Many people thinking of spinning, weaving, knitting, soap-making and other home-based crafts as fancy hobbies rather than attributes of simple, self-reliant living, but it all depends on the context. You may certainly spend a lot of money, if you wish, on soap and candle molds, essential oils and costly equipment, or you may do things very simply, actually saving money in the process.
I have made wonderful homemade soap with old oil I had absolutely nothing else to do with, and I have made candles from paraffin drippings which were otherwise absolutely useless. I have unraveled old sweaters and used the recycled yarn for making new things, and utilized tattered felted yarn as doll hair. Basically, as most of the time I can’t afford hobbies which cost money, I get creative with what I have on hand.
I view proficiency in traditional skills as a kind of security fund: today it may be very cheap and easy to go into a store and buy whatever you might fancy, but tomorrow it may just happen that people who can make their own will find themselves very glad of it. This goes for knitting, sewing, spinning, basket-weaving and any craft you might think of.
A good place to start would be to try your hand at making your own natural body care products such as body butters, balms, scrubs, lotions and deodorants, which are very satisfying and usually very quick to make, and great for personal use, as holiday or hostess gifts when packed in pretty jars, or even as a potentially profitable home-business venture – not to mention they are a lot healthier than anything commercially available!
Like many other artisan wares, body care products can be as simple or complicated, as cheap or expensive as you like to make them. Here are some easy-to-make recipes which are my personal favorites:
Super Simple Salt Scrub
• 1 cup sea salt
• 1\2 cup good quality oil such as almond, coconut or grapeseed
• Several drops of your preferred essential oils (optional)
Mix everything, place in a jar and use in the shower for gentle exfoliation and moisturizing.
Coconut Sugar Scrub
Mix coconut oil and sugar in equal proportions (for example, 1\2 cup coconut oil and 1\2 cup sugar).
Add a dash of lemon zest, vanilla or crushed dried herbs (optional). It will make your body scrub smell delicious!
Mix, place in jar and use in the shower.
Oatmeal Honey Facial Scrub
• 1\2 cup oatmeal, finely ground
• 1\4 cup honey, preferably raw – honey has some wonderful healing properties and is very good for the skin.
• 1\4 cup olive, almond or coconut oil
Mix, gently rub into skin, let sit for a couple of minutes and wash off.
Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna and her husband live on a plot of land in Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna’s books are on her Amazon.com Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna’s Mother Earth News posts here.
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