1 hour of production work and voila!

I've finished two BIG batches of my concentrated cleaning products. It was fun watching the sodium carbonate react with the citric acid.

The item to the left is my new best friend. Yes, it is a smoothie maker. I bought a used one at a yard sale, cleaned and sterlized it and now I have the perfect mixer for my stuff. It also pulverizes the soap for the laundry detergent thanks to the ice crusher. This thing is the perfect emulsifier.

In making the AP cleaner, it was fun watching the sodium carbonate react with the citric acid in the water. I remember my old biology class days. That's going to be some serious grease cutting power for the kitchen.

Anyhoo, I will be packaging my new product line over the weekend, hopefully in time for the September 1 launch. I'll also announce the winner of my giveaway as well, and offer up my feature article. Wow, I'm a busy bee!

Catch you all later!

Catch a Sneak Peak!

Have a sneak peak at the new containers for the cleaning line, launching on or around September 1.

I'll be formulating the formulas this weekend; adding a lingerie liquid and the dryer sheet refresher spray as well!

I hope you enjoy the new products!

Get Ready 'Cause Here I Come...

So, on or about Sept. 1, I'll be launching the household cleaning line, and I'm really excited! I've purchased all the little containers I'll need for the initial launch (thanks, hubby!) and this week is going into making the actual products. These products have already been tested (in my own crazy house, of course) and they have wonderful results!

I plan on having the following in the line:
  • Glass/Floor Cleaner
  • Kitchen/Bathroom Cleaner
  • Dishwashing Powder (for machine and hand) - this is a tricky one!
  • Carpet Freshener
  • Pot Scrubbies and Dishclothes
  • Re-usable "paper" towels
Since I've been totally obsessed with my new knitting looms, I've created the first set of scrubbies/dishcloths and am working on the second! I actually have two of the looms going at once (one for the set and one for my son's winter scarf) and I'm crocheting scrubbies like a mad woman.

Not everything will be available on Sept 1, but look forward to some great products and a kickin' giveaway! Speaking of giveaways... don't forget that the one I have down here will end on August 31. Then it's off to getting ready to offer samples in the Little Black Box! Whee!

Later all!

Pack 'em up and Ship 'em out!

So, do you have little 'uns getting ready for school? Or big 'uns finalizing their college preparations? Well, get your sale on!

haeven is having a Back to School sale @ Etsy and Artfire! This is a great opportunity to send your college kids out eco-friendly and green, or a great time to start yourself on a eco path.

Everything is marked down 25% off; and if you purchase a passle of items, I'll ship it for a flat rate via USPS Priority Mail. If you're interested in a Gift Set, please convo me! I'll get a nice set together for a great price.

In other news, I've chosen for my September Feature! The shop is HolisticallyHeather. She has some great products to share and I'm looking forward to hearing from her.

So, go skeedadle on over to haeven and check out holisticallyheather as well!

August Blog Giveaway!

It's that time again!

I'm going to give away another "Taste of Haeven Gift Set" to one lucky reader.

I'm a trivia-geek (as readers of my other blogs can tell), so this time I'm going to give you guys a trivia question to answer. I'll pick at random out of the correct answers on August 31.

What will you get?

A little sample of everything Haeven has to offer right now, all waiting for you!

Now, what's the trivia question?

For what product was the first jingle heard on television for?

a. Murphy's Oil Soap
b. Ivory Soap
c. Ajax
d. Mr. Clean

Good luck!

Oh, yeah... feel free to follow my blog and tweet about this giveaway. All runners up that do this will get a $5.00 gift card from my shop. If you follow and/or tweet, leave me a comment with the appropriate links.

Samples are Cool!

I went ahead and did it: I've launched my line of dryer sheets with this sample size offering. If you read my previous post, you'll see all about my trial.

I've posted a picture of a sheet before and after use in the listing (which I'm offering on Etsy and Artfire). I have to say I'm proud of this little guy. The idea of a sheet that replaces those chemical sheets in the store, and still takes care of both issues in drying... I've been picking with this for some time.

I hope you'll give them a try.

Now, it's time to work on a moist dryer sheet. Because these

have to go.

Product Testing - Dryer Sheets #1

I've finally finished the creation of my cool, new dryer sheets, and as I had a few loads of laundry to do, decided to test one out today.

I took an "oopsie" sheet (one where the stitches looked like my 4 year old did them) and tossed it in with the light colored clothes. I use a public laundry room in my apartment, and I set the dryer on high (whites). I did the dark colored clothes without a sheet and, of course, I used my regular scent laundry detergent to wash.

The dryer is automatically set for 54 minutes, so I left my clothes downstairs and crossed my fingers, and came upstairs to work on some more. Wow... let's just say that the stitches on most of them were... wooow... so expect some "oopsies" on sale as samples.

So, when the clothes came out, the first thing I did was smell them. Not much scent, but the clothes with the dryer sheet certainly smelled... fresher than the clothes without the dryer sheet. And that's saying a lot, because my regular scent laundry detergents leaves a great, neutral scent behind. Some of the clothes picked up the scent, slightly, some did not. So I'm thinking that you'll need to toss two into a regular load.

The clothes with the dryer sheet were also softer than the clothes without -- the reason for that will be shared when I finally finish testing and finally put them up for sale. Static was non-existent.

Results? I'm going to expand the pack to a four-pack (instead of a 3-pack). I'm already shipping them in a re-usable Hefty(tm) Zip-Lock freezer bag (they're thicker), with a little square of extra scent power tucked inside. This should help intensify the scent; as well, I'm going to offer little bottles of scent spray (which, unlike my linen spray, will NOT contain alcohol), with each pack.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the turn out. I'll be listing samples soon that you can purchase for $2.00 for each one. They won't have the spray, but they will have the scent power square and a coupon for $1.00 off a full pack.

Of course, I'll always look for feedback from my customers; they are the final judges of all my products.

I hope when these sheets join the product line, you will like them as much as all of my products!

Black Friday

Y'all know what I'm talking about. Looks a little something like this

<----- And, yes, I'm talking about it now -- in August, three months before our actual Black Friday.

One wonders whether people will actually participate in Black Friday this years, with the economy sucking wind the way it is. One wonders whether people will even participate in Cyber Monday.

I think people will, despite themselves. The sales on Black Friday are almost too good to resist. I know my silly behind will stand in a line at you-know-where at 6:00am, just to get my shop on. I'll even hang out at my online haunts to see what's going on there as well. Hopefully my suppliers will jump on the wagon and give us crafters some supplies at some good prices.

I used to work in retail. As a cashier/CS Associate/whipping girl for ignorant customers, I hated BF. I actually disliked the entire Holiday Shopping Season, which, by the time I left the industry, started in October.

That said, I think that we online sellers need to gird our loins and get to gettin' ready to convince those poor folk who brave the hordes to take it easy and shop online. And I think we should do it earlier than the Brick & Mortar shops.

One of the reasons that Black Friday got its name was that it was considered the one day where most retailers when from being "in the red" (losing profit) to being "in the black" (gaining profit). Why can't the online handmade industry do the same?

Here's the idea:

I'm making plans to start a massive campaign, getting potential customers ready to storm Etsy and Artfire on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I say massive because I want to bring some of you along.

I'm thinking of maybe a coupon book of sorts, something we all can sell/promote in our shops, chock full of coupons, samples and savings that can be used during this awesome weekend. I'll be happy (read: crazy) enough to handle the fulfillment of the orders we all receive right out of my house -- I even have a place cleared out just for storage. So I don't get overwhelmed, I'm probably going to limit it to 50 people from each venue. I've even got a wonderful spot just cleared up in my room I can dedicate to this venture.

If you are at all interested in contributing either samples OR coupons, or even help with the shipping of the books/samples, go ahead and comment here or email me at ha.ven@live.com. I'm going to develop some guidelines over the weekending and have them ready by Monday.

I'm serious. I would hate for Wally-World to look like this

and for our shops to look like this

Wanted: YOU for my September Feature

I want to feature your "green" shop in my blog!

I'm always babbling about haeven in my blog, and I realized that there are TONS of other eco-friendly, green shops out there that need lurve. So I want to feature one of them each month in my blog. I'm going to choose a category and all shops who feature these products are free to comment here to be featured! I'll choose one at random on August 20 for my September 1 blog post. You can have a shop in any selling venue, but I will only feature one of your shops!

The "green" category for this month coming will be:

Eco-friendly feminine products. (Stop making the yucky faces guys!). This is such an unsung category in the green world, I want to feature a shop that takes care of the ladies!

So comment below and good luck!

At Last....

I've finally managed to scrape away some time to make and post 16-load powdered laundry detergent! And can I say, to those who think food processors are the way to go for grating/mixing the soap bars... my blender is now my best friend. I grated 8 four-ounce blocks of soap in under 10 minutes! The Ice Chop feature is a soaper's best friend. As long as you don't leave it on too long (there is a liquefy setting, after all), you're good to go. And it's cheaper to buy than a big ole food processor.

So finally, I can move on to some other things -- namely my new dryer sheet design. I can't say much about it now, other than it's going to be unlike any dryer sheet I've seen around.

The laundry detergent is a "pick your own scent" listing; I prefer to mix the larger batches upon order so that the scent is more powerful and longer lasting. I did get feed back that the scent on the samplers wasn't lasting long, but that's probably because I'm paranoid about making my products too smelly. You can take your pick of "flavors" as it were: Regular, Lavender/Chamomile, Sandalwood, and Asian Citrus. The sandalwood is a strong, heady fragrance, great for the guys who like "manly" scented laundry detergent. It's in a spiffy little Ball/Mason(tm) jar, too, which is perfect for college dorms or house-sharing.

Now, about the ingredients... I use a soap base that has NO animal products in it; all vegans can get up and do the happy dance. And the fragrances do not contain alcohol of any kind. So, I could call this a halal product, but I'm not sure if I need special certifications to do that. Any Muslims are free to chime in. I'm trying to create products that all can use safely, especially those of us in the US, where certain restrictions are not always looked at.

How does it work? Simple. Fill your washer with your clothes, then start it. As soon as it's almost full of water, pour one tablespoon (2 for crazy big loads) into the water, not on the clothes. Then let it do its work. Amazing how 1 tablespoon can clean a full load of laundry and leave it good smelling too, but it works. This is great for High Efficiency washer, where less is definitely more. I've used it in all temps of water. For first time users, be aware that it does not suds much -- it's not suds that cleans your clothes, its the ingredients. You'll notice the difference when you pull out your clothes to put them in the dryer. If you choose regular scent, you'll notice that you just smell clean clothes; no lasting funk, no crazy, flowery smells, nothing but clean.

Now, since all children and gone from the house (the elder on teen stuff, the younger with papi for dinner), I'm going to go an enjoy my television for the first time in eons. Wish me luck!

I'm promise... I'll stop now... Really. No, Really.

I know; I'm a sad sort. Now that I know how to upload templates on Blogger, I've uploaded about 8,838,399,817 templates. However, I do believe I've found one that actually looks decent. It reminds me of a household planner, and I suppose that would be appropos for a blog that talks about home products. Ya know?

So what else is new? I'll be on vacation from the "day job" next week and I've promised to work on haeven products then. I've got some cool products bubbling in my brain that need to see the light of day. I'm hoping y'all will like them as much as you apparently like the products up. Yes, I know, barebones at the site and all that, but I'm figuring I'll go for QUALITY over QUANTITY these days.

And now I'm faced with the big "fulfillment" test. I've got some packages to go out as well, and I'm promising they are going out this week.

Now, for a little shop talk. OMG, I once again proved the absolute wonderfulness of my Floor and Glass Cleaner! My daughter (let's call her Tiny Dancer, because that's what she is), spread cocoa butter lotion all over my bathroom mirror. The good kind, Palmer's? You know the brand. I stared at it for a while, partially in horror, partially not surprised at all (because who was the idiot who left the lotion out where she could reach it? You guessed it.) Then I grabbed my spray bottle of Floor and Glass Cleaner and went to work. Did it work? Hellz yeah. Not even a streak. I'll probably do a little video re-creating the incident and post it here. So, September 1st, be first in line for the Floor and Glass cleaner. It rocks!

Also, coming September 1, I'll be starting to do a feature blog on different handmade "green" shops, from Etsy, Artfire, wherever you exist. If you're even vaguely interested, go ahead and drop me a line at ha.ven@live.com. Hopefully, this will help build my readership and get this little guy off the ground.

Later, taters!