Sunday, February 19, 2012

Can't leave it alone

No that's not my cat. Just one of those "crazy cats sleeping" photos that people send other people who have cats. I started here because it's such a perfect butt-in-the-copier kind of photo. And I've done nothing but take photos all week. Erm, for the web site. Not my butt.

When I first started my work life right out of college I was a lowly secretary. And my best friend was the secretary at the desk next to me. Sometimes after we'd been out partying we would head back to the office (it was all walking distance in downtown San Francisco) and hang out in the copy room taking insane copier-photos of ourselves. Not butt shots - at least that I remember. Mostly crazy-face-pressed against the glass photos. Probably it was easier than finding a photo booth somewhere. And you just gotta immortalize all that fun. I digress. Way off track.

I've been obsessed with my web site this week. I can't stop messing with it. If you've visited in the last week or so, you have probably seen big changes. And it's not really done. I guess it never will be truly done.

One of my big goals this year was to really update it. Better design. Better photos. Better descriptions. Easier to navigate and find stuff. Just more usable and inviting in every way.

Today was a big photo day. We had a couple of two minute patches of sunshine, but it was dry. So I hauled a bunch of products out to take new pictures.

Here one of the new ones - a cuter look for the soap sacks. I did more vignette-style shots with stuff in the background. Group shots of things. And added 3 little bubble-type photos of products to the home page.

It's clear that I have no photography training, expensive equipment or special talent for styling. If you've been to Etsy or Pinterest, every single photo is like a million times better than what I had up there before. So my goal was to start working on my own. A little at a time. Just practicing. Each new and better photo I've uploaded to the site. Some items have had several different photos just in the last day or so. And they will stay until I can get an ever better one. For now, I'm just taking small steps in the right direction and teaching myself how.

There is no budget. No hiring of professionals. It's all DIY over here. If you've got feedback or opinions on any of the new stuff let me know. Good or bad, I'm all ears.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"That is a cheetah."

"A cheetah. That's a cheetah."

A hilarious and refreshing take on logos, from a 5-year old's point of view.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Spring Newsletter 2012

Yep, the spring newsletter is off and running. It should be in mailboxes and email boxes today. I'm posting it here on the blog for anybody who missed it elsewhere.

I've done a full website update to go along with it. Pretty much all the same pages, just a cleaner, fresher look. And hopefully it's easier to navigate, read, and find stuff. Of course please give me a shout if you find something that needs attention. It's just 'lil old me over here. I strive for perfection, but you guys are my "team" and I count on you to give me feedback if I missed something.

So away we go: link to Home Page, and link to the Spring Seasonal page to find everything below.

“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is.
And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you DO want,
but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Mark Twain

Hello lovely people,

I think the very first sign of spring must be the birds. During the dead of winter there is mostly silence. But one morning, suddenly a cacophony of twittering and cheeping erupts outside your window, and you notice that there are little flocks of birdies hopping around outside, flittering among the naked tree branches and barren bushes. The birds can’t be wrong. Something is coming!

After spending months focused indoors, peering out the window I notice even more signs of spring, more every day. There are pink buds on all kinds of dead-looking plants and a couple of green spears are poking straight up out of the ground. The frosts, snow and ice storms didn’t kill them! The next day a bright, shining, shaft of sunlight pierces the grey. I stand in the middle of it, blinking, soaking it in and remembering. A few days later I realize that the morning sun is up earlier, a lot earlier. Heavens, there’s still daylight when I finish work, instead of midnight darkness and pelting rain. With a sigh of relief and a rush of delight, spring is beginning to appear.

Oh, no question, it takes its time. And sometimes it seems to take a step backward too. But maybe it’s all that eager anticipation that makes it so deliciously welcome when it gets here.


To celebrate spring -the season of love, flowers, and new beginnings - I’ve created some new soap fragrances. For me, spring scents are inherently light, green, fresh or flowery. After months of dead leaves and naked trees, the whiff of blossoms in the breeze is a breath of fresh air. Pretty flowers, flouncy skirts, tip-toeing through the tulips – that’s Spring! ($ 4.25 each or 4 bars for $ 16.00)

Grapefruit Ginger – Cheerful citrus is always a splendid way to wake up in the morning. Combined with warm ginger, this fragrance can’t be beat to perk up the winter doldrums. Filled with sweet orange, tangerine, bergamot and pink grapefruit, this is a soft and delicate citrus scent with just a subtle hint of ginger spice. It’s a lovely cantaloupe peachy color, adding a spot of happy to a plain white bathroom.

Meyer Lemon – When I traveled in Italy last fall, I fell in love with lemon all over again. Limoncello, lemon syrups, marmalades, soaps, they were heady and intoxicating and everywhere. This is a truly beautiful, luscious lemon fragrance – no tartness, no furniture polish, just gentle, light, clean and fresh lemon in the very best graceful, understated way.

Sea Salt Spa – Turn your shower into a relaxing spa! Rough and dry winter skin needs a little pampering and sea salt soaps are one of the most popular ways to get the glow without expensive spa treatments. This soap recipe is packed with mineral-rich sea salts which exfoliate and soften skin, soothing itchy or dry patches, leaving you silky smooth and hydrated. It’s not a scrub bar but rather a smooth textured soap – a moisturizing treat in just the time it takes to shower. Scented with natural oils of lavender, rosemary, mint and thyme, it’s brightly herbal and energizing. (100% natural soap)

Spring Rain – Spring rains are lighter and fresher than fall or winter rains. They dance in the new green leaves and splash around the blooming flowers. A blend of soft, ocean rain with a whiff of tender blossoms, this is my interpretation of a gorgeous spring rain fragrance. The color is absolutely beautiful too, a transparent cloud blue color that mirrors the skies on a perfect spring day.

Jasmine, Pear & Rose – Several years ago I introduced this scent, and it was the best selling soap of the season. It’s so pretty and fresh and nothing like you would expect when you imagine each of the three components individually. They just seem to come together so beautifully. It is lightly floral, slightly fruity, sparkling and crisp in a petal pink bar.

White Lilac – This soap has become a spring tradition every year, and I don’t mess with traditions. Potent and absolutely true to the flower, it’s a gorgeous lilac fragrance. Sophisticated, elegant, lushly floral in a creamy white bar. And if you love lilac blooms as much as I do, you won’t want to miss the Lilac Garden aromatic spray either. It’s available year-round, but certainly brightens up a winter-weary room right now.


There’s still time to order gifts for your sweeties. Bath goodies are the perfect thing for those of us with healthy New Year’s resolutions. And I’ve got sweet pink polka-dot organza bags, charming heart-patterned ribbons, and vintage postcards to dress up just a single bar or a whole basket full of treats. Check out the web site to see some ideas, or give me a call to put together your own Valentine’s Day gift.


During the last month, I’ve had all my remaining fall and winter holiday seasonal soaps, sprays, bath salts plus lip balms at big discounts on the web site. I’ve got deals left! Check it out at


It’s still early in the scheduling of shows for 2012. Deadlines are in the works with notifications and contracts to be determined in the next few months. But here are a few that are on the calendar right now. Check the website any time (“Show Schedule” button) for all the latest information.

March 15 - 17
Vasa Park Spring Craft Show
Vasa Park, Bellevue
Thurs-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm

March 30 – Apr 1
Best of the Northwest
Hangar 30, Magnuson Park, Seattle
Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm

April 20 - 22
28th Annual Tulip Festival Street Fair
downtown Mt Vernon
Friday and Sat 10-6, Sunday 10-5

May 9 - 11
Mother's Day Gift Sale
Group Health Central Campus, shop space
108 - 15th Ave E, Capitol Hill
Wed - Fri 9am-4pm

May 19 - 20
University District Street Fair
Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil poked his head out of his hole this morning at Gobbler's Knob (love that name!), and declared 6 more weeks of winter.

I know my little groundhogs don't mind hibernating in the blankies for a little longer.

And in reality, I know we've got another 6 weeks or more of cold weather, rain, and winter weather. But it's getting lighter and brighter each day. There was still daylight yesterday at 5pm! The sun is making brief appearances and it just feels lighter already.

I guess it's time to get the spring newsletter out then. It will be in mailboxes next week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Eat. Move. Learn.

I can't stop watching these 3 little one minute videos. Over and over.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

I just want to rush right out, buy plane tickets, travel the world. Perfect inspiration when you're sorta bored, sorta blah, sorta sick of your routine.

Today's a new month. Time to get out there!