Coconut Oil Soap

In the last weaving club we shipped, I sent out a little guest soap with the kit. The kit was for soft washcloths so it seemed appropriate to give out a little of the most delicious facial soap. I don’t usually use soap on my face but I use this soap all over. And if I work out hard or I’ve been cleaning the barn, I do indeed wash my face with this soap. It’s not drying and so I’m ok with using this on my aging face.

I’ve made larger bars to sell in the online store and maybe I’ll bring them to shows too. They’re really pure and simple.

I know some of you make soap yourself so if you want to make your own, the basic recipe is:

33 ounces of Organic Coconut Oil
12.55 ounces of Filtered Water
4.84 ounces of Lye

In a crock, start melting the Coconut oil on low while you take the water and lye outside, add the lye to the water and mix until clear. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once the coconut oil is fully melted and the time has run down on the lye/water mixture (it’s ok if it sits longer) add the water/lye mixture slowly to the coconut oil giving it a few stirs. Then taking an immersion blend, blend to trace. Then leaving the crock on low, let it cook until it’s done. You can tell it’s done by PH testing it to be between 7 and 9. This is a thick mixture that I spoon into my mold and I let it sit to harden. This stuff hardens really really hard. If you’re making a large block mold, you want to unmold earlier than you would for other soaps and cut it. It’s a bear to cut if you let it sit longer.

After unmolding (and cutting) let your soap cure on racks for 2-3 weeks. It does work as soap after 24 hours but curing it ensures you have a good solid bar of soap. You can clean up your tools (that are now dedicated to soap making only, don’t use them for food) with white vinegar. It neutralizes any uncured lye in your measuring cups and it will also help clean the soap off your other utensils.

This is a pretty straightforward and simple recipe but if you haven’t made soap before please read up on how it’s made and all the precautions. I’ve given only basic instructions here and learning about all the ins and outs of soap making will help ensure your safety. Lye can burn until it’s properly cured as soap. So wear eye goggles and proper gloves while working with it. Just be safe and you’ll have some great soap after all this.

Posted in crafty tutorial, Naturally Spunky, Shopping, Spunky Eclectic | Leave a comment


There have been some events in the news that made me think about community. Our global community is changing and shrinking much like our fiber community is. It made really think about the people that I’ve spent time with over the years. The business started some 14-15 years ago or so. I wish I had kept better track of all of that but my business started fairly organically and I’m not great at anniversaries, just ask my husband.

Over the years I’ve met so many amazing people and we’ve been a community.

Without this community I don’t know where we’d all be. Do you feel the community around you even if you’re just online? If you have a question, does someone not come to your aid with the answer?

When a fellow vendor at a show needs help, there’s often someone there that can help or at the least be a sympathizer to whatever issue it is.

No, not everything all the time works out the way we want it to. What in life does? To expect to have it always our way isn’t the way life nor community works. Shop owners, teachers, students, spinners, knitters, hookers…. we’re all in this together.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

So let this be a formal thank you – to all the rising tides in my life.
(not all of you are in the pics I found, you know who you are)

Posted in life, spinning, Spunky Eclectic | 3 Comments

About me?

I haven’t done any of those meme things that get passed around and it’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this on the blog.. A friend posted this on FB so I’m filling it out here.

1. Person you were named after?
No one. My mom said she gave me the shortest name she could think of because she wasn’t sure if I’d be smart enough to handle a long name. (yeah, she’s funny)

2. Last time you cried?
Yesterday – I got sappy at my daughter’s dance recital.

3. Do you like your own handwriting?

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
My favorite is to have NO lunch meat. Even when I ate meat, I didn’t like lunch meat.

5. Do you still have your tonsils?

6. Would you bungee jump?
Yup. I’ve always wanted to. Never had an opportunity.

7. What is your favorite cereal?
Oatmeal. I know. Boring. In a perfect world, I’d still eat Cap’n Crunch PB

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take off?
Nope. And later me curses past me almost every time.

9. Do you think you’re strong?
Mentally, maybe not so much on the physical.

10. Favorite ice cream?
Black Raspberry or Strawberry Feta

11. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
Any knitwear? No? Eyes… unless they’re walking away then butt. What? I can’t see eyes from behind.

12. Football or baseball?

13. What color pants are you wearing?
Leggings aren’t pants

14. Last thing you ate?
Baby Bel

15. What are you listening to?
My dog being weird.

16. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Burnt Sienna

17. Favorite Scent?
The smell of outdoors on my skin

18. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
Good chance it was Beth Smith.

19. Tattoo or piercing?
Yes please.

20. Hair Color?
Blonde through the middle and brown on the sides and a little grey throughout

21. Eye color?

22. Favorite food to eat?
Pizza or Tacos.

23. Scary movies or chick flick?
Scary. RAWR!

24. Last movie you saw?
Parent trap (the old one)

25. What color shirt are you wearing?

26. Favorite holiday?
Halloween (my kids are already working on this year’s costumes)

27. Beer or Wine?
Coffee? Tea?

28. Night owl or morning person?
Perky, annoying, morning Person

29. Favorite day of the week?

Posted in life | 1 Comment

Spring Show Season

As a dyer and fiber worker there are times it’s hard to let things go. Really hard. My spring show season has come to an end. It’s now time to load the online shop, and decide what I get to keep.

This batt. Did I mention that LilBoog has started to make them?

This Cormo roving

These locks from Romney (green) and Angel the CVM (orange)

This Romney roving that I had to sample a little that really should be a sweater.

And I haven’t even really got into all the yarn I wanted to keep.

There is one colorway that people kept touching and I secretly hoped they wouldn’t buy. Two of them were sold. It’s a OOAK color and there’s one skein left. I think we know what’s going to happen. Maybe I’ll show you when I make it into a shawl. I don’t want you to try to talk me out of my last skein.

Posted in spinning, Spunky Eclectic | Leave a comment

Elderberry Syrup

There were a bunch of sick people at SPA last weekend and even more that came down sick after. I keep hearing of people falling ill. It is that time of year. Thaw starts, we get out more, we pass on germs and voila colds are all over the place again.

I used to get sick at almost all of the events like SPA. Closed area, weak immune system and the next week I’d be feeling awful sneezing and coughing. I’m not saying that doesn’t still happen but now I put my defenses up so that if I do get sick, I know I’ve done everything I could to evade it.

One of the things I take is those little Vitamin C packets like Emergen-C. It’s easy to drop one of those in a glass of water and drink it down. Gotta stay hydrated at these things you know. Another piece of my arsenal is a product from do-Terra. They’re little beadlets called On-Guard. These 2 products I can leave in my purse and they don’t take up a lot of space so when I forget my herbals, I have them. They’re meant to be on the go and that’s just what they do. Great travel companions.

I couldn't find my pic from fall so this is from

I couldn’t find my pic from fall so this is from

My favorite part of the sick arsenal is Elderberry Syrup. Not the stuff you get from the store, that stuff is weird and kinda gross. In a pinch though, it’s better than nothing. I make Elderberry Syrup a couple of times a year (unless we get sick more and use it all up). Today, I thought I’d share this recipe with you. It’s morphed and changed over the years and I know it’s possible I’ll change it again in the future but this is what I am using right now.

1 cup Elderberries (dried)
1/2 cup Rose hips (dried)
3.5 cups of filtered clean water
2-4 Tbs of fresh chopped up Ginger
1 full cinnamon stick crushed
1/2 – 1 tsp of Cloves
1 cup of honey

I like the spice and warmth that Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cloves add to a syrup. Cloves in particular is a very powerful herb. If you have wee kids that are using this syrup, I would recommend using only 1/2 tsp of cloves. And in general, know you and who is going to take this. If you’ve never made it, start out with the lower amounts and see how it works for you. Moderation is always important.


-In a medium saucepan add in the water with everything except your honey. That’s only added at the end.
– Bring it to a boil, don’t forget to stir, reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook on a simmer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The key here is to have the liquid reduced by half. Depending on where you are depends on how long that takes. So I always check at the 30 minute mark and gauge from there.
– Remove it from the heat and let it cool to the point that it’s safe to work with.
– Strain through a mesh strainer to so that all your left with is the liquid. Save the liquid and add discard the used berries and herbs.
– Add the honey when the liquid is warm but not hot. If you’re using raw honey, too much heat will kill off some of it’s benefit so be cautious as to when you add it. Honey blends easier when the liquid is warm but you don’t want it to kill any good stuff. So use your discretion and know that wee kids shouldn’t have raw honey anyway.
– Bottle it and store in the fridge. Mine usually stays fresh for about 4-6 months.

You’ll notice in my picture the cap on my mason jar is a plastic one that I wrote on. That’s just Sharpie. I can run that lid through the dishwasher and that writing will stay. I rub it with ghee, and the writing disappears. If you have those plastic lids, feel free to write on them all you want.

If you forgot to harvest and dry elderberries and rose hips this fall… You can pick some up at Mountain Rose Herbs.

Stay healthy and maybe next post I’ll show you some weaving I’m working on.

Posted in health | 2 Comments

Skin care

Every so often someone will ask me what I do to take care of my skin. I don’t think my skin looks particularly special like a babies bum but I’m happy with it and it feels good. With the care I put into it I expect it to be healthy. I don’t put on a lot of expensive creams but I put in some effort most of the time

Now, there is the knowledge that your skin will reflect how you take care of your insides…eat well and your skin will show it but sometimes there are things that can help your skin just generally look better. More importantly, there are things that can help your skin feel better.

Remove your day from your skin.
Makeup obviously should be removed but there are dirts and things from the day that settle into skin. Unless of course you live in a hermetically seal very clean box. Find a routine you like is probably the best way to keep up with it. I have a “must do” routine and the routine that takes me about 90 seconds longer.

My evening routine always consists of using one of my oils to remove makeup from my skin. I don’t use soap on my face unless there is a definite reason (like deep cleaning the barn).
Sweet Almond oil is usually what I use. I pay special attention to cleaning off my eyes but I apply it everywhere and then wipe off with soft baby washcloths. Then I use witch hazel on everything but eyes (using a clean corner of the baby washcloth). My cleaning portion is done there. That’s what I do every night. If I take 90 seconds more time I apply *Vitamin C serum, CoQ10 Serum, and then a heavy night lotion (yes, I like the Olay Regenerist line, smooth cream, ok fragrance, absorbs quickly). I don’t wait between each application. I just apply.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll add in an eye cream. The 2 little tubs I use as a night cream (I got them both as sample sales and they feel equally good), the roller bottle is an am application that I rarely use.
Why rarely? It’s a little stinging. It’s good at what it does. It reduces puffyness and bags. Because it doesn’t feel great but does a good job, I keep it around and use it on the days when I feel like I need the extra help.

I can’t apply another lotion on top of all this without letting what I just did dry. I have a bunch of different lotions that I really like. There isn’t necessarily any particular reason to do one over another… Honestly, if I had the ability to make a decent cream (I’ve tried and failed) with the oils and bits I like, I’d just make my own and use that almost exclusively. As it is, I have a lot of cream. These are a couple of my favorite extras.
Some are evening, some are day use.

In particular, I use the Regenerist and the CeraVe that I’m going to talk about next, almost interchangeably. Which bottle do I grab at first? When it comes to replace them, I’ll probably just stick with the CeraVe because it’s less pricey.

The morning routine…
Tone my face with Derma e. I don’t see a marked difference in the witch hazel and this. Again, I’ll probably go with the less expensive one. Particularly because my kids use witch hazel to remove their makeup too. I do an application of *Vitamin C Serum, then I apply face cream with SPF in it and and CeraVe or the thinner Regenerist Serum…. or sometimes I put on one from my extras. As my mood varies. When it’s all dry, I put on my primer and makeup. I don’t wait in-between lotion applications but I do wait for it to absorb before makeup. Usually in the morning I start to put on the “face care” while brushing my teeth and prepping for yoga then I do makeup after yoga. On days that I can’t do a full yoga practice I just occupy myself for 5 minutes (make coffee, brush teeth, get dressed, straighten my hair) or so and its enough time to dry.

Products….Brands…. Reviews….
Now – Sweet Almond Oil – I’ve been using this for years. Soap so rarely touches my face. I’m not sure why I don’t use coconut oil instead. It is slightly better for your skin but I do like this oil and will continue at least for the time being. The only time I use a different oil is when I use an oil I formulated for an Ayurvedic thing that I use on my whole body. Which is a couple of times a week.
Toner – Thayers Alcohol Free Witch Hazel with Cucumber and Derma E Anti-wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Toner. I like both but the Thayers is less expensive like I mentioned. Even if the kids didn’t use it, I haven’t felt a difference between them and would probably stick with Thayers.
Vitamin C Serum – Timeless – I have tried another brand and I have one more I want to try. I really liked the Timeless though. Vitamin C Serum has a shelf life so be careful where you get it from. It smells bad when it’s expired. I’ll try the other one I have that just arrived (because this one ran out) but if I don’t like the new one more, I will be going back to Timeless next month.
CoQ10 Serum – Timeless – This is the only one I’ve had and I like it so I’ll likely stick with this one.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer – this is good, absorbs fast. Not my favorite fragrance but not bad and goes away fast. My face feels softer because of this… that’s good right?
Eye Cream – Bare Minerals and Clinique – I don’t know if either of these do anything for my eyes. I won’t likely bother with a specific eye cream at all once these are gone.
First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller – Stings a little at first but it does it’s job.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – so thick! Slow absorbing. I love love love this cream but it does extra time to absorb.
Rose Hip Oil – this is a gorgeous fragrance free oil. I keep meaning to make a mix of this, Evening Primrose, and Sweet Almond for my face then I’ll use it daily. This oil absorbs quickly and well leaving a little shine which is fine for an evening application.
CeraVe Renewing System, Skin Renewing Serum – I like the cream well enough but not sure where it fits in my menagerie of creams. Unless I figure it out, I won’t get it again.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Facial Serum – this one and the other next cream, I use interchangeably and because of that, this is likely my last bottle. I want to simplify now that I’ve tried a bunch
CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion PM – There is an AM and a PM version. The difference is the SPF. Since I use a high SPF in the Neutrogena I don’t need the AM version. I may try it when my bottles of Neutrogena wear out. I might not. I am happy with the Neutrogena.
Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF – Its thick but it goes on well and absorbs quickly. I can’t tell you if the SPF is doing it’s job other than I haven’t had a burn on my face since I’ve been using this. Don’t get it too close to your eyes though, it is stingy at the eye area.

Posted in health | Leave a comment

Winding a Stick Shuttle

I figured with the first installment of 2017 weaving club shipping soon, I’d give a little tutorial on winding a stick shuttle. Ready?

I’ve seen a lot of people winding this way:
This adds bulk to the center of the stick and you can’t add a ton of yarn or it’s going to be too big for your shed. I use a figure 8 wind on at the sides of the stick. Back to front on the top slot…
Keeping it at the side go to the back and out the front of the bottom slot….
You can see the path it takes:
Over and over until you feel it’s filled (I’d put more but this is just an example):
And then repeat on the other side.
It may take a wee bit of coordination to get use to at first but it’s a good thing to learn if you don’t do it already.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment