Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Busy and Hard Month...

I know it's been well over a month since my last post, but I will try to make up for it in the coming days ahead. This post is in remembrance of my lovely mother-in-law, Doreen. She was 65, and the best mother-in-law a girl could ask for. The scariest thing about her was that no matter how sick she was, I could never live up to her cleaning skills! She never threw anything like that at me fact, she always reminded me that she had to keep moving just to stay alive.

Doreen was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that attacks vital organs, when my husband was born in 1967. She was then given 6 months to live. However, her prayer was that she see her 3 boys grow up, and not only did she do that, but she got to see all of her 6 grandchildren growing healthy and happy. She was there through their early formative years to help give them a strong spiritual foundation which they will treasure as they look forward to seeing her very soon in the resurrection described at John 14:28 & 29 - "Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. " So, the rest of us are determined to be there to see that blessed day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kids, Cats, Potpourri, and Other Stuff!

Yes, it's me...I'm still alive and kicking, and finally updating my blog after being delinquent these last few weeks!

I have busily been homeschooling my middle son, and after about 6 weeks, we are finally starting to get into a routine. Life continues to happen around us, of course, and we are slowly learning to deal with the inevitable grabbing work to take with us when my youngest's school calls to say they 'think he has Pink Eye and would I please come to get him'? It's a 40 minute drive round trip plus a stop at the store, so no quick trips for us! Fortunately, he didn't have Pink Eye(and I should have known that because he has had major allergy problems with his eyes the past couple of weeks!)

In other news, our mama cat, Lana, had her second litter of kittens two weeks ago, and they are sooooo cute! My daughter took this photo during their lunchtime the other day :) They are fortunately faring much better than her last litter, of which only 1 out of 6 survived. So sad!

And finally, Paradise Potpourri is of the many things I am learning to juggle in my new role as Learning Coach. Business is still good, so I guess people still like me! :) I have managed to squeeze in time to make new batches of Bountiful Harvest, Cranberry Orange, and Honeysuckle Rose. Accordingly, I took new photos of them all, and they are now adorning the Etsy store nicely! I am still working out a recipe for Margarita Potpourri, but I'm almost there! Also, new batches of Rainforest and Rose Garden are in the works due to popular demand! Speaking of which I want to give a very special shout-out to Carrie, aka lunastar, of Morning Star Natural Soaps, Lotions and Soy Candles....she has given me such wonderful incentive to keep plugging along, reminding me that there is a scent for everyone and buying me out of bath tea even though she has such amazingly wonderful bath products in her Etsy shoppe! When I have a chance to figure out the ins and outs, I will feature her here on my blog! Meanwhile here is a sure to check it out!

Next weekend, my mother-in-law will be having heart surgery, so I don't expect to be blogging too much at that the meantime I will try to post some interesting tidbits to catch up!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cafe Rouge du Chocolat!

Here is my latest creation...Cafe Rouge du Chocolat! I had to look up the French terminology on Babel Fish, so I hope I got it right! It's a re-creation of my classic Mocha Java, and it smells just like walking into a super uppity coffee shop! I have only listed the one size so far, but more sizes will be available soon. I can easily make them up now, too, for anyone who wants to shoot me a convo!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here Comes the Groom!

My poor little Bride sachet was lonely, so I finally did some matchmaking and found her a Groom! He is rather dashing, isn't he?

Here is the final result of my Alchemy Bridesmaid Dresses...each one has a couple of minor spots on them due to imperfections in the fabric, but two of them managed to come out very close to perfection! I have yet to hear from my customer, but she loved the photos and didn't at all mind the spots. I sure hope these add glamour to her special day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My First Alchemy Request!

You may have seen the Bride and Bridesmaid Dress Sachets in my shop...I just love them, they are so elegant! I will now admit to you dear blog readers (prepare for a shock!) that I *gasp* purchased these sachets pre-made, and the Rosebud Wedding Throw that comes in them is the handmade by me part. Believe me, if I tried to sew anything like this, it wouldn't be pretty...maybe it could be used as a dishrag or something! Anyway, the sachets are only available in limited colors, much to my disappointment, and my customers I'm sure who have wondered if they could have them to match their wedding party. This exact quandry came up a few weeks ago when I was asked to make some in a deep plum/eggplant purple. Sadly, my supplier only offers Lavender. Somehow, my brain kicked into gear and I decided to try dyeing some white ones!

OK, this sounds simple right? Ummm, no. As it turns out, polyester satin is notoriously difficult to dye! After coming up with some very off-looking lavender ones using Rit Dye, I called up Dharma Trading Company. They gave me some numbers to enter into a computer every 108 minutes, and voila! Nothing. OK, not really....but they did give me some great pointers and I was able to purchase some special dye for polyester fabric (and I didn't have to fight off any polar bears or involve any smoke monsters!)

Sadly, even this special dye has not proven foolproof, but I am learning. The fabric has little variations that can show up as spots or even streaks. The bows are glued on and come off in the dyeing process (insert dyeing humor here!) Fortunately that part is easily remedied! The ones you see above are not the final product...when I give them their last dye bath (they need to be one shade darker), iron them (i hate ironing more than Smoke Monsters!) and glue the bows back on, I will post the photo here and it will show up in my Sold Alchemy Items...woo hoo!!

I am getting braver and I think that I will be willing to try new colors in the if you have a special occasion coming up, let me know if you would like me to create some spectacular sachets for your lovely day! Of course, if your colors are pink, white, light blue, hot pink, maroon or ivory...let me know and they're already a done deal! ;) You can see some of them on my flickr page, in my shop, or in the slideshow on the right side of this page!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to Work...I Promise!

Whew! The kids go back to school this week...except one, I haven't received his materials yet for homeschooling, so probably next week for him. Anyway, no more running around means a bit more time at home, so I finally got to work on a couple more potpourris! I started with Mango, so voila! Mango Madness! I also made a new batch of Lemongrass, one of my all time best sellers. My supplier no longer carries some of the ingredients, so I improvised! I will be posting new items over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well, I was wrong about selling my very last Mocha Java sachet...I went to my workshop to start the new batch, and discovered 2 more large ones and 3 small ones! One of them even had a keychain charm on it, so I will be photographing that one and listing it ASAP! I still started the new batch, because I'm really excited about adding the red color to it. I know there are alot of fans of the "just brown" batch too though, so now I can have something for everyone! Feel free to leave me a comment with your personal opinion here if you want :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And The Winner Is....

July 31st is my "official" 6 month Etsy anniversary! I also just made my 20th sale on Etsy, by selling my very last Mocha Java sachet...but never fear! Another customer suggested that I create Mocha Java using a dark red color mixed in. Since some of the ingredients I used in my last batch are unavailable right now, I have decided to substitute some of them with some dark red rose petals, and perhaps another dark red flower, and call it Mocha Java Rouge! I also received an exciting Alchemy request...another first! But I will save that to blog about when the order is done :)
ANYHOO...To celebrate, I am having Free Shipping on anything in my store through August 15th, which is the actual 6 month anniversary of my store opening! This sale will include any alchemy convo me!
Finally, I am going to create the winning scents from my Party Potpourri Poll...Margarita, Mango, and the runner up, Cold Relief Bath Tea!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yet Another Treasury West!

Wow, Treasury West was wide open this morning...down to 134 lists! I really didn't have a good plan, but when Megzy called whilst I was contemplating this and informed me that she was making a list of her own, I couldn't resist! This time I decided on jewelery, but a few other items crept in which are very jewel-like...see for yourself!

Here's a link to Megzy's list, it's so gorgeous, I love the colors!

New Adventures!

It's that hectic time of year once again for getting the kids ready for Back to School....Of course it's a bittersweet time, since part of me can't wait for the relative freedom of having the house to myself all day, and part of me is dreading having to be up at an unholy hour every morning to catch the bus! Crazier still is the fact that I will have to find out if I am smarter than a 5th grader, since we have decided to take the homeschooling plunge this year for our middle son. We are going through an online public school, so hopefully that will mean I don't have to learn all of the things that have become necessary to learn at that age which inconceivably were unbeknownst to my generation in 5th grade!
"Inconceivable!" "You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means." Vizzini and Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Super Etsians!!!

Today I happened to look at Treasury West on today, and the number of lists was at 224. For those of you who have haunted the Treasury and Treasury West in hopes of creating your own list, you will know the thrill that goes up your spine when you realize it Just Might Happen! And yes, about 11 minutes later the little magic box popped up asking me the name of my treasury! I had my Favorites all ready in another Window, so all I had to do was type in my title and then put my chosen item #'s in. What could my treasury be about? You may ask...
Well, in a previous post I think I mentioned my kids' addiction to watching Lois and Clark on DVD. I shall now add that all of us in our family have been addicted to Smallville also, since it first started. All things Superman are a preferred topic at any given time! Except the recent Superman:Doomsday, which we found problems with on many levels....but I digress!
Without further is a link to my very first Etsy treasury, "Somebody Save Me!" Stop by and drop me a line (I did include other Superheroes too!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Add A Little Sparkle!

About 2 years ago my Etsy sista Megzy had a great idea for a craft fair project to add to our then-planned booth...artistic jewelery keychains! We had a great time creating them and so did several of our friends who just had to get in on the fun! The keychains did very well when combined with my potpourri sachets, so I have continued to offer them here and there in various places I have sold potpourri. I enjoy making jewelery, but I don't have great confidence in my abilities beyond keychains, or possibly a quirky bracelet!

Megzy has several family members who have battled breast cancer, and other cancers. We knew that there were many people out there who have bravely fought this grave disease, or have supported someone who has. So we created some of our lovely keychain charms to honor our family and friends with a small and sparkly show of support (Did I get enough "s's" in there?) Here are two of them: and

Of course, strangely enough, some people like colors other than I am working on posting some more styles soon! I do have a Gorgeous red and gold one with this gift set: (Sorry I haven't updated the photos on that one yet!) And if you have a color scheme you would like to see, let me know and I will see what I can do just for you! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On Shoes, Closets, and Husbandly Help!

Yesterday my husband went to help his dad with a big project. He came home from Home Depot announcing that he got something for me....shoe racks! I was less than thrilled, to be honest. My shoes already had a rack but really needed to be sorted through, and I hated that idea. However, today after our Bible meeting, he slyly put the new shelves together and began the daunting task of closet organization! It wasn't as bad as I thought, and it is always liberating to move on from things that, lets face it, just don't look good on us anymore!
After that, I guess my dear hubby just felt so good about that little task being finished that he got busy in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher and sweeping the kitchen....I love that man!!!
Sometimes we don't realize that small tasks are piling up on us, and suddenly they all become overwhelming! For myself, I know that I don't always ask for help, or insist that my kids help (most of the little things are their messes anyway!) when I should. I am determined to do better in all of these areas!! Now, on to the bathroom cabinets....UGH!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Aaaahhhhh...There's Nothing Like a Soothing Bath!!!

As a busy mom, homemaker, Etsy Artisan, and all that other stuff person, I don't get much time to myself. I have a huge bathtub which has substituted as a storage area in our main bathroom for waaaay too long now. (don't worry, we also have a separate shower, LOL!) Yesterday I dug out all of the unnecessary clutter and put some of my Sensational Soothing Bath Tea to the test! It definitely lived up to its name, and my husband was most impressed with the lovely scent and soft skin that resulted from my "me time". I used the method most often recommended for the bath tea...steep the sachet in about 4 cups boiling water for 10 minutes, and then add it to the bath water. The sachet makes a wonderful body scrubber, exfoliating and washing more of the herbal blend onto fresh, clean skin! If you haven't experienced herbal Bath Tea yet, you are in for a treat! Here is a link to Sensational Soothing Bath Tea from Paradise Potpourri: and if you love Lavender, here is our Stress Relief Bath Tea!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Working on New Things...

Whew! I decided to take advantage of the overcast day and clean out my workroom (aka storage shed) this morning. It also helped that my boys decided to put on their Superman costumes and have a Lois and Clark marathon...don'tcha love DVD boxed sets of TV shows? :) Anyway, I found several little gift containers that I had forgotten about, intending to use them for presents at one time or another. It seems such a waste to let them just sit in there not being used, so I began experimenting with gift sets for the store. I am thinking of grouping them in scent themes, such as Lavender, Rose, etc. in a re-useable container. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wow, I listed something brand new today!

Check out this upcycled vintage sachet, made from a vintage hand embroidered kitchen towel, and embellished with beautiful beads! Here is the link for a full description:

Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm getting the hang of the photo thing!

I mostly cleaned house today, but I did so well that I rewarded myself with some long overdue photo-shoots of my potpourris. When I started my shop in February, I took all my photos in front of a dark green curtain that I had been using for photographing my ebay items. I got lots of compliments, and liked them really well, but I finally decided to try the all white background which is more Etsy-ish! :) As a result, I updated a couple of currently listed small ones, and re-listed Victorian Bride ( and Healing Lavender ( I had been using extremely antiquated photos of both, so now they are fresh and lovely, to match their scent!
Now if only Etsy could invent a scratch-and-sniff feature!!!!
Until then, check out my Sampler Pack...three scents of your choice in any color sachets for just $2.00 each!! You can even choose bath tea!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stop and Smell the Honeysuckle!

I listed 2 fragrance oils today, Rainforest and Honeysuckle. I didn't get much else done except some organizing (which is always a good thing!) and of course, updating my blog. I'm still not sure exactly how I want it to look, so if you check often, it may keep changing color like Sleeping Beauty's dress ("Make it pink!) or even changing styles! :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It was a scorcher today!!

Whew! If you have never been to Arizona in July, you haven't cooked! I'm talking HOT!! Of course we have it good here compared to places like Yuma and Gila Bend, or even Phoenix - which is usually a good 8-10 degrees hotter than here. The kids and I ventured out this morning to participate in our Bible teaching work, and lasted a couple of hours with help from a water and doughnut break at Bashas'!

After lunch we went to hunt for our friends the Looneys (names have been changed to protect the insane...err, innocent!). They have been waiting for their house to be done for almost a year, and finally got to move yesterday, yay! They admirably survived 3 previous moves in the last year, including having to live with us for 5 months...I don't know how they put up with us for that long, lol! Anyway they finally got their place, and it's sooooo nice! :) While they were finishing up at their old house, I took their boys and my boys to the bowling alley. We met up with another friend of ours who had her grandson with her so a good time was had by all (except perhaps the staff at the bowling alley who had to listen to their shrieks and fix the machine a few times - they did a wonderful job of pretending they didn't mind!).

Fortunately, July in Arizona also means "Monsoon Season"! So, on the way home we were pelted with high winds and buckets of rain. We didn't mind since the temperature cooled off dramatically and we came home to race inside and watch the plants as they doubtless were saying "Yeeeeeesssss!"

Needless to say, my Etsying went by the wayside today. But tomorrow I will be photographing some wonderful unique sachets which Megzy, who is the better seamstress, helped me out with. They are made from upcycled fabrics, with buttons and beads added for flair! I'm very excited and I hope they will get some good attention in my store. If you haven't voted in my poll yet, please let me know your Potpourri Preferences so I will have even more of an idea what people use and would like to see. Leave me a comment too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Welcome to my Etsy Potpourri Blog!

Hi! Thanks for visiting my little corner of cyberspace ;) I started this blog to tell everyone about my Etsy store, Paradise Potpourri. You can check it out by clicking here - I create scents to bring cheer and delight to any room in your home, your office, or even your car! I also have a plethora of other ideas, so I will post here regularly for the latest!
Please take a moment to vote in my poll, and if you have something you'd like to see in my shop, or a comment to share, feel free to drop me a line here!