Workshops - The New Deal

Spring 2021!!

Let's hope everything from now on will be going in a definitively forward direction.  I could manage the odd short pause or slight slow down but please... NO MORE GOING BACKWARDS, Mr Johnson. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that everything behaves itself well enough to make sure that just doesn't happen.

SO...workshops are ON again...from the 17th May onwards.  However, I cannot be doing with any more messing around with lots of individual bookings.  It has become SO complicated to manage all the individual cancellations/refunds/re-bookings so I decided to take a fresh look at how soap-making workshops are booked from now on.

I realised that MOST people come with one or two friends and relations and sometimes there is a whole group of 6 that want to spend a happy 3 hours together messing about with melted soap, colours and delicious fragrances.  Those who come on their own often seem to regret not bringing a friend with them or would possibly have been happy to pay more and have the entire session to themselves.

From now on, therefore, there will just be one price (£150) for a 3+ hour workshop and if you book you can bring a group of up to six people.  If you are a group of three then the cost per person will only be a little more than it used to be and if you are a group of 6 it will be a real bargain!

As usual, all materials will be included as well as light refreshments.  You will learn the basics of melt and pour soap-making using the BEST quality glycerin soap base from Stephensons of Yorkshire and will have a wonderful array of essential and fragrance oils with which to perfume your creations.

Anyone who is owed a workshop because one was cancelled last year or has an unused workshop voucher do get in touch if you haven't already heard from me although I am in the process of contacting you all individually.  We will make individual special arrangements to make sure you don't miss out!

I'm really looking forward to gathering people around my island once again and filling the space with weird and wonderful combinations of fragrances.  We've all been apart FAR TOO LONG. 

To BOOK a workshop group session click here, for a detailed DESCRIPTION of a workshop click here and to see workshop REVIEWS click here!

Can't wait to see you!!

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The Plan for Christmas 2020

The plan that was put in place for Christmas 2019 worked VERY well, as far as I remember!  Although Christmas last year now seems like another universe away we are going to try and replicate roughly the same plan this year.

The benefits seem to be that everything works more smoothly, and with less stress, the less we all encroach into December. Even the good old Royal Mail are entreating us to do our online shopping as early as possible.  I am doing the same.  We all know it makes sense!

So, below is the timetable for accepting and dispatching orders this Christmas 2020.  Same incentive (20% discount code CHRISTMAS2020) The only difference is that there will NOT be unlimited stock.  My capacity is somewhat reduced this year (rather like my sanity) so everything available to order will  have a reasonable but FINITE stock level.  The answer is to MAKE YOUR MINDS UP QUICKLY ....WHEN IT'S GONE IT'S GONE!!

PLEASE NOTE that once again the orders placed during the ordering  window (up until end Monday 16th November) will NOT be dispatched until period 16th-25th November (see below).

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Small is Still Beautiful

The free and easy life we took for granted in 2019 has somewhat disappeared and keeps retreating like a mirage BUT there IS still much pleasure to be found in small things.

My personal lockdown therapy was to decide, ritualistically, each morning what perfume to wear that day. Thanks to the very talented Sarah McCartney, independent British perfumer of 4160 TuesdaysI now have a much better quality selection of delightful and unusual perfumes from which to make my choice. My collection is still relatively small but contained enough variety to reflect, and help to calm, the roller-coaster of moods that I think most of us have  experienced.
Sarah’s ‘Rome 1963’ was there for the days of mental isolation when to be effortlessly transported to a more exotic foreign scene that this particular EDP conjures up was a marvellous trick on the brain. 

The very hottest of our 2020 summer days was reserved for my precious Violet Cologne purchased in its native Toulouse a couple of years ago...old-fashioned but frivolous and refreshing.  

My favourite from Penhaligons, ‘Juniper Sling’, always gave me a boost of cheerful excitement, “Oooh there’s a party this evening...oh well, there isn’t but still...I smell nice”

Lastly, by joining in with Sarah’s lockdown crowdfunding excercise I now have the privilege of being able to spritz myself with her latest creation ‘The Waft from the Loft’. If I ever sneak the very occasional hug from another human I always get a ‘what’s that you’re wearing?!’ reaction...but in a good way.  Inspired by the ancient mingling of wood, beeswax, incense and dust from the organ loft of an old Wren church in the City of London it brings perspective.  These old places have seen it all before, a lot worse in fact, and are still around to remind us of a much bigger picture.

Sarah McCartney (no relation) has kept up her inspiring creativity throughout 2020, as have millions of others during these last months that I am beginning to think of as ‘the great pause’.  Lots of creative baking and house renovation has taken place and now, at last, I have resumed the soap-making workshop ‘therapy’ that many of you have missed out on.

My willing guinea-pigs have approved the trial runs of the newly designed sessions and everyone agreed that we felt relaxed, safe and VERY happy to be doing something normal, albeit in a much smaller group.  

There are now Beginners Workshops, a Follow-On Workshop and even an ALL DAY Workshop (better value) that covers material from both. With group sizes halved I’ve had to nudge my prices up a bit but with only 3 to a group MUCH is achieved and everyone’s pace is catered for - as therapeutic for me to meet you all in person (carefully distanced of course) as for those of you attending, lost in happy hours of creativity.

Check out new dates here. There’ll be a FEW more before Christmas no doubt. Hope to see you soon!

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The Covid Blip

The first half of 2020 has, in a very weird way, gone by in a flash.  It is astonishing to think that just about everyone in the whole world has had to make adjustments in their daily lives that few of us anticipated as 2020 began.  Many of these have been of a very sad nature for a good number people but the vast majority of us have had to simple press the pause button on many normal activities and replace them with a large amount of this...

As we begin to emerge blinking into the sunlight (though in the UK we have already had more than our fair share of sun) lets hope we can all help to bring a reasonable buzz back into the economy and get things going again as soon as possible....

Many of you have, I know, been looking to buy extra soap in the last few months and especially our wonderfully gentle glycerin soaps that do all the necessary virus killing without excessively drying the skin (unlike the harsh hand sanitisers).  However, like many other businesses, the supply chain for raw materials (soap, fragrance, packaging etc) has all been a little fragile so stocks of the finished product are only now beginning to build up again.  Keep checking our Current Stocks page for updates.

Additionally, I have been re-thinking the format of the Soap-Making Workshops and there will be more detailed news about these in due course. I would really like to continue with the face-to-face in-person tuition - I love meeting people and teaching the skills that I have acquired over the last 15 or so years. However, I may be able to provide an additional, on-line alternative for those not yet able or willing to meet others in my spacious, but indoor, workspace.

Keep your eyes peeled for more news and here's to meeting up with loved ones soon ...and giving them a squeeze!

Cheers !!

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The Plan for Christmas

2019 is going to be the year of Christmas SANITY!  I am determined. No last-minute, wee-small-hours-of-the-morning, I-wish-I-was-doing-something-else this year.  It's not rocket science, just a question of discipline.  The discipline to DO IT EARLY!  So that's MY plan and I'm sure all my customers would benefit from the same plan. Some with more sense than me already do! 

Those of you with a keen eye will already have noticed (as a front page menu item) my new determined timetable for accepting orders and dispatching them.  I hope it will suit us all.  If it all goes horribly wrong then I'll only have myself to blame (I think...)

So good luck to all of us for the Christmas 2019 mayhem, and if you need a little reminder of how it can all go horribly wrong then here's one... 

Just to spell it out again and make things crystal clear...this is our plan for accepting and dispatching orders this Christmas 2019.  PLEASE NOTE the orders placed during the ordering  window (up until end 11th November) will NOT be dispatched until week beginning 18th November (see below).  

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To BFCM or not to BFCM? That is the question...

Well that's one more import from our cousins across the pond that seems to be here to stay.  For those of you who have managed to steer clear of these things I'm talking about BLACK FRIDAY CYBER MONDAY which traditionally falls the weekend immediately after Thanksgiving (yes that's the US Thanksgiving long before we feel the need to help them out with that one too...?)

So BFCM consists of a frenzy of very short-term discounting offers by the large retailers to encourage us to get going on our Christmas (yes I said CHRISTMAS not HOLIDAY) shopping asap.

For small, independent retailers like myself it's a bit of a dilemma.  One doesn't want to appear mean or lose out (once again) to the big boys but when it comes to margins and prices the picture is very different for small independents from businesses like, for example, The Body Shop or Lush.

So should I or shouldn't I? Well, personally I made my decision a long time ago as I realised it was very important to me to be able to keep up a personal connection with anyone I had met at a sales event or who had taken the trouble to seek me out on-line AND buy something from me during the course of the year when, let's face it, you need only go a few yards down the road to buy from LUSH...on nearly every perfumed street corner these days. 

I decided several years ago that when it comes to the 'gift giving season' I would like to give a little gift back to the loyal supporters of my small business in the form of a modest discount.  So I have chosen the middle way and do just my supporters (with a little discount a few times a year) and not the general public,  I'd love to have them ALL on board but that would probably put me out of business!

Unfortunately, because I am a little late this year (not quite sure what my excuse is) I seem to have got tangled up with BFCM weekend so my modest 20%, private  offering, to those only on  my mailing list, might get a tad lost in the BFCM jungle.  However, if you would like to take advantage and you aren't on my invite list then just email me at (see Get In Touch in the footer below) or let me know in a comment on this post and I can get you in...I know the right people!

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The Workshop Cure

I know this is going to sound like a blatant plug but, trust me, this is a real thought I’ve had…

Since Christmas, when the urgent need to show someone you love them (or have at least thought about them once in 365 days) has died down and everyone is still using the marvellous soap they were given as a present (btw recklessly ignoring the fact that is NOT an everlasting bar) …well… I have been spending much less of my time on re-stocking the nation’s soap cabinets (does such a thing exist?) and much more of my time showing people how to make their OWN soap.

“Rather foolish for someone trying to sell soap isn’t it” several well-meaning friends have commented.  On the one hand it may be, but on the other hand I know just how long it has taken me to get to the level of experience I have now in producing and marketing something that people actually want to buy because it’s well made at the right price.  There aren’t really any short cuts to that so all I am doing is showing interested crafters a new little craft they can try at home.

“How interested are they though in turning out on a cold winter’s evening for a few hours messing about with hot runny soap in your kitchen?” someone else sneered (where do I find these so-called friends?)

The answer, as I knew it would be, is VERY interested.  Now why is that?  Here’s the thing.  Everyone at some point gets wrapped up in life’s problems, large or small from the ‘Are we going to find enough money amongst the fluff down the back of the sofa to pay for a holiday’ to ‘When my mother comes to visit I wish she’d just remove the dust rather than point at it’ or even ‘I wish my daughter’s boyfriend didn’t do THAT for a living”.  

Life just comes rolling at us in a never-ending conveyor belt of highs and lows and sometimes the lows are harder to shake off and get into perspective. This is where soap comes into the picture.  No really, stick with me here.

For the sake of everyday sanity everyone needs something to take them away from the conveyor belt on a semi-regular basis and while some ‘escape’ mechanisms may be enjoyable but harmful (I won’t go into those) some are just enjoyable.  Think going to the gym (query enjoyable), watching telly (a bit too couch potato), going down the pub with your mates (good for a laugh but can be disastrous to the wallet) or even re-arranging the stamp collection (no comment).  All of these may work well in their own way but another wholeheartedly positive option is to MAKE something.  Preferably that ‘something’ should require enough concentration to force you to forget about the ominous crack in the bedroom ceiling and be a pleasure to behold (or smell) and just possibly useful.  The sense of satisfaction when a whole 3 hours has passed and you have produced an object that is (in your opinion) really rather cool, that will surprise your family/friends and more-over has prevented ‘that thought’ from popping up – well, we are ALL in need of it every now and then. 

So…to the soap-making.  In short, I have observed how much everyone loves to try their hand at something new, and how much it acts as an anti-conveyor-belt therapy.  I know that knitting, baking, painting, model-ship-building and tatting would work just as well, I just don’t have any expertise to pass on in those areas.  In fact, I don’t even know what ‘tatting’ is though I believe it IS a thing.  All I can offer by way of therapy is some essential oils, cosmetic colours and glycerine soap base all mixed together to create something really rather nice that it will be a pleasure to give (or keep).  Luckily for me quite a few people have been up for this particular life-cure and I say ‘luckily’ because it also happens to work for me too.

Lovely pictures of recent workshops, courtesy of Elizabeth Molineux (thank you Elizabeth) and if anyone is recognised in a picture I’m pretty sure you all said you didn’t mind!  All workshops are now bookable directly on the Events page but contact me first if you need more info about any aspects of this curative regime I am recommending.

 TTFN, Faith

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Soap-Making Workshops 2015....I could do that....

Want to come and have a go at making the soap yourself?   'I could do that!' as Yosser Hughes used to say (this bring back memories anyone?).

Well, come and visit me in my kitchen and give it a go on Thursday 12th November 2015 (either during the day or in the evening).  Central Guildford location - easy free parking on site.


Details are as follows:-

Three hours of creativity (and a delicious light lunch or supper!) and what’s more, take home some  handmade Christmas gifts to impress your family and friends.

Thursday 12th Nov 2015  10.30am –1.30pm   OR   7pm–10pm
 Max 6 per session - £35 per person - come on your own or bring a friend.

Hugely enjoyed by everyone who takes part (including me!).  Always receive lovely feedback...

”Really enjoyed our little soap making session on Friday.  Everyone very impressed here with my bag of goodies. A very nice way to spend a day!”

Message me directly if you have further questions or would like to book a place.

Contact Faith on 07962 063041 or

Looking forward to it!



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Anyone for spiders?

Ok so SOME retailers might be trying to persuade you that there is this thing called 'Christmas' on the horizon but I say NO!!

First we have to have the fest of all things creepy and nasty.  However, the origins of this fest are decidedly more uplifting.  Presumably everyone knows that the 31st October is the eve of the day that was set aside to celebrate the opposite of things unpleasant... that is All Saints Day on the 1st November.  

All Saints Day is a decidedly more cheery affair, when the Christian church, by tradition, honours all saints, known and unknown...rather like a heavenly Remembrance Day (or Veteran's Day if you are from over the pond).  While we have information about many saints, and they are honoured on specific days, there are many unknown or unsung saints, who may have been forgotten, never been honoured specifically or indeed only known only privately.  These all get their day of special remembrance on the 1st November and the day before All Saints Day comes down to us as All Hallows Even (Een) aka Halloween.

So where did the nastiness come from?  Hallmark or Clinton cards you may wonder, well not this time. Check out the Wiki link here with masses of fascinating information about the origin of the 31st October activities that seem to be common in many parts of the world. Seems they are a mixture of Ancient Roman, early Christian and pre-Christian Irish traditions.  The Irish roots of Halloween explains why we have acquired recent Halloween traditions from the US.  

With a wholehearted sense of history therefore, I would like to propose that we all embrace the ghoulish and frivolous element of All Hallows Even.  Who doesn't like a bit of silly dressing up and crazy kitchen decoration? It's been going on for years.  To add to the generous party spirit and allow your guests of all ages to remember the cracking party on 31st October why not send them home with a nasty goody bag (fantastic oxymoron).

We're doing the Creepy Crawly soaps as a bulk purchase option as well as an individual purchase option now...take a look....wrap them with a 'not to be opened till you get home' label and you can carry on freaking them out long after the party has wound up. 

But the next day...well don't forget to raise a cheer (or a glass) to all the Saints in your life, known personally to you or otherwise.  Where would we be with out them.  THEN we can get on with Christmas. Have fun.


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January Clearance - Happy New Year!

At last !! Finally sorted out the technical issues with the website and have uploaded all the items that are on sale.
Look out for a number of discounted seconds (all at half price or less) and other perfect items at 25% discount.
Good opportunity to just re-stock your bathroom cabinet for YOURSELF for a change instead of having to reluctantly give away the nice things you buy to other people.  
Lots of new ideas bubbling under for 2015, especially for those of you who like to use this soap regularly yourselves but would like to get hold of a reasonable quantity of it in a more cost effective version.  'Watch this' space as they say....

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