Making Lavender Oil

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Lavender steeping in oil. My Lemon Yhyme and Rosemary are in the background

Lavender steeping in oil. My Lemon Thyme and Rosemary are in the background

Last summer was the wettest summer my area had experienced in many years. Most of my plants and vegetables could not handle all the rain being dumped upon them. I lost all of my vegetables except the pumpkins, my lavender plants suffered horrendously as well.

Once I realized I was losing my lavender plants I waited on a dry day. We didn’t have many. I then harvested every bit of the lavender as I could. Once picked I wondered how was I going to preserve this smell-tastic plant.

I decided to make lavender oil. I also made rosemary and lemon thyme oil. To make the oil is easy. But it is a long process. I know how to make the oils, been doing it for several years. I decided to check out Pinterest to see if I could learn anything new about the process. What did I learn? Seems there are a whole lot of ways to make herbal oils. Some of the things I read made me go, “WTH?” so I left Pinterest deciding to go with my own way of doing it.

When I was a teen I spent some time with a family I knew. The grandmother had been raised deep in the North Carolina mountains. I must tell you her upbringing was very interesting, oh the stories she told. She shared a lot of her knowledge with me, my young short attention span mind tried to soak up as much as it could.
I have remembered a few things, some of them useful, some strange wives tales and a little bit of stuff my family did not approve of.

Two main things have been put to use many times over the years. One was how to ‘read’ cards. Yes I can tell your future with a regular deck of cards. Am I accurate? Who knows? I did it for fun in my younger years. I rarely read cards anymore but the knowledge is still there. Taking up space in my brain that more useful stuff could be occupying.

The second main thing I learned was how to make herbal/essential oils. I will share that knowledge with you now.

Sunlight is a no-no. Some Pins I read required the oil concoction to steep in sunlight. I was taught you must let it sit in a dark cool place for a few weeks because heat from the sun would destroy the essential oils in the plants. Is this 100 percent true? I don’t know I do know the woman who taught me had been doing it that way her whole life and her mother before her and her mother before her and so on.
Any oil can be used but if you are wanting to capture the scent of a plant use a light scented oil. I did go against this bit right here, only because the only oils I had on hand were olive and coconut. Coconut is a solid like lard so I used the olive oil. It was a light olive oil so the smell was not as strong as most olive oils. The olive oil scent was still pretty noticeable. But I was able to make it work. Now if you are making oils for taste/cooking nothing beats rosemary steeped in olive oil. Yummy.

The lavender oil turned out rather nice, with the olive oil having a noticeable I had to repeat the process twice. Now I must warn you homemade essential oils are not going to smell as strong as store bought essential oils. Even though the smell isn’t strong I still believe this is a good way to bring a part of your fragrant garden indoors so you can enjoy year round.


 

Lavender Essential Oil

Fresh cut lavender.
Glass canning jar with lid. If you have a tinted glass jar with a lid that is even better.
Oil (a light scented oil, like safflower or canola)
A cool dark place

Cut enough lavender to fill a glass canning jar. Rinse your lavender of any dirt. Let dry completely. I let mine dry overnight on a clean towel or a stack of paper towels.
Stuff the jar full of the clean dry lavender.
Pour in enough oil to cover lavender completely.
Screw on lid tightly.
Put jar up in a cool dark place.
Shake jar every few days for two to three weeks.
Strain.
Done.
Store the jar away from heat and sunlight.

Now since I used olive oil after my two weeks I strained the oil and you could just barely detect the scent of lavender. I did happened to have one lavender plant that was refusing to die so I still had some blooms available. So I cut those blooms, rinsed, dried them then stuffed them into the jar of my weak scented lavender oil. Again in a cool dark place shaking the jar every few days. I let it steep for thee weeks this time before I strained the plant material out. Steeping a second time did the trick. You could still smell the olive oil but the scent of lavender came through strong.

I use my lavender oil in my whip coconut lotions. As a massage oil. As a treatment on my scalp and hair. I’m down to my last little bit, I’m going to use it in a body scrub. I will share how to make that with you later this spring. Or summer since it looks like mother nature is going from winter to summer and just skipping over spring all together.

How long does it keep? Well that depends on how you store it. Trust me you will know when it goes bad, the oil will have a rancid smell. Most of my oils last several months. I have had a few go bad within a few months, but on those I did use low quality/cheap oils to begin with.

Lavender oil about to be used in whipped coconut oil lotion.

Lavender oil about to be used in whipped coconut oil lotion.

Now you can use hard to find expensive oils, that is up to you. But me, I feel if the ingredients cost more than what you can purchase the finished product for, it’s not worth it. Some projects I will go buy things I wouldn’t normally buy but most times I make use of the items I have on hand. If you have read my other posts you know sometimes making do (substituting) items doesn’t always work out. Those instances don’t bother me, I learn from them. Life is an adventure, throw out the owners manual and just do it your way. Unless you’re a surgeon than maybe it is best to stick with the rules.

Good luck on your essential/herbal oil making. If my process does not appeal to you. Hit up Pinterest, there are many different ways to make your oils.

This post is done. Now go forth and pin. Pin your heart away.


 

Why are you still here? How can you have your own Pinteresting adventure if your still here? “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”

Tinted Lip Balm. How it bombed before it went right.

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I’m coloring my hair red tonight. Trying to cover these bothersome gray hairs that are trying to take over my head. So while I’m waiting on the timer to tell me I’m done I thought I share with you the tinted lip balm I attempted to make.

Tinted Lip Balm

Some of your favorite lipstick: a little dab will do (tint is optional)

Coconut oil 1 tsp

Vitamin E oil (optional) a drop or two

Beeswax ½ tsp

I used a little metal measuring cup to make my balm in and a wooden stick (like a lollipop or popsicle stick) for stirring. Turn an eye on stove to low. Heat your beeswax first, it takes longer to melt. Once the beeswax melts add your coconut oil and if using something to tint balm with add now. Stir. Take off heat, add you vitamin e oil. Stir. Then pour into your container.

The pinner who posted this, like me she did not have any beeswax handy, so she used a tube of Burt’s Bees chap stick she had. I had an unopened tube myself so I used that.

Okay I will confess the original pin was not ‘tinted’ lip balm. But I read enough pins to know what it takes to tint lip balm. Everything looked good but it did not harden. I ended up with a container of tinted lip butter. What the hell did I do wrong?

My tinted lip balm was more like Tinted Lip Bomb. My first attempt sure did bomb.

The pin/blog did warn about too much oil vs. not enough beeswax.

Second attempt I used more Burt’s bees chap stick less vitamin E oil.

Also used red lipstick, but very little. The result was nice. Not nice enough that I would make it again. I’m not a big lip balm user to begin with that might be why I just don’t feel the need to make more.

Bad balm on left, very nice balm on right.

Bad balm on left, very nice balm on right.

But if you like the balm go ahead and give this a go. If you know any lip balm/chap stick users this will make a great gift. FYI: I did make it a third time as a gift for my sister.

Here is where I found myself after following the pin. There is also a recipe for lip scrub here.

DING! Time to rinse my hair. Wish me luck it turned out nice. Have a Pinteresting day !

Hair update: I like the red, sadly my grays are still showing. I did end up with stain from the color on my face. I used some coconut oil to take it off. The coconut oil took it right off, no scrubbing needed. Coconut oil is something every household needs. You can use it for so many things.

 

Care For That Living Dead Skin

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It has been awhile since I posted. Holidays, heavy work load and novel writing have taken me away from the Pinteresting Life Of Gotha Stewart blog. But I have still been trying things from Pinterest while also uploading some of my own creations to Pinterest.

The hard part is deciding which to share with you first. Should I follow the wheel of the year by going season to season? Or should I buck the system and just go with some random make no sense order?

Maybe I should flip a dead mans coin to decide. How convenient I just happen to have a dead man handy to go through his pockets. The winner of the coin toss is….randomness. Just like the chaos that is my life.

So today we shall talk about care for that living dead skin.

Zombie skin has more moisture than mine. I believe I have the worlds driest skin. So I’m always on the lookout for that ‘miracle cure’. I am ashamed of the amount of money I have spent on name brand high dollar lotions. Did they work you ask? Hell no. So I turned to the one place I could find dry skin ‘cures’ that us everyday hard working people have tried and are willing to share. Pinterest!

What came up often in my searches was coconut oil. Oh my goodness, coconut oil is used for everything. Everything! Do yourself a favor a look up coconut oil on Pinterest. Just be prepared to spend the day there exploring.

My favorite coconut lotion turned out to be very effective for treating my dry skin but also simple to whip up. The pin used only coconut oil but suggested you could add other ingredients.

Here is the original pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/314337248962080739/

Here is my whipped coconut lotion

What you will need: coconut oil (I get mine from Wal-Mart)
If you want to amp it up: lavender essential oil (I make my own)
Vitamin E
Tea Tree Oil
Bowl for mixing
Hand mixer
Container to store your whipped creation.

What I use

What I use

First things first: for those not familiar with coconut oil. The oil is solid, like lard. It has a low melting point, 78 degrees. Your body heat will melt it just fine. There is many kinds you can buy: Organic, refined, unrefined, coconut oil expressed by young beautiful island virgins. Okay the last part is not true. But you get my point. Some people say they can smell a hint of coconut. I can’t. But hey I did snort pop rocks once when I was a teenager. My sense of smell could have been compromised from that wild night.

Back to the whipped lotion. I’m not going to give you exact measurements. I’m not the measuring type. Except with baking. One must always measure with baking.

Scoop out some coconut oil into bowl. A cup or more. Next add a few drops of the lavender oil, vitamin E oil and tea tree oil. Now if this is for my face that is all I add. For a body lotion or deep hair condition treatment I will add several drops of fragrance.

Get out that hand mixer. Now whip it, whip it good. Several minutes. Once you have a bowl of fluffy goodness you are done. Transfer to your container.

For the face, a little of this lotion goes a long way. I use it everyday and do not experience clogged pores or breakouts. But everyone is different.

For skin, slather on. You will be greasy but the lotion will be absorbed in just a few minutes.

For hair treatment, massage into scalp and hair. Optional: you can cover head with shower cap and apply heat from your hair dryer. You can leave the treatment in several minutes or one hour. Shampoo twice.

Add some sugar to your whipped coconut oil for a sugar scrub. I do this a few times a week. My living dead skin loves it.

Pinterest

Pinterest

My Whipped Coconut Lotion

No go forth into that good night and whip it. Whip it good.