Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beeswax Holiday

This week I have been visiting my parents. We have a local bee keeper who sold us some beeswax so that we could make candles. We also bought some honey... you'll see why in a minute!
Ok... back to candles.
Mom and I have been experimenting by using freshly rendered beef tallow, beeswax, and paraffin wax to see which ones burn better and longer. The candles that we made last night are a mixture of beeswax and a left over wedding candle that mom had saved from our wedding 4 years ago! Wax is wax :) We melted the wax in a double boiler [a pot with water in it and an old coffee can] I wouldn't suggest using a real double boiler b/c the wax is so hard to clean off anything that it touches...
For the wick you need to use cotton. I braided ours to make it stiffer. We also soaked it in a mixture of borax and salt - then let it dry over night to make it burn clean (without black smoke.) You'll need to pre-dip your wick into the melted wax, then tie something to the bottom of it to weigh it down. I used a nut. Once the wax was fully melted we poured it into the jar.
(When the wax is melted you'll want to add any type of scent - before you pour it into your jar. We added citrus :)
Burn and enjoy!
We also made lip balm - I know what you're thinking.... "really?!"
It's true!
It's wonderful smelling, it tastes good, and it make your lips feel great.
Don't let the Altoids box fool you -
**Recipe For Lip Balm**
Melt - 1 tsp. beeswax / 2 tsp. coconut oil / 1/2 tsp. lanolin / one vitamin E capsule
in the microwave. [BE CAREFUL - beeswax is highly flamable]
Once melted, add 1 tsp. honey and stir.
Pour into a container and put into the fridge until completely set.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sustain-O-Nomically Simple

I've been thinking alot about a quote my mother told me this past week. It's by a woman named, Dolly Freed. In the late 1970's Dolly wrote (at only 18 years old) a book called, Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money.
The quote is this, "It's easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy than to earn the money to buy them."
My quest to live more economically has morphed somewhat... into a quest I call
Sustain-O-Nomically Simple
Sustainable Living: (n) any lifestyle based on energy-saving and environmental responsibility
Living Economically: (adv) in a thrifty or frugal manner; as regards to the efficient use of income and wealth
Simple: (n) easy to understand, deal with, use, not elaborate nor ornate or luxurious; modest
Thus far my main eco-conscious ways have been using cloth diapers (something that I thought was crazy about a year and a half ago... honest - I love them now, but before I had my own child the thought of cleaning poop totally freaked me out - LOL now poop is just an everyday activity) & making my own laundry detergent (works fantastical.)
So..... to make my life more sustain-o-nomically simple I'm going to try to not buy anything that I already have. Meaning - Under my sink I have probably 20, no lie, different cleaning products. And I looked into my shower and saw that I currently have 3 shampoos and 4 different body washes/soaps. To help me use one of them (a beautiful bar of gardenia soap) I have made a cotton crochet soap holder.

I'm ready to start saving more money and living more simply. If you have any ideas totally feel free to share and comment :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Over the holidays we went to a friend's house and saw these lovely paintings that
their little girl (4months old) had done :)
You know, it had never occured to me that L'bug could paint!
So yesterday I found out that we have two artists in this house *hehe
Picture it:
A little girl, 6 1/2 months old sitting in her Bumbo
(which now has a rockin cool tray attachment - thank you g'ma p)
I place three paint tubes infront of her. One pink, one green, and one blue. She looks at them confused and so I point to each one and ask her which one she'd like to use. She throws up her hands and dives at the pink tube!
She really wasn't interested in the paint... or eating it or her fingers for that matter -
what her heart desired most was to eat the construction paper.
After she slobbered over the paper we began to paint and here's what we came up with.
Enjoy :)
Back to work -
Warm weather where are you??
I just got done with a beautiful name plate for a little girl's 1st birthday present... and it
was a beach scene - ahh the sand between my toes!

For more pictures of Name Plates check out my
August 12th '09 post!
Girls and their purses....
A subject that is very dear to my heart, as I own probably 40 plus purses and bags.
(For the record however, they are almost all handmade, thrifted, or given)
I found this owl purse on etsy, but the item itself was only for purchase... there was no pattern - so I made one up.
If you had a bigger one I'd probably line it, but the owl is only approx. 6 inches tall and 4 to 5 in diameter. Just large enough for her to put her little nick nacks in.

I've got two other little girl purses that I'm currently working on and should have them up in a week or two.
See ya then!