Thursday, August 26, 2010

Making THE Adjustment

Last week I sent my youngest off into the big bad world...well, to Kindergarten!

He loves it! He's a quick learner, already is friends with most everyone in his class, and especially loves his teacher. He is doing great! It is so exciting for him to get home at one o'clock (he goes half days). He always has so much to say about his day. Typically it is about recess, lunch, and some stuff he learned that "he can't remember".

So how am I doing? The first two days I made it through (I didn't even shed a tear) by cleaning my house from top to bottom. The third day I got to looking at photos and "remembering" and I lost my cool for a few minutes, but just a few. There is this quiet that surrounds me all morning that I am still trying to get accustomed to. There is no one following me around, asking me questions, needing my help, wanting a hug.

Now that my house is clean again, I am trying to get myself a"work" schedule. Being a stay at home mom you learn to be flexible and get things done on the spur of the moment. It's been a long time since I've worked on any time line and I desperately need to accomplish some of the business things I've been neglecting the past 3 years.

I'm not really sure how I'm going to make it work, but I've started with organizing my recipes and catching up on my summer book keeping. I've also tried my best to limit my time on the computer (ok on Facebook and in the Etsy forums). Doing these things has helped me gain an entire day to actually making things!! That is the exciting part for me, as that is really what I enjoy.

Next, I need to have a true daily schedule for creating, books, social media/advertising, and still work in the household things like dishes, laundry, and grocery shopping.

It will get there and then I'll have to readjust for summer vacation, but I am confident that now I can put more time in my business, while still getting to enjoy the return of my boys at the end of the day instead of trying to cram it all in together. I think I'm going to like it. Only time will tell, and I may just survive being SAHM without kids!

How have you made adjustments in your day to either accommodate children still at home or adjusting to them NOT being at home?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Midwest Etsy Collaboration

A while back I made a purchase from one of Etsy's featured sellers, MidwestFinds. Their shop is filled with fabulous vintage items that include old mason jars and these wonderful zinc lid and reproduction lid pumps that fit on canning jars. You can use them for liquid soap and lotions.

I was immediately drawn to the jar lid pumps as I was working on introducing my liquid soaps. So I had to try them out. As expected I love, love, love them. They are perfect for my vintage, eclectic style...just a little different than what most people would have. They look great sink side in either the bath or the kitchen and in either a vintage type decor or in a modern bath depending on the jar you choose to place it on. I've been giving them to family members as gifts!

It wasn't long after that Jenna from MidwestFinds contacted me about collaborating and making some gift baskets with each others products. After a little chit-chat back and forth we found we had much in common and both being from the Midwest (I'm in Missouri, they are in Illinois), it seemed a perfect fit.

I am super pleased to introduce my 2 versions of the gift basket that includes my liquid soap and their fabulous jar lids on a cute quilted 4 oz canning jar.

Version 1: 8 oz of Liquid Soap with one 4 oz quilted jar with pump.

Version 2: Full Gift Basket with 8 oz of Liquid Soap with one 4 oz quilted jar with pump,
1 bar soap and handcrafted wooden soap deck.

You can purchase sets and baskets in my Etsy shop or on my Facebook page using the Shop Now feature.

Of course you can find other jar sizes and styles plus many other jar items and vintage finds in MidwestFinds shop. Please give them a looksy and their read their Etsy interview. Great customer service and wonderfully unique items. Enjoy!

1 Million Pillowcase Challenge Update

I always like to get the kids involved in crafting activities and it is even better when it has an element of giving attached. Since neither one are big enough for me to turn loose on the sewing machine, I cut out pillowcase sized fronts from unbleached cotton muslin and let them draw pictures with fabric markers which we heat set before tossing in the laundry with our handmade laundry soap. Then each one selected their favorite fabrics out of my "stash" and I created a back and ends to coordinate with their drawings.

Here are our results.

L to R: Ryan (5 yrs) Sunshine, mine, Ethan (8 yrs) Puppy, mine

I ended up creating a third pillowcase with polka dots.

Today we hand delivered these to our local collection spot, Satin Stitches. The boys were very excited to get to carry their own cases into the shop. There we were pleased to find out our pillowcases will be donated locally. I am so glad I ran across this article about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge and hope that you can find a way to get involved. It really is amazing.

To find out more about this project see the AllPeopleQuilt website.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Life SEW Simple - Sewing for a Cause

Life isn't always so simple for everyone. It is far too easy to get swept up in our busy lives and not take notice of the strife that happens in our own communities, in our own neighborhoods. Across our country children are placed in foster care, women seek shelter from abusive situations, elderly are left without family in nursing homes, and people of all ages suffer the effects of cancer.

American Patchwork & Quilting has challenged readers to create 1 Million Pillowcases for charitable organizations across the nation that support nursing homes, hospitals, foster care children, and womens shelters. It has been awhile since I seriously did any sewing beyond hemming pants, but I am looking forward to
heading over to my local participating shop to look for some colorful fabrics. Then I'll dust off my sewing machine and brush up on my skills to make a few pillowcases to brighten the lives of someone who is less fortunate, who needs a little bit of hope and encouragement.

To read more about this project head over to AllPeopleQuilt for complete challenge details and help finding a participation shop near you.

I'll post some photos when I make some progress. In the meantime, how many pillowcases will you be making?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Open for Business - Grand Opening Event

We are officially open! Our shop is loaded with most of our current items (we are adding daily). It is very exciting to see it all come together and having many of you asking when we were going to be back. Thank you for keeping tabs on us and thank you for being patient while we had a face-lift.

There are two ways you can shop with us. The first is on Etsy where you can shop via their payment system using PayPal.

You now also have the ability to shop with us on Facebook right on our Fan page. It is really on the "SHOP NOW" tab, use the "Browse Categories" menu to find what you are looking for, add to cart, check out using Payvment's easy check out system and I'll send you your package within 48 hours of payment. You will find that if you are a "fan" of our page you receive automatic discounts, so be sure to check it out!

You will find many of your old favorites such as Sea Salt Soap bars and Lip Balms in some new, exciting flavors. You might notice that the soap bars are all now 5 ounces or more and remain at $5.50 each (same as our original 4 ounce bars).

You will also see we've added Liquid soap to our repertoire. Our liquid soaps are made with olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and castor oil and have a gentle, creamy lather. They are also made without chemical detergents or alcohol. There are a number of scents to choose from, but our favorite is the Tangerine Dream. It is a blend of citruses along with litsea and a hint of patchouli.

Mon., Aug. 2 thru Sun., Aug 8, 2010

In honor of our GRAND "re"- OPENING, we are offering you, our valued customer a few discounts. No codes are necessary, all discounts will be offered via Paypal refunds when you purchase through our Etsy store front.

10% off orders of at least $15
20% off orders of at least $25
30% off orders of at least $50

*may not be combined with any other offer or discount.

We will be adding new items daily over the next couple of weeks so be sure to check back in if you don't see something you've been looking for. Of course you can always contact us a and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

At Life Soap Simple we are dedicated to bringing you products that are simple and purposeful. Each formula is something we use in our day to day lives...truly handmade soap, body and household products to live by. We keep our ingredients fresh and few, use color and scent sparingly, and only use preservatives when absolutely necessary. All of our products include a full ingredient disclosure and up to date images so you know exactly what will be arriving on your door step.