Saturday, January 30, 2010

New BookEndz in the shop

Freshly cut BookEndz for those who can't decide which Latherati soap to try!

Here's an idea I'd like to throw at my followers: I've been wanting to offer gift sets at Latherati and came up with the idea of including a vintage copy of the book that inspired the soap.

So far, I've picked up a few paperbacks (hardcovers would be better, I think!) that I would include with a bar of soap and a body lotion, all nicely packaged in a reusable box. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bits and Pieces

It's been a crazy week here! My poor little man has been sick with strep all week. As you might remember from this post, I quit my job and none too soon, I suppose. I would have missed a whole week staying home with my little guy and probably been fired!

Since I quit my job last week, I've been in a bit of panic mode. Working endlessly to stock up the etsy vintage shop. Rummaging through mom's house is a bit disconcerting as she is having trouble letting things go. While I feel somewhat cold-hearted nabbing her prized possessions collected over the years, it is what she wants and clearing some space in her house will be good for her, especially her mental state - like a burden being lifted off her shoulders. When she sees that I'm shipping a package off to its new owner, she's happy that someone else can treasure her dearly beloved tokens.
Latherati soap going to Haiti via Clean the World. I'll package it up nice and send it off this week :-)

On a more uplifting note, I recently found a website called Clean the World and will be shipping off a box of Latherati soap to help in the relief efforts for Haiti. While it's a small endeavor on my part, it makes me feel good to contribute to a worthy cause.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of thoughts

I finished the January Challenge winning book...The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Thought-provoking to say the least! Here are my thoughts on this philosophical gem of a read:

Set in Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s, this is a story that revolves mostly around Tomas, a physician who is torn between his love for Teresa and his love for philandering. It’s the story of living without weight or substance. It makes you think about how insignificant your life really is. Since you only have one life, do the choices you make and can never make again, really matter…are they significant in any way? Like the authors’ saying “einmal ist keinmal” or one time equals no time…is it better to have not happened at all?

Is it weakness or strength that bonds Tomas and Teresa? Tomas leans toward living a “light” life, having one affair after another while Teresa leans toward living a “heavy” life, suffering Tomas’ infidelities…it sinks her, depresses her. Is life heavy because of the burdens and responsibilities or is it light because really, how much of a mark can one person leave?

This is definitely a book that I could read again and gain more insight into the authors’ meaning and intention.

My rating: 5 stars *****

Now, for the scent!.... I think this needs to start with some heavy notes of musk, maybe pepper and a touch of wood, followed by perhaps milk or honey with light top notes of orange blossom and a touch of jasmine. My blending test starts today!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another new soap - Dairymaid

Dairymaid, inspired by Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. A rich goats milk soap scented with milk & honey and a dollop of vanilla cream. Cozy and warm. Will be ready in 4 weeks :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Quit my Day Job !!!

No, not because I made a gazillion sales on etsy so don't try to find my QYDJ feature, it's not there...yet ;-). This is more out of necessity, a blessing in disguise if you will.

The story: When my husband and I decided to split up, I panicked and got a job, ASAP. Gone were my days of homeschooling my children, running my business and keeping house. Things changed overnight. But it felt good. It was a change and a challenge and I was up for it. Ahh, how we try to convince ourselves that making choices out of desperation are good. Not.

My family suffered, my business suffered, I suffered. I was drowning.

Then, my 82 year old mother recently came down with pneumonia, then needed angioplasty. Spending time with her and reflecting on my current life, I realized I wasn't happy with the direction of my life. We came up with a solution. Quit my job, take care of her and devote more time to my business...a lot more time.

my darling, silly mother

We also decided to bring back Bee's Vintage, an etsy shop I had prior to going back to work. Oh, how I missed Bee's Vintage. I'm excited to get the shop up and running again.

Excited but terrified! I know that I will work longer, harder hours to run both businesses than I ever did at the law firm, but it's something I love, something I'm passionate about. And I will have the flexibility to devote more time to my family.

my old view: sad, bare gray cubicle walls

my new view: stunning snow-covered trees

So, that's my big news. Times, they are a changin'....for the better. It's funny how you think you are going down one path, only to come up against a hurdle and find yourself going another direction. Life is full of surprises and that's what makes :-)

On a business note: Latherati was featured in two treasuries this week. Yay! Check them out here and here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Product Alert !!!

I'm excited to give you a little sneak peek of Latherati's newest creation:

A feather-weight body lotion - perfect for every day, all-over moisturizing. From head to toe, this lightly scented body lotion absorbs quickly, leaves no greasy feel and drenches your skin in luxurious moisture. And of course, all my body lotions will be literature-inspired and coordinate with the soaps!

I'll be listing new scents throughout the week so be sure to check in every so often at the shop.

And check out the little 1 oz. sample bottles I made up. Aren't they adorable??? These are going out to the runners-up of the last Latherati challenge as little mini-surprises.
I have other exciting news to report that will have to wait until next time. It's big, it's personal and it'll allow me to really devote more of my time to Latherati. I've got jitters. Til then...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Soap - CLASSIC

This soap has been a long time in coming. I had the idea ages ago but it took me this long to perfect the scent. It was a touchy one and I'll tell you why...only those that get giddy walking into an old bookshop and picking up a vintage copy of Anna Karenina will appreciate this. I am one of those people and I know there are others out there. Did you know that there are a number of Facebook fan pages for those who love this smell???

Think cracked leather bindings, rich vanilla and a touch of eucalyptus...this is what an old book smells like. Trust me. I did the research.

From, "The pleasant aromatic smell is due to aromatic compounds emitted...vanilla-like, sweetly fragrant vanillin...the camphorous, oily and woody smell of books."

So, I am proud to present CLASSIC - the scent of an old book! Tell me what you think.

Friday, January 8, 2010

We have a WINNER !!!

The winner of the first Latherati Challenge of the year is...(drum roll please)....Heather.

She convinced me to read The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Here's the bit from her comment that really intrigued me:

"'ll find yourself having strange emotions, the kind that are difficult to identify. In the end you will understand the title, and I would bet that you'll never again forget it or the strange feeling or understanding it instills--the unbearable lightness of being."

Now, who isn't up for a few strange feelings to kick off the new year???"

Oooh, a spontaneous gesture of generosity just hit me! (and I'm always looking for ways to stockpile some good karma) I think it's only fair that the other 14 people rooting for this book should receive a little, I will send each of you a surprise package ;-)
(I'll email all of you shortly for your addresses)

**EDIT: I have no email address for katidyd, crachford, now, Voyager and jen - send me an email at with your address!**

Oh, and I wanted to tell you my favorite part of this challenge...I was excited to see all of you get inspired to pick up those abandoned books on your own bookshelves. If I could do one thing in this lifetime, it would be to give everyone the gift of love for literature.

Thank you all for playing and feel free to read along with me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Soap and a most precious Christmas gift

Three new batches are on the curing rack!
Sinister, inspired by Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Blue and black layers/swirls, it even looks sinister doesn't it? The scent: Fall pumpkins, black licorice, carnival cotton candy and a hint of spearmint. Amazing. I'm so happy with this one. This book is fantastic. I love Ray Bradbury's style and have another book scent of his in the works - Dandelion Wine.

Top: Longbourn, inspired by Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. This was for restocking. Honeysuckle and lemon, it's fresh and clean. This will be part of a new gift pack I'm working on of Jane Austen inspired soaps (along with Matchmaker and Barton Cottage).

Bottom: Celebration, inspired by The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Naturally colored soap with a light swirl of golden glamour. Think of the enchanting parties from The Great Gatsby. The scent: Champagne with just the slightest hint of sugared strawberries.


And the most precious gift of all...

Meet Olivia, born a few days before Christmas. This sweet little baby belongs to some friends of mine. She is darling, adorable, beautiful and every other synonym for absolutely loved.

Welcome to the world OLIVIA !!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2010 Challenge - Convince me! - CLOSED -

Welcome to the first challenge of the new year!!! The winner of this challenge will win two bars of handmade soap from Latherati (one inspired by the winning book and another of their choosing) as well as your choice of lip luster! On to the contest...

Abandoned books. Those books you start with the best of intentions, only to get to Chapter 2 and realize it's just not fitting to your mood at the moment. They are good books, great books even; you just need something a little lighter or maybe a little edgier.

You dog-ear page 53, close the cover and gingerly place it on your bookshelf, feeling a little bit of guilt and a touch of remorse. You eye the neighboring books on the shelf and realize that they, too, are of the abandoned book category. You tell them in a whisper that you will get back to them someday, you promise. When will that day come?

Well, for me, that day is coming soon! You, my dear reader, are going to convince me to finish one of my abandoned books! It's in your hands now...convince me which of these titles I should pick up off the shelf, dust its forlorn pages and delve into it with joy.

Are you up for it? Get ready, get set...convince me!

Should I read:
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

There! These are the titles sadly sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for their spines to be cracked.

Contest ends January 8, 2010, 9pm Eastern time. Be sure to leave your email address so I can notify you if you win.