The 12 tasks of holiday.

As the holidays approach, Jacqueline shares with us her plan to conquer December.

Let December begin. The month of meetings, parties, events and holidays. When every day seems too short and the to-do lists pile up and up. Soak sales are also on the rise, as lingerie loving fashionistas and crafty knitters alike choose Soak for their loved ones and themselves this holiday season.

mini hat

Rather than chronicling the 12 days of Christmas, or a countdown to Hanukah, or worrying about all the other obligations of December, today I’m outlining my 12 tasks for the holiday season. I’m limiting myself to 12 specific deliverables, in an effort to actually get through (some of) them, and to avoid wasting days and hours of pondering what I’ll do for the week between Christmas and 2012. We work hard throughout the year, to we cherish a few extra days off while the office is quiet.  This year I’m making the most of them.

I’m balancing tasks between the Soak office, much needed love at home and my craft projects. While I wish I could devote the holiday week entirely to craft projects (in my newly sewn pajamas), reality says otherwise. Reality, plus two tradeshows in January.  So here’s my list. I’m already on it, so as to finish by the end of the month. I’ll keep you posted as each event progresses. Some may seem more inspiring than others, either way, they must be done!

  1. Determine scale and fabric plan for Farmer’s Wife Quilt Along. I’m thinking about enlarging the original pattern to 8” or 9” squares, in order to make a king size quilt with slightly larger pieces.
  2. Finish (mostly) 4 ongoing quilt projects so I can start my Farmer’s Wife Quilt guilt-free.
  3. Rearrange my office; it has been 4 years now, and I’m ready for some change. Plus, it’d be nice to have a work surface for new product development that doesn’t have to be cleaned up by lunch.
  4. Reorganize files on the server. Growing from working alone to having a team of four means messy file folders.
  5. Organize recipe binder. I love to cook; I don’t love to put stuff away after.
  6. Update mail server and all related details (clean out emails, organize mailing list subscriptions). I receive a lot of newsletters and industry information.  It needs some organization.
  7. Pre-launch testing on new website, complete with wholesale ordering online! Yup, it’s really happening. We’re moving into a new age of online shopping.
  8. Make a carrying case for my sewing machine table. It’s one of those large objects that are always in the way, when not in use.
  9. Update warehouse layout for new products (an excuse to play with the forklift).
  10. Edit more how-to videos for YouTube and our media friends.
  11. Frame this year’s ‘thank-you cards’ for the office. And frame last year’s, which are still in the bag with the frame.
  12. Plan a crafty menu for my annual New Year’s Day brunch.

Here is a sneak peak of my Liberty stash. I’m going to work very hard to accomplish and share all of the above tasks, instead of locking myself up with my Liberty fabric, like I’d like to do.
Liberty Teaser




Originally uploaded by Soakwash

Happy Easter Bunny.

2011 Update

It’s only March and we’ve had an eventful first few months of 2011. Here’s a brief update on what we’ve been working on.

January was full of travels. We attended TNNA and Vogue Knitting Live where we were greeted with friendly eager customers who couldn’t get enough of our newest product, Heel. This was the first Vogue Knitting Live show and we loved meeting our New Yorker Soak users. We also met some friendly people who travelled from Canada and even California to participate in the fun.

February was full of cake and icing. With both Jacqueline and Chris celebrating birthdays last month, as well as brightly coloured Valentine’s day cupcakes, our sweet teeth have thoroughly been satisfied. I also learned how much butter and sugar actually goes into a bowl of delicious butter cream icing. This is one fact that I probably could have gone my whole life without knowing, and have been happier.  Even knowing what was in the icing, it didn’t stop me from licking the bowl.

For month’s now, we’ve been diligently working on making our website more user-friendly and appealing. There has been vast improvement so far compared to our old site and we’re still working hard on continuing to improve it. Here’s a sneak peek as the new layout and design that we’ve been working on.

Visit and give us your thoughts on our progress thus far. I’ve looked at this page everyday for the past 3 months and I’m sure a fresh pair of eyes can offer some much needed feedback.

We’ve decided to take part in the 365 photo a day project. It’s been a team effort with each one of us submitting photos and it’s been interesting to see what each of us sees in our daily lives outside of the Soak office. With warmer weather just around the corner, I’m excited to see more nature and outdoor photographs. If you search 365 in Flickr, you’ll see many photos taken by people around the world who are participating.

101 things to do with Soak | 031 Canning tomatoes.

Author: Jacqueline

Sometimes you just have too many tomatos.

While making our third batch of sauce we finally ran out of pots. Mini-Carrie came to the rescue storing chopped tomatos and basil pre-cooking. Yum. The Carries and Phils are non-toxic and food safe, so cook away!

It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 29. Huile d’Olive

Author: Ngoc 

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course! 

Today’s bag is compliments of Paul and Marianne, a newlywed couple who spent their romantic honeymoon in France. On their first day exploring Aix-en-Provence, they came across a wonderful open air market.

 Surrounded by home-made tapenade, artisan breads, fresh spices and beautiful flowers, they were reminded of Chris (from the Soak office) and decided to pick up this wonderful bag for her.
I’m not exactly sure why they were thinking of Chris on their honeymoon, perhaps it is her love of farmer’s markets and her adamancy that most fruits and vegetables should only be bought while in season. Or maybe there is just something about olive oil that brings them fond memories of Chris. Either way, she scored a great new bag for her trips to the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Provence, be sure to visit the wonderful markets and enjoy a baguette and some black olive tapenade for us. We’ve been told that you won’t be disappointed.


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 19. Melt.

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!

There has been great debate about whether this blog is about just Soak, or great products in general. Is it commercial, or personal? Is it promotional or creative exploration? Well, we’re not ready to commit either way, but we feel that anything that inspires us enough to share should be included.

Sometimes it is about Soak, sometimes our customers, sometimes, like today, brilliant design, merchandising and products in totally unrelated fields. Today, I bring you, Melt.

While in London (yes, there’ll be several posts about great British discoveries), we discovered, at Liberty of London in the ‘confectionery department’, Melt chocolates. More specifically, hot chocolate lollipops.  A stick of perfectly square chocolate, wrapped in vividly coloured papers, filled with deliciousness.  Single origin hot chocolate blocks, as they are called. Hand made in their own kitchen.

Directions: swirl the lollipop in steeped milk and enjoy. How decadent.

A few steps from Portobello Road in a posh neighbourhood in Notting Hill, we found a Melt retail store. There were bars of chocolate, truffles and other caramel treats in the most perfectly elegant space.

There was even a Melt bike for carrying chilled bundles of deliciousness around town.

As I was leaving with my perfectly lovely bag filled with hot chocolate lollipops, I couldn’t resist photographing the shop, to share it with you. From brand to bar, Melt is a true example of a leading company. Check them out; we hope you’ll be as inspired as we were. Oh, and yes, the hot chocolate was delicious!

101 things to do with Soak | 017 Soaking corn for the BBQ

Author: Ngoc

I don’t think there’s a single person who doesn’t enjoy a backyard barbeque. With temperatures averaging about 25 degrees last weekend in Toronto, having a barbeque seemed like the only reasonable option for dinner.

During the summers while I was in university, my friends and I would live on barbequed food. We’d switch between chicken and beef depending on what was on sale at the market, but the one constant was the corn. We learned that soaking your corn in water for at least 30 mins prior to throwing them on the grill helped keep the corn moist and help prevent the kernals from burning.  


Peel back most of the excess husk (leave on at least 2 layers) and silk. Instead of filling up the kitchen sink to soak my corn, I pulled out my handy Phil.
Benefits of using Phil:  
  1. Left the sink free to wash other vegetables.
  2. Was able to soak 10 cobs at once.
  3. Could be kept outside near the BBQ which made it easy to throw the cobs on as soon as the meat was finished cooking.
  4. I didn’t have to carry the soaking wet corn from my sink to my backyard. This means no water dripping around the house.
  5. After soaking, the water can be used to water your plants instead of just going down the drain.



Once on the grill, the husk will darken and burn. Don’t worry, since you soaked the corn, the kernels inside should be steaming without burning. Turn the cobs periodically for even cooking. Once cooked, remove from the grill and let sit for 10 mins before peeling back the husk and silk. I know it’s hard to wait but the corn will be very hot right off the BBQ. I like to twist the husk into a nice handle to avoid holding on to the steaming hot cob. Now dress with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to Twitter

It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 7: Once Upon a Tart

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!

New York. Bright lights, big city.
Last week we were in NY for the Curve trade show. (Aisles and aisles of lingerie!) We spent a day visiting friends and lovely shop owners who sell Soak. The next few weeks will trace a bag filled excursion through multiple boroughs and great shops. First on our stop, nestled in Soho was a walk on the crafty side, to Purl and Purl Patchwork. For all that we love Purl, we were a bit distracted by her neighbour, Once Upon a Tart… Before I get carried away, be sure to watch the Purlbee blog,  for updates on Purls exciting move, bringing both stores into one, later this year.

Click here for a treat!

It was an unusually warm winter day in New York, especially for us Canadians. We took advantage of the sunshine, stopping for a mid-morning pear and chocolate tart on the patio. Choosing which tart to have was indeed a challenge, but I always do favour finely sliced fruit, so the pear tarts immediately caught my attention. I’ve even tried to make the likes at home once or twice. If you are in the neighbourhood, grab a bag off the wall, select some delicate tarts and if you forgot your sweet tooth at home, grab some of their delicious salads and sandwiches instead. From baguettes to cupcakes everything looked scrumptious. They also have a cookbook. It was early in the day, with the walking we had ahead, I resisted temptation… but something tells me on my next trip through Soho (perhaps Purl’s grand opening?) I’m likely going to pick it up.
Once Upon a Tart

Candy Apples and the Entrepreneur Hour

Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of taping an episode of the E-hour with Steve Stunt. (air date to follow, I think this Sunday the 29th) With me was fellow entrepreneur Paul Moyer of Moyer’s Candy Apples. We chatted about our experiences in business and in the Dragons’ Den. Paul’s family has an apple farm and is now well-known for his candy apples.

On my regular trip to the market Saturday, I realized that I was already quite familiar with Paul’s products. In addition to securing a candy apple, I stumbled upon the most elegant form of cauliflower, cauliflower romanesco. It was love at first sight, and dinner Sunday. Yum. All were carried home in my favorite market bag, from Borough Market, in London England.