Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home On Leave

My oldest daughter Lauren is in the US Armed Forces training to be a combat medic. I haven't seen her in about 6 months and she wasn't sure if she'd get leave for Christmas as she's been waiting on orders, but she finally found out a week ago and she came home last night.

Seeing her is great, she's sleeping in right now and I figure I'll let her get the rest as she's used to getting up at such early hours and we had a long night at the airport. Just as they always do when my son comes over from the UK, the airline lost her luggage and we spent from 10pm till midnight trying to locate and finally found it on the wrong side of the airport.

She looked fabulous in her uniform and she carries herself so differently now, when she walks it's almost like she's marching and when she stands her hands automatically are behind her back, she was getting so mad at me teasing her about it, but it's just so cute! Random people would keep talking to her and thanking her for her service and she was so outgoing and refering to everyone as Sir and Ma'am, it just about blew my mind the positive change in her. She's definately not the teenage handful that left home in the summer and I'm so proud of her. Her nickname is "tornado girl" courtesy of dad, thanks to her ability to come home and make it look like a tornado hit within just a few hours!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wii injuries on the rise

I'm not sure whether to laugh or just plain shake my head at this one. Apparently if you own and use a Wii you are very likely to end up in an emergency room, they are dangerous beasts after all!

In all seriousness, if you're playing the wii to the extent that you're injuring yourself, then it's more likely you need therapy for your gaming addiction. What do you think?


Catchup Part Deux!

It feels like an absolute age since I blogged ... but it's definately been an eventful few weeks. New Hampshire was hit with the worst ice storm in 30 years and then this past weekend we've been hit with two big winter snow storms dropping between 1 - 2 feet of snow!

I will never again take for granted flushing a toilet - nor will I take for granted using a cell phone - definately the two things that stick in my mind from the recent power outages.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was non stop catchup time, but I got everyones orders out in time for Christmas and I'm feeling quite proud of myself! Saturday was clean up the house time and Sunday was a little clean and a little relax ... ok so more relax.

I was going to Christmas shop but wasn't driving through a blizzard to do it, so am going this evening hopefully before I pick up my daughter from the airport, she's on leave from the army so it'll be nice to have her home for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Icy Pictures

Beauty at it's most destructive best ... A look at the view from our house and yard

In The Dark

Last Thursday the state of NH was hit with what they now say is the worst ice storm in 30 years, taking down thousands of trees and knocking out power to more than half of the homes in the state, over 400,000! We were affected for 5 days and honestly we were and are one of the lucky ones, we had heat in a 3rd of the house thanks to a propane stove which meant I could keep the children warm on make shift beds in the breezeway and office and prevent the pipes from freezing when the temperatures dropped to 10 degrees outside.

The birds were also relocated to the breezeway and thanks to a wonderful neighbor with a generator we were able to fill up a few gallon jugs and 2 liter bottles with water every day so we could occasionally flush the toilets and make pasta nightly on our little camp stove.

Saturday night a friend found a store not too far away that had just got in some generators and we were able to buy a small one that gave us the ability to run the pellet stove and a couple of lights and a laptop with 'very' limited internet capability thanks to my husbands cell phone, so I was able to let customers know what was happening and warm more of the house up so the girls could sleep back in their beds, albeit bundled up as the upstairs heat was still out. It also meant I didn't have to stay up each night lighting candles for extra heat in the parts of the house that were getting really cold.

Power came back late last night and apart from 2 freezers and a fridge full of rotting and stinky food, we're in pretty good shape. Called the local shelter tonight to see if I could make some hot food for any families stuck there for the evening but they said they are ok for today so I'll check back in with them tomorrow.
Like I said, we're lucky, there are still about 100,000 people without power, including my daughters best friend on the next street whose road isn't even passable due to a huge fallen tree across the whole road which took down all the streets power lines and another two streets only just around the corner from us where the trees and utility poles snapped and they just haven't been able to get it fixed yet.
I really hope the estimates of 2-5 weeks to restore power is wrong and everyone can be back in their homes for Christmas safe and warm.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mattel Win - Little Girls Lose

A judge today ordered that MGA stop making their popular line of Bratz dolls and after Christmas they are to remove all current products in stores at their expense.

This is in response to a lawsuit filed by Mattel that has been ongoing since the launch of the Bratz dolls alleging it seems that the creator of the dolls had previously worked for Mattel and the concept of the Bratz doll was initially designed when he was an employee with Mattel.

Personally I think it's a sad state of affairs, my youngest Caity loves these dolls and had asked for one for Christmas. She prefers them over her Barbie collection, and plays with them over Barbies in her doll house. Big corporation wins and little girls lose I guess.

It'll be interesting to see if Mattel reinvent the concept under their own brand.

What do you think?

Find the related story here :
Barbie Wins! Judge orders MGA to immediately stop manufacturing Bratz Dolls

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Already?

Time is passing by so quickly this year, it barely seems like we've just finished with Halloween and it's almost Christmas already. A little behind on listing but just to make my husband smile I did get the Santa moose soap listed yesterday, he's such a cutie - the soap too ;)

I have decided there needs to be a cure to teenagerdom. Why do their brains operate on such a uncontrollable and illogical plain of existance that seems so far beyond reality or reason?

Time to find some food, some real food this time as I don't believe a diet of galaxy chocolate and cheesy wotsits really count as a balanced diet!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Setting Goals

I believe it's always a good thing to set goals, especially when your time is so limited and you're hopeless at following a regular schedule.

With this in mind, this week I am determined to work on my office area, get the last of my old toys listed by Sunday so I can reclaim the space for my crafting supplies and finally get the remainder of Christmas inventory in lollipops and soaps listed in my etsy stores.

My goal is to acheive this by this time next Monday ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm so excited!

When I came down this morning to check my messages I was delighted to recieve one through my etsy lollipop store telling me that they had found my store through a magazine called "Small" and they were letting me know I was in the magazine in case I didn't know - which it turns out I had NO idea!!

I am buzzing beyond belief, not only one, but two of my lollipops feature on page 6 of the magazine and the way the page is put together is simply beautiful.

You can check it out here SMALL MAGAZINE

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Kim over at The Little Black Boxes is having a fabulous promotion for Black Friday starting November 28th and going until November 30th called The Black Friday Bonanza. They have an awesome selection of indie artists contributing in the Little Black Box for this promotion which will include fabulous sales that just can't be missed!

I have been part of the boxes in October (I sent in barley pops and ducky soaps) and have bought a few boxes myself and am hooked. You recieve so many goodies (average 16-20 per box which include everything from jewelry, bath and body, paper goods and so much more. I even made a sale and a great trading partner in another wonderful indie artist by just taking part myself beccasboutiquebows

They represent some fabulous indie artists and contain amazing products. You can even buy one and have it sent as a gift, which I've done for my daughter in the army (I can't wait to hear how she likes it). So check it out, you really won't be disappointed!! The Little Black Boxes Black Friday Promotion Info

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Christmas Candy

This last week or so has been one of craziness yet amusement. Of course it happens when you're trying to get a lot of things done, you just have to feel under the weather, however I ignored and soldiered on and finally got some new Christmas inventory made up ...
I was so proud of my new lollipops, totally fabulous, new shapes, brand new flavors and even more jewels ...
Then the phone rings ...
It's a very nice lady from a local store here in New Hampshire, she's purchasing products for their grand opening and she's asks if she can come over and see what I have available ... well of course I'm thrilled and of course I say come on over ...
Out came the samples and she tasted a few and fell in love. She bought all my nice new Christmas lollipops, all my nice new crystal jewel candy, in fact she wiped me out of everything I had in stock and then placed an order for the following week!
Silly me had thought that I'd have time to unwrap and photograph my new Christmas candy and so had just packaged them all away for a few days to catch up on other things ... so today I made them all over again!
This time I took the pictures immediately!! Here's my new Santa Claus face lollipop in my new delicious cranberry flavor.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Help! I need a new layout and I'm blog inept!

I hate my layout ... I need something new and fresh to go with my banner but each one of the standard layouts in blogspot all seem to suck when I click on them or look weird ...

Is there a magic place where I can get something trendy and bright that fits the page nicely?

If so how on earth do I get it to work?

Seriously when it comes to computers I'm as thick as bricks !!

I'm hungry ...

I am craving chocolate cake like you couldn't believe ..

Yummy, moist ... NO frosting ... just delicately delicious delectable delightful chocolate cake ... not too rich ... just perfect for those 4am cravings when sleep just won't knock out the brain with the same level of comfort and endorphins as the taste buds desire ...

Right now I would give just about anything to sink my chops around this fantastically yummy looking delight from Vanilla Bean Organic Baked Goods on etsy:

Vanilla Bean Organic Baked Goods

Itching to paint

2.30am .. insomnia .. and the urge to break out the acrylics and a canvas and create!

My brain is overloaded with imagery and thoughts breaking out all over the place, sometimes I wish I could just turn it off ... after all it is 2.33 .. well now 2.34 in the flippin morning!!!

I will resist, for now I will continue to finish the episode of "Life On Mars" that I began and try to sleep ... but if that doesn't work, that's it

I'm breaking out the paint and forget brushes ... I'm slapping it on there, fingers n' all ... to heck with conventionality .. I feel like simply molding color to sit and settle in formations of abstract brilliance ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Last Craft Show For This Year

We had a fabulous time at the Memorial High School Craft fair this past weekend, I stayed up all night frantically packaging and labelling and getting everything ready and then woke everyone at 6.30am to load up and get over there.
I was absolutely amazed at the efficiency and speed of the folks at the school that emptied my minivan in under a minute taking everything right to the booth space, it's the easiest and quickest I've ever got everything inside and set up before and I was most definately impressed!

The craft fair itself was fairly busy and I met some fantastic folks including 3 members of my New Hampshire etsy street team, which was totally cool. I was able to go home for a nap and Amy and Ed took over (Amy is in the picture of the booth) which was a huge help as I was pretty tired by mid morning. We decided to just use the basic L set up with tables and red covers and it worked out ok I think. It turned out to be a fun day, a great way to advertise locally and meet and talk about all of our creations and I definately am considering returning next year.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Memorial High School Craft Fair - Manchester, NH

So I applied months ago and didn't hear anything back from them and assumed we didn't get in...
Saturday we get a letter in the mail saying "hello, here is your spot for Memorial High School craft fair". Um ... it's like in 7 days!! I have nothing on hand ready, and on top of that on the forms it says you cannot sell food items ...

"Points to name" - "Sweet Lollipop Shop" Wouldn't that suggest food?
Have tried to call the number once but got voice mail that said voice mail box was full ... will try again today ...

Also in other news, we got our first wholesale customer on Friday, she came over, tried some crystal jewels, fell in love with the taste and bought pretty much everything I had on hand!

She'd like some moose making up this week so I need to get a hold of my supplier today to see if I can get my better maple in stock because I hate the cheapness of the other stuff I have, my other one is just so much richer and tastes so much better!

Busy Busy Busy and a Surprise !

So this past Saturday was our annual Halloween party for the grown ups! I was so behind on getting the house ready and the food, people are arriving and I'm not even in my costume making chicken curry and rice and trying to prep the tortellini in a frantic rush with my red face and frankenstein hairdo!

Despite my initial flipping out everything went perfectly, this year was bigger and better than ever, and it's amazing just how many people you can fit in one house! Only injury of the night was one of the younger guys getting a severe back spasm but with the aid of heat, tens and a massage therapist (thankyou R!), he was able to lay on the air mattress and by the morning was much better.

Shocked myself by running my own little hypnosis show in front of a limited audience and had my two favorites guys doing quite hilarious things for about an hour before letting them off the hook!

Now we're in clean up mode ... and everything goes into the shed until next year ... handmade creation of the year this year was Ed's fabulous full size aged coffin ... next year we're combining our talents and coming up with a full size electric torture chair!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We all need it and I bad was needing it a little more than usual ...

Husband gifted me a wonderful evening of relaxation and fun, we even played that new Disney Wii game Think Fast with Caity ... silly but fun none the less.

Today is time to run errands after a delightfully long sleep in in readiness for tomorrows 600+ batches of lollipops and jewels
Had a request this week for a panda soap, and having almost every creature imaginable somewhere up here, I found this cute lil guy and created him his own soap. I was actually surprised that I sold 2 within 48 hours of posting so I guess I should consider getting some other creature features in the store.

I love what I do, but I am going to be one tired momma in a few days when I'm all finished!

Friday, October 24, 2008

OOoooohhhh It's The Little Black Box Time!!

It's that day again!!

Time for The Little Black Box and this month I'll actually not just be buying one for myself and the girls but I'll actually be in it!!

I'm so totally excited to have my ducky soaps and lollipops in the box and see how people like them, I hope they're enjoyed as much as I enjoy creating them. And then the added bonus of getting my own box, like wow there are some amazing stores in there this month and a guarantee of at least 17 items ... it's like getting a Christmas gift without it being Christmas! I really hope I get one of the hypnosis samples, having an interest in the subject I'd be really interested in trying one of those out.

In other news this weekend is going to be insane, I have my biggest set of orders since the summer, a possible 600+ lollipops in one weekend, plus about 2lbs of jewel candy. When you consider my average weekend is 150-250 lollipops, this is going to be a lot of work that is most definately going to spill over to Monday but thankfully I have my wonderful daughter to help me out and she'll earn lots of extra spending money this week which I have a feeling will go towards her new ipod and maybe even a new oufit!

Not wanting to sound ungrateful at all, but I'm really praying for a quiet weekend the following weekend as it's our annual Halloween party on Saturday and the thought of sleeping in VERY late on Sunday is just soooo appealing!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Orders for the week

We had 2 big orders come in to be completed over the next week or so, one for a very large amount of boxing gloves (waiting for extra molds to arrive to complete the order), and one for large snowflakes.

My 15 year old daughter Amy decided that she'd like to try and help make some candy, she's usually my official lollipop wrapper and labeller so I let her try to make a batch of candy yesterday with some limited supervision so she didn't feel like I was breathing down her neck (you know how teenagers hate that!).

Unfortunately it seems she over agitated the batch and it crystalized, which is not too pretty and even less tasty. She kept apologising about it and I felt so bad for her because it's such an easy thing to do with hard candy. She actually did a fabulous job overall and I made sure that I told her so. I'm going to involve her more this weekend so she can get a better feel for gauging temperature and how and when to mix once the cooling begins. I think once she tries again, she'll find she's actually very talented ... I already know it, she just needs to believe it too!

I had to admit it was kinda cute to hear her comment how she was now more impressed with mom because she thought making candy was so easy and now she knows it's not as easy as it looks.

Be Gone To Chronic Fatigue!

This last month has been a struggle battling with the fibromyalgia and CFS, it's hard to get going and then keep going without feeling like you've ran a marathon because you were standing for 20 minutes!

Of course my schedule is out of wack also, I really have to work on that. And then there's the planning for the annual "Halloween Bash" we hold every year. Ed says we won't get any better than we did last year, but then makes the ultimate solid wood full size old fashioned style coffin - to say it rocks would be a total understatement and pictures will be forthcoming!

Orders are caught up on for the week, for the rest of the week, I'm mom, taxi cab and somewhere in there going to have to seriously get a hold of some hidden energy and finally tackle 'the office'!

I will be so glad when he finally finds time to put some built in storage up there.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh My Gosh ....

Ok well I'm buzzing ... I recieved a call yesterday from a very nice lady representing a very large and famous company that is interested in my ducky soaps and possibly lollipops also!

I don't want to say too much right now but I'm buzzing with excitement, I'm sending her a big box of products to look at and they'll run testing on everything and if they like what they see this could be huge for my family!!

I am so excited I could burst!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Little Black Boxes

Like Wow ... I figured my Little Black Box would be good, but I didn't expect to be so good that I'm fighting over it with my girls!!

It's a split decision on our favorite item, my girls both love the beautiful and baby soft pink scarf from Smitten Kitten Originals, I am torn between the scarf and this amazing pendant by BeeDazzlesPendants, which I just had to wear immediately. Not only did I love the pendant but the way it comes packaged in a clear vinyl box with handmade notecards and envelopes is simply stunning and no amount of begging from my daughters will ever make me part with it!!

I also have a soft spot for things cute and cuddly so my next favorite pick definately had to be my Glump pin by rosewoodcreations, bright and cute, this handsewn little creature is a delight.

Of course there are plenty more fabulous surprises, numerous pairs of earrings that my 15 year old daughter has been loving on ... her favorites were from jacjewelry, delicately beaded and dangly ... my favorites however were more cutesy, what can I say cutesy is my thing and the delicate teacup and saucer earrings from ohpolly.com were just so cute. Other earrings included a pair from ccdesign and artsfarm, unfortunately I'll have to gift them to my daughter as I can't wear anything but sterling silver and platinum which is a shame because my husband particularly liked the pair from ccdesign (for me of course!).

Other items included a gorgeous pendant from Beth Lisa Goss of WireTree, another one my daughter would like that I'm just not handing over, I also got a cute glass bead zipper pull from Lori Anderson Designs, a phone charm from D'Elle Juwelen which I love and a delightfful magnet from Daisy Mae Designs. Finally I recieved a very handy purse size mirror from TialeyVintage (I needed a purse mirror badly), a delicate vintage pin from material, a sweet birdy gift tag from Designs by Vanessa, lily flower handmade soap by KaressKrafters, bathtub candy from bodyluxe (my 9 year old has dibs on this one!) and last but not least a rather interesting photograph by risamay.

I have to say I am more than impressed with the contents of my little black box, so much so I'm tempted to buy a second one to see what different treasures I could recieve. I really don't have anything negative to say, if I had to choose something constructive I'd probably prefer less in the way of earrings but that would be simply because I cannot enjoy them being allergic to almost all earrings finding, even hypoallergenic, but then that's what daughters are for .. to gift to what mom can't fully enjoy! I can't wait to see next months box ..

To buy your own box and check out more about The Little Black Boxes - CLICK RIGHT HERE!

I Vant To Bite Your Lollipop!

Well despite a tough few days I finally got my vampire and werewolf lollipops up and listed ... I'm still searching for a way to get the details to show a little better as the lollipops are so remarkably detailed and many times it doesn't show in the pictures ..

Now that my husband has updated our regular website we've actually had 2 orders in the last week, I'm beginning to grow encouraged that the new webhost, server and updates are all helping get the website more views and potential customers.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get some more lollipop photographs edited and listed and also get the new soaps I made listed on http://duckysoaps.etsy.com one of our other etsy stores. I do however need to get my samples made up for The Little Black Boxes, http://www.thelittleblackboxes.com/ . I purchased one myself this month to get a feel of what to include and to say I was impressed would be an understatement (full review to come shortly when I'm feeling a little better and not stuck in bed). Also big on my to do list is some more cards for the kinky store http://kinky.etsy.com , they were really popular a few months ago and I have been so busy with the life all summer I've fallen behind on making new ones. Time to get the tushy in gear Louise!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another one of my new molds for Halloween this year, I opted for molds that show really nice detail and stand out and this was a definate winner in my eyes. Kind of reminds me of the wicked witch of the west in The Wizard Of Oz, just a lot sweeter!

Still have a few to get in the store including the vampire, however it's been a busy week and so I've got side tracked elsewhere.

Definately need to get back to editing and listing this week.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Making new molds

So I bought some compounds to make my own silicone molds a while back and haven't ever gotten around to using it ... a rather expensive faux pas that I've recently decided to correct.

After playing around with it last weekend and making some major boo boos (well I didn't realise my objects would float to the top!!), I think I've figured it out and I'm playing around with making different molds, including some I'm hoping turn out great because they're based on vintage things that I love ...

More to come when I demold in 24 hours ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Halloween Candy Without The Commercialism

I love Halloween, besides Christmas it's my favorite holiday of the year. The chance to play dress up, decorate inside and out like a creepy horror movie set, having neighbors ask if we're going to decorate again this year (we're apparently known as the Halloween House!), it's just so much fun!

I just had to make new Halloween lollipops for the Lollipop Shop - a sweet natural alternative to the commercial junk in the stores and so far we have a few listed with lots more to come.

My favorite so far is the haunted house lollipop, the detailing on the pop is wonderful and it's a perfect size, not too small, not too big. One thing I hate sometimes is not being able to catch the details on some of my pops in photographs but I think this one came out great.

Car Trouble

So I turn on the minivan to move it to the end of the driveway on Saturday morning as we were having our yearly clean out the garage yard sale. It begins to make some odd sounds, sounds like its coughing almost and then a few seconds later the check engine light comes on!

Like come on already, you've only just been fixed a few months ago for a check engine problem and now you have a new boo boo???

I didn't realise just how much I relied on my car until yesterday when I had to ask my husband to pick up some groceries on his way home from work, but there has been a plus side, I was able to stay home and get some new soaps made and listed although it didn't make me slow down at all, I was up late again making up packages at 11.30pm!

What can I say, I have an obsession with getting things sent out quickly :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Lollipops!!

After an insanely busy summer, the kids are back at school and I'm back to working hard and getting new lollipops up and online.

I really love this one, not that I didn't like the original unicorn, but this one is so huge and is of the entire unicorn instead of just the head. I've always loved unicorns, the mystical and magical stories that include them have always been intriguing to me.

Inventory now shows I have over 300 different mold shapes in stock and I just placed orders for about 50 more new ones, especially for Halloween and Christmas, so I'm definately on target for getting 300 plus in the etsy store - http://sweetlollipopshop.etsy.com - by Christmas time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Busy as a bee

Things here have been getting so overwhelming, the fibro pain has been at it's worst and the fatigue from the CFS getting harder to deal with and then on top of it all it seems everyone in the house decided to give up doing things and leave me with all the responsibility, whether it's picking up, cleaning up, following up with things.

So when I'm not taking on other peoples responsibilities, I've hidden in my sanctuary, my office and tried to get the stores updated and pictures done and new soaps made. I'm just about keeping up and at least up here I can lose myself in some music or some daytime tv in the background.

Must remember to get the insurance waiver for NH Made done today and mailed out.

"Thought for the day" Find someone that will trade massages for chocolate.