Frankly Speaking Friday- Refreshing Powder

Due to illness I will continue the exotic oils next week, and today I will leave you with another recipe. Have a great weekend! 

Refreshing (Carpet) Powder

Use this powder on your carpets, rugs, bedding and cloth covered furniture. It will deodorize and freshen as it  naturally repels fleas. To use, sprinkle it over the chosen surface and leave it sit for at least 20 minutes, then vacuum it up. For continued protection, use this regularly once a week.

You will need
2 1/4 Cups of Baking soda 
2 Tbs. Borax
2 Tbs. (finely ground) Dried Tansy flowers 
2 Tbs. (finely ground) Dried Lavender buds 
1/2 tsp. Orris root powder
1/2 Tbs. witch hazel
1/2 Tbs. cedar wood essential oil 
1/4 Tbs. lemon essential oil 
1/4 Tbs. lavender essential oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, except for the baking soda. Mix the essential oils into the dry ingredients, making sure to mix well, then dump into a large plastic bag. Then add the baking soda into the bag, seal and shake well. You can keep this mixture in any air-tight container, but one with a shaker lid will make applying it a bit easier! 

Tripod Thursdays-Spring in Ohio

Tripod Thursday is here again, and so is the rain in Ohio. So, I chose some more Spring shots. Some show the rain and some show the flooding, but all show life in Ohio! Friday will be the next installment on the exotic oil list, so make sure to check back!

What's Happening Wednesday-Exotic Oils Cont.-Pomegranate Seed Oil

This Wednesday we are continuing with the Exotic Oils series, so we will be looking at Pomegranate Seed Oil. 

Pomegranate seed oil, botanically known as Punica granatum, is a soft amber color, and has a slightly fruity odor. The name pomegranate comes from the Latin word pomum, meaning apple, and granatus, meaning seeded. The pomegranate fruit is roundish and red, with a bitter pith that contains about 600 seeds, which are surrounded by juicy pips called the aril, which range in color from white, to a deep red or purple. They are native to Persia, Northern India and the Himalayas, but have been cultivated in the Caucasus, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and Africa since ancient times. They were introduced to Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, and are now cultivated in parts of California and Arizona.   

 The pomegranate seed oil is an extremely rich and nutritious oil that can be used internally and externally. It is suitable for food use, as well as for a dietary supplement, and it has great cosmetic and medicinal applications. It is a cold pressed oil that is relatively stable, with a shelf life of 14-16 months. And, as you have probably surmised, this oil comes from the seeds of the pomegranate fruit. The oil is rather pricey, but considering that it takes over two hundred pounds of fresh pomegranates to produce one pound of pomegranate seed oil, you can easily see why!

 Now, why should you splurge on this exotic oil? Well, you may know that pomegranate seed extract and pomegranate juice possess high anti-oxidant properties. But what you probably are not aware of, is that the pomegranate seed oil is proving to be even more beneficial than the juice. While the oil also contains high levels of anti-oxidants, which fight free radicals and skin aging, pomegranate seed oil is one of the only plant sources of conjugated fatty acids. The conjugated fatty acids give it strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce swelling and ease muscular aches and pains. 
Several recent studies have shown that pomegranate seed oil stimulates keratinocyte proliferation which promotes regeneration and strengthening of the epidermis, the skin. Pomegranate seed oil also contains a high amount of punicic acid, a compound closely related to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This punicic acid has been called a "super CLA", whose effect is even more potent than the ordinary CLA. Scientific studies have indicated that it may support the immune system and help the body to fight against human cancers, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Additionally, pomegranate seed oil also contains phytoestrogens, which are similar to the estrogens which are naturally produced by the human body. Many women have found that using pomegranate seed oil topically as a skin moisturizer, orally as a dietary supplement, as a massage oil, or as a personal lubricant, has helped to ease the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause. Relieving symptoms of mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and diminished libido.
In cosmetic products, pomegranate seed oil is commonly used to revitalize dull and/or mature skin, soothe minor skin irritations, and diminish wrinkles. Without moisture, wrinkles become more pronounced and more numerous and the skin appears lack luster. The pomegranate seed oil adds moisture and with its natural estrogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties, along with its anti-oxidants, it improves the skin's elasticity and protects it. It also affords relief from inflammation and minor skin irritations such as,  dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and sunburned skin. 

Pomegranate seed oil may be used in most of your skin care formulas, and only a small amount is needed to provide beneficial results. So try some pomegranate seed oil in your soaps, massage oils, facial care recipes, and any other body-care or cosmetic formulary. It has been shown to be excellent for the skin and the hair, whether as an additive, or just applied by itself to the skin and the hair.  To reiterate, studies have shown that, when applied to the skin, pomegranate seed oil  tightens the skin, moisturizes, balances the skin's PH, revitalizes aging skin, fights against wrinkles, and restores the skin's elasticity.  It is good in hair care products because it revitalizes damaged hair, brings back shine, protects against environmental pollutants, and moisturizes. 

As far as soaping is concerned, I know many will baulk at the thought of using this expensive oil in a "wash off" product. However, many studies are reporting that the benefits of this oil in natural, organic soaps are visibly measurable, and well worth the expense, especially for persons with eczema or dry, damaged skin, as the pomegranate soaps help to soothe these conditions as they clean. And, as previously stated, even a small amount has proven to be beneficial.

Teaching Tuesdays - Exotic Oils Cont.- Plum Kernel Oil

Plum Kernel Oil, botanically known as Prunus domestica, is made in America and several other countries, including France. It is expeller pressed from the hard seed kernels inside the pits of dried plums, which means that it is really prune oil, and it can also be found under that name as well. This oil is edible, and is beneficial in cosmetic formulas as well. It is golden in color, has a mildly sweet, nutty taste and scent, one that closely resembles almonds. It is a fairly stable oil, lasting about one year with proper storage, meaning in a cool, dry location, out of sunlight. Although it is relatively new to the cosmetic world, it is a great addition.

Plum kernel oil is naturally rich in vitamins A, B, B5, and E, as well as 60-80% oleic acid, 15-25% linoleic acid, and anti-oxidants. Its very emollient, and will nourish and hydrate damaged skin, as well as renew the complexion and maintain healthy skin cells. Its properties mean that this oil is will be very beneficial for dry skin, as well as  mature skin. It makes an especially great addition to your lip balm, moisturizing creams, anti-wrinkle agents, cleansing lotions and massage cream formulas. Some even recommend it for hair conditioners and hair treatments.  Plum kernel oil soothes and softens at the same time. It penetrates the skin easily, leaving it feeling very soft, and without any greasy film or heavy/greasy feeling.  


Make It Yourself Monday- Household Cleaning Recipes

A few weeks ago I posted some spray recipes for household cleaners . Since it is Spring, and that time of year when we usually try to clean out the winter cob-webs, I thought I'd offer a few more cleaning type recipes. These will save you money, but more importantly, they will also give you control over what you bring into your home, use in your home, and expose your family and yourself to. You don't have to be "green" to make and use these, they will benefit you and your pocketbook no matter what color you are! Lol

Scouring Powder:

Just put some baking soda onto a damp sponge and scrub away. Baking soda all by itself is effective on most surfaces, and is readily available. If you want, you can add any essential oil you like for fragrance. For some antibacterial properties, try adding tee tree EO. (5 drops to 2 ounces of powder). It is best to either whisk the powder until the fragrance is blended, or run it through a sifter until it is infused. You can also use a firm bristle brush and scrub with a bit of pure soap and the baking soda. Salt will also work in place of the baking soda.

Baking soda also works great on carpets. To clean and deodorize them, vacuum first, then sprinkle baking soda all over, then vacuum again. Again, if you'd like, add your favorite EO to the baking soda before sprinkling. Make sure you get it mixed in by sifting or whisking. 
If you have a tough carpet stain, try blotting with vinegar and soapy water.

To clean mirrors, windows and other glass:

Wash with soap and water then rinse with a 1 part vinegar 4 parts water solution. [A pure soap is best for any cleaning job.]

For a Furniture Polish, I have accumulated several recipes. So pick your favorite! 

  1. One cup of vegetable oil mixed with 1 tsp of lemon EO. You can also use 5 drops of lemon extract if you don't have the essential oil. 
  2.  One cup of olive oil with 1/2 cup of lemon juice. pour into a spray bottle.
  3. Two ounces of beeswax mixed with five ounces of turpentine. 
  4. One cup of olive oil mixed with 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Pour this into a spray bottle.
  5. Equal parts white vinegar and lemon juice. 
  6. Equal parts vegetable oil and lime juice. 
Here are some tips for using your home-made polish! 
-Once you have chosen your recipe, prepare a clean glass or plastic container. Spray containers also work well, but beware that if you use an essential oil, you will need to use glass for storage. Essential Oils will break down plastic in a pretty short period of time, basically meaning that it melts it!  
-At any rate, once your product is made and it its proper storage container, make sure that you shake it well before each use. 
-Choose a soft cloth for application. 
-Also, it is best to spray/pour the solution onto your cleaning cloth and then use the cloth to spread the solution over the furniture than to spray the furniture directly. This will allow you to have better control and to achieve a more even application.  
-Work in the polish solution, wiping with the grain of the wood. 
-When applied, you should immediately see the luster of the wood return. If you do not, if the wood looks dry, leave it sit for a while and then go back over it again. 
-If your wood has a lot of detail, go over the area as best as you can with your cloth and solution, then go back and use a soft-bristle brush to get the solution into the grooves. Then buff with your soft cloth and wipe dry.
-Make sure that you have a clean, dry cloth. Once you wipe on the solution, immediately use the dry, soft cloth  to wipe it again. 


Frankly Speaking Friday- Exotic Oils cont.- Meadowfoam Oil

Sorry, once again flooding in Ohio makes for spotty internet coverage! Here is Friday's post, a continuation of our exotic oils series. this oil, Meadowfoam seed oil, is primarily grown right here in the USA, but it is rather hard to find now, thanks to the Oregon growers collation break up a few years back. If you can find it for less than 5$ an ounce, consider that a good deal! Still, it is quite a nice oil and well worth the money to get it!

Meadowfoam seed oil, botanically known as Limnanthes Alba, is cold expellar pressed from the seeds (which contain 20-30% oil) of the meadowfoam flower. It is a herbaceous, winter annual plant, native to the pacific Northwest, mainly northern California, southern Oregon, Vancouver Island, and British Columbia. The meadowfoam plant received its name because when it is in bloom, it looks like the white foam found blowing on the ocean.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil was actually developed in the 1970s as a replacement for sperm whale oil, when  the sperm whales began to be monitored against endangerment.  In fact, the oil from the Meadowfoam plant closely resembles that of sperm whale oil, and it is recognized for its outstanding oxidative stability. It has since proven to be invaluable in the body care and cosmetic industries, and is also being studied for pharmaceutical and industrial use. It is quite an unique oil, in that it contains over 98% fatty acids that have over 20 carbon atoms, meaning that they are long-chain fatty acids. It also has higher quality triglyceride levels than other vegetable oils, and it has three long chain fatty acids that were previously unknown before its discovery. Another unique feature of this oil is that, despite its high molecular weight, Meadowfoam Oil remains liquid at room temperature, unlike its counterparts. 

Meadowfoam Seed oil is highly emollient, yet it is absorbed very quickly, leaves a lighter feel on the skin than many other oils, and does not feel greasy.  It has amazing rejuvenating capabilities, and is very stable, making it a wonderful oil of choice for a wide variety of applications.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil is said to moisturize the skin and hair better than most oils, and, when applied to the skin, it forms a moisture barrier which will assist the skin in preventing moisture loss. In shampoos and hair care products, it helps to add shine and moisture to the hair and scalp. In lipsticks and lip balms, Meadowfoam Seed Oil helps to revitalize dry, cracked lips and keeps them moist for a longer period of time. It is valued as a lubricating oil, providing good slip in creams and massage oils.  In lipsticks and other makeup this oil provides adhesion, making them stay on for a longer time.  It has a high tolerance for heat, and is suitable for a wide range of applications.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil is one of the most stable lipids (fats) known, having a shelf life of two to three years, and it will lend stability to other oils that are combined with it. Therefore, this oil is quite useful in recipes where you are using less stable oils, such as sweet almond, kukui nut, evening primrose, borage, and hemp seed oil. Use Meadowfoam Seed Oil in lotion bars, lip balms, and other products where you wish to extend shelf life. It is often used as a binder, and is credited with extending fragrances, or helping them perform better than other oils, especially when used in bath salts, soaps and massage oils. Meadowfoam oil creates a very moisturizing bar of soap, when used as a superfatting agent, or when used as part of the base oils, from 10-30%.  

What's Happening Wednesday- Preparing for a Show

Our electricity was out from 2am until now, 8:20pm, so sorry this is late!

What's Happening this Wednesday? I am still preparing for an upcoming craft show, the first of the season, and one of the few that I still attend! I have been a part of the Chatfield college Quilt and Craft show for the past three or four years and I always enjoy walking around, just as much as I enjoy selling there. I generally take a bit of everything I make, which makes the set up somewhat challenging, but I sell a bit of everything, so it is a necessary evil.
Since I have a corner spot, I set up  "I_I" shaped. I set one side for dog treats and crafts, and one with all jewelry. My dress makers bodice stands at the corner too, with a display of earrings and bracelets, and is great for catching people's eye from a distance. The front table is always for my bath and body products. I have several nice displays, and I think I can honestly say that I have never set up the exact same twice! LOL

And this year will be no different, because I will be taking a brand new display, one that was just made for me! This soap display was an early birthday gift from my Mom, made by her Amish friends. It is very nice, and solid. It has a stand in the back, which props it up at an angle for great viewing, but is removable for traveling. [The picture shows it standing nearly straight up, but it won't be on the display table.]  The soaps fit into the cubbies, so that they can be separated by scent. I am so excited to have it, and cant wait until it gets the inaugural use! In fact, she actually had two made for me, but was returning home before the second could be completed. So next time she goes up to visit, I will get the other one! How exciting! I now have 24 batches of soap that will be ready for this show, so this one display will be perfect!

Healing Heel & Elbow Cream
Hyacinth soap
I have been very busy in the kitchen lately.  I have revamped my hand and body lotion. Made a great new night cream. Put heel and elbow cream into twist up containers. Made a new perfume, well it's really a personal fragrance oil since I don't use alcohol to make it. Jarred up a Dead Sea Mud Face Mask, and of course, I  have been making soap. In fact, I have made a batch a day for almost two months now, so a lot of soap! So what is happening on this Wednesday is a lot like the past many Wednesdays, I am making things to offer at the show, and in my shops.
What's happening with you this Wednesday?

Tomorrow is Tripod Thursday, so photographs of......? Well you will have to check back to see! But I can tell you that Friday will be a return to the exotic oils series. So make sure you check back in, you wouldn't want to miss anything!  

Teaching Tuesdays - Exotic Oils Cont.- Monoi de Tahiti

    • Continuing our exotic oils series, today we are looking at another oil that is really an infusion. This one however, unlike the calendula oil, is strictly regulated for consistency of product. I am speaking of Monoi oil, also commonly referred to as Monoi de Tahiti. This traditional product originates in French Polynesia, Tahiti, and the name "Mono├»" is an ancient Tahitian word which means "scented oil."   Monoi has quite a long-established history of cosmetic use among the Tahitian people, and has been put through extensive tests and analysis in recent years, validating long-standing claims and uses for the Mono├».

 The national flower of Tahiti, the tiare flower is a 
  • small, white, star-shaped flower, which grows on bushes that are about 3 feet tall, and can be found throughout French Polynesia. They grow in soil with a coral origin, and can be found blossoming all year long. 
Monoi de Tahiti is made by soaking these tiare flower  blossoms (gardenia taitensis)  in an enriched coconut oil. 
  • In fact, Monoi is 97% coconut oil. 
    Once the coconut oil's filtration process is completed,  it is stabilized with vitamin E, then stored in special tanks until it is purchased by the small number of monoi manufacturers, who will complete the maceration process in their individual  factories. 

    • The tiare flowers which are used are hand-picked while they are still unopened. The flowers are  immediately taken to the manufacturing plant and stripped of their pistils, where the flower portion is placed into the refined coconut oil for a minimum of 15 days. This is known as "enfleurage", or flower soaking, and a
            •  minimum of 15 tiare flowers must be soaked in every liter of refined coconut oil, according to the maceration standards. All authentic 
                                    • Tahitian monoi oil follows a strict manufacturing code, one that governs
                                    • the entire

                                    • process, a
                                        • ll the way from the handpicking of the tiare flowers to the storage and 

                                • the shipping of the final product. This process has been validated and protected 
                                • by the decree of Appellation d'Origine,  which was awarded to Monoi de Tahiti on April 1, 1992

                        • As previously mentioned, the monoi has been subjected to many studies and detailed analysis by various laboratories. In fact, the Monoi Institute of Tahiti has published the results of its studies on their web site; Other French laboratories have also published detailed analyses of this oil,  and of the tiare flower, the Tahitian gardenia blossom. These studies show that the monoi embodies many different substances that work together synergetically, benzoates, salicylates, oils and waxes, which are present in the final product because of the gentle extraction process, and the long maceration time. The end result is a product that is rich in active ingredients that will nourish the skin over many hours.  

                        Historically, Monoi was the most common remedy which the islanders used to soothe a variety of ailments. This oils' healing properties were greatly appreciated by the people, and it, in fact, remains the basis of traditional herbal medicine, even today. 
                        The Polynesians used monoi in therapeutic massage, due to its great healing powers, as well as to simply  relax muscles before canoe races or other athletic contests, and today it is still used as a wonderful massage oil . Monoi 
                        leaves the skin soft and supple, without greasiness.  It is quickly absorbed by the skin, and has proven hydrating and emollient qualities, lasting several hours beyond treatment. 
                                                • It can also be used before or after swimming, to protect the skin from the sun and other elements. Additionally, it is a natural antiseptic and can be used to prevent mosquito bites, or to soothe bites after they occur. As a hair conditioner, manoi has evidenced a reparative effect for dry and damaged hair.
                         It also makes a nice 
                              • pre-shampoo treatment, for deep conditioning and protecting. This oil makes the hair soft, silky and shiny. 
                        Of course, one of the nicest bonuses you get when using this oil, no matter what the application, is the flowery scent that emanates from the hair/skin after its use. In fact, it lasts pretty much the whole day!

                          • They say that Monoi oil is completely safe for anyone to use, and many Tahitian mothers are known to even rub it on all over their babies, every morning and evening. They report that there is no risk for allergies, and that this oil will not cause a skin reaction. Know though, that t
                                  • oday’s marketplace is flooded with monoi oil imitators, so exercise caution when purchasing.  

                        You can use this oil in any product where you would use plain coconut oil. So, in cp soap, monoi can be used as one of the base oils, generally at 30% or less, but cab be used at 60% or more of the total oils.