Giveaways and Reviews

Handmade Soap Review and Giveaway: The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

I want to kick off my up-coming post about the next steps in making Calcei with a giveaway of an ancient cleansing product. I originally believed Ancient Romans used olive oil based soaps to cleanse themselves, but after some research I learned many things I didn’t know about our ancestors’ bathing habits and the evolution of soap.

Castile Soap

For the most part the Romans didn’t use soap to clean their bodies – it was used for cleaning clothes. Instead, they would rub olive oil on their skin, sometimes mixed with sand, then scrape it off with a curved tool called a strigil. Soap’s use in personal care increased as people discovered the benefits of using it.

At any rate, I feel like a handmade, olive oil based soap is as close to ancient roman cleansing as I’d like to get – no oil, sand, and scraping for me, thanks! I promised more giveaways for 2014 and what better way to start off the new year than with natural handmade soap?! You know. . . wash away the old grime of twenty-thirteen and start fresh and clean in twenty-fourteen.

I had the privilege of working with the Mohawk Valley Trading Company over the past several years and I was given the opportunity to sample a few of their soap varieties. I especially like the castile soap because it has no animal products in it whatsoever – I’m not a vegan, I just like that it uses an alternative to tallow because personally, it just seems more natural to wash myself with plants than it does animal fat.

Handmade Soaps From The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

I was able to try the castile, goat’s milk lavender, tea tree oil, sage, pine, and rose soaps. The sage and pine seemed like they’d be good for clearing your sinuses if you use them in a hot shower. I was surprised at how much I liked the rose scent because I don’t typically like floral fragrances and rose tends to be overpowering. Most of the time rose scented soaps smell like old lady, but this one is mild – probably because it’s natural and not some manufactured “rose-like” scent.

All the soaps left my skin feeling smooth and not dried out like a lot of “beauty bars” and “moisturizing bars.” My favorite was definitely the castile; I love the smell, and the way my skin feels after I use it; soft and smooth.

Castile Soap From The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

About Mohawk Valley Trading Company Soaps

Mohawk Valley Trading Company Natural Handmade Soaps are made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic or artificial fragrances, dyes, detergents, preservatives or any other toxic or harmful surfactants, degreasers, plasticizers, reproductive toxins, pesticides, carcinogens, industrial chemicals or hormone disruptors.

Instead, they are made with:

Goat’s milk, shea butter, natural plant oils including; olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, palm oil, castor bean oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and other botanical sources such as fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts.

• 100% natural plant-based essential oils distilled or pressed from fresh citrus peels, flower petals, spices, leaves, herbs and other naturally fragrant botanical materials.

• Beeswax and raw honey.

I know what you’re thinking; “Enough about soap already! What’s the giveaway?!!” Enter below for your chance to receive one bar each of goat’s milk lavender, castile, sage, rose, and pine soaps. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Handmade Soap From The Mohawk Valley Trading Company

Terms and conditions:

  • You must be 18 years or older to enter.
  • The Mohawk Valley Trading Company will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end.
  • Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

Click here to enter the Soap Giveaway

*Please note that you will be directed to another site*

Art, Design, and Illustration Portfolio Gets a Fresh New Look

It’s been months in the making (for no good reason other than life is busy so I’ve been picking at it here and there) and here it is! The Kerrminator’s Art, Design, and Illustration online portfolio gets a facelift for twenty fourteen! I’ve revamped it a bit with a new color palette, some new design elements, added some pieces from 2013, and I’m now on more social media that I can’t seem to keep up with! Hurray!

Kerrminator Logo

2014 looks to be a fantastic year for me and I look forward to sharing more of my projects, rants, advice, and I PROMISE I’ll do more giveaways! Thank you all for making 2013 a great year for The Kerrminator’s blog. I had more views this year than the previous two years combined!

On the docket for the coming months includes my tips on designing logos for embroidery, the next section on making roman calcei, and so much more!

Keep checking in, or better yet, subscribe! Or follow me using your preferred big brother method listed below:


Happy New Year, internet friends!



Winner of MMA-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Custom Polo Shirt Giveaway 1

Congratulations YANES! You are the lucky winner of a custom Jiu Jitsu polo shirt!

You have been contacted by email and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. Crooked Brook will ship the polo to you within 30 days of contest end. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes.

Enjoy, Yanes!

Thank you to everyone who participated and check back often (or subscribe on the left) for more giveaways in the near future 😉 Free stuff! Why wouldn’t you want in on that?

MMA-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Custom Polo Shirt Giveaway!

Guess what, my avid readers and embroidery fans! We’ve been talking so much about embroidery lately, I think it’s time to announce that I have teamed up with my friends at Crooked Brook to sponsor an embroidered polo shirt giveaway!

This polo shirt is the first of a fresh new series of martial arts designs they’re releasing. The polo shirt is embroidered with the flags of Japan, Brazil, the USA, and the Jiu Jitsu kanji on the back with the Jiu Jitsu kanji on the left front chest.

Polo shirts are another inexpensive yet cost effective marketing tool. More casual than button-front shirts and dressier than t-shirts, embroidered polo shirts are part of the uniform for many businesses.

Polo shirts are also called “polos” or tennis shirts and they became so popular on golf courses, people started calling them golf shirts. Although the words “polo shirt” and “golf shirt” are used interchangeably, the term “polo shirt” is more popular.

Polo shirts embroidered with a company logo given as gifts or giveaways are called promotional polo shirts or golf shirts and are great way to get your name out there and build brand awareness.

These giveaways are first quality, polo shirts from Crooked Brook’s inventory and the brand will be determined by what they have in stock at the time the winner is announced. The winner will be chosen randomly, from those who post a comment BELOW with an answer to this question;

What gender and size polo shirt would you like to win?

Terms & Conditions:

You must be 18 years or older to enter. Contest ends midnight (Eastern Standard Time) 08/09/13. The winner will be chosen by me and contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. Crooked Brook will ship the prize to the winner within 30 days of contest end. Physical address required for shipping; no PO boxes, US recipients only residing in one of the 48 contiguous states.

Happy Winning!

And The Winner IS. . .!!!

Drumroll Please, Mr. Scott!

The winner of the raffle is. . .

Congrats Denise! Thanks so much for *liking* my facebook page! 😀 😀 😀

So, as I said before, you won a custom 10″ x 14″ drawing of a subject of your choice. It can be a portrait of you, your kids, your whole family, an illustration of your house, your favorite place, your dream car; anything or anyone you desire (unless of course I deem it way out of my league lol). I’ll be in touch to discuss the details of what you’d like!

To all other participants, thank you for helping expand my reach and making this an exciting raffle! To all those who wanted to participate, but saw the posts too late please *like* my Art and Design page on facebook so you stay connected in case one of these raffles happens again in a few months. *Wink-wink!* I’ll publish the drawing I complete for Denise so you can see what you can get in on next time. Of course if you just can’t wait, you can always order a commissioned piece from me anytime 😉

Thanks everyone! Again, Congrats to Denise!!

Enter into Raffle for FREE Custom drawing!

***UPDATE*** Winner of Art Raffle announced HERE!!


Hey all!

I’m going to make this a speedy post and fill in all the details later because time is running out!

I’m starting up a little raffle for all my followers! So here’s the deal. . . Do one of the following:

*Like* my facebook page


*Share* my facebook post about the contest


*Re-Blog* this article

Do all three and you get three entries (same for 2)!

The winner of the raffle will receive a custom 10″ X 14″ drawing with a mat. So, share, SHAre, SHARE!!! You have until tonight at 11:59pm PST!!! Winner will be announced over this Memorial Day Weekend!

***UPDATE*** Winner of Art Raffle announced HERE!!!

Art Projects Potpourri #2!

I really need to do this more often! Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I’ve been involved in a bunch of different projects and I’m dumping all these into one big post.

To start, I’ve decided to become a PartyLite Independent Consultant! Wahoo! I’m not sure yet if it suits my personality, but I need me some sales experience and people skills! I’m hosting an online-only party this weekend and I’m finding I have a REALLY small circle! If you’re interested in ordering I’d appreciate it and I’m even giving out FREE tea light candles in a scent of your choice if you order this weekend at my party!

My consultant website is, click on the purple bar that says “Click here to look up your Host if you’re placing an order for a Party” and type in my name, Sara Kerr, in order to connect to the party. After you do that, any orders you place will be applied to the party and I’ll be able to contact you to give you your FREE tea lights! FYI, these tea-lights last 4-6 hours!

Now that I’m done with my PartyLite spiel, some other things I’ve been up to. . . I’m working on a new item to add to my Etsy page which, I don’t want to give too much away about it, but I will tell you it involves coconut shells, air plants, jute, and poplar. 😉

This last week I finally got the lead out of my ass, stretched a canvas, and did what I’ve been longing to do. . . drop water balloons filled with paint onto it! YEAH! I originally came across this technique while in a high school art class. I had the best teacher ever! She let me put a 3’x3′ canvas on the lawn of the school directly below her 2nd floor window and drop paint-filled water balloons onto it.

We first used bottles of tempera paint and tried to create an image that way, but I wasn’t too thrilled with how it was turning out. So, after letting that dry for a day (or three) one of us, or maybe it was another student suggested the water balloons. . . I don’t remember who it was, but whoever did, was a genius! I squeezed some acrylic paint from tubes into the balloons, stretched them over the faucets and filled them the rest of the way with water. Then we finally dropped them out the window onto the canvas.

It. Was. Awesome.

As I recall one of the first balloons dropped didn’t pop on impact. It got a tiny hole in it when it bounced off the canvas, then proceeded to roll down the hill next to a car, nearly spraying it with paint. I ran down out the door, down the stairs, and out the front doors so fast only to find a white patch on the school parking lot. OOPS! At least it didn’t get on whoever’s car that was.

I ended up painting over the entire canvas and taking it in a totally different direction, but I have always looked back at the technique as something worth doing again, and not because its shit-tons of fun, but because it creates a really interesting surface to work on.

This is the resultant painting. You can’t see it very well from this picture, but there is some cracking and bumpy texturing that adds to the impact of the piece.

Oh right, so the whole point of me telling you this is because I did it again last week. This time, since I live in an apartment complex, I had to do it in my garage. And being that I don’t want to get paint all over my apartment I had to fill the balloons out there as well. I taped up the garage Dexter-style (well if Dexter was suddenly super lazy and nonchalant about hanging his plastic) with old plastic sheets from fabric rolls and garbage bags.

Squeezing the paint into the balloons was essentially the same, but being that I don’t have a sink in the garage, I used a straw and bottle to fill the balloons with water. It was trickier and more time consuming, so I only filled two balloons.

After three attempts to pop the balloons they finally exploded rather splatter-tasticallly. I need less-holey plastic next time though because it shot through the gaps and holes and went 4-5 feet into the garage. What’s art without a little mess, right? The image on the left is where it stands as of yesterday. It’s the start of something. What, I do not know. I did come up with an idea while I was working on this, for a series of sarcastic propaganda posters. I’ll get into that another day though since this post is already longer than I expected! 🙂

The other things I’ve been working on is setting up a few more social networking sites for both my art, and my PartyLite Consulting biz. I joined Twitter and I may regret that later, but it won’t hurt to give it a whirl! (I hope). If you’re a twit, or tweeter, or whatever you call yourselves, please follow The Kerrminator on twitter! I try to keep it all strictly art-related so I don’t bog down your feed with political or personal bull crap.

I just recently created a Facebook page specifically for my art-doings as well.  Check out Thekerrminator on Facebook! Make sure you *like* it and tell your friends to *like* it as well 🙂

Lastly, I made a Facebook page for my PartyLite Consulting Biz. Be sure to like my “PartyLite with The Kerrminator” Facebook page too, as I’ll be using it to post monthly specials, host and guest rewards, giveaways, party info, and consulting opportunities. Don’t forget to get in on my party going on today and tomorrow and get in on some free tea-lights!

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for liking my pages! Happy Spring, everyone!

Interested in bi-monthly art giveaways?!

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Even if it’s free paper clips; It’s just fun getting stuff for nothing! 😀

I’ve been contemplating a giveaway for a while, but now I’m thinking if there is enough interest, why not do one every couple months?

However, before I commit to this I want to get an idea of how much interest there is in my art/photography/design “stuff.” I’ll call this my “Test Giveaway” because what would be more embarrassing than asking for likes/comments and ending up with no replies? Heh. . .

For the Test Giveaway I’ll be giving away note cards! They’re printed with a photograph I took last summer of a pair of mushrooms growing on a moss-covered branch I came across while hiking at Tryon Creek State Park in Portland, Oregon.

For the first and fifth commenters, you will each receive one of these note cards!

I know it’s not much, but it’s just a test. After liking/commenting I’ll send you an email (make sure you provide an email address 😉 ) asking for your mailing address and in a few days voila! Note card delivered!

I like doing the note cards, but I’m open to suggestions on giveaway items so please offer up some ideas! We’re brainstorming so no idea is bad (I might come to regret saying that later). I included a couple silly ideas (and of course some serious ones as well) to get the flow of ideas started: