August 4, 2008- Musikfest Day 4

I started out the morning at the doctor’s. 875 milligrams of amoxicillin twice a day for the next ten days. Here is hoping the collective 17,500 milligrams get the job done and get me back on my feet.

K opened the show for me. She is such a trooper. After a busy morning at the dentist, she came right over and rescued me! She stayed with me till about 7 so I really got to rest my voice quite a bit. By the end of the night, it almost sounded better, rather than worse for once.

The weather was beautiful. The crowds were pretty big for a Monday, and sales were brisk. Better than usual I think. But then again I don’t keep track till the end (to compare year to year). It gets too stressful to compare day by day.

There are a lot of people not doing well and are very unhappy about it. Some blame the economy, some blame competition, some blame their booth location. Crafters are funny- we as a whole rarely ever look at it as the fact we are just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that our product isn’t popular in this particular location, or that our booth display is ragged and needs a face lift.

I know slow sales can be blamed on many things- weather is one of my favorites to blame, but really, they should mostly be blamed on the artist, starting with a bad choice of show and sometimes on the economy of the nation or a particular region where the show is located. But honestly I think we hide behind blaming other things when we don’t know or are too lazy to do something about something we actually have some control of.


August 3, 2008- Musikfest Day 3

Well they say you get sicker and sicker before you get better… hope this is the bottom of the barrel. I can’t stop coughing and still no vice. Tomorrow is a trip to the doctors.

The show was pretty good today, there were a lot of people and sales were brisk and consistent. Only one jerk- a lady I asked not to smoke in my tent and she told me I should just go home if I was too sick to smell her smoke. People never cease to amaze me!

Other than that I have to say the day was just plum uneventful. It is funny though, how sometimes when you don’t clarify a statement it can get you into trouble. C said he was coming over after finishing a load of laundry (I assumed this meant about 30 minutes) and when it was 2 hours later and he hadn’t left yet… well… see what I mean…I should have asked for exactly what time he planned on coming over to help me, instead I just stewed when it got later and later… whoops….

But he was wonderful. He cleaned up my shop a whole bunch, and that was a huge help! He always does a much better job than I do.

On to tomorrow! Three down, 7 to go!


August 2, 208, Musikfest Day 2

I don’t consider myself an overly religious person, but…dear Lord, please help me... I am sick... I am getting sicker. I have pumped up my body with every herbal supplement, immunity booster, and over the counter drug that I can think of, or have been given by friends. My voice is toast, my nose is stuffed, and there is heaviness in my chest that is starting to scare me a little. I am starting to hack and cough now, and it physically pains me to do so… It is only day two- 8 more to go...

Yesterday sales were better than I thought. I don’t count my sales till I get home for the night and the day felt really slow, but when I got home it was better than I expected. The weather was wonderful and you could really see people enjoying the day- especially the afternoon out with friends and family.

I got three wash cloths knit and got to meet another Ravelry member (and one on Friday too!) I ordered an new cash register- mine suddenly died the night before- hopefully I will get it here before the end of the show.

It is hard, I am praying for the afternoons to be quiet so I can save energy and recuperate, but my comrades, the other artisans need the people and the sales, so I feel guilty about my wishes…but I also need the money, the sales myself… so it is all a double edges sword…

But I have to tell you, my customers are the BEST. I have gotten more suggestions on what to take to get better ,and everyone telling me to stop talking, to be quiet and to get better. I can so feel the love. And the compliments I have gotten so far, my repeat customers are so sweet! And I have to say that I know the economy is tough right now, the fact that you are choosing to spend your hard earned money on something that I make, that I love, is not lost on me. Every sale is meaningful, really. It is because if the people here at a local festival like this that I want to be there, I want to fight through this cold, I want to see everyone and experience the days. Any other show and I would probably be home sick in bed…


August 1, 2008 Musikfest Day 1

I was wrong.. So I have started day 1 with no voice. And a stuffed up nose- which thanks to my neti pot is no longer stuffed, just running. K is coming over to the show at 3 (it starts at 5) to open up and to be my voice for the day.

I tried staying home as late as I could to get some sleep and rest, but I was restless and bored. So in the early afternoon I took a trip to a local store, looking for a few things I need and then wandered my way over to the show. I opened the tent so that the air could get in and cool it off some and then went and looked around and visited with other crafters- mostly hanging out in silence since my voice was going more and more.

I was really surprised to see how many other crafters were not there and didn’t even start to show up until 3 to set up. Although I believe that cars were to be out of the field by 4 or 4:30 a few were still there after 5. One new crafter actually duct taped a hand written cardboard sign to their booth advertising their prices. Luckily this didn’t stay up for long- it was so unprofessional. Overall there are a few things I am very disappointed with already- we will have to see in the next 9 days if my intuition is correct- and that in general this isn’t the best show this year in terms of quality of crafters.

K came over before the show started and really tried to talk for me as much as possible. But no matter how hard she tried I was getting too many detailed questions that I needed to answer. After diner C and dad came to visit too. By the end of the night my voice was shot and I was beat. Sales were pretty good for the first night and the crowd was there, just not buying yet. It was busy enough that the trek to the bathrooms was tough, and it has been a few years since that has happened.


July 31, 2008- Musikfest Day 0- Set up

Well, although I tried, I failed and I caught a cold right before this things starts. I like to blame others in these instances, so I would like to think C brought it home with him from his last business trip, or that K sent it from Sweden on some tainted stitch markers she sent me…but it is something going around- C has it, S has it, I have it, and it seems to know little geographic limits, as my friends tell me a similar bug has invaded Alaska and Sweden as well.

So set up was a little challenging. I learned that when your nose is stuffed, your throat hurts and it is 90+ degrees outside, getting excited and talking fast makes you feel faint…

K came over in the morning to help. We packed up the van with the tent and the first load of stuff and we headed over to the site. It was easy to set up, there was barely anyone there but us. We took a few breaks letting the cool water of the stream cool our feet. Once the van was empty we headed back to the house and packed the second load. Then it was lunch time with a long break for me to recuperate, and some house cleaning up before S got here to say with us for the week. In the afternoon we went back, and finished set up- the soap got put out, I installed the electricity, and it was finished…

S followed me home and we chatted, showered, and went to dinner when C arrived. I slowly lost my voice and thought it would be back in the morning...


Blueberry Festival at Burnside Plantation July 18-20 2008

First the bad…
• What this show is three days I just don’t understand. Fridays are dead…
• The heat this year (especially Friday and Saturday) was oppressive and certainly impacted sales
• The people I talked to claim that attendance was the same as previous years- then why did it seem so empty
• They need to stop charging so much money to get in and for parking- $19 for two people to attend is ridiculous.
• There was not coupons in the paper this year
• No booths in the shade, so we baked all day
• Figure out a set up and keep it- I am getting tired of my customers telling me they looked for me where I used to be.
• Get back to your mission statement—not enough old time crafts or crafts with ties to the past

Then the good…
• Sunday was OK, sales weren’t as down as much as I had expected them to be after Saturday
• Met a great potter- she is going to make me soap dishes and shaving mugs.

Um, yep, that is it for the good.. I wonder how much longer I am going to stick this show out. I learned of a big show out near J the same weekend. Next year I may try for that one and take a year off from here. I don’t know. I am always torn. I didn’t loose money, and it is local.. I am just not sure…

Corn Hill Festival of the Arts July 12-13, 2008

From what I have heard, this used to be a fantastic show, hundreds of thousands of people shopping and enjoying themselves. But not this year…

The show is fantastic. It takes place on the winding streets of Corn Hill in Rochester, NY. The neighborhood is just adorable, many churches come out and serve food, the level of the work shown is very high, and they give out prizes for best in show, etc… There are about 375 vendors, and only two soapmakers. The other company only makes soap and has been there for many years, so I expected to sell more bath products and toiletries, nope mostly soap was sold.

Weather had to have something to do with it. Saturday it was hot, but it rained on and off, and Sunday it just rained and rained, right up until we needed to pack- so it was nice to be able to pack in the dry.

Old timers, locals, etc all had stories to tell about the not too far past when you could barely walk down the streets because of the huge amount of people in them. This year, it was never busy and I didn’t see many shopping bags either.

Also, if I try this again next year we need to take Monday off and travel then. With traffic, rain, and construction we didn’t get home till close to midnight and it was just too long of a day.


Star Trek : The Experience is closing

Never saw me as a Trekkie ehh? Well I am not.. but long, long ago in a state far, far away (I know I couldn’t be mixing Star Trek and Star Wars but I couldn’t help it).. I was a youngin and right out of college. I worked for one of the companies that built the interior themeing for this attraction and I gave just about three years of my life to it in some fashion or another. If you go through the queue and look at the walls I (and my buddies) are all over them (the stickers with HMS051074 are my initials and birth date), and if you could get close enough to the bridge Okudagram I can still name just about everyone who worked on the project- we are all in the graphics in some form.

In some ways these were the best years of my life, and in many others they were the worst. I was passionate about what I did, I learned something new every day, I fought for what I thought was right, I worked, and worked, and worked, and when I didn’t work, I played, and played- Las Vegas being my playground.

This seems like a lifetime ago. I haven’t been back since. Part of me wants to see it one last time, part of me is glad that it will be gone. A last remnant of a time where I was someone else, and I didn’t always like that person. I am glad that I am who I am today, but I do miss the passion that I had back then, the ability to spend many sleepless nights focused on a task, and the feeling that I was making a difference on a day to day basis. I think I lack that passion, that drive today, and I don’t know how to rekindle it without loosing the balance between work and family in my life that I love so much.

I won’t go back.. but I wonder, I contemplate- I have some extra stickers- I have been saving them for 10 years in the same file as my birth certificate and life insurance policy- should I keep them as a souvenir, or should I burn them when The Experience finally comes to an end?


A week at Girl Scout camp…

June 24-27, 2008

Ok it wasn’t a week, it was just a few hours a day... but I have to tell you , since I am not used to being around kids, it sure felt like I was there all day, all week…

I had a great time. Each day I had a group of young women (brownies) that I taught how to make lip balm and bath fizzys. It was a ton of fun and a lot of work to haul everything in and out of camp each day.

I learned that strawberry was the favorite lip balm flavor, and that raspberry was more popular than the love spell fragrance I brought, but not by much. Everyone seemed to like the fact that the ingredients are so simple and that there was no junk in the items (no preservatives, no dyes etc)

Some of the girls had some great questions for me about how I started my business and were do I learn how to make stuff, etc.. It was a lot of fun to interact with them and see their interests and personalities.

We even talked about doing something for the older girls that focuses more on starting and running your own business next year. I think I would love to be a part of that.

PA State Laurel Festival June 20-21, 2008

This show is in a beautiful part of the state and is in one of the quaintest towns you can ever imagine. I would think it is like being transported back into 1950. The lamps on main street are still gas (not electric), the whole town comes out for the parade and starts setting up chairs along the route days before it starts and no one steals them. The festival even has a queen. The diner in town was built in the 1930’s and there is a farm stand right outside of it on the weekends.

The show itself is pretty large- over 100 vendors and takes place in a park that has a wonderful fountain in the middle of it. I even got interviewed by a local newspaper and got a mention in the article about the show.

It is set up well, it is easy to set up, hard to tear down because it is impossible to park near your spot. It has some very nice crafts, no junk. But it was overwhelmed by soap makers. I counted 7 booths that had soap or some kind of herbal toiletries of some kind. Way too many for a show this size. Sales were about 60% of what I had projected, but with all that competition I did better than I thought I would. It rained on and off both days. The local main street was hit by lightening and lost power for a few hours, and the parade was finished in the pouring rain.

There were die hard buyers despite the weather, but I do think it impacted overall attendance and sales.

Overall this is a maybe again show. I have to keep an eye on hotel and gas prices and decide if it is worth another try next year. The experience was pleasant enough to try again for sure.

Mom’s Visit

So my mom came to visit. It was her first time ever. Really, it can be hard to believe, but most of my mom’s life has been spent taking care of other people in her life, and this has made it quite difficult for her to do any kind of travel, so although I have lived in NY state, Nevada, Florida, and PA, she hasn’t seen an apartment or house until now…

June 14th I drove up to NY to get her. Got to spend the night and spend some time with my step-dad R.

June 15th- we drove back to my place, got home and situated, got some dinner, and generally chilled out after the long drive.

June 16th- We drove to some quilting and fabric stores in NJ. One of them was near where C works, so we got to have lunch with him at the Clinton Station Diner. We stopped at the Crayola Factory store so she could shop for the grand kids and had some ice cream at a local place nearby. She got to give K her moose which made both their days and later after dinner we drove around and showed her the area some.

June 17th- We went down to Lancaster County and did some serious fabric shopping. Had a great lunch at a local family cupboard and found an awesome hidden yarn store that specializes in local yarns. It was a fantastic day.

June 18th- we went plant shopping. There are 5 big garden centers nearby so we went and looked through them to help me decide what I want in my landscape when it finally get s to where I can start to work on it. We also bought a bunch of vegetable plants to finish out my garden and we got them planted just in time for the rain to come.

June 19th we drove to Wellsboro for a show. We took the long way up and the scenery was amazing. After we got there and got checked into the hotel we got set up for the show and found dinner before crashing for the night.

June 20-21 was the PA State Laurel Festival

June 21 after tear down we started driving home and made it as bar as Binghamton before needing a hotel for the night. We stopped, got some sleep and started out the next day.

June 22 we found a great place for breakfast that was filled with miniatures off all shapes and sizes. It was amazing and the food was wonderful too. We made it back to her house safe and sound. We spent the rest of the day resting- our vacation had tired us out. I got to see my step-sister and her kids- they grow up so fast.

June 23- I drove home and mom went back to work…

Capital Jazz Festival- June 6-8 2008

What else can I say besides that this show was such a wreck I didn’t even do it. And it was expensive, so for me NOT to do it was a pretty big deal. But if this is all the badness for the season in one show, that will be fine with me..

First we started with the three hour drive down to Baltimore. When I realized, about 20 minutes from the show that I HAD FORGOTTEN MY TENT TOP. (insert mental breakdown and crying jag here…). Carlos looked up the local wholesale club on the GPS, we drove there, got some lunch (I was starving) and bought an EZ up. And headed to the show…

What a fiasco…

First, there was no paperwork for me when I arrived, no entrance tickets, no map, nothing.

We drove in and had to physically walk around the site to look for our spot. We had been told we could drive in to our spot- NO WAY. It was the farthest from the entrance and it had been blocked from all directions.

Then we were told that although our packet said to arrive AT 4 pm for set up, we were supposed to be set up BY 4 pm, so we had to move quickly if we were to set up at all. (funny thing: we were given the last set up time but were placed furthest from the entrance gate… made no sense)

Then we were told there was a side gate we could go in to make the haul of our items shorter (we had no rolling cart- we were supposed to be able to pull in)- and the gate was closed and could not be opened because it was installed wrong and the way it would swing open was blocked by large wooden pillars embedded in the ground.

Add to these facts that the site was full of mud, that the tents for merchandise were not even set up (and it was 2 hours before show opening), we saw no electricity set up (the show ran till 9 pm and was set in a grove of trees) and we couldn’t fathom how we were going to get our things out at 9 pm on Sunday since there was only one way in/out… and we decided not to deal with this show at all.

We left and drove back home. But we retuned the EZ-UP first… And we didn't even stay for the music..


Don't know if these are true....

But many of them sure sound like a good reason to buy and use soap...

During an hour's swimming at a municipal pool you will ingest 1/12 liter of urine.

In an average day your hands will have come into indirect contact with 15 penises.(touching door handles, etc.)

An average person's yearly fast food intake will contain 12 pubic hairs.

In a year you will have swallowed 14 insects - while you slept!

At an average wedding reception you have a 1/100 chance of getting a cold sore from one of the guests.

Daily you will breath in 1 liter of other peoples' anal gases.



1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your significant other? showering
3. Your hair? graying
4. Your Skin? freckles
5. Your mother? stressing
6. Your favorite thing? cat
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? rum
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your ex? cyberspace
12. Your fear? horses
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you're not? lazy
16. Muffins? Gluten-free
17. One of your wish list items? vacation
18. Where you grew up? Perth
19. The last thing you did? blogged
20. What are you wearing? PJ’s
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pet (s)? here
23. Your computer? on
24. Your life? stressful
25. Your mood? anxious
26. Missing someone? no
27 Your car? full
28. Something you're not wearing? bra
29. Favorite Store? Target
30. Your summer? hot
31. Like someone? C
32. Your favorite color? green
33. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
34. Last time you cried? yesterday
35. Whose Answers are you anxious to see? any

Tagged again....



3. WHAT IS THE LAST FILM THAT YOU SAW AT THE CINEMA? Does it count that I hope to see Indiana Jones???

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWs? House, Bones, Criminal Minds, etc…


7. WHAT FOOD DO YOU DISLIKE? I’ll try anything, really

8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CD? I don’t really have one

9. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? Chrysler Town & Country

10. FAVORITE SANDWICH ? ohhh I miss sandwiches





15. FAVORITE HOLIDAY ?Any one without a craft show

16. WHERE WOULD YOU RETIRE TO? Maine or Puerto Rico

17. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY? This year was pretty darn good!


19. FURTHEST PLACE YOU ARE SENDING THIS? It will be on the Internet so I guess it is just going out into space

20. WHO DO YOU LEAST EXPECT TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I expect no one to answer


22. FAVORITE SAYING ? Is the glass half full or half empty you ask me as I fill it. I say it doesn’t matter, pretty soon you’re gonna spill it (I think this is an Indigo Girls song)


24. ARE YOU A MORNING OR NIGHT PERSON? Morning, early morning. I have friends who go to bed about the time I get up


26. PETS? 3 cats

27. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? My dad has lived with us for 2 months now, and I haven’t killed him yet (kidding)





32. WHAT IS A DAY ON THE CALENDAR YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO? December 21, the last day of crafts shows for the year

33. WHAT IS YOUR NICK NAME (S) ? Baby, SoapLady, PrivetKnits

35. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Cheescake topped with chocolate mouse





40. FAVORITE RESTAURANT? I don’t have one right now

41. SIBLINGS? 1 step sister, 1 step brother and a few who I don’t share DNA with but I have adopted along the way


43. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? Strawberry Shortcake Dolls



46. COFFEE OR TEA? Tea- herbal


48. DO YOU WANT YOUR FRIENDS TO EMAIL YOU BACK? No, but a comment would be cool

49. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? A few nights ago, season’s last show of Bones. I still can’t believe it was Zack!

50. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? Dust Bunnies, and I think some blankets

51. WHO IS THE FRIEND THAT YOU HAVE HAD THE LONGEST? Jac, we were 6 when we met?

52. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Got home from a show, ate dinner, talked about house renovations, wrote my list of things to do, read the paper, went to bed.



55. SALTY OR SWEET? Both together







62. HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL RESPOND? Not sure, it will be fun to find out

MAy 31-June 1 Chester NJ Spring Craft Show

The Chester NJ Spring Craft Show just isn’t for me.

It is a lovely show. I can not explain how well this show is produced. The paperwork is easy to understand, when you arrive you are escorted to your space for set up, you even get some morning cookies. There is always someone around to ask questions of you need to. They even gave out a weather update the morning of the show because bad weather was expected. You get coffee and donuts each day, and load out is simple and painless- they don’t let you in until you are torn down and then again you are escorted to your space and told where to park, etc.

And people come. But for me, not enough people. This show just doesn’t have the attendance I need in order to be able to have a great show. For the people who come (and I estimate between 5-10k) they do buy, they come to spend money. But the show for me is one of my most expensive and the sales just do not equal what I spend on it. This was my second time here, and both years it rained, last year on Sunday, this year on Saturday and for sure sales were impacted by the weather, but I am pretty sure those die hard buyers come early and watch the weather and come when they can.

Like I said, my sales aren’t bad, just not good for the money I spend. I am trying the fall show which I am told is better and I will be on the street, hope fully with more traffic, and the fall is free so it will probably be better attended overall. It is just that this spring show isn’t for me.

May 25-31, 2008

I got to tell you, I have been working harder this past month than I have worked in years. Not that I am working harder, I am working more consistently and with longer hours. Typically I would take a day off here and there, work just a few hours one day and then a bunch the next, but this past month I have worked 26 out of 31 days and averages 7.5 hours per day. I am tired, and I have a few more weeks of this push before I can relax some and maybe enjoy the summer a little bit. It always seems that when I am at my busiest is when more things show up on my plate and this time is like always. I have met some great contacts that I think will really help me ramp up my business to the next level- but I can’t do any ramping till I get caught up on what I need to be doing just to stay level. Just a few more weeks of pushing myself and I think I can be where I want to be.

Sunday and Monday I was at Mayfair.

Tuesday I had a dentist appointment. I went shopping and bought some things I needed for a swap I am participating in and then stopped at Whole Foods for some gluten-free items that I really can’t get anywhere else. I ran errands like going to the bank and such and I took pictures of Herman’s pieces that I had so I could start a cool spreadsheet for his inventory.

Wednesday In the morning I made soap and at night I went to a dinner with a new business contact. She is a PR/.marketing person who specializes in small businesses and getting small businesses together to network and help each other out. Everyone at dinner was fin to meet. I met a cool lady who is going to help me learn how to make gift baskets better since she owns a floral shop/gift basket co. I think it would be fun to do this every few months. The whole thing makes me feel so grown up to be at. And it is tiring, so many people asking you questions and expecting good answers. Lots of pressure.

Thursday I was going to go to B’s for our goal buddy meeting but she wasn’t feeling well. Instead I stayed home and made lots of soap.

Friday I spent the day with H, we traveled down near Philly to see a design center that wants to sell his turned bowls as accessories. Very cool place and a nice guy to work with owns it. It was a fun thing to see and learn about and I and enjoying helping H sell his pieces.

Saturday & Sunday was the Chester NJ Spring Craft Show


May 21-26, 2008 Mayfair Festival of the Arts

May 21 was set up night. We were supposed to arrive before 5pm, pick up a packet with our booth location and then set up. There was no one there with a packet when we arrived. We waited about 5 minutes and then I drove back home to get my information I had received just to be sure I hadn’t messes up on the times. When we got back to the park there was still no one around. C called the main number , we were given our space number, and were told our packet would be brought to us within the hour. I can tell you I never saw a packet that night, and I was worried that this was not going to be a good sign of things to come.

May 22 The show started at 4 pm and the information I had said that cars would not be allowed in the park after 9 am. So I packed my rollie cart ready to haul some extra stuff in the long way. When I arrived the place was full of cars. So I pulled in, finally got my packet, and dropped off stuff to my booth and then went to park. I didn’t know that Thursday was the free night so I was worried about C being able to come in to help me when he got home from work (since I just got my packet and passes today and wouldn’t see him before the show start.) So we can chalk this up to miscommunication for the festival #3… boy I hope the rest goes better than this…..

May 23 Again the show started at 4 pm. The night was chilly and breezy but sales were brisk as well.
May 24 Still a little chilly but no rain. The crowds were really out this year and I think the smaller number of crafters really helped those of us who were there make some money. Less options means less competition for the few dollars that people have to spend these days. I have been noticing the past few years that I am doing better at shows with fewer crafters. I think that is because there is only a finite amount of disposable income right now and whereas before I needed to really just compete with other soap makers for the dollar, now all crafters are competitors for this small pool of dollars people plan on spending when the come to an event. I also noticed fewer credit cards being used, which is great for me, less fees, but it keeps people from going over their budget as much because they are more aware of their purchases when using cash.

May 25 the weather was still holding out and getting nicer. The sales were strong and I just enjoyed the whole day. Still not that many credit card sales and although I think average sales were lower, the higher attendance and more people buying really evened it out for me in the enc. It seemed to me when looking at peoples bags and talking to them there were spreading out their money more- smaller purchases at a few stands rather than one or two larger purchases.

May 26- a beautiful day. I should have worn shorts. Sales were OK, not as good as the last three, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. Plus with the holiday I don’t think there were as many people there than on the past three days and the show ended two hours earlier as well and really started winding down around 6 pm when some of the vendors with larger set ups started to tear down a little early.

All in all my sales were just about double than last years and I think that although the show is changing from fine arts to crafts, it is getting better attended overall. Some old time vendors can complain about the quality of the artists going down, but I have to say that I think what is there now is OK. Certainly it has room for improvement, but that will come with time and maybe last year was this shows rock bottom and it is on the upswing. I certainly enjoyed it more than I have in many years and have the sales to follow that thinking. I’ll be back next year now, no hesitation, no looking for an alternate show. It isn’t a “best” show for me, but a few more years like this and it will be.

May 18-24 2008

Sunday was the Arbutus Arts Festival, a rainy day with a long drive home

Monday-Wednesday- I kept up with my schedule of soap making and made lots of soap. I am getting to the almost done point and am watching the fragrance names be scratched off the list one by one. Just a few more weeks, then a three week break while everything cures and I get some final inventory counts and then back to making soap in July. Those three weeks will be filled with making bath salts, much asked for lip balms, and getting bath fizzys labeled. Wednesday night we set up for Mayfair.

Thursday and Friday mornings I made more soap (two more scratched off the list) and then went to the show.

Saturday I actually got one batch done before I left and then worked the show all afternoon.

A week filled with crock pot meals and long, long days. Monday K came to work and we got some filing done. I have this huge pile of a few years worth of stuff that needs to be put where it belongs. We finished my dad’s stuff. Now just mine needs to be finished. Wednesday before the show I went and saw H and picked up some pieces to photograph. There is a guy who is interested in putting the works in his gallery so they need to be inventoried before leaving the workshop.


Teppan Hibbachi Steakhouse- my heroes!

I live in Emmaus, PA. The closest restaurant that offers sushi is just down the road a few minutes. A1 Japanese Steak House on Lehigh Street in Allentown. I go there a lot, I would say on average twice a month and in the summer, even once a week. It has never been the BEST sushi around, just close, and affordable with pretty good service.

Until now….

K and I went the other day for a bento box for lunch. I ordered a Sushi and Sashimi Combination plate. It came with a California Roll. So I asked the waitress if I could substitute a tuna roll. She said no. I explained that I am allergic (I use allergy- it is easier to understand than intolerant) to an ingredient in the fake crab (krab) and that I can’t eat it. Could she please check for me, or send over a manager. I then went on to explain that I would be happy to pay more for the tuna roll.

So she left, walked to the back of the sushi bar, spoke with the sushi chef, pointed at us, and then came back and said “no”. What??? I explained it is an allergy issue… (krab has gluten in it because it contains wheat and it makes me ill), I offered to pay more, and we were one of only two tables in the entire restaurant.. and the answer is “no”?????

So I told her to cancel our orders and that we would be going someplace that could accommodate my dietary needs. The roll of her eyes was enough to push me over the edge to never go back again.

So we took the longer drive to Teppan Hibbachi Steakhouse off of Cedar Crest Blvd. I ordered the same thing and asked for a tuna roll instead and no krab in the dish. No problems! At the end of the meal the waiter actually noticed I did not use soy sauce. I explained I can’t eat wheat (which is in the soy sauce) and that it is in the krab too. I was told to come back anytime and they can accommodate me- no Krab! And I didn’t even have to offer to pay more. So now even though the drive is longer, and the prices a little higher (but the food is much better) this is my official new sushi place for life. See how easy it is to win a customer, and one who will blog about how wonderful you are too!

May 11-17, 2008

This week was a blur…. I made LOTS of soap… and, and. and I went to S’s for sewing circle. It was fun to see the ladies again, it had been a while. I met with B on Thursday to talk about our goals for the next two weeks, one of which for me is to get the darn web site done. Somehow in the midst of deleting my site and installing the new one the shopping cart (which is supposed to be independent) went down too. Bugger.

It was a lot of clean up from one show and repacking for the next show. Lots of cutting soaps, making soap, cleaning crock pots and other pretty mundane things that need to get done in order to make inventory. I am on a schedule of inventory completion around June 12. We’ll see how close to that date I can come.

We had a few people come out to give us a quote on putting in a fence. Double what I expected. It will be a while before we get the fence. And then a while till we get a dog because I’m not getting a dog without a fence.

I think I like these weeks of boring drudgery. At least I feel accomplished.

May 18, 2008 Arbutus MD Arts Festival

I was worried about this show, it was a week or so before and I still hadn’t gotten any information about my location or set up...nothing…

Then an e-mail, that information was soon to follow, that it had taken too long to get some things from the printer.

And when it arrived… the surprise… in order to be able to pull the van near my space I was going to have to arrive at 5:45 in the morning. What??? The show starts at 10 am!!

So I e-mailed, what in my biased opinion was an eloquent letter asking what my options were if I didn’t arrive at 5:45 am. I explained that I had a 2:45 hour drive that morning and that really set up took me no longer than 2:00 hours and that leaving at 3 am to get into my booth space two hours or more before I really needed to was, well, a waste of some good sleep.

And they were WONDERFUL! Both an e-mail and a follow up phone call to explain that I could park near my booth in parking lot and then haul my stuff, not too far (across the street) to my booth. Fabulous!

So we arrived around 8:00 am and low and behold, to our surprise (and obvious dismay of other crafters who had arrived at 5:45 am) we were even allowed to pull in next to our space and unload. Which we quickly and quietly did.

Set up was fast and simple. Good music was being played in the intercom. Fun, lively songs, most of which I knew the words to (and this will come back to haunt me later…)

We walked around, the show is pretty large, I recognized a few other crafters who came from pretty far away. There were a few candle makers who had some soaps (in varying amounts and types) but I was the only soap maker who makes only soaps & toiletries.

Sales started around 9:30 am and continued steadily till 12 noon. When the heavens opened and poured forth with rain, lots of rain….

With no sales for 2:30 hours, the radar still showing rain, and an impending 2:45 hour drive home, we packed early. (Not as early as our neighbors and many, many other vendors) and started home. Our drive became longer due to rain and traffic. Dinner was a salad from a McDonalds that had worse than usual customer service. We made it home around 8:00 pm. Tired.

Sales were good, in just a few hours I made ½ of what I wanted to make all day. Bet this is a great show when it doesn’t rain. I’ll try again next year.

Oh, and did I mention they gave all the vendors a commemerative cup. Its plastic and yellow, but more than I get from shows that cost 5x more and last 10x as long...

And that CD I liked during set up... it was the only one they played all day. Over and over and over...I still have "Lime and the Coconut" stuck in my head.


I was tagged....



3. WHAT IS THE LAST FILM THAT YOU SAW AT THE CINEMA? I honestly don’t remember

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOWs? Criminal Minds, Top Chef, Bizarre Foods




8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CD? The soundtrack to Twin Peaks

9. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? Chrysler Town & Country

10. FAVORITE SANDWICH ? Lebanon Bologna


12. FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING? PJ pants my mom makes for me



15. FAVORITE HOLIDAY ? does my birthday count?


17. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY? About 4 years ago, C was away and B made me dinner & cake at her mom’s house and I gotto eat with her grandmother


19. FURTHEST PLACE YOU ARE SENDING THIS? The stratosphere- it is the Internet

20. WHO DO YOU LEAST EXPECT TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I don’t expect any answers


22. FAVORITE SAYING ? Does that make sense?




26. PETS? 3 cats

27. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? Dad just moved in a few months ago



30 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY? The bananas in Runts


32. WHAT IS A DAY ON THE CALENDAR YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO? October- maybe we’ll go on vacation

33. WHAT IS YOUR NICK NAME (S) Privit, and Baby, just to name a few

35. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Gluten free pretzels dipped in peanut butter

36. DO YOU WISH ON STARS? sometimes



39. FAVORITE SOFT DRINK? Kutztown Ginger Beer


41. SIBLINGS? A few steps, a few not so steps

42. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Last day of shows for the year

43. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? Winnebago toy RV and Strawberry Shortcake Dolls


45. HUGS OR KISSES? kisses




49. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Last night while watching a TiVoed CSI:NY



52. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Drove home from a show in Baltimore, checked my e-mail, watched some TV, went to bed

53. FAVORITE SMELL? welding











May 10-11, Historic Downtown Bethlehem Fine Arts & Crafts Show

Saturday started out as a grey, overcast, cool day that continued to threaten rain most of the day. Set up was easy, getting there was hard because of all of the roads that were closed. Although the paperwork said that Main Street would be closed during the show, the exit from the Hill-to-Hill Bridge to Main Street was closed much earlier, forcing us to find an alternative route. Luckily, being local, this wasn’t too difficult, but I could certainly see where if you came from afar, this could be totally frustrating.

C helped me set up and then went home for a bit and came back later with my dad. Sales were on par with last year, but the show seemed slow. This sometimes happens when the overall sales are more money but you have less of them to fill the day. I knitted some more tawashi and sewed in the ends of a few washcloths too.

Sunday started out with beautiful weather but turned windy and bitter. C dropped me off in the morning and came back in the afternoon in order to hold down the tent all day. I wasn’t really worried about it blowing away, it has really heavy weights on it, but if it gets blowing too heavy it will skitter across the concrete, bending legs and other parts as it goes. There was quite a bit of crashing sounds from both ends of the show and I know of at least two tents that got damaged in the wind. I will take a rainy, gray day over a sunny windy one any time.

Sales were strong and I did better this year than last year. Up about a ½ day of sales. Sunday’s sales were better than Saturday’s which was odd and different than last year, but I expect some of that was due to the impending rain on Saturday.

My only complaint was booth placement. I was in just about the same spot last year, right in front of the Hotel Bethlehem. Last year there were fewer crafters in this area so there was less traffic going between the tents to get to the sidewalk, or the hotel entrance. There were two weddings that day so I felt bad for the brides who arrived just to see EZ-up tents in front of the beautiful hotel. Bet that ruined a few photo ops. My biggest thing is that the entrance to the hotel has a cover, a small roof, which is flat and collected the water from the rain, and when the winds picked up, it blew off the roof, onto C, into the tent, onto the sidewalk, everywhere. They really just shouldn’t put a tent where mine is and give everyone lots of room in and out of the hotel and onto the sidewalk.

But this makes 4 shows for the year: 1 bad, 2 good, 1 terrible.

May 4-10, 2008

Sunday- Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Show
Monday- Main Line Arts Center pick up, grocery store (Trader Joe’s), Target, Joanne Fabrics,
Tuesday- Friday- Gosh, what did I do? I know it had a lot to do with packing and unpacking the van in order to get ready for the Downtown Bethlehem Show. I got the shop clean and ready to be worked in again. This included getting some soap made- shampoo bars mostly. I started working on the web site and finally forced myself to get it done by changing over to the new template and making it just look so awful that I have to work on it or it will drive me crazy. Sometimes this is the best form of motivation for me, just having something so bad it has to be worked on, rather than languishing in mediocrity.
Saturday- Downtown Bethlehem Craft Show


Happy Birthday to me...

Today I am 34…

Where did the time go, just 10 years ago I was 24. I was just 3 years out of college. I was either in Las Vegas or Florida. Getting or just gotten married (not to c btw). And entering a pretty dark period of my life.

Now I am 34. I am happy. I am healthier than I was at 33 (6+ lbs lighter). I am the happiest I have been I think ever. I have connections with my family so strong that my dad actually lives with us when he is home on the weekend. I have a small but strong and stable circle of friends. My life is normal, and sometimes a little boring but I like it.

I make soap for a living, traveling to craft shows in PA, NY, NJ and MD mostly. I have a wonderful husband now who supports what I do, most often traveling with me on the weekends. He has a great job and I am blessed to have little stress about money- he does all the stressing. He sees me in ways I do not see myself. To him I am beautiful no matter what I look like- chubby, tired, puffy, angry, anything… My biggest blessing is that he sees me in ways that I cannot see myself, and in this he gives me a glimpse of what I am, what I can be.

I knit as a hobby and have found wonderful cyber friends through Ravelry. I love having the ability to make, to have my hands on something tangible, to see something that only exists in this world because I made it so.

My mom has just started crafting herself- she is making wonderful plush animals. We will go to her first craft show this September and now we have even more to talk about- the great but silly crafting world.

B and I are best buddies. We support each other through highs and lows, personal and professional. She is my go to girl, my big sister I never had.

J is my soul sister. We connect on so many levels, we shared a childhood and this magically transformed itself into the realm of adulthood. We don’t pander to each other, we don’t have to entertain each other, we don’t dwell in the past- we celebrate the future and get each other through the present the best we can.

S is my new friend. We are both crafty and she is witty and beautiful and all that I would like to be if I ever became a mom. Along with her has come the “sewing circle” E,E,M,&R mostly, a circle of opinionated, talented, loving, strong, and gentle women who every week we meet teach me something about them, something about the world, and something about me.

There is A, I don’t see her often, but she is funny, and young, and inspiring, and so easy to be proud of.

And the other A- who is my virtual friend. Who pumps me up when I am low, who reads my blog even when we don't have time to catch up, who takes time to see me when I am near, and time to e-mail when I am far. She is a blessing my business has brought me- a customer turned friend.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, there is K. My friend, my little sis. How such a young body and mind can harbor such an old soul amazes me every day. She teaches me so much about myself. I see my mistakes and try and keep her from making them, she shows me her triumphs and I get to celebrate with her. I can only hope that I am being a good influence. She makes me want to be a better woman so I can be a better role model, a better mentor to her.

Here is thanks to all of my blessings, that the next year shall be better than the last, and that I shall work to be a better person. It is nice to be 34.


This would be a fitting end...

So I will admit... I have always wanted to be cremated when I am dead and gone. But I also understand that really what I want is a useless thing.. it is what my family NEEDS that is the most important. So, if my loved ones NEED a grave to visit, so be it, do with my hollow shell what you wish, for it is useless without my soul, my spirit, and is nothing but an empty vessel once I have passed on.

But as a soap maker- a person who has a healthy awe and respect for sodium hydroxide-lye- because I use it ever day in the process of making soap, I think I have found how I want to be, well, disposed of....

Dissolve my body with lye. Yep.. it is the new idea in mortuary science. The process has been used to...well..dispose of... animals and human cadavers used for scientific purposes for years. It is cleaner than cremation- no carbon emissions, no mercury from my fillings- plus there is still enough bone left to return to my family in an urn, should they want it. But the rest of me, well it would be flushed down a drain. And although this sound gross, it would be no more dangerous than regular human feces waste, and much better than the blood and embalming fluid that goes down the drain during the process that we use now.

Yep, that is it, that is my decision, dissolve me with lye. And if the process isn't legal by the time I pass.. donate me to science...


May 4, 2008 Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival

For all that was wrong with the Lebanon PA show, all was right with the Chestnut Hill show. First, I will admit, I had never been to Chestnut Hill, I had no idea how cute and posh this place was, with the cobblestone streets and the great boutiques and restaraunts, just a fabulous place to go and hang for a day, window shopping and noshing. About halfway through our day C and I both commented on how we would love to actually attend this festival, rather than vend at it, and honestly, that is something that rarely happends to us, usually we are happier behind the tables.

Set up was hurried but easy. The street is narrow so it is important to get unloaded and get out ASAP. There was one other soapmaker there (as far as we could tell after walking around) and they were Philly locals, and close enough that we could see eachother's booths too. The set up is on cobblestones, so by the end of the day my feet and legs killed me from standing on the uneven ground. Next year I need to rember to bring a piece of plywood to stand on, at least a small one should help.

The show starts late in the morning- 11 am and goes until 5pm. So we even got to sleep in a little comparable to other shows. The drive was only about an hour, not too far at all and was easy to find too.

After we got set up we walked around- lots of food from local eateries, great artists and crafters, plants for sale, and a real feeling that the local shops embrace this festival- many had tables out front and sales going on. So many times when I do a show like this it feels as if the local businesses resent it because it takes away from their business for the day- this one was really embraced by the local business- they became a part of it, made it better, and really used it to highlight waht they have to offer too.

It is typically a good sign when my first sale for the day is even before the show offically starts and that is how the day started. It was steady all day, not too many credit card sales, lots of people took flyers and asked questions, I got a few inquiries about wholesale, and the weather was beautiful on top of it.

I always have numbers in my head- what is a "good day" what is a "great day" etc. they change for every show, but I was only a few dollars off from a "good day" of sales, and only a few dollars off from my "guess the sales" projection. And honestly, the atmosphere of this show is one that can make up for some lower sales, although this year it didn't need too.

May 3, 2008 Lebanon PA Spring Crafts Festival

I have participated in this show before- I am not sure when- it was PB (pre-blog) so honestly I had no real memory of the show itself. I wondered for quite a while while I was sending in the application if I had even done it before. It wasn't until I got the acceptance letter that I was sure that I had in fact particpated in the show before- see there is this thing about hooking up electricty into the lightposts on the side of the street- whiche I remembered from years past.

So now that I rembered doing the show, I started to remember why I didn't continue doing the show. From what I could recall it wan't bad, just that I had found another more reliable, more profiatbel, two day show to do that same weekend. When that "more reliable" show started to become less reliabe, I once again was on the hunt for a show or shows the first weekend in May, which brought me back to trying Lebanon one more time.

So we arreived and the day was damp, cold, and threatening rain. We set up easily, the booth was across from a parking lot, where we left the car, so if the heavens did open up and rain upon us, we would have quick and easy access to a vehile in which to pack our stuff up into.

After getting set up, C and I walked around. We like to play a little game called "guess today's sales". This is based on our overall impression of the town/location, the other vendors setting up, the types of food vendors present, etc. What I can tell you is that we concured on a number, and that we guessed high- about 30% too high.

The show started and we froze, it was so bonechillingly damp that C spent some time in the van just trying to warm up. It got a little better in the afternoon and the last 3 hours of the show is where I actually made money above and beyond my booth fee. The overall pace of the show was so slow that when we got home I was actually surpised that I sold as much as I did.


May 1, 2008 Main Line Art Center

Thursday I worked all day at the Art Center. This gave A the chance to get to some meetings and get some important work accomplished. The day wasn’t eventful or all that busy. I got inventory for the last few days of sales completed, and I got some more fliers folded. All the artisans that volunteer their time came on time and worked really hard to give the customers a great experience at the show. They help explain the items, they help people check out, try things on, etc. It can be fun to volunteer your hours or it can be boring- depending on the time and day. But I think this day was pretty fun- steady but not swamped. I got home around 8 pm, did some stuff around the house and crawled into bed. I was tired- no days off really since before Merlefest. I’m not used to working this hard, LOL!

April 29, 2008 Opening at Main Line Art Center

Tuesday was my day at the Main Line Art Center to help set up for the show and run the opening night reception. I got down there bright and early because I still had to set up my stuff and H’s wood things as well. I got everything inside and then got whisked away to help A pick up food and wine and place lawn signs out to try and drive traffic to the show. My wonderful committee members got everything checked in and set up beautifully for me and when I returned to the center I helped fold fliers, and do other set up tasks. The opening reception went well, not as busy as I expected it to be but still good all the same. I made it home about 10 pm, tired and ready for bed.

The show itself looked great. There were lots of new artists and the ones who have been around for a while really seemed to have new inspiration and invigoration in their work. For me the show seems to be showing down in sales. I think I may need to take a few shows off from exhibiting. With the price of gas, my many trips down and back are becoming less and less profitable.

What Do You Do?

I make soap and according to this article from the NY Times cosmetics and perfume take up %0.3 percent of the average American's spending. This is down %0.4 from 2007.

Jewelry is also %0.3 of America's spending, but this is up %8.7 from last year.

As an artisan what you do-your art, will have a big impact on how this "economic slowdown" effects you.

If I am lucky, soap really falls into the Misc. Personal Goods category- only %0.2 of spending, but at least it is up %2.1. Since I have no idea based on this article, only time will tell I guess.


April 27- May 3, 2008

Sunday- Merlefest (see other post)
Monday- Travel from Merlefest (see other post)
Tuesday- Main Line Arts Center (see other post)
Wednesday- try and catch up- laundry, mail, orders, sleep, pick C up from the airport,
Thursday- Main Line Art Center (see other post)
Friday- Pack van for show, more catching up
Saturday- Lebanon Spring Craft Fair, dinner with dad (see other post)

Show season is in full swing and I have the next 4 weeks filled to the brim with things to do. This week felt like it was all about loading and unloading the van, again and again. Unloaded from Merlefest, loaded for MLAC, unloaded at MLAC, loaded back for Lebanon, etc… I sure do move stuff around a bunch. I bet my neighbors are baffled.

I think it is good though that I booked myself to just keep going. I can get depressed when something, some show, some lost wholesale account, anything, gets me down, making myself keep going week after week doesn’t give me time to reflect, think, or get blue about anything because something awesome usually happens the next week, sometimes just the next day.

Soapy Humor


April 28, 2008 Merlefest Day 6-Trip Home

We started the morning dropping C off at the Raleigh Durham airport so he could rent a car for his stay in NC. Then I programmed the Garmin and headed out. It was a rainy, grey drive and in some parts it rained pretty hard. It took this odd way from Durham, into Virginia and the across the state to I-81. It may have been easier to drive I-95 but I despise the Baltimore, DC, and Philly areas of that trip, so since I was alone I decided to drive the way I like (and try to hit a few yarn stores along the way).

It got really foggy- especially where my trip brought me onto the Blue Ridge Parkway- with all the signs that say to avoid that road in the fog! And then onto (I think) 43 with the signs that it isn’t recommended for RV’s or trailers (yet another good reason not to get a camper or trailer)- personally I wouldn’t have recommended that road for any vehicle larger than an ATV. What a wild ride. I should probably have my breaks checked next time I go in for an oil change.

Finally hitting civilization (or at least a decent road) I used the book B bought me for Christmas and tracked down a few yarn stores in Virginia that I wanted to stop at. One was closed- for good, the other closed for the day, so I ended up hitting The Yarn Basket in Coopersburg, PA. It was an awesome store and I bought J some yarn for soap savers and myself some angora that was on sale half price.

The whole trip took me about 10 hours and I got home tired and hungry. I ate, rested, read the mail, and fell fast asleep….

April 27, 2008 Merlefest Day 5- Last day of the show

The show was defiantly winding down on Sunday. I was hoping for a big end of day surge of sales, which never came. It rained more and just as we were finishing loading out it started to come down hard. Load out was pretty easy, C found a parking space nearby and we hauled some stuff to the van before we could get it in next to the booth. As usual there was someone with a big camper, blocking a bunch of spaces and complaining to us to move our van- which was parked perfectly in front of our booth, blocking no one.

Every year C and I discuss the possibility of getting a camper or getting a trailer to make the business easier- no more loading and unloading of the van, just leave all the displays in the camper/trailer. But then there are the people who feel they should have special treatment because they have this monster vehicle and they annoy me, and I decide that the best way of making sure I never become one of them is to just not get a monster vehicle in the first place. Although I do secretly harbor fantasies of getting a full sized Hummer and just intimidating may way in and out of craft shows. I think it would be great to paint it light blue (like water) and cover it in painted soap bubbles.

We got out of the show about 6 pm on Sunday and drove to Durham, NC. We tried to have dinner at a Texas Roadhouse but were seated near a huge loud party and our server was non existent, so C ate the bread they gave us as they sat us and we left and went to Honey’s. It was a great diner and I had breakfast for dinner before going back to the room and falling into a deep restful sleep.


April 26, 2008 Merlefest Day 4

So today it rains….close the booth, watch the water fill up to your ankles kind of rain. And the day was going so well…It was OK after the rain mostly sopped. It drizzled on and off till we left at 10 pm. I got sunburn on the back of my neck and on one arm- I look ridiculous! Finally breaking even on the show, so at least I can stop worrying about that. Dad called- couldn’t get the lawnmower started- stupid electric lawnmower! C noticed the areas finer architectural details- like why just about every property has some out building in such a state of disrepair that it should just be torn down… he made me laugh about that one.

It is hard to stay positive when you had such high hopes for a show. I find it depressing and it is hard for it not to set the tone for the upcoming season. So I hope I don’t seem to snarky or pessimistic, just need to get some things out of my head and onto paper so they stop banging around my brain. I want this blog to really show how I am feeling about things and how having your own business can be ups and downs. I think too many blogs seem all happy and fun- look at me I am a crafter- and I am more like- look at me I am a crafter and it can be harder than you think.

April 25, 2008 Merlefest Day 3

I find it amazing what you notice about a place on the third, fourth, or even fifth time you drive by it. So what is up with the prison with the Wal-Mart across the street? It used to be a much smaller Wal-Mart and the closed it, building a bigger one right next door. Doesn’t Wal-Mart sell guns? Isn’t it a bad idea to tell guns across from a prison? So many things go through my head, irate family or friends buying a gun and then trying to shoot their way in and out of the prison – in a true TV style prison break. How about the escaped con stealing his firearm for while he is out on the lam? Or the best, guards during an uprising running across the street to get backup from the gun & ammo manager and employees! Just the odd things that run through my head in the early morning…

Did I tell you I felt that there was a plethora of people form the Lehigh Valley buying my soaps? There was more….

What exactly is the fashion statement concerning the cammo shorts with tie dye shirts? Did you come to the festival straight from hunting, or do you plan on going straight there afterward? If you do, don’t forget to change your shirt or the only deer you will bag will be the hippy dippy ones:)

So the show on Friday was scary slow. We left again at 9pm. C says I can’t be over worried until Sat at 4 pm. That is when I can start to worry about breaking even. I was hoping that the sow would be so good that I could skip a few I had coming up- looks like not. The only place making money is the coffee stand behind me. There is a line 20 people deep from first thing in the morning till we leave at night, amazing!


April 24, 2008- Merlefest Day 2- First day of the Fest

I got to start the day having breakfast with a virtual friend “A”. I got to meet A years ago at Musikfest and to be honest she remembered me better than I remembered her. To me she was just one of the overwhelming number of customers that year. But she has an infectious personality and through the years as she has made orders and we have corresponded about other things, we have stuck up quite a friendship. I was more than pleased and more than a little honored that she would drive an hour from her home just to have breakfast with me before my show started. And it never ceases to amaze me how I can meet friends in such odd ways, how fate throws you together with people who are meant to be in your life. A is one of those people, sweet, charming, and darn funny, we connected in our philosophies on so many topics. I could have sat and happily spent the whole day with her, but alas, I had to leave to set up my booth and sell some soap….

The drive from the hotel was much closer to an hour than the half hour we expected. This changed our perspective on exactly how many hours we would stay open at the show.

Set up was very easy and I loved having the tent provided for me. No need to pack it. No time to set it up, and no need to worry about it blowing away! C left to get some ice for the cooler and for a moment I stressed, thinking that I forgot a box of display baskets, but I found it and all was right in the world. It was odd though, you “sort of” got electricity- you got one large light in the center top of your tent provided for you, but no electrical outlet. Glad I bought batteries for the cash register…

Sales were slow… scary slow…. So I started knitting Tawashi (got ten done) assembled flyers with their order forms (noticing a typo, hey only printed 500 of them!) I was between a shoe guy and a garden light guy- they didn’t do well either so at least it wasn’t me.

We could have stayed till 11 but were allowed to leave at 9. We were out of there at 9 and back to the hotel doe a good nights sleep.

I think I have learned that this big festival thing isn’t for me- I am all up for the local ones, but this travel so far away I don’t think is my cup of tea. Maybe 1 a year just to try something different, but I am not becoming a traveling vendor any time soon.

April 23, 2008- Merlefest Day 1- Travel

OK, So maybe not the wizard… but I am off to see new lands, experience new things, and hopefully sell some soap in the process…

The morning went well. I got the last of my pending orders out the door. I got the cats all taken care of- lots of food and water, plus dad will be home in a few days to restock them. I got my clothes packed and if I forgot anything I’ll just have to buy it when I get there.

Looks like I will be driving home alone. I need to drop C off in Durham for a business meeting. If I didn’t drop him off I would be literally dropping him at the Philly airport as we drove by it on the way home. So instead, Sun night we will go to Durham and Monday morning I will leave. I think I will be trying to make it a yarn crawl on the way home. I brought my map of yarn shops and the Garmin so it may just be fun to make a stop or two along the way.

Went to the Bethlehem book sale and came home with TONS of old knitting patterns as well as stuff for K- spinning books and books about wool. Also got my mom some sewing patterns too.

Around 2 we left, traffic was just fine for most of the trip, it was just at the end that we hit some construction, it took about 9 ½ hours to get to the hotel in Hickory. C remarked that he hoped that the attitude of the woman checking him wasn’t a sign of things to come. She was not nice at all.


April 20-26, 2008

This week was all about getting ready for the show (Sun-Wed), and for the subsequent impending shows on the horizon. I wanted to have enough things to take Monday and Tuesday off, but that never happened and I found myself planting the garden on Tuesday and printing out lots of things to do to take with me on Wednesday morning and generally running around like a chicken with my head cut off (as my mother used to say, graphic ain’t it?). But some how, the list got done. Some was accomplished, some was just culled from the list to be done some other time, and some things were just put on indefinite hold. I look back at the blur that was last week and it is hard to even remember exactly was I did and didn’t do, but I know I did something because the list is gone, and that is proof, isn’t it?

Wednesday we traveled down, Thursday-Sunday was the show, Monday I drove home. More in another post.


March 22, 2008 1 day 18 hours 2 minutes and counting

I love it when I stress and C sits there telling me all the reasons why I shouldn’t stress. Like I don’t know these reasons, like I haven’t been going over and over and over them in my mind…a mantra to calm myself down with. Like at this moment reason can prevail and I will suddenly look up, calm and collected and say “yes honey, you are right, I shouldn’t be stressed. So I won’t be anymore, silly me” rather than sitting there feeling my back bristle up thinking “what? you don’t know me by now? You think reason will fix this? My stress is unreasonable!!!”

What is better is when it is the next day, the day after stress, and this conversation occurs” I don’t know why you were stressed, you shouldn’t have been” and my reply “Yes, I know I shouldn’t have been, I just was”. But it is funny, it builds up like a volcano, then I loose it, and then I move past it, calm, collected, and OK with whatever gets thrown at me. The sooner I loose it the better it is for everyone involved.

I play this game called Folklore, and in it is a monster called a Bug-a-Boo. When it tried to hurt you it gets all prickled up… that is the way I have been feeling, all prickled up, but on the inside. My first show of the season, a big, huge show, far away, and the economy is in the toilet. Sure hope all my angst and stress will be worth it in the end. Hate to come out on this one in the hole financially. But let’s all say it together anyway “You’ll do fine”…say it again “You’ll do fine” maybe a few hundred more times between now and Thursday afternoon and I may actually believe it.

For you, a Bug-a-Boo…..


Monday April 21.. Thrice is nice...

After graduating college I worked in a scene shop in Las Vegas. We build ride & show elements, hotel and restaurant themeing, and sets for broadways shows, car shows, etc. Pretty much if you had the money we’d build anything. Most of what was made there was one offs- thing being done for the first time, most often with cutting edge technology. But working in this manner meant there was a lot of trial and error. A motto amongst many became “We do it nice, because we do it thrice”. Three tries before it worked and looked good.

That is the kind of day I am having. I feel like everything is being done thrice, or is taking thrice as long to get done than I expected.

I tried to get the new web site up, just to have it lost in the realm of who knows where. I can’t find it, can’t retrieve it, and don’t have time to redo it before leaving.

I brought my car in for an oil change before driving to North Carolina, just to lean that there is an issue with my unbeknownst to me leaking oil pan, the transmission needs its 30,000 check up, and there are a few other things I can put off for another 3000 miles.

Show applications took forever because I couldn’t find my darn tax info for a few different states. Applications are getting more and more complicated. Tax ID, insurance information, car license plate etc…

It took two hours to fight with the printer to get it to print new signs for me, only to realize that I don’t have enough pockets to be able to laminate them. And I have no car to run to staples. Just need 2 more….

I have learned that using my paper folding machine on my kitchen counter puts large black scuff marks on it. Here is hoping that the “magic eraser” works some magic….

Sometimes it is just better to walk away from the computer. Last week I was trying to pay my sales tax to the state of NJ. The web site kept telling me to call. So I just put it off and when I tried today, it worked!

As the afternoon progressed things seemed to get better. I got my package out to my yarn swap partner without any hiccups and scheduled breakfast with a friend who lives in NC for the morning the show starts. The car got finished and the dealership sent over a courtesy car to come get me.

Almost time for C to get home from work. Maybe we can have a nice dinner, then we can do some accounting (what fun) and I can play in the garden a bit… may turn out to be a good day after all….


April 13-19 2008

I think that stress helps you prioritize. As things get crazier and crazier you have to choose what is the most important to you to do and let everything else go by the wayside. For example, on my list of things to do was “label bath fizzys”. In my mind this meant all 2000+ of them that need to be labeled. Reality? Just the 60+ of each I need to bring to my first craft show of the season. The rest? I’ll do them later when I need to, when it becomes more important to do that than anything else. I can label other things while actually at the show, I am sure that between 9 am and midnight I’ll have some time on my hands, enough to fold flyers, label bags, address postcards and newsletter envelopes, etc.

I have friends that will stay up late, even forgo sleep, just to get “everything done”. Me I just start to tick things off the list- from both the top and the bottom. Ehh? From the top AND from the bottom? What could this mean? Well, this is a technique I learned when working in summer stock theatre. We would get a design in that there was no humanly way could be built in the two or three weeks we had to build it. OK, It could be built, but there was NO WAY the paint crew was going to get it painted. So we prioritized. We painted the pieces that were absolutely needed for the show, the big pieces, the flashy pieces, and the rest (like say a scene out a window) would be put to last. If we were lucky the show would go into rehearsals before we got to these last things, and they would be cut from the show, before paint ever hit canvas or wood. The director didn’t need them, the producers didn’t care, only the designers got mad that their entire vision never hit the stage. And the show was no worse for the cuts, take my advice.

So this is what I do now. Make a list, start from the top, and if it is properly prioritized, somewhere in the middle, the rest can just be let go. And I can relax, and get some sleep, and eat a good meal or two. And if for some odd reason I run ahead of schedule, well then I get to see my total vision, but honestly, the show isn’t any worse for it. Promise.

Sunday dad left for work in the afternoon and I had a few hours to work in the shop before picking C up from the airport. He had a scar, his bag got stuck somewhere and was the last off the baggage machine, after a long pause…

Monday was tax day. I hate doing taxes. Federal tax, State tax, local tax, sales tax, use tax… I fill out more darn tax form a year than should be needed.

Tuesday I started in with a headache, took a nap in the afternoon to try and put off the eventual migraine that I knew it would be. Got myself out of the house long enough to take a composting class in the evening and got a free compost bin out of the deal. Got home and went to bed… C was in NY visiting a friend from college so I got the whole bed and all the cats….

Wednesday.. headache city..oh wait, I forgot the darn dogwood trees are flowering- this is a sinus headache! A few good doses of allergy meds later, and voila! No headache. Nice to know I suffered for two days due to my own stupidity! But I did get a few big projects done- lost of labeling!

Thursday: made soap. Worked on my monster list of things to do. Stressed some more.

Friday I started the morning with errands and picking up stuff from H to bring down to the MLAC show for him. It was one of those days that even took the fun out of going to the yarn store because I just had so much to do that I couldn’t enjoy it, I just needed to get what I needed and get out. I did buy myself a kit to knit a cool skirt though.

Saturday I worked in the shop. We tried a new place for lunch it is Italian and has a full gluten free menu. My pizza was great, too bad C’s & dad’s calzones weren’t anything special. But at least I have a place I can get gluten free pizza! Yay! Now I just need a decent bakery and I’ll be set. At night my cousin B, her husband B and their son A came to visit for a few hours. I love getting to see them and it is never for long enough. C and I are going to try and visit them more this year for sure.


April 6-12, 2008

This week my “list of 24” really has started working out for me. I haven’t gotten 24 things a day done yet, but I have gotten close, and I am getting better and better at being able to gauge exactly what I can put off for the next day and what I can’t. It is also helping me see how busy my day will be a few days in advance because things are added continuously. For example, if today I “take soap from molds” then I know tomorrow I need to “cut it into bars”. If I “pour shampoo” today than I know the next day I need to “release it from molds” and the day after “cut shampoo”. So I am writing down the steps that come next as they apply. This means that if on Monday my Friday is already pretty full I know not to add “lunch out” or “give the cats a bath” to the equation. And then I keep a “master list” of all the big things that need to be done so I don’t forget them, but I am not sure exactly when they will fit into the schedule yet.

The good thing is that I am doing, the bad thing is I am loosing track to what I am doing for blog purposes. I think these will be come a more overall idea of accomplishments for the week rather than a detailed list of what has been happening each day, unless a day warrants it’s own post. So there will probably be more of those in the future.

So this week I have been working on small chunks of a few big projects:

The web site- it is almost at a point where I can post the new site. Just a few more days to go.

My “favorites”. I have literally thousands of web sites bookmarked for ideas and for education, and for sales leads, etc. I have stated going through them about 20 or so a day and cleaning them out. Good ones get written down in a notebook and then deleted from the computer, bad ones just get deleted and others get filed where they belong.

Ravelry: my stash of yarn. I have been inputting it, and need to take a bunch of photos. But eventually it will be all logged in one place and be wonderful

Magazines: I have over a year’s worth of magazines that I haven’t read. I am trying to go through 2-3 a day, glean out the important stuff (to add to the notebook) and then recycle the rest. No more clutter!

The notebook: It is a place where I am gathering all of my thoughts into one place. The magazines I have saved because of one website- write down the site and recycle the magazine. The page I ripped out from a magazine because it has a cool recipe for an herbal bath- write the recipe in the notebook, toss the page. Computer full of “favorites”- write them down and delete the link, no more thousands of links to wade through when searching for something. Think of it as the mother of all lists of things to do.

Also this week was my UWBW meeting with B. And C went to Mexico Wed-Sunday. That gave me a few days to get lost of soap made and long days to work without worrying about dinner. So the business overall is getting back into shape.


March 30- April 5 2008

Sometimes things just come together in the strangest ways. Maybe because it is spring…maybe it is the fact that dad started his new job so I am less worried about him, maybe it is because the sun is rising earlier and I am getting up earlier and enjoying my morning so much more, maybe it is because the warmer sun is working the pain and stiffness out of my underused joints, maybe because it is making the workshop brighter and warmer, and just maybe it is because of all of these things, but this week has felt like a turning point.

I have made changes, I am getting up earlier, I am doing more things, and doing more things I have put off and haven’t wanted to do. I have started working on my web site again, a brand new design with a brand new concept and theory (KISS- make it clean and functional, and done). I have started a new way to approach each day- the list of “24”- 24 things that I need to do each day from sunrise to bedtime- both work and personal- the “hot list”. It is keeping me focused, I start tomorrow’s list as I work through today, and when I am done, I am done and can relax. I have also broken some big “frogs” into little “frogs legs” (like 3 years of filing- now just trying to put 20 things a day where they belong). Some days go fast and I can start on the next day, some slow and things get pushed till tomorrow, but things are getting done and I feel more accomplished than before because I am recognizing more things I am doing not just recognizing the things I haven’t done yet.

So as a recap of the week:

Sunday I spent the morning in the workshop. I got things ready for the week and C helped me get the 2007 stuff out of my files and into some order.

Monday I was sick- really sick. C stay home from work to take care of me sick. Can’t leave the bedroom because I’d be too far from the bathroom sick. Don’t even feel like knitting sick. Sick.

Tuesday By the mid-morning the “bug” had passed but I was physically drained still. No calories in 24 hours and sore all over. Are rice and chicken broth all day. I also slowly started getting some things done- some laundry, the cat pan got cleaned, I sent e-mails and regular mail, did dishes, paid bills, ordered supplies, blogged, and played a video game, as well as napped a lot.

Wednesday I began the list of 24. It stated out as an overwhelmed feeling of things to do so I started to list them in importance- 12 for the business- 12 for the house. I figures I am up 16 hours a day so I only need to do 1.5 things an hour from waking to sleeping. In the shop I made soap and lotion bars, and samplers, in the house I did more laundry, dishes, and cleaning up.

Thursday I tried again with the list of 24. many things were a direct connection to things I did yesterday (put soap into molds on Wed, take them out on Thursday) and many were things I usually never wrote down but had to do anyway (like answer my inbox of emails). I actually had a tough time thinking of 24 things I needed to do without hitting my “procrastination list” (that list of things you put off forever and feel guilty about), so I started doing some things off of that list too (like starting my web page again).

Friday I cleaned the house and did an accounting spreadsheet I had been putting off. In the afternoon C and I went to pick up a loner car for him till his gets back from the shop. That way I can have my car back if I should need it during the week.

Saturday I started out early at the grocery store and then C and I went to Target and BJ’s. I worked on the web site more and putzed a little in the shop. Dad made it home late in the evening, after dinner. He had been gone training for his new job.


I didn't write it.....

see more crazy cat pics

March 23-29, 2008

Overwhelmed, I just feel overwhelmed. The list of things to do just keeps getting longer, the number of days till my first show and a very busy May are getting shorter, and I just don’t know quite where to start with it all. I haven’t had time to really relax, I just feel like I am going all the time, and when I do have time, life comes in and smacks me on the forehead getting me going again. But then again, that is they way isn’t it? When I finally could sit, pull the covers up over my head, and start to have a private pity party, the phone would ring, it would be an order and I would have to put on my smile and then go back to the shop to get it filled. I think this is just life’s way of telling me to get off my arse and get going. That the only way the list will get shorter is by doing something on it, and the only way to loose time, which you can never get back is to sit around and waste it.

Sunday was Easter. I made a really good pot roast and we all spent the day painting (after a run to Home Depot to choose the color and pick up the paint)

Monday: Dad and I went to pick up lye and oils, we also stopped at a cheese factory and a wholesale distributor nearby. We had lunch along the way and when I got him I ordered supplies, paid bills, emptied the van, mailed orders, and knit some. Dad got notice that he got a new job- at the place where he wanted to work- I am excited for him and he is excited too!

Tuesday: B and I went to Longwood Gardens. I had never been there before but the place is spectacular and the weather was perfect to enjoy it. We had a great lunch too and we stopped at a yarn store where I got some yarn to knit B socks. I should get to them next year sometime, LOL! Later that night I cooked dinner and got the dishes put away.

Wednesday: I caught up on e-mails, made soap with the new lye and oils, vacuumed, put soap away, started cutting soap and putting away supplies and got some show applications mailed out.

Thursday: I made soap, worked on getting samplers finished, and started pouring lotion bars.

Friday was errand day: We went to Target, the bank, Office Depot, CVS, the drycleaner and the grocery store. Then I tried to hide in bed- didn’t work!

Saturday: I worked in the shop, getting soap cut up, getting samplers almost finished, and generally cleaning up and getting ready for a busy next few weeks. I made some Aloe soap and got some more lotion bars poured.


Tag, I am it....

I have been tagged by my friend Sue over at Red Tail Designs for a questionnaire about blogging. So here it goes…

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because of D over at There are No Bad Ideas. D and I dated while I was in college and still keep in loose touch. He sent me a link to his blog and I liked the idea of having a) a way for people who I am not near to keep in touch with my life b) a way for customers to get to know “me” better and c) a kind of diary of my business, its ups and downs and how it changed through the years.

2. How did you come up with your blog name?

Well, I am a soap maker, and I liked using the term “soap box” as both a way to show what I do and as it’s typical usage as saying what you want to in a definitive way. I think the “on the soap box” really fits when I am reviewing craft shows that I have been at because I really don’t censor myself.

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?

They know of it, I tell everyone, it is on my catalog, my business cards, my web site. C doesn’t read it, it is almost like he thinks it is too personal for him to read, but I am not sure about that. Many of my other friends read it, I hardly get comments posted, but I do get comments while I am on the phone with them or through e-mails with them.

4. How do you write posts?

I make myself write one a week during my “slow time” (no craft shows), just as a diary of what I have done. I try to do a few paragraphs that sum up my week and my feelings and observations. Once show season hits I try and blog about every day at a show, there is almost always something good I can come up with to write about. And besides that I write when I get the fodder to do it, I wrote almost every day a few years ago while my dad was sick and sometimes I write after big events too.

5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete comments?

Nope, don’t get enough comments to worry about

6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you do care, how to you increase traffic?

I don’t check my stats at all. I do have a hit counter which I loosely monitor for my own delight and amazement. I could care less how many people read my blog, I do it for me and hope others are interested really. Last year I tried to care, I tried to think about increasing traffic and being a good blogger and all of that jazz, it left me tired and I didn’t blog for three months, it made me tired of being “out there” and feeling watched. I like the idea of just not knowing or caring better.

7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?

I am interested in people like me, simple people who are just telling about their daily stuff, but telling about it in delightful, sometimes comical, interesting ways. I read blogs by stay at home moms, foodie blogs, knitting blogs, and the blogs of my friends.

8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?

I like having a place to put my thoughts and to be able to go back to them and relook at them. I love having a diary of my life, but especially my work and my business. I dislike when someone thinks they know me because they have read my blog, like I have had a conversation with them that never existed in my end. I find that weird.

I tag anyone who reads this blog- and comment to me, tell me about you and where I can read about you :)

March 16-22, 2008

Well the first week with dad being around is done. I think I know how people with children feel and I am surer than ever that I don’t want any. Actually, It hasn’t been bad at all, dad is really great now that his room is just about finished, it is his little cave and he would rather be there than anyplace else. I am just tired, we have do so much in the last week and I just don’t stop going and going and going. I am tired and sore, both in good ways. It hasn’t been too hard to adjust- it will be even easier when he starts a new job and is home even less.

Sunday: I cleaned the house some- just a few touches ups and made lentil soup for dinner. Dad arrived at night, ante, talked, and then went to bed…

Monday: I cleaned up the shop to get it ready for some real work. It keeps getting cluttered this year and every few weeks I need to get it rearranged and ready to accomplish something in again. I helped dad move furniture into his room, and made corned beef & cabbage for dinner. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Tuesday: I got some soap made- first new fragrance of the year- Vanilla! Blogged, paid bills, printed out flyers, and went with dad to get his truck inspected- it passed yay!!

Wednesday: Made soap- blueberry! Ordered supplies and arranged pick up for next week, got a donation sent out, and divvied up vanilla beans for a co-op. It was girls night out at S’s and I was just beat, but I went and had fun.

Thursday: The morning started with the cats getting out. The garage door blows open once in a while if it isn’t latched right and bout 6 am dad noticed it was open and F & P were outside under cars. Good thing wit was a windy yucky day or who knows where their adventure might have taken them. I did learn that F ate a little too much grass while she was out and, well, had the gollywoggles the rest of the day… C worked from home so dad and I went and ran errands- Post Office, Target, Bank, Joanne’s, My Father’s Beads, Pet Store, LL Bean, Fresh Market, Home Depot, Drycleaner, (then lunch with C), and Wegman’s.

Friday: The morning was my typical Ravelry update (although I hadn’t knitted too much), took pics, answered e-mails, mailed swap items, etc. I cleaned up the kitchen, cleaned the cat’s stuff (cat pan & water bowl), did dishes, put together easter baskets, vacuumed, and mopped.

Saturday: An early morning trip to Ikea, finished with a early afternoon trip to Trader Joe’s, followed up by early evening Blessed Food dinner at B’s. Whew, I get tired just thinking about it!


March 9-15, 2008

Stress seems to sneak up on me these days. I remember when I was younger stress caused me to loose weight (why can’t I be so lucky now?), or caused me to loose sleep, now stress sneaks up on me and I blow like a volcano only instead of spewing smoke and lava, I spew unkind words and tears. I wonder if it is the hormone changes that come with age, or if it is the way I live- at some heightened level of stress that I no longer recognize- so that a simple word or action can push me over the edge? Is working from home, owning my own business, and trying to balance life more stressful than I give it credit for? Or maybe I am just a wimp now, a bundle of hormones and emotions stewing in this body just looking for a way to escape, like that alien in the “Alien” movie. Well, what I can tell you is the prospect of a parent coming to live with you for an indeterminate amount of time is a lot more stressful than I expected it to be. It brings out your baggage from childhood (my room was never clean enough), and it heightens your maternal/paternal instincts (because at some level we do parent our parents when they live with us) and it can make you be the kind of person that you think your parent thinks you are (great another bar set too high).

And spinning around all this emotion and stress my week was full of stuff:

Sunday: I cleaned the kitchen-I mean really cleaned- rearranged food in the cabinets, moved silverware and plates, rearranged the pantry, and ended up with one heck of a headache that took up most of my afternoon trying to get rid of- it was a “I can’t even watch the NASCAR race” sort of bad…

Monday: K came to work and a lot got done. I did laundry and ordered supplies, cut soap, made soap, and we got the newsletter mailed. Dad was flying from Dallas to CA to start his trip home.

Tuesday: More soap, inventory for a store wrapped, inventory for a show labeled, and started wrapping inventory for another store. We did lots of show applications too.

Wednesday: Meltdown day. Ended up getting one batch of soap made and then went with K to the yarn store for some retail therapy and then out to lunch. Much better after a gluttonous amount of fiber was purchased.

Thursday: Meet with B for our meeting and lunch.

Friday: Errands, gardening (planted peas and started other seeds) and went to Stone Soup for and event that was cool but ended a little too early due to a power outage.

Saturday: Cleaned the bathrooms- rearranged cabinets, threw out old prescriptions, and scrubbed the entire room- walls and all. Something about my dad coming soon made me want my bathroom to be “cleaner than a truck stop” which it probably was even if I never touched it, but I needed it to be pristine. I also worked on more seed starting, some knitting and finished the kitchen (mopped the floors and scrubbed the counters)