Chemistry Lesson Part II

CP Soaps

After Friday’s Cold Process soap making class, we had to leave the soaps insulated in their moulds, wrapped in old towels. Next step was to remove them from the towels, unmould them and then leave them to cure for 4-6 weeks. I’ve put them on the shelf in the airing cupboard as this happens to be in my office 🙂

Spare Time

What do you like to do in your spare time? Running a craft or handmade business is great fun, but you can find yourself heading towards burnout, especially around the lead-up to summer and Christmas festivals and especially if you juggle your craft business with a ‘day’ job. Around October time someone was questioning me rather aggressively about where the business was going (I guess in their eyes it is not as successful as it should be by now – ugh) and I was so tired and drained from many changes going on in my day job, the threat of redundancy plus trying to get stuff ready for upcoming fairs and Christmas fast approaching, and I almost, very nearly burst into tears!

As someone who juggles both a 9-5 and a craft business, I find it really helpful to have some sort out outlet:

-First of all don’t be afraid to say NO. You have to do what is realistic and also have some breathing space.

-Dancing. Yes, I dabble in a bit of ballet, rhythm tap, contemporary, you name it. Maybe you enjoy some other physical activity, like running, ju-jitsu or Zumba.

-Writing. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I love writing this blog, and I’ve also had a novel on the go for about 15 years…

-Photography. I like getting out in nature with the camera at the weekend. Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Black Park, Langley Park, the Grand Union Canal etc.

-Just sit somewhere and read a book

-It’s ok to take a day off. From everything. The world will not collapse.

-Book a massage or spa day every now and then

What do you do to wind down or let off steam?

Every now and then it is also really important to write down everything you have going on in your life and see where you can chop things out, rearrange or change for your own sanity.

Here’s an article from Create and Thrive about focussing when you’re trying to juggle too much that I find helpful to look at every now and then: http://www.createandthrive.com/6-tips-to-focus-your-business-and-life

Another article I keep a paper copy of in my office is from Zen Habits: http://zenhabits.net/edit-your-life-part-1-commitments/

 

Fun Chemistry Lesson

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On Friday we travelled south to Dorset for a workshop in Cold Process soap making! There were 5 of us in the class, plus tutor, and we got to watch the tutor demonstrate making a loaf of soap before we made two of our own. I made one with Rosemary and Lavender plus pink clay,  and another with Sweet orange and Patchouli plus nutmeg powder. Clive made one with Orange and Cedarwood with rhassoul clay and another with grapefruit and tea tree with nettle powder. Once made, we wrapped our filled soap moulds up in old towels to take home, which we will need to check on in 2 days, then leave to cure for another 4 weeks. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Attending the workshop has definitely taken the scary out of working with caustic soda in a smaller space.

Work Day

BGF Barn

Part of renting a table at the Herts Craft Collective at Battlers Green Farm is that you have to volunteer in the shop once a month. Yesterday was our first time to do this, and it went really well!

After everything was explained to us (including how to operate the card machine – argh!) we were left to it and the day was pretty fun. After our 11-4 shift, we headed to my mum’s for a spot of Roast Chicken, which went down well 🙂

BGF Table