Monday, April 6, 2015

Digging In The Dirt

"Something in me, dark and sticky
All the time it's getting strong...

The more I look, the more I find
As I close on in, I get so blind ..."
- Peter Gabriel

All weekend I spent my time digging in the dirt and planting new plants into my front walkway. My husband and I ripped out a line of very "vanilla" hedge-like bushes along each side of the walkway.  It was boring and cold and didn't feel like home.  It was really hard work and took a number of sessions to complete.

Yesterday we finished one side and we're really tickled with how it looks now.  It's way more "US"; it has different heights, textures, colors, styles....with scattered potted plants taking up some of the nooks and crannies.  Digging in the dirt felt so good.  In fact, I was thinking to myself how much of a release it is to use my bare hands in the fresh dirt just as my husband asked me if the dirt on my hands made me crazy.  No, I love it.  There is something almost primal in getting down deep into the earth... an element of connection and reflection.

Cat Motor, stalking wild animals.  Picture's blurry, but colorful :)

I know not everyone experiences gardening in such a zen-like, philosophical way, and believe me, it doesn't always happen for me every time, but often, gardening brings a sense of peace.  Until I overheat and sweat so much I start attracting mosquitoes.  Then I'm done.  The spiritual side of me shuts down because I hate mosquitoes.

Bare hands in the cool, rich dirt.  Where does it bring you?  Does it bring emotions up or does it make you forget everything?  Or both at the same time?  Is your ultimate goal to make colors or textures or a place called home?  Creating something you may not have felt since you were a young child?

So you are probably wondering how all this dirt and gardening junk relates to the Soap Challenge.  As always, my words to you FOR YEARS has been:  Dig Deep.   Now it is literal.

If you are in a temperate climate, get into the dirt and plant something new that you have been wanting.  Even if it is small.  Really experience the planting.  If you currently live in a frozen tundra, use your IMAGINATION.....DIG!  Then let your dug up feelings and colors of your garden blend or co-exist and make your soap reflect those two things together. 

You may have to really think about this one.

It is April 6th.  I blew the April 1st target date for starting this new challenge, so I know I messed you up.  I will give you only until May 7th to complete this task.  Once you've completed your soap, please post in the Soap Challenge Gallery on Facebook.  I expect there won't be photos for awhile because the work here is in your head, BEFORE the challenge.

This soap challenge is called Digging In The Dirt.  Use the hashtag #digginginthedirt with your photo or I won't find it.  You also must explain your soap with your entry.  Describe your experience and description of what you did.  I can't judge just the soap.  It has to come with an explanation.

I occasionally will offer a small gift for the winner.  This time, it will be a secret surprise for just the winner of the challenge, sponsored by Mad Oils (my company).   Thank you all for the support and love.

xoxo Joanna

.....  dig deep .......


Saturday, April 4, 2015

It's April Already?!

I can't say enough wonderful things about the soaping industry and the people who I've been lucky to have met along this journey.

The next Soap Challenge may be a challenge for some of you.  I will be at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild Conference in Indianapolis in mid-April, and some of you may be there as well.  Since that takes almost a week with travel and all that, it's important to plan the challenge out ahead of time.

I will post the new challenge by the end of this weekend.  I've got mad ideas bubbling and they need to settle on down before I can put them into words.

I am a visual person.  So imagine what my head looks like as an artist!  I tried to recreate it with a few graphic pieces I threw together.

My brain before the Soap Challenge:

I'll be back to challenge you!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Fun Egg Hunt!

Come to to find the eggs that we have hidden.  It is super fun. 
Have a good time looking!

xoxo Joanna