I made my own Deodorant -with recipe-

Actually it was deodorant for the whole family! I’m not going to convince you of the evils of commercial deodorants, if you are looking into alternatives then you have an idea. Maybe you just like making stuff.
I just like making stuff. I make all kinds of things, it keeps me same when my real job (making hand dyed silk worship banners) gets too “monotonous” which is silly because hand dyeing has many tones, (see what I did there?) but if you are an eclectic artist, anything can get boring if you do it a thousand times a year, or more… I’ve lost count.

Anyhow, I decided to make deodorant. I looked at recipes for different homemade pastes and was grossed out by finger application. Im not slapping goo into my armpits when im trying not to be sweaty! Some suggested powdering with baking soda. No way was the husband going to go for that! I had to combine common ingredients into a working consistency that still looked like a commercial deodorant/antiperspirant. It needed to keep a manly man from smelling like a… (insert your go to stinky smell here or in a comment below!) and instead smell clean. I feel like I found the right combination of essential oils for that but you can use whichever you like best.

My husband and I tried it, I happen to think it works well, but I work inside. It does get really hot here, over 100 degrees (F) for a couple of months in the summer time. Today it is supposed to be 107. Ick.

He works outside and is prone to chafing, so his condition was, “It better not chafe, if that happens, it’s a no go.”

That works for me. I would alter the recipe if necessary (since I happen to feel chafed underarms would seriously ruin his mood thereby ruining my mood) but the review came back as non-chafing so, overall I am pretty happy with it.

Here it is.
Begin by melting the coconut oil and butters with the wax. Stir in the dry ingredients slowly and mix to an even consistency, remove from heat before adding the essential oils. Pour carefully into empty tubes to just below the top. Discard leftover mixture with heavy sediment or sift it somehow. (let me know if you succeed)
Allow to cool to body temperature and turn the wheel to break the deodorant free from the sides of the tubes then cool the rest of the way. That’s it. It probably took me about 20 minutes to prep and mix. Cooling was about an hour. This makes enough for 5 regular deodorant tubes

Illipe Butter 4 oz. (from mountain rose herbs, I just used the whole container)

It looks like they only have a similar butter called kokum butter. It is a hard butter. If you can’t get that, then use cocoa butter which is semi-hard and add an extra half oz. of beeswax.

half cup of corn starch (you can use arrowroot powder, it does the same thing since it is also a starch)

half cup of bentonite clay powder (also from mountain rose herbs) i’m not sure there is a good substitute here

3 tbsp baking soda (from the grocery store)

1/2 cup of coconut oil (got the gallon jar from Costco) we use it to cook all the time

beeswax (mine was a block from Michael’s, you might want the pastilles from mountain rose herbs if you have to place an order) I don’t recommend other waxes. Petroleum wax is one of those things you might prefer to avoid and soy wax is softer and may be estrogen rich since soy overall is very estrogen rich. Unless you absolutely need an estrogen supplement, you might want to avoid it.

(here’s the tricky part, I grated the beeswax, which caused it to curl up and take up about 3x the actual amount of space it should so I used 1 1/2 cups grated where I would have used 1/2 cup melted or maybe 5/8 c. pastilles)

25 drops of tea tree oil (anti bacterial & deodorant) from my grocery store

25 drops lavender oil (deodorant and skin soothing) from my health food store

10 drops irish clover oil for fragrance  (this is optional) since we would all be trying it  (this is a neutral fragrance and smells more like soap over the lavender and tea tree oils) from a now closed shop on Ebay. Sorry, I wish I could find more since I used most of it. I did find clover & slow as well as red clover but I don’t know how those smell.

You can choose your own fragrance oil really! Try to find a pure essential oil you like rather than one that is premixed with carrier oils. A dram should be enough for a batch or two.

I bought the empty tubes on amazon.com for probably too much but since I only wanted enough to hold the small batch I was making the set of 5 was enough, though I could have done without the ugly/dumb sticker which I peeled off of the one I am currently using. At least that tells me which one is open.

The last tube I poured out of the melted solution had more sediment in it from the bentonite and was probably only 80% full. That one might be a ‘chafer’ There was also sediment in the bottom of the saucepan. No, I didn’t use a double boiler or set aside the pot for only deodorant making activities. I just ran it through the dish washer. It seems ok. If we all die from mostly organic deodorant residue in our food, I’ll let you know.


After two or three weeks I’m still liking it and brought one of the tubes to my bff to try since she’s more into natural eating/supplements/body products than I am. Her husband made a few sarcastic remarks, which coming from him, meant he was supportive and interested. Aww, gee!
She said she would offer a review of it after she tried it.
My husband is still using it except he left the tube in his truck and I have to remix it. I think he is now using the same one that I am using… yeah.


clay, butters, arrowroot powders, beeswax pastilles

deodorant tubes


Going Shampooless?

Most people want attractive hair, that includes me. Everyone’s hair and chemistry is different, so I thought I’d try an experiment that many people are adopting. Ditching my shampoo and conditioner.

I have only bought really expensive stuff a few times, but most  of the time I’ve bought “grocery store expensive”. I’ve used Pantene for at least 12 years, always with the extra moisturizing formulas, until our local Costco purchaser made a huge mistake… one that I didn’t catch until well into the enormous bottle. They (and I consequently) bought Original Formula. For two months we used this stuff unwittingly. The girls began to get huge tangles at the nape of their neck while they slept, then I started getting them, even my husband started to complain about tangles in his relatively short locks. So I conditioned extra… with other conditioners… extra. It didn’t help!

This is where Pinterest comes in… I was browsing and followed a link to a blog which led to more reading and research. Apparently a ton of people are fed up with their shampoos (or other reasons for ditching detergents) so I figured I have a few weeks till my next conference, and I already was in the school of thought that hair only needs to be shampooed when it was actually dirty (for me that was 2-3 times a week) so I went for it. If I hated it I could just wash my hair with shampoo, which was easy because I  already had it.

So everyone talks about baking soda, but my amazing middle children had used it all like two days before on volcanoes or something like that (yeah, most of the vinegar too) so I figured epsom salts were close enough and maybe the sodium was the main thing. The second ingredient was vinegar, which I have live cider, white, balsalmic, red wine, white wine and garlic infused varieties. I love vinegar. (Is that a weird thing to love?) I went with the white vinegar since I purchase it 2 gallons at a time. Yay!

One of the comments on a blog said the saline dilution needs to have enough in it so that it felt ‘slippery’ between your fingers. I put about one heaping tablespoon of Epsom salts into a 6 ounce spout bottle and shook it with warm water till it was dissolved.

I filled my tiny spray bottle with full strength vinegar and that was it.

So instead of shampoo, on Sunday #1, I applied the Epsom dilution to my roots, extra on the ‘greasy’ areas and massaged (I would say lathered,but there is no lather with this method) until the natural oils felt broken up. I rinsed my hair very well and spritzed the lower half of my hairs length with vinegar and lightly rinsed just to even out the distribution of the vinegar. It did take more effort and time than shampoo.

After I toweled my hair I blow dried at the roots. Added bonus, the natural oils (sebum) distributed themselves about 4 inches down from my scalp, and this part of my hair dried really quickly compared to the drier length. There was a different texture to that portion of my hair but I felt like the blow dryer helped to distribute the oils that were supposed to be there better than without a blow dryer. I had no problem untangling my hair at this stage which ever before had required massive amounts of conditioner when wet. This was hugely different. I had never had unconditioned hair that was less than hopelessly ‘uncombable’. The vinegar smell dissipates as your hair dries and honestly if it’s overpowering, there’s too much anyway.

The next wash was Wednesday, and I used twice as much epsom salts for more of a slippery texture, the same few spritzes of vinegar. I also applied some anointing oils to my palm and then the ends of my hair for fragrance. The sebum was at about 6-8 inches instead of 4 and it still looked and felt clean.

On Sunday # 2, same deal, heavily Epsom salted water, minimal vinegar, fragranced oils for the length and nobody gave it a second look. It dried even faster, the body in my hair was up by my head instead off just by the ends, and it was looking better. I was getting used to the natural texture. It felt thicker and more moisturized. The next Wednesday passed without incident, again improving on distribution of the natural oils.

Saturday was a different story. On saturday I was rushed and didn’t have as hot of water as I like to get the sebum more viscous. It looked clean but the next morning I wanted a thorough wash, so I washed it again on Sunday and the natural oils went almost to the ends.

I am loving the new texture of my hair and planning on seeing what the bright pink dyes do…


It has been 3 months and 5 days since I wrote that. I have since used baby shampoo twice (the Burt’s Bees kind that smells like honey) because we had it and I had no time! It worked amazing. I also switched to a baking soda paste. I just dumped a bunch of baking soda into an old body butter jar and add water from the shower and stir it with my fingers. I also added several drops of essential oils (tea tree, lavender and avocado) for fragrance and moisture at the ends. This is the mixture that I apply to my roots. I work it in all over my scalp and then rinse really well.

The amount of body has gone down but my hair looks and feels cleaner, healthy and thick. I don’t miss shampoo or lather and the baking soda is much easier than the epsom salts.

Summer Cleaning part 1

It’s a cleaning season for us because we are unrestrained by school schedules. By we I mean the tiny messmakers who live in this fortress of devastation I call home sweet home.
The cleaning project today is a little game I like to call “Find the Floor”.
I cannot tell you how many times I have cleaned my sons room for them. Fail. Today is a different approach.
Here is their room.summer) 051summer) 050

See? It was clean about 6 weeks ago and I’m not doing it again, but after a week of nagging I’m trying a different approach. Blogging it.
Step one, establish momma station.

Table and coffee, check.

Blurry chair, check. Self in chair with cell phone, check.
Step two, reclaim toy box area.

Clearing floor space…

Putting boxes in place.

Step three, putting stuffed animals into bean bag chair.

summer) 054

I sewed this last year after reading an organizing blog. They advised buying a cover for TWENTY DOLLARS, but I made one using fabric. We will probably go thru them before we have our yard sale and weed out the unloved.

How we’ll do these work as bean bag chairs?


Well enough for break time.
A plastic shoe box for art supplies. Establishing containers for laundry, shoes, and yard sale items.

summer) 0701 hour in, need more coffee.
They are making progress.

summer) 071summer) 072

We have a third of the room vacuumed at the 90 minute mark.
summer) 073

I move all of the containers to the clean spot along with my station and commence giving orders from my new perspective. At the 2 hour mark I,am bored and offer a challenge, finish (to the point of vacuuming the floor) in one hour and get ice cream. Go over one hour and your clean room is your reward.
I point out everything because for some reason they cannot follow one task or see what to do next. I’ll have to do this in the girls room next…

Sam anne sets the timer…summer) 075

30 minutes to go and it’s still pretty bad. Ice Cream, People! I will eat it without you!!!!

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20 minutes to go and he’s wondering what is next…

summer) 076

The boxes at the bottom are actually cleaned items because they made it!
They are proud and as soon as the vacuum has run (we will give the separated items to their places too) they will have icecream.

summer) 079

For now, Bo takes a reading break.summer) 080
This is the grossest item found…summer) 081

It’s a petrified sandwich! (it’s actually much better than precious grossest items which usually involved fruit in extreme states of decay)

This makes me happy… Neat toy boxes. A room you can walk in without killing yourself…summer) 082summer) 083

I used to want them categorized, but at this point I’m happy if the toys are just IN them. Someday they might get new carpet… Ha.

Squeaky Toy


This is my Mookie, Samantha Anne. Is it any wonder that I want to shower her with little hand made sweeties? I have been planning for months to make little toys for her to gnaw on and today I have my embroidery stuff out so I did it. Yay!


I actually bought an embroidery pattern. I wanted a sweet and simple sparrow. This one was $1.99 from apexembdesigns.com I really searched for something similar but could not find anything!


I starred with a bright red piece of felt. The eco felt is recycled. Nice! I split my standard sheet of 11 x 9 into mostly even thirds of just under 4 x 9 pieces.


I bought small squeakers. These were 20 for about $8. They are called “replacement squeakers” the ones I got were about 1 1/4 inches. The bulb is almost round… I wish they were a bit flatter.


I also cut some bright rickrack 3 inches long and got out one of the baby links from her toy box. I wanted to make sure it would fit.


One of the things I love about felt is that you can frame up your greatest stabilizer and place your cut felt piece on the stabilizer before stitching. Awesome.

First I stitched out my design on the machine. If you are hand stitching the design should be about two inches square or big enough to cover one half of your squeaker, rattle or jingle insert plus seam allowance. I cut my felt in half. One half was blank and the other had the design.



What you are looking at here is the top layer, stabilizer under and lined up on the bottom is the other half of the red felt.

After taking my embroidery unit off I  stitched freehand using the embroidery foot as a free arm. Since I want my loop on the wing I stop as shown in the picture.


I place my rickrack loop under the stabilizer.


Then I stitch it in place and continue to the point where I want my opening to insert a squeaker. Backstitch here to prevent separation while stuffing it in.


It’s a good thing the squeakers collapse a bit, I had to squish this one to get it in. Then I stitched the opening closed and went around again using my previous seam as a guide against the outside of the foot.


Then backstitching really well at the end.


I trimmed the opening straight before stuffing it to make it easier. I want to trim the outside with pinking shears. I also want to tear away the stabilizer but not cut my loop!


Tear all of the stabilizer away first!


Here is my loop, i’m going to cut the top layer away first!


I then cut both layers all the way around except for near the loop. Last I trim the back layer away matching the zigzagging up.


I decided to use the whole sheet of red and make a couple more. Someone else might decide that they want one and don’t want to make it so I am putting them on etsy. I might even make different colors! Here is the Etsy link!


By the time I finished it she was ready for bed and would not model it cutely. Here it is in her chubby fist. Hopefully, she will figure out how to squeak it instead of looking at me like a crazy person when I demonstrate the sound it makes. 🙂

Patching Jeans

How many pairs of jeans have I tossed because I absolutely blew out the knees? No idea… but with my two girls wearing my clothing, something has to be done!


I figure this is also pretty much my big chance to use all of the cute stitches on my sewing machine…


One of the things I didn’t know before is that there isn’t an industry standard for the measurement around the sewing machines table. Then I pulled out my old machine and who knew… It was smaller, and had cuter stitches but is in serious need of service.


You are going to see me use pins… Don’t get excited, there are only four and short of using glue, it’s unavoidable!


Turn your jeans inside out, cut a preshrunk patch of fabric to cover well around your hole and pin the 4 corners in place. There should be plenty of extra fabric. Turn your jeans right side out, then roll them up smoothly and fit them over the sewing table.


I used different colored threads for each stitch across. If you don’t have decorative stitching just use zigzag. I went across and back about 6 times and felt like it was pretty secure.


The tension discs in my machine are messed up, so they pulled the bobbin thread up but I love how it looks against the red thread.


Trim the back of the patch and remove the pins. Be careful with your scissors or you’ll have to patch again! Now for the next knee…


More colors and stitches, this time with zero tension… I’ve got to take this machine in!


She approves. I’m sure I’ll be patching these again… Next time I think I will wash them so they shrink up before I patch them. I may also rip out the side seams because the edges looked really thin and I may have to patch to the sergered ends then run them thru the serger.

All in all Im pretty happy with this experiment. I’ll be glad when my expensive jeans give way and I can fix them. This is hard tho. I don’t really like doing it. I think opening the sides before patching, then using my serger to close them will be easier.

Zippered Toy Pouch Set

There must be a million tiny toys that are scattered around here, the small ones want to bring them with and then we get the heartbroken wailing that we’ve lost some favorite toy. We’ll that happens way too often to turn around and go back!

Honestly I just bought a couple of assorted packs of 4 and 7 inch zippers and want something to use them on. 🙂


Then I bought a bundle of assorted two yard lengths of rickrack on etsy, because nobody needs rickrack, but it’s fun to say and fun to look at! I cut these at 3 to 4 1/2 inch lengths.


I also have a good sized stash of fabric that I hope to use someday! Today im using some of a cute fatquarter from Wal-mart. I know wal-mart is evil. Sorry. Maybe it was from Beverly’s.


I love color contrast, so I picked a bright zipper to contrast my fabric. Ok, then my camera lost all of my photos and I had to make another set of bags. The second time around I used matchier zippers with this blue fabric.


Then I cut my fabric out using a standard sheet of paper. Talk about an easy pattern!  A 7 inch zipper is the perfect size for the width of a sheet of paper. The four inch zipper gives the width for the next bag which is as long as the first bag is wide.

If you just want measurements go with 9×11 and 6×9. If you want to wash these then preshrink your fabric.


The easiest way to install a zipper… Remember that I hate pinning?

Lets start with the smaller pouch.
Im going to lay the right side of the zipper against the right side of my fabric and stitch it down. About halfway, with the needle down I lift the foot and unzip so I can stitch to the end freely.


Now flip the zipper over and sew the other side, again stopping halfway to move the tab to the other end. Then you have placed your zipper! So easy.


Place the wrong sides out and fold the zipper as we’ll. Then place the zipper under your sewing foot and background to the edge before closing the side. Unzip your zipper halfway before you close the top or you’ll have a lot of trouble turning your bag.


You might want to add into the other side near the top a loop of rickrack before closing.

I always run a second stitch on the outside of both sides but the inside of the bottom to reinforce threads and the bag overall.


Trim close to the seams with pinking shears and turn!


Voila! Small bag with 4″ zipper.

The large bag requires just a bit more attention. Install the zipper the same way, except that you are going to add a loop of rickrack along side the zipper just past the metal clamp.


Open the zipper halfway and finish the side, flip and add another piece of rickrack  just past the metal clamp again when joining the second side. Take care not to sew over your first loose rickrack loop. Double stitching the zippers and rickrack loops adds durability.


Again, fold the zipper faces together and stitch both sides together.


Make sure your zipper is open before you start on the bottom!


Stitch past the side seam, add a loop, stitch over it, add another. I switched colors as I went. The loops are pretty evenly spaced.


Lastly I reinforced the stitches with the second seam and trimmed the edges before I turn it.


Yay! A cute pouch set.


Here is my first one. A frog patterned fabric Brandon snatched up and filled with cars right away.


This is the purple set with bright orange zippers I originally wanted to use for this blog. It will hold all of these toys!



Now her toys can go with us and are easy to find in the diaper bag. We hook the links to the rickrack loops.