Thursday, October 28, 2010

Close Buy Catalog In The News

You may recall I was part of Close Buy Catalog.  Local schools fundraising by selling local Maine Made items.  Here is a link to a previous blog post:

Here is an article in The Phoenix about Close Buy Catalog.

I'll report more in a later post about how I fared during the pilot year of this great program.  Here's a hint:  My product is due November 12th, I am labeling and wrapping soaps NOW!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gingernsap Soap

Mmmm, Gingersnap soap!  Oh so sweet.  This deep brown soap smells sooo darn good!  Ginger with caraway seed, cinnamon, cardamom and sweet vanilla to warm up and compliment the spices.   Another favorite for the past 2 Holiday seasons, many men snap this soap up after one little sniff.  Look for it at market and online soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Website Redesign

I have been working behind the scenes with a very talented graphic artist that I found on on a redesign of my website.   I wanted a new look and we are moving ahead fairly quickly.  I thought that I wanted more of a clean, modern look but after hashing out some ideas it turns out that I like old fashion and a bit shabby chic.  I am really happy with how it is coming along and hope to share it with you very soon! 

Thanks dRE @ Solid Art Collective! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cranberry Fig Soap

Made for you, and ready for November, my Cranberry Fig soap is curing on the shelves!  Delicious subtly tart cranberries and slightly sweet and mild fig. A bit of citrus with orange and pink grapefruit add a nice touch.  I swirled this soap with a bit of deep red / cranberry color for a beautiful soap.  Cranberry Fig is a popular seasonal soap that i have sold the past 2 Holiday Seasons very successfully.  Look for it at market and online soon. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back In Business!

Oh my goodness.  I haven't been able to get into my blog since my computer crashed and the hard drive died.  I had some serious weird setting that we had to disable and tweak so I could get back in.  Well, I"m back and I will be blogging everyday to fill you in and keep you up to date on the upcoming season of Holiday Craft Fairs, the Brunswick Winter Market (which starts very soon) new retail locations for my products and my re-designed website (coming soon).

Happy to be back!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Computer Woes...

My laptop is sick.  Very sick.  And diagnosed.  A bad hard drive.  It's gone.  Can't be fixed.  I elected to have it replaced. Would the technician please try to find and save some of my old computer stuff?  My blog pictures, my sailing pictures, my soap pictures (I have a lot of pictures) my business documents, my contracts, my word processing program?   He would try.  He did not succeed.  I lost it all.  I'm sad about that. 

My hubby is trying to re-install all my operating systems.  It's not that easy.  If I paid to have it done, I would be close to the cost of buying a new laptop again.  ($$$$$$)

This Blog post is being typed from my hubbys computer.   It also is not in greatest shape. There is black duct tape holding the power cord into the laptop.  I can't move it from here to there without closing my eyes and making a wish. 

I know,  my "life" will be back in order soon.  And in the grand scheme of things, this is not the worst that could happen.  I'll be back blogging and posting pictures from projects I am working on as soon as I can! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Special Deliveries

I have a customer in Canada that found me this summer during the Freeport Community Market in Freeport.  I just got an email from her that she will be in town in just a few weeks and would like to stock up on more soap. 

I'm blushing, but want to share with you.  This is what she said about my soaps:   "I must say that normally I am not fussy regarding beauty products but your soap is by far the best I have ever tried!  It is the only soap that doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and itchy after a shower and it is perfectly scented without being overpowering!

Oh, I love hearing that!  I get alot of great feedback when I see  you in person at the Farmers Markets.  I hear how much you love the soap, how you gave a bar to your sister and she enjoys it.   A bar went to your mother-in-law and the fragrance just brought her back to when she had her lavender garden and so on.  I enjoy the customer feedback.   You keep me going!

While the Freeport Market is closed for the season when my new customer visits, I am happy to email her a selection of current soap fragrances and the option for us to meet for a soap delivery in the local area.   If you need soap, and can't make it to a Farmers Market, Craft Fair or local retail location that carries my soaps (see list on right) I am more than happy to meet with you for your very own special delivery.  Drop me an email anytime! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Caramel Apple Jam

I had some apples  that were going a bit soft.  Not bad, but I like my apples crunchy.  What to do with all these apples.....I had made an Apple Crisp already and didn't feel like having a whole Apple Pie hanging around the house.  I didn't have a food mill, so no Apple Sauce for us.  How about an Apple Jam of sorts?  I searched for recipes and settled on this one:  Caramel Apple Jam.  Sounds great doesn't it?   Well it is delicious.   It's a bit sweet but taste very good.  The brown sugar makes it caramel-y.  This jam could also be used as a desert topping over a yellow cake, gingerbread or vanilla ice cream.  I packed these up in twist top plastic containers and refrigerated 1 of the containers and froze the others. 

Caramel Apple Jam


6 cups diced peeled apples (1/8 inch cubes)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
2 cups sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


In a large saucepan, combine the apples, water and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until apples are soft. Stir in pectin and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg and return to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat.  Ladle into containers.   Refrigerate.
Or process like regular jams:  Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-in. head space. Adjust caps. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My soaps are stars!!

See my soaps at the 28 and 42 second mark. 

A Look Inside Lisa Marie's Made In Maine ~ Portland

Lisa Marie's Made In Maine is a great all Maine made store located in both Bath and Portland.  My soaps have been carried in the Bath location for about 3 years and when she told me she was opening a store in Portland early in the spring and she needed more of my soap, I was happy to help!   I stopped in to the Portland store on Saturday to visit and take some pictures to share with you.

Portland streets are full of quaint shops and brownstones.

It's a great walking city, lots to look at, places to shops, restaurants and something fun around the corner.

Lisa Marie's store looks like it's been here forever!  There must be some history in this space.  Imagine an old Mercantile shop selling dry goods to ship captain wives that walked on these cobblestone streets. 

Lisa Marie, and her daughter Marie, have created a wonderful store.  It is long and narrow, but they have managed to pack in alot of great stuff without making it looks crowded.  The ceilings must be 20' tall.  The whole front of the store is window, and it just lights up the whole space.  See the exposed brick?  So quaint.  
 Lisa Marie has wind chimes near the front of the store and even has a little fan placed just right so they tinkle in the breeze.  While I was there, a local book author was just finishingg up a book signing.  My soaps are beautifully displayed on this antique dresser, near the front of the store.  How lovely!

I love the mirror at the back of the display, it really adds alot of depth to the space!

My soaps are displayed in beautiful pottery dishes.  How pretty!

While I was there, Lisa Marie was behind the counter working with a customer and I didn't want to interrupt her.  But she looked up to greet her customer and saw that it was me.  She gave me an enthusiastic hello and told the customer that I was "the soap maker".  He was impressed and even said, "oh, a celebrity" .  I smiled and waved him off.  I didn't know what to say.  Me?  A celebrity?  A soap celebrity?  Maybe it was because this was in town...

Yup, a full size Royal Caribbean cruise ship, only a few blocks from Lisa Marie's store!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Try Something New!

I went to Whole Foods this past weekend and didn't survive.  

I don't go very often, for a few reasons. 

One, it's in "the city".   Portland.  Which is only about 20 minutes from me is our bustling metropolis here in Maine. Portland is a super cool town with alot of history, great shopping and loads of Irish bars.   I just don't ever seem to know where to park in the city.  Stupid excuse, as Whole Foods has their own parking lot. 

Two, Whole Foods can get pricey and I could loose alot of coin here.  I try to stay away, on purpose.  

We "got" our Whole Foods grocery store about 2 years ago.  The store is gorgeous and everything so shiny and pretty!  Fruits and vegetables stacked up soo perfectly.  Fish and meat, laid in their cases in neat rows.  Gorgeous case of any cheese you would ever want (and I found the cheese that I had once and loved!  A Roquefort with lemon rind), fresh baked bread and adorable little cupcakes.  The prepared foods, wow!    People were filling up on hot and steamy Chinese chicken wings, vegetable lasagna and mixing up their own granola.  Gelato, 16 flavors to choose from. All hand scooped for you as you watched.  

My impulse buy,  Mo's Bacon Bar.  I had to have it.  Had to.  I 've heard all about it.  Maple Bacon inside of your choice of Milk or Dark Chocolate.  The large bars are $7.99 (which I thought was crazy high) but they had little sampler bars for $2.99 (better, but still pricey).   I handed the chocolate bar to my husband at check out and I wander off to check out another section of the store.    He said, what is THIS!?  As I walked away.   He reported to me that the cashier took a look at the bar and said, "wow, this looks good"!   So, I explained to my husband when we got back in the car that this was a chocolate bar with maple bacon in it.   Sweet and salty in one.   He looked skeptical.  We tried it at once.  My husband a little more apprehensive than I ever thought he would be.  I mean, it's bacon.  It's chocolate.  What's not to like?  Okay, it's a little weird.  I liked it.  Great chocolate and I got a salty bite at the beginning, which I loved.  The bacon is very small and you get little bits of it, smokey and good.  It's not something that I am going to be seeking out, but I don't seek out a deep fried oreo either, but I would try one.  Try something new, go for it!