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.

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.

Wrapping….

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Soap ready for pouring into the mound.

This week has seen lots of soap making and wrapping going on.  I try and have a full day making various batches of soap, then they are left to cure for four to six weeks.  After they are cured I’ll then spend another day wrapping them up.

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All set for wrapping

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Mini / sample Soaps

It’s taken me a few years to get to this version but I love them so much.  All the wrappings can be recycled or composted, and I print the labels myself.   All I’ve got to do now is add my new logo to them all 😂

Soaps available here