Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Making Soap, January 28, 2008

Yes, we do get occassional frosts in Orlando--
it has been cold this year!
Today I had to do some restocks and a special request for my old Peppermint soap. I discontinued that one when I started doing the sea salt soap that was scented with Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Spearmint and Rosemary. I have several crafter friends that want the old Peppermint--one of them calls it "Orgasm" because it is so fresh and tingly!!! LOL

I also finally sold out of the $10 Shea Butter (100%) soaps so I made some more of them. That one is definitely not on my favorites list. It IS moisturizing, but, there is no later at all. I have found one use for it--on my hair it seems to do away with the kinks and split ends. BUT, I still prefer the regular shampoo bar since it is a great latherer.

While I was making soap, I had two visitors. Eve came by while waiting on her College Park house closing. That is the first step in her divorce settlement. So, she is happy and she once again has a bank balance. That is a very good thing. Then Patti came by to say hi to my Folks. I invited her over for a little Super Bowl party this weekend too. Her hubby is all recovered from his illness which happened at Christmas. So, Tim has to start work again on Sunday, so he will miss the party.

Mom and I started our jigsaw puzzle--we do one every year when they come down during Snowbird season. This year the thing is a bitch. It's only 550 pieces but the picture is of a stack on needles in all sizes and one sprig of wheat going thru the middle. Argh. I like a challenge, but, I hate hearing Mom say how pointless it is! LOL

Deerfield Beach Art Show, January 24 & 25, 2009

Eve working on one of her palm tree paper towel holders.

I was a little better prepared for the show this weekend at Deerfield than last weekend in Jensen....a little. And I was feeling better too! I was shooting to leave about 11 a.m. but I was a bit later. It really didn't matter though, as the trip is only about 3 hours and we had until late to set up. I talked to Eve during her trip over from Wesley Chappel and she was bummed--she got a speeding ticket going 75 in a 55 zone. Although, she swears it was a 60 zone--like that would have made that much of a difference. Doh!
The view from my booth!
After setting up, we left my van at the show and took Eve's to the room. We were at the LaQuinta again...and it is a nice place to stay down there for not too much money. We planned to have Lynn (The SpiceLady) with us, but, we actually had a late addition...Cookie who makes wine glass charms. She is a sweetie--and she fits right in with the gang. BUT, 4 women in two double beds is TOO MANY!!! LOL
Lynn, the SNORER and Eve.
Especially when one of those women (LYNN) leaves her phone on to make funny beeps every 5 minutes when it is going dead at 4 a.m. Everyone but Lynn woke up to check their phones...grrrr! She didn't know how to turn it reached over and got it for her. AND then of course I could not go back to sleep when Lynn started snoring. LOL So, at 4:30 I just got up and grabbed my bag of magazines and headed into the bathroom to read. No more four to a room for a while, I think!
Now, bunking in with Lynn does mean we usually eat better. She made a salad of mozerella, organic greens and tomatoes...yummy! Cookie brought two bottles of red wine, but, I am doing no alcohol for 30 days trying to get back into diet mode. I had to stop Lynn from buying Girl Scout cookies at the show...her diet occassionally includes very bad things! BUT, she is good most of the time.

The show turned out pretty good--not quite as good as the prior year but still a good show. I really wish they would move it back to the park though. You will always get more traffic at the beach, but, not necessarily ones who are there to buy hand made things. But Deerfield is an awesome place to be. :)

On the way home, I found out my parent's had made it to Orlando with no incident. So, when I get home, I will have a couple visitors for a few months! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jensen Beach Art Festival, January 17 & 18, 2009

I decided to set up for the show on Saturday morning. I have a corner at this show, so I would have plenty of time to get ready. That and I wanted to sleep in my bed for one more night to make sure my cold or whatever it was, really was GONE. The weather said to expect mid 40's in the morning and 69 degrees on Saturday and about the same overnight Sunday, but, warming to 73 degrees. So, I bundled up and brought lots of layers.
I made the drive down to Jensen Beach (that is south of Fort Pierce and north of Stuart, FL) in about 2 1/2 hours. I screwed up again by getting off the Turnpike and onto I-95--I just need to stay on the Turnpike for the most direct route. Leaving at 4 a.m., it was 43 degrees the whole way down to Jensen.
After I got checked in, I was disappointed to learn the show organizer had added a booth beside mine--taking away my corner. Argh!!! That makes me so angry when I pay one year ahead of time to ensure a great spot. The gal who was added had signed up a couple weeks ago. So she ends up paying the same as I did, but, they had my money all year and hers only a few days. What is so hard to understand--if you say you will save our spot if we pay a year ahead, then we expect you to do so!

My friends who own a gallery here, were open both days and I was able to catch up with Janis a bit. Her partner, Candy, was in North Carolina visiting family. One of the things I really like about this show is that my soap is sold in their gallery--so I can tell customers to restock there.

Setup, was cold and windy, but, once the sun came up it started warming up nicely. I was able to peel off the long underwear layers before noon. The crowds at this show are just so nice--and abundant. Don't believe what the news is saying, everyone was out to enjoy the day and they were spending money. I ended up doing several hundred dollars more than the previous year. SO, I am a happy girl! And maybe best of all, it warmed up to the mid 70's on Sunday.

This all turned out to be very timely as Rod and I had some big unexpected bills in December on top of the ones we had budgeted for--the new windows and two new crowns for me! With a little luck we will be all caught up after my next show.
Oh, and my parents are already tired of the cold weather, so they will be headed down to Florida on Friday. They hopefully will come to some of my shows starting in February! They are so excited--the temperature was negative 27 on Friday when I called them while it was 70 here!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dieting, Being Sick and Where did the Time GO?! January 13, 2009

Emily testing the limits on soapmaking day--she isn't supposed to go beyond the terrazzo!
My year has started out with the usual attempts to get everything inventoried and all the year end numbers finalized. I start out with a bang, and then usually get bogged down as shows and life keeps getting in the way.
I watched Oprah's big announcement about gaining back part of the weight she had lost a couple years ago and I decided to get SERIOUS about losing weight in a way I could sustain and still feel like I am LIVING. So, I made the big commitment--drink water (no problem), no fried foods (no problem), no trans fats (pretty sure I am ok here, but, I need to check labels) and no alcohol (I will miss the mojitos, but I will live!)--all for one month while I get back into the dieting swing.
And then, a couple days into the diet while relaxing during my break until my shows start, I get SICK. Yuck. But, being sick and dieting is a good thing in actuality--I lost six pounds that week! And it turns out it's not a bad way to force yourself to relax. I read two books--one by Janet Evanovich (it was #13 in her Stephanie Plum series) and one by a Swedish author, Stieg Larsson called, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". And I slept--A LOT!!!
So the Monday after the worst part of being sick was over, I get a call from my craft show buddy, Eve. She asks me what I am doing to get ready for the show THIS WEEKEND. I tell her that I have two weeks to get ready--but luckily she corrects me--I have five days to get ready! Where did that month off go!?! What did I get accomplished??

Well, I didn't have any time to reflect really as I was sitting on about a dozen out of stock soaps that needed to be made. I really had enough soap for the first show, but, the one the weekend after was going to be a problem if I didn't get moving. SO, I broke out the soap pots (and the new wood paddles) for two days to get caught up. I did the bare minimum to get ready, and just prayed that I wouldn't have to work in the cold for the weekend.
Aren't they beautiful--handmade by woodcarver, Ralph Davio

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Susan's Visit, January 2-3, 2009

OK, that was my first opportunity to write "2 0 0 9" and I did it without screwing up. Yeehaw!

My friend from the Keys, Susan, came up to visit us the day after New Years. It was lots of fun--even though we went to a MALL. Actually we went to TWO MALLS! LOL Now I can stay away from them for another 6 months or so!

First up was the Florida Mall which happened to have two stores Susan needed to visit. Her choices down in Tavernier are kind of limited, so, luckily the Harry and David's up here was close by. We also stopped in to Sears to check out blue jeans. No luck with the jeans, but, lots of luck at the after Christmas sale at H&D's. Yum, I think I gained 5 pounds just being there. And the Mall was mobbed with people. We were lucky to find a parking spot close and we made it in and out without too much trouble.

Oh, yea. I forgot to tell you about M & M World. LOL Yes, there is really a store for collectible M&M stuff (including a tote bag made out of candy wrappers for about $300)!! Plus every single color known to man. At $2.99 a 1/4 pound, we weren't too tempted. But, if you have a crush on the Green M&M or the Yellow Peanut M&M, you can get your action figure there!

Next, we ran back to the house to pick up Rod to go to the Millenium Mall to go to the Cheesecake Factory. The wait was over an hour. It was packed here too--where are all these people coming from?!?!? Didn't they get the memo about the economy?! :)

Rod and Susan had never been before, so it was fun seeing their reaction. Besides having great cheesecake, they have a pretty big menu with LOTS of variety. Rod got a chicken dish (he would have gotten steak but didn't want to splurge for a $20 or $30 entree), Susan got the Oriental Chicken Salad and I got the quesadillas off the appetizer menu! Yes--I have been there before--eat light and enjoy the dessert! Susan got a piece of the Banana Cheesecake (her first choice the Vanilla Bean was still frozen--remember I said it was super busy) and Rod and I split the Godiva Cheesecake. Yummy, yummy, yummy. The diet starts Monday...

Saturday morning we had breakfast at a local spot--Peach Vally Cafe. It is owned by the same people who do the Stonewood Grill and benefits from the same training for their staff. Nice people, great food but a little pricier than your average diner breakfast. Not bad for a once in a while treat!

Then Susan and I packed up for a day at Universal Studios. The weather was terrific, the lines were pretty short and we saw a bunch of new rides at the old movie park. For me, I think the Mummy Ride, Men in Black, Disaster (with Christopher Walken) and the Simpson's ride were all hits. We also made it over to Islands of Adventure to do the Hulk Roller Coaster. Lots of walking, not too much waiting and a nice time to spend with someone I don't get to see very often! We did make one stop in the Candy shop to oogle the carmel apples...but we passed. I was still feeling cheesecake guilt! LOL