Monday, December 27, 2010

Too Hard for DIY??

There are some things that I have just always assumed should be left to the "experts." Like I always assumed that pudding mix was something they had to make.

I learned differently.

With the holidays here and our desire to be cheap thrifty, I've learned to make some things that are even more in the they have to make them category.

I made incense cones ...

and lip balm.

Neither was particularly difficult. Since I ground the patcholi leaf into a powder, making the incense was a bit time consuming, but if I had just used the patchouli powder that came with the kit, making the incense would have been a very short project, too.

In short, that thing about old dogs and new tricks is so totally *not* true.

What I found kind of funny, though, is that I had all of the ingredients* (except fo the Vitamin E, which I decided to omit) for the lip balm already in my cabinets.

Is that weird?

*The beeswax was a parting gift from our bees. So far, we've used it to make lip balm and Tiger balm. I hope we're doing them honor in our choices for how to use their gift.

Edited to add: The Tiger Balm recipe we used was on It's the simple recipe found on this page.

Basically, the recipe is beeswax, olive oil, and essential oils. It smells really nice, but probably isn't as "strong" as commercial tiger balm, but that's okay with us ;).

*For the tiger balm, the only ingredient we didn't have on hand was the eucalyptus oil ;).


  1. Brilliant use of the bees wax! I would love to get your recipe for the two balms, if you're open to sharing ;)

  2. Heehee, I goggle at the people who assume making bread (BREAD!!!!) is "too hard." It's not difficult, just messy, and using a bread machine for the dough cycle eliminates most of the mess.

  3. Actually, I find the 10 minute kneading cycle very therapeutic, and enjoy doing it by hand! It's a great way to put your own energy into the dough. I like to bake 3 loaves at a time, and that doesn't fit into my bread machine - which is now collecting dust in my pantry...:D

    As for being too hard, I think it's more a poing of finding the time to do it, and working it into your regular household routine - I try to bake every Saturday morning.

  4. Yeah I'm with Julie. Making bread in a bread machine, is that really fun? The fun of bread is kneading the hell out of it!
    Plus it's hard work, and it rationalizes all those extra slices I'll eat. Hee hee!

    And hey, nothing wrong with the word cheap. No shame in cheapness!

  5. Sorry, Wendy, I just enlarged the chapstick recipe - thanks for thinking of that...still a bit tired after our annual toboggan party yesterday ;)

  6. I just found out this fall that eucalyptus grows well in our climate (near Chicago). I wonder if it would grow well near you? I plan to grow some, as natural eucalyptus is wonderful for chronic asthma.

  7. There's a lot of stuff that's a lot easier to make than the "experts" want you to know. Otherwise, you wouldn't buy their stuff!

    As always, Wendy, you are an inspiration. I love your blog.