Soaps and camels

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Well, I’ve had a bit of a busy couple of weeks. I suddenly had a huge number of orders for soaps and cards for mothers day.

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This is one of the soap orders

I seem to have found my niche – men needing last minute gifts and cards for their wives! This has been going surprisingly well but I want to open it up more so I’m currently setting up a facebook page so people can see what I make and can then purchase things without waiting for my husband to take my items into work. Only problem is that I wasn’t expecting the demand I’ve received so I’ve pretty much run out of items, and I’ve been having to make a whole load of last minute cards as I ran out, so I’m going to have to get busy making over the next few weeks so I have some items to show on my Facebook page.

During this busy period, we also managed to fit in a weekend to Abu Dhabi to visit family. We drove over for the first time and it was surprisingly  easy, I was worried it would be desolate desert roads, but although it wasn’t busy at all, the was still constant vehicles and numerous petrol stations (with HUGE supermarkets) all the way so it was actually a good drive, and on the way back, some camels decided to come and say hello to us and just stepped out in front of the car! It was amazing!! 🙂

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Door Plaque

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My 7 year old son is really into anything piratie (if there is such a word!) at the moment so I decided to make him a pirate inspired door plaque.

I went to the local ‘craft shop’, I say craft shop but it is actually a bookshop that sells some craft items, there really isn’t anywhere else round here but they sell wood in many shape and sizes, plus, rather bizarrely, Mod Podge. I’ve never used Mod Podge before but keep seeing many videos on YouTube about it so thought I give it a go as they had this pack of 4 mini bottles, that included gloss, matt and for fabric and I have to admit, I really like it. I love the effect it give and its so easy to use.

To make this plaque I covered the wood in a couple of coats of primer, painted the side red with acrylic paint, then once dry stuck a piece of back card on the front of the black. I used my brother scanncut to cut out the skull and name. Once I had stuck everything onto the front of the plaque and coloured the eyes with red acrylic paint, gave the plaque 3 coats of Mod Podge gloss then used Mod Podge Dimensionals to make the eyes pops out a bit. I hope you like it 🙂pirate plaque

Finally!!!!

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Well it has been awhile since I was last on here. I’ve been busy finding places to find soap making supplies and also, had quite a few orders for Valentines cards from the people my husband works with which was nice, but really nerve wracking as well. I kept worrying in case anything fell off the cards when they were posted to the UK, although I suppose, being out here, where Valentines is certainly not celebrated, I kind of had a bit of a monopoly going 🙂

Anyway,  back to soap making. After finally being able to find all the ingredients which was surprisingly difficult, I’ve had a few mad days being able to make soap again after so long and have been making as much as I possibly can.

The 2 soaps in the image are:

  • Honey and Oatmeal – this has been made as natural as possible with no scent added to it.

Honey and Oatmeal

  • Sweet Orange Treat – I’m just testing the name of this soap as not quite sure what to call it. I used Sweet Orange essential oil and it smells so good!

Sweet Orange Treat

Really wasn’t expecting it to be this difficult……..

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How difficult is it to find oils, essentials oils, fragrances etc for Cold Process soap making!!! I thought moving out to Saudi would be perfect, I thought there would be so many shops selling things like coconut oil but I was so wrong. It could be partly due to not being able to go to certain areas here and therefore I’m looking in the wrong places, but I still didn’t think it would be this difficult.

In the few months I have been here I have been able to find one shop selling a tiny little jar of coconut oil for a ridiculous price but nowhere else sells it. Thankfully, after speaking to some of the drivers today they have said they will have a look this weekend for me as they can get it easily in 1 litre plus bottles so fingers crossed as I really want to get making my soaps

Getting annoyed!!

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Well, now that Christmas and New Year is out of the way I thought I would get my crafting hat back on. I am still waiting for my soap supplies to arrive from the UK which is slowly dwindling from my original order as each day it seems another item that I ordered has been rejected, so I decided whilst I am waiting for the remaining (now very few) items soap making items to arrive, I though it would be the perfect time to get to grips with my brother scanncut.

I’ve had this machine for a number of months now, and although I managed to destroy one of the cutting mats the first time I used it trying to cut felt, I think I’ve pretty much started to get used to it, at least, I’m not cutting through the mat quite so deeply now! 🙂

As I’ve started getting on ok with machine using the pre-programmed images, I thought I would start to use the scan part of the machine, however, I’m not stupid, but this really isn’t simple at all, and what is really annoying me now is the machine saves the images in a format that isn’t compatible with either the machine or Canvas. Instead, I have to ‘trace’ them into canvas, but so far, every single image I have tried to do this with has come out really badly and misses a lot of the detail. Think it’s time I left it for a bit before I throw it out of the window!!!!

Crafting in Saudi

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Day 5

Since moving here I have realised I really need to become organised. This morning I ended up paying for some items with the shop in darkness and then racing out the door with my son as the shutters came down before I got locked in for half an hour for prayer time and last night we ran into Ikea just before it shut down for the obligatory half an hour (which happens multiple times a day!!). I picked out the storage I wanted, we waited for the staff to come back onto the floorplate only to find out it was sold out and wouldn’t be in stock for about a week, so out we went empty handed with my craft room no nearer to being rid of boxes.

Crafting in Saudi

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Well, it’s been a long time since I last wrote on here. Can’t quite believe how long, but during this past year I have moved from Belgium to Germany and recently to Saudi Arabia (2 days ago actually!!) so i’m using that as my excuse for not writing all this time.

I’m hoping this little blog will eventually turn into an informative (but fun) view on the ‘trials and tribulations’ of crafting and trying to set up a little craft business in Saudi.

My first few tasks are to firstly; turn one of the rooms into my craft room (before and after pictures will follow) however at the moment it is just full of boxes of craft stuff that I managed to post out here, and secondly; to start finding cold process soap making equipment, i.e. drain cleaner and oils – i’m assuming both will be really easy to find out here. I was hoping to make pour and melt soap here for ease as if anyone looks in the kitchen window and see’s me cooking up liquids with a face mask and goggles on, I think it will look a bit dodgy!!! however I can’t get Glycerine through the postal system and have absolutely no idea where I would be able to buy it, so for now, cold process soap making it will be.

Just off to venture to the supermarket on my own for the first time 🙂

My First Sale!!!

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I can’t believe it! Completely out of the blue I have been asked to make 3 of my hanging Christmas padded decorations!!

Before I was asked to make them, I had another enquiry about the price of them. I told them the price and didn’t hear anything back so I am assuming they think the price was too high, and I was really going back and forth about whether I should have reduced the price, but in the end I was against reducing the price just to get the sale as it takes so many hours to do the cross-stitch designs, that reducing the price would have pretty much meant I was working for free and I also think that it’s much harder to increase the price to a realistic amount if you have been selling too low. But thankfully, losing that sale paid off, as I now have an order for 3 from someone else. Yippee!!!

Aside

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Whilst I’ve been off work I may have gone slightly mad ordering lots of craft supplies, but when the packages arrived, it was brilliant! I must admit, I’m a bit of a geek for craft supplies, whether it’s fabric, card, pens, anything. I just never have enough, although I’m really starting to run out of space!!

I’ve also recently had a bit of inspiration and made quite a few items including some more miniature cross-stitch cushions that I have adapted with a bit of ribbon and a button so they can be hung from the tree or doors. I’ve also made some little felt watermelon fridge magnets with amazingly strong magnets. I’m currently testing them on my fridge adding more sheets of paper to see how much they will hold. I’ll let you know when they can’t take anymore, but I’m really impressed as the actual magnet is incredibly tiny.

I’ve been having so many ideas of what I can make recently I’ve had to start writing them down so I don’t forget. I just wish there were more hours in a day, or that the annoying bits that take so long, such as cutting all the pieces I need etc, could be outsourced so I can get onto the bit I like best, putting it all together and watching it transform into a finished project.

In a bid to try and get my dream of having a craft business off the ground, I’ve signed up for an online course that does just that, as although my background is finance, it’s in a completely different area to this.

One day my dream will happen……….