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Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Things About Me



Ok I haven't been posting much lately. I just don't want to start a post and it doesn't peak your interest. So I thought mmm what should I blog about that may be interesting. Many of my customer and other readers don't know much about me so I thought I would tell you guys 25 thing about me. Bare with me, this has taken me some time to get straight. These are not in any orders.

1. I'm 5'4 Yes I am a shorty

2. I come from a biracial background

3. I am originally from South Jersey

4. I have a twin brother name Mike that I am very close to

5. I have another brother who I am not close to at all

6. I have half sister that I use to be close to but wants no part of my life.

7. I am not very close to my father who I barely knew most of my life who lives in NJ.

8. I have been married for the past 3 yrs to a loving and supportive man that I can't imagine my life without. He keeps me grounded and makes me laugh everyday.

9. I got married for the first time when I was 39. Yeah I know. LOL

10. I have a 23yr old son that is the reason I am who I am today. He also has a learning disability that he struggles with everyday of his life but he is living his life to the fullest.

11. I enjoy movies, such as action adventure and thrillers. I hate sappy movies or romantic comedies. I save those for DVD. When I go to the movies I want to be WOW"d with special effects and CGI :-)

12. One of my all time Favorite Movie is The Matrix and The Mummy Series. My husband knows how much I love the Mummy movies. A lot of People don't get The Matrix or don't like it but I love all three of the trilogies. Another favorite of mine is The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis. Also the first Pirates of the Caribbean. The second was great but the third was a disaster.

13. How did I come up with the Name Pegasus for my business. As a kid I saw a poster of a white Pegasus. I instantly fell in love. I always thought that when it was time for me to die that God will send down this beautiful white winged horse and take me to heaven. Yeah it was just a fantasy. As a adult I use to collection Pegasus figurines. Some people think that my name is a bit odd for my business but it is something that I adore. So when you use my soaps and bath products, they will feel like taking you to Heaven :-)

14. Love thriller novels and action novels such as Dean Koontz and James Patterson.

15. I have no friends except on friend that I met several years ago online and we have managed a online friendship for year so I guess you can say she is my only friend. WE have visit with each other over the years so I can say she is my only TRUE Friend.

16. I have a adorable cat name Cali. My husband bought her for me about 3 months after my Persian Cat Misty passed away. She is like my child and very spoiled.

17. I am very close to my mother. Although she drives me crazy at times but we talk just about every day. Sometimes I wonder if she really supports my business or not I can never tell but we do talk a lot.

18. I never plucked my eyebrows. LOL Well lets just say I have on maybe one or two occasions and its something I feel I don't like to do. I have thick eyebrows and they grow back to fast for me to keep up with all the time so I just keep them trimmed so I don't get a unibrow. LOL. Some women I tell this find this so hard to believe that I don't do it but I don't fuss over how my eyebrows look on a daily basis like most women do. Its just me.

19. Soap making is something I started out as a hobby but turned into a passion of mine. I really really love what I do. Even if no one else likes my products or don't care for them. I will always make bath and body products. But I have very loyal customers and I hope they will always enjoy what I make.

20. I am very impatient and I hate stupid ignorant people. More like ignorant racist people that just don't know any better. I just feel sorry for them.

21. I love to absorb knowledge and read a lot. If I don't know it, I will find out about it. I use to hate history as a kid in HS but now I love it. I love anything that has to do with Ancient Egypt

22. I like making people laugh. I am kind of sarcasic but in a funny way.

23. I am a very quiet and private person. I don't like people in to my business and I keep to myself most of the time.

24. I wish my family was much closer than we are. I don't really know my husband's family much because of the language barrier. Most of his mother's family do not speak English so it is hard for me to get to know them.

25. I hate driving! One of my pet peeves is driving. I don't consider myself a great driver but I guess I hate it is because what others do on the road that annoys me, especially people that talk on their cell phones when driving. GRRRRR.



There you have it. Some things you many not know about me but I tried to sum it up in to 25 things.

Want to share 25 things about yourself. Send me a link. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog

~Michelle out

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Top 20 Things Not to Say To A Cop When Pulled Over

Don't Say This To A Cop

20. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer.

19. Sorry officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.

18. Aren't you the guy from the village people?

17. Hey, you must have been doing 125 to keep up with me, good job.

16. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical shape to be a police officer.

15. I was going to be a cop, but I decided to finish high school instead.

14. Bad cop. No donut.

13. You're not going to check the trunk, are you?

12. Gee, that gut sure doesn't inspire confidence.

11. Didn't I see you get your butt kicked on cops?

10. Is it true that people become cops because they are too dumb to work at McDonalds?

9. I pay your salary!

8. So uh, you on the take or what?

7. Gee officer, that's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning.

6. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

5. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there is no other cars around, that's how far they are ahead of me.

4. What do you mean have I been drinking? You are the trained specialist.

3. Well, when I reached down to pick up my bag of crack, my gun fell off of my lap and got lodged between the brake and the gas pedal, forcing me to speed out of control.

2. Hey, is that a 9mm? That's nothing compared to this 44 magnum.

1. Hey, can you give me another one of those full cavity searches?

Too Funny!! I WOULD THINK NUMBER 2 WOULD BE NUMBER 1. LMAO

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Going Handmade Party!

What is it? Well a friend JoAnne was having a birthday party for her daughter. Her daughter came up with the idea of if making handmade gifts. NO store bought toys. My friend Joanne loved the idea since Sammie has so many toys that she hard play with and though something handmade would be a great idea, not only for her but for the kids that were invited to be creative. Samantha (sammie) was totally excited about it. Sammie also made little gifts soaps and she put them into recyclable bags for her friends that were invited. Her mom even made her cake for her instead of buying it. All the trimmings were all handmade and recyclable items. Her mother hung handmade paper cut outs and hung them around the house saying "Happy Birthday" with bright colorful colors. Some were animals shapes.

So of course the parents were all involved and thought this was something different. Everyone had 1 month to come up with an idea so they would have enough time to make something or the option to buy something handmade. So each child bought something handmade. She received a handmade sock puppet dolls, handmade knit hat, sweaters Notebooks and other lovely items. I decided to make a non toxic scented play dough for her and for her friends at the party. It was a big hit! The kids loved it! So I thought I can make it to everyone that would like to have a non toxic play dough. It is really fun for everyone. The kids were 6 yrs old so they enjoyed the Play Dough.

Here is the Play Dough that I made for them.



I gave Sammie all five of the Play Dough as a gift. The kids had a blast and love the idea. They all enjoyed themselves. So not only did Sammie have some really created gifts, her friends also received some really neat Thank you gifts that Sammie made too. So it all turned out really nice. So I thought I make them ready made for you. I did all the work and you can just enjoy it. These play doughs are non toxic, scented, and colored. The Play Dough will be made from scratch when ordered. They are not recommended for children under 3. Although they are totally edible, it is not recommended to eat it as it will not taste very good.



This is something to consider if you are planning on spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on birthdays. It got the kids involved and being creative.
~Michelle

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Listed a New Item

I am always nervous whenever I list something that I never sold before. I wonder if anyone would find it interesting or even consider buying it. I break out into a sweat and wonder "if my stuff is any good" Yes I do get those thoughts and I know I am not the only one that have those thoughts run through your mind.

I never know how well they will do, but I guess the only way to find out is to list it. I really don't like taking photos. One of my biggest pet peeves about selling is taking the darn photos. It took me almost an hour to take this photo and took it over 20 times, mainly because it kept coming out lopsided. Then I had to edit the photo. I am not one for putting a lot of stuff in the photos and fancy backgrounds. I like for the item to stand on its own without all the extra stuff in the photo. I don't want the item to be distracted.

So I had my doubts about adding anything new to my website, Etsy and Artfire. The economy is very slow and sales have been very slow. I have decided that I will limit adding new items for the next few months. Sales have been incredibly slow and this is to be expected after the holidays but even before that, my December sales were a disaster this year.

I didn't want to add this new item as these two items I only made for myself to use. I have been using this for the past couple of months and have been going back and forth on whether to add these items. So I will give it a try and see.

New Items





This is our new treats for your face. New Hydrating Facial Cleanser and Facial Spritzer. What is it? Our Hydrating Facial Cleanser helps clear away dirt and oil from you face. It can also be left on your face as a facial mask to deep cleaning.

How do you use it? Apply cleanser to the face using a cotton ball, finger tips or a clean cloth. Avoid around the eye area. Let face dry for a couple of minutes and rinse clean with warm water. To use as a light scrub, use a circular motion when apply the cleanser.

Try the Hydrating Facial Spritzer after using the facial cleanser for a refreshing feeling. Just give a few sprays around the face and allow to try. Then you are set to go.

I use the facial cleanser every day to clean away dirt, oil and makeup. It works great before bedtime.

These can be scented with any essential oils I have in stock. I will have this available soon on my website and Artfire.

I have also been upgrading my labels. I am not very good good at doing my own labels and I can just easily have someone do them for me but my problems is that I don't want to commit to and label designs as I am constantly changing me mind. I probably will never be satisfied with it and it wind up costing my a lot of money constantly changing them. So I decided to to try it again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Handmade Website Called Artfire

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Have you heard of it? Have you been there? Well what are you waiting for? If you sell or like to buy handmade goods then this is the place to go. This website is still in Beta mode but it is a up and coming handmade selling venue that will be sure worth buying or selling from. NO it is not Etsy and it will never be Etsy. I don't like comparing selling venues and each has their own unique style. Am I still on Etsy Of course. Although I have had some problems on Etsy in the past few months with not so nice people sending me really not so nice convo's commenting on my shop. But I can't fault the whole website for the few idiots that chose to be run and think they are gonna run me off. No way Jose! not this chick. I really was contemplating on leaving Etsy but chose to stick it out because sales have been very good to me. I was hoping to make my 1,000 sale mark by now but don't think I will get there anytime soon, but I am always hopeful and positive that this will happen. I remember when I started on Etsy a couple of years back, things were not always right with the site either, they were still going through their newness faze as well. But over time they improved.

So back to Artfire. It can be so much improved and I am so hopeful about the selling venue. I see so many Etsy sellers there and some are doing quite well. So did I peak your interest, if so click here Register on ArtFire.com Sign up fees are only $7.00 for the life of your account. No fees for listing which you can list as much as you want. And no selling fees, which is also a plus.

Still not sure about Artfire, well you can still find me at our website and our Etsy shop.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cold Process vs Hot Process Method

Ok I spent the entire day devoting to making soap. I actually made a batch of soap. I decided to use the Hot process method again today but using the crock pot. The first time I used this method I used the oven and it came out pretty well. So since I have a crock pot that I don't hardly use, I decided to try it.

Pros and cons for both cold and hot process soap making

Both methods have its advantages and disadvantages. Which one do I prefer, it is really hard to decide. Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions based on how I made my own soaps. I am sure others will have their own opinions.

Lets start with the Cold Process Method.

1. Pro-I like the fact that I can color the soap and make designs with this method.

2. Con- For me the scent sometimes gets distorted if I use this method. I find some of my fragrance get so messed up after I take it out of the mold and cut. Some of my scent don't seem to smell the same afterwards. Sometimes not all the time. Curing time takes up to 6 weeks in some of my soaps. The Whipped soap can take up to 6 weeks to cure.

Ok now the Hot Process Method

1. Pro-I like the fact that you can use this soap right away after it has cooled down. The scent is much bolder than when I use the cold process method. And it is so much faster to make. At least in my opinion and much easier.

2. Con- Since using this method, it is hard to swirl this type of soap as it is so thick. Just coloring the soap all one color seems to be much easier but not being able to swirl is the hard part of using this method. Another con about this is that you have to work fast after the cooking process to get all your fragrance oils and other additives in the soap before it starts to cool down too much and it won't be easy to get into the mold at least from my experience.

Testing the soap to see if its done is one method I don't like to use. I have read where the old method is to take a piece of the soap and do the tongue zapping test. Nope I did not want to do that. Another way is to scoop some soap out and roll it in your hand (gloves of course since the soap is hot) and roll to see if the soap sticks together. I lather use a ph test strip. Also I run some water on the small piece to see if it lathers. I rather do it this way then the tongue test. I remember taking the 9volt battery to my tongue as a kid and didn't like it. LOL That is what it will feel like if your soap is not quite done.



Here are a few shots of my crock pot after everything was done.The soap does stick to the sides of the crock pot so letting it sit with water in it will loosen the soap and make it easier to clean out. Since my crock pot is not immersable, it has to cleaned this way.



This is what I made today. This is from the Crock Pot method. This soap smells sooo good I can't wait to use it. This is Stargazer Lily. Absolutely wonderful.



As you can see it is sitting so it can cool down and harden. I am going to let it sit till tomorrow then unmold and cut it. Once I cut it, I will let it dry out for about 1-2 weeks. Then thats it.

UPDATE




I just cut and unmolded the soap loaf above. Wow the scent is the same as if I just poured it in. The lather is very creamy. The color is much lighter then when it was in the mold which I didn't expect but still a very nice color. I guess it was still hot when it was in the mold.




This is a small piece of the Hot Process soap that I just made. I am testing it to see how well it lathers and as you can see it lathers very well. :-) I am ready to try it NOW hehehe


To be honest I do like both methods. I am leaning towards the HOt Process because it was so much easier for me. The scent holds very well which I really like because the fragrance goes in after the soap has been cooked so all you get is the full fragrance of the scent. They both have the advantages and disadvantages.


Cold Process Method (soap poured into molds, unmolded, cut and cured for 4-6 weeks)

Hot Process Method- Using direct heat (no curing time needed) but I allow my soap to harden a bit for about a week

Whipped Process Method (same as the cold process method without heating the oils and lye solution. This method takes much much longer to cure)

You know after making my soaps from scratch after a year has gone by I still do not consider myself a pro. I am still learning. I may never consider myself a pro mainly because I just enjoy making it and don't like labels. :-)

Thank you for letting me share my soap making experience with you today.

~Michelle

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Reopening After The Holidays

We are now reopening our website, our Etsy shop and our Artfire shop. It has been a long and wonderful week for me and I am trying to adjust to being back now. I did get a little lazy over the holidays and I barely touched the computer during my down time. I really needed the break from everything just to unwind and not to constantly think of promoting and sales constantly on a daily basis. It seems that was all I was doing all the time even in my sleep. LOL I would be dreaming up things to create while I was asleep. Now you know I really needed the time off. Now that I am back and up and running I have listed a few new soaps that have been waiting for me to list. I had some doubts about reopening my Etsy shop. I have been having some troubles there with nasty convos from people and I just didn't want to bother about opening up again. But my husband thought I should since 65% of my business comes from there. So I thought I would just give it another try.

Ok here are the New Arrivals

New Lemongrass Poppy Soap

This soap has been curing for about 5 weeks. I actually forgot it was in my soap closet til I went to look in the back and saw them there. I use my master bathroom closet as my soap closet since there are like 6 long shelves in it and its dark and cool there so thought this was an ideal place to store them while they are curing. This has a great lather and one of my most popular scents requested by customers.

Next Lavender Mint Soap


This soap is one of my newest soaps made using Hot Process Soap. What is Hot process? Basicailly the soap is cooked with direct heat rather then poured into the molds and heated on its own. I put this soap into the oven to cook and it was ready to use within a couple of days. Oh this was such a treat for me as this was my first time attempting this method and not sure if I wanted to do it this way but it was all good. Smell terrific!

Whipped Pink Lemonade Soap



This is one of my favorite scents. I just had to make this into a Whipped soap. My whipped soaps are made using the cold process method but the difference is, no heating of any oils, all the oils are at room temperature. I love using this method as you don't have to race to get the soap into the mold. It is whipped with a blender to a light fluffy texture. It is so light, it will float on water.

Ok now you know you want one don't ya. Don't lie to yourself. If you would be interested in any of these new soaps or any of our products stop by our Website, our Etsy Shop or our New Artfire shop. You will
not be disappointed. We also have a HUGE Soap Sale running on our website too so be sure to stop on over. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter go here We usually send out about 1 email newsletter a month. We offer special discount codes just for our mailing list customers so take advantage of it. :-)

Take care and Happy New year to you all
~Michelle