Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October Special - Free Gift/Tote Bag With Purchase!

Fall has come! Even here in Arizona we are feeling a chill in the air, which is more than welcome! In my shops, I have some new items ready to post. For a special treat this month, I am offering a free "green" type tote bag  or cosmetic bag with any purchase of two or more items from either of my stores! Here is a photo of my first sale of the month in my Etsy store, and her free tote. Sadly, that was the only one I had of that particular style.
The rest of the styles shown above are still available at this time, but I only have a limited supply, so hurry while they last! I will post new photos as some will no doubt become unavailable quickly.  On Etsy, enter code GIFTY in the Notes to Seller at checkout. On ArtFire, enter GIFTY as a coupon code. Then, just let me know the number of the bag you want! Here is my latest item on ArtFire, a lovely Autumn Harvest Apple Gift Set! This set includes a 4 x 6 inch bag of "Harvest Apple Spice" potpourri, a 6 ounce package of Apple Cider scented Fizzing Mineral bath salts with a wooden scoop, and two small flower shaped lotion bars in your choice of Pumpkin Spice or Apples N' Spice! All of this is included in a gorgeous hand painted clay pot, featuring a colorful fall scene painted by my good friend Megan Tredway. I have several more of her hand painted pots to make gift sets with, so if you have a favorite scent you'd like to have made up with one, just let me know! Of course, keep an eye on my ArtFire studio for more of these also!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Natural Ingredients: Part I ~ Sweet Almond Oil

A Few Words about...Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond Oil is an ingredient you will find in many handmade bath and beauty products today. I have really grown to love using it in my products because is light and penetrates the skin easily. It is just about a perfect base for lotions, scrubs, balms, hair products, and even massage oils. Sweet almond oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Soap makers find that it saponifies easily and yields a mild soap with good lather.
With all of these benefits, it is no wonder that sweet almond oil is said to ease symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and help in combating itching and inflammation. It makes a great lubricant and helps to restore skin's natural moisture. Also, it is suitable for all skin types.
You will find sweet almond oil in many of my scrubs and all of my lotion bars. I recently created a massage oil for my husband when he had a cold. I filled a 1 ounce bottle with sweet almond oil, and added eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint and lemongrass essential oils. I rubbed it on his chest instead of using the petroleum based vapor rub we grew up with, and he loved it! You can do the same with any combination of essential oils you prefer for a wonderful and soothing aromatherapy experience!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Supplier Review: The Original Soap Dish

Before I get into my review of ingredients in bath products, I wanted to share an experience that I had with my most recent supply order. I don't know about you, but I love getting packages in the mail, especially when I've ordered something new that I've been wanting to try. My latest order, which was my first one from a company called The Original Soap Dish, did not disappoint! As I opened the box, I noticed right away that their packaging material was different. Instead of plastic air bubbles, or foam packing peanuts, there were shreds of recycled cardboard boxes. A note accompanied the order explaining that this is a greener, more renewable alternative to packing peanuts. It also gave suggestions on how the shreds could be further re-used.
Backtracking just a bit, I should mention that The Original Soap Dish is a specialty company that sells soap and lotion making supplies. In their mission statement, they state that they offer natural products for your skin, because what goes ON your body is just as important as what goes IN your body. I couldn't agree more!! They are a family owned business located in rural Indiana Amish country. They strive to source their ingredients from suppliers and manufacturers in the USA, which probably accounts for why many of their prices were a bit lower than the other suppliers I checked out this time around. My budget was stretched, so that was a good thing!

All of the items in my order were accounted for and very nicely packaged. The shea and mango butters were packaged in plastic containers, rather than ziplock bags. Not only does this make them much easier to use, but I can reuse the containers for some of my products that I make up in bulk, which I can't really do with ziplock bags. I also foresee less waste because I will be able to scrape that last bit out of a tub much easier than a bag!
Finally, there were two nice surprises included in my order! One was a generous sample of Pumpkin Spice fragrance oil, which I loved immediately and will probably order in the future. The other was a small's always smart to lure a customer in with chocolate!! As you can see, that one did not last long! My invoice even had a hand written Thank You with my name, further showing their commitment to a personalized, friendly experience for their customers.
I will definitely be shopping with The Original Soap Dish in the future, and you can check them out too at

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spa Quality Bath and Beauty Products, and Beyond!

"Why should I buy handmade bath and body products?", you ask? For the same reasons you want to eat healthy foods, and take your vitamins! Commercial body products such as lotions and soaps contain numerous synthetic ingredients, some of which you probably don't want to know where they came from. These can be very harsh on your skin, in spite of the label's claim to Moisturize or Protect. Some preservatives, such as parabens, are even believed to have a link to cancer. Why take that chance, when all natural products are widely available and their ingredients have proven over time that they are vastly superior? Over the next few posts, I will highlight one or two ingredients I use, and list some of the benefits they can bring!

I'm not usually comfortable with "tooting my own horn", so to speak, but I'm so happy with the products I have been making (Yes, I have used them all!) that I wanted to share this with you! Since I first started making sugar scrubs this Spring, my friends and family members have been regularly buying them, and eagerly trying out all my new creations. (Thanks guys!)It's not just friends and family who enjoy them is what a happy customer said about her lotion bar purchase from my Etsy store:

"It is wonderful! I love it! It mailed just fine, barely smudged the bag, unlike the lotion bars I order from [a major online retailer of natural bath and body products], which generally arrive in liquid form (ugh). Your's was cheaper, bigger, arrived faster (and not liquified), and I loved the scent! So I do believe I will switch to buying them from you exclusively. =] Is there any chance you might be able to make a vanilla-scented one? I noticed, as popular as vanilla is, you didn't have it listed, and it's my absolute favorite."

Of course, I added vanilla as soon as my shipment arrived from my supplier, along with many other scents! Right now I offer them as a "choose your scent" listing, but I will be trying new shapes and sizes, so I will also be listing individual scents in my ArtFire store. I have some sample sizes ready to post now as soon as I get my pictures edited!
As always, feel free to contact me. If you have a favorite scent that you don't see listed, just let me know...if I don't have it, I can get it!
I am also working on lip balms and lip gloss, and will have those available soon.
Click on the links to any of the items in my stores in the right column to find out more about each one!-------------------------------->>>>>>>>

Monday, June 15, 2009

What's Going On?!

I know I have not blogged in almost 2 months...where has the time gone?! To be perfectly honest, I have been considering giving up my stores altogether, since I have not had the time to create new things and keep them fresh while balancing kids, housework and homeschooling. I also have a goal of spending more time in the Bible teaching work. We had a wonderful Bible convention last weekend highlighting the importance of staying focused, since we are very deep in the "time of the end" according to Bible prophecy. Nothing is more important than that! Anyway, I have a lot on my plate, and I think I am starting to figure things out slowly but surely! Of course, just when I seem to be catching up, I get sick!
In any case, I have decided to keep my stores open for now, and I have a plan to get some new products in them in the next week or so. My next post will focus on some new products I am making...lotion bars! I also had some great encouragement from some family members visiting all the way from Canada, who loved my new shea butter sugar scrubs so much they bought 3 jars!
P.S. Cranberry Orange and Bountiful Harvest potpourris are HALF PRICE in my Etsy store! click here:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Cool Contest on Handmadeology!

I don't consider myself a photographer, but since I opened my Etsy shop last year, I have been learning the ropes of how to photograph my items to the best advantage. Of course, I happen to sell items that half of their appeal is scent - and you can't smell them on a computer! (what's up with that anyway? Someone please invent a scratch-n-sniff feature!!) So, it's doubly important that I have good photos. I have had a lot of fun taking photos of my items for my stores, getting lots of help and tips from Megzy who IS a photographer ( ) as well as the Etsy forums. I think my photos have come a long way! So, whilst feeding my daily Twitter addiction this morning, I kept seeing retweets of this tweet: @tweetmeme Etsy Worthy Photo Contest! Handmadeology
I duly entered one of my favorite will see it above, so please head over there and vote for it! The winner gets and ad space on Handmadeology's site, which is usually $60! There are already lots of wonderful photos besides mine, and you can even add yours...let me know so I can check it out too! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April Showers?

Hi again! This month is half over already, I can't believe it!! It has been very busy for my family...first of all, we traveled out of town for a 2 day Bible assembly. It was very upbuilding, and we got to visit with friends we hadn't seen in a long time! Hard on the heels of that trip, our annual observance of Christ's death, the Memorial, was celebrated on April 9th, which just happened to be hubby's and my wedding anniversary! Since he gave the talk this year, he was preoccupied and pretty nervous all week, so we waited until Saturday to celebrate our anniversary. It was our 15th, and sadly the first one in which Grandma Doreen was not there to have special time with the kids. We took them with us and had a wonderful family dinner out at a local steak house. (There is a new one opening soon so we are going to save our "alone" dinner for when that one opens!) Then we all exchanged presents, which is our yearly family tradition! The kids each got their first digital camera, and they are loving them.

The flowers above were one arrangement I helped make for the Memorial. A group of us got together on the 8th at our friend Debbie's house and had a great time! We had several bouquets around the Hall...and since I believe in Upcycling, many of the roses will become potpourri eventually! ;) Here is one of the Rose Bouquets:

With all of this activity, tax prep. kind of got shuffled, so now we are doing the last minute tax dash...but several surfaces in my house that I haven't seen in a long time are now shiny clean and free of stacks of papers!
Store News!
My store on Etsy has been busy with some custom orders recently finished and one in the works...yay! I made my first sale on ArtFire too! I hope my buyer loves my Starbucks Coffee Sugar Scrub as much as I do! I have another batch in the works, but this time I am using 90% Organic ingredients! Also, it will be scented with a hint of chocolate.....mmmmmmm!!! I will post here and Tweet about it as soon as it's ready...gotta finish Taxes first, ug!
In hopes of having some income to order supplies with, I am having my first ever BOGO SALE in my Etsy store! Buy any item and get another item of equal or lesser value 1/2 off!! This sale lasts through April 18th, so hurry!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Up and Running on ArtFire!

As promised, I have indeed taken the plunge into the bath products section of our little handmade universe! *plunge, get it? Dorky Bath Humor!! Oh well...* I even upgraded to the Verified Account on ArtFire, which I LOVE!! Not only can you click on the nifty little item boxes on the right side of this page--------------->>> but you can purchase them right here! No login needed! If you do decide to join ArtFire, be sure to give ParadisePotpourri as a referral and help me earn a Free Ride for Life! :) 10 referrals is all it takes! Did I mention the $7.00 for life accounts are almost gone? *end of ArtFire shameless promo! :)

I really am happy with the new products I am offering also! (Well, duh, I wouldn't offer them if I wasn't :p ) My daughter has even made a salt body scrub of her own, it's so much fun! I may have to offer that one for sale's Pink Grapefruit-Lime and smells lovely! But I digress...the coffee scrub has proved to be such a hit, even Megzy's husband uses it...he who scorned any sugar scrub as being "too girly"! If you have a scent you'd like to see me create, please let me is GREATLY appreciated! I really can't say enough about what a difference using handmade soaps and bath products has made in my skin. My husband is won over too!

In non-store related news, Spring Break is here, so I have all the kids 24/7 for the week...fortunately I am already insane so I don't have to worry about that! I will be twittering for therapy if I can kick them off my computer! We started off the week with our cat ignoring her newborn kittens, so we took her prisoner in the kids' bathroom and made them all a cozy box. They are doing much better. Sadly, only 2 of 4 survived. They are very cute though! We will be TwitPic-ing photos later in the week no doubt!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Month of Ups and Downs...and Downs and Ups!

At the beginning of this month, our little town was facing something big...the local mine, which had been booming and prospering to unprecedented proportions, was caving in to the growing economy crisis. Layoffs were announced, over 1500, which was about 1/3 of our town (give or take). As Feb. 2nd got closer, there were even rumors that disgruntled people were going to start trouble to the extent that the National Guard would be called in. Fortunately it didn't come to that, but a mass exodus has begun. So sad to see truckloads of people hoping to find opportunity elsewhere. Many of our friends have been affected too. Some have gone to other towns within the state, some to Colorado, and some to New Mexico. My husband thought that his department, which deals in Vibration Technology and Preventative Maintenance, wouldn't be affected, but unfortunately it was shut down, and he was laid off too.

We, like several others, have decided to stay in the area if at all possible, so we had planned to use his layoff as an opportunity to take care of things around the house that had been put off. Things were shaping up pretty good, and he was planning on Auxiliary Pioneering, as we call setting aside extra time in the month to share Bible truth with our neighbors, for the first time. Then the phone rang...apparently knocking out the department hadn't been such a good idea after all. His boss wants him back on Monday. Go figure! We are thankful he has a job, especially as hard as they are to find right now. But I have to admit a teeeeensy bit of sadness that "the old grind" has to take up so much of his time again already! We were getting used to having him around! OK, I'm just a little weird. So, a bittersweet sigh of relief here in our house!

In my employment news, in spite of Tweeting profusely, Free Shipping has not brought the droves of people to my store that I thought it would, and I think I am going to have to branch out to keep my business up. Potpourri just isn't a necessity in these uncertain times! I have made a couple of trades, which I think is great! Like the old days, when you could pay the doctor with a chicken or two! Imagine trying to do that now, lol! Anyhoo....I have started making Bath Salts, and will soon begin creating Sugar Scrubs and the like. So, you heard it here first, my new studio at Artfire ( will soon feature many new botanical Bath Salts, Scrubs, and fizzies!

Megzy and I are also stocking up our eBay store, and getting ready to part with some former treasures. People still need clothes, right? So, we will keep listing and hopefully help our families by doing something that just may be helping others in a small way too!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's My Etsy-Versary!!

Wow! It's being a great first year since joining Etsy! I truly believe that having a special place to sell handcrafted items is the way for an artisan to go...I know that potpourri isn't something in high demand like, say, soap :) but I have made at least one sale every month since opening my Etsy store, and I have only made 2 total sales of potpourri in my ebay store in the same time period! Of course, I haven't really tried hard on eBay, since other items of a non-handcrafted nature seem to do very well there. It's our place to recycle clothing items! But I digress....I'd just like to say Thank You to Etsy for getting the ball rolling for us little crafters everywhere!
Of course I wouldn't still be in business if it weren't for my customers, soooooo......In honor of my First Etsy-Versary, I am offering FREE SHIPPING throughout February on all orders...even the somewhat heavy and bulky Luxury Size Bath Tea! In addition, mention this blog to me in an Etsy Convo or on Twitter and I will give you an additional 5% off your order! I may get brave and have a blog contest but I've never done that before, so if you have any tips or suggestions, please share them! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Items at our eBay Store!!

Finally! In our excitement and enthusiasm over our crafty success with our various Etsy stores, Megan and I have both sadly neglected our original endeavor on eBay, Paradise Potpourri Global Bizarre! This store features mostly good quality used clothing for the whole family. In our troubled economy, people are looking for their favorite brands at lower prices. One of the best ways to do this is to find them Gently Used! Our inventory is very low now, but on its way back up, so add us to your eBay favorites, and maybe you will see something just your style pop up soon! We accept most reasonable offers, too, so be sure to check it out!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sticking my toe in the water.....

Well, I've gone and broadened my horizons...sort of! I decided to try the Free account on Artfire! You can see my new shop here:
So far I have only listed 2 items which are also in my Etsy store, but I think I will list more gift sets and different combinations here for now. The free account allows for only 10 items anyway, so it will be a good way to try it out and see if I have enough fans to justify upgrading. If you have any suggestions, please let me know what you think!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wow! I Made the Top Ten!!

Thanks go out to Mau, a/k/a ImpawsibleToResist for featuring me in her latest Top 10 Handcrafted items this week! Here is a link to her blog, which also features some other wonderful items from great Handcrafters!

She thoughtfully included my Luxury Size Bath Tea, featured in my shop with Sensational Soothing Bath Tea with Ylang Ylang, but also available filled with Stress Relieving Bath Tea with Lavender! This has been one of my best sellers lately...we all need pampering once in a while!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter's not over, but.......

...look what's doing its best to prove otherwise! I guess Arizona plants make their own climate zones or something. There has been frost and ice on everything every morning, yet these lovely violets are peeking out, reminding me that I need to get busy in my yard! (please ignore the big weeds and dead stuff in the picture, lol) I also found some little seedlings in the back that actually look like some other flowers may be making an appearance soon. My amiga, Megzy found lettuce coming up in her yard yesterday!

My cats are also enjoying the sunny early morning. This is Moo. He is my walking buddy, never failing to accompany me when I go walking, either in the morning or the evening!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Back....Really!

Well, anyone who has followed my link in the last couple of months has probably wondered "What is her problem?" Well, I have no excuse really, just a general case of writer's block.

I haven't written since last year, so I think the best place to start is Paradise Potpourri! I have not listed anything new in many moons, as I have been extremely busy with my son's homeschooling. Also, my workshop (a/k/a messy shed) is desperately in need of cleaning out and re-organizing before I can embark on new recipes. For anyone who is still interested, I am still planning on making Key Lime Margarita is just taking longer than I ever thought it would! I will also be making Cold Relief Bath Tea, and some Spring floral scents! I may have to do a new poll, but if you have a favorite scent, please feel free to leave me a comment!