Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Winding Down 2013

This year is finally coming to a close.  I picked up and packed up the last show yesterday.  And put it all away today - finally getting the mounds and piles of stuff that I've been dodging around the last few months all back in place and organized.

I just didn't want to start off the new year in an office and studio that was a complete tornado, full of left over bits and bobs cluttering my space.

Later this week I'll still have to do inventory and counting it all up.  And January is a full month of bookkeeping, accounting, analyzing - trying to figure out what went right and what went wrong.  There is all kinds of work ahead, making plans for the new year.

But for the moment, right now, this afternoon, I am done.  Done with the lists.  Done with the endless tasks and chores and bits of work that are always nibbling at my heels.

To be honest, it's been a tough go the last couple of months.  I know it's just that I'm tired and haven't gotten it all past me yet, but it feels longer and harder each winter holiday season.

I am very much looking forward to a few days of rest and recuperating.  No deadlines.  No wagon loads of mail orders.  No shows to prepare for.  Just quiet solitude at my desk.  Catching up on everything, but at my own pace.

Creativity and new ideas sometimes come out of challenges, but the bigger picture ones, for me at least, come from a place of peace.  I hope January is that place.

Just to catch you all (regular readers) up on how it ended - the kitchen project was almost finished in time for Christmas.  It's gorgeous and I'll post a couple of photos soon.  The windows were delayed, like most things, and didn't arrive until last Friday, so we are doing trim now, and I still have a day or two of painting ahead.

But we had our huge Christmas Eve feast cooked in the new kitchen, with a dishwasher this time!  So much more light and space.  Everything is so shiny and pretty and new.  I sometimes just stand there and stare and sigh.  What we waited so long for, and worked so hard for, is finally finished and perfect.  Feels good.

Deep breath.  A place to stop.  Hope for a better tomorrow.  That's what New Year's Eve is all about.  Collectively we all mark a spot to say "check", "done".  And begin to dream about what's new and what's next.  It's a beautiful space to be in.  Cheers!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing you the merriest

and brightest Christmas!  May you all have marvelous celebrations with family and friends, no matter what kind of holiday you are celebrating this season.

I'm so looking forward to a couple of days away from the hustle, bustle, and to-do lists to enjoy the most important things in life, and appreciate what I have rather than focus on what I do not.

May the peace and wonder of the season last the whole year long . . .

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh yeah, my last show of the year

Ooops!  I forgot to stop by and let you all know that I was at Phinney Ridge last weekend.

I guess it doesn't matter now.  Plenty of people already knew, and a gazillion others showed up.  It was a crazy busy show this year.  Not a record, but close.  I sold out of so much stuff - both days.

And then Monday I worked like mad to send out a thousand mail orders that had come in over the weekend.  Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little bit on that part.  But it certainly felt like a thousand.  And I barely made it to the post office and UPS before deadline.  Racing like mad with my heart pumping.  But it all worked out.  And then I skipped dinner and face planted in bed.

So Tuesday I worked like a crazy person once again to get ready for this week's show at Group Health.  I have a little bits of everything, but it's the last of the last.  And again, I forgot to stop by the old bloggie-poo to let you all know about that too.

Tonight, I have just a few short minutes to catch up on the blog.  It's total pandemonium this time of year.  Barely time to breathe.  Ok, that's an exaggeration too.  I still have time to breathe.  And shower.  But not much else.  The rest is all work, work, work at a ridiculous pace for ridiculous long hours.

The point of all this is that I am set up and selling my last bits of soaps at my (semi-regular) pop-up shop space at Group Health in Capitol Hill this week.  I'll still be there Thurs and Fri from 9:30am to 4pm.  It's located at 108 E 15th St - kitty corner from the big Safeway store there at John St intersection.  Well, actually closer to the new Bakery Nouveau spot across the street (yowza! sugar buzz!).

Warm Beach goes on til Christmas, and so does Allied Arts in Bellingham.  I'll try to restock a little there, but I don't have much left.  And we're running out of days to mail order in time for Christmas.  I'm trying to keep the site updated with what's available.  Today, it's almost everything.  But it's just a few of those everythings.

If somebody orders 2 or 5 of something, it's gone.  There are a couple of batches curing. And I keep thinking I can squeeze in the time to make another batch or two.  Sigh.

Anyway, come see me at my pop up shop!  I've got holiday tunes!  Gift sets!  A full bonanza of lip balms that I made the other night into the wee hours.

What time is it now?  9:30pm?  Oh yeah, plenty of time to make more sprays and pack a few more orders to go out tomorrow.  plunk.    zzzzzzzz

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I am thankful for . .

I have the very best customers in the whole world.  Really.  Some of you have been with me since the very beginning of my soap making journey.  You're like family.

I can't tell you how much your loyal support has meant to me.  The daily compliments and kind emails.  The friendly faces at shows and the genial phone calls.  It's what keeps me in this business.

So without getting mushier than a bowl of mashed potatoes, I just want to say thank you to all of you.  Old friends and new ones.  Thank you for sharing your personal lives with me.  Thank you for supporting me year after year, even as tastes change.  I'm so grateful to still be in business after 17 long years of ups, downs, twists and turns.  You've made it all possible.

Happy Thanksgiving.  May this next year be full of more peace, health, happiness and success to all of you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What's the B. F. Deal?

The entire universe is full of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" hype.  It's overwhelming and obnoxious.  Full of cutesy word soups and clever jingles to get you shopping here, heeere, HERE!

I'm in the "bah humbug" category.  I fully admit it right up front.  I've never gotten up at the crack of dawn to stand in long lines at a mall or big box store in the freezing cold or pouring rain to save a few bucks on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Sleeping in, relaxing, and generally enjoying my time off has had more value to me.  I know there are a few really great deals out there, if you can find them, or spend your Thanksgiving day at Walmart instead of with your family at home eating a gorgeous meal.  But mostly it's just  hype - and sales prices that continue on after the appointed hour, and sometimes get even better as Christmas gets closer and there is still inventory on the shelves.

Now that I'm in the retailer spot, I'm still not that thrilled with coming up with marketing ploys to get people to buy my soap on one of those two days either.

I am announcing right now, just in case you all are wondering - I will NOT have any super duper sales for Black Friday.  Or Cyber Monday.   Prices will be the same as the mad Wednesday before Thanksgiving when I'll be shopping and cooking in my five spare minutes.  In fact, prices will be the same as the whole darn weekend and all next week.  I'm barely keeping up with what I already have on my plate.  Both work-wise and inventory-wise.  So no need to just sell the dwindling supplies even cheaper.  Or put myself through even more headache by increasing my workload by a gazillion.

I will again, like every year, try to sleep in a few more minutes on Black Friday morning.  And get back to working like my hair's on fire on Cyber Monday morning.

It's not all Ebeneezer Scrooge over here though.  I do have sales throughout the year.  If you're on my email list, you'll get first crack at them.  The next big one being half-off winter holiday close-out scents and stuff in January.  But before Christmas?  I don't think that's going to happen, sorry to say.  Love you guys, but I can only crank out so much soap and I didn't get far enough ahead this year to plan a big Thanksgiving week hoopla sales event.  Maybe next year.  Sigh.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shows. More of 'em.

Yes, it's November.  And yes, there are more shows this week.

Two ongoing shows that opened last week, and I forgot to post early.  But they both go on all month and all next month too.  So there's still plenty of time to get over there and shop.

Holiday Festival of the Arts

Allied Arts of Whatcom County's annual Holiday Festival of the Arts started on Friday.  We've got a new location this year, which is actually an old location - one we've used before, a few years back.  This show has some of the best and brightest artists and is chock full of beautiful, unique and original handmade holiday gifts.  Shop local and get something one of a kind!  Click the link to check out who's there this year.

Location: 1825 Cornwall at Ohio
Dates:  November 15 - Dec 24
Hours:  Wed thru Sunday 10am - 6pm
            Closed Thanksgiving, closing early at 3pm Christmas Eve
            Bonus days Mon and Tues Dec 23 and 24

East Shore Gallery Holiday Show

This is a small but beautiful gallery located at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue.  It's open all week but not staffed during weekdays, so if you're heading over there mid-week, just check in at the office and they'll let you in to shop.  Open fully on weekends, especially Sundays around worship services.  Each year they organize this fine art event with unique handcrafted holiday gift items.

They are having an open house this Saturday, 11/23 (link to the evite and all the details)

Location: just north of Factoria at 12700 SE 32nd St, Bellevue
Dates: mid-November thru early Jan
Hours: open weekdays by checking in at the office, open weekends

Group Health - Bellevue

This is a little one-day holiday craft show at Group Health's Bellevue location - just across the street from Whole Foods.  It's primarily for employees, patients and visitors to Group Health, but we're open to the public and happily selling our wares.  This coming Friday, 11/22, 9am to 5pm, located in the conference room, just behind/next to the coffee shop in the lobby at the front doors.  If you're in the neighborhood, or this is a convenient location to pick up some gifts - you're absolutely welcome to visit.

There is nothing new next week, just the two ongoing shows listed above.  It's Turkey Day, and parade day, and tree-trimming day all in a row.  Then we head off to set up Warm Beach for the month of December.  And Phinney Ridge is coming up too.  With a final appearance at Group Health Capitol Hill in early December. But believe it or not, we're actually getting close to the end of the line with shows, shows, shows.  Me?  Not complaining. :)

Friday, November 08, 2013


Today is Friday.  It's not even 7am.  And I'm already feeling fried.

This time of year is so hectic.  I have no idea why I thought that adding a kitchen renovation project to the cake batter would make a better cake.  The cabinets arrived yesterday, not without it's own set of glitches.

But we hadn't quite gotten paint on the walls yet.  So the piles of cabinets around the house is enormous.  Plus the sink and vent hood arrived yesterday too - sitting in a corner of my bedroom as a bonus.  And the flooring is piled up over there.  It's like I'm a hoarder in here.  Just the tiniest of pathways to get from my bedroom to the little electric kettle and toaster in the far corner of the dining room.  Did I mention I have claustrophobia?

Enough whining.  It's all working out, and now things will start to go pretty quickly.  I think.  Except the counter top, which will take maybe a month from now.  Which means I will have lost my sink and tiny little work surface on Monday - until way past Thanksgiving and half of December.  Not thinking about that.

What I AM thinking about is how I'm going to get everything done today in order to set up the Bellevue Club this evening.  I don't even have half of my inventory labelled and packed. Plus these two big wholesale orders need to go out today, since they are already a day or two late.  And I need to restock the Red Ribbons and Reindeer show this morning, with a few supply pick-ups on the way to or fro and be back before 10am when the painter gets here.

The Winter Holiday newsletter, which I posted here yesterday, also got sent by email yesterday.  But the snail mail version was still waiting for those darn gingerbread holiday postage stamps to arrive, which should have been here Tues or Wed  but arrived yesterday too - in all that hullaballoo.  So they are headed to the Post Office this morning too and will be on their way.  Of course that means a trickle of mail orders hit my email box too yesterday.  And I am intending to squeeze those in during the extra few seconds I have today to blink.

Also a lovely woman called me from a local Japanese language newspaper to get my permission to write me up in their upcoming gift guide and will I send photos in the right size.  Very nice and unexpected surprise.  And of course I'll do that too.  There must be some other seconds to squeeze out of this day.

Are you exhausted already just reading about my day today?  Me too.  But it's just a day.  And it will be all over in a blink of an eye.  Tomorrow I'll be selling soap at my little display at the Bellevue Club.  Come on over and see me - extra wrinkly, and a little loopy but happy to be out of the house for a few hours :)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Winter Holiday Newsletter 2013

The new Winter Holiday Newsletter is on its way to mailboxes everywhere.  I like to post these here on the blog too, for those of you that are not on my list, but checking in here every now and again.  

It's seems like a huge waste of time for me to try to add individual links to every item listed below, so I'll just give you this one:  it's all on the Seasonal Page on the web site.  

Dear Friends,

I always think of winter in two parts.  Act 1 is the crazy, busy, happy holiday season all squished together in one rushed month, and Act 2 is the long quiet solitude that comes after that.  It’s nice to have a little of both, a perfect balance between the chaos and the peace.

Holidays, by definition, are celebrations after all.  They compel us to join cherished friends and family in cheerful activities, enjoying people we don’t get to see often enough.  Parties, decorations, special once-a-year happenings – just the anticipation of it all makes the month of December joyous and extraordinary.

And yet, when the hubbub dies down, as we sweep up the glitter and party hats, the silence of winter is its own special pleasure.  Cozying up indoors by the fire or chasing snowflakes in the tingling cold, it’s a time of quiet reflection.  We need this short break to regroup, make our resolution lists, and dream big plans for the year ahead.

Soapworks Studio has the perfect holiday gifts

As the holidays approach, the gift lists grow longer. The perfect gift is a unique, special, treasure - both useful, and use-able.  Soapworks Studio’s little gifts of soap and bath goodies totally fit the bill.  All locally handmade and reasonably priced, there is something for everyone on your holiday gift list.

The upcoming season has sparked new wintry wonderful soap scents for a little fun in the shower, or a treat for that special someone (or all your friends and family).  The autumn seasonal scents are still available a bit longer. Plus our full list of soaps and goodies are available online at all hours.  There’s something for everybody! ($4.25 each or 4 bars for $16.00) 

Douglas Fir & Mint  – The perfect winter day is spent outside in a snowy Northwest forest – skiing, hiking, or searching for that magical Christmas tree. Fresh juniper, pine, fir needles and cedar blend with icy cool peppermint for a tingly, refreshing soap. (100% natural soap)

Winter Spice  - A delightful twist on the classic spice scents we love so much in winter. This one is a blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger, black pepper, wintergreen and sassafras.  (100% natural soap)

Our two must-have favorites both from previous years and earlier this autumn will continue through December.  As Scrooge shouted to the rooftops, “I haven’t missed it!” – no, you haven’t missed it! 

Clove Orange – Sweet oranges, spicy cloves and a pinch of cinnamon stick. (100% natural soap)

Cranberry Harvest – Tart, juicy cranberries and zesty orange peel, loaded with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepperberry.

Helping Hands Soap Sets – Winter Holiday Edition

Hugely popular since we introduced them a couple of years ago, these charming packages of mini soaps have been a gift-giving favorite!  We’ve put our standard version on hiatus to introduce a Winter Holiday edition of fragrances featuring:  Flannel Jammies, Sleigh Ride, Gingerbread, Winter Forest and Breakfast Soap.  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 50% of the proceeds for these Helping Hands soaps dedicated to the charitable organization Kiva, it’s a gift that multiplies around the world too. (10 oz pkg, $10.00)

New – Soapscriptions!

Soapworks Studio's Soap-of-the-Month Club is now a Soapscription! No more panicky moments in the shower, wondering if you’ve got another bar for tomorrow.  With a “Soapscription” you’ll know that you’re always in the suds because you’ll be receiving regular shipments of soap bars so you never run out! Club Soapscribers will join me on a journey through the seasons, sampling some of my year-round favorites and my seasonally inspired new scents. 
Your Soapscription arrives in your mailbox at the start of each month with two full-size bars of handmade, artfully created Soapworks Studio soaps in a padded envelope, plus the latest seasonal newsletter detailing my inspirations and descriptions of the current crop of products.  You also receive a 10% off coupon to order other products or more of something you have fallen deeply in love with.
There are 3 options: starting at 3 months, 6 months and a full year of soap adventure. Your very first delivery will include a scrubby soap mitt and a natural wood soap dish as a gift to get you started on your sudsy adventure. All shipping and taxes are included in the subscription price.
This makes an awesome gift too! We would be delighted to send this each month directly to your gift recipient, and will include your personal message in a gift card with the goodies. 

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.  We’re offering free shipping on orders of $100 or more, sending them off within two business days. We’ll happily send your items directly to family and friends with gift cards too, so you don’t need to spend any time boxing or waiting in lines at the post office.  Send in the enclosed order form, call during business hours, or for any-time brainstorms, order from the website at SoapworksStudio.com.  Spend more time celebrating and less time fretting.  Let Soapworks Studio be your answer for holiday gifts! 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

It's November - there must be shows . .

It's November now.  And that means shows every week.  Lots 'o lots 'o shows (I sing this to the tune of Macho, Macho Man).

This week is Red Ribbons and Reindeer at the Hollywood Schoolhouse and the Bellevue Club's Holiday Bazaar.  I wanted to get all the details in one spot so you can head over to one or the other.

Red Ribbons and Reindeer:  It's the 26th year for this show.  A blended boutique-style show with a central cashier, full of holiday gift and decor items.  Free admission.  The Collector's Cafe is open on Thurs and Fri from 12-3pm for lunch there too.

Dates: 11/6 - 9
Hours: Wed 3pm-8pm, Thurs and Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9:30am-6pm

Location:  Hollywood Schoolhouse, 14810 NE 145th, Woodinville

Bellevue Club Holiday Bazaar:  The Bellevue Club is open to the public this one day of the year to host a holiday gift bazaar.  The ballroom, gym and hallways are full to the brim with all kinds of handcrafted gifts and goodies.  Free admission.  Their Luna Cafe is open for lunch also.  They are hosting a Toys for Tots drive too, so bring along your toy donations.

Saturday only, 11/9 
9am - 5pm

Bellevue Club, 11200 SE 6th St, Bellevue

Be there or be square - hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Blowing Winds!

What a wind storm we had yesterday!  I was at Eastlake High School for the holiday bazaar and within the first hour or so the power blew out.  We had only emergency lights and peeping fire alarms to navigate the long hallways.  And it was pitch dark in the restrooms - just feeling along the walls for the stalls and the toilet paper :)

We stayed open the entire day, and still got customers, but not quite the happy, festive show it usually is.  No loudspeakers for the music groups who were playing, no microphone for the raffle, no internet for many vendors to take credit cards.  Luckily I was under a light fixture and a skylight area, so my space was still bright and workable.  But it certainly started to get cold as the day went on.

At least the rain stopped, so we didn't have to load out in some pouring rain.  Wind is easier to haul in.  But it felt like a long day.  So glad to get an extra hour of sleep today.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Eastlake High School Holiday Bazaar

Kind of a late note about my upcoming show this weekend.  I just plain forgot, in the haze of everything else going on.

Saturday - tomorrow (11/2) - I'll be at Eastlake High School in Sammamish for their annual Holiday Craft Bazaar.  I've participated in this show for years and years, but missed last year for the very first time.  So when I got the vendor map last week, it seems to be moved to another part of the school.  Not the cafeteria, not even the gym where we moved a few years back, but over on the other side of the building, in the hallways?  I'm not clear how it works.  But everyone still enters through the front door, and is greeted, and there will be lots of signs.  I'm confident that it will be easy as pie once I arrive, and when you arrive too.

Hours are a little earlier ending too.  New hours are 9am to 3pm - ending an hour earlier.

This is always a wonderful show of handmade craft and gift items.  If you are starting to think about your holiday gift lists, start here with all kinds of unique items by local artists.

Eastlake High School
400 - 228th Ave NE, Sammamish
Saturday only, Nov 2, 9am-3pm

Today is Dia de los Muertos - which describes exactly how I'm feeling this morning. Amazingly, I remembered to post this show before it was over.  Now where do I stack my bins for tomorrow with all these boxes of flooring piled in the only clear square foot section of my living room?

Couple of housekeeping notes:  next week is the winter holiday newsletter arrival, as soon as the new gingerbread house holiday postage stamps arrive, which are late this year but expecting it to be probably Wednesday.  I'll be at two shows next weekend too - Red Ribbons and Reindeer at the Hollywood Schoolhouse and Saturday only at the Bellevue Club, which is open to the public for that day.  I'll post details early next week on those, hopefully in a more timely manner.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Frights in the Night

Happy Halloween!

Looking forward to seeing all the little gremlins, witches, zombies - oh, and princesses too tonight.  Not quite as enthused by the teenagers in jeans and hoodies holding plastic grocery sacks.  Costumes, people!  It's not fun if you don't play along . .

Our house has only a couple of sorta lame carved pumpkins on the porch this time.  No twinkie lights or spooky music.  Everything is packed up in a box somewhere under piles of dust.  It's a kitchen remodel project.  Argh.

We picked the worst time ever to do this.  It's everyone's busiest time for everything, and yet we've added on the frustration of camping out in the dining room out of a box and a microwave.  Loud hammering, sawing and plastic sheeting fills my days - where I'm stressfully trying to pack for a million shows, write the winter holiday newsletter, do all the website updates, send out piles of orders. . . It's a blur of activity.  And way too many decisions to make every minute.  I'll be the fried-out zombie way past Halloween.

I'll be so glad when it's all over by Christmas.  This season especially, I'll be incredibly grateful for the silence of January.

Monday, October 14, 2013

TWO shows this week!

Vasa Park

This is a blended craft show, with tons of fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving gift items, decor and crafts. I'll have my table full of all the fall seasonal soaps and products, lots of gifty stuff too.  This show runs Thurs thru Sat this week.

Dates:  Oct 17 - 19
Hours:  Thurs and Fri 10am - 70m, Sat 10am - 5pm
Location:  Vasa Park Ballroom
3560 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE, Bellevue

Best of the Northwest

Our fall show is actually split into 2 shows.  First, we got out of our contract with the cruise ship terminal, which nobody liked much.  Then we were able to move the show back to Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park, where we were for years, before they closed to building to renovate.

We had so many artists signed up to do the fall show in that much larger space, so we had to split them into two groups to fit into the newly renovated hangar.  I'll be in the early bird group this weekend - the October show.

There are new board of directors members, new event manager, new staff, tons of enthusiasm and we're all really excited to be back and better than ever.  Details below.  One admission gets you into both shows - so put them both in your calendar!  Free parking.  Easy to find.  Yippee!

Best of the Northwest Fall 2013

We are returning to Hangar 30 at Seattle's Magnuson Park to celebrate our 25th Annual Fall Show in two acts. Come meet a different cast of 100 artists on each date. Find locally made art and fine craft to enrich your life while enjoying live music and good food. 

October 18-20 and November 8-10

Attend both shows to see all your favorite artists as well as all the great new ones.
Hours: Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm; Sunday 10am to 5pm
One ticket gets you into both shows: Tickets are $5 online, $6 at the door; $8 online special admits two
(Your October ticket also gets you into the November show) 
Accompanied children 12 and under are free.
Parking is FREE!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Happy Birthday Gandhi

Today is the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi.  "Mahatma" means honored, venerable, or high-souled in Sanskrit.  Through his life's work of non-violent resistance, and promotion of pluralism and justice, he has become one of the worlds greatest spiritual teachers.  He was the inspiration for the civil rights work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, much of the work of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and much more.

So today -- International Day of Non-Violence -- we celebrate him, his work, and some of his most magnificent words of wisdom. His quotes have gotten me through some dark moments and I go back to them often.

"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever."

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by how its animals are treated."

"You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.  Think of it -- always."

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

Happy Birthday Bapu!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

This Weekend - Salmon Days

Flip your calendars to a new month.  It's October!  And that means that this coming weekend is Salmon Days in Issaquah.  It's a huge show and a huge blast - with so much to do and see.

The 2013 Salmon Days theme is "Streaming Live."  Join us October 5-6th for Issaquah's family oriented festival celebrating the return of the spawning salmon to our lakes, creeks and historic downtown hatchery.  Rain or shine, come enjoy Foods of the World, hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, inflatables, pony rides, an extreme air show demonstration, human hamster balls, and lots of live music.  Last year we went back to our Western roots with Thrills & Gills - in 2013 we're looking to the future with Streaming Live.

The Salmon Days Festival is an internationally recognized and award winning event which draws more than 150,000 people annually to our great town.  A bike race, a 5k run, the salmon barbeque - so much going on at once.  Check the website for more info.

October 5 - 6, 2013
Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm
Free Admission

Soapworks Studio Booth Location:  same as always!  #318 on Sunset Way, right at the entrance to the Fish Hatchery

Fingers crossed that the weather is waaaay better than this last weekend, or the soap will float away.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, September 30, 2013

New! Soapscriptions!!

Soapworks Studio's Soap-of-the-Month Club is now a SoapScription!

No more panicky moments in the shower, wondering if you’ve got another bar for tomorrow.  With a “SoapScription” you’ll know that you’re always in the suds because you’ll be receiving regular shipments of soap bars so you never run out!

Club SoapScribers will join me on a journey through the seasons, sampling some of my year-round favorites and my seasonally inspired new scents. 

Your SoapScription will arrive in your mailbox at the start of each month with two full-size bars of handmade, artfully created Soapworks Studio soaps in a padded envelope, plus the latest seasonal newsletter detailing my inspirations and descriptions of the current crop of products.  You will also receive a 10% off coupon to order other products or more of something you have fallen deeply in love with.

Your very first delivery will include freebies -- a scrubby soap mitt and a natural wood soap dish as a gift to get you started on your sudsy adventure.

Junior – 3 months                                 $12.00 per month = $ 36.00
Half Naked – 6 months                         $ 11.50 per month = $ 69.00
The Full Monty – full year                      $ 11.00 per month = 132.00

All shipping and taxes are included in the subscription price. You can renew at any time to continue receiving your monthly fix, and you’ll be notified of your final shipment so that you can re-order at that time also.

If you have requests or an aversion to something, please email us and let us know so that we can make sure you get the best possible package.

This makes an awesome gift too! We would be delighted to send this each month directly to your gift recipient, and will include your personal message in a gift card with the goodies.  Type your note in the message box to the right, or call the office with all your information.

The holidays are right around the corner, so this might be the perfect no-fuss gift for all kinds of folks on your gift list.  Start off with the winter holiday seasonal soaps in December, and by February, the spring soaps will be ready to sample too!  There is no better gift than a special treat that gets used up and cherished instead of sitting on a shelf, especially if it lasts for months and months. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chapped Lips

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was chatting with me and mentioned that she was having such a hard time finding a lip balm for her 'sensitive' lips.  She had such a chap going on that it was painful.

She thought she had really sensitive lips because so many of the things she'd tried in the past made her puff up, get red, hurt or worse.

I told her that she probably wasn't as sensitive as she thought.  It's just the SPF.  Use anything that does NOT have some kind of SPF to it, and you're probably ok.  She tried my lip balm and it worked like a charm.  She loves it!

Over the years, I've had so many people talk to me about lip balm.  They all think they have some kind of problem with their lips.  They are afraid to try anything new because they've had so many bad experiences.  It's almost always the danged SPF they put in all lip stuff.

I know, I know.  We are bombarded every day with fear-mongering about how the sun will give you cancer and that you need the very highest formulation of sun protection or 30+SPF, and you need to slather this stuff all over every inch of your skin if you even think of going near a window.  Unless you live 24/7 in a cave, you are AT RISK!!!

I don't buy it.  I will of course put on some sun block on my skin when I go to Hawaii.  Or when I'm out in the sun exposed for more than a couple of hours.  I hate the feeling of sunburn.  But for more than half a year here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't have all that much sun.  And for most people (unless you are an avid outdoors-person) you don't need to slap on the SPF lip stuff every half hour.  It's just not necessary.  And in fact, it's become a real problem.

It seems like 85% of everybody now seems to have some kind of sensitivity on their lips to the chemical ingredients they use for the SPF.  That's not a verifiable number from Google, just my personal experience. How do you know?  Your lips feel chapped.  So you put on more.  And they don't feel better, or they get worse.  Nothing you put on makes them feel better.

Unless of course, you use a lip balm that is all natural and does not have those chemical SPF ingredients.  Like mine.  My lip balm is all natural vegetable oils, natural flavors and natural sweeteners.  No chemicals.  No SPF.  And it moisturizes appropriately.  It heals the chap.  It stops the redness.  It feels good on your lips and tastes great too!

I've got a new fall flavor of Blackberry Pomegranate that is yummylicious too.

So if you think you might be one of those people - the ones that can't seem to find a good lip balm?  Maybe try mine.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's Wednesday. No humping jokes.

Gosh, it's been days or maybe even week since I last stopped by here to post something.

Sorry.  Whirlwind time.  After the newsletter goes out, there is always a little frantic flurry of orders, calls, emails, questions and just stuff that goes on.  So I've been a little buried in all of that.

Plus the fair just started.  The new (in name only) Washington State Fair.  Well, to be fair (eh, pun) they do have a new ride. And a new luminaria exhibit. But mostly it's the same fair you've known since you were a kid and loved every year in September.  Sacks of Fisher scones. Krusty Pups. Earthquake onion burgers. And all the hawkers and vendors and rides and animals and concerts. The rodeo part just ended, and now we're into the concerts.  Tonight Cheap Trick is playing.  Tomorrow it's Ceelo Green (fun!)

I've been working down there a lot over the weekend, and back again to re-stock my little display.  It's been pretty busy in our little Artists in Action store, and we've got new artists, lots of demos - it looks good.  I'll be working again both of the next two weekends, just in case you want to say "hi" while you're scoping out the excitement.

Not much time for making products this last week, and I need to get going on that too, or there won't be anything to sell in the next few months.

And I'll just say that this week's weather is dazzling gorgeous and it's such a crying shame to have to head inside, to the basement of all places, to work on my stupid work. Ok, it's not really stupid. It just feels stupid to miss these last few days of perfect sunshine and warm weather before the rains come back.