Friday, January 28, 2011

A Song of Gathering- Special Offer to Followers, Færie Swords & More!

Mirror of Serene Shadows by 'LuneBleu

Gather round, oh gentle readers.  There is a circle here formed of our voices and our thoughts.  While my voice resonates the loudest here, it is meaningless without the harmony of yours in response.  I have greatly enjoyed the last several posts where there has been more feedback, more conversation.

There are currently fourteen of your that follow this blog.  I think there are many in the shadows, just outside the circle who could join us.  And so I make you this offer-  anyone that signs up to follow this blog within the next week will get a 10% discount code*** good on their next purchase from NightBlooming.  Those that are already signed up will of course get the discount as well.
 *** The Fine Print: Discounts and special offers do not apply to shipping costs or custom orders.

Following the blog is easy!  On the right hand side of the blog, scroll down until you see this:

and click the Follow button!

The Panacea Saga
So far the response to the Panacea debate seems to be going well.  I'll give it another few days or so for people to pitch in their ideas that were tossed out in the previous post... so far it seems people find renaming the Vegan Blend Summer and then alternating offering it with Winter a good compromise between pleasing my customers and me having time to do other things... like make a Panacea Shampoo and Conditioner.

Færie Swords
I've been having a great deal of fun making swords in conjunction with Grah-toe Studio.  Kimi and Stacy create stunning wood canvases on which I try to bring something a bit magical to life.  You all may have seen the Seelie & Unseelie Court Dueling Daggers, but in case not, here they are:

It was such a joy to create them.  How long did it take?  Hours.  I was utterly exhausted by the time they were done, but there's a special place my mind goes when I know I'm creating something special.  Something that just feels so terribly right that my hands are just a conduit, doing the work of the Universe.  That probably sounds trite at best, but words are paltry things when trying to describe how such an act of creation feels.

This one never got listed and is currently sitting in my hair:
It too is built on a Grah-Toe blade, this one of my favorite wood Lignum Vitae, which you can read all about here.I hope to offer more Færie swords in the future, they're truly a joy to create!

SevenWaters Treasury
You may have gathered by now that I'm terribly fond of færie tales.  One of my favorite series of books is the SevenWaters Series by Juliet Marillier. It's a historical fantasy retelling, at least in the first book, of the Grimm's story The Swan Princes.  Enchanting, heartbreaking and romantic, if you're in need of a good book try them out!  The first one is Daughter of the Forest.  In honor of such a caprivating series I composed this treasury today:
Song of Sevenwaters

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Panacea Musings & Created Treasuries

Well, I'm glad I asked about the discontinuation of the Vegan Panacea....  let's just say that the response was energetic.  No worries, fans of Vegan Panacea, you have instilled in me a healthy fear of mutiny if I go through with that particular plan!

Still, though, I'm striving for a balance between what I offer and how much time it takes.  So, my lovelies, how about this instead:
  • The Winter Blend will be offered in the store from the Autumn Solstice until Spring Solstice, so in fall and winter.
  • The Vegan Blend will be renamed the Summer Blend, which seems fitting as it is a lighter and brighter-smelling blend, and will be offered in spring and summer, from Spring Solstice until the Autumn Equinox.
  • I will offer an unscented version of only the Normal Blend and that only upon special request via the Custom Order system. 
  • 8oz tubs will be offered for those that need to stock up before their preferred blend switches out for the season.
Thoughts?  I'd love to hear everyone's take on this :)

In other news, after years on Etsy I finally started to make Treasuries.  It was actually more fun than I anticipated it would be.  I did one for Stardust and one for Phedre, I do hope you like them!

When Love cast me out it was Cruelty who took pity on me.

A Pinch of Stardust

TeaMind- The Serenity of Green Tea

Monday, January 24, 2011

Light My Way- Please give me your input on Panacea!


Judging by the poll it seems people would like to see the Winter blend of the Panacea Hair Salve stick around, which is fantastic!  I've also gotten requests for an Unscented Panacea... which puts me in a bit of  fix.

In an ideal world (i.e. one in which I no longer had a day job and NightBlooming was my job, I could blend up as many different iterations of any of my products as my customers could ever want, but realistically that is simply not the case, no matter how much I desire it was.

So here's my proposed idea:
  • To eventually phase out the Vegan blend in favor of the winter blend.  I still have some supplies for making this, so I would continue to offer it until I ran out of supplies.
  • Winter would become a permanent addition to the store. From customer feedback I've gathered that the Vegan seems to work similarly on hair to the Winter, so from a usability standpoint this should still satisfy those hair types that work best with the current Vegan hair salve.
  • We would introduce an Unscented Version of the Normal salve.  Why normal?  Because it has the most neutral smell of the three current blends.  Unscented doesn't mean scent-free, and several of the herbal extracts that make the salves work contribute to the scent.  So even if I didn't add any of the oils I do just for added olfactory bliss, there's still smell there, and the normal would give the best base for either those that wanted to add their own scents, or those that were sensitive to scents.
This would give three scents (the incense-like bliss of Normal, the creamy base of Unscented Normal, and then the crisp, clean unisex scent of Winter).  Once we have this sorted I can get to listing 8 ounce tubs or Panacea and finish up work on the shampoo and conditioners!

It's your feedback that will ultimately dictate this change, so please let me know your thoughts, and forward this along to others so they can join the conversation!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Scalp Itches? Try a Triple Moon Oil Scalp Scrub!

Winter Fairy Tale by Witchtopia on DeviantArt

With the white of winter can also come flakes from your scalp.  Dry, itchy with buildup and often neglected in comparison to the skin elsewhere, a little attention to the scalp can go a long way towards a healthy, happy scalp!

Making a scalp scrub isn't just easy, it's fun and you get to pamper yourself, which in the doldrums of winter can be an excellent pick me up! Organic plant-based ingredients nourish and protect your scalp naturally and give you the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s in them.

 Step 1: Gather your materials

To get started you're going to need only a few things, most of which you should have around the house!
  •  Brown Sugar- This will be an exfoliant, gently scrubbing away dead skin and other buildup from the scalp.  It's more gentle and more effective than salt.
  • Honey (organic and local if you can!  You don't want "Imitation honey" or anything with high-fructose corn syrup in it.  You'll get nothing out of corn, but from the natural honey you will get humecent properties (which help the scalp retain moisture) and natural antibiotic properties as well.
  • Triple Moon Hair Annointing Oil- This can be found in the Herbal Products section of our store; a blend of several types of carrier and essential oils that aid in hair growth, protection and scalp soothing.  Read all about it in this blog post!
  • A container- How large depends on how much you plan to mix up.  I reuse a 2 ounce Panacea jar for it as it's large enough to easily get two fingers into for scooping.

Step 2:Measure everything out

The amounts above will make up a half-ounce, or about enough for one treatment.  You can scale it up as much as you need to!  The scrub will last for about a year without refrigeration. You'll need
  • 1 part honey (1/4 tsp pictured)
  • 2 parts Triple Moon Hair Annointing Oil (1/2 tsp pictured)
  • 8 parts brown sugar (2 tsp pictured)

 Step 3:Put the ingredients in the container

 Whatever container you use, make sure it is waterproof, rust-proof, and has a tight-sealing lid.  Glass, ceramic, plastic or stainless steel is best.

 Step 4: Blend!

 Gently mix things up with a spoon (or even your finger!) until the ingredients are well-blended.  It should have a smooth yet grainy texture.  If it seems too dry, add another drop or three of oil and blend some more. 

Step 5: Apply

You'll want to do this on damp or towel-dry hair.  Sopping wet hair will dissolve the scrub faster than you want, and if your scalp is too dry then the abrasion will be too harsh.  I advocate doing this while soaking in a relaxing hot bath.

Scoop out a bit of scrub and work it down to the scalp with your fingers.  Don't worry if it gets on your hair, it won't hurt it at all!  Work the scrub into the scalp using a small, gentle circular motion, adding more scrub as needed.  When the scrub has dissolved, let it sit for a few minutes on your scalp  so the beneficial properties of the honey and Triple Moon Oil can work their magic.  Got leftovers on your hands?  Work it into your face too, just be careful not to get it in your eyes, nose or mouth.  It won't kill you, but it isn't a good idea to ingest anything with essential oils.  Yes, it smells sweet and yummy- don't eat it!

Step 6: Rinse

Water alone may not be enough to get the residue from the scrub out, so you can use your favorite method of washing to remove it.  As you rinse, be sure to work your fingers at the scalp, ensuring that water can rinse things clean.   You may notice you shed a few more hairs than normal, this is expected and nothing to worry about!  The hairs that were ready to fall out in the next day or two just got worked out a bit sooner with the scalp massage, you're not losing any hair you weren't going to anyway!

And that's it!  Enjoy this whenever your scalp could use a little extra attention!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another turn of the year has passed, and by all accounts on this end 2010 was an amazing year for NightBlooming!  We were able to offer new herbal products, streamline the custom order process, included new NightBlooming handmade bags for sticks and pins, and add new products like draped barrettes and Green Sleeves.

We already have exciting plans in the works for 2011, including an exclusive Garden Sanctuary selection of products!  These products will be the best my hands can create and will be true pieces of wearable art and will be fashioned from semi-precious and precious stones, metals, and other fine materials.

Also in the works is our own webpage, where people can come and learn more about NightBlooming, our products, and access the Garden Sanctuary Collection, which will not be available on Etsy.  We're still in development, but here's a peek at one of our prototype gallery pages!

What we would love to know is what YOU want to see from us in 2011!  Please pass the poll along, the more answers we get, the better we can tailor to your needs. You can select as many options as you'd like, and please feel free to leave comments with more suggestions! free polls
What would you like to see most from NightBlooming in 2011?
Panacea Daily Shampoo and Conditioner

Panacea Original Blend Perfume Oil

Long Hair Growth Herbal Tea (for drinking)

Winter Panacea to become a regular product

More topped hair forks

More draped sticks and barettes

Pre-bunning Mister

Samples of other natural oils (carrot, argan, borage, meadowfoam, etc)

Wedding-geared hair sticks and pins

More hair toy designs geared towards men

Gift Wrapping

Expanded offering of herbal hair coloring products

NightBlooming to quit her day job and do this full time ;)


Latest Treasuries!

I was fortunate enough to be included in these stunning treasuries.  Many thanks to those that featured me alongside such beautiful items!