Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review - The Charlatan's Boy

I love to read. What I love even more is receiving books for free. I found this great program called "Blogging for Books" which gives away free books in exchange for a blog review. My first thought was "What's the catch?". Well, I haven't found one! No credit card required, no trial offers to sign up for, and I received my first book within a few days of requesting it.

The book I chose is "The Charlatan's Boy" by Jonathan Rogers. From the book cover:

"As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village with a huckster named Floyd, pulling a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier. It's a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see Grady perform as "The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp." But what can they do? No one believes in feechies anymore.

Unless Floyd and Grady can make them believe.

Armed with the tricks of their trade, the charlatan and his boy set out to create another Great Feechie Scare, which Floyd swears will make them rich. But while Grady longs for the days when he played the feechie, he can't stop wondering if, after a life of lies, he'll ever know who he really is."

This book is a young adult novel about a boy named Grady and his travelling companion, Floyd. Grady has no idea how or where Floyd found him or why Floyd kept him. He's tried to get the story out of Floyd but showmen aren't the best at telling the truth. The two of them travel Corenwald with their many get rich quick schemes such as "The Ugliest Boy in the World", a short time as phrenologists, and of course their famous "Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp" act. Grady loved the feechie act and was thrilled when their Great Feechie Scare seemed to be working. All the while, he continued to wonder where he came from and scour the villages for someone as ugly as him who could possibly be his mother. Grady finally gets the answers to his questions in a completely unexpected ending.

"The Charlatan's Boy" is available through most major retailers with an MSRP of $13.99.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale!

Now's the time to stock up! Whether it's for gifts or to pamper yourself, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to save some money on bath and body products. All items in my etsy shop ( are 25% off with coupon code "Holiday2010". Coupon is valid from now through 11/29/10.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Craft Show Set-Up

Someone just emailed me a picture of my table set-up from the 2009 Gar-Field Craft Show:

I plan to add a lot more to my table this year. It looks very "boring" to me. I think I need some different things on the top row instead of everything being the same height. I'm thinking a cake stand with cupcake soaps on it and a few other nice displays. I didn't have my scrubs and perfumes for that show either.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Show Schedule

Angie's Suds 'N Such will be at the following events this year:

September 26 from 11am to 4pm
Bow Wow and Meow SPCA Fundraising Event
Riverfront Park, Pottstown, PA

October 23 from 10am to 3pm
Charles Wesley United Methodist Church Oktoberfest Craft Fair
6817 Dean Drive, McLean, VA

November 13 from 9am to 3pm
Centreville United Methodist Church Craft Fair and Holiday Bazaar
6400 Old Centreville Rd, Centreville, VA

December 11 from 9am to 3pm (application pending)
Gar-Field High School Orchestra Boosters Holiday Craft Show
14000 Smoketown Road, Woodbridge, VA

If you're in the area, please stop by!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Labels!

I finally got around to ordering new labels for my soaps. Now they have my logo so they match everything else in my shop. Aren't they great?! I got them from Jennifer over at MyPaperCrafts. She's the greatest!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Suds is Turning Three!

July 26th is my 3 year Etsy-versary! Come celebrate all month long with great specials in my shop. Current special is Buy 2 Get 1 Free on everything!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Washing your hair with a bar of soap?

I've heard so much about shampoo bars lately that I just *had* to try it! Being a soap maker I probably should have tried this years ago but I just couldn't get used to the idea of using a bar of soap on my head. I've been so brainwashed that shampoo with lots of lather is what my hair needs and I was SO wrong!

Instead of whipping up a new formula, I decided to go ahead and use one of the bar soaps that I already have made. I went with the Yuzu. It's a nice basic bar that is perfect for hair. (I didn't want to be washing out bits of oatmeal or poppy seeds!)

Most shampoo bar instructions say to lather the bar in your hands and rub that lather into your hair. This is why I couldn't get used to a shampoo bar. They don't produce near as much lather as commercial shampoo. Now here's what I figured out that makes it a lot easier: Rub the soap directly onto your hair! You'll be amazed at how much lather this produces! It's kind of like rubbing the soap onto a mesh sponge. It makes WAY more lather than rubbing it onto your hands!

Now that I had all that lather I knew my hair had to be clean. After rinsing, it felt different than if I had washed with shampoo. Not bad, just different. I still used conditioner and hair product as always. (my new favorite hair product is Creme Brulee by beijaflores. I have naturally curly, frizzy hair and this works wonders) After my hair dried I could definitely tell a difference. It felt much softer than normal. I love it!

I think I'm hooked now and I'm going to have to start formulating some recipes for "real" shampoo bars. That commercial shampoo is outta here!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Do you know your essential oils?

I try to use a mix of essential oils and fragrance oils in my products. I know that a lot of people prefer the natural essential oils over synthetic fragrance oils but sometimes essential oils aren't always the best choice. I list warnings on all my essential oil products but here are a few things you should know:

-Citrus essential oils are photosensitizers. These increase your skin's reaction to sunlight, making it more likely to burn. These include oils such as orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon.

-Certain essential oils are not considered safe during pregnancy. Some of these are: Rosemary, Peppermint, Lavender, Clary Sage, Jasmine.

-Rosemary and Eucalyptus (among others) should not be used if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy.

This is not meant to scare anyone away from using essential oils. They *are* wonderful. This is just a reminder to research what you are using to make sure it won't cause you any harm. A good soap maker should be able to answer your questions and help you choose a product that is right for you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April is Autism Awareness Month

For the 3rd year in a row I will be donating 50% of all Puzzle Soap purchases to the Autism Society of America. Please help support this great cause!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Name My Newest Perfume!

I made a wonderful new solid perfume that is similar to Pink Sugar by Aquolina. The problem? I can't call it Pink Sugar because it's a trademarked name. Here's where I need a little help. I had some great suggestions given to me in the Etsy forums but I need help choosing one:

Sugar Dust
Sweet Memories
Pink Frost
Caramel Musk
Frosted Sugar
Pretty in Pink

The scent is described as:

"a journey through the pleasures and flavors of childhood with a playful blend of vanilla and caramel. Notes include Bergamot, Sicilian Orange, Raspberry, Fig Leaves, Lily of the Valley, Licorice, Strawberry, Red Fruit, Cotton Candy, Tonka (Vanilla), Caramel, Musk, Sandalwood, Powder."

I'm trying to appeal to women in their 20s and 30s. Please leave a comment with your favorite. Feel free to add to the list if you come up with something better!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tips for Getting Traffic to Your Etsy Site

Many, many times I've heard the question "How do I get people to come to my Etsy website?". Well, I decided to put together a list of some ideas.

1) Spend some time in the forums but NOT just promoting. Answer questions. Ask questions. make friends. Most promotions go ignored but helping others gives you a good name.

2) Comment in the Storque and in treasuries. And by comment I mean relevant comments. No spamming!

3) Join a team. There's a whole list of teams on Etsy. Find one that you think would be a good fit for you and email the leader asking to join. (I'll do another post later on the benefits of teams)

4) Add a link to your website as your email signature.

5) Start a blog. Talk about your new products, current sales, post some tutorials, etc.

6) Wear/carry your product everywhere you go. I can't wear my soap but I do carry my Soap-To-Go and Lip Balm in my purse at all times!

7) Carry business cards and tell people about your site! Place some business cards on public bulletin boards.

8) Try sending samples to some sampler boxes. These are a great way to get your products in the hands of customers. Try to find a sampler that has the same target market as you to make the most of it.

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year, Newly Organized Workroom

In order to be more efficient this year, I decided to clean out my entire workroom. I went through EVERYTHING. That included opening ALL boxes, getting rid of what I don't need anymore, and organizing what I still use.

Here are a few pics of how nice it looks now:

Now I'd better get to work making some soap. See how empty those shelves are? Eek!