As usual I signed myself for an epic craft fair tour assuming I’ll have everything ready in time. "You got this, right?" says my past self to my present self who's working until midnight every night and waking up at 6am to catch a ferry to who knows where.
Before I could wrap my head around it I started the weekly tour of Sidney Street Market on Thursdays, Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market Friday mornings, and Salt Spring Market on Saturdays. With my part time job I work Mondays and Tuesdays so that gives me Sundays and Wednesdays to prep (assuming I don’t ever need a day off in my life).
One busy Friday afternoon after an American cruise ship came through Nanaimo I realized as I packed away my salves and soaps that I was gruesomely low on stock.
Part of my salve making process is to soak herbs in high percentage alcohol for at least three days. It breaks down the cell walls so they infuse into the oils that much better (called in herbal medicine an intermediary extraction). I not only had to harvest some of the herbs, but blend and soak all before the Vancouver Island Herbal Gathering a few weeks away.
Herbs (nettle, comfrey, lavender, calendula) soaking in alcohol to make
supple salve: natural moisturizer.
In January I moved into a communal log mansion in the North end of Salt Spring with some young folks, a sweet 9 year old named Nayoki and an 18 month old baby named Nariya that I have come to love as my own. She says few words including: up- for up and down, um for food, aish for any sort of animal or baby, hi, bye, mommy and daddy and ALY she yells at the top of her lungs as she bangs on my studio door.
Nariya helping me vend at the Salt Spring market
I converted the storage room that connects the neighbours’ house to ours into the perfect soap making studio, room for two tables and my desk and some swanky heavy duty shelves that make me feel very professional. The only issue, which has arisen during my busiest production time, is that the walls are paper thin- enough that I can’t blend anything without the neighbour banging on the wall. “Sorry, am I interrupting your Simpson’s marathon again, sir?” Anyway. It means I can’t work past 10pm which in the long run is a good thing for my health and sanity.
As herbs soak and I await my new label order from Summit Print and 60 ml tins to travel from WellsCan, I make do. My motto this year has been to make the most with what I have- which ignites ingenuity and creativity- along with minor stress hiccups and deep stares into the depths of my Google calendar.
Some new items soon to be available on the website are herbal bath salts, sugar-honey-geranium-eucalyptus-coconut scrub, and a sample three soap bag.