Garden Delights Gala – new arts & crafts!

My yearly gala, the Garden Delights Holiday Gift Sale & Art Show, is the first 2 weekends of December this year! The Show is at my art studio on December 1-2 and 8-9, from 11 am to 5 pm – or by appointment at your convenience.

Studio

I’m proud to show my photos and mixed-media artwork & crafts, and also upcycled creations, where I bring fresh life to paper and fabric. Also new this year -hand-knits! Fashionable fingerless mitts …

… keep your hands cozy during mild winter weather …

… and fancy lace pattern washcloths …

… pair with George’s brand new soaps for a great gift …

Please stop by to relax during the holiday rush, enjoy snacks, and chat. Never any pressure to buy, but if you’ve got a list I’ve got a wide range of handmade and original-designed gifts, for yourself and for friends and family – including pets!

Jewelry, wearable art, purses, cards & prints, boxes, home decor, beeswax candles, and more! Our honeybees blessed us with a great harvest of delicious honey, which many people swear help their pollen allergies.

Local honey

Want a postcard reminder sent to your mailbox, or would you like to drop by at a time that’s more convenient for you? Email me. Can’t make the show or want to see my artwork online? Click these links:

Website

Artfire Gallery

My blog

Zazzle shop

Facebook

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Learn to Make Soap!

Have you ever wanted to make your own all-natural ingredient soap? If so, here’s your opportunity to learn from a soap making expert! George McRae, who has been making soap for more than 10 years, is teaching an introductory workshop to show you the “how to’s” of cold process soap making.  Cold process is the fundamental way to make soap, in the time-honored “wood ashes and fat” method of our ancestors. Today, it’s quite a bit more refined, and George will combine his clear explanations of what soap is, the process of making it, and safety information, along with a step-by-step demonstration of the entire process.

Cat soap

At the end of the workshop you’ll have the knowledge to go home and make soap tailored to your skin type and aesthetic desires. George will also provide a detailed handout for you to follow, including a list of useful resources such as books, websites, and stores. AND you’ll have at least one bar of the soap that we’ll make at the workshop!

If you would like to be more “hands on” bring a pair of rubber gloves and an old shirt or smock you won’t mind getting stained.  We’ll have some sets of safety goggles and gloves.

Saturday April 20th 10:00 am to 2 pm at The Village Shops and Galleries, 10330 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito (between Stockton and Eureka), free street parking, wheelchair accessible.  $30

Rose soap

Class size is limited, and pre-registration is required. Email George at elegans@aol.com for more information and to pre-register. Beginner-level workshop for adults.

George’s Red-Hot Sinn-amon Soap

Yesterday was our sneak peek Open House at the gallery I’m involved with, The Village Shops and Galleries in El Cerrito. It was a wonderful day – but more about that in another blog post, because I have to tell you about the grand entrance George made midway through the day. If you know George at all, you know he has a wide range of interests and skills.

George and his friendFor the past several years, George has been making the most delicious chocolate truffles for me for Valentine’s Day.

George with trufflesSo you won’t be surprised to hear that when George strolled into the gallery holding this platter….

George with his Sin'amon red hots soap… I thought they were dark chocolate hearts. Indeed, all of George’s wonderful soaps look good enough to eat. But wow, these gleaming dark mahogany hearts … everyone there was ready to bite in!

George's Sin'amon Red-Hot heart soap

Even after he said they were soap some of us still wanted to take a nibble, they looked so scrumptious! And indeed, they are — delicious and luxurious on your body (and of course on a loved one’s body!) in the shower or a very sexy bath. He used the spiciest, best quality Watkins cinnamon for a deep, complex scent. Cinnamon soothes the skin and intoxicates the senses — what better combination for George’s very sexy soap?

George's soaps