Tag Archives: D.I.Y.

Natural Products Swap

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       I think that even a small change is a valiant effort in taking control of your own physical health. In this day and age where the emphasis is on easy/fast/cheap, health can often take a backseat to work, kids, social interaction…you name it. I don’t want to preach and by no means think I am a health expert, but most of my life has been spent in cities that  are probably the most health conscious environments in the country. Just by osmosis I feel like I’ve picked up so much information about new, healthier, products and techniques that can make a huge difference in your health and well being.  If a health overhaul seems daunting (and expensive), and you don’t know where to start, pick one thing and stick to it. You can slowly add less toxic products to your routine going forward. For example, three years ago I stopped using conventional, store bought, and completely TOXIC deodorant. I’ve probably tried most of the aisle of natural deodorants in Whole Foods, most of which had little to no effect for me personally, and I’ve heard time and time again from others, that they have felt the same way. After trying and tossing most of the natural deodorant sticks I bought, I tried the crystal. This product apparently has some sort of negative “hippie” stigma.  Every time one of my girl friends saw it in my travel bag, or if a guest saw it in my medicine cabinet, they would give me a strange look and comment on it saying something like “thats for crunchy granola eaters.” Well guess what people…IT WORKS, and I’ve found that in conjunction with a natural spray deodorant (the crystal needs a wetting agent, such as water) this miracle combo lasts all day. My absolute favorite spray deodorant is from Aesop and contains refreshing vetiver, which adds a double dose of protection.

Enough about deodorant. Facial cleansers and scrubs are another crucial part of the everyday routine. The objective for cleaning your face is to remove dirt, grime, pollution…not add to it! Most all grocery store brands have harsh chemicals and parabens that can add to problems like breakouts and damaged skin. I love using  organic brands like Eminence, but these products can add up and break the bank. Simple homemade face scrub can be used with just baking soda and water. This mixture is super alkaline and after using it for even a few days, you will notice a balance in your skin. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in a small mason jar, and add a pour spot top for an easy dispenser. Add a few shakes to wet hands and scrub. Use twice a day for best results. Easy.

Anything you rub, brush, paint, or spray on your body goes INTO your body. I try and think about this beyond just the lotions and cleansers that I use. Fragrance can deliver a potent spritz of chemicals and preservatives which can in turn cause rashes and allergic reactions. I have super sensitive skin and have started using essential oils as fragrance almost exclusively. There are a few exceptions to this, my favorite being Le Labo. This company’s fragrances are completely organic and natural. The “fragrance life” of Le Labo is what may have made this company so popular. The oils in the perfume linger for days, and changes in a lovely way as the hours roll on. They have an awesome program where you can purchase samples that contain a few days worth of fragrance to make sure you love it before you take the plunge. These perfumes are pricey but a bottle will undoubtedly last you a year or longer…and the best part is  you don’t have to feel bad spraying it on your body!

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I have to admit, a lot of my inspiration comes from the same place…my place of work. Im a part-time employee at Anthropologie, and being in such am artistic environment keeps the creative wheels turning. So, when some antique painted pots arrived in our store I thought, “I can do that at home.” Granted, these are a far cry from the teal and magenta drip-painted pots that ring up at over $700 a piece, they’re my own twist on decorative pottery. Try this super simple DIY, which only requires three materials. Do it out in the front the yard, and you may even make some curious new friends.

Materials:

Terra Cotta Pots (one for each of your plant babies)
Rustoleum “Forged Hammered” Spray Paint
Gorilla Tape

Directions:
Make sure your pots are clean and free of any surface debris. Tape right below the lip of the pot, guiding the tape along and slightly twisting as you go. Turn pot upside down and spray paint according to directions on the can. Make sure you get the top of the lip and slightly inside so no orange shows. Let dry for 2 hours, and plant!

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D.I.Y. Recycled Crystal Bullet Necklace

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Scattered cartridges are often a symbol of great suffering, casualties, hatred, and war. Crystals, being quite the opposite, have been used for centuries as a tool with extensive healing powers, symbolic in bringing harmony and balance. I intentionally brought these two iconic pieces together to create a wearable dichotomy. In this recycled necklace, natural elements and man-made creations are united, bringing congruity to discrepancy. Depending on the crystal you use, this D.I.Y. is almost free. I gathered discarded bullet shells at a local shooting spot (free), and the most expensive crystal (green tourmaline) was $7. Similar necklaces retail for upwards up $330 here.

Materials:

Bullet Shells
Crystal Points (fitted to each bullet shell)
Dremel Drill w/ 1-2 mm Drill Bit
Round Nose Pliers
Head Pins
Wrench
Thin Cloth
Hot Glue Gun

***Metal File-optional

Directions:

Collect recycled shells, and take them to a mineral store where you can fit each crystal to its respective shell. Make sure it is a tight fit, to where you almost wouldn’t need to glue it (Tip: if there is a rough or fat edge, use a metal file to shape it to your liking). I ended up purchasing, clear quartz, Tibetan quartz, and green tourmaline. There are two methods for attaching a chain 1)Two holes through the top of the shell or 2)One hole through the primer of the bullet, with attached and looped head pin. They both take the same amount of time, so it just depends on how you want it to look/hang on a chain… I did a few of both. Using a cloth to wrap around the shell before clamping with a wrench is important, so you dont scratch the shells in the drilling process. Drill two holes through opposite sides of the top of the shell (shown in picture #1). Drill one hole directly through the top of the primer for looped attachments. For looped attachments; thread head pin through the casing of the bullet up through the hole in the primer. Using round nose pliers, grasp the end of the head pin, and roll down tightening into a circular loop (shown in picture #4). Heat the glue gun. ***For double drilled attachment, make sure to roll a small piece of paper and install through both holes before gluing, this will insure the glue doesnt block where the chain will run through. Have the crystal ready, and dispense a small amount of glue up into the casing (make sure there wont be excess when the crystal is pushed in). Immediately insert crystal, wipe any extra glue. The hot glue not only secures the crystal, but also the loop attachment. Hang on a chain or even charm bracelet of your liking…would also be cool layered with other charms/feathers etc.

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D.I.Y. Foraged and Recycled Gift Wrap

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Forage: To wander in search of provisions

Recycle: To recondition and adapt to a new use or function

Every year I set out to create a theme for my holiday wrapping. Sadly, the holidays now seem surrounded by so much consumerism and waste, I decided to try and make everything as sustainable as possible this season. We save our cardboard boxes and brown paper bags, so I used those instead of buying gift boxes/bags. I found some great 100% recycled brown wrapping paper from Crate and Barrel, and at $15.95 for a generous 300 feet of paper, knew it would be more than enough for all of our family’s gifts. The rustic wood gift tags are re-purposed scraps from timber processing factories, and are so much more beautiful than those tacky santa stickers. For the moss, we took our dog for a walk in the woods and gathered different shades of green from the trees, stopping to pick up some fallen pine branches that we added to the mix.  Even a small amount of consciousness about what we buy, and try not to buy, helps this beautiful planet that we are lucky to live on.

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