Month: December 2017

Forty: Funky fresh facewipes

 

After a big day (or a late night), the last thing I want to do is wash my makeup off. All I desire is to crawl into bed and sleep (mmmmmm….sleep). Historically, I’ve used make up wipes to deal with my laziness, but as I’ve written before I’m trying to move away from single use items.

I figured that reusable make up wipes could be made at home. After doing some research, I decided to use this method as a guide, making a few adjustments along the way.

Rather than purchasing washcloths (as suggested by the method) I grabbed a pair of flannelette PJs which died an early death (due to a big rip in a location difficult to repair) and tore up a legs worth into 15-20cm squares and overlocked the edges. I then shoved all of these squares (14 in total) into a jar.

Now, for the solution! I mixed together boiled water (to kill any bacteria in the water), witch hazel (an astringent to remove excess oil) as well as some jojoba and vitamin e oils (apparently oil dissolves oil, and my face gets oilyyyy). The method I was following also called for castile soap, but a few other mixtures I read did not include this ingredient. So, cause we didn’t have castile soap on hand, I just omitted it from the mixture!

Once I’d measured out each item and had given it a vigorous stir, I poured it into the jar over the squares I’d prepared earlier. It’s been great on the nights I’ve been feeling lazy to just pluck out a wipe and remove the day from my face! I’ve got a small container in the bathroom which I pop the used wipe in and once they’re all used I’ll put them through the machine with a load of towels.

I’m also considering looking up a method to make body wipes, I’m heading to Nepal in January/February for two weeks as part of my work. There will be a stretch on the trip where the possibility of bathing is unlikely, so it might be wise to take some as a way to keep….ermmm…fresh!

Thirty-Nine: Stress Scarf

I’m pretty darn good at finding wool in op-shops and a few months ago the yarn-gods were kind, bestowing upon me five skeins of 100% New Zealand 8-ply wool in a brilliant shade of red. For some time now, I’ve been wanting a  red scarf/shawl so I knew exactly what I’d be making with my new haul.

When I found the wool, I was about two months out from the major event I run. Event management is a pretty stressful job and through the planning process I have to make sure I have space in my life for stress reducing activities. Crocheting is proving to be my ultimate stress busting activity so the project became known as my ‘stress scarf’ around the lunchroom table (myself and a few of my colleagues will often crochet on our lunch breaks).

I spent quite a while on Ravelry trawling for a shawl and after much deliberation decided to actually pay for a pattern (usually I’m a cheapskate and find free tutorials online). The pattern I chose was a simple design, incorporating pom-poms…so I couldn’t say no! You can check it out here. 

After crocheting for some time, I realised that the pattern was asymmetric. I’m a very symmetrical person so I did not handle this very well…but I was too far into the project to turn back. So I decided to finish the project and if I never wore it to give it away or pull out the whole thing and start with a different pattern. Making the pompoms was great (I might use them on a blanket I’m working on at the moment) and it was great to learn the combination of stitches used to create them. I blocked the shawl to help it sit evenly and wove in the ends.

I finished the shawl ages prior to the conference (I’m not sure if that is an indicator of the stress of the conference or the amount of time I spend crocheting!), but it was too warm to wear it to the actual event itself (in late October). When the weather has permitted, I have worn it and I have to say I enjoy wearing it much more than I expected. The frequency in which I wear the shawl next winter will be the true indicator, but if I’m not a fan the next conference won’t be far away, so I’ll need some stress relief!!!.

 

Thirty-Eight: Beeswax Wraps

If you’ve explored the plastic free world at all, you’ve probably come across beeswax wraps. A replacement for cling wrap, they are made from thin cotton fabric and infused with melted wax to make a pliable, waterproof covering for food. The wax softens with the warmth of your hands and is then flexible and able to be moulded to your bowl.

A few years back I made some beeswax wraps by grating beeswax (which I purchased online from an Apiarist) evenly over fabric squares (all scraps I had lying around at home) and melting it in the oven. The wraps weren’t great, the wax became soft but lacked the cling factor (check out the method I followed here). After some more research I found that including a few other ingredients along with the wax was the trick…jojoba oil for some extra softness and pine rosin (resin from trees!) to add tackiness.

Finding jojoba oil was no problem at all, I ordered it yonks ago when I made deodorant from the same online store. Pine rosin was harder to source! After some research I found that rosin is often used by dancers and gymnasts to create grip on slippery floors. So, I looked up a local dance store in Essendon and to my delight they stocked rosin, so I got to work.

I found that my previous grate, spread, melt procedure meant that the three ingredients didn’t combine, leaving pools of wax, oil and rosin scattered across the fabric. Some googling led me to a method where you used a double boiler to melt and mix the items together, then use an old pastry brush to paint the mixture on, pop in the oven on a tray to even the wax out and then hang up to dry.  And apart from leaving a sticky residue on the bowl which has proven impossible to remove, it worked a treat!

I made fifteen new wraps and even re-waxed the wraps I made a few years ago (they are so much better!). All of the wraps were made from fabric I already had on hand and I’m really happy with the end results. And I’ve got a heap of Christmas gifts ready to go 🙂

Thirty-Seven: Curbside Chairs

Many moons ago I came across a pair of much loved chairs by the side of the road just outside our house. It appeared that someone else had had given up partway through a reupholstering attempt and I thought I would pick up where they had left off.

After quite a while taking up a lot of space in our garage that we didn’t really have to spare an ultimatum was set; either work was to commence or the chairs needed to go. So we began to finish the task of stripping back the chairs in preparation to reupholster.

Partway through, I discovered what I assume was the reason the previous owners halted work on the project; a nasty crack in one of the chairs. But I wasn’t about to give up that easy. So I measured up and set to creating a brace from some leftover hardwood I had lying about from some other long forgotten project.

Meanwhile, Zara had taken the old vinyl covering and made up a paper template for our new upholstery. Using her sewing skills she was quickly able to cut out and sew the top layer to a calico backing for extra durability.

Then life got busy.

But after a hiatus of some more moons work continued. I threw a lot of elbow grease into sanding back the timber before getting a few coats of stain/varnish on, giving the old chairs a fresh breath of life.

Now the end was in sight and we set about powering home. Some heavy duty cotton webbing stapled on, cut the high density foam to shape (tip: foam is the same texture as bread, so use a bread knife to cut it!), then it was time to put everything together. Some more staples on the underside and some nice brass tacks for the top and the chairs were finally complete!

From hard rubbish to comfortable spare chairs.

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