Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tip and a little something new

Hi all!  

So your fearless leaders have been chatting.  It's what we do.  And we come up with ideas to keep you interested, involved, and happy to be here!  One thing we are going to be doing is sharing tips weekly from our field of  expertise.  Not that any of us are complete expertise- we each are learning daily, so today I am going to do two tips for you.

The first is that if you ever think you are done learning, you could NOT be more wrong.  Learning is the most important thing you will do, and you will continue to do so until the day you die.  I knew a lady who told me once that she knew everything there was to know about her job.  It was a job that I enjoyed, but I was moving, so she was there after I quit.  I found out that about a month after I moved she was fired. She no longer works in that field... chances are that she didn't want to learn anymore and found that suddenly her career stopped.  Do not ever, ever stop learning.

The second tip is fro my field, or at least the field that my shop is in.  I do bath, body, and beauty stuff.  This is something I do on occasion because I have a LOT of hair.  I'm growing it out and it's thick.  Seriously- I could probably provide about 500 bald men with wigs.  Well, when you have that much hair, it's not very subtle if you are having a bad hair day.  One deep conditioner that's completely all natural, and smells amazing, is coconut oil.  I get mine at Trader Joes.  

This kind of oil is a liquid when it's warm, but in room temperature it's more of a butter consistency.  I like to put extra on the ends of my hair, and less on the roots, because it can make your hair greasy if you use too much.

Leave it on your hair for as long as you'd like.  Do at least 15 minutes, but you can leave it on up to an hour if you want.  When you wash it out, it's going to make your tub a bit slippery, so be careful.  You will also want to wash your hair after because it'll be oily, but it'll add some good shine and softness to your hair.  Try it!!!

More fun ideas will be coming your way, and tips from other smart people.  Thanks for hanging out with us, and thanks for sharing your days with us!  We know that we are not the ordinary team, one that just talks about how to increase sales and promote ourselves.  Yes, we want everyone to succeed, and we are here to help in any way, but we are also here to help in your life :)  

Along that path... we are going to be having a weekly (more or less depending on the response) "Dear Crafty" blog post.  You can ask questions about anything.  Question about sewing?  Sure.  Question about where to get the best supplies?  Sure.  Question about why you are craving chocolate all the time?  Sure?  There really isn't a limit.  If something is deemed inappropriate, it may not be used, and as the leaders, we have a right to make that decision.  It will all be anonymous- the writer and the responder- so feel free to open up.  As  mentioned, our group may not be the same as many others, but we are here for you.  So, if you have a question, e-mail it to and we will find you an answer, or help send you in the right direction!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hello Members!!!!

Well, our blog has been a bit slow lately, because our members have been busy, which is a good thing!! But we are going to make an effort to get more information out there for you!  Tonight's post is going to be a short one, but we want to make sure that you are feeling in touch, and know that we are here for your assistance. Stay tuned, there will be more information this week to help you out.  Thank you for being a part of the Artist's Loft!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Chat With Karen from Pacific NW Bath ...

“If life is not changing, it is stagnating.”

What kind of items will we find in your shop and what makes them unique?

At PacificNWBath, you will find fine handcrafted luxury soaps, body butters, and handmade crochet gift items. What is unique about our products is that they are made using no animal products and we never use any synthetic ingredients. All of our fragrances are either essential oils or are made using the natural botanical ingredients.

How long have you been making soap products and how did you get started?

We have been making our fine soaps for about seven years now. This all started when Michael was looking for a hobby and I bought him a melt and pour soap kit for Christmas. We did not like the quality so we spent a couple years researching on the internet until we came up with a product we did like.

What are the benefits of using natural handmade bath products over those that are commercially produced?

The obvious benefit of using our soap is the lack of petroleum based ingredients. Also, whn you look at our ingredients you see nothing synthetically produced. We also do not remove the natural glycerine. You don't get that dry feeling that you get after using a department store brand.

I see that you make cold process soaps, what is the difference between that and soaps that are made by heating?

Cold process just means that the soap is not heated on the stove. The chemical reaction between the lye (we use plant-based lye) and the oils super heats the soap. Cold process soap cannot be placed into a mold because it goes through a stage called "gel" that will melt the regular plastic mold. Hot process just means that you cook it on the stove to remove the water that the curing process removes. Your third soap making option is melt and pour. The melt and pour uses chemicals so that it will melt in the microwave.

Can you tell us what makes your body butters special?

The body butters we make are very emollient. We do not add water. We use Shea Butter in all of our butters. The Shea Butter is very close to the make up of human skin so it absorbs easily and quickly. Then we add either Mango Butter or Pistachio Butter. These butters contain the vitamins that are in the fruits and add extra nutrients for the skin. Then of course we add in your choice of either an essential oil or natural fragrance oil. Be sure to use these sparingly! A little goes a long way.

Tell us about your pet shampoo. Is it safe for cats and dogs? Do you test on animals?

Our pet shampoo is made of the same natural ingredients used in all of our soaps. The mix of essential oils are good for repelling fleas and other insects. You can use these shampoos on cats, dogs, and humans. We do no animal testing. All of our fine products are tested by either myself or Michael, usually both of us.

Describe your creative process scent and oil combinations in your products.

Our creative process is usually just to try what we think would be good combinations. We also listen to our customers. I can think of two combinations that are a direct result of a customer's suggestions: The Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Rosemary dog shampoo bar, and the Raspberry Truffle. One type, the Chocolate Pepperming, was the result of Michael making chocolate and peppermint on the same day. He liked the scent of the two together and viola! Chocolate Pepperming. We also look for add ins for color. The Anise called for something black, hence poppy seeds--the Rose, for color we add rose hips and rose petals. Of course the rose hips contain vitamins, always a plus.

Are you working on anything new that you'd like to share?

We are working on sugar scrubs. Actually, I've been using the sugar scrubs for about a year. We are considering packaging for them right now. But in the near future we will have several new products on the shelves.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

Our biggest accomplishment is developing a product that people love and are excited to use. We enjoy seeing a customer come back again and again because they love our product.

What is your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge has been to find new ways to reduce costs while still maintaining our high standards for raw materials.

What kind of experience has running an Etsy shop been for you?

Running a shop on Etsy has certainly been a positive experience. Etsy is a community of artisians and there always seems to be someone willing to help in any way they can.

What advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

I would advise new Etsy sellers to use the many tools that Etsy has to offer. Certainly find teams and be active on the site.

Are there any special promotions going on in your shop that we should know about?

We do our best to keep our costs low. We do not run many specials simply because our prices are not inflated in a way that would leave much room for a lot of sales.

Are there any other social links where readers can find you?

  If you are looking for us on the web, there are many social networks you can look on:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Finding The Perfect Hat

The process of picking out the perfect hat is to identify the type of face you have. The illustration below shows you what type of face shape you have. Most face shapes are derived from the cheekbones and the jaw line. Sometimes the forehead will have a factor in the shape also. Some people may fall within two different face shapes, so you would select the face shape that is most dominant. I tend to have the oval face. Which most designers say is perfect for almost any style. Yes, I have tried on many different shapes of hats and most do look cute on me. Yet, it is that touch thing again.

So to decide which face shape you have, sit in front of a mirror and pull back your hair with your hand or headband. Look at the forehead, cheekbones and jaw line. Try to focus on what you consider your best feature. Some people have divine eyes, lips or cheekbones. You can play these up when choosing your hat shape.

The next step is to measure your head size. It is simple, but you may need another person to help. You can use either a tape measure or string. Wrap the tape measure around the circumference of your head just above the ears. Where the tape measure meets is your head circumference. If you are using a string, do the same thing and after you find the meeting place, measure the string on a flat ruler. Make sure you also measure from the crown to the ear level. This makes sure you have the correct hat base size. Unless, you are looking for the 10-gallon hat effect, you want a hat that is proportioned to your head. The crown is the soft part of the skull is usually located at the top back part of the head.

Most people tend to fall within the 21 – 23 inch range. The hat should fit snuggly, not constricting.

U.S. Hat Size: 6 – 5/8
Metric: 53
Inches: 20- 3/4 

U.S. Hat Size: 6 – ¾ to 6 – 7/8
Metric: 54- 55
Inches: 21 – 1/8 to 21 – 1/2 

U.S. Hat Size: 7 to 7 – 1/8
Metric: 56- 57
Inches: 21 – 7/8 to 22 – 1/4

U.S. Hat Size: 7 – 1/4 to 7 – 3/8
Metric: 58 - 59
Inches: 22 – 5/8 to 23 

U.S. Hat Size: 7 – 1/2 to 7 – 5/8
Metric: 60 - 61
Inches: 23 – 1/2 to 23 – 7/8

U.S. Hat Size: 7 – 3/4 to 7 – 7/8
Metric: 62 - 63
Inches: 24 to 24 5/8 

Now you are ready to start picking out hat styles. There are a few different styles to choose. A few of the more popular ones are the beanie, wide brim, cloche (flapper style), turban, bucket shape and floppy.

“Do you have angular facial features or rounded ones? Choosing a hat should also depend on your brow, cheekbone and nose shape as well as your jaw line. 

If you have soft features, choose a hat with angles and symmetry. If you have angular features, a hat with softer lines will balance the angles of your face. Although a large nose will look smaller with a softer, wider hat, a large brim will dwarf a small or narrow chin.” 

Round Face Shape 

If your face shape is round, an angular shape hat will add contrast to the roundness of the face. In addition, hats with a tall base and shallow crown and wide brim are great choices. With the round face you want do not want to accent the roundness, so keeping a hat away from the face helps to open the face.

Triangular or Square Face 

This face shape works best with hats shapes that accentuate the cheekbones or elongates the face. You also want a hat that sits higher on the forehead. A hat that has a more rounded shape.

Long or Elongated Face 

For women with this face shape, you need to “go bold or go home”. Go with a wide brim hat and a crown that is taller. The wider and floppier the better.

Hat shapes corresponding to face shape (

~Sophia Varnava
  Sophie's Hats and More