Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flora's Finds

My little sister who is infinitely more hip, stylish, and cool than I am has started a blog. Her blog is all about great jewelry that she has found on the web, mostly on etsy.

Even though I am NOT currently on her list (*pout* I knew my stuff wasn't cutting edge cool, but heck, I'm family), it is a really cool and well written blog, and she has found some really awesome sellers so far.

So, Check it out:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This Week's List 11/1-11/7

This week's list is going to be short, as I am low on time, and it is getting late.  i promise to flesh out and add later.

Soap: I still had a few days of DirtySanchez's Spawn left, so I finished that up, and finished the week with my go-to soap, which is Pink Sugar type from Maylee's Garden.  I have bought a bunch of soap from Maylee's Garden over the years, and it is always awesome. I highly recommend their soap. A+

Shampoo and conditioner: I am still using shampoo and conditioner from Heaven and Earth Essentials. I jumped over to their Honor Scent, which I have totally fallen in love with.  As a bonus, this scent of shampoo and conditioner came with a free sample of Honor scented lotion which I have also been using, and will review below. As before with their other scent, Heaven and Earth Essentials makes an awesome product, and I love this scent. Highly recommended. A+

Lotion: Heaven and Earth Essentials HONOR Emollient lotion: This lotion is light and not too heavy or greasy.  It works in well and leaves a lovely air of scent to it. I have not been using a lot of lotion, because the soaps I have been using have not made lotion necessary, but it works well on my hands and feet.  Iw ill probably continue this lotion into next week, and if I use it on areas of my body prone to greasiness or breaking out, I will let you know.

TeaMan Cranberry Black: A+ - wonderful aroma, smooth taste.
TeaMan Blueberry/Blackberry Herbal: B - nfortunately for me, this tea ended up smelling WONDERFUL and tasting OK.  I may have steeped it wrong (1 minute in off-boiling water), but it ended up a little bit bitter.
TeaMan Christmas Blend: A+++ This tea is my latest obsession.

I am still burning the candles I was working on last week.

I got hooked on a commercial scent a friend had sent me, and have been burnign that all week.

On a side note:

Does anyone have a good resource for a hand-blown glass tea set? I would like to try some of these blooming teas, and I als have had some really pretty looking teas recently that I think would be stunning in a glass pot and mug, but the commercial glass teapots I have been finding all seem kind of flimsy.

I'd also like a hand-made porcelain soy tart warmer (or whatever they're officially called). the commercial ones I have been using are nice, but a little shallow, and I am getting tired of cleaning up wax run off. If I am going to go for a bigger one, I really would like something pretty and hand-made. I like the ones that use tea lights for heat best.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Handmade is Important

Right now is a bad time for just about everyone.  Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that my husband has a job and we are living a decently comfortable life, but I know it is playing (more) havoc with the lives of so many others.

Shops I love to buy from are going under or no longer carrying items I love. Handmade artisans are having to stop creating, because they aren't making any money.  More and more are giving up the dream.

It sucks.

I love the handmade movement.  Yes, it's true there are some people who should NOT absolutely NOT be selling what they make. Yes, there are people putting out low quality items that can cause new handmade buyers to turn back to store bought. Yes, handmade can be significantly more costly causing people to not be able to buy, especially in this economy.  Store bought is usually of a pretty consistent quality and you know it has been tested if it is something tht is regulated.  And yes, if something you buy is handmade and not up to snuff, you are probably out more money than if you had bought it from a store. 


I love that none of my mugs look like anyone else's. I love having casserole dishes that people ask me where I got them. I love burning candles that I can't just buy from Glade.  I love knowing it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that my sister already has one of whatever I got her for Christmas this year.  I LOVE seeing the awesome things people come up with.  I love that more often than not, the extra money I sepend on something is totally worth it.

I love handmade, and I love unique.

I am not one of those people all handmade sellers seem to worry about who is going to get all righteous and come down on you over misnamed or labeled stones (Unless you are selling your jewelry as "fine" and charging a LOT for it), failed experiments hitting the listings (especially if they are heavily marked down), selling your first whatever even if it isn't perfect(as long as you admit it), selling anything, for that matter before you are an "expert" at making it, or anything else hypocritical like that. All I ask is that you sell me a quality item (Or mention honestly if it has problems), listen to me if I have a problem with what you sent, and if I am unhappy, try your best to rectify the situation.

I also don't necessarily believe that handmade is "better". I think it can be better, but just because something is handmade does not automatically mean that you are getting better quality or something that will last longer than store bought, no matter what people say and no matter how much "love" went into something.  Sometimes the extra cost is NOT worth it. SOmetimes people charge too much. SOmetimes people charge too little.  Sometimes covers a lot of ground with handmade, and more people need to be aware of it. Everything depends on what you buy, who you buy it from, how they do their pricing and production, where they get their materials, and how skilled the person is at making whatever it is you are buying.

I bookmark Regretsy and UglySh*tOnEtsy (which doesn't have the *, By the way). I use them to find new shops and see new things all the time without having to hunt them down myself. Since everyone's taste is different, I have loved checking these sites out. Yes, sometimes I get a laugh, sometimes I shake my head at people's naivete, sometimes I wonder about people's sanity...and sometimes I put something from the shop in my favorites. It is great that these things are out there, and that people are creating.

I am not going to put in a plug like "go buy something, support the handmade movement, keep these shops alive!", because I really believe these plugs are hard selling and making people buy out of guilt. If you don't have the money, DON'T BUY SOMETHING. Go support your family and take care of them.  Charity starts at home, and I truly believe that. However, if you DO have the money, think about whether or not you can get whatever it is that you want or need handmade instead of from a store.

You may be thankful you did.