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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pinafore Apron? Way Cool, Yes I Made My Own


Hello Lovelies.....

I somehow, don't remember at all, how or why I wound up looking at Pinafore's. I wish I could remember what led me to look at them, but once I did I was enchanted.....enchanted with a quaintness and a practicality that I could not resist. These criss cross aprons are inspired from Japanese working aprons, also called mobius aprons, but these are called by many names now.

Many hours later, many days later, and falling in love with various styles etc, I realized I wanted one.
Here are some classic pics the basic style:


Here are some lovely romantic styles:



I looked and looked at it. It looked simple enough, but still there was something about it I could not figure out. Mind you I am not a seamstress, nor do I know how to sew and abhor patterns. I simply study something, try my best to figure it out, and then gingerly cut my material and sew it together and make adjustments. I have a simple sewing machine and all I can do on it is straight or zig zig stitches. I marvel when I see those who have sewing machines that do all kinds of things with names I have no clue about, a language that is altogether foreign.

So here I am trying to figure out how to sew this and I am stuck on a point about the criss cross as the entire garment is seamless! I want to just slip an arm in on one side then the other and be done! Ease and grace, love it....but it didn't work this way. I saw a short video clip about how to put this on and you have to find the center point, slip it over your head, then each arm through the openings, then straighten. This is where the criss crossing started happening in my brain and I got dizzy.
I wanted this thing and I love the cross back feature about it, but it was making me stuck. I tried to find a pattern I could follow, and there were some crazy determined ladies out there trying to create a pattern! I saw one that did a pattern, uploaded it onto a pdf file, then one could download that, print out many many pages, tape those pages together and then have a pattern! That is far too much work for me, I much prefer the ''touch and go'' way, where I can put my hands on the fabric, eyeball it, cut and sew and be done. Alas! :D

Anyway, I realized once again, though I try to reverse engineer a garment I eventually have to do it my own way, and so it was with this. And I did make one mistake which will be apparent in a minute.

But the process was and is simple, very simple, and if one were to get into making these, like I'm thinking of doing, it could go like a breeze. Eventually.

I measured how long I wanted it, and I thought above my knees is good as I dont like things getting stuck in movement there. I had some ticking fabric I got from Walmart which I loved with the thin brown pinstripes and knew it needed to have something to do with the kitchen and culinary arts lolol.
So it had to be that.

So I made those decisions, cut a basic square, then the straps which criss cross. I measured the straps on the dressform to be 18". I cut and sewed. This was a mistake in measuring as though it looked OK on my dressform, I am a full size larger than it, and I forgot to factor that in, so I had to cut 5" more for each strap, so they should have been 23" long each. I like things loose too.....easy on and easy off.
Then I had to figure out how to work with this pattern of stripes as I did want them to go down and not across and then the frayed edging of the fabric which I loved, I wanted on all  sides possible. These are the only things which really posed a bit of challenge, but with a plain fabric, there are none. This is the fabric layed out on the floor, the only working space I have, I really need a larger home with rooms for my needs. The wet spots are sprayed with Lavender Linen spray to ease out some of the wrinkles for evenness for cutting. Anything to use that spray! :D

See the frayed edges? the fabric has this on both sides, I wanted to leave them. Also is less sewing.
I pinned the top and sewed that.

Lets just imagine these two pieces are 23" long each.....these are the straps which hold the pinafore up and criss cross in back. I wanted them wider rather than thinner for the classic look, so I folded them over in half and sewed them to 3" wide.

I went to the dress form, pinned the pieces together then tried it on. The longer straps were great, the longer the better IMO....then sewed the straps. To place the straps on the pinafore, the back was the most important as I wanted the edge of the strap to line up with the edge of the pinafore.

I also cut out two pockets (no pics), by placing my hand on the fabric seeing how much fabric it took then added a couple of inches, making sure the frayed edge was the top part opening, and cut. I like spacey pockets. I cut two pieces 8" wide, almost square.
Then while wearing the pinafore I placed my hands where I wanted the pockets to be, placed the cut outs there and pinned. Then removed the pinafore and evened the placement of the pockets then sewed.

Here is the finished pinafore, which should only take half an hour next time. But next one is going to be a romantic one, made in linen and have ruffles....ala Magnolia Pearl, the white one above. But I did want this simple thing. The ticking is a bit of a stiff/non flowy fabric, not like linen, but it is soft and good to use for many things including gardening. I will be making a few more. This is the "prototype". lolol.



The ways that one can be creative with these is absolutely endless!

See how the edge of the strap lines up with the edge of the pinafore? Also frayed edge to frayed edge? these are details and details are important. And yes the stripes need to be lined up and these actually help with sewing straight.
I love how this criss cross back is so adjustable to many sizes.....its open and the longer the straps the larger it can be. No ties, simple......luv it.

To point out my mistake, the seam on the left strap? that is because it was too short. I had to cut another 5" to make them longer, and it worked. I don't like the seams but I will forget it shortly. This garment has been washed and is so soft and I do like wearing it.

I think everyone needs at least one of these, they're so easy to make, basically a large square and two 2 squares for pockets.....and it is so versatile, I can work in it, and even go out shopping in it, its a very cool thing.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DIY DampRid NON Disposable and Cleaner Air *Updated

*I have an update about the damprid hangers below, very important.
**and correction about the 'odor coming out of me' was wrong, realization today.

Hello Lovelies.....

This will be of concern for people who live with old house smell, mold, humid climates like me, etc.

I have a big project I've been working on, as I have finally after 15 years in this house declared war on the musty smell. I've just come to terms with that "musty smell'' thing, and that it was not just a seasonal thing, but a constant perennial thing, and a most unwanted guest.
The rains are here this season and as it would be in any sub tropical climate, it is very humid. Most of us struggle with keeping the inside home air clean, and I was too. I was using essential oil diffusers which helped, no chemicals, good circulation etc, but recently I realized in a very harsh way, it was not enough. Hence the war declaration.

I have worked tirelessly all of my life to be clean, inside and out, and to have my environments clean inside and out. I am pretty good with this especially using all natural helpers from Natures ingredients, so I'm chemical free. People come into my house, wherever I live, and always say how lovely it smells, both clean and pretty with natural essential oils. And I am always complimented on how good I smell too. Mind you this issue I'm reporting here is not something others detect, only me. However, I myself would smell that old house smell when I go out and am on line in a store or something and this really really really freaks me out!!! I always believed it was on the clothes and I'd wash them, but it seems it was not enough.

Recently I had housemate turn up the heat on the hot water heater so I can take hot baths again, and wow, how Ive have missed those! I was taking baths too infrequently especially the epsoms which are great for pain and inducing sleepiness. But the work involved in getting the water hot was not worth it. I even had to boil pots of water. Just not enjoyable. But now with the heat turned up, the water is very hot, too hot, but its great.
What happened when I took that hot bath, put me in a place of self disgust though and from that moment I declared WAR on this house and mold and humidity.
We do not see mold in the house and when John was building the walls in etc, he said he didn't see anything and the roof is new. It is mostly outside I smell it, and only when its damp, but its enough to get into the house. But what I didn't realize was that it got into me. And this is when I freaked. That hot bath was wonderful but when I came out, I could smell the musty odor coming out of me and I totally almost lost my mind.

**Also, I realize that the odor was not coming out of me, but that after profuse perspiring in a hot cleansing bath, I could detect the scent in the house. I realized this today after using my far infrared sauna and walking back into the house, I then detected "that smell". It is faint, but there still.

Needless to say, since I cannot simply move out of my own skin, and cannot move out of this house today or even tomorrow. I had to declare to do something about this once and for all, because nothing in nature is non negotiable.
I got online and researched again and read and read and researched for days about what people do in homes that have that musty smell and how to get rid of it, and I found some things and this is what I'm doing for a week now and so far there are improvements and I can only imagine it getting even better since I have gone all out in this war.
Get some tea, coffee or wine folks, cause I'm going to give you the lowdown.


Charcoal, Calcium Chloride, Clay:

I found out about charcoal and its uses which are mostly understood and applied creatively in Asian countries. I also learned clay is used in industry and for kitty litter to absorb moisture both from direct contact and in the air. We know that salt absorbs moisture and holds it, converts the moisture into water which can then be discarded. But specifically calcium chloride is what is used for this moisture problem specifically.

Charcoal absorbs because of its micro-porosity which is able to both absorb moisture when it is damp and hold it but it will release it when the environment is dry, which is why in Japan they lay bags and bags of charcoal beneath their floorboards when building a home because the charcoal is a great medium for its elasticity in application and ability. In Asia they also found it helps when cooking, they actually use charcoal in a pot of rice to cook and for many other things. Charcoal whitens teeth and cleans and deodorizes and I've been using it for teeth and yes it does whiten! Its been used historically to purify water and keep tanks of fish clean. Its an ancient and natural and powerful all green and multipurpose ally in life. Never be without it, and if you're not using it, find ways to!

 A really interesting video on how much the Japanese make and use charcoal.

I also discovered clay is used for moisture issues but didn't find non industrial people who use it on a ''large'' scale as I am planning, but I will be the maverick, I'm sure. (anyone who knows different let me know!)

And the salt is calcium chloride which is henceforth cc, is used to melt ice and is readily available in large bags for cheap, but only in those northern places that get snow. Here in the south, you can find some in pool supply places for the swimming pools, but it is usually twice as expensive and I don't like getting ripped off or paying more for the same ingredient just because it is marketed differently.

So I found between these three things, and hours and hours and hours of reading peoples experiences, watching youtubes, DIY's etc......the clay, the charcoal and the calcium chloride which is the ingredient in DampRid, I have three weapons against this problem.
These were going to be Environment Control, something I'd not done before.

But first I had to find out if those things would work inside this house for my problem and to help clean the air enough to remove whatever was inside my body as well. (enter silent scream)

The Test:

First and most important DampRid is non toxic and doesn't have any fumes it gives off and is septic safe. Here is a good link for questions about calcium chloride, the ingredient in DampRid
I bought a couple of DampRid products to test this cc product inside closets, to see if it attracted the moisture that kept mold and musty smell in the air (gosh I even hate those words!!!), and after a day or so I did see the moisture being trapped, the water collected and the 'smell' lessen. Good! But I wanted more, because I was not only going to trap this from inside the house but also to get rid of this on the outside, where I smell the ''smell'' by a certain area of the house by the chimney wall. This where the plan gets a bit complicated and there is a small detail I've not yet worked out, but its coming, I can feel it :D

 I bought a package of 3 hangers from walmart for closets.             

Now these work very fast I realize, as all three hangers within 48 hours have water in the bottom pocket, whereas the containers still do not have water. However the hangers come with a strong fake scent. The top part is filled with the cc and the decorative side >>>>>>>>> is porous, which attracts the excess moisture which then drips down into the bottom half where it stays.
*And this is the update. I do like the convenience of having these on hangers and the company says when the salt in the upper part is finished, then you just "throw it out"....and I say DO NOT throw it out. You can definitely empty and refill these.

You can snip a tiny cut in the upper portion of the water part, (suggestion marked by black arrow above) dump that out, and snip a tiny cut in the upper portion (also marked by black arrow) and stick a funnel in there and simply use the DampRid refills to refill the upper part. You do not have to keep buying these and throwing them out, how ridiculous is that. I've already dumped out the water and refilled the top portion of one and put it in my car. I prefer these refilled as they do not have the strong scent the hangers come with which are overpowering and chemical smelling. So once they are finished, I dump out the water, use the refills to refill the hanger top and can hang these anywhere.

So I know the DampRid, or calcium chloride works. But now I need to get a sh*tload of it, both to keep in the house to replace it constantly as I realized in this house it is not just a seasonal disorder shall we say? but a perennial one, and I need some for use on the outside, without getting wet from rains which is the detail I've yet to work out.
But I was going to use and utilize any and every weapon that is available to me. War, remember?

The Plan:

Once I had the inside plan complete, I started to work on the outside plan but I also needed to get the housemate on board because this is his house and I have only so much $ to spend. So I sat him down and explained the problem. Mold is a problem dude!!! He still doesn't get it because it hasn't affected him in a way that puts him 6 feet under. He only understands things that impact one with blood or death. Moving on. However, he did see my um ahem, 'concern', and knew he should cooperate quick.

I eventually found online a 25lb bag of calcium chloride for $20.00 total. I ordered it. I (john) also went out and got 6 more of those DampRid things for their containers because they were only about $5 for 2 of them at Lowes and I needed the containers because I didn't find another cheaper or prettier way of doing this another way. I don't keep plastics in the house. So these will be refilled.
I certainly didn't want to be buying all kinds of things that need constant replacing, this is not only expensive but is not sustainable. I abhor the disposable mentality and I look for ways to not only avoid that type of thing but to reuse, recycle and repurpose, but those containers were going to get a makeover if they're to stay in this house. I only need to buy more large bags of the calcium chloride.

As for CHARCOAL, there is one company that is very popular if not a bit gimmicky, and I bought one of those bags to test and it works, but its not strong enough. In other words, it works but I need much more it.  

This info from their site:
With simple maintenance the Moso Bags are reusable for up two years! Most common air fresheners, in addition to being ineffective, don’t last more than 45 days. Once a month, place your Moso Bag outside. The UV rays from the sun will clear out the pores of the bamboo charcoal, making it ready to absorb again. After two years as an air purifier, the Moso Bag makes a wonderful addition to your garden. Simply cut open the Moso Bag and sprinkle the bamboo charcoal into the soil, where it helps plants absorb moisture and nutrients. This completes its lifecycle as a product that comes from the earth and ultimately gives back to the earth.
I love that charcoal is all natural and lasts 2 years. But at $10.00 each I'd make it myself, sooooooooo......I made a few with some charcoal I had for terrariums, and bought more from the pet shop.....

The one on the right above is one I had when I was making terrariums here, and I made 3 charcoal bags from this and placed one in my car........ I had this burlap like fabric and sewed it up and added seam binding ribbon for closures, but the charcoal inside in a tighter weave linen fabric, then inserted into the burlap and tied.........


And because I read on amazon that charcoal even adsorbs negative electromagnetic pollution I keep one by my computer, no picture sorry, I have a bag here...........and one in the fridge. I just put the charcoal in an organza bag which you can get at Michaels in all colors and sizes, and added a suction hook to hold it. They're very lightweight.

I made another bag out of the charcoal from the big grill stuff, and this also went in the fridge. 

I find this charcoal from wood in larger pieces is more effective than the small rice size pieces that come from the Moso bags or the size in the aquarium charcoal. I will investigate further why this is so.

The container on the left below by API is a far cheaper one for $11.00 I just picked up to make more bags.

Lowes and Walmart both carry this brand of natural untreated charcoal used for grilling.

These are going to go into baskets around the house, and the larger bag will be used to disperse outside when I figure out that small detail about how to keep it out of the rains.

I bought 4 baskets from Walmart with liners to contain the fine charcoal powder from the wood,  to keep the charcoal in. They have gone into the bedrooms. (sorry for blurred pics)

I also picked up from Dollar Tree, for one dollar each, natural kitty litter made of Fullers Clay....... because clay also is used to adsorb moisture and control odors in a very powerful way. I will somehow use this outdoors as well. Both the untreated kitty clay and charcoal are also good for the soil, so when they breakdown organically, the soils are enriched.

I now have the charcoal baskets, the containers of cc in every room and closet, including my car and my sauna and the shed.
I think I have the inside of the house covered.
And after a week what I have learned is that the calcium chloride is fastest at absorbing the moisture which feeds the mold which causes the odor, and so I wanted alot more of that real quick.
The 25 lb bag came today, and that is what I'll be using to refill those small containers of DampRid AND which I'll be using to make much larger ones for outside use.

These smaller ones from Lowes they say are disposable but I will not be doing that, I simply fixed them up. I originally just put one into a white lacy container I got from IKEA, fit perfectly and I didn't have to see the plastic container.

But I had to buy more of those DampRid containers because they have a 2 layer system, which has a smaller strainer container that holds the cc and as it collects water, the strainer part allows the water to fall into the base container, which then gets disposed of and I didn't find a quick way of duplicating it, so I simply bought 6 more.

I fixed them up with some scrapbooking paper I had around, glued it onto the container with elmers, and painted the blue lids a grey color I had, and now they don't offend me at all, and I can keep them for as long as I need to and keep refilling them with the 25lb bag. No DISPOSABLES.

see original DampRid container         


and these are how they look now.......... 

I put one in my bedroom to show you how it looks now, but it is not staying here, it will be moved.

So this is what is happening so far. The 'odor' is down which to my logic means the mold is down??.........and to test this I have NOT been using my essential oil diffusers with a Thieves Blend to purify the air but I think the scents were masking it too not just killing the mold which was the point of using it.......... and when I go out and come back in I do the sniff test and I can tell it is already working. When I am outside the musty smell is down by around 50%.  In the house is about 50% better and it is still humid here. So I am only 50% done.

I still need to distribute the cc, the clay and the charcoal outdoors when I have the energy, which I do not lately, but it will get done. Today we closed up the fireplace opening from outside.

I have taken a hot bath again this morning and thank you LORD, I did not get any whiffs of the unpleasantries, only the natural clean ones I do like, sighhhhhhhhhhhhh!......

So will keep you posted on further updates to this very important topic and how to remediate mold, smells, moisture, how to literally make clean air naturally and to detox ones own body from the local air.

oh! oh ! ..... Great Tip!:

on the same vein as purifying air, I am also more seriously looking into purifying water and I must add here that I have learned that many people are using Vit. C, ascorbic acid to add to the bath water to neutralize the chlorine in the water! All you need is a teaspoon per 100 gallons of water and a typical bath is around 50, so it is said, but many are reporting softer skins, less itchiness, less everything bad, and these are also by kids who have no idea of what is being done to the water so there is no placebo affects. And I have added this Vit C to my bath this morning. I did in all actuality feel my skin was much softer too, it was quite enjoyable. Also I will be looking into a shower head dechlorinator also. I'm just so literally sick and tired of being polluted by the chemicals of madmen and mold. lolol.....why that sounds funny I have no idea.....lolol.

Stay tuned.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Bohemian Women

Please press play and adjust the music to comfort listening and learn to make rose water.

She celebrates the Beauty of " Truly Natural". She is effortless Beauty, an Icon of Human Beauty.

She romanticizes her world around her and decorates it with her heart.

The Bohemian Woman thrives in honesty, in simplicity, in Nature, with flowers, organic foods and clean green environments, plush with comforts of plants, trees, natural essences for scents. She is sensual in every way. Everything in her life, in environment and in her body will be good for her and she herself is good for the planet.

She is the one who sets the standard for better living in the Home.
She is the one who will demand organics in her local stores. She will shop local produce.
She will see the Earth as her playground and classroom. She will teach from this and students will benefit. She smells like herbal gardens or fresh mossy woods, or floral bouquets from pure plants.

The Bohemian woman is not a look or a style, it is a way of living, thinking and feeling. She is a conscious being. It is reflected in her environment in every way, and in her buying choices. It is reflected in her thoughts and philosophies which are reverent to what is Natural and harmless to all sentient life and yet to what pleases and nurtures.

It is reflected in her being so in tune she vibrates like a bell.
She thinks from her heart.
Her Spirit itself is colorful and full of life.


A Bohemian Woman is reflected in what she wears as much as what she doesn't wear. She will choose natural fibers like linen, silk, hemp, or cotton to wear on her skin both for health reasons and for ethical ones. Beads and crystals for jewelry, flowers and feathers in her hair.
Her eyes are often lined with kohl to frame the windows of her soul. Her face placid with gentleness and kissed by the sun.  She loves to embellish everything from her hair to her pets and she will surround herself with ethnic crafts and homemade items that are both beautiful and have a story. She thrifts for the prudence of up-cycling which keeps things alive and moving. She will seek out the unusual, the rare, the whispers of uniqueness, of wabi-sabi.

Every Bohemian woman is a mover and shaker.

Stevie Nicks

She feels her way through life.

She loves both the vibrancy and wild exuberance of colors, and the serenity and calm of pure whites.

My White Bohemian Home.

Organic beauty will always be expressed by free and natural women. Her greatest beauty trait is her confidence in herself......that she feels comfortable in her own skin, and her own thoughts and beliefs, confident in what she feels and firm in expressing it come what may. She is strong of character to express her own preferences as if she owns the world. This is irresistible. And she find this irresistible in others, the freedom to be free, adorned or unadorned to feel beautiful always.

A Bohemian woman enhances what she has with simple quick touches, never inventing different features. If one is "working" at looking Bohemian, its not Bohemian.

Bohemian women are effortless beauties. It is who she is.

She doesn't "do Bohemian", she is Bohemian.

She seeks out those people who are real and authentic. She is a friend to all animals.

The Bohemian Woman invents and reinvents the wheel so her needs get met.

The Bohemian woman has been around for centuries, and is not going anywhere.

Bohemian Women will always be distinct, an iconic eternal classic for the expression of the Free Spirited Natural Beauty in Women. She is not a trend, she is the standard.
Celebrate your Bohemian.