DIY Bath Salts (part two): Know your ingredients

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Last week, I showed you how easy it is it make your own bath salts. As with any recipe, they are not set in stone. You can certainly customize these recipes just as you would food recipes. However, as with the food you eat, it is important to know which ingredients are good for you and which are not. That’s what this Monday’s post is all about.

There are three main ingredients in most of the DIY bath salt recipes you will find online; salt, essential oil, and the carrier for the essential oils (usually another oil). Some of these recipes will add baking soda but I have found it isn’t absolutely necessary. However, it does provide some health benefits in its own right! Let’s start with the salts.

There are four kinds of salt that are most beneficial for bath salts. The easiest to find is, of course, Epsom salt. Anyone who has played sports or been active knows that Epsom salts are incredibly helpful in soothing sore muscles. It also helps when you’re sore from a bad fall…not that I have any personal experience with that part at all…. I’m lying, I fall on my face frequently. But Epsom salt (and really all salts listed here) are a great source of magnesium. Epsom salt is actually composed of tiny crystals of magnesium and sulfate, making it very different from your run of the mill, regular table salt. Our bodies need magnesium for a number of reasons, one of which is that it helps our bodies produce serotonin. Serotonin is that fun little chemical in our brain that helps make us happy. Low levels of serotonin can be a key indicator of depression in humans.

Magnesium also helps relax us and reduces irritability. This is something that can come in handy for us females during certain periods of time. *winknudge* Another huge benefit of magnesium is that it helps eliminate toxins from your body. Soaking in this will allow your body to expel toxins through your skin, which helps to keeps us healthy and happy. Some people even believe that soaking in magnesium sulfate can help purge your aura of negativity. For some other ways that Epsom salts can benefit you, please see this article over at Natural Living Ideas.

The other salts I mentioned earlier also contain magnesium, so some of the benefits are the same. Himalayan Pink sea salt also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which makes it really soothing and beneficial for skin problems like eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Also, it’s natural coloring makes it popular for bath salts since you don’t need to use artificial coloring then. Only downside there is that it only comes in pink. Dead Sea Salt is one of the most natural bath salt ingredients you’ll find. These salts are extracted directly from the Dead Sea and undergo very little (if any, in some cases) processing. This one, however, is a little more difficult to come by and can cost more. The biggest difference between Epsom and sea salts is the composition: while Epsom salts are purely magnesium sulfate, sea salts are mineral rich. They contain important minerals like calcium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and zinc. These minerals are all natural and things that our bodies need to be healthy. Our lifestyles in today’s society tend to be deficient in a lot of these minerals so this is a lovely way to replenish them to our bodies.

A fourth salt that can be used is standard kosher salt. This works great to mix with the Epsom salts. This way you get the benefits of the magnesium sulfate from the Epsom salt and the minerals of the sea salts.

The other important ingredient is what is called a carrier or base oil. This is what you will add the drops of your essential oil to in order for it to mix with the water of your bath. I personally like to use oils because of the benefits to skin but you can also use things like castile soap or shampoo. I’m going to focus on the oils that I have used in the past. One reason I like these is because you can mix the essential oils with these and use them as moisturizers instead of mixing with the salts. Some of my favorites are apricot kernel seed oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, vitamin E, and grapeseed oil. You can also use green tea seed, olive, jojoba, sesame, and hemp seed. All of these oils are great for moisturizing skin but most of them also have antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties.

As I posted in last week’s post, if you are using a base oil like sesame or sweet almond, make sure that the person using it is not allergic to it. DIY bath salts are super easy and inexpensive gifts for showers and holidays but you don’t want your gift to make your friend or family member to break out in hives or, ya know, go into anaphylactic shock.

Basically, these things are easy to make as long as you know and respect the ingredients. Some wonderful resources to look through if you want to research your own can be found here and here.

 

~Scribe Sarah~


A History of Color

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Something a bit different for today. I came across this article recently and it struck a chord with me that harked back to my color theory days in school. While it makes sense once you talk about it, most people won’t consider where the color for their project comes from. Sure objectively we all know it’s made from dyes that are made in factories and added to the base, but what about that color. Where did it come from? What’s the original source?

Back even just 100 years ago, pigments were created from nature and some of the most vibrant colors were also the most rare. A rock of lapis lazuli was worth it’s weight in gold for the brilliant shade of blue it provided. If you fancy a quick lesson in history, check out this article from CO.DESIGN and if you’re really into history then maybe visit the place they talk about; The Harvard Pigment Library.

It is a store for the world’s colors. Some of which have gone extinct or are incredibly rare/illegal to obtain; like Mummy Brown that was made from the wrappings of embalmed mummies.

It’s a pretty cool read that will make you pause and really think about where that color in your bracelet or your favorite clothing dye came from. Maybe even inspire a natural color set for your next project. AT the very least you’ve learned a fun fact to throw out at parties. 😉

~Nicole


Sharing is Caring: Worbla Warriors

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Cosplay can be a lonely pursuit, with countless hours spent chained to a heatgun or a sewing machine on your own trying to create your own perfection. But more and more, I’m seeing efforts at creating a community that extends beyond conventions to help it become more of a true community.

I’ve talked about Anathiell before, and her efforts in building an Irish cosplay community, but she’s gone and stepped up her game. Meet the Worbla Warriors.

Every couple of months, Anathiell and talented artisans get together to pass along their skills and knowledge with Worbla, painting, LEDs and more over a weekend. Its an opportunity to learn new skills, up your current skills, and create a project for yourself to further your own knowledge. They are fun, informative, and open to any and all takers.

There are so many craft-specific tutorials and workshops out there, its great to see a cosplay specific one coming together. If you have any interest in learning thermoplastics, worbla, painting, LEDs, or anything else, get in contact with the Worbla Warriors and suggest something. Chances are, you’ll find what you’re looking for showing up in the next few months.

If there isn’t one in your area? Consider organising one yourself. Maybe you can teach a few sewing classes and get someone else to teach some Worbla ones. Perhaps you can teach how to put LEDs together, and someone else can help with the programming.

We’re all in this crafty thing together, and its more fun with others to paddle with.

~ eliste


Furthering your knowledge

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Education is important. Not just the history/math/science they teach you in school, but knowledge in general. Knowledge is something that can only help you improve yourself and your crafting skills as well. The cost for this knowledge can be expensive though, so today I’m doing something a bit different and just giving you a collection of places online that most will let you take class/learn for free. Wish they could be all, but some is better then none. While it’s not a perfect solution if you’re running low on time, it at least won’t burden or put pressure on your income. 🙂

edX — Take online courses from the world’s best universities.

Coursera — Take the world’s best courses, online, for free.

Coursmos — Take a micro-course anytime you want, on any device.

Highbrow — Get bite-sized daily courses to your inbox.

Skillshare — Online classes and projects that unlock your creativity.

Curious — Grow your skills with online video lessons.

lynda.com — Learn technology, creative and business skills.

CreativeLive — Take free creative classes from the world’s top experts.

Udemy — Learn real world skills online.