Accidental Gelly

I was fooling around with ingredients and hit on an excellent petroleum jelly substitute.

To  make this

You can use a double boiler, if you have one; I find this little quickie bain marie to be most convenient, though you may find other ways to make your own. This is the same procedure as in my hand-made lotion.

Just an old jar lid placed at the bottom of a small saucepan

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And a non-breakable, non flammable, heat-resistant receptacle, such as a pyrex cup, on top (it does not touch the bottom of the pan).  Simmering water comes up about 1/4 – 1/3 up the sides, depending on how much the contents of the cup

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Here’s another one:

You can see my Lip Whip post for more visuals on what this process looks like

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So here’s the recipe

Accidental Gelly – A no-petroleum jelly

This is a very simple recipe, as you see, however it’s very sensitive to amounts of ingredients. For example a fuller teaspoon of wax will yield a noticeably firmer product. It can go from petroleum jelly to a balm. Still good and usable, but not a jelly. Try to level the measurement of wax.

As well it’s also easy to leave a lot of residual oil on the spoon. Castor is very thick, so scrape all of it in. 

It seems a slightly better texture is achieved when making the larger amount (You can give some away;  however it’s not a huge diff —  no biggie 🙂 ).

 Although, making the small amounts help you see how your measuring worked. Any variation yields a jelly you’ll be happy with, I think 🙂

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No-troleum Jelly


1 tsp Carnauba wax (preferred, but candellila works well)

1 TB + 1 tsp Castor Oil

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For a larger amount:

1/4 C Castor* oil

1/2 ounce Candelilla Wax

Instructions:

Place wax in your receptacle.

Place the jar lid/ plate on the bottom of the pan.

Add water to pan. Amount depends on the size/depth of your receptacle: The idea is that it produces enough heat to melt the wax, but you do NOT want so much that it bubbles over and/or splashes into your mixture.

Never put a lid on top of the pan or receptacle to speed melting.

Place the receptacle  on top of the lid/plate (Or arrange on your double boiler as required) so it sits above the bottom of the pan (you don’t want it sitting on the bottom of the pan). Turn on the heat and allow water to boil till wax begins to melt.

Add oil and stir continuously, making sure any remaining wax melts and mixture becomes emulsified. Remove from heat and stir in aloe, if using. Pour immediately into clean receptacle. Allow to cool before use. Store with a snug lid.

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* Castor oil is best for what this recipe is aiming — “petroleum jelly”; I’ve tried lots of other oils and this, hands down, makes the best “Vaseline” substitute.

If you use something else, keep in mind with each change, swap, omission, or addition you are changing the resultant product. Feel free to try out other oils if you wish, however, you’ve been warned 😉

Notes: It has been my experience that a preservative is not needed. Some good ones, just for your info, are grapefruit seed extract, benzoin, vitamin E and rosemary antioxidant (can find at MRH)

Again, any bit of extra changes the texture; so keep that in mind. The exception is a very small amount of aloe vera and doesn’t seem to effect much a detectable change. I cannot tell which of my gellies has it unless I check my label.

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The addition of aloe is also fabulous for a bit of extranourishment and hydration for the lips; however, it’s not necessary. It makes it slightly creamier, but, functionally, it won’t make much difference or feel much different to wear

1 tsp carnauba + (1 TB + 1 tsp Castor Oil) + 1/4 tsp Aloe

This actually comes out the best in my opinion.

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Just stir in the aloe completely.

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Alternate: Olive Oileum!

Don’t have or want to get any castor oil? Don’t want to do the double boil thang? Just like my basic lotion recipe, can use some good-quality olive oil!  It is, however, much different in texture from the castor oil — looser. (I want to say, “greasy,” but that has a negative connotation, doesn’t it?) It melts  —  as soon as it makes contact with skin; so,it’s definitely thinner and more oily. It’s not as thick as “petroleum jelly,” but, perhaps, some may like it. I wouldn’t keep this one in my purse or car, especially Summer.

It’s nice and clean with the olive oil coming through strong (so use a good one!)

Easy to do in the microwave:

My Olive Oileum Gelly

Nice and greeny 🙂

This is an easy, inexpensive, very basic petroleum jelly substitute; you can make in your microwave:

1 TB Olive Oil, good quality, organic, room temperature*

1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp Carnauba or Candellila Wax

Heat  a microwave-safe receptacle (bowl, large pyrex, etc.) with water to boiling in microwave.
In a small, dry bowl, place the wax.
Place the bowl of wax into the water bath, making sure water covers bowl  sides by half (no higher than 2/3 or it will splash into the wax)
Place back in microwave. Let boil @ 30 second. –DO not let water boil over and into the wax

Remove from oven.

Stir gently to facilitate melting.
Return to microwave if not *thoroughly* melted.

Remove from microwave and immediately – gently, while stirring with a spoon (don’t whip) – add room temperature/warmed oil in a  stream, and continuously stir till combined.

Let cool a bit and pour into storage container of choice. Cool thoroughly before sealing.
Note: If the mixture seized and you have little pieces of wax (see photos below), just keep stirring. If still doesn’t dissolve, you must reheat the mixture or the crystalized wax will remain. You can microwave it: Place it back into the microwave in its quasi bain marie and heat at @ 10-second intervals, stirring between, till melted. Of course, generally, you don’t want to microwave your oil, but this is the only way to save it unless you reheat it in a bain marie/double boiler on the stove.
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*Make sure your olive oil is room temp or warm; it will cause the wax to seize and harden on contact if cold. See below

Here is the gelly made with JOJOBA Oil

Did you know -- Jojoba is actually a plant wax? 😉

It came out tinted a nice golden color.

1 tsp candelilla wax or carnauba wax

1 TB + 1 tsp jojoba oil (preferably organic)

This is a good but softer than a “petroleum jelly” gelly. Really nice if youwant the benefits of jojoba. I’ve become fonder of it and like it quite a bit; it is slightly…looser than petroleum jelly. Not quite as loose as using olive oil, but in between (better, in my opinion).

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Below” 😛

Here are some pictures of what mishaps can occur:

Here is what it looks like when it seizes. You get chunks of hardened wax.

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Unlike the above, splashing water in your mixture is not fixable, though, you may find still usable.

Couldn’t get a good a pic of it, but, perhaps you can see the globules of water which will not emulsify:

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When it cools, the water will still be there, sitting on the surface, and can be poured off. As I said, it may still be usable, but it may not be to your liking (mostly texturally).

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Important:

When adding anything to the gelly (such as essential oils), it changes the gelly into a whip. Still great, but not a “Petroleum Jelly” sub. Essential oils have varying, volatile properties, and will alter textures dramatically. Certain ones, for example, would make a cream others a gel…and, some would or wouldn’t, depending on when added (!) or how much.

If you use them, add them when cooled as much as possible before it sets too-too much; you want to preserve the qualities of the essential oils and adding to boiling-hot mixtures kills them. And just know that additions will change the product 🙂

*************** AS ALWAYS ***************

Take caution when using and combining essential oils and consider possible allergic reactions. For example, here is a small list of commonly proclaimed cautions associated with some oils you will find on the internet. Often, I see the warning that Some herbs/essential oils should not be used by pregnant women or children, externally or internally, personally,  I err on the side of caution with those — Use responsibly.
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EXTRA:

Uses for Coconut Oil

Oil risen to the top of coconut butter jar and solidified

Tip: If you buy coconut butter (and after all my ramblings about it, why wouldn’t you? 🙂 )You probably drain the oil off (I drain that sucker till it’s but a bone-dry, thick paste!) Well, let me tell you, that oil is friggin’ expensive! Firstly, it’s organic; it’s pure, and fresh. People pay a lot for that stuff. My whole body ached when I threw it out once — ONCE — never again! So, yea, I’ve got a ton in my freezer, but, trust me, I can find ways to use it! (this is also a good coconut butterI could go on for DAYS about coconut butter! 😀 )

Okay, so some uses: Facial cleanser — Spread over skin and wipe.

If you wear makeup, it is the ultimate makeup remover. No need to rub; the oily oil really just wipes it off. A soft cloth, lightly wiped over your face and neck and you’re good to go. Bonus: It is excellent at removing sunscreen. I despise the thick sunscreensthat coat the face; but they are the better ones. The coconut oil really pulls it off. I remove most of it as soon as I come in from my run; then the shower takes care of any residuals, and the coconut oil.

Use the oil to season your pans.

Use it to condition your cutting boards, too

And of course use it as a moisturizer (just know it’s very greasy so use very little).

You can add a bit to your liquid soaps and have your own moisturizing soap!

I’ve used it to make lip balms, but I really don’t care for it. It’s much better in small amounts used in a recipe, rather than being the dominant ingredient, if you follow me.

Another tip —  To drain the coconut well, place it for a few days upright in a warm location and do not move it. Let the oil rise to the top.  Drain. Then let it sit again for a day. Drain. It should be done by then. I drain it every time I open it, though, because there always seems to be a bit forming at the top (that little bit is no biggie in the long run, really). I always buy two jars and let the one sit, and it is super easy then to drain the second one which has sat undisturbed!

You can also set it upside down and all the oil rises to the top, but will be at the bottom of the jar when you open it :).

The downside: the oil at the bottom will not get drained until you get to the bottom; at which time you’ll have the issue of draining it again. This way works a bit quicker than the alternate.

Coconut butter gets harder the cooler it gets, too, so realize it may be firm but still have a lot of oil in it. In cooler weather, I like to keep it near my dehydrator — upright or upside down — so it’s slightly warm and all the oil seeps out of the pulp, pooling at the top.

Any other uses for coconut oil to share? I know there are many more 🙂

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Some Knitting…

My ETL fingerless gloves 😉

New gloves pics up the gallery 😀

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This is a simple sweater I’m working on.

I *Love* this yarn; it’s bamboo-cotton, called “Terra” from SWTC, home to some fantastic vegan yarns — “Jasper.”

Here is another great color I bought previously; I made a hat out of this gorgeous color — “Amber”…

I have to really emphasize that pictures of this yarn do not do it justice! It’s different when you see it live. It’s also different, as you imagine, when knitted. It has a gorgeous drape without being heavy. It’s stunning yarn. It makes even the most simple patterns look much, much nicer. Not too-too expensive, but worth every cent!

Oh, and bonus: No fussy skein! There is no fooling with it trying to find the proper end, no tangling, knotting, twisting. You just start knitting. I love that; It baffles me why all yarns don’t come ready to go like these :/

The “Onyx” is one of my favorites.

Again, pics are unjust! This produces a beautiful black fabric.

I bought these from one of my favorite yarn stores, YarnMarket; My other favorite (they have fantastic sales!) is WEBS. I like Knit Picks yarns (their needles more), but they don’t have as wide a variety for vegans; but what they do have is pretty good and very inexpensive — and that’s always good 😀

I need to do a post on the vegan yarns I’ve used. The availability of good-quality AND colors, and oh, the variety — of vegan yarns nowadays is just fantastic (same for fabric). Five years ago it was fairly limited; now there are so many to choose, you won’t miss sticky ol’ animal hair (*ick*) one bit  ;^).

Besides…

WEAR YOUR OWN HAIR! 😛

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Strix

Deodorant Recipe


My New Fave Formula


Beautiful nourishing Calendula Flowers, dried and organic from Mountain Rose Herbs

I love my current, new favorite deodorant recipe!  It is very floral, and it grows stronger in scent as the days pass, becoming sweeter and more beautiful (as it “ripens” in the bottle). It is fragrant, but dissipates to a pleasing light scent, which actually lasts all day; So it does not obnoxiously, overpower and have that horrible perfume odor. My current favorite! AND, it actually works: summer days, all day long, I’m good to go. (By the way, nothing in this would prevent  using it as a light fragrance/body spray, if you wish!)

My Summer Whimsy Deodorant

1/4 C Calendula Hydrosol or Calendula water (Or you can use your favorite, if you wish; I made my own calendula water concentrate, so it is nice and fragrant. Alternatively, add some Calendula ESSENTIAL oil, which is a rare find , but, if you have it, awesome.)

1/4 C good-quality Witch Hazel

1 tsp Vodka, preferably organic, if available (see note)

10d Jasmine Essential Oil

8d Bergamot Essential Oil

5d Geranium-Rose Essential Oil

4d Lavender Essential Oil

3d Black Pepper Essential Oil

2d Lemon Essential Oil

3d Benzoin Resin Oil

Combine Witchypoo, Calendula water, vodka and benzoin.

Shake.

Add essential oils, drop by drop, swirling after each oil.

Shake well, and pour into 4-ounce glass* bottle with a Mister top.

Shake well before using. Can be used right away.

Enjoy it!

Notes:

I use about 4 sprays per underarm most days and winter; summer or humid days, I go 6.

* Please store your handmade products in glass bottles, especially when using essential oils.

**Always know your ingredients: Check for sensitivity, for example, or do not use products which will cause you an allergic reaction. Some oils should not be used by pregnant women, for example — Use responsibly.

*Note on Vodka: Square One organic Vodka is what I use to render various formulas. I have seen this at only a few regular liquor stores, but it is stocked at BevMo stores, if you have one near you. It may be elsewhere, too.

Also — again — keep in mind that many alcohols are made with grain, and, just like many vinegars, the grain is not listed. Corn is a big one, as well as wheat. So, if you have an allergy to or a sensitivity to any grain at all, please take the time to find out what type of grain is the base for your vinegars, flavorings/extracts, tinctures and alcohols. Many people think have allergic reactions to food and think it is a vegetable or other item in their food and the culprit is actually the vinegar. The Square One is made from rye, for example, so it would be unsuitable for those with a wheat allergy; however, it may be worth a taste test, as everyone has sensitivities and allergies to varying degrees.

The Spectrum, organic, white, for example, lists rye and corn in their ingredients, which is rare, but definitely welcome.

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You can make your own floral waters, using organic, fresh flowers by steeping (petals only) for a few hours in hot water, or with good-quality dried organic flowers.

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Dried Rose Petals, MRH

For longer storage, I freeze and use as needed — very convenient!

Dried Calendula Flowers

Calendula water concentrate, frozen

Poxacuatl

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The interpretation, usage and/or execution of any of the above information is the sole responsibility of the reader; none of the content in this post or this blog is intended to, or claims to treat, prevent, or cure any condition and is for informational purposes only. Take care and inform yourself. Also mind any medications you take and consult your physician as to what is or what is not safe to use with them, topically or internally.

Boxers Or Briefs? And, Where O Where Did My Sew Mojo Go?!

Oh, where, O’ where can it beeeeeeeee?

Yes, that age-old question: Boxers or briefs? 🙂

For me, it’s always been boxers. Can’t tell ya why. “They say” it’s a father thang; could be. I’ll buy that. It could also be that the memory of diaper doolittle dan panties are fossilized in the memory 😉 Ahh, yes, Hot Wheels :Shudder:

Classic, vintage Boxers: These were a #%/4/1*!)!!  to make, I’ll tell ya; but, like anything, the effort  you put in will yield what  you get out. This pattern worked me, that’s for sure.

Five-panel construction means loads of seams — one my favorite things 😉

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I just love seams. Here, I did flat felled:

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Yes, I like the fussy. I like the detail, and mostly, I adore the results and satisfaction. I expect to get out what I put in, and I rarely disappoint myself 🙂

I also practice. I  need to practice to learn it. That takes time, that takes DOING IT, and it takes doing it right. Sound like one of my familiar rants? 😉 Yes, nutritional excellence requires it!

“Follow directions, Strix…”

In fact, one of my greatest life lessons –I guess, it is — was what one fabulous teacher used to say: “When all else fails, follow directions” 😀 Ridiculously simple, right?

Hm… Ms. Willard:  Algebra; Funny lady; brainy, eccentric, uber-sarcastic, and witty as heck. Loved her…But, not being a numbers person, I had no choice but to “follow directions.” Mm. Served me well, I must say. If I got nothing else from mathematics, I got that; and that’s BIG. It affects so many aspects of life, really.

Okay, back to boxers :^) These are vintage boxers. Old school! You don’t see these in stores much (if at all). Do you remember them? The five-panel construction is classic. The open placket too.

And by the second pair, I was HOOKED. I love making these now, but, geesh, I’ve run out of men in my life who need boxers!!

I made several of these for gifts (men seem to love getting these), here are some pictures.

*These are the first ones I made, LOADED with mistakes! Still came out pretty good, though. Made from scrap flannel fabric (I’m smart enough to do muslins and practice runs!)

The following two were NOT given as gifts! They were my practice shorts — and I sure needed it.


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The back view. Not too shabby 🙂

…and, actually wearable …

These butterfly boxers, flannel also, were much better, but still had mistakes.

*Back view:

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*By t he third go, I had it down! Even personalized with initials tag 😀

*worked out all the kinks

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Back side:

*This 100% cotton is perfect for comfy cool boxers. And these were prime for gifting 🙂

*Inside 😀

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Oh, and,  yes, that is nursery rhyme toile 😉

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*One of my favorite nursery rhymes

*Too fab;I just had to make myself some jammies…check out my drawstrings! (By the way, anyone notice the error on these? 😉 )

*By far, the most difficult part of the boxers was the placket. After doing as directed, I concluded it had to be and fooled with slightly; I think it  needs it.

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*You can see here how potentially weak that join section can be!


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Actually, maybe it was the crotch section. Yep, I’m a pinster. It really needs it, though. Tough area!

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That really needed altering. Done to pattern, it’s a weak construction, in my opinion, in an area which needs reinforcement. So, I did so, and these are sure to last a long time.

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Quite fussy, but worth it, right? 😉

Back view:

The pattern was not so easy to figure out, but once I “got it,” it was smooth sailing — but still a ton of work.

Maybe the hardest part was pressing the finished product! I  never underestimate the power of pressing, by the way: it is essential to the actual process of sewing (not just the pressing when it’s done). It *will* affect the quality of the finished project.

Lucky for me I love pressing. Hard to believe, I know, but I enjoy all the steps involved leading up to actually sitting down at my machine! That’s the pay off; but the joy is in the creating.

I actually took LOADS of photos of the process so I could refer back to them  when making these again. These were made last summer around this time, actually.  I just want to have it documented just in case I can’t recall a procedure  when I come back to this pattern, which I’ll be doing soon.

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And, of course, I had to make some for me 😉

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Yes, lacy trim and all 😀

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I had to hand-sew this on

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I used a lingerie elastic…

which I think came out great for these — super comfy


Ah, pins again…

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And, I love hook-and-eye closures…

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*I decided I didn’t need a functional placket 😉 But I did a  faux one for looks.

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almost fini 🙂

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I don’t have a picture of these completely finished  and I did make more boxers than pictured here! 😉 These came out nice and comfy — on the loose and airy side, but who wants tight boxers??!

My sew mojo took a backseat to knitting this past winter…

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*Oh, lots o’stuff!

More on knitting projects (and some hand-sewing) soon!

Sew, while my so’ing has been on hold, for the most part, it’s on it’s way back ;D

OKAY, Sooooooooo…what say you?

Boxers? or briefs?! 😉

Strix

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Sesame Butter/Tahini Redux…

I tried making tahini with unhulled sesame seeds in my 2007 VitaMix. Disaster. I literally spent 46 minutes — yes, I timed it — trying to get it to work, continually scraping and blending, etc.

Here are some pictures on how to easier identify hulled from unhulled:

white-hulled-sesame-seeds_ (12) - Copy

“hulled,” “shelled,” white sesame seeds

Brown_sesame-seeds_unhulled_soaked - Copy

“unhulled”, “unshelled,” “whole” “brown” sesame seeds

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white-hulled-sesame-seeds_ (8)Hulled sesame seeds have their outer shells removed. They are sometimes referred to as just sesame seeds or as “white” sesame seeds. This makes the smoothest butter, or “tahini,” and is what is most often found creamed, jarred in stores.

sesame-seeds_quarter-cup (3)Unhulled sesame seeds maintain their shells. Referred to as “brown” sesame seeds or “whole” sesame seeds. More nutritious than white, they also carry a bit of bitterness from their shells. Rinsing and draining alleviates much of that tannic flavor.

The third type of sesame, is the beautiful black

Black-Sesame-Seeds_quarterC (6) - Copy

Black sesame is the most nutritious of the three. It tastes slightly different; some think it’s stronger.

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tahini_homeprepared_white-sesame

Hulled sesame butter is easy peasy and is actually done quite easily in a food processor, as I demonstrated previously. Above, you see it makes a nice thick butter. The easy flowing tahinis you find in stores have oil added.

Unhulled, with the VitaMix, proved more difficult (The following were unhulled, soaked, with and without added water):

tahini-Brown_fini (3)

This is actually not too bad even with quite a bit of texture; but it still has a lot of whole seeds.

Even tried with unhulled black sesame seeds (VitaMix):

black-sesame-scrape-blender (6)

Tried with my dependable Blendtec…

black_4

Nope…

black_12

Still lots of whole seeds that  just don’t want to blend!

However, the good news is, it’s not really so big a deal to have some texture,  depending on your recipe. You can still use these chunky butters! If, for example, you are making a dressing or hummous, it will blend up quite nicely with the other ingredients, and it seems to lose its texture. I made a  dressing with it and it came out smooth.  But this shows why the nut and seed butters in stores contain added oil — though they do not have to list it as an ingredient — they need it to get that creamy smooth texture. It’s a similar process with my precious, beloved 🙂  coconut BUTTER (It is not oil  though Artisana says they do not add oil to theirs),  oil is added to coconut and other butters in order to cream them because some are VERY, VERY fibrous; and it is impossible to get a creamy emulsion  simply blending  (confirmed via email on several brands, despite how the advertising “sounds”) I’d like to try, however, in my juicer sometime…hmmm…:)

Next, I decided, against the odds, to give the processor a try

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No go 😦

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~ My recommendation is to not add water or liquids to any, which includes not using wet, soaked seeds ~

The water diminishes the flavor and, in my opinion, does something…well, weird 😉 to the texture.

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Okay, now here’s the zinger —

Tribest_personal-blender (3)

My little Personal Blender did a better job!

Check it out…

Results for unsoaked, unhulled dry brown sesame seeds…

brown-sesame_tahini_sm-blender_no-soak_fini (3)

Pretty darn good! Whoa, much better than the power blenders. No whole seeds left in just a few minutes of blending!

Of course, it makes small amounts only. This is actually better, in my opinion, because it’s not good to keep buttered seeds and nuts stored for long periods anyway. This way, you can make and use small amounts and not have to pay high prices for a large jar, when you only really need small amounts.

The Personal Blender, aka “Tribest Personal Blender” is similar to a “Magic Bullet” and other such small blenders. They are even less powerful than some coffee grinders! If you have such a blender or small  grinder give it a try.

flat-blade_blender~ Be sure to use the flat blade for buttering. ~

Now, don’t expect it to be exactly creamy smooth  like the storebought UNLESS you add oil. And, really, unhulled seeds are, naturally never going to render as smooth as hulled because they have all their fiber in the stead of more seed and oil. Even my store-bought black tahini isn’t completely smooth, and, in fact, one manufacturer even states that because it is unhulled, it is not as smooth (can’t recall which brand that was).

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NOW, I don’t particularly like the idea of not pre-soaking because there is the bitterness in the brown sesame hulls, which some don’t like (and which may contribute to inadequate absorption of its nutrients). So I thought I’d try soaking and sprouting to see if this improved the small blender tahini texturally and flavorwise.

The good news about sprouting sesame is that it takes only a few hours of soaking! SproutPeople instructs as short as 2 hours and up to 8. Since they are small, you don’t want to drown them ;). They also say that just the soak and allowing them to dry is enough to remove the enzyme inhibitors, meaning you don’t have to do the rinse, drain, rinse drain over days to get increased nutrition and remove most of the bitterness, and if you don’t want to sprout them. I decided to soak for 4 hours and sprout them at least a full day, then let them dry. (Note: white, hulled sesame seeds cannot be sprouted)

So it went like so:

Soak for 4 hours.

Drain, rinse; spread onto cheesecloth or other sprouting surface to sprout. Be sure if your surface  has holes such as a mesh, they are not too large that the tiny sesame seeds fall through! You’ll be very frustrated (and curse me!) if you lose them all on the floor 🙂

Rinse and drain as needed (depending on environmental/weather conditions) 2-4 or more hours till bedtime.

Just sprout until you see a tiny tail emerge or a small bud. They get bitter very quickly; so the smaller the sprout the better.

Let them dry out, and use right away, or store in the refrigerator and use within a couple days. You can also thoroughly dry them with a dehydrator and keep for long storage. I’d probably leave them in the fridge or freezer, but if *completely* dry can be kept in a cool, dry place.

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Rinse

sesame_unhulled_rinse (2)

Soak for 4 hours…

sesame_unhulled_soak (3)

Drain

sesame-unhulled_drain

Then rinse well again.  Final drain….

Brown_sesame-seeds_unhulled_soaked (19)

Spread out to sprout for 24 hours or till tiny sprouts or buds appear…

Sesame_sprouts

Here’s a closeup…

Sesame_sprouts (9)

Cutie little sprouts! 😀

Same for the Black…

Rinse

black-sesame_rinse (2)

Soak

black_sesame_1-C_soak (5)

Drain

black-sesame_drain (3)

Lay out to sprout –here I used cheesecloth:

Black-Sesame_soaked_sprout_cheesecloth (3)

Rinse

black-Sesame_sprout_rinse_cheesecloth (2)

Sprout…

Black-sesame-seed_sprouts (4)

closer look :D…

Black-sesame-seed_sprouts (9)

Black Beauties!

Dry

After that final rinse, they should be left to dry out before blending or before storing.

If you wish to speed up drying after the last rinse, then you can put them outside (make sure it’s not windy!), covered, or in a place with good air flow. I like to dry my sprouted seeds in the dehydrator at a very low temp — like 80- to 90-degrees — which is just quicker and more convenient.

Okey Dokey, now they’re ready! Let’s see what happens…

Into the small blender with the flat blade go they…

Blend ‘er up…

Couple a scrape downs…

and…

unhulled-sesame_sprouted_fini

Excellent! Within seconds, all the seeds are blended. They seem to have benefited from the sprouting process, as well: The taste was better, having rinsed and sprouted off the bitterness.

Only stones left unturned — I tell ya, this has been a pain! — now are, one, to try large batch of sprouted and dried seeds in the power blenders, and, two, giving the power juicer a whirl.

So here again are the keys to good-tasting, creamier unhulled sesame butter or tahini:

unhulled-sesame_sprouted_fini (2)

Organic, fresh whole unhulled seeds

Rinsing

Soaking

Sprouting*

Drying, thoroughly

Creaming in small batches

Using a small blender with the flat blade

*If you don’t want to sprout, it will still work (as I demonstrated above), following all the other steps, but will render a more “toothy,” textured butter: It will not leave any whole seeds.

There you go. Mystery solved 🙂 The rinky-dink little blender out performs the power blenders! Enjoy your hulled white OR unhulled, brown, or black, home-prepared sesame butters and tahinis!

Strix

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BeStitched!

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Okay, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve sewn 😦 😦 😦 Way too many  months since this stitch witch has sewn a darned thing! 😦 Since I moved, nada — unless you count hand sewing one of Noodles’ suits that he chewed up. And, of course, me being me, I’ve got a backup of “must makes,” complete with patterns galore awaiting me!

For summer, of course, I want simple, quick stuff, though 🙂 I’m very into summer dresses, but have a hard time finding patterns I like, much less the proper sizes — double UGH!…AND, finding perfect fits in stores is really, really hard for me…I seriously need a class on pattern adjustment! Or better — pattern making. Hmmm…maybe I should do that this summer. Time, time…

Funny thing is, I have no “expertise” altering patterns — honestly, I’d be afraid to say that I know how! It’s so tricky — and yet, I adjust stuff I make all the time…haha. Not that it’s done “properly”… Oh, to be a pro! 😀

Anywho, so many styles, so little time! Here are a few I’m liking this year; you’ll see a definite theme…

First, this one isn’t a favorite dress, really; what I like is the sleeves and bodice…okay, I know…let’s see…okay, what I don’t like is — something about the collar…not sure! But there’s something I love about this dress; yet something that bothers me. Maybe it’s the cross over??? Probably a “No” after all 😉

Botanique Dress

Botanique Dress

Cute shoes, though!

Okay, next…

I LOVE this dress  AND I love the fabric! Love that blue — more at indigo; reminds me of the blue and white porcelain, famously attributed to the Ming Dynasty. Interestingly, it actually originates from the Middle East.

Personally, I prefer this gorgeous Japanese porcelain. That little hibachi costs over $400. Ha! Okay, off track again 😀

Back to the dresses:

Three In One Dress

Three In One Dress

It’s called 3-In-1, though it’s only 2. I think it’s adorable, but elegant. Could I wear it? I think so. I do like the length. I think it could go with some (nice) sandals or heels. Would love to find a pattern! This one doesn’t look difficult to make, actually…it’s the friggin fabric that would send me high-tailing it on my broom! That fabric is tough to work, lemme tell ya. Anything slippery is gonna work ya  — ya las’ nerve, that is!

Speaking of fabric, lol,

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this is one I’ve had for a while, just sittin’! It looks quite a bit like the pattern on the dress! The fabric, however, is thick, too heavy, and not conducive to such a dress.  I love it, though, but still haven’t come up with the perfect use for it…I don’t want to “waste” it (roll eyes). Initially, I liked it for an apron; but then when I realized I need(ed) a new sewing machine cover, I thought that would be nice…Hmmm….what do you think? Apron vs machine cover? Help me out, Folks!

Next one, I LOVE. I am thinking this will take me through Autumn! Top it with a nice sweater or jacket, and appropriate footwear…yeah…

Beaute Du Jour

Beaute Du Jour

Since my favorite colors are Autumnal, I just love this fabric print too. Really like this type of sleeve. Interestingly, normally, I despise ties/bows or scarf-like, around-the-neck-area stuff; but it works for me here. This one, though — speaking of work — will totally work me! That piping…eeGADS…and the flimsy-ish fabric…uhhhhm…I dunno, Folks. Can I do it?!!??! I’d love to make it! Maybe I should just buy it, haha. Def, my favorite.

This is called a jeans dress, but it’s a soft denim…

Tencel Blue Jeans Dress

Tencel Blue Jeans Dress

Not really a fave; but I love the simplicity and comfy-ness of this type of dress. This is the kind you literally throw on with some sandals and go. No adornments, no belts, accessories, etc. Good for lounging on the patio or just puttering 🙂 Easy to make too! Varying the length would be nice.

Lastly, I like this as well. The colors are great; but not my favorite print…

 	 Marrakesh Cotton Dress

Marrakesh Cotton Dress

I like that it’s cotton; but other fabrics could work very nicely. (Cute sandals!) Another one not so easy…for moi. Would be a lot of work for me…I think. I could use the practice on the skirt, though! I do buy patterns for that reason, actually — simply for practice!

Okay, next, I am going to attempt — ATTEMPT, mind you 😀 — to make a swim suit…yes, it must be emphasized. I don’t imagine I’ll be wearing it! I’ve never made a swimsuit, and working with spandex doesn’t inspire confidence! But, how else to learn? 😀

Here are some suits I like, for various reasons:

Charlotte, by Shan, 2008 Collection

Charlotte, by Shan, 2008 Collection

Like the coverage! Haha. I’m not big on my butt hanging out — in fact, I prefer nothing “hang” at all! I like full coverage; I like to be comfortable, and not constantly worrying about how “stuff” looks or how, with each step, each movement, I’ve got to adjust, pull, or fix  something. You know the deal. I don’t wanna think about it, you know?

Next –no, I do not like a bikini for me 🙂 What I do like is the top….

Papillon, by Tissage 2009

Papillon, by Tissage 2009

It looks secure and has good coverage; so comfy. I also happen to really like straps that tie around the neck; they seem to look best on me, I think; I like them for dresses too. A pattern for this type shouldn’t be hard to find.

Now this is totally cute!

Euphoria Martini by Tara Grinna 2009

Euphoria Martini by Tara Grinna 2009

I’d love this: I would, however, prefer a small boy short :).

And speaking of shorts…

Blue Skipping Stones by Swim Systems 2009

Blue Skipping Stones by Swim Systems 2009

I’d wear this in a heartbeat! No altering needed…well, maybe a little nip-tuck on the V-neck area 😉 Or rather, maybe a little stretch-widen…yeah. Lol. Love the shorter top to show off the cutie shorts. I’ve seen similar patterns for blouses like this. Would be cute as a non-swimsuit: just pick some nice easy-breezy cool fabric. Nice!

I like this one, buuuuuut…

Jet Set by Asha DeMarco

Jet Set by Asha DeMarco

Something about it is a turn-off…Certainly, I do not like the colors…but there’s something else…Okay, I do like the top/straps; like the one-piece; the bottom’s not bad…I think it’s the cut of the center/sides ?? No, I like that…I think. Hmmm…maybe it’s the pattern, too? Or and/or colors. I’d like to see this suit in a different color, same pattern; a different pattern; and in a solid as well.

This one is also nice…

Sea Club by Lidea 2009

Sea Club by Lidea 2009

…but I have to admit the color is a big influence :D. I love oranges and orange hues. I prefer the shorts style of the Blue Skipping Stones suit above; though, this would be okay. The little tie works here.

And then of course a good cover! I really like this tunic:

Good Karma by OndadeMar 2009

Good Karma by OndadeMar 2009

VERY cute! There are so many nice tunics. I like long ones, too. The one above is nice with the embroidery embellished fabric. Very cute and probably not too diffucult. This would be a fun one to make. Lots of fabrics to go crazy and make a ton! Would be cute as gifts, too. I could (and have) wear this with some boy-style shorts and be good 🙂 Definitely comfortable and no need to feel self-conscious in tunics.

Of course, a cool top and good pair ‘o’ shorts is always reliable! Slap on some sandals and I’m good to go.

Okay, so now I have to get to the fabric store and start lookin’! I hate purchasing patterns online. I’m sure I could find something in-store. Then it’s on to finding vegan, and as-earth-friendly fabric as possible that I like…daunting, but doable: there are actually more and more earth-friendly and organic fabrics coming to market — yay! Gotta dig, though.

Oh, did I mention I still haven’t gotten my sewing room completely unpacked and organized? whistle
ACKkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Time, time….

Okay, so what are you wearing this season, with your new ETL-Nutritarian bod? 😉 Please share!

Ahh…eating well has so many benefits! Eat your heart out Valerie Bertinelli! Who  needs Jenny Craig frankenfoods??!!

Strix

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Garden Blossom Perfume, and Pixie Dust…

Lavender (42)

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This was inspired by my love of the scent of — can you love a scent? Okay, my extreme like of – the scent of grapefruit essential oil; but I have never been too fond of lavender. I used to really dislike it, but have come to appreciate its uses with a delicate hand.

I have also come to adore chamomile essential oil. Just hearing about it didn’t thrill me: I thought of cheap chamomile tea, which, from tea bags, dried, ground, and packed who-knows-when doesn’t exactly send me. However, having made chamomile from fresh flowers…Oh, yes, TOtally different taste, fragrance, and experience; so, I had an inkling the e.o. may be different when concentrated. So I tried it. Since then, I have used the essence of chamomile with great success in lotions and personal products, and it is one of my absolute favorites now :). It seems you can rarely go wrong with it. Following is a very simple but lovely combination.

Garden Blossom Perfume:

Organic ingredients are preferable.

Combine:

18d Grapefruit Essential Oil

10d Chamomile (R.) Essential Oil

Allow to ripen 1 week, shaking gently, daily.

Then add:

60d Jojoba Oil, (or other unscented oil, such as avocado, almond, or grapeseed).

Shake gently.

Makes about 1 tsp perfume

Variation: Add 1d Lavender Essential Oil

*~*

Ginger_blue-ring_sliced (27)


Since I liked the the above fragrance, I decided to build on it. I started this about 1 1/2 months ago as well, and it’s perfect now 🙂

My internet friend inspired the inclusion of ginger; so this is named after her: So, to Picks, who I hope is feeling better and getting stronger each day!

Purple-Flower (9)

Kelleen’s Garden:

18d Grapefruit Essential Oil

10d Chamomile (R) Essential Oil

Let ripen 1 week

Then add:

3d Ginger Essential Oil

1d Jasmine Essential Oil

1d Lavender Essential Oil

Ripen 1 week (at least), gently shaking daily.

Add

60d Jojoba Oil(or other unscented carrier oil) for perfume.

Store in glass; plastic absorbs and interferes with essential oils.

Makes @ 1 tsp.

Alternate: Use the essential oil mixture(sans the carrier oil) in body spritzer below

Or use to make Pixie Dust Take III 😉

This was actually somewhat of an accident: I did not mean to  add Lavender; instead, I accidentally picked it up when reaching for something else. I did not like the fragrance at first; however, after ripening,  fell for it :D. This is a testament to the need for “ripening” of hand-made products. This actually smells better the longer it sits — meaning, this smells better now at the over 1-month mark than it did at 2 weeks.

Ginger is very difficult to work with, I found! Lots of misses; few hits. It needs to be used lightly; it’s quite strong. However, I’m already thinking of a ginger fragrance for Autumn and Winter, for which I think it is well suited 🙂

.

~***~

My favorite dusting powder is made with Amber, my absolute, hands-down favorite all-time fragrance — and color! I just adore it. I use my Amber powder regularly, as well as an amber fragrance. But, change is good 😉

So, here is another ginger inspired recipe. This is a much more personal preference recipe — mine, of course, ha!; Fragrance appreciation is such an individual thing 😉



sparkling_twinkling_magicPixie Dustsparkling_twinkling_magic


Or should that be “Picksie Dust”?? 😉

Cornstarch, Arrowroot, Kuzu, and Tapioca Starch can be used interchangeably.

~

1/2 C White Rice Flour/Starch*

2 TB Orris Root Powder

1/2 C + 2 TB Tapioca Starch

10d Chamomile Essential Oil (R.)

1d Jasmine Essential Oil

2d Ginger Essential Oil

Instruction:

Combine powders.

Add the chamomile and whisk well.

Add the Jasmine and whisk well

Add the Ginger and whisk well.

Place in a glass receptacle, cover tightly, and allow to ripen 1  week, shaking daily. (Or, place in a container with powder puff or a shaker powder container)

Shake gently before each use.

***

Pixie Dust, Take II 😉

1 C Cornstarch

1/4 C White Rice Flour/Starch*

9d Grapefruit Essential Oil

4d Myrrh Essential Oil

2d Ginger Essential Oil

3d Chamomile Essential Oil (R.)

1d Lavender Essential oil

Instruction:Combine Powders.

Add Grapefruit Essential Oil; whisk well.

Add Myrrh Essential Oil; whisk well.

Add Ginger Essential Oil; whisk well.

Add Chamomile Essential Oil; whisk well.

Add Lavender Essential Oil; whisk well.

Place in a glass receptacle, cover tightly, and allow to ripen 1  week, shaking daily. (Or, place in a container with powder puff or a shaker powder container)

Shake gently before each use.

*NOTE: White rice flour is encouraged because it has a little graininess which is desirable to disperse the starches more efficiently. Otherwise, it becomes very “dusty,” and concentrated and not easy to apply. An alternative would be finely ground oats; but it’s not quite as fine as rice.

*

*** ~ ***

LUSHS Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

LUSH'S Silky Underwear Dusting Powder - Lushusa.com

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Bonus Recipe: My “Silky” Sub

A Faux “Silky Underwear Dusting Powder” 😀

This is a copycat of Lush’s, luscious 😉 “Silky Underwear Dusting Powder” — hated the name; but fell for the scent! So I did my best to recreate it 😀

(LUSH – has some nice products — loaded with vegan goodies;  vegan-marked for convenience, as well!)

1/2 C Cornstarch

1/2 TB Oat Flour, finely ground, or white rice flour

3d Jasmine  Essential Oil

1d Vetiver (“Vetivert”) Essential Oil

* Rub in a small amount of fragrant raw, virgin Coconut Oil OR raw Cacao butter (fragrant)

Instruction:

Combine powders.

Add Jasmine Essential Oil; whisk well.

Add Vetiver Essential Oil; whisk well.

Add Coconut Oil/Cacao butter,* melted; whisk well.

Place in a glass receptacle, (or container with powder puff or a shaker  powder container) cover tightly, and allow to ripen 1  week, shaking daily.

Shake gently before each use.

*You can use good-quality, raw, virgin coconut oil (the fragrant kind) or raw (fragrant) cacao butter– either works nicely. As well, a cocoa butter — again, fragrant — would work. Melt gently;Disperse throughout. Start with a teaspoon or so.

You can also leave this out; it’s still fabulous :). But do try to include it. The vetiver — which is *extremely* potent, will be a bit stronger.

**

Easy Body Spritzer General Recipe (adapted from Herb Companion magazine):

1 C Water, Distilled

10d Essential Oil of choice, or combination (or more, to preference)

Shake well and decant into a bottle affixed with a spritzer top.

Shake well before each use.

*

Enjoy :^)

Strix

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