Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Filberg Festival

Filberg LodgeBack in January, my Mother and I decided to apply for 'the cream' of all craft fairs in British Columbia (in our opinion).

Filberg GroundsThe annual four-day Filberg Festival is held each BC Day long weekend and features more than 120 artisans, great food and lively entertainment for all ages on the beautiful 9-acre waterfront Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park. Over 20,000 visitors came to the 2008 festival...this event is huge!

A Few Vendors BoothsEntry into the festival as an artisan is decided by a jury of volunteers from the Craft Association of British Columbia and industry professionals. The application process is quite involved and the number of applicants each year is very large.

Some of the entertainmentGuess what? Both my Mother and I were accepted and invited to attend as vendors for the 2009 show!!! We can't even begin to describe how excited we are. And the thought..."Oh goodness....I sure have a lot of work to do!" keeps running through my head. So much to do and so little time!!

This is really going to be a lesson in time management for me...and my Mother since I'm so like her!! I might just make myself up a schedule of daily duties to keep me focused.

I applied to the Festival under the Soap category..of course! My Mother entered in the most sought after category of all. Jewelry! Making the cut in this category is definitely a coup since the competition is brutal. But I'm not surprised that she did! Everything my Mother tackles, she does wholeheartedly. She always thoroughly studies what she attempts and then lets her creative talent take over. Here is a sampling of her lampwork jewelry.

Jane Perala Designs
Jane Perala Designs
Jane Perala Designs
Jane Perala DesignsHave a great day!!! It's time for me to get to work!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Keeping Busy

I've been slacking in terms of blogging. Here's a quick peak at what's been keeping me busy during Spring Break.

My son's room is finished (for now) and he's moved back in. You can see the nice laminate flooring he and I put in all by ourselves. It was recycled from another room where it had been incorrectly installed. The crown moldings and baseboard moldings aren't in yet but that will wait a little while.....I'm tired of being a handyman and would like to take a break from it.

The soap studio has now been expanded from this.......

and now includes this as well. Plenty of space to cut and package my soaps. Yeah!!

With the extra space, I was able to put up this lovely curing rack my Dad made for me. This rack, my curing closet and one of those cheap white pantry cupboards should be plenty of space to cure my soaps on for the two farmer's markets I'm in this year.

Speaking of which....it's time to go make more soap!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Demon Dog on the Rampage!

What the heck is wrong with this mutt you ask? Why is he walking on two legs and looking so 'gremlin' like? Probably because in this shot he is actually air born.

Brock loves games. Flashlights are wonderful! He tries to eat the little dot of light on the floor. Laser pointers are even better. This game however, involves balloons. Wonderful floaty, squeaky balloons.

The kids tied a balloon to a string and hung it from the ceiling. Then they let Brock at it. The balloon is so light that it bounces off his nose and is too big to get his mouth around.

So basically he jumps, whines, squeals, barks.....goes on a rampage and tries to eat the balloon. It's a great way to get a giggle and exercise the dog at the same time.

After 15 minutes of this, we gave Brock the balloon which he promptly popped. He then drank a full bowl of water and went to bed.....he was exhausted!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is in the Air!!

Okay, I agree....it's not much in the way of evidence that Spring has sprung but quite frankly, after more than 4 months of snow covered everything, I'll take it!! This picture is actually only a small portion of an approximately 4 foot span of grass.

The sun is shining and the grass is emerging. Warm and wonderfully flower filled days are right around the corner. I can't wait.

In honour of this coming season, I've redecorated this blog with Springtime. I've also made a few soaps that have a Spring feel to them. These are pictures of what's new and curing on my shelves. They'll be ready around mid April.

Peach Mango Handmade Jovia Soap
Peach Mango Handmade Jovia Soap

Clean Cotton Handmade Jovia Soap
Clean Cotton Handmade Jovia Soap

Tropical Green Tea Handmade Jovia Soap
Tropical Green Tea Handmade Jovia Soap

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day Shopping Spree

The kids are modelling their new purchases from our fun Saint Patrick's day shopping spree. They were in need of some new clothes....darn offspring keep growing! I think I might just stop feeding them since they are getting much too expensive.

You know that 'family bonus' the government gives you? The one based on income and the child's age. Who in all their wisdom came up with the idea that children under 7 are more expensive that teenagers? Someone without kids I guess.

But I digress....

Our shopping day began at 8:30 in the morning and was a little rocky to start. Crabby kids squabbling about who gets 'shotgun'...you know...the front seat of the truck! Good grief! I almost lost it right there. Like who cares when each gets to sit in the front? It's not like they won't get a turn.

This grumpiness lasted until the boring shopping was taken care of. The Superstore purchases...food in other words.

Once we hit the Kelowna mall though, everything was sunshine and roses. Of course it was...that's when the shopping became all about them! We found the most amazing sales on clothes. Makes the long drive worth it. Most of the items were less than half the price of our limited selection at home.

Once our feet were too tired to continue we went for lunch at Milestones restaurant. Much better than food court food and more relaxing. After our lovely lunch we headed home. Two hours of virtual silence. Shopped out teens tend to be quiet. It was lovely.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the two of them for the rest of Spring Break!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Think Before You Speak!

Thought I'd share with you one of my "life's most embarrassing moments".

When I was about 20 years old, I worked in a local grocery store as a cashier. This was back before scanners were popular and our store didn't have any. Often, items would be without a price tag and you would have to call for a price check. The system at this store was one of those that projected your voice throughout the entire store, stockrooms, offices, bathrooms, lunchroom....basically everywhere.

When doing a price check it is advisable to think carefully about what you are going to say and to make sure you pronunciate your words properly.

On this particular busy day I was 'in the zone'. Tons of customers and I was having no problem keeping up. Perfectly good day, really.

Until this particular item came through and I had to call for that price check. Did I slow down and think first, run what I was going to say through my head just to make sure I got it right....heck no! I just picked up the intercom and jumped right in.

Here is what I said "Could I please have a price check on 'Country Cock' margarine?"

I groaned as soon as I realized what I had said and then hung up the intercom in complete embarrassment. The store was very quiet for about 10 seconds and then the laughter started...not just one or two people but I swear the whole store, staff and customers alike all started to laugh until it seemed everyone was enjoying themselves at my expense.

I was about 12 shades redder but thankfully still able to smile and chuckle while waiting for my 'price check' to arrive. And yes, I was the butt of many a joke for some time after.

To this day I still seem to have trouble with talking too quickly and saying the wrong things but at least I'm not anywhere near an intercom that will announce my humiliating mistakes to the rest of the world.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hairdressing Isn't My Thing

I was reading Mary Moore's blog Holy Mackerel yesterday about the lopsided haircut she gave her husband and it reminded me of one such haircut I gave to my own husband.

It was at least 4 months ago and every time I think of it I still start to giggle. Not very nice, I know, but it was sooo very funny.

My husband often likes to use the electric trimmer to basically shave his hair quite short. Not bald but about 3/4 inch long. He sometimes gets me to help him out, especially with trimming the back of his head and neck.

This particular time I had some things on my mind and I was preoccupied. My husband asked me to shorten up the back and passed me the trimmer. It had the 3/4 inch guard on it and I trimmed away while talking about what was bothering me. Once that was done I left him to go do something....can't remember what.

Anyways, he called me back to help him finish up by trimming up the back of his neck and this is where I really wasn't paying attention. When he passed me the trimmer I was still talking and carrying on and I ran the trimmer straight up the back of his head.

That's when it dawned on me....oh god....the 3/4 inch guard wasn't there anymore and I've just buzzed a 2 inch bald stripe up the back of his head. The room was very silent for the next minute. Do you know there are times when one minute is very, very long?

My next reaction was to burst into loud, uncontrollable, hiccuping laughter! The kind I haven't experienced since...well...I can't even remember. I'm desperately trying to explain myself to my husband through the laughter but not much is getting out. Thankfully, all he did was start to laugh as well, though he wasn't laughing at his hair. He was laughing at me and the hysterical state I was in.

Here we both are almost peeing ourselves in the bathroom, tears running down our faces, hair all over the floor, kids staring at us like we've flipped and all I could think was "I sure love this guy."

Once we had ourselves under control, we shaved the rest off and my poor husband had to go teaching without hair. He was such a good sport about it....even now when it comes up and I start laughing again he doesn't get mad but just smiles and shakes his head. And he still gets me to trim his hair...though he does make sure I'm paying attention and explains exactly what he wants done.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Honey Handmade Jovia Soap

My mother is on my case complaining that "Enough with Bambie...write something new!"

Lately I've had a case of blogger's block.....or perhaps it's just that nothing remotely exciting has occurred in my life.

I look outside and yup, it's still cold and white out there so I haven't had any outdoor adventures. Cooking hasn't had any appeal for me. My diet, well, let's not go there since I didn't! My kids are being good so nothing to report there. I've got nothing to say....

I lied about nothing exciting happening. Well maybe not since it's exciting to me but probably not to you. :) Earlier in February I sent in an application for a Farmer's Market in Armstrong, BC. It's about 45 minutes away from my house and is held on Saturdays. I got accepted and the first market is on April 25.

The pictures above and below are of the first larger batch of soap I have made in a long time. It's 40 bars which is quite a bit bigger than the 10 bar batches of late. This soap is a simple one. Scented with a honey fragrance and decorated with the honeycomb design. The scent is unbelievable! Very edible smelling.

I'm going to be very busy for the next while. I need to make lots and lots of soap. A table, sign and tent need to be purchased. My display needs to be figured out. And of course I will have to make all the labels for the soap as well. Yikes!! I only have 6 weeks to get it all done and four of them are for curing the soap. That leaves 2 weeks to make the soap!

I think I had better get back to work.....see ya!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Playing Hooke

This morning started out like most other mornings. I got up at 6:30 and put the kettle on for tea. Let the dog out and started to prepare his breakfast. Let the dog in and fed him. Took my tea down to the computer and goofed off for about 1/2 hour while I woke up.

And then things started to go a little differently. When I asked my husband to call me this afternoon, his answer was....."Yes, you can come with me today." Huh?

I had grand intentions of tackling that fun job called income taxes and playing Hooke wasn't on my agenda at all. When I asked my husband what on earth he was talking about, he just looked at me and started to play video games. I think he likes seeing me off balance and completely confused. I'm sure he silently chuckles to himself while I babble on asking question after question. "Where are we going?"..."What are we doing?"...."You want me to come with you?"

After receiving 'nil' in terms of a proper answer, I figured, what the heck....taxes aren't really that fun anyway and went for my shower. We were on the road by about 8:45 and heading to Kelowna, which is about 2 hours south of our home in Sicamous. Turns out he needed to finish up a bid he was doing and wanted my lovely company. Awwwwe. Gotta love that.

On our journey through the back roads of Kelowna we saw some wildlife. Aren't they gorgeous? I bet we saw about 20 deer today.

We also saw some interesting houses. An adobe style home is pretty much out of place up here but looked cool.

We liked this new subdivision of summer cottages that's being built here. Needs some trees but the homes are sure cute and colorful....and I love color.

The scenery was quite lovely too. Some areas still had plenty of snow, while others were looking ready for spring.

All in all, I had a wonderful day with my husband. Finally getting to spend a little quality time together. Of course those taxes are still waiting for me.

I wonder if my husbands employers would consider hiring me on as his side kick? You know, like a portable secretary. That would be cool....getting paid to spend time with my husband!! Lol....I'd probably drive him crazy!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Profound Words from a Child

Severn Suzuki gave this speech to world leaders at 1992's UN Earth Summit when she was 12 years old. I completely missed it. How sad.

In 1992 I was a self absorbed 24 year old....not much has changed really, except my age and my circle of absorption includes family. This child who was half my age felt so passionate about our planet that she was able to get up in front of the most powerful people in this world and tell them what a crappy job they were doing. Wow!!

Time to re-evaluate how I manage my little world and see what small things I can do to make a difference.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Jovia Handmade Soaps for March

February has been a busy month. Between my son's room being redone, making soap, bookkeeping for taxes, applying for shows, my website, my family, this blog and life in general, I've had so much to do that I sometimes feel lost.

You know those days where the number of things to do is so long that you get stuck and end up accomplishing nothing? I think I need to start making a 'to do' list and just try to take one thing off of it each day. Maybe that way I won't feeling like I'm drowning. You should see my house....kidding....it's such a mess you don't actually want to see it. The only organized spot is my soap room. The rest has piles of stuff that needs to be put away. And dusted!! I hate dusting....I need a dusting fairy. :)

I did manage to get a few things done last month...my bookkeeping is mostly done, I made some new soaps, my son's room is painted (though not finished) and I've applied for markets and a summer show.

Now I need to make labels, design some more new soaps, do my husbands bookkeeping, finish my son's room....I think I'll stop there since that's quite a bit of work already. Time to stop overwhelming myself.

Here's a little sneak peak at some of the new soaps that will become available for purchase in my Etsy shop this month.

Vanilla MacaroonVanilla Macaroon Handmade Jovia Soap

Surf's UpSurf's Up Handmade Jovia Soap

PunkinPeachPunkinPeach Handmade Jovia Soap

Mountain LaurelMountain Laurel Handmade Jovia Soap

Margarita VilleMargarita Ville Handmade Jovia Soap

Mango Mai TaiMango Mai Tai Handmade Jovia Soap

Hippie Hippie ShakeHippie Hippie Shake Handmade Jovia Soap

FrangipaniFrangipani Handmade Jovia Soap

AcaimarettoAcaimaretto Handmade Jovia Soap

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And February's Winner is.....

Contest Machine has drawn a winner for the Champagne & Roses and the Oak & Ivy bars of Jovia Handmade Soaps.

The winner is...... Karin Aaberg of Tenstrike, Minnesota!

Congratulations Karin! Your soaps will be shipped via Canada Post tomorrow.