Tag Archives: beauty

Bay Leaves: Remedies at your fingertips

24 May

Bay leaves, aka Laurel leaves, are a small evergreen plant, that has more benefits than commonly advertised. In my part of the world, we are accustomed to using laurel soups that come all the way from Aleppo. But only very recently did I learn that this beautifully scented tree can help elevate many physical & beauty-related problems.

Bay leaves can be found in supermarkets. But if you plant them (or buy them already planted in small pots), you can have them in the soil in your garden – or keep them in pots in your small-space garden.

Those dark-green leaves can do more good than flavouring chicken soups & stews:

  • They’re good for relieving aches in joints & muscles
  • Healing an itchy scalp, and dandruff
  • They aid digestion and have a calming effect
  • Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • The leaves can repel ants, just by placing them the way they are in kitchen cabinets
  • Mom tells me if you put a few bay leaves in pantry containers for sugar, rice, and flour, you are sure to stop tiny pests from growing in them.
  • You can gargle with Bay leaf tea & even use it as a body wash
  • According to e-How, “Bay leaves are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium.”

Pic via freywine.com

Bay Leaf Tea

Simply add a couple of bay leaves to boiled water. Let it sit in the kettle for 10 minutes, then drink. This tea has a calming effect and it can help in digestion.

According to e-How, you can “enjoy bay leaf tea before meals to help maintain blood sugar levels, as studies have shown that Bay leaf helps the body to process insulin more quickly to prevent spikes in blood sugar.”

Pic via cashmere.hubpages.com

Bay Leaf Anti-Aching Remedy

Did you know that buying an infusion like the one I’m about to describe will cost you much more than making it by hand? You need a cup of olive oil in a saucepan. Add several bay leaves to the oil & simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover (so you won’t lose the goodness via evaporation). Allow cooling. Strain and massage into sore areas.

Bay Leaf Dandruff Remedy

Some water plus a few crushed Bay leaves, is all you need. Boil the water, switch off the heat, then add the leaves. Cover the pot and let it steep for 30 minutes, like you would with a tea infusion. After taking your bath, wash your hair with this tea combination, and leave it on for an hour, then wash if off again.

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Remedies come from: homeandgardenideas.com, ehow.com, mom, my observations
For more remedies you can visit: herbs2000.com

 

 

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O That’s Lovley: 1 day special offer TODAY to promote your crafts

1 May

To all the artisans, handmade jewelry designers & makers, and home decor crafters & companies – Please join me to a 1 day special offer TODAY to promote your handmade products at O That’s Lovely.

I had the great privilege of being approached to promote Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry over at othatslovely.com. I’m so excited about this!

Today (Tuesday- May 1, 2012)  Oh That’s Lovely are doing a Special Offer where companies & artisans alike can upload 1 image for Free instead of the usual 99p.

“If you work within the arts, crafts, jewellery and home decor fields then you are more than welcome” to the offer & the website. To contact othatslovely.com for the offer, you can go here.

This website seems to be quite new, and I love the aesthetics. They have a pretty straightforward interface, and in my opinion, “descent” Terms of Service, which you can view over here.

With the tagline Discover. Promote. Share, Oh That’s Lovely seems to be doing it the right way. They upload an image of your work that takes readers straight to your website, Etsy shop, or blog. You do the talking. This means your image has to be extra inviting to get more hits!

More about othatslovely.com?

There is a straightforward Q&A on this page that answers all your questions about the website.

I’m so looking forward to seeing my jewelry on the website, and I do hope to see your work, too!

Have a great day all,

Karboojeh

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UPDATE: I am now being featured on Oh That’s Lovely in the Jewelery section here. I also included a mention about that on my Featured page.

Handmade Wire Rings: My first attempt at silver & gemstone jewelry

30 Apr

I have finally arrived to my Silver Stage. When I started making jewelry a little bit more than a year ago, I was mostly training to arrive to the real thing. Here are my first attempts.

All my life I have never been a patient person. My first craft attempts were all so ugly because I did them in haste. I have always dreamt of designing/making silver & antique jewelry rings, necklaces & bracelets, but I knew I wasn’t ready. I was basically waiting to reach a stage where I was patient enough to sit & work.

Early last year I bought these amethyst beads, but I knew I wasn’t ready to put them into use. I was still uncertain about the steps I was taking and my style wasn’t mature enough yet. So, I basically opted to learn so many handmade techniques –  including decoupaging, glittering, stationary-making, and packaging – to basically nurture a good artisan in me.

I nagged my mom to give me a few beads from her collection of all the scattered antique silver beads & gemstones she has collected over the years. I nagged and nagged to no avail (I guess she was worried I would create childish stuff with them – like the rest of my past creations). But then a few months ago when I wasn’t nagging at all, she gave me everything!

But I still didn’t feel I was ready. I felt heavy and confused sitting in front of those beads; hoping to come up with something spectacular but unable to quite imagine it. I lacked the self-confidence, and I’m thankful for that: it was a good hunch, because I knew that I lacked the skill & the vision for undertaking authentic jewelry-making.

Yesterday without thinking, and after finishing a few craft projects that had nothing to do with immediate jewelry-making, I grabbed the silver wire mom gave me, my treasured amethyst beads, a few of her antiqued silver beads, turquoise & coral, and I started working on these rings. I followed a strong urge to start making rings.

One of them gave me a hard time since I was totally unclear about the design. I kept twisting and twisting until I snapped the wire. But then I relaxed, stepped back a bit,  thought about what I wanted to do and created a nice ring. It’s the one in the middle (up).

Sweet Living Magazine: E-mag with a cup of tea

27 Apr

I love online e-mags. They provide lots of inspiration that you can’t find easily on the net. Sweet Living Magazine happens to be a very inspiring virtual publication that promises to give you lots of cool ideas. It’s new & it’s free!

Issue 3 of Sweet Living is out. And it’s full of inspiration & ideas.  Click here to read the issuu version. I particularly loved the homemade ice-cream recipes  provided by the readers at the beginning of the mag. And I love the heart sachet (In the pic above – L).

And to view issue 2 of Sweet Living, click here.

On  their blog, SL offer nice crafty ideas. Here’s one I really loved: A doll garland. Sweet, right?

I just can’t get over this Little chick tutorial! For full tutorial,  go to Petite Purls. SO CUTE!

I leave you with these lovely color palettes & inspirations, wishing you all a very lovely Friday.

With Color,

Karboojeh

 

 

DIY Inspiration: Candle-making

25 Apr

 

I’m not really into candle making, but I’m hoping to inspire someone special to follow through with her candle-making plans once she read this post.

Who doesn’t love candles? They’re romantic & soothing, and they make you want to go to sleep (ZzZzZZzZZzzzz). They are a great decorative piece and they come in all shape, colors and designs to suit every decor type: Shabby Chic, rustic, ultra-modern, boho, Victorian, or even vintage.

 

Above is a thorough step-by-step tutorial by fellow WordPress blogger, Something Turquoise. The first picture in this post is via Anthropologie, they look great don’t they?

Here’s a pretty tutorial from Hey Gorgeous to inspire you to make your own DIY Vintage Teacup Candles.

 

Teacups that have lost their saucers can be upcycled into beautiful candles, see Martha Stewart’s tutorial over here.

 

Candles are just so versatile and so if you plan to start making them, you can actually make candles with your own signature; candles that really stand out from the crowd.

 

Here’s a Martha Stewart video tutorial on making your own molds: Hippocrates Bust Candle – Tutorial – Martha Stewart.

What about making candles in tins?

Love this look, you can get the tutorial from Country Living over here.

 

DIY your own travel candle…

Candles in tins always look great! (See tutorial via Sunset.com)

Source: sunset.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

 

I leave you with 2 great resources for a number of candle-making tutorials:

Have a great day,

Karboojeh

Earth Day Resolutions

22 Apr

My Earth Day resolutions start by believing my contribution to the wellness of earth is never insignificant. People often believe if they’re not rich and famous then they are no-bodies, therefore their actions are unaccounted for. Well… That’s not true.

If you’re not in the media, and if you live in a small town, your actions and the way you treat the earth & nature are always very significant. Because you can never know whose life you’re touching, or whether a little child is learning from you and secretly making you their idol! What’s more important is, the quality of our lives, the quality of who we are is always an important matter, it doesn’t have to attract attention or make us lots of money: Our character, what we do, and how we live life is a daily gift. Our happiness depends on our choices!

So my first resolution is…

I am responsible for my actions, no matter where I live, or what kind of life I lead, and whether or not I have “fans” or not.

My second resolution is…

I am conscious of my consumerist trends and try my best to change them. I don’t have to follow the fashion or buy the latest technology, but rather buy what I “need,” not what I “want.”

Here’s a video (up above) to help understand these two concepts: Need & Want:

The earth is polluted because most of us “want” things and we don’t care about the price we’re paying. We create heaps of plastic and don’t care if they’re bio-degradable or not.

We are responsible because big companies carry out research that study people’s general trends & attitudes and serve these attitudes by making more new things. They make more and more and more of what we “want.” But if we go back to the basics, we will discover we only need a few things to make us happy, and these can all be handmade.

My third resolution for that matter is:

I try my best to buy handmade. Even when it comes to clothes, I try to find a local tailor instead of buying ready-made attire.

And…

I try my best to recycle, upcycle, and DIY. And if I “want” something badly, I try to make it, instead of buy it.

Happy Earth Day,

Karboojeh

Craft show: Table Display & Handpainted Pencils

5 Apr

I’m not in the mood for words. So, today, I leave you with a few pictures from yesterday’s craft show.

Just a little note about these hand-painted pencils… I adore them. They almost sold out yesterday at the Shigh Ead Craft show. I made the pencil holder (display unit) in the pic above by upcycling a Pringles can.

And finally a general view of the table. You can see some of the new items I have been working on: Fridge magnets/towel holders, notepads, “My Inspiration” notebooks & journals, in addition to jewelry (rings, bracelets, and earrings) and jewelry trees..

That’s it for now, Take care,

Karboojeh

Naturally Homemade: Grandma’s alum recipe instead of commercial deodorant

30 Mar

Pic via jasminechemical.com

When I was 17, my grandmother told me to stop using deodorants since they blocked the perspiration glands.  Deodorants are dangerous to our bodies… nature has always offered us ways to beautify and clean ourselves. Why not use alum (i.e Shabbeh – شبة) instead?

Alum is not short for aluminum. It’s a natural stone, that once crushed into tiny crystals can be your personal hygiene’s best friend.

Pic via ehow.com

Aluminum, on the other hand, is a harmful component that is used in many of the manufactured deodorants out there!

Grandma, may she rest in peace, told me that over time the blocked sweat caused by commercial deodorants will accumulate under the skin and rot, and I will start to really smell, which means I will need more deodorant to cover it up. Ultimately this blocked perspiration is a form of toxin that is locked within the body… it will harm it.

As a nature-lover, my grandma hated manufactured cosmetics, and always opted for natural remedies to fix everything. She had great insight and respect for the ways of her grandparents. She didn’t need a scientific report to tell if unnatural cosmetics were harmful or not, she knew it innately. And I believed her.

Pic via dipity.com

Alum talc-like deodorant

My grandmother’s basic alum recipe – You can use this recipe like you use talc:

  • Crush some alums until they become a bit rougher than talc (if they’re not already crushed) – about 7 tablespoons of it (or more if you like).
  • In my part of the world you can buy already crushed Musk powder, which is then added to the alum (let’s say about 1/2 a tablespoon), and it gives it a celestial smell. You can check out your area for any oriental shops & ask them if they have it.
  • Mix the two well. Place  the powder in a clean cosmetics container with a lid, and use a cotton pad, or one or those fluffy pads used for applying powder facial foundation.
  • After taking a shower, fluff your underarms and any perspiration-active areas with this mixture.
  • P.S. If you have been using artificial deodorants for a long time, be patient while the body cleans itself. At first you might think the Alum-Musk mixture is not working out because you are basically smelling, but that’s because all the blocked perspiration is now to free to leave your body. These toxins have a bad smell, but after a while when the new perspiration is now dancing with the alum you will smell fresh and quite different than before.

Alum sprayer

Pic via realsimple.com

My grandma’s great grandmothers, back to God-knows-when, used alum and they always smelled superb. In fact if you have a sensitive nose you can always tell the difference between a modern home, around the Levant where I live, and a traditional home that uses natural soaps, alum, rosewater, and all the natural scents & cleaning materials that really make everything smell better.

Another simple alum recipe is making your own alum spray:

  • Crush the alum crystals
  • Mix them with water in a bottle sprayer
  • Spray your underarms, feet, and any sweat-active areas, right after you shower.

Alum with essential oils

You can always experiment with creating your own scented alum powder. If you have a good quality rose/musk/jasmine essential oil, you can:

Pic via ashitherapy.com

  • Crush the alum…
  • add a few drops of essential oil to the alum crystals and mix well
  • use like you use talc.

Naturally Homemade: The healing touch of Tea Tree Oil

28 Feb
Tee Trea OIl - The Body Shop (vie The Body Shop's website)

I got introduced to Tea Tree Oil many many years ago, and used it for treating a variety of skin problems & other ailments. Tea Tree Oil  fixes with no side effects, it’s inexpensive, and proves to be nice to your liver!

Many people I know use unnatural skin treatments for treating zits & acne, and what they don’t realize is that these treatments hurt their liver (as indicated in small print on product packaging).

Let me reiterate the fact that using non-natural medicines & treatments for fixing skin issues has real bad side-effects. International trademarks that are known for their miraculous skin-treatment properties can cause great damage to the liver. Plus, they’re pretty expensive. Moreover, they often don’t really treat the problem! I have read in small print on the leaflet of one very famous brand – that starts with the letter |R| – that this anti-acne facial cream may cause liver problems, but hey, who cares? Well, I care.

Good news is, we have nature’s beautiful Tea Tree gift, which is a natural anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-oxidant, and disinfectant oil – with all of this goodness packed up in the healing drops of this “liquid gold,” i.e Tea Tree.

Thursday Plantation seems to be the brand my family often purchases oils & creams from; I personally like this brand & have read pretty excellent reviews about it. They produce Tea Tree products – including essential oils – such as ointments, creams, lip balms, and sprays, etc.

On their website, Thursday Plantation states:

“Sadly, this remedy from nature  [i.e Tea Tree] was forgotten for almost 30 years as cheap, synthetic antibiotics flooded the world’s medicine markets and became a way of life. The tea tree industry collapsed by the 1960’s and the oil became a rare commodity.”

But of course it picked up again.

Today, franchise shops like The Body Shop make it pretty easy for you to get your hands on some Tea Tree Oils & products (like shampoos, and creams), due to the fact the brand operates over 2,000 stores in over 53 countries (I was once personally involved in the inauguration of one of the flagship shops in the Levant, but that’s another story). Boots chain-pharmacy is another franchise shop that sells Tea Tree oil and creams.

Tea Tree – Thursday Plantation (via baronepharmacy.com.au)

let’s take a further look at some of the benefits of Tea Tree Oil as tested by this writer (me):

  • Anti-inflammatory facial skin care: I believe we all need to have Tea Tree Oil as part of our skin-care routine for fixing blemishes, healing zits, and dealing with other skin problems, like dandruff. To heal a zit, dab a cotton swab with Tea Tree Oil, then touch up the infected area. Tea Tree penetrates into the skin and hugs all inflamed areas with it’s loving touch. In no time you are acne-free, and your liver is not compromised
  • Scalp & hair care: As for dandruff, a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil in your palm, mixed with a bit of shampoo, can really heal the scalp. Of course, now they carry Tea Tree Shampoos so you won’t need to mix the oil with shampoo to get the results. However, I’m old-fashioned and I like to use essential oil, and prefer it to other Tea Tree products.
  • Coughs colds & flues: Tea Tree Oil, which might be toxic if swallowed by mouth, can heal the respiratory system in cases of soar throat, and running nose. A few drops in a pot of water, inhaled with the steam, can heal one’s throat. I tried this several times during my health craze a few years ago, and it worked fine.
  • Dental care: Although you’re not supposed to drink Tea Tree Oil, you can actually mix a few drops with your toothpaste to heal your gums.
  • Anti-fungal foot-care: In a previous post about the healing powers of garlic, I spoke about garlic as a nail-fungus healing agent. The same goes for Tea Tree. Just dab a cotton swap with some oil and cover the infected nail with the oil; don’t forget the area between the nail and the bed.

P,S… Tea Tree oil can also be used for treating feminine hygiene issues as indicated here. It is also used to cure lice, injuries, and many other ailments as shown here.

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