Thursday, October 28, 2010


Oh My GAWWW! Stop with the robo-calls already!

The past week or so has been nuts with all the robo-calls I'm getting here at the studio for political stuff. If they aren't trying to tell me how to vote, they are calling with a survey to ask how I'm going to vote. It's so hard to get anything done when the phone is ringing all day.

And the mailbox is absolutely stuffed every day too. What a waste of trees for all those mailers.

I can. not. wait. for it all to be over next Tuesday.

Please do make the effort to vote though. It's really important stuff and the issues affect everyone, whether you like it or not. You can't just complain about how it turned out later, if you didn't take the time to state your opinion by voting in the first place.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shows: Nov 3-6

I'm posting my show schedule for next week because it's going to be NOVEMBER already. Ugh.

That "ugh" was just my anxiety about how much is left to do this week before the whole madness begins next week. The Winter Holiday newsletter will be going out at the beginning of next week. Followed by 3 shows the first week, 3 more shows the next week, 3 more shows the week after that, and then a whole bunch more as the month goes on. December is more of the same.

I will be stressed out and ragged, no matter what. I know this. After all these years of going through this madness in November and December, it's just as scary every time. There's no way around it though. This is the shopping season, and this is the time I need to maximize every minute in order to make enough money to continue this business next year. So it's head down and plow through to the other side, one step in front of the other.

One thing I am excited about though are the new winter soap scents. This time all of them came out really good and were just what I was hoping for. This first week of shows will be a mix of both fall and winter scents, and I won't have all of them at all three shows. If you are looking for something specific, please email or call to know where to find it. Starting next week, there will be winter soaps everywhere, and the fall scents will be pretty much gone. Sneak peek: Ponderosa Pine, Red Berry, Holiday Mint, Cinnamon Cedar and Spiced Mocha.

So here's the first week's line-up:

Nov 3 - 6
Red Ribbons & Reindeer
Hollywood Schoolhouse
14810 NE 145th St, Woodinville
Wed 3pm-8pm, Thur & Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm

Nov 4 - 6
Pickering Barn Christmas Show
Pickering Barn, 1720 10th Ave NW, Issaquah
(across from Costco)
Wed - Fri 10am -7pm, Sat 10am-5pm

Nov 6
Eastlake High School's Holiday Bazaar
Eastlake High, 400 228th Ave NE, Sammamish
Saturday only 9am - 4pm

Monday, October 25, 2010


No fancy pictures or exciting stories today. Just popping in to say that I AM NOT the same woman who was on the Glen Beck show on Friday.

Not that anybody is actually going to spend the time to come over here and check out my blog, sigh.

But since my website and email box is going insane over the weekend, and still is today, I just thought I should say something.

Amilya Antonetti started a business named "Soapworks" at just about the same time I did - oh a million years ago now or so. She started big. Really big, with a factory, full staff, etc. Her product line was big too. Shower soap bars, but liquid soaps, laundry soaps, home cleaning products. They were in the grocery stores and Trader Joe's. I think it was in California somewhere.

It was so long ago that I don't think Google even existed. Anyway, I started out small. Very small. But my super bright idea for my brand spanking new business was "Soapworks." Yes, the same one. About a year into it, I realized that I had the same name as another company, because a couple of people said they saw my laundry soap at Trader Joe's. (I guess I never saw that, naive me.) So I changed my name to "Soapworks Studio" just to be on the up-and-up.

I looked her up, knew vaguely what she was doing. And then that was that.

Some years back I started to get contacted by people who were looking for "Soapworks" stuff and found me instead. Computers were big now. So I searched for her. I had clipped a magazine article about her whole back story, so I knew her name. And from everything I could find, she had stopped doing the business. Her great big website was suddenly gone. She was no longer making soap stuff. At least as far as I could track down - just so I could point folks in the right direction.

When you Google the word "Soapworks" today I am the number one listing. So when Amilya Antonetti was on the teevee the other day, talking about her past projects, viewers started searching for her long-ago company name and they are headed over to my place in droves. Some are looking for laundry soap. Others are just looking to buy whatever she's making.

I am very sorry, but I am not her. And I don't make laundry stuff or household cleaners. But my soaps are better than hers ever were :) I would be very honored if you decided to try them. Especially since she isn't making them any more.

From her website, she appears to be a media personality, with a book about leadership and entrepreneurial whatnot that she's promoting. You can continue your search there if you are looking for her specifically.

In the meantime, I'm still making some really great handmade, natural soap products over here. And i just thought I should clear that whole thing up, because there are obviously a very large number of confused and searching customers out there traveling the internets.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This Week: Vasa Park

I was absolutely glued to the miner's rescue yesterday. I had the live feed on the computer while I was working and every time the whistle blew, I had to run over and watch as each men emerged from the capsule. Incredible.

I also set up the Vasa Park show yesterday. Such a gorgeous, sunny, fall afternoon. I took over my new camera to take pictures of the place, but the best one is somehow corrupted and I can't upload it. Wouldn't you know it. So here's a rather uninteresting sign of the actual park across the street. I know you're thinking "how special." And you're right. Dumbest photo ever.

The building where we have our shows is across the street from the park on Lake Sammamish. It was a super hopping ballroom for dances back in the day. Now it's a rickety little wooden building in a parking lot. But it's open and easily accessible, perfect for a craft show. Yesterday was chaos as everybody dragged in cartloads and giant hauls of stuff. Display and goods, decorations and lights. It will be a wonderland of crafts by this morning when it opens at 10am.

The actual park is across the street. It has a little beach, which was so crystal clear yesterday against the mountains. And it's all decorated for Halloween with pumpkins and big scary balloons. There's a campground area too. (More info about Vasa Park Resort.)

If you're looking for handcrafted fall decor, halloween gifties, and great handmade goods, here's the scoop:

Dates: Thursday through Saturday, Oct 14-16
Hours: Thurs and Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm
Location: Vasa Park Ballroom, 3560 W Lk Samm Rd SE, Bellevue

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Porn

I named my little blog "Random Suds" when I started out, but much to my surprise, it's become Random Porn lately.

I know I've been a little lax on blogging in recent months, and in fact, I haven't even checked in much. But last week, when I had a little more time, I decided to do some housekeeping here. What I found in the comments section was so nuts. Dozens and dozens of comments added to long ago postings - mostly in Russian and mostly containing links to porn.

Huh? Why would anyone think that was a good idea? Seriously, I don't get that much traffic over here, but I can't imagine anyone, even a Russian speaking someone, is traveling back through time and reading all those old posts. And if that Russian speaking someone is just catching up on what I was yabbering about a year (or two) ago, would they even come across those comments? And then Oh! Hello! why yes, it looks like hot Russian girls looking for action! How did I not think of that?! I'd much rather be surfing Eastern European porn than reading about which shows this girl was doing in June of 2008!

Oh, I know, it's probably just a robot. But anyway, it just seemed so crazy. I spent about half an hour deleting all that junk. Just in case you happened to see it before and wondered why I didn't take care of it earlier.

There were other old comments too that I missed. A couple of them had me thinking. Both were along the same lines, that my blog needed more pictures instead of just text if I wanted anyone to be interested in it. My catty self immediately dismissed them - "they probably don't even read books" - but of course they are right. We are conditioned to need all kinds of stimulation from our internets. Video clips, huge strings of photos about what we had for breakfast and what we did today. Usually it takes too long to load and we're already clicking on to the next thing anyway. But we expect all that stuff to be there. Not just reading - that's so last decade.

I recently bought a new camera. My old digital camera started to fall apart, literally - the entire side piece was hanging off of it and to try to hold it together while shooting a pic usually meant there was a chunk of thumb or something in every picture. So I got a new one and my plan is to use it more. Maybe post more pictures of my actual business and products and stuff. Not breakfast. But in the spirit of things, today I have posted a picture of myself. My sister took it on the day I bought the camera. We were taking pictures of each other and the garden and stuff, just to test it out. I typically hate pictures of myself and don't like those candid point-and-shoot things at all. So this is what they mostly looked like. It's a beauty.

Cheers! And oh, if you were actually looking for random porn. You've come to the wrong place. Heh.

And porn linkers (office supplies, electronic equipment, dating sites): I'm on to you.

Monday, October 11, 2010


If you've followed along for awhile, you know that I am a procrastinator. I am. It's not that I like waiting until the last minute, and in fact I try - really try - to work ahead and prepare in advance and get things done before it gets really stressful.

But somehow, there is always a crunch at deadline time, and I realize that I just didn't get enough done earlier and now there's a whole pile of stuff left. The adrenaline rush makes me work extra fast and sorta more efficiently. It also makes me crazy - making stupid decisions, missing important stuff, making mistakes, which isn't so efficient after all. So I've been working at this procrastination problem. And I think I've done a much better job this year.

One of the little quotes that I cut from a magazine long ago and keep in my little stack of goals and to-do's and stuff is this:

"Procrastination is a way for us to be satisfied with second-rate results; we can tell ourselves we'd have done a better job if only we'd had more time . . . If you're good at rationalizing, you can keep yourself feeling rather satisfied this way, but it's a cheap happy. You're whittling your expectations of yourself down lower and lower." - Richard O'Connor, PhD, in Happy At Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy (St. Martin)

This quote, when I read it, made so much sense to me. I realized that I was starting to get a little too comfortable with the "well, it's good enough for now" thinking that I was doing. But if I was honest with myself, it really wasn't good enough. I had bigger goals, higher expectations. Not perfection, but not the rushed and sloppy bits either.

It's all probably a lot deeper than just a habit. There's really only certain things that I put off - other things never get affected. I suppose I should be spending time figuring out what and why those particular tasks are bothering me.

While I was working through some long forgotten piles last week (it was suuuuper slow over at Group Health last week which was both bad for sales but good for my getting work done) I found this little scrap tucked into the wrong folder. I loved reading it again. Just thought I'd share it in case you're in the same place.

Monday morning - I worked a lot over the weekend and was all ahead of the game today. Ran out to do some banking and drop off all the orders I packed ahead. Oh yeah. It's a flippin' holiday today and those people all have the day off. Arrrgh.

Friday, October 01, 2010


Cats are the bendiest, stretchiest things ever.

Today's fun fact: the average person’s total skin covering would weigh about 6 pounds if collected in one mass.

I can't believe today is already October. September went by in one big blur. I've been buried in orders and the Puyallup Fair. Which was down quite a bit this year. Not just for me, but the whole fair. The economy hasn't gotten better, but they raised the ticket prices and the parking fees. Plus the weather was so wet and cool for most of the time, especially the weekends, so attendance was down overall quite a lot. Anyway, it was still a successful endeavor. And I'm so glad it's over.

Moving on to this weekend. It's Salmon Days. And we're supposed to have dry weather! What a change, eh? It's usually beautiful in September for the Fair and raining and storming for Salmon Days. Sunshine on Saturday? Unheard of!

Details: It's the whole downtown area of Issaquah, with the main streets closed off. Saturday and Sunday, October 2 and 3. Hours are 10-6 both days. I'll be in my usual spot, which is Sunset Way, right at the corner of the driveway into the fish ladder and salmon hatchery.

I will not have the mini-soap sets. I sold out of everything I had made at the fair. I've got more curing right now, but they are a couple of weeks away. I will have everything else - all the fall soaps and bath salts and lip balms. Plus a few scrap bags on sale - not a lot, but some so come early for those.

Next week I'll be back at Group Health for my little mini shop. And the following week is Vasa Park. I'll post details about those later. It's going to be a busy holiday season . . .