I have made a few coconut oil-based deodorants from scratch in the past but I was disappointed that they turned into a runny mess the moment that the temperature rose above 72 degrees Fahrenheit. While in Los Angeles I found a sample of Fat + The Moon Deodorant Cream at ReForm School and realized that the key ingredient for solidifying the deodorant is beeswax.
I found the perfect, beeswax + coconut oil based deodorant recipe on a blog called Becoming Peculiar. I asked my two nieces, Dara + Keira, and my friend Renee to test out the recipe with me this past weekend. We spent Sunday morning making unique, herbal blends of deodorant and even designed our own labels so that we could give some of the jars away as gifts. This was a great project to work on together, especially because it drives home the power you have within your own kitchen to make clean, healthy alternatives for body care.
The homemade deodorant recipe and some photos from our day are below. As an added bonus, the essential oils that you use in your recipe will fill the kitchen with their delightful scent while you’re heating the batch.
Recipe for Homemade Deodorant
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or corn starch, but arrowroot starch is nice if you have sensitive skin)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp grated beeswax
- 5 drops tea tree oil (*essential ingredient due to its antibacterial properties)
- 5 drops of some other essential oil (i.e. bergamot, clary sage, grapefruit, etc.)
Begin by melting coconut oil and beeswax together over a double boiler. Rest a heatproof bowl inside a small saucepan of water and heat it gently, stirring constantly, until the beeswax and coconut oil are melted.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir it all together into a runny paste. Pour the deodorant into two 2 oz. jars (alternately you can also use an empty deodorant container). The mixture will begin to thicken right away so you’ll need to work quickly. Allow the open jars of deodorant to cool to room temperature.
When the deodorant has fully cooled, secure the lids and make pretty labels for your jars.
Give one away as a gift and keep one for yourself.
To use: Warm a bit in your fingers and apply to your pits.
I am a huge fan of Jill Bliss. For those of you who are not familiar with this lovely lady, she is a professional artist & designer, and in her own words she is also an “amateur photographer/ homesteader/ explorer living simply within the nature of the Pacific NW Islands.” She is an all around top-notch lady! I purchased a Jill Bliss notebook years ago and have slowly been filling the pages with doodles, to do lists, recipes, and other ramblings. Despite that I use the notebook as a productivity tool, it lay dormant for an unknown amount of time tucked under a miscellaneous pile.
After a particularly rough week I turned to what always makes me feel better- exercise. I reached for the Jill Bliss notebook because I remembered that I jotted down a series of yoga stretches each accompanied by its own stick figure drawing. After flipping through the pages I realized that even when I manage to fill every page in this notebook I will keep and cherish it for years to come. I love the way that Jill’s delicate drawings interact with my doodles and endless lists. The notebook is a way of recording small wins, losses, or ideas that might otherwise slip through my memory and Jill’s illustrations add value and whimsy to each page.
Jill, thank you for sharing your talent and helping others unlock, understand, and celebrate their potential.
I’m deeply saddened by the departure of a co-worker friend. Today was the first day that I did not have her by my side at work. I miss her support, her laughter and her impeccable eye for detail. I saw that her name tag was still up, her cube empty, and I felt hollow inside. I was tempted to take her name tag but the facilities personnel would probably discover me clinging to it desperately. Her departure leaves an empty space and I honestly felt like crying today at work. At least she is moving on to an exciting opportunity and I’m very proud of her! It’s amazing how having someone that you click with can make the toughest work load seem light. Not too long ago we took a moment to escape from a hectic-microsoft-excel-overdosed-day and enjoyed the view of a double rainbow outside our office.
On another day she left a banana sitting out on her desk and I drew a sweet little face on it to greet her when she arrived. She snapped this photo below.
And she also helped rekindle a favorite hobby of mine- making burlesque-esque costumes! She asked for some assistance with a Halloween costume that she knew she wanted to wear again, but it needed a few more finishing touches. Here are some shots of her Katy Perry-esque bra (I sewed and glued on the furry “icing” with some remnant fabric). We could not stop giggling when we saw this costume come to life. I want to make more of these and I’m thankful that she rekindled my passion for this craft. Thank you AEL!
Recently I also came across some photos that another friend posted on a social network site of some burlesque bras that I made for her a few years back. I was so pleased to see that not only are they still being used for burlesque performances, but also that they’ve held up to the wear and tear over the years (they’re 3 – 5 years old)!
Making more burlesque costumes will definitely keep my spirits up!
-The Seea Swimsuit-
-An amazing Birthday gift from my love-
It’s a one piece suit, and like their website says, “These suits are made for you ladies, so enjoy them and play often.”
See more of The Seea’s amazing styles here. For anyone who burns easily in the sun, this suit is for you. It is so comfortable and well-made. Not to mention, a locally crafted and 100% Californian product.
Guess who is the “Face of the Day” at Gogosha Optique?!
Take a look here to see the photos and write-up.
I completely agree with the Gogosha Optique tagline, “Look no further.” In fact, you should go right to their website and you’ll see what I mean: http://www.gogosha.com/
I really enjoy when famous people make an appearance in my dream world. My favorite celebrity dream so far involved slow dancing with Tupac Shakur. He was much more shy than one would imagine.
And this past week a very strange pairing made a visit to my subconscious mind- President Barack Obama and Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord. They were deep in conversation with each other. Well, actually, Obama was dominating the conversation, and Yolandi was scratching the side of her head and patiently trying to find a moment to chime in. That moment did not arrive and you could see the polite frustration on her face. Meanwhile, Obama just kept talking and talking….
And when I woke up I realized that my husband was in the next room listening to Obama’s speech to the UN where he stated that the US will not back Palestinian statehood. Dream dissolved. Time to get up and go to work.
When I picked up the drawings from the framer I thought I was alone in the car. Little did I know that an eusocial enemy prisoner was hiding in the back seat. It wasn’t until we were hanging the work at Bottle Craft that the imprisoned termite started pacing around the glass covered prison yard. I haven’t really seen a termite up close before so I didn’t recognize it immediately. But based on the shape of its mandible I knew it probably enjoyed chewing things, and suddenly this drawing looked very chewable. Here’s a photo of my reaction during the moment that this realization hit me.
You cannot tell from looking, but this is how I say, “The termite has to go!” using just my facial muscles.
I see countless houses in Southern California that suddenly morph into inflatable jumping castles while trying to fumigate one pest or another. The fumigation companies create custom-fit carnivalesque tents inside which they douse the house with chemical agents to kill the pests. It’s disquieting to think of all the chemicals that are released into the environment as soon as the inflatable castle deflates. Eck! But this pest was not welcome in my home either.
The framer removed the bug and apologized repeatedly. He was kind to the termite and set it free into the wild where it will reunite with its friends at the nearest lumber supply warehouse to gorge on sawdust and the world’s finest wood.
The termite may have made me a bit anxious, but watching it navigate across the flowered background of my drawing reignited a memory of a few insect patterns that I truly love.
You can see more of Gam and Fratesi’s work here.
And then there’s the work of fashion designer Charlotte Taylor. I enter a dream world when I see her work. In her words, “Trashy grannies, penguins, old soap operas, movies and the eccentric within provide fuel for the fire in this bold yet elegant collection.”
You can see more of her work here, and please don’t miss the Spring/Summer 2012 short film on her blog. Imagine going to a one-minute ballet where Busby Berkeley meets the itsy-bitsy spider and you are left feeling the effects of aphrodisiac-dipped ants crawling lightly on your skin. That is how her video makes me feel.
Lastly, to the termite who carpooled with me last week– thank you for rebuilding my memory.
Need Supply is now officially my favorite online store that I never shop at. I pretty much love everything that this Richmond, Virgina store has in stock, so you can understand my dilemma. But I think you should shop there or at the very least peek at their blog! It will be time well spent and you might learn some new sewing techniques or find out about a really great book.
I’m not one for super high heels because I’m scared of heights. But if I had to choose a time, season, location and a pair to tumble in it would be:
5:10 PM// Fall// Chicago, Illinois
The intersection of Ogden Ave., Milwaukee Ave. & Chicago Ave.
Jeffrey Campbell’s Cat Tapestry Lita heels
I just came across the work of the Sascha Nordmeyer Design Studio. His paper orchids are so delightful. They are handcrafted out of tinted, painted, folded, cut and assembled paper (and sometimes fabric too). Simply gorgeous!
Nordmeyer’s artificial flowers reminded me of a project I did a few years back of floating orchids made of felt, wool, and wire. The wire was hidden within each leaf and stem so you could adjust the shape just like “real fake” flowers. And they were hung with fishing wire so that they would slowly shimmy when the air currents in the room shifted. I think it’s clear- orchids are fantastically inspiring.
There is one more reason to explore the work of the Sascha Nordmeyer Design Studio- you must see his “communication prosthesis.” This piece is hysterical! At first glance I thought the communication prosthesis was a minimal sculpture, and then I took a look at the portrait series for this piece and busted out laughing! I love work that brings a smile to your face. And maybe a bit of a wince, too. Here’s a sneak peek:
Two excellent documentaries to watch:
Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, follows artist Vik Muniz to his homeland in Brazil. For three years he collaborates with the catadores (pickers) who work and live near Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest garbage dump. The story is inspiring, but also shows the repulsive underbelly of our disposable society.
In Gasland, Josh Fox travels across the United States, hand-held camera in tow, and exposes the wide-spread damage caused by the drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing in search of natural gas. Residents across the US are able to light the water from their tap on fire due to toxic chemical leaks caused by the drilling. Fox’s film is incredibly touching, and an important warning for all of us to pay closer attention to who’s playing in our backyard.
These films take me back to of few projects in which I used waste and “garbage” to create something new and imaginative. I recycled imagery and down-cycled items that would otherwise be headed towards a landfill. I used broken bicycle helmets, bras that no longer support, scraps from by boss’ paper shredder, glass from the street and a multitude of other salvaged items. These projects were all extremely fun to create and the end product is what I call a “textural circus.”
These two documentaries remind me that less is more and even down-cycling something broken and making it charming again doesn’t reduce the overall waste. I will be more conscious of this when making creative projects from here on out.