Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!


Wow, it's been quite a ride through 2011. And now that things are winding down a bit, there is time for quiet contemplation. What to do better this year. What not to do at all. Dreams, goals, vacations, business - there is much to plan.

What I'm most grateful for is my amazing customers, who are so loyal, kind, supportive and inspirational. I continue to do this business just for all of you.

Best wishes for a new year of health, happiness, fun and adventure.

Happy 2012!

P.S. Look for my big Winter Sale. I'm loading up the sale page this weekend and will have it ready to go by Monday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice


Endings and beginnings.

Today is the first day of winter, the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year. So I guess as of yesterday, fall is officially over. It feels like it's already been winter. I can't really imagine that I've already listened to a bazillion Christmas carols and it's only been fall.

What I am ready for however, is more light. With today being the shortest day, I am totally ready for the return of longer days and more minutes of sunlight each day, starting tomorrow.

The other thing that's ended, is the mail ordering in time for Christmas. I think the window is closed as of today. Thankfully, the orders have slowed down now. There was one last blitz over the weekend, and I sort of felt a sense of relief on Monday as I headed home from the post office. But it was short-lived. I came home to a couple of messages and more in the inbox. But it's slowing down.

I could really use a breather from all the rush rush bustle bustle. Unfortunately we've got the big event in a couple of days, so there is the finishing up of shopping, prepping the feasting, baking the cookies, getting the house ready, the gift wrapping. Oy. So many to do lists...

Santa, I would like a little less doing and lot more celebrating and relaxing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shows this Week: Dec 1 - 4


Racing along on my little hamster wheel over here, trying to keep it all together. This season is always such a rush, rush, rush.

There are a couple more shows this week - Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach and Phinney Ridge Winter Festival. Details below:

Warm Beach Camp sets up their gigantic light display (over a million lights!) every year with entertainment stages, fresh hot donuts, carolers, gift shops and the works set up all month. It opens Thursday, Dec 1st.

Dates: Thurs thru Sun Dec 1-4, 8-11, Thurs thru Christmas Eve 15-23, Mon - Wed 26-28.

Hours: are 5pm to 10pm. There is an admission charge and you can buy tickets online from the site. Check there for more info on everything, including driving directions.

Address: Warm Beach Camp, 20800 Marine Dr., Stanwood

I set that up yesterday and it is really starting to look good. I can't wait to go back myself and see it all lit up. I am definitely going out there again this year to see it. So gorgeous!

Phinney Neighborhood Center's Winter Festival

Dates: Sat and Sun, Dec 3-4
Hours: 10am - 5pm both days
Address: Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle

One of my very favorite shows to do every year! If you are looking for unique and handmade gifts for the holidays, this is the place to go. There are so many wonderful artists here. There is an admission fee - $2 for PNA members and $4 for the general public. There are treats, fresh wreaths, entertainment too. So looking forward to this. PLEASE NOTE: I'm in a different spot than usual this year. I'll be upstairs in the Blue Building, on the top floor in the big room (Room 7). It's a smaller space and I have to hand carry my goods up a flight of stairs, but it's worth it.

Next week I'll be back at Group Health in my little shop space (Dec 7 - 9). Also Allied Arts in Bellingham is ongoing throughout the whole month of December and I'm restocking there weekly - it looks great this year. And for those of you looking for me at Group Health in Bellevue - I think we have the date of Mon Dec 19th set up to do a last minute holiday show over there.

For those of you who like to shop from home - the mail order is bananas this year. I'm keeping up with orders and they are shipping out usually the next day. Nothing is officially sold out yet, but with all these shows, inventory is getting low in spots, so I don't recommend waiting til the last minute.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pedal to the Metal

Petal to the medal. Or testing my mettle.

It feels like I've been sitting on my butt in the car for an astronomical amount of hours the last couple of weeks. And there's a whole lot more of that to come. I really hate traffic.

Every single day there is another set-up or tear-down of a show. Shlep, shlep, shlep.

This is the hard part of the year. Luckily it is short. And seems to go by fast.

Unluckily, it's also the time of year you might want to slow down a little, so you can enjoy the holidays, celebrations, events with family and friends. And to do some of the fun stuff people do. Like baking, decorating, shopping. I was going to say crafting. Because I always love to play around and make hand-crafted holiday presents. But right now, just the word "craft" makes me squeemy.

Carry on.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Shows: Week Nov 14

Hi all. Quick post about the holiday shows happening this week. There's 3 - Allied Arts in Bellingham, Vasa Park and Best of the Northwest. Details below.

Allied Arts of Whatcom County - Holiday Festival of the Arts ( LINK)

We're setting up now, but it officially starts Friday. It's a gallery style show, in the same location as the last couple of years. And it runs through Christmas Eve. So much great stuff there, and lovely handmade holiday gifts.

Dates: Nov 18 - Dec 24
Hours: Wed through Sundays, 10am - 6p,.
They will also be open Monday and Tuesday, December 20th and 21st for last minute shopping before Christmas. The Festival will close at 3pm on December 24th
Location: 3548 Meridian St, south of Bellis Fair

Vasa Park Christmas Craft Show

Dates: Nov 16 - 18
Hours: Thurs - Fri 10am - 7pm, Sat 10am - 5pm
Location: Vasa Park Ballroom, 3560 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE, Bellevue

Best of the Northwest - NW Art Alliance

This is a fine art show, filled with 250 artist displays, entertainment, a wine tasting garden, food, a big day of fun. Really, you shouldn't miss this one, it's wonderful. Artists come from all over the Pacific Northwest to showcase here. There is simply nothing else like it.

Dates: Nov 17 - 19
Hours: Fri and Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Location: Smith Cove Terminal, the cruise ship terminal under the Magnolia Bridge in Seattle.

LINK: for discounted tickets, parking info, directions, lists of participating artists, entertainment guide etc., it's all there.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven.Eleven.Eleven.



Today is some sort of freak binary date. The last time it happened, November 11, 1911, temperatures in the U.S. fell a jaw-dropping 60 degrees over the course of a single day, causing blizzards and tornadoes. But this time around? Everyone is getting married today.

And celebrating our Veterans too.

I don't have anything auspicious planned. Just working on soap business. And waiting for this big storm to hit us later today, with a big cold front, giant winds and rain expected. Hopefully the weather won't be as bad as last time.

Also I'm updating my web site a little bit. It truly needs so much updating - it's old, tired and un-interesting. Much like myself lately. But come January, or sooner if I get some time to sit in front of my blinking screen, I am going to make it look more like this decade. With better links, more photos, colorful whatnots. No IPhone apps or flash plug-ins, just a fresher look. Gotta keep it fresh or it's over y'all. Damn those technologies and social media - it's always racing so far ahead.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Echo Falls this week


Just a reminder - I'm participating in the Starving Housewives show out at Echo Falls this week. It runs through Saturday so there's still time to check it out.

Dates: Nov 8 - 12.
Hours: Tues - Friday, 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm
Location: Echo Falls Country Club, 20414 – 121st Ave SE
(Maltby) Snohomish

Lots of great Christmas gift stuff there, and antique/collectibles too. Plus home decor to get your place in the holiday spirit.

Next week we set up the Allied Arts show in Bellingham. I'll be at Vasa Park in Issaquah, and the great big beautiful Best of the Northwest show at the cruise ship terminal in Magnolia. More details on those 3 shows to come soon.

The week after that is Thanksgiving, and I'm not at any shows - just catching a breath and getting ready for the huge December blitz which starts immediately after the holiday weekend. So if you're shopping in November, check me out at one of the above shows . . .

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Winter Holiday Newsletter 2011

As I always do here, I'm posting the Winter Holiday 2011 newsletter that just went out in both snail mail and email formats today. Plus one link that takes you directly to the Seasonal Products page on the website where everything discussed below is for sale with photos, longer descriptions and ingredient info. Whoop-de-doo - the season is upon us!

All the Seasonal goodies here!

WE HAVE ONLY THIS MOMENT, SPARKLING LIKE A STAR IN OUR HAND AND MELTING LIKE A SNOWFLAKE.
- FRANCIS BACON, SR.



Dear Friends,

Spring is spontaneous, Summer is carefree, but Winter is the season of traditions, bringing us back to family, friends, and rituals as comfortable as a favorite sweater.

We excitedly look forward to this time of year, filled with happy celebrations, holidays and comforts that we’ve waited months for. Cooking up heirloom recipes, unpacking beloved decorations, treating ourselves to special goodies – we wrap ourselves up warmly in winter traditions, usually by a crackling fire.

In keeping with our own traditions here at Soapworks Studio, we’re bringing back some of the most favorite Winter Holiday treats over the years. Inspired by this magical season comprised of single moments as fleeting as snowflakes, we’ve also created a few fresh winter wonderful gifts and goodies to share right now.

As the holidays get closer, the gift lists grow longer. Since we’re all still tightening our belts and pinching pennies in this economy, instead of exchanging piles of “stuff,” we all seem to be looking for gifts of simplicity and meaning in a cost effective way. Handmade items that are both useful and use-able make perfect sense. 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

This Winter Holiday season we are featuring some of your most requested soap fragrances, back by popular demand. Some folks have been waiting all year (or longer!) for these to reappear on the list. How nice it is to have a little stash of treats on the shelf waiting for you, or to share something you love with a friend. ($4.25 each or 4 bars for $16.00)

Ponderosa Pine – The perfect winter day is spent outside in a lush Northwest forest – skiing, hiking, or searching for that magical Christmas tree. The fresh pine and fir needles, balsam spruce, juniper berries, woodsmoke and newly fallen snow transport you right into the woods. A lovely green bar, this will be a hit with your nature-loving friends or the discerning men on your list.

Sleigh Ride - One whiff of this scent and nostalgic scenes of horse-drawn sleighs with children bundled in blankets, jingling through snow covered fields and forests dance through your imagination. An enchanting blend of green apple, peppermint, clove and orange is crisp, tingly, fresh and yet reminiscent of holiday spices and treats.

Cinnamon Cedar - Warm, earthy cedarwood is the perfect base for a cinnamon soap. The finished scent is cinnamon stick all the way. Simple and true, it’s all cinnamon spice, the quintessential scent of the holiday season. Men will love it. Women will adore it. Kids won’t be able to put it down either – don’t let the dog get it! (100% natural soap)

Helping Hand Soaps – The Perfect Gift

Just introduced last fall, these charming packages of mini soaps have been a huge hit! The set features small 2 oz bars in the most popular year-round fragrances: Lavender Lemongrass, Clove Mint, Vanilla Bean & Honey, French Lavender and Moroccan Fig. One of each of the 5 fabulous scents are piled up in a little stack, and tied with bakery twine. Such pretty colors. Such a great idea for guest baths, travel soaps, or small gifts. Such a reasonable price too - it’s only $10 for the whole package. You’ll want loads of these for the upcoming holiday season. And with a portion of the proceeds for these Helping Hands soaps dedicated to the charitable organization Kiva, it’s a gift that multiplies around the world too.

Holiday Home Fragrance Sprays

Our own little holiday tradition around here, and I know many of you can’t wait for it either, the Holiday Spice aromatic spray. It’s just not the holidays without it. We spritz around the house just before guests arrive, and they all coo about how great the place smells. And we spritz gift boxes, cards and stockings too before sending them off -- family and friends get a whoosh of holiday goodness when they open their presents! Holiday Spice 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. This year we’re adding Sleigh Ride – over the river and through the woods, a companion to our newest seasonal soap. It’s also woozy with holiday fun, destined to be a new tradition.
(4 oz bottle - $ 6.00)

Snow Day Bath Crystals

Beautiful bath salt crystals in a small French square glass jar look like real ice crystals. Scented with a delightful blend of sweet vanilla sugar, a pinch of warm spice, and hit with a snowball of frosty mint. It’s icy cool and cozy warm at the same time, in a best of both worlds kind of way. Like after a day of frosty snowy sledding, you arrive home and pop open the door to the smell of freshly baked cookies -- that kind of good. Smaller than our regular salt jars, these are the perfect size for stockings, little treats, or adding to goodie baskets. (4 oz bottle $ 5.00)

Charming Tote Bag Gift Sets

We’ve got new tote bag designs to make gift sets with. The fabric is white jute in a tote bag style, which is charming in that simple yet rustic and natural way we can’t get enough of. The smaller one (5”x5”) fits a bar of soap with a cotton washcloth or scrubby mitt, or a soap dish, or both ($12 - $16). All 3 items look adorable in that little square bag.! The larger rectangular tote (7”x6”) can hold a wider variety of items, including adding bath salts or sprays ($10 and up, priced individually). The web site has photos to jumpstart your imagination. You can make it easy and let us do the choosing, or you can custom build to your heart’s content.

Internet & Mail Ordering (Free Shipping on orders $100 or more!)

Holiday shopping online or by mail saves you time, expense, and the headache of traffic jams and crowded malls. And now we’re offering free shipping on all orders $100 or more. 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 SoapworksStudio.com. Spend more time celebrating and less time fretting. Let Soapworks Studio be your answer for holiday gifts!

“We have only this moment . . . “ as Francis Bacon reminds us. And in the silent, hopeful, chill of winter, we pause to give thanks for the many stars we’ve been given. Touched by their beauty, warmed by their glow, awestruck by their vastness, we appreciate our small moments here. With sparkly wishes for the new year,



Monday, October 31, 2011

Shows this Week: Nov 2 - 6

Oh yeah, I forgot I promised to post the whole show list for this week. I'm doing 4 different crafty shows this week and I'm a little frazzled trying to get it all together at the same time as I'm getting the Winter Holiday newsletter out and web site updated. It's been a real crunch. Thank God it's Halloween and the house is full of chocolate. More for me. Less for the kiddies.

Nov 2 - 5
Red Ribbons & Reindeer
Hollywood Schoolhouse
14810 NE 145th St, Woodinville
Wed 3-8pm, Thurs & Fri, 10am-8pm, Sat 9:30am-6pm

Nov 3 - 5
Pickering Barn Christmas Craft Show
Pickering Barn, 1720 – 10th Ave NW
(behind Costco) Issaquah
Thurs & Fri 10-7, Sat 10-5

Nov 3 - 5
Yuletide Treasures
Skagit County Fairgrounds
Thurs - Fri 10am - 7pm, Sat 9am - 6pm

Nov 5
Eastlake Holiday Bazaar
Eastlake High School, 400 – 22th Ave NE, Sammamish
Saturday only, 9am - 4pm

The first 3 are bazaar type shows, where my booth display is there but I am not. I will, however, be physically sitting at my table at Eastlake on Saturday. All of them are great shows. Most of them I do every year and look forward to seeing you guys. Yuletide is new for me, but it's always gotten great reviews, so I'm excited to see how that turns out. It's a bit of challenge to squeeze it in this week, but Janet asked me personally to do it, and I wanted to give it a try. Pickering is adding an antiques show in the other side of the barn this weekend, so it's really a double show - twice the space, half craft and half collectibles. More to love.

I'll have Winter Holiday stuff at all of them this time. Not so much of the fall scents left, but there may be a few random bars at different shows. The fall soaps are mostly sold out at this point. Boo.

Happy Halloween!



Haunted Houses

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses.Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,--

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

Source:
Longfellow's Poetical Works
Copyright 1893
Henry Frowde, London

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow Day

Wow, for the folks in the Northeast it really IS a snow day. But it's a snow day here in the studio today too. It's a blizzard of bath salt making for next week's shows.

I had no idea that peppermint would be so intoxicating. There's only a little bit of it in the scent blend, but with all the mixing and stirring and whirling and filling, the studio is filled with peppermint fumes. Boy are my sinuses clear. My head feels almost mint-a-holic, even with the window open.

But all in all, I really like how the scent turned out. There's vanilla sugar, a pinch of spice, a little orange zest too. It's the perfect cool, fresh, tingly mix with yummy warm good stuff in it too. Exactly what a snow day is all about.

And the packaging is adorable too. I've wanted to use these small French square jars forever. With a little tiny square label and a bit of red-striped bakery twine - so cute. I hope it's going to be a big hit for stocking stuffers, little office gifts, or added to goodie baskets. I can't wait to see how they do next week. Which reminds me, I'll have to post my show schedule here tomorrow to that you all can find them out there in the craft show world.

These little Snow Day bath crystals will be announced Nov 1st and on the web site for purchase on Tuesday - this is just a sneak peek. Cuz I'm mintified.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Open for business

I'm back from vacation. Two weeks is a long time. Not while you're gone - that's easy, time flies. But when you're finally back, catching up on two weeks worth of phone messages, emails, orders, news, laundry, blah blah - that is really super long. What a mountain.

So what did I do? Took a trip to Europe on a whirlwind tour of bits of Italy, Turkey and Greece. Rome, Capri, Crete, Mykonos, Ephesus, Athens. We were on a cruise, with a couple of extra days in Rome at the beginning and Athens at the end. We packed so much sightseeing into every minute, utterly exhausting. But worth it.

Anyway, just thought I'd put in a quick post to say I'm here and I'm working and everything is back in full swing. A couple of weeks from now the fall newsletter will go out as planned, and that first week in November is four different shows. The usual ones: Red Ribbons and Reindeer at the Hollywood Schoolhouse, Pickering Barn, Eastlake High School plus a new one for me - Yuletide Treasures at the Skagit Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon. Details are on the website calendar and I'll post the whole shebang here too next week. But for now, I'm leaving you with some photos of my journey in the sunshine and warm weather - which I am already missing here in rainy, grey Seattle.

Rome, Trevi Fountain


Capri, Sorrento



Taormina, Sicily


Sunset on the ship

Gorgeous Chania, on the island of Crete



Mykonos



Ephesus ruins, Turkish markets



Athens, the Acropolis and Parthenon at night


Sensory overload. In a good way :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Salmon Days 2011



Salmon Days is happening this coming weekend. I think it's supposed to stay mainly dry, mostly cloudy, a few showers. Posh. We're used to a lot worse. A few raindrops and clouds is nothing, right?

It's Sat and Sun, Oct 1 and 2. Hours are 10am-6pm both days. It's the whole downtown area of Issaquah, with the main streets closed off. There are so many activities and vendors it always amazes me. There is a new gal in charge this year, so a few things have been moved around a bit. I won't be in the same spot I've had the last few years on that beautiful corner to the entrance of the fish ladder across from Shishkaberries. But I'm just over a few booths in another corner. The old booth number was #318, and I'm now in #315 this year. It's just 3 spots up in a corner that faces north instead of south, same side of the street, basically in the same place. Hopefully you'll smell me, and not miss me.

Click the link above for all the scoop on the parade, the live stage entertainment schedule, parking and shuttles, food booths, artist vendor lists, maps and all the rest. This is a super huge show, great fun, and so much to do and see - don't miss it! Free admission, did I mention that?

Studio Closing Announcement

Fall is here! And it hit with a blast the last couple of days. Big winds, dumping rains - that's the weather we have come to expect.

Are you starting to think about ordering the fall seasonal soaps right about now? If so, just a word about what's coming up.

I'm going to be at Salmon Days this weekend, with all the fall goodies. And I'll post about that in a minute. But if you're planning on placing an order, please do it this week.

I am taking a short vacation before all the winter and holiday show season gets under way. I need a break from the grind and we've got a big family celebration to boot. So I'm closing the studio from Monday, October 3rd through Monday October 17th. Yes, two whole weeks! I don't remember ever going that long. But it's necessary and much anticipated.

Since it's just little old me over here behind the green curtain, that means no orders are going to be shipped during that time period. You will still be able to place orders on the website. But there will be a message informing you that it won't be shipped until Tuesday, Oct 18th. I'll start in on them right away and take them in order that they are received, getting them all out as quickly as possible.

Any questions or comments or whatnot, please give me a shout this week too. I'm working like a crazy person trying to get everything in order. If you need something from me, just let me know as soon as you can.

The Puyallup Fair was good this year, just a smidge better than last year, so as of yesterday, that is in the rear view mirror. What a long haul those two weeks are. I think it turned out ok. We're still calculating some of the sales and numbers overall. But for myself, I did alright this time out, and have a few good ideas for new stuff to do there next year.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, the Winter Holiday newsletter and new products announcements will still happen as usual during that first week of November. No change in any of the schedule for the rest of the year. Just a little time-out in October.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Puyallup Fair


So uh yeah, I was supposed to yap about the Puyallup Fair last week, and give you all the deets. I sort of got busy and forgot. But it's already happening. The fair, that is.

Dates: Sept. 9 - 25
Hours: Sun - Thurs 10am-10pm, Fri & Sat, 10am-11pm
Place: The Puyallup Fairgrounds, or Western Washington Fairgrounds, or whatever you call it. And if you don't know where that is, wow. It's the biggest thing in the town of Puyallup and signs for exits and where to go are plastered on every corner. Plus all the highway exits. But of course there is a map and directions too, on their website.

So as I mentioned earlier, I'm located in the "Artists in Action" area. It's a gallery/store located on the ground level of the Grandstand. The Grandstand is where the concerts are. Artists in Action is right next to the Fisher scone line, which is always loooooong. It's the west end (north end?) closest to the Red Gate. Gah. I've been there 5 years and I still know nothing.

Well I do know something: this year the "Totally Fried" booth is serving up deep-fried butter. Just to keep up with all the other insane fairs around the country. The deep-fried oreos and snickers looked alright, but I'm still pretty scared of the Krispy Kreme Chicken sandwich there.

Ok, back to the art. There's close to 70 artists in our show, doing fiber stuff, pottery, wood work, metal work, jewelry, clothing, hand-painted all kinds of things. Some new artists and new stuff. We've mixed it up and changed around the booths a little bit. We're still doing demos all day of how we make our wares. I'm working a bunch of little small shifts in the mornings, so I'll be in and out.

The rodeo part was last weekend, and I guess that's over. But there is a pretty good concert line-up. And lots of stuff to do. Just don't eat the butter.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Autumn 2011 Newsletter

The new Autumn newsletter is on its way! Snail mail versions are en route and should arrive tomorrow. The email version has just been popped off a few minutes ago. So to cover all the bases, I'm posting the info here too. The full text is below the photo. And a LINK TO ALL THE FALL GOODIES IS RIGHT HERE. That linkie-poo gets you to the Seasonal page on the web site, where you can travel around and check out whatever else you'd like to see too. Cheers!


Dear Friends,

The lazy, hazy dog days of summer headed out of town. It’s a bit of a shock, I know. Frolicking about in the glorious warmth of summer, it feels like it will go on forever and ever. And then suddenly summer is gone and we’re dumbstruck. How could it have passed by so quickly, we wonder?

September heralds the advent of autumn, with shorter days, cooler nights and a return of the “routines.” Like a well-worn path, fall has a welcome familiarity that brings us both comfort and a quiet joy.

Autumn has its own special pleasures - cozy snuggling by the fire as the leaves dance in circles and the rains patter against the window. It feels good to head inside and rediscover the warm comforts of hearth and home.

AUTUMN SEASONAL SOAPS

Autumn’s cool, crisp air crystallizes our senses. The whisper of wind and the crunch of dead leaves shoo us back indoors to the warm delights of home – soups stewing, goodies baking and fireplaces crackling. This year’s Autumn Harvest soaps highlight our favorite fruits and spices, taking the best of the season and celebrating the bounty. ($4.25 each or 4 bars for $16.00)

Sugar Pumpkin: This year’s version of the ever-popular pumpkin soap is scented with creamy pumpkin, vanilla, a sprinkling of spice, and warm brown sugar. Sweet and cinnamon-y, it is the quintessential fall fragrance, sure to mark the start of the season.

Cranberry Harvest: Tart, juicy cranberries and zesty orange peel, loaded with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepperberry. This is a soft red bar - brightly fruity with a nice compliment of traditional spice.

Honey Orange: Fresh honey is the special ingredient in this soap, gently soothing and calming skin while adding extra moisture. Scented with sweet orange and a luscious honey fragrance, it’s soft and comforting.

Milk & Cookies: Who doesn’t love this treat? Especially on a rainy, blustery day. This soap is brimming with fresh, pure goat milk. The scent, however, is fresh-from-the-oven snickerdoodles – yummy, buttery, sugary vanilla and cinnamon.

HOLIDAY SPICE HOME FRAGRANCE SPRAY

It’s not too early to start spritzing a little festive spicy holiday spirit around the house! Holiday Spice is 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. Cinnamon spice and harvest fruit pair well with our fall soaps and set the mood in your cozy home. (4 oz bottle - $ 6.00)

HELPING HANDS SOAP SETS

Just introduced last fall, these charming packages of mini soaps have been a huge hit! The set features small 2 oz bars in the most popular year-round fragrances: Lavender Lemongrass, Clove Mint, Vanilla Bean & Honey, French Lavender and Moroccan Fig. One of each of the 5 fabulous scents are piled up in a little stack, and tied with bakery twine. Such pretty colors. Such a great idea for guest baths, travel soaps, or small gifts. Such a reasonable price too - it’s only $10 for the whole package. You’ll want loads of these for the upcoming holiday season. And with a portion of the proceeds for these Helping Hands soaps dedicated to the charitable organization Kiva, it’s a gift that multiplies around the world too.

DEAD SEA BATH SALTS

Our rustic, chunky bath salts come directly from the Dead Sea. Completely unrefined, these salts are sun dried from the waters of the Dead Sea in southern Israel. Pure, fresh salts with a mineral content that is 7 times greater than other types of sea salts, they work wonders on purifying and detoxifying, improving circulation, moisturizing skin, soaking away stress, and relaxing muscles, aches and pains.
The Dead Sea salts are quite concentrated in their healing and nourishing properties, so a little goes a long way. Just toss a small handful, or approximately a quarter of a cup into your bath water, and use even less for foot soaks. The fragrance may seem a little strong at first whiff in the bottle but they are scented to fill a full bath.
Just for fall, I’ve added a new seasonal scent: Red Currant – a gorgeous deep fruity berry scent. And the every day favorite fragrances are: French Lavender, Vanilla Bean & Honey, Sandalwood Jasmine, and Almond Ginger. (16 oz bottle - $ 8.00)

THE SEASON OF SHOWS, SHOWS, SHOWS

The next few months are chock full with craft shows, fairs and festivals too. I’ll be doing what I can to bring the goodies to your neck of the woods. See the enclosed calendar or log onto the website to get more details on the “Show Schedule” page.

As always, I sincerely appreciate your loyal business throughout the year, and wish you a brilliant and abundant harvest season!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Program Notes


Well, that's assuming I actually DO have a program going on over here. Mostly it's been a mix of slacking and revving up for fall.

The slacking part came after the Anacortes show at the beginning of the month. It was the best ever, and I needed some time after that to just recuperate from it all. A weekend off to go camping. A few days of just taking it easy, doing the bare minimum to keep the balls in the air.

Now is the revving up part. The fall newsletter and introduction of all the fall stuff. The Puyallup Fair in September. The beginning of all the fall shows, which immediately become winter holiday hoopla etc. It's all just about to pop.

So that's what today's blog is about - the stuff about to pop. If you're thinking it's just about time for another newsletter, you're right. I'm going to send it off next Tuesday - a week from today. Nobody is really thinking about fall too much until after Labor Day weekend is out of the way. So next week will be the newsletter in the mailbox and the email inbox and also here on the blog.

The website will be updated accordingly next week, with a little different look - new colors and photos of the seasonal stuff.

And Friday of next week is the first day of the Puyallup Fair. It runs Sept 9 - 25 and I'll be back in the Artists in Action area under the grandstand. I'll do a separate post with all the details on that show next week. But this is just a heads up. Click the link above for advance info, early tickets etc. The first day is free admission from 10am to noon if you bring a donation to their food drive to the gate. Insider tip: a lot of folks rush the gates early, get their re-entry stamp and then head off to their day, coming back later in the afternoon or evening to actually do the first day of the fair. It's a huge rush, though, so you have to like crowds.

Gosh, I just can't believe it's all happening already and that summer is over and September is here. The tomatoes are still green. But the leaves are already falling off the trees and most of the garden has keeled over dead. I guess that means it's just another crap tomato year.

Well, Tally ho. Enjoy the last few days of it. Meet me back here Tuesday.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Anacortes Arts Festival - Last Summer Fair


OMG - It's time once again for the Anacortes Arts Festival. It's happening this weekend, Friday through Sunday, and it's a humdinger. It's the 50th anniversary of this annual festival and it should be a blast.

On August 5, 6 and 7, 2011, The downtown streets will be filled with 250 outstanding juried Booth Artisans, music on multiple stages, Culinary Art and beer garden featuring ethnic and regional tastes, and a creative Youth Area.

The north end of the Festival features Arts at the Port fine art exhibition showcasing work by artists spanning 50 years of the Festival's Permanent Collection. Experience Art with demonstrating artists and a new Gorilla/Guerrilla Open Art area round out the north Commercial Festival events.

The info:

Dates: Friday through Sunday, Aug 5 - 7
Hours: Fri and Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Soapworks booth location - NEW THIS YEAR! I'm an invitee this year, which means I must have had a pretty good show last year, despite the rain on Saturday. So I picked a new spot. I'm one block south of my old space. I'm in the 500 block, meaning half-way inbetween 5th and 6th Street. That's the Gere-A-Deli block, so about half a block south, right near that alley, and I"m in the center of the street with all my sides open, so you can see me better. It's space #512C if you've got a map (map located HERE).

This is my last outdoor summer show this year - I don't have any more scheduled for August. So I'm hoping for a bonanza. And if you wanted to try any of the summer seasonal scents, this will probably be it. In just a few short weeks the fall newsletter goes out, the Puyallup Fair starts, and it's going to be Autumn over here at the studio, no matter that we still have warm weather outside. Come and get it while the getting's good!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Change Ain't Always Good


The biggest thorn in my side in this business is packaging. Or changes in the containers and doo-dabs that I use to package my products. Just when you think you've got it all figured out and stream-lined, something goes belly up.

This week it's those dang slidey lip balm tins. Something on the manufacturer's side changed, and the new batch of tins I got last week was different. I noticed it was a little harder to slide the top on while I was making up a bunch of new flavors for the Bellevue show (on Thursday afternoon just before I headed out the door to set up for the show). So I knew something was afoot, but I had to take them out on the road anyway.

Almost everyone who tried to slide them open to get a sniff of the flavor had trouble with them. It was awkward. And not fun. Because most of my flavors are the older style tin and are so easy - they just glide and snap like a breeze. But the new ones don't "pinch and pull" the same way. They have to lift and slide. I've opened like a hundred now and even I still can't quite get it open easily. Imagine it in the hands of the little girls who want to try the Raspberry Soda or Root Beer. Lids are on the pavement. Little fingers are in the balm. And I'm standing there trying to explain it all, feeling foolish. Bleh.

So now what? It's the same old question. Do I spend a lot of time trying to find new ones just like it that work better? Do I change the container altogether? I've had those things for years and years. Customers won't recognize a tube-like thing. And I've got all those darn labels made up already. Changing them means throwing out money on the labels. And there's no guarantee that another supplier will have something better. They probably all come from the same place.

It happens constantly. The (fill in the blank - ribbon, bottle, label size) suddenly isn't available any more. Or out of stock for months at a time, during the whole busy summer season, because a container from China is lost, stuck in customs or whatever. The manufacturer went out of business. The supplier discontinued carrying them, and nobody else has them. It's all the same. A headache.

I'm taking them out to Anacortes this weekend because I have to. People expect them. They come to stock up. They recognize them instantly - I've had those same tins for a dozen years now. And if it's like last weekend and they struggle with the lid, ultimately tossing it back instead of deciding to buy it because it's just too darn hard to open? then they are toast, people.

I added the lip balms to my line mostly so that all the young girls who come to sniff the soap, but don't have enough allowance money for soap bars, will still have an affordable little something to buy from me. Girls just lurve them some lip goop too. They can never have enough. So it's been all good. But it's a lot of work to make all those flavors and not a lot of profit in it.

I'll just have to think about it another day. My brain hurts right now, going around and around. It's MONDAY. This kind of stuff is too much for a Monday after a long 3-day show weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bellevue Art Festival - July 2011


Somehow, the way the month of July worked out on the calendar, we must have had an extra weekend in there because I had last weekend off. No shows, beautiful weather and a break from all the usual summer madness. It was so nice. Almost like a real summer.

But this week has been back to work in a big way. Tomorrow is the start of the Bellevue art show trifecta. The museum show is at Bellevue Square, in the parking garage. Then there's the other show across the street in the Cost Plus parking lot. And then there's us - the Sixth Street Fair - which sets up on 106th, a block over. I'll be in my same wonderful space in front of the California Pizza Kitchen, under the trees and next to Andrew the glass guy, who I neighbor with every year - he's a blast. This is a really huge event with hundreds and hundred of artists all over the place, drawing massive crowds.

Tee hee. I just checked back on what I wrote for this show last year and just to prove that nothing changes and it's groundhog day, year after year, I'm going to paste in the whole weather paragraph from exactly this same week last year. It's 100% true right now too:

"And so many years it's been hotter than Hades - we're all wilting in the heat and everyone is running for the indoor air conditioning. But not this time. Because this year we are having the summer that never showed up. I'm sure that if you are reading this from the East Coast or other parts of the country you probably don't want to hear us complain about our chilly summer. The heat waves everywhere else are insane. But we are not having any of it. Overnight it gets cloudy and cool, dropping into the low 50's. We wake up to early spring weather. And if we are really, really lucky (maybe a dozen days now) we can get into the 70's in the afternoon if the sun breaks through. It's stupid. Which proves to everyone that I'm not a true Northwesterner. Because a lot of people around here love that. Me? I'd be happier with more sun, warmer temperatures, and an actual summer-like day or two."

Isn't that crazy!?! Actually the past week has been a little better. And we're going to have a dry weekend in the mid-70s with a bit of sun. So it should be perfect and a great time to get out and do the summer stuff we've been waiting for.

Show deets:

Friday, July 29: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 30: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 31: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Here is the map which lists all the other vendors and their locations. There is food and music too. Hope you get a chance to come over.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gig Harbor Art Festival


Just a quick note with details about this weekend's show. I'll be in Gig Harbor for their annual summer art festival, hosted by Peninsula Art League.

It's July 16 & 17. Hours are 10am-6pm on Sat and 10am-5pm on Sun. Location is Judson Street, in front of the QFC mall, downtown Gig Harbor. I'm smack dab in the middle of it all on the QFC side of the street.

I usually hope for shade because this July weekend can be one of the hottest. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen this year. Seems weird to have such cool, cloudy weather in July. But all the weather people keep telling us that we've got it so much better than any other parts of the country, so I guess we shouldn't gripe about it too much.

Anyway, this is a good show with a great turnout of local folks and a lot of fun. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

West Seattle Summer Festival


West Seattle Summer Fest is happening this weekend, July 8 - 10, and I'm looking forward to being there with my little 'ol soap booth again this year!

West Seattle Summer Fest is a FREE 3-day street fair, hosted by an organization of local area merchants, the West Seattle Junction Association. Now in it’s 29th year, West Seattle Summer Fest is host to dozens of bands, hundreds of merchants and artists, and over 30,000 attendees.

FESTIVAL HOURS:

Friday: 10am – 10pm (Vendor sales until 6pm and food vendors until 8pm)

Saturday: 10am – Midnight (Vendor and food sales until 8pm)

Sunday 11am – 5pm (Vendor and sales until 5pm)

This year they are planning a GREENLIFE Garden and Sustainability Expo too. There will be vendors and non-profits to share their knowledge of Living in the Green Lane! A full roster of classes and demonstrations includes solar energy, back yard chickens, canning and preserving, and beer making at home. Yes – home brewing is considered a GREEN activity:) For a full list of classes and demonstrations, please visit the GreenLife Page. The Greenlife area is at the south end of the festival, near the corner of Edmunds St.

Check the website for maps. The list of vendors is HERE. There's a zoomable map on that page that will give you close-up directions to specific booths.

Soapworks Studio booth is space #133 - which is located on the north block, between Alaska and Oregon Streets. I'm on the west side of the street, with a beautiful corner, same spot as last year. I forgot which business I was in front of, but it's closer to Oregon, the Art Dive and the Beer Garden than it is to Alaska and the food booths.

This is a really fun neighborhood event, with all kinds of stuff to do for kids to adults. All the businesses roll stuff out into the street, the dozens of restaurants have outdoor seating. From the kiddie bouncie/jumpie blow up thingies to the evening music, it's all a good time. See you there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's not really gardening -

it's more like hacking through a jungle with a machete. In fact, I'm using an axe, my wood saw and only rarely, the clippers.

I got pretty inspired by the garden show in Gig Harbor last weekend. Everyone's garden was so very lovely. And tamed. And weed-free. Oh, I know - they've worked on them like crazy people for weeks. With probably a team of helpers too. It's not like they look like that all the time. It's just for a weekend, to show off for the garden tour.

But in my fantasy world I should have a garden that looks like all those magazine spreads of fabulous cottage gardens, kitchen gardens, beach view decks with fire pit, and a huge patio with the built in kitchen, pizza oven and fireplace all spread out. Maybe a tiki bar in the corner too. In my dream house I have all of it. It's a beach-front farm with gourmet kitchen patio. Oh, I almost forgot the pool. There's one of those too. With a cabana, outdoor shower and guest house. Why limit your dreams?

Instead I have a tiny little postage stamp patio. And a teeny weeny little patch of grass with a few plants in the borders. A crunch of too many tomato plants in a corner near the back door. And then everything else at the moment is weeds higher than the fence. Or ivy slowly creeping in and covering what I thought was the front yard.

My next door neighbor is an empty lot of green things that will continue to live and take over the earth, even if we have a nuclear or global warming disaster that takes us all out. Ivy. Blackberries. Creeping morning glory or chokeweed junk. Holly trees. You can't kill them. I've tried - repeatedly. Nothing works. But the hacking is necessary, because if I don't make a tiny little dent over here on my side by the fence, then by next summer, you won't even know my house is here. The jungle will grow right over the fence, over the house and continue on.

The back yard neighbor is a rental house with kids who only stay there for 6 months or a year at a time, and nobody owns a lawn mower or any other garden type tool. They don't even go outside. So it might as well be a jungle too. In between renters, somebody comes by and hacks down the chin-tall weed-grass. But at this time of year, it's so contrained by one single yard, that it's bursting through all the little fence cracks trying to break free.

So I'm out there the last day or so trying to tame the jungle. I can't really call it "gardening." The cat's don't care.


And if you're curious about what my little casa/home studio actually looks like - here's a picture of the front today. It's a work in progress and clearly I need to do a little hacking in the front yard too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gig Harbor Garden Tour


It's been so long since I've blogged over here, that I almost don't even know how to do it anymore. Rather than make excuses or long explanations, let's just say I've been off doing regular life stuff - taking my focus off business for few minutes just for brain space.

But this weekend I'll be at the Gig Harbor Garden Tour. I had the lovely opportunity to participate in this show last year for the first time and it was so enjoyable, that I'm doing it again. It's a garden tour of private houses all over the Gig Harbor area, and they change each year so this year will be all new ones.

You need to buy tickets either in advance (online) or at the first house. You get a little badge or bracelet or whatnot, and then you get a map and more information. I don't have many details, so I'll just post the link to their website for all the latest scoop - http://www.gigharborgardentour.org/.

It's Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4. I'll be at Dick & Sara Bowe's house (garden #3) with Dianne Kimball (pottery, garden art) and Randy's Nursery (hardy plants).

Note - I just checked the website myself to see if there were directions, and you can buy tickets through tomorrow (Sat) online. I guess you have to actually do that part first. And when you do, you are given a will-call location as to where to pick them up. Otherwise the addresses are not published and there is no map available until you've got a ticket. So go buy a ticket and head out to see us. The gardens were really special and something to see last year, so I expect these will be spectacular too - so much work goes into getting them ready.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Latest Logo

This is my latest logo-type thingie. I had to mess around with making a little square digital image for a few things in the last month, and this is what I came up with.

I'm working on getting new business cards printed with it too. A little different version because it's a smaller rectangle size. If you've seen my business card from the last year or so, they've been chocolate brown with bright flowers all over it. But I'm running out of those soon and needed new ones. I thought I'd go with something a little fresher and lighter this year.

I spent a whole morning working on it, but it's so hard to see the little tiny image on your computer screen. It's not until they arrive in the mail, all printed up, that you finally get a sense of whether it worked out or not. When I hit "submit order" I was kind of happy with it. Now that I'm looking at it more, I'm thinking it's a little boring. It will be at least another week before they get here. I suppose I'll fret about it some more until then - because you just can't get enough fretting into a regular day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

First Thursday - Pioneer Square


It's so funny how the universe works. Always on the day I'm packing for a show, the phone starts ringing with orders. It's like the powers that be out there somehow know that I'm ready to sell stuff and the message goes out. My lovely customers respond - calling in their orders for soaps, sprays or whatnot. They all have kind words and happy things to say about the products. What a joyful way to take the stress out of an otherwise anxiety or stress-filled day. Not a one of them needs anything immediately right now ("no worries, no hurry, just send it when you can").

Ok, if I'm being totally honest, sometimes it feels like a little extra stress to know that I've got a pile of orders waiting for me on the day I unpack and try to recover from a long weekend. But that's not too often. Usually the orders are pretty easy and I'm just grateful to have them. And even more thankful to have such nice, sweet customers too.

Today I'm packing up for First Thursday/ArtWalk in Pioneer Square tomorrow. It's my first time at this, so I don't know much. Hours are 11am - 8pm, or thereabouts. The real artwalk hours are around 4-8, dragging on a little later if the weather is nice and people are out. So we're hoping for a few lunchtime folks to stop by too. We are lined up on Occidental, along the park. And it's at least 27 artists who are signed up as of this minute, but it's open to last minute folks too. A few will arrive later in the day due to work schedules.

I just hope the weather is better than the last couple of days. I'm really tired of all the drizzle and chilly. More honesty here. I'm just really tired of it all at the moment. It feels like it's been a long month. And if I have to spend another day outside for 12 hours in the damp and cold, I'm going to be really sad. At least there are hot soup and sandwich places right there. And I'll be close to my car if I need to jump in and heat up. I guess summer is going to show up for the weekend and I have a couple days off then. Huzzah!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Folklife - my spot

Just got back from the big load-in over at Seattle Center and I'm thinking it's going to be pretty hard to find me if you don't know where to look.

So here's the scoop. We are over at the Center Square Stage area, between the Center House and EMP - the far other side of the Center House, headed towards EMP. There's a big stage there, and a bunch of outdoor craft vendor tents, which are part of our group. And the rest of our group is inside the 'Center Maintenance Building'. That's what they call it. It's a long, skinny metal building directly behind the Children's Garden set-up. It's got giant garage doors that will be open all weekend, so it will be visible and open. But we're still covered from the elements, which might come in handy.

If you're headed over there for the festival - stop by to say HI! BTW - I'll be out of the studio an awful lot the next few days, so if you're trying to get me, it may take an extra day or so. Have a great holiday people!

Thursday is garbage day at my house

which means nothing, except that I loathe to run around collecting trash and recycling and rushing it out to the curb in my pajamas on Thursday mornings. Especially when it's cold or raining. Which it wasn't today. But it certainly isn't summer either. It's another full week of cloudy, showery, chilly and waiting for the sun to show up.

Just a quick quote from a mini-guide to success that I read somewhere (and if I can find it again, I'll post the link):

"Don't make the dull thing that everyone will yawn and settle for. Make it sharp and glittering and irreplaceable."

I'm off to set up Folklife today. I can't quite tell from my map where I'll be but it looks a little hard to find. I'm inside, not outside on the walkways. So I don't have to worry about our cold, rainy forecast for the weekend. I'll post better directions here when I get back so that anybody looking for me at the show can find me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Banner ad on KOMO


So many big announcements this week!

I've signed on to be a community sponsor with KOMO News, which is just a fancy-pants name for paid advertising, but in a specific geographic area of the Seattle area.

If you live/work or access a computer in the Beacon Hill or Georgetown neighborhoods of Seattle, you will automatically see my little banner ad flashed across the front page of the KOMO news website. It's just above the "Top Video" bar and directly below the "Sports" section. If you click on the button, it takes you to my profile page in the Communities areas for both Beacon and Georgetown. It's like another whole web site there, with all my info, photos, my show schedule etc.

If you do not live in those areas, you can still see it by clicking the handy link I have pasted over there to the left - the image that says "proud supporter of KOMO communities" thingie. The other method (a lot more clicking) is go to the KOMO home page, click on "Communities" across the top menu bar, choose Beacon Hill (or Georgetown), and then click "Businesses" in that top menu bar. All the categories are listed in the left hand box. I'm of course under "Bath & Body Products." You can also see me if you click the "All Community Sponsors" button in the right hand box of a few select Community Sponsor ads.

Sort of roundabout to find me that way. But if you're in my neighborhood, you'll be seeing my nice banner every time you open the home page, which is really cool.


Yep, that's what it looks like, for those of you outside of my neighborhood. The profile page is there all the time for anybody, but the banner ad is specific to my own location. I'm giving it a try for a few months to see what happens. KOMO News has the largest news website west of the Mississippi, so it can't be a bad thing.

It's all about the marketing, people. Marketing, marketing, marketing. It can start to make you fruitloops if think about it all day. This has been a roller coaster week.

Folklife! I'm There!

Whoop, whoop! I'm going to be at Folklife this year!

A friend of mine, Chuck at Down to the Wire Designs, needed to share a booth space this year and invited me to help him out. I wasn't planning on it and it's not on my schedule anywhere. But I'm going to do it because it's too great an opportunity to pass up. It's a last minute add on.

We're part of the Indie Roots area at Center Square, organized by Urban Craft Uprising

"Voted Best Place for Urban Crafts in the Seattle Weekly’s 2010 “Best Of” Awards, this year we warmly welcome Urban Craft Uprising to the Northwest Folklife Festival, Memorial Day Weekend!

Making their debut at our new venue, Indie Roots at Center Square, we’ve partnered with UCU to bring you a unique and awesome array of crafts. The Urban Craft Marketplace in Center Square will be open the entire weekend from 11:00AM-8:00PM."


So it's Memorial Day weekend - Friday, May 27 through Monday May 30th. We're open from 11am-8pm each day. I've got just a half a booth, so I'm not going to have everything, just a selection. If you are hoping to pick up something specific, please call or email and I'll make sure to have it there for you.

For more info on the festival - Folklife

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

U District Street Fair 5/22


Hey, just a reminder, this weekend is the U District Street Fair. I know, it feels early. It's the first big street fair of the summer, and sort of the whole announcement that summer is here. But it feels like we've barely squeeked into spring around here, it's been so chilly.

This week is the first bit of sunshine and truly warm weather we've had. But of course it's not supposed last into the weekend. We'll be back to the clouds and rain showers for Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully it will be sporadic and mild and the crowds will get a chance to come out and parade up and down the Ave.

The details for the show:

University District Street Fair
University Avenue, Seattle
May 21 - 22, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6
My booth location: #315, between 42nd & 43rd, west side of street

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. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Newsletter 2011

The summer newsletter went out in the post a week ago, and I guess I forgot to put this up on the blog too.

I'm posting the text here too, so those of you who are not on the mail list or email list can get the scoop also. Here it is, with one big giant LINKIE POO to the summer seasonal product page where everything mentioned in the letter is listed.

Dear Friends,

I remember back when we were school kids and we just couldn’t wait another minute for summer to arrive. Crossing off the days on the calendar with big black X marks, the anticipation for the first day of vacation was sweet agony.

Summer meant freedom and seemed to last forever. No matter how old we get or how far away from classrooms and long vacations, we never really forget that yearning feeling when the sun finally comes out. We just want to get out there.

Even if our “summer vacation” is just a few weekends from June to August, we want to pack in as much fun in the sun as we possibly can. And here in the Northwest we’ll wear shorts and sandals with goosebumps just to hang onto our favorite season a little bit longer.

I’m starting my list of summer activities so I don’t miss a thing – barbeques, outdoor concerts, picnic parties, beach afternoons, parades, and festivals. Oh yeah, summer’s going to be good.

SUMMER SEASONAL SOAPS

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

EUCALYPTUS: When it’s hot outside you want only one thing – to feel cool and fresh. A chilly shower with this bar is the ultimate in refreshing. Eucalyptus is grassy and green with a caress of icy cold fingers down your back. It’s a great morning zinger bar or a zesty after work-out soap too. (100% natural ingredients)

ORANGE GINGER MINT: This minty scrubby soap was introduced in the last newsletter for spring. It’s been a runaway hit and it seems to work perfectly for summer too, so we’re keeping it on the menu. Happy and energizing, it’s blend of sweet orange, a pinch of ginger, peppermint and spearmint, plus a sprinkle of poppy seeds for texture. A soft cantaloupe color, the poppy seeds help with gentle exfoliation or a wake-up massage in the shower. (100% natural ingredients)

OCEAN BREEZE – A soft blend of ocean and air, this scent is light as a breeze, fresh and clean. With a zen-like calm, its soothing marine fragrance and beautiful translucent sea glass color transports you directly to the spa.

COCONUT ALMOND – A delicious treat - it smells like dessert! Gorgeous coconut goodness paired with yummy nutty almond. It’s creamy and mild with no color added for a creamy white bar.

AROMATIC SPRAYS FOR SUMMER

Summer is the perfect season to indulge in one of the aromatic sprays. Keep one in the fridge for a little spritz of icy cool on your neck or d├ęcolletage. Spray a little bit of yummy on your summer sundresses, fresh sheets, steamy car seats or stinky dog. This superhero stuff goes anywhere and everywhere, making the world smell a little more pretty. (4 oz bottle, $6.00)

Two new scents to try, just for the summer season: COCONUT LEMON or EUCALYPTUS. Coconut lemon is tropical and bright – a bit of creamy coconut with a squeeze of tart lemon. Eucalyptus clears your head with a top note of camphor, but mellows into warm grasses and wood, for a clean, fresh fragrance.

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. Bugger Off Spray comes highly recommended and is amazingly effective. ($6.00 each)

SUMMER FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

The arrival of summer means another year of sidewalk fairs and festivals. I’ve got a full season planned and am looking forward to meeting and seeing you all. For more details on my summer schedule, including booth locations, check out the schedule section on the website, SoapworksStudio.com.

We’ve all waited through such a long, cold spring that this year’s summer is going to be the best ever!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More cowbell


Wow, it sure was cold out there in Mount Vernon all weekend. Frigid, freezing and drizzly. Except Sunday. Sunday was actually sunny. Only warm in the sunbeams, but at least it brought out all the kids and families to get a little fresh air. Sales were a mixed bag for most artists, but I did pretty well and am happy with the weekend. Even the part where some guy hit my car while I was parked there on Saturday. He was nice enough to leave me a note, and even took the time to call the police and report it too. It's basically a bumper dent and not that big a deal, but it's good to know that integrity still exists. Who knew?

For those of you that missed me there, or for those of you that bought something/didn't buy something but want to get more - my products are still at the Berry Barn there thru April 30th. You can save the shipping by heading over to Charlene's show (and pick up a delicious pie while you're there). The Berry Barn is just off Hwy 20 on the LaConner road.

Of note: the tulips are finally out. Some fields popped over the weekend, and some are just coming out right now. So this coming weekend should be spectacular. They only leave them out for 10 days before they get topped and dug up for bulbs. Don't wait around til it's too late.

New shows! Northwest Art Alliance (Best of the Northwest shows) has just taken on organizing the Art in Occidental Park show, which happens in Pioneer Square on the First Thursday artwalks. It starts next month - the first Thursday in May and runs through December. My summer and fall schedule is already pretty full so I can only head over there a couple of times. I'm scheduled for June 2 and September 1. Here's a link to what goes on over there. Looks like we're setting up our tents all around Occidental Park - and it's a long day of it too - 11am to 10pm. Sounds like it might be a lot of fun!