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

29 May 2012

Pulling in the Reins

Wow, it's been a busy time again.  If any of you read my other blog or follow Handmade Haven on fb you will know about the fabulous William Blyth Heritage and Craft Centre in Barton.  For those that don't know, I have been asked to supply my soaps, scrubs and melts so they can be stocked in the shop.  An amazing sense of pride/achievement for myself.  I was also asked whether I would like one of the workshops that are on site.  Unfortunately the rent is quite high for me at the moment, but I was invited to have a look round the site yesterday so that I could get a feel for the place, and what they hope to achieve.  The hubby and I also booked to view premises that are actually available in the village where we live as the mortgage on that would be half the cost of the rent at William Blyth. 

First off then was the William Blyth site - it's still being finished, although all the buildings are built.  What an amazing place, the sense of heritage on the site is amazing.  Tiles are still made here, the original (1840s) kiln was burning away (the tiles are fired for 4 days continuously!), the builders/fitters/potters/green oak specialist was working away.  The chef was overseeing the kitchen being fitted.  They are hoping a blacksmith will come and take one of the workshops, there is already a florist seriously interested.  The aim is to keep the heritage of the site to benefit the whole community, while promoting local talents/produce/skills.  The plans for the place are huge and the enthusiasm of Katherine (the woman heading everything) was infectious.  I came away buzzing.

Home for lunch then off to look at the other premises.  Centuries old stables that have been converted into a big room with office space off, a porch, a small storeroom and a loo.  I have dreamed about owning this place since it came on the market a few months ago...a workshop for me where I could work without taking over the house (as I do at the moment), a place for craft groups, a place to sell my things too, a place for demonstrating soap making, and a 5 minute walk from the house.

My heart is aching today...I feel drained.  I would so love to have a workshop at the William Blyth Heritage and Craft Centre.  The whole feeling of the place, what they hope to achieve, their ethos, the future plans of which I am privilaged to be aware of....

I don't really know why I'm posting this...I think I just needed to get it down on paper...to make my feelings 'solid'...seeing them in print.  Blooming heck...I don't want to pull in the reins...I want to go for it!!

12 May 2012

Hand Cream and Bed Mat!

This is the empty pot from when I first made my own hand cream.  I finished it a few nights ago then decided at 10 last night I really needed to make some more!  So out came all my ingredients and bits.

The white stuff is emulsifying wax dissolving in warmed rose water and the yellow stuff is beeswax, cocoa butter and some oils I had left over from a batch of salt scrub (the exact amount I needed too!!!), melting in a bowl on a pan of hot water.

Next you slowing combine the two together until you get some scrummy cream.  At one point I was mixing rather too vigorously and it all separated, but it did come together again :o).  I'm very pleased to say that it actually looks like the picture in the book this time.  It was quite funny checking when I made my first lot - 18months ago - as the recipe says to keep it in the fridge and it'll only keep for 2 months!  Maybe as it's all mixed together properly this time it might ;o).

I also made this bed mat.  We still have a boy who needs nappies at night, and which sometimes leak so something was needed to save the mattress.  I have some PUL from making my own cloth pads so I thought I'd make a pad with that in, an old terry nappy and an old sheet.  Hopefully this will work...and maybe one day we won't need it at all!  Anyway, it was great to actually make something for us rather than for the shop.  I may try some pyjama pants for the littliest boy later, although I do need to make some soap too as stocks are running rather low.  Thank you for your comments on my attempt at needle felting...I did really enjoy it.  Not sure what I'm going to do with the piccie though - maybe it could go on a card for my Nan.

04 May 2012

Cor blimey...

I'm trying desperately to get organised but it's not working that well I have to say!  Every time I cross things off the list, it seems that another 2 are added!  I'm not feeling quite so overwhelmed this week, although still ridiculously busy.  Thank you all for the lovely comments on my last post.  They do help a lot.  I really don't know how these mum's that work full time, then ferry their kids here there and everywhere actually manage to do it. 

Anyway, enough whinging...I came to show you my first attempts at needle felting at Craft Group.  I did the brooch first.  We used some dis-solvable paper to use as a template then needle felted a flower, then a leaf.  I added the button at home once it was all dry.  I much preferred doing the picture - it's only 15cm x 11cm so quite dinky.  Next month is wet felting :o) 

I've had my best ever week sales wise this week which is fabulous as they've been no craft fairs either.  Obviously it means that not much housework has been done though!  Never mind ;o).  Why not pop over to my other blog to see my new additions.