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January 2011 - Page 2 of 5 - Shivaya Naturals — Page 2

January 2011

Valentine’s Fabric Wreath

January 20, 2011

I don’t remember where I first saw a fabric yo-yo being used, but I remember being intrigued. It was a long and lovely garland of yo-yo’s hung from an archway, and it looked so festive and perfect. I quietly set the idea into the back of my mind, and now a few years later it has slowly come to surface.

I recently found myself with a very overstuffed fabric scrap bin, and decided that I had enough scraps in coordinating colors to put a few yo-yo’s together. You realize that I said a few. A word of warning, when you decide to make a few of these, you will inevitably find yourself buried in a mound of yo-yo’s for which you can not escape. It becomes a bit addicting, and the idea of “just one more” plays like a broken record in your mind.

Over the holidays I fell in love with Maya’s pinecone wreath construction, and I made a few to adorn our house and doors (one thing we do not lack around the holidays is pine cones and cardboard). As my fabric yo-yo collection has grown and grown, a heart wreath for valentine’s day seemed like the perfect way to use up my pile, and to give the house a bit of decoration for the upcoming holiday. Thank you to Maya for the idea of using basic cardboard as a wreath form for this project.

This is a great project to have help from the kiddos, as pulling the strings on the yo-yo’s allows for endless joy, and they are the perfect helpers for gluing each yo-yo to the form itself.

Simply start with a piece of cardboard in any size that fits the wreath that you want to create.
Draw your heart shape, and then using about an inch difference, draw another heart inside of the first.

Using an Xacto knife, cut away both drawn lines to create a thin wreath form.

Using your form as a guide, decide on the placement of your yo-yo’s, then simply set them on the outside of the wreath form.

Using an all purpose glue, glue each yo-yo to the form and allow to dry completely.

Hang wherever you would like and enjoy.

To give some life to my mantle, I glued patchwork pieces of fabric left over from the yo-yo’s to mason jars and lit tea lights inside. They are a fun way to create some soft light while bringing in the fabrics and colors from the wreath below.

Resources for making yo-yo’s
Heather Bailey (making them on your own)
Pat Sloan’s Video for making them with a Clover Yo-Yo maker (my method of choice).


Beating the Winter Blahs

January 18, 2011

The grey of winter has settled here in Northern Colorado, and the kids and I are doing are best to stay warm and cozy. This is always the time of year when I find myself in need of self-care and nurturing, heading into the herb closet to make salves, soaps and bath remedies.

Over the past few days, a lot of lotion bars have been made, wrapped, stored and gifted. In anticipation of a new little one, diaper ointments and baby oils have been thoroughly researched, and the kids and I have found and modified our favorite recipes.

Lotion bars are one of the true great inventions. A solid bar of beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter and a touch of lavender makes these smell great, and are a fun way to get the nutrients that the skin needs with out the worry of the kiddos spilling oil all over the floor.

Made into a massage bar form, these are a great gift for just about anyone, and are always part of our Valentine’s Day gifting to friends and family. I am sure that there are tons of recipes for many different types of lotion bars, but our favorite has been a quick and easy combo of oils and beeswax that gives the bar a solid texture that melts to the warmth of the hands.

4 oz of beeswax
4 oz cocoa butter
4 oz shea butter
2 oz Jojoba oil
10-15 drops of lavender essential oil
Melt everything together in a double broiler and pour into ready made molds. Allow to harden for 24 hours, remove from the molds and allow to harden for another 24-48 hours.
To combat colds, flus and the general blahs of winter, the boys and I try to do steam inhalations as often as we need, especially living at above 5000 ft where the dryness is about more than you can take in the winter months. We have an endless combination of dried herbs and oils that we use, but lately we have been loving a combo of peppermint, spearmint and ginger root. 
A few tablespoons of your favorite herbs, a few essential oils (if needed), some hot water and a towel can make any winter day a little bit easier. I have been surprised by my kids love of steam, and their willingness to stand over a bowl of hot water, taking deep breaths, for a good 20 minutes. It really does help to alleviate many of the issues that we see during the winter months, and no matter what, it always feels a bit relaxing as well. 
The winter months can be rough, but I always feel like a few home remedies can make the devastating effects of the weather a little bit easier.