Do you have a pile of books that you know you "should" read? If you do (and I'll bet most of us do), you are not alone. On those library shelves are plenty of books I've not read and there are several floating around the house waiting for me to pick them up again. As SARK reminds us in one of her books, "Books do not have to be finished to be beneficial." So, it's OK that we haven't finished all those books, but I really was feeling nagged by myself to dive further into them. Remember "Radical Homemakers"? Every time I ran out of lotion and hadn't made any, I thought of this book. I also looked through the book my Mom got me in college after I'd started buying bulk herbs at the co-op for colds, stress relief, etc. (A massage therapist who took my belly dance classes let me borrow one of her herb books and the rest is history... :) Make Your Place also showed itself and it is so straightforward that I could see more clearly how I would try making my herbal teas, lotions, etc.
I decided to start with one step: look for emulsifying wax, which I knew was in every recipe I'd seen for lotion. (Including this one.) The next time I went grocery shopping, I was keenly aware of how much I was spending on herbal teas, laundry detergent, etc. So my one little ingredient turned into a pretty big order. I have been thinking this over for many months, and am relieved to finally have the means to save money and depend less on industry. Even if I only make these supplies last 4 months, I will cut my expenses (for facial and body care, baby wash, supplements, pain and stress relief, etc, etc.) by about half. Plus, I will not have to run out every time I'm out of lotion, laundry detergent, green clay mask, and more (or at least can spend much less time at the grocery store.) Also, instead of giving my money to Giant Eagle and Target, I'll be giving my money to a small company that focuses on the earth.
When I did my initial search for emulsion wax, Mountain Rose Herbs came up. Angry Chicken recommended this company and they had most of what I needed. I tried looking for companies that were more local who sold organic, fair trade herbs, but didn't find any. What Mountain Rose didn't have, Starwest Botanicals did.
I have the ingredients out on the counter and am posting here to encourage me to get creating. :) Boxes are left to be unpacked and shelves to be built in the attic and we have seeds to plant, so there's lots of work ahead, but I'm sure that Angelo will enjoy being my helper and I'm looking forward to it, really. :)