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.