Friday, November 30, 2007

Sac Town's Got Craft

What are you doing this week-end? Really? Well, you might just change your plans when we tell you that Sacramento Craft Mafia is hosting Indie Sacramento tomorrow! Oh yeah!

Our crafty sisters in our capitol city are pleased and proud to be hosting Sacramento's largest Alternative/Indie Craft Faire. It's their first show of this kind, so let's give them some warm California love and support.

They've got some fabulous sponsors,entertainment and of course, it goes without saying, crafty vendors. Go girls! So what are you waiting for? Get the motor running. Pop by my favorite Tower cafe for some lunch and a drink and head over to the faire. It would be a 'capitol' offense not to pop by and say hello to the girls that probably have had very little shut-eye the past few weeks trying to organize the show. It promises to be a fabulous one!

Good luck Ladies, we'll be cheering you on!

Indie Sacramento
Saturday, December 1st

YWCA of Sacramento
1122 17th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

* At the corner of 17th & L Streets

Slumgullion -It's What's for Dinner

Sluhm-guhl-lee-yuhn- noun. 1.Irish slang for a thin watery stew. Leftovers. 2. California Gold Rush fare. 3. Great Grandmother Cottle's ironic term of endearment for leftovers.

o we've pretty much got our cook book
recipes gathered from folks in the community and our craft mafia. Now the real fun begins! I'm knee deep in Christmas party invite design right now, but the cook book is on the back-burner so to speak until I find a few extra hours to make it into a real book! But I promise to have this ready by early next year, famiglia honor.

As a teaser recipe, I'm submitting a fun version of a recipe that my great-grandmother Kathrin Cottle, summed or should I say "slummed" up as "Slumgullion."

Kathrin Cottle, aka KaKa (pronounced KayKay), my mother's maternal grandmother, was quite a go-getter. She originally came from the Sacramento area, and her father was a very prominent attorney for the rich folks of the great Sacramento valley.

Kathrin and her sister Helen, lost their own mother to cancer when she was still a young girl. Kathrin was the most profound and prolific seamstress you'd ever want to meet. She could sew anything and everything. Wedding gowns, complicated Vogue ensembles from the jacket, hat and the matching bag. Her attention to detail was incredible.

I have several of Kathrin's outfits, such as the red silk mandarin collared pantsuit that actually fits me, even though it's a bit short on me as Kathrin was quite petite as you can see by her photo. The other photo of the adorable bride is her daughter, my great aunt Ginny. Ginny worked on the San Jose Mercury for several years. Ginny was an Irish pistol! Isn't she gorgeous? And unlike her mother Kathrin, a major gourmet cook. But more about Ginny another time. This is about Kathrin.

She was an enviable creative who could make anything. Including that wedding dress she made for her daughter that you see in the photos. Two summers ago now, I toured the house in Loomis that she and Warren built in 1933. It was up for sale for the first time in almost 70 years, and the second owner knew my grandparents whom they bought the house from quite well.
The house was amazing, sort of tudor castle meets rustic craftsman. The outside decking was all built around trees. River rock and high beams, dark wood everywhere made up the house. Goth rustic.

During the depression that hit everyone so hard, Kathrin and Warren were forced to sell off a good bit of the land they owned in Granite Bay and Loomis. Quite a bit! Money was tight for everyone, but they made it through the darkness that left some people destitute and penniless. Touring the Loomis house, my cousin Pat, who often stayed with Kathrin and Warren pointed out the gorgeous and delicate amber colored lights along the dark corridor.

"KaKa made those, they ran out of money so she pretty much made every thing herself." said Pat. And Lord, those lamps were gorgeous.

The house, which was custom built my grandparents, had been sold only once to some family friends who were doctors. It was then passed down to the woman who was the daughter and currently selling it on the market. It was such a pleasure touring the old house that KaKa and Warnie had lovingly built as a young couple, in love, troubled times and with three spirited and gorgeous daughters.

And those lights KaKa had made ...were still there after over seventy years. That's how beautiful they were.

The house needed about 2 million dollars worth of work to put it back into it's original condition again. I would have loved to have bought it. Not in my budget.

The wonderful woman who owned it, told us that as family we were welcome to take whatever we wanted in the house before it was sold. I wanted those lights, but I felt they really belonged to the amazing house. I hope the new owners kept them up.

My mother's mother Patricia, Ginny's eldest sister died, when my mother was just seven years of age. My mother would sometimes stay with her grandmother Kathrin, not at the Loomis house, but at the house in Santa Clara, which was a large old Victorian. My mother could hear the upstairs floor creaking in the old house because Kathrin had a habit of getting-up at 6 a.m. and doing her round of calisthenics every morning. She would then gussie up and head down the stairs to cook a proper breakfast.

They were a well-known family in Santa Clara and very busy socially. So, while Kathrin cooked well enough; i.e., efficient, she was no gourmand. She was a tiny thing, as you can see by her photo. Warnie, my great-grandfather, used to call her "My little China Doll."

Though I remember G-Grandmother Kathrin best for her always making my sister and I mint-chip ice cream cones when we made trips down to the bay area of Santa Clara. I'm told that Kathrin occasionally made a dish she jokingly referred to as Slumgullion.

Slumgullion was her reference to whatever was left over. Kathrin was Irish, Dutch and French, and the French believe and have a knack for using what you have to make something delicious. Sort of creative recycling in the kitchen so to speak. I like this concept. I'm sure my great-grandmother KaKa's creative verions of Slumgullion helped my grandparents through the Depression years.

So I'm sharing my version of Slumgullion with you. Hopefully we will never have to experience another depression such as this country has before. Kathrin used whatever was in her larder or fridge. I find myself doing the same and didn't realize this Slumgullion tradition of mine was a family trait. I guess we like 'slumming' it in my family! ;-)

Kathrin Cottle's 'Slumgullion'

Open fridge take a peek,Dark and cavernous is it?

Use any combo of leftovers that your mind can dream up.

Ground beef?
Can of corn or frozen green beans?
Can of some kind of condensed soup?

Great! Now get to work and serve it all piping hot over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Garnish with grated parmigiano cheese.

Bon apetit!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stick em' up Crafty Christmas Tree

Okay, you can come out now, we've put away our pistols, and we at the Petaluma Craft Mafia prefer glue guns over the other variety anyway. (Don't they add a wee bit of 'bella mafiosa' drama)? If I were a gun lover I can tell you, my pistol would be red, shiny and loaded with glitter. My ammunition would be shooting chocolate red foil hearts. Dangerous, only if you're a chocoholic.

We've been gussying up our little Christmas tree, and decided we really need to get some ornaments going. we decided on a PCM color-themed tree of sunset red, grey, white and black. Hmm, maybe some black&white photos of us crafty mafia eating bowls of pasta? Hmm. I think I'm getting hungry.

Our tree is looking a bit sinister, crafty-sinister that is, and just the way we like it. Maybe a few eyeball ornaments, and chopped off fingers of our foes? Naww, too messy. Plus, we haven't any foes. I like the idea of hanging mini plastic chickens too, this is Petaluma after all.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A glitch in my stitch

I love vintage needlework and stiching. The patterns and quality of expression are difficult to find today. Though many of the old patterns have been brought back in reproductions ready to stitch to pillows, fabric to be framed, pillowcases, linens, bags, you name it. Today, there are some crafters such as Jenny Hart at Sublime Stitching, and Subversive Cross Stitch that have won my heart, with their own delightful, charming and hip patterns. If you are not a stitcher, or are a "Sunday Stitcher" such as myself, the patterns available today may just convert you into giving stitchery a try.

About a year ago last summer, while visiting my parents, my mom felt well enough to do some antiquing with me, something we used to do together when I was a teenager. We popped into a store in Shasta City and I came across a pair of vintage pillow cases edged in lace at the opening, and embroidered with a happy and slightly kitschy nature scene of bluebirds, deer and flora. They were in pretty good condition, and the fabric was buttery soft, which told me they had been washed a lot. I wish I knew who stitched them and when. Was it a new bride? Someone who stitched to while away the hours? They took very good care of them, despite the fact they had been gently used over the years.

I've put these to good use, and it seems that soft fabric, has finally given a bit, wear has turned to small and larger tears in the cotton fabric of the pillowcase. One pilowcase is beyond repair as the fabric has long tears and has grown too soft and thin. What to do? I've been careful about washings, but maybe I shouldn't have used these for my everyday pillowcases. It's just that I believe things should be somewhat functional as well as beautiful. I have too many pretty little things that go unused, that I've made a resolution to either use it, sell it or give it away. So, these pillowcases are well-loved and well-used.

The stitching is holding up admirably. I figured the stitching would be the first thing to show wear. So, I'm trying to figure out how to salvage the stitching on the pillowcases. I may have to ask Dee for some advice and remedy for this one. Maybe make it into a bag? Another pillowcase? I just don't know. I know there are people who can do wonders with restoration of stitched pieces that are no longer supported by their fabric foundation.

Any stitching wizards out there have any suggestions? I'd hate to toss these lovely cases.

I guess I loved these too much!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Petaluma Crafty

All that rain dancing I've been doing for weeks must have finally done the trick! I meant to post this blog yesterday, but alas, my posting fingers were otherwise occupied. But we've needed the rain desperately. I wish we could send some to the southeast too. They might want to consider hiring me out for rain dancing now, before I'm totally booked-up!

Running around town yesterday like a chicken with her head cut off, (not an uncommon sight in our buttery poultry filled land of Petalumaville), I couldn't help but notice it seemed everyone was driving erratic, I saw an almost head on collision at a four-way stop, and one man got out of a car and confronted a woman who was making, uh, hand gestures. Then, whilst shopping at one of my favorite stores, two of my favorite store shopkeepers had um, 'words' with each other over something really silly while I was at the register, and overall just a lot of strange tension in the air yesterday. Both of the store employees later separately apologized to me for acting that way in front of a customer, but what struck me was how this was so out of character for both of them. We all are human and have bad days, but a lot of it all over town yesterday. Whew! I couldn't wait to get home and back to work!

Usually a full moon can bring this out in some folks, I actually like full moons myself. I notice aberrant behavior in the general public when it's been unusually windy for several days in a row. People drive selfishly and are more abrupt with each other. I read about a wind in France, I believe it is called the "Maestro" that comes every year right on schedule, and howls unrelentingly for about a month. The French say they see a dramatic increase in acts of violence, relationships ending, break-up of marriages and suicides during this time of year. The crazy, moaning wind literally pushes the human psyche over the edge.

Interestingly enough, I'm not a big fan of long windy days and can feel unusually sensitive on these days. Rain is different. It's soothing somehow, and I've been hoping for rain for weeks, and unlike some Petaluman's, I had a great day yesterday, (the new moon in Scorpio must agree with me!). I wondered if what we needed was a good rain to wash away and cleanse accumulated gunk on the landscape as well as the accumulated stuff that gets clogged in the human subconscious, making everyone cranky and unkind. Everyone needed a good drink! I believe the weather affects us in ways psychologically that we may not consciously be aware of. Sorry, I'm an old psych major. Several weeks of sameness in weather isn't good either. I think we need a change of seasons.

So, I asked for rain yesterday, and got it today! Thanks for listening Ms. Mother Nature.
A full agenda today, but I really wanted to get out in the rain, and if just for a bit and check out Luchessi Park Community Center's Craft Fair, and maybe photograph some of the wonderful crafty offerings. I had never been to this particular craft fair. I couldn't help but notice my fellow Petaluman's seemed noticeably relaxed today and jovial with each other, I knew the rain would do the trick. A balm for a stressed out psyche.

If you haven't been to the Community Center Craft Faire, you really ought to check it out. I found some great offerings at the craft faire and even got a few photos to prove it. What I noticed immediately was how huge this show is, and still managed to have plenty of diversity in offerings. Being a candle kind of gal, I fell in love with Charlee's Candles. Charlee pours her own candles which are made with 30% beeswax and burn longer and cleaner than paraffin candles. Beeswax is becoming mighty scarce with our shortage of bees, so I grabbed a bag full of her votives such as pomegranate, vanilla orange and " sin" at a bargain, and Charlee threw one in for free. Her scents are wonderful, some are subtle and you can detect the warm sweet undertones of honey scent in all of them. Not an obnoxious scent in the entire collection. Charlee is from Chico, and is a complete doll. She also pours critter candles, such as the sweetest smelling skunk you can ever hope to find, and will keep you well-lit and scented through those chilly autumn evenings. When you pop by and say hello, you will find that Charlee has that charm that many women in the south have, everyone, regardless of their name is "honey."

And of course, I couldn't go to the crafty fair without saying hello to one of the sweetest gals in Petaluma, Mrs. Erica Burns-Gorman (Our Lady of the Market) who was working the concession stand. She and Anne Sibbaluca were selling hot coffees, the yummiest nutmeg and blueberry scones along with Anne's famous galettes. Hey crafters and crafty shoppers work up an appetite you know! You all know Anne from the Farmer's Market, right? Those scones, galettes, will make a strong man weep with joy. The Petaluma Craft Mafia is just gonna have to have her bake for one of our up and coming shows.

Now, I don't know about you, but food and craft go hand in hand, and we couldn't resist the many gourmet offerings and picked up a jar of homemade blackberry jam, from Jody's Jams. Tastes like I just picked the fresh berries, and we plan to spread the jam on Anne's scones tomorrow for breakfast!

We wended our way around the maze of craft offerings, and truly with all the crafty diversity, there is something for everyone. Another craft vendor who should be pointed out is the Cutting Edge, a husband and wife team who photograph and create gorgeous fine art prints of nature. They almost look like paintings. The cutting edge also offer angora, silk and cashmere scarves, and hats, as well as some gorgeous wool rugs. They are cozy and lovely.

We met the friendly and down to earth folks at D&G Designs, who create the coolest gourds you ever did see. I've always loved gourd art, because each gourd is so unique, and grows from the earth. It's what you do with that gourd and it's unique shape and personality that makes gourd art so special. D & G Designs, here in Petaluma, have gourds for tree ornaments, containers for your personal belongings, and gorgeous decorative gourds for your autumn decorating or holiday table. I fell in love with the apple gourds, (see photo). The shape is just like an apple, hence the name, these apple gourds are housed in a sublime bowl made from a very enormous gourd, which is rare according to D & G, because once gourds get to this size, they generally split and crack, due to the volume of liquid. So they are a bit rare. Unfortunately, the large gourd bowl is not for sale, as D&G Designs are very attached to it, but you can take home the apples and arrange them for display in your own decorative platter.

Can't get enough craft? The show goes through Sunday, and you owe it to yourself to get out, grab some coffee and a few fresh baked goods for nourishment, and shop till you drop!

Did I mention the holidays are around the corner? I saw the first Christmas lights of the season this evening. Thanksgiving hasn't even stepped out the back door yet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stitch it Good!

When a problem comes along,
you must stitch it,
Before the cream sets out too long,
you must stitch it,
No one gets away
until they stitch it,
I say stitch it,
Stitch it Good!

-(hint- for best results, must be sung along to Devo's 'Whip it!')

Y'all listen up, Stitch Austin 2007 is here in just four short days! I've been thinking about Stitch for months, and everytime that Devo song pops into my head.

You hipsters already know about Stitch. And lucky you, I believe you can still get tickets. Stitch Fashion Show and Guerilla Craft Bar in Austin just keeps getting bigger every year, hey, it is Texas after all. It's getting such a big following that the Stitch folks had to change their venue, because the seams were threatening to burst. Stitch Austin, promises to be a great year for all Indie fashion mavens, hip crafty craftsters, and those who just wanna be on the scene and find one of a kind crafts and gifts for the holidays to suit the discriminating tastes of your dear ones. It takes a whole lotta energy to put on a show, especially one with a following and reputation as Stitch.

November 10th, the red carpets roll out for some of the wildest, coolest threads, handmade from talented hands across the good ol' USA, and its'a all happening in the best little town in Texas, which everyone knows is Austin, home of the legendary Bluebird Cafe and some of the best music going in the world. (Whew! Where is my prize for the world's longest run-on sentence?) And I don't have to tell you about Austin's world famous cuisine, including the best Tex-Mex east of the border. Chuy's anyone?

Jessy, Jen and the rest of our gorgeous and twangy Texas famiglia are putting on a helluva show this year. Okay, they're not that twangy, not like we were in Georgia, but hey this is my blog and I if I want my Texas gals to be twangy, why can't they be? The Austin famiglia puts a lot of thought and planning, and a few sweat and tears into each show. Lots of great music, food, fashion and craft. My friend Queen Puff Puff will be there with her gorgeous, girly hand bags, (Hey Nicole!) Nicole is gonna have a great time at Stitch. Have you all seen her bags? Audrey Hepburn meets Valley of the Doll's Jacqueline Susann, very tres vampilicious. Just the thing for holiday soirees and the prettiest bag under the christmas tree. We're getting together some Petaluma Craft Mafia swag for her to take to the capitol of Texas and dispense to those longing for a taste of Petaluma Craft Mafia and our fair city.

And speaking of bags, the goodie bags at the Stitch show make me green with envy. Blue Q, (I heart gnome lip balm and have worn mine down to a stub), Sublime Stitching, Ach Ach Liebling. And this year's sponsors are tops, Venus, Bust, Beauty Bar to name a few.

Actually, I'm tired of name dropping already now. I'm just feeling a little green. Yeah, uh-huh with envy I think. But maybe next year Petaluma Craft Mafia will go to Stitch! Until then, I think some of my crafty famiglia across the country will be mosying on down to Austin to drink in the festivities and feast their eyes on the fashion and crafts and participate as well.

The Petaluma Craft Mafia, are going to produce our very own 'Stitch Petaluma' Show in the future. Artists, crafters, models, make-up people and of course crafty designers, you know you are being summoned. We might use the Phoenix for our show. Still looking for a venue. If you want to be on our mailing list for events as a partcipant, vendor, or volunteer send me an e-mail.

If you are a crafty fashion designer or crafty business person, wanting to get your own business together, Stitch has a fabulous grant for doing just that. So get together your business plan and your faboo ideas and send it to Stitch. You never know until you try. A percentage of the proceeds go to charitable foundations such as the Lupus Foundation.

So, what are you waiting for? Fly the friendly skies, or hit the highway for Stich with a mason jar full of texas tea in style - that would be in a open-topped, ol' red and shiny caddy with bull horns for a hood ornament. Hey, at least that's the way I'd arrive in Texas. So you think they'd let me over the border in that kind of rig?

The Austin Convention Center
500 E Cesar Chavez St / 78701/ exhibit hall one

4:00 p.m. doors open -fashion show at 9:30 p.m.

And remember, it's not too late to Stitch it, Stitch it good!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Splish Splash - The making of a Sea Siren

The tale of the Mermaid, or in this case "Sirena", Anna Crosby's insouciant sea siren on the packaging for Siren Suds bath products. Anna first approached me about designing her packaging several months ago. Truth be told, it was more like a few years ago. But I was busy, and a bit reluctant at the time. She was making bodylicious bath salts, lotions and soaps and other assorted potions, and was using chilly ol' cello bags and muslin for her packaging. Not sexy.

I cannot tell you how it hurt me to watch her put her beautiful products in boring, sterile packaging that did nothing to stir the imagination or represent how great the product and the person behind it is.

Sometimes when you're a designer you get approached by every neighbor and friend, including those you didn't know you had, to design this site for them, or that logo, label, poster, cousin's bar mitzvah invitations, you name it. Sometimes this can lead to a designer doing all kinds of free work or with little compensation, but lots of headaches, revisions and ultimately resentment. No fun at all, especially since I love my work. Certainly not the girl with the most cake.

Graphic designers have bills to pay like anyone else, you know. So, I've always been very resistant to getting roped into doing that for loved ones even when they offer to pay handsomely. But, it's not easy saying no, and sometimes I literally have to zip my mouth when I see something I know can be designed lovely and I want to do it for a loved one. Sometimes I end up roping myself into a project. But, I'm getting better at saying, "no."

I went to a design conference few years ago in Las Vegas. One of the guest speakers was a fancy, schmancy designer whose client list was deep and impressive. After a few years of heartache and headache mostly on her end, she quit cold turkey doing any design work for friends or family. Zero. Zilch. "It's simply not worth risking the relationship over." she said. And some were her best paying clients.

To the pedestrian non-designer, that may sound dramatic or even harsh, but I assure you, having been there myself, I understand her decision completely. Design is an intensely personal field of work to get into. Certainly to the client, but none more so then to the designer. It can be a lot of work. It's different than art in that you are attempting to capture the viewers attention aesthetically, but complicated because unlike art, you also have to communicate a message as well, and communicate it effectively or the whole project is a loss for your client. I can't afford to miss the mark by expressing myself the way an artist is free to do, I must also tell the story and communicate the message.

Effective design is what makes the world spin, that and of course love and good chocolate. But design is heart, soul, brain, emotions, intellect, and a designer has a lot of responsibility on their shoulders to do this and tell the story well. At least that's how I view design, it's telling a story visually and with the senses. And the average person's attention span is pretty short and the product on the shelf deep, which is one more challenge designers face. Most of us don't get paid enough for how many hours we bill a client, compared to how many hours and sweat and tears we might have really put into the project. And if the client is a pain in the arse, gauranteeing you'll double your billable hours and headaches, most designers, the wise ones, will factor in the "pita" percentage in to their quote. Fair is fair.

Look around you. Everything in your environment, from the steering wheel in your hands to the road sign in front of you, to the label on your coffee cup has been created by a designer. I believe a good designer can change the world for the better.

Now our Anna, is sly. You have to watch those Tauruses (Taureans)? She has watched me over the last few years starting my design gig and so has a good idea of the challenges the designer can face. One day I get a phone call from a person who claims they have a line of bath products and need a logo and branding for packaging the product. After a few qualifying questions, I agree to meet with the person to discuss. We meet, and I agree to take on the project and we go over time lines, specs and budget.

The client is very agreeable and accommodating. I tell the new client about my friend Anna who also happens to make bath products. My client does not know Anna. At this point, my suspicions have not yet been alerted. Until, one day my "client" brings me some product to sample for packaging, and my first red flag is raised, that and the fact that my "client" seems strangely removed from the process and a little bit ignorant about her own product. Now Anna and I have actually formulated some of her products together, and some of the scents were so much like Anna's I began to think the client had bought some of Anna's products and tried to reproduce them. But, I brushed aside my stray thoughts.

That night while drifting off, (which is when I get my best ideas, and so I keep a pad of paper by my nightstand for this purpose), the sea siren name and mermaid popped into my head. My new client had mentioned that the sea was her inspiration, with as little additives or preservatives as possible. I pop on the light and furiously make a rough sketch, and jot a few notes. I turn off the light, always amazed at the way the creative process works for me, I can picture a product fully designed or at least concepted before dozing off. Some claim to get their best ideas in the shower, but mine are in bed.

That night, I had a dream about Anna, who in my dream was a beautiful mermaid decked out in sea swank and pearly metallics. She was trying to avoid me for some reason, and acted a little guilty which is not like Anna at all. Before I woke up she swam up to me and thanked me, very happy and peaceful. Anna is always thankful for her good friends and the many blessings in her life, and she is generally very peaceful, but the dream and her behavior struck me as odd. When I woke up, it hit me, and I suddenly knew my "client" and Anna were one in the same.

The next day, I decided to toy with my client a bit, who had just paid me all but the final third of our agreed upon fee. I questioned her about the ingredients, and the process behind her bath creations which seemed to make her very nervous. I called Anna that evening and told her about my idea for the branding and doing an illustration of a mermaid for my bath product client. She loved it!

"I knew you would, I told her, which is a good thing since you're paying for it!" Long silence on the other end of the line.

"She told you?"

"No, I figured it out." I told Anna about the dream I'd had. She confessed she'd hired her neighbor's daughter's friend, who was studying acting to be the "client", because she felt bad about asking me to be her designer, yet she couldn't see anybody else doing the design for her bath products.

I was touched she went to all that trouble.We both laugh about it now.

So, that's the story of how "Siren Suds" was born. Truth be told, had I known it was Anna, I would have gone for something a little more organic and elegant, knowing this is a look that Anna usually goes for. And eventually we may go with another product line that is a bit different than Siren Suds. Anna is formulating a scrub, called "Siren Scrub." We have all been Anna's guinea pigs for product testing. Anna does not use guinea pigs or any animals for product testing! Just friends and family. I liked her last version of Siren Scrub, which had a cinnamon, gingery, mandarin and almond cookie scent. Dee liked it okay, and Anna's other testers seemed to dig it. Steve, aka, "Himself", detested it. Really the first time he's had a negative reaction to any of Anna's products.

Sometimes this happens in the perfume, bath product world. One tester likes, even loves a product, the other has a strong negative reaction. You try to qualify why, and then decide do you take it back to drawing board or go with it? Anna decided to change a few things because while we all liked the new scrub scent, none of us loved it. And Anna, like me is always looking for the "love" factor. Otherwise it's just not worth producing.

The Siren Scrub is a departure from her salts, lotions and soaps, but I think we'll keep the same label to keep costs low, and color code it in a vampier red.

I'm a big fan of mists. I love spritzing them on my face throughout the winter and summer. I'm trying to talk Anna into formulating some fruit or herbal mists for the face. "Siren's Spray" ... kind of has a nice ring to it. Stay tuned!

P.S. Happy Birthday Scorpios .. some of my favorite people! And Happy Birthday to "Himself," my sweet man and Petaluma Craft Mafia's official long suffering product tester.