Friday, February 29, 2008

It's a busy weekend!

In addition to the regular spa appointments, many of the practitioners are going to be working at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. This year it is a one night Gala being held Saturday March 1st, from 6pm until 2am, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Tickets are $2o in advance or $25 at the door.

There will be performances of many kinds, including aerial artists, tango dancers, live music and our very own Zan doing a performance body painting! Jeff Hengst will also have 2 paintings showing, one piece which is actually four paintings that form a pillar. I'll be doing an unusual aerials performance, myself. Be sure to say "hi" if you see any of us.

On Sunday the spa is closing down early for a reception of the cast of Hello Penis: a man-ifesto, the first road show Little Red Studio is hosting. I am very excited that the spa is being included in the larger LRS realm. It's very exciting.

Due to all these extra goings on, there might be a little lag time in returning phone calls. I apologize if I don't get back to you before Monday, but I will definitely try!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do not eat the salt scrub.

That's something I jokingly say to guests when they comment how yummy the Pomegranate & Tangerine salt scrub smelled. Of course, I never expected someone to actually put it in their mouth.

Today I am making the next incarnation a Ginger Strawberry salt scrub. The color is so gorgeous and it smells so strong. Making the scrubs is always messy, it gets everywhere. On the counters, walls, my clothes and all over my hands. Without even thinking, I licked the back of my thumb- after mixing the salt in!

Blech! That is the singularly most horrible feeling/taste i have ever experienced. Ever had a mouthful of salt? I don't recommend it. No matter how good it looks and smells.

I think I'll break for lunch to get the taste out of my mouth and mind.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sometimes you have to be sad.

When someone is a regular guest and I don't see them come in for a while, I like to think it's because their life is full and busy and that I'll see them again when things slow down. Being part of the service industry that is more of a luxury than a necessity, sometimes I only see people a few times a year.

Yesterday I got a call regarding a regular guest who hasn't been in for his monthly appointment in the last two months. His brother wanted us to know that he had passed away. He was very kind to mention that his brother always spoke fondly of his appointments here at the spa. Now I find myself in the position of having to pass on the news to his favorite practitioner and the rest of the office staff. Not only was he a patron of the spa, but he and his brother often came to the Little Red Studio shows. This is more difficult than I thought. I have never been in this position of having before, and I can only hope I am doing it right.

Oddly enough, I am not sad that he died. Death is a part of life and not to be lamented in and of itself. I am sad for his brother and the rest of his family who will miss him. I am sad I won't have my interactions with him anymore, brief as they were, they had become regular occurrence and a part of my routine on the third Saturday of the month. And I am sad because it shatters my fantasy that the reason I don't see my regulars around is because they are doing something better.

Pardon me while I go make sure my loved ones know they are loved by me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yay for Mondays!

Looking forward to tonight's Ladies' Night. Last week I set up with my essential oils kit and made a few custom blends. It was quite a bit of fun to watch each of the women sniffing through the contents of my box of smells. One thing that fascinates me is how different an essential oil can smell from the plant/tree/flower that the oil comes from and how people react to that. Black Pepper essential oil is my favorite one in that category.

As always, I will be here with doors and hot tub open from 6pm until 10pm. Drop in anytime between these hours and soak in the hot tub, play in the clay, scrub yourself until you are polished or lounge in the sumptuous atmosphere with interesting women. Cost is $10 per woman. Essential oil blends are $5 if you bring your own container/oil/lotion or $10 includes a 4 ounce glass bottle of the spa's house massage oil.

Little Red Day Spa
(Look for the white & black Hengst Studio sign at the bottom of the driveway.)
1506 Franklin Ave. E. Seattle, WA 98102

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chef Kim

We had a company meeting yesterday where we discussed how Chef Kim will be integrating catering services into Little Red Studio and the Little Red Day Spa. He has an incredible wealth of experience that ranges from owning his own deli to working in resort restaurants to running coffee shops. In the months he has been involved with LRS, I have noticed that he is particularly gifted in embellishing simple foods and desserts to create delicacies. I had never thought drinking a milkshake could be a decadent experience until he made his strawberry confection from scratch one night last summer.

There are talks of catering Ladies' Night with a light nosh or perhaps even something a little more substantial that can be purchased for those arriving straight from work. Kim has promised me a menu designed for anyone who would like their spa session to include a culinary delight. The idea is to have a seasonal menu so that someone could choose either a vegetarian or non-vegetarian spread for two, that could be considered a light meal of heavy snack, or a more elaborate variety of savory foods or sweet treats (or a combination) to make a more catered meal.

I am truly excited to see what he will come up with, as he is incredibly creative and has a natural ability to know what tastes will come together to delight your palate. Kim also has a great deal of experience working with developing menus around allergies and I have tasted his wheat-free treats. It is impressive with how well he has converted recipes. Good things will be available, very soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Comfort Touch

There are many different reasons people get massage. Pain relief or management, rehabilitation for injuries, relaxation from physical, mental and/or emotional stress, just to name the most listed reasons. However, I think the more common reason to get a massage is the basic need for touch. In America, we don't get touched enough in our daily lives on a casual basis. Sure, if we have a sweetie or family that we live with there are varying amounts of touch available. But when we get sick, or are having a stressful time, our need for touch increases.

One of the questions I like to ask people is if they have any "comfort touch" places. (I generally save this for those who mention getting over an illness or don't have a specific focus for the massage.) You know the spots, usually the ones that you instinctively rub when you are tired or stressed out. Or maybe it is harkens back to when you were young and a parent would rub your temples or your low back when you didn't feel well.

On these areas, I don't go looking for knots or do any fancy techniques. Soft, yet firm, full hand contact to really illicit that feeling of care and comfort. Often times, I will rest a hand on that area while using my other hand to work loose a tight muscle elsewhere. It's amazing how having that resting touch can be so relaxing and comforting.

Ultimately, there is no wrong reason to want a massage. Wanting touch is a basic human need and should be satiated.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I have been doing massage for a long time, longer than any other job/career I have done in the past. Having a wide open field in which to move around in helps to alleviate boredom and burn out. I have reinvented my practice 4 different times based of my evolving interests and need for change.

I have been worried about burn-out recently. Felt it on the edges of my perception. Yes, I am using the past tense. There has been a little reordering in the office and there is more to come. Some of it is very exciting, such as Chef Kim coming on board to provide catering for spa sessions. Other stuff is not so interesting, like how dividing up the phone duties is going to work, but just as important.

As you may know, we can only do one spa session at a time. This means that the only practitioner(s) on duty at any given time, are busy with a session. As a result, we have tried having phone calls forwarded to the LRS office, or to a cell phone in attempts at making sure to catch as many calls as possible. This has created a lot more work and stress than we would like to live with. It had to change. So today we started a new program and are confident that it will make our lives easier, and still provide fabulous service.

Since same day sessions are so rare, we will be asking people to call a few days in advance of their preferred appointment time and leave a message. Phone messages will be collected no less than twice a day. At 10am and 6pm we will collect messages and return calls, answer questions and schedule appointments. This doesn't mean we will not answer the phone, we will still be answering between appointments. And if you are having trouble finding the Spa, by all means call us! We will be waiting by the phone to help guide you in.

Hopefully, this won't impact our guests, while still giving me a little breathing room, as I am the person who took/takes care of the bulk of the phone duties. Just starting the new regime today pushes burn-out farther away from me. And this is a very good thing because it would be a shame to jump ship right when all the new stuff is getting off the ground! More on that as it comes to fruition!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What smells good?

Aromatherapy takes over Ladies' Night on 2/18!

Along with the standard fare of hot tubbing, clay and salt scrubs, I will be available to custom blend aromatherapy massage oils. Whether you want something that will smell decadent or have a specific need, such as back pain or the winter blues, I can custom blend a scent that is perfect for you. I have an extensive collection of essential oils that are all natural and medicinal grade and use your nose to fine tune the blend.

One of my favorite things to do is what I call backwards blending. I set you loose to sniff through all my oils and cull the ones that appeal to you most. Taking that list of oils, I usually ask a few health related questions, look through a reference book and then put together a blend that addresses your health, both emotional and physical. The body often intuitively communicates what it needs via your likes and dislikes, so this is a great option if you can't decide what kind of blend you want.

Each custom blend will be $5 if you bring your own oil or lotion, or $10 if you choose to have your blend added to a 4 ounce glass bottle of the spa's base massage oil of choice, sunflower oil. Really, I can scent any product you would like, or just bring in an empty glass vial or jar for a pure essential oil blend to be used as perfume.

As always, Ladies' Night is every Monday at 1506 Franklin Ave. E. in Seattle. Drop in anytime from 6pm to 10pm and the cost is $10 per woman. Please call 206-963-0772 for more information or directions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Did you know you can rent the Spa?

For those of you who just want a relaxing soak in a sumptuous atmosphere without being fussed over, the Little Red Day Spa is available for private rentals. $75 for the first hour, and $50 each hour afterward. This includes use of all the spa's equipment and products. We'll get you settled and comfortable running the hot tub, the heaters, lights, etc... and then leave you to enjoy the spa as you wish. Don't worry about cleaning up after yourselves, we take care of that.

Actually, what I find most couples like to do is get fussed over, and then immediately after their spa session, they rent the studio. It makes for the best of both worlds; a chance to be pampered and then a chance for them to fully enjoy their sweetie in private. If you schedule a rental in this way, after your spa session, we take $25 off the first hour so that it is only $50 per hour.

I love getting people settled in for a private rental. The excitement is usually palpable. Not to mention how fun it is knowing that I am making a magical space for people to have an adventure in.

To schedule a get-away within the city, please call 206-963-0772.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Reminders for Ladies' Night & Valentine's Day

A quick reminder that Monday is Ladies' Night at the Little Red Day Spa. Come soak in the hot tub, play with the aromatherapy clay, or get a mini massage for an extra $10.

Cost is $10 per woman and hours are from 6pm - 10pm.
Drop in anytime!

1506 Franklin Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98102

Another reminder: Ten reservations are still available for the Valentine's Day Sensual Repast that the Little Red Studio is putting on this Thursday. This event is a feast for all the senses. The menu has been designed by Chef Kim Black and will easily rival the dinners that Serafina used to put on with us in years past. I will be performing during the dinner and am very excited about the artful ways we'll be serving everyone. (No, I wont give the surprise away.)

COST: $150 per person
WHEN: 7:30pm on Feb. 14th
WHERE: Little Red Studio - 750 Harrison Street
To reserve your seats at our table, please call the Little Red Studio office (206) 328-4758.

P.S. There are still a few Thursday afternoon appointments available for Spa sessions if you want to make a truly decadent experience!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A fresh new week.

I have a newly painted wall where the triptych hung on the north wall of the spa. It make the whole room quieter, more peaceful. My first glance into the spa after it had been painted was uneventful. It looks so right, I didn't notice the change at first. All the paintings seem so small, though. I miss the imposing height and breadth of "Suffering Change".

However, I find that feeling fleeting after getting a peek at the new sketches for the triptych that Jeff has started. The first panel has been painted in scale, meaning it's only 1/4th of what it will be in size. the first one is of a man applying clay to a woman. It's very sweet and playful. Jeff is thinking of asking one of LRS's newer troupe members to be the male model, as he and his wife started out as a guests of the spa. This is one way art is interwoven into the very fabric of the spa.

I am going to ask that Jeff allow me to display it in the spa as he works on it. Hopefully, he will let me have it in time for Ladies' night tomorrow. It will be fun to hear what people think of it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More new sessions!

I recently received a call from a woman wanting to know if we had any packages for a group. Three guests at once is the most I have ever had in one session, so I don't see why we couldn't adapt any of our offerings to accommodate more people. With the Ladies' Spa Nights, I have learned just how big of a crowd one person can facilitate and not be over loaded, so making a private version would take only a little adaptation.

Since what I have been contacted about is a bachelorette/wedding party scenario, I am titling this the Bridal Spa Package. By all means, don't feel like you have to wait for for a wedding to have a Spa Night of your won! There are two versions. As with all our offerings, please feel free to ask about adapting them to your interests or needs.

So may I present to you, the Little Red Day Spa's new group spa sessions!

Bridal Spa Package

Create a unique bonding experience for you and your bridal party while smoothing away the stress of wedding preparations with a visit to the Little Red Day Spa. We have 2 packages specifically designed for wedding parties that focus on personal interaction and fun. Little Red Studio's Chef Kim Black is available to provide catering ranging from gourmet picnic style snacks to multi-course meals. Chef Kim's creative culinary skills are a delight and an asset for those with food allergies or restrictions. Prices start at $50. Please inquire about seasonal menu options.

Braidal Spa Package #1 - Group Pampering.
1 practitioner for up to 12 people - $100 per hour, Two hour minimum

The Little Red Day Spa is a peaceful oasis in a busy time. Come spend time soaking in the large hot tub with your whole wedding party. Your practitioner will help you feel welcome and facilitate use of the spa's equipment. There is a lathering scalp massage station and a place under the heat lamp to turn each other into living statues with scented potter's clay. A massage table will set up for you to massage with a variety of aromatherapy massage oils. In our custom stone shower, you can have fun cleaning off and then enjoy exfoliating with our fresh, seasonal salt scrub.

Bridal Spa Package #2 -
2 hours and 30 minutes:
Up to 3 people- 1 practitioner, $350
4 - 6 people - 2 practitioners, $500
7 - 9 people - 3 practitioners, $650

You and your party will lounge and relax in the hot tub or under the heat lamp while taking turns getting pampered. Each of you will float away during your mini watsu session before your Sculptural Clay body treatment. After the scented clay has been massaged into your skin, you can lie and relax while it draws all the unwanted toxins from your body. Finishing up with a cleansing shower and a salt scrub and you are renewed for the big day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Valentine's Day is next week!

Amazingly enough, there are still a few appointments available on Valentine's Day. There are slightly fewer appointments times than a regular Thursday because of the Little Red Studio's Sensual Repast. Myself and a few of the other practitioners will be working/performing at the Sensual Repast. The times that the Spa has open are before the dinner, making for an incredibly decadent day for you and your sweetheart if you were to enjoy both the Spa and LRS.

If you can't get away during the week, you can always buy a gift certificate and schedule a time more convenient for the both you. We take credit cards via phone or you can arrange to stop by and buy one in person.

I can be reached at (206)963-0772 between 10am and 8pm daily. If I am in session, please leave me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sharing art and fun.

"We enjoyed the recent Red Show. Funny thing, we chose to not participate in the body painting at the show but were all for Mahina's suggestion to try it. Thanks again for arranging to have Mahina work with us." ~S (Guest of LRS and Spa.)

Most people who come to the Little Red Day Spa and the Little Red Studio are very excited about our interactive nature. Some people are a little more reserved and are hesitant to jump right in. I have always maintained that observation is a valid form of participation and encouraged guests to only do what is comfortable.

Last weekend, a couple, S & D, came to the spa for their second visit. They requested to work with Mahina, the same practitioner as the first time they came in. It's wonderful when guests make a connection with their practitioner. (I will always do my best to honor requests.) They didn't have a clear idea of which session they wanted, and I encouraged them to take their time and decide at the day of their appointment. Mahina is an artist and painter, so I was not surprised to hear she broke out the paints.

The next day, I got a call from S saying that he had left his camera at the spa. We arranged a time for him to come pick it up and all became well in the world again. A few days later, I get a fun email with a photo attached of S & D's body painting! Good thing we got him his camera back! When someone takes the time to share their spa experiences with me, I am always swept up in the emotion. I hope you will enjoy these pictures and see them as a testament to how art can be a real and immediate part of your life, as well as a fun and intimate experience.

I love how the painting sessions are so malleable; you can focus on the art or you can delight in the textures; you can help paint, or sit back and watch as the practitioner uses your sweetie as a canvas for their art; you can reach into the primal and tribal aspects of ourselves and it can be very spiritual. Or you don't have to even choose, you can let it flow into a mixture of all these things as the energy of the day dictates.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Body Painting Teaser

A wonderful couple that come to the spa sent me a fun email yesterday. Attached to the sweet letter was a photo of them as art during their Body Painting Spa session. It literally took my breath away. It is so playful and full of tenderness that I took the chance and asked them if I could share it.

They have graciously given me permission to post it here in the blog. I'll be resizing it and posting it here as soon as I get a chance.