Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making earrings

I've finally gotten on a roll and started making earrings!  I only have pictures of two pairs, but I've got a few more that I need to get better pictures of.  These are made of leather cord and wire, and are super easy to make.  I can knock off a pair of the simple ones in less than 30 minutes, which is about the length of my attention span.

These ones are very Southwestern, with the silver and tan and turquoise.  I made a safety pin type closure for the bead to hang from, but I can't quite get it to lay straight.  (errrggg).

These ones are the same, just smaller and without the hanging bead.  Just twisted leather cord and wrapped wire.  I made the shephards hooks to save mula.  The pairs I don't have pictures of are actually my favorite.  Those are coming soon, promise.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Birthday Necklace

Here are pictures of the necklace we made for Pete's mom's birthday.

It's a little tough to see (iphone pictures, sorry) but the inside is filled with a super light blue bead, and the outside beads alternate between pink and black.  The hoop is part of super retro, chunky necklace I thrifted a while ago.  I also put two pink and two black beads along the chain so it didn't look like I threw the piece on any old chain.  Peggy wore it all weekend long and it looks amazing against a black top!  It kept slipping under her shirt, so I told her shed have to wear it with a more revealing cut (teehee).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Honeygar, anyone?

No not honey bear. Honeygar (or honegar, depending on who's writing), is a folk medicine advocated by  D.C. Jarvis, a Vermont physician, in the first half of the 1900's that Pete and I are working into our daily routine.  It's a cocktail of equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey.  It can be taken a spoonful at a time, in a glass of hot or cold water (often called Witch's Brew, ha!), or on top of a salad.  Personally, I can't stand vinegar so I take a spoonful and chase it with a bit of juice.

I'm learning to get past its taste because it's one of the most beneficial natural cure-alls I've come across.  The list of benefits is a little long but not worth editing down.  When taken as a cleanser, 1-3 times a day it

  • reduces sinus infections
  • combats bad breath
  • clears skin and helps fight acne (woohoo!)
  • increases metabolism and aids weight loss (big WOOHOO!)
  • balances high cholesterol
  • lowers blood pressure
  • helps control blood sugar
  • naturally combats bacteria in your digestive tract, helping the kidneys and bladder
  • prevents bladder stones and UTIs
  • guards against food poisoning
  • helps with chronic headache and fatigue
  • cures constipation
  • fights allergies (particularly if you use local honey)
  • alleviates symptoms of arthritis
The last two items also apply to animals when you add a bit to their water, and it helps pets repel flies.

So for all that, I can put up with a few tablespoons a day.  The science behind it is attractively simple.  Often, by an over consumption of acidic foods (animals products, white flour, sugar) and drinks (coffee and carbonated drinks) our bodies' PH level becomes too acidic.  As alkaline foods, the honey and ACV work to balance our PH level, an often overlooked component of good health

It is important to use raw, unpasteurized honey.  Even better to use local honey since the bees making the honey have been exposed to all the same allergens that are causing you problems!  Honeygar has no known interactions with other medications, but it's always a good idea to bring it up to your doctor if you're thinking about starting a Honeygar regimen.  And I read here that because it cleanses your system, if you have a buildup of toxins from smoking, drinking, etc... you could spend a few days on the pot.  This site's FAQs addresses Honeygar for diabetics (hint - remember it helps control blood sugar!).

At first the taste of it turned me off, but if I really want to start taking responsibility for my health, this seems a good place to start.  And I already have both ingredients in the house because I use them to wash my hair!  Jarvis was a supporter of household remedies used as part of a larger alkaline-diet.  Again, the diet works to balance your body's PH level.  Purportedly, following this diet can guard against cancer but there is little scientific support for that claim. 

If you're interested in more, Jarvis wrote a book Folk Medicine: An Almanac of Natural Health Care which gives a more in depth look at the benefits of Honeygar.   So plug your nose and drink up! Cheers!

Getting Healthy

With bikini season knocking on my door, I'm trying to figure out how to balance being active and exercising with (what seems to me) my very limited personal time.  So I've decided to..... ride my bike to work!! I'm giving up public transportation with the exception of bad weather days.  We already ride our bikes around all weekend and do all our errands on our bikes so 10 miles round trip for work won't be too much of a stretch. AND and and!! It takes less time to bike to work than to take the train. Woot!

I've done it twice this week and am loving it - its better than a cup of coffee in the morning. My only issue with biking is the boatload of animosity between bike riders and drivers.  I think a lot of it comes from the fact that bikes can be either pedestrians or vehicles and expect to be given the right of way by real pedestrians and vehicles.  I'm guilty of that attitude too - by no means am I blameless.  BUT I am working on changing that.

Hair Update

I'm now a few weeks into this 'no-poo' business.  To tell the truth, I hate  strongly dislike that name.  Its saving glory is that it actually does work.  Marvelously. So far I've been using a little less that a tablespoon of baking soda, a cup of water, and a bitty squeeze of honey to control frizz.  I keep a cup in the shower, grab it as the water warms, run to the kitchen and run back. 

The first time I tried it, my heart was pumping like I had just run a marathon, I was so nervous.  What kind of tangles was I going to have to brush out? Oh, sugar, I don't own a brush WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW??! 

Not to exaggerate, but now I'm used to it I feel like I'm in an Herbal Essence commercial.  Using this stuff I can run my fingers through my hair no problem.  I gave up on using a brush ages ago so I was used to losing hair with finger brushing, but I think I'm actually losing LESS hair now than I was using shampoo.  My hair is super silky smooth and shiny.

I am experiencing drawbacks though. My scalp is still super itchy if I leave the baking soda on too long and it feels weird greasy at the crown when I don't rinse it out well enough.  This weekend I'm going to track down some Apple Cider Vinegar to see how that works.  I'm not too upset by this because everything I've read says it is to be expected.

What really breaks my heart is that my curls are pretty lifeless right now.  They used to be big and bouncy and I could sleep on them and they would be relatively decent in the morning.  Now they are small and more tightly wound and sleeping on them KILLS any bounce and volume.  I wake up with them matted to my cheeks.  My heart is breaking.  I have to straighten my hair a lot.  Ohhh what to do?

I'm not giving up though.  But I refuse to shower in the morning.  There has to be some middle ground somewhere.