23 December 2011

Just in Case

Christmas is here and happily I have finished work until 2012.

This year, my family are celebrating tomorrow instead of Sunday, for reasons I shall not bore you with, and a sigh of relief was heaved this evening when I arrived home from work to find the present for nephew number one on the door mat. I was beginning to panic, and was not looking forward to having to explain to him why he had nothing from me to open.

My ever so small heap of presents is now wrapped and ready to take tomorrow. There does seem like a paucity of gifts this year, but I suppose it is the thought that counts.

In the last couple of days two gifts have arrived for me. One from a friend, and one a Secret Santa gift from someone on a forum I am a member of. Half the fun of that is trying, and failing, to work out who has sent it, and even if you think you have worked out where it is from, there are often some sneaky shenanigans which means that you are completely wrong. The two gifts are sitting on a side table and I am just about resisting opening them, and so far the cats are keeping they paws off.

What, you may ask, am I doing for the next week? Well, I will be relaxing a bit (ok, a lot); checking stocks so I can work out what I need to buy for soaping; adding silk to my shampoo recipe to see what difference it makes and catching up on my reading.

I am currently engrossed in a book about the search for the Northwest Passage. The courage of the men who risked frostbite, scurvy, starvation and death to search for this most prized route despite not even being sure of its existence, is truely sobering.

And so, as we hurtle towards the end of another year, just in case I have lost the will to live by then, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas, a Peaceful New Year and a prosperous 2012.

05 December 2011

Why Handmade?

I have been making soap and body products for sale for a couple of years, and it is probably time that I told you why I prefer handmade products to the mass produced, cheaper, commercial ones that I used for so long.

Why should you spend in excess of £3 for a bar of soap, when you can spend a fraction of that at the supermarket?

The commercial soap you buy has in many instances been made with harsh chemicals which do not do your skin any favours. They serve their purpose which is to clean, but ask yourself if your skin feels good afterwards, or if it feels tight and in need of moisturising. If the answer to that is yes, then your skin is being stripped of its natural oils each time you wash.

Handmade soap is different.

First of all, a product which has been made by hand, has been made with love. The heart and soul of the maker goes into each and every product made, from the choice of the ingredients to wrapping the finished product.

More importantly however, is how your skin reacts to this bar of handmade goodness. Good quality handmade soap will have a good glycerine content. Glycerine is a great humectant, missing in most commercial soaps, drawing moisture to the skin and helping to prevent it drying out and thereby reducing the amount of moisturiser you need to use afterwards.

All kinds of goodies, such as shea butter, can be added to handmade soap to bring the best out of your skin. A good soap maker can produce a bar of gorgeous, rich lathering soap which not only does not strip your skin of those important oils, but which helps to put the moisture back.

Surely it is better to spend a bit of money on a lovely bar of artisan soap to help care for your skin, and reduce the money you need to spend on a jar of, hopefully, handmade moisturiser, than it is to buy a bar of commercial cleaning product.

04 December 2011

Demonic Soaping

I have a fair next weekend so I have been soaping like a demon to try to get enough made.The fair us at Croxteth Hall and I have not been there before so I don't know what to expect and I hope it will be busy.

I have also been lucky to find a lovely new stockist in Formby. The Bloom Room is a charming florist which also stocks some delightful gifts with a focus on handmade. A friend of mine remarked that soap and flowers is a genius combination and she seems to be right becuase a fair few bars have been sold since I dropped some soap off on Tuesday morning. Long may it continue.

I have a break from the day job over Christmas and hope to make some decisions about new products. If I don't, they will never get to see the light of day. All will be revealed.