Saturday, August 13, 2011

Newest Soap - Lemon Verbana

Just thought I would share a few pictures of my newest soap that I just cut this morning - it is Lemon Verbana scented and smells fabulous!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This and That

It was a busy weekend!  Here are just a few of the things I did......

On Saturday, my husband and I got up at 6 a.m. and went kayaking - what a lovely morning!  Here are a few pictures:

I made four new soaps - Sleeping Angels, Christmas Tree, Dragon's Blood, and Peaches 'N Cream.  Here is a picture of Dragon's Blood just after I made it.  You can see a picture of this cut in the video I mention below.
New Soap - Dragon's Blood

I made homemade chutney!  So much better than store bought!

Chutney boiling away
Lots and lots of Chutney!
 And I made a new YouTube video showing all my soaps - many new ones!

I have also been very busy listing new bracelets on Etsy - more to go too!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I think I am going crazy.......

My life has plain and simple gotten out of hand lately!  I have so many balls up in the air I have forgotten how to juggle!  Does this sound like you?

I am trying to figure out a way to de-stress my life a bit and am not having any luck.  I work 4 part-time jobs (I guess you could say I collect them).

First, I work as the Financial Secretary for my church.  Typically, I only work Monday mornings.  I count all the offerings and incoming money, coding everything so people get the appropriate tax deduction if necessary, do data entry, answer member questions, monthly reports, quarterly statements...blah blah blah.  I have done it for years.  Not a huge stress job by any means but it takes time like anything else.

Second, I work for my husband's engineering consulting business.  I can't exactly give this job up!  lol  I do all the administrative and financial work while he does all the actual engineering.  I make my own hours (obviously) and only work when I need to get some things done.

Third, I work for New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson as her personal assistant.  What does that mean?  Well, I answer all her email (fan mail included) or find out an answer from her if I don't know, schedule her appearances, make sure she completes guest blogs before they are due, keep her Facebook page up-to-date - she has in excess of 10,000 fans and I personally attempt to respond to every post.  I also get to read her books way before anyone else and proof them (I am not an editor - someone much more official reads them too).  Unfortunately sometimes I am not given much notice on this.  Take this week.  I was handed a 517 manuscript to complete in a day!  Yeah.  I nearly went blind but I read a 517 page book in one day!  I get paid for 12 hours a week but that day I worked all 12 hours in one day!  I got next Tuesday off for my efforts though!  I was threatened within an inch of my life to NOT check my work email or Facebook!  lol

Lastly, I sell on Etsy.  This is so much harder than it sounds.  I had visions of making a few bracelets when the mood struck and customers would just flock to purchase them.  How wrong I was!  The competition on Etsy in killer.  I keep adding more and more bracelets (and now more soaps too) hoping that at some point I will not be upside down on my investment into all these supplies.  Not sure how long I have to wait for that!  As much as I love making bracelets, soap and incense I am unsettled with being upside down on this investment.  I am hoping that the upcoming Christmas season changes that.  In the meantime, I continue to create and list new items.  I have nearly 30 bracelets yet to list on Etsy because it takes so much time!  I have all the pictures taken at this point, I just need to tweak them and create a listing.....for every bracelet.....ugh!  I am going to spend the next couple weeks focusing on making soap because it needs to cure for 4 weeks before it can be used and I am trying to prepare for the Christmas season, a big art fair I am at the end of September, and for the weekly farmers market I have been doing this summer (goes thru October).

So......maybe it isn't a matter of thinking I am going crazy.....I AM CRAZY!

Oh, did I mention I am the chief cook and bottle washer around here?

Now, how to I de-stress my life?  I have no idea.  I need the income from the church job and assistant job.  So getting rid of those is not an option.  Getting rid of working for my husband really isn't an option either!  That leaves Etsy.  Now that I think of it, the stress in my life has been building since I started with Etsy in September.  So what am I saying?  I have no idea!  I am just babbling.  Do I give up Etsy?  I love doing it so I don't really want to.  But it certainly isn't financially rewarding which leads to more stress!

So I leave you today with my deranged thoughts on my crazy life!  Thanks for listening to me babble.


P.S.  Before I even saved this babble, the most amazing song came on the radio that brought tears to my eyes - I sometimes forget what a blessed person I am.  Please take a moment and listen to the lyrics of this song called The Redeemer by Sanctus Real.  God Bless, Tracy

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bog.....I mean Blog!

OK - I said I would never start a blog but here I am.

Now what?  Here is a little about me.....

I have been married for 21 years, I have 2 boys - 16 & 18 (11 days away from 19 actually), I work at my church as their Financial Secretary, I work for my husband's business doing all the administrative/billing work, I work for NYT Best Selling Author MaryJanice Davidson AND I sell my handmade bracelets, soaps, and incense on Etsy!

I love reading and kayaking.  I am blessed to live on the St. Croix River and have 2 kayaks down at the river so I can kayak whenever the mood strikes!

I am busy preparing for the Afton Art Fair in September.  Making bracelets, soap or incense nearly every day lately!  Here are a couple of my new favorite soaps:

I would love it if you would stop by my Etsy shop and take a look around!

I am offering a 10% discount to all my blog subscribers through the month of August!  Use code BLOG10 at checkout. 

Feel free to ask me questions or to suggest topics for me to talk about!

Take care and God Bless,