes. These cookbooks are nice to have on hand to whip up tasty gifts for birthdays, holidays or even to say your just thinking of someone. I’ve always enjoyed the ones I received and remembered the giver when I was enjoying the tasty treat. We also have a nice selection of the Gooseberry  Cookbooks. My favorite is the slow cooker one. Always nice to come home to dinner already made.

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All this activity and there is still always more to do. I now need to sit down and get some things ordered. Next Monday I am planning a trip to the cash and carry so will have some new Spring goodies then.

Me too Bruce… me too!

We are inturrupted for the following message..

img_0067Well, I am trying to get some work done here at the shop. Bruce.. on the other hand.. is impeding progress. Updating the blog is taking place during his ‘Play Time’ and he is making sure he is having fun.

img_0073I have bought all kinds of cool cat toys only to find Bruce likes  the rings off the gallon milk cartons. He will chase and play with those rings all day long. He has learned to bring the ring to me  so I can throw it for him. Off the front of the counter, off to the side, it doesn’t matter. Off he goes.. over computer, off the counter, over my legs..

img_0071Over and over.. we throw the ring, chase the ring, pick it up and bring it back. If we don’t throw the ring, he plays with it on top of and in the way of what ever I’m doing. img_0072

He has discovered it is real fun to drop the ring in the computer keyboard and try to bat it out while I am typing. Moving him and that ring out of the way is just part of his game. Bruce has highlighted and deleted more text than I want to admit.

But he is kinda cute and funny when he plays this game, so I don’t usually mind playing along. When we finally have had enough playtime,  it is time for some ear scratching and lovin.. then time for a long cat nap.

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Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Under the Weather

sickAfter pouring candles Monday, my throat was scratchy. Not unusual when dealing with fragrances. However, woke up the next day with a sore throat and stuffy nose. Now, today, I just flat out don’t feel well. I am getting around to go to the shop, but will be a bit late. Being sick when you are the only one working is not good.

On a good note, the Thompson Candle Pillars are here and going out. Those should all be out today. Yesterday I ordered some more lighting. We sold the last double pack of silicone bulbs and were out of the 50 light strands on brown cords. Both of these should be back in the shop mid next week. Many of the signs and prints we got in in January are also gone. I will look into reordering or possibly going to market again to get more.

We will be closed next Tuesday. My son will be flying to Texas to spend some time with his Dad. Home schooling has really been a blessing in this area. Before, Reno only got a few days here and there around the holidays, then summer break with his Dad. Now, he gets to go for longer periods of time, and never has to go longer than 2.5 months before seeing him again. It also has made his Dad responsible for his education. He had to stop being just a good time and be part of raising his son. The entire situation has been beneficial for everyone.

This trip we added an extra week to the time he stays in Texas. My parents are about 6 hours South of my ex-husband. With my father having a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, we are looking to get some extra time with them as well. They will be able to get some time with their Grandson with out taking time away from the father. Again, regular schooling would not allow this type of freedom. I too am planning more time with my parents. We usually take a vacation in June, but will possibly put that off until July. We will also be making a trip to Nebraska at the end of August to celebrate my Grandmothers 90th birthday. It will be a surprise.. good thing she has a good heart.

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Curing Winter Blahs

02210001OK, it is once again snowing. There are Winter Storm Warnings for the area.. sweet 😦 . If you read the previous post, you saw the Battery Operated Tapers are in. I have wax melting in the back and will be back there soon to get some of these Tapers everybody has been waiting on done. So, while I’m waiting I took some pictures around the shop and am going to share some pics to take your mind off that ugly Winter stuff going on outside.  02210009

This muted Ivy was new last year. Instead of a sharp contrast of dark green and white, these muted colors of cream and a more sage green go with sooo much more here around the shop. Last Fall I stuck some bright orange pip berries and mini pumpkins in these Ivys and the color combo really popped! You can see they look pretty nice with the pastels as well.  The arrangement is stuck in a rusty watering pitcher and a cute little sign as been added for fun. These little signs are really fun to add to floral arrangements, hang over the edge of a basket or even bend the hanger back so you can set them out as a little sign with an easel.

02210006How about these really cute shelves?? Each one hand made here in Kenton, they are all unique. Painted a nice aged Cream, they come with barn red or navy blue stars. They are about 29.5″ long across the shelf and about 3.5″ deep. You can see they are great for displaying a few odd and ends on the top and make a statement all by themselves.

02210022Been busy in the candle room. We finally redid the tops of the cabinets and it is a lot more homey in there. We have also removed the double display of our candles [2 of each fragrance side by side] and are only showing a single row of each. We are steadily working to have these cabinets full of unique fragrances to give us 156 different scents. Where else are you going to be able to go with that kind of selection! We already have over 90.. so we are well on our way of achieving our goal. If you have never experienced one of our candles.. you are missing a treat. Designed to burn all day, rather than a few hours at a time, these candles will throw their scent strongly from top to bottom. Each one burns an average of 115 hours. Any time you walk in the shop you are experiencing our testers. I get so many comments it is easy to decide which fragrances to add. Plus, if they can throw scent in this place.. they can sure fill your home.

They’re Here!!

After being called 2 days ago and told the battery tapers would not be in until the first of April, talking to someone today and being told AGAIN.. they won’t be in until April.. guess what got delivered?? One thousand battery tapers!!  Woo Hoo.. happy dance. I will be dipping these in our special Grubby mixture this weekend so they will be available Tuesday when we open.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Now Testing

02180002Monday we got a dozen new test fragrances into wax. I have 2 Sugar Cookies, 2 Lemon Pound Cakes, 2 Green Teas, Orange, Apricot Freesia, Fruit Loops, Cinnamon Sugar, Pecan Pickups, Cinnamon Frosting and Caramel Orange. Last night I took home the Cinnamon Sugar, Pecan Pickups and one of the Lemon Pound Cakes to test. The Cinnamon Sugar is strong and delicious! We will be adding that one for sure. The Pecan Pickups was in the dining room where I was working and it also is very nice. Today in the shop we have a Sugar Cookie, the other Lemon Pound Cake, Cinnamon Frosting and Apricot Freesia burning. Early favorites are the this Lemon Pound Cake and the Apricot Freesia. The Cinnamon Frosting is also nice. These need a couple more hours of burning before we can really see if they have a nice throw. Most are looking to be keepers so we sill get the fragrances ordered and add the scent to our melts.

Well, the weather is forecasting snow.. again. I got Spring going on around here so kinda hate to step back out into cold Winter weather when we leave. My son has finally had a chance to ride the dirt bike he got for Christmas.. and now the weather is making it difficult to get out and have fun with it again. He waited so long for the bike… saved for several years. His Christmas money gave him enough to get one.. and now the weather is not cooperating. Inside, he is getting interested in tropical fish. We have a 10 gallon tank that is still in the new tank cycle. He has a Sword-tail female and several Guppies. The Guppy has given him 8 babies that he is real ct6proud of. He also has a pair of Bettas. In my younger years.. in Texas.. I used to raise Bettas on my apartment balcony. I raised them up and traded for more fish food till the weather got cold and I had to stop for the season. So, we are going to try to breed this pair and see what we get for colors. If you like this fish, you have to check out this site: Betty Splendens . WOW! The fish has come a long way in the 15 years since I raised mine. The fins, the colors.. it is hard not to appreciate these fish. If we are successful from the pair we got from the pet shop.. I’d love to get my hands on a fancy pair and breed them. Just what I need.. another hobby. But for now, my son is interested and we will see how far his interest goes.

We finally got some lotions back out. The ever popular Buckeye and Sandalwood Vanilla as well as Honey Almond and  Pink Sugar. I will be making more of the Naturally Nothing hopefully this weekend. The Naturally Nothing has no fragrance.. just our wonderful lotion. Good for sensitive skin, use on the face and for some of the guys that don’t like fragrance. The new Body Butter formulation is awesome! I am sooo loving it. Softer than our previous version, it is easier to apply and melts quicker with body heat. It melts to more of an oil, but quickly penetrates into the skin. I have been using this all over and am noticing a much softer and smoother skin. Great on the face [unscented] under the eyes it helps smooth out the fine lines we get as we mature. I also like it on my hands and keep some by the computer. This will also get made up this weekend so you can experience it too.

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In like a Lion..

02120005Well, the sun is finally out after all that wind yesterday and last night. It looks like things are calming down outside. We had50 mph winds and supposed gusts close to 65 mph. We have some siding under the eave of the house coming loose and a lot of branches down.. but everything else seems OK. I am always amazed at the winds we get up here in Ohio and the houses that withstand them. You can actually feel those gusts hit the house. As you can see.. Bruce is hanging out by the font door waiting for his people.. and the sun beam that will be pouring in soon.02120002

While I was getting ready to come in this morning, I got a call from the coffee shop down at the end of my side of the street. Seems there was a lot of roofing material strewn down the sidewalk on our street. Sara wanted to give me a heads up to check my roof when I got to the shop. A city work crew was cleaning it up, so that was nice to know to look for damage before the rain comes. On the way in I called the previous owner of my building to inquire about my roof.. and the roof next door as he still owns that building. I was comforted to know both roofs were metal, so the debris was probably not mine. When I got to town I found out the roof belonged to the Aston building.. the one with the black awning in the picture. Seems like they lost about 1/3 of their roof. If  you go to the end of the block and look at the bank catty corner to us their sign has blown off and is halfway up the North side of the street. [We are on the West side of the courthouse] What a mess! I’m sure as the day progresses we will discover more damage to these old buildings. The hurricane last year broke and upstairs window at the shop, so we need to get up there later today and make sure all is well.

02120020My son is starting his day off with a test. Home schooling has been good for him.. but keeping him focused at times is a challenge. Especially when it comes to writing an essay.

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Production

It’s been a few days so here’s an update..

Three new fragrances have been added in our Melts. Bamboo Grass , Sandalwood Vanilla and Peony. The Sandalwood Vanilla Candle has already been added to our line and the other two are expected by the end of the month. Both of these two have been burning around the shop and are a nice refreshing change to the yucky weather outside. We have received 2 Sugar Cookie samples and they will be in wax later this week. I have over 50 new fragrances to get tested so need to get busy.

Today I made lotions. Buckeye, Sandalwood Vanilla, Warm Vanilla Sugar, Honey Almond and Pink Sugar. They just need to be labeled and put out.. look for these by the end of the week. These lotions sold really well over the holidays and are still selling strong. The cold, windy weather and dryer home environments make your skin need and appreciate these lotions. Thick and rich, they have Emu  Oil to heal and soften the skin. All of our lotions are available to sample in the shop. Stop by and put some on and see how nice your skin feels hours later.

I have been playing around with my Body Butter recipe. I decreased the Cocoa Butter a bit and added more Mango Butter. The desire was to make the butter a bit softer and easier to apply. I also added Cycolmethicone as a non greasy light conditioner for the skin that leaves it soft and very silky. I came home, after rubbing the new recipe all over my skin, and asked hubby for his opinion. He agreed, soft and silky with out a grease feeling. I put a smidge on his hand and there is a definite difference from the other hand. Very smooth and soft. I will play with this a bit more before putting it into production.

Soap has finally gotten made as well. I will have Antique Lace back out for sale in about 6 weeks. This soap sold very quickly. Also made are Chocolate Amber [this is AWESOME!] and another nice one I haven’t decided on a name for yet. The unscented Goat Milk and Oats as well as another one [can’t remember right now] just need labels and they will be out for sale. These bars of soap will be a bit larger than the previous ones.. close to 6 ounces when cut and curing to about 5.5 ounces. I can’t help it.. I just like a big bar of soap.

 If you have never tried a hand made soap.. please treat yourself… you are worth it! You will be amazed at how nice your skin feels after use. No dried out skin.. the fine lines and wrinkles that mature skin gets are reduced. I have used a hand made soap on my skin for about 10 years now, and it is one of the reasons I look 10 years younger than I am. Good genetics help.. but taking care of your skin helps even more.  In my soaps I use premium oils like Shea butter, Grapeseed, Walnut and Flax oils as well as a high percentage of Olive oil. Coconut and Palm Kernel oils are used for lather.. but the common soybean and crisco.. not on my skin. They make a nice soap, but when you are making soap from scratch, why use the cheapest stuff around?? I like to be spoiled! I even use my soap to wash my hair. It leaves my hair softer and silkier than any commercial shampoo does. 

I have taken some pictures.. just haven’t off loaded them onto the computer. Will get more pics in the next few days. Time to get some sleep.

Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Old Flame

02050005_smWell, the boxes keep arriving. Today we got in some Wick Trimmers. Anybody that loves to burn candles really needs one of these. Not only do they snip your wick off, they catch the trimmed part to  allow easy removal of the burned wick. Keeping wicks properly trimmed will allow your candle to burn cleaner, reduce fire hazards and keep your candle from smelling like smoke when you get to the bottom. Having old pieces of burnt wicks in your melt pool is not only unattractive, it allows the scent of the burned material to permeate the melted wax. And, as it burns, the scent of the burned stuff will overpower the fragrance left in the candle. Keeping your candle covered when not in use to keep out the dust will also improve your candles performance.

Also in are several more framed prints and some cool little shelf sitters. We got the neatest little “IDK” sitter.. from the text messaging acronyms [I don’t know]. Yet to come is “LOL” for Laugh out Loud. These stitters are a  nice size for sitting on your desk or perfect for that texting teen. Also in and really cute are some black faced sheep. I want one for myself.

Still to get put out are some more floral stuff.. candle rings and picks. We also got some new jewelry and need to rework the jewelry area. Since my DH and son are riding me pretty hard about taking it easy and letting my ankle heal, I’m not real sure when I’m going to get it done. Taking it easy does not come naturally to me.. especially when there is so much fun stuff to do. Eight more days…

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Paperwork

Well, we’re back from Market and the Cash and Carry and we spent most of the day entering  invoices in the computer. I learned the hard way to get things entered in the system before dragging things out and pricing. I did get all the prints we bought priced and out though. My son had the job of hammering the hanging brackets on the backs of the prints. He got to work on his math skills dividing whole and fractional numbers in half. I’ve been told I need to add pictures to my blog. So.. when we get the shop a bit more organized we will get some pictures of the new stuff up for everybody to see.

As a reward for helping me at the Market this past weekend, and all the help he gives me around the shop.. I got my son a fish tank. He has been talking about one for a year now and I thought it would be a nice hobby for him to start. I had one myself at about his age and really enjoyed it. I have a nice 30 gallon tank that I’m wanting to setup in my office when I get around to getting it organized. Right now I hardly spend any time back there.. about once a month for filing things. The office is in the back of the building and a bit cold with the fridgid temps we are having right now. The back door needs to come off and a steel frame installed and the entire setup better insulated. Going to have to make that a priority this Summer. Once I get that taken care of I’ll get the tank setup.

I did find a cool site while cruising around reading some blogs. If you like primitives, check out Primitive & Rustic Crafts . The site is quite busy with lots of posting and there are lots of blogs and web sites to check out. If you get a chance pop over and check it out.

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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