bar soap, vegan soap, organic soap, handmade haven, black soap, pore cleanser

Benefits of Activated Charcoal

I use activated charcoal in my best selling soap as it has amazing absorption abilities. It will help remove built up dirt and grease on the face, leaving it silky smooth. It has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, but today it has many other uses including

  • The absorption of gases and toxins
  • Lining gas masks
  • Antidote to poison
  • Purifies drinking water
  • Removes odours (used as a body deodorant, shoe and fridge deodorant)
  • Treats overdoses
  • Teeth whitening and oral health
  • Wound cleaning
  • Relieves itching caused by bites and stings
  • Relieves bloating and flatulence

It’s amazing stuff!

I get mine from Baldwin’s who source their’s from coconut shells rather than wood. This means that no trees or food sources are wasted to produce it.

“The charcoal undergoes a process called “activation”. This is achieved by firstly burning the shells in the absence of air and then placing the carbonized shells in a kiln full of steam at a temperature above 800 C for between 12-24 hours. The steam opens up the pores of the charcoal and thereby enlarges them. It is this process of “activation” that creates an enormous internal surface area (over 1000 sq meters per gram of charcoal!) which makes the charcoal such an effective adsorbent. ‘Activisation’ enlarges the pores of the charcoal so much that a teaspoonful has a surface area about the size of a football pitch!.”

😳 A football pitch!!  Can you imagine trying to clean that up!

Getting the most out of your soap bar

♥  Use it every other day on the face otherwise it will dry your skin out, over-producing natural oils.

♥  I lather up the soap in my hands, wash my face then rinse straight away.  

♥  You can leave it on for a few minutes so it acts like a face mask.  Rinse off.

♥  Like all my soaps, the bar needs to drain freely to dry otherwise it will go all squidgy.

bar soap, vegan soap, organic soap, handmade haven, black soap, pore cleanser

Rails and piles of clothes ready for people arriving

Clothes Swap – One Clothes Waste Solution

Did you know people in the UK have an estimated £30 billion worth of unworn clothes in their wardrobes*.  Plus £140 million of unused clothing (UK) goes to landfill every year*.  Landfill, not even recycled!  The clothing and textile industry is the second biggest polluter on the planet behind oil.  Shocking statistics, which are hard to put into context, I know!  

I’ve shopped in charity shops, at car boot sales or on eBay for years for the majority of my clothes (except my underwear 😉 ) but this year I’ve been doing things different.  A friend of mine organised a clothes swap at the beginning of the year, then another.

The concept is a simple one – you take along any clothes and shoes you no longer want, hang them up, then have a browse to see if there’s anything you’d like to take back with you.  Perfect.  The first time I came back with 5 items.  The second time I came back with nothing.  That was absolutely fine.  The clothes that are left are then donated to a charity shop.  The next meet up is in September but it’s going to be bigger as a few of us have also discovered the KonMari method so we have a few more clothes (and costume jewellery) to depart with 😂😂

15+kg of clothes ready for the September clothes swap. Handmade Haven

15+kg of clothes ready for the next swap!

Let me know if you and your friends do something similar.  It’d be nice to know we can make a tiny difference 💚

*Find out more at http://www.wrap.org.uk

 

Repurposing at it’s best – Nan’s laundry

Handmade haven laundry day using enamel baby bath which was my nans baby bath, wooden pegs in a handmade peg bag.I love re-using and re-purposing things, especially when they have come from family. This was all very normal for my Nan’s generation – passing things down, keeping a bottom drawer, finding other uses for things – which seems to be sadly lacking nowadays.  Last year I was lucky enough to be given her laundry bowl and basket.  Now these items are just amazing!  The bowl is an old enamel baby bath.  Her baby bath.  She’s 91!  How cool is that?!  I use it for the wet laundry when pegging out, just like she did 😁.

Handmade Haven, re-purposed fishermen's basket, laundry basketHandmade Haven, re-purposed fishermen's basket, laundry basket

The basket is for the dry laundry (AKA how many odd socks basket).  This used to be a fisherman’s basket (her Dad’s family were mainly fishermen, plus they worked the lifeboat in the village) before it was her laundry basket.  Her Dad, my great Grandad, gave it to her when she got married, telling her it would last a lifetime!  I’ve no idea how long it was used before my Nan and Grandad got married in 1949, but it’s been going strong ever since, and will continue to do so long after I’ve finished with it.

Do you have anything you are reusing or re-purposing that you’d love to share?

My Nan and my boys, March 2019

 

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories, Pyrography, ivy leaves painted with dot work pyrography

Supporting Other Creative Artisans – Sylvan Stories

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Hogwarts Crest, paint and dot work pyrographyI first met Claire at the school gate, when our boys went to the same school.  I love the style she uses…dot work…as it’s different to the normal pyrography you see.  The above was a gift for my 40th birthday a few years ago as she knows about my love for Harry Potter.  Then I’ve bought the House Stark plaque, the reindeer decoration, the flower plate and the absolutely gorgeous ivy bowl.

It seemed only natural that I would ask her if she’d like to collaborate on something for my business, so last year these gorgeous little wooden decorations were finished, and they now appear on the large gift sets.  The wood she used for these ones came from fallen branches and some re-purposed table legs.  Perfect!  Claire is still on maternity leave at the minute but if you’d like to take a look at her other work, you can find her here and here.

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, Pamper Gift SetHandmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, zero waste decorations

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, Pamper Gift Set, natural gift sets, zero waste decorations

Turning inwards

I’ve been rather absent on social media these past few weeks as my mental health has needed a bit of TLC. The ongoing brexit farce means there’s a potential disruption to the cosmetics side of my business but as my own government doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, then myself and the rest of the country are just in limbo. It’s a very frustrating, and a very sad situation. So that, on top of a few personal things means I’ve just been concentrating on getting orders done, spending time with family and pottering about in the house doing some of those annoying little jobs that need doing.

Hopefully normal service will resume soon.

Handmade Haven using apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse.

Shampoo Bar Update – Week 5

Handmade haven vegan organic soap, chamomile and calendula, shampoo bar experiment, 5 weeks in

Well here we are 5 weeks down the line.  This is the same bar I started with back at the beginning of February.  I’m very impressed!  I am on the 2nd bottle of apple cider vinegar though..not sure if I’m using too much.  I use 25 ml plus the same again of water.

Handmade haven vegan organic soap, chamomile and calendula, shampoo bar experiment, bar shampoo, plastic free

I have found my scalp to be fine, with no itching or dandruff.  My hair is a little dryer than normal but I’m sure that’s the apple cider vinegar rather than the soap as my hair is soo fine that the ends are damaged very easily.  I’m going to find a conditioning bar to help with that.  I have been doing a deep conditioning (coconut oil left on my hair for hours then washed off), but I need to do it more regularly and I just haven’t got the time at the minute.  That sounds like such a lame excuse but I’ve never been one for spending vast amounts of time on my own self-care routine!  Maybe now is the time to start 😉

Overall I’m really impressed.  Firstly, I didn’t think I’d keep going with it and secondly, it actually works. 

I’d love to know if anyone has a favourite conditioning bar that they can recommend 😀

 

Handmade haven made a messenger bag from old jeans and lined it with marauders map fabric

Old jeans equals new bag!

Well that fortnight just flew by! I’ve been working like a loon, plus I’ve had my annual urge to sort stuff out and get rid…no mean feat when you’re a natural hoarder 😂.

Over the years my boys have been through a fair few pairs of jeans.  The ones that have life left in them are passed down or go to the charity shop but the ones that have holes in knees etc, are cut up to and the use-able bits of fabric are saved.  This isn’t all of my rescued/saved stash 😉

I’ve been wanting to make myself a new bag as the old one I made was looking a bit tatty round the edges.  The outside of the new bag is made using some of those jeans, stitched patchwork style then trimmed into a long wide strip.  I then make a long narrow strip that turns into the sides of the bag and the handle.  I treat myself to the amazing marauders map fabric a while ago as I always intended it to line my new bag.  I added a couple of dividers inside and I made sure I’d got one of the jeans pockets on the front so I could use it as a pen pocket.

Handmade haven messenger bag made from repurposed jeans, Harry Potter marauders map fabricimg_6642Handmade haven messenger bag, made from repurposed jeans with handy pocket

My old bag was a similar style but it had a press stud fastening on the front.  I’ve made this one with a longer front as I never used the press stud.

I love that my bag has been worn by my kids!  I also love that I’ve made it myself, so it’s completely unique.  I know it’s not perfect (who needs to follow patterns anyway) but it’s full of love 😀

Handmade haven messenger bag, made with repurposed jeans