Sunday, January 27, 2008

February is a Time for....

Heart necklace made from wood from

Unique heart necklace from

Lovely guitar pick necklace and matching earrings I purchased from

February is a great time for coming spring, Valentine's Day, President's Day and all sorts of things.

For me, I am looking forward to my daughter's birthday. I bought some really beautiful gifts for her from several vendors on etsy. They are pictured above since I couldn't seem to get them to come down here.
I have been focusing on Valentine's Day for quite some time where it comes to my etsy shop. I love hearts and have a made a variety of heart soaps for Valentine's. You can see the full display on since I can't seem to make these pictures go where I want them to on this section. I just need practice I guess. I'm not all that computer savvy :)
I've made large hearts, small hearts, light pink hearts, medium pink hearts, dark pink hearts. Some have gold in them, some iridescent glitter, some are clear and some are not. In addition, I've made some really great fragrances that go with these hearts, English Rose, Heart of Gold, Raspberry Plum. Heart of Gold fragrance is just a bit complex. It is a combo of tropical fruity, spicy and a touch of chocolate. Very nice.
Still available are Rose petal soaps in English Rose fragrance of course. They are a wonderful versatile item that you can use once and throw away, so they are great for guest bathrooms and if you are taking a trip. I have actually used 1 petal vigorously 4 times before the soap actually ran out.
Shortly, I will be making white rose petal soaps, pink, and a variegated color of pink/yellow. They will be available before Valentine's Day.
Rosebud soaps are a cute little soap where a silk rosebud has been dipped in scented clear glycerin soap. They are currently on my etsy site as well.
Tired of soap? Other Valentine's like stuff available are Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Lava Lip Gloss. (Whew...what a name!) You know what lava lamps are, right? Imagine that concept carried over into a lip gloss that is flavored. Check it out. You will love it!
Other Lava Lip gloss flavors include Berry Burst and Coconut Creme Coffee.
Several bath/body collections available still. The Chocolate Bag might be a nice gift, but there are several others.
Coming up for Spring? I am currently working on some cold process springtime scented soaps. These types of soaps typically take 6 weeks before they are ready, so I starting now. I'll let you know what I've got next month.
Have any questions about soap? Let me know. Locally, I do home shows where you get your buddies together and we make some fun melt and pour soap projects. If you live in the Vancouver, WA. area, let me know if you would like to have a "Soap Party".

Monday, January 21, 2008

"NO GREATER LOVE" Valentine's Contest

I am participating in a wonderful Valentine contest sponsered by CAST etsy team. Check out the rules below and get started!!!

"No Greater Love" Valentine's Day Trivia Game Sponsored by CAST (See contest rule below"No Greater Love" Valentine's Day Trivia Game Sponsored by CASTThe Rules:
• You must have a registered account with Etsy.
• CAST members are not eligible to play.
• Visit the participating shops listed below to find a triviaquestion in their shop announcement. Each shop has a differentquestion and each question is numbered. Only the shops listed havequestions in them. Make note of the question and the questionnumber, there are 14 total.
• When you know the answers send an Etsy conversation to Renee. Make sure your answers arecorrespondent to the numbered question. (i.e. 1. Bill 2. Bob 3. Mary)
• The person with the most correct answers will win a fabulousgift basket full of wonderful items donated by CAST members. In theevent of a tie, names will be put in a basket and a winner will bedrawn at random.
• The contest will run from January 23rd to January 27th. Awinner will be determined on January 28th and will be notifiedthrough an Etsy conversation.Participating Shops: THAT'S ME!!! :)

#9) What famous couple married on February 14, 1974?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why do I sell soap of all things?????

I sell soaps!

What is wrong with me? I sell soaps!!! What caused me to do such a silly thing as that? After all, you can buy soaps so cheap at the store, so what's the point?

I thought about that for a very long time. It didn't seem feasible to sell soap.

It all started out with a novel that I wrote awhile back (unpublished, but based on a real events). I minor character in the novel was an older woman who was doing whatever it took to survive the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. Part of her method to survive was to make and sell soaps. The catch was that she made a point of praying over each and every soap that she made...prayers of peace, prayers of healing, prayers of repentance, justice and redemption, prayers for miracles. She used the power of prayer and intercession, using her soap as a catalyst, infusing each bar with the Holy Spirit that would affect the recipient or anyone who used the soap. Amazing miracles occurred and people sought after her soaps. It was "The Soapmaker's" way of contributing.

The character of The Soapmaker did not make past my first draft unfortunately and I grieved the loss of that character even though I knew that I had made the right decision for this particular story. I could not let her drift off into oblivion however. I needed to keep this character alive and began to learn how to make soap and emulate this character. Yes, I know this sounds a lot like what is on my actual profile, just a little more explanatory.
That is how I started making soaps and selling them.

No, they aren't as cheap as the stuff you buy in the stores, but they are MUCH better quality. There aren't additives and chemicals that cause skin irritation and itching. The best thing about my soaps are that they come with the added blessings of prayer over each and every item...just like "The Soapmaker" in the story.

I hope that God blesses my endeavor...I am barely a year into it and it has been a bit of a struggle. There HAVE been some positive reports on the use of my soaps and some have truly felt that God has had a hand in their lives as a result of the intercession.

You may visit my shop online at where they are for sale.
Please feel free to check my other sites at:

I also belong to CAST: A group of Christian Artists and Artisans who believe Etsy is a great place to buy and sell handcrafted, family friendly items. To see items made by CAST memebers please type "castteam" in the search bar on the home page.

If you are not familiar with it is a website that has thousands of sellers and buyers interested in either selling or buying handmade items. It is sort've like going to a largest arts and crafts fair in the world!!!

And in a sense, it is! Because there are folks from all over the world that sell on etsy. If you like one of a kind handmade items created from the heart instead of a machine, you'll love looking at etsy!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Alcan Highway

Have you ever driven the Alcan Highway? Ever heard of it?
It is that highway that takes you to Alaska. Most of it is unpaved and it is a very long 2 lane road.
The Alcan starts at Dawson Creek in northern Canada and takes straight into Alaska. Of course, if you live in the "lower 48" states of the U.S. just getting to the start of the Alcan can be a long trip in itself. Basically, you have the travel the entire length of British Columbia just to get to the beginning of the Alcan.
The Alcan is beautiful, a bit wild and it is a bit of a culture shock for most lower 48ers. You meet some wonderfully friendly Canadians along the way.The only major town after Dawson Creek is a place called Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, which is hundreds of miles past Dawson Creek. There are a few small towns in between. Be careful you don't blink though, otherwise you may miss them. Always stop for gas when you get about a 1/2 tank of gas. You never know when you'll come across a gas station next time.
You will get to see some amazing critters most of the time. Moose are fairly common, and it isn't all that uncommon to see a bear or two either. Please don't stop nearby them to take a close up picture. Bears really hate that. (No, I don't speak from experience!)
Most folk travel the Alcan in the summertime because that is generally when people come to visit Alaska. It's warmer then...duh! They get to put up with dirt and gravel roads, chipped windshields, mud and mosquitos...and mosquitos...and mosquitos.
It's at this point that I would HIGHLY recommend that you use some handmade soap with bug be gone ingredients in it if you ever plan to make such a trip. I DO make those during the summer months. They really are helpful.
Actually, the summer months are NOT my favorite time to travel the Alcan highway. I actually prefer the wintertime...YES, I said wintertime! Road conditions are easier to travel then, nice, solid road. It is generally cold enough that you don't need to worry about the roads being overly slippery and the road is VERY well sanded. Yes, it is cold, so be prepared to bring survival gear with you should you choose to travel in winter. Plan you trip to ensure that you can stop at night in a nice warm motel. Winterize your car and make sure you have some sort of heater for your engine. If there is no place to plug in your car at night to keep it warm, you may have to leave the engine running all night if the weather is getting more than 20 below zero which is very typical.
My first trip to Alaska, I travelled by car in January of 1973. It most certainly was an adventure for me. Especially since I was from southern California and had barely ever been OUT of California. However, the trip was beginning to wear thin by the time I reached the Alaskan border. I cried when I saw the temperature posted on the building at the border shack... it was 68 BELOW ZERO...and that did not include the wind chill factor. That was something I learned about from hard knock experience at that time. The wind was blowing nastily, causing your body to feel that it was an equivalent to 100 below zero. The border patrol guy told me that. That's when I began to cry. He said to get thee to Tok Junction and hole up for the night please. NO PROBLEM!!! I AM OUTTA HERE!
Welcome to Alaska!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Lots of people have been to Alaska. They go up there on one of those cool cruises, fly, some even drive. They look at all the beauty and the sense of untamed territory that Alaska has to offer for a week or two, maybe even a month and then, they leave after taking tons of photos, buying moose dropping earrings for souvenirs (I've never actually SEEN ANYONE wearing those things), T-shirts, sweatshirts and who knows what else.

That's your tourist group.

Then, there are those folk that are part of the military and are stationed in Alaska. They bring their families with them, move on the base and live there until they get stationed somewhere else.

That's your military group.

Then there are those folk who choose to have a living adventure for a year or two or four. Maybe long enough to go to college there or they have a temporary job situation, or they just go up there and "live" for a short while until their money runs out. The longtimer Alaskans call these folk "Cheechakos" (newcomers) and they can be spotted from 100 yards off, sometimes further.

That's your Cheechako group. (Most militaries tend to fit into this category as well)

Then there are those people who perhaps moved up to Alaska, maybe with the intention of moving back to the "lower 48" but fell in love or just plain got stuck and have been there for years. They may have started out Cheechako but became Alaskan somewhere along the way.

That's your Alaskan Transplant group.

Then there are those people who actually were born there and lived there all their lives. The majority of these folk are Eskimo or Alaskan Indians but there are a small bunch of other cultural diversities that actually fit into this categories.

That's your native Alaskan group.

Why did I just categorize all these different folk into these little categories? I'm not sure since I hate categorizing, but perhaps it is to explain different people's different perspectives on what Alaska is and what it offers. Alaska is so big, it has so many things to offer and experiences that are hard to find elsewhere in the world.

So...that may bring you the next question... Why am I even WRITING about Alaska? Isn't this blog site about soap?

Well, yes and no. This blog is about someone who makes soap and things related to soap, but not about the soap itself. It is about the person who makes it. To find out who the person is behind my bar of soap, you need to know about Alaska.

I wasn't born there, I never had a desire to go there, or live there. I only knew that Alaska contained snow, cold, igloos, Eskimos, polar bears and a few other weird animals like moose and ptarmigan (took me awhile to spell that one), and those silly little lemmings that commit group suicide once in awhile.

Despite the above paragraph, I did eventually move to Alaska and lived there for several years. So, I suppose that would put me in the category of the Alaskan Transplant, but eventually moved back to the lower 48...ooops, that isn't in the above list. See? I told you I hated categorizing!

Some of my experiences in Alaska are made of a truly unique, "Alaskan" flavor. I would be hard put to find a way to have those similar experiences anywhere else. Those experiences are part of what make me who I am today. I now live in the Northwest, which is nothing like Alaska. I've had wonderful and very tragic experiences there. I choose to talk about the uniquely Alaskan experiences however and will have a series of "Alaskan Experiences" coming up. So, stay tuned for Alaskan Experiences and feel free to talk about your own experiences if you've been there an done that too...or just say that is weird, strange, crazy, a lie...whatever.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

What's the Motivator?

What motivates you to do the things you do when you do them? Do you so get into doing what you're doing that you forget what you're doing?
I do.
I mean, look at what I'm doing! It's more like, look at what I'm NOT doing. I'm a child of God, that's just who I am. But, being a child of God carries responsibility too. Just like you have the responsibility to honor your parents, your heavenly parent should have honor. But is the motivator called responsibility? Or is it based on love? What's my motivator?
I'm a wife and mother...married with 3 children. I have a family. I desire to keep my family happy, healthy, intact in physical, emotional and spiritual ways. But I can only do so much as the role of the mother in some of these areas. Dads and husbands carry a HUGE responsibility in these areas. I'm the wife and mother only and I am not programmed to take all the responsibility myself. I need to rely on the man in my life and the heavenly Father in my life to share this with. My kids have the responsibility to WANT to be healthy, happy and intact in physical, emotional and spiritual ways as well. Sometimes they are their own worst enemy and thwart everyone else's efforts. Sometimes, I do that too. No one's perfect. What's my motivator to work so hard at giving my family the best possible chance for happiness, sometimes at my own expense?
I'm a registered nurse and I work full time. I have a responsbility to my job and the people who depend on me to do co-workers, patients, and my family that depends on the paycheck I bring home. Why do I do it? Do I LOVE my job? Not really...but I DO care about my co-workers, patients and my family. It's all about relationship in the end, I think. Do I care about the money that I bring home? ABSOLUTELY! Without it, we be in deep doo-doo financially. Despite my hard work, we sometimes are anyway. That is frustrating. Why do I work so hard at this and get so little from it? What's my motivator?
I wrote a book...a novel based on true historical events. Anyone who has ever written a book knows how tough it is to write a book. Choosing the right words, the right nuance, the right moment to say what you want to say and how you want to say it. It's time-consuming. My book is not published, maybe it never will be, but some amazing things have occurred out of writing that book and it's still happening. What was my motivator? Fame? Fortune? Pride? Sense of accomplishment? Love? What's the motivator?
I started a soap business. That was the last thing I thought I would ever do. And yet, here I am doing it. Yes, I can express my creativity, but it is also a lot of hard work that consumes even more of my precious little time. Am I making the big bucks from this? NOPE! I'd like to though. What is my motivator? Do I expect to make big bucks from this little business? There is a chance that I could. Do I want to pay the price? What's my motivator?
What motivates me to do all these things that I do? I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of everything that I DO do. I've just highlighted the main ones.
I really don't know the complete answer to that question, but it does provoke some thought. Perhaps, it will make you want to know what your motivator is when you read this. Why do you do the things that you do? What's your motivator? And when you figure it out, is your motivator worth the sacrifice?