Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A New Year is Coming !

With only a few more days in the year, it is a time when we as women (I can only speak for women!) reflect back on the past 12 months, our relationships, our accomplishments, and in some cases, our regrets. Most of us have already considered what goals to strive for in the new year....
This year, unlike many of yours, has been filled with so many changes. My hope is to really reflect on all of those aspects of the year that I want to be sure to carry forward and those things I wish to leave behind. I plan to be very conscious over the next few days and give all of this some "consideration". These ladies pictured here are the four generations of my life path - and one other very important woman. My Mother, my Daughter, my Daughter in Love (Law) and my Granddaughter. (oh, and me!) That gorgeous woman on the left deserves more of my time over the next year... And that is where my thoughts begin.....
I hope you all have had the best year possible. I would love to hear from you. Would love to hear what your plans are for the new year...and not - lose 10 pounds, dont eat fries, be nicer to people...but what those things mean to you.... I would love to hear how you are feeling about those things and why those things deserve your attention...
I'll be back in a bit.... Processing in writing will be good :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

stop and start and stop and start and stop and start and stop.....

The last blog date is May 3rd and since that day, the days have been filled with LIFE!!! Beginning the second week of May, my last child, but only daughter attended her senior prom. She looked glorious! Truly a remarkable young woman. At the end of May, I hosted a baby shower for my daughter in law. My neice and her husband came into town for the weekend and stayed with me. It was a simple, hilarious barbeque with everyone being relaxed and just visiting. The only thing that made it not PERFECT was that my grillmaster, and partner in crime (aka boyfriend) was installing fittings in his Mother's house in Maine - in preparation for her return from a rehab center after breaking her hip the month before.

Jump into June and we began with Graduation. This was yet another significant milestone and a proud, bittersweet moment. Katie got accepted to James Madison University and so we spent more time doing the whole moving/planning thing.

The celebrations were abruptly overshadowed by one insurance claim after another to bring the total for the month of June to 4..... Yes I said 4. First a mechanical breakdown for my car. Picture I am driving a rental...and two days after having it, my daughter calls me in tears. She has been in an accident. Thank the LORD she was ok and was able to make it to dance rehearsals (where she was going) and actually DANCE!! As we concluded her 14 year dancing career on the stage with her dance school, we headed to the beach....with two rental cars.

My 19 year old son joined us for the weekend and on his way home Sunday, he was involved in an accident. Good fortune was ours again as he was not hurt. (yes, we have RACKED up some damage!) but we were not done yet!!!

I was riding home from the beach directly to work. Left at 4 am and drove safely to the exit that I take and a sheet of metal was launched into the air by the car in front of me and struck my rental. Oh yeah, we are having really big fun.
The last weekend of June was now time to really let loose as I turned 50. With some grouping of our kids, we trekked out to Assateague and had a magnificent weekend ~ And it ended with our friends taking us by boat to Seacrets....for grown up time.

We had a wonderful 4th of July on the beach...
my honey and I by the fire looking out at the ocean !!!----------------->>
But what came after the 4th of July was yet another milestone...lets count
them, daughter/prom, daughter (last child) graduated/turned 50, so there
we were....4 hours away and one week away from the "planned" date....attending orientation and my phone rings at 1 am. Phones dont ring at my age at 1 am without a REASON! My son called to tell me that they were on their way to the hospital and so my daughter and I spent the next 4 hours in the hotel room (she drifted, I paced)...until I got my first picture of Aubrey. She is a lovely grandaughter and everything a mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, you name it, could wish for.
And so, I have stopped and started my blog so many many times ~ But what I knew was right for me was to experience the time, rather than blog. And that we are doing.
In 8 days, I pack the car up ~ and deliver my youngest child, into the hands of this wonderful college, and pray that the same dignity she has led her life with thusfar, will follow her to college.
I sure hope you all are having a great summer. I tried to shorten it up...there is more...but c'mon! Doesn't this make you tired just to read the abbreviated version?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Some days the soap energy just flows right through me!

There are days that the soap energy just flows through me like electricity. I mentioned Under The Tuscan Sun, and it sure is wonderful. It is really, really delicate and romantic smelling. What I may not have told you about was the Raspberry Biscotti. OH MY STARS! It smells just like....RASPBERRY BISCOTTI!!! It is so good... well...I could not wait a full month to try it and yesterday I took a sliver in the shower. WOW OH WOW. It has lather that is just to die for and the smell is just perfect.

Today, I created three more batches. Two are repeats of big sellers. Rosemilk Clay and Luna Latte. These have been around for years.....but my new one is Cinnamon Dulce. It's scent is light, but creamy, warm, and rich. The ingredients for this bar are TOP SECRET! but I will say that the butters and oils smelled great before I ever added the scents. All three soaps today were milk soaps which will make some nice, creamy bars....

Another rainy, successful, simply soapy day :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Under The Tuscan Sun

Under The Tuscan Sun really had been bubbling up since I saw the movie years ago. The scenery, the courage she had, and just the images I created in my mind when I watched the movie left me wanting to create something that honored that beauty. About a month ago, I received a new scent in the mail that seemed to fit. It is a complex, but light scent. Not floral, not fruity, nice... Crisp orange and olive leaf infused with a green grass accord and fresh ozone. A hint of lily and muguet intermingles with a base of musk, sandalwood, and oakmoss for a warm, long-lasting finish. anyway....here it is...in all its splendor!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Secret!

Over the past few weeks, the Celestial Embrace wheels have been turning out a whole new look, a few new products, and a whole lotta positive energy !

My new collaboration mate, Suz, is now awaiting the shipment of her sales gear and she is teaming with enthusiasm. We have had more than a few moments of synchronicity that have given me goosebumps long distance, but mostly we have had a collaboration of spirits that have manifested in gorgeous new labels and a great look for the products I have made for 11 years that always looked rather homemade. Now, I wanted them to grow up if you will and I believe they have.

With this 'growing up' in mind, I turned to my native heritage by searching Italian, Tuscan, Romantic, but Celestial ideas...and I found Suz! If you see her work, you discover her artistic roots in the architecture of the Roman Catholic Church but her creativity reaches the heavens when she creates !

So, this weekend was all about re-labeling, making up sample kits, and preparing a sales kit - all in the name of reaching California by Wednesday. And, it happened. At the end of the evening, last night, it was three perfectly packaged boxes, ready to go. Now it is up to the mail gods to deliver it safely!

This week, I am going to bask in the sense of completeness. It was a huge emotional rush and now it is time to get in to the heart of creating again. In running my hands over the new labels, I had surges of ideas for new scents and this is good because we have an idea for a whole new product line. That part is a secret for now...but for now "The Secret" is to remain focused on creating the life I want to live. I have known for about 11 years that my "purpose" is to help people understand and experience happier skin through the use of skin care products that improve the quality of their life either from the scents they love or the feeling they get using my products.

Please help me think positive thoughts for Suz as she treks along the West Coast, and hope for a great future in our collaborating!

Have a wonderful day :)


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wild Wild West

So, this trip was different than my previous trips out west. It was really about introducing my kids to the land of Arizona and all its grand'ness'. Geoff and I had been there before but we had not gone with the kids. They climbed Cathedral Rock. I went as far as I could without interfering with their exploring. At some point, it was too much to watch them and not panic so I stopped and let them go the rest of the way on their own. :) And, guess what? They LOVED IT!

If you have been to the Grand Canyon - then you know the vastness and the whole magesticness of it all. It is more spectacular than words are able to describe. We climbed a few "rocks" while there and we explored along the way. A coyote walked right in front of us, running up the mountain out of sight. We saw hummingbirds galore and no trip there is complete without seeing a snake. I just don't know why boys need to get so close to snakes....

The last thing I want to mention is Jerome. Jerome is "a ghost town" that was once a thriving copper mining town. We stayed in the most magical place called "The Surgeon's House". It once belonged to the Chief Surgeon of Jerome's Hospital but today, it is owned by Andrea Prince. Andrea has created a place that feeds the soul. Beginning with the great "bones" of this house, she has washed it in a soft color palette that is whimsical and soothing. Everywhere you look there is art. At first glance, it draws you in and no nook or cranny exists without something creative tucked in. For example, a powder room so tiny, not all may fit. There is no spot for a sink yet this does not stop one from washing their hands for on the tank lid, a dentist type bowl receives the incoming water before it fills the tank and you wash your hands with that water. No wasted water!!! And in the Maids Quarter's, where my daughter slept, the entire bathroom is a shower! It must be seen to truly be appreciated and if you care to visit her site, its www.surgeonshouse.com.

Saving the most ---ummm----unique for last ~ I snapped this photo of a woman driving past us in traffic. She had her two dogs in the car and WHO KNEW that dogs would wear goggles????

So, we had fun. It was a busy week and it flew by. As always, there was much I wanted to do but did not get time. I will go back. There is nothing quite like sitting on those Red Rocks, hearing only the sound of the wind....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break ???

So, not sure I would classify this as an Easter "Break" but it was a break from routine! In a day or two once I have caught up on sleep and developed some photos, I will take the time to capture a few marvelous highlights of our "pilgrammage" to the West. Viva Las Vegas, Sedona, The Grand Canyon, Montezuma's Well,V Bar V, and Jerome, Arizona. It was a whirlwind of a week and now I am back in the proverbial "soap saddle" ready to go!

I look forward to posting more on this!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Paying It Forward

I have heard the phrase "Pay It Forward" tossed around a bit lately and though I thought I knew what it meant, I believe I didn't fully understand. I have decided to gather all my miscellaneous soaps and sell them for the price of shipping (and packaging). What I am hoping is that people who know places that need soap will buy them and donate. I have donated some of it, but I have LOTS. The only thing about these soaps is that they didnt come out smelling strong enough so I don't want to sell for full price. I have about 100 bars. Right now, I have them on Etsy for .20 cents (that's as low as I was able to go) and the cost of shipping. If anyone knows ANYONE who needs them, they are here for the taking.

Have a wonderful day ! http://www.soaplady1.etsy.com/

Monday, March 30, 2009

Infusion Joy :)

Over the weekend a new creme was born and ohhhhh what a creme it is :) I got some herbs last month and if you remember a few blogs ago, I began infusing them in oils that were chosen for their various properties. So, with a bit of free time on my hand Sunday, I began with the first and for me, most important :) It is an anti-aging creme that is 95 percent where I had wanted it to be! I have used it 3 times since yesterday, and already my face feels different. I gave some to one of my top customers and asked her to be my little guinea pig to which she cheerfully replied - YES!! I always want to be your guinea pig?!?!?!?!? (she doesnt even get paid!) So, she just emailed and told me her skin feels "dewey". She is thrilled. There are two alterations I will make for my next batch but I used to buy Lancome and Clinique and other than just stepping out from full facial, this is the best thing I have ever felt... Very excited. There was something glorious about using herbs that have been proclaimed for their anti-aging and hydrating purposes, rather than chemicals I cannot pronounce, and now that it has been born, it's very exciting! It's name? Twenty Nine and Holding. Coming to my site soon !!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

April Showers brings May Flowers

I took inspiration from Spring itself when I was sitting there with a pile of beads and the colors popped out at me. The aqua blue reminded me of rain and the pale green of the triangle glass beads reminded me of all that grows and turns green in spring. As soon as it was finished I knew it needed earrings so I ordered more of the aqua in a smaller size for just that reason. It is so charming in person. This picture doesn't necessarily capture the true green-ness of it!
Have a wonderful Spring Day...we are getting the rain today. Perfect for the plants!
I had other inspirations if you care to look. www.celestialembrace.com in the jewelry section!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Always another Sun Necklace :)

As a collector of Suns, Moons, and all things Celestial, there is always another Sun 'thing' to be made!! This weekend, I had these lovely aqua colored recycled glass beads and it just seemed that they needed to be mixed with pearls for clouds, and that the pale aquaish blue beads were the blue sky behind the airy white clouds. I loved the end look of these..... Since everyone at the open house really wanted matching earrings for their necklaces, I just went ahead and made them for this necklace..
Love the end look.

Speaking of suns, it is a beeeeueatiful Spring Day here and the sun is shining, (no clouds) birds are chirping, and flowers are in bloom EVERY where.

Have a fantastic Monday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Infuse a little somethin somethin!

Over the weekend I finally got to put together three ideas that have been rolling around "up there" for a few months. Three jars of herbs and oil are now happily on my windowsill taking in the afternoon sun, doing what they do best. Infusing. Destination for these delicacies? Three herbal products coming next month. They already have names and they have been alive in my dreams since January but it is time! These are not actually my jars as I did not yet snap a pic but they are, in fact, what mine look like. The shipment of organic herbs arrived late January and each of these concoctions have a specific intention. Twenty Nine and Holding will become a wonderful facial creme, a bath candy and a soap. Between The Sheets will be an all over creme, bath candy, and soap. Delicate is going to be an all over creme and a soap of some sort. Each of these infusions have a minimum of 4 herbs steeping into carefully selected oils that support the intentions. It is exciting. And, a reminder of why I began making skin care products 11 years ago.
Three weeks from today we embark on our annual pilgrammage out west to Arizona. It is exciting each and every time. I am thrilled to meet our Innkeeper in Jerome Arizona who owns the "Surgeon's House" that sits atop Jerome, overlooking the town. She has restored the gardens of the home and we have already discussed me bringing her herbal soaps. Sedona and Arizona in general, have a way of renewing the human spirit like no place on this Earth. What I love most is really everything but there are more places there that take your breath away, where it is okay to just be quiet and still and take it all in..... This photo is what we looked at from our bedroom last time were were there. This time, we are staying in the place we stayed the first time and we have a private outdoor hot-tub outside our bedroom door. The night we arrive is a full moon. Perfection.
So, whether you infuse your oils or infuse your spirit, remember to take it all in...and let it all out!
Three days until SPRING !

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tho' I am not Irish ~ I will never pass up a chance to celebrate ! Today, I decided to put a little green back in your pocket by offering 25% off all jewelry in my shop. All you do is enter "Green" in the promotion code during check out. Most pieces are one of a kind so once you buy it, there will not be another in it's place! Have a fantastic day if you observe the green !


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yay for new 'stuff'

*********NEW STUFF***

Yesterday my daughter was home sick from school with a wicked cold and my son had a migraine from running into a wire (the kind that holds trees steady) while sledding the day before so I played nurse for the day. When I wasn't running for this or that, I got the urge to do something new...(imagine that!) and I created Doccia Mousse. For you Italian experts, no need to tell you it means Shower Whip. It is very fun stuff. Great for shaving! So, that was good.

I am also posting a necklace I finished last week. I am a bit embarrassed because I see I posted it already but I cannot remove it now that it's there.. (duh) Haven't been at the jewelry as much in the past two months but my soaps have exploded ! The creative 'lull' that I was in during January is definately gone. I think maybe January will be the month I know not to expect much creatively next year! It is a good time for introspection.

Nothing else is very 'new' today. No new music (though there is new music, the time came to stop sharing according to the "producer" guy. I do appreciate the outpouring of support !!! Got some nice emails!

have a creative and warm day!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creative Chaos

The past two weekends have been spent (get this) multi-tasking! Since my business has been on the steady incline, I have products to make...and I have so much in terms of jewelry supplies that did not get finished pre-holidays that I keep trying to sit down and create BUT..... I also have this burning need to get organized. My room has been over-taken by beads, my dining room and kitchen are over-run with packaging, and my office and guest room are packed with finished products in boxes and on shelves. The room I have downstairs become non-functional about three years ago when I decided to take a break and stacked EVERYTHING in there....so. Here I am. Trying to put everything in one spot. Claim my space AND produce. It's not simple.

If anyone has any suggestions on getting organized, share share share!

In the midst of this, I did get a new necklace finished that I started but needed to restring because it was not long enough. I also got a new version of Lavender Ice made that I like better. It appears to have cubes of ice in it. It has started off as a great seller. I love it. Its cooling on your skin and it smells soothing. The other one I made today is Mango Tea. The background needs to be a bit more mango colored but the embedded green came out great. The soap smells fantastic. I have a friend (doesnt care for soap) but she cannot get enough of the Mango Tea fragrance in all my other products. Particularly my whipped creme. So, here are the posts of the pics !!

That's about it from me today. I don't think anyone cares if I feel successful that I matched 30 pair of socks that had been in a basket for the past 8 months. I feel pretty successful at completing two loaves of soap, spray painting baskets, getting the order ready for consignment at an art store in Midlothian Va, and finishing a necklace....OH, and lunch with my mom, dad, and my son and daughter.. Home Depot, then prom dress shopping. No wonder I am finished for the day!!! Until next creative surge.... enjoy yourselves!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This past weekend I had to 'birth' another soap. In my head, I had a vision of this Pink Grapefruit Soap and I fulfilled most of what was in my mind's eye. My nose was elated by the INTENSITY of the scent. I absolutely LOVE grapefruit and in the middle of a dull winter, it could not be any more rejuvenating.

So, having done that, I have completed the last minute details on the fundraiser for my daughters Dance Company and this Thursday that will launch and run for the next month. I have never done a fundraiser before so it will be fascinating as to how that works out. After making soap for 11 years, I have made a commitment to myself to enter in three huge craft fairs this year and see where that takes me. I am nervous. Though I am completely confident about my soapmaking skills, I am just NERVOUS :)

That is all for today. Keepin it simple! Have a great FAT Tuesday!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Movie - New Products - New Addictions :)

I am reminded by the little daffodil heads sticking out of the ground in my garden that spring is just around the corner which really is the time of year that inspiration usually comes at me in LEAPS and BOUNDS! This year, the business is taking off and opportunities are presenting themselves when all I seem to be doing is focusing on being creative! It's fun!

So, for the second week, rather than write about them all and squeeze in pictures, I did another movie which is over to your right --- and I put it all to my son's first song. Its really my favorite. First song recorded ever.

Thank you for reading! Have an inspirational day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bath Candy

Last night I made Bath Candy to fulfill an order and I had a few 'goofs' left on the table at the end of it all. So, this morning, I was up very early, and I filled the bath with hot water and dropped one of the bath candies in. This one was a special order that goes along with one of my soaps, called Good Earth. Good Earth is a bit complex....with Sandalwood, Orange, Cinnamon..and a few other oils. The aroma wafting out while I made my daughters lunch was AMAZING. So, when I went it to hop into this amazing bath, it had drained :( Determined, I went back, got another bath candy and started again. WOW am I glad I did. I can now smell the lingering scent (3 hours later) on my skin AND the best part, I didn't need any moisturizer as this had several oils but one new to me. Macademia Nut Oil. Another WOW!
I had an email from a local magazine last night who wants to feature my products in their Spring Bath and Beauty Edition. That Etsy is really working for me! Who knew ??? I am really grateful because making bath products that make people happy long after the bath is over, makes me HAPPY!!!
Have a great day !!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Soaping Binge :)

Oh, you know addictions. You try to ignore the call ~~~ you try to push down the urge, but sooner or later, WHAM!!! You get sucked in..and then, you are in it all up to your elbows!!! This time, out popped these spectacular soaps :) I am thrilled!

Friday, February 13, 2009

If I left this Earth Today

I have been gushing at the seams, basking in admiration and happiness, at the places my kids are in their lives lately. Maybe it is because I am turning that number after 49 soon. Maybe not. I really am proud. My oldest son and his wife are expecting their first child in July. They moved into their brand new home nearly 10 months ago and it is stunning. He is quite an artist who I will post his artwork sometime in the next week. My second son just got accepted into his Masters Program on Homeland Security. My third son, is who I am featuring in my movie over here to the right of this entry. We have all known he could sing all of his life. On Christmas, we as a family outfit him with computer software, recording devices, and now a guitar. He never produced any music prior to December 28th, 2008 and now has approximately 15 songs. I have put one here that could possibly appeal to the majority because I know many will not like R and B, hip-hop type music but I do love so many styles that I love all of his songs (except 1). He knows why. This has been copywritten but is not out officially anywhere. He sings night and day, day and night. Lastly, my daughter.....who is a senior...texted me this morning to tell me she got a 4.0 on her report card and we are awaiting the results of her college applications. She is a dream of a daughter. Feels like my grandmother's spirit reincarnated into this lovely young lady. She really is, one amazing young lady. So, today, I was thinking of how self-indulgent this is to put up my kids artwork, but then again, are we not all showing off our crafts? I believe I had a part in crafting these amazing young people and if I left this Earth today, I believe I have left parts of me in all of them. Hope you take a minute and a half to watch the video clip.
Have a wonderful Valentines Day !!! I know I have some love in my life and I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Soaping drunk :)

It has been a great few soap days and since I am just about to fall into bed with a big happy soap grin on, I will keep this very brief. Had someone contact me this morning to sell my soap in their store. She saw me on Etsy and asked if I would be willing to do it based on how my site looked ~ I think we are our own worst critic....

At any rate, tonight was my first full batch of this Petals Soap and I had it in my brain but tonight was able to make it happen. There are pink and purple flowers on top of green stems right through the whole bar and the SMELL - oh the SMELL :) I sent my boyfriend flowers this past week as we hit our 4 year mark and tonight he brought them to my house and put them in my room (he is here for the weekend). Point is, there is no difference in the fresh flower smell in my room as there was in the soap kitchen. Fresh flowers. That is the smell..... going to close my weary eyes. I have accomplished so much more in this past week than I ever thought possible. Business opportunities galore :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

huge question

I cannot find a music player that lets me upload my own music. Is there such a thing?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yippy Skippy Day

Oh boy! The boxes have been rolling in with all sorts of new packaging and scents and herbs and on and on......Soooo. Today I started with a new loaf of Hey Ma, Whatcha Baking ? which is the most amazing smell of cookies baking in the kitchen. Matter of fact, it got its name from the first time I made it and my son came up from downstairs and asked that very question. Next loaf....5 O'Clock Somewhere.... Pina Colada extraordinaire..... WOW. It smells SOOOO good that it makes your mouth water. So, there are now 4 new glycerin soaps made, packaged, and ready to sell.
The next creative endeavor is still under wraps but I have the names worked out for 3 of the 4 new soaps. They are all herbal and would be considered herbal 'remedies'. One for troubled skin, one for cheering up, one for keeping skin young, and one surprise...I can hardly wait. I received a box of organic herbs in today ~ and by Tuesday, I should be ready to announce :) It will be hard not to do it sooner but my sons 27th birthday is Monday and we are celebrating tonight. Of course the water main broke down the street and as of this moment, NO water. The man with the truck says a few hours and we should be all set....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whale Medicine - Spirit of the Sea

I never question synchronicity anymore. Back in the day, I used to scratch my head more because I was truly one of the only people I knew who seemed to even notice how uncanny Universal timing could be. Over the past few weeks, I have returned to my studies of how the Native Americans kept in time with the Universe just because that is something I think they did very well and I love studying herbal medicine. So, after yesterdays Blog Frog - which was not meant to show that I was stuck having something to say, it was the larger picture that I was trying to fit into a niche that was not mine to fit into... and WALLA - this morning I logged on to receive the following message in my email ! HA! I love the way things work when I let go - I hope you enjoy this ---

Native Americans teach us that the Great Spirit speaks to us through our animal brethren. The whale is one animal that we can learn from. Whales have existed for over 50 million years and are considered to be record-keepers who possess knowledge of the past. It is through the vibrations of their unique sound that they release this ancient wisdom to us. At the same time, their sound carries across such great distances that whales can enter the realm of the future where they can acquire knowledge of what is to come. Every whale sings a song, and they never repeat the same pattern when they sing their song. Since whales must be conscious at all times in order to breathe, they cannot afford to fall into an unconscious state for too long. Never completely asleep, their brain has constant access to the collective unconscious where all answers lie. Whales float peacefully, secure in the ocean environment that supports and sustains them. You can learn from the wisdom of whales by remembering to express what’s uniquely yours. Each of us has a unique "song" or gift to offer the world. Your song is meant to be sung by you and heard by others. No one else can sing this song but you, and your song is medicine for the healing of the planet. Like whales, you can choose to access information about the future when you go into a meditative state. Whales teach us to look at where we came from and where we are headed. Knowing that our past helps shape our future, we can remember to make positive choices regarding our lives, the environment, and our world. Like whales, we can remember to stay awake and actively engaged in a universe that supports and sustains us. When we express ourselves and share our unique gifts, we add our wisdom and vibration to the planet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blog Frog

The title blog frog - as it relates to leap frog is my focus today. The Kramer Angle encouraged me to blog back in December, and honestly, I got on here and I can look through everyone's blogs and fall in love with home design 3 billion times a day. The funniest thing about blogging here is I know I held back. Everyone else seems to let it fly and I was finding myself caught between ooogling over sites that I do not really contribute to or telling some really random story of my thinking process and then, THEN, I figured out how to go search for soap sites and jewelry sites and I have since branched out and am having a different experience.
The concept of creating and coming up with creative ideas is always fascinating to me. I do not actually consider myself creative when I start poking around at other sites but I do not think I was honoring what I am creative at doing. The old concept of sticking a round peg into a square hole seems to be the best way to describe it. Once my own lightbulb came on, I felt like I came home (again).
In the past week, since acknowledging where my strengths are, I am almost back to where I was 11 years ago when I could not go to sleep without a tablet next to my bed to write down my ideas as fast as they were coming. As a result, within a week I have new packaging, new gift sets, new products and it was here all along, inside me. The trouble is, I was not accessing it.
So, tonight I have a photo shoot for products. I really have the checklist 'from you know where' that needs to happen in the next 10 days as I promised the Dance Director at the High School that I would sponsor the spring fundraising event.
Its a very busy, productive, meaningful time. I had to find my rhythm. I am hoping we are all experiencing this at a time when we are really forced to reflect on those things that are really important. :) Have a great day...more in a day or two.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Arizona Pilgrimage

This year our annual trip to Arizona is in April. The weather in April out in Sedona is perfecto and this year --- I am extra excited because my 19 year old son and 17 year old daughter are joining us. Geoff and I have gone before but this is new ! I can hardly wait to show them the Grand Canyon. We are mixing earthy with complete and utter commercialism by landing in Vegas - staying two nights, then driving the path through Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon to arrive at our destination in Sedona. If you have never done the trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, you are missing one of the greatest destinations in the United States. I am so excited I am ready to burst. This year, I will be on the look out for gems to bring back and make into jewelry. I will also be taking some of my soaps to leave as "business cards". I can hardly, hardly wait !!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Me Me Meeeee (please sing that as if you are warming up !)

So, I came in last night after flying home from a great 4 day weekend in Maine and I find that I have work to do already! Gail has made me "it" in this game. Soooo, 6 RANDOM things about me.....and here is the drumroll part !!!!
Number Six - I love the first snow. It makes me very sentimental....I get a childlike excitement that is a bit overwhelming! I still shout to everyone in the house "ITS SNOWING!!!" as loud as I possibly can.
Number Five - I read a sign on a pillow at a shoppe in Camden and it is one of my 'life creeds'. "You are closer to Heaven in a home by the beach". I love the beach. I love it during all four seasons and a beach that has four seasons is really better than one that is summer year round.
Number Four - I love to travel. Not really thrilled about flying but you have to get there somehow so I will fly... I have lived around the world and my favorite places that I have traveled to are many - but places I call God's Country were: Adak Alaska, out at the end of the Aleutian Chain. The skies were the bluest I have ever seen which met the water that was steely grey and blue. The volcanoes off in the distance were crystal clear and sometimes smokey. Scotland was God's Country. Especially Dunnottar Castle http://www.dunnottarcastle.co.uk/ which you can peek at here. Sedona Arizona is God's country as is The Grand Canyon. And Maine....there are too many places in Maine to mention but it is spectacular.
Number Three - I do not have a favorite food, movie, or music. There is no way to narrow it down to one thing because I love food, I love music, and I have loved many movies for various reasons.
Number Two- I love to bake. Cheesecakes are my specialty but I love to bake most things.
Number One- This year, I turn 50, become a grandmother, send my last child off to college and move in with my man of many years. Its a very big year indeed. I am very much in love with the notion of all these things. :)

I am not so sure this is either exciting, fresh information, or if anyone will read one bit of it...it's hard for me to write about myself actually. I could talk for days about how proud I am of all four of my kids and you would fall asleep but to me they are EXCITING !!!! So, without dragging them in to all of this ~ these are the random bits that come to mind. As soon as I hit publish, something way more fascinating will pop into my brain but for now, I am hoping that Happy To Be will take up the next ME ME Post !!!

ps - The Kramer Angle blogs about Obama are really clever.... Loving it !

Falling in Love with Soap

Every once in a while, I fall in love with soapmaking all over again. I made a loaf of soap the other day, right before I went to Maine and not only is it gorgeous to look at, but it smells so good it's just perfect! Funny, what I was looking for before I went to Maine was actually what I found after I made this loaf. When you go someplace that has a completely different "look" to it, you tend to notice the subtle differences. So, when I went to Maine and was among the two feet of snow, I noticed the pops of color standing out in contrast to the blanket of white. Things that were most noticeable were the Christmas decorations that cannot yet be extracted from the snow. The red, green, and yellow lights look very cheerful. Here in a place where the only living plants left to display color are the pine trees, there was nothing but white with the occasional brown sticks of a tree, or these cheery colors of light strings, wreaths, and the like. Just gorgeous. So, I fell in love with soap all over again. More to come later ~

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's all about ME ME part 1

I just got off the plane and popped on here to see, I am 'it" !!! SO, rather than whip off something non-creative (would not want 'THAT' to happen!) I will contemplate and respond in the morning !
Thanks Gail :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Going Green (not eyes, not with envy, just green)

This leaf was on the front page of MSNBC today. It's ice coated edges give it an extra special effect like that of sugar coating and I love it. My inspiration has always come from nature and this leaf reminds me of the treat I am in for this weekend. Fast forward thoughts to todays blog thought. Recently I initiated the process of getting into this show that will be in DC and Philly. When I did, I was interviewed by the marketing woman named Monica. I think I like Monica's because my best hair Goddess who just returned to work from maternity leave is also named Monica and this Monica was great also. Monica helped me realize something about myself that can only help me get better and better at my work. She said that "Green" is the avant garde place to be headed with respect to my bath products. This led me to sharpen my focus on my products. I have always been earth friendly with my soaps and skin care items. That was the premise under which I even started to make these things. Now, I had to go deeper. Looking into eco-friendly packaging, calling attention to the "buzz words" like soy, seaweed, yogurt, and natural ingredients that have always been how I make my products but now they are specifically hot on the market. I have always used recycled packaging but now I need to apply that to every aspect. Bamboo papers, sisal containers....that is the goal ~ so it isnt a matter of starting from scratch but it is a reinvention of sorts. I am excited because when I begin to dig, I start to find more and more opportunities and that is the best part of creating. So much more to think about even with respect to the jewelry.... keeping myself up to snuff on what gemstones are putting us at risk when we mine for them and such.... so..this is just the start. Going green. And to think, this all started with looking at how the Native Americans would leave virtually no footprint where they lived as the migrated around their territories... sheeesh :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bloggity Blog Blog

People said I would love this and would be a natural but what I think is that really, for being January, creativity is exploding everywhere to the point where I do not have time to write anything witty or charming or interesting. We are all in a "personal" lull waiting for the college responses to roll in, getting ready for our spring pilgrimage out to Arizona, and lots of other activities but creativity wise, its BURSTING around here. My son is on song 7 or so with his CD, my daughter is choreographing her senior solo for dance, and I was asked to use my products as the spring fundraiser at the high school for the dance company. So, we are all in overdrive when January is typically an inward time. I really am looking forward to the trip to Maine this weekend. Its so quiet there it gives people a chance to catch up with themselves.

Is this my phenomena or do others feel more wound up for it being the "dead" of winter ?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Darkest before the dawn....

Was thinking today about how my first blog of the New Year is pointing right at me. I wished that doubt would be replaced by clarity or some such thing. What I feel like today is that feeling I liken to labor. No, I am not in pain but it is that feeling that I need to go through something before I get to the other side. In the past 5 days, I have new shipments of beads, scents, oils, and I even got to take a jewelry class. So, my mind is reeling in creativity but there isn't a straight path to follow just yet. For anyone here who creates, I do not believe for a second that I am unique in this feeling. I believe it is universal. I made a loaf of new soap...no that wasn't going to meet the need ! I made two bracelets and a necklace...still not doing it.
So, what I believe needs to happen is quiet. Pure quiet. This was a chore day so no quiet today. Tomorrow, my beloved Steeler Team is playing and so maybe some quiet in the early part of the day but not likely. More likely than not, next weekend, G and I are going to Maine for three days. His mother has a 50 acre farm and she is in her 80's. We are surprising her as she gets very sad this time of year. She is socked in, it's cold, and she just had to put her companion and only surviving pet down a week or so ago. We are springing this on her as when she knows about the details, she really worries herself. The point is, her farm is a creative mecca and sits in splendor on a hill overlooking fields, and hills, and there is snow, and birds, and crystals of ice glimmering in such a peaceful way. That is where I believe I will be able to feel quiet enough to feel clarity. Maybe I will find it sooner in an unexpected place.
So, I was thinking of this new because I liked the photo tag. I was thinking of tagging someone to have say 48 hours to make a Valentine item and post it, then tag someone else. Maybe this can just be a challenge? Maybe I can just put the challenge into cyber space, and there is someone waiting right now who wants that challenge :)
Alright blog friends.... I had to openly state the business about the dark before the dawn. I believe dawn is coming.. I just need to get quiet. Thanks for reading. I really need to take down the last tree that is in my bedroom. Until next time..........

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photo Tag

The Apothacary Shop is it now ! http://theapothacaryshop.blogspot.com/ check in and see what gets posted !


Alright - I am "it" and since I wasn't at home when I received this, I was wondering what photo 4 was going to be. While there isn't anything inappropriate on my computer, I was really wondering what I was going to have to display :) Thinking it was going to be a soap, a piece of jewelry, or some other item that goes on my website and would seem self-promoting in a silly game of "tag". As it turns out, it was a picture of my sweetheart and I at my Son and DIL's housewarming party. I look a bit spacey as I had just had back surgery and was heavily medicated but it doesn't mask happiness :)

So, it's not incredibly exciting to the rest of the general public, but it was a sweet surprise. Geoff and I have been dating for 4 years. Between us, we have 9 kids. Five years ago, I was wondering what a woman my age does to "meet" someone new, without being in a bar, church, or what have you, and I followed my mother's shoes and went on match(dot)com. She was widowed and met her new husband there, so I figured I would give it a whirl. The first man I met told me I wasn't wild enough (oh my). I realized I didnt even want to know what that meant !! The second man was a very nice, nice guy, just smaller than me. Ok, not smaller, but tiny. We had a nice dinner, but no second date. A great friend sorta guy, but that was the end of it! The third date I went on, I pulled into the parking lot at a local restaurant and when I walked up to the door, I put my eyes on him for the first time. He "felt" like I had known him all my life. We have been making it all work for four years while my daughter completes high school and I am living in Maryland while he lives in Virginia. My daughter graduates this year so, this year offers us the first opportunity to finally share a home.
I put the whole fam damily picture below.

So, that's my story on picture number four ~ pure and simple.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Different [Brush] Strokes for Different Folks

It's been nearly one week since my first blog post and the first 24 hours gave me such a fun rush that it seemed as though this could become quite addictive. Since that day, I have really searched for what would or could be worthwhile to even think, let alone write about! Life has a way of just unfolding fast at times and sometimes, if we do not slow ourselves down and contemplate, it happens without appreciating the beauty of it all.
So, what I did was begin to "decorate" or "nest" here in my little blog and as I started to collect my photographs, I began to notice that I am surrounded by incredible artists. And, I do not mean just living nearby. My very own family. It's not as if I did not know. I just needed to wallow in it's wonder! My mother painted, though to this day, she has not pursued that talent through paintings but through home design and decorating. My oldest son, KC, is making his living at a Marketing Firm but he is an amazing painter, photographer, and his graphic design skills are "whack" as they say in the younger generation. My son Matthew is creative, though he does not officially show it in ways other than wearing nice clothes and fixing his home up very nicely. For a 26 year old, that is creative! My son Jimmy is about to break out as a singer/songwriter/music producer, and he is great. We have always known he could sing. The trick was making him have faith in himself to put it to use. Now that he has, he is hopelessly hooked and is making his first CD. I really cannot wait because I hate not having it for my own car! My daughter Katie is a dancer and is a wonderful little choreographer. She has been dancing for nearly 12 years and is so wonderfully graceful. My significant other pens a mean doodle and he now squints when choosing colors for homes we remodel so he can get the idea of the shades of a color and his mother is a very accomplished painter and former painting teacher. My life feels good being surrounded by artists. I am grateful for having taken the time to really relish that each person and their craft is unique and special and that we should each own our individual strengths.
(Next day)I just read one of my two blog followers entry which surprisingly, (or not) falls right in line with what I am saying. Noticing. Slowing down to notice. I believe for those of us who have matured into the "Wise Woman" stage of life, we are understanding that we no longer need to blaze a trail to get where we are going but we really ought to notice along the way. Being that we just ended another holiday season, I believe that is the general feeling among the "seasoned" folks. Take time to notice. As a side thought to this, it gives me great pleasure to know while I am still alive and young enough to really enjoy this for a long time to come, just how the creativity gene ended up in all of my children. They do not need to be great, they just need to be confident enough to express their own crafts.
In finishing up this blog entry, the title of this blog really is just all about appreciating each person for their uniqueness ~ and the example that came to me was different art forms. There is beauty in each. I must take time to notice!

Last but definitely not least, I created a new bracelet last night which is very fun ! Plenty of sparkly dangles hang from it and I love the sound it makes. Got in some new scents yesterday and its only a matter of hours left in the day before I come up with some new concoction that has been flying around in my head for days!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting a wonderful woman who is embarking on a new journey in her life. This meeting motivated me to initiate this blog actually. I was reminded how engaging with other people is the most rewarding part of being in my business. I was also reminded that my talents are not in the actual "sale" of any of my products but within the sharing of information. I did not start any of my products, bath or jewelry, to satisfy a sales need. Instead these products were created with a purpose. If they are cremes, soaps, and such, I have researched, tested, given and then received feedback, then refined what is made so that people feel good about what they use. No false pretenses. With jewelry, I create unique, mostly one of a kind jewelry, that is affordable and fun. Not perfect and astronomically priced. I search for the best prices on my base products so that I can pass those savings along.

So, what I was reminded of yesterday when I met Gail, was that I love working with people. I now have my intention for 2009. Before yesterday, I had been sick with one thing and then another since the week before Christmas. It was a wonderful Christmas with everyone in my gi-normous family, albeit most of us were sick at one point or another. Because of this, I never really got my focus for 2009. 2008 was an up and down year. I am excited about the opportunity this year offers us all. Like cleaning out the closets of life. Becoming accountable. Setting our intentions.

Wishing you all peace and joy in this new year. I wish you clarity where there is confusion, strength and confidence where there is doubt, and inspiration to pursue all that you dream of.