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Great Soaps for Party Favors

Hello friends,Colorful, fragrant handmade soaps make wonderful party favors that are always appreciated by your guests.  I make a lot of soaps for bridal showers and weddings.  Here are a few favorites, you can click on the pictures for details.Woodland Secrets Robin's Egg Speckled Soaps are great for baby or bridal showers:Crystal Gemstone soaps are popular for wedding favors- great for glitz and crystal themed events.  I offer these soaps in 30 varieties including raw crystal geode and hand carved shapes in a wide variety of colors and fragrances:The Autumn Splendor leaf soaps are a wonderful gifts for your wedding guests:For Beach Them... » Read More

Jewel weed

Hello friends,I have a lovely stand of native jewel weed growing next to the wild raspberries along the woodland edge of my yard this year.  It is just stunning.   This native herb plant has a succulent, hollow stem, with leaves in a pale green color.  It has waxy blossoms that are beautiful shades of deep orange and bright yellow.  Jewel weed grows up to five feet tall and likes a cool shady environment, you can often find it along the river banks.  There is a clear, watery liquid inside the stems and along the nodes.  This sappy liquid is often applied to the skin as a relief for various irritations like poison ... » Read More

Eulogy for My Mom - Catherine Bem Klisiewicz

Hello friends,I recently lost my Mom at the age of 90. Rest in Peace of beautiful servant of Christ!Thanks to everyone for coming today to celebrate my mother’s life. Kate, Mom, Gram, Aunt Kate - she was so many things to so many people. She was one of 12 children of Polish immigrants.  Mom often shared stories of her childhood, growing up on the dairy farm.  There were tales of a bygone era of a solid family life tempered with the hardships of the depression, childhood deaths from influenza, losing her parents with many of the children still at home and leaving the one room school house after the eighth  grade to work in ... » Read More

Strawberry Time!

Hello friends,Our local farms offer pick your own strawberry fields, I can't resist.  Each  June, my Mom and I took my sons to pick berries fresh from the farm.  My Mom is no longer able to go but I still enjoy the experience.   Nothing can beat that sweet juicy tangy aroma and taste.  These are such a treat compared to the flavorless supermarket berries that are shipped in from other states.Acres of fields of glossy red beauties, filling the air with fragrance, shining in the summer sun ready for harvest.I picked 16 quarts, it only took a little while.  I was home by 10 AM.We always have homemade strawberry shortcake w... » Read More

Father's Day Tribute

Hello Friends,This is a tribute to the great loves of my life named John; my Dad and father-in-law Pap Bartley. I miss you both every day. Here are some old photos of my Dad.  His Polish heritage with the accordion (check out those boots), school photo, pics of him and his parents.  Handsome devil on his wedding day. This was taken at his 75th Birthday Party.  His children and some of the grandsons. He was proud of his service in WWII.  This photo was taken in front of the POW camp. He had been wounded by a machine gun, note the bandage on his leg.  He spent 6 months recovering in a French hospital.  The signatur... » Read More

Phlox in Bloom

Hello friends, We finally have a break in the rainy weather with a glorious sunny May day in Pennsylvania.  The native phlox are in full bloom in the woodlands surrounding my home and the farm at White Bridge.  I recall fishing with my Dad as a child.  I would pick huge bouquets of phlox to carry home to my Mom. She would show me how to pluck off a blossom and taste the nectar, so sweet. The back pond at the farm on White Bridge along the banks of the Juniata River abounds with spring splendor with wild flowers, turtles and frogs galore. The waterfowl consider the farm, its ponds and rivers home.  The place... » Read More

Generations of Moms - Happy Mother's Day

Hello Friends, Happy Mother's Day to the generations of Moms in our family.  First, my beautiful Mom, Catherine Bem (Kate) Klisiewicz circa 1940's and present day with her children  Bonnie, John, Jeanne & Bob at her 85th Birthday Party: My Mother-in-law Anna Wimmer Bartley.  She is a marvelous Mom and Grandmother and has been  a great support and friend through the years, thanks Gram! My Maternal Grandmother, Carolina Zagata Bem, circa 1910-20.  I never met her as she died when my Mom was a teenager, but she shaped my Mom through her formative years, for that I am eternally grateful, she did a fantast... » Read More

Happy Easter!

Hello Friends,I wish you and yours a joyous Easter season - enjoy!Thanks for visiting,Bonnie... » Read More

Marketing Advice for Internet Artisan Businesses

Hello friends,I am often asked how I managed to create a successful internet business selling my handmade soap on ArtFire and Etsy without on line marketing experience.  While I don't use Etsy much due to the higher fees, my Artfire tips will apply to any selling venue.  I had never sold on line.  I was a total newbie - I didn't even know what an avatar or banner was and I had never taken a single product photograph.  I opened my ArtFire studio in 2009. I have well over one millions views and shipped my 25,000 item earlier this year.  Here is my advice to create a web presence for for a successful artisan business on line.... » Read More

Herb Infused Oils by Soapsmith

Hello friends,Herbal infused oils are a wonderful addition to any soap maker's supply cabinet. You can create simple infused oils for your own personal use.(catnip, lavender, hops, arnica, rose hips and petals, St. Johns Wort, calendula, juniper berry blend)  Properly prepared herbs, whether they are wild gathered, garden grown or purchased from a reputable supplier, are important.  It is as simple as air drying until the leaves or flowers are crispy and the stems are dry. Herbal root infusions follow the same procedures, finely chopped roots allow for even drying. My previous blog post on proper procedures will offer guid... » Read More

Long Handle Powder Puff

Hello friends,I have recently added a new product.  I developed my long handled luxury puff at the request of my customers.  A number of people contacted me in search of a quality powder puff with a long handle for ease of use.  These requests came from folks with special needs who wanted an accessible powder puff that would allow them to reach easier - elderly, arthritis sufferers and stroke patients.  It took me a while to find something that would work well.  I now offer my extra large powder applicator puffs with eco friendly bamboo handles.  This classic design shines in its simplicity and practicality.This puff is so opu... » Read More


Hello friends,Sharing with you, live life to the fullest.Life’s Little Instructions (Given by a 95 year old man named William Snell, 1993)Sing in the shower.Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.Watch a sunrise at least once a year.Never refuse homemade brownies.Strive for excellence, not perfection.Plant a tree on your birthday.Learn three clean jokes.Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.Leave everything a little better than you found it.Keep it simple.Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.Be f... » Read More

Microwave Heat Therapy Wraps

Hello friends,A customer favorite for many years, my cherry pit packs are a marvelous comfort item. They are so warm and snuggly.  Just heat them in the microwave and apply for a soothing moist heat.Available in many size, shapes and fabrics for sale in my studio - just click this link:Soapsmith's Cherry Pit WrapsThe cherry pits are a superior filler to other heat bags like rice, corn or flax because the cherry seeds don't attract pests or are not subject to rancidity.  Eco friendly, these fruit stones are gathered from canneries in Michigan, cleaned and dried.  Treat yourself or gift one to a friend, they are always a welcome relief from... » Read More

Soapsmith's Gemstone Soap Rocks

Hello Friends,Here is a video of my handmade gemstone soap rocks.  These are available for purchase in my studio.Gemstone soap rocks for saleSoapsmith's On Line StudioThanks for visiting,Bonnie... » Read More

Snow Dogs

  Hello Friends,   Snow, Snow & more snow.  We had 24 plus inches this past Saturday, 8 more inches today and it is still snowing.  We are expecting 30 MPH winds to help blow the lane shut.  My son plowed the road at 4 AM and when I went to work at 7:30 the drifts were as high as the top of the fender on my car.  Even with 4 wheel drive, I had trouble making the hill.          Snow on the front deck, close to the house, even deeper further out.   At least the dogs love it.  I can't keep them inside.   This is C... » Read More

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello friends, As we gather at richly laden table with cherished family and friends to celebrate the marvelous feast of Thanksgiving, we are grateful for the abundant harvest. The earth has yielded its fruit. God, our God, has blessed us.  Ps 67 I wish you and yours a glorious holiday filled with the wondrous joys of spending time with with loved ones, the breaking of bread, the sharing of traditions and a knowing, sincere, prayerful gratitude for our bounteous blessings.  May we always be open to the needs of the less fortunate.    “As we express our gratitude, we mus... » Read More
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