Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Li's crafting thoughts 3-21-07

I finally got myself a new mixer and made a batch of whipped shea. Though the texture was creamy, it didn't turn out quite as light and fluffy as I'd hoped since I used the wire whisk attachment instead of the regular beaters. I had thought the wire whisk would make a fluffier butter (my thinking was "whisk=more air") but apparantly I was wrong! Next time I'll stick to just using the regular beaters. If it ain't broke, don't fix it :)

I also made a serum for my pimples (I haven't had acne in years, aside from the occasional blemish around my period, but because of stress/sadness recently I've actually broken out!) It seems to be working well. Instead of putting it in a regular dropper bottle I put it in one of those roller bottles (usually used for perfumes or gloss), making it much easier to apply.

I've also been experimenting with masks and scrubs this week (all natural and vegan and all containing agave nectar). I plan to post these recipes on all natural beauty portal's website when I have some time. Though I miss honey I'm really loving agave nectar in skin care; it seems to clean and hydrate the skin as much as honey does and isn't as sticky (though I think honey contains much more vitamins/minerals than agave).

This week's agenda: I need to make a new batch of my vegan cream (since I promised a couple people cream but my last batch went grainy) and maybe work on crafting new perfume blends. And pour more lip balms!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Li's crafting thoughts 3-14-07

Last week I didn't get to craft as much as I'd like; my heart just wasn't into it. But I did craft a couple of things.

I made an herbal infused oil (long traditional way) so it should be ready in a couple of weeks. Though my focus has been mainly on aromatherapy (with some herbalism) I've been learning more about traditional herbalism in the last couple years so have been trying to use more whole herbs in my medicinal and cosmetic remedies/crafts recently.

I also made a couple of aromatherapy blends for someone I really cared about, but never gave them to him, because, well, he broke my heart :( So I'm not really sure what to do with them; maybe use them to fragrance liquid soap, or in my own diffuser? Haven't decided yet.

I didn't get to make a batch of my beloved whipped shea because I still haven't bought a new hand beater/mixer (old one broke). So hopefully this week.

On the agenda this week: the whipped shea butter and maybe a cream or lip balm.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Li's crafting thoughts 3-05-07

I didn't get to craft much last week, I only got to try out a few new ingredients like essential oils and have been re-trying carrier oils that I haven't used for a long time.

I think that apricot oil is underrated. I haven't used it in years but it is really a nice, light oil that is usually recommended for massage/body oils. I've been using it straight on my face; it has a light texture and absorbs quite well but forms a slightly heavier (but still light) barrier on the skin than my beloved kukui and camellia oils.

The bad news is I think I may be allergic to Melissa aka Lemon Balm essential oil (the first essential oil I've ever had a reaction to) which is strange since I've used the hydrosol in the past (and hydrosols contain a small percentage of essential oil), only used it at the 1/2% dilution (usually it is recommended to use it at the 1% concentration or less), and have also used lemongrass essential oil (at the 2% concentration) with no reaction (which contains citral which is the same sensitizing ingredient in Melissa. Then again lemongrass has other chemical compenents that somewhat lessen the citral effects). However, the smell is an effective anti-depressent and it does get rid of PMS symptons; my skin just felt hyper sensitive (I got goosebumps and it felt prickly. Very weird sensation). Well I suppose I can always use it in a diffuser--it's too expensive to let it go to waste! I may have to do an allergy test patch with it, as it may have just been that my skin was just more sensitive since I tend to get strange skin reactions during this time of the month, just to make sure it really was the Melissa and not pms (Note: if you deside to buy it be sure to get it from a reputable source as it is often adulterated).

On this week's agenda: on the GOW forum a lot of people have been talking about whipped shea butter. I haven't made this yummy concoction in a while as I need a new mixer/beater! But as soon as I get one I'm going to try whipping liquids into it since a couple people mentioned they successfully did this (without an emulsifier. Shea does have natural waxes in it so I guess this is why it works).

Of course I have a never ending list of things I want to make. Also I've recently gotten over a dozen essential oils and a dozen carrier oils I have never worked with previously before so I still need to try all of them individually (I did make a cream with over ten of the new oils in it several weeks ago. It was pretty nice except I added too much of a gum to it so the texture was a bit off so need to maybe retry this recipe. But I haven't tried the oils individually yet)