Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Whooooot! Happy New Year! Getting my party hat ready for a little celebrating tonight . . . it's been a great year!

Going Natural for Beauty

If going a little more natural is on your list of New Year's resolutions, here's a great list of ways to use things like lemons, vinegar and one of my faves - coconut oil - for DIY beauty care.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wrapping Up

I'm putting the finishing touches on 2014 and relieved that we are heading into a new year and a fresh start. The past couple of months has been a bit more intense than usual for this time of year, and I'm relieved that it's winding down.

I have literally PILES of lists and notes and project sketched out for 2015. And I'm itching to get started on all those new ideas. Life is all about evolving and growing and trying new things.

Reflecting on this past year is mostly positive, and yet there is quite a lot I want to do better and differently and more efficiently.  Switch tacks and sail off on a slightly different course.  Oh, I don't mean that to sound scary!  I'm NOT jumping ship and dumping the soap business.  Just wanting so badly to have a beautiful new web site, better systems in place so I'm not rushing around so much.  Little things like that.

And of course I'm creating new soap scents and flavors galore, lots of different packaging ideas, and wanting to try some new shows to change things up.

I've got a bunch of new personal goals and projects too that I want to start as soon as possible. I don't want to lose the momentum that I've already got going by taking January off to sit on my tush and just think about stuff.  I'm raring to go.

I also want to say a ginormous THANK YOU to all my loyal customers, followers and fans for all your support this past year.  It's been a lovely party and I'm so looking forward to a future together in this coming year.

Wishing you much joy, happiness, love, success and "clean living" in 2015!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last Call!

Just a heads up - tomorrow is the last day to order online if you want your package to arrive before Christmas.

Anything ordered through tomorrow (Thurs 12/18) will be shipped on Friday and should arrive by the 24th.  I have no control over the Post Office - but Priority Mail is supposed to be 2-3 days within the US. And they continue to advertise that packages shipped this week will make the deadline.  So I'm trusting that will happen.  With the possibility of the rare shipping mishap or delay.

Tomorrow, as it happens, is also FREE SHIPPING DAY on my site. The final hurrah!!  No minimums, no maximums, no fine print.  It just has to be shipping within the US. And you don't need any special codes or secret words or do any funky dances to get it either.  It's just going to be FREE when you get to the part of the shopping cart where shipping costs would normally be added.

My last little holiday gift to you.  And then I'm going to need a bit of hibernation . . .

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Sometimes stress is a gift

I'm always astonished at the beautiful gifts that come out of this overwhelming, stressful, fast-paced season. I have so many new ideas and projects blossoming - creativity is on overdrive. And clarity - wow!  When you're so focused and pressed up against deadlines, it's amazing how much de-cluttering happens, and things that fall by the wayside that you realize were not so important. By allowing them to be released there is so much more space and flow.

I just hope I've taken enough notes so I can pick this up after the holidays and make it all useful.  So often by the time I get through the holidays themselves and the recuperation period, I don't remember all the pieces. And end up back in the same old groove without the urgency to evolve.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Don't be penny wise this winter

Why should I spend $4.50 for a bar of your soap when the supermarket brands are so much cheaper?

We're all in shopping mode now and the gift lists just keep getting longer and longer. Hostess gifts, co-worker gifts, Secret Santas and on and on.

And we've all got a limited budget too. Plus there's extra groceries, party outfits to buy, cocktails and dinners out. We need to pinch pennies whenever we can, right? So you might be thinking, "hmmm, wonder if I can just get that cheap soap at blankety-blank box store instead?"

You've heard the phrase "penny wise and pound foolish?" Fits like a glove.

For starters, a bar of Soapworks Studio soap will last at least twice as long as a bar of supermarket soap, usually outlasting that stuff by three times or more.  And then you factor in a whole bunch of extra body lotions and creams you need to buy to counteract all that dryness and/or itchiness.  Or doctor’s appointments because you’ve developed skin issues like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis - many of which have been caused by harsh soaps, or cruel laundry detergents and dryer sheets. So you spend a few cents more up front on a bar of really good soap, but you feel great, your skin is healthy and you’ve saved a ton of money on long term effects down the road.  What’s the better deal? 

Even more so if it's a gift. Anyone can get cheap, itchy soap for themselves. But a lovely, creamy, unique smelling bar of the good stuff?  That's a present that will be treasured.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Oh yes, it's Cyber Monday - and there's another deal!

Hey, if you missed our Black Friday deal, no worries, we're upping our game today for Cyber Monday.  Just like Scroogie - you haven't missed it!  Today's coupon special is 15% off any order. Oh yeah!

As we like to roll here, there is no minimum requirement, no dollar amount, no hoops to jump through, no fine print - just a deadline of midnight tonight, Monday, December 1st, 2014. Order what you will.  Have it shipped to yourself or have it shipped to your special gift-y someone. Remember to add your gift card message if you're doing that though so I can send a little handwritten card in your box because the guessing game of "who sent this to me?" isn't all that charming.

Special instructions - easy peasy, even if you're not a hot cyber chick - just type "CYBERMONDAY15" in that message/coupon code box in the top right corner of the first item you drop in the shopping cart.  No need to type it in every time for every item. Once is enough. This is the same box you will type your gift card message - and you can squish it all in there, it's all good.

Gotta use the all-caps! Gotta do this today! So if you're needing to get some holiday gifts off your list and out the door - take advantage of the deal we've got going on today. Shopping days are getting sparse - almost as sparse as the shelves at WalMart on Black Friday if you arrived in the afternoon instead of camping in the parking lot Thanksgiving Eve :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Phinney Center's Winter Festival

Phinney Neighborhood Center's Winter Festival

Dates: Sat and Sun, Dec 6 - 7
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 the same spot as the last two years. I'll be upstairs in the Blue Building, on the top floor in the big room (Room 7). 

This year's event will feature 115 artists and crafts vendors, hundreds of musicians and dancers, live ongoing entertainment on two stages, a quilt raffle, a bake sale and lunch items.

The Winter Festival supports PNA programs such as the PNA Hot Meal Program (formerly known as the PNA Soup Kitchen), before and after school childcare, the Greenwood Senior Center, the tool library and the art gallery as well as community projects for neighbors in need and the Volunteers of America Food Bank of Greenwood. 

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. 

For those of you who like to shop from home - did you see my Cyber Monday special? are you waiting for "Free Shipping Day" on Dec 18th? 

Warm Beach Lights of Christmas

There are a couple more shows this week - Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach and Phinney Ridge Winter Festival. I'll do them separately, just so it's easier to search for them later.

Warm Beach Camp sets up their gigantic light display (over a million lights!) every year with entertainment stages, fresh hot donuts, carolers, gift shops, a train ride around the camp, and the works set up all month. This is a huge event, with lots of live concerts and entertainment, dinner theaters - you can even spend the night for an overnight getaway! It opens Thursday, Dec 4th. 

Dates: Thurs thru Sun Dec 4-7, 11-14, Thurs up to Christmas Eve 18-23, Fri - Tues 26-30.

Hours: are 5pm to 10pm. There is an admission charge and you can buy tickets online from the website. There are special admission days too - like "Pay What You Can" night. Check there for more info on everything, including driving directions. 

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

Every year they do something a little new and different - can't wait to see it, and ooogle at the awesome Mt Rainier vista in lights.  I'm in my usual gift shop at the Joyland Emporium, just inside that first tunnel of lights as you enter.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Deals

Hey peeps - I've got a Black Friday deal today. Hello? Anybody home?! Probably not. You're all out at the malls, standing in line for the early bird specials at the big box stores, right?

Or maybe you're at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? That's where I am.  A couple of friends are going to be festooned tree costumes prancing around the penguin float.  :)

Anyway, if you decided to just watch it on tv from home, or it's game day and you need a little shopping distraction during the commercial breaks, I'm having a 10% off special today.

Here's the fine print: type in "BLACKFRIDAY10" in the coupon code/message box at the top right corner on the product page, where you type in the item number.  See it?  Right there.  And you only need to do it once for the whole order, not on every single item.

The other fine print? It's only good for today, Friday, Nov 28, and ends at midnight. There is no minimum order, dollar amount, or other restrictions. I can ship to you or to your special someone (and please include a gift card message too if you are doing that!).

Easy peasy, right?  Why not take advantage of a deal?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks!

Let's talk turkey . . . I'm sure you're being bombarded with every kind of Thanksgiving message ever created in your inbox this week.  Sales and deals and thank you notes and gratitude platitudes.

While it feels just a little pile-on-y, or Same-y Sammie, I couldn't let the moment fly by without taking a quick breath to say "thank you" to all of you, my customers, followers and loyal fans.

It's been a really long run here at Soapworks Studio, and I couldn't have done it without all your unwavering support and cheerleading from the sidelines.  There have been lots of dips in the road where I thought it was time to give it up and move on, but then one of you, somewhere, somehow, showed up in the nick of time to bowl me over with the kindest compliments and set me back on track.

Thank you. You all are the gravy to my mashed potatoes.  Yep, total cornball.  Or should that be butterball? Anyway, hope you get a weekend off to stuff yourselves silly with amazing food.  Spend the day with friends, family, or Seahawks fans (which are a bit of both).  And have a few moments of quiet time to reflect on all the other things we have to be grateful for.  Even if it's just extra marshmallows on the yams.  Or a Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey??!! (You're welcome)

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Always mesmerized by flocks of birds, and starling are especially breathtaking.

And then this is what happens next . . . a murmuration, which is even sweeter when put to music.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

East Shore Gallery

One more ongoing show to let you know about and happening this week, through the beginning of January. I have a small and select display at their gallery, but it's an easy spot to swing by if you need to pick up something quickly.

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 Sunday, Dec 6th, 1-5pm
Location: just north of Factoria at 12700 SE 32nd St, Bellevue

Dates: Sunday 11/16 through Jan 4th

Hours: open weekdays by checking in at the office, open weekends before and after services

Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts

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

Holiday Festival of the Arts

Allied Arts of Whatcom County's annual Holiday Festival of the Arts started a week ago, but I guess I forgot to get this up (sorry).  We've got a new location this year over by the malls on Meridian, easy to get to and lots of free parking.  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: 4145 Meridian St, Bellingham (next to the new Burlington store)
Dates:  November 14 - Dec 24
Hours:  Wed thru Sunday 10am - 6pm
            Closed Thanksgiving, closing early at 3pm Christmas Eve
            Bonus days Mon and Tues Dec 22 and 23

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stepping Down from Vasa Park This Week

Announcement: I have had to step down from the Vasa Park craft show this week. After doing a little quick inventory count of what's left after this past weekend - well there's just not enough of anything to even bring to sell. I truly need a week to get back up to speed in order to have products to sell right up to Christmas. I'm updating the website this morning with a few "temporarily out of stock" notices.  Lots of things are still curing and will be ready in a week or two.  But this week I'm caught short and will miss Vasa.  So sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Soap Mitts - Almost Gone

These scrubby shower mitts are almost out of stock.  I have just a few left and by the time the weekend is over, I expect to be empty handed.

The word from the manufacturer is that they are in production now, but will not be ready for shipment until January. So if you were thinking about them for the holidays, put in an order asap.

I will update here, fb and on the site as soon as they come back in.  Just a heads up . . .

Best of the Northwest - Part 2, I'll be here!!

This coming weekend is the second part of the fall Best of the Northwest shows. If you had a chance to stop by the October show, you've got a free pass to see this one too.  And if you missed it, well, we've got another 110 all NEW artists in this one, with  so much good stuff to check out. These are some of the very best Pacific Northwest artists in every category, so you're sure to find gifts, holiday decor and special treasures.

Here's what they say:

IN TWO ACTS, OCT 24-26 AND NOV 14-16 

110 Artists in each Act. Attend both shows and meet over 200 different artists!

Amazing handcrafted work, everything from jewelry, designer clothing, paintings, works of glass, metal, wood, clay and more. Find unique gifts for holiday shopping as well as decorative items for your home or office. While you're there, nosh on local cuisine from our food vendors, bring your kids to the free children's art table, and watch demonstrations by a number of our talented show artists--inspiring.

Hours: Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm; Sunday 10am to 5pm. $6 entry at the door.
Where: Hangar 30, Magnuson Park, Seattle (where they hold the Library sale)

Take a look at the show program the artists of each Act HERE.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Show Boat - It Happened!

You know that amazing order I got last week? Soap bars to go to the cast and crew of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's Show Boat production this past weekend?

It happened! My little bars arrived in the nick of time. And got wrapped up in such lovely wrappings by the fabulous Valerie Whitney, who made the labels herself at the very last minute.  They are so pretty in their red fabric poufs, with the cigar band label inside. Adorable theme too - Cotton Blossom Soap. They even included my name and website information!! Which wasn't actually part of the deal, but so much appreciated.

She was kind enough to share a couple of photos of them at the big event, and thought you'd like to see them too. Great stuff all around. Happy dance :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Hello. Can we get a bazillion bars by Friday?

My giant "to-do" list for Wednesday just got blown out of the water. Change of plans for tomorrow's itinerary. Just got a call from the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. They just decided this afternoon that they need a small mountain of "cotton" smelling soap bars as gifts for the cast and crew of their Showboat production which ends Saturday night.  Hmm, Flannel Jammies sounds just about right for that.

Oh yes, we need those shipped like immediately, to arrive by Friday so we can wrap them and have them ready for Saturday night's performance.

How awesome and unexpected it that? Who says no to that?  My little bars of soap will be out in a much bigger world and traveling with celebrities to boot.  Do you see those names on the list?!! Vanessa Williams?! And I so love me some Fred Willard too.

The gal who called me is the absolute sweetest.  We met at a street fair this summer, where we bonded over our mutual vintage cat eye glasses, and chatted at length about our secret sources for our collections. She remembered how much she liked the soaps and thought of me first, even though I'm on the opposite side of the country. Which just goes to show you, it really is a small world.

Bellevue Club Holiday Bazaar

I'll be at two shows this week, and this is the second one (Red Ribbons and Reindeer is the other one - check out yesterday's post.) 

This swanky health club is open to the public for one day only.  Come snoop around the place and get some awesome handmade, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts!

Bellevue Club, 11200 SE 6th St, Bellevue
Nov 8, Sat only 9am-5pm

This is only my 3rd year at this show, but it's always full of really high quality stuff and a lot of fun.  We're in two rooms this year, the ballroom and the gym.  So looking forward to seeing all the cool stuff there . . hope to see you too!!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Red Ribbons & Reindeer

This week is the final - and yes I mean final, final - Red Ribbons and Reindeer show.  I don't know exactly how many years they've been doing this one, but the 20th anniversary was a few years back.  And the gals are going to retire after this show is over. So if it's one of your favorites, like it is for me, head on over and get cracking before it's gone. I've participated in this show for about 15 of those years (which I can NOT believe either). I'll miss Carol and Jan and those goofy reindeer aprons . . so sad.

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

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Winter Holiday Newsletter 2014

Yippee!  Yahoo! It's time once again for the winter holiday seasonal newsletter. For anyone not on my mailing lists, I'm posting the full text right here too, so nobody misses out on all the cool new stuff we've got for the gift giving time of year.

And as we always do, here's the link to go straight to the seasonals page on the web site, where all the new stuff is located in one place.  Of course you can meander around and just shop the "Gift Ideas" page, or check the show schedule page too, if you want.

And if you'd rather get these charming newsletters right in your inbox so you don't have waste precious brain cells trying to remember when the heck the new stuff comes out and where . . . you can subscribe right here.

without further ado . . . .

Dear Friends,

Winter’s soundtrack is quiet and peaceful, the graceful melody of wind through bare branches, the hush of muffled snowfall, the tap-tap pitter-patter of raindrops and melting icicles, the rhythmic crunching of feet in the snow.  If those feet have hooves and there’s a sleigh involved, we’re over the river and through the woods . . . jingle jangle.

This is the season of quiet introspection, reflection on a year well-lived, a deep stillness and peace.  This in-between time, the hibernation and respite, allows the other seasons to be so full.

My own personal song of favorite things still has the whiskers on kittens, warm woolen mittens, snowflakes and sleigh bells, and even the packages tied up with string. But I’d add the inky midnight skies filled with a million stars on a perfect Winter Solstice. The crackling snap and pop of a Yule log on the fire in front of a cozy hearth. Long walks in the stillness of the evergreen forest. And the warm, soft, comfort of my favorite flannel jammies to tuck into bed at night.

Winter Holiday Seasonal Soaps

Some of my very favorite things inspired the new wintry wonderful soap scents  -- for a little fun in the shower, or a treat for that special someone (or all your somebodies).  Note: some of the autumn seasonal scents are available a bit longer, plus our full list of soaps and goodies are available online at all hours. ($4.25 each or 4 bars for $16.00) 

Winter Solstice  – The perfect winter day is spent outside in a snowy Northwest forest – skiing, hiking, or searching for that magical Christmas tree. Fresh juniper, blue spruce, fir needles, cedar tips and a hint of icy birch blend together for a snowy forest scent that is naturally heavenly. Crisp and sparkling, this is a beautiful olive green bar. (100% natural soap)

Woodsmoke  - There is nothing more satisfying on a cold winter day, than warming your frosty fingers and toasting your toes in front of a crackling fire. I know what you’re thinking – soap that smells like smoke sounds dirty. It’s actually incredibly clean, like the freshness of a pine-filled woods after a rain – that clean earth smell, a bit of forest and woods, and a hint of warm smoke. Nothing ashy or cigarette smoky about it.  It’s fantastically good  - and the perfect gift for those outdoorsy folks on your list, the ones who want to blend in rather than hike the forest smelling like flowers or baked goods. And even the ones who wish they could get outside more. Because a few moments in the shower with happy memories while you get ready for a bustling day of work might be just the ticket.

Flannel Jammies – The scent of clean, fresh, cotton warm from the dryer, and one of my most-loved comforts of winter – snuggling up in a pair of cozy flannel pajamas.  This soap is ivory white, silky smooth, and a fun little something to tuck into Christmas stockings.

Raindrops on Roses – You can already hear the song, can’t you? Julie Andrews belting out “raindrops on roses and . . . warm woolen mittens.” So corny, but I couldn’t resist the “favorite things” theme. This is the softest red rose scent blended with a clean, fresh rain fragrance, and the result is pretty amazing.  Very pretty, lightly floral, irresistibly girly – and of course it’s pink too.

Ribbon Candy – My grandmother always had a little covered dish of those beautiful ribbon candies on her coffee table when we came to visit.  They were pretty to look at but hard to get one in your mouth, especially when the sugar melted and they glued themselves together into one giant chunk.  But that’s when the fun started.  We could hammer those blobs into shards and try all the different flavors at once. My very favorite was the clove flavor. So this soap is in memory of Gramma.  It’s lots of clove, a little lemon, some orange, and sweet sugar.  And it smells just like the holidays, where all the best memories are made.

Tips for Keeping and Storing Soaps for Holiday Gifts

I probably haven’t shared this for awhile, but there are a couple of things to know about handmade soap and how to store it for future gifting. The bars are constantly “curing” meaning they are continuing to harden and evaporate moisture as they age. This is good, because it means that your bar will last longer if it has aged a bit more. But it also means that the bar may shrink a bit in size.  More importantly, they should never be stored in something that is airtight – like a ziplock plastic bag. If moisture is accumulated in the bag or tight space, it may cause the soap to transform – changing the scent, creating spots, causing any of the fresh ingredients to “turn” or make the oils go rancid. You will notice this as an “off” smell or the bar itself will be oily or oozing. At that point, it’s still usable and not harmful, but it won’t be pleasant smelling either. Since my bars have so many fresh ingredients and extra emollient oils, the best rule of thumb is to give it and use it within a 6-month window. Many will last a year, but to be safe, go fresh. And tuck it into a drawer or linen closet shelf while it waits – that way you get nicely scented linens (or undies!) as a bonus. Nothing too warm, no direct heat or light, just a bit of air and quiet resting time.

New – Sleigh Ride Bath Salts

There is no better time than winter for long, indulgent soaks in a steamy hot bath. How could we resist adding a whimsical and wonderful new scent to our Dead Sea Bath salts? 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. Pamper someone you love with a little “me” time in long, relaxing, bath that smells divine. And don’t forget to treat yourself too – this uber-busy time of year requires an extra dose of self-care.
 (16 oz bottle - $ 8.00 each)

Give the Gift of Simple Pleasures

It’s the time of year when we’re making our lists and checking them twice. Choosing the perfect gift doesn’t have to be difficult. Even if you’re looking for a treasure that is unique, special, locally made, eco-friendly, useful and use-able too. Soapworks Studio’s small gifts of soap and bath goodies tick every box.  Everything is handmade in small, thoughtful batches, yet reasonably priced.  You’ll find something for everyone on your holiday gift list.

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

With so many demands on your time already, who wants the headaches of traffic messes, crowded malls, and empty shelves once you get there?  Save yourself a heap of aggravation by shopping online at  We’re offering free shipping on orders of $100 or more. We’ll happily send your items directly to family and friends with gift cards too so you don’t need to spend even more time (and moolah) gift wrapping, searching for boxes or waiting in long lines at the post office. Spend more time celebrating and less time fretting - let Soapworks Studio be your go-to for holiday gifts!

Warm wishes for a holiday season filled with revelry and joy – the perfect send-off for a new year of peace on Earth.