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Monthly Archives: March 2014

My husband made this bag roughly following a tutorial.  It needs some strengthening around the strap and also a lining.  I’m going to make a bag lining that sits inside and can be transferred to other bags.  Possibly in a more waterproof material although we have waterproofing spray.

 

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This was a joint design and effort between my husband and I, but I only did one seam and the rest of the work is his.  He enjoys it so 🙂 it is also the first thing we have made.  The design evolved as we went on.  

We got the material as offcuts from a local store.  We chose our size based on some long knitting needles I have.  We selected a length.  The sizes are variable, but you need 2 rectangles of cloth.  

Firstly select your cloth and accessories.

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Next cut your material to size, paying attention to right angles.  First cut the inner piece. Folding a piece over to make the flap to hold the needles.  Take your material and fold the hem over and pin in place, this will save multiple hemming.  Cut the second piece of material with a 10cm overlap on 3 sides and enough material to cover the flap (image beneath this one shows it) and secure with a couple of pins, making sure your pattern lines up as you would like on the other side. 

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Pin the outer material to the flap, again folding the hem inwards to save you sewing extra hems. It is 2cm from the edge of the flap of internal material to the start of the flap of the outer material. 

 

 

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Top stitch (a close stitch to the seam, at least I think so!) across the seam where the outer material meets the inner material on the flap.

 

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How it looks on the other side. 

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Pin the edges down on the top flap.  Using pins along the inside edge ensures an even width.  Stitch. Pin the corners into tucks ready for stitching.

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When you have stitched the edges, stitch the corners.

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Stitch the ribbon into the edge aligned with the band that is the top of the bottom flap.  

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The image below shows part of the inside (it’s quite large) with the top flap open and then the top flap over. The knitting needle pockets were made by stitching from the edge of the bottom flap to the top of the bottom flap, 6cm apart, stitching the flap to the back of the fabric.  They final image is the finished product.

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You will need

1 part beeswax

1 part coconut oil

1 part shea butter

1 part cocoa butter

1 pipette

A means to melt the items for example a double boiler.

A means to measure.

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Measure all the items into the jug using the pipette for the peppermint oil.  I have put 1 part for each but I should point out that would be equivalent to 1g of the cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax but the 1 part peppermint is 1ml to every 4g of other ingredients.  I used 5 of each as I wanted to make 5.  My containers can hold more but I chose it for its simplicity.

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Melt the ingredients together.  While you wait for the items to melt I recommend you set up your tools.

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Use the pipette to transfer the liquid into the pots being careful not to burn yourself as everything is hot and to suck up and squeeze out the mixture a few times to disperse any peppermint oil left in the pipette.  Image

Leave to cool and you’re done.  This particular item has just passed it’s full cosmetic testing and will soon be available for sale.  I want to encourage people to use natural products and to make it themselves but demand has created supply in this case.  30% of the profits will be going to charity and I will still have all my recipes available even if they do go onto the market for sale.

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Firstly, I tend to wing things, I’m fairly sure there are recipes out there that aren’t mushy like mine, but I prefer to mould mine this way.  I don’t have moulds so hands had to do.  You will need:

Baking Soda 2 parts

Citric Acid 1 part

Essential Oils – I used patchouli, geranium and rose.

Carrier Oil – I used coconut oil and about a teaspoon for what I made.

water

Mini Cake Cases

A Mixing Bowl/Jug

Dried flowers to decorate

food colouring if you want to colour them, I forgot so mine are natural 😉

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As I needed a few as gifts, I guessed the amount and it worked out pretty well.  I got 14 bath bombs from 6 dessert spoons of baking soda and 3 of citric acid (I’d recommend using a more accurate measure but I cook like this, what can I say).

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I’m sure you all know how to add bicarbonate of soda and citric acid into a jug but just to show you the differences in textures before and after I have put it in.  Next you add the oils and need to mix them well, patchouli needs to be almost crushed in as it’s thick.

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Then start adding water, I recommend a spray bottle, typically I couldn’t find one so I trickled it in, mixing vigorously (not what I’d recommend to be honest lol).  Again, this worked fine and I ended up with the image below, you’ll notice it is clumping together.

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I then moulded them by pushing rather than rolling.  I did this by hand.

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I then put it into a case and pushed some petals into the top.

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Mine tend to puff up a bit, so I just push the petals in a bit more to make sure they stay there, I suspect that they aren’t meant to puff up, maybe I add too much water when I make them, but they work so I just make them anyway 🙂

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They took me about 10 minutes to make 🙂

The mixture can get a little hard quite quickly but if you keep mixing it you can keep working it 🙂

 

I was writing a blurb about myself and wrote that I felt I’m part of the Solution Revolution.  It occurred to me that this is a nice phrase.  The world has many problems for many people and my belief is through awareness and sustainability we can make it better.  Hence my writing this blog.  Investigation and awareness into where items come from and how they are made has resulted in us spending less money on every day things whilst in turn being kinder to our environment.  We all know that there are issues, horrendous issues and so many it seems too large to tackle.  A piece at a time it isn’t so daunting and even though I am aware and remain aware of the problems I believe the merit is in finding the solutions to those problems.  

I do not believe the solution is singular, there will be many solutions and multiple solutions for the same issues.  There’s no need for us to conform to strict rules and guidelines, we can all make our lives better and improve our sustainability in our own ways without one being wrong and another being right.  Therefore I do feel part of a solution revolution.  Many people from all around the world with ideas on how to achieve their goals, how to benefit eachother and how to live happier, healthier lives.  I learn from them and I hope some learn from me.  

So how do you become part of the solution revolution?  Basically you do it, look at what you don’t like in your world and set about to change it piece by piece.  If you dislike unethical companies try to to source ethical ones or use local producers.  Try to reuse and upcycle what you can.  Learn from others experiences to achieve what you want.  The power is in your own hands to be the change you want to be.  When you feel overwhelmed just cut it down to size.  I didn’t plant all my plants and make all my products in one day, I planted wildflowers one week, vegetables the next, I’ll make products as and when I need them.  Where there is a will there is a way 🙂 

This is a simple eye gel and as I had previously forgotten to save some cucumber juice from my last recipe I grated and squeezed the cucumber.  I was making 5 pots so multiplied the list by 5.  When making just one I would mix in the pot rather than the jug.

You will need:

1 thick (about 1/2 inch) thick) cucumber slices

1 tsp pure aloe vera gel

1 tsp pure distilled witch hazel.

Firstly I grated the cucumber into a cheesecloth over a jug.

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I then squeezed the juice out into the jug, I only need 5 tsp (if you are making 1 pot you need 1tsp) so I measured them into a separate container then transferred them back to the jug along with 5 tsp (1 if you are making 1) aloe vera gel and the same of witch hazel.  Then mix well, it needs to look smooth.

2014-03-23 18.34.05You can see it here with the containers ready next to it.  I then spooned 1 tsp of mixture into each and there you have it, eye gel.  I find it moisturises and firms, the natural ingredients have firming and restorative properties but as these have not been tested it may behave differently on different people.  As always try a test patch of skin first.

I say this is a toner but I find that I can use that alone with my eye gel and only need to moisturise about once a week.  What you will need for this recipe:

 

1/2 Cucumber

Essential oils (I used rose, clary sage, lemon, rosemary and orange)

Rose Water

Boiled water

Distilled pure witch hazel

Recycled bottles (I used small juice bottles from work, drank the juice, reused the bottle)

Sterilising medium (I have what I use for wine making but you could use any method you like)

 

I first sterilised my equipment, rather than put anything to waste I sterilised a batch ready for other projects.

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I then juiced the cucumber as I’m lucky enough to have a juicer, you could blend it or grate it, if you do you might have to squeeze out the juice with cheesecloth.  I then placed cheesecloth over a jug and secured it with an elastic band letting the cucumber juice drain through to give a clearer liquid without sediment.  

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I had already boiled and cooled some water (not enough it seems).  The cucumber juice amounted to 2.5fl oz.  I topped up to 1.5 pints with the cooled boiled water.  I added 1 tsp of witch hazel, 1 tsp of orange oil, 2 tsp rose water, 15 drops of rose, 5 drops of clary sage, 3 drops of rosemary and 3 drops of lemon (be careful with lemon in skin preparations it can cause sun sensitivity, hence the low amount), I then filled my bottles.

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(You’ll probably notice the condensation on the bottles which shows my water wasn’t completely cool)