'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

29 August 2010

Telling off

That's what I've just given myself! I've been so fed up these last few days, wallowing in self-pity, horrid weather, bloody hormones, pain in the bum Dad, no sewing done this week, house needing finishing, lack of money, broken appliances......anyway, I had a good old winge in a post about an hour ago, realised what the matter was...and voila! ;o) Much better now. Deleted said post as it was truely miserable so now I'll look to the positives.
  • Soap assessments are being prepared now.
  • Eldest son has a straight nose and he's happy with it.
  • Looking forward to our annual weekend away to Vanfest in Malvern (VWs galore) in a couple of weeks.
  • Planning some Christmas makes for the shop (any ideas/requests most welcome).
  • Planning packaging for soaps.
  • Planning new tattoos.
  • Planning on painting my bit of hallway.
  • Hoping to finish my half-finished bits on my list ;o).

Hope everyone else is managing some positives too. xx

24 August 2010

Long Day

Eldest was home at 8.30 last night, complete with re-broken nose and splint which he has to wear for a week. It was a long day. Managed to finish the bowl (which only needed the ends threading in), the bag and the card. I also contacted the chemist as I still hadn't heard anything and he got back to me. Apparently Rose essential oil is restricted to 2g per kilo due to methyleugenol being present. I went and did a little investigating as I didn't know what it was and found that it is a known human carcinogen. Link here for those interested. Not really sure what to do now. It is naturally occuring and there are 'safe' limits according to the chemists but.......! I could use rose geranium instead. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on this.

23 August 2010


Firstly, a gorgeous birthday gift from the lovely Claire that I forgot to show you last week (it went straight into my book!). Thanks my lovely x.

Back to the distractions. My eldest broke his nose nearly two weeks ago so now I'm going to spend the afternoon crafting (she says with as much enthusiasm as possible) to try and distract myself while he spends the afternoon in the hospital having it straightened! I feel worse as I usually go with the kids if anything like this happens but hubby is off this week so we decided he would go (I can't drive) and I would stay home with the other two. I would definitely rather be there so I knew what was happening but I'll have pace the floor, I mean distract myself instead. I've got to finish the above bowl, then make a flower to go on this bag too (I got slightly carried away with the crocheting last week).

I drew this yesterday so I'm going to make a card with it. Hopefully, with the other two boys and making the tea I should be distracted for a couple of hours. I'll have to find something else for the rest of the time :o(.

19 August 2010


' Mish-mash' bright bunting - commission order for a daughters birthday.

Handmade soaps for my birthday.

Dinky birthday card for the shop.

Card for the shop - birthday, or anything really.

And lastly, another bag nearly finished - a lovely birthday gift for someone ;o)

13 August 2010

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

For Pippa ;O).


White (distilled) vinegar
Lemon rinds

Put the lemon rinds in a jar then cover with the white vinegar. Leave for a couple of weeks (or, if like me, until you remember to sort it out) then strain into a bottle. Easy peasy.

12 August 2010

This week I 'ave been mostly.....

...making strawberry jam (very late this year too!);

....trying out another soap (ylang, ylang);

....making more dishwasher rinse aid as I'm running low (white vinegar with lemon rinds);

.....stroking and drooling over my new set of Surina crochet hooks (an absolute bargain off ebay at £10 + £5 postage for 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!);

....and playing with aforementioned crochet hooks (trying out a new cover for a tin).
I'm still (rather impatiently) waiting to hear back from the cosmetic chemist. I've also got some new cards on the go and I've nearly finished another bag. I think the crochet tin cover will look much better on a jar as well as the bumps from the tin show through and I don't like it.
Hope everyone else is having fun :o)

10 August 2010

Soap, soap, soap

I spent yesterday evening researching handmade soaps ready for my next adventure. It's suprising what you can find under the guise of handmade soaps, or even under the name soap for that matter ;o). Anything from ducks to strawberries to the above - I have to say I don't really like any of them, but each to their own. I like my soap nice and simple - natural and good for you. After contacting the chemist briefly yesterday, I've come up with a list of the soaps I would like to try (they all have coconut oil and cocoa butter as the base). See what you think:-
  • Lavender
  • Ylang ylang
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon and tea tree kitchen soap (has ground coffee to rid your hands of odours)
  • Cinnamon and ground almond
  • Nettle and lemongrass
  • Rose (when cash allows as rose essential oil is expensive)

I've got to contact the chemist again today with my recipes - he'll give them a once over and make suggestions for free. I find it very odd that you don't actually have to send a physical sample of your soap, but hey ho! Once I'm happy and he's happy I then have to find the cash to pay for the analysis stuff/paperwork.

06 August 2010

Difficult Decision

I've been fretting the last few weeks about the craft fair at the end of the month - not because I don't want to do it, but because I keep selling the stock that I'm making, and I just can't keep enough of it in the house to do 3 days at the fair. I contemplated dropping down to 2 days but this past week I've had 7 more orders for stuff, so my stock has depleted even more!!! I just can't make it fast enough ;o). Do I drop down to one day? The cost of one day is £20 but the cost of the liability insurance which I have to have is £70, so.....I've decided to withdraw from the craft fair and put all the stock I was trying to hide from you lot into the shop. I've spent the last few hours updating that (still got a little more to go but I ran out of daylight), and tomorrow I'll have to update my MISI shop as that has been severely neglected!!
You can still leave comments regarding the soap here or at mail@handmadehaven.co.uk.

Feedback needed please

I have had a fair few enquiries from people about purchasing the soap I make so I'd like a little bit of feedback from people before I commit to selling to the public.

All cosmetics that are sold in the UK have to be tested by a cosmetic chemist to ensure safety - this can amount to £90 for a basic soap recipe plus additional ingredients. So, I would like to know what are your favourite essential oils for soaps and why? What do you look for in a cold-pressed, handmade soap? Would you be purchasing for yourself or for gifts? I would be very grateful of any responses (including anything else that you'd like to add) - you can leave them on the comments bit here or you can email me direct at mail@handmadehaven.co.uk
Thank you in advance :o)

04 August 2010


....I know I had the kids today, but I've managed to get loads done. I normally have to send hubby out with them for the day when I want to do this much, but I've just plodded on, while making lunch/tea, painting, inspecting lego pieces, looking at scripts, doing the loo run, checking out the artwork, etc. Above a set of 4 mini halloween bags that I made with a fat quarter that I've had for years waiting for me to do something with it. Not much point in it sitting there so bags it is.

Two more lots of bunting. Purply colours and black and white above.

Two fabric trees (one still inside out and one half way between). I'll attach felt leaves to these to make my autumn trees.

The inners for the san pro order I have at the minute. Just need to put the poppers on them now and then I can get them sent off.

Three beetles cut out ready to make some more bags with. I even had the iron out to iron the bunting so all the little bags got ironed as well!!! (I don't iron clothes so it's a rarity that it's out).

Paper bags ready for the craft fair at the end of the month. I'd like a Handmade Haven rubber stamp eventually, so I can stamp the bags.

And, just because we're VW mad in this house - a little treat with my earnings (how nice it is to say that too). While we were out yesterday I managed to crochet 2 head bands while hubby was driving.
Hope you all managed to do something you enjoy today, too.

02 August 2010

Cards and Keyrings

A couple of cards I made yesterday using an old wool blanket that I picked up on a boot sale last weekend. They had inadvertedly felted it and were selling it for a pound! Bargain.

More motif keyrings - still got another 6 that I have ideas for.
And more cards....some for an order....and the rest as I'm getting low on stock ;o).