“It’s the making part that’s the most fun” (sugar scrub)

Bea's hideout

Bea's hideout discovered

Silas at his little shelf

making play dough

making play dough

making play dough

making play dough



homemade sugar scrub

new project

"look mommy!"

Yesterday the girls and I spent our morning making play dough.  Jonny and the big boys were snowboarding, and with the big kids gone it’s always a little hard for the littlest ones and I to find a rhythm.  I try to plan projects that involve simple mixing and making.  Play dough is not something that we keep on hand at all times, so it doesn’t lose it’s fun factor.  As the girls kneaded their first batch I overheard Larkspur tell Beatrix, “It’s the making part that’s the most fun.”  To which Beatrix responded with an emphatic, “Yeah.”

Beatrix and I also mixed up a batch of sugar scrub this week.  It was oh so easy, and a great little project for the two of us to do together.  I found that there are an overwhelming number of recipes on the internet so I took a general formula and then improvised with what I had on hand.  Many of the recipes I saw called for an oil to sugar ratio of about 1:2.  I combined 1 cup of olive oil with enough sweet almond oil, shea butter, and kokum butter to equal 2 cups (I placed the oils in a glass measuring cup in a warm water bath on the stove to melt the shea and kokum.) Once all my oils were thoroughly melted, I added essential oil for fragrance and then poured the oil into a big bowl.  Finally we added about 4 1/2 cups of sugar and mixed with a spoon.  Beatrix spooned some of our final product into a small tin for the bathroom and the rest into a quart sized ball jar which I will keep in the refrigerator.

Once we were finished Beatrix asked to taste the sugar.  I said “sure, just a little.”  She tasted it and with chastisement in her tone, told me, “It’s pretty good.  You should’ve made food with it.”

Speaking of making, I realized today that I don’t have any easy knitting projects to work on while I am giving lessons, so I am going to remedy that with a skein of this, and this shawl pattern (it starts out nice and easy and stays that way until close to the end.)

This evening, Beatrix called me to the window to show me the “pink sky.”  She was sitting on the back of the couch watching the sun set with a smile on her face.  That last photo is for her, my little lover of life.

p.s.  I received a gift this week with no way to give a proper thank you.  So, Bronwyn, I hope you are reading (because I don’t have your email address!)  Thank you.  You made my week.

p.p.s.  The toy that Silas is holding in the photo above is from this shop.  Hands down, my favorite baby toys.  Silas agrees.

p.p.p.s.  Play dough recipes abound but I love this book (I’ve been referring to it since Seth was a baby!) and often use the play dough recipe it contains but add glitter and essential oils.


Gift giving

Yesterday, I got a call from my mother in law letting me know that she and her best friend would be at my house in about two hours which was pretty funny considering what I posted here yesterday.  We’d known she was traveling in Pennsylvania and would be stopping by some time this week, we just didn’t know exactly when.  To make things extra challenging she requested a cake as it was her best friend’s birthday.
At any rate, I was feeling all good about myself, having just pulled pumpkin spice cupcakes out of the oven, when I turned to see Beatrix finger painting the back door with mud.  At that exact moment, Judy called to say they would be at our house in about five minutes.
We had a very nice visit, and Judy won the honor of being the first member of our extended family to meet Silas.  Since we were busy visiting yesterday, I want to share a little gift I gave to Summer, my best friend from college.  The gift was in celebration of the upcoming birth of her fourth baby who was born in August.
I started with a simple jar of baby salve.
My girls got to helped to fill a jar with a mixture of comfrey leaves and root with calendula flowers (heavy on the flowers light on the others.)
(The herbs were purchased from both the Bulk Herb Store, and Mountain Rose Herbs as I don’t have a good local source.  Tins for storage of finished product also purchased from Mountain Rose)
After the jar was well filled with flowers, Larkspur added olive oil, enough to cover the herbs.
Following instructions from Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal (out of print, but she does have a newer book that looks similar,) we placed our jar in a sunny spot to steep for two weeks.  At the end of two weeks we placed the jar in a pot of warm water on the stove for about an hour before straining the oil through cheesecloth into another clean jar.  I then placed the jar of filtered oil back in the pot of warm water and added beeswax (pellets or grated) at the rate of 1/4 cup beeswax per cup of herbal oil.  Once the beeswax was melted I swirled the jar briefly and then poured the hot salve into tins.   This salve is great for baby bottoms or can be used as an all purpose salve.
During those two weeks of steeping I added to the gift.  First was a pair newborn sized quick change trousers from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings.  Silas modeled them.
See, they’re reversible!  (I also used the quick change trouser instructions to make Larkspur’s lined linen skirt recently.  I just didn’t connect the bottom edges as you would for the pants.)
For Summer, I included a skein of Three Irish Girls Lindon Merino so she could knit baby Emerson a pair of sheepy pants, a copy of Kristin Lavransdatter for the early weeks of being in bed, and a little zippered pouch just because. I loved celebrating this new baby, and was so thrilled that I was able to put this all together for my oldest friend (not her age, the age of the friendship!)