Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to All!

Gosh....2007 went so FAST, it really has me a bit scared that either my world is spinning quicker, or I'm not slowing down enough to smell the roses! I think in part, I just have too many things I want to/have to do all the time, ...some are have-to-dos, a lot is ambition, but it all makes the time go TOO quick!

I really want to thank all of our wonderful customers who allow me to do what I do...making soap and art...something I feel gifted to be able to do for a living--things I love to do! I hope to continue to serve you in a way that is always interesting and exciting and provides you products you love! We are ALWAYS open to suggestions and comments so please feel free! It's through constructive suggestions that we have made changes in the past that have been very positive! E-mail: simplysoap@aol.com or wildoaksart@aol.com

I'm not much of a resolution-maker, but I do always start the new year with some fresh eyes and new direction. We have some new plans for Simply Soap coming but they will take a little time to implement, including building a wholesale shopping cart for qualified buyers. Until it is fully in-place you are welcome to use our retail cart but specify "Wholesale" in the comments section...*IF* you are a qualified wholesale customer and have provided us your resale permit number etc. as per our website instruction. Some have also expressed wanting a search facility on our site to facilitate finding things quicker; another plan in-the-works.

And after much hemming and hawing, we will be pulling a few soap varieties that after a dozen years, suddenly did not sell as well last year as previously, and we will be bringing in some new soaps! Namely, our Wylde Wytch soap line, and our Ancient Alchemy soap line. I know some of you have expressed disappointment that we haven't launched Ancient Alchemy sooner (as promised), but what happened was, some of the creative ideas for it overlapped with our popular Wylde Faerie Soaps and the coming Wylde Wytch soaps, so we had to sit down and re-think through our direction with each line rather than duplicate ourselves. We look forward to introducing all to you!

On the art front...last year was a slow year for me in producing new art and it was simply out of sheer over-busyness! I intend to remedy that by making a concerted effort and daily designated "art time" that will be surrounded by an impenetrable barbed wire fence. One can't create and move forward without time to do so, but it has to be uninterruptable sacred time that is considered priority and not time continuously relgated to the end of the day when creativity is measured at zilch! You fellow dual-career artist-types know exactly what I'm talking about, but I think actually ANYONE knows what I'm talking about when it comes to needing some time to yourself that you don't feel guilty taking, and that puts you on the road to creative goals you have. That time won't magically appear, you have to grab a hunk of it and cradle it protectively to make it grow into something! That is my art goal!

For Christmas, my husband gifted me with a Wacom board....the means to create digital art, which I'm now also in the throes of learning! WOW! Seems like so much to learn, but I'm having fun and look forward to showing off some first works with that in the not-too-distant future.

I also plan to experiment with some different mediums this year, including acrylic paints! I have a feeling I will always remain a watercolor artist as my first love, but it's good to master new skills as well!

The week before Xmas some crazed wild-hared spirit jumped in my body and decided to turn a vacated bedroom in our home into an indoor art studio! So I began pulling down old wallpaper, painting, pulling up carpeting, and moving most of my art supplies and books into the new art digs! Ahhhh....WARMTH! My fingers can bend again at night and hold a pencil & paintbrush! I had art space all set-up outdoors in the soap workshop for years, but quite honestly, despite rumors of California being a warm state....it's been really cold nights and so hard to paint or do anything out there when my fingers were stiff as popsicles! So I'm looking forward to the new studio enhancing more art production as well!

During the move, I also realized what a large collection of art books and tutorials I have amassed over the years that whispered to me to re-visit them. Without a formal art education, these, as well as practice, ARE my university and I plan to make study a big part of my impenetrable barbed wire art time. ;) Soooo, if I seem a bit absent at forums or new projects to sign-up-for this new year, it's likely because I am making a concerted effort to focus on honing my skills that I really need to hone, at crafts I really want to excel at, as well as continue to serve all my soap customers the best they've ever been served!

And with a touch of New Year's reflection...you know, I can't help but see the nightly news each day, and forever be thankful that I'm an American who lives in a free country where no matter how much I may disagree with the state of anything, or certain politicians or policies, I still live free and have the opportunity to live a life where I can do what I want and say "Hey, I wanna make soap and do art today!" And you just can't put a price tag on that! My New Year's is filled with thankfulness, more than resolution, and a deep appreciation for all the armed forces that put their lives on the line, and their families who sacrifice so much, to protect what we lucky Americans have.

I wish you all a year filled with what makes you happiest, and the ability to give back to help others find happiness too!

The Elves, Faeries & Good Witches of.....

Simply Soap

Wild Oaks Art


~Carol Ochs :) *poof*
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