Friday, March 22, 2013

Mini Greenhouse For Practical Use

This was written 3 yrs ago. The update is above.

I needed a place to start vege's so I collected free windows from craigslist. It had a wooden roof at first till I got  more windows. Now it has windows for a roof. I put heavy plastic on either end at the peak to hold in heat. I built a frame inside to hold trays of plants. One window serves as a door.  It's on wheels that can be locked. I roll it around the patio to follow the sun. We're renting here so I wanted to make something we could take with us. Still needs to be painted, Instead of the plastic I'll put bead board with a vent. For now it's very functional. My vege's are doing well in there, it's almost time to plant!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hard Lotion and Body Butter Recipes

 Hi, I'm Jody and I have dry skin. I've been working on lotion and potions for a few years now, trying to find something that will keep my skin soft for 24 hours. I didn't like all the chemicals that are added to store bought lotions so I set out to make my own. Several years later and many recipes under my belt I thought it was time to share so we can all have soft skin!

 I made hard lotion for friends and family for Christmas with lip balm to match. A very simple recipe that anyone can make. I sell these on if you want to see how they turned out. 

I had to laugh when my supplies came, the coconut oil is in a gallon jug, but solid. I had to set it on a heater vent to thaw it so I could pour it!It took 2 days!

Hard Lotion

 Coconut oil
 Shea butter
 Cocoa butter
Put equal amounts of each in double boiler and melt. Add scent if you wish. Pour into molds and let harden. I’ve used lots of different things for molds. Those oval Easter egg dye kits with several oval bowls works really nice. Look around your home, lots of things will work. My favorite is a Rubbermaid container for food with compartments. You can put them in the freezer to speed up the process. It takes about 20-30 min to cool. When the hard lotion begins to shrink away from the sides it’s time to pop them out. Just flip them over and knock it on the counter, (I put down some waxed paper). They always pop right out, unless they need to cool more. I used this same recipe for the lip balm plus I added Peppermint flavor.

Since I’ve used this for a few months now I have to say I really like it (and it’s still the best choice in hot climates), except that it takes a while to melt in my hand after a shower. If I’m in a hurry it’s a challenge with the hard lotion. So I’ve been working on a new recipe for body butter. I love this body butter! I can slather it on quickly and it keeps my skin just as soft as the bar. I have super dry skin and it really helps. Since I’ve been making lotions and such for a few years now I have all these ingredients. You don’t have to add them all. You can just stick to the oils and butters and yours will come out wonderful. After learning about this craft I’ve been able to save money on lotion. I'll be putting the body butter on etsy soon.

Body Butter

¼ c. Beeswax
¼ c.Cocoa butter
¼ c. Shea butter
¼ c. Almond oil
1 T. Coconut oil
1 ½ T Jojoba oil
½ t. Lecithin
1 t. Lanolin
1 capsule Marshmallow Root

Melt all ingredients in a double boiler. Stir until mixed. Remove from heat. Add fragrance. Mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Let cool for 10 min and whisk again. Let cool 10 more min. and whisk a third time. Scoop into container of your choice. Should last several months. This lasts longer than homemade lotion because it has no water. My new favorite! I even use it on my face. My last batch I used Warm Vanilla Sugar scent and it’s wonderful! The scent that I used is highly concentrated so I had to experiment to find the right amount for me. I found many of the products I use at BulkApothecary.
 Makes about 4 bars, depending on your mold capacity.
Next, I think I’ll focus on making soap, shampoo and healing balms. It's always an adventure in my kitchen. My family calls it the Lab. I love it!

Spring is Almost Here!

Stella asking "where peas"?
How time flies. After my last post in August there was a flurry of canning and freezing that went on for several months. We were left with a wonderful surplus of food that helped supplement us and will continue to for quite some time. We have more than enough tomato sauce to last till well past harvest this year. Actually were still eating sauce from last year., getting into the last harvest only for whole tomatoes. That helped me decide to do more whole tomatoes this year. Peeling and popping them in a jar is much easier than the food mill. By the end of harvest my arms and chest are all beefed up, every year. Maybe I can give myself a bit of a break this yr.
  What I've been working on lately is the rotation of the garden. I know it's important so I've been doing a lot of reading about it. That planning has only begun. I grow a new vegetable every year to keep things fun and interesting. This year I'll plant some celery and see how that goes. I'll do the tee pee again as that was so much fun. We all enjoyed it including the cats. I'm itching to build a greenhouse. I've collected old windows and have been waiting. We plan to live here another 2 years so I hesitate to build it here. I still get a good jump with the rolling greenhouse. I got a 6 week head start last year. It's perfect for someone renting.

The vanilla turned out great! It was a big hit with friends and family. I'm selling it on in a couple different size bottles. If you'd like to catch up the posts for the vanilla, here are the links;

We Made 3 Kinds of Vanilla

Vanilla Update

I made other stuff for Christmas too. I made hard lotion and am selling that on as well!

Stella's favorite video is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so I made a pillow with a music button in his hand.

Also made her some hair clips and headbands. These buttons were so fun and colorful, I just had to do something with them!

Also made blankets for the 2 grand kids.
Here's one of them. I didn't get pics of the others.
Those are a few of the projects I've done. In the near future I'll be playing with soap making and making shampoo.I have a t-shirt throw to do and also a king size t-shirt quilt to do before I have to plant the garden.
I'd better get moving!