Archive for January, 2011

DIY Makeup and Beauty

I’m all about economical, easy, non-toxic alternatives, so when I find something that would work will in our home and be safe to use in our water recycling system, I’ll definitely give it a bash.  I found some awesome recipes that would be perfect for Valentine gifts. 

What makes these recipes different from others I have found, is that they don’t require any specialised equipment, ingredients or knowledge.  If you are not sure about how to use essential oils, the sales people at the store are the best to ask and will help you as much as possible.  Use natural caution and discontinue use of products if irritation occurs. 

All the recipes can be found at http://www.safecosmetics.org, email me if you would like the PDF version emailed to you. 

DIY Recipes
Show your face, your feet or your muscles some love with safe, natural, toxin-free spa concoctions and personal care products. We’ve compiled some of our favorite safe cosmetics recipes below. Test these recipes out at your very own Safe Cosmetics Party. If you have a favorite recipe of your own, e-mail us! We’d love to try it out and share with others.

Getting Started
The necessary ingredients are usually affordable and not hard to find in organic or natural form. The benefits of making your own cosmetics will be immediately evident: your new products will smell and feel good, and so will your skin. There are no preservatives in these recipes so take a few precautions to avoid contamination by bacteria.

 Avoid touching products like lip gloss with your fingers – instead use a cotton swab to apply. Use products within two weeks, and consider storing them in your refrigerator. Also, exercise caution if you think you might be allergic to ingredients like nuts, avocados or other common food ingredients

For Lips

Beet Red Lip Gloss

Ingredients:
¼ cup beeswax
¼ cup castor oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
beet juice

Instructions:
Melt beeswax, remove from heat and add oils. Add as much beet juice as desired for color. Store in jar. Source


Lip Balm

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons grated unbleached beeswax
5 teaspoons carrier oil (sunflower, castor or jojoba)
6 or 7 drops essential oil (such as lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit or peppermint)
1 teaspoon honey, for flavor

Instructions:
Melt the beeswax and carrier oil together in the top of a double boiler, stirring to combine. Remove from heat; add honey and essential oil. Mix thoroughly so the honey does not clump. To add a little color, stir in a tiny dab of lipstick with a coffee stirrer. Pour the mixture into containers; let sit 20 minutes before covering or moving. For glossier lip balm, use 2 teaspoons wax and 8 teaspoons carrier oil.
For Face

Chocolate Facial Mask

This decadent mask is actually an excellent moisturizer – it leaves your skin baby soft. Recommended for normal skin.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons cottage cheese
¼ cup honey
3 teaspoons oatmeal powder

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together and smooth onto face. Relax for 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water. Source

Frozen Egg & Honey Facial Mask

Recommended for dry skin, this is particularly soothing on sunburned skin.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1 tablespoon honey

Instructions:
– Beat the egg in a small bowl until frothy and well-mixed. Slowly add the liquid coconut oil and honey, beating until your mask is the consistency of mayonnaise.
– Take an empty toilet tissue roll and set it on end in a clean bowl. Spoon mixture into the cardboard toilet paper roll. Place tube, in the bowl, in the freezer overnight.
– To use, peel away just the top 1/4 inch of the cardboard roll and smooth the frozen stick over your face (think of it as a push-up pop). Leave your mask on for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
-Return the cream stick covered with plastic wrap and frozen between uses. Keeps indefinitely. Source

Avocado Carrot Cream Mask

This mask is rich in vitamin E, beta carotene, antioxidants, calcium and protein, ingredients that may help rebuild skin collagen, fade age spots and improve tone and texture.

Ingredients:
1 avocado, mashed
1 carrot, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons honey

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Spread gently over your face and neck, and leave in place 10-15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and follow with your favorite toner. Source

Cucumber Eye Gel

Ingredients:
1/4 large cucumber
1 ounce aloe vera gel

Instructions:
-Puree the cucumber in a blender (leave a little pulp), then strain the mixture into a glass bowl until you have at least 2 ounces. Spoon in just a tad of the pulp from the strainer. Add the aloe vera to the cucumber puree in the bowl and mix lightly. Pour into a clean, sterilized container.
– After cleansing face, stir mixture gently and apply with a cotton ball to under eye area. Avoid the eyeball. The shelf life of this product is very limited by the fresh cucumber. It should be used within a few days, and kept refrigerated between uses. Source: Spa Index
Silky Clay Mask for All Skin Types

Ingredients:
1½ teaspoons green clay (French is preferred)
½ teaspoon kaolin clay
1½ tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon rosewater
2 drops rose essential oil

Instructions:
Mix green and kaolin clays together. Add in the aloe vera gel, rosewater and oils. Refrigerate mixture for up to four weeks. Source http://beauty.about.com/od/fragrance/r/claymask.htm

Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin

Remember, not every cause of acne is the same, so you need to try different remedies and masks until you find the ones that work for you.

Herbal Acne Treatment

Instructions:
1. Steam your face for five to 10 minutes to clean the pores with hot infusions of lavender, camomile or thyme.
2. Rinse your face with honeywater, rosewater or a dilute infusion of marigold tea to tone and close the pores.
3. Do this every day until the skin starts to heal. Source

Baking Soda Mask to Fight Acne

This is so easy to make and can work wonders if your skin likes it.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon baking soda (NOT baking powder)
1-2 tablespoon water

Instructions:
Mix a little together in your hands after washing your face with a mild cleanser and apply gently to your skin. Once you’ve coated your face with the baking soda and water mix, let it sit while you do other things around the house, or relax and read a book. Rinse the baking soda film off your face and feel how soft and clear it feels. If your skin enjoys this recipe, and your acne improves, then you may try it several times a week to help clear your acne. Source

Egg White Mask

This is simple and quite frugal. The mask is supposed to tighten skin and eliminate red spots.

Ingredients:
2-3 egg whites

Instructions:
Separate the yolk from the egg whites. Then whip the egg whites until it is nice and frothy. Apply it to your clean face (using clean hands). Leave on for approximately 20 minutes and wash off with warm water. Source

Egg Yolk Mask

Egg yolks contain vitamin A which is reported to reduce scarring.

Ingredient:
1 egg yolk

Instructions:
To attempt this method of acne treatment, whip up an egg yolk, apply it to your skin for 20 minutes and wash off. Source

Acne Tonic with Basil

Ingredients:
2 to 3 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 cup boiling water

Instructions:
Steep basil leaves in water for 10 to 20 minutes. Cool, then apply to face with a white cotton ball. Source

Blackhead Remover Mask

Check availability of these unusual ingredients before you get started.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fuller’s earth
1 teaspoon tincture of benzoin
distilled witch hazel

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients and stir thoroughly. Apply the mask to your skin.  Let mask dry and harden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Soak a small hand towel in warm water and lay it across your face.

When the mask starts to soften up, gently rub it with the towel in a circular motion. Rinse with plenty of warm water. Source

Banana Mask for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

Ingredients:
1 banana, preferably ripe (You can keep ripe bananas in the freezer. Let it thaw before using.)
1 tablespoon honey
An orange or a lemon

Instructions:
Mix the banana and honey together. Add a few drops of juice from an orange or a lemon. Apply to face for 15 minutes before rinsing with a cool washcloth or a steaming warm washcloth. Source

For Hands and Feet

Strawberry Hand and Foot Exfoliant

Ingredients:
8-10 strawberries
2 tablespoons apricot oil (you may substitute olive oil)
1 teaspoon of coarse salt, such as Kosher salt or sea salt

Instructions:
Mix together all ingredients, massage into hands and feet, rinse and pat dry. Strawberries contain a natural fruit acid that aids in exfoliation. Source

Orange Ginger Warming Foot Scrub

This warming foot scrub is great for the winter, and leaves your feet feeling soft and relaxed.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
1/4 cup sweet almond oil
6 drops orange essential oil
2 drops ginger essential oil
1 level teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper

Instructions:
In a plastic bowl, mix together the sugar and almond oil. Add the essential oils and stir. Add the cayenne pepper last and stir well to mix. To use, sit comfortably in the tub or over a pan of water and/or a large towel to catch the sugar scrub as it is applied. Scoop up a handful of the scrub for each foot and massage vigorously yet with care over heels, ankles, toes, arches and the balls of your feet. Be sure to scrub any rough areas especially well. Don’t forget to rinse the tub well when you’re finished; you don’t want to take a bath in cayenne pepper! Source


For Body and Bath

Coffee Body Scrub

Ingredients:
2 cups coarsely ground coffee
1/2 cup raw sugar or sea salt
2-3 tablespoons massage oil

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together. Take a hot shower to moisten your skin and open your pores. Using wide, circular motions, rub the coffee exfoliant onto your skin with strong, even pressure. Shower off, pat skin dry and apply a thin layer of your favorite body lotion. Source

Grapefruit Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups white table sugar
8 drops grapefruit essential oil
1/4 cup jojoba oil
1/4 cup liquid castile soap

Instructions:
Place sugar into a large bowl and stir to break up any clumps. Add the essential oil. Add the jojoba oil and castile soap next, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Mix well and pour into clean container. To use, stand in the tub or shower and massage the sugar scrub onto your skin from head to toe. Rinse. Source

Massage/Bath Oil

Try one of the following combinations of essential oils in a warm (not hot) bath or as a massage oil. Use therapeutic grade essential oils for the best results.

Ingredients:
For relaxing muscles/easing stress:
3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
2 drops petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
1-2 drops frankincense (Boswellia cateri) – optional

For a sensual experience:
3 drops ylang ylang
3 drops sandalwood

Instructions:
-Draw the bath first, add the essential oils, swirl them around with your foot, get in and relax. Allow yourself 10 to 20 minutes. Do not get the bath water in your eyes, as the oils will sting. Use this formula up to once a day for 3 days a week over a two- to three-week period.
-To create a massage blend, add the above oils to a tablespoon of carrier oil (like sweet almond oil or a “massage base” oil, which is usually a blend of sweet almond, grapeseed and jojoba oils). If you’d like to store the oil for later use or package it as a gift simply use the same ratio of carrier oil to essential oil, and pour carefully into a clean, dry glass jar. Source

Softening Body Oil

Before taking a shower, brush your skin gently. This exfoliating will stimulate blood circulation and aid in skin absorption. For best absorption, apply the body oil while your skin is still moist. This combination is ideal for skin that has been exposed to too much sun or for extra-dry areas, such as heels and elbows.

Ingredients:
1 cup (237 ml) sweet almond oil
1/2 cup (118 ml) jojoba or hazelnut oil (or combination of the two)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apricot kernel oil
Essential oil (optional)

Instructions:
-Combine the oils in a sealed bottle and gently turn it several times to mix. Apply as needed.
-For an uplifting oil experience, try 3 drops of ylang ylang, 2 drops geranium and 3 drops orange or bergamot. For an exotic oil experience, try 3 drops ylang ylang, 2 drops rose, 1 drop patchouli and 1 drop geranium. Source

Chocolate Bubble Bath 1

Ingredients:
1 cup of unscented bubble bath
1/3 cup of unsweetened soy milk
3 oz. of grated or powdered dark chocolate

Instructions:
Heat the soy milk and add the grated or powdered chocolate. Stir well until melted and blended, but do not boil. Allow to cool. Mix well again just before adding to your bath.

Chocolate Bubble Bath 2

1 cup of unscented bubble bath
1/2 cup of dried milk powder or soy milk
3 oz. of powdered unsweetened chocolate

Mix the powdered milk and chocolate well, until blended. Stir into bubble bath until well mixed. Add to your bath in the amount desired. Source

Red Wine and Honey Bath

The red wine and the honey together clarify and moisten. From the Spa at Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville, N.C.

Ingredients:
4 cups of the cheapest red wine available
1 cup of honey

Instructions:
Add wine and honey to bath. Source

Herbal Spa Wrap

Ingredients:
1 cup corn oil
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions:
Combine ingredients and massage into skin. Wrap targeted areas of the body (arms, legs, back) with a towel to lock in body heat. Lay a heating pad over each treatment area for five minutes at a time.

Bath Bombs

This recipe makes 4 to 6 bath bombs. You can buy molds in craft stores or online. Do not oil the molds beforehand; just make sure they are clean and dry.

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid (do not substitute ascorbic acid)
1/2 cup corn starch
1/3 cup Epsom salts or coarse sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons sunflower or other light oil (like sweet almond oil)
3/4 tablespoon water or rosewater (be careful not to start the fizzing action by adding too much water)
1/4 – 1 teaspoon essential oils
1/4 teaspoon borax as an emulsifier
vegetable or other natural colorant (optional)

Instructions:
Sieve the dry ingredients together until they are well blended. Measure and combine all the wet ingredients and borax in a clean jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Slowly drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently stirring to prevent the reaction from starting. Make sure you mix in all of the wet ingredients. Afterward, you’ll find that the mixture is dry and crumbly and has to be packed in the molds quite firmly to keep shape. The mixture should just start to hold together when pressed in your hand, like slightly moist fine sand. You can unmold the bombs after 30 minutes, and let them dry for a few days before using them. Store them in a dry place.

Bath Cookies

2 cups finely ground sea salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons light oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
2 eggs
5-6 drops essential oil of your choice

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine all the listed ingredients and form into a dough. Using a teaspoon or so of dough at a time, roll it gently in the palm of your hand until it forms a ball. Form all dough into one-teaspoon balls, and gently place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Consider sprinkling the bath balls with herbs, flower petals, cloves, citrus zest and similar aromatic ingredients. Bake your bath cookies for 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Do not over-bake. Allow the bath cookies to cool completely. To use, drop 1 or 2 cookies into a warm bath and allow to dissolve. Yield: 24 cookies, enough for 12 baths. Source
Deodorant

Many people react strongly to store-bought deodorant. What we need is a simple, home-made version!

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons liquid chlorophyll
4 tablespoons vodka
4 tablespoons distilled water
8 ounces beeswax
10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Instructions:
Melt wax over very low heat in a double boiler. Mix cornstarch, baking soda, vodka and distilled water well. Add to the melted beeswax and stir until well combined. Add chlorophyll and essential oils. Pour into mold and let it harden. Store in an airtight container. Source

Hair Care

Shampoo

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined. Use like regular shampoo. Discard any leftovers. Source

Conditioner

Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water

Instructions:
Beat the egg yolk until it’s thick and white. Add the oil and mix well. Then add the water into the egg mixture and mix well.  Massage into clean, damp hair. Rinse with plenty of warm water after about 10 minutes. Source

Protein-Rich, Nourishing Conditioner

Ingredients:
1 egg white
5 tablespoons plain yogurt

Instructions:
Beat the egg white until foamy. Gently fold in the plain yogurt. Apply to your hair and let it soak in for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with plenty of warm water. Style as usual. Source

Watercress Treatment for Oily Hair

Watercress appears to work on oily hair because it is rich in iron and phosphorus as well as vitamins A, C and E.

Ingredients:
1-2 large handfuls of fresh watercress
1 cup water

Blend watercress and water in a blender or food processor until well blended. If you have long hair you may need to use 2 full handfuls of watercress. Heat mixture and boil for 10 minutes. Strain watercress, keeping only the liquid. Let the liquid cool and apply carefully to newly shampooed hair (try to get as much excess water out of the hair as possible first). Leave on for 20 minutes. Source: “Everything You Need to Know to Have Great Looking Hair,” by Louis Gignace

Hair Gel

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup warm water

Instructions:
Dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin in 1 cup warm water. Keep refrigerated and use as you would a purchased gel. Source

Hair Spray

Ingredients:
1 or 2 citrus fruits (lemon or orange)
2 cups water

Instructions:
Chop 1 lemon (or orange for dry hair). Place in a pot and cover with 2 cups of hot water. Boil until only half remains. Cool and strain. Add more water if needed. Refrigerate in a spray bottle. Source 

Face Paint and Halloween Makeup

To avoid heavy metals and other potentially harmful unknown ingredients in traditional Halloween face paint, try making your own using food-based ingredients. Remember, foods can cause allergies in some kids: always test your concoctions on a small patch of skin and read up on natural food colorings before sending your little ghouls out for a night of painted fun. And don’t forget that some foods can stain skin and clothes.

Face Paint Made with Natural Food Coloring

Natural food coloring is available at health food stores and typically derived from foods and spices. We recommend reading up about natural food colorings and potential allergies first. Do not substitute conventional food coloring, which may contain synthetic chemical ingredients.

Ingredients:
-Base of safe, unscented lotion (search Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly)
-Natural food coloring (see note above)

Instructions:
Mix a few drops of natural food coloring into the base ingredient of your choice. Test on a small patch of skin before applying to face or body.

Face Paint Made with Food

Make sure young children understand they can’t eat these paints unless you make them without the base. Test a small patch of skin first to make sure your child isn’t allergic to the food you’re using.

Ingredients:
-Base of safe, unscented lotion (search Skin Deep for safe options) OR pure cocoa butter (available at health food stores) OR safe, fluoride-free toothpaste (search Skin Deep; avoid mint flavors, as they can make skin tingly)
-Turmeric, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, beets, avocado, spirulina, cocoa, chocolate sauce, squid ink or other colorful foods, juices, herbs and spices

Instructions:
Yellow: Add 1/4 tsp. and a large pinch of stale turmeric to base.

Pink: Using a sieve, mash the juice from 3 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries, blackberries or beets directly into the base. Or, use a deeply colored berry juice or puree.

Mint green: With a fork, mash 1/4 of a small avocado until creamy. Mix this into your base.

Emerald green: Add small amount spirulina or bright green chlorophyll to base.

Purple: Using a sieve, mash the juice from several fresh or frozen blueberries into the base. Or, use blueberry juice.

Brown: Add cocoa powder or chocolate sauce to base.

Black: Use a small amount of squid ink in base for true black.

White: Mix powdered sugar and water.

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Get well Tata

There are very few people in the world to evoke such strong feelings of peace, love and acceptance as Nelson Mandela.  With our former president been in Milpark Hospital, many of us are left thinking “what if he doesn’t get better?’.

I feel that everyone is entitled to their privacy, especially during a personally trying time.  With the world’s media centred on Madiba and his condition, I want to send a message to Tata and his family – we wish you a speedy recovery and whatever the outcome, we owe were we are to your strength and wisdom.

Get Well Tata Madiba

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It’s raining, it’s pouring

It’s been raining in our town for most of the week.  I love the rain and it’s doing my garden the world of good, my washing pile, however, is looking to be taller than me.

This makes my bathroom look untidy and makes me sad, looking at this ever-increasing hill of dirty clothing and linen.  With my one son potty training, I have had to find cheap, household remedies for urine smells on linen, bed and clothing.

I use a process of elmination start at the top and work your way down the list until the smell has gone…

Beds, Linen & other furniture

  • Mop up excess urine and dry area as much as possible
  • Clean area with a mixture of white vinegar, water and tea tree oil
  • Let the area dry thoroughly, in direct sun if possible (works best for mattress and linen)
  • Sprinkle area with bicarbonate soda and allow to sit for 24 hours
  • Vacuum off the bicarb and the bed is really to be made
  • Extra smelly touch – for a pleasant, calming smell, I crush dried lavender and rosemary leaves and sprinkle on with the bicarb

Clothing

I found my boys clothing sometimes took 2 washes to eliminate the urine smell.  I adjusted my methods and did the same as with the linen. 

  • Rinse off clothing with clean water
  • Spray affected areas with a vinegar, water and tea tree solution
  • Spin wet clothes in your washing machine – the  dryer the clothes the better
  • Allow to dry thoroughly
  • Place clothes in a bucket with a mixture of bicarb and crushed lavender and rosemary leaves.  Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 24 hours
  • Shake off clothes and wash as normal

I know this sounds like a lot of work, I usually keep a separate bucket in our bathroom for these clothes.  I fill the bucket with water and a few drops of tea tree oil.  I then wash these clothes when the bucket is full, allowing me to wash a full load of clothes instead of only a few items.

Safety Tip:

As with all essential oils, please use reasonable caution and discontinue use if a reaction occurs. 

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Global Economic Summit – Can we help ourselves

The recent recession hit many of us in South Africa hard.  High numbers of jobs were lost as countless companies closed their doors.  My husband’s family business was hard hit aswell, with blessing, they have remained open, however our budget has become exceptional tight.

A radio discussion this morning got me thinking, I don’t like many ideas our government has on health, housing, social development and environmental issues – I won’t even start on economic issues.  I also feel we talk more than we do.  My activities in the local community help me to give back and do my bit for our society, however I’m left with, “what can I do to take hold of my family’s future in these dull times?”

I feel very strongly that we should all have a skill, hobby or pastime that we enjoy doing.  Why not use that skill or hobby to create a safety net for you to fall financially?  We don’t have to be the next Martha Stewart, but we can make small nest eggs for ourselves.  My thinking is that not only will it be an excuse for you to enjoy something that you love doing, but you can then become a little bit more independent from the government.  This way we become more in control of our future and less reliant on government to create jobs for us. 

So if you don’t like what you hear coming from the Global Economic Summit, don’t feel despondent, you can do something about it!  We can also use this as part of our children’s lives to teach them about hard work and how there is no substitute for it.

Good luck on your independent missions and let me know how it goes…

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DIY Natural Paint :-)

I found this awesome recipe on http://www.diylife.com.   Looking for a gentle alternative to chemical-based interior paint? Stir up this simple, four-ingredient recipe. Milk paint transformed this old cassette cabinet into a charming powder room organizer for storing towels, tissues, and toiletries.

homemade paint

Cavemen did it. The early Egyptians did it. American Colonists did it. And even today, many people are rediscovering the art of making interior paint for the home. In an age of store-bought paints with high performance finishes, you may ask yourself, why make paint?

 For me, it’s the natural, handcrafted look — along with the satisfaction of being self-reliant. For others, it may be because homemade paint is the greenest and least toxic alternative possible to traditional paint. Homemade paints aren’t based upon petrochemicals and they’re far less toxic than commercial paints — even the many zero-VOC paints now emerging on the market.

 The ingredients for homemade paints vary. This recipe consists of lime, water, pigment, and milk.  The easiest to make and least expensive homemade paints consist of milk, lime, and pigment. For additional body a filler, such as chalk powder or plaster can be added. My preferred recipe is simplicity itself: –

homemade paint

Hydrated lime (available at most home and garden supply stores)
Water 
Pigment (powder or liquid)
Whole milk (at room temperature)

homemade paint

Mix lime with water using a putty knife or plastic spatula.
1. Fill a container with one to two cups of hydrated lime. Gradually add water and stir until you have a thick paste.
2. In a separate container, do the same with the pigment powder. For a small batch like this, 2 to 4 tablespoons of pigment is typically sufficient. 3. Gradually add milk to the lime paste until you achieve the consistency of sour cream. Then add the pigment paste and mix thoroughly.

Safety tip: Despite the relative low toxicity of the ingredients, wear vinyl gloves and a dust mask when working with lime and pigment.
Gradually stir milk into the lime paste until you achieve a consistency of loose sour cream.

homemade paint

ADDING PIGMENTS TO HOMEMADE PAINT You can buy pigmentsat many hardware and artist supply stores. Avoid using pigments made from toxic compounds, otherwise you’ll defeat the purpose of making your own paint. Some common toxins used in pigments include cadmium, lead, mercury, and cobalt.

You will have to experiment with pigments to achieve the color you want. Be sure to buy plenty of white pigment, as you’ll be using a lot of it. It comes in two forms: titanium dioxide and zinc. The former is a bit more opaque. You can make many of your own colorants using natural ingredients but the process is a lot more time-consuming than making paint alone.

Also, the colors produced through home-brewed dyes are more subtle than store-bought pigments. If you do want to make homemade pigment, try these methods:

Add water to steel wool for a red rust coloring.
Try simmering everything from berries and vegetables to bark and leaves to create the dyes. Blackberries, for example, make a strong dye. — Brew coffee or many tea to create neutral tones.
Boil peach or crab apple leaves for greens.
Use store-bought juice concentrates, such as blueberry and cranberry, to create pleasing tints.
Use a natural bristle brush to apply the milk paint, and allow it to dry for a few hours before recoating.

homemade paint

ADDITIONAL TIPS ABOUT HOMEMADE PAINT — Milk paint is not as scrubbable as its commercial cousins. In areas subject to spills, apply a protective coat of shellac or oil finish. If you choose the latter, stay green with a plant oil-based finish. — The shelf life for milk paint is short. Store unused paint in the refrigerator. It can be used until the milk sours. Brushes clean easily with soap and water

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DIY Cleaners

I’m always looking for ways to cut costs and save the planet at the same time.  I found these recipes which are very basic and most of the items you will find in your kitchen.  Also if you have a dishwasher, try my dishwasher powder recipe – works like a bomb!

  • Hand sanitizer — For times I can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer is my best friend. Make your own to save on money and to cut down on waste. All it takes is some aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol. You can also add tea tree oil to the mix, or, if you prefer something less antiseptic smelling, try lavender oil.
  • Yoga/Pilates mat cleaner — Exercise mats can get pretty gross, so make a habit of cleaning them often. Keep a spray bottle of homemade disinfectant in your gym bag to sanitize your mat immediately after every use.
  • Produce wash — Unfortunately, water is not enough to thoroughly clean produce. To really get the germs off, mix your own produce wash at home. All you need is some water, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.

Sorry, I forgot to post the recipe for the disinfectant spray – mushy brain moment :)

Green DIY disinfectant

  • white vinegar
  • water
  • tea tree oil
  • plastic pump spray bottle
  1. In a plastic pump spray bottle, add 1/4 cup white vinegar. Vinegar is a disinfectant and it shines up surfaces really well without leaving behind any buildup.
  2. Add about 20 drops tea tree oil to the mixture. This oil will have quite a strong smell, but tea tree oil is a very effective disinfectant. Shake to mix well. Finally fill the bottle with water. That’s it.
  3. You can use this all natural disinfectant cleaner on your counter tops, microwave, floors, in your bathroom or wherever you would use a disinfectant cleaner.

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I love these sites!

 

Some of the sites I love to visit for inspiration and to see what others are doing. 

http://www.flamingotoes.com – a gorgeous crafting site, from clothing and home decor to bags and some cute toys.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com – a useful site with some great tips on organising your house and diy decorating.

http://blog.effortless-style.com – totally fun site, great ideas for art works – I’m working on a collection of SA stamps for our hallway.

http://www.notmartha.org – run by Megan, this site has light-hearted feel to crafting.  Easy crafts with great photos and clear instructions, I’m in love with Megan’s Christmas tree!

http://www.mental-health-matters.com – a helpful site for me – it gave me good ideas on how to calm down my worked up 4-year-old.  Also made me feel normal, that I’m not completely useless at this parenting thing.

http://happychildfoundation.co.za – an organisation based in South Africa – they fundraise, feed and uplift communities.  All with the help of their Happy Bars.  They need help to get their foundation funding to continue their work.

http://www.4akid.co.za – great safety products for kiddies.  They have been very generous over the last year with donations of presents and party pack items for birthdays and Christmas.

http://www.safecosmetics.org – delicious diy beauty and makeup recipes.  So easy to use and something you can do with your sisters, daughters and friends.  Make a party of it!

http://www.rockyheath.co.za/ – a local lass, a friend of my sister-in-law.  Rocky does beautiful photos of pets as well as photos at our local SPCA of  those needing homes.  There is a scruffy one and a basset hound that are nudging my heart!

http://eatmytreats.blogspot.com – oh how I would love to meet Lauren.  She makes such gorgeous cakes and she also is super nice and puts her recipes on the blog.  With Lauren’s help I will be making my son”s “How to train your dragon”4th birthday cake.  I’m going to make the fondant and modeling chocolate myself – watch this space for updates on how well it turns out :)

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