Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank you!

I would like like to say thank you to all my new followers for hanging out on my blog, Now I have more of a reason to post......so stay tuned there is more to come.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Practical as soap is


Practical as soap is, it can also be a real luxury. For many of us today, life seems to move at an often hectic pace. While the stress of everyday life increases, personal time is at minimum. A fragrant, handmade bar of soap is a simple indulgence that fosters a feeling of relaxation and being pampered. Treat yourself or someone you love to the benefits of handmade soap. Evidence abounds of the healing properties of a handmade bar of soap. Those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as people that have sensitive skin or are hypoallergenic often find immediate relief by switching to handmade soap.
Compared to store bought soap, handmade soap is very mild. They are often made from vegetable-based oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm and do not contain the potentially harmful chemicals found in conventional bar soap.

Handmade soap is a gift that says comfort, relaxation, and a treat for the senses -- for oneself or for a friend.





Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is Shea Butter?

Shea Butter is only found in the tropics of Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 15 years; and can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this irremovable fatty acid that gives Shea Butter its unique healing properties and makes it far superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters. Traditionally, Shea Butter was extracted by people who picked the nuts, cracked them, grilled them and pounded them. They were boiled in water for hours until the Shea Butter rose to the surface. It was then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. Shea Butter is solid at room temperature although it quickly liquefies right around body temperature. This Shea Butter is called unrefined Shea Butter or raw Shea Butter. Since Shea Butter is an all natural product, it can vary widely in quality, appearance and smell depending on where it is produced from and how it is refined or extracted.


Benefits
Shea Butter has been used in parts of Africa for centuries as a staple in cooking. Tribes also use it to repel mosquitos, as well as healing burns and reducing scars. Women who harvest shea butter are known to have beautiful and flawless skin.
This incredible butter is known for its high healing and moisturizing capacity. Unequalled skin moisturizing
Clinically proven anti-aging properties
Stretch mark prevention and minimization
Protection against inflammations Rapid healing for burns (minimizes scarring) Enhanced cell regeneration and capillary circulation

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rumble Sisters

Please check out what I do when not making soap.

I had a great time putting this together to share!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Snake Hunting!

The other night at about dusk I was walking our beagle and I almost stepped on a copperhead so I went inside and got my husband, of course he came out and killed it. Whew I thought how lucky I was and glad I was wearing my boots! We out a few night later and saw some more and were able to kill another one, we thought wow 2 copperheads in a week.

A few nights later we went out and killed 6 more this all seemed so surreal like a movie if ya know what I mean, after all that was a total of 8 copperheads! Thinking that would be the end of it!

It was not, Sunday night our beagle was bitten by a copperhead we rushed her to the ER Vet Clinic and they gave her pain meds and antibiotics, we are lucky and she is going to be OK and maybe a little scaring but not much!

Of course you guessed it we went back to hunting and to date have killed a total of 12 copperheads!

I sure hope that this is the end of it.......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vintage Soap

I love vintage, antique and old things, I have most of my life and it started in my tweens and continues today!

So I decided to make some soap along those lines, like these Kewpie doll soaps! I call them "Tub Tot's" I think they are just adorable!.

I have a few other things in mind as well. Check back often to see what I come up with and if you have any suggestions please let know !


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Show & Tell

I have a customer that wanted some novelty soap for her shop and I thought I would share what I have been up to! these soaps are available for a limited time in my shop as well . I will say these are adorable and the kids just love them! so check it out at Hartley Soap Co.




So if your looking for some fresh cut grass soap or maybe some candy corn look no further!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I love Flowers and Forbes Farm Gifts

While cruising artfire today looking for some flower jewelry I found these lovely earrings ! This artist has beautiful jewelry in her shop so please be sure to check it out! she only has a few of these one of a kind pieces so don't miss out!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

As Promised

Here it is a screen shot of my fusion studio, The possibilities are endless what you can do with it! you can put any banner you want to! you can even add one to the bottom, sell add space the list goes on and on! Click on it for a larger view.





Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beagles are a blast to have!

Extremely friendly dogs

Known to be good pets for children due to their good dispositions (they are on the Readers Digest Top 10 Breeds for Families with Children) Fairly minimal shedders (they do shed more in the spring) Crave human relationships - She can never get enough of ya


Hardy, and can live indoors or out in all seasons. Even in cold climates, beagles do not require insulated or heated houses as long as they have a shelter


Beagle Disadvantages

Love to follow scents (rabbits especially), and get sidetracked easily

Should be taught early to respond to "come."

Prone to getting overweight if allowed to eat at will

They don't bark often, but when they do, it is loud!

Beagles are possibly difficult to train beyond the normal/basic commands. Too much schooling is not fun for a beagle. They would rather snuggle or play with you than spend hours learning to walk through a hoop tunnel or jump over a meaningless board set up on blocks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Craft Show tips

Here are a few of my “Personal Tips” for increasing your craft show sales.

Show up early and leave late!

1) Have an organized display that is not too crowded with product.

2) Do display all of the different types of items you are selling. If you have 6 different items display all of them. Don’t wait for someone to ask and don’t have them listed on a sheet of paper. People want to see what they buying.

3) Make sure your display is sturdy and can handle being touched. Nothing is more embarrassing to a potential customer than knocking down a display.

4) Don’t make your table covering so busy that it is hard for the eye to focus on the products.

5) Create height in your display. This can be done with crates and baskets. This added height often catches the eye of people walking along the other side of an isle. It also adds space to your table without the extra cost.

6) Bring drinks, lunch and a snack. It is hard to sell items if you are not at your booth.
Do not eat or drink at your table if there are shoppers viewing items. It is not professional.

7) Have your prices clearly displayed .

8) Clearly tell shoppers that your products are handmade by yourself. Shoppers want handmade
9) If someone does not buy at your table. Be nice and tell them thank you for stopping by.

10) Don’t pass out samples. They never work. They will cost you a fortune in the long run. Why buy if you can get something for free?

11) Bring 10% of attendance in product.

12) Don't Smoke at your Table.

13) Above all Smile if your having a bad show dont talk about to other vendors or in front of shoppers after all who wants to shop at Sad Sally's booth!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Soap, Motorcycles and Mini Coopers Oh My

I have been busy getting ready for the Hatch Market I almost forgot to promote it. I have finished up the last few batches of soap and have been busy packaging and labeling things and getting my swags ready as well, I didn't realize just how much work it is getting ready.

On a lighter note today I went and had new tires put on my motorcycle, yep I am motorcycle soaping kinda girl and now that my bike is ready to roll I see rode trip in the works!

But before that happens this weekend I will be in the breath taking mountains of NC for the Mini's on the Dragon MOTD the dragon is a great place if you for the twisties it is 318 curves in 11 miles and dont forget all the other great roads up that way! the views are beautiful!





New soaps - "Plain Jane" all natural soap



Lemon Pepper Soap.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mini Cooper

I have found a the most wonderful mechanic here in Atlanta.......Way Motor Works

But first let me say: I saved and saved to buy my Mini and I paid cash for it in 2006 that was a first for me ! 85,000 miles later and I still love it and it runs like a champ.

But I will say the worst experience in owning a mini has to be dealing with the dealerships that service Mini Cooper and there are only (2) in Georgia and believe me you don't want a oil change from anyone else that is not a certified mini tech doing it.....

Mini Coopers service has never been a pleasurable experience.... and if it is warranty work they only fix what you ask for, if something else is wrong they will NOT go above and beyond to ensure your car is right! and they wont tell you if something is wrong they love to tell you things like "Oh no it's not time for brakes" even if they are squealing like a pig but the moment you are out of warranty you will need them! I know.

But this is not about negativity it just a warning, remember if you bought the extended warranty its well worth it but be sure to stand your ground if you don't like what you hear from your service dealer then get a 2nd opinion!

If you are out of warranty? you don't have to use the dealer anymore visit ......

Way Motor Works he services both MINI's and BMW's. Way is a factory trained BMW/MINI technician. He was trained at the BMWSTEP factory training facility, and then worked for a dealer for almost 5 yrs. In 2003 Way competed in the MINI AIM contest making him one of the top 20 MINI technicians in the country. Then in 2004 he started Way Motor Works. With his years of experience, you can be confident that anything you want done to your BMW/MINI, whether it's an oil change, performance upgrade, or complete rebuild, will be done right.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Been a long week

Well I am trying to get back in the swing of things, I went to Florida last week for my Grandfathers funeral and stayed a few extra days to hang out with my family. Over all it was a nice little break but the drive always sucks 500 miles one way alone makes for a long tiring drive.

On a high note a local boutique "Social Graces" wants to carry my soaps in their boutique it is one of the neatest stores here in town, very eclectic, bright and cheery..... I am doing this on consignment (not sure if it's a good thing) but I am going to give it a try for a while and I hope I do well there.

Then on Monday another retailer called and they want to see my products , so I will be meeting with them this week.

I can only hope that this is the start of something good and maybe just maybe I can make this passion I have for soap making pay for itself.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Unemployed? News you can use!

COBRA delays have left many shouldering their own medical costs
Posted by Olivera Perkins/Plain Dealer Reporter March 10, 2009 17:13PM
Categories: Real Time News, Recession

What is COBRA?COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal program that allows terminated workers to continue their group health insurance if they pay the monthly cost, usually several hundred dollars for singles and more than $1,000 for couples.

In most cases, a former employee can receive COBRA for up to 18 months. How did the stimulus bill affect COBRA? Employees who were "involuntarily terminated" between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, may be eligible to get a subsidy on the monthly premiums, reducing their share of the cost to 35 percent.

The former employer would pay 65 percent and receive a tax credit for the amount. What does "involuntarily terminated" mean? The IRS is working to define the phrase, which was included in the legislation without a definition. What is clear so far is that the definition includes laid-off workers.

It is unclear whether workers who took early retirement or buyouts are covered. How long can I get this reduction? A person can get the lower premium for nine months and then must pay the full premium for the remaining nine months. I initially declined COBRA because I couldn't afford the premiums. Can I still sign up and get the lower premiums? Yes. Your former employer or the administrator of its health plan should notify you by April 18 if you are eligible.

You will then have 60 days to sign up. How do I apply? The Labor Department said that by next week, it will issue the letters and forms employers need to notify and enroll people.

I am eligible for my spouse's employee health insurance, but it is not as good as my benefits under COBRA. Am I still eligible for the reduced COBRA premium? No. The subsidy is only for people who aren't covered under other plans, including Medicare and a spouse's group health plan. How can I find out more? Call 1-866-444-3272 or visit www.dol.gov/COBRA

The telephones at Karen French's company haven't stopped ringing since Congress voted weeks ago to help laid-off workers pay for health insurance.
Under the economic stimulus program, laid-off workers no longer have to pay the full cost of continuing coverage with their former employers. A government subsidy will reduce their share to 35 percent. Their former employers will pay 65 percent, which they will recoup with a federal tax credit.
French is chief executive officer and managing director of Continued Care Administrators in Cleveland, which manages health insurance plans for companies, Both laid-off employees and employers have swamped her phone line, asking the same question: How do we participate?

She can offer only partial answers because the Labor Department and the Internal Revenue Service haven't completed the groundwork for the subsidy, which was supposed to go into effect March 1 for most laid-off workers.
"It has been crazy with the telephone ringing from morning until night," French said. "It has certainly been a trying time to provide answers. We're still looking for written guidance."
The insurance program is known as COBRA, which stands for or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Enacted in 1985, it allows terminated workers to keep their group coverage with a former employer for up to 18 months as long as the terminated worker pays the entire monthly premium. The reduced premiums through COBRA last only nine months.
William Thomas of Cleveland, who was laid off in October from the nonprofit organization where he worked, said he turned down COBRA because he couldn't afford the monthly premium of more than $1,000. He intends to take advantage of the subsidy, which will make his share of the premium about $100 less than the $450-plus his family spends on medication for his wife, Jo Ann Hayes-Thomas, a kidney transplant recipient.
"Now I don't have to worry about just trying to ride with the storm hoping that disaster didn't strike," he said.
Carmen Mayhugh of Cleveland also turned down COBRA when she was laid off from her customer service job in October because she couldn't afford the monthly premium of about $350 for a single person. "Now it would be doable," she said.
Evelyn Akers of Bedford Heights was laid off last April as a housing inspector for a private company. She doesn't think it fair that the subsidy doesn't cover workers laid off in all of 2008, since the recession officially began in December 2007.
"People in places like Ohio have been loosing jobs all year, and it is hard to find another one."
For now, few can sign up for the reduced-price COBRA, because employers are waiting for letters and forms necessary to inform former employees about the program and enroll them.
A Labor Department official said the legislation, passed Feb. 17, gave the government 30 days to come up with these documents. They probably won't be available before next week. Employers then have 30 more days to notify former workers whether they are eligible.
If laid-off workers want coverage before then, they can pay the monthly premium and then get a reimbursement or credit from the employer once the subsidy kicks in. But the Labor Department acknowledges this isn't an option for most. Monthly family premiums run more than $1,000, and an average unemployment check in Ohio totals about $1,800 for a family with three or more dependents.
"I know it's hard to [pay] with no money," a Labor official said.
Employers also have the option of making up their own letters and forms, the Labor Department said. But Robert Toth, human resources manager at Metalico Annaco, an Akron scrap metal business, said few employers will risk making up their own letters and forms and being wrong.
Toth has been frustrated by not being able to give answers to the more than a dozen people laid off from his company.
Laid-off workers and employers also are waiting on the IRS to come up with a definition of "involuntary termination," a term stated in the legislation but not defined.
Jason Rothman, a lawyer with the Jackson Lewis law firm in Independence, which represents employers, said the act also created confusion about who qualifies, such as people who took early retirement or buyouts.
"It is not clear under the act itself how to deal with these real-life situations," he said. "The perfect situation would be for the Department of Labor and the IRS to issue regulations on the COBRA subsidy spelling it out."

Monday, March 9, 2009

No guilt chocolate cake - Soap

Well I have been playing in the kitchen again and this is my attempt at a chocolate cake! this is cold process soap and I have to say other then my drizzle attempt it turned out pretty well, my my next one will be angel food cake.... what do you think?




This cake is loaded with yummy skin loving stuff: Sweet almond oil, avocado oil, coco butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil sunflower oil , distilled water, sodium hydroxide, Fragrance Oils and coco powder. It smells good enough to eat just like chocolate cake only better ! you wont gain a pound.





Saturday, March 7, 2009

I just love this song

I think I'm gonna make myself a little something to eat,
Get a can down off the shelf, maybe a little something sweet.
Haven't spoke to no one, haven't been in the mood,
Pour some soup, get a spoon, stir it up real good.
Go out with a friend, they know the music might help,
But I can't pretend - I wish I was somewhere else.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

Put on my coat, go out into the street,
Get a lump in my throat, and look down at my feet.
Take the long way home, so I can ride around,
Put Neil Young on and turn up the sound.
Drive up the coastline, maybe to Ventura,
Watch the waves make signs out on the water.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

Stand in the shower, clean this dirty mess,
Give me back my power, and drown this unholyness.
Lean over the toilet bowl, and throw up my confession,
Clense my soul, of this hidden obsession.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I love the lather

A while back I played with some melt and pour soap and made several things with it and put it up....and forgot about it.

So I decided to treat myself in the shower this morning (get your mind out of the gutter) perv! and try one of the cupcake soaps .....OMG it was awesome talk about a rich creamy lather it was amazing, the bottom half was made out of M&P and the top half was made out of whipped soap a special recipe I have.

I think the whipped topping would make a great shaving soap now to figure out how to make it last for more then one shower because it was to hard to put down.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Shipping Sale

Buy any FOUR soaps now and I'll ship them for free within the US. Just make your purchase at Hartley Soap Company by March 4th, 2009 and I'll refund your shipping fees when your order ships. (You are also welcome to request a revised invoice.) No coupon code necessary.

Monday, February 23, 2009

You dont need an account

New shoppers at ArtFire no longer have to worry about setting up an account just to make a purchase. Now they can make a purchase by entering their shipping information and email address during checkout to proceed with their order.

Shoppers now only need to click the Buy button to be taken directly to their shopping cart regardless of if they have an account or not.

This is a great new feature and a real time saver....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I tried something new

Let me start by saying I make Cold Process Soap from scratch and have been for some time. I love it and every thing about it, but I was dying to know what the roar was about M&P, so I thought I would give it a try, it was something new to me.

So I ordered 4 lbs of Shea Butter Melt & Pour Base and 4 pounds of Low Sweat Melt & Pour Base. I got what is considered quality M&P...... and when it arrived I could not wait to play with it, I wont tell you what my first thoughts were when I opened the bags . So I melted and added color and fragrance and then poured and I thought to myself, that's it? WOW!


Here are a few pictures of what I made......



Guest soap - jasmine/rose hip



Little duck soaps - Unscented






Lollipop soap scents are - Unscented, Vanilla Butter Cream and Energy!
After allot of research I found that you have to wrap it in Saran wrap to keep it from sweating and feeling sticky......... I think it will be a great filler item at craft fairs and markets, but it's not something I will do often.
I did not feel challenged making this soap and the only limitations are imagination and molds because it is simple and can be fun but it's not for me......







Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What to blog ?

That is always a question in the back of my mind and after all my life is not that exciting and lately, although I am sure that will change soon the weather has been really nice lately and I am getting some new shoes on my motorcycle soon.....and the riding will begin again.

Can you say road trip.....

The new challenge will be the dog we adopted she is a beagle and we just love her and what a ham she is, just take a look at her posing for her picture.



So we thought we would get out the small track bike and see how she acted around it, Oh my she hates it and barks like crazy and chases it around the yard, so needless to say I don't think she will be the adventurous type and want to ride on the back and go on rode trips at least not on a motorcycle.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shop Local and Indie online

I feel like it’s my duty, now more than ever, to shop at local and indie online stores. Hey, everybody loves a deal—I’m certainly no exception. But small stores don’t keep their prices higher because they’re greedy. In the case of an indie boutique, the small markup on gifts and apparel, combined with the fact that they aren’t able to purchase in the same kind of bulk as a larger store, make it difficult, if not impossible, for a small store to compete with the sort of prices a big-box or chain store can pull off.

The ‘value’ isn’t in the price of the blouse or toy or gadget, though: it’s in what a neighborhood boutique/gift store has to offer a community.

I know how easy it is to take a small-town bookstore, toy store, or gift shop for granted: sure, they’re great for popping into when we’re taking a leisurely stroll through the downtown strip, but is it the first place that pops into our heads when we get an itch to buy the latest bestseller or a gift? If not, why not?

I can already hear the arguments from dissenters: why should I buy that book, toy or knick-knack for full price when I can get it cheaper down the road? What have small stores got to offer that large ones don’t, less expensively, until late at night, seven days a week, and with a huge selection of coffees to boot? Don’t you believe in capitalism? (And of course, with the economy the way it is: but I can’t afford to buy stuff full-price!)

Perhaps you don’t really care if your town has thriving independent stores, in which case you may not understand my logic. But I buy my family’s books—and anything else I can get, from groceries to paint—in town whenever I can because I value living in a community where I can buy household goods without having to drive to a strip mall ten miles away.

As for what a small community bookstore, toy store, or gift shop has to offer? For a start, the fact that the owners and employees recognize me and my family when we walk in the door, have actually purchased—and formed an opinion on—most of the items on their shelves, and add vitality to a business district—all of which are worth more than a discount to me. And yes, I believe in capitalism, which in my mind means making purchasing decisions based on what product or service has the best value—not necessarily which one is the cheapest.

To me, it’s about more than trying to save a few dollars on this toy/gift or that book. It’s that I don’t feel like I can afford to live in a place where indie stores don’t exist. What would our cities and small towns look like if they all went away and all that was left were strip malls?

Don’t get me wrong—larger stores can have their place. Sometimes, a 10 PM bookstore trip is a necessary sanity-saver at the end of a busy day. And once in a while, I like to wander around rows and rows of books and magazines, just to see what’s out there.

Of course, having been broke…really, really, really broke…since last years layoff, I understand that you can’t spend more than what you have. For people in that position, I really understand the dilemma and figure you do what you can. But there is a whole segment of the population for whom “value” has come to mean “how much stuff can I get for my money”, not “Could I do with fewer things so that I can invest a little more in what I value?"

Neighborhood shops, especially my beloved indie boutique (I hope you’re lucky enough to have one in your community) are more than just places to buy things. They’re part of the community: a place for adults to get to know their neighbors. I support them because I want that kind of store to be around, for me, for a good long while.

And of course, I shop there because I want them to be around for my kids. Can I really afford not to?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Myth Buster

Myth Buster: Some people (including myself not too long ago) believed that tallow will clog pores and cause negative skin conditions. This, however, is not really the case! Unfortunately, many consumers associate tallow soap with low-quality. I think that some consumers unfortunately associate lard and other animal fats with store bought commercial soaps that incorporate skin damaging chemicals. They don't realize that it's the synthetics damaging the skin, not the lard or tallow.

In reality, it's the harsh chemicals and additives that cause commercial soaps to clog pores and damage skin, not the tallow/lard as some people think! Instead of sticking with all vegetable oils, some soap makers use cow, deer, sheep and buffalo for soap making. Despite the negative stigma within the vegetarian and vegan communities (and even some other communities), there are some benefits of using tallow and or lard for soap making.

Tallow does a great job of giving your soap a nice rich creamy lather and good conditioning properties. Tallow will also add hardness to your bar. Although some people out there do make 100% tallow soap, I don't.

On the other side of the spectrum, some consumers really do love tallow soap and will buy bar after bar. You also have to consider that many consumers don't understand the soap making process.

I may or may not offer any soap with tallow, have I made tallow based soap? yes, I like them, I like them allot but I found with all the negative "Vibe" that I may or may not offer it to my costumers.