Handmade Haven Vegan Organic Chamomile and Calendula Soap, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Testing my soap bars as shampoo bars…

I have a lot of enquiries asking whether my bar soap can be used as a shampoo bar, and although I’ve read that any natural soap bar can be used as shampoo, I always felt a bit weird giving that answer as I didn’t know whether that was actually the case.  Soooo, starting last week, I’m testing the theory myself.

Hands up, I’ve not been looking forward to it as I don’t like my hair particularly anyway, but I certainly don’t like it in its natural state (weird kinks, frizzy in the slightest bit of moisture, greasier at this time of year due to wearing hats on the dog walks – lovely picture eh?! 😉 ) so knowing that this will take some time leaves me slightly anxious.  I also know that it may not work at all.

Commercial shampoos strip away all your natural oils, so your scalp produces more to compensate.  They also leave your hair dry so you then have to use a conditioner to replace the oils from the actual hair.  There will also be a build up of products – there to make up for stripping away the natural  oils.  When you switch to using a solid shampoo there will be a reaction between that build up and the shampoo bar so I need to allow 2-4 weeks for the transition to take place.

At the beginning of last week (so the 28th January) I started using a simple shampoo (Vosene) and no conditioner to try to reduce the amount of build up.  Hopefully this will lessen some of the stickiness that will happen as the bar soap tries to remove all that old crap from my hair.

I have fine, dark blonde hair, so I’ve chosen to use my Chamomile and Calendula bar, plus I’m using organic apple cider vinegar (from Aldi) as the conditioner replacement.  Chamomile is great for blonde hair.  I lather up the soap in my hands, then massage into my hair.  Then I rinse that off – rinsing as best as you can is the key apparently 😉  The apple cider vinegar rinse is 50/50 with water.  Add to the hair, massaging it in and leaving for a few minutes, then rinse.  I’ve read that popping it in a spray bottle is a great way to add it to the hair, but I’ve not tried that yet.

Handmade Haven testing her soap bars to see whether they are suitable to use as shampoo bars too

Urgh, transition…stickiness begins.

Handmade Haven testing her soap bars to see whether they are suitable as shampoo bars.

Plaits it is!

As of today, I’m on day 3, wash 2 (I wash my hair every other day).  The first wash felt great…I was really surprised.  The wash yesterday, not so much.  The stickiness has started, and the hair has no shine.  Today, it feels a little greasy too, and very slightly itchy.  I don’t want to start washing everyday (definitely not earth conscious or labour-saving!) so I’m seeing how the first two weeks go, plus I also read that if my hair does take to bar shampoo, I might get away with washing twice a week!

I’ll keep you posted how the next few weeks go.  I’m also popping bits on my Instagram stories if you fancy following more closely.

I’d love to know if you’ve done this too, plus if you’ve got any tips to lessen the transition, that’d be great 😀

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 – Sessa Ceramics

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.

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

Vintage Star Wars burp cloths, Handmade Haven.

Star Wars Baby

I make fab baby burp cloths with cotton fabric on one side and organic terry towelling on the other, but when a friend asked if I could make some custom ones I jumped at the chance. She brought round some off-cuts of these vintage Star Wars quilts as they are huge Star Wars fans, and those gorgeous woodland creatures fabrics. I think I might have to try and find some of those fabrics for the shop as they are lovely, and they are organic which is a big bonus.