Monday, March 31, 2008

Me, Sarcastic?? No...

I'm totally a member, really.

via Design Crush

Passion for Fashion...

I stumbled upon this great website through a new-to-me blog I've been reading, Cosy Up. It's called Polyvore and its quite addicting. If you aren't familiar with it, I highly recommend checking it out! Basically, it's a fashion website where you can sign up for free and play around with different items of clothing, jewelry and accessories to pull together outfits (which they call "sets"). There are literally thousands of pieces which are categorized by color so you can very easily find coordinating pieces. The great thing about it is, most of the pieces are available for purchase and they tell you where to find them so it's a one-stop-shopping experience (for those of you who have the funds!). I could spend all day putting outfits together (I find that I'm much better at this on screen than I am in real life) and I'm really feeling inspired to start dressing better! This makes it so easy and it's really good practice for those of us who need a little refresher from time to time...Check it out, but don't say I didn't warn you about the addictiveness!! Here are some of the outfits I put together all by myself (my parents would be so proud)!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Flickr Find

I know it's a little late to be doing a post with an Easter theme, but I just couldn't help myself! This week's Friday Flickr Find is all about the egg...scramble it, dye it, poach it, boil it, fry it...anyway you make it, I'm there. I love the many beautiful natural colors that eggs come in and I love dying Easter eggs even more! I haven't done it in a few years but I might after seeing these photos. Here is a collection of eggs in their natural form as well as looking their best for Easter. Hope you enjoy, have a great weekend!!!

Easter Eggs, originally uploaded by laszlofromhalifax.

Make your choice, originally uploaded by Joseph Dath.

The incredible edible egg..., originally uploaded by pieceoflace.

Our Eggs, originally uploaded by ~Mary~.

Eggs, originally uploaded by Joo1st.

Eggmania, originally uploaded by yellow_magic_marker.

Shadowed Eggs, originally uploaded by kagedfish.

Finished product, originally uploaded by fionnuala_moore.

Happy Easter!, originally uploaded by **TR.iPod.

colored eggs, originally uploaded by jek in the box.

Eggs, originally uploaded by Zyada.

happy almost easter!, originally uploaded by jek in the box.

we've got eggs, originally uploaded by JKonig.

Easter eggs, originally uploaded by TorstenR1.

Life..., originally uploaded by Anne *Minerve*.

352., originally uploaded by Opus104 (mostly away).

easter eggs in my garden.., originally uploaded by Michiel Thomas.

, originally uploaded by Berta....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Designer of the Month-Barabara Barry

It's time for my next post about the Designer of the Month, Barbara Barry! Today's post focuses on her beautiful collection of dinnerware including fine china, glassware and cutlery. With this collection for Wedgewood, BB makes it easy and effortless to create an elegant table that would wow even the most discerning guest. My favorite happens to be the Musical Chairs series which features her furniture pieces silhouetted against a backdrop of white china or clear glass. If only I had a huge table (and enough money to afford it!).

Musical Chairs Fine China

Musical Chairs Double Old Fashioned

Embrace Platinum Fine Bone China

Oval Link Crystal Stemware

Pearl Strand Fine Bone China

Graceful Stainless Flatware

Curtain Call Decanter

Silver Teapot

Curtain Call Fine Bone China

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Weekly Win It! Kristen's Cosmetics...

This weeks Weekly Win It Etsy artist is Kristen's Cosmetics. Kristen's shop is filled with fabulous personal care products which include lip balms, luxurious bath products and wonderful fragrances including perfumes and body mists (just to name a few!).

I had the opportunity to interview Kristen about her products and find out where she got the idea to start a cosmetics company. Believe me, this is one smart and talented lady (this stuff probably involves like math and chemistry or something!). I don't even want to guess how she does it so let's let her explain:

Your products are great! What was your inspiration, where did you get the idea to start this business? Thank you! I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a little girl and have always loved lip balms since a young age, as well! After doing much research and tapping into my savings, I was able to start my business last year. I’ve been having a blast, ever since!

Cotton Candy Silky Shea Soap

Where did you learn how to make these products? Where do you produce them? I used to be a Biological Sciences major before I transferred to Business Marketing/Management so it comes natural to mix lots of things together to make my products! Some products are made from high-quality bases and additional oils, butters, etc. are added for a more customized product. Others, such as my Bubble Bath Bars, Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Lip Balms, etc are made from scratch. I make everything in really small batches to ensure product freshness and to give my customers the option of customizing their product’s scent! I have done a lot of research for recipes, tested lots of ingredients and played around with ingredients (a lot!) until I develop products that I like. I’m currently working on a high-shine lip gloss tint that is made with really moisturizing organic oils and a really soft lip balm/gloss that you can squeeze out of a tube…it’s a lot of fun!

Until I have the resources to upgrade to a more efficient facility, I am currently producing my products at home, in the kitchen. Great precautions are taken for product quality/safety. Safety measures include latex-free gloves, disposable masks and pipettes, shrink wrapping of final lip products, etc. All of my final products are tested/used by myself, friends and family and are NEVER tested on animals!

How do you come up with the many different scents you carry? I use high quality fragrance and essential oils/essential oil blends to scent my products. I love creating new scents by mixing different notes together! I only carry fragrances that I would personally want to use. Something that everyone should know is that all my fragrances are phthalate free. Phthalates are chemicals commonly used in cosmetics that can cause great irritations and headaches to certain individuals. I can be very sensitive to scents and know that there are others out there who are just like me!

Wisteria Lane-Bath and Shower Meringue

Have you ever created a scent that you absolutely hated? If so, what was it? I once combined several essential oils that I thought would blend fantastically together; I was all excited because I thought I was on to something. Oh, how I was wrong! One sniff and I was completely disgusted. I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face when I asked her to smell it…totally priceless. She wanted to be supportive, but it was impossible! I was trying to create a scent form my Lavender Rosemary Foot Scrub and it took a while to develop one that I like. I really enjoy the fragrance of the scrub now, but the original one was just plain awful!

Do you use your own products? What is your favorite product? Scent? Of course; that has to be the best part about my business! I always say that if something doesn’t sell or if heaven forbid, sales came to a complete halt tomorrow…it wouldn’t be the end of the world; I’d just have a lifetime’s supply of bath and beauty products! I use every single item that I create and haven’t bought any comparable products since I started making my own. I have tons of my products in different scents floating around the house/car and in my purse at all times!

Choosing a favorite scent and product is a near-impossible task for me. I think I’ll go with my lip balm as being my favorite product, because I’m constantly using it! Lip balm was really the inspiration for me to start my own cosmetics company; I wanted a lip balm that came in a cute tin/labeling and most importantly, worked wonders on my lips! As for scents, it is near impossible for me to choose just one. The scent that I’ve been wearing quite frequently (one of my roll-on perfumes) is “Sweet Sophistication” which is an unbelievable blend that starts with green apple as the main scent and also includes notes of jasmine, lily and peaches!

Sweet Sophistication Roll on Perfume

Do you create your own packaging? Yes and I really enjoy it! Sometimes I get carried away when packaging up items to be shipped, but I just really love tying little bows and coordinating package colors, etc. I really enjoy graphic design and I design and print all my own labels onto high quality vinyl waterproof labels that are extremely durable. It takes a lot of extra time to make my own labels, but at this point it is the best route to go. I can customize everything and change my designs anytime I feel like it!

What is your best selling item? Sales seem to go in trends! When I first started off on Etsy, Bath Salts were the biggest sellers. For a while Lip Balms seemed to be the most popular, and now it seems like everything is selling in even quantities!

Wow, thank you Kristen for letting us get a peek into your world and how you create your line of bath and beauty products!! Now for the moment you've all been waiting for, Kristen is offering one lucky JLC Studio reader a set of Banana Bunches Flip Lip Balm and a 4 oz container of Whipped Body Mousse (winner to choose the scent on the body mousse from scents list).

If the winner is in the U.S. , there will be free shipping. International winners will have to pay a small shipping fee (per shop profile). Kristen is also offering the winner (either U.S. or international) free shipping on any additional items purchased from her shop (to be shipped along with the prize).

Leave a comment on this post to Win It! For more info on the contest rules, please click here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weekly Win It! What is it?

I'm so excited to debut my new series: Weekly Win It! What is this, you ask?? Well, let me tell you! Each Wednesday, I will feature a new (or not-so-new) Etsy artist and give you a peek into their shop, as well as offer you readers a chance to win something they have created!!! That's right, each week's featured artist is personally offering a fabulous hand-made item for you to call your very own. Check back every Wednesday to read an interview with the artist and find out a little bit more about their products, inspirations and who they are. If you like what you see (and I'm pretty sure you will!), enter the contest by leaving a comment on the current week's post, with an easy way to get in touch with you if you're the lucky winner. Each contest will run from Wednesday (as soon as the post is up) until the following Tuesday evening at 9:00 p.m. CST. Winners will be chosen at random and that week's winner will be ineligible for the next three contests. The item being offered up will be clearly stated in the weekly post along with any special offers or criteria from that week's artist. If you have any questions or would like to take part in a future give-away, please email me at posting!

Thanks in advance to the wonderful Etsy artists who have agreed to take part in the give-away as well as answer my burning questions! You are all fabulous and super talented to boot!

Right on, White!

I definitely love color but secretly long to have an airy house on the beach filled with soft white linens, white dishware and glass canisters filled with white sand and seashells that I've collected during long walks on the beach. While that may be a ways off in the future for me...I've started by incorporating quite a bit more white into my home. I'm always on the lookout for that perfect white blanket for my bed, fluffy white towels for my bathroom or clean white picture frames to offset my colorful art. That's why I was thrilled when I got an email from Whiteport introducing me to their fabulous collection of housewares. The accessories they offer would be perfect for a beach cottage, country house or city dwelling. Based in Australia, the company was started by Jennifer McCabe who, after living in London for quite some time, decided to move back to her native Sydney. Noticing a definite lack of accessible, on-line housewares available to the Australian community, she decided to do something about it and, thus, Whiteport was born! Thankfully (at least for me), you don't have to live in Australia to order from this on-line store-they ship internationally (I would probably have to move there otherwise!).

Here are a few of the beautiful items they carry, and, as a special offer to JLC Studio readers, Jennifer has graciously offered a 15% discount on any order placed using the "secret" code at the end of this post. Be sure to take a look at the website, this is only a small portion of the many wonderful things she carries. Happy shopping everyone (and thanks Jennifer-great store!)!!

Dragonfly Pitcher

Quidnet Lingerie Bags

Montauk Euro Pillowcase

Best Ever Measuring Cups

Traditional Cube Savon de Marseille Soap

Truro Photo Albums (these look fabulous!)

Mashpee Salt it! it's used to keep sea salt fresh...for those of you who cook ;) so I would probably use it for something else (maybe bath salts!)

Pocasset Picture Frames

Dragonfly Bath Range

Le Bistro Canisters (I absolutely adore these!)

Wainscott Throw

Seaford Votive

Hope you enjoyed! Here's the "secret" code: 40a8b157. Just insert it as a coupon number at the checkout stage to take advantage of the discount (offer is valid through midnight (UTC/GMT +10 hours) April 16th)!