Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blown Away

Blown Away. That's the theme this week. The wind is fierce, the rain is never-ending, the weather is awful.

I am blown away too, not just by the weather, but by all the shopping madness. Between the last few weeks of shows, the piles of mail orders, a couple of big corporate orders, and the shows left on the schedule, I am getting thin on inventory, and even thinner on time. So I have to cancel a show this week -- the one that I had just added before things blew up, and that's PLU in Tacoma this Saturday. I really hate to do that. But I stretched myself too thin and have to finish the orders that are already here on my desk. That's the number one priority. And in doing that, I have literally nothing prepared for Saturday. There isn't a minute to spare to package up an entire new show from scratch in an hour or so tonight. And it's not worth all that agony to even try. My apologies to all the south end folks who were hoping to catch me there.

So here's where I am this week (in addition to flitting around the studio from dawn to dusk):

November 19 - 21
Vasa Park Christmas Craft Show
Vasa Park Ballroom, 3560 W Lk Sammamish Rd, Bellevue
Thurs and Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-5pm

Nov 20 - Dec 24
Allied Arts Holiday Festival
Wed-Sun 10am-6pm, new location with great parking!
3548 Meridian Ave
West of Bellis Fair Mall on Meridian, across from the Bellingham Golf & Country Club

Opening night is this Friday, Nov 20 and it continues through Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

If you need a reason to smile today, check out these videos of doggies greeting their soldier-owners at the door when they return.

Monday, November 09, 2009

This Week's Shows - Nov 9

A little whiff of holiday cheer -- yep even at the beginning of November. I feel a bit like this elf - feet out from under me. It's starting to go so fast.

First off, the newsletter went out last Friday and I was a little surprised at how many people showed up to the Eastlake show on Saturday looking for the new winter soaps. Dang! I thought I could squeak out one more weekend with the fall soaps, since I have to make the winter soaps last for so many more shows this month and next. But we're all good now.

I've sent off a pile of orders today that came in over the weekend for the new stuff. And I'll have the full line of winter soaps at both shows this week. We set up today for the Starving Housewives show at Echo Falls Country Club in Maltby. And the weekend will be the gigantic, stupendous, Best of the Northwest show at the Exhibition Hall in Seattle.

The following week is will be the busiest yet, and I hope to make it through in one piece. Allied Arts in Bellingham begins that next weekend, and I'll be at Vasa Park all week, PLU on Saturday, and Grandma's Cupboard in Snohomish too ( I think, we're just working that out now, more later.)

Here are the details for this week:

November 10 - 14
Starving Housewives Holiday Home & Gift Show
Echo Falls Country Club, 20414 121st Ave SE, Snohomish (Just off of Hwy 522 E onto Echo Lake Rd)
Tues - Friday 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm

November 13 - 15
Best of the Northwest
Exhibition Hall, Seattle Center, Booth # I-13
Fri 10 - 8pm. Sat and Sun 10-6pm
Click the link for a $2 off admission coupon to the show
160 local artists and their wares - lots of wonderful and unique holiday gifts

That's the news for this week. Everything else is a blur. Some of the fall scented soaps are going fast, so if you were still interested in those, order quickly.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Winter Holiday Newsletter 2009

I've sent out the Winter Holiday newsletter and it should arrive in mailboxes today or tomorrow. The email version will ping into mailboxes this afternoon. So I'm posting the letter here too, just to keep everyone up to date with the latest.

I haven't time to include linkie-poos here for each and every item. But if you want to click directly to the web site, on the winter holiday seasonal product page, CLICK HERE!


Dear Friends,

What I notice most as we slip from late Autumn into early Winter is the darkness. Daylight arrives in the morning long after our day has begun. And the deepening dark of sunset creeps over the sky before we’ve even begun our suppers. Staring up into the inky black skies of a chilly winter night, the stars blink and twinkle, more sparkly and clear than any other time of the year. Scientists say we are made of stardust. Our human bodies, like all life forms, were created from the dust and elements in the explosion of a star - the atoms of our bones glittering with the magic, chance, and chaos of those twinkling stars so far away. The wonder and sparkle of Winter is more than the season of parties and shopping. It’s a celebration of just being here, made all the more special when you share it with others.

As the holidays get closer, the gift lists begin to grow – but the intentions seem a bit different this year. Rather than the usual exchange of “stuff” , we all seem to be looking for more simplicity and meaning. Handmade gifts and items that are both useful and use-able make more sense, especially while we are watching our budgets a little more closely. Soapworks Studio’s little gifts of soap and bath goodies are the perfect fit. All locally handmade and reasonably priced, there is something for everyone on your holiday gift list.

Holiday Seasonal Soaps

The upcoming holidays have sparked a bunch of new wintry wonderful soap scents for a little fun in the shower, or a special gift for someone (or everyone) on your list. ($4.00 each or 4 bars for $15.00)

Cool Yule - Oh baby, the ultimate cool. This scent is a soft blanket of freshly fallen snow, an icy breeze, and a wintry breath of juniper. This clean white soap is as cool, fresh and tingly as a snowflake against your cheek.

Eucalyptus Lemon – Cold, wet weather sparks sniffle season and this soap is the perfect antidote. Bright, sunny lemon banishes the drearies while eucalyptus opens up breathing in your chest, head and nose. A dusting of French green clay adds soft color while adding detoxifying benefits. Lather up and breathe deeply in a hot steamy shower to give you a lift on a grey morning. (100% natural soap)

Winter Day – The perfect winter day is spent outside in a lush Northwest forest – skiing, hiking, skating, or searching for that magical Christmas tree. I’ve tried to capture that essence in a unique fragrance blend. While the list of elements will at first sound perplexing, it’s really quite lovely. Pine trees and dark forest, wood smoke and flannel shirts, woolen mittens and sugar plum treats all stirred together. This soap is the soft red color of Grandpop’s Union Suit long johns.

Tangerine Cinnamon – Tangy sweet, juicy orange and tangerine mixes it up with warm cinnamon. This is a classic and lovely holiday combination in a pretty cantaloupe colored bar. (100% natural soap)

All the Autumn seasonal soaps, Cinnamon Pear, Pumpkin Carrot and Honey Orange Clove are still available too!

Holiday Spice Home Fragrance Spray

Add a little festive spirit to your home with one of our winter holiday home fragrance sprays. Mist your house and holiday decorations just before guests arrive, or spritz your gift boxes, cards and stockings -- your family and friends will receive a whoosh of holiday scent when they open their presents!

Holiday Spice - this is our most requested seasonal spray, every year since the very beginning --oranges, cranberries, spices and greens all blended together for the perfect scent of magic and delight. (4 oz bottle - $ 6.00)

Sugar & Spice Bath Salts

Sugar & Spice – and everything nice. That’s the winter seasonal scent we’ve added to the regular menu of Dead Sea Bath Salts. Sweet vanilla cookies, warm spices and a splash of orange make this a wonderful holiday treat in the bath.

Our rustic, chunky bath salts come directly from the Dead Sea. Pure salts with a mineral content that is much greater than other types of sea salts, they work wonders on purifying and detoxifying, improving circulation and moisturizing skin, soaking away stress, and relaxing muscles, aches and pains. These bath salts dissolve in water almost instantly, with a lush, silky feel – no gritty bottoms. What we know for sure is that when you finally drag yourself out of the luscious bath waters, you are left with unbelievably soft, silky smooth skin that seems brand new. For little footbaths or long evening soaks, these are the best bath salts ever.
Standard scents: French Lavender, Vanilla Bean & Honey, and Almond Ginger (16 oz bottle - $8.00 each)

Festive Lip Balm

Just for the holiday season I’ve added Hot Cocoa, Pumpkin Pie and Candy Cane flavored lip balms to the menu. It’s the same nourishing, natural lip balm base that I always carry in a dozen-lip smacking flavors, just a few new flavors for Christmas stockings and holiday memories. See the enclosed brochure or the web site for the full list of flavors – Coconut Lemon, Vanilla Tangerine, Root Beer, Raspberry Soda . . . . mmmmm. (1/2 oz tin - $3.00 each)

Gift Ideas
Attention Holiday Shoppers! It’s the gift-giving season, and fun bath stuff is the perfect gift for everyone on your list. I’ve got an elfin mountain of new gift sets and packaging ideas.

Gift Boxes: New, unique, and downright adorable origami style boxes to hold a single bar of soap, two bars of soap, or perfectly sized to hold a bar of soap and one of our cotton scrubby accessories - like the cotton washcloth, soap sack or scrubby mitt. These are the perfect small gifts for those special office folks, the patient teacher, the friendly neighbor, the lovey who watches the pets while you're away, the dear who does your nails or hair, that gaggle of book club gals -- you know who I mean. Two colors/patterns: Chocolate brown/Paisley Chicken, Sky Blue/Cherry Bomb. ($ 4.00/box)

Gift certificates: So you know they love Soapworks Studio products but you’re not quite sure which scents they like the most? Or you have a choosy someone on your list that likes to select their own signature scents? Or you’re just plain out of time in all the holiday rush? I’ve got the perfect idea! Give a gift certificate from Soapworks Studio so they can choose their own favorites from any of the products on our list. You may purchase a gift certificate in any denomination to fit your budget. We’ll pretty it up and send it off in a lovely decorated envelope. Gift certificates are the perfect gift for that exacting person on your list with a flair for sensual pampering.

Go Green!: Skip the wrapping paper this year and gift a bar of soap inside one of our scrubby mitts or sacks. A little piece of recycled ribbon makes it special. Order them separately on the accessories page, or as a set on our gift ideas page.

My Own Holiday Shop

I’ll be repeating my little temporary storefront at Group Health in November. I will have my own retail shop for several days – Wednesday through Friday, December 9-11. Group Health has a tiny storefront that I am “renting” to have my own shop space. They loan it out to artists from time to time, and a percentage of our sales funds their TLC Guild, which helps with patient's needs. It’s designed to be a gift boutique, full of winter holiday gifts, and a great way to shop the entire Soapworks Studio selection. It’s located at 108 – 15th Ave E, kitty-corner from the Safeway on John St. See you there!

Internet & Mail Ordering

Holiday shopping online or by mail saves you time, expense, and the headache of traffic jams and crowded malls. We usually ship within two business days, and can send your items directly to family and friends with gift enclosure cards too. Send in the enclosed order form, call during business hours, or for late night brainstorms, order from our website at Spend more time celebrating and less time fretting. Let Soapworks Studio be your answer for holiday gifts!

May your holidays be twinkly and bright!

Again, I would love to have the time to type in a perfect little clickable link for each new item I've listed in the newsletter, but there's too much to do today. So if you want to click directly to the web site, on the winter holiday seasonal product page, CLICK HERE!

Monday, November 02, 2009

This Week's Shows - Nov 2

It's going to be a busy week - lots of running around. I'm at Meridian Valley Monday and Tuesday, Red Ribbons the rest of the week, and a one-day show at Eastlake on Saturday.

November 2 - 3 Meridian Valley Artisans Festival
Meridian Valley Country Club, 24830 - 136th Ave SE, Kent
Monday 4pm-9pm - members only, Tues 9am-8pm open to public

November 4 - 7 Red Ribbons and Reindeer
The Hollywood Schoolhouse, Woodinville

November 7 Eastlake High School Holiday Bazaar
400 - 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, Sat 9-4

The Best of the Northwest show is next week - I have postcards for $2 off admission, and there is a downloadable coupon on the web site for the same thing. Click HERE for more info and the coupon. Northwest Art Alliance, who runs this show, has a new director and a new marketing director too. So there is all kinds of new energy and a huge advertising push this time around, which is much appreciated. We'll be at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall again this time. I'll have more details about next week's shows in the blog next week. Oh yeah, if you want a postcard with the coupon, let me know if you see me this week at Eastlake or wherever. I'll have them at my tables at the other shows, next to the brochures. Or give me an email or quick phone call and I'll send one off.

The Winter Holiday Newsletter is going out this week - in a few days. I'm getting it back from the printer today, with a stuffing fest going on in between everything else. It will be in mailboxes before the week is over. I'll post it here too, and send out the email versions at the same time, so everyone will be updated at once. I started all the website updates over the weekend. Just need to get some new photos on there of the winter soaps. One more project on the list, whew.