Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily Affirmation

Jessica's daily affirmation - standing in front of the mirror and telling herself that life is good. She's only 4, but she's definitely on the right track. Great way to start the day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Kitchen. As promised.

I know I've probably promised pictures of the newly remodeled kitchen at least a couple of times in the past two months.  After all the rush, rush, rush to get it done by Christmas - well it wasn't completely done.

We had most of it installed, and it was all back to working order so we could cook Christmas Eve dinner.  But we were still waiting for the windows to come in, so we had big torn out spots with the old ones there for weeks.  It was just after New Year's that we finished that part.  Which meant another round of painting - trim and touch ups.  By then I wasn't in such a huge hurry to get that done, and it was several coats over the course of a week.

It's been so grey during the days this month, that I took pictures but they don't look all that great.  I should have taken new ones this past weekend when the sun broke out for a few hours.  But holy moley.  When the sun shines in through those back windows it's so darn bright you're practically blinded!  The sun is low in the sky in January and it just beams right into your eyeballs and reflects off all the shiny new stainless.  I need sunglasses to walk around in there.

So I'm posting a few quick pics, with the apology that the color is not great.  It's better than nothing.  I always hate when people say they are going to show us the stuff they've been yapping about, and then never do.  And I don't want to be one of those people.

It's hard to see the actual colors, but the floors are a barn grey stain of bamboo.  The lower cabinets are called 'peppercorn' and are also a slightly darker color slate grey stain.  The upper cabinets are called 'flour' and are a creamy off-white stain.  The wall and trim color are also a creamy white color.  The island area counter is a quartz composite, Eco by Cosentino "Luna" which means it is mostly that same sort of cream color with flecks that are mostly natural tones of grey, slate, brown, beige and a little silver shiny stuff.  Butcher block counters in the other two corners.  Big deep single sink in stainless.  

We knocked out a little section of the wall where the island part is, so that it was open to the dining room and the rest of the house.  It was all wall cabinets before with a tiny doorway that made the rest of the house darker.  So much sunlight comes through the kitchen that we wanted to open it up and bring it into the other rooms - this is a really small house so it makes a huge difference.

I love the new look.  It's actually much prettier in person than it seems here. It's way easier to cook in there and a lot more fun.  I've never even had a dishwasher before!  It didn't cost a fortune and came in under our little cheapie budget. And it's finally, totally, absolutely done.  It's starting to get back to normal around here which is the biggest relief.

Since this isn't a home decor blog, I haven't blathered on about brands, styles, appliances etc.  But I'm happy to share details if someone wants more info.  Just leave me a comment or something.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Studio Closed Jan 23-28

PLEASE NOTE:  The studio will be closed from Thursday, January 23 through Tuesday, January 28.  All orders, inquiries, etc. will resume on Wednesday, January 29th.  Thanks for your understanding.

Hi all!  That little red note up there - that's what I just plastered on all the pages of the web site.  I'm taking a few days off before the whole spring newsletter and hoopla at the start of February gets going.  A quick break before the madness begins.  The holiday season was a long haul.  And the last few weeks have been a lot of behind the scenes catch-up plus work on all the new spring seasonal products and announcements.  So a short break is definitely due.

I won't be shipping orders or available by phone or email until next week.  Beginning Wed, Jan 29, everything will be open for business.  Back on track.  And in full swing mode.  The following Monday (Feb 3) all the spring stuff goes live on the website.  The newsletter gets mailed.  The email version gets sent too.  I'll have a copy of the announcement here on the blog. The cycle of the seasons takes another turn . . .

Until then, however -- just taking a quickie breather.  See you soon!

Oh, and if you were still thinking about catching some deals on the big winter clearance sale, do it soon.  I'll mention it in the newsletter and then the early bird favorites will be long gone.  There's still a pretty good selection of stuff this week, although a few of them have sold out.

P.S. We're going to the superbowl!  . . . happy dance . . . Go Seahawks!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Telemarketing Rant

In the last couple of months I've got a handful of calls to "update my business information."  They don't really say who they are, or if they do, it's some sort of ambiguous data service name.

The first few times, I just did it without thinking.  It seemed like a good idea for any business to make sure their name, phone number, type of business was correct, right? Especially that first call who thought I made swimwear.  Or the second call that listed me as a detergent manufacturer or something.  I'm still not sure that the next time it won't be something equally off since I'm pretty sure I don't fit into one of their neat little boxes with a category number.

But then I started getting at least one, if not more calls each day asking for charitable donations.  All kinds of things I've never heard of.  Issues that totally don't relate to me personally or professionally.  And it's getting really annoying.  Plus I hate having those conversations where you turn down perfectly good people who are trying to help out humanity by saying "take me off your list" kinds of things.  It's frustrating and doesn't need to happen.

If only the Do Not Call list were still a real thing.  But I think there are loopholes in it the size of Montana.  And I'm beginning to think that having your business listing updated is code for 'we're selling your business info to any kind of telemarketing gig we can.'  If you willingly give them your name and phone number - to that "data service", ahem - then it must mean you want to be bombarded by anyone who has something to sell you or request money for.

So today I got another one, only this one was a robot with no identifying information. I listened all the way through to see who they were and at the end there was an option to speak to a live operator.  I clicked to connect and asked who they were and what they were doing with my business listing.  She did a lot of hedging around and then said it was perfectly fine for me to opt out.  That cinched it.

Clearly this is not just helping me out by marketing my business to customers. Well marketing my business to THEIR customers.  Slight distinction.  Geez.  I need to get smarter about all that stuff.  Or I'll spend all day on the darn phone just listening to robots, scripts and huffy hustlers.  Caller ID doesn't work anymore because they all have legitimate phone numbers from somewhere, even cell phone numbers, and I can't be sure it's not a customer.

/End of rant.  I know I've probably had this one before.  It's a pet peeve.  Distractions are hard enough when you're in the middle of something sticky.  But unwanted telemarketing is the worst.

It's cold, blustery and wet out there today people.  Wear your warm socks.  How I wish I had a closet full like this:

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Time for the Big Winter SALE!!

Now that I've had a chance to finish inventory-ing and cleaning up the studio, I've got a pile of winter holiday stuff left.  I'd rather have a sale and clear it out of here, then let it sit around and gather dust.  So I'm having a big winter sale!

All the fall and winter soap scents are on sale.  There are a few other flavors of soap tossed in too. A couple of lip balms.  Plus a few left over holiday bags of lavender sachets and spice sachets.  It's a great time to stock up on something you got for the holidays that you loved, because it will be gone soon.  Spring seasonals are coming out next month so we'll be changing focus from spices to flowers, evergreens to citrus.

Supplies are limited to just what I've got on hand.  Check out the selection HERE

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to you all for a very happy, healthy, adventurous and fun-filled year, full of love, laughter, and good friends!