Stationary Drifting


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Homemade Holidays: Valentine’s Day

valentine's dayI never used to be much of a Valentine’s Day person before I started dating Mars. In fact I can’t remember ever celebrating with anyone other than my mom before. Mars changed that in my life because he’s a true romantic and even though I protested at first I knew it really loved it so now I’m a Valentine’s day person. Who knew that would happen? Its cute though because it kind of feels like every year is a celebration of our time together and of celebrating itself!

This year was our 3rd Valentine’s day together. We tend to celebrate with sweet gestures for each other and homemade gifts. Above is my love mobile for Mars. I crocheted a little red hearts for every month that we’ve been together and 3 hearts of different colours to represent each of our Valentine’s days together (using a variation of this pattern). Then I made a little scalloped top and crochet chained each heart up to to the top.

Then I hung it above the table and set it up for a nice breakfast with homemade Strawberry Chocolate Scones (using a variation of this recipe from madebyandi), homemade mocha lattes and a little card of the variety that I usually made Mars. Hand-drawn on a small blank cue card.

IMG_2118IMG_2123I took care of the morning and Mars took care of the evening with an at-home spa treatment including a massage, and a mani/pedi with chocolates, candles and music. He also made me a really awesome painting of my name. The whole thing was lovely.

Homemade holidays take a little more work and a little more time but in the end they can be really fun, inexpensive, and from the heart (most important).

We ain’t got money but we got a lot of love.

keetha base

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Homemade Lip Balm

IMG_1940

I’ve tried my hand at making lip balm a couple of times now and I think I’m getting better at it. I really love my homemade lip balm because its a great gift for just about anyone and it can be easily adjusted to make whatever quantity and heaviness (its winter so it needs to be thick right now).

I am constantly losing lip balm so one of the reasons I really like this is because I can have lip balm everywhere that’s natural and works well for literally less than a dollar a container. This recipe is a combination of several I’ve found around the internet and some adjustments I’ve made myself but I think the base for my recipe came from Mountain Rose blog.

I bought my ingredients from little shops around my neighbourhood. Most of it is organic. I’ve you’re trying to find some online, I have never ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs but all the bloggers I follow highly recommend it so you could check it out. I’m not affiliated with Mountain Rose at all, just passing on the info.

xmas gifts for my family. Also my favourite mix so far.

xmas gifts for my family. Also my favourite mix so far.

Here is my method.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp jojoba oil (I’ve also used apricot oil, I’m sure others would work too)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp beeswax
1 tbsp shea butter (optional)
1 tbsp/4 wafters cocoa butter
20 drops each of essential oil (I’ve used combinations of mint, vanilla, coconut and grapefruit – though not all at once! Usually just 2)
10 drops vitamin E oil (optional but recommended. It works as a preservative)

Directions:

  1. Mix jojoba oil, coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter in a larger mason jar.
    • Shea butter and cocoa butter can be both put in or one of each. I like the shea butter because it soaks in fast and the cocoa butter for longer conditioning and also because it hardens the mixture.
  2. Put mason jar in a pot of boiling water and allow to melt, shaking occasionally. A lid loosely put on the jar keeps water out of the mixture and melts it faster.
  3. Once melted remove from water and stir in essential oils and vitamin E oil.
  4. Pour into containers and allow to harden overnight
    • this is important because otherwise it will be ridiculously soft, which is especially annoying when its in a tube.
  5. Label and date
    • always label and date. Even if this is the only time you made something you won’t remember the exact proportions and you will want to be able to adjust or replicate it later on. Also, its generally a good idea to use up the product within a year since there are no strong preservatives.

Tips:

  • For lip balm tubes, make sure to overfill so that they have a nice rounded off top. Otherwise they are pretty extremely concaved.
  • More butters and less oils makes it thicker and last longer
  • I still don’t have great essential oil ratios down. Mine are only lightly scented.
  • This amount usually makes about 10 containers of either lip balm tubes or small balm pots.

Note: I am not a herbalist or a medical professional of any kind. I’m sharing this information because I want to write about it, not because I know that it will be healthy for everyone. Please do not take this as medical or health advice. If you plan on taking herbs or using any recipes posted about here, make sure you take all necessary steps to make sure all ingredients are safe for you to use.

 


Homemade Deodorant

rosemary mint deodorant: its pretty awesome! works better than any other deodorant I've used natural or aluminum laden

rosemary mint deodorant: its pretty awesome! works better than any other deodorant I’ve used natural or aluminum laden

Sorry for the crappy picture. I can’t believe I only took the one fuzzy phone picture of this when I totally love it and its the best deodorant I’ve ever used!

I’ve been getting into making my own products, its easy, quick, ridiculously cheap and doesn’t make me feel bad for smearing chemicals on my skin. So far I’ve made a couple of different types of lip balm, a pretty incredible body butter and this awesome deodorant.

I used a mix of this recipe from Frugally Sustainable minus the probiotics (because I didn’t have them and was unsure if I wanted them) and these (1) recipes(2) (the first one) from Wellness Mama. I substituted arrowroot powder for organic cornstarch since that’s what I had on hand. I’ve heard that arrowroot is better but I’m plenty happy with out this turned out so I’ll probably keep using this recipe until I either run out of cornstarch or am convinced otherwise.

Click the above link or google deodorant health risks if you want to know why one would like to find healthier ways to make ourselves smell good. Aluminum is just one of the risks but in the end I just like to know that the things my skin is absorbing daily are made of decent things and that I’m choosing every one of the ingredients. I like having fully knowledge/consent of what goes in and on my body, which is part of the reason that I started making things. I didn’t wear deodorant for a lot of years because of this desire. Not wearing deodorant was fine for me. I found that after about a month my body adjusted and I didn’t smell often, though I do shower every day so that helped. M has a really sensitive nose though, and asked me last winter if I would use deodorant again. He bought me a well known natural brand and it worked okay but I wasn’t totally pumped about it. So in November I tried making my own and I love it! Its moisturizing, smells good, keeps me dry and good smelling, and I know every single thing that went in it because I put it there!

Here’s the steps:

Homemade Deodorant

Ingredients

(I halved this recipe and still had more than enough for 2 sticks)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup shea butter

1/2 cup beeswax

3 tbsp baking soda (I’ve read that if you have sensitive skin to avoid this and use extra cornstarch/arrowroot)

1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder

optional: essential oils. I used 20 drops of rosemary and 15 of peppermint

optional: a few drops of vitamin E oil to preserve

Steps

  1. Combine coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax is a large mason jar. Put mason jar in a pot of boiling water. The water should be deep enough to come up the sides of the mason jar above the amount of ingredients but not so high that any water can get into the mason jar. I’ve taken to putting a lid very loosely on the mason jar to avoid this. Shake/swirl the mason jar frequently to help the ingredients in melting and to mix. Don’t shake too hard or the ingredients will just go up the sides of the jar and you’ll lose some of the mixture.
  2. Once melted, remove the mason jar from the water and mix in the baking soda (if you’re using it), cornstarch/arrowroot powder, essential oils of your choice, and vitamin E oil (which is healthy for your skin and helps preserve the mixture. I’ve read that grapefruit seed extract also works).
  3. While still warm pour the mixture into the containers of your choice. I used a deodorant container that I bought (though old ones can be washed out) and a small mason jar for the extra that I put in the fridge.
  4. Label the container with ingredients and date made (generally good practice for this stuff).
  5. Allow the mixture to harden overnight
  6. Use as much as you like! I find that allowing the deodorant to melt for a second on my skin before applying helps but its pretty soft anyway so if I’m in a hurry I just apply and go.

I’ve been wearing this for about 2 months and I love it. I haven’t tried it in the summer or in extreme exercising conditions but I’ve found that I stay pretty dry and good smelling all the time. I love the rosemary & mint combo. It doesn’t stain my clothes, moisturizes my skin and makes me feel good.

I’m a total homemade product convert. Upcoming are my lip balm and body butter recipes. Check out my pinterest for more recipes I want to try.

 

 

 

 


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Craft Projects for Fall

As it gets colder I start wanting to work with fabrics again. I also really get into staying home more and chilling out with a good movie and making something. Its like I’m easing myself into winter and the dark, snowy days that leave me feeling quiet and homebody-like. Though I’m not the hugest fan of winter, I am excited for making things again (like finishing Corrie’s bday present).

Ever since I got my full time job I’ve had zero time on my hands. This week alone I’ve had meetings before and after work pretty much every day. So I’ve been leaving the house by 8:30-9am and getting home around 9:30-10pm. That doesn’t leave me a lot of time for seeing my husband, eating or decompressing (and writing my thesis) let alone making anything so I’ve picked a few crafts I want to do this fall that are relatively quick but still really nice.

[click on the blue links or on the pictures to get to the original sites with instructions]

Bed Pockets

from a case of the mundays {click photo to go to blog}

I have too much stuff on my bedside table. Books I’ve been wanting to read, sleeping socks, ear plugs, mouth guard, whatever it is I feel necessary to hoard by my bedside. M has an equal if not greater amount of stuff by his bed. While we both need to learn the beauty of less equaling more, I still want to make these to free up some surface space and tuck away the things that don’t need to be in plain sight. We’re planning on switching the office and the bedroom this month so maybe I’ll make them from our new space.

Bracelets

(gold tube & macrame)

from honestly WTF {click photo for link to blog post instructions}

 

same deal. From Honestly WTF & click photo

Honestly WTF has great bracelet tutorials, none of which I’ve ever made but many of which I’ve put up on my pinterest. Sidebar: I saw a thing the other day that said pinterest was a place for virtual hoarders and I was all “no, I totally do my pinterest stuff!”. I’ve since come to accept the fact that that meme was mostly right though. I mean, its not completely useless, I’ve made a few of the recipes that I pinned, and posted a few of the things from my ‘like’ board here. But I mostly pin things that I would LIKE to do, not things that I have the time, money or skill to do. I’m being self-deprecating here but whatever, its late and I’m tired.

MOVING ON.

I’ve gotten into flattish bracelets this year (have I ever mentioned how much bracelets with any weight or rigidity annoy me?). It started when I when on a friendship bracelet making kick when M and I decided to get married and couldn’t afford engagement rings. We joked that the friendship bracelets would be that thing so I made us some. The joke stuck around though because I’ve never taken mine off.  I’ve recently had some desire to stack my wrists with bracelets and these seem like reasonable, one-episode-of-dexter-a-night kind of projects.

Tie-Dyed Leggings

Martha Stewart. Click photo

Been wanting to get into tie-dying, and have been curious about the whole legging as pants phenomenon that I’ve eschewed for so long. While I would never wear them as pants, MAYBE with a long shirt or short dress…..god, what have I become? I give you Martha Stewart tie-dye legging instructions, the 20 year old me would be horrified. The 30year old me is both intrigued and slightly uncomfortable. In another 10 years maybe I’ll be voting Conservative. JUST KIDDING. I would never go that far.

Woven Sweatshirt

HA! fooled you. This one doesn’t have a link because for some reason the website doesn’t work anymore. You’ll just have to enjoy this pinterest photo

The site linked from pinterest for this photo isn’t working anymore so I’m just going to give you this picture, tell you its from pups-paris.com and hope that that’s enough. I like the idea of dressing up a sweatshirt. That way I can continue to wear sweatshirts AND look like I care about my appearance. Win-Win right? I mean, I guess unless I wear it with leggings as pants. I’m going to have to improvise this pattern but it doesn’t look to difficult. If I manage to pull it off I’ll post my own tutorial about it. Now to find a good, plain sweater that is cheap enough that I feel fine about cutting it up and experimenting on.

I should also work on a knitting project. I do like knitting projects…

 


Knitting: Lace Shawl

Lace attempt #2!

I used the Haruni Shawl Pattern off Ravelry. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine wool in an off white colour (as you can see below), which I think is a fingering weight. I’m bad and wool weights…

close of the final shawl

The first was for Corrie, a much belated birthday present this fall, I really loved knitting her’s so I decided to give it another go and make one from my mom for xmas. That didn’t really work out because my brother went and got married by surprise. I didn’t have the time to knit it that I was planning over the holidays. So I gave my mom the wool and pattern in a box and promised to knit it for her this winter. Which is what I did. It was ready to send to her for her birthday. Two birds, one stone.

I loved knitting it, it was so complicated and therefore kept my interest. Occasionally I was annoyed that I had to pay such close attention to the pattern and couldn’t just relax into the rhythm of knitting. As it got bigger though and I got used to the pattern that part got easier. As far as I’m aware I only made one mistake (mistakes are super visible in lace I learned), it wasn’t that bad and is hard to find in the pattern anyway (thankfully). I would say this pattern is easy as long as you have experience knitting and know how to knit stitches together, etc. I’m really happy with it, I was almost sad to send it away!

knitting away at it one night

It knit up surprisingly fast for such small needles and wool. I didn’t work at it constantly but I would say it was done in under a month. I highly suggest using a row counter, I would have been totally lost if I hadn’t.

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

 

 

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

It was pretty small before I blocked it. I would have been worried if I hadn’t tried this before. Luckily the beauty of lace is that it is supposed to be stretched way out so its possible to see the gaps and therefore look more like lace.

pre blocked whole shawl

Generally I block on my couch. The back is big enough to stretch a shawl out on, its made of a nylon material so it doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture, and my house is small so I’m using a relatively small amount of space. I also haven’t knitted enough lace in my life to justify investing in fancier blocking equipment. I just wet down the wool, squeeze (not wring) it out, and stretch it along the back of the couch using regular knitting pins to hold it. It can be time consuming because I have to put a lot of pins in to hold it but I just put on a podcast and go to work. I like walking by it as it dries and admiring the pattern.

I generally block on my couch. Apologies for the fuzzy photo, its dark in my living room

The shawl blocked out pretty big. It goes from my shoulders to almost my butt at the bottom point. I think it will be perfect for my mom for spring to wear with her spring/summer dresses. It gets cool in Calgary at night, even in the summer, so its always nice to have something to wrap around you.

the shawl from my shoulders to butt. I think it looks awesome with my leather jacket by the way. Also why does the bottom of my hair and neck look so weird in this picture?

 

 

 

 


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Cross-Stitch: Tiny Michael Jackson

One of my oldest friends is turning thirty today. She is also without a doubt the biggest Michael Jackson fan I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of MJ fans.

As luck would have it the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal Tour is coming through Montreal this week. Felicia bought tickets over a year ago. She is beyond excited. I’m excited too, I’ve never seen Cirque and I can’t wait to see her face at the show.

In honour of this momentous occasion I came up with the idea of making a tiny cross-stitch MJ for her. I got the idea from Black and White and Loved All Over who recently made one of her family. Following the pattern from Martha Stewart‘s site I made some tweaks and did the best MJ cross-stitch impression I could come up with.

my michael jackson cross stitch pattern

michael jackson crossstitch (click this link to download the word file with graph paper so you can tweak for yourself)

It didn’t actually take that long to come together. A couple of episodes of Numb3rs and I was done the MJ part. I was really in love with it from early on.

in progress

I mean seriously, its so adorable its almost hard to give away. Good thing she’s such a fan.

Anyway, the MJ part took maybe 2 hours once I got it started. The lettering a little bit longer because I was being really meticulous and a bit of a perfectionist. I’m normally not but Felicia is and plus its her all time favourite performer and her 30th birthday, its got to be good.

Overall I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out. I went for later day MJ because I didn’t have any brown embroidery floss in my jar. But I agree with Marseau that it would have been a lot cooler if I had made early day MJ. I also didn’t have any white so I made his shirt blue. I wish I had made it white though, and been able to put a little roll in his pants with the white socks. I don’t know why but that’s what I remember the most from his famous moon-walking performance. If I had more time I would have made him bigger so I could do the one glove thing.

But still, its pretty damn awesome.

Now I just need to figure out how to frame it….


Knitting: Marseau’s hood

I finally finished it! and there’s still snow on the ground! So there’s still use for it. Phew.

Marseau thought I never would. He says I’ve been working on it for 2 years but I’ve really only been for 1 and a bit, not continuously.

I got through knitting stages. In the fall I want to knit all the time. Until my wrists click, my hands are stiff and I have no moisture left in my fingertips. I can knit like this usually through the winter but as soon as I start craving spring I kind of taper off at it. I barely knit during the spring and I don’t knit in the summer because the idea of holding knit things, let alone wearing them is too hot.

This was supposed to be Marseau’s xmas present of 2010, just after we started dating. But it never got done, and then I stopped for the spring summer. I picked it up again this fall but it took a lot longer than I anticipated. Its a much bigger (size wise) project than I usually do. But its done now! Its all wet and pinned to my couch at the moment (blocking) and I’m considering making it a lining so that the wool isn’t itchy, but let’s just say its done anyway.

I used the Through the Woods pattern on Ravelry (you can find me under keetham there by the way). And it was pretty easy if you know how to cable and pick up stitches, etc. The button holes thwarted me for a while because I had never done them before but overall not too bad. I don’t follow knitting patterns very well because I’ve been knitting since I was 5 and am used to making up my own stuff. I’m sure I didn’t do it exactly as the pattern said (even though it was a very good pattern description wise) but it turned out pretty close to what the picture looked like so I’m pleased.

I guess I should finish my mom’s lace shawl now that I “gave” her for xmas or maybe Venessa’s mitts. I’m trying to finish projects these days. I’m bad at finishing projects, which is complicated because I really like starting them and my craft bench is covered in started projects.

taking silly pictures in the hood