Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lavender Bath Salts

By request of some online friends - Here ya go!

     Very easy, and greatly appreciated by stressed-out friends and family.  You can use other essential oils as well – try peppermint or a blend of citrus scents, for example.
     A few words on essential oils:  Be sure to use only “essential oil”, and avoid anything labeled “fragrance oil” – those tend to have synthetic ingredients, and are not for bath and body use. Aura Cacia is a very good brand, and is widely available at herb shops and health/natural food stores.

    Exercise caution when using essential oils – they are very, very concentrated and some can damage surfaces or even skin in their undiluted form! Please research the properties of any given oil before working with it. If you experience any allergic symptoms while making your salts, stop immediately! (For example… I’m sensitive to Rose Geranium oil – it has made my lips swell up like a balloon in the past… this is a dangerous reaction, so I don’t use that oil at all.)  For cleanup, alcohol is a good solvent. I use either (cheap) vodka, or pure-grain alcohol.

     That said, Lavender tends to be one of the milder oils, and can usually be applied directly to the skin. Please test a little on the inside of your arm before using, to make sure you don’t react badly to it. If any redness, swelling, or other symptoms occur within 24 hours, this isn’t the oil for you. (If you test other oils, be sure to dilute before applying to your skin. One or two drops in a teaspoon of olive oil works well for this.)

And finally… the recipe!

From Jules

  • 1 cup sea salt (coarse or fine)
  •  2 Tbsp. Epsom Salts
  •  15 drops Lavender essential oil
Tools needed:
It's best to have "dedicated" bowls & spoons for essential oil work, and not use them for food. (Goodwill!)
  •  Stainless steel, glass, or ceramic bowl  (Do not use plastic or aluminum, which will react with the oil)
  • Eyedropper or pipette, unless your essential oil has its own dropper top attached
  • Stainless steel spoon
Drip about half of the lavender oil into the sea salt, then stir well.  Repeat with the rest of the oil, stir again, then add the Epsom salts and stir once more.  Keep in a clean, airtight jar, in moderate temperatures.  Will keep for a long time, but the scent is best if used within a month or two.  To use, pour about ½ cup of bath salts into warm bath water.  Swish to dissolve, especially if using coarse sea salt.  Step in and enjoy!   

To make in bulk:
  • 5 lbs. sea salt
  • 10 Tbsp. Epsom salts
  • 1 tsp lavender essential oil
The bulk recipe will make enough bath salt to fill 5 pint-sized Mason jars, or 10 jelly jars. When making in bulk, I usually don’t add the Epsom salts to the mix. Instead, I mix just the salt and the oil, fill the jars with the salt mix, then add the Epsom salt to each jar, screw the lids on, and shake them up. This makes sure it’s evenly distributed. And shaking coarse sea salt in a Mason jar is a great stress reliever. ;)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And another thing...

There's a 15 1/2 pound bag of lavender sitting in my studio at the moment. Fifteen and a half POUNDS. It's the size of a small body pillow, and was a steal at a little over a hundred bucks.
And so, I'd best get busy turning it into something to earn that hundred bucks back. ;)

Artist's Way, week 7

Coming out of a week of feeling totally "stuck" again. Every time I was ready to settle down to work, something seemed to come up to keep me upstairs. I consciously made the decision to start calling my basement workspace "Studio" instead of "workshop", in another step to take myself and my work a little more seriously... now, I just need to get my body IN there.
Unless I show up for work, it ain't gonna happen!
Reading Deprivation Week was very interesting, by the way. The hardest time was in the evening, when I usually settle down with a book or Facebook to unwind. I included Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles into the ban, and was mostly successful. Result of the week: a more settled Me, feeling like I'm getting back to my old self again. Facebook is crack. Seriously. But here in Week 7, I'm still retaining some of the freedom from it and from the chatroom. Go me!
New direction/distraction: thinking seriously again about hosting my own radio show on BlogTalk Radio. It's taking all my discipline NOT to jump into it with both feet right now - first craft show is a short two weeks away, and I'm not producing anything for it yet. Focus focus focus... keep priorities in line, Jules. I did spend some serious time cleaning up in the studio, and it's looking/feeling much better. And a good chat friend who is exceptional at finding crafty things on the web just machine-gunned me a set of jewelry links to look at for some inspiration. I brought seed beads and some other materials UPstairs. If the studio isn't ready, maybe I can craft elsewhere for a bit!
Random thoughts, I know. It's been a rather random week. The "Tasks" in the Week 6 chapter of A.W. were a little tough for me to relate to, so spirits sagged a little. I sat down with the Week 7 chapter today (a day early), and am already feeling better. I can do this! Onward and Upward. :)