The Afrika Knot Necklaces are back in stock in my store. It's lighter than the old versions, in order to give some twists for people to play with. The combination of fabric is focused on blues and oranges this time, I think it gives necklace nice contrasting colors.
I buy most of my West African fabric from Amadou from Senegal. His store looks like a fabric store at first glance, but there are tailor, hair salon, incense and perfume sections in the back and also it’s a hang out spot for the neighbors. So africa! This time I went back to his store with some Wolof phrases saved on my iphone as I've started to study it a bit. He was so nice that let me practice some simple conversation and he even told me some new phrases.
I get emotional when I think about these 3 places I want to visit. I've been pulled to those culture and nature a bit too much that my imagination got a bit too far. The fire you see in the drawing above is my love fire ;) Thinking about the future travel is like having a crash on someone.
What are your 3 places you want to visit?
This winter, I started to make own Herbal Salves to avoid the dry skin. After gathering all the ingredients and making the "Herb Oil", it's the easiest thing in the world to make.
There are many good things to make your own Salves.
It's so easy and don't take long time. I don't need to buy any creams, eye creams, hand creams or lip balm anymore, because the Salve replaces all of those. It's a bit greasy when you apply, but soon it gets sucked into your skin:) The ingredients are not that expensive, the shea butter may be a bit expensive, but once you buy, you can make many times. (& If you buy a fair trade you are helping the economy in Africa) It's good for sensitive skin or area like lips and around eyes, since there are no harsh chemicals in it. If you are only using it for body, it's fun to add some essential oils, too. You can play around with variety of herbs and other ingredients depend on what kind of treatment and aromatherapy effect you'd like. I also carry the salves in a little tin can, so I can carry it with me
all the time. You can use jam jar for the container, and you can reuse it every time you make new Salves. t's a great money and resource saver after all. etc.
How To Make Herbal Salves
Ingredients: "Herb Oil" (55%*), Shea Butter (30%*), Beeswax (15%*), Vitamin E (optional -but good for you), Your favorite Oil (optional - but I like adding Evening Primrose Oil or Apricot Kernel Oil to boost the antioxidant)
*The percentages are just an example, Can be adjust it for your desired texture. I usually use 1 teaspoon to measure 10%, so it's very easy to measure. (i.e. 55% = 5.5 tsp)
*I bought the most of ingredients from this company.
Making Time: 15mins (+ 2 weeks soaking the herb in oil)
*2 weeks (or more) before you make Salve, soak some fresh or dried herb (such as lavender, rosemary, calendula, camomile, comfrey, mint, etc) into oil (such as Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, etc).
When you use fresh herb, make sure you pour enough oil to cover the herb, it'll get moldy if it's not covered. For dried herb, you don't have to worry about the mold. Filter the oil before you use for Salves. (You can also use this oil for cooking if you are using the culinary quality herb.)
1. Place a metal spoon into your freezer. You'll need it later.
2. Boil some water in a shallow pot, place the jars in the hot water, boil 3 minutes to disinfect the jars. Dry the jars.
3. Place a dry, heat resistant glass measuring cup into the hot water in the same pot from step 2. Pour all Oils you are using in the measuring cup, then mix Shea Butter and let it melt. Meanwhile, chop the Beeswax into small pieces, this will make it easier to melt. (or you can buy the small pieces as well - this way is safer. Beeswax is really hard to cut into - I cut my finger instead!) Add Beeswax, slowly let it melt. Be careful to not let water in the mixture.
4. Take out the cold spoon from freezer. Drop some mixture on the spoon to check if the salve is at your desired firmness. If it's too soft, add more Bees Wax. If it's too hard, add more oils.
5. When the mixture becomes your desired texture, pour the mixture into the jar. Let it cool down, then it's ready to use! Store in cool place without direct sunlight.
Happy New Year!
Last year as Wonder Wonder I had the freedom to work on what I wanted to make. I was able to share the result with many people and received a very welcome response. I'm really encouraged when people are happy with my Wonder Wonder creations. It makes me happy and fuels my creativity :) Through the process I also learned a lot about making a business out of making things. I feel so fortunate to have come to know many designers who make amazing works (Thank you Lena!) and collaboration with an online magazine (Thank you Paul!) Having freelance design jobs pays my bills and enables me to work on WW without too much pressure to make money (Thank you my clients!). Of course, there are still SO MANY things I want to learn and improve, but I know that the most essential thing is to make good work. It's simple but true. In 2010, I'm looking forward to work on new print designs - from something wearable to viewable. My work flow won't have as quick of a turn around, but I like the word "slow and steady wins the race" so I'm going to enjoy the making process. I cannot wait to show all of you what's in store for Wonder Wonder 2010 ;)