Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Ghost Mansion

Today I spoke to a friend and told the story of my dream that I've so conveniently tucked away in the  "not happening anytime soon" brain file.  So many years ago, I had a vision for us soapers/crafters..... a dream to find an old mansion and restore it over time.  This place would be my home, and it would have 12 or more bedrooms and two kitchens.  I want to create a Soaper's Retreat

Every person would come, be able to soap at will (all supplies provided), and there would be a small stipend for the supplies and running costs of that portion of the house.  Overwhelmed people could just escape from their daily grind to vacation, soap, relax and socialize.  They could either stay and use the gardens, lounge under the shady oak tree and soap!  There would be a badminton course, tether ball, playing cards, backgammon and board games.  When people would stay the night, we'd hire a chef for every dinner and supply fine wine.  Or whip up dinner together.

The Soap Bar Blog has grown over the years and part of it was to introduce handmade soap and their makers to the world and to create a community between soap makers which didn't really exist online. I am still looking around for new ways to connect with all of you and have you connect with each other, but there just isn't the physical proximity and hands-on sharing that I long for.  I know I am not alone.  The Soapmaker's Guild Conference that occurs every year is one way to connect and learn, and I haven't been to one yet, but it is organized and scheduled which isn't the vision I have for the Retreat.  This is a photo of an abandoned house.... looks so perfect.

Here is an old post about this very idea that I do hope can come to fruition after I become wealthy ;).  Hey, ya never know! (re-posted from April 2009):

Soapmaker's Dream Getaway

My big fat brain has been thinking about a soapmaker's retreat location for well over a year now. Way back when, I had hoped that I could arrange a soapmakers get away here in Florida sometime during the Winter months and get a boat load of soapers together in one place. Who knows? From all around the world maybe?? I think many of us have made friends and acquaintances through this blog and through the soap community in general.

My dream consisted of a large 10-15 room mansion with a huge living room and dining room where we could all gather and get to know each other and relax and cook for each other. I also envision a commercial kitchen (?) where we could make a few batches of soap ..... a workshop or two planned for one day and the next, treated as a retreat poolside or beach side or whatever.

Or just a retreat. The cost would be airfare, room and board and cost of the workshop. Or no workshop. I like to dream.

a) I'd love to meet so many of you. I think so many of you also want to meet each other!
b) Not all of us can afford the Soapmaker's Guild Conference.
c) The Winter is brutal in so many places, Florida is heaven in January.

h e a v e n

...not so much in the Summer, though. Then one (me. everyone.) melts.
You could fry an egg on the hood of my car. Easily.

d) If you have children, maybe this is a wonderful reason to take time just for you.

I'm not pitching this, ya'see, because I don't have a mansion on the beach, and I don't know anyone who does. Tiger Woods is building his estate on Jupiter Island, but I don't think we'd be invited, and I don't think we'd find each other in that house anyway, not even in his 10,000 ft. small guesthouse. Also, Celine Dion lives there...they might be neighbors, I don't know... but I know she wouldn't have us there. We would be too rowdy!! (Jupiter Island and Tiger Woods house is about 4000 ft away if I flew from my house to his, according to Mapquest ariel view).

So even though I live just feet from some of the richest people in THE WORLD (!!!), it doesn't mean that there square footage has rubbed off on my house. (dumb house)

Too bad it's not contagious.

So I continue to dream.  If anyone has a mansion they'd like to donate, I would take it by the tail and run with it and make the best damn soap connection ever.

So dream.  It feels good.  :)

xo Jo

(ps:  I know a ton of you are members of the FB Group of ours, but please comment HERE, as there are plenty of people who read this blog that would love your input.  Me too.



Kathy Green said...

I would come to stay in the mansion - summer or winter :-) What a lovely dream!

tracy said...

Oh, my dear Joanna! Reading this, I literally felt my heart well up with warmth and draw closer.

To dream vividly, passionately and boundless, as you do, is so inspiring! All things truly fabulous began like this. Never say never (I love James Bond, did I tell you?).

I'm saving my pennies and frequent flier miles. Who knows?


Sud Sisters said...

This is the greatest idea I've heard in a very long time! Sign me up! I luv restoring properties and I'm good with my hands. I don't think I'd ever want to leave though. I think that will become your main problem, you'll end up with a bunch of room mates. I am one of those people who can't afford the HMSG conference, so the idea of this makes me all giddy inside. I think I'd much rather come to your retreat. Oh but a girl can dream.........

Under the Willow said...

I've thought about the very thing- except here on our waterfront home along the Eastern shore- soap by day, Maryland crabs at night. We can dream right?

You're idea is wonderful- wouldn't that be nice to meet and put a face (and smile) to all the people who have joined the FB forum.

Tub-Time Treasures said...

*makes note* When I win the lottery, help Joanna MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!

I LOVE the idea! What a great way to embrace and enjoy our soaping family!

Kate said...

Looks like the house from "It's a Wonderful Life"!
It's a great idea!!!!

Ksenija said...

Maybe we should start by making a donation?

Reg said...

That house is PERFECT for your dream! In my dream, I can make soap just like you. ;)

Marga said...

What al lovely dream.... Let's donate!

Marilyn said...

What a lovely dream- count me in! When I lived in NY, we had a small soaper's gathering in upstate NY near Rochester at a fellow soaper's B&B and it was a fantastic weekend- a real soaper's retreat. We shared some of our specialties like hot process soaping and one person asked a local basket maker to demo a basketmaking class and we had a blast and very much appreciated how much they cost. So, I really know how great your dream is. COUNT ME IN! :o)

edles vom lande said...

i would like to come also. this would be my chance to come over the ocean. and to meet all the nice soapmaker in your country.

Celine Blacow said...

It'd be just fab! There's a place like that over here, but for artists and writers. You stay a week, you write or paint or draw or whatever and then get together at night for a big communal meal. I think some help to cook but they have someone come in to help too. It'd be fabulous ... a place to really immerse yourself and get away from all the other things that take us away from our dreams.

Adore that house... at the mo it looks rather scary but it could be a real beauty. I see the outside in white and pale blue.

Follow your dreams, they're there for a reason.

C x

Nat said...

If you can dream it you can do it!! I'll come <3<3

divatrevasoapworks said...

I would love to come to meet others that share the same interest in soaping. Workshops would be so beneficial and so much fun!!!

Anonymous said...

You've had the idea for a while, but I just started thinking about it when talking to some other soapers at the HSMG conference last month. I think it's so do-able. A good friend of mine is a knitting teacher and has an annual retreat for knitters. If we all continue to mull it over and put our heads together, I bet we could do it (and maybe even have multiple ones around the country).

jax said...

count me in!! i don't mind doing the cooking either! what a glorious idea - we're a load of blue-ninja-willie-loving soapaholics - between us we SHOULD be able to make this work!

Joanna Schmidt said...

I love you ALL! Maybe I should pursue this more in my head and see if we could get grant money or something.


you are the best!!!

Hajni said...

Hey Joanna!
Wowzers that building is impressive!!!! May be we should do a collective Lottery or something and turn it into reality :)!!! Now have you worked out an exit plan- some of us may just move in permanently lol!!!! Gooooooooooorgeous building!!!! And YES wouldnt it be great to meet in person?!

LongLeafSoaps said...

I think we should all start a soapers commune...preferably somewhere touristy =)

Lyn said...

What a wonderful dream.........I hope that one day your dream is a reality and I will be saving my pingas to come enjoy a taste of that once dreamt reality <3

Tricia said...

Boy does this idea sound more and more appealing!! A place where our Soap Family can go to be with each other, to relax, to soap, to talk, to share, and to just *be* with each other.....other people who get us, who accept us for us and appreciate the art and function of soap!!

Let's do this somehow!!!