Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

(For photo credits and to see my other photo sets, visit me on Flickr)

Happy Memorial Day!

It finally feels like it's officially summer now.  Strawberry cake for breakfast.  Grilled burgers for dinner.  Sunshine is so nice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top 5 regrets




I came across an article in the Guardian UK about a nurse who recorded the top 5 regrets she heard from her dying patients, and one of the biggest was "I wish I hadn't worked so hard."  Duh.  I've been feeling that all week and I'm not even dying.  U District last weekend was a tough one.  And it ended up raining the whole day on Sunday, so it wasn't even worth all the effort.   It happens.  You work like crazy to get ready and then for whatever reason - weather, location, etc.  the show doesn't meet expectations.  That's "show" business.  Life goes on.
This week is mail orders.  Catching up on everything coming in and going out.  And making sure that I'm still covering all the bases of prep for the rest of the summer shows.  But I'm trying not to work quite so hard and have a few hours here and there to catch up on life too.  I'm starting to just feel tired and burned out.  Which can quickly be remedied by a little less work focus and little more fun.   I'm going to bake something this afternoon. 

The article though, is really interesting.  She has been keeping a blog and has now written a book too - so I'm copying a bit of the article text here with the top 5 regrets.
(Copied from the article) 
 "Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."
Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

U District Street Fair 2012



This weekend is the U District Street Fair. It's the first big street fair of the summer, and usually it's still cool or rainy, but we've been having weeks of summer-like weather already which has been so welcome.  It's going to be another warm and sunny weekend, so pull out your shorts and sun dresses and come out to play!

The details for the show:

University District Street Fair
University Avenue, Seattle
May 19 - 20, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-6 
My booth location: #309, just a few booths south of the intersection at 43rd, across the street from the Post Office on the west side of the 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!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The shop is open

Just a reminder, I'm over at Group Health on Capitol Hill all this week in my little shop space.

I've got all the spring seasonals.  I've got all the summer seasonals.  I've got gift basket-y stuff all over the place - tote bags and wire baskets and flower pots and the watering cans too.  All ready to make loverly Mother's Day presents.

Mother's Day is Sunday.  And I'll be open there through Saturday - so those of you who might not have had the chance to visit during week-day working hours can come on over and check it out.  Or pick up a last minute gift.

Address:  108 15th Ave E, just south of the intersection at John where the Safeway is
Hours:  Wed, Thur, Fri 9:30am to 4pm, Sat 10-3


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Simplicity

(For photo credits and to see my other photo sets, visit me on Flickr)

"I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind."

Albert Einstein

Monday, May 07, 2012

Summer Newsletter 2012



It's Summer newsletter time, and I'm posting it here to make sure you don't miss all the new goodies!

Rather than posting links all over the place in the letter - I'll just pop in this one link to the Seasonal Products page on the website where you can find everything at a glance.

So here goes:

Summertime!  And the living is easy. Who doesn’t love this season best of all?  It’s so chock full of good times that a few simple words bring back years of happy memories.  Vacation.  Road trip.  Beach.  Ballpark. 

Summer is laid back and care free, with time built in for hangin’ with friends or hangin’ ten in the surf.  It’s the freedom to enjoy life, mostly outdoors.  Chores, to-do lists, and worries can take a back seat to fun in the sun - preferably with the top down and wind in my hair.



SUMMER SEASONAL SOAPS

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

SUMMER LINEN:  Crisp and oh so clean, like fresh laundry flapping gently in the morning sun.  This is a dreamy white linen fragrance – like vintage tablecloths draped for a picnic in the garden.  A sparkling white bar, it’s the essence of pure and simple.

BEACH HOUSE – A dreamy blend of salty ocean air, pretty lavender and green herbs, this scent is clean and light as a breeze.  With a zen-like calm, its soothing marine fragrance and beautiful translucent sea glass color transports you directly to the spa.  If I had a little seaside cottage, I’d have piles of these in every room.


HONEY LEMON GINGER – A squeeze of soft lemon and bright orange citrus dances with candied ginger.  It’s subtle, soft, creamy and sweet, a truly charming pairing that’s perfect for summer.


GARDEN MINT – Fresh, cool, peppermint delightfully blended with a pinch of spice and garden earthiness.  Tingly and refreshing, in a lovely celery green color. (100% natural)

AROMATIC SPRAYS FOR SUMMER

Summer is the perfect season to indulge in one of the aromatic sprays.  Keep a bottle in the fridge for a little spritz of icy cool on your neck or d├ęcolletage.  Spray a little bit of deelish 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 beautiful, one squirt at a time. (4 oz bottle, $6.00)

THREE! scents to try, just for the summer season:  COCONUT LEMON (which was a huge hit last year), BEACH HOUSE and HONEY LEMON GINGER.  Coconut Lemon is tropical creamy coconut with a squeeze of tart lemon, dreaming of Pina Coladas.  Beach House matches our new seasonal soap scent with a calm, relaxing spa feel.  Honey Lemon Ginger is a replacement for the Orange Ginger spray, a little lighter and brighter with a hint of sweetness, a pretty pick-me-up for any time.

NEW LIP BALM TINS


Small round tins with a screw top have replaced the sliding tins I’ve used for years.  They are easier to open – and safer to keep closed, matching the little tins I use for balms and salves.  These new containers are a pinch bigger, but the recipe is the same, and all your favorite flavors will be available all summer.  Vanilla Tangerine, Raspberry Soda, Coconut Lemon, Herbal Mint, Root Beer, Green Apple, Strawberry Rose, and Lavender Vanilla – YUM!  (half ounce tin, $ 3.00)

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, including booth locations, check out the “Show Schedule” section on the website, SoapworksStudio.com.  As always, last minute announcements are posted on the blog, so check there too.

I’m planning to make this a summer to remember – belly flopping in all the way!



Saturday, May 05, 2012

Comparison


This is a good one to keep close.  Every time I read someone else's gorgeous blog about their fabulous life; every time I see a website for another soap maker with really really pretty stuff; every time I peek around the corner at a show to see how super busy another booth is; and a million other instances where I look across the fence and start to think maybe the grass is greener - I try to remember this.

And honestly?  you really can never judge what's going on anywhere else in comparison to what's going on in your own little space.  There are so many related and unrelated factors, so many steps in the journey, that you just cannot make comparisons.  Even when you think it looks like apples to apples - it's probably more like pears to fuzzy slippers.

Just be happy in your own place at your own pace.  Because that's all that matters.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Mother's Day Shop



My pop-up shop is back just in time for Mother's Day! I 'm talking about my little retail space at Group Health on Capitol Hill which I do a few times each year. I'm open next week Wednesday through Saturday.

I am "renting" a little retail space on Capitol Hill at the Group Health central campus.  A portion of all of my sales goes to their Patient Needs Fund, a part of the Volunteer Services Dept, which buys supplies and necessities for patients there.

Usually I'm just open during the weekdays - but this time around I'm going to be open on Saturday from 10 to 3 for all of my other customers that can't get to me during the week because they have their own jobs.  This is your special opportunity to stop by and pick up a gift for Mother's Day (which is Sunday!) or stock up on spring things, find other gifts, or just check out what's happening.  

Hours: 
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (May 9 - 11) 9:30am-4:00pm 
Sat (May 12) 10am-3pm

Location: Group Health central campus, Seattle
Address: 108 - 15th Ave E, Capitol Hill, half a block south and across the street from the big Safeway store at the corner of John St.

I've got all kinds of goodies for Mother's Day and spring celebration gifts!

P.S.  behind the scenes I'm trying to get all the pieces together so the Summer newsletter can go out Monday and have the website live with all the new stuff etc.  Check back next week for more big announcements.