Sunday, September 18, 2011

September Break Time

I'm busy finishing up things today ahead of our annual September break. Much to do over the next two weeks in preparation for the busiest 13 weeks of the shopping year. During last year's break we had family from England to stay. This year, we're prepping for my son's wedding. We're gonna have a new Mrs in the family come October 1st, and it's gonna see me all misty eyed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kings, Queens And Court Jesters

Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
"I've been to London to look at the queen."

Okay... so it wasn't London, and it wasn't the queen. But for me and my small soap company at Boston Statehouse yesterday, it might as well have been.

There was a hearing for a cosmetics bill or two, where in well meaning wisdom a suggestion had been put forward that it would be great for Massachusetts to turn the label of a pot of creme with three simple ingredients into a ticker tape roll measuring four foot seven inches long:

If you want to know what it was all about and who was there with me here's some links for you. These folks are far more eloquent than I could ever be on the subject.

I'm still trying to make head and tail of the individual state laws, and can't believe what is planned for New York!!!???!!!

Having to learn the federal regulations is a hard enough task for small business owners like me, but learn and respect them we must. I really don't know how I'm expected to do business with all the other states if they each decide they want their own regulations. Do I follow FDA rules and regs... or do I follow state regs? Which law will trump which? It's going to be very confusing for me and every other small business like mine. I think it's also going to be very confusing for the customers who want to buy from us.

What do you think? How would something like this affect you? Maybe it's affecting you already. I welcome your comments.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Will Always Remember

These photos are from my own personal collection. Each are from a different visit to the World Trade Center site.

Never forget those who died there in the towers, at the Pentagon and on a plane in Pennsylvania. Never forget those whose lives were changed forever on that awful, awful day. Never forget the brave souls who were rushing up the tower stairs, while so many others were rushing down for dear life. We will always remember them all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rolling With It

9pm and the night shift is just starting. My feet are still going strong in my trusty Reeboks. Can't say the same for my fingers, though! Contingency plan into action, and it's ditch the pretty parcel wrap and straight into wax bags with them.

Song still on loop. Roll, roll, roll. Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Mattoon Street Arts Festival

This is my dreaded task for today. And tonight. And into the small hours of tomorrow morning. There's nothing I love more than a good WrapFest but with 16 batches of 56 bars per flavor to go, I so badly wanna get it all behind me. My big local show set up is tonight, the show is tomorrow and Sunday. Monday I shall be fit for nothing.

The Mattoon Street Arts Festival is a great one, and always takes place the weekend after Labor Day. I absolutely love it! Mattoon Street is a beautiful historical tree lined street in Springfield, Massachsuetts. Over the festival weekend it is alive with white canopies, wonderful artists who are true to their craft, and live music. It's a fantastic family atmosphere.

As relieved as I may be to get the WrapFest all out of the way today, I am so looking forward to the weekend. I'll see you there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Music To Soap By - Lenka

It's a creative day ahead for me and I'm in aqua and grey for it. It's been a crazy weekend... full of surprises, set backs and sagas.

On loop and blaring outta the workshop today, is this one by Lenka. I just can't stop shouting out the chorus as I'm finalizing the master batches for the new seasonal line. Cooler mornings, and cooler evenings. Guess fall is knocking at the door.

Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing... take a leaf out of Lenka's book and just roll with it. I know I am!

Lenka, 2011 - Roll With The Punches.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blade Runner

Turning out another slab of Art House soap from the molds.

I love this part of the job. It's completely "hands on". The feeling of the blade in my hands is a great one as I first use it to free the snug block from the sides of the mold. I use it again to angle the tops of each log, and then one last time with it to slice off each bar.

Oh, yeah... new Art House soaps for the Fall are on their way!