Monday, December 28, 2009


Phew, the rush is finally over. Last minute orders continued into last week - all while I was juggling all my own shopping, baking, wrapping of gifts, and decorating. Christmas flew by so fast, didn't it? After the months of preparations, it all slips by in the blink of an eye.

Now I am over-sleeping a bit. Wearing my pj's until noon. Catching up on the gigantic heap of disordered mess in my office. It's a lot of putting away and making little piles of things to do. Like the bookkeeping, filing, inventories, taxes. January is full of so many little tasks. Definitely not a slacker month, but quieter. No shows, no rushing around. Orders have slowed down to a little trickle for one month. But the paperwork pile is staggering. New show applications area at the top of the list, along with all the end-of-year books.

I must say, last year was puny in comparison to the last few previous years. Sales were down in the spring, by a lot. And summer was a lot slower than usual. But November and December were up from last year and mail order did a bit better too. So those are positive signs. I'm going to work harder this coming year, on all kinds of things. I've got a bunch of ideas about what I want to change and what I want to make better. I'm kind of excited about it all, and hopeful. Glad that 2009 is over, and I'm still here.

Postage rates increase again on January 4th. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to make some changes in that area. Prices will go up in the next mailing - Spring 2010. I'm also going to do a clearance sale of the last of the winter items. That should be up next week, and it might be a good time to stock up on a few things at the cheaper prices. February 1st will be the spring newsletter, price changes and new updates.

I got a new stereo for my studio for Christmas. It's gorgeous and I forgot how much I liked having a little something in the background while I'm working. I didn't know how much I missed the music. I love it.

I also got a Cuisinart toaster from my sister. I have been struggling with toasting a darn bagel, which always burned or got stuck and had to be shredded to get it out of the old cheapie toaster. This one is so beautiful, it's a work of art. And it makes the most perfect toast I've ever had. Truly. I adore this sleek silver machine in my kitchen. I want to toast everything.

So a toast to the new year. And a chance to start all over again.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shipping Deadlines

Just a quick pop-in to say that today: Thursday, December 17 is the guaranteed last day for Priority Mail shipping in order to get it there by Christmas.

If you are shipping to a local address, it usually takes just a day or two, so there might be time left. No guarantees. But if you are shipping across the country or out of state, this is it. Get your mail order in right now.

I've gotten so many mail orders this month that I'm down to the wire on lots of my products. A bunch of the regular flavors are sold out, though the 4 holiday scents are still in stock. At least for today. The holiday lip balms and bath salts are sold out. All the sprays are still available. And the shop shelves will be very bare until early January. I'll get back to making the soaps in the next few days, but they will need cure time. So it's not until the new year that I will be fully stocked again. I tried so hard this time too, not to sell out before Christmas. No matter what I do, there is always something that comes up and wipes me out. Which is good, don't get me wrong. But gives me panic attacks too, which is no good.

This whole announcement is probably a little too last-minute - sorry. I lost track of time with all the coming and goings and running to the post trips. But there you have it.

I'm almost at the end of the long, long ride that is the holiday circus. What a relief. It was good. And chaotic. And stressful. And prosperous, for the most part. So now I need to get my own shopping done. And find cards, if there are any left on the shelf. I can't wait to get out of the studio for bit today and see what's out there. Fa la la la la.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

We've Got A Shop This Week!

This week I've got my own little shop space over at the Group Health campus on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Michelle Deyoe is joining me with her whimsical jewelry pins, and Nancy Ensign too, with her vintage pieced jewelry and collectibles. Lots of holiday gift stuff, loads of great gift ideas.

We're located in the Group Health Shop Space, Central Campus, Capitol Hill
Address: 108 - 15th Ave E, Capitol Hill, half a block south and across the street from the Safeway at the corner of John St.

Hours: Wed-Fri, Dec 9 to 11, 9:30am to 4pm daily

We're going all out, with twinkie lights and trees. Hope to see you there.

Oh, by the way, this is my last show of the season (except for the final weeks of the Allied Arts show in Bellingham). So last local Seattle show, anyway. And I'm starting to get a little thin on inventory. Yes, I know there are weeks left before Christmas. But it's been a big huge month of shows and mail order and that's how it works. So if you are on the fence or need a bunch of stuff for gifts this year, it's a good time to either stop at the shop, or get an order in. No pressure, though :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

This Week's Shows - Dec 1

A whole bunch of stuff is happening this week. It's packed full of shows. And the mail orders are flowing in. There's still time to order, but stock is getting thin in spots after all this hoopla. So don't delay on working on your gift list.

The Holiday Festival of the Arts in Bellingham continues, and has their big gala reception this Friday night:
Friday, December 4 from 6-9pm - 3548 Meridian St. across from the Bellingham Country Club
Please join us for hors d’oeuvres, a glass of wine and live music. Music provided by End of the Road String Band, The Honey V’s, The Honeybees and Chuck Dingee & Friends. This is a great time to shop for the holidays and enjoy your self!

Hilltop Holiday - part of Bellevue's Magic Season of events
Northwest Arts Center
9825 NE 24th St
Bellevue (Clyde Hill area)
Wed - Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-5pm

Phinney Winter Festival
Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle
Sat and Sun 10am - 5pm
* Note: I've got a different spot this year and will be in the downstairs Blue Room of the main (blue) building. Right across the hall from my usual spot in the Red Room, and a little smaller space. So look for me, and let me know if you want a big bundle of any one thing so I can make sure to bring it. Or if you are looking for something specific, just to make sure I have it along. I've got to squeeze in and cut back on some of what I usually have there due to my smaller location, and I want to make sure I don't disappoint anyone who needs say a dozen bars of anise soap or a boatload of berry baskets.

Wow, it feels like I've been in this merry-go-round of holiday madness forever, maybe a year or more. But it's only been one month. Four weeks of non-stop shows and orders. And we've still got a month til Christmas. My party horn will be all worn out by then. But it's going good. Very good.