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 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'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 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 ! 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.