Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day!

Leap Day! One extra day this month. One more day to shuffle my stuff around here in preparation for a show next week. Dang, it's hard to do the very first one. I must have turned into a slacker during the last month. Oh, that's right. I already was a slacker.

I got a notice in the mail yesterday that the sales tax rate is going to increase here locally. The new rate in Seattle, King County, Bellevue, etc. changes as of April 1st - from 8.9% to a full 9%. Yowza. I hate to have to make the change for my customers. But I hate to have to pay it myself too - for everything I buy. And right now, in the midst of a recession (or slow down, or brink of economic havoc or whatever you call it). Gas prices are going up too. Groceries are higher than ever. And the financial predictions keep saying it's going to get worse. What's up with all this bad news?

Can't think about it. Today is a super busy one. And I just finished my bookkeeping for this month - it was record-breaking good for a February. Guess I'll have to pinch all those pennies for next month, ooooch.

Happy Friday! I'd be giddy about the fact that it's almost the weekend, but I have to work all weekend. So I'll just be half giddy for everybody else. We're marching into March -and that means flowers and spring are finally here. The birds are back and singing sweetly. That's giddy-making enough for me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I can't decide anything

If you've popped into the blog today, you may have seen one of like a gajillion different versions, with different styles, different colors, different photos for the heading. I am now certifiably nutso. I can't decide one single thing.

Should I go for all the cool colors and boxes? Or should I go plain and simple with a white background and black text? I've tried about 4 different pictures at the top, from funky, to cool design, to just pretty stuff. My head is spinning and I need lunch.

So, I'm just going to walk away for today. It's like this just for now. If you love it, let me know. If you stopped by and hated it, let me know. And like always, if you could care less, then just ignore the commotion.

I think it all starts with the picture up top. I want a new one, and need to figure that out first.

Pardon my dust while I do a little redecorating in here over the next few days.

March Shows

I am participating in 2 shows in March, and wanted to post details in advance, so folks can plan ahead or have time to contact me with questions or requests.

Echo Falls

Starving Housewives at Echo Falls Country Club
20414 - 121st Ave SE
Snohomish, WA (Maltby)

Dates: Tuesday through Saturday, March 4 - 8, 2008
Times: Tues-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm

This is a boutique style show with a central cashier. Wonderful handcrafts and charming antiques. Look for one-of-a-kind gifts! New longer hours on Saturday. Stop by the Greenside Grill - open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Link: Starving Housewives

Best of the Northwest - Spring Show

Our 12th Spring show moves downtown to Qwest Field Plaza. This will be our debut show at this facility. A seasonal exposition showcasing over 220 artisans presenting the best in American crafts and fine art.

Dates: March 14, 15 and 16, 2008
Hours: Friday 12 noon to 8pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 6pm
Location: Qwest Field Plaza, 800 Occidental Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98134
Ticket Price: $8.00

Link: Northwest Crafts Alliance
Link: Qwest Field - Getting There

I've got a handful of free tickets for this one, so if you're planning on attending this show and think a freebie would be cool, call or email me. I'll give them away until they are gone.

Wow, I haven't packed up for a show for a whole 3 months or something. It feels really weird, so much to remember. Where did I put everything? What happened to all those great ideas I had to spiffy up the booth? I can't believe it's almost March already - I think I really need that extra day this month.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The name of this darling little shop in NYC is Fishs Eddy. Coolest dishes ever.

I, however, am feeling decidedly uncool today. I'm bored with the blog, and the same old plotz that I've been doing lately. I want to change it all up and make it cool again, with new colors, new links, better photos of stuff. You know what happened -- I was surfing around some cool indie handmade sites, and browsing stuff at Etsy, and realizing that there is so. much. cooler. stuff out there.

But I've got a full day with several long-winded errands and I can't spend any more time in front of the computer. I'm making notes and hoping I can work on it soon, maybe over the weekend. I need to kick myself into gear and start working a little harder than I have been this last month. You know, get with the program. I'm usually a little more ambitious and motivated, but this has been a particularly lazy month. Which is ok, but it can't last forever. March is the beginning of shows again. In fact, I set up the very first one on Sunday.

If I had a million dollars and cabinet space for days I would get all of these from Fishs Eddy, and probably more:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Telemarketers Be Gone

I think I blogged about the Do Not Call list a while back. I had heard that the bill which covered the Do Not Call registry had expired, and I had quite suddenly been deluged with telemarketing calls all day. My blissfully quiet days were gone.

Well, after a particularly aggravating few days last week, I decided to do a little googling to find out what happened to the registry and why I was being hounded.

The bottom line is: it was signed back into law.

"On Friday, February 15, 2008, the President signed into law:
H.R. 3541, the "Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007," which prohibits the automatic removal of telephone numbers registered on the Federal "do-not-call" registry; and

S. 781, the "Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007," which extends permanently the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to charge fees to telemarketers required to access the Federal "do-not-call" registry and specifies the fees to be charged."

Hooray! I think what happened to me in particular was the 5 year limit ran out. I signed up probably on the first or second day of its existence in 2003 and my number just fell off the list early or something. I noticed a pretty radical change in phone calls all of a sudden last fall. Anyway, the good news is that it's back on, and you don't need to remember to go back every so often to sign up again.

Go HERE right now to register your home phone, your cell phones, everything. Even if you've done it in the past, just do it again to be sure. Because telemarketers are such a bore and have such bad timing.


This is the coolest thing ever! I just ordered one and can hardly wait until it arrives. It's so perfect, it's unbelievable.

It's a Nature Mill compost machine. You add your food scraps to it all day long and it makes compost for your garden in 2 weeks. Perfect, gorgeous compost. No smell, only 5 kw of power a month, and no stinky garbage disposal or yard waste bin. I don't normally advertise or plug stuff here, but when came acroos this fabulous new item, I just couldn't keep it to myself. Yay - no more smelly catfood in the sink, no more rotting onion skins in the yard waste bin collecting maggots! Plus my little plants outside will get healthy servings of yummy compost all year long. Seriously, a dream come true.

End of annoying promotion.

Another sunny day! All the windows open and sun streaming in everywhere. It makes me so darn happy. Unfortch, I need to get a little computer work done today, and I'm stuck in the dark basement studio for a couple of hours. But I'm taking it in small chunks, running upstairs to poke my head out into the sun and watch the cats chasing around the back yard.

I'm percolating summer seasonal stuff. If you have a great idea for a soap scent, bath salt scent, lip balm flavor that you really want to see me do, leave a comment here or shoot me an email. Tropical, coconut, cucumber, some new version of Beach House? A repeat of something I've done in the past that you really miss? I truly value any feedback I get, so give me a holler.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday afternoon

Ooh, pretty little postcard graphic. I have no idea what "many happy returns of the day" means. At all. But this has been a mostly happy day and if it returns tomorrow, like groundhog day, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed.

It's been a stunningly beautiful day - warm, sunny and stress free. I've been working on some new scent combinations for the summer seasonals and the upcoming spring shows. I want to bring some new bath salts to my first two shows in a couple of weeks. So I'm fiddling about in the studio, mixing and blending and rooting around for leftover bits I can I recycle to make something brand new. And then I got a little distracted and starting putzing around with a new cd of copyright-free artwork that I can work into new labels.

I do not have photoshop or any other graphics type softwear, it's all cut and paste with my little collages and labels. So I'm playing around with a couple of ideas. I'm really into vintage birds at the moment, but that doesn't quite represent bath salts or any particular scent.

It's all half-baked, and nothing is finished or finalized, but it didn't have to be. It's just playing, for now. A perfect Friday afternoon. The cats are lazing in the sunny windows and chasing flies. Maybe a quick run to the post office for the last time this week, and then a nap. Sounds pretty good.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A few news bits

In my slow plod to the finish line last week, I managed to teach myself a few new webmaster tricks. I'm starting to build a website for Collage, which we want to introduce any day now. But it's a collection of a whole bunch of people with their own ideas. And it takes time to get really super photos of every artist's work. So we're putting finishing touches on that this week. My hope is that it's done next week and we can start hooting and hollering about it.

But I figured out how to add the coding for maps in a web site. So I've added maps to my Shops section of my own site, which is a cool feature - and I hope, helpful for anybody who is interested in heading over to find one of the shops. All of them have the new spring stuff in them. Even D Avenue Nursery in Anacortes! Ruth had a rough time last year when her husband died suddenly, but her daughter has been helping get the place moving along, and they've added a little coffee counter in the gift shop, called Supreme Bean. It's still early for plants, but they are hoping that customers will stop in for quick visits even during the winter months - have a latte and pick up a little gift item (like a bar of breakfast soap, hint).

Product update: maybe somebody has wondered where in the heck the little lip balm tins have gone. Well, the story is that I have been carrying those little slider tins for years - but it's been a challenge to maintain a supplier for them. The first company I bought from went out of business. There was a small lapse and I found a new gal, but they were sort of expensive, far away and shipping was quite a bit of expense too. I continued to search for a better answer and finally found a (sort of) close by supplier who had much better prices. I kept going with them, but I was getting more disappointed with the quality - lots had loose lids or were dented.

So in late fall, I just decided not to re-order and try a whole new tin, packaging and look for the holidays. It was a bit of an experiment to see how that would go - everything from the process, to the look, to the cost, and how well they would be received. It was so-so and probably not long enough of an experiment. In the meantime, the supplier stopped carrying those sliding tins. Oh no, not again. The manufacturer had closed them out.

The last month has been a mix of searching high and low for the sliding tins, waiting to decide what I wanted to do, and just basically holding off on any decision for the moment while I worked through the big Spring newsletter push. The lip balms have been mysteriously absent.

Insert horn toot. I just found another supplier for the sliding tins. And they are even more local and reasonably priced. I have to work through a few leftover cases of old tins, and see if the new tins are going to be a bit better quality. But I've just ordered today and they haven't arrived yet. I'll do a little manfacturing mumbo jumbo here in the next few weeks - check it all out. And then I'm hoping to have the good old lip balms back in action by early March. Good? Yes? Anybody out there care at all? I haven't gotten frantic calls or complaints yet, so maybe you're still finishing up the eggnog stuff from November?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Turtle-ing Around

A cheery President's Day to you. Hopefully you are out enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and warmer weather we are having this weekend. What a nice surprise.

When I checked in this morning, I couldn't believe it's been almost a week since I last felt like I had something to blog about. I actually still don't have much today, but I was starting to miss this place. I've just been turtle-ing around all week. Which basically means moving super slow. But still moving, nonetheless! I just haven't had much energy or motivation to truly get stuff done or be productive. There's no flow, no "aha" moments, no creativity.

When we were in Hawaii a few weeks ago, we had gotten special little disposable underwater cameras to take snorkeling with us. I just got the photos back and they are pretty dumb - colorless, grainy and mostly missing all the gorgeous fish we thought we were seeing. But we putzed around in the water with some giant sea turtle one day, and he started swimming right at me and my camera. I thought for sure I had gotten some extreme Jacque Cousteau footage, and ended up with this one ridiculous head shot which barely made the corner of the photo, plus a bunch of shadowy, murky shapes. My GOD he was close, eh? I thought he was going to smack me with a flipper and I couldn't back away fast enough.

I've been feeling mostly like this guy swimming - clumsy, slow, sort of random and unfocused, underwater and paddling away in a pond of seaweed. I have an ambitious list of projects I wanted to accomplish this month, but I'm just able to get the bare minimum done. I'm grateful for at least that much, though. Orders are getting out on time. Some of the production is still happening, though just enough. And all the big house projects, excursions, exercise plans, etc. are just waiting for a new day. One in which I wake up energized and rarin' to go. That just isn't happening. Maybe I'm just missing the sun. And if that's true, I'm going to need more than 2 days of it.

Let's get spring under way here! I'm so impatiently waiting to see my garden bust open. I go out every day, to nip, to fluff, to shape dead stuff that has just the slightest hint that a leaf or two are approaching. The few bulbs poking out have promptly been chomped off by slugs. The first few new shoots got hit a couple too many nights with frost and have withered. There might be a little pink bud or two on the bushes, yes, yes, I think it's alive. But I'm dying to see how it all turns out.

The neighbors next door spent the week chopping trees. What used to be a row of 4 great big maples is now razored off stumps and decimation. It's so sad. They really did have to go, and I knew it. But it looks worse than awful now. I'm trying to be glad that it's around the corner from my view and not directly across the street. And to be happy that I'll have a lot more sun in the back yard, especially now when I need it most. Change. There's always change. Sometimes it hops along like a jack-rabbit.

But mostly it just turtles along in little stops and starts and small things - only adding up to something significant when you look back on it all much later. The important thing is to just keep moving, I guess. So I'm turtle-ing along until the flow catches up with me again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Flowers? chocolates? champagne? hugs and kisses?

What's not to love about this day?

Pink, my favorite color. At least today, anyway. Like creme brulee with raspberries, mmmmm.

Happy sweetie day to you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

noodles for lunch today?

yes, quite.

suffering from some sort of stupid virus. no energy. super sore throat. coughing.

everyone else in the whole world apparently has it too. everyone i've talked to, everyone on the bus, everyone in everyone else's office too. flu season sux.

thanx for all the orders coming in from the spring newsletter. i'm working on all of them as quickly as possible - between bouts of coughing my head off, short naps and breaks for tea. it's all still on time for now, nothing late - yet.

caucusing on sat was really fun! this is going to be an interesting year, eh? i met so many new neighbors i never even knew i had - we had 10 times more people show up than 2004!

in my netflix queue: Rosemary & Thyme - those 2 nosy parker gardner ladies that solve mysteries, a BBC tv show. it goes so nicely with soup, tea, cookies (bicuits) and blankies.

noodles for lunch today? yes, quite.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Plastic Soup

Have you heard about the island of plastic debris that floats around Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? It's now twice the size of the US. "The vast expanse of debris – in effect the world's largest rubbish dump – is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan."

Read the full article here. I had heard a bit about it before, but there are new studies out and it's absolutely horrifying. 100 million tons of garbage.

"Plastic is believed to constitute 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the oceans. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic." And the article further warns, "that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, the plastic stew would double in size over the next decade."

This was one of the very first news-y stories I read this morning, and I clicked around to read more. Totally disgusted, I then heard the familiar "bomb" of the UPS guy dropping delivery boxes on the front porch. Of course it was the plastic bags I just ordered for shows this year. You might remember that I was agonizing over the paper vs plastic debate for my own little shows and sales. It invariably rains here in the Pacific Northwest and the soap gets ruined in paper sacks. So I searched long and hard to find 100% recycled materials, made in the US bags. The above photo is the cute little design - added bonus.

But of course they arrive today when I am reading about how every single bottle cap, 6-pack ring, bag, etc has made its way into the middle of the ocean and killing untold millions of sea creatures. Ugh.

I guess I'll still need to use them sometimes, but I'm back to paper primarily. I read an article last night that listed decomposition times for these things. It's 1 to 5 months for a paper bag. It's decades for plastic bags. My new recycled plastic bags: "contain 100% recycled plastic which consists of a minimum of 10% Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) and is made in the USA from high quality domestic resins in a clean environmentally rated facility. It also is degradable by the addition of a special additive that allows the bag to degrade in the presence of oxygen. The wildflower design is printed with water-based inks.

Maybe that's the best I can do for now. But I'm still looking for alternatives. Would anyone pay a few extra dollars for canvas bags? Maybe this summer everyone will already have their own tote bags and the little paper sack will be all I need (to keep it from dinging and smelling up other purchases).

I'm trying to keep my "less, less, less" mantra top of mind this year. Trying to leave a smaller footprint. Less of everything, and the business is part of it. There will be less packaging, less ingredients and accessories that need to be packed and shipped from afar. Less buying of anything. Less using of anything. It all seems to go together while we're heading into a bad recession year too. Yikes, it's all scary bad news, isn't it?

Positive note: tomorrow is the Valentine's Sweet Treat day at Collage. 10% off all your purchases. Home-baked sweet treats to munch on. I made red-hot brownies. Parking is free. We are open late - 10am to 8pm. Skip all the crowds at the Hillary and Obama events (heh, now they remember lonely little Seattle) and make a date to go shopping instead.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tuesday. Super.

Hey dee ho, it's Super Tuesday. And another day of stock market turmoil. At this rate, my miniscule retirement fund will be enough to buy me a latte when I turn 75. In all this mind-boggling muddle of what the heck a delegate is, and what kind of crazy person invented this insane delegate system (gaw, probably the same ones who invented that cracked electoral college system) . . .

well, I was sort of wondering to myself about "hope" and "change" and the like. Is there an age-limit on all this hope business? I'm not even that old, but I know that I certainly don't feel quite the same about hope and change as I once did. There's a certain amount of cynicism that happens during a lifetime of big and little disappointments. Ah, Hope Floats. There is nothing in life except change. All those cliches. And yet there really is a feeling out there that we can and must do something different, better even, than what we've been slogging through. I've got pizza and a bottle of wine tonight, to watch the teevee in all it's mind numbing boring punditry and ridiculousness. I guess I've still got a little hope left . . I'm hoping that we'll have some sort of answer and not just a Punxatawny Phil moment with an announcement of several more months of the same.


More sharing: I give myself a few minutes of shallow cyber surfing with my lunch on most days. Today I had to give up the news and politicking and go even shallower - to TMZ for news of BritBrit or some other celebrity fall from grace. What I found was their little section called "Memba Them?!" It's a photo gallery of long forgotten celebs with a little side-by-side comparison of them in their most glorious studio shots from their heyday, with a recent photo of them somewhere, obviously aged quite a bit. Most of them are in their mid-50's to 70 now, so the difference is huge. Age is not pretty when seen over and over again as you scroll through the photo gallery. Why do all those older women wear that weird burgundy or rust-colored eyeliner and eye shadow? I'm so scared to get older now. Not another year, please, while I still have my neck. And seriously, Sally Kellerman? once you're in you're 70's it's not believeable that you're still rocking those blonde long locks anymore. The whole thing is spooky scary. I almost had to watch with one eye covered as I clicked through. The wrinkles, the super red eyes, the weirdest hair and make-up ever.

I will admit, some are still looking good. Obviously women did a little better than men, what with all the hair color, make up tricks and fancy face creams. I guess I'm just reaching that age when it's all downhill now, and I'm looking forward - just to know what to expect. I was flipping the remote the other night when I hit on that new Dr. Drew celeb rehab show. I was absolutely SHOCKED to see that Brigitte Nielsen (ex-wife of Stallone and ex-lover of Flava Flav) looked like she was in her 60's. She's only in her early 40's! That's what hard living (or loving) will do to a gal, I guess. Maybe I should trade the pizza and wine tonight for brown rice and wheat grass juice instead? Oy, it hurts my head to think about it all. I'm going for vitamins.


More sharing: while in Hawaii last week (sniff, it's already over a week now) I gave up on sunscreen and just wore long sleeves most of the time. I'm trying to save my skin now, and I know it's probably already too late. But a year ago in Mexico we all used the 30 and 45 versions (brand new bottles!) and we all got sunburns. I hate that feeling, and didn't want a minute of sunburn this time. Sis wore the sunscreens religiously and got some kind of huge rash reaction to one of them. Mom reported that she used some other kind of sunscreen (a 45) just this week in Hilo and got an unbelievable burn on her chest. No other body parts got even pink, just the part that got slathered in sunscreen. Something very fishy is going on here. I'm skeeered of sunscreens now. I'm sticking with sleeves.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Spring Newsletter

The printed newsletter is shipping off today via snail mail. I'm posting it here too, just to catch anyone who might not be on the mailing list. And if you'd like to be added to the list - shoot me an email or sign up on the website HERE. I send them out 4 times a year (Feb, May, Sept, Nov) to keep you updated on all the new seasonal products and my show schedule. Without any further ado --

Spring News

If you’ve opened your mailbox and found my cheery little spring newsletter, and then looked out the window – yes, it’s still pretty darn cold, gray and rainy. Hardly spring yet. But it’s coming, I know it, because the days are getting just a wee bit longer. February is a little brighter, a little warmer, and the tiny tops of little green things begin poking out of the ground. Spring brings the wonder of new life - and with it, the inspiration for new beginnings, its cheery optimism daring you to try that new thing too.

More of a good thing . . .

Is even better! I’m taking it up a notch this year and tweaking the standard recipe on all the soap bars to include some organic shea butter and organic hemp seed oil for super luxurious moisturizing and a more lush and plushy feel to the lather. If you’ve tried the Bergamot Shea Butter soap or the Rosemary Orange Hemp soap, which I added last year, all the bars will have that same creaminess and nourishing feel.

African healers have used shea butter for thousands of years as the ideal treatment for dry or aging skin. Its high content of fatty acids gives it the ability to moisturize and retain elasticity in the skin while helping to protect against the damaging effects of the sun and repairing cellular degeneration. I am using pure, unrefined, unbleached shea butter in its most natural state as an added nutrient in all my bars.

Hemp seed oil is one of the world’s richest sources of essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) and Vitamin E in the plant kingdom, making it a top natural choice for healing dry or damaged skin, and reversing the effects of sun and aging. Hemp oil’s healing enzymes and vitamins absorb directly into the skin, replenishing and repairing. The best part? Prices are still the same as always - $4 each or 4 bars for $15.00.

New Additions to the List

During the course of last year, I created a few soap bars that were such big hits I continued to make them. This year they are officially on the regular list and will be available all year long. ($4.00 each or 4 bars for $15.00)

Almond Lemon Goat Milk – Goat milk, rich in proteins and calcium, is renowned for its moisturizing and replenishing abilities, and gentle nature - being the soap of choice for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions. This recipe uses pure, fresh, raw, organic goat milk, not powdered or tinned milk, for a truly luxurious feel. Scented with luscious lemon and warm almond, this soap is almost edible, it’s so yummy.

Lavender Pear - Lovely lavender pairs with sweet yellow pear and a smidge of clove in this very pretty, elegant fragrance. It’s a shimmery, translucent, light green bar, simply gorgeous.

Red Currant & Tangerine - Rich, ripe, fruity red currant tangos with bright tangerine and a sprinkling of tiny red cranberry seeds which give it just a touch of light texture or a gentle scrubby feel. It looks just like the inside of a lush fig, prettily pink with tiny flecks of seeds.

Spring Seasonal Soaps

To celebrate the season of love, flowers, and new beginnings, I’ve created a few new scents, all utilizing the new lush shea butter and hemp oil recipe.

Roses & Violets – “Roses are red, violets are blue . . .” this charming little pink bar is chock full of fresh pink rosebuds and sweet violet sprigs. It’s the perfect choice for Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, or anyone with a flair for flowers or more traditional tastes.

Lemon Bliss – I’m absolutely crazy about citrus lately, so this bar is my own blend of lemon, ruby grapefruit, tangerine, and mandarin orange, with a teeny kick of ginger and vanilla to brighten my mornings. (100% natural)

Citrus Mint & Poppy – For those who like a little scrub with their rub-a-dub-dub, I’ve cooked up a poppy seed scrubber soap for spring. It’s super fresh and energizing, with a combination of citrus flavors and three types of mint. The poppy seeds give it a light textured feel for gentle exfoliation and a wake-up massage. (100% natural)

Orange Blossom – The classic, elegant, floral scent of orange tree blossoms is timeless and intoxicating in its lushness (also called Neroli). This bar is a favorite of mine – strong and exotic – a flashback of the captivating gardens of Seville in the spring.

Spring Aromatic Sprays

Turn up the volume on your romance dial – I’m bringing back the world famous Lilac Garden aromatic spray for Spring. This Lilac Garden scent is incredibly true, a lush and fragrant floral mist to brighten up the winter doldrums. This fragrances makes a lovely spritzer for everything imaginable - delightful as a body spray, a great deodorizer for linens, rooms, closets, cars, plus a fabulous pick-me-up anywhere, any time. ($6.00 each)

Gift Giving

If you’ve got a special someone on your list for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any other special spring occasion, peruse the website for gift ideas. There are charming little sets with bars of soaps paired with dishes, brushes, sacks and scrubby mitts. And larger combinations of products featuring the sprays, sachets and other items too – a little something for everybody!

The website has just been completely updated and features a Spring clearance sale, so check in often. I’m planning ahead for a gangbuster year of craft shows, festivals, and fairs. It’s still early for all the scheduling, but the enclosed calendar has the confirmed dates so far. Plus the online calendar has more detailed information, new dates as they are confirmed, and all up-to-the minute-changes or additions. Happy, sunny Spring!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The great procrastinator

I am so bad sometimes.

I spent at least half of yesterday catching up on Jay McCarroll's blog about the current season of Project Runway. To be honest, this season is so darn boring I was hardly even watching the show. But a friend forwarded Jay's blog, and I almost peed myself laughing. So then of course I had to go back and read all of them from the beginning, and compare the photo galleries for each show, and then don't know you it, a whole afternoon POOF disappeared. Jay is beyond hilarious - he rocks. They need to just make a show of him commenting on the other reality shows. Way more fun than The Soup.

Anyway, the plan was originally to head over to Collage yesterday afternoon. But I got lost obviously, and then didn't want to sit in traffic at rush hour. So I headed over there this morning, before it opened, and restocked the whole display. It's got all the most popular soaps back, plus all the new ones for spring too. Fully loaded.

Just to keep y'all up to date - the shop is restocked for now, and I've updated the calendar for February with the dates I'm working there. Basically my shift is every Wednesday morning from 10am-2pm. That's my (sort of) permanent gig. And this coming Friday (2/8) is our sweetie pie Valentines' event (ta dah!). From 10am to 8pm (open 2 hours later!), if you stop into the shop, you get 10% off all your purchases. And we're going to have sweet treats too - we're all baking some little noshes for you to snack on while shopping. Oy, that means I need to get busy baking something.

The shop will continue to be closed every Monday during February too. Otherwise we're open 10am-6pm Tuesday through Sunday for regular hours. In case you need deets, here's the LINK to my shop info page.

Veering off track again (I can't focus for more than a minute at a time) -- can I just also mention that I'm totally smitten with Uwajimaya? I spent a goodly portion of wasted afternoon over there the other day too. Just wandering the isles and stocking up on sauces and stuffs that are all on sale for to Chinese New Year this weekend. It's a great time to get bargains on pantry things I have around all year. But I was also really missing Hawaii, and they have every possible thing you could ever buy in a Honolulu grocery store, right here in freezing Seattle. A whole section of shelves dedicated to the Hawaiian Sun juices in cans (mmm, Passion Orange Guava). They had more varieties of the coconut syrup I fell in love with there - Coconut plain, Coconut Pineapple, Coconut Macademia. I came home with Huli Huli sauce, Pineapple Mango Teriyaki sauce, fresh pineapple, ripe mangos, even a plate lunch from the little food court with kahlua pork and macaroni salad. I lurve that place.

My sun-pinked nose is peeling. Trader Joe's has the most adorable mini, tiny, little organic cheese crackers which I can't stop eating for lunch. Help me. I'm trying to take pictures for the updated web site and it's still so darn grey and bleak outside that nothing looks good in the cold light. Do you watch Good Morning America ever? I sometimes have it on as background when I'm checking the paper with my coffee. I found their meatloaf challenge online yesterday by accident, and felt compelled to try Chris Cuomo's meatloaf recipe. Diane's was a standard ketchup one. Sam and Robin had tomato soup and ritz crackers versions. But Chris' - oh my. There is grated apple, fresh parsley, cinnamon sugar, vanilla extract and a topping of ketchup, dijon and honey. I'd never seen that stuff in a meatloaf before and needed to do it last night. It's lovely, really. And makes a fine sandwich too. Here's the recipe.

Ok, that's all I got for now. Have a great weekend.