Hello friends,

“The blue hues of lavender inspire a poet’s voice, an artist’s hand and a gardener’s eye…”

It is lavender time. This beloved herb abounds in my garden, its sweet, spicy, herbal aroma wafting through the air. Lavender invites the honey bees to partake of its nectar and begs to be harvested.

I find the lavender to be one of my favorite herbs. It thrives with little care; whatever sun and rain nature provides is always perfect. Cultivation is so simple, cut it back in the fall and wait for the new spring growth. Thanks to the volunteer sprouts, each year I am rewarded with an ever expanding lavender bed surrounding the boulders and bench at the garden gateway. Even after the blooms are spent, the remaining gray green foliage still provides the distinctive fragrance. 

Early June when the pretty dusty purple heads open to near full bloom, the herb is ready to be gleaned. Gathered bouquets are tied with simple garden twine as their aroma reels from the rafters where they are hung for natural drying and winter floral displays. Some of the buds will be dried for use in my sachet products. 

Amber and cobalt glass jars and jugs offer a host of infusions concocted for balms, soaps and lotions. Wands will be woven into Victorian inspired delights to adorn a lady’s boudoir.

Queen Victoria would order the maid servants to launder the bed linens and stretch them across the hedgerows of lavender to capture the enticing scent. That intoxicating fragrance is recalled in my pure lavender sleep pillows. Simply store them under your bed pillow. When you turn down the bed at night, flip the pillow and allow the calming lavender to lull you to a placid dream world. 

Add a little fresh or dried lavender to your lemonade…sit, sip and enjoy a summer evening with family and friends.

Oh, the joys of Lady Lavender!

Thanks for visiting,


May wildflowers, so pretty!

Hello friends,

The wild flowers surrounding my home and at the farm are spectacular this week!

Delicate pink wild roses cascading at the edges of the woods in my yard, with stunning honey locust trees in full bloom, wild phlox with their amazing purples fill every river bank and meadow contrasted with bright sunny buttercups...

Revel in the beauty of May!

Thanks for visiting,


What's your superpower?

Hello friends,

A little fun for my fellow soapsmiths!

Thanks for visiting,


Generations of Moms

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 with Dad & her children Bonnie, John, Jeanne & Bob :

My Mother-in-law Anna Wimmer Bartley. She was 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 fantastic job. Her favorite flowers were pansies, I plant them every spring in her honor.

She was a Polish immigrant as was her husband, my grandfather, Stanley Bem. They had 12 children. My Mom wasn't born when this photo was taken
she was near the middle of the birth order.

My paternal Grandmother, Joanne Adamczyk Klisiewicz. The only Grandma I knew. She died 7 days after her 50th wedding anniversary in 1964 when I was 10. 

Also Polish immigrants, she and Grandpap, another Stanley,only spoke Polish. They had 8 children, my Dad was also near the middle of the pack.

My Great Grandmother, Mary Krol Adamczyk Hritz, she died when I was a little child but I do have a single memory of visiting her tiny little house. She was sitting on the porch in a rocking chair and had sunflowers were taller than I was. Circa 1947

Grandma Wimmer, my boys great grandmother on Tom's maternal side. She died a year after this photo was taken, we went to visit her at her 9th Ave home on our wedding day because she was home bound and unable to attend. She was quite a character, always joking with all of us. 

I have a few cherished items from her home - an exquisite print of Christ's Agony in the Garden at Gethsemane on Holy Thursday that graces my bedroom,
a couple of depression era serving pieces that we always use at family holiday gatherings and a few very fragile vintage Christmas ornaments that adorn our tree every year. She wasn't Catholic, but had a rosary. My Mother-in-law gifted it to me upon Grandma Wimmer's death, I cherish it and still use it.

And finally, me with my sons, Tom, Rob and Brian

Wishing all the great Moms who helped to shape and form us- guided our hands to be folded in prayer, taught us the sign of the cross along with our nursery rhymes, wiped away our tears and held us in support while we struggled to walk and to write, taught us to whistle with a blade of grass and put buttercups to our chins, to pick wild flowers and tend the garden, to use our hands for the betterment of mankind, and passed along the wisdom of womanhood - a happy and blessed day surrounded by your children and grandchildren. We have been "homemade" by you and for that we are grateful.

Happy Mother's Day!


Reader's Comments

By Soapsmith on 10/20/2013 @ 10:49pmHi Courtney, I have no further information on the Adamczyk side of the family. Of course, I knew my grandparents including Joan Adamczyk who married my grandfather Stanley Klisiewicz and her brothers, my great Uncles John (married to Vicky) and Joseph (married to Sophie). I still see some of my Adamczyk cousins. I have some information on my paternal grandfather, the Klisiewicz side but not the Adamczyk side. I have found my grandfather's immigration papers and the Klisiewicz family tree one generation back before his immigration. Most of them never left Poland. That photo is the only one I have. I do recall visiting her tiny cottage home when I was a very small child, at least I believe it was her - I remember it being my great grandmother and my Dad's grandmother died in Poland when my grandfather was just 2 years old - I can only assume it was my grandmother's mother. Long time ago!

By Guest on 10/20/2013 @ 09:46pmBonnie, i have been trying to find some information on my great, great grandmother Mary Krol Adamczyk Hritz. I was so excited to find a picture of her. My grandmother Sophie, Joann's daughter, did not have any pictures of her. Do you also have any information about Mary's husdands either Florian or Casper? I would appreciate any information. Thank you so much. Courtney Stallings

By Soapsmith on 06/27/2012 @ 05:21pmHow about that, Judith. The man in the yellow shirt is my grandfather, Stanley Klisiewicz with my grandmother Joanne Adamczyk Klisiewicz. The other photo, the black and white picture with her hand on her hip wearing a babuska on her head is my great grandmother Mary Krol Adamczyk Hritz, she is the mother of the woman in the pic with yellow shirt. This is the only photo I have of her. She died when I was a little child but I have a single memory of visiting her and looking up at huge sunflowers she had. The seemed to be looking down at me as a little girl. I would be happy to photo copy the picture and send it to you. You can email me your address. My email is

By Guest on 06/27/2012 @ 05:12pmBonnie, I believe we share a great grandmother, Mary Krol Adamczyk Hritz. If the man in the yellow shirt is her husband it is the first time I have seen him. Would it be possible to get a copy of the photo? Judith Love Schwab

Starting them young...

Hello Friends

I like to start my customers young - the next generation of Soapsmith lovers!

Four generations of Soapsmith fans...

I so cherish my loyal customers, they are my finest asset! 
 I owe it all to you.

Thanks for visiting,