Making body butters and lotions in the kitchen

All of the people in my immediate family have red hair. We love it, but with it comes very sensitive skin. Especially on the kiddos.

This winter has been particularly bad for poor Mazie, whose hands have been so red and dry! Store-bought lotions burn for her, so we have been making our own!

I started this experiment with lotion bars back in June.

These use about 50% beeswax and 50% oil.

My Recipe:
8oz beeswax
8oz sweet almond, coconut, emu, (etc. – whatever you like)

I made some unscented for the kids, and also added some essential oils in a few. I put in a few drops of ginger and clove in one batch (root chakra!) and in the other I put in some Egyptian Musk.

Melt together in a double boiler and pout into molds. These can store in the freezer after they solidify to keep fresh.

These are great bars for after the shower, or to keep in a drawer at the office – they last forever.

For winter, I decided to try making body butter.

My recipe:
4 oz cocoa butter
3.5 oz coconut oil
.5 oz emu oil (this is not vegan!)
A few drops of various essential oils like rose hip and lavender

Melt in double boiler, chill 1 hour, whip.

I made two batches, one alone and one with the kids. The one with the kids is much softer — I let them put in their own oils, and they are very generous.

This has been a really fun experiment, and so much better for us than commercial lotions.

ETA: My sister just posted her recipe for DIY Cocoa-Rose Lotion Bars. These look SO yumy for the skin! One of my go-to resources is Crunchy Betty – if you are into making your own cosmetics and other DIY stuff, it’s worth a read!

Possum Yarn? Possum Yarn!

When I arrived at Madrona, I went right over to registration, as I always do at any convention – I’m always so excited to get there and get checked in and get my badge and find out where to go…

AND- I saw my name on the “Door Prize Winners” board! I was shocked! I won a $20 gift card to any vendor.

I used my gift card to buy this yarn:

That is POSSUM YARN. I’ll leave it to you to research WHY there IS possum yarn. What I’ll say is that this is so soft, so lofty, and so amazing!

It doesn’t shed, and has a gorgeous halo. I am so glad to have tried it!

Here’s a site that you can go to to read all about Possum yarn. It’s an interesting story, and worth a read!

ETA: here’s my possum yarn hat!



Lorna’s Laces Masham Worsted

When I was at TNNA in January, I saw many lovely things!

One of my favorites is the new Masham Worsted from Lorna’s Laces. Clara Parkes just wrote a very in-depth Masham Worsted review, so if you want to know more … check that out!

This has been one of my favorite new yarns to try – it knits up at a great gauge (I used US7s for my hats.) I love the way that it takes dye – with a beautiful marled effect.

I knit my two hanks up into two hats – one skein is the perfect amount for a perfect hat with a perfectly perfect pom-pom! (Pics coming soon!)

I’d love to have a Masham sweater!

ETA: here are a couple pics of one of the hats:



Madrona Fiber Arts – look who’s weaving!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Madrona for the first time!  Madrona is a really wonderful fiber arts festival in Tacoma, Washington. It’s one that every fiber instructor I’ve ever met loves to teach, and that the students adore, as well.  It’s really well-organized, feels very cozy, and really offers some fantastic fiber arts classes.

You know that I’ve been weaving up a storm lately – well, actually, since I haven’t blogged in months, you might not know that!  Anyway, at Madrona, I took two rigid heddle classes from Linda Gettman, who is a fantastic instructor.

I learned lots of new  lace stitches (weave patterns?) and how to create different weave structures like waffle weave in multiple colors. The images in this post are of a few of the new patterns I learned.  I can’t wait to incorporate them into my own weaving!

All of this weaving is done on my 15″ Schacht Cricket loom. It was easy to transport, and I was so glad to have it to use in my classes!

Making crazy crystal necklaces!

You may know that I’m trained as a mineralogist. I studied the crystal structures of minerals all through college and grad school and beyond.

I find myself really drawn to crystals even now – and have been collecting them. I also love stone beads.

Mazie and Olive and I love our crafting, and beading has become something that we do on a regular basis. I am really loving combining different materials together – like wood and gemstones. I also really find the metaphysical properties of crystals to be really interesting, and I love researching that!

Here’s one of my recent projects – turquoise and crystal quartz:

One of my favorite local shops is Desert Gems. They often have 50% off all of their stone beads. They also have lots of findings, so that I don’t have to make stops all over town to get a necklace done.