Saturday, July 24, 2010


this charming girl... part 18 cooling off!

18. ~ a popsicle (UK translation - an ice lolly!)

with all this hot, sticky weather ~ nothing beats a chilled, refreshing treat to cool off.
your skin is no exception ~ it will ♥ you for treating it to a soothing & moisturizing lotion or body butter like soapstar's aloe vera, cucumber & peppermint body butter 'aloe, aloe' whipped up from fresh, natural ingredients with shea & vitamin e. (pictured above)

after whipping up a fresh batch the other day, I was inspired to curate this cool treasury in gorgeous, summery greens ~ if only you could scratch the screen & sniff the refreshing scents of aloe, cucumber, peppermint & lime!

take a closer peek at

if you need to chill out even more ~ check out  'aloe, aloe' cold process soap too. 
perfect for sun worshipers & skin exposed to the elements..

the 'aloe' aloe' range was inspired by the feel good & sensational summer sandcastle festival on victoria beach, cobourg, ontario. 

this year's sandcastle festival takes place on July 31st & August 1st.

join in the summer fun, then chill out. ♥

Sunday, July 18, 2010

eventful tales of a soapstar party girl!

this charming girl... parts 16 & 17 (a tale of 2 parties)

16. ~ a glamorous cocktail.   17. ~ totally impractical but absolutely fabulous shoes.
forever a party girl at ♥.

firstly, in June - the Canadian Feed The Children charity hosted a donor appreciation event at the fabulous Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto (one of my favourite places to wander around &  the inspiration behind 'The Heels' ~ read more on that story here).
this wonderful night was to honour some very special people &  present awards to the generous organizations who support the charity's worthwhile &  so desperately needed work. Representatives visiting from Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti and Uganda were on hand to meet supporters and describe their work first-hand.

I was honored to be asked to donate some of my soaps which were sold at 
the International Artisan Marketplace on the night. 

all proceeds raised from the sales of donated products are going to support  programs  to help communities thrive, families prosper and children reach their full potential.  It was a great evening & I was delighted to know my soaps raised money for such a good cause.
please visit to find out how you can help. ☺

secondly, I held my very first soapstar party!
although I was nervous before, it turned out a fun, relaxed evening with friends & the odd glass of bubbly... 
I sold a lot of soap, took some bulk orders & learnt some valuable lessons for next time.
go shop girl, z bars and lawn& order were the top sellers on the night which also debuted new products including body butters, lip balms and hawaii shave-O mini soaps which went down a storm! 
a huge thank you to all who came & especially to my loyal & very efficient assistants, Tim, Becca & Anne. ♥

there were plenty of testers on display to scratch & sniff!

cheers ladies (and gent..
party on! ☺

Monday, June 21, 2010

this charming girl...episode 15

paris ~ la ville de l'amour ♥

15. ~ the eiffel tower

the iconic symbol of the city of love.
the breath-taking views from this beautiful & intricate lattice of ironwork, somehow perfectly encapsulate the dizzying, light-headed joy of a new romance...
my very own tiny 'tour eiffel' holds so many dear memories of a family trip to the historic & very fabulous French capital city.

memories of Parisian 'se sentir bien' neighbourhoods which inspired this beautifully romantic & luxurious handmade soap ...

rose water, sparkling blush champagne and pink grapefruit luxe soap adorned with a tiny rosebud & glistening Himalayan pink salts

...and Etsy rose-tinted treasury, Paris ~ la ville d'amour

so, throw on a soft cashmere scarf, pop on some cute kitten heels & grab your rose tinted sunglasses ~ here's a mini trip of the Parisian style & must-sees that inspired the treasury & the soap...

a perfect marriage of the 12th century Louvre Palace & modern glass pyramid house, an astounding collection of art & archeological finds including ~

an ancient Greek sculpture believed to depict Aphrodite, the goddess of love & beauty. 

arguably, the most famous painting in the world, Renaissance turned Hollywood star thanks to Dan Brown's classic novel / movie - along with that enigmatic smile...

this imposing monument to honour those that fought for France and resting place of the unknown soldier, is at the west end of the wonderful  Champs-Élysées, and at the centre of the infamous Place Charles de Gaulle ~ the meeting place of 12 avenues & a traffic junction best not approached by the faint-hearted! the fast & furiously fearless french drivers produce a cacophony of honking car horns! ooh la, la!

Notre Dame cathedral

thankfully, this beautiful example of French Gothic architecture and Roman Catholic place of worship was fully restored after it's desecration during the French Revolution in the 1790s.

there is a small sculpture on the cathedrals' exterior, of a fictional former lodger,  physically deformed but kind-hearted bell-ringer Quasimodo from Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame.

bold & brightly coloured hi-tech architecture housing Europe's largest modern art museum.

the world's most visited cemetry ~ serenely beautiful resting place of Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Bizet, Moliere & Jim Morrison (the Doors) amongst many other esteemed painters, poets, writers, actors & statesman.

 the mesmerizing, white church at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city ~ offers spectacular views from it's hauntingly romantic domes.

the infamous cabaret, spiritual home of the 'can-can' in the bustling heart of the red-light district.

notable past performers include Josephine Baker, Liza Minelli, Elton John & Frank Sinatra to name but a few!

wondering the best way to travel around all these wonderful locations?

1906 Steel Engraved Map Of Paris ~ picture courtesy of Veronica at Surrender Dorothy.
check out her amazing Etsy shop ~ full of seriously cool vintage & supplies.

the paris metro of course,

with it's fabulous stations,  
full of their signature art nouveau architecture,

and weird & wonderful surprises!

but if you feel it's all just too much, and the city's a blur...

relax & unwind à la française, by joining the café culture at one of the quintessential pavement cafés - the best seat in the house when it comes to watching all Parisian life go by - from the effortlessly stylish to the mal logés, from the frantic & expressive to the frowning intellectuals, lost in deep thought, philosophy & a сafetière à piston.

La Vie En Rose © Marisa Allegra Williams
see more of Marisa's outstanding work at her Etsy shop, risamay ~ a wonderful treasure trove of travel photography.

of course, you cannot leave Paris until you experience  the eiffel tower at night ~ a beacon of glistening gold, bringing a warm glow to lovers & loved ones everywhere.

pour inhaler Paris conserve l'âme
to inhale Paris preserves the soul 

rien ne se peut comparer à Paris 
nothing can compare to Paris 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

this charming (dad)...episode 14

Happy Father's Day 

14. ~ a rose (& tiny model umbrella)
I guess it's not often you see a rose as a symbol of Father's Day, but for me it's a powerful connection to my late dad.
He chose 'Rose' for my middle name - when I was a little girl he told me I was a precious rosebud, in later years he relayed how he was inspired by the enigmatic last words ('rosebud') of Orson Welles playing the role of Citizen Kane,  often considered the greatest movie of all time.

The theatrical link between roses & Orson Welles does not end there....but more of that & the umbrella, later.

my dad was many things. Of Italian descent, he was raised by his devout Catholic family who ran sweet shops & a cafe in East London.

From an early age he showed a great interest in the theatre, 
here he is in a school production of Hiawatha, aged about 7.

He joined the Royal Navy as a teenager and served in World War II
on the battleship, HMS Duke of York.

He then began a long, love affair with the world of theatrical design & production.

He was considered a genius by some who worked along side him.

He is pictured here as assistant to the great Orson Welles, on the 1952 Roland Petit ballet - Lady In the Ice.

He was a founding member of the renowned Royal Exchange Theatre Company in Manchester, England.
His finest moment is without doubt,  the conception & design of the breath-taking Royal Exchange Theatre itself, an astounding 7 sided glass & steel structured 'theatre in the round', which sits flooded by light from the beautiful domed wondows in the wonderfully restored old Exchange building. 

At the beginning of the project, when he first walked into the then derelict space, he was immediately reminded of Citizen Kane & wrote 'rosebud' in the dust on the parquet flooring...

This electric moment recalled by his fellow company members, led to a theatre module inspired by nature's perfect design of the unfolding petals of a rose. 

He also taught theatrical design at Wimbledon School Of Art.
His model-making skills were legendary - miniature set designs always completed with a painstaking attention to detail.
On his retirement, his students presented him with a cake, adorned with a perfect little model of him!

In 2009, a former student David Burrows 
put on a brilliant exhibition of his amazing work.

You can see a gallery of photos from this exhibition here,
also please visit to learn more about my dad's theatre work & his legacy.

On a more personal note, he was a loving & devoted husband to my mum...

...a funny & caring dad to 8 kids!
the best bedtime story teller - silly voices & actions a plenty, not to mention how a quick ruffle of his hair transformed him into 'stig of the dump' so completely.

( and a long suffering taxi driver in our later years, lol)

skills he repeated so enthusiastically as a grandad,

including his brilliant model-making

there were grand doll's houses for little princesses...

and work-shops 
with maticulous 
detail for the boys!

another example of this talent is that little umbrella - I must have had him make me hundreds of those growing up! 

to me, he was just funny old dad - (the best)

for dad ♥ x