Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Treasury Tuesday!

This Sweet Treasury was currated by DesignAnna on Etsy! Thank You so much for including my Strawberry Silk Soap! On of my favorite Fruits! Enjoy! I dream of strawberry shake

Monday, September 26, 2011

Organizing Chaos - Getting a Grip on things

One of my biggest struggles in life, personal or business related, is getting and staying organized! It is an obstacle I face on a daily basis. Not only do I have an unorganized workshop, desk, file cabinet, etc but my main file cabinet I call my brain, is just non-stop throwing ideas around without ever putting them in the right compartments! I often get so many compliments on how creative my ideas are, or actually how many ideas I actually have! But to actually fulfill those ideas is almost impossible. I usually end up getting sidetracked by even more ideas, my kids, my dog, or like right now, I took time out of organizing my workshop to write a blog post on organizing!

Since my business is pretty much my personal hobby - meaning what I love to do whenever I have any moments to spare; I decided to get a kick start on  my organizational overhaul right in my workshop. My workshop, about an 8x10 room - 3 years ago, was the ideal place for my ideas to come to life. But with more ideas, comes more supplies, packaging, and stuff. I have now outgrown my 8x10 space. I am not yet ready to rent a facility, so I will revamp the space and take over some of our house to accommodate the expansion.

Here is just a glimpse of what was left over after hours, days and weeks of me being unorganized, along with a Feature on Hearsty.me (which means lots of orders all at once). At my current state of organization, I would no longer attempt something like Heartsy. But with my new plan in place, along with a list of WILL do's not just to do's, then my unorganized Personality (which was confirmed on many personality tests...) will become much more easier to deal with!

Here is what having no organizational skills will get you: (a complete mess that can be totally avoided!)

Picture 1: Our old Bar area. We had a bar, along with other leisure furniture, but never used it because this is the "lonely" side of our basement. So we moved it all over to the TV area and have a much more exciting entertainment area that we now use more often! It has since been my stash everything extra and packing area.
 Picture 2: The workspace. I have a 6ft table where everything happens. Once i get busy I forget about staying organized and putting things back.This must change. It makes clean up take so much longer, and makes me embarrassed to say this is where I make my products!

I have since, cleared this room out, and moved my workshop into the larger packing/stash area with some wooden book shelves thanks to my friend over at Mom, Interrupted

More pictures to come once I get them all in place! But I promise it is looking GREAT!

So if you have ordered from me recently and it seems to be taking longer than expected, I apologize. This is the reason, and it will be much better from now on!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wick Testing STILL underway!

Because I have am switching the Natural Soy Waxes in my Soy Candle Line, I also have to test all my cotton wicks to make sure they are fitting for the new soy wax. And it turns out, I am having to start ALL over again!

Right Now I am testing these 5 Fragrances in a 6oz Hex Jar: Rushing Water, Sweet Pea, Black Raspberry Vanilla, Starfruit Mango & Fresh Linen.

On Day 1, I used the manufactorer's recomended Wick for my jar size. I allowed the Soy Candle to burn 2.5 hours before checking the burn pool. Rushing Water ALMOST had a full melt pool, and Fresh Linen was close also. But the others had about another 0.5" to go before the melt pool was at the edges of the jar. My Starfruit candle was drowning in the wax, barely had a glow, and had a melt pool of about an inch! Clearly the wrong wick for this candle!  Before I can to any final conclusions I let them burn a full 4 hours. But my findings were all the same.  So I remade the same 5 candles, and used a larger sized wick the next day.

Day 2
This time I remembered to weigh the soy candles before I burned them for accurate burn times. After 1 hour, Rushing Water already had  complete yet very shallow burn pool. after 2.5 hours, it was still full, yet somewhat deeper, and at 4 hours still a nice burn pool. A Very fiiting wick! After 4 hours this candle burned 0.4oz! That is a nice rate of 0.8oz/8 hours.  (Going rate is 1oz per 8 hours)

Sadly None of my other soy candles reached a full melt pool with the second wick test. So aside from the Rushing Waters, I have to remake the candles again and go up another wick size.

Why Wick Test? So you don't end up with Candles that burn like this!

Star Fruit Mango 6oz Hex in new Soy wax after 4 hours of burning with recommended Wick Size
Pure Soy Wax Candle Jar


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Treasury Tuesday!

It is that time of the week AGAIN! I just feel like I get finish posting something on Tuesday, before it is Tuesday again! I loved looking through about 65 pages of Wonderful Crafts before putting this collection together. I can almost taste the sweetness! Thanks to all the Great Etsy Artists who put such great effort in making Quality Items! Golden Delicious


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wicking A Soy Candle

Many think that Candle making is as easy as just pourng wax into a container! Well, it is that easy, after the Candle Maker has undergone extensive wick testing to determine if the wicks used will result in Proper burns! So what is a proper burn?

1. The Melt Pool reaches the edges of the container. No tunneling is left with unmelted wax left on the container edges. (this is achevied within a certain time frame for best scent throw and burn results. How would a candle maker know this, if they never test their wick choices?) Many things change the way a candle burns, i.e Fragrance Oil, Colorants, Climate, and initial burn time.

2. Candle burns at a rate of about 5-8oz hour. Depending on Candle size & scent throw - Soy wax is able to burn longer than paraffin. This gives Soy an average burn time of 8 hours per ounce. If your wick choice is too large (even though you are getting a full melt pool) your candle will burn at a much faster rate than this.

3. Initial Burn time. Candles must be allowed to burn properly. A good rule of thumb would be to allow for each inch of diameter, an hour of burn time for the initial burn. If your candle is 2.5" in diameter, you should allow a minimum of 2.5 hours for a full burn pool to accumulate. Sometimes 4 hours is suggested but no more. If you burn your candle for 4 hours, and your burn pool has not reached the edges, the wick is too small. If your burn pool has reached the edges within the 2.5 hours (for 2.5" jar) and the pool is more than 1/2" deep. the wick is too large. An ideal wick will have a full burn pool in 2.5 hours and be less than 1/2" in depth.

What does the testing Process look like?

First, the candle maker chooses the wax, jar, scent, and for some, color. I choose to leave mine dye free as dye just adds more chemicals, and could clog the wick and create more soot. Then comes the most complex part, The Wick. There are cotton wicks, braided, cored (cotton, paper, zinc), wood wicks and the list goes on! I have chosen a flat braid cotton wick for use in my soy candles.

Next you need to make your candle. Melt your wax, add your Fragrance & color, let it cool to your favorite pouring temperature. Place the wick you have chosen for that Jar/Wax/Scent/Color combo once the wax starts to set. Make any notes as far as temperature of pours, Fragrance Load & room temperature. These will be important for future references.

Every single Jar size, Fragrance & color combo, if using, needs to be tested for wick size. What might work in my 6 oz Hex jar with Black Raspberry Vanilla, may not work in the same Jar with Starfruit Mango. Each Fragrance has it's own consistancy and properties. To have a great candle, each candle must be individually tested.

This is what I will be doing in the next few weeks to assure a Great Candle to my customers with my New Soy wax! I have the first 5 - 6oz Hex Jars Poured. I will wait atleast 24 hours after pouring, before I test these. I will do an initial burn of 4 hours, (checking at 2.5 hours to check burn pool). The next day I will do another 4 hour burn if the first burn was sucessful. Even though a candle SHOULD NOT be lit for more than 4 hours, my last and final test will be a full 8 hour burn. This is just for my peace of mind to ensure safety in the event that someone would forget to blow their candle out before the suggested 4 hours.  I will also weigh my candles before and after each burn to get an idea of how much wax is being burnt in each session for an accurate burn time.

If my first burn results in a wick too small or large, I will replace the wick and start over. Friday will be my test day for the first 5. Then I will keep testing until they are all done! Check back to see my testing pictures!
Dynamic Blinkie Text Generator at TextSpace.net

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Treasury Tuesday! (On Time! Whew!)

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! I thought I would have a slow start into the new week but it looks like I am on top of things this week! I had the honor of being featured in an Etsy Treasury Today! This Treasury was made by FibrePiratess ! Thank You so much for the Feature! Pumpkin Power


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Treasury Tuesday! (Again, belated)

I always find myself on Wednesday, thinking about Treasury Tuesday! Well, yesterday I had a good excuse. I was getting some important Medical tests done that pretty much took all day! So here it is, once again belated. Need A Gift?


This beautiful Treasury on Etsy by BodyCareLuxuries includes my Midnight Pomegrante Aroma Bead Sachet. Thank You so much for the Feature! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cupcakes!

My new Project, if you haven't guessed it yet is Soap Cupcakes! I am falling in love with these. I have so many ideas I can't contain myself! YIKES! But I need to settle down, and focus. Here is a glimpse of some recent Baby Shower Favors I did using this great Soap Frosting Recipe found on the Soap Queen Blog. I did add some extra ingredients to the Recipe (Shea Butter) because I add that to anything I can. It is my favorite ingredient. And it turned out great! More pics like this to come!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stay tuned...

I had the oppurtunity to be featured on Hearsty.me. It has been a great experience, yet very time consuming and demanding. BUT, I am in love with what I do, and have loved everything from fulfilling orders, conversing with customers, to packing them up, and waiting to hear that my new customers have recieved them.  I have though been working on some new projects. Here is a glimpse of one of the projects I will write about in more detail once I have all my Heartsy.me orders out! Thank You Hearsty.me for the oppurtunity to get my products noticed, and to everyone who bought a voucher! 

My upcoming Soap Project. Can you guess what it will be?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Belated Treasury Tuesday!

Because I was on the road all day yesterday from Maryland to Chicago, I didn't get a Treasury made, so here is a glimpse of a Treasury my All Natural Pumpkin Soap was featured in today! Enjoy! Follow link under picture to check out all the other great Artists in this Fall themed Treasury!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Treasury Tuesday!


Check Out All These Great Artists on Etsy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Era has begun!




 Since vacation has come to an end, I have had plenty of time to think, reflect and decide where I want to go from where I have came from! Wix & Whacks has been an adventure of mine I have enjoyed from day 1, and I don't plan on going anywhere but forward anytime soon!  
Everyone needs a plan. And with that plan comes a Mission. I have been able to map out my Mission based on my customers needs, my wants and abilities and where I would like to see Wix & Whacks headed. Here is what I have for you today!

My New Mission Statement for Wix & Whacks is brought to you after digging deep to find the core of what I am all about.


THE MISSION:
The Wix & Whacks blog is for the artfully independent. The consumer who wants to take their Skincare into their own hands. Creating knowledge of what is in your products mostly mass produced, chemically-laden products you find on the average shelf in any store. It features handmade techniques, artists, ingredients and products to help you gain insight to make the right decisions for you and those you care about. Looking Beautiful can be healthy & fun!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Break Time!

                                                                             A break from the usual hustle n bustle of a busy Mom's life with a husband, 3 kids, a business and the business of life, is like Heaven! I highly recommend it for anyone who has not had one in awhile! Thanks to my Momma who invited us on her vacation, along the Chesapeake Bay (sun rise I took pictured to the left), I am feeling much more relaxed and focused on just life in general! Not only have I had time to update my website, blog, and think about my products a little, I have been witness to my Kids having a blast, while getting drenched in some Vitamin D producing Sun Rays. The water has been great so far! Typically when we arrive, we find the water to be swamped with Jelly Fish, and the closest you get to getting in the water is a couple of inches to find yourself running away from the Jellies. But not this time! We have been able to swim to the sandbar, without a Jelly in sight! Most of us look a bit toasty on the outside...ok it is a bit worse. We are all sunburned. Some worse than others. But we just can't help ourselves! The sun and sand is just so addicting! And it only lasts a week. So we have to get as much as we can. Then it is back to the real world!
But for now....my brain is headed out to catch yet another wave and get it's daily overdose of Vitamin D. Thank You to everyone who has helped make this vacation possible! And those back home taking care of my Pets! See Ya when I get back ;o)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Greatest Product Photographer!


I am constantly online searching for ways to make my business grow and enhance my products. Aside from the obvious of using the best ingredients in my Products, tinkering with my recipes and getting feedback from my customers; Product Photography is an absolute must for great online sales! I believe I have found one of the greatest, most versatile Photographer & Artist's on the planet! Brandy Kayzakian-Rowe (photo above), owner of Nomad Product Photography, has brought my products to life, for all in the cyber world to enjoy! I have a long way to go to get all of my Products photographed, but I am on my way there and will continue to let Brandy meet my Photo needs when possible. She created my wonderful Blog/etsy banner with Photo's she has taken. Here are links to her sites where you can check out her artwork.

http://www.wanderinggypsysoul.com (Beautiful Paintings)

Thank You Brandy for making your Art available to us all!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Updating Blog..

So I have never been one to keep a steady Blog going. Between kids, pets, husband, and constantly trying to make my business better, a blog is just another "to-do" item! I have once again decided that I am going to update and try and make a blog post 1-2x/week! Not only am I trying to organize my thoughts better, but I would like to let the world see what I am up to, at home, in the workshop and just because! I am hoping it will help me unload a little bit of these thoughts always running around in my brain! I never get them on paper, so maybe "cyber paper" will help! We will see...