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Two girls making somethings out of nothings with their hands. This summer we hope to embark on an epic cross country road trip, interviewing all kinds of artist along the way in order to make a documentary about art and culture in America today. OUR KICKSTARTER IS UP AND RUNNING! follow us and stay informed! Instagram: @soapskeptics Facebook.com/soapskeptics.1

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Long Time No Blog

Hey folks!

Sorry it's been a while since we blogged, but not sorry at the same time because we have been experiencing so much goodness the internet probably wouldn't be able to handle it.

Where to begin….

We landed in New Mexico and stayed in Albuquerque with Andrea's Aunt, Eugenia, and her partner, Stephanie. They were wonderful hosts- they cooked for us, took us to see some sights, and just relaxed and enjoying each other's company in their beautiful new home! We also got to spend some time with Andrea's grandmother (who taught her how to crochet) and her uncle, Luis. This mini family reunion was a nice little distraction from all of the art talk and interviewing, it gave us some time to really ground ourselves in the journey. We got to explore some Native American Territory in Sky City, it's an Acoma Pueblo on top of a mesa, the mesa has a long history of why the Natives settled there, they traveled across the land singing to the mesa's and the one which would sing back to them was the one they were to live on. Of course, tragic history tells that the white settlers who came and tried to take over bombarded the people of the mesa and disturbed their village. It is still a running village with families living in the homes, going to the church, and carrying the old traditions. We met an artist named Gooby Garcia, he is the towns story teller, he is in the hierarchy of the pueblo and has been since he was 17 years old (he is now 31). He explained to us all of the symbols in Native American art, the mountain peaks, the symbols for water, fire, earth, and wind, north, west, east, south, the importance of mother and father, the importance of faith and hope, the importance of the self, and of the mother earth. It was truly enlightening and he told us we can come back any time to visit and he would show us some beaded weaving techniques.

In New Mexico we met with Andrea's friend, Carter, he is a musician and happened to be traveling this summer on a cross country bicycle journey. Since we were both in New Mexico at the same time, we met up with him and did a little interview about music and culture. Then the three of us ventured to Santa Fe to see some sights and it just so happened to be a big Native American Festival! We walked around for about two hours and got really tired of the heat and the crowds and how expensive everything was and… lets be real… we don't have time or money to be looking at $200 jewelry. So we ventured some more and we ended up meeting a group of loving, free spirited individuals: Ali, Phoenixx, and Karyn (a.k.a Dandelion). We ended up making weavings, drawings, and music in a park right outside of Santa Fe for the entire day. It was nice, we needed some time for creativity to flow, and working alongside other creative individuals is always inspiring. Well, turns out Karyn is a fire breather/performer and Ali and Phoenixx play guitar and sing magically as she performs to "make a buck" as they say. Of course we stayed for the show! Twas the perfect way to end our day in the historically beautiful Santa Fe!

So Carter knows of this girl Emily who we have been in touch with for the past few weeks. It was his idea for us to meet her and learn about living off the grid. For those of you who do not know what "off the grid" means, it means to live off of the grid of society completely self sufficient. Right after our fire show in Santa Fe, we made our way to Taos where we met Emily at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and followed her car to her piece of land 7 miles away from the city on the top of a mesa.

Emily started her interest living off the grid when she interned for EarthShips [www.earthship.com] and later became employed by them. Through the company she learned about self sustainable agriculture, architectural design to coexist with nature, and how to reuse and recycle objects into functional, useful things around the house. She recently purchased and officially owns her own piece of land and has been living in a school bus she renovated and made completely her own. The way of life is inspiring, it's hard work, it's ambitious, it's dedication, strong will, and we completely admire everything she told us and shared with us. Our first night on the mesa we stayed at her neighbor, Tyler's land.

He let the three of us sleep in his camper. Then in the morning we all went to the Coffee Spot, a cute little Taos hangout place for good coffee and breakfast. Then Emily, Rosie, Carter, and Andrea made their way to downtown Taos and shopped around a bit, saw some cool stores, bought some awesome wool roving, got some groceries, and made our way to the RIO GRANDE!! Emily showed us this amazing part of the Rio Grande right by her mesa where there are hot springs leading right to the Big Rio itself. We hangout there till the sun went down, met some cool tourists, drank a few beers, made friends with a mountain goat, and took a dip in the Rio. We spent the night once again at Tyler's while he was working in Santa Fe and in the morning, SoapSkeptics left the mesa to head for the Grand Canyon. We had just enough time to interview Emily and film her talking about what it is to live off the grid and in Taos…. as soon as we get back to NJ and edit all of this footage you will all be able to hear all the things she has to say about how her life changes since living off the grid.

THANK YOU so much to Emily and Tyler for welcoming us in to your homes and being nothing but good to the both of us, and THANK YOU to Carter who introduced us. Something tells me our paths will cross again soon! We knew on this trip we were "gonna learn", and we HAVE been.


After spending the night in Tuba City, Arizona we woke up extra early to grab some breakfast at the Hogans Family Restaurant. MMM M! Navajos know what is up when it comes to breakfast! Two eggs, pulled pork, toast, pancakes, sausage, ham, coffee, chile, peppers, and cheese for like $7!

Enough said.
Right next door was a Navajo historical trading post so of course we had to go in. Andrea walked out with an awesome ring and Rosie with earrings. Then right back on the road. We traveled a lot that day before so it was just a short drive to the most magical place on earth.

Words can not even begin to explain the amazing, jaw dropping beauty that is the Grand Canyon. We were both speechless. All we could do was smile, laugh, and say "Wow".  We both strongly believe that everyone should most definitely go and see it with their own eyes. Pictures just don't do it justice… One thing that has been very apparent while traveling and seeing all of these amazing sights is that we are small! Its very humbling :)

After gazing at the beautiful canyon for a couple hours we went back to the campsite we reserved earlier ~Shout out to campsite #31!~ and got together all of the great rocks we found around the area and washed them to see what we got because we're crazy. Just kidding but our site neighbors probably thought so. We were wrapping sage, washing rocks, painting, and cutting each others hair. So yeah, we're crazy. That's what three weeks on the road does to ya!

 It started to get pretty nippy and dark early on so we ran over to the general store in the park and got some hotdogs and beer to enjoy next to the fire we were about to build.

Not bad for two city girls! The hotdogs were baller and the beers hit the spot but the best part of that night was without a doubt the stars! Its amazing how many there are and they're always there but the light pollution [especially around New Jersey that we're used to] overpowers them. It's also sad. The stars remind you that you are on a planet floating through space. Yeah, we all know that and people talk about the earth all the time but if you can't actually see it every day, its easy to forget. In the tent we could still see the stars and falling asleep to that was priceless.

In the morning, before the sun was about to rise we drove over to the canyon edge to see it once more and then headed back to camp to make some toast and Nutella for breakfast, pack up, and make our way to Flagstaff, Arizona. Our "service needed" light came on in the car se we took it to get some TLC before driving through the desert to California.

Seven hours later we finally make it to Burbank, California where we stopped real quick to see Rosie's cousin, T.J. and get some advice on where to look for a cheap motel. T.J. was on his way to band practice and we needed to find a room so we parted ways but don't worry we'll be interviewing him tomorrow morning about his special project. When we say special we mean no one is doing
what he does. Stay tuned to find out!

For now, it is bed time. We finally found a cheap room at the Harmony Motel and are so excited to get some well needed rest. It was great catching up and we don't plan on living off the grid again on this trip so posts should be regular. Maybe.


Harmony Motel was harmonious FOR SURE! Neither of us wanted to wake up but T.J. McNeill was ready for his interview bright and early! We interviewed him about his projects of mixing musical talent with comedy and satire. T.J. has lots to express about society, culture, and all the in-betweens and he used irony, satire, and comedy to say it! The interview was entertainment at it's best, but also really genuine and we touched on a lot of topics about social media and how people react and interact with social issues through the media. Can't wait to edit it!

After the interview T.J. was oh so awesome and treated us to DENNYS!!! The BEST breakfast sandwiches and great way to start our day in LA. He had work so we parted ways and the SoapSkeptics team made way towards Venice Beach to soak up some sun and enjoy the scenery. This place is lively and fun to say the least. So much art, street performers, roller bladders, skate boarders, body builders, graffiti, and hustlers! Yeah, we got hustled. We thought we were buying two shirts for $20 each, but then after they swiped our credit card they told us it was $100! WHAT THE HELL VENICE BEACH?! It's okay though, we made a scene, and we hustled them back leaving the store with three shirts, a sweatshirt, and a hat. BOOM! Jersey don't have patience for dealing with that sort of bull crap.
Besides that…. Venice beach was beautiful! Andrea took a nice dip in the radioactive Pacific Ocean, and Rosie got a nice bright crispy sun burn. Worth it.

We made our way to Hollywood to check out the stars and eat some In n Out Burgers! So yummy and so much fun! LA is so opposite of the places we have been staying lately, so it was a bit of an adjustment to go from the glorious silent Grand Canyon to this booming, star studded city, but we still enjoyed it and had a great time living the touristy life. After creeping on the big mansions in Beverly Hills and Bel Air in our KIA Soul, we made our way to Santa Monica to sit on the beach and check out the board walk at night.

We met with T.J. after he got out of work and grabbed a drink at a local bar he showed us. Once again, never a dull moment with T.J. THANK YOU SO MUCH for showing us a great time in LA and letting us stay with you on our last night in this glorious city!
It is now time to depart this LA LA Land and head north to San Francisco!!

Alrighty friends, time to hit the road! Don't forget to follow our instagrams for more frequent updates!!



Andrea + Rosie

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Last full day in San Antonio


Day 100… just kidding it's only day 11!
Today started off with some sketchbook doodles and coffee on the balcony of our lovely hosts', Carlos and Bri Lozano's, apartment. Then we ventured back to the Southwest School of Art to interview Doerte Weber. Doerte was born in Germany but moved to Texas in the 80's, she had some great things to say about how her German background has pushed her to be organized, determined, and hard working and how the opposing culture of Texas has allowed for her to be more open and susceptible to change, life, and color in her work. She was working on a large scale weaving during the interview made of plastic. Weber is inspired heavily by the environment and also how people use news and media to communicate. The piece will be an interactive installation "The Yellow Brick Road" at San Antonio's art event, Lluminaria, in November. [more info: http://luminariasa.org]

After the interview we met with Casey, the exquisite woman we met/interviewed yesterday and the four of us girls went out to lunch at this awesome pizza joint that we can't remember the name of! But as soon as Andrea took a bite she said "Wow, this is good pizza for the south." So… it was good.

This trip has been opening so many doors for us, and it has taught us so many lessons and introduced us to so many wonderfully inspiring people thus far. Thank you to Doerte and Casey for welcoming us into this city, showing us around, and just being yourselves- strong, independent, & artistically inspiring women!

After parting ways, we went to the historical Alamo! Neither of us are big historians and it was way to hot to stand there and read all the panels with information... so we honestly can't tell you anything of importance about it…. BUT they had some AWESOME cacti and gardens. We walked around sunny San Antonio, ate some gelato, went to an awesome art store and bought some supplies we've run low on, and headed to a hiking trail for our weaving! Andrea sang and played on the ukelele while Rosie made the weaving for Texas. We haven't taken photos of it yet because the sun had already set when we finished so we will do that in the morning.

Now we are getting ready to pack up and go to New Mexico tomorrow early in the AM- a full 12 hour drive over there. But we're staying with Andrea's aunt, Eugenia and her partner Stefanie. SO EXCITED for the desert and sun, family and good vibes. We are going to bed early, so goodnight ya'll! Texas you have been great to us, and maybe we will return in November for the Luminaria!

Goodnight everybody~

Andrea + Rosie

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8/19/2014 San Antonio


Howdy Ya'll !

Today we started the day off early and got some work done on our sketchbooks. We were able to make some breakfast and start exploring San Antonio by 11 am. Doerte Weber gave us many suggestions on where to go and what to do, so we began with the Southwest School of Art.

Public Library- awesome architecture!

At the Southwest School of Art, there is a public library filled with public art including a beautiful glass blown chandelier that was just MIND BLOWING! Then we made our way to the gallery space of the school where we saw some impressive fiber arts, ceramic works, paintings, and mix media art works. The Southwest School of Art has recently become a credited university for one to obtain a BFA, but prior to that, it used to be a place to learn about paper making, printmaking, fiber arts, ceramics, and painting via workshops and classes. This school is the only real art school in San Antonio, and based from our own personal observations, it has a very open minded mentality which allows for students and faculty to express themselves uncensored by "high brow art culture/institutions" which we found really inspiring.

We walked around sunny San Antonio for a bit and grabbed some food at The Cove where we were pleased to find $2 PBR's and some delicious burgers… and outdoor seating! Doerte got us in touch with a fiber artist around our age named Casey Galloway.

Casey Galloway @ Southwest School of Art Gallery
Casey was interested in our project and was more than willing to do an interview. So after lunch we met with her at the Southwest School of Art and got to see more of the fiber studios, talk to her about fiber culture, San Antonio culture, and how she gathers inspiration to create her art works. She is a native to this city and was brought up by a grandmother who was very knowledgable on herbs, natural dyes for fibers, and gardening and she has carried most of those young seeds into her practice. She has recently been given the position to be the head of the department for the Bachelors of Fine Arts in the Fiber Arts department for the Southwest School of Art which is a HUGE DEAL and we are SO EXCITED for her to make some awesome positive changes. Casey expressed to us that most of the people who take these fiber arts classes tend to restrict themselves into the traditional technique of fiber art and weaving, but we all seemed to agree that in 2014, SO MUCH can be done experimentally, artistically, and sculpturally with yarn and a loom. We can go on and on about our conversation with her today, but we'll save it for the documentary.

But check out Casey Galloway's work here: www.caseygalloway.com || and also check out her company Wool Tree Yarn hand dyed yarns: http://www.luckyeweyarn.com/wool-tree-yarn.html

But check out our MAMAS! They got together today and had a nice little dinner on Andrea's porch and texted us this picture. #1 SoapSkeptical moms <3<3

Downtown San Antonio

Exploring little shops at El Mercado
After our interview we hung out, explored some stores at El Mercado, got some ice cream, and made out way back to the Lozano's apartment to get ready for dinner. Carlos was talking about some real authentic Mexican seafood restaurant called El Bucanero, so we went…. and it was GOOOOOOD. Good food, good music, and good company all around!

We're living the slow life here in San Antonio, there's not much else to report on except that we have been enjoying this sunshine, enjoying the friendly people, observing the plants, nature, and culture and just soaking it all in.

Hope you all are having a good weekend and stay tuned because tomorrow we will interview Doerte Weber and explore some more of this beautiful city before heading out to New Mexico on Thursday!


Andrea + Rosie

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bye Houston! Hey San Antonio!


We both had our first hostel experience last night/today. It was interesting to say the least but a good time. We got to catch up on our sketchbooks and relax for a bit and then explored a little bit of Houston. The Rothko Chapel was our first stop. For those of you who have never hear of it, we suggest you check it out. Rothko worked on these large scale paintings to fill a chapel and be used as a spiritual space for all religions and beliefs. It's an experience Andrea had always heard about in her time at The School of Visual Arts and finally got a chance to see it in person! There is no picture taking inside and for good reasons. That building was way too peaceful for something so harsh like technology but we did get some pictures of the amazing sculpture right outside.

We also found a swing next door hanging under a gigantic tree… looking at that just screamed southern stereotype and we were loving it.

The last place we visited in Houston was the Gerald D. Hines waterfall park. It was huge and very beautiful but to be honest I think the one thing we liked about it the most was the refreshing mist coming off of it because it was HOT today!

After driving for 3/4 hours we finally arrived at Doerte Weber's gorgeous home in San Antonio, TX. Doerte is a weaver by nature. Weaving has been in her family for years and she's picking it up again to create some really amazing pieces involving plastic bags and caution tape.

We plan to interview her during our 2 day stay in San Antonio but today she showed us around a bit and it felt like we both got a free tour of the city. Doerte knows where all the great galleries are and local art schools. We even got to see her studio space that is actually in the Southwest School of art. We drove through some galleries, shops, and local event locations off Guadalupe and also got to learn a little bit about the history and culture in San Antonio being so close to the Mexican boarder. We are excited to see what will be experienced in this city!

Until then, Goodnight!

Andrea + Rosie

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 7 + 8 on the road! NOLA~

Bright and Sunny Mississippi River


Had a late start to our saturday. Woke up around noon, had some coffee and made our way to the French Quarter district in New Orleans. It's touristy and loud and crazy and awesome! The houses are to die for, all colorful, balconies filled with plants, palms, ferns, and flowers. Live music on every street corner, and artists selling their work all over the place. It was crowded, hot, and sorta smelly, but hey!…. when in NOLA….

Some local vendors suggested we go to this restaurant called Felix's so we did, and we got some fried seafood platter with hushpuppies. Everything here is fried…. everything. We found ourselves in voodoo stores, funky gift shops, and the open market. It's really something you have to experience for yourself to understand, but this city is so vibrant in every which way you can imagine the word. After a long afternoon of walking around and exploring we made our way back to Tessa's where we lounged for a while.

Interviewing Brian and Maggie
Then we met up with her friends and very talented musicians, Maggie and Brian. They're in a band that is sort of un-named, but they go by "Maggie Belle" (for now). They were kind enough to participate in an interview and play some live music for us at Brian's house. THEY ROCK! [check out this video we pulled from youtube] Contemporary rhythm and blues mixed with Janis Joplin type of vibe- Brian on the piano/bongos and Maggie's got the vocals. Can't wait to include them in this documentary and super content that they are apart of this project! We ended the night early due to leaving early in the AM.

It's been one week on the road and we're already on our way out of New Orleans, it's crazy how fast this trip is moving! But we're are enjoying every minute of it and can't wait to continue… Goodnight, friends!


Hey y'all! Today was 90% uneventful since we were driving the whole time but we did get in a last minuet interview with Jeremy Phipps! He's a NOLA native with a lot to say about New Orleans music and culture. Jeremy also writes songs, plays the trumpet, trombone, and makes beats. He pretty much does it all when it comes to music. Talking to him was the best way to leave NOLA. Check out some of his work here… www.saintbell.com

Other than that amazing bit… We want to take this time to thank our home town friend, Tessa Bitterman for opening her doors once again and letting us stay with her all weekend. Tessa and her partner, Marya showed us around and hooked us up with some great folks to interview. We are extremely grateful for that! Also Tessa's lil man, Booker, was SO happy to see Rosie again and Rosie was SO happy to see her Bookie. Miss ya homies! MUCH LOVE!

The road has been treating us kindly, but we may have been loosing out minds a little bit- as well as gaining heavy southern accent we just can't seem to kick! When we come back, ya'll better be ready :D S.O.S. // S.O.K (save out KIA)!!!

We are now in Huston Texas at the Morty Rich Hostel where we plan to swim and just enjoy our first night in Texas and do NOTHING for a night.


Andrea + Rosie