Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let's Talk About Shipping

I'll be honest, I know nobody reads shop polices, the endlessly repeated shipping information at the bottom of each listing, or the shop announcement at the very top of every store.  You know what?  Half the time I don't either.  (Although you and I both should, there's usually some good stuff there including notices, special offers, and discount codes.)

But recently I've gotten some questions about shipping so lets grab a nice cuppa and give this topic some attention.  Then at least you can gloss over my shipping policies without feeling guilty about it. ;)

All about Shipping!

What Mail Class do you Ship?
  ***This one is important.  Read this.***
All packages are, by default, are shipped First Class USPS, without insurance and without delivery confirmation.  Why?  Because this allows me to keep shipping costs down for you and 99.99% of the time, this works just fine. However, this is important to keep in mind because with First Class USPS:
  • packages are not insured unless you convo me to add this as an option
  • packages cannot be tracked, unless you convo me to add Delivery Confirmation (and at that it doesn't track anything, it just tells me when/if it was delivered)
Selecting either of these options may require you to send addition funds.

First Class International Mail cannot be insured  and cannot be tracked and will require an upgrade to Global Priority Mail to invoke either of these options.  I can, generally, ship a package across the pond va First Class International for $8, which covers all my costs (see below) and the cost of postage.  Just to upgrade to Global Priority Mail (the cheapest class of mail that can be insured) will bring the cost of postage alone to over $20.  This is not even factoring in my costs, the costs of insurance, or the cost of tracking.  Now you're looking at a $25-$30 postage cost on pretty light package.  Heaven help you if you're importing Panacea's Salve by the vat (and some of you do).

If you live in the US and need the package faster, convo me and we can discuss shipping it via UPS overnight or 2 Day for an additional fee.

What is included in shipping costs?
My shipping prices are set to cover the cost of shipping, packaging materials, the monthly fee I pay for my print at home postage service, and a portion of the Etsy and PayPal fees incurred with each transaction.  The last order of boxes I made was $230 + $25 shipping to me.  Let me be the first person to say that there are few purchases as unsatisfying as empty boxes that you have to pay to have shipped to you.  ;) 

How do you set shipping costs?
I guess and modify from there. Thankfully the guessing stage was a few years ago, now I'm just tweaking as I go.  The way it works is that Etsy will let me set a rate to a loooooong list of countries for each item.  When you pick an item on Etsy it takes the highest shipping cost out of all those items as the base.  Then, for each additional item, it adds a secondary (lesser) shipping costs for each.  I do my very, very best to balance this as I go and check what my actual postage costs are against the one Etsy came up with, and I modify as necessary.  What this means is that sometimes a package might cost me less than I charged to ship, and sometimes it costs me more than what I charged to ship.  It's impossible for me to get it exact every time as postage costs vary by weight.  It it's close enough (within a dollar or so) we just roll with the difference.  Just know that if postage is a smidge more than what you paid, I will never ask you to make up the difference, but if postage is way under what I expected I will refund you the difference via PayPal. If shipping is off, that's my fault, not yours.

How fast/when do you ship?
Barring extraordinary circumstances I ship within two business days of receiving your order.  I pack orders very late in the evening on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.  This means that parcels actually go out first thing in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You will be notified when your package has been shipped, and will also be told in advance if your package will take more than two business days to ship.

Lost Packages
I feel horrible and miserable each time something doesn't arrive where it should. I wish I had a magical army of faeries to carry your packages safely, directly and instantaneously to you.   But I don't.  I have to rely on human beings, and they, like I, am fallible. The bottom line is this: I am not responsible for lost packages. If your package is lost let me know and I will file an insurance claim on it *IF* you paid for insurance. Keep in mind that First Class International packages are NOT insured and may take up to 3 months to arrive if they are waylaid in Customs. If it's around Christmas/New Year's?  Ugh. :(

It is very, very rare something goes missing and is never returned to either me or the intended recipient. Over the course of almost 5,500 items this has happened only twice that I am aware of. If you choose not to insure a package, please keep in mind that once I send it I have no way to recover your losses if it never arrives or is very delayed. If you are concerned about this, please add insurance, delivery confirmation, or if you're not in the US, upgrade to International Priority Mail. I reserve the right to upgrade to these options if the value of a package is quite high. 

All sticks are shipped in soft Flannel bags inside boxes.  Pins and other jewelry may be shipped in boxes within padded envelopes.  Sample sizes of herbal products are shipped in padded envelopes, and upgrades to boxes happen with larger sizes.

Whew!  So, now that I have a fresh cuppa, any questions, comments or concerns?

Errant Knight Contest: Quest for the Winter Song

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸
A knight-errant is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. "Errant," meaning wandering or roving, indicating how the knight-errant would typically wander the land in search of adventures. NightBlooming has a quest for those that would dare to take it. Though a challenge, the reward is great!

As NightBlooming's signature style is well known to our customers, we're offering up this sprig of mistletoe as a reward for the one who can unravel this riddle! The answer lies within one of my sold items, so the better you know NightBlooming’s work, the easier this may be.


.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸The Prize

The lamp is burning low upon my table top the snow is softly falling
The air is still within the silence of my room I hear your voice softly calling
If I could only have you near to breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love on this winter night with you

Sarah McLachlan - Song For A Winter's Night

Like looking up into the darkest of winter nights and watching the snow fall, these sticks seem to capture the tiny icy flakes within stone of the deepest black.

Built black lacquered wood, this pair is topped with silver pewter, snowflake obsidian gems and accented with black glass. From the neck of one stick dangles a silver snowflake, black glass and a droplet of snowflake obsidian.

Dark and dreamy, these stick almost look as silent as a midnight snowfall.

Song for a Winters Night Hair Sticks have an overall length of 7 inches, a usable length of 5 inches, and a dangle length of 2 inches.

The winner of this quest will be awarded The Song for a Winter's night sticks! We'll do another quest for the Spring Solstice! So even if you don't win please try again then :)


.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸Rules:

Use the clue to find the right listing, then look in the item description or photos to answer the question. The contest will run for a bit more than a week (closing at 12am on Saturday the 17th of December), and a winner will be randomly drawn from all those that submitted the right answer. (We're running this a bit early in hopes that the stick might get to the Knight who discovers before the holidays!)

You are allowed only ONE GUESS (submitted by Etsy Convo or you can email me) and cannot amend your answer, so make your submission count! The winner will have the sticks shipped to them for free++ anywhere in the world!

Once the winner is announced they may check out with the sticks. Best of luck to you all!

You can see all the sold items here:


.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸The Quest

Your Hint:
The blood elves (known as the sin'dorei, which means "children of the blood") are a race composed of former high elves who renamed themselves in honor of their people whom fell in war. They deal in magic and traffic with demons, and while most are mages, a select few are demon hunters.

The Question:
Praytell, What color is the blade of this hair sword?


++Free shipping is via First Class USPS. If you would like a different shipping method or insurance, a small charge will apply.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Last Breath of Summer

The last breath of summer by Iness Rychlik
Last night as I was packing I got a Convo asking if it was still possible to get an 8 ounce tub of Summer Salve.  I put off answering it.  Not because I didn't know the answer, I'd run out of Summer at least a week prior, but because I loathe telling my customers bad news.  It was a hard decision to only offer Summer Salve half the year and Winter Salve the other half, but there was no way I could keep up with both.

Running three types of salve all the time was just too time consuming and took away too much from my already, I felt, woefully understocked store. 

I resigned myself to giving my customer the bad news after I'd packed orders and printed shipping labels for the night.  Then I'd catch up on convos and break it to her.

When I make batches of salve, it's by the gallon, and I often do more than one gallon at a time.  I'd run out of Winter upstairs, so I went to my store refrigerator (two years ago I picked it up as we were starting to run out of room for food) to get a new bucket.  Pulled it out and stared at the label on top for a moment- Panacea's Summer Salve.


I opened the lid and took a deep breath, catching the lighter, warmer smell that only Summer Salve has.  Sure enough, I'd utterly forgotten about an entire tub of it.  I returned upstairs, eager to tell my customer that, but some strange turn of events, I had her Summer Salve for her after all.

And so, my dear customers, I offer you a last breath of Summer.  Get it now, as this is truly the last of it until Beltane! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Preorder your Salve Trio Packs now!

It's been a busy whirlwind of a summer, but fall is here and Samhain approaches. That means that the frost of winter is licking at the ground.

I've gotten several requests to hold reservations of Summer Salve until we have all three samples in stock.  In response to that I've created Salve Trio Packs!

Preorder your Sample Pack!
Preorder your Full Sized Trio Pack!
Available in both 1/2 ounce sample and 2 ounce sizes, these are preorder packs and will ship after October 31st, once winter salve is out. The Sampler Pack is $11.25 and the Full Sized Trio Pack is $40.50.

While we don't have a listing for an 8 ounce Trio Pack, if you'd like one just let me know and I'd be happy to make a listing for you!

So How's Juniper?

Here's Ms Juniper keeping herself warm next to a CPU fan.
The next question I've gotten most often is how's Juniper doing?  I'm happy to report that she's doing GREAT.  She's totally healed up from her surgery, so we'll be looking at getting her a dental soon to take care of her dental disease. She had some persistent hard brick-red gunk by her eyes, but a diet of dye-free, grain-free food has cleared that up.

Perhaps best of all, while she's still petite, she's gained an entire half pound and is now a healthy weight.  Her coat, once coarse and fluffy, is still fluffy, but shines and is like touching a cloud. 

Tensions with the other cats have eased, and while she won't cuddle with the others, there's a lot less hissing and spitting. I'll be sure to get more photos soon of her.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Interest in a Panacea Shampoo Bar?

I've done some pondering and wondered about taking a crack at a Panacea shampoo bar.  Before I start working on one, though, I'd like to know if there'd be interest out there.  Please let me know if you'd try one, and if you had any requests (vegan/protien-free, etc) so I can keep them in mind as I hash out a recipe and do some testing.   I'll probably need some guinea pigs eventually if I move forward with this!

Would you try a Panacea Shampoo Bar?
Yes, I use shampoo bars and would switch if it worked.
Yes, I'd give it a try.
Maybe, it'd depend.
No, I haven't had luck with shampoo bars in the past.
No, I don't use any form of soap or shampoo on my hair. free polls

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fun with Graphs- Behind the Scenes

After realizing that some of you are keenly interested in what goes in behind the proverbial scenes when it comes to crafting, I thought I'd share some fun charts from the Google Analytics for the NightBlooming store.  Keep in mind all these numbers are from the last month of traffic.

Let's start with how people are finding their way to the store (click the pictures for bigger, readable images):

Okay, so we know I get a LOT of traffic from Referring sites.  Most people are finding their way to the shop from some other location, usually one of the long hair fourms. I was surprised to see that langhaarnetzwerk was beating out LHC, though!

 About 15% of you like to use a bookmark (direct traffic), and the remaining 15% or so are using search engines.  There's another 5% that apparently beam in on alien frequency waves.
Search Words
For the 15% that arrive via a search, well, I can also tell what terms were searched for.  Here's the most common ones:
Nothing too strange there.  Another amazing hair toy maker as well as some general terms that should lead people here.  And then there's the WTF collection of search terms:

So... I guess I'd better get on making crab dish towels that double as a Nook accessory, a bandanna print shirtdress and whatever the heck a hoot owl hum is.  The internet works in strange and mysterious ways.

What about you?
Well, I can't see things about you specifically, but I can see some interesting things about my audience.  For instance, most NightBlooming fans are based in the USA, but dang, way to represent Germany!

 I can also see what sort of technology you're using.  Well, at least what browser.

And here's my favorite one.  Customer Loyalty.  Having so many people come back time and time and time again... thank you so very, very much!  I do my best to earn that loyalty.

Anything surprise you?  Not surprise you?

Like this sort of stuff?  Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more charts and behind the scenes goodness.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Winged Messenger

In mythology missives, messages and more were often carried by birds, both mundane and magical.  At the suggestion of customers, Nightblooming now has a Twitter account!  We'll be sending out updates to products, contests and more!  You'll then be able to check out the blog here or the shop on Etsy for whatever information we can't fit into 140 characters.

Having never done this before, I wanted to ask what you'd like to hear about!  Please pick as many options as you'd be interested in, and feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments!

What would you like tweets about
Renewed listings for herbal products (salves, oils, etc)
New hair jewelry listings
Blog updates
Juniper / Tsavo updates
Treasuries my items are featured in
Random Etsy items I like
Unpredictable randomness


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Contests Ending Soon!

We have two wonderful contests with time left for you to partake in!  Please enter and spread the word to others!

Juniper's Custom Item Contest
All my sweet, dear customers know what a wait my custom order list can have and how I stopped doing custom creations about a year ago.  Now, for Juniper, I'll make whatever item the winner wants for 20 cents and will send it anywhere in the world for free.   Entering is easy!  All you need to do is donate to Juniper in any amount more than $5.  We're about two-thirds of the way to covering her current expenses and appreciate all the generous help! For a chance at winning you'll need to enter by June 30th!

Errant Knight Summer Solstice Quest for the Forest of Flidais

It's that time again where the NightBlooming Knights head out in search of a legendary item for a chance at winning a special prize! View the contest listing here.

•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸
A knight-errant is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature. "Errant," meaning wandering or roving, indicating how the knight-errant would typically wander the land in search of adventures. NightBlooming has a quest for those that would dare to take it. Though a challenge, the reward is great!

As NightBlooming's signature style is well known to our customers, we're offering up this summertime hair stick as a reward for the one who can unravel this riddle! The answer lies within one of my sold items, so the better you know NightBlooming’s work, the easier this may be.

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸The Prize:

Flidais was the Celtic Goddess of the forest, woodlands, and wild things. She was a shapeshifter who rode in a deer-drawn chariot through the thick of the wild and was associated with protection of wild animals. Built upon a spiraling stick by Elvenhair, this stick is topped with an abalone shell, dyed and coated to be a shifting emerald green full of deep blacks. It is set into the stick and accented by twin band of silver wire. Sadly, the pictures utterly fail to capture the shifting beauty of the stone.

The Forest of Flidais Hair Stick has a usable length of up to 6 inches and a total length of 7.75 inches.

We'll do another quest for the Autumn Solstice! So even if you don't win please try again then :)

.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸Rules:

Use the hint to find the right listing in my Sold Items, then look in the item description or photos to answer the question. The contest will run for a week (closing at 12am on Tuesday the 28th of June), and a winner will be randomly drawn from all those that submitted the right answer.

You are allowed only ONE GUESS and cannot amend your answer, so make your submission count! Please send me a CONVO with the your guess and a link to the listing you feel is correct. The winner will have the sticks shipped to them for free++ anywhere in the world!

Once the winner is announced they may check out with the sticks. Best of luck to you all!

You can see all the sold items here:


.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸The Quest

Your Hint:
...Such belief is reflected in the names Fairy Caps, Fairy Gloves, Fairy Thimbles, Fairy Herb, Fairybells, Fairy-fingers, Goblin Gloves, Fairy Petticoats, Fairyweed, or Folks' Gloves, the fairies being sometimes called merely Folks since to speak of them explicitly was believed to get their attention and cause them to do mischief. In Gaelic they were Lus Mor, the Great Herb, for being the most magical of all herbs.

This hair clip may just get you into your own bit of fairy mischief.

The Question:
Praytell, what type of plant twines itself across the front of this Ficcare?


++Free shipping is via First Class USPS. If you would like a different shipping method or insurance, a small charge will apply.

Though the listing is for $0.20 as that is the lowest amount that Etsy will allow an item to be listed for, these fees will be covered by NightBlooming for the winner.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Juniper Updates & Contest- Any Custom Item you want up to $50

Juniper Updates
We are so, so grateful for each and every donation that has come in for Juniper!  We're nearly halfway to our goal for her, 38 individual people making donations totaling just over $700.  But we still have a long way to go.

Thankfully, she hasn't needed more medical care.  She seems to be totally healed from her traumatic experience, at least in body.  While Juniper is happy (so far as we can tell), she's still adjusting from going from an only cat into a house with five other furry roomates.  It's a big change for her, but she's making progress and will now eat treats sitting next to the others.

Juniper had never been outside, so one sunny day we took her outside to enjoy the sun and the breeze and the sky.  All of our cats are indoor cats, but they are allowed to go outside in our fenced yard under supervision.  We're very careful to watch them, especially Juniper.  All-white, deaf animals don't stand a chance in the wild.

To give her a sense of security we brought her out in a carrier to let her take in the sights and smells and when she started getting antsy to get out, we opened the carrier door and let her explore.

Tenative at first, she took in all these new sensations- the dry feel of bare earth, the cool spring of grass under her feet, the way the leaves swayed and fluttered in the breeze.  But, brave girl that she is, she never returned to her carrier, but ventured forth, poking about the garden.

Juniper Contest- Any Custom Item Up to a $50 Value
I had wondered what best to offer for our next drawing from our donor list.  A moss stick?  That would be nice, but I doubt the black thumbs of the world would like me giving them something they had to care for.

A pair of draped sticks? That could be fun, but some people might find them a bit too fancy for everyday use. We just did a pair... a solo stick, well, that'd work.  Herbal products tend to be pretty particular to what a person wants... 

While looking at my custom order list I decided that was the way to go.  So here it is, the rules of this contest:
  • Anyone that has donated to Juniper already is automatically entered, unless they've already won a Juniper contest.
  • Anyone new that donates at least $5 to her cause by the end of the month (June 30th) will be entered.  You can donate by purchasing a Juniper item for $5, $10, $25, or $50, or by sending a donation via PayPal to  Please be sure to mark it for Juniper and to use the gift option.
  • Multiple donations don't aid your cause.  Each person gets one entry, so your odds of winning are the same if you donate one $50 donation, or ten $5 donations.
  • The item can be ANYTHING.  I stopped making custom items that were joint designs with customers over a year ago because it was so overwhelming, but I'm making an exception in this case.  You may spend the full amount on whatever you want, or whatever you can dream up, so long as it stays under the price limit.  I will even include Winter Salve in this.  Juniper is worth a special batch if someone wanted it.
  • You can choose multiple items that total $50. So if you wanted a pair of sticks, a pot of salve and a bag of our new Miruvor Hair Growth Tea, you can do that too.
  • The winner will be put directly on the very top of the custom order list. The winner will be selected from a random drawing of all the donors. If you are already on the custom order list and win I will bump both this custom and your current custom to the top and they'll ship together. 
  • Shipping is on the house, anywhere in the world.  And by shipping I mean First Class or First Class International.  If you would like to upgrade to Priority or Priority International with insurance, that will be an additional shipping fee.
Please please spread the word about this contest :)  It's for a very good cause and one very grateful kitten.

Introducing Miruvor Long Hair Tea

Health from the Inside Out
Long, healthy hair cannot be achieved solely from topical products.  You need to have a good, diverse diet that supplies your body with the needed silica, protein, vitamins and minerals; but let's face it, nobody has a perfect diet, and choking down huge supplement pills isn't something anyone looks forward to.  To that end, we're happy to announce Miruvor Long Hair Tea as a natural, safe and very tasty suppliment to give yourself the best hair you can grow.

 What is Miruvor?
Appearing in The Lord of the Rings, miruvor is a warm and fragrant cordial of the Elves that gives the drinker renewed strength and vitality. The elves do not reveal how miruvor was made, but it is thought to come from the honey of the undying flowers in the gardens of Yavanna.

Inspired by this mystical drink, our Miruvor Herbal Hair Tea is a gathering of herbs and blossoms that supports healthy scalps and provides what’s needed to grow hair worthy of an elven princess.

What's in it?  What does it taste like?
Miruvor is gluten-free, kosher, organic, and naturally sweetened.  A blend of herbs and flowers,Miruvor tastes of wild woodlands, fields in bloom, all warmed with cinnamon. Caffeine-free, it can be enjoyed at any time of day or night and blends wonderfully with green tea or chai.

Ingredients: Red raspberry, nettles, linden flowers, lemon verbena, chaste tree berries, lemon peel, burdock root, chamomile, horsetail, squawvine, cinnamon and stevia leaf.

Detailed Ingredients & Benefits:
  • Red Raspberry Leaf- Rich in minerals and vitamins that promote the health of hair, skin, nails, bones and teeth
  • Nettles- Often called nature’s conditioner, Stinging Nettle is natural deep cleanser useful for oily skin and hair that promotes hair growth from within
  • Linden Flowers- Linden flower contain the curative plant fiber mucilage, as well as many vitamins and the essential oil farnesol. When ingested it promotes circulation, relaxation and healthy skin and scalp
  • Lemon Verbena- This tasty herb helps to support the central nervous system and aids in de-stressing
  • Chaste Tree Berries- The Greeks and Romans used this plant to encourage chastity and thought of it as capable of warding off evil. More practically, however, the berries help to regulate hormone imbalances and reduce inflammation
  • Lemon Peel- Provides an excellent source of bioflavanoids and vitamin C, which supports circulatory, skin and scalp health
  • Burdock Root- Contains mucilage and starches that soothes irritated skin and membranes and is one of the most effective herbs for promoting hair growth and reducing the amount of hair shed
  • Chamomile- Promotes hair growth, soothes scalp and is a natural hair conditioner for the length. Helps in relaxation
  • Horsetail – Horsetail, not to be confused with cat-tail, is possibly the most abundant source of silica in the plant kingdom, helping to keep hair strong. Many people believe that horsetail can help speed up hair growth by giving the body the extra silica it needs to build hair. Some of the ways to take horsetail is to drink it in your tea, take it in capsule form or apply it directly to the scalp and hair
  • Squawvine- A perennial evergreen creeper that grows on forest floors, this herb is most beneficial to the uterus, but promotes good circulation throughout the entire body
  • Cinnamon- In addition to having a germicidal effect, cinnamon helps improve circulation and therefore supports healthy hair and skin.
  • Stevia Leaf- Naturally 30 times sweeter than sugar using Stevia instead of sugar helps to keep the body's blood sugar in balance, while increasing energy levels and mental activity. Has been known to help acne, seborrhea, dermatitis, and eczema

How do I Make it?
Miruvor is a loose-leaf tea, meaning that it does not come in a prepared bag.  To infuse the tea you can take one of several methods, from simply putting the tea through a strainer before drinking, to using a tea ball, or a mesh infuser basket that sits in your cup.  You could also use a teapot with a built-in infuser, or something called a Perfect Tea Maker that strains your tea for you.

No matter how you infuse your tea, for maximum benefit, herbal tea must be properly prepared. Pour 8 oz. freshly boiled water over one heaping teaspoon of herbs. Cover cup and steep 10-15 minutes. To make iced tea, brew double strength and pour over ice. For best results drink 3 to 5 cups per day. The spent herbs and bag can be composted.

Want some extra antioxidants?  Blend it with green tea!  Need a kick in the morning?  Blend it with some chai.   Have leftover tea? Pour it through your hair for a rinse that will give your hair softness and shine.

Storage: Keep the rolled and closed bag in a cool, dark and dry place.

How do I know if I like it?

Miruvor comes in two sizes, a 2 tsp sample and a 6 ounce bag.  Pick up a sample pack to test drive, and then come back for more!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Important Announcements!! Salve Samples, Vacation, and Upcoming Product Launch!

Salve Samples out of Stock!
Due to an unexpectedly high volume of sales this past week, I ran out of sample jars!  They were already on order when I ran out, and should be in next week.  There's a few orders on hold because of this, and I've already contacted those people directly.  I think I'll have maybe ONE more pot of Winter Salve, but I'll have to see how full that little jar is.  It'll be interesting to see who snags the last one.

On Vacation May 27 - June 3rd!
It's planting and gardening season!  I'm taking off from my "real" job and my manager *cough*husband*cough* has told me I should take off from my second job as well, find a little zen and get fired back up.  While I'm away I'll be harvesting fresh catmint and catnip for the store, working on a new product, and (when my manager isn't looking) trying to catch up on some custom items.  I'll be drawing the winner for Juniper's Gratitude Sticks on the 26ths, so the winner will have time to check out.  There's still time to donate to enter!

Upcoming New Product!
When I come back I'll have a new product for everyone!  I'm very, very excited to share it with you, and it's been in development for awhile.  I'll preemptively break your hearts and say that no, it isn't a Panacea Shampoo & Conditioner.  I'm not sure I'll be able to do that one until the NightBlooming Store is my full-time job.  But I promise, it'll be cool, and there will be samples!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Juniper Donations & a Poll on Panacea Packagaing

 Juniper Donations
Thank you so very, very much to everyone that has donated!  By your generosity Juniper has received $474 towards her care!  That's almost a third of the way!  Don't forget that everyone that donates is eligible to win one of our Juniper Items in a drawing.  Right now we have Juniper's Gratitude up, but more items will be coming soon!

Our little girl is doing fantastic!  She's off her antibiotics and pain medication.  Slowly, but steadily, she's learning to  interact with the other cats in the house.  There's still lots and lots of hissing, but now she can at least get within a few feet of the others.

I'm not sure if her back claw will grow back :(  While it doesn't look infected any longer, the tissue looks somewhat dead and isn't showing any signs of claw regrowth.  As much as I'm vehemently against declawing, we may have to take off this one rather than leave it exposed and tender.  We'll give it a bit longer before making a final decision on it.

Until then, we'll keep you posted on how she's doing!

A Poll on Panacea Packaging
These little plastic discs are neat and all, but not recyclable :(
I hope everyone is enjoying their salves and the new 8 ounce containers!  Keep in mind, the final batch of winter salve for the year is posted, and when it's gone, it's gone!

My question is, what do you think of these things?  They're the little liners I cap off the salves with.  They're supposed to give greater leak protection, but obviously the sample sizes do just fine without them.  Would you prefer I keep using them for the 2 and 8 ounce jars of salve, or should I reduce the amount of packaging and stop using them?

Please let me know your thoughts in the poll below!  Spread the word so others have a chance to vote as well.

What are your thoughts on the disc jar liners for Panacea's Salve?

Please keep them, I like them!
I'm really not too particular either way.
Stop using them, they don't work/ I don't like the extra packaging.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Juniper's Gratitude Contest & Last Batch of Winter Salve

Contest: Juniper's Gratitude Hair Sticks

In the first week of fundraising for Juniper we've raised $144!!  That's fantastic!  My most sincere thanks go out to those who have found it in their hearts to donate to Juniper's recovery.

For anyone that either donates (or has already donated) to Juniper's cause by purchasing one of her items on Etsy,  or donating via PayPal to your name will be entered into a drawing for this lovely pair of hair sticks called Juniper's Gratitude.

At the end of the month, Tuesday May 31st, I'll draw a name from all the donors, and the lucky winner will get this lovely pair of hair sticks for only 20 cents! 

Juniper's Gratitude Sticks are built upon rosewood and are topped with silver floral petwer and rounds of Russian Jade. Silver leafwork uplifts two creamy white glass pearls, and from the top of one stick spills a tangle of vines and soft green glass droplets.  The pair has a usable length of 5.25 inches, a total length of 6.5 inches, and a dangle length of 2 inches.

Keep your eyes open for more Juniper's Gratitude items to be listed!

Last Batch of Winter Hair Salve!
Winter Slave is melting fast!  The last batch of the season is made and posted in the shop, so stock up before
its gone!  After this, there won't be any more until October 31st, 2011!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healing Juniper

Some of you may remember Tsavo the blind kitten, and how the kind hearts on Etsy helped us raise enough money to allow him to see the world. If not, here's his story.  Now, two years later, we have another furry soul in need of aid. Her name is Juniper, and she is Deaf.

On April 15th I was woken in the wee hours of the morning to a text message- there was an abused cat, she'd been beaten and can't stay where she is. Her life is in danger, can you please help?

What else was there to do, but help?

Juniper came to us from four hours away, exchanged in a cold, rainy, windy parking lot. She had been hit over and over with a blunt object, her tiny fragile body bruised and in pain. One of her claws stuck up at a physically impossible angle and we feared her toe was broken; the sides of her eyes were red with broken blood vessels and she limped. Those were the things we could see, and we were fearful that there was more damage, worse damage, inside.

There wasn't even a carrier for her and she rode to our house on my lap, curled up and sleeping. Though she was 9 years old, she had the body of a kitten, scarcely weighing in at 6 pounds.

Juniper had never been to a vet, was not spayed, had never been vaccinated or tested for any sort of communicable disease. She passed her first night quarantined with her bed and a soft blanket in a downstairs bathroom in front of a heater to keep her diminutive frame warm.
Here's Juniper in the downstairs bathroom on her first night with us

We were able to take her to the vet the next morning, and the costs started to soar immediately. She needed a complete blood work profile, to be tested for FIV/FLV, a host of vaccinations, x-rays and a urine-analysis. Her toe was not broken, thankfully, but the entire claw had been all but torn off and it was badly infected. The vet had to remove what little remained of her claw, exposing the tender quick, cleaning it as best she could. The hope is that it will grow back, but its uncertain if it will or not.
Though it can't be seen in this picture, the blood vessels on the sides of her eyes are broken from being hit :(

There are pain medications and antibiotics to administer. We knew she needed a spay, but she also has dental disease and needs to have that addressed in a separate round of treatment, later on once she was more stable. We also had her micro-chipped, ensuring she'd be returned to us if she ever slipped outside.

On the 25th Juniper was spayed, the surgery so much harder to heal on her 9-year old body than it is for a kitten. We opted for the laser surgery to reduce the pain, swelling, bleeding and recovery time for her, but it increased her vet bill all the more.
Surprisingly her eyes are not blue, which is the most common for Deaf cats. Instead hers are a stunning hazel/blue/green.

There are many people who would have opted to just put her down, or dump her at a shelter and let them cover the costs of her recovery... but who would adopt a senior cat who is Deaf? She'd most likely have been euthanized on the spot. Juniper deserves so much more than that, and we are determined to heal her and give her a forever home.

We've researched how to best communicate with Deaf cats, including teaching them simple sign language (not real ASL, but just hand motions that she'll associate with things like "food," "come here," and "we love you." We'd like to get her a special vibrating collar to "call" to her when she's not in line of sight.

Now, she's home, recovering, and has to relearn her entire world. Progress is slow, but there, and we hope in time she'll be able to go out on supervised visits to the garden, to enjoy the sun and the flowers and the butterflies.
Though the day was rainy, Juniper does seem to love looking out at the garden.

This poised lady will have a loving retirement, but with taking her in so unexpectedly her vet bills are painfully high, easily clearing $1,500 inside of two weeks. We still have surgery costs left to cover, as well as prescriptions, after care, follow-ups and a dental once she's rested a bit; and so I come again to those with big hearts and a soft spot for a hard-luck story for help.

In my Etsy store you'll find a few Juniper items, all the proceeds of which will go to cover her outstanding vet bills. For a donation of $5 or $10 we will email you an 8x10 print of Juniper, without all the watermarks, complete with the Helen Keller quote: "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart."

A donation of $25 will be rewarded with a pin-- silver lace-like metal leads to a dangle with a round of Russian Jade and a silver stamped leaf. Perfect for holding back bangs as they grow out, or as a unique accent piece to an updo.  A $50 donation will come with a stunning hair clip, delicate and flashing with a Russian Jade and silver leaf dangle.

If you would prefer to donate without an Etsy listing (which saves us from losing part of the donation to Etsy fees), you can PayPal your donation directly to  Please use the gift/donation option and mark it for Juniper. :)

The Juniper plant has long been known for it's healing properties, we thank you for helping our Juniper recover and enjoy her new home.  I'll keep posting updates on her and our fundraising process! Let's make this little Juniper grow!

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read though all of this. Please send this to any animal lovers you know!