Thursday, October 12, 2017

I'm not available for a bit...

I'm taking some time away from the blog to heal from an arm injury that has left me unable to type and to honour the anniversary of my mom's death last year. I will not be available through any medium from October 13th to 16th, so any e-book or e-zine purchases will not be sent via email until October 17th, around 9 am my time.

Please respect my boundaries around this time. I know you may be thinking to yourself, "Who wouldn't respect those boundaries?" How about the person who quit Patreon on the day my mother died and added, "Creator didn't engage with the audience as expected," because I had been taking care of my dying mother for months beforehand and had announced that I might not get the e-zine out in time? (I did get it out in time, but that person still left...)

This week alone I had someone call me at work - a number provided here for youth attending or interested in our programs, which I've removed  - and someone else ask me to call them long distance so I could offer them a free consultation. I know of at least four people who have been sharing the paid materials only available on Patreon in a Facebook group or with non-patrons, and I know at least two paid courses are using my materials and formulas without permission and without paying me. This is on top of so many bloggers, Redditors, and instructors I know who are using my formulas and written materials without crediting me or even thanking me, who are making money from advertising on their blogs or YouTube channels.

I don't know how else to say this and I am tired of writing this over and over again, so I'll just be blunt. I have written 2,900 free posts on this blog. I ask for nothing for providing them, except maybe a little kindness and the odd comment. I don't have advertising here or pop ups that fill the screen. I take no sponsorships. I make exactly nothing from these posts on the blog. I answer emails and comments, and offer you free consultations on a variety of platforms  if you provide me with what I need to help.

I've always said I'll write the blog as long as it's fun, and the only way I will continue to enjoy it is to set some pretty strict boundaries and maintain them. (My dad always said it only takes one bugger to spoil it for everyone, and I've encountered quite a surprising number of them this year. Such a sad thing to say...)  How can you help me do that?

If you find any of what I offer of value, please respect me as a human being and not ask for more from me than I'm able to give. When you can't respect my boundaries, you stop treating me as a person and start treating me as an object, as a means to an end, as an extra in your movie. Don't use my work as a way to make money for yourself. Don't slam me in Facebook groups, then ask me so sweetly for help or pretend you didn't say it. (You want to challenge something I've written? Do it in public in a kind way and assume it could be a great learning opportunity for both of us. From the number of you who love to say I'm wrong by noting the times I've admitted I'm wrong, you know I'm open to the idea of not being right as that's the only way we learn!)

Offer feedback on my formulas and write ups, share your happy stories and pictures with me. Let me know you're out there. Say "hi" to me at conferences and let's share a moment of joy over something we love! Greet me by name in messages and share yours. And respect that when I say I can't do something, that isn't a challenge to find a way around my "no".

And, if you can afford as little as $1 a month, consider supporting me on Patreon so I can continue to afford to offer this blog for free, and support other people whose work you like by buying their music or books, subscribing to their Patreon pages, and so on.

If you can't afford it, I completely get that. Contribute to this or any community by offering your thoughts, feedback, criticisms, and yourself to make it an even better community! 


Christina said...

I'm sorry that you had to write this post. I know that I and many, many others truly appreciate your hard work and how freely you share your talents. I've learned so much from you and hope to continue to do so. You're kind and intelligent and I wish I could give you a big hug. Take care of yourself! You deserve kindness and respect and definitely a break when life gets hard (like it does for all of us). I look forward to many more posts in the future!❤️

Unknown said...

Wow. I seldom post, because I usually find an answer you have posted somewhere in the blog. It is such a blessing that you offer so much for us to learn and grow from. Caring for yourself is one of the most important gifts you can give to yourself and everyone in your life that you're connected to and this is a very sacred time for you. It is very sad that you had to write this post.Wishing you the best. I do hope that people read your post and honor your request. Thank you so much for all that you do. Be well and we will all "see" you soon. Blessings 🙏🏼❤️

How to Beat Cancer Daily! said...

You are my number 1 blogger when I have a question it's not google it's you and that simply by reading. -Please give yourself time to heal and know that Lashanda her in NC respects your time. So sorry about your mother. Love you!!!

Te Re said...

Hi Suszn et al, I just recently discovered this blog and haven't had the opportunity to try anything yet. Reading your post simply made me sad. I haven't been in these groups long but I did think there was "honor among thieves or soapers" if you will. When you enjoy making things and love experimenting these posts and other blogs are a great foundation for knowledge I am sorry you encountered this and I will continue to do my part and continue to support you in any way possible. --- why. Because it's the right thing to do and it's the least we can all do to return the favor.

I would also like to offer you my deepest sympathy on the anniversary of your moms passing


Ann F. said...

This is the saddest thing I have read in a long time. I cannot believe that people have taken for granted the huge amount of knowledge you choose to share with us. You have been an inspiration to me for as long as I have been interested in making products, going back to the early days of the Dish! Please know that for every jerk, there are 100 more of us who truly respect, admire and aspire to be half the person you are.
Honor your mom's memory, rest yourself and try not to give people like that another thought.

pat bortolin said...

Sending you well wishes Susan.....Keep looking forward, your a great inspiration!

Belinda Karst said...

Susan, it really saddens me that you even had to think about writing this! Who are these people?!? Shame on them!! You take all the time you need to mourn your Mom and if people don’t like it, well, tough! You do what you need to do to take care of yourself and don’t worry about us. Your true fans and followers only want what’s best for YOU and we WANT you to take this time off. Take all the time you need! We will be right here waiting when you get back.


Debbie said...

The one year anniversary of my mom's death was Sept 25th. I understand. I also want you to know that I have so much valuable info here on your blog and will become a Patreon supporter. There are a lot of us silent ones out here who you never hear from but I want you to know that we value what you do!

Lu said...

Hey Susan, I'm so sorry you're going thru that. The world is full of wonderful people, but filled with terrible ones as well. You're one of the good ones and I always hate when people take advantage of them. Don't worry about us, your faithful readers will always be here for whenever you feel better, so please, rest as much as you need!

Unknown said...

Please take the time that you need to heal. Rude people don't need to be addressed, they don't deserve a response. They are miserable in life and enjoy feeling that they have control by harrassing and being down right rude.
Your blog is amazing and you already give too much. Take time for yourself and please remember that you are appreciated and loved. Forget the jerks out there.
We all look forward to hearing from you when you are ready.

With sincere thanks,

Maria Jenkins

Alleam said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog. I wish for you that for every bugger there are 20 people saying thanks for your generosity. I'm one of them. Thank you.


Pam said...

Susan thank you for all you do for the community. Please take all the time you need to take care of yourself. I am hoping you are feeling refreshed and and your arm is healing. We are rooting for you and sending warm and healing wishes on the wind to caress your cares. Be well.

Lesley Willson said...

Hi Susan, the reason I became a Patreon was to honor all those free posts on your Blog that I still refer to a lot. I hate that other folks take advantage of your materials. I appreciate your hard work and hope to continue to honor you through Patreon. I hope you get plenty of rest and rejuvenation in the following days.

Ashlee said...

God, it makes me mad that people would abuse your kindness and selflessness like that. Please, take all the time you need to rest, recover, and honor your mother. Those are far more important than the blog or any individual follower, and those of us with any shred of humanity will still be waiting here for you.

Since you'll be reading this when you're back, Susan, I hope you had a good rest with lots of cute puppy cuddles!

Frit said...

Dear Susan,

Take all the time you need, self care is a good thing, and you are worth it!

Sending you loads of positive Ju-Ju, and gratitude for all you've done.

You've taught me heaps, and I'm learning more with every post I read, even the ones I can't act on yet. Thank you!


Jennifer Hiatt said...

Thank you for everything you do:-) you are SUCH an amazing resource! Take time for yourself, you deserve it❤️

Yosi Dog said...

There will always be a vocal minority that complains or doesn't accept matter what you do. I've volunteered many hours in many organizations and that's always been true. What you don't hear is the majority of people who truly appreciate what you do. We're too busy trying to digest and keep up with all the information you provide while attending to our own families.

I wanted to let you know that you've opened a whole world that I didn't know existed. I've come to embrace the cosmetic chemistry nerd in myself...its given me a new purpose and enabled me to set new goals. We all get side tracked on bad days, when bad people try to push us off course.

You are on the right track. Stay the course. Take time for yourself and know that you have a loyal base that will still be here when you come back. Thank you for your seemingly tireless work and the awesome information and education you provide.

Gillian Fryer said...

Wow Susan, you have no idea how many people you have touched and helped teach about cosmetic chemistry! If I have a problem with something, you are my 'go to site' to help diagnose what is going on! You make the complex, much more understandable. I only wish more crafters found you, so they would quit saying that their products are "made without chemicals!" But we all realize they won't ever 'get it.'

It took me several years for the impact of my Mom's death to finally hit me. It's tough. She's been gone 17 years now and I still miss her every day.

Your writings have made a positive impact on the lives of so many people, and that is truly a gift you have given us.

Thank you so very much!

styles2911 said...

Hi, i purchased some of your ebooks. How long before they get emailed to me.?

Ally H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annie graham said...

❤️ to you

LondonBliss said...

I've been a lurker on your site for years, I've never posted before, usually too shy. Thank you for everything that you do and I am very sorry that others have been so rude. You take all the time you need. We all appreciate the knowledge you share.

Tammy said...

Susan, Thank you for this blog. You have taught me so very much in the past year. Like another post mentioned I have never posted before but the knowledge you share is very much appreciated. I am sorry that some people are horrible, they post mean comments and steal your work - it is theft if they post without your permission. Why don't people realize that? I think it is safe to say that for every one of them there are hundreds of us that are quiet lurkers who are learning from your posts. I hope this break has given you the physical and mental healing that you require.

Janis said...

People! They come in all shapes and sizes. Your spirit and sharing has inspired me for a couple of years now, and I respect your knowledge. I do what I can to pay back, but those are the life principles I live by. Sadly there are too many takers in this world that live by other standards. I hope you find a way to balance all this in your life. You have been a guiding light to a lot of folk, and I hope that light does not go out. Shine on!

Carolyn Openshaw said...

Take care of yourself and enjoy a well deserved break. Thank you so much for all that you do and share. I thoroughly enjoy your classes, the blog and of course must not forget the books. I purchased them all ! You have many many fans and we all appreciate what you do.
Thank you !

Rosa Phillips said...


I hope that your time away will help you in many ways. I too am a lurker. Love to read your blog, you do inspire me to learn. You do bless us in many ways.

Blessings to you and your family.


joanne peters said...

You have taught us all so much and we so appreciate your knowledge. Please take the time you need and remember we are here thinking of you and wishing you well.


styles2911 said...

Good Morning Susan

I just want to apologize. Unfortunately i did not read the your post above until i had made a post requesting ebooks i purchased. It was not my intention to not think about your recovery. I am not rushing you at all. And to your follower who was a little over protective, i apologize also. Be Good, God Bless, and i enjoy your posts (at least the ones i have read, lol).
Earl Jones
Partner at
CJ Candles And Soaps

Lise M Andersen said...

Sending you warm thoughts and positive vibes from Copenhagen, Susan.

Paige B said...

Hi Susan,

I hope you are getting the most from your time off. I'm sorry that there are those that take advantage of you and all the work you've done...for FREE. I know it's difficult to keep the bad from taking away from the pleasure you derive from your studies and experiments and blogging, especially in the wake of what has been, I'm sure, a very difficult year, but I hope you can to some degree. I think it feels worse or affects us more because it is more often the bad things that we hear about. You have so many readers and supporters, and I am certain that the good people FAR outweigh the bad or unethical. Keep being assertive and advocating for yourself (and I hope that any reader that comes across a situation where Susan is being exploited will speak up for her). You could take it as a sign of serious success, after all, no one steals or wants crappy work or information!

On another note, I found this professor's website and got his book on surfactant science, which I thought was really interesting. I thought of you immediately and think you might find it interesting too, assuming you haven't seen it already. Much of it may be beyond our needs, but you being a science geek like me, will probably get something from it.

Love and best wishes!


P.S. Some time, if you ever have a moment and felt comfortable, I wondered if we could have a direct email conversation re giving credit and recipe design. I want to make sure that I never violate your trust. You should have my email already (unless you deleted it) as we have emailed in the past. No rush and no worries either way.

Julie Adair said...

My heart breaks reading this Susan. I have been with you for 7 years now and it's a shame you should have to ever feel like that, after all you have given and shared with us out of the kindness of your heart. There are so many here who support you to the fullest and will always have your back, just remember that when you feel like the inconsiderate ones are getting to you. I've learned nearly all I know from you, and I'm sure so many others have as well. You are a true inspiration and YOU ARE APPRECIATED.

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Crystal H said...

Susan, you are a wonderful, creative and selfless woman, who brings al much joy to so many people.
You give so much of yourself to us and really expect nothing back. There are so many of us who love and respect you and appreciate what you share of yourself with us. Please try to keep that in mind when things get tough, even tho there are those who make it difficult.
Having the pleasure of meeting you in person at one of your Windy Point classes, I truly know what a joy you are to be around. And how you inspire a room with your knowledge as well as that smile and please keep smiling and take care of yourself and know that there are so many of us who support you in everything you do.

Yukiie said...

I have learned a tremendous amount about lotion crafting from your blog. Whenever I purchase a new ingredient or want to go crazy with a new experiment I always check your blog first since it is a resource I can trust.

My husband patiently listens to me go on and on about exciting new lotion crafting ideas and 'the Canadian chemist'. He was initially surprised that I primarily draw from a single resource (your blog) and asked me what I would have done without your blog. I told him I expect I would have failed so many times that I would have eventually given up my hobby. There are only so many failures you can learn from before it becomes discouraging.

Due to your excellent blog I have only completely failed five times while making lotion. That is out of hundreds of lotions I have made!

Thank you for providing such a wonderful resource.

Lorraine said...

Hi Susan--

I am so sorry to hear that people are taking advantage of you and sucking the joy out of your work. I am so very grateful to have come across your site this past year, your knowledge has guided me and helped me so much. Your site is astounding, all the work you put into formulating, documenting, taking and uploading pics, archiving and cross-referencing the material, writing an entertaining blogpost and answering thank you so much for all you do. I do support you on Patreon...and there again you put so much of yourself into that site and your e-zines, thank you so much!
I hope you take all the time you need to get your heart and hand back in the right place.
I have had hand issues myself, and really, rest is the best thing for it.
Take care, Susan.

Lorraine ❤️

Alittleofthisnalittleofthat said...

I do apologize for other thick headed folks out there and I am very sad that they have made you so sad. I personally appreciate everything that you have taught me.

Rebekah Osorio said...

Susan, you are a blessing to so many and your contributions are nothing short of staggering to me. You don't owe anything to anyone and those who feel entitled can buzz off. I'm so sorry people have treated you this way.
I have mostly lurked, but your articles have been instrumental in my own explorations of self care formulating, which has not only been a creative outlet, but an important act of emotional self healing for myself. I am so grateful to you for your generosity. Though I'm very tight with money at this time I expect that to change in the next month. I'll gladly support you on Patreon when my feet are back under me. Rest up and take all the time you need.

DSWC said...

This was my first day to your blog. I didn't get to the good stuff yet because I wanted to respond to your post. First I am so sorry that you had to write this blog at a time that is very difficult for you. Please don't let ignorant people prevent you from doing the things that you love to do. You seem to have a great talent and I found your name on another website, where you were referred to as an "expert in cosmetic chemistry". So you're doing something Awesome! Good luck and keep your chin up.

Julie Cochrane said...

Hi Susan. I've seen firsthand what you are talking about in these groups. You have my support.

Kim said...

I have enjoyed your blog for years, and the knowledge you share here is amazing. I've had a great time using what I've learned here into over a dozen DIY products that I now use regularly. I've learned so much about formulations, and what makes a great product for ME! Thank you so much for what you do here. Please, take the time you need .. we'll be here when you come back. You have our support and thoughts during this time. I lost my mom to cancer over three years ago and I'm still adjusting to life without her. Take care, Kim.

todd k said...

Susan, you are awesome! Thanks a million for the writing and sharing of your time and life energy.
You are one of the finest, clearest writers I've encountered. I'm dead serious.
Your ability to explain ideas and processes with a smooth flow is elegant and enjoyable to read.
I'm a Patreon supporter and I encourage everyone to be.
Frankly, you give away to much.

Liz Tóth said...

Hi, Susan... I'm so sorry you had to write that! I don't think there's much to be added to what the other people have already said, but God bless (and I'm not even religious) and I hope things start to look up for you soon. You're a true gem and we all want you better!

Ally H. said...

Susan thank you for sharing this. In our production-driven society there is an atmosphere of immediacy, and the desire for quick answers and certain results often take precedence over the needs of the spirit and the health of the body--and we suffer as a result. Often we look to one another as a means to an end, rather than as learning partners in life's journey. While the internet is a wonderful tool for learning and discussions, online communications can also create an environment where we are forgetful (or blissfully unaware) of one another's humanity which can lead to objectification and at times, downright abuse. I think we keep online interactions healthy and productive by bringing up issues of great import to us, and by sharing pieces of who we are. It takes guts to share, and your honesty here is as refreshing as it is brave. We are not mere automatons--rest and reflection are crucial to the healing process, and also to our growth as human beings. You have many here who love and support you, will be here when you return, and who will also respect your boundaries.

It is said that we learn by doing, but I also think we learn and grow through stopping--by saying no, by slowing down, by reflecting. It is in silences, I think, that we get deeper glimpses of who we are and perhaps too, what we may become.

amaralice said...

Thank you Susan! Your generous posts have provided me with an education I was seeking to PAY for but couldn't even find. Your e-books have been worth EVERY penny and I highly recommend them.

Good for you for maintaining appropriate boundaries! Heal swiftly.

Seyhan Çelik said...

Dear Susan, I'm not a formulator but only a skincare addict, who loves to read all about ingredients and formulations and so on. I can tell you that there's no other source of information like your blog in the whole world wide web. What you so freely give us readers here is an absolute treasure. It makes me angry to hear others taking advantage of your generosity. I felt heartbroken and had to come out of the shadows to leave this comment. Take all the time in the world to heal and rest.
Love and respect, Seyhan

Debbie said...

Hi Susan. If you've read your Patreon mail today, you'll know me as the person that "inserted foot, leg and thigh" into mouth before reading this blog post. As I said in my 2nd msg on Patreon, you truly are a gracious giving person that MANY of us are very fortunate and thankful to have in our intrenet (is that a word?) lives. Take care of you and your family and use all the time that's needed to heal. If you'd like to disclose the names of those that are leeching off of you, I'm sure a few of your "thankful followers" would love to say hello. :D Just a thought....

All said with thankfulness, empathy, smiles and vengeance, all wrapped into one

Yolly said...


Thank you for your blog and it's a shame people are so dishonest and sensitive. I have use the useful information to make products for my daughter who has very sensitive skin and her hair and skin are flourishing.

I have become a homemade addict and I prefer making my own tailor made products so thank you for helping me to do this.

I hope you take time to recover and I will be signing up to your Patreon as it is so useful.