Thursday, May 26, 2005

What's new? Well.....

It's been a while, but I have been busy. Going in just about every direction I can.

Soap Bar BeadsFirst, Here are some little soap bar beads I've been making to take to the Soap Bee in Ft. Wayne. I've been trying different ways to get the word "Soap" on the bar and am using some of the techniques I learned in a class this winter with Kate Fowle-Meleny. They're cute. Some are wired to be worn as charms and others have a big enough hole to be strung on snake chain and worn as a choker. In the picture, they are in various states of production. The ones on the "sticks" will be put back in the kiln so I can heat them up to add bubbles.

Then, also for the Bee, we are working on a booklet that will compliment the talk Tina and I are going to be doing about adding herbs to soap. The book wasn't hard to write after having made soap for well over ten years now. Setting up the type and layout, now that's a different matter! But, it is something I enjoy, so....

Herbal SoapsOver the weekend, we developed and tried out some recipes for the booklet and here are the results. The one in front is a rash soother for poison ivy or bug bites that we made with plantain, jewelweed, oatmeal, lavender and tea tree oil (oh, and a shot of emu oil.)
The right rear is a Baby soap with camomile added in three different ways plus chickweed and goats' milk..
The left rear is comfrey and aloe, pretty basic, but, oh, so soothing.

MoonglowFinally, one of my favorite online hangouts, Wet Canvas, seems to be down for a few days and it's really killing me since I participated in a charm bracelet swap and received my charms two days ago. At least I can post the finished product here... We did this in groups of ten and each person started their bracelet and named her theme. Mine was "Must have been Moonglow". Then, we each made two charms for each of the other participants. Wound up with 20 charms for the bracelet and the work of 10 jewelry artists on one bracelet. It was a great idea and I'm so pleased with the result.

Oh, yes, the Soapworks goes on too... Making soap today!

Friday, May 20, 2005

In search of....

Tina in woodsThe elusive Tina...

Here we see her in her native habitat. Granted, it's a blurry picture, but exciting nonetheless. At first, I thought it was the rare Sasquatch, but understand they are great hairy beasts (seldom seen in the east wielding cameras) and then realized this is the an even rarer find. Watch it, she may be a bit grouchy. I have gotten closer, but find she's apparently frightened of the camera when it is pointed at her, and becomes skittish.

PhloxSeriously, we did a delayed woods ramble on Wednesday evening and found everything to have grown immensely in the past week and a half. Wild phlox and false Solomon seal nestle together in the lush growth. Poison ivy and its healing companion, jewelweed, run rampant. In open, meadow areas, we see places where deer have bedded down, or left their fawns to sleep, hidden among the tall grasses.

I did manage a session at the torch and produced a couple of new vessels. One in particular is my interpretation of a pond, with the first water lily leaves just starting to rise to the surface. The colors reflect the moth I showed in my "visitor" blog entry a few days ago. Soon as I have a picture, I'll post it.

I've been getting ready for an outdoor show I plan to do in June and yesterday, Bob (my DH) and I went shopping. Picked up an Ez up tent along with more flowers for a backyard transformation we've been working on. We've been in a bit of a mini drought, so rains predicted for the next few days are most welcome. Maybe I can stay inside today and get some more "inside work" done! Maybe...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Soap, soap, soap!

Drying RacksWow! Here it is, Wednesday and it seems soap has taken over my life! Almost no time for the torch the past few days since I looked around and saw practically empty shelves. I made soap almost every day for 1 straight week and now my shelves look bountiful again. All the colors and scents...

That's the way it is in the spring, all my tourist area customers are stocking up and already re-ordering. A sign to me that people are traveling again, and from what I've heard, they're buying too.

Today's a day to round up some supplies, ship a couple of orders and hopefully, get a little torch time again.

My sister, Tina, and I decided - seemingly last minute to attend the Candle & Soap Bee in Ft Wayne, Indiana, June 11th. Now, I find out she volunteered us as speakers on "Using Herbs in Soaps." Should be a blast even though we haven't done anything like that together for over 5 years . For some reason, people think we're funny as we bounce off one another telling our stories.

I think it will be great to meet some of our "Cyber-pals" and finally put faces and voices to the words typed on the pages of emails and forums.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Day at Ursinus

Image hosted by Photobucket.comToday, we went to visit Ursinus College in (strangely enough) Collegeville, PA.

Our son has been accepted there and may be attending in the Fall. I, however, had not yet seen the campus, so the guys took me for a look-see.

What a beautiful place!

Everything was in bloom and the campus was preparing for graduation tomorrow. Along with the flowers everywhere, the campus is itself an outdoor modern art museum.

The architecture is a good smattering of old and new buildings. There are lots of nice facilities, and from what we saw and heard, a great attitude toward learning and an actual interest in education for education's sake. It's a lovely place to spend a few years and
it seems to be everything a small liberal arts college should be.

Our son, with his many and varied interests, is quite pleased, as are we.

No actual work done today... nice to have a day with the guys. I did meet with some of my lampworking friends last night to share some ideas for future shows, etc.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A visitor

Image hosted by Photobucket.comLook who was waiting for me this morning on the door to the shop!

After a day of soaping... lots of it, making it, cutting it and wrapping it, this should be another beautiful day for finishing up a couple of orders and then hitting the torch.

As always, I have lots of ideas for new beads and vessels... can't wait! In fact, the color combo in the picture is certainly inspiring itself!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mothers' Day

Well, it's a beautiful day here in SE Pa.

Southwestern Vesssel

This little vessel isn't brand new, but I love it and it's a good start to the show here. Just reminds me of the deserts of the Southwest... the red canyons, streaming skies at sunrise with maybe a few stars still visible.

Off to a Mothers' Day brunch with my Hubbie... hope to squeeze in a couple batches of soap and a walk in the woods later.

Canyon Soaps

In keeping with the Southwestern theme, here's some soaps my sis and I did a couple of weeks ago....

Hi there! What's it all about?

Well, hi there! Welcome to my blog.
I hope this will be a place where I can share some of the things that I either won't be putting on my website, or maybe a preview spot for the newest goodies out of the kiln.
It may be a place to explain a little about the process of lampworking and some of my own journey as I continue to learn about this wonderful art. It may also be a place to share some of my other interests.
So, stay tuned to see what develops here!