Piles and Piles of Soap

I cannot believe summer has swooshed by like that. In my world it was only about 3 weeks ago that it was May and I was thinking, “Ah, the best time of the year…a whole bunch of warm weather to look forward to…lots and lots of it.” And here it is mid-October, and nighttime temperatures have fallen drastically, reminding me that there’s something very false about the warm fall afternoons we are having. I should be grateful that summer lasted this long rather than dying away in late August the way it usually does. But my toes and fingers never get enough of that nice warm sunshine, and I hate to see it go.

I began doing serious soapmaking last month. It seemed like sales were down a little at farmers’ markets this summer, but somehow my shelves were looking pretty bare. Over the last two months, I have made about 325 lb. of soap, and have another couple hundred I could make. I’d rather wait until spring, so everything is fresh and new when the markets open up, but with holidays coming up and wholesale sales all through the winter, I cannot afford to get too low.

I’ve been gratified to have many of my faithful customers from farmers’ markets approach me about gifts for Christmas, so I’ve been putting together gift packages and taking them to market as well. I figure we have another three weeks or so before it gets uncomfortably cold, and then it will be holiday festivals to look forward to.

I had an inspiration for this year’s Christmas soap. This is a one-time-only soap where I can get crazy and pull out the stops. So a couple weeks ago I hit the soap laboratory and came up with “Christmas Rose.” It is a beautiful, delicate combination of rose and lavender with a pale pink swirl.

At any rate, my shelves are starting to fill up again and that always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. (I’m easy…it doesn’t take much!)