Okay... 6.15 this morning and the WrapFest began. I wish it was only a case of wrapping the soap bars, but it starts with carrying them, tray by tray from the curing shelves onto the workbench. Then the quality control starts. I don't like blemishes and dings, so I put those soaps onto the Mischief Makers shelf. They're perfectly good soaps, and many of you love the bargain.
From there, I then begin the wiping. It's like each bar is my own little pride and joy, and I want it to look its best when it goes out into the world. So, I wipe and polish every single one of them, setting them up as I go along like soldiers waiting for their uniforms.
They're now ready for wrapping. Yes, I do it all myself, and it's done by hand. I'd love a machine... but I don't have machine money. I also cut the wax wrap by hand too.
I use a guillotine for that. Don't let that task fool you, though. It's a slippery affair cutting the paper because, well... because wax wrap is slippery. I manage to do eight sheets at a time. I've tried more, but eight sheets is the tipping point. I dream of having my paper cut for me. Buying it in made to order. Maybe one day.
And so the fingers set to work. After six years of wrapping I've got it down to a fine art, and I wonder sometimes if I don't have six fingers on each hand. Pick up a wax wrap... lay it shiny side down... set the soap bar square... pick up the sides... gather the corners... crease, crease and crease... and voila! One down, 55 to go.
After the batch has been wrapped, I then lay them all face up in rows on the labeling station. That's a fancy name for another workbench. I have a few for different purposes, and I call them "stations". I swear, it's like doing a tango. Grab your partner now, one step sideways... one step forward... one step over and... slide, 2, 3, 4.
All the way through the wrapping stage I so look forward to making the final move over to the labels. The thought keeps me going all the time my little fingers are in overdrive with the wrapping. But you know what? It's so short lived, because once I've transferred the little army of dressed bars, I'm then peeling, lining up, and sticking... turning them all over, and doing the same again for the backs. Seriously... I long to get on to the next batch with every label I put on.
And there you have it. I suppose it's a treadmill really. It's like factory work. But it's my own little factory, and I am my own taskmaster. But don't be fooled by that, either. I'm so hard on myself, it's unreal. I seriously have to learn to delegate. But for now, it's 6.00am starts, and 8.30 pm finishes. Long days, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
The music is on loud. It's my 1970's tango - UK style, of course. Grab your partner now, one step sideways... one step forward... one step over and... slide, 2, 3, 4.
Bay City Rollers, 1974 - Shang-a-Lang