Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
It's a super simple recipe:
-1 bar grated castile soap (any pure vegetable soap works - we've used Dr. Bronner's and Carter's so far - both are great. I'll hopefully be making my own soon. Can't wait!). Grate it on your cheese grater. It works out to be about 2 cups.
-1 cup borax
-1 cup washing soda
Mix it all together and store in a glass jar. Just use 1 tablespoon for a light load and 2 tablespoons for a large or really dirty load. It's not going to suds up a lot, but don't worry, it's cleaning!
And as an alternative to fabric softener, I've been dumping about 1/4 cup of vinegar in the liquid fabric softener cup in the washer. Once your clothes are dry the vinegar smell goes away. :)
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I got 10 of these red napkins! (I think they're napkins..)
A little Santa dish. Don't you love his eyes?
Wallpaper borders. The small one is only 2 inches wide.
Old puzzles.. the one with the girl has a date of 1941!
I found two quilts.. actually the first one is a quilt top. I almost passed on the second one - it's in bad shape - but I couldn't leave that purple fabric behind! I can't bear to cut into it so I don't really know what I'm going to do with it yet.
I also found a few children's books including a Grimm's Fairy Tales book. It has some nice line drawings in it, great for embroidery. I'll share soon.
Monday, September 22, 2008
My mom spent most of last week making pesto. Now the freezer is stocked and we have enough to last us until next year.. probably longer! I've seen several recipes online for pesto but not the one she uses, so I figured I'd share it here.
-2 c. basil
-3 cloves garlic
-1/2 c. parmesan cheese
-3/4 c. olive oil
-1/2 c. pine nuts
-1 tsp. salt
She just blends it all up in a blender (we don't have a large enough food processor, but I'm sure it would work much better then the blender). She saves some of the 1/2 c. of pine nuts and mixes them in after everything else is blended, leaving them whole. This is optional, but very good!
And because she just puts the jars in the freezer, she saves old jars from stuff like salsa throughout the year and uses those. When we want some for pasta or whatever, we just scrape off what we need, put it in a mug and microwave it for about 10 seconds and it's ready to use.
We eat it on pasta mostly, but I LOVE making pizza with it. We use the pesto instead of pizza sauce, then add the cheese, pieces of chicken, cut up tomato, green peppers, whatever. It's SO good.
Friday, September 19, 2008
And because autumn's in the air, I thought I'd share a fun craft I found on Martha's site using gourds. Isn't it cute? Find it here.
Enjoy the last couple of days of summer.. I'll be busy putting up tomatoes and hopefully do some thrifting. I'm itching to find some treasures. Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Here's what I started:
-A little teddy bear from this book. I'm borrowing it from the library but I might just buy it - lots of cute stuff in here.
-The drawstring pouch from this book. I plan to make a few to use as nicer (and environmentally friendly!) alternatives to wrapping paper this Christmas.
What are you knitting right now?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Apples in the old orchard next door.
Some goldenrod and grasses also in the prairie garden.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Isn't this just the perfect house? I want to curl up on that couch and knit while a snow storm blows outside. Not that I want it to snow or anything. I'm just sayin' if it were it would be nice to be in that house.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
-2 tsp. beeswax (chop or grate it, then measure)
-2 1/4 tsp. jojoba oil (you can use any oil you like, but for me jojoba's the only way to go)
-about 6 drops of peppermint essential oil (again, you can use anything you like. Grapefruit would be good!)
Melt wax and jojoba oil together in the top of a double boiler, or you could probably put it in the microwave for a bit. Stir to combine. Then remove it from the heat and add the essential oil. Pour into your containers, but don't fill up completely yet. Wait a minute or two, keeping the reserved mixture melted, then top the containers with the rest of the mixture. This gives you a nice looking top. Let cool for about 20 minutes and enjoy!
I like a bit of a waxier lip balm, so if you want it glossier just add a bit more jojoba oil.. maybe 3 tsp? Experiment to get it how you like it, that's half the fun!
Edited to add:
There's been a few questions, so I thought I'd add my answers here so they're all in one place.
-Where do you get those screw bottom containers?
I get them from a variety of places but the prices on ebay are the best I've found. Just do a search for "lip balm tube." I also save old ones I've used up and reuse those (only for myself of course!)
-How do you pour the balm in the tube? Do you just pour it from the pot?
I used to use a plastic pipette to get the melted balm into the tubes, but I found a little enamel pot at the flea market and I use that now. The pipettes work fine but the balm will harden in it if you're not fast enough. You can also find these on ebay. Search for "plastic pipette."
-Where do you get your beeswax? Online? Or can I use the left over wax from my honey and just try to remove the remaining honey?
I buy my beeswax from Mountain Rose Herbs or from local beekeepers (check farmers markets). Often they will have little chunks of wax by their displays of honey. I don't see why you couldn't use the wax that's in honey.. I've seen other lip balm recipes calling for honey but whenever I try it the honey separates from the balm, but if you get most off it should work!
-Any suggestions for what type of beeswax to use or where to get it? I noticed "pure," "unfiltered," "pellets," and all other sorts online. What's the difference?
I would take the term "pure" to mean it's just beeswax, no other ingredients are added (also look for 100% beeswax).
Filtered would mean that it's been strained of any other matter that may be in the wax (dirt, dead bees, etc). For use in lip balm I would look for filtered.
The pellets are just beeswax that is formed into little pellets. The pellets would be very easy to use, but I've never bought it because it's a bit more expensive, and, well, I can be sort of cheap sometimes. :)
One type of beeswax I would avoid is the "white" beeswax. The whiteness is obtained by bleaching the wax and I would think some of the many good, healing qualities of the wax would be lost when it's bleached. And I would be worried that some of the bleaching residue would remain on the wax.
I buy everything from Mountain Rose Herbs and I'm always impressed. They're the best company I've found that sells this type of supplies and I love that most everything is organic. They also supply lots of information. You can find the jojoba oil and the peppermint essential oil there as well.
-What sort of other oils would be nice in the lip balm?
I’ve seen different lip balm recipes calling for different carrier oils, including: olive oil, safflower oil, almond oil, castor oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil. Sometimes they’re combined in one recipe; like castor and coconut oils; or almond, olive, and castor oils. I’ve never tried any of them because I love the jojoba oil.
And as for essential oils, I would think the citrus oils, like grapefruit, lemon, lime, or tangerine would be nice. Stick with edible stuff.. I don’t think lip balm scented with fir needle essential oil would be good, for example. Also be careful which oils you choose, some need to be avoided if you’re pregnant and others can’t be used on your lips or other sensitive areas. Mountain Rose Herbs has all of this information with their essential oils.
-Do you know about any laws in selling lip balm to say a local co-op?
No, I’m not familiar with the laws regarding selling products you’ve made. I would think some sort of preservative would be necessary, like vitamin E or grapefruit seed extract but I could be wrong.