Oct 21, 2010

Happy Autumn!

This Saturday, Follette Pottery will be hosting an art crawl from 10-5. Participating artists will set up on the grounds of Follette to display and sell their work. I will be doing fiber arts demonstrations (spinning, weaving on an inkle loom, needle felting, etc.). I will also have handspun yarn and all natural bath and body products for sale, including cold process soap.

Leslie is hosting a Wallypop giveaway on her blog, Pixiepine. Take a look at her blog and see how you can enter to win a reusable produce bag!

I received the soap nuts from Maggie's Pure Land that I won in a giveaway on Sirpa's blog, Kaiku Lifestyle. I used them today and I loved them! I will write a review in a few weeks after I've used them for a while.

Sep 24, 2010

Gnomes


These are some little gnomes I made recently. They are very simple, just acorn caps and peg people. I ordered my peg people from Casey's Wood Products. Peg people are fun for children to decorate and allow for plenty of open ended play. You can use wool, fabric, paint, objects from nature, and many other things to turn your people into anything you want them to be. I decided to keep these simple, since they will be going to California soon as a 4th birthday gift for a little boy. He can decide if he wants to keep them like this, or give them faces and clothing.

What kind of crafts are you working on lately? Leave a comment and let us know!

Jul 6, 2010

Summer photo contest winner!

Corrie Alvaro of North Carolina won the contest with this photo of her little boy, Judah, enjoying an apple on the porch swing. Visit Corrie's blog at www.corrieberrypie.blogspot.com and her shop at www.corrieberrypie.etsy.com! Congrats Corrie! Corrie will receive one bar of my handmade soap.


Here are the other photos, thanks to everyone who entered! Thank you Leah for choosing a winner!


Brenda Vance took this photo of a newborn llama on her farm in Colorado within an hour of his birth. His name is Chocolate Chip Delight and his mom (also pictured) is Miss Congeniality. See Brenda's beautiful fiber and handspun yarn at www.splitrockranch.etsy.com.





Angie, a homeschooling mom from Florida sent this photo that her daughter Hunter took. Hunter is 15 years old.


Anthea Krook of Australia took this photo. Anthea is the editor of a beautiful zine called Spoonful, find it at www.spoonfulzine.com.





My friend Alyssa DeGraff sent this photo. Alyssa currently lives in Kansas City. You can see more of her photography at www.flickr.com/photos/missiealyssie.





This photo was taken by Crystal Garcia, who currently lives in Texas.


No one who currently lives in Louisiana entered the contest. Maybe next time?

Jun 29, 2010

Summer photo contest-win a bar of handmade soap!




To celebrate summer, I'm having a photo contest. Submit a favorite summer photo (must be taken by you), and I will post all of the photos on the blog. I will let my sister (who has taken photography in school) decide which photo is her favorite, and that will be the winner.




The winner will receive a bar of my handmade soap. If you win, I will get in touch with you and let you choose a bar from one of my current batches. All of my soap is made from scratch with the cold process method, using all natural ingredients (I never use a melt and pour glycerin base, or synthetic fragrances).




To submit a photo, send it to me- woolgypsy (at) gmail.com by July 6. I will post photos on the blog as they come in, and announce the winner next week! If you don't win and would like to buy some soap, visit my shop!
The contest is open to anyone, so feel free to enter even if you don't live in Louisiana!

Happy summer!

Jun 26, 2010

Apr 19, 2010

Handmade Life: Bath and Body Products


I've decided to do a series of posts about making "handmade" a part of everyday life. If you are living naturally, you have probably already figured out how fun it can be to make items that you need or want. If not, this series will include ideas, resources, and encouragement to get you started! Another option is purchasing items made by others, if you don't want to make your own. I will include links for that as well.

Making your own bath and body products is a great way to make sure that you're only putting safe and natural ingredients on your skin. My favorite product to make is soap. Handmade soap is is rich and creamy, and doesn't dry out skin. When I make soap, I use fresh natural plant oils such as olive, coconut and palm. I add essential oils, organic herbs, and additional oils as well, depending on the type of soap I want to make. If you are interested in soapmaking, I encourage you to give cold process soapmaking a try. This means you will need to use lye, but no true soap is made without lye. Melt and pour glycerin that is sold in craft stores was made with lye, and chemically stripped from the soap, making it a by-product of commercial soapmaking. Because of this, it is usually filled with all the same chemicals that commercial soap contains. You can't control the ingredients in a glycerin base, making cold process the best choice if you want to make safe, high quality soap. Lye is needed to turn the oils into soap, but then you allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and lye is not present in the fully cured bar of soap. I also avoid pre-made glycerin bases because I don't feel that it would be as rewarding as making it from scratch!

Other options for do-it-yourself products include deodorant, lip balm, herbal salve, body butter and sugar scrub. All of these are easier than soap, and would be a good place to start if you want to make your own products. Save small containers, such as baby food jars or lip balm tins, and use these for your products.

Resources:

Deodorant & lip balm recipes
http://livingnaturallyinlouisiana.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-am-not-dirty-hippie-party.html

Recipe booklet and product labels to print out: purchase emailorder #11
http://www.kingpod.com/

Herbs, essential oils, carrier oils, butters, containers: Mountain Rose Herbs
www.mountainroseherbs.com

My etsy shop (you can find my soap here)
www.woolgypsy.etsy.com

Sirpa's etsy shop (she makes heat therapy wraps, as well as booboo pals for children!)
www.kaikulifestyle.etsy.com

You can also search etsy for any other bath and body products, so many shops offer wonderful items!
Do a google search for recipes as well, lots of great recipes can be found online.

If you have an idea for this series, let me know!

Apr 18, 2010

Egg shell seedlings

Planting seeds in egg shells is fun and eco-friendly. I will post another photo in a few weeks, when my seeds have sprouted.

First, prepare your egg shells. Shells should be broken carefully at one end, keeping at least half of the shell intact. Rinse with water and set aside to dry.

When you're ready to plant, put your shells in a carton, and fill each shell with a high quality soil. I used organic seed starting mix. Put a seed in each shell, and a small amount of water. Be careful not to over water.

When the seedlings are ready to be planted in the garden or containers, the shells can be planted with them. Crack each shell before planting so the roots don't get trapped.
The shell will gradually compost in the soil, and provide nutrients to your growing plants.

This is a fun activity for children, they can grow their own little gardens while learning about caring for the earth.

If you have an eco-friendly garden idea, comment here or get in touch with me! I will be posting more ideas in the future.