Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I Hate Lavender

Yo Lavender! I'm really happy for you and Imma let you finish but, gardenia is the best flower of all time. OF ALL TIME!

I really, really don't like the smell of lavender. I find the smell of lavender to be musky, dry and too grandma-esque for my personal tastes. The musky smell is what draws many people in however; deep, smooth and rich. Its calming, relaxing, simple, yada-yada. Ew.

A soaper that doesn't use lavender...GASP! Lavender seems to be the generic scent for artisan soaps, and as a soapmaker, I am expected to love lavender and to USE it. If you go into any highend soap shop, lavender is very predominant. I actually had to turn a buyer down recently because she wanted a custom order of multiple lavender. I let her know I did not use the scent, but would be happy to buy the essential oil for her order for a $3 supply surcharge on the order total (pretty good deal since good lavender is more like $12). I received no response so obviously she declined. I'm sorry I am not L'OCCITANE, I am not Crabtree & Evelyn. I am not even Bath & Body Works (do they even use lavender?)...I don't like to use what I don't like myself.

Even so, I gave in and purchased lavender oil. It hasn't arrived yet and I'm not sure I can bring myself to even use it when it does. I mean it is easily found in a bevy of beauty products so obviously someone is buying it. Any thoughts? Am I rejecting a large market by NOT using lavender?

Coming soon: Lavender and Chocolate-Chip Cookie Bar Soap. Smells just like Grandma! (Just kidding. Kinda)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I knew it would eventually happen...

Oh, the joys of soapmaking!

I have yet to find a local source of lye that does not include little metal shavings to prevent people from using it to make meth (Lye is the the saponification agent in soap..aka: what makes soap turn to soap...and apparently also a key component in meth manufacturing). Soooo, I've had to buy it from vendors on the internet. Normally I don't have an issue with the shipment, they scan it through xrays and see neatly labeled bottles and its on the way.

THIS TIME.....I actually still keep giggling when I think of it....

They opened my package....

Because it looked like a shipment of cocaine!

I'll have to get a picture up in a bit but imagine the package going through the xray, the bored scanner is picking his nose and swatting flies, tired of seeing the same ol' socks from granny or mp3 player, when all of a sudden...a brick of cocaine pops up on your screen. BINGO!

4lbs of lye was put into a big gallon baggie, sealed and taped shut, and then wrapped in multiple layers of plastic wrap. Now I don't know about you, but I've seen plenty of mob movies and cops episodes to see how the smugglers bundle coke, and this matched it to a T.

I just really hope the postal inspector didn't take a wiff or a little taste since lye will burn your skin off when mixed with moisture. Literally.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sweaters, sweaties, sweatahhhh

I'm a sweater kind of gal.

My office is extremely cold. EXTREMELY. Think..penguins even shiver cold. So obviously, I'm forced to wear lots and lots of sweaters (even in summer) at least 5 days a week. I've grown to love these cozy toppers. All colors, all lengths, all styles.

Today, the outfit consists of black kitten heel-height pointy toed wedges, dark grey tweed trousers, berry pink basic crew neck longsleeve, all topped by a royal blue button up boyfriend cardigan. Besides my mother's diamond earrings my dad gifted me at my wedding so I would have a piece of her with me (she passed away about 10 months before my wedding), and my wedding rings, I am not wearing any jewelry. Horrible statement from a jewelry maker huh?

Anyways, LOVE sweaters, and I'm so excited its almost fall so I don't look like a crazy running errands on my lunch break @work in a sweater. Here are some of my favorites for fall:

Bright and super soft. Can be paired with blacks and whites underneath, or go bold with hot pinks, bright yellows, or maybe a turqouise. Mossimo Black From Target.. I'm wearing it today actually :)

Completely unexpected. Takes the classic cardigan and skews lines and cuts for something way more fun and youthful. Element "Institute" via Zappos

Classic cashmere in a modern shape. Halston Heritage Silk-Cashmere Dolman via Berdorf Goodman

The "I Would Trade My First Born for This Sweater" Sweater lol :) Moschino Long Houndstooth via Zappos

And to break away from the obvious grey kick I was on, a nice bright choice. The Danielle Cardigan by *LA Boutique

And finally, the "I'd have to sell a kidney, and liver, and spleen...possibly a lung" cardigan. Oscar de la Renta Cashmere Cardigan via Neiman Marcus

Monday, September 6, 2010

I did something a little different...

I was having a "soap day" and wanted to do something different than before. I made a few of the usual...

Love Spell type JUMBO bath bomb

Juicy Grapefruit bar

Fruity Loops Breakfast Cereal Bar

And then for fun, I combined my hot process soaps with chunks of yummy scented glycerin soap. I assumed the glycerin would melt inside the hot process soap while it baked in the oven (I use a "in-the-mold hot process method where it bakes in the oven to cure), but was pleasantly surprised when it did not! My husband decided he wanted 'Pineapple Orange
soap and hey....since its summer still for a little bit, that sounded good to me!

Pineapple Orange hot process and glycerin bar

The lesson in this is: try, try, try. If you have an idea, even if you think it might fail, try it! Do you think Thomas Edison got the light bulb right on the first try? Highly unlikely. How are you to further your craft, develop your technique, brag about your secret...unless you try?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fishing is for....girls

While discussing proper coverage at work tomorrow (which is my hard earned, 'every other Friday' off), I announced I was going fishing and told my other 2 coworkers they could decide between themselves who was going to vie for the overtime. To that, the male co-worker who had his eye on the overtime asked, very surprised, "you fish?!" Under normal instances, it would have just been a regular question from anyone like "how's the weather," but the tone in which he asked, and from previous sexist and ignorant statements he's made, I took offense.

"Yes," I proclaimed.

"You like, clean and gut them and filet them too?" he asked.

"Yeah, I could probably name at least 3 ways to skin a catfish, and I'm sure I'd be able to clean a shark if I was asked to."

"What about your husband? He doesn't clean the fish for you?"

"Why would I need him to do something I can do myself? I can fish, I even have a fishing hole in the Everglades named after in, officially on a map...for pulling in the biggest fish to date. As far as I know, no one has broken that record to date. I also like football, beer, and I drive a sports car. Did I just shatter your stereotype of women?"

"..........uh, hmm so you have a spot named after you? Thats cool. How big was the fish?"

"27.8lb grouper...caught when I was 16."

With that, I turned on my heel in my adorable purple Prada flats and let my skirt whip around behind me.

"And I cleaned it all by myself..." I yelled out behind me.

I am just constantly blown away by this guy. He is a sexist homophobe that literally must have been living in a cave before he started working here about 2 years ago. In the world in his mind, I imagine women run around all day barefoot and pregnant, and there are no gay people...oh, but lesbians are hot so they'd be allowed. Women are around to make babies and make dinner, and have no brains or hobbies of any interest. I find myself constantly challenging his narrow minded statements. I don't know if its because he's from a different decade (he graduated high school in the 80s, I was born in the 80s), or if it was how he was raised, or if he's just not tolerant of people different from him. Maybe he's just dumb. I hope for the sake of his 4 daughters, he can one day realize that girls can do anything guys can do...

Only better.
And in cuter shoes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

break out the pen and paper...write a letter!

In a day where email is instant and "snail mail" is just that, letter writing and card sending seems to be a thing of the past. In honor of those who still send cards and handwritten notes and cards, or just love to receive these themselves, I have collected some of my favorite cards and stationary. I'm in a silly mood today so they all have a bit of a twist. Enjoy :)ableandgame on ETSY

WryAndGinger on ETSY

sycamorestreetpress on ETSY

bebeandalice on ETSY

upup on ETSY

Monday, August 30, 2010

the fuzzy wuzzies with a soundtrack

Have you ever had an experience so surreal, it takes all words from you and leaves you with nothing but a feeling.? Warm and like butterflies, but completely outside any any language.

It sounds completely silly, but Friday night was exactly that. Hubs and I went to see a band I grew up with, Something Corporate, at The Grove in Anaheim. I've been to the venue dozens of times, I've gone to probably 500 concerts in my 24 years (and no, that is not an exaggeration. I was at one point going to up to 5 a week, and could even fit in multiple a day if I timed it record is 3 in one day).

So why was this particular show SO much different?

A guy yelled up to Andrew (the singer/pianist) in a break between songs that "it felt like high school all over again." It did, and I know everyone in the audience felt that too. I was reliving feelings of simpler times; of happy and sad; memories of the mysterious panic attack I had on the freeway one night while "Down" was playing; flashbacks to the car accident that could have paralized me as my iPod decided to play "Cavanaugh Park" twice in a row; feeling like the world is so big, but so, so tiny at the same time; my mom; my friends; first loves and first breakups. All this hit all at once and it was overwhelming..

There is something magic about music. It can change a mood, change the tone of a room, make or break your day. Besides loving the music itself, I love seeing music performed live. There's something so interesting to me in seeing who else likes a band enough, they'll spend money (sometimes quite a bit) to see the band live. Seeing people who otherwise would never meet, or wouldn't get along, wouldn't be caught dead hanging out with, whatever...are brought together by a common interest. Geeks, bros, artsy, athletic, moms and dads, little brothers and sisters. Every race, every religion, everyone.

I will always answer the question "would you rather be blind or deaf" the same: I would much rather give up the light of day, to never see art, MY art, than to have music taken from me.