Sunday, November 25, 2012

Peppermint Lip Balm

Here's to another holiday gift. It's a small one but so lovely with the cool, dry weather. I made these peppermint lip balms before with Amanda Soule's recipe and had some trouble with the honey staying mixed in with the other ingredients. It didn't take away from the balm-ness, but it looked a little messier than many lip balms. I didn't color this batch at all. Here's hoping they stay all smooth looking!
I'm careful to use doTERRA peppermint oil in the recipe since I know it's therapeutic grade oil. As a side note, I did this little project while attempting a bigger one: cold process soap. I truly experimented trying to imitate Greenstone Soap's Tangerine Calendula blend. I had dried calendula flowers around, and when I got some bulk essential oils (not from doTERRA but rather from Bulk Apothecary), I got tangerine this time. We'll see if I was in any way successful. I had run-away hot (caustic!) soap too since my shoe box didn't seem to contain it (even with freezer paper laid in it). I scheduled this adventure for this weekend since a couple of weeks ago, I went to one of Greenstone Soap's Workshop and learned a lot. I wanted to put some of the knowledge into practice right away so I didn't forget too much. Another great resource for soap (and other self-care products) is Renee Tougas' tutorials. Lotions and hand creams are next, and I have a few books and recipes I'm looking to try.

Fresh in the down season

Here are wonderful greens and veggies from our garden, Taylor Creek Farm and broccoli from another farm (friend to Taylor Creek's). It's surprising to see all this green goodness this time of year, but be encouraged. I'm not saying January will look like this, but maybe it will? This is the first year we're growing food in the Fall/Winter. It's all the first year we've had a CSA relationship, and the Taylors will keep us in produces as much/long as they can. We're talking three varieties of kale, different greens (beet, kohlrabi, collards), baby romaine, cabbage, brussels sprouts (not pictured), radishes (not pictured) and fennel. I know this time of year doesn't feature brightly colored fruits and sweet vegetables, but it's rich none the less.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hairbands complete!

My fingers are tired of pliars, but I'm happy with how these turned out.
These will likely go to some cousins and perhaps friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

button covered hairbands

Eric and I are experimenting with a new-to-us sort of handmade gift. We want to make them for the girls and for cousins and such for Christmas. The idea came from Amanda Soule (as so many do!) with supplies and a tutorial from here.
We did the primary tutorial tonight and liked it so we just ordered some more supplies. I was just looking through fabric to see which others we'd like to use. That's as much fun as any part of it!

Homemade Enzyme Cleaner

I will learn how to make more and more cleaners since I'm tired of worrying about the ingredients in what we buy and the large price tags on them. Laundry soap is one thing in my future. For now, I've done vinegar-herb cleaners; and lately I've been working on Jillee's Citrus Enzyme Cleaner.
I'm fermenting my second batch now. I have pure cleaner stored under my sink particularly for clogged drains. The spray bottle has a 10 to 1 solution for basic cleaning.

Hand Warmers for the Holidays

As another handmade gift, I tried Camp Wander's Woolen Hand Warmers. They are meant to be heated and inserted into pockets on our way out in the morning to keep our hands warm. I deviated from her recipe in rice and oil amounts and stuck with Peppermint. (I didn't see a need for warming smells when it's early in the morning and I'm trying to get spry for the day.)
This project worked out really well for my thrifting fun since I have a couple of wool-containing sweaters that I felted to upcycle/recycle into something else.
I confess I really do enjoy playing with stamps and packaging (hopefully reusable or reycleable) even though I'll never start any scrapbooking clubs.

Winterize Your Kids

Recently, Learning Herbs' John Gallagher hosted Aviva Romm doing a free webinar about Winterizing our kids. It was a terrific education, and I took lots of notes. Some things I took away were a garlic lemonade recipe that I want to try out, ice pops (made of a mix of apple juice and a mixed tea infusion that makes me think of our fairy tea from this summer--which we haven't needed or tried yet since it's a treatment often), immune boosting supplements, echinacea tincture hidden in juice (haven't tried yet) and using elderberry syrup as both treatment and prevention. Z doesn't care for the syrup so we do a few M&Ms afterwards to kill the aftertaste. I'm sure that doesn't gell with limiting their sugar intake to prevent sickness, but it's a fair compromise in our house. We still haven't worked in the extra Vitamin D.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lotion Bars

I decided to make lotions bars as a Christmas gift. Walgreens had silicone molds on sale (half off), so I got a little one with trees. I more or less followed Jillee's recipe that includes beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil and then added therapeutic grade lavender and peppermint essential oils (from doTERRA, of course) to each bar. Tonight I worked on how I might wrap them up as well.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blue Clouds

Thanks to SouleMama, I realized that Elizabeth Mitchell has a new album called Blue Clouds. It's wonderful! (We already adore You are My Sunshine.) It just keeps playing all morning. One thing I can say, too, is that if things seem a bit out of sorts, loud, grumpy etc., her music has a certain power to distill the day into something more peaceful.