Cocoa Butter Bars & Beeswax Wraps

A combination of recently rather confused weather (from soaring heat to icy hail) and pregnancy stretching me out in all manner of places, my skin is pretty dry at the moment. Reading the latest issue of The Green Parent Magazine I read about families having a go at going zero waste in the home, and one family in particular mentioned using a cocoa butter bar instead of body lotions in plastic bottles. After looking up various recipes I decided to have a go at making my own as I had all the ingredients needed.

My version uses a combination of cocoa butter, beeswax, sweet almond oil and vitamin E oil. It's creamy and easy to apply and just what my skin needs right now. I'm hoping it will hold it's shape because my homemade beauty products have a habit of melting into oily liquids when the summer heat appears. I'd love to get a nice mould to make them in next time.

I also had a go at making beeswax wraps. Like all the sewing I've been doing recently these are another easy way to use up scrap fabric. However, I'm not totally convinced the method I've used has produced decent enough wraps. I melted beeswax, jojoba and almond oil together, then brushed it onto the fabric before placing them in the oven for a few minutes. What seems to have happened is the beeswax has melted completely through the fabric and they don't seem to 'wrap' themselves around anything. I've never used beeswax wraps before and I'm hoping we can incorporate them into our everyday kitchen use. Though I may have to go out and buy a few to compare to my own homemade versions and try another recipe.

Have you made any eco changes in your home recently?


A Creative Sewing Streak

I've been feeling hugely creative recently. I don't have a designated sewing room (yet!) so I keep taking over the dining room table with my fabric and sewing paraphernalia, trying out patterns and making, mainly for baby though not exclusively.

First up some jersey baby leggings. These are sooo cute! I'm always a little afraid of trying out clothes patterns. I have long had dreams of creating a handmade wardrobe for myself but have yet to make any kind of progress because patterns, choosing the right fabrics, and sizing has always put me off. However I'm diving in to the world of handmade baby clothes because they are just too cute! I bought this harem pant pattern from Made By Me Patterns and spent just a couple of hours sewing up my first pair...and I was hooked! They are just too cute and the pattern goes all the way up to 2 years so I'll be sewing them for a while.

With the same fabrics I also made some baby hats with this pattern. Hoping the smallest size fits baby when it's born, they seem quite tiny! But I'm holding back some fabric so can always whip up the next size up if needed.

Next, washable cloths. I used to rely heavily on wipes with my boys when they were young but I'm determined to be more eco friendly this time round. These are so easy to make so I've been making loads. I want to make some bigger ones to use as kitchen towels so will be back to the fabric shop soon for more toweling fabric (any excuse!)

On my crochet hook recently I've had these baby hats. We're not exactly going into the right season for these but they'll be good for Autumn/Winter, and I''m going to add pom poms on top to make them even cuter. Haven't quite mastered different sizing yet, they all seem to end up the same size but that's probably down to the different wool I'm using.

Next on my list I'd love to find a simple romper pattern that would look good in linen or muslin, and I'd love to have a go at making sweatshirts, both for the boys and for myself as I've seen some gorgeous jersey fabric around recently.

Do you have any favourite clothing sewing patterns?

Laying Down Roots

When we bought our house we knew that this was it for us. I wont come out and say that it's our forever home because who knows what the future holds, but for now at least it's where we have decided to stay put and raise our kids, (alongside a few animals,) and this Spring we have laid down some serious roots.

I used to direct a choir but gave this up last year knowing that we wanted to expand our family. As a leaving gift I got given the perfect present, a voucher for a local garden center. We held onto this voucher for more than half a year because we knew exactly what we wanted to get with it...fruit trees. In February we headed off and picked 6 fruitiers, 2 cherries, an apple, a plum and 2 peaches. It took us a while to get round to digging the holes but once we did we had an after school tree planting session with the boys.

Fingers are now crossed that they all make it, that they all thrive in the spot we've chosen for them next to the bamboo. I love the idea of picking our own fruit from the trees and making all sorts of preserves with them. In the meantime we'll have to make do with foraging and what we get given from other people's gardens as per usual.

In other garden news we finished and planted up our strawberry patch. Really hoping we get a good crop of these this year, I've never made strawberry jam before!

Are you growing fruit where you are?
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