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Friday, January 22, 2021

Valentines Day

 It's always fun to come up with some new goodies for you guys for Valentines Day,  this is what's coming for this year:

Red Clover Tea Soap Cupcake

Sundance Soap Cupcake. 

I've discovered piping is fun but there's definitely a learning curve. Makes me respect cake decorators even more! 

This soap, Black Cherry Tobacco was suggested by a customer, I think you'll like it. 

And last but not least, Jasmine Honeysuckle, with a pretty swirl of color. I was trying to keep the color palette to a vintage fabric, that was the inspiration anyhow! 










So everything is curing, waiting for their turn! 




Thursday, January 14, 2021

 Impression Mats


I love the look of impression mats. they make such a gorgeous top on most of my soap. I just got a new mat the other day and just got to play with it for the first time, what do you think? 








This batch is Black Tea and Rose, it will be torture waiting for it to cure! 



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

October 27th, 2019

I'm still getting questions about that day and my account of it, so here you go...

It was a crazy weather day, huge winds. Some Farmers Markets closed, as well as the Treasure Island Flea. Many places had no power, due to the high winds, PG&E cut off a lot of power in the area. In retrospect,  I should have stayed home, winds that high are just not safe.

So, on that day, we had a lot of kids and parents running around,  it was the day of the Trick or Trunk for the kids for Halloween.  Luckily, it was set up mostly on either end of the market, so there weren't as many kids in the area as in years past. It made it a little extra concerning though.

So at 10:15 that morning, this HUGE wind came and took down this Willow tree that was right next to my tent. The tree was 25 to 30 feet high. ( they have since removed all 3 of the trees flanking the Plaza)

So when it went down, it landed on some folks, I've heard 6 to 9 people were taken away in an ambulance and we were unable to get a follow up to learn how everyone was. There was a 12 year old that had a broken ankle. We were very lucky it wasn't much worse, it could have been. When people heard where the tree was, a rumor started that I had been taken away in an ambulance too!

Here's the thing I have always loved about the Martinez Farmers Market; there is such a strong feeling of community,  almost like family. So when the tree fell, of course there was screaming, and there was this HUGE group of people that ran over to help, it didn't even take a heartbeat! They moved the tree off the people, it was amazing!

As for me, I was fine. I have this wonderful old tent, Ted, and he's quite heavy, made of steel. He's kept me safe from the weather for the last 19 years. (I was doing markets about a year before I got him). Anyhow, he kept me from harm that day as well. The tree hit the right rear of the tent when it fell, if you look closely at the picture you can see he's a lowrider in the back, but he was still standing! I'm convinced that had he been one of the newer aluminum tents, I would have been squashed flat like a little tortilla! He needed a leg and 3 support bars replaced, and my friend Michael did that for me. He's also the manager of the Martinez Farmers Market and was able to control some of the pandemonium and made sure to keep the crowd out of the street so the emergency vehicles could get through.
A special thank you to the first responders, the amazing community of Martinez, and Michael for everything they did that day. I will never forget it. there were also a lot of fires going on that day, they were evacuating Crockett and we live in Rodeo so I didn't know if we would be next! What a day!
My beloved Ted now sports a pink top ( he's secure in his masculinity! ) as it matches the banner better.
Hard to see but there's one badly bent leg and you can see some of the broken rods too
Ted rides again! 
The purple thing hanging down is the pool noodle I wrap the big banner around when I'm not at market. 

I am very happy it wasn't much worse, and that Ted is OK too. I have been having a bit of almost PTSD when the winds come up now, but I'm sure it will pass. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Studio Tour part 2

So last week you got to see the area that's for curing, restocking and shipping, today I will show you the main studio, known as the Rabbit Hole.

These are the extra curing shelves, my friend that owns the house put them up for me, they were sort of a Bonus Jonas, wasn't expecting them. Beneath that are my wooden molds. On the right are the ones I will use at the holidays, they will ALL be full! The ones on the left are the molds I use on a daily (almost) basis. I don't make soap on Tuesdays, that's when I am at the Concord Farmers Market.
You may have already seen this picture, the workbench made for me, with a cool light over the work area. If you have ever had to work in your own shadow you will apprecitae how awesome this is. The flamingoes are there to keep soap splatters off the wall. 


This is the little storage cubby, I use it for special molds etc that I don't use all the time. Excess packaging etc. 

This is my amazing hutch, it holds all the essential oils and fragrance oils. 

This is wehere the candles live until they go to market. I really love that it stays cool enough to do that. 


This is my bank of drawers beneath the work table, everything from gloves to stick blenders. Everything is labeled, can you say anal-retentive?! lol  My wonderful work table is  over 6 feet long to give you an idea of scale. I have been using this table for over 10 years, it's handmade. 


These are the cabinets where the measured out oils stay. I love that these hide the mess! 

One of my most favorite things is that it stays so cool, all the time! I used to have to get up at 5 a m when we were in Antioch, the studio got very hot so starting early was the only way it would work. The soap will actually get too hot and overheat, causing a big crack down the middle of the batch. Now I can make soap whenever I want to! I don't have to get up at 5 anymore, but so far, old habits die hard and I still do! 

And last but not least, my big 'ole double sink! I haven't had a sink for the last 3 years and it's rather a big deal when you make as much of a mess as I do ( or most soapmakers! ). I used to have to make a couple trips into the kitchen to wash everything in the tiny kitchen sink, this is such a blessing and I appreciate it so much! I even have windows! 


Now you know where the magic happens! 




Monday, September 9, 2019

Studio Tour Part 1

So we moved in July, what a crazy month THAT was! Anyhow, it's a much larger house and it comes with a huge basement for me to work in! The studio is actually divided into 2 parts, the former garage is where I do shipping, restocking and curing, I will share that today, and in part 2, I will show the basement, or, where the magic happens!

So, here we go!



The sideboard holds my hard working printer and all the binders full of label masters. You see the lil washi tape carousle too. The drawers have shipping supplies like tissue paper etc. The little pink drawers has all the bubble wrap, already sliced into 3" wide strips to wrap around the soap for online orders.
 
I have 3 bakers racks, the other one is full of all things lavender, these have come in handy over the years, especially when verticle space is all you have! 
My work table where I put the orders together. Up above, to the right is where I have the little kraft envelopes for smaller orders and also a wicker swan that holds the flat rate padded envelopes. 
My clock! His eyes and tail move and I couldn't resist Felix!
This was a bread rack in a grocery store once upon a time, it's perfect for my shipping boxes. You see Chica on the top step waiting to go in, and Murray the cat is just supervising. You know they are ready to go in when they sit that close to the door to inside! 
The Rabbit hole is the name of my studio, it's a very magical place for me. More on  that next week! Thank you for looking! 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Celebrate Hercules 4th of July

Yesterday I had the privilege of vending at the Hercules celebrate 4th of July. I liked that the vendors were so diverse, from chalk kits, to bridal shops to stun devices to soap!
The event was held at a beautiful park called Refugio Valley Park, it was just gorgeous and I have no doubt the folks that live there are pretty proud of it.
The thing that was most cool about the event was the very nature of the event, a way to honor the Veterans (who had a section of seats reserved for them) as well as having the color guard and every piece of patriotic music there was! They had a Run for the Kids and adults and it was really well organized. The most amazing thing was that it was done by a group of volunteers who did it all out of love, no one was paid for the hard

work they put in.
A special thanks goes out to Dee and her husband for all their hard work. Thank you for letting me share along with your community.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Scrub Bars

So I used to make these all the time, my long time peeps will remember them, the last time I did them was 2009! They are something different! I had a lot of requests to make them again, so here they are!
Each 5 ounce chunky bar has a VERY soft nail brush embedded into it. When you aren't using the soap, it stands on the bristles so doesn't get all soggy, and when the soap is all done ( take a while! ) you can use the brush as a soap dish, then when you need to scrub, it's already soapy!

We make these in silicone molds so they unmold nicely.
These fabulous bars are available in Lavender Mint with Cocoa Butter, Oatmeal, Milk & Honey with Shea Butter and original Orange Java.  You will find them at our Farmers Markets and online! Enjoy!