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Archive for the ‘Wednesday workshop’ Category

I’ve been making this all purpose spray cleaner for years.  It works better than any store bought version, especially on greasy surfaces.  It’s easy and inexpensive to make, less than 5 minutes of prep time.  I also recommend not purchasing a spray bottle but recycling one you already have, these generally stand up longer than the empty store bought bottles.  If you have to buy one, try the home and garden center, they seem to be more durable.

I’ve faithfully used a recipe from the Better Basics for the home book, from $6 used at Amazon.com.

The recipe is easy, easy, gather the ingredients:  liquid dish soap, borax, washing soda, essential oil (I use Tea Tree oil) and water.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into spray bottle.

Easy, clean, inexpensive and chemical free, if you have to clean, this is a happy way to do it!

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As much as I admire the organization and attention to detail that Martha Stewart types have for keeping their lives neat and organized, I’ve never been able to achieve the type of controlled beauty that this photo from the April 2011 of issue of  Country Living Magazine represents.

In my search for ideas on how to achieve this look without breaking the bank
I came upon Ana White’s DIY project to build your own soda caddy.
It would be perfect for organizing all kinds of gardening odds and ends:  plant markers, tools…

Other items I just couldn’t resist from a couple of my favorite online shops:

1.  Cavallini Bird Gift tags – $12 for 36, would make great labels for baskets and crates
2.  White metal garbage can with lid – $5, perfect for storing potting soil
3.  Montauk Flat crates – $10 for three, for holding jars of nails, ties or any small items that tend to get lost
4.  Chicken wire candle holder – $6
5. Milk bottles and wicker basket – $4.99 ea, this would make a great vase for flowers or holder for plant markers
6.  Retro Metal paper holders – $17.50 for two, storage for balls of twine, pots or saucers
7.  Antique stainless bread box – $18.25, enclosed storage for keeping critters from eating saved seeds
8. Seagrass storage basket with handles – $6.99, soft but reinforced would be great for stacks of clay pots
9. Galvanized bucket – $5, storing flower or vegetable stakes

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It occurred to me the other day that my largest organ, the skin, deserves as much consideration to nourishment as the meals I choose to prepare.  A lot of emphasis, rightly so, is placed on proper nutrition, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, etc. But very little information is regularly available as to the effect of the chemicals we put on our skin daily.  But I recently found this article at Care2.com “Make your own natural body lotion” and decided to try it in an effort to feed my skin a healthier option.

This recipe has only 3 ingredients and I was still intimidated by the process and put off making it, but it turned out to be so much easier than I anticipated.  It took about 20 minutes, start to finish.  I am very sensitive to commercial fragrances and making this lotion with essential oils turned out to be a blessing.  The Almond oil can be purchased at pharmacies and Whole foods type grocery stores.  My favorite place to get essential oils is Mountain Rose Herbs, oh how I wish I lived near this store, they have so many wonderful products at their online site including containers for storing all your creations, and you could get the beeswax and the carrier oil here as well.  The beeswax I purchased online at LocalHarvest.org an online cooperative of farmers.

The directions were straightforward and easy to follow; if there was a difficult part to this process it was finding the tools to dedicate to wax crafts and the cleanup.  Otherwise it was blissfully simple and I will never purchase commercial lotions again!!

Step 1: Collect the ingredients:
oil, essential oil, beeswax.

Step 2: Grate 1 TBSP beeswax

Step 3: Heat oil and melt beeswax in water bath

Step 4: Blend ingredients with essential oil

Step 5: Pour into your favorite container

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