Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Neat Tip and A Book Review

I have been the proud owner of The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano for about two months now. I first saw this book in Kelowna last spring, and kicked myself for not buying it. Cheryl, whom I work with for the Recycled Art Program for the After School Program, owns it, and said she loves it, so I was inspired to special order it and to pay full price from our local book store, The Banff Book and Art Den. I have not been disappointed. It has a great name, I mean come on, many people have probably wanted to title a book like this but no one accept Mark Montano had the balls. He truly is a talented crafter so I guess I can forgive him for being the host of that completely shallow show, 10 Years Younger, and just concentrate on his work on While You Were Out. This book retails for $23.50 in Canada and just $19.95 in the US. It is chock full, about the size of a small phone book, of 150 crafts for the home, gift giving, your mom, or the yard. Some of the projects include:

-Subscription Card Artwork
-Fabric Wall Panels
-Luggage Tags
And tons more DIY projects that can be made new or using recycled materials. I LOVE this book. It has practical and simple projects that I really do want to make. And the photographs by Auxy Espinoza are vivid and inspiring.

And this leads me to my tip. There is a very small section of homemade and organic personal care products. One of the recipes is for Olive Oil Body Lotion. I was really excited when I saw this. I don't have dry skin, but it is because I use lotion all over my body every time I shower or bathe, every other day or so in the winter. I buy natural products that are free from chemicals, however, once and awhile when I try a new lotion, it is not the right one for me. I know this when after about a week of using it, my skin is itching because it is too dry. This means, I have an almost new bottle of lotion that I won't be using. Frustrating. Of course, I still hold onto these bottles, because I don't want to waste them. Once and awhile I give one away to someone staying at our house, but they still collect in my bathroom cabinet. Today, I decide to take the two bottles I have now, and to fix them up to see if the addition of Olive Oil would make a difference.

Here is the recipe and the steps from the book:
Olive Oil Body Lotion
by Mark Montano
You Need:
* 1 cup of body lotion (the book says any kind will do, because the lotion is used as a base. I would still recommend using a decent brand, as the cheap brands are not natural and contain harmful chemicals.
* 1/4 cup virgin or extra virgin olive oil
* Plastic or glass container or lotion bottle
* Optional peppermint or lemon oil (I use quality essential oils, since it will be absorbed by my skin)

1) Put lotion, olive oil, and scented oil in your container and shake vigorously.
2) Use all over your body and enjoy!

What could be simpler? I would not suggest using this on your face, especially if you add peppermint oil, but it should be fine on the rest of your body. I LOVE peppermint soap, so I did add peppermint oil to the bottle of unscented lotion I had. The other bottle already smells like grapefruit verbena, so I only added olive oil to it. I will keep you posted on how well this works, although I trust it will, as the people who have really dry skin usually turn to oil to soothe it.

The other body product recipes in this book are:
- Vitamin E Face Scrub
- Lemon Lip Shine
- Lemon Tea Sugar Scrub
- Relaxing Bath Crystals Body Scrub
- Crusty-Foot Balm
- Mark's Special Toothpaste

If you have never made natural body products, nothing could be simpler or more cost effective. I plan to add all of these to my repertoire as I run out of what I am using now. These items all make great gifts that you can dress up in beautiful packaging. How fun!


Stacy's Designs 88 said...

OMG, checked out your link to Amazon. This book is by that guy I like to watch on tv! He's smart to add photos with remarks to see what you can create from his book. Thanks for the review! This book is on sale now.

Tiffany Teske said...

I highly recommend you buy it, Stacy! I saw it was only like $14 in the US...