The Playground and Then Some…

So we arrived at the playground site shortly after 0630 last Saturday, the 14th.

The hubs was the mulch team captain and I got sidetracked by registration and some other administrative stuff (counting who came from where), so I didn’t get to mulch until well after ten o’clock.

This is how it turned out:

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So this week, after working all day, most days, I did some more candles. Soy wax is amazing to work with.

Until you try to make a pillar candle the first time. I used duct (duck?) tape to secure and seal my mold but it didn’t exactly come out like I’d hoped. I put the following on Instagram and tagged it #pillarfail:

2015-11-17 21.33.03

See what I mean? What should have been a 6″ pillar ended up at 3″ and then the other half of the wax ended up in a few clam shell molds for wax melts.

This weekend I got busy with the candles, body butter, sugar scrub, and bread.

I got an early Christmas present by way of a KitchenAide mixer and went a bit crazy, going all Domestic Goddess on the hubs. It’s Sunday night and I’ve started sour dough starter, and baked two loaves of whole wheat bread and two loaves of discard sour dough white bread, plus numerous candles (including pillars that I plugged off with plumber’s putty, which is da bomb!), and spearmint body butter and sugar scrubs. I labeled all the candles, scrubs, and lotions, boxed what needed to be boxed and pretty much kicked my feet up today.

I am also working on post-processing a friend’s fashion show, and hope to have those images done by Thanksgiving.

Winter…It’s craft time here!

Until next time…


101 Uses for Lavender Oil, OR Lavender Oil 101

Like Frank's Red Hot, we put this sh*t on EVERYTHING!

Like Frank’s Red Hot, we put this sh*t on EVERYTHING!

Okay, maybe not 101, but I got your attention…So I submit to you some popular uses for lavender oil and what it is great for…

This post was inspired by my sister (in-law, but she really IS my sister, so now I have two!) to whom I sent a vial of lavender oil to in a care package that arrived today…

  1. Bath Salts – a few drops of oil to a cup of Epsom salts in a mason jar, shaken, make a ridiculously relaxing bath.
  2. Refreshing the sachets/scent bag in your lingerie drawer – a drop or two of oil into the bag will refresh old sachet  bags.
  3. For those of you with curly hair – curl refresher – 5-8 drops to a liter of water (distilled or boiled tap), shaken and spritzed in the morning will give you a relaxing set of not relaxed waves/curls.
  4. Setting makeup – a drop in a cup of water can be spritzed onto face to set your makeup (as well as be refreshing after a long day at the office or a drying plane trip).
  5. Sleep easy – a few drops to a cup of water or witch hazel in a spray bottle spritzed on your pillow before bed makes for an aromatherapy dream.
  6. Relaxing bath – 3-6 drops (depending on standard or garden tub) to hot bath water will create a relaxing bath, as well…because, let’s face it; we don’t all always have Epsom salts in the pantry. Just sayin’.
  7. Insect bites – a drop on a Q-tip or cotton ball applied to an insect bite. Lavender is said to be antiseptic and help destroy germs that can cause infections,  soothe itching and speed healing to help reduce scarring.
  8. Sunburn – a few drops in a cup or so of distilled water in a spray bottle will relieve sunburn (although I have also found vinegar to really kill the sting of a more severe burn).
  9. RELAX, Yo! – add a few drops of oil to unscented massage oil to turn  your session into an even more relaxing one.
  10. Lotions, body butters, etc. – If you are making your own concoctions for skin/body care, lavender is a soothing addition to your skin care. My body butter recipe is here.
  11. Laundry rinse – combine a teaspoon of oil to 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and add about 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle of the wash.

The scent of lavender has been associated with stress relief, headache relief and relaxation. It makes a great base for bath salts/oils, massage oil, pillow and room spritz, and pain relief (in fact, I used it with some mint, eucalyptus and rosemary for a pain relieving lotion stick last weekend).

We sent my SIL a care package that included bath salts, sugar scrub, body butter and a lotion stick that incorporated lavender, as well as a vial of lavender oil and I wanted her to see just how versatile this wonderfully scented oil can be.

So I ask the rest of you…Do you have a lavender oil hack/fix/use that I didn’t mention here that you’ve tried and found worthy? If so, please feel free to add them in the comments section!

Hope you all enjoy, as well. ❤

Until next time…

Getting My Crafty On

I look forward to my weekends. They give me two days in a row to get in touch with my inner kitchen witch, as it were.

As much as I really hate that I broke my ankle last November, it has forced me to slow down and FIND things to do. I get bored really easily, and being winter, I have to fill the shorter, colder days with something.

So far, you’ve seen my crochet projects, the progression of our first batch of homemade wine, and the natural skin care items I whipped up for Christmas.

Only 356 more to go...

Only 356 more to go…

On the first of the month I started an afghan project that has me making one granny square per day; the colors are based on my mood that day. I’ve been consistent thus far, though it IS only the 10th of the month. I’ve been trying to do the mental math on how I am going to lay out the 365 squares so that they are not 5 across. (Each square is about 5 inches square, so at 5 across, it’d only be 25″ wide, which is way too narrow for an afghan, in my opinion.) None of the numbers that go into 365 will make for even rows, so I’m figuring I will do some plain white squares to make up the missing squares. I have eleven and a half months to come up with a solution, so I’m not trying to overtax my brain at this point. 😉

Racked and bubbling! :)

Racked and bubbling! 🙂

This morning I racked our mead, taste-tested and added sugar to our second batch of Hell Hath No Fury red, and washed and sanitized all the associated equipment (auto-siphon, tubing, wine thief, buckets, spoons, etc.) I also updated both pages under the “Wine Making” menu.

Oh, yeah! I added two new pages to my menu last week. One is obviously for wine making (it’s a good thing to have a record of the steps one goes through to create a successful batch of wine and to have them all in one place, easily found again), and the other is a place to put crochet patterns and body care recipes for easy reference. This year it’s all about being organized, although you wouldn’t know it if you saw either of my desks. 😉

I still have two little projects on the agenda for this afternoon. One is another batch of body butter for my mother-in-law (I accidentally gave my step-daughter both jars at Christmas), and my friend Kara, who turned me on to my second project of the afternoon; lotion bar sticks. 😀

Have any of you ever tried a lotion bar? Kara sent me one and I tried it and I’m hooked. It comes in a twist up container (think deodorant) and glides on and moisturizes beautifully. I am noodling with a recipe that calls for equal parts of beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter. I picked the recipe up from Wellness Mama and am going to start this as soon as I’m done whipping the body butter.

Lemon body butter in jars.

Lemon body butter in jars.

In fact, I’m typing this while I have my body butter back in the fridge so I can beat it a little more, then add essential oil. I’ll probably post the modified recipe under the “Crochet & Crafts” menu before the day is out…

Fast Forward About 30 Minutes…

Now that the body butter is in the jars, I can start on my lotion bar sticks. I am really excited, because a new project is like a little kitchen adventure. For this batch I am using 2 ounces each of the ingredients and adding lavender essential oil before I put the mix into the deodorant tubes.

Fast Forward Another 30 Minutes…

The lotion sticks came out better than I thought that they would! I used a Corel serving bowl over a pot with 1 inch of water in the bottom as my double boiler. It took almost ten minutes for everything to melt down, and then I stirred in my lavender essential oil into the concoction, let it cool just a bit and used my gravy ladle to spoon it through a funnel into the deodorant containers. The process looks like the following photos:

So there you have it…A cold Saturday in the life of the girl that really can’t sit still and LOVES to make “stuff.”

What do you do when the creative bug bites you? What do you make? Will you share the recipe/pattern?

Until next time…