Tag Archives: cleanhippy

Never hurts to ask

The night before the NY Sheep and Wool festival includes a growing number of attractions. This year I picked up some lip balm, scented oil, and lanolin hand balm from Tuft Woolens.

The lanolin hand balm is amazing. It soaks in well and isn’t too sticky, so I can put it on at work. And the black orchid scent is amazing. The only problem (and this may not be a problem for everyone) is that it comes in that little plastic dispenser.

Plastic is not my thing.

So I worked up the courage to email, and ask if she sells the balm in any other format? The answer that came back from Martha was “not officially” but she offered to pour a lotion bar just for me! I happily accepted her generous offer. And now I have a gorgeous 2oz bar of my favorite lotion ever. It’s seriously pretty.

And it came packaged in paper and tied up with string. Perfect.

Dryer balls

If you’re like me you’ve got a lot of little yarn balls around. They’re too big to just throw away. Maybe you’ll use them in a colorwork project someday? But let’s be honest, they’re different weights, brands, textures, fibers…

They’d make a nice Snippet scarf, but eventually you get bored of knitting rectangles. (I have three gallon bags of these scraps)

If you’re like me again, you hate dryer sheets. But just can’t bare to spend $10-20 on felted wool balls.

So here’s my solution, wrap those wool scraps up into pretty balls. Make sure they’re loosely wound, and about the size of a large navel orange.

Carefully (so they don’t come unwound) stuff them into a cotton sock or some pantyhose or something.

And toss them into the washer and dryer with your clothes. Depending on how vigorous your laundry routine is you might need to put them through a couple of times. Eventually they felt and shrink down a bit.

Although you can see I wasn’t paying attention and got some superwash blends mixed in there. Still, they’re felted enough they won’t come apart!

Like your laundry scented? Add some essential oils. It’s noticeable and refreshing but not too strong.

If you’re like me, you’ll get carried away. And end up running out of dirty laundry for all those felting loads before you run out of yarn scraps.

more deodorant

It’s that time again! I’ve run out of deodorant, which means I’m making more. Long time readers might remember, oh yeah, she uses that funny home made deodorant.

It’s true. But it works! Antiperspirants never worked for me, so it doesn’t bother me that this is just a deodorant. And it works so very well. The secret? No surprise, it’s baking soda. The kitchen’s best odor remover now appearing in an armpit near you!

DO ingredients

I also have the world’s best moisturized armpits, because the baking soda is carried in a nice blend of cocoa and shea butters. Yum.

I follow Angry Chicken’s recipe. Baking soda, cornstarch, cocoa butter, shea butter, vitamin E, and some essential oils. Melt everything in the microwave, stir in the oils, and let it set. The whole process takes about 4 minutes. Angry Chicken warns about the ingredients going bad – I’ve had mine for several years now and nothing has gone rancid yet. But it can still be lots of fun to have a deodorant party, if you have friends who also might think it’s cool…

DO finished

Sunday was gorgeous

Sunday was gorgeous, 65F, breezy, and sunny. So why did all the laundry this weekend go through the dryer? Well you may ask… It’s because I’m forgetful, and not everything is perfect, even when we want it to be. My clothesline snapped the weekend before, not on the first load, but the second. And not right away, but it waited until I wasn’t looking. I wish if the thing were going to give up, it’d give me some advanced notice (this will become a running theme.)

Then I spent a week forgetting to pick up new line. On Sunday I thought hopefully to myself, “Self: it worked a little last week. What if we just tie some careful knots and try again?” I’d like to point out my knot-tying skills are pretty good! The knots themselves held up fine. The line also held up fine (for awhile). It showed no signs of breaking while I ratcheted it tight. It showed no signs of breaking while I carefully pinned a whole load of clothes up to dry. You can see where this is going, right? Of course, it waited until I was done to snap a second time, thoughtfully dropping all my clean laundry onto the ground.

So I have to ask? What do other people do? Do you actually take your line down in the winter so it doesn’t weather as much? Do you also go through the process of replacing a clothesline every other year? Is there some magical clothesline string that doesn’t break with age??

personal care

It was finally time for more home made deodorant. Yup, you read that right. I’ve been using this stuff for years, and you know what? It’s awesome. I’m not just using it because I dislike excess chemicals in my life. I use it because it works BETTER than anything I’ve ever tried from the store.

Some people don’t really smell when they sweat – lucky folks. I am not one of those people. I find in the summer time (when I’m hiking or mucking out the chicken coop) store bought stuff eventually smells kinda sour. Maybe better than sweaty, but still stinky.

home made deodorant

This stuff doesn’t smell at all. It has essential oils added to mask the shea butter scent. But those fade after application, and then there’s no smell at all. Even in the summer, even when I sweat: No. Smells.

You know why I think that is? It’s mostly baking soda. If baking soda can remove the stink from the back of the fridge, why not from my arm pits too? Along with baking soda and shea butter there’s cocoa butter, cornstarch, vitamin E, and your favorite collection of essential oils. Lavender and tea tree smell like “clean” to me. Last time we balanced a lot of blends out with rosewood. This time I used a oil based perfume that wasn’t smelly enough for me to use it all the time.

Experiment, go with what works, have fun! But seriously, try this stuff because it’s amazing. I’ve never tweaked the base formula from what Angry Chicken recommends because it works so well. But she has some other links if this base isn’t the best for you. I imagine since each body is different that different deodorant recipes work for each of us.

delightfully smelly

I’m spending a lot of time in my car today. No really, a LOT. Google maps tells me it’s 13hrs and 40min from my house to Columbus, OH – and that’s not counting pee breaks*. Knowing that this quality time with my car was coming up I decided to clean up a bit. I vacuumed (who decided to transport cord wood in my trunk anyway? It makes a horrible mess) I wiped, I washed.

And, inspired by my horror that people PAY MONEY to have chemical fragrances squirted into their car when they get the insides cleaned, I decided I needed an air freshener. You know, one that doesn’t reek of chemicals.

air freshener 1

So I made the best little air freshener you’ll never find in a store. I took a seashell with convenient hollows, a cotton swab, and a ribbon. I tore off just enough cotton swab to fill a convenient hollow, doused it with a natural, essential oil based perfume** and tucked it inside the seashell.

air freshener 2

Ta da!

*My car gets 45-49mpg on the highway. I need pee breaks far more often than fuel breaks.
**BPAL, or Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab for the uninitiated. I’m using The Doormouse for my car. I like it, it’s light and refreshing. But it’s too light for perfume and fades away to nothing on my skin.

What I’m wearing: cosmetic edition

Today, I’m wearing layers:

wearing layers

because the weather guys SAID it was going to be sunny and cool, but then when I woke up it was cloudy, and I was afraid it’d be even cooler, and I hate my cold, cold office. The top is my modified version of A Little Something, one of my 12 sweaters in 12 months from last year (I had to have some quick knits in that project) I wear it All The Time in spring when I’m looking for transitional clothes. I should knit another lacy, vesty, sort of thing.

The other thing I’m wearing, is makeup:

i almost never wear makeup

I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup, but as I’m doing more modeling for my own patterns I’m starting to feel like having it available wouldn’t hurt. But I hate the idea of all the chemicals in regular makeup, so I’ve been exploring alternatives. I’ve been using, and loving, burts bees shampoo for years, and so I tried their tinted chapstick. It’s awesome. Suddenly I own it in three different colors.*

I got a free sample of Sweet Libertine mineral eye shadow in a package from the Sanguine Gryphon yarn company. The purple and rose seem to go together pretty well, and I’m getting a (free) larger set from them soon – in fact it looks like they still have some free packs left. (you do have to pay shipping) Most recently I picked up some mineral foundation at my local hippy/health food store where they carry Christina’s Natural Qualities.

All of these versions of makeup don’t contain chemicals like parabens or phthalates which was my goal. But they also have the benefit of being very light and not feeling all clingy. So that’s good enough for me! Along with all that, I’ve been wearing Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab perfumes for quite awhile. So that’s nothing new for me, but also on the “no weird ingredients” cosmetics list. The best thing about them is that they don’t make my mom sneeze. She’s highly sensitive to most commercial fragrances – except it turns out it’s the carriers she can’t handle. The natural oils and scents don’t bother her.

And finally, I’m wearing my home made deodorant. I got together with some friends and had a “not a stinky hippy party” last saturday and we made deodorant using the recipe from Angry Chicken.


I love this stuff and am so glad to have more of it! Mine is scented with tea tree and lavender essential oils because that’s what my friend used when she made some and introduced me to it. But one of my friends had a bunch of other essential oils and since we were making 9 pots of the stuff:


we had lots to experiment on. She made some for her fiance with cedarwood, rosewood, and pine- and DEAR LORD I think all men should smell like that stuff.

*three might not seem like a lot to some people, but given that before I owned zero lip stick, this is new and different for me.


I’ll come right out and say it – I love handkerchiefs. Reusable, old fashioned, cloth ones. I’ve seen those cold and flu prevention thingys that say you should use disposable tissues but I don’t care. My cloth handkerchiefs are here to stay*.
I love them for so many reasons. They’re reusable – I think this makes them environmentally friendly. I can embroider them –making them a great way to show off my new crafty skills. I love having a clean one in my purse for emergencies – nothing feels quite like offering someone a soft, clean, cloth hanky if they’re feeling a little sad**. Also they’re great for other emergency cleanings such as small spills or wiping rain and snow flakes off my glasses.
But here’s the reason I love them most – they’re better for my nose. After 6 days of being sick most people’s noses are red and raw and sore as well as being messy. But mine isn’t (ok, it’s still messy, but not red or chapped) I don’t care how much aloe and/or chemical crap they pump into paper tissues, they’ll never be as soft as a nice cloth one. We all know cloth hand towels are nicer in the bathroom then paper towels***. The same thing goes for cloth tissues. I switched years ago because I’d run out of tissues and was too sick to go to the store. I think the first cloth hanky I used was actually an old, soft bandana. My nose felt less raw and chapped within 12 hours and I never went back. Mind you fresh crisp cloth isn’t really great you need old cloth, or soft handkerchiefs like these. I like the ones I’ve seen at antique stores too.
So there it is: my cloth handkerchief evangelism. Lots of people think it sounds gross. But seriously, just get plenty so you can wash them in between. It’s worth it, they’re awesome!

*don’t worry, I wash them regularly, and don’t share them with anyone. Common sense people, it’s not as common as I’d like.
**bonus points for embroidery, or old fashioned printed or lace edged ones!
***DON’T get me started on those disposable paper towels for your home ads I’ve seen on TV recently (tag line: because this world needs more disposables in the landfill and less money in our pockets!)

Scrubby Soap

This stuff is really easy, and really great.

scrubby soap

1/2C baking soda
1T dish soap*
1T water
Combine these three ingredients in a wide mouthed container. Mix gently to combine without causing the dish soap to foam up. It should have about the same consistency as toothpaste. In fact you could probably use it for tooth paste but it’d taste horrible. Instead use anywhere you need scrubbing soapy goodness!

I made up this soap recipe years ago when I needed to clean the sink and didn’t want to go to the store for more sink cleaning stuff. I’ve been using it ever since; it’s wonderful. This scrubby soap, plus a little bit of elbow grease, has cleaned surfaces I didn’t imagine clean-able. Beet juice stains on white counter top. Stains in the bottoms of enamel or porcelain sinks that came with the rental unit. Rust stains on just about anything.** Recently a cookie sheet left in a pool of water on our white counter top left a rust stain that 2 store bought cleaning agents couldn’t touch, which is actually why I was mixing up more scrubby soap recently. It cleaned the stain in 3 minutes flat.

I use it on counter tops, stainless steel sinks, bathroom sinks, toilets, and the stove top – one place I don’t know how else I’d clean it sometimes. There are other (better) blogs if you’re interested in other home made cleaning, home, and body products. I enjoy Angry Chicken. I especially love her home made deodorant – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. But she has lots of other good ideas too.

*I’ve always loved 7th Generation dish soap, but have also successfully used Planet dish soap, and most recently Mrs. Meyers Dish soap. Their Geranium soap is like summer in a bottle, a strong scent, but not in a normal floral-soap kind of way.

**at our previous house we had water so high in iron it stained new appliances within days – so I didn’t clean those much, but it was nice to discover I could remove them if I wanted to.