New packaging!

I am super excited to announce new packaging for the soaps!

They will now come in reusable muslin bags with a tag attached. This allows the soaps to be handled and picked up without damage, but still be able to smell all of the yummy scents! You could also toss them in linen closets and drawers like a scented sachet to make your linens smell like your favorite Linden Hill scent until you are ready to use the soap!

Look for the new packaging to hit shops in January 2014!


Craft show display made with mod podge


Today I have Mod Podge and kraft paper on the brain!

With the holidays coming up, I’ve been thinking about new ways to display soap at craft shows. This is what I came up with:

I was out shopping thrift and secondhand stores one morning and I found this:
…a beat up, wooden, old DVD case/stand for the awesome price of just $5!
I took it home and was unsure of what to do with it, so I started digging through my craft supplies. I ended up using three simple things:
1. Mod Podge (matte)
2. a paintbrush
3. torn up scraps of kraft paper (I got a big roll of it at the local dollar store)
I glued the pieces of kraft paper all over the shelves with the Mod Podge and then put a generous layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it. That’s it. Simple. Done.
I did cut up a few of my business cards to incorporate my logo and business information into my display piece:
Overall, I am really happy with how it turned out. It will also be super simple (and cheap) to make matching display pieces, using the same method, with anything else I happen across.

Handmade Feature: J Paris Designs

It’s time for a Handmade Artist Feature! 

Today I am pleased to introduce to you: J. Paris Designs


Hello! My name is Jessica.  I’m originally from the Cortland area, but currently reside in Cuyahoga Falls with my husband Dan, shepherd mix puppy Harlow, and fluffy cat Gravy.  My last name (maiden) really is Paris, which always seems to surprise people when they put two and two together with the store name.  I got my bachelor’s degree in Interior Design & Merchandising and did that for awhile.  But I really preferred more hands on jobs – getting dirty and painting or creating.  My hobbies are, and always have been, anything creative.  I love anything that has to do with the home, whether it be functional or purely decorative.  My mind is usually overflowing with ideas that, in a perfect world, would always be carried out.  However, I have more ideas than hours in the day.  I currently man my store by myself, meaning that my days are spent talking with customers and working in the back of my store in the workshop area I created.


How did you learn your crafting skills?
Trial and error.  I like to experiment with different furniture painting techniques.  Trying a little bit of this with a little bit of that and seeing what I get.  Sometimes it’s awesome, other times not so much.  My first roadside find was an antique dresser that I stripped and refinished while I was in college.  I still have it – mostly for sentimental purposes.  It was my first refinishing project and when I look back at those early days, it’s amazing how far my abilities have come!

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop/website/blog?
I was in a job I was no longer happy with.  My husband and I were at a point where we said “If we don’t do this now, when will we?”  That’s really all it took.  I always had a pipe dream of opening a shop where I sold all of the things I created, I just never thought it would actually happen!  I consider myself very fortunate to be able to do what I love every day.


What is your favorite item in your shop, and why?
I’ve worked on so many pieces of furniture that have come and gone and I’ve had an attachment to all of them!  But currently, I would have to say my favorite is a dresser I painted to look like a Craftsman rolling tool chest.  It’s the second one I’ve done like that (the first was a gift for Dan) and it’s just really cool because people always have to look twice at it before realizing it’s wood, not metal!

tool chest

What are your inspirations?
I really enjoy reading other blogs and following Facebook pages of businesses that are similar to mine.  I only peruse Pinterest while I’m eating lunch – as a sort of mind-numbing moment to just zone out.  I find it waaay too saturated with ideas to actually concentrate on any one thing.  Even in this day and age, I still find it much more enjoyable to open a new design/DIY magazine instead.  I also just really enjoy talking one-on-one with other like-minded people.  It’s a great way to bounce ideas off of one another.

What piece of advice do you wish you could’ve given yourself when you started your shop?
Have confidence!  It’s something I admittedly still struggle with from time to time.  I think, in the creative world especially, that it is SO hard to take criticism some times.  I put so much thought and time and heart into the pieces I work on – it’s like a piece of me is in everything I create.  I really had to learn to be confident in myself and my abilities so that I could move forward with this dream and not be hindered my my own apprehensions.


Next month (November) marks our one year anniversary and the start of our whole new store!  We will be moving to a larger location close-by that will feature other artists and designers who create awesome redesigned and repurposed furniture and accessories for the home.  My goal is to move as little of my current inventory as possible (less work, less stress!) so if you mention Linden Hill in the shop before November 1st, you can take 15% off any item not already on sale!

Thank you to Jessica for sharing her story with us!

Would you like to be featured on the Linden Hill blog?


Handmade Feature: Sassyfrass

It’s time for a Handmade Artist Feature! 

Today I am pleased to introduce to you: Sassyfrass

Hello! My name is Jess, artist, thirtyish, mamma, ovarian cancer survivor, living in Canton, Ohio.
My days are spent in between a variety off country towns lately! Lol! I have been in business for ten years, but just opened a store as part of a collaborative shop called Modern Vintage in Hartville,Ohio. I am also the exclusive jeweler at Rust and Found in Canal Fulton, Ohio…although we’re only open one weekend a month there! I enjoy the hunting that accompanies my art…today for example, I spent 4 hours digging through broken vintage jewelry…50 boxes of it…in order to find just the right pieces and parts for my creations. So, hobbies are junking, spending time with my little family, reading, and honing my collections. I’m super thrilled with wool rugs, vintage drums, antique carnival prizes, and vintage dental items right now! Lol!

I started making jewelry in my early teens, completely self taught, and have also taken classes to further my knowledge on things like silversmithing and ceramics.

I ran the local bead shop in my town up until early this year, so having to constantly be on top of trends taught me to teach myself all the new things! I have considered myself an artist my entire life, and although my degree is in Historic Preservation, I find that I have used parts of it in what I do as well.

I had been dissatisfied with feeling like I couldn’t progress any further in my field while working for someone else. I have been doing Sassyfrass as a solid side business for at least the past six years, so when the opportunity to have a shop space came about I decided to just go for it. With risk comes reward, or so they say…I totally believe them now, and couldn’t be happier! There is something so perfect about doing what you love everyday…it’s quite wonderful!

8167926_origMy favorite items are my asymmetrical earrings. I have been making these for so long, trying to get this area to”catch on” to the idea that wearing two different earrings is okay!

Each one compliments the other in some way and I try to tell little stories with them…or create a theme for each pair. They are all named and completely one of a kind.

It normally takes me anywhere from one to sometimes three hours to put a pair together completely. Some sit for awhile to wait for an exactly perfect component, or for me to create its counterpart…so they really are a labor of time and contemplation.

Inspiration for me comes a lot from watching my friends and peers creating lives that they love. A good deal of my friends run their own businesses and I have to say that to me, it’s so impressive, especially for our area. The fact that the artists, designers, computer nerds, and craftsmen can make a living without having to rely on someone else is amazing to me. ” Making Nice In The Midwest” , “Akron Empire” , “Rust and Found” , “Two Amused Booshes”….there are so many blogs, but those are the local ones that come to mind.

The only advice I’d like to give myself is that I’d wish I’d done it sooner. If I could have given myself a confidence boost a couple of years ago, that would have been awesome! I think that’s something that a lot of artists deal with though. 🙂 (or maybe just girls)

If readers mention seeing me on Linden Hill in the store, they can take 10% off their Sassyfrass purchase. 

Thank you to Jess for sharing her story with us!

Would you like to be featured on the Linden Hill blog?