March 20-26- Week 12

First, I would like to address a comment that I received- that I make a lot of soap. I do, and most of the time when I do my daily breakdown I don’t even bother listing it as something I’ve done because it is so second nature now to be multitasking- soap and something else. On average I make about 120 bars a day when I make soap- that is three of my batches and all time involved takes me about 9 hours. Because I rebatch, or hand mill, it takes quite a while for the soap to melt down, and then I need to clean my crock pots and start all over again.

Second, this week ended up being a revelation for me. I have labeled myself as a procrastinator for some time now, but after talking with B at this weeks UWBW meeting I really for the first time realized that I am not a procrastinator. I do accomplish a ton of stuff each day- sometimes it is not what I planned to accomplish- or as much as I wanted to accomplish- but I still do a ton of stuff each day. I’ve changed my routine since then- to do what I HAVE to do each day (which really is quite a bit) and then 1 thing from my master list of things to do that needs to get done. Then I need to take some time for me each day as well- no more folding flyers while watching TV at night, or knitting bath mitts during CSI, not unless I take time all for ME someplace else. I have done this well for three days now- I have already learned two new ways to cast on (knitting) and a new way to control my yarn that keeps my hand from cramping up. I got as far as I can get working on a sweater (need to learn button holes) and started a scarf with this great yarn that I have been dying to use.

As for the rest of the week it was a blur. C was away on business, this means that I slept lousy all week and just wished for it to end. I did send out some show applications, got my April newsletter ready to mail, finished a mailing to potential wholesale customers, finished making 50 bubble bags (they just need labels), worked on homework, sent out a few orders, FINISHED MY TAXES!!!!, and my federal student aid forms, looked at houses, cleaned the house and the basement, and went to dinner at B’s on Tuesday- all this while making soap and the usual daily routine.

Last night the heater started acting up, we had to shut it down, I think it’s the pump, off to call the repair service- wish me luck!


March 13-19 Week 11

What another weird week. I am such a procrastinator. The good thing is that I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope by the end of April to have all my soap up to a minimum inventory standard- as well as bath salts, lotion bars, and lip balms. If I’m lucky I’ll be there with bath fizzys too and will have quite a few soap samplers in the workroom ready to be sold. I had a lead on another show the first week in April, but the space is really small for the cost of participating, so I think I’ll be skipping that one. At least one thing on my list of top worries is done- D got the most important labels finished. This will let me get quite a few things ready for my first show now.

Monday: Made soap
Tuesday: Made soap, went to lunch with my friend T who I haven’t gotten to see in a while. It was fun, but a bummer because she may be in some financial trouble, and it is too much for me to help her with too. Why do bad things happen to good people?
Wednesday: Blogged, got an order and got it ready to send out. Did lots of paperwork and made soap.
Thursday: More soap (what a surprise) and started working on my new website. This is going to take longer than I thought, but isn’t hard. I just need to take lots of new pictures. Friday: Ran errands and worked on the April newsletter
Saturday: C left for PR. I made soap, went over to B’s show (which was horrible by the way), rant to Target and then went to dinner with B & M. They take such good care of me
Sunday: Lots of homework, made even more soap.

Nothing at all on my master list of things to do got done- hopefully next week will be better.


March 6-12 Week 10

I feel like I am in a cycle- I work really hard for a couple of weeks and then I slack off- then I speed up, then I slack off. Although this isn’t anything I have planned (must be my biorhythms), it seems to be working well for me. Except for the fact that the schedule I made for myself was based on a steady work pace (therefore I keep running “behind”) I feel physically healthy, and that the typical doldrums of winter have been kept pretty much at bay. C will be away next week- so I will be working exceptionally hard when he is gone (I just can’t sleep so I might as well work)- and I am hoping that catches me up on this elusive self imposed deadline that I created back at New Years.

What is stressing me the most are some rather big things that I still have hanging above me- taxes, a new web site, new product labels, a trip to Florida with my dad that I need to plan, and just some random paperwork that just isn’t getting done.

Taxes will be done within the next two weeks if it kills me. B and I made a bet that we would get them done by 3/25. If we both get them done- then we plan a day away- a trip- and we go dutch and use “house” money to pay for it. If one of us doesn’t make the deadline- we can still go, but the looser needs to pay for both trips. And if we both miss the deadline- well then, the businesses need to pay for our respective husbands to take a trip together. All I can say is that I’m not paying for C to go anywhere, and I’m not taking the chance that she won’t get hers done too, so I have to get mine done.

As for the web site- I have the designer lined up- and if I can ever get my e-mail working properly, I may even be able to get some of her ideas and suggestions, etc. Not sure why I am having so much trouble with my e-mail lately…

New product labels are coming along- two are done and I have three more that are “hot” and three more that I would like to have, but I can make due without for now.

As for the trip: Dad, C and I STILL have a storage unit in Florida, from like 4 years ago. Time to clean it out and haul what we want to PA. Oh what fun…

So what did I get done last week- not a whole heck of a lot-

Monday I got up and did school stuff and a little paperwork. Then C and I went to Atlantic City for the night after he got home from work. Borgata keeps sending us free rooms, and we keep taking them. We actually won a little (which we spent on a really nice dinner).

Tuesday: We left Atlantic City early in the morning so C could go to work. I ran errands and just spent the day doing things I wanted to do. I went to a few book stores, a few craft stores, a cool yarn store, things like that. When he was done at work I picked him up and we went home.

Wednesday: I finished making up some samplers, stained a couple of new displays I have and tried (unsuccessfully) to put together a few more I bought. I even tried the “bigger hammer” rule and I still couldn’t get them together…and I did paperwork (where dies it all come from)- research for the UWBW meeting- school- etc.

Thursday: I woke up really groggy- and proceeded to spend the day watching episodes of X-files- season 2. About 7 in all. I am still amazed that this show after all these years can creep me out so much, and how many story lines they approached back then for one episode I have seemed to see lately (in the last few years) used to make a whole series out of. They were so ahead of their time.

Friday: I ran errands and attended the UWBW meeting. I noticed on D’s blog that she may be coming back to selling a few books- I hope she rejoins our group. We really covered a lot of ground.

Saturday and Sunday: I did homework for the week, finished cleaning my closet, went to a local craft show to check it out, went and looked at more houses, cleaned the living room from top to bottom, and even got a chance to watch the NASCAR race.


February 27- March 5 Week 9

A week of lots of soap making. I finished a few fragrances just this week alone, and if I can keep this up I may actually have my inventory complete by mid April- just in time for heavy show season to begin. I made my new gardener’s soap- so it will be ready in time for the Hofstra Flower Show. I also made Olive Oil Castile- since it takes forever for this stuff to cure well. I also made 10 batches of basic soap during the week. This allowed me to figure out what supplies I needed and pick them up on Friday. I may actually have what I need for the year, although I hope sales are so brisk that I am totally wrong and end up to my ears in soap all year.

I started making samplers. I have 30 of them almost done. These things fly off the shelves. I always have trouble making them up. Some people find it important to have fragrances that they know in the samplers, some don’t care because it is just a quick and easy gift. So I try and make sure 3 of the 6 fragrances are something that is recognizable and that can be reordered this year, and the other three are left overs from last year or from special orders that I fill. But no matter what I do, there comes a time that I make some filled with 6 fragrances that can no longer be had, because I just plain run out of the recognizable ones, which is fine. But this year I plan on making some of each right off the bat and try and extend my supply of the samplers that include the most popular fragrances as much as I can.

I bought my books for my next few classes. This school being over is finally getting more and more real. I can’t wait to go on with my real life. I feel like the classes I have left are just bogus and a waste of my time. I know I am learning and I know some of it is good stuff, but I want to jump into the business head first and I feel like the time I am taking with classes is holding me back more than it is pushing me forward now. I think this feeling will end in a few weeks when I have a few more web design classes to do- two more to finish my minor. Then I have summer break, and just four more till graduation. It will be a great Christmas present to myself, and I will be bored as heck on Jan 07 I’m sure..

B went with me when I went to pick up oils in Friday. It is so much more fun going with someone than going alone. We had lunch at Shady Maples- I just love their food! Then we went to CDM wholesale, it was her first time there and I think I bummed her out. It is this huge wholesale craft store and there were tons of stuff that we see at shows throughout the year and are told that the crafters “make” them- liars! I think it should be mandatory for every craft show producer in the are to go to this store and look at its contents before jurying their shows- it would cut down on the buy/sell junk for sure!

Friday night J came over. She was stressing about life and needed a reality break. Saturday we worked in the shop, making soap and bath fizzys. I think pounding on the bath fizzys helps her vent some anger, LOL! She left much happier and I think a little more confidant that everything is going to be OK.

Sunday C and I went looking at houses. We saw another one with potential, so we really need to think about it some more. Once we got back I worked on some homework and we rearranged the closets again- but I think this time we can actually see what we have, and I know I can finally reach everything without a step stool, which is way cool!