Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy: that's the name of one of my favorite websites, permanently bookmarked. It's mostly interior design oriented, but it's inspiration for all kinds of things. Even though my business is scents, I'm really a visual person. And I love the eye candy here - so many gorgeous photos. I love to check into the NY and SF pages especially (no Seattle one -- yet). I used to live in San Francisco years ago, and it's always fun to see the insides of people's homes there. Usually drop dead gorgeous. I can't tell you how many great ideas I've gotten from here, or how thrilled I am with the note that came in my email box today.

Anne R.M. sent me a message that she has been using my sprays for awhile now and loves them. And when she wrote a little piece on spring freshening and aromatherapy today, she included a photo of my Lavender Lemongrass spray, plus a link to my site in her little resources section at the end of the article. What a lovely compliment! Especially sweet since it was out of the blue, and yet from a website that I truly admire and enjoy.

I've already gotten a little bunch of orders for sprays this afternoon, so I know that people are paying attention. I'm tickled pink to be sharing my aromatherapy goods with the world.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oldies but goodies

Have you noticed how much more satisfying it is to check something off your "to do" list when it's a task that you really dreaded doing and put off for a long time? I've procrastinated on a few things for days, and yesterday afternoon I forced myself to finally get them finished. Wow. That was a relief and it felt good. It wasn't really bad at all to actually do them. And it was such a nice feeling to be done. I wonder why I waited so long in the first place.

I usually start my day with the little, super easy stuff first. Just to get something going and once the ball is rolling it's easier to move on with some of the harder, longer tasks. And in the back of my mind, I'm hoping I run out of time in the day to do those last few things on the list that I really didn't want to do anyway. That's my method. It not one I recommend to everyone. But it usually works for me. Unless I let those icky jobs go too long . . . Sure, it there's probably a more efficient way to work. I'm too old now to change my ways.

Speaking of old. I found a new radio station the other day. I usually listen to NPR when I'm in the car, catching up on news that I missed. But I got bored of world events and punched around and came up with an oldies station. Yeah. Gah. They supposedly play 60's and 70's stuff (104.5 fm). 60's is way before me, and I'm not really sure that they do that much of it - the occasional beach song. Mostly it's 70's - Top 40 pop/rock that I listened to when I was a kid and I know all the words. No soul music, no disco music, just white bread. And seriously, I know all the words. Which is scary. I can't believe any of that is still in my brain - it's been so long since I've heard those songs or even thought about that time period.

It feels sort of like a little vacation - going back in time, especially this week when summer feels like it just busted out. Riding in the car with the windows down and a warm breeze. Singing (badly) out loud and just remembering a different place and time. What I used to feel like many long summers ago, when the world was innocent and my whole life was still ahead of me. I must be really losing my grip. Didn't we used to groan when our parents did this stuff - and make them turn off the radio in case somebody in the car next to us looked over? Yes. Yes we did.

Heaven help me . . . Peter Frampton, Journey, Firefall . . . they are keeeeling me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

U District Street Fair

This weekend is the U District Street Fair. I always feel like this is my first summer street fair. It never really feels like summer until after Mother's Day around here. And right on cue, this week is finally warming up and everything is leafed out, green and growing.

I finally pulled out the patio furniture and cleaned it all off today. I can sit outside and sun with the cats! Well at least for a couple of minutes in between racing around here with orders and prepping for the weekend.

The details for the show:

University District Street Fair
University Avenue, Seattle
May 15-16, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6
My booth location: #323, between 42nd & 43rd, west side of street (in front of Chipotle's)

I'm in the same block as always, a little further north than last year, same side of the street. I'll have a few of the spring soaps left - there isn't much. And all the new summer stuff. Plus the rest of the kit & caboodle. And the weather looks like it's going to be beautiful, so it should be a great weekend. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer 2010 Newsletter

As I like to do, I am posting the full text of the Summer 2010 Newsletter here. I've got the snail mail letters shlepping arouand in the mailman's sack today. And the email version has just been pinged off to that little list too. So I'm posting the whole shebang here for anyone else I might have missed. And just because it's easier, I'm adding only a couple of links instead of the overkill for each and every one of the items mentioned. Happy Monday!

Dear Friends,

Summer is the season of romantic flings, sexy novels by the beach, and sensuous star-filled evenings. The warm, sunny days lure us into getting a little more intimate with the outdoors and the elements. Skin, oh lovely skin, hiding under sweaters for months, gets to cavort with the breezes and skinny dip in the water. Bare toes flirt with anything - tall grass, sandy beaches, flip flops, even hot sidewalks.

The four elements of nature: earth, air, fire, and water are at their very best this season. Sweet, warm earth grows a mind-boggling array of flowers, herbs, veggies and weeds. Bright blue sun-filled skies give us more fresh air than we can drink in. And who can resist the scent of sizzling, fiery, barbeque grills, the smoky goodness that curls and swirls from our neighbor's patios to our own little deck and then on down the block? Ahhhh, the cool water - beaches, pools, rivers, or creeks, we've all got our own favorite watering hole. Summer is simply grand!


In a tribute to summer, I've created a couple of special soaps to celebrate the flavors of the season. These unique soaps are available only for the summer season (May - August) and are made in limited production. ($4.25 ea or 4 for $16.00)

SWEET SPEARMINT: When it's hot and steamy outside you want just one thing - to feel cool and fresh. A chilly shower with this bar is the ultimate in refreshing - an icy breath of luscious spearmint paired with the tiniest squeeze of juicy lemon just to kick it up a notch. (100% natural ingredients)

PEPPERMINT GRAPEFRUIT: Due to popular demand, I'm bringing this one back from last summer's menu. Cool and tingly classic peppermint with the energizing pop of pink grapefruit, sweet orange and a teeny pinch of ginger. Colored with a spoonful of real tomato powder, it's a luscious cantaloupe color. (100% natural ingredients)


SACRED SMOKE soap is back by request. I've added it back to the web site for ordering any time. But I won't bring it to my summer street fairs or fall craft shows - only because I have such limited display space. If this is a soap that you are coming for specifically, call or email in advance and let me know. I am happy to bring what you need to whichever location works for you. Hey - this special request thing is good for any of my other products too. If you're needing a few of this or a dozen of that and you want to pick it up from my booth at wherever, just give me a heads up and I'll have it set aside for you.


Did you think that bath-taking was only for the cooler months? Silly rabbit. Soaking in a cool bath after a hot, hard day sounds a whole lot better than packing up and shuffling down to the public pool - no screaming tots, no splashing belly floppers, no getting chopped in the head by the lap swimmers. It's just steps away, quiet, private, and smells a whole lot better too.

These bath salts work wonders on purifying and detoxifying, improving circulation, moisturizing skin, soaking away stress, and relaxing muscles, aches and pains. Chill out with SWEET SPEARMINT. GRAPEFRUIT LEMON and MANDARIN ORANGE, are both incredibly juicy, bright, and sunny citrus blends that are super fresh for summer. Or relax with one of our standard scents, FRENCH LAVENDER, VANILLA BEAN & HONEY, or ALMOND GINGER. Giant 16 oz bottles of beautiful spa-quality soaking salts ($ 8.00 each).


Summer is the perfect season to indulge in one of the aromatic sprays. Splash yourself and your little summer sun dresses, freshen your rooms, liven up your sheets, spritz the car seats, and squirt the dog. I've brought back the much-loved ORANGE GINGER spray, a delightful sweet orange scent with a bit of spicy ginger. And for a touch of the exotic, SANDALWOOD ORANGE is mellow, earthy and woodsy with a bit of citrus. Take one of our lovely sprays with you everywhere this season - LAVENDER LEMONGRASS and FRENCH LAVENDER are perfect warm weather pals too. ($ 6.00 ea)

I also have the ever-popular BUGGER OFF spray, an all-natural bug repellent that really works! Essential oils of cedar, bay, orange and eucalyptus mask your human scent and repel all kinds of irritating little critters - mosquitoes, fleas, and gnats. Safe for kids and pets, this spray works best when sprayed on clothing or bedding so the scent lingers longer. It's clean, woodsy and pleasant to wear, with no strong citronella that keeps the people away too. ($ 6.00 ea)


I've been in this business for 14 (!) years now, and I've researched a library's worth of information on oils, herbs, skincare, and health. So I've added a new page on the site with detailed information on my ingredients and the process, for anyone who wants to know more. (See "Healthy Ingredients") Plus, I've added a bit more skincare and aromatherapy info to each product page too, under "Mind/Body."


I get so excited each year to pop up my tent and start another season of street fairs and festivals because I get a chance to meet and talk to all of you. For more details on my summer schedule, including booth locations, check out the schedule section on the website, SoapworksStudio.com.

What's on your summer list? Drive-in movies, camping, garage sale hunting? It's time to get out there!

Heidi Risse

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

What a beautiful weekend we have to celebrate our Mom's!

Thanks to all the Mom's out there. Nothing would run at all without them.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Summer Schedule

I'm working on updating my summer show schedule on the website today - in preparation for the summer newsletter announcement which goes out Monday. But just to get it in place here too, I'm posting the full list. Most of the usual stuff. A few new ones, like the Gig Harbor Garden show and the Bellingham Art Festival. I'll give you all more detailed info on these as they come up - like booth locations, directions, descriptions. But if there is anything you want to know more about right now, just let me know.

Trying to get this all done quick so I can get out and enjoy the sunshine today. It's gorgeous out there!

Upcoming Events

May 15 - 16
U District Street Fair
University Ave, Seattle

Jun 11 - 13
Legion Park, Everett

Jun 26-27
Gig Harbor Garden Tour
Gig Harbor

Jul 9 - 11
West Seattle Street Fair
The Junction, West Seattle

Jul 17 - 18
Gig Harbor Art Festival
Judson St, Gig Harbor

Jul 23 - 25
6th Street Fair at
Bellevue Art Festival
Downtown, Bellevue

Jul 1 - Aug 1
Bellingham Art Festival

Aug 6 - 8
Anacortes Arts Festival
Commercial Ave,
Downtown Anacortes

Aug 18 - 20
Summer Gift Shop
Group Health Campus
108 - 15th Ave E
Capitol Hill, Seattle

Sep 10 - 26
Puyallup Fair
Western Washington
Fairgrounds, Puyallup

For more information, please see the calendar section of the website

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mondays. Bother.

I'm not the biggest fan of Mondays. It's the day when I have to do all the stuff I procrastinated on Friday and avoided doing all weekend too.

It's not only work chores, but house chores too. Because I didn't get around to cleaning or doing laundry either this weekend. I spent it outside doing garden work. I'm making a little rain garden pit under my rain chain downspout. And pulling out a couple of waaaaaay overgrown bushes, so I can put in more appropriate plants there. Tucking in the tomato, zucchini and flower starts that I've been babying in the kitchen the last couple of months. Plus fighting aphids. Oh. my. stars. Those little suckers are bad this year - all over my favorite euphorbia and hellebores.

I like the gardening stuff. I'm not that keen on the inside stuff. Bother.

Just a small timing update - usually the summer newsletter goes out this week. But it just hasn't quite felt like summer yet, and I could use another week getting all the little details together. So I'm finishing it up this week, and it will be in the mail next Monday. Oh yeah, another happy Monday. But it will feel great to have that out the door and into your hot little hands.