Saturday, May 31, 2014

How Long Does It Last?

I get asked that question all the time – about the soap bars, the lip balm, the healing salve, even the soap dishes.

Ok, two things.  When you’re talking about how long something lasts there are two different questions packed in there.  One is expiration date – meaning how long until this thing goes bad and can’t be used any more.  Basically we’re talking shelf life, like how long can I let it sit on the shelf in my bathroom gathering dust before it starts to smell bad. 

Two is longevity of use, meaning once I start using this thing, how many days, weeks, months will I still be using it before it’s all used up.

So. The first question is easy.  Some of my products do have a period of time when they are fresh and best used before they start to lose their scent, or possibly the oils will go rancid if stored in such a way that they get hot and/or moist or just forgotten for too long.  These are not set in stone, like a grocery store “use by” date.  Much of it depends on where you are keeping it – the environment.  Just for example, if you are keeping your lip balm in the drink holder of your mini-van during mid August, it will not have the same shelf life as the lip balm that sits on your bedside table all through the winter months.  Common sense mostly, but certainly a reasonable explanation may be helpful.

The second question (once you start using it) is a little more difficult.  If this was a game show, you would definitely be awarded more points to get this one right.

Again, the response sorta starts out with “it depends” and goes from there. Thus we begin the q & a session.  So if this is a question about the soap, then how many people are using it?  How long are your average showers? Do you have a soap dish that lets the bar dry out in between?  Because if both you and your husband use it, and he’s especially hairy and takes half hour showers and then dumps it in a little water-filled dish and it sits all day and night in a little puddle, then guess how long it’s going to last?  But if it sits in a perfectly coifed dish in the guest-only powder room and gets used only for hand-washing on rare social occasions, then it will last a really, really long time.

Same goes for all the other things. Usage and storage is everything. And I’m sure everybody understands all those things up front. Still, they just want a quick one-sentence average reply so that they are assured it isn’t going to be a waste of their money to buy it – like it will disappear in a week, or go bad before you can get it home.

I can’t imagine ever creating or trying to sell something that wouldn’t be the best quality possible, but I do want to give my customers a reasonable answer and expectation of my product. So I give a sort of “average” answer, with the standard common sense qualifier. And for the soap bars, it’s generally two to three times longer than a commercial soap bar. It’s best if used within 6 months.  And will do better if it gets a chance to dry out between uses.  Voila.  Everyone gets it.

And if you need a short, general rule-of-thumb answer on one of my other products? Here ya go.

Balms (all of them: Healing Salve, Shea Butter Balm, Lip Balm): Basically never go bad before they get used up.  There are no water ingredients to grow bacteria, mold or fungus.  However the oil ingredients may go rancid in high heat, drastic temperature changes (that Amazon jungle trek) or if you just stuff it in a drawer and forget about it for three years.  A few years down the road it might start to smell just a little “off” – as rancid oils do.  Not bad for you, but just not pretty. 

I might mention that truly high heat will melt any of that stuff.  The glove compartment of your car in August?  The metal tin gets hot.  And the insides will be liquid.  And it will probably not be in good shape when you open it next.  Um, you probably knew that.

Aromatic Sprays – These are pretty much ditto from above.  Lots of people have these in cabinets or on shelves in the bathroom for years and they are still good.  Although they are primarily water, they are not going to mold or grow stuff.  But some odd years down the road they might start to turn a slightly “off” scent – not the lovely one you started with.  Fragrance and essential oils are officially good for about a year, but I’ve found them to usually last much, much longer without fading or slipping.  Best if used in the first year or so, and don’t expose to heat or bright light.

Dead Sea Bath Salts – Couple of sides to this one.  The salts themselves if left out of the bottle will very quickly absorb moisture from the air and begin to dissolve or melt or otherwise fall apart.  Being 100% natural and only air-dried, they are more fragile than your average table salt which is processed and preserved and chemicalized.  Inside the bottle, they are good for a year, maybe more.  However, the high mineral content of the salt crystals will affect the fragrance elements pretty quickly.  Three months is fine.  Six months and the fragrance begins to morph a little bit, sometimes not much, sometimes sorta weird.  It all depends on the exact minerals of the salt grains in that bottle, and it’s not entirely predictable.  I advise against storing these for a long time.  Just use them up – get soaking already.

Lavender Sachets – These will be fresh and fragrant for a solid.  After that point, they begin to fade, although you will still have scent for even another year, especially if you squish the bag.

Accessories: Dishes and Brushes – These are made of beech wood, which is one of the hardest and most durable woods.  The dishes are additionally coated with a tough poly finsh that keeps them waterproof.  They are not going to get water-stained and moldy right away, but this is much less predictable and more dependent on storage and usage.  Brushes will soften and deteriorate with more scrubbing.  And if you find that they are beginning to collect a bit of black mold from sitting in your shower wet for a year or so, then they should probably be replaced.  I’ve had both dishes and brushes last for years (like 3+) – but it’s only me, not a whole clan in the bathroom.

Accessories: Washcoths, Mitts, Soap Sacks – All of them are machine washable and dryable.  They will go and on.  People tell me that their Great Aunt Millie used to make these washcloths for them and they still have them 2o years later.  All I know is that I haven’t thrown one out – they might be a little bit shabby at some point, but still holding together and working fine.

I think that covers pretty much everything – care, use, storage, shelf life, and whatnot, but if I’ve missed anything or you have specific questions about anything, I’m happy to ‘splain more. Just leave a comment below, message me on FB, ping over an email . . reach me whatever method you like best.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Solar Roadways - Have you heard about them?

If you haven't heard about these solar roadways, you gotta take the 7 minutes to watch this. We need to start doing this yesterday already. I have never seen anything so totally awesome, and could absolutely change the world drastically - in the best way.

They are trying to get crowd funding through Indiegogo - before June 20, so if you like it, head over there to learn more and donate a  few bucks too.

Oh. My. God. Solar FREAKIN' Roadways, people!  Why are we not already doing this everywhere?!

Indiegogo link- to share a few bucks for them to get this thing started

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We lost a Phenomenal Woman

Yesterday Maya Angelou transitioned to spirit.  She was a master wordsmith - a brilliant poet that stirred our souls and we'll miss her deeply, even as we have so much of her work to treasure.

She liked to tell the story, and I heard it several times, about the time a man stopped her to tell her how much he admired her poem, "Phenomenal Woman," one of her best known works. He felt that men were strong and sensitive too, were great husbands and fathers, and deserved to be acknowledged with a poem also.  Her response was "write your own damn poem." Phenomenal.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

- Maya Angelou

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Shea Butter - A Superfood for Skin

What is shea butter?  And how the heck do you say it anyway? It's one of the base oils in all my soap bars as well as the primary ingredient in my Shea Butter Balm. I love it to pieces, and I'll tell you why.

Lots of people ask me this, so I'll start with the pronunciation first.  I've Googled all over the place to make sure I've got it right, and here's the deal: it's like po-tay-to, po-tah-to.  Most everyone here in the US (and the Brits) call it "shay" butter. That's how we know what we're talking about.  But apparently the correct pronunciation (in Africa, where it's from) is "shee'-ah". So you can say it either way, no judging.

Shea butter is extracted from the fruit kernels of the Shea-Karite nut tree which only grows in the tropics of Africa.   It is an awesome moisturizer for skin and has incredible healing properties too. The benefits of shea butter has been known and used for literally centuries - for moisturizing skin and hair, protection from the sun, as a balm for minor burns, muscle aches, beauty treatments, treating skin conditions and more. 

Shea Butter nourishes the skin with three major Vitamins -- A, E and F. Vitamin A is important for healing a number of skin conditions, including blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, dermatitis, skin allergies, insect bites, sunburn and more. The moisturizing properties are the same as our skin's sebaceous glands, so it absorbs quickly and penetrates deeply, healing wounds and skin injuries quickly too. Even if I use it straight up, it's non-greasy, absorbs immediately and feels super soft.  Magic.

Vitamin E is helpful in anti-aging and as an anti-free radical agent by increasing micro-circulation, preventing premature wrinkles and facial lines as well as damage to sun exposure. Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator. It soothes rough, dry or chapped skin and helps soften dry or damaged hair. 

Shea Butter is high in unsaponifiables, typically 7-12%, which is twice as high as other similar vegetable oils, making it extremely effective in soap and cream formulations. It easily penetrates the skin allowing the skin to breathe without clogging pores.  Shea butter has a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen, so it provides some degree of protection from the sun (but don't give up your SPF). What more could you ask? Shea butter is a "super food" - for all skin types and conditions.

In my soap bars, and the Shea Butter Balm too, I use Nilotica Shea Butter, which is a premium Fair Trade oil produced from the fruit of the Vitellaria Nilotica sub species of the Karite tree, which grows across Northern Uganda.  Softer in texture with a very mild nutty aroma and a tan color, Nilotica Shea is one of the finest shea butters period. Softer and creamier than the West African stuff (which is usually bleached and chemically refined), this is buttery smooth and oh so creamy.

The nuts are sourced from organically grown trees and harvested by a 1600 member women's cooperative in Uganda who are paid fair trade prices 25-50% above the rates women earn in the local markets. Who doesn't love that? Plus the shea butter nuts are cold-pressed, filtered and packaged without any chemicals.  None.

Bottom line: I will always choose "real" over "perfect." But if I can ratchet it up like a million notches with organic producing, chemical-free processing, Fair Trade prices, women's cooperatives with higher wages - BOOM! I've hit the jackpot.  And you have too. Because a little piece of this is in every bar of my soap. Are you feeling the love? 

If you have miracle stories with shea butter, or any other thoughts, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below. I've considered selling this stuff straight up in jars - would anyone be interested in that? Hollah.

p.s. Wanna know more about all the other ingredients I use in my products.  I dish over here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sorticulture coming your way - June 6-8

What the heck is "Sorticulture?" I know, crazy name, but super fun show if you're a gardener type.

This is Everett's Garden Art Festival.  Legion Park is full to the brim with featured artists creating distinctive hand-crafted garden art and over 20 nurseries producing a wide variety of plants to transform your backyard - everything from sedums to Japanese maples, laurels, perennials, annuals, and unusual specimens.

Learn tips and trick from top regional gardening experts including KING 5's Cisco Morris, Saturday June 7 at 1pm.  Sorticulture also features display gardens from some of the regions best designers and hardscape specialists, a food fair, a wine garden, live music and free activities for the kids.

Park at Everett Community College's North Broadway parking lot (900 N Broadway) and take the bus that runs every 15-20 minutes.  Regular fares apply - $1.00 each way.  You can return to the park with your car to pick up purchases.  Visitors with a Disabled Parking permit can park at Legion Park.

This is the entrance to the park.  And you can see the Soapworks Studio booth from here!  My tent is the second on the left from the open-sided one in the center of the photo.  I am located right at the entrance to the park - you can't miss me!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 6-8
Hours:  Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm
Legion Park, Everett

Sorticulture Facebook Page (for photos and more timely details)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, always the last Monday in May, is a holiday in which we remember our military men and women who have died in service. Not to be confused with Veteran's Day, where we honor all the people who have served in the military - on this day we are paying special respect to those who have given their lives in the course of serving our country. Which is, of course, the ultimate price those brave soldiers have paid for our freedom. (War sucks.)

In addition to the quiet moments of reflection and the speeches at Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day is known as the start of summer for most of us. And we do it in the usual patriotic way, like July 4th and Labor Day, with flags and banners stuffed in and around our outdoor picnics and sizzling barbeques.

Well, they might not be so sizzling in Seattle. Especially if it's cloudy and raining, which looks like our usual weather forecast. But we'll still try to make red, white and blue cupcakes and jello shots or something, just to be festive. If this is the beginning of summer, then we need to get our party started.

Happy Vacation Monday - at least we can celebrate a 4-day week!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Technical Department calling . .

Telemarketing scam of the day - and boy, do I get some weird phone calls sometimes.  I have gotten 2 calls from this same man today. I just dumped the first one because it didn't make sense. But this afternoon I talked longer because it got me wondering.

He says he's calling from the "technical department" of Win-something about a problem with my Windows computer. I've been a Mac girl my whole life and there is no Windows computer here. Ever. This second call I made him tell me who he was actually calling and he had my name right. And he tells me that some bad things are being downloaded through Windows to my computer whenever I'm online.

I tell him that he's really confusing me since I don't have a Windows computer. And he's so insistent that his database cannot be incorrect and that there absolutely is somebody in my house using a Windows computer. I had to tell him that he's wrong and I don't have any idea where he gets his information. (It's quite clear that he's calling from a call center in India.) Both times, when I finally told him that I didn't have that type of computer he hangs up.  So I don't even get to find out if he's selling me something or what he's really calling me about.

What's this all mean, jelly bean? Was he going to have me download some kind of software bug over the phone to steal my identity? Anyone else get this kind of call?  Let me know in the comments below if you have had something like this happen to you, or if you know anything about this proposition.  

What the heck is the "Win-mumble" company anyway? I asked him twice and was going to ask him to spell it, but there was static in the line and communication was difficult.  Now I'm even more curious (and nervous) than before.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

U Dist This Weekend!

It's time for the U District Street Fair.  The kick-off to the summer festival season.  It certainly feels like summer this week.  So let's deck ourselves out in our summer finest, and head over to the festival - block after block of loud bands, sizzling street food, shopping galore, and people watching.

Celebrate the 45th anniversary of the longest running street fair in America!

It's happening Sat and Sun, May 17-18.
Hours: Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm
Soapworks Studio Booth location:  #231 - mid way between 43rd & 45th streets (there is no 44th), west side of the street, north facing corner, pretty close to University Bookstore

This is a new spot for me, I'm usually one block south, so keep an eye out for me!

All kinds of information on their web site - lists of vendors, entertainers, maps, parking, etc.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday morning overwhelm?

Ever have a Monday morning where your to-do list for the week is a wee bit overwhelming? I keep this list of mantras close by just for those day. Alexandra Franzen (who is awesome btw!) wrote a list of 21 mantras for people who are ridiculously overwhelmed. A couple of my favorites:

 I don’t have a to-do list. I have a list of helpful suggestions.

 I don’t have an inbox. I have a collection of happy invitations.

Read the rest of them here:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Much love and appreciation to all the Moms out there for all they do.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Holy Guacamole! It looks good on you.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  A great excuse to dive into a vat of guacamole - not that I need an excuse.

I adore avocados. Whatever you might have heard about them being too many calories or too full of fat?  Bunk.  Eat boat loads and you'll be healthier than ever, inside and out.  They are loaded with all the good fats, the ones that lower your cholesterol and make everything from the tiny cells up work better. The phtyonutrients and vitamins are just extra bonus gifts.

And they make you more beautiful on the outside too. So moisturizing from the inside when you eat them - you can also do all kinds of things with them on the outside of yourself too.  Like mash them up and apply directly to your face, or elbows, or patches of dry skin and psoriasis.  (Or after a couple too many margaritas, just plunk your face in the dip bowl, but stay clear of the chips!)

I think I come across something almost daily that touts the benefits of avocados for health, for healthy skin, for beauty. And I take it with a grain of salt -- and some lime juice, garlic, chopped jalapenos . . . any time, even breakfast. I'll shove in a little extra today, because there will be an abundance of tortilla chips around.  Ole!

Don't believe me on all the avocado love?  Here's an article on Natural News that has a long list of recommendations and quotes from all kinds of big experts in the health field - a treasure trove of ideas on how to use avocados to look and feel your best.

It's even great for hair! So if you're slathering gets a little out of control or you really are face first in the dip, no worries. You'll have glowing skin AND shiny, bouncy hair too.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

National Renewal Day

Sunday May 4 is celebrated as National Renewal Day.  Yeah, I'm not sure who made up all those weird holidays for every day of the year either, but I'll celebrate almost anything and renewal is definitely a good idea.

The dictionary defines "renewal" as the state of being made new, fresh or strong again: the state of being renewed or rejuvenated.

This would be a good day to renew friendships and relationships, renew your commitment to your dreams and big goals, or renew yourself.  Take a day to de-stress, decompress, release the heavy burdens of the daily grind and rejuvenate yourself and your body to better health.

Please, if you're going to take this renewal thing seriously, don't get started on making to-do lists, checklists or big plans about what to renew and how much of it to accomplish.  Take it easy instead.  Do less.  A lot less.  Sleep more.  Maybe all day.

And if you decide to spend along time soaking in the bath tub, we've got more of those Dead Sea Bath Salts to replenish your supply.  Or stockpile them for more of these 'renewal' sessions.  They are especially good at detoxifying your industrious cells, relaxing your hard-working muscles, softening your rough or dry skin and soothing away life's little bumps in the road.  They really are that good.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Mother's Day Pop Up Shop Next Week

In my last post about Mother's Day, I might have forgotten to mention that I am doing my one of my twice-yearly pop-up shops at Group Health Capitol Hill next week - and it's just in time for Mother's Day. So if you wanted to stop into a real, live shop and try to put together a gift for Mom, I'll have the place for you to come to (and save the cost of ordering online too).

This is open to the public and available for everyone. Soapworks Studio will have it's own retail shop for just three days, with a full-line of products available, plus lots of gift ideas for Mother's Day. Bonus reason to stop in: this a fund-raiser sale for Group Health's TLC Foundation, and a portion of all the sales goes to their patient needs fund.

Oh, and did I mention chocolate? I've got a friend who has an amazing chocolate side business who is joining me Friday with her to-die for caramels, turtles, covered oreos and other delicious treats for Mom. We totally got your back, dude.

May 7 - 9
Group Health Central Campus
street level retail shop space
108 - 15th Ave E, Capitol Hill
Wed - Fri 9am-4pm

Pamper Your Mom - It's A Week Away!

In case you've been hiding in a cave (or buried in a sea of work), you may already know that Mother's Day is coming up.  It's being talked about everywhere . . . buy Mom this, give Mom that, send Mom the blah blah.  It's one of those "selling" holidays that get oversold everywhere.

But what can't be oversold, is how important Moms really are.  And how important it is to give them a day of love, respect and attention for all they do to make sure we are taken care of.

So consider this a public service announcement.  Get cracking on your plans to pamper Mom next Sunday, May 12.  Make brunch reservations, or put your order in for flowers. And if Mom happens to love soap and smelly stuff, we're here for you too.

Well seriously - what kind of businessperson would I be if I didn't mention it, right? So no high pressure sales spiel, but we've got all kinds of soaps, or soaking bath salts, or relaxing bath time treats that Mom might really like.  And we can put them in gift baskets or gift bags, add cards, send to her directly - all that kind of good stuff.  

She might even be a gardener type and like a little tin watering can stuffed with garden gloves, healing salve, a scrubby soap bar and a nail brush.  We can get creative over here and customize to fit your Mom exactly.  Just give us a call!  Or feel free to shop the "Gifts" tab on the web site for more ideas.  And if you're still stumped, a gift certificate in whatever denomination you want might just be the ticket - she can choose her own treats.

P.S.  More public service coming at ya'.  This entire week is devoted to National Holidays of appreciation - do any of them need your attention?

May 6 - National Nurses Day
May 7 - National Teacher's Appreciation Day
May 8 - National Receptionist's Day and School Nurses Day too
May 9 - Birth Mother's Day (which really? isn't this sorta like Mother's Day?)
May 10 - Military Spouse's Appreciation Day
May 12 - MOTHER'S DAY!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Summer 2014 Newsletter

It's time once again for our grand poo-bah Summer Newsletter. Starting May 1st, all the new summer seasonal scents and products are available on the newly updated web site. You can find all the new products on the Seasonals page.  And you can read the full text of the newsletter below.

If you'd like to get this in your email inbox and be the first to know about all the new stuff, plus secret sales and monthly Getting Fresh tips, hit the subscribe button below:

“Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days, and you can become drunk with the belief that all is right with the world.”
– Ada Louise Huxtable

Hiya fellow latherers!

I never went to Summer Camp when I was a kid, so I don’t have any traumatic memories of missing home, getting pranked and thrown in the lake, or wetting my pants over ghost stories around the campfire.

Instead I fantasize about the freedom of endless summers with the perfect group of friends – early morning canoe rides gliding across the silent lake communing with wildlife, warm afternoons splashing and diving off the dock, hilarious crafting sessions, campfire sing-alongs, gourmet outdoor cooking fests and s’mores parties.

The perfect summer is almost here and it’s time to make some dreams come true.


Summer is the season of free-wheeling fun, freshness and freedom.  Why shouldn’t we have a little of that in our morning showers too? 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)

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.

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 creamy white bar, it’s the essence of pure and simple.

Eucalyptus Mint – This is such a popular blend of essential oils for a reason.  Exhilirating and energizing, the eucalyptus is woodsy yet clean, mixed with both spearmint and peppermint for that cool, bracing freshness we can’t get enough of. (100% natural)

Lemon Ginger Carrot– Bright, sparkly, almost effervescent, this is a blast of citrus - sweet orange , lemon and lemongrass - blended with spicy ginger for a scent that is like liquid sunshine. We’ve oomphed up the superfood in this one. Loaded with rich organic coconut milk, carrot powder, acerola powder and carrot extract, it’s super moisturizing formula is full of vitamin C and beta carotene, plus a host of other essential nutrients and antioxidants which are especially good for mature or dry skin. (100% natural)


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 decolletage. 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)

Coconut Lemon - was such a big hit last year that it's stayed on the regular menu all year, but now is the time to truly bask in it! Tropical creamy coconut with a squeeze of tart lemon, dreaming of Pina Coladas, you'll be poolside with an umbrella drink in your hand within seconds.

Beach House - matches our new seasonal soap scent with a cool, calming spa-scent that turns "hot and bothered" into zen-like tranquility.


A lot has changed in the world in the last 17 (wow, 17!!) years since I started this business, and this little newsletter too. While I do appreciate things you can hold in your hands and savor, I need to spend more time simply making products for people to enjoy, and bringing them to you. This paper newsletter has been published in email form also for the last several years (with pretty pictures and easy-peasy links!). I’m hoping to encourage my treasured customers to move to the email list by the end of this year, and would like to discontinue the long hours of paper shuffling and stuffing.  If you want to help me save some trees, and are willing to receive the email version, please sign up on the website (or on the new Facebook page – woohoo! Facebook/Soapworks.Studio).  We’ll all join the 21st century together!

P.S. It would break my heart to lose touch with any of you, so if you don’t “do” computers, please give me a call and let me know so we can make arrangements to keep you in the loop too.


The arrival of summer means a hot new season of sidewalk fairs and festivals. I’ve got a big season planned and am looking forward to meeting and seeing you all.  For the full list, including dates, times, and booth locations, check out the “Events” tab on the website,  If you’re somebody who likes to pin the printed calendar to the fridge, there’s a PDF version there that you can print and save. Last minute announcements are posted on the blog and Facebook, so check there too.

This is going to be one heckuva summer – but without all those nerdy camp counselors!    
Heidi Risse