Today is a cold fall-like day in the Northwoods. I have a fire going in the wood stove, a pot of artisan coffee brewin’ (Costa Rican), and a table full of handmade soap waiting to be wrapped up for sale. Next weekend is the Art Gypsies annual fall equinox art show, Art in the Yard in Land O’Lakes, WI. My contribution has always been handcrafted cold-process soap made with essential oils and other skin-lovin’ ingredients. Over the years, with the help and inspiration of the art gypsies, I have added bookmaking and collage. This is the second year I have added some hand knitted items as well. Wool had become an obsession lately. I have baskets full of it everywhere. Whatever my current obsession is seems to end up on my table at Art in the Yard. But my soap has always been a staple. This year I have: Mother Earth, a patchouli blend, Sweet Orange, a spicy, citrus blend, Eucalyptus, and Lavender and Tea Tree. I’ve been making soap for over ten years and I have watched the prices of my ingredients soar. Tallow has tripled in price, lye is almost impossible to buy because it is a key ingredient in making meth. If it wasn’t for a small local hardware store that knows me I would have to buy it on the internet and jump through all kinds of hoops to have it sent in the mail. The essential oils have always been expensive but there are fewer companies that offer it and the price has soared. The end result was, of course, raise my price per bar but I hated to do that. I want my soap to be enjoyed and used by everyone.
This week will be filled with the rest of the preparations.
We have two new additions this year. Dan Benicke, wood craft and Kathy Furda, stained glass, jewelry and lampworked beads.
Live music, homemade baked goods (free to our patrons!) and a campfire. More about that in part 2.
You never really know when the fall colors will appear but we all hope the trees add their artistic expression to the day.
Back to wrapping my soap and enjoying my coffee. I love fall!