Wednesday, 9 November 2011

I did it!

I passed my Aromatherapy course with an A grade, I am a qualified Aromatherapist.  AJ, Aromatherapist!

It was a tough exam, taking the entire week they gave me to complete it, and I did have to dive out at 9:20 one night to buy highlighters as I had got myself into a bit of a pickle researching the answer to a couple of the questions.  After I completed the course I went up to Whitby for the week to stay with my inlaws, they looked after me so wonderfully well and Sophie enjoyed the time with her Grandparents.

I got the phone call on Tuesday that my certificate is being sent out in the post this week and an email confirmation on Thursday with my grade.

I am now in the process of completing my first order for Threadbears, which is really helping me pull together the whole company and product. Even down to debating what I should be wearing at craft fayres to attract peoples attention. I have sorted out packaging and labels, I hate labels.  I recieved my order of aromatherapy oils and bottles in the post on Wednesday, I am looking forward to working with that next week.  Once I have recieved my crystals, I can complete my first few bears.

Monday, 24 October 2011


It is true, most of my delays with Serenity Potions are due to the fact I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter.  But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Yesterday, we had to run back from my parents house to get home as quickly as possible, why? Because there was a troll chasing us. I love the fact that the world I had to leave behind as I was growing up has been rediscovered by the next generation and I can take part in it.

Suddenly in my 30's I am transported back into a world where there are fairies living in trees, there are witches living in the woods and trolls live under bridges. Unfortunately in this world there are also monsters, which cause my daughter to wake up crying at 3 in the morning, but she knows the fairies will see the monsters off.

I guess I never really wanted to leave that magical world behind, If I had lived during the 1692 witch trials, I would have been burned at the stake.  I have always grown herbs in my garden, I have owned a cat since I left home at 20, I do have a mole on my back and I have used aromatherapy since I was a teenager.  I think the  broomstick in the bathroom might have been the give away.  However, my gingerbread houses have always been a disaster.  I hope it doesn't upset Sophie's childhood too much.

There is a natural magic in the air around this time of year, with Halloween approaching this is enhanced by the retail business.  When I was younger my Grandma would always show me the 'magic trees' at the bottom of her garden, at about 4o'clock the sunlight would hit the yellowing leaves on the trees and they looked as if they were made of copper, bronze and gold. It always fascinated me, and I loved going round after school to go and look out for them.  I love the fact the smells in the air are changing ready for the cooler weather, the cooking smells from peoples homes are changing from Mediterranean pasta dishes to soups, stews and pies, comfort food for the cool weather and warming from the inside out.

I hope you all enjoy Halloween, in your own way, and make the most of the gorgeous weather we are having at the moment.

Friday, 14 October 2011


I haven't update this for awhile have I. It's all my fault, let me show you why. 

This is Leopold, he lives with me now. 
On December 1st last year, I had to make the awful decision to have my 13 year old cat, Mort, put down, this happened just 3 weeks after my husband lost his job and right before Christmas.

At the time I said "never again" I was determined to never own (or be owned by) another cat.  In September I went into Pets at home as Father Christmas is getting Sophie fish for Christmas but we need to set up the tank for him first.  I fell in love with a rabbit they had in store.  After much debate it was agreed that a Rabbit at this time was impractical.  My husband however found online a local lady who's cat had just had kittens and booked a viewing for me.  Of course I was going to end up with a kitten. 

Two weeks later we went to collect Leopold and he is nicely settling in with the rest of the family. 

Having a kitten in the house, has made it interesting to try and cut anything out, sew anything or even draw.  He is into absolutely everything.  However I have planned to crack on next week and get things done, even if I have to lock him away in the bathroom for a couple of hours or drug him with lavender oil.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Raisin bread and other creations

My friend and constant nagger Mr Harry from Purky, informs me that people like to see half finished objects, which is great because my craft box is full of them.  The quilted blanket I was trying to make for my daughter for last years Christmas, cross stitch, long stitch, blackwork.  My box is full of them.  The mix for my raisin bread sat on the side for 24 hours, as I put everything into the bowl before realising I didn't have any sugar to activate the yeast with.  But it was gorgeous when I baked it the next day.

But rather than photograph my UFO's (UnFinished Objects) I thought as this is Serenity Potions blog, you would be more interested in What we have been up to.

After an Unsuccessful start I can now confirm I have half a table with Hags Bizzare at Warkton Craft Market on the 19th November.

I have been busy with the scissors and the sewing machine, I can now show you my little Threadbear Therapy bears I have cut out, stitched and stuffed so far, they have no oils as yet, no crystal necklaces, no faces, just stuffed little bodies. I tell a lie, the butterfly print bear hasn't even been stuffed yet.

As you can see my rose bear has a hole in her leg so I can insert the oils

But Purple bear has a hole in his head.  I have tried to leave these gaps in inconspicuous places as I will hand stitch these at a later date, once the oil pads have been inserted.

This is the first of my wheatbag bears, he also still has a hole in his leg so the oils can be inserted, I have pined this up to stop the filling from falling out. The wheatbag bears will not have a crystal necklace, so they can be microwaved. 

Another mad idea I had, and work with me here, Aromatherapy Christmas tree decorations, the heat from the tree lights so allow a light diffusing of the oils without over powering the room.  This is one for my tree at home, or maybe I'm just using the prototype for me.  I plan to make stars and other shapes as well as corsets. I may stitch the decoration onto future designs, I haven't decided  yet.

I am currently working on oil mixes that work well with crystals.  Obvious ones like Rose oil with Rose quartz are a start, but ideally I would like to work with more than just those two.  Christmas lends itself to all sorts of wonderful spices and vivid colours, before the obvious scents of nutmeg, frankincense, myrrh or cinnamon come into play.

Monday, 12 September 2011


I did it! I passed my case study section of my coursework! I just have the final exam to take, this involves revision.  Which obviously means I have to buy new folders, re-organise my coursework........ what do you mean I'm procrastinating?  I am hoping to do this at the beginning of October, giving me a couple of weeks to read up and get on with it all.

On the crystal healing course, I have almost completed typing up sections 4 and 5.  I have tidying up to do and section 6 then we can send them off.  My plan is to get this done this week, so I can clear the time for my aromatherapy revision.

It has been confirmed that I'm not trading at Warkton Craft Market on Saturday, there has been some mix up with the dates.  However Hags Bizzare are trading on the November market and have offered to take some of my items along with them.  A friend has offered to lend me his camera so I can get some great shots and get my Folksy shop filled.

I did raid Hobbycraft in Northampton the other weekend, I have lots of pretties and I am currently working on a Christmas range as well as working on my Threadbear Therapy.  I have been playing with some other bits, as I figured it can't just be me who loves aromatherapy, crystals and glamour, can it?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Funky Friday

I sat down last night and completed my case studies for my aromatherapy course, I had sent them off before, but I hadn't put enough detail in there about the massages.  I updated and re-sent.  Lets see how it goes this time. I always find case studies hard to type up, they seem to personal and impersonal at the same time, talking about someone's symptoms but referring to them as Teacher 43.

I also started to work again on my crystal healing course, I am now nearly half way to completing it. I have to type up sections 4,5 and 6 and send them off, done! Considering I was also talking to people on msn and playing stupid games on facebook and google+, I did quite well.

Whilst I was on a roll, I now have a shop on Folksy: Serenity Potions there isn't any stock in there yet, but it's a start.  My copy of Tank girl should be arriving today, my plan for this evening is to watch that whilst sorting out my fabrics and threads to see what I need. My husband has also promised me a trip to Hobbycraft on Saturday :-)

I still need to confirm whether or not I am trading at Warkton Craft Market on the 17th September with Hags Bizzare, one half of which is my Mother unfortunately the craft market are being a little slow at getting back to us, I understand the organisers are very busy and it has spurred me on to get organised.

I've got lots of new ideas on how to expand the range, thank goodness I have evernote on my phone, so I can jot the ideas down as they come to me.  It turns out the exercise I have been prescribed by my doctor gets my creative juices flowing. Having spent the weekend with Nia Fiori being gorgeous and talented and re-reading the books lent to me by Purky (who is also gorgeous and talented) I need to stop being the worlds best procrastinator and get ready for trading.

Thursday, 28 July 2011


They say depression is when you have been too strong for too long.  In the 1950's depressed housewife's were simply told to snap out of it or if they were lucky sent to therapy. I have been diagnosed with depression, hence my lack of blogging when I had just got back into it. 

My doctor has suggested I exercise.  Wikipedia seems to agree with him:

"Frequent and regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help prevent or treat serious and life-threatening chronic conditions such as high blood pressureobesityheart diseaseType 2 diabetesinsomnia, and depression"

The reason for this is that it boosts the bodies endorphins, which as another website tells me: 

"- An endogenous opioid from the pituitary gland that blocks pain, decreases appetite, creates a feeling of euphoria (the exercise high), and reduces tension and anxiety.
Blood levels of endorphins increase up to five times resting levels during longer duration (greater than 30 minutes) aerobic exercise at moderate to intense levels and also during interval training.
Also, after several months of regular exercise, you develop an increased sensitivity to endorphins (a higher high from the same level of endorphins), and endorphins that are produced tend to stay in your blood for a longer period of time. This makes longer duration exercise easier (you're feeling no pain) and it causes your exercise high to last for a longer period of time after exercise."

So  it doesn't really solve the problem, but if I keep it up I feel less pain.  Good to know. 

I'm struggling to be sociable, which is OK at the moment because we can't afford to go anywhere, but I do find myself dreading mums and tots groups and being surrounded by strangers.  I can cry at the drop of a hat, which can be frustrating and I find myself getting very short tempered.  Thankfully my daughter is wonderful, even at 2 she knows that mummy likes hugs, and often comes to me for a cuddle, she brings me flowers when she has been to the park with her dad and if I'm not smiling I get asked "what's the matter mummy?"

I have told friends and family the situation, most of them have been fantastic and very supportive.  People I didn't think would bother with me have invited me out for a walk or round to do an exercise DVD or even just to talk.  Sometimes it take something like this to realise how blessed with friends you really are.  I don't have to rely on Ben and Jerry all the time. 

Like a good aromatherapist and Crystal healer I have been using oils and stones. I find Neroli oil particularly uplifting, I love the fresh citrus smell.  I've got a tigers eye bracelet that I have been wearing, along with some garnets and rose quartz. I've been trying to get a little more orange into my life as this helps lift the depression, it really isn't my colour in clothes so I've been carrying pencils and embroidery threads in this colour.  We can do nothing but try it and see how it goes. 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Thursday Thoughts

After a week of waiting, I toddled off to the Doctors today, to be told, as I suspected that I am depressed.  I have to  take more exercise and make more time for myself.  So this evening I sat down and decided to create something, I can now give you:

Threadbear Therapy!
This little guy is made from 100% cotton and comes with his own little bottle of aromatherapy oil to put on him.  Combining the benefits from Teddy bear therapy and aromatherapy, this guy will really enhance your mood.  I have lots of different fabrics to make more of them, now the sewing machine is out, there will be no stopping me.

He does have a little face.
The red thread on the pink butterfly isn't showing up so well.

I did also make a wheat bag bear, so the oils can be heated up in the wheatbag, but I had problems with him. He's got a wonky leg and one ear bigger than the other.
His crotch isn't the greatest in the world either, I'll just have to keep him.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wednesday Waffles

Today I thought I would let you know some of the background on why aromatherapy and crystal healing.

I suppose it started, as most things do with little girls, with my mum.  Mum has always had a very healthy attitude towards life, and encouraged us to use healthy foods and vitamins along side any medication we are on when we weren't feeling well.  She always had a bottle of one oil or another in the house and had a small addiction to patchouli oil.

When I was a teenager mum took me along to an aromatherapy party, the lady there explained how it all worked and how much of an effect it can have on your life, I was immediately hooked, smells that made you feel better, imagine how that could work, perfumes, soaps this woman was sitting on a gold mine, it has been used for thousands of years? why has nobody done anything with this? Straight away I became a lavender and tea tree addict, using them for everything; spots, stress, cleaning my teeth, helping me sleep, cleaning stubborn stains etc. I was amazed at the results, the practicality and the range of uses.

I carried on using these for my own aid, even doing a study at college in my BTEC nursery nurse course on aromatherapy and young children.  During this study, I was talking to a lady in a local aromatherapy shop, which has now sadly closed down, and she introduced me to crystal healing.  Why would using a crystal be any more bizzare than using an oil? I wore my newly purchased amethyst stone for weeks and whether it really was the stone or whether it was psychosomatic, I don't know but I felt there was an improvement in my life.  It was amazing, "why had nobody put this into jewellery......they have?" I've had tumble stones and natural stone jewellery surrounding me ever since.

I read up on how the oils and the crystals can be used together to enhance each others properties and carried on using it in my own life for many years.  To save you from boredom I shall skip from the 18 year old AJ to the 27 year old AJ.

I hit a critical point in my life, I was kind of rambling around not really knowing what I wanted to do.  I had left my managerial position because of the stress factor, I was happy doing a telephonist job, but I was promoted within the company until the stress got too high for me again.  I was also bored, very very bored.  When I am bored my brain reaches out for things to stimulate it, I read factual books, take day trips out on the train and watch intellectual TV programmes.  My imagination also starts to go overtime and I have to doodle ideas down before they explode.

I found an online aromatherapy course with a buy one get one free offer. So I signed up for one aromatherapy and one crystal healing course. As I progressed with the course I started to work the aromatherapy oil into soap. For me it was a natural area to go, the oils helped improve the skin as well as the mind so applying it directly would get the best results.  This worked really well, and friends and family tell me they loved receiving them as gifts for birthday and Christmas.  The problem I had with this is that to be able to sell them I needed nearly £300 to get the soap cleared by EU trading standards.  This is money I didn't have.

I'm not entirely sure how the idea came to me for Threadbear therapy.  I was reading up on Teddy bear therapy, due to the fact my daughter had developed an attachment to a frog thing I got her from IKEA, she still very rarely goes out without Groda.  The thought came to me about combining Teddy Bear therapy with aromatherapy to increase it's benefit. If aromatherapy could help increase it's effect, then adding a crystal to it could make it even more powerful.  I could rule the world! Plans and plotting have taken time, getting the correct bear pattern, the right stuffing, can it be turned into a...... how about if I make a........ and of course back to the beginning "Mum what do you think of this?"

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

June Refresh

Hello again,

Thank you for being so patient.

Two things have happened so far this month, 1; I was taken fabric shopping by my aunt, and on the same day my daughter took a nap so I was able to do some cutting out.  2; I now have my own pc, so internet access is less of an issue. The only problem I now have is fitting my pc and sewing machine onto my dining table, and then people expect to at the table. Food is over rated right?

I have just started my second batch of German Friendship cake, which is a wonderful recipe to share with your friends, even if it does take 10 days to make.  It is a yeast based cake, so it requires that time for the yeast to do it's magic.

That is all the joys I can think of today, so I shall leave you there and waffle on again at you soon.

AJ xx

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

March Madness

So here we are 9th March and I can hear you screaming, I AM GOING BLUE IN THE FACE WHEN IS THE RELAUNCH.  We had a few set backs, other half had some serious job hunting to do, so had the pc for the majority of the time, plus we have had some issues with our home.  The landlord is finally dealing with the situation, he has put a damp sealant on the walls and ceiling in the nursery and in the bathroom, after years of dealing with black mould from a roof leak.  The landlord has agreed to deal with the rising damp in the living room, but it took us pointing out that my 21 month old daughter has just been prescribed an inhaler, where as there is no proof that the damp has caused this, medically it wont help with the situation.

Due to the stress of an unemployed husband and a house that felt like it was falling down around my ears, I was sick for a month and no amount of tea tree was helping.  But bless the inventor of Vicks vapour rub.

During the battle of finances and health issues, Serenity Potions and my studies have been put on the back burner.  All excuses I know, but day to day life does take over, something I am going to have to adjust accordingly once I get this venture up and running.

I've got the laptop up and running, so I can sit here and blog at you whilst my husband is working/WoWing/Hogging the pc.  I have a fabulous little software programme called evernote.  This allows me to make notes, take photos, link in tweets, all with tags on them so I know where to find everything, it also links into my blackberry so I can be organised on the go. Check me out!

I have fabric that has been kindly donated to me by Hags Bizzare.  So I can make a few templates and really get to grips with the product.  I have also been inspired by Nia Fiori to take this into another direction and cover another area of the market.

But enough waffling for now, I'm going to go and get the scissors out.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy New Year

I'll admit, the re-launch didn't go to plan.  I wanted to get new products out for Christmas, but with my husband loosing his job and general running around after my pocket monster, it didn't happen.

I am still working, plotting, taking advice from people and I hope to get it out there soon.  I have some amazingly talented friends who are plotting and scheming on my behalf, I love and appreciate them lots.

Christmas was very inspirational with the different colour schemes going on, the traditional christmas colours, jewel colours, citrus colours and sherbert colours.  The smells of the season are always uplifting for me, from baking gingerbread, to making the mincemeat, mulled wine and dropping the cinnamon jar.  I have noted these down, and I will draw from these for next Christmas.

I need to move away from soap, as the smell of the base is affecting my migraines and the cost for the start up is more than a full time mum can currently afford.

I will tomorrow, be starting my January big clean.These are fresh smells, not just the bleach, but the lemon and lime scents, with an after scent of tea tree, and the blast of fresh air from an open window. There is still a hint of pine in the air and the mix of everyones new perfume when out walking in the street.  I find them very uplifting in what could be a very depressing month.  It will involve me sorting out my books, so I should be able to get vast amounts of inspiration from these,  I'll need to sort out my craft boxes, more inspiration, and I seriously need to catch up with crafty friends, groups and blogs.  I will get my business up and running.

I have been reading my studying for my crystal healing course, but as of yet I have not sent it in. I need a kick up the bottom!