Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Soap glorious soap

I may not have mentioned this before but I have discovered that I am a lover of soap. I am not talking pump action, foam producing, marshmallow smelling soap...I am talking coconut oil, honey, mint, natural ingredients with zero palm oil and sulphates for those souls, like myself with sensitive skin.

To quote a much used line, recent studies suggest that antibacterial soaps may encourage the growth of 'superbugs' resistant to antimicrobial agents, a problem when these bacteria run rampant, turning into dangers infection that cannot be treated with available medication.

Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, I also simply believe that soaps are better for you and your skin. Full stop. That's it.

I am talking about locally produced soap from natural ingredients. I am even thinking of making my own soap...what this space. But until I do, I just have to tell you about some fabulous soap I have discovered.

Firstly is the shampoo bar I use from Beauty and the Bees where they make everything from scratch, in house, in Tasmania and I am not just talking about soap either. You can also buy some of their products from Biome. Their products are 100% chemical free, luxuriously rich, really work, and are ethically handmade.

Next is the amazing soaps you can get from Odgers & McClelland Exchanges Stores which was established in 1891 and is located in Nundle, New South Wales. I love the lavender, bergamot and sandalwood soap but you can also get cinnamon and oatmeal, sea salt and rose and vanilla to just name a few. Once again they don't just sell amazing soaps but also amazing enamelware.

Lastly, I have even fallen in love with soap remnants/leftovers which you can get from Biome in a cute little hemp crochet bag. These little delights are just perfect for a guest bathroom and really do last for ages.

You can see that I also have heaps of fun with my soap dishes. I just love vintage or reproduction blue and white English china but the options are endless. I have even seen the cutest little wooden racks. Keeping your soap dry between uses makes it last longer (as a little tip from me to you).

Bars of soap are cheaper, last longer and are better for your skin then other products so I hope you get as excited about soap as you can see that I am.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Stopping the rubbish

In the last 6 months or so I have become more conscious of what I buy, use and throw away. I was truly astonished at the money I spent and the waste I produced.

I made the conscious decision to do more. That is take the time to make things from scratch using natural products and limit the rubbish I produce. I now make my own bread, I use fabric wraps or reuseable containers to take my lunch to work, I have a vegetable garden, I compost my food scraps and I use all natural beauty products and cleaners.

I do realise that some of you may think that I am a bit (or a lot) late to this party, but at least I have arrived! Don't get me wrong, I have not given up chocolate and starting eating cacao nibs (that is sacrilegious to me) or using crystals as deodorant (not that there is anything wrong with that - who am I to judge), but I have made a few changes to my life which I am happy with.

Now you all know my love of crochet so I decided to make my own dishcloths and pot scrubbies. I purchased a cotton microfibre yarn from Blacksheep Wool n' Wares and decided to fancy it up with a fan and post design crochet pattern. I followed this pattern from YouTube and I was really happy with the results.

For my scrubbies I just used some leftover Zpagetti yarn I had around and crocheted some small circles.

Dishcloths and scrubbies are a great way to start learning to crochet, you get fast results and something that you can use time and time again.

If really hope this post has inspired you to think about the money you spend, the rubbish you produce and the chemicals you put on your body. If you are interested in getting more information head to Rhonda Hetzel's Down to Earth blog or visit the Biome website for inspiration. I am sure there are many other useful links but these are both local sites which I have enjoyed.

Just changing one thing in your home can make a difference, I swear!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Macrame magic

My friend Summer and I decided that we wanted to learn macrame after seeing this amazing post from A Beautiful Mess.

I must admit that I had been thinking about trying to learn macrame for a little while now. Probably since I was lucky enough to win an Ouch Flower macrame plant holder made from Zpagetti a few months back.

I just love the copper beads on this plant holder
We were lucky enough to time our desire to macrame with a class being held at Reverse Garbage. I go a wee bit crazy every time I am at Reverse Garbage and this time was no exception (I made sure we arrived early). Fabric and terracotta pots for my soon to arrive bulbs were the order for this day.

Everyone at the class was lovely and really willing to help each other. We decided to keep it simple and use jute twine with recycled wooden beads to make a tea light candle holder and this was the result. Not too shabby and just what my deck needed.

Now I do realise that my efforts pale in comparison to that produced on a Beautiful Mess but I am well on my way...I think so anyway
After this class I now feel confident in applying my skills to other macrame projects. Summer is away and flying. She had the idea to make a bird feeder out of an old coconut shell. I haven't seen it yet but I am imagining something like this below from Poppytalk.

I do realise that this is not technically macrame but I couldn't resist
If you ever get a chance to attend a macrame class or any class at Reverse Garbage give it a go, it was good fun with a few laughs and clumsy moments from me as always.