26 June 2010

road trippin....

on the occasion of a new hand-me-down car, plans for a grand adventure have begun and are in full swing! a new road atlas and some great new music are my new best friends! oh i just love summer days- day dreaming and making big plans for the future! i am sooo super excited that i've even begun to organize a cd binder centered around our destinations and am brainstorming all of the little goodies we'll need for the road, including cute outfits!

so, where are we going? mostly a route 66 adventure between my beloved birthplace, Michigan, and my home sweet home, California, set for this October so the colors will be brilliant and the weather unpredictable.

we're working on the details, but i can say our major stops will be something like this:
Michigan (all over to see family), St. Louis and Branson, Missouri, Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2 glorious nights!), and a final stop at the Grand Canyon before heading home! All very adventure packed, on a rather tight schedule I'd imagine. I look forward to hitting the road with my sweetie, finding some strange road side attractions and hopefully a great pair of cowboy boots!

14 June 2010

new website / interview with valiant v

dear bees,
after careful consideration of what was a lovely year and a half of crafting and so forth I am closing the curious bee studio and etsy shop.

merely looking for simplicity in life, i have switched my domain name to jillringler.com, and have begun to re-vamp the site for a more up-to-date version of what i have been up to and where i am headed.

i will have an updated shop on the website and this fall a new series of art to share with you all! i will continue to post current events and announce updates via this blog. so in truth, not much is changing except my website address and the closing of my shop on etsy.

the curious bee lives on as my alias, but not as a formal craft business--cuz that gets complicated and i so need simple in these times--too much to keep up with and new things are on the horizon which will make life even more rich with flavor and consequently time suckage.


on another note, many of you may not know, but my dear friend Ashley (aka valiant v) in London recently posted an interview with me. check it out here. 'twas super fun!

wishing you all happy summer time love,

13 June 2010

homemade shaving cream and more!

at long last, i finally got around to making some deodorant, lip balm and shaving cream. the deo. and lip balm came from angry chicken's mail order #11. a very savvy guide to homemade cosmetics and remedies. while preparing for this i began thinking about other items not in her recipe book, like shaving cream, lotion, and facial masks. The last two I am working on recipes for, but the shaving cream was made and it was oh-so-fun!

i thought i'd share the recipe for those interested in saving oodles of money. i myself have a husband who shaves his head, so needless to say shaving cream is a staple in our house and the natural/organic blends at the store add up quick. so after some research i found a base recipe that i modified to whip up this cream.

equipment: blender, double boiler, medium mixing bowl, container to store it

2 cups hot water
1/2 cup stearic acid (use a vegetable based one like this)
4 tablespoons evening primrose or jojoba oil (canola oil works too)
4 tablespoons grated soap (2 oz)
2 teaspoons borax powder
1/8 teaspoon liquid lecithin (optional - preservative)
1/4 teaspoon vitamin e
10 drops essential oil of your preference (i used atlas cedar, black pepper and patchouli)

  • melt stearic acid and oil together in double boiler, until clear and fully melted
  • add vitamin e and lecithin and stir well
  • in a separate bowl, mix hot water, soap, borax, and essential oil together until powder and soap is fully dissolved
  • pour the soap mixture into a blender and blend 1 minute
  • pour stearic acid mixture into blender
  • blend on high for 2-3 minutes, until a cream forms
  • scoop cream into airtight container, cool and store int he refrigerator
  • mark with date and check after 2 weeks, esp. if not using lecithin
some notes on this:
first about stearic acid... vegetable based is essential to avoid the toxic animal version that is found in most conventional cosmetics. there is a lot of info on the web and most of it is bad and is referring to the animal variety, which is made from animal fats (not a cruelty free method..) my go to source is mountain rose herbs, a wonderfully knowledgeable place for all things organic, sustainable etc.

second, about the lecithin... this is a soy preservative that is usually in a granule form. i was lucky to find a liquid form, which is very easy to use. while it's not essential to use a preservative, i feel a little better knowing that it will not spoil after all this effort. since my homemade concoctions have been limited to cleaning products, i thought better to be safe with the cosmetics.

last, about the method... the blender will create a crazy soap froth on the first blend, when you add the oil mixture it may be difficult to get the lid on without frothy spill-over. i recommend letting the soap settle for a few minutes before adding the oil, but to be sure the oil is fully melted, keep it on the boiler until it's time to add. once you get the lid on and start blending the mixture condenses and will not explode on you--which i was oh-so curious about when making this last night.

it's really rather lovely:)
we made some deodorant and lip balm as well. the lip balm is delightful, although it will melt down to a liquid in the summer heat, so i am avoiding throwing it in my purse! as for the deodorant, it works. i do not stink. my husband is a little underwhelmed by the coco butter smell being most dominant and the combination of this with his essential oil blend, according to him smells a bit like weed. to me it smells like soil, which i find pleasant--but apparently he's not into smelling like a pot head. my blend smells a bit like lavender brownies when you get your nose in there, but otherwise just lavender. i am enjoying it, but will work on some variations in the future that are less coco-buttery.

well, that's a wrap from the ringler lab.