Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Adventures in Carrot Seed Oil

I think I'm developing a love hate relationship with carrot seed oil because I find that the scent as it is in the bottle leads a full scale assault on my poor, unsuspecting olfactory senses. This oil is especially nourishing for mature and wrinkled skin making it the one oil that is not optional for my wrinkle cream.

daucus carota  |  queen anne's lace
I played around with various oil combinations using the carrot and came up with a very pretty, musky smelling scent that I really like. The downside to this is that a 2 oz jar of the wrinkle cream priced out at about $50 retail. To quote an expression beloved by my father, holy crap on a cracker! Just to put this in perspective, some of the oils I used sell in upwards of $50 - $90 for 100 drops, that's almost a buck a drop! They sure do smell lovely though and are magnificent for the skin. I guess beauty really doesn't come cheap.

I decided to create something a little less expensive, or what I call the "poor man's" wrinkle cream. Was there a way to create a more affordable blend without using the expensive oils or sacrificing scent? This isn't to say that a cheaper blend will be less effective, just priced more reasonably. Fortunately for me, carrot seed is not one of the expensive oils.

I spent the better part of 2 days trying to blend carrot seed with the remaining oils on my allowed list, many of which added insult to carrot scent injury resulting in the most pungent sniffing experiences from which my delicate nose may never recover! Perfumery is a fine art because the exact same oils used in different combinations can have very different results. Like fine wine, what smells heinous today can become gorgeous 5 days from now after the oils have had a chance to age.

One thing I have learned is that therapeutic blending is not always about the scent but it is a nice benefit especially if you plan to slather your body with it and I was determined. The good news is that I managed to create a really lovely smelling "poor man's" blend that interestingly,  I didn't think was all that great when I made it. What difference a few days makes.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

24 Paper Outfits Suddenly Cried Out . . .

Pleeeeeease release me, let me go . . .  Now that both the paper dress and paper corset projects have come to a close (at least for now) what does one DO with a drawer full of paper outfits with no apparent functional use? The obvious solution would be to design a functional use. Wall art could work as a viable option but let's do try to move beyond the clichéd shadowbox just a little bit.

Sue Cotter - Woodhenge Press
Here's what I like about Sue Cotter's box assemblage. Firstly, I can totally see a paper outfit hanging in this. Secondly, this thing appears to be more than a box because I'm guessing the backdrop is actually a curved piece of something or other. Brilliant! The awning has incredible possibility for customization, plus, we can add all kinds of pretty stuff to the bottom. This design is simple, elegant, adaptable and something I can totally recreate with chipboard and other papers I already have which means I don't have to buy anything. Awesome!

I've spent a lot of time collecting images of shadowboxes, armoires, inverted drawers and various other examples of paper art display possibilities but at the end of the day, nobody ever earned a dime by talking about what they might do. Time to put up or shut up so my next paper project will focus on creating complimentary displays for every single paper outfit now sitting in my drawer gathering dust.

I'm off to create some dazzling graphic for the official kickoff of this project. Ciao for now!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Wrinkle Diminishing Cream Experiment

Skin care products that most appeal to our sense of vanity especially youth and beauty are some of woman kind's most valued resources. As a certified aromatherapist I have to ask myself what a girl needs in order to keep her youthful beauty and which essential oils can best meet the challenge both from a therapeutic perspective as well as an emotional one?

5 Simple Anti Aging Tips for Women
Our emotional state of mind plays a factor in how good we look so it's important to take into consideration the energetic properties of my chosen oils. Oils that are sedative to the central nervous system, reduce anxiety, fear and tension, as well as open the heart and promote feelings of wellbeing are going to be ideal for this kind of blend. When we feel relaxed, nurtured and supported, it shows!

Therapeutically speaking, cellular regeneration is the key to youthful skin so I want oils that contract and tighten tissue, nourish the skin, and are, most of all, cell regenerative. Many a celebrity have traveled to clinics in Europe where non surgical rejuvenation is a specialty and essential oils play a starring role.

In designing my wrinkle cream I want my product to smell nice enough that clients feel compelled to take in long, deep, therapeutic breaths so I'll blend complementary oils from all 3 fragrance notes, top, middle and base.

My last consideration is what type of carrier oils will I use and and how will they support the skin? Should this be an oil, a lotion, a whipped butter or cream? Since I'm limited to stock on hand I'll use shea butter, two coconut oils, and almond oil to make a whipped facial butter.

Diet will also determines how fast the effects of time go marching across our faces, but in the meantime essential oils can certainly help with damage control. Next up I'll talk about how my facial butter turned out and begin phase 2 of this experiment - testing!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013