Wednesday, July 24, 2019

PRODUCT DISAPPOINTMENT AGAIN!

I admit, I know very little about melt and pour soap other than it can be bought at pretty much any local craft store and you melt it in the microwave. My youngest wanted to make cold processed soap with me but because of the lye I told her to start off with M&P. I tried playing with it many yrs ago and found it difficult to deal with because of the sweating so I just gave up. When my daughter expressed a desire to make soap I got her some M&P at Michaels and again the sweating was an issue and she didn’t like it but she really wanted to make more so I asked around and was told about a “low sweat” option. I found some on Brambleberry and purchased a block with my fragrance order. Here is what my daughter experienced. It’s worse than what they sell at Michael’s. My daughter gave up and said she will wait til I allow her to work with lye. When she is 15-16 ish?




Saturday, June 15, 2019

NEW SOAPS, DISAPPOINTING MOLD

A few months back I purchased a new mold from Brambleberry. I was super excited not to have to line my wooden molds anymore. I decided to start with their tiny 2 lb silicone lined wooden mold to make sure I absolutely loved it first before buying the larger size and I am so glad I did because I was not happy. I ordered two silicone liners and they both fit exactly like this 🙁 Not a good fit. I didn’t bother calling BB to complain because I had waited so long to try the mold after purchasing I figured it would be a lost cause and if two liners fit exactly the same what are the chances I’d get a good replacement? So anyway, see the corners. I thought once I poured in the soap it would correct itself but it didn't. I tried using tape to stick the corners but it doesn’t work, the liner is misshapen. I got one use out of it and won’t use it again. If I want to make a 2 lb batch I will have to revert back to lining the mold with freezer paper. 



Back to my old soap molds. They produced these two beautifully shaped batches of soap 😁



Monday, February 25, 2019

ETSY... DANGEROUS PLACE TO VISIT

I need to stay away from Etsy.  Just a few seconds on there and the next thing I know I have a dozen new knitting patterns, a few sewing patterns, some incense, a new shirt... Oh my.  I am NEVER going on there again.

But, in the meantime I bought and made THIS cute little penguin rice heating pad pattern.  It is super easy and the instructions are very clear.  I'm just not great at sewing so I'll need to make a few more to perfect it.  I came close though, right? 



Sunday, March 4, 2018

COFFEE SOAP

I made a batch of coffee soap today scented with Bramble Berry espresso fragrance oil.  Smells just like a cup of fresh brewed coffee in the morning. Yum!!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

SUNSCREEN: I PREFER TO MAKE MY OWN


I've been making my own natural sunscreen for a few years now with various degrees of success. I originally started with just oils known to protect skin from the damage of uv rays but oils alone are not very effective.  I then formulated a product that I considered sending to an spf testing lab but I didn't like that what I had created required a preservative.  So now I am using a simple recipe I came up with based on the research I've read on using sencha green tea topically.  This sunscreen is very heavy, perfect for swimming and if sweating a lot.  I'm really happy with what I've created because it's as natural as it can be and it keeps my fair skin from burning.

For my sunscreen I use sencha green tea infused olive oil, coconut and almond oil, shea butter, beeswax and zinc oxide (uncoated, non-nano - mesh size 325 nm).

Sencha green tea has been well researched and found to be effective in sunscreen formulations.  READ HERE
Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in both human and animal skin.[] Animal studies provide evidence that tea polyphenols, when applied orally or topically, ameliorate adverse skin reactions following UV exposure, including skin damage, erythema, and lipid peroxidation.[] Since inflammation and oxidative stress appear to play a significant role in the aging process, green tea may also have antiaging effects by decreasing inflammation and scavenging free radicals. Researchers have found that the main active ingredient in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), works well as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and sunscreen.

Infusing sencha green tea in olive oil


Great consistency for bottling

Smooth cream

Goes on white but can be rubbed in, skin feels silky smooth

Perfect!









Friday, June 17, 2016

2016 EARLY SUMMER PLANT WALK

This past weekend my oldest daughter and I attended another herbal workshop.  This time the location was a beautiful farm in North Central, MN and it was the perfect spot since there was a great variety of wild edibles and medicinals spread over the property, even this beauty… truly growing wild, there were just two plants on the 38 acres.


I think my daughter had the most fun hanging out with the chickens 


While I was busy eating wild foods


We talked about many plants including the a variety of uses for Solomon's Seal


and Black Medick


There wasn't a boring minute while Lise Wolff talked


I really can never get enough of these plant walks.  Lise Wolff is like an herbal encyclopedia that I wish I could just put on a shelf and open when needed.  How she mentally files away so much detail about medicinal and edible plants I will never know.

It truly was a great day!

For anyone who lives in MN and may be interested in these workshops, here is a link to Lise Wolff's website .  Her classes are not always posted on her site but if you sign up for emails she'll definitely send you one when a workshop or class is scheduled.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

THE NON SEWERS GUIDE TO MAKING A DOGGIE BELLY BAND

I like to pretend I know how to sew but truth is I'm really no good at it.  I wish I could make fancy clothing or a nice set of drapes but my skill level only allows for sloppy doggie wraps and maybe a tiny hand bag that small children will like.

Doing this post for my friend Julie, my sewing "lingo" is my own, I have no idea what the proper verbiage is for those that actually know how to sew.


The best type of fabric for the belly band is a thin fleece because it is soft against your dogs skin.

Cut two pieces of the same size fabric.  The size will depend on your dog.  I cut two pieces that measure 17" long and 6" wide (remembering the seam allowance of 1/4").


Then I line the two pieces of fabric up together (right side in)





Next, I sew three sides of the rectangle (1/4" seam allowance) leaving one 6" end open to flip right side out later.




After you flip the sewn piece right sides out then you'll bend in the edge of the open pieces of fabric and sew closed.



Then when you are done with that you can apply velcro to each end of your belly band.  I use velcro with adhesive and although the package says it does not need to be sewn on I have found that to be NOT TRUE.  If I don't sew the velcro in place it comes off in the wash so definitely sew it on.  


I sew one line on each side down the full length of the belly band so it goes over the ends of the velcros and then I sew across the width of the fabric through the velcro also so it remains firmly in place.

This is what it looks like when all finished.


P.S. Don't forget the pantie liner that goes inside the belly band to absorb urine.