Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Last Temporary Closure!

We are now super close to selling our house with a closing date of next week. Since it is time to move out I will be closing my shops Friday morning (June 29).
Jim and I have no new house lined up and we are heading 1000 mile south of where we are to house hunt! That will be an exciting process but we do not know how long everything will take until we are settled into a new house. In the meantime we will be coming back to ship our stuff down and say goodbyes.

Most likely I will be closed the rest of the summer but will get back up and running as soon as possible so hopefully sooner!

Wish me luck. 😀 Thank you to all my wonderful customers for sticking with me through closures while we are trying to make this dream a reality.

That cool photo above is one of Jim's carnivorous sundew plants.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

New Designs

First I would like to let everyone know I will be closing Friday morning June 1 by 7am EST and will be closed for approximately 2 weeks. Unfortunately I am unsure of what date I can reopen so I thank you all for your patience.

Here is a new pair of mixed metal earrings with sterling silver, copper and stainless steel.
Mixed Metal Earrings

These mother of pearl earrings were made with the beach in mind.
Mother of Pearl Earrings
I love these freeform mother of pearl beads that I used in a necklace below.
Mother of Pearl Necklace
Here is a pair of simple geometric earrings.
Geometric Earrings
A new multi gemstone ID badge lanyard.
Gemstone Lanyard
Thank you for stopping by! 

I hope to be back to a normal social media schedule soon but that may not be until the end of the summer. I will fill you all in if and when everything falls into place. 😊 ~Val

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Charleston - Part 3

While strolling the streets of Charleston, we stumbled upon an amazing cemetery which is at the Unitarian Church of Charleston.

Some may find this creepy but it was my favorite part of the city! Here are some photos.
I hope these photos didn't spook you out! 😀 If I preferred to be buried (I am more of a spread my ashes kind of gal) I would want to be in a place like this, totally one with the environment.

This is a perfect place to enjoy Spanish moss.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Charleston - Part 2

Here are some charming houses in Charleston, SC. 

See the Spanish moss hanging in front? I was most excited, above all things southern, to see this stuff hanging from trees.
Below is called "Charleston Style". Originally they were built with the balconies sideways to the street.

Some homes have gorgeous, detailed window boxes.
There is a charming French Quarter with old cobblestone streets.
The old finishes have been restored with a faux work for effect.
The big old trees are another favorite southern thing of mine.
That is just a sampling of the variety of modest homes. By the shoreline there are crazy huge mansions I will have to share in another post. 

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Bit of Charleston 1

I am still around! Social media has been on the back burner as Jim and I start getting serious about relocating to a warmer climate. There is a lot of planning and research involved so we will see! I am going to try and keep up with blogging during this time.

We headed to South Carolina to browse neighborhoods but then worked some fun into that trip by stopping in picturesque Charleston.

Here I am sharing one of my favorite things about the city, its iron work.

This place is a feast for the eyes.
Everywhere you look there is a nook or detail that commands your attention.
Residents are required to maintain a certain look when renovating so there is quite a cohesion when strolling the streets.
Some are more simple and others very ornate.
I learned watching a local PBS show This Old House (not sure if this airs across the country) that they have a school for the various trades needed to keep up with renovations in Charleston. These Boston guys have been working on a house down there and showed the students working on gates. So fascinating and an amazing trade for these young folks!

As you can imagine I have tons of photos to share. So I will be back with more!

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Conversation Pieces

I just want to let all my fabulous customers know my shops will be closed Friday March 30 and re-opening Sunday April 8. I apologize for any inconvenience. Orders received by Friday will ship with my normal shipping schedule of twice a day. 

I started making conversation pieces in a vertical manner.
Viva La Vida Necklace

Every Moment Matters Necklace
One phrase I say to myself often is life is short. It really seems to fly by faster and faster as I grow older! I constantly need to remind myself to do the things I have been wanting to do!
Life is Short Necklace
Here is one thing I get better at as the years go on. Keeping life simple. It is just better and easier that way.
Keep Life Simple
Let it go was popular one at the holidays so I wanted to make one in the vertical style.
Let it Go Necklace
Clearly my head was in one place when stamping these out but they all seem to be phrases we need to remind ourselves of each day.

These do come in a kraft box for easy gift giving. 

I love the kraft boxes because the gift giver can decorate them if they choose. However they also look fantastic on their own with a simple ribbon!  Necklaces are available in my Etsy Shop.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Homemade Skin Care

Homemade Lotion

For the last 6 months I have been using the recipe below for various skin care needs. Since I am very happy with it, I thought I would share for anyone else out there who may be thinking about using less chemicals on their skin.

It started with my body lotion since I cover myself head to toe every day. 
This simple recipe is actually edible (although I imagine it would taste gross). The ingredients are easy to find online.

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup shea butter
4 tablespoons of beeswax pellets
1 teaspoon of lavender oil

Since it is edible there is no need to purchase separate cookware or measuring cups/spoons.

Melt the first 3 ingredients together over a double boiler. The coconut oil becomes liquid quickly, next the shea butter, then the beeswax takes a while. Once all those pellets are completely dissolved it is ready.

Pour into glass jars.  I found these cuties at the dollar store and they look lovely on the bathroom vanity.

Let cool slightly before adding the oil for fragrance. I have since got more creative here and use 50% lavender, 25% frankincense and 25% rosemary. My husband uses this lotion too and it makes a perfect, delicious, unisex scent.
The color is quite vibrant but once it cools it takes on a pleasant tone.
Is it greasy? I would say so when over used. I thought I would hate that but after a couple of days, realizing a little bit goes a long way I got used to it (I over applied at first). It absorbs quickly into the skin so it is only temporary. My skin remains super soft for the 24 hours before my next shower.

It does not work well as a hand lotion because of the oil so I only put it on my hands at night. Knowing that I am no longer covered in crazy chemicals I can not even pronounce makes it very pleasant.

Homemade Deoderant
We have all heard that there are possible links between deodorant and cancer.

After reading many recipes on this I realized that the above body lotion is basically what I needed.  The only difference is I keep a little container of baking soda in the bathroom (an odor fighter). I put a pinch in my palm then scoop up the same amount of lotion and mix them in my palms. 

Then apply. Done! 

Some people don't like the homemade deodorants like this because they have to apply it with their hands. For me I simply apply it before putting the lotion on my body so it is convenient.

Does it work? Shockingly, yes! I think it actually works better than chemical filled ones. The heat of the summer will have to be the true test.

The only drawback is that this it not an antiperspirant. 

After shoveling cement like snow recently though causing a sweat filled shirt (too much info, I know) about 24 hours after applying, there was 0 odor! Deodorants I used to use would not have been able to handle that.

Homemade Sunscreen
I also bought zinc oxide for safe homemade sunscreen. So simple and not stinky like the stuff you purchase in a store. Zinc oxide sits on the skin and does not absorb into it making it safe. It can be added to any lotion or face cream. 

The formula is basically the percentage of zinc oxide being the SPF. So 5% zinc would be 5spf and 20% zinc would be 20spf. With my last batch of lotion I made a portion that is 20spf. I have yet to try its effectiveness but will soon! I will be able to use it on my face and body. 

The above is great for use on children too to cut back on chemicals getting into our bodies.

Anti Aging Face Cream
I am actually using the above wonder cream as the day cream on my face as well as an eye cream! 

The ingredients all have amazing benefits to the skin, doing the things I want an anti-aging cream to do. It is perfect under my makeup although I sometimes need to dab my face with a dry face cloth before applying first if it looks too shiny from the oil.

I also apply a thin layer of jojoba oil on my face under the lotion both day and night.

One would think applying tons of oil to the face would cause breakouts. It has been the opposite for me and my skin is much clearer than it was using chemicals. These ingredients used have amazing anti bacterial properties and jojoba oil actually balances oil on the face (perfect for combination skin).

After reading about the benefits of almond oil, I decided to try something different for my face at night.

My night cream now is as follows:

1/4 cup almond oil
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons of beeswax
1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
1 tablespoon shea butter

This all gets placed in a jar.
Then in a pot of approximately 3 - 4 inches of water.
Heat until completely melted.

Pour in a glass jar. I saved one of my jars from a previous product and refrigerated the rest. Some say this has a shelf life hence chilling some of it.

This is an oily lotion but as long as only a little is applied, it absorbs well. The first couple of nights I used it my face was funny shiny! Then I learned I did not need to use as much as commercial stuff.

I hope I have not bored you too much with this verbose post! I am just excited to have eliminated a bunch of expensive chemicals from my daily routine and learned that natural really does work.

Thank you for stopping by!  ~Val