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GEEKSOAP News & Support UberDork Cafe!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Miscellaneous , on June 15, 2010 ,

Hey readers!

I just wanted to give you a head’s up – GEEKSOAP will be on vacation from June 19 – June 29. Check out the On Vacation page of my store for more information. Basically the store will stay open, just be aware that my house sitter cannot make soap, so I won’t be able to begin work on your order until I return on June 30. :) I will then begin processing orders in the order they were received in my absence, and I promise to get your order out to you ASAP! Thanks for understanding :)

So what’s the vacation for? Well, Lucas and I’s anniversary is coming up on Sunday, and it’s our tradition to stay in a bed and breakfast on the ocean over our anniversary. Last summer we did Nova Scotia and I still daydream of the place we stayed at. I think the sound of the waves crashing up through the open patio door all night is the most relaxing thing ever! This year we’re going to Vancouver, which is a good choice since it means we get to stay on the ocean (we’re actually going out to Victora on Vancouver Island for 2 nights at a bed and breakfast there) and also head inland a little bit to visit friends and family. I’ve not yet been to Vancouver, so I’m excited about exploring after our getaway on the island. We’ll visit Lucas’ uncles and Matt and Laresha (brother and sister-in-law) and then head even further inland to spend some time in Penticton, where Lucas grew up, to visit his parents and some more friends. I can’t wait! I’m working extra hard this week in the GEEKSOAP soap studio to prepare; not only am I working on orders daily, I’m also still prepping for Gen Con in August! Whew!

When I return you can expect some new goodies, too! I’ve got 2-3 new soaps coming PLUS a rumored 3D Dalek soap from Dr. Who…. that won’t be ready immediately when I return, but it’s in the works! ALSO, the awesome Cthulhu bath mitt I designed and crocheted will also be made available. I will be calling it the Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt, and it’s extra cute! Currently I have a mens and womens’ size as well as being able to make it in a lefty-friendly design. It’s 100% original and made from super soft 100% cotton; perfect for getting clean with my Cthulhu GEEKSOAP! The Baththulhu mitt will be my FOURTH original Cthulhu design since 2009… first it was the Cthulhu toque (and a baby toque that came out last year), then it was my Sock-thulhu Cthulhu plushie in late 2009, then my Cthulhu soap came out in January 2010 and the Baththulhu mitt will be out July 2010! Exciting!

So July will bring some new soap and some new items for GEEKSOAP with the Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt! I will most likely be having my Cthulhu toques and Sock-thulhu plush added to my product listings at GEEKSOAP in the near future, even though they aren’t soap related… they’re still geek related and complete the set with my awesome, original Cthulhu soap. I want to prepare ahead of time because the Cthulhu toques get popular in the fall and winter months so I need to get started on some stock! I’d also like to take a few to Gen Con if I manage to get the time. Some bath mitts will for sure be going, but I may not have time to make very many toques or Sock-thulhus. (Speaking of which… I need to find a good wholesale supplier of various colored chenille socks… lol)

So that’s the news for where GEEKSOAP is right now, and what you can expect to see from me soon! Now I need to turn your attention to something incredibly awesome… my friend Natali (AKA @UberDorkGirlie) is amazing. She has this dream of a super fantastic geeky cafe that she calls Uber Dork Cafe – a family-friendly place where art and science and geek come together to provide patrons with a completely fantastic cafe experience – and she needs your help! Uber Dork Cafe was granted a pledge page at Kickstarter, where you can help pledge your support to various ideas and creations by all kinds of people and their dreams. Please go check out Uber Dork Cafe and pledge any amount that you can to help Natali fulfill her dream!

More ways to support UberDork Cafe: Head on over to the Facebook page and follow @UberDorkCafe on Twitter!

That’s it for today – I’ll see you back here after I get home from vacation with an update on the crafts I’ll be taking with me on the plane (Lots of Baththulhus will be made for sure!) and to announce new soap and finally release the bath mitts! Thanks for stopping by *hearts* <3


Introducing… G33Kmade!

Posted in Featured , on May 19, 2010 ,

Wow. A lot has happened since my last post and there’s so much awesomeness and good stuff that it’s a little overwhelming.

Brace yourself.

Awhile ago, @KyleeLane and I had a vision. A dream. A great-minds-think-alike idea that we’ve set in motion to become something completely amazing. As geeky crafters, we were dreaming of a place where other geeky crafters could come together and be promoted and shared with the world. We wanted to showcase the crafty inspirations, history, and all of the things that go into creating something original by hand. A celebration of geeky craftiness and handmade for the greater geeky good. And G33Kmade was born.

What is G33Kmade? Well, without gushing too much, it’s a company. A community. A network. Even though Kylee and I are soapers, it’s not just about soap, we just happen to both make soap. G33Kmade showcases craft geekery and promotes it; pulling all of the epic geeky goodness together in one place so you can easily find whatever flavor of geek you’re looking for. Our thought on the matter is this:

Geek stuff because geek stuff is “cool” is merely demographically targeted marketing (e.g. “punk” after the 1980s), whereas *true* geeks want the people making the stuff to be as obsessed as they are about time travel, software libraries, or medieval Germanic Lit, or whatever. Once you compare even mediocre handmade things with mass produced, handmade always wins.

What’s exciting about G33Kmade is the potential to connect with so many other geeky crafters in one place. A community feeling. Imagine the huge HUGE amount of inspiration and coolness at your fingertips? Let’s say you’re a geeky crafter. You contribute by submitting yourself/your craft via our [Contact] page. We receive the submission and check it out and potentially get back to you for more info. We do a write up to post on G33Kmade and promote you – you’re featured on the front page, we spread the love on various social media outlets, and we help make sure that the world is made aware of how completely and totally awesome you are. GEEKS FTW!  Not only will the feature be great, but through G33Kmade you’ll have all kinds of access to other geeky crafters; you’ll be able to browse tutorials and get inspired by fellow crafy folk that think like you and enjoy some of the same things you do and put that love into their work just like you. But G33Kmade needs YOU to grow – to become this great, huge resource we need contributions and submissions from you. Check out our [Contact] page for more details. We want to hear from you, we really do! :)

But what if you’re not crafty? How will G33Kmade benefit you, you ask? Simple. Use G33Kmade to browse artists or crafts that you may not have otherwise stumbled upon on. Looking for the perfect geeky gift? Handmade is always better, and you’ll be able to sort through just about everything under the sun with a geek theme to fit any occasion or satisfy anyone’s geek tastes.

So it’s a positive thing for everyone involved, and that’s the major underlying feel: positivity! Spreading the love of geeky crafts and promoting artists and handmade. Sharing ideas, how-tos, projects, and inspiration. Providing a place to showcase all of this awesomeness together. If you’re a geek, you’ll love G33Kmade whether you make things or not, because seeing what others are doing out there and why is hugely fun and interesting. Did I mention inspiring?

See, now I’m gushing. I’m really passionate about G33Kmade and all it stands for. THIS is the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not about competition, it’s about supporting each others’ passions. I’m really excited to have found someone who holds the same values about handmade art, to spread the love instead of negativity, and roll all of that positive energy up into something that benefits everyone… and that’s Kylee. Even more fun and exciting is that G33Kmade will have an Exhibitor’s booth at Gen Con in Indianapolis this August to sell some handmade geek at the biggest 4 days in gaming. We’re also planning a G33Kmade Gen Con Tweet Up to accompany that – more info about that will be announced over at G33Kmade in the coming weeks.

So there’s LOTS going on around here. Besides all of this good stuff I’ve got orders up to my eyes and some really fun other crafty projects in progress. You should SEE this awesome custom order I just completed of Handheld Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars as wedding favors! Whew :) I have a week left of this school year, and then the summer off to focus hard on G33Kmade, prepping for Gen Con, and selling more and more GEEKSOAP! Next month is Lucas and I’s anniversary, and in keeping with the tradition, we’ll be staying in a bed & breakfast on the ocean… this time on the west coast in Vancouver, BC. We’re looking forward to a trip back to Canada and will be able to see a lot of Karpiuk family while we’re out that way. Score!

More soon – take care, and be sure to get on over and check out G33Kmade… keeping in mind it’s kinda in a “beta” mode as we roll things out, but at least you can get started and see where we’re going with it! :)


GEEKSOAP Sends a Geeky Message of Love

Posted in Featured, Soapmaking , on April 28, 2010 ,

geek loveWho knew gaming could be so romantic? This story and custom order truly melted my heart. So geeky. So romantic. With the customer’s permission, I just had to share.

I enjoy doing gift sets and custom requests for orders, especially when the end result is being shipped to a friend or loved one. I take great pride in knowing that someone feels my handcrafted soap is worthy of a special gift for a special someone in their life. I really enjoy adding little handwritten personalized notes from the customer to gift orders and imagining the look on the recipient’s face when they open the box and see my soap. This week, I received an interesting custom order inquiry that would put a bar of my geeky soap in the middle of a budding romance between customer, Chris, and his girlfriend, Jordan.

Chris writes,
“I recently asked a girl out by inviting her over to play Bomberman 64 (she accepted!  that’s a keeper), and I think it would be funny to gift her with a bar of soap bearing that label.”

Super squee, right?! I found Chris’ request for a special bar of soap to represent how he asked his girlfriend out as a token of love hopelessly and completely romantic. How could I *not* complete this amazing request? (And seriously? Bomberman64? Awesome.) But that wasn’t all… Chris had a side-quest for me; he also wanted a sweet little personalization carved into the top of the cartridge to send a note to Jordan. (à la carving your name into a cartridge so you knew who it belonged to.) And a <3 heart emoticon soap to complete the package.

This was such a fun order of truly epic proportions, and it gives me warm fuzzies to know that my soap is going to be used to express some geeky love. I know that handmade gifts like this are the best kind of gift, and as a gamer girl, I would melt into a puddle at someone’s feet if were to receive such an epic gift to commemorate how my significant other asked me out. (Pssst, Jordan… this one’s a keeper!)

I only wish I could witness the look on Jordan’s face when she opens the package and receives her sentimental soap inside, complete with a notecard bearing a custom message from Chris. It makes me sigh one of those big happy lovey-dovey sighs just thinking about it!

Way to be awesome, Chris, and thank you for letting me play a small part in creating a romantic gifting opportunity for your girlfriend. Best wishes to you both! <3

A word about GEEKSOAP gift orders: Doing gift orders really makes me happy. Do let me know if your GEEKSOAP order is for a gift in the notes to seller upon checkout; I’d be happy to write a personalized message on a notecard to be inlcuded with the order absolutely free of charge. If there is anything I can do to help make your geeky handmade soap gift that much more special for your special someone, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help create a perfect geeky gifting experience for you! GEEKSOAP makes great birthday, wedding, or “just because” gifts for the geek(s) in your life. Let me help! – order your geeky soap at http://www.geeksoap.net :)


New GEEKSOAP Storefront & lots more NEW stuff!

Posted in Soapmaking , on April 6, 2010 ,

The new storefront is live! For most of you that use the address http://www.geeksoap.net to satisfy your geeky soap cravings, you’ll experience a nice smooth transition over to the new storefront at BigCartel.com now. While I like Etsy, the fees were honestly just getting too out of control, and I think BigCartel will meet a lot of my needs better with the volume of soap we’re selling as of late. If you’re using the Etsy address to find GEEKSOAP, all you have to do now is remember a nice and simple address instead: geeksoap.net! I currently have some GEEKSOAP up on Etsy and won’t be taking it down until it sells out or expires over there, but I will be promoting the new storefront instead and hope you will, too :) Really and truly not much has changed since I’ve been using geeksoap.net to direct to Etsy and it’s been the address I’ve been giving out all along. Head on over and check out the new layout!

Speaking of NEW – there’s NEW geeky soap up, too! Lock up your kitties because GEEKSOAP has unleashed… DOMO KUN! Isn’t he seriously cute? These bars are featured in a 6.5oz weight and smell like honey almond and awesome. For real.

Also NEW is that the D20 Soap On A Rope now comes in a new color – solid black. Which, honestly looks incredibly amazing if you ask me. Super sweet! So in addition to all of the previous colors and oatmeal formula, you have a new color option. Of course you could always just live on the edge and select a random color at checkout and let me surprise you with a D20 soap of my color fancy. That’s always fun! Pictured is a solid black D20 Soap On A Rope and an oatmeal formula.

Want more NEW?! Of course you do. There’s also a NEW “flavor” of binary bar now available — Lemon Poppyseed! These were a huge hit at the Bloomington Handmade Market and I think you’ll also love how lemony delicious this unique massaging bar with raised 1s and 0s is. This refreshing lemon scented bar is heavenly. It features real poppyseeds throughout, which adds a gentle scrubbing property to this soothing bar. A great exfoliant! Grab one now over at geeksoap.net! You’ll only see one listing for the Binary Bar now – but that one listing provides a drop down menu that will let you select which formula you wish to purchase: solid color/fresh linen, oatmeal and honey, oatmeal and coffee scrub, or lemon poppyseed scrub. Enjoy!

Bloomington Handmade Market goers that grabbed a business card and are looking to buy more geeky soap, the promo code on the back of your card has been implemented at the new storefront… which means if you enter it during the checkout process now it will automatically deduct the discount for you. This is a huge improvement over the long round-about way that I’d provide discounts via Etsy. No need for special listings or anything – just enter the code when checking out and score! <3

I know there was a lot of NEW stuff to cover in this email but it gets even better… stay tuned at the end of this week/early next week when GEEKSOAP unveils a new geeky soap in the works! I can’t wait :)


Some GEEKSOAP Re-designs

Posted in Soapmaking , on March 27, 2010 ,

Whew! It’s been busy around here at The Pink Toque. Firstly, I’m on Spring Break! In case you didn’t realize, teachers get just as excited about breaks as their students do. I’m really enjoying the time off because it means I can focus on getting ready for the Bloomington Handmade Market coming up a week from today. One full week to prep soap and all of the accessories and extras I need to have at the table setup. Like a sign, which I plan to hand paint this weekend. And more business cards. And more soap wrapper tags…

You’d think that I’d be most busy preparing stock for the show instead of re-designing some of the old soap styles, but nooooo…. I’ve been too busy re-doing some of the previous designs AND adding a bit to them to round out the GEEKSOAP geeky soap line. Most notably adding an Alliance version to the Warcraft GEEKSOAP series. And let me tell you… making the Alliance geek soap was a pain in the you-know-what… just like the Alliance are in-game. Heh heh heh :) (I crack myself up.) So feast your eyes upon the re-designs here… instead of colored soap with a black silhouette I’ve reoworked them to be clear like the majority of the GEEKSOAP line with colored, hand carved and cut images inside. I like it better this way and am really happy with how the re-designs turned out. And ooooooh that Cthulhu re-design was my absolute favorite! Cthulhu, as some of you remember, was the first GEEKSOAP in the series that inspired more… and the old design was great, but with the new “angrier eyebrows”, the NEW design is even better – don’t you think?

As always, all of my geeky soaps are available in my Etsy Shop! http://www.geeksoap.net !

Besides getting ready for the BHM next week, I’m also prepping for the Handmade Promenade on April 17, (Check out Handmade Promenade’s GEEKSOAP feature!!) and GenCon Indy from August 5 – 8. WOW! More about those upcoming shows in a later post. And before I go… quick shout out to some other geeky crafty soapmaking ladies I’ve met this past week… GeekyClean and KyleeLane! xoxo


Congratulations, GEEKSOAP Contest Winners!

Posted in Contests, Soapmaking , on March 25, 2010 ,

Special congratulations today to the two winners of free GEEKSOAP geek soap! As described in the previous post, we here at GEEKSOAP were giving away some free bars of our geeky soap to two lucky winners: one at random chosen from both the ContestMachine entry form and the Twitter entries.

And the winners are……

Entry Form: Susan Francis
Twitter: Mathew_Ladd

Congratulations to both winners! Confirmation emails (and tweets) were sent out to both parties requesting their mailing information and which bar of geeky soap they would like from any of my designs. Please check the Portfolio for the complete list, or my shop at http://www.geeksoap.net. If the bar you chose isn’t clear, you can also select a custom soap color to use. Please email your address and GEEKSOAP choice to Lesley (at) ThePinkToque (dot) com ASAP! Free bars of geek soap will go out no later than Monday, March 29 (assuming both parties have replied by then.) If one or both do not respond, I’ll pick new winners after Monday.

Thanks for your participation – your entires provided some valuable insight on my stock and have given me some ideas for new GEEKSOAP designs to play with in the future. If you didn’t win this time don’t fret! I’ll have more free geek soap giveaways later :)

Stay tuned… after these messages I have an update on the latest geeky soap designs unveiled this past week and new venues where you can find GEEKSOAP locally in the upcoming months.


The Pink Toque & GEEKSOAP Featured!

Posted in Featured, Soapmaking , on March 12, 2010 ,

Happy Friday! Just popping in to give a shout out to some websites that have featured The Pink Toque and/or GEEKSOAP specifically this week.

Firstly, I was interviewed in preparation for the Bloomington Handmade Market coming up on April 3. The BHM blog has been featuring one artist/vendor a day, and I was featured on Sunday, March 7. Be sure to check back often; they will be interviewing all 42 vendors to showcase the talent that they will have at the show. I’m totally excited!

Secondly, GeekCrafts.com featured GEEKSOAP earlier this week on March 9. GeekCrafts showcases geeky crafts from all over the world, and I feel honored to have been noticed and written about. The particular GEEKSOAP they chose to show off was the Operating System soap – Windows, Ubuntu (Linux), and Mac. Cool, huh? I’ve been trying to focus more on promoting GEEKSOAP, and this is one step in the right direction.

Speaking of GEEKSOAP (when am I NOT dreaming or thinking about GEEKSOAP lately?) there are some big changes coming soon. I’m currently experimenting with larger molds, which would produce bigger, more solid bars of soap that nearly double (and in some cases more than double) the weight in ounces of the current molds. Of course, the price would have to increase to accomodate this change, but some early experimentation has produced some really pleasing results. When I finish ironing out the details I may switch over completely. I’d like to wait until I “replace” all of the current soaps with the new models before I do the switch over on Etsy and change the prices so people can really see the difference, but I am looking forward to it and hope to get moving on that ASAP.  The designs inside the soaps will not change except to become a bit larger to fit better in their newer, larger soaps.

And there’s even more about GEEKSOAP that I’m looking forward to – some new designs coming soon… shhh! I’ll hopefully unveil them in the middle of next week, so stay tuned!


Knitter's Geek Code

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on May 7, 2009 ,

I’m a knitter. And I’m a geek. So of course when I realized there is a such thing as Knitter’s Geek Code, I was ecstatic. The Knitter’s Geek code is hosted over at Knitty and was written by Kate A. It’s adapted from and inspired by The Geek Code, invented by Robert Hayden in 1993.  This hilarious but functional bit of “programming” allows you to identify the kind of knitter you are in a standardized way with every other knitter. Anyone else who has gone through the Knitter’s Geek Code will be able to look at my code output and completely understand what type of knitter I am, what materials I enjoy (and dislike) working with, how experienced I am and a whole lot more. It’s fascinating! So without further ado, here is my current Knitter’s Geek Output:

KER+ Exp+ SPM->+ KP++@ Bam+(+) Wool+(+) Cot+(+) Syn+(+) Stash(+) Scale+ Fin-> Ent? FI-> Int? Tex-> Lace-> Felt+ Flat Circ++ DPN+ ML+ Swatch- KIP++ Blog+++ FO+ WIP(+) GaugeW++ ALTCr++Sw+(+)

If someone asked me on the street what kind of knitter I am and I was unable to display this beautiful work of art that is geek code, I would explain simlpy that I knit right handed, english style and have been for only a few short years, but I feel I’m at least somewhat intermediate at knitting, though I knit fairly slowly in my opinion, and I use KnitPicks metal needles most exclusively for everything with the occasional use/enjoyment of using bamboo needles when necessary or for certain situations/projects.  My favorite fiber to work with is wool, but at any time I may be using cotton or synthetics, as I have a lot of that in my stash from time to time as needed (and as a newbie).  I’ve knit things larger than a dishcloth and more than just squares but am not up to doing multiple huge projects in a year yet. (Too slow!) I dread the seaming and finishing up part but I strive to be better about weaving in ends as I go so it’s not so bad, because really… finishing is something that just has to be done so I need to get over it.  I have no idea what entrelac or intarsia is really, (well, how to do it) but when it comes to fair isle and cabling/texture I know what it is and the basics of how to do it, but lack experience and am aiming to try those soon. Same with lace. I have felted (successfully) before and think it’s good in moderation; I don’t do it often but can if the project requires it.  I knit flat but rarely use straights anymore as I prefer to knit everything on circulars… even flat pieces.  For small diameter knitting in the round I use both DPNs and Magic Loop method fairly equally. I dislike and rarely swatch, even though I know I should, and I love to knit in public and do so a lot. I also blog a lot (as you can see) about knitting and projects.  I have quite a few finished objects to speak of and try to keep my list of works in progress (WIP) short, though I have been known to be affected by project ADD and so it’s not unusual to have several WIPs going. I work mostly with worsted weight and in addition to knitting, my alternate fiber-related crafts include lots of crochet and some sewing.  WHEW!

Now of course a person’s Knitter’s Geek Code is subject to change; as we learn and grow as knitters and better hone our skills or our preferences change, so does our code. For example, you’ll notice I don’t have any fancy or expensive yarn on my preferences list… this isn’t because I don’t prefer it, it’s just because I’ve not experienced using those types of yarn yet due to my lack of knitting savvy. I’m sure once I do they’ll be my preferred yarn to work with, budget permitting of course. I also hope to add spinning to my alternate fiber-related crafts section, and of course I’d like to see + progress in the things I noted that I wish to improve/learn such as lace, fair isle and cables.

While figuring out and typing out my Knitter’s Geek Code was deliciously enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way, its existance in simple black and white terms helps me to see where I want to improve myself in order to round out my knitting experience. It’s rather eye opening and I like the fact that it will grow and evolve as my knitting does. Maybe one day everything will have three + after it, indicating my awesome seasoned veteran status and abilities. Time and practice will only tell.  I can dream, right? ;)

And… though I know no one but me is on the edge of their seat stalking… erm, I mean, waiting for my KnitPicks nickel-plated interchangeables set to arrive, I am ECSTATIC to report that FINALLY the status message on the Canada Post tracking website has changed from “An order has been electronically submitted” to “Item out for delivery.” ITEM OUT FOR DELIVERY!!!!???!!?! That means it’s possible I will receive my order by the weekend. Now I’m really dreaming. Cross your fingers, toes and anything else you have available! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

And speaking of “squee”, you have to check out my latest post on our personal/everything-else-in-life blog, Look At Us Go — we had some baby geese hatch in a nest snuggled into a nook on a ledge of my office building this week. The photos and video are to die for. SO fuzzy and cute!  Check it out here. Have a great day! :)