Art Matters, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, EartH, Hackney, Lauren Laverne, Handmade Haven

Art Matters – An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

Art Matters, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, EartH, Hackney, Lauren Laverne, Handmade Haven

Let the chat begin

On Wednesday evening my hubby and I went to the Art Matters evening at the newly opened EartH in Hackney.  Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors and Chris Riddell is one of my absolute favourite illustrators, so for us to be there felt incredibly special.  The talk was very informal but very inspiring, sometimes poignant and sometimes funny – Chris is very funny 😉  We had an amazing evening!

Edited to add the video, as they recorded it on the night 😀

I’ve always been creative in one way or another, whether it be sewing, knitting or making soaps.  I’d not considered it to be an art form, but I suppose being creative is artistic and vice versa.  I’d also never really thought about the business I have as creative until yesterday, but when I think about everything I do for it (I make everything from the products to the labels) then it is creative – just another form of it.  If you asked my hubby if he was creative then he would definitely say no!  but when you look at the hot rod he made (he designed it, designed parts for it, built it) then he is definitely creative too.   I don’t know what I would do without being able to be creative…I think I may go mad 😉

To all you people out there who think you aren’t artistic or creative…art comes in many forms…pick up a pencil, try new things, join a group, pop to the charity shop and find some knitting needles and wool, balance some stones on a river bed, draw pictures in the sand.  It doesn’t need to be expensive, or cost you anything at all – whatever you choose, your mind and body will thank you for it ♥

Art Matters, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, EartH, Hackney, Lauren Laverne, Handmade Haven
Waiting in line, Art Matters
Handmade Haven Natural Bath Salts, Patchouli and Orange, 200g Glass Kilner Jar

Home Spa Treats – Bath Salts

Handmade Haven natural bath salts, Hint of Vanilla. 200g jar.

Handmade Haven Natural Bath Salts

I love making these bath salts!  It feels like when you were a child (in the 70s/80s for me) and you had a bag of sherbet that you used to stir with your fingers.  I don’t use my fingers for these but it is great fun all the same!

Handmade Haven, Natural Salt Sachets. Bath Salts, Foot Soak Salts. Lavender

Handmade Haven, Natural Salt Sachets 50g

I make them in 6 different scents – Citrus Zing (definitely smells like sherbet), Sensual, Lavender (with chamomile and calendula), Frankincense & Myrrh, Patchouli & Orange, and Hint of Vanilla. Each has a base of Himalayan salt and Epsom salt, then I add essential oils and botanicals. Nothing nasty goes in ☺️

Handmade Haven Natural bath salts, lavender, chamomile and calendula. Jar 200g
Handmade Haven Bath Salts – Lavender, Chamomile and Calendula.

I usually shower, and if I have a bath I use the bath fizzes, so I usually use the salts as a foot soak instead.  I have this fab enamel bowl, then just place a towel underneath and I have a towel to the side ready.  Heaven…

Handmade Haven foot soak bath salts, himalayan salt epsom salt
Perfect

Do you like bath salts?  I’d love to know how you use them.

Moler inc, red Volksrod pick up, built not bought

Built Not Bought

I thought I’d introduce you to my Hubby’s pride and joy….

Red volksrod, open wheeled, flat bed with engine showing. VW Hotrod.

Moler Inc Volksrod

We’ve had VWs in one form or another for 15 years or so, but he wanted to do something different with this one. He has spent the last four years building this…He’s such a perfectionist too, so there probably isn’t a single thing that he made, and was happy with it the first time round😂😂.  The attention to detail is ridiculous – for example, he drilled thousands of holes in the door cards so that he could then hand-stitch the pattern exactly as he wanted it 😁. If you fancy taking a better look, he is Moler_inc on Instagram.

Volksrod, hood ornament, custom hood ornament, moler inc. Cast from resin.

Moler Inc Hood Ornament

Handmade Haven Draining Soap Bowl. Handmade, Stoneware.

Supporting Other Creative Artisans

It’s hard work running your own little business, especially when you have a family and you make everything yourself, but it does make me incredibly proud (if a little grey-er sometimes!).  The one thing that I commission someone else to make are my gorgeous soap bowls.  I met Kjersti at a local craft fair a few years ago, where I’d been admiring the goodies on her stall.

Handmade Haven Shaving Bowl Pale Blue

She made a sample for me, we’ve tweaked it a couple of times in between, but she’s been supplying my shop ever since.  I love that as self-employed business women we are able to support each other in this way.  When you hear of so many small businesses struggling it is very heartening.

Handmade Haven, draining stoneware soap bowl.

She makes the cutest little animals…Pop over and say hello to her on her Facebook page.  She’s attends many local events in and around Hull if you’re ever about.

Who gives a crap toilet rolls wrapped in paper, not plastic.

Who Gives A Crap?

I’ve seen a few posts about this amazing business but I wanted to share my own experience. At the beginning of the year I saw a friend on Facebook had shared that she’d tried these loo rolls that were made from recycled paper rather than trees. I thought this was awesome so I went to investigate. Turns out that not only do they use recycled paper, they also give 50% of their profits to charities that help build toilets and improve sanitation across the world. A-m-a-zing!

 

Who Gives a Crap Toilet Rolls, Recycled Paper, Profit-for-Purpose. Handmade Haven's supply.

Did you know that more people in the world have mobile phones than toilets?! I didn’t either.  Two children a minute die from diseases caused by poor sanitation.  Comparing those two facts is beyond shocking.  I didn’t hesitate in signing up. We have a 12 week rolling subscription, where a box of 48 rolls (wrapped in paper, not plastic) are delivered to the house.  It’s great.  Someone said to my Hubby that ‘you can get cheaper loo rolls you know’.  Hmm…it’s not about the money though.

Who gives a crap, gorgeous paper wrapped toilet rolls

All away in the cupboard

If you’d like to give them a try, pop over to their website and have a browse yourself.

(I’m not gaining anything from Who Gives A Crap for this post, I’m sharing their ‘profit-for-purpose’ values as I believe in what they do)

Rollercoaster Make it Happen membership group

Community – The Rollercoaster : Make It Happen

A few weeks ago I talked about The Indie Rollercoaster group on Facebook, and I mentioned that I’d just joined the membership group run by the lovely Leona Thrift-ola. It’s been such an amazing week, so I thought I’d shout about it here 😁.

Each week we focus on something different, with Leona bringing in a guest to do a live chat. We have workbooks to go through, which makes us think seriously about what we’d like from our business and where we’d like our business to go. We’ve covered things like business plans, our own version of success, finances, copyright, social media, visibility and community. We work on the good bits and the bits that make us feel uncomfortable. This past week we were set a few challenges. We could work through these by writing a post, by making a video or going live in the group if we felt we could. I felt sick thinking about the latter two…I hate anything like that. But…by the end of the week I’d done three videos and I went live for the last challenge! I felt awesome!

I have learnt so much from this group..from the other members too. It’s like having your own cheer leading team, that is made up of knowledgeable, awesome peeps that are happy to share, hold and support each other. Each of us are on a slightly different part of the path, but we can see each other and reach out if we need to.

If you are looking to find some awesome support then I wouldn’t hesitate in joining the main group – The Rollercoaster of Running an Indie Business.  Leona is also opening up the membership group to new members in a few weeks, so if you want to push yourself that bit further (for your and your biz) I would wholeheartedly recommend that too.  Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve done to help my business this year.

Community – Etsy Teams

Handmade Haven Etsy Lincs Etsy teamSome of the members at the July meet up

Anyone that works for themselves knows how lonely it can be. I don’t mind that as I’m a natural introvert, but sometimes you need to be around people that are in a similar position. A new Etsy team opened at the beginning of the year, that was fairly local to me so I joined up. It’s been fab! We meet up once a month, and we’ve just been accepted to have an Etsy Made Local event at the end of the year too, which is absolutely amazing ☺️. If you have a team local to you, do get in touch and join in…you’ll not regret it.

Join EtsyLincs here

Instagram @etsylincs