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Natural Soap at Home by Liz McQuerry

Natural Soap at Home

Available for presale from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indie Bound

Ships at the end of March

Description

From the creator of the natural skin care line Moon Magic, Liz McQuerry offers a step-by-step guide, enhanced with excellent photos, for natural cold-process soap crafting. Utilizing mostly kitchen ingredients to create a variety of innovative soap blends–including felted soap, beer soap, and seasonal soaps–McQuerry will put you in touch with your inner alchemist. From body bars to hair care bars, with wonderful tidbits and advice on herbs and essential oil blends, you and your family will enjoy a clean like never before.

Natural Soap at Home provides delightful instructions for:

  • Skin care bars
  • Hair care bars
  • Creative and beautiful bars
  • An easy make-your-own soap cutter
  • A wide array of beautifully blended essential oil formulations to scent your soap
  • A comprehensive table on vegetable oils along with what to use, when, and why
  • And much more

Glove up and safety-goggle down for a fun, efficient, and easy-to-follow ride through the world of soap crafting.

 

About the Author

Liz McQuerry is a firm believer in nourishing from nature. She is always trying to find new, fun, and more innovatively beautiful ways to craft and has worked in the allopathic medicine system for years while studying holistic medicine and body therapies in Chinese, ayurvedic, and eclectic medicine. Through her company, Moon Magic (MoonMagic.co), she has been creating and sharing her knowledge for more than ten years. When she is not testing formulas, she spends her time playing with her three children, jogging in the woods, and painting on her porch surrounded by a cacophony of living greenery. She resides in Grass Valley, California.

 

Editorial Reviews

“A sensible guide to handcrafting soap at home without breaking the bank on specialized tools and materials.” —Anne L. Watson, author of Smart Soapmaking

“This is a solid book on the art and science of how to create handmade soap at home. From the basic science to more advanced techniques and ingredients, this book will teach from the basics to the challenging.” —Anne-Marie Faiola, founder Bramble Berry Handcraft Provisions

From the Publisher

Sourcing materials

For crafting DIY skin care there are many sources of materials, just keep in mind you will always get what you pay for, do a little research, because not all companies are mindful of the effects of their sourcing. Sustainability and fair trade being big factors in where I purchase from. Almost all the time these go hand in hand with quality of supplies.
My all time favorite supplier being Mountain Rose Herbs. These folks only sustainably source, are mindful of the effects of farming practices on environment, always give fair pricing to their suppliers, and have won multiple awards for their green practices. Their stuff is always top notch, including customer service.

4 ways to create instant calm

4 ways to create instant calm, and why anxiety might just be your new best friend.

Anxiety!

Just the word increases my heart rate and shortens my breaths.

Oftentimes anxiety is generated from an excess of stress and unpredictable circumstances. We like to know what we are doing and where we are going and how it will turn out. The familiar is comfortable, but often times is not the best option.

Surprise! Anxiety may be your new best friend! A true best friend knows when to keep in close touch and when to allow space. They know just the right way to be brutally honest and aren’t afraid to give it to you straight. Because they love you, they want you to live your absolute best life ever! To the fullest of each and every one of your potentials. They will urge you out of comfortable mundane life to stretch your horizons, that you may never become stagnant. I like to imagine this is what anxiety is, my best friend pulling me out of delusions of dullness, igniting the fire under my ass to get me going. It is never a comfortable thing, if it were we can be certain we are doing it wrong.

The difference between a friend and anxiety is that you can communicate with your friend and they will know when to be soft and gentle and loving, whereas anxiety is full force ahead and may slam you into the wall of panic attack.

I have found 4 ways to create instant calm that I’ve found work best in taming anxiety so that it may be utilized in my favor,
Through the breath, through the feet, under the tongue and through the nose…

Calm Through the breath; I utilize the wonderful Calm Aura Refresher and deep breaths to bring a sense of instant calm and well being, each works fine alone, but phenomenal together. Check out the Calm Aura Refresher here.

Through the feet; an often times over looked yet incredibly simple method of taming anxiety. When we are anxious all our energy is in our head, we loose our footing, our foundation starts to crumble if we cannot find solid ground. Take off your shoes and socks, go find a soft patch of earth and feel the dirt under your feet. Kiss the earth with your toes, feel connected, feel whole again, take some deep breaths here and imagine all that energy in your head flowing down and out through your feet, into the earth. Feel solid again. Take a walk barefoot if you have the opportunity.

Under the tongue; This quote came from one of my favorite humans right as the wind was fully being swallowed from my sails,

“We are all faced with a series of opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.” -John W. Gardner

This quote says everything I needed to hear. Everything I needed to remember.

I made a tincture to go with it. It works perfectly.

It uplifts your mindset, balances hormones, relieves depression, creates calm, alleviates PMS.

Its a lovely blend of organic Kava kava, Damiana, Lemon balm and love. To use; drop it under the tongue and swallow. Try this anti-anxiety tincture found here.

Creat instant calm Through the nose; Our sense of smell is a wonderful way to create an emotional response. Try utilizing plant aromas on pulse points so they can be breathed in all day long. A wonderful blend can be found here, full of all the balancing goodness needed to sooth your soul and mind through out the day.

 

I hope one of the 4 ways to create instant calm work for you, if not all. May you find some balance admist the caucophony of daily life, and may you learn to mildy embrace the messenger in anxiety. Let me know if you try any of these methods and how they work for you. Tell me what your favorite way to relieve anxiety is, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Naiad myst recipe

Naiad Myst Recipe, secret recipe used by the gods

Naiad myst recipe

This is the stuff the gods use for immortality skin care.

It retains youth. Restorative through rejuvenating cellular stability on all levels.

Naiad Myst

It’s a well known fact that naiads will seduce you into the water and drown you, but did you know they craft one of the purest skin nourishing mysts available, in this universe, for after water and sun care?

This naiad myst recipe is taken directly from a well hidden secret Naiad recipe. I took the liberty to substitute a few of the items that are unattainable in our world, at this time, but work just as efficiently.

Spritz this mist on liberally after sun and or water play to sooth dryness, moisturize, rehydrate and minimize damage while decreasing healing time.

To get your own go here, to make your own continue reading…

Naiad myst makings..

Bottles with spritzer tops for ease of application.

8 grams Honey (or glycerine if your vegan or perfer that route, or sea kelp bio ferment works great too)

2 oz Rose hydrosol

2 oz lavender hydrosol

3 drops Chamomile essential oil

3 drops Imortelle (helichrysum) essential oil

love and pure joy!

To make simply put ingredients all together, mix well and bottle, use liberally as often as needed to aquire and maintain your best skin ever.

This beauty is super simple to create with profound results!

Restorative to skin in phenomenal ways.

I actually use it on my face daily for a youthful glow

natural sunscreen recipe

Natural Sunscreen Recipe, and commercial sunscreen dangers!

Your sunscreen may be doing your skin more harm than good, and a great natural sunscreen recipe alternative!

It’s that time of year when most folks in the northern hemisphere get plenty of sun. With this comes the need for excellent skin care, as we will be living with this body for an entire lifetime. Wonderful skin nourishment is a must, including sunscreen. But did you know most commercial sunscreens contain highly toxic chemicals which can cause cancer, allergies, skin irritation, aging, and hormone imbalances to name a few, doing more harm to your skin than the sun.

The sun produces vitamin D when allowed to openly mingle with our skin. A little time in the sun is really very healthy! Vitamin D in the body is necessary for optimal cellular and immune system functioning, which is one reason why people tend to get sick more often in the winter without vitamin D. However, if you’re going to be in the sun directly for hours on end, finding a great natural sunscreen is a totally doable thing. Just watch out for strange chemicals like oxybenzone, Cinoxate, dioxybenzone, parabens, oxtocrylene, methoxycinnamate, homosalate,  para aminobenzoic acid to name a few, basically if it sounds weird and you are unfamiliar with the ingredients chances are it’s not something you want to put on your body.

I created a safe, moisturizing and healing alternative natural sunscreen here, which works sublimely well, I even use it in place of my normal skin cream because it is so awesome.

Each ingredient creates a mineral barrier (straight from nature) against the sun as opposed to a potentially toxic chemical barrier.

Each ingredient contains an SPF between 3-25

natural sunscreen recipe
natural sunscreen recipe

For this natural sunscreen recipe you can use any variety of nourishing oils, the following are a blend of what I used and the basic ingredients;

125 ml oils total

coconut

almond

red and black raspberry

carrot

borage

evening primrose

pomegranate

sea buckthorn berry

avocado

1 Tablespoon non-nano zinc

7 grams shea butter

15 grams beeswax

all the love

heaps of pure joy

squeeze bottles or jar for bottling

labels (so you know what the heck you made a month from now)

double boiler

heat proof container and spoon or hand mixer for blending

Process;

measure all ingredients into heat proof container, set over double boiler and stir as ingredients melt.

natural sunscreen recipe
natural sunscreen recipe

mix well,

natural sunscreen recipe

pour into jars or bottles,

natural sunscreen recipe

cap

Natural Sunscreen

and label, enjoy!!!

 

Herbal Salve

Herbal Salve, heal, sooth, revitilize burns, chapped skin, cuts, bug bites and more!

Herbal salve!

Last week I shared a blog on creating plantain oil, this week I’ll guide you through the steps to make it into your own healing balm to be super useful this summer season on bug bites, burns, cuts, bruises, chapped skin and more!

Herbal Salve

Items;

3 oz Plantain oil strained

Herbal Salve

1 oz beeswax

Herbal Salve

Containers for storing

Heatproof container

Pot to make double boiler

Process;

Pour plantain oil and beeswax into heat proof container.

Herbal Salve

Create double boiler by adding about half an inch of water, set over medium heat and put heatproof container into pot

Herbal Salve

Stir mixture until melted.

Herbal Salve

Pour into containers,

Herbal Salve

let cool, cap and label. Use as needed.

 

plantain, herbal oil

Plantain, herbal oil.

Plantain and how to create an herbal oil.

plantain, herbal oil

This beautiful herb grows wild around here, it’s all over the fields at the school next door, and the grave yard across the street, in the cracks of the sidewalk in my daily walks.

plantain, herbal oil

I choose not to pick those plantain because you never know what is in the soil. Instead I took a hike along our beautiful Yuba River and wild harvested some.

plantain, herbal oil

Plantain is a great skin healing herb. It draws out infection and aids in knitting the skin back together quickly. It is a natural analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial, it’s astringent and aids in drying out, but also a demulcent so it is not overly drying. I like to use it for burns, bug bites, poison oak, sunburn, cuts, scrapes, and acne.

I’m going to share with you how to create an herbal oil with  plantain follwed by a skin healing balm, to make with your oil, on next weeks blog.

plantain, herbal oil

Ingredients;

1 cup mason jar with lid

label

scissors

1 cup organic sunflower oil

Plantain leaf, to fill your jar

Process;

You can use freshly harvested plantain

plantain, herbal oil

or hang it out to dry for a few days to reduce the water content.

plantain, herbal oil

Drying your herb will leave less room for bacterial growth.

plantain, herbal oil

Cut up your herb,

plantain, herbal oil

put into mason jar,

plantain, herbal oil

fill with oil just

plantain, herbal oil
plantain, herbal oil

to about 1/2 inches below the top,

plantain, herbal oil

cap, label and date and shake.

I like to leave this in a sunny window sill for a light solar infusion for 1-4 weeks, shaking once a day. Strain your herb out of your oil and save the oil in a clean, labeled container for future use.

Next week… how to use your oil in a healing balm.

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe, exfoliate, reduce cellulite, nourish with nature

Coffee sugar scrub recipe

Bathing suit season is rapidly approaching, so I’ve created a serious cellulite removing exfoliator.

Cellulite can be a pocket of toxins or fats, that when stimulated can actually be moved back into the lymphatic system and expelled by the body.

Stimulating coffee and spices can aid in enhancing the circulatory and toxin moving properties of an exfoliating substance.

I’ve created the perfect pre-summer-bathing companion all wrapped up in one awesome moisturizing sugar scrub that will leave you glowing gently moisturized and smooth!

If you want to purchase this instead of making it go here.

To make your Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe you will need the following;

Jars, lids and labels

120 grams sugar

7 grams coffee ground for espresso

20 grams grapeseed oil (or whatever you prefer)

5 grams castille soap

Pinch of each of the following spices (optional)

cinnamon

ginger

nutmeg

clove

cardamom

Blend dry ingredients together,

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

add wet ingredients and blend well,

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

scoop into jars,

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe
Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe

label, share or use all for your beautiful self!!

natural perfume making

Natural perfume making

Natural perfume making

natural perfume making

Crafting a perfume with natural ingredients creates so many incredible layers unattainable with artificial ingredients.

This is a very basic coverage of the process, many perfumers study plant aromas and attributes and blending techniques for years. As there is really a lot to learn about each aspect and fixing alcohols etc.

The following can be blended with alcohol or oil, your choice.

To make a perfume you need to have a base, heart, and head.

The base creates stability and staying value. It is generally comprised of roots resin and trees.

The heart ties the whole thing together with flowers and herbs, leaves and greenery.

The head is the welcoming hello in the first whiff and lasts for about 15-30 minutes. Mostly created from citrus. It’s the light quickly evaporating part of a perfume blend.

I like to do roughly equal parts of each. This will give a perfume that lasts 2-5 hours, depending upon what is used.

I always start with blending my base, then add the heart and end with the head.

Normally I will blend each separately and let it sit for 1-6 months, then I mix them and let it sit for 1-6 months again. But I will guide you through a perfume you can wear today, the scent will evolve and mature the more time you give it.

A note on using alcohol, you can use vodka as it contains no scent, I use 150 proof distilled grape alcohol (basically moonshine) and I prefix with resins, or barks for 6-12 months because otherwise sometimes it gets weird when you add the perfume without the prefixing.

Also not all things blend well in alcohol, such as concretes.

The following recipe will give a beautiful basic perfume.

Recipe;

natural perfume making
natural perfume making

Base

10 drops Vetiver

10 drops Labdanum

10 drops Sandalwood

5 drops Cedarwood Virginia

Heart

10 drops Rose

15 drops Jasmine

5 drops Ylang ylang

Head

10 drops Rosewood

15 drops Clementine

20 drops Bergamot

2 oz of oil or alcohol.

If your essential oils do not have orifice reducers you will want pipettes, I use disposable plastic pipettes, a different one for each oil.

Instructions;

Start with the first botanical ingredient and add in order, shake. Add oil or alcohol, shake. Label and date.

Try to wait a few days as this will give a more beautiful scent or set aside and shake it daily up to 6 months or until you can’t stand it any longer and must use it.

Smell often and notice the change that time creates.

If you want to purchase this beauty already made go here.

ecoprinting fabric

Ecoprinting fabric, dyeing with plants, creating botanical imprints

Ecoprinting fabric.

I’ve been searching for an excellent way to create permanent plant impressions onto fabric, but the knowledge appears to be a secret art form passed down from teacher to student. So I’m sharing what I found from my own experiments.

I used organic linen and raw silk.

I collected local plants from a hike along the river.

ecoprinting fabric
ecoprinting fabric

I mordanted fabric with iron.

ecoprinting fabric

Then added plants to fabric.

ecoprinting fabric

I put down a layer of plastic wrap so each petal or leaf would leave its own separate imprint.

ecoprinting fabric

Then I rolled the fabric up.

 

ecoprinting fabric

ecoprinting fabric

And tyed it tightly,

ecoprinting fabric

Then I added the fabrics to iron water to simmer for an hour,

ecoprinting fabric

Here are my results

Linen here and silk here

ecoprinting fabric

ecoprinted linen

ecoprinting fabric

geranium leaf on silk

ecoprinting fabric

maple leaf on silk

ecoprinting fabric

Have you ecoprinted on fabric successfully before? I’d love to hear about your method. If you liked this post and want more on ecoprinting let me know in the comments!