Last month my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ImclydeCE2/ ran a little contest to promote “Small Business Saturday” and encourage people to shop small businesses as much as possible. We asked people to nominate their favorite small business or business owner during the week. The business with the most nominations at the end of the week won a feature blog post here. Our winner was Mooncraft Crochet! Mooncraft Crochet is located in Portland, OR and is owned by Joshua Gross.
Josh is a smart and creative young man and a very talented writer. I asked him to reply to some interview questions. The interview follows with some interruptions by me to add content related to the interview topics. (Josh’s responses are in italics.)
When did you open your Business?
In 2018, I saw an ad for the Season of the Witch craft fair at a witch shop in Tigard, OR, a place I had been and met the owner already. This seemed like the perfect foray into the craft show world, and I had a lot to do to prepare. I set up and established an online presence on Facebook under my new brand, and set up my new Etsy page so I'd have somewhere online to send customers. I printed out business cards, got a table and sign, and downloaded the square app for card purchases. Then I crocheted like crazy to set up a good amount of stock. The craft fair was extremely successful, in particular for me and my new business, and I also got several other in person sales and online sales.
I maintain my Etsy site and am always on the lookout for the next craft fair.
What inspired you?
My mother initially inspired me to crochet. My whole young life she crocheted and it was always something I wanted to learn. Voodoo dolls in particular were inspired by my time living in the South and by my love of customizing things. I also like strange and unusual gifts and collectibles.
What kinds of products do you offer?
I sell pre-made voodoo dolls as well as custom - made voodoo dolls. I also sell other crochet items when needed or available. I also currently sell jewelry.
Tell us about your internet presence
I also have my own blog, Portland Stair Adventure, where I explore all the staircases in the
Portland Stair Book by Laura O Foster.
What else would you like your customers to know about you?
I am a big advocate of small business, in particular the local independent book stores of Portland and the family and friends who operate businesses online. I am a voracious reader and passionate advocate for reading, encouraging others to read and shop at local bookstores and other small businesses.
Following are links and contact info that Josh provided in this interview. I encourage you to take the time to visit these links and enjoy the creativity of this talented young man. You will enjoy his blog(s) I am certain.
*Other small business nominated in this promotion:
Second Place: Barbara Sexton – Avon
Martha Hull’s Cute + Deadly Art World
Mountain Mary Soaps
Simply Beautiful Cakes
Creations & More Coffee Shop
CW & Associates – Celia Whitmore
Sean Mizell – Pole Buildings
The Chopping Block – Doug Green
County Line Bar & Package – Otto Kidle
Mobile Yarn – Heidi Sunday
Hurley Auto Center
Jules Howell – Pure Romance
Honest Chocolates Newberg
Crazy B’s Coffee & Confections – Susan Kendrick
Brandy Porter – LaLa Leggings
Please make an effort to support small business owners in your community!
*Note: Clyde Enterprises / Chameleon Essentials (CE2) sponsored this promotion
any businesses mentioned by CE2 during the promotion did not count as a nomination.
My interest in digging around for more information on topics that may benefit my life has not waned during my absence. It is my hope that somewhere among the random pages of this blog you will find something that interests you as well. Thanks for stopping by.
We're going to just jump right in here with some of the findings from my latest round of research!
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website says: “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps heart rhythm steady, and helps bones remain strong.”
Signs that you may not be getting enough Magnesium
It is reported that 40-50% of People are not getting adequate levels of magnesium through nutrition. In my research I found a variety of complaints that could be attributed to low levels of magnesium.
I am listing only 10 of the most common symptoms that were mentioned.
1. Frequent Headaches / Migraines
4. Anxiety, depression and restlessness
5. Muscle Twitching / Cramping / Aches
6. Personality changes
7. Chronic High Blood Pressure
8. Difficulty concentrating
9. Carbohydrate cravings
10. Thyroid problems
How to boost Magnesium Levels
Now that I’ve learned how important Magnesium is and what some of the signs of low magnesium levels are, it was time to find out the best way to increase magnesium levels in the body. I was surprised to see how much information was available and also how common it is to not have enough magnesium in your system.
From an environmental standpoint, water filtration removes much of the naturally occurring magnesium in our water and over-farming combined with pesticide use have resulted in soil with low magnesium content.
Other factors related to our lifestyles can work against us and reduce the amount of magnesium we have available to our bodies. Lack of sleep, excess stress, or alcohol/caffeine/sugar consumption and many widely used prescription medications (including pain medications) will actually deplete magnesium levels. Hmmm.
Magnesium-Rich Food seems like the first place to begin. In an article for Medscape, Dr. George Lundburg wrote the following:
“Magnesium is a vital element that is required for a large number of metabolic cellular activities. We should use food as our principal source of magnesium, especially almonds, cashews, shrimp, crab, spinach, peanuts, pecans, whole grains, soy, black beans, edamame, dark chocolate, brown rice, oatmeal, figs, apricots, and bran. Unfortunately, the best data I can find indicate that nearly half of all Americans and two thirds of teens and people over age 80 do not ingest the recommended daily allowance of 300-400 mg of magnesium.”
Oral Magnesium supplements are widely available in pill, but not all supplements are created equally and insufficient digestive health is a factor that can reduce the effectiveness of oral supplements. I do have a family member that uses a magnesium supplement to help with muscle cramps with some success, as well as an essential oil blend I created for him to give him immediate relief. He loves it.
Relief From Night-Time Leg Cramps.
Magnesium Oil is quickly becoming popular as a way to boost magnesium levels as it is highly concentrated. Applying Magnesium oil to the skin will allow the magnesium to transfer quickly and efficiently into our bodies. Your skin will only take what it needs (unlike when taking oral supplements). Magnesium oil can easily be made yourself by dissolving magnesium flakes in boiled distilled water or it can be purchased already made. You can find many brands of Magnesium oil available on Amazon and I’m sure there are many other sources. After researching the benefits of using magnesium oil, however, I will definitely be making my own large batches to keep on hand. I will not only encourage friends and family to give it a try, I will incorporate magnesium oil into some of my Chameleon Essential skincare and essential oil products. `
Some of the reported benefits of using Magnesium Oil
From the many benefits I found listed in various articles and reports, I chose the following 11 benefits to share because they were not just frequently mentioned by various sources, but also because they related to issues that my family and friends deal with on a regular basis.
1. Relieves muscles spasms, pains, and cramps
Magnesium Oil has many relaxing qualities. It helps regulate neuromuscular signals, and balances calcium levels within the body. According to NaturalHealingTools.com, spraying magnesium oil on certain parts of the body such as the thighs, abdomen and arms may help to relieve aching joints, muscle spasms and sore muscles. Rubbing the oil into the skin enhances the absorption and distribution of the mineral to successfully relieve knots and spasms.
2. Improved Energy
By activating ATP (adenosine triphosphate), Magnesium Oil can help boost energy levels which in turn helps prevent fatigue.
3. Calms nerves and eases anxiety.
Magnesium is essential for regulating certain hormones that calm the brain and promote relaxation. This includes gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps to reduce anxiety
4. Promotes a good night’s sleep
By helping calm the brain and quiet a racing mind, magnesium oil promotes a good night’s sleep and helps to relieve insomnia. Magnesium supplements have also been shown to be effective at improving sleep efficiency by interacting with hormones that relate to sleep such as GABA and Melatonin.
5. Help for Chronic High Blood Pressure
Magnesium improves the body’s ability to absorb potassium and calcium. Proper levels of potassium and magnesium can eliminate hypertension and help prevent strokes.
6. Assist with asthma
Magnesium helps to relax the bronchial muscles, which in turn helps regulate breathing.
7. Relieves Headaches/Migraines
Due to its ability to lower blood pressure and to reduce blood vessel constriction, Magnesium supplementation is linked to a decrease in the frequency and severity of migraines.
8. Guard against Osteoporosis
According to organicfacts.net magnesium is a key part of bone health, but tests for magnesium deficiency often show up negative, because the body will leach magnesium from the bones to maintain other important functions. Therefore, to ensure the proper bone health and to help prevent against osteoporosis, using magnesium gel or oil is a wise choice.
9. Relief from Pain and Inflammation
Magnesium can actually act as a natural pain-killer. Magnesium Oil can prevent nerve pain and help to ease chronic pain when applied topically. Magnesium helps to re-balance the body’s systems and reduce inflammation which not only would benefit arthritis or sore muscles, but assist with gastrointestinal or respiratory distress.
10. Diabetes Support/Prevention
Insulin resistance has been linked to poor levels of magnesium in the body. Applying Magnesium oil daily can help manage blood glucose levels and protect against dangerous drops or spikes in blood sugar.
11. Weight Loss – I’ll just share a whole section of an article I found on this benefit as it was written by the author:
In his publication A Guide to Magnesium – Part 2: Magnesium ‘Magic’ – Lose Weight, Sleep Better, and Boost Your Mood Dr. Steven Lin writes, “this important mineral is involved in over 600 enzymatic processes, so when you aren’t getting enough it can throw your whole body off. This can leave you struggling to maintain weight, sleep through the night or feeling anxious and depressed.
Here’s a closer look at how magnesium affects your ability to maintain a healthy weight:
At the time of this post, I have not yet had a chance to try using magnesium oil on a consistent or long enough trial to give you a personal testimonial. I did, however, make a small batch and sprayed it on my skin to just see how it felt. There was a tingling sensation on my skin for a few minutes after application, but no adverse reaction. I rubbed it in well and when the area was dry it felt like there was a slight non-greasy film present on the surface of my skin. One of the articles I read suggested that if you did not like the way it felt on your skin, it was ok to wash the residue off after 30 minutes. Another suggestion I read was to use it at night before going to bed and shower in the morning. I didn’t find that the residue bothered me at all. I had applied it to skin that would not be exposed so I just waited for it to dry completely and got dressed.
I intend to do a more structured and documented trial and I will, of course, share the outcome of that in an update. The information I have found about Magnesium in general, and Magnesium oil specifically, has me interested in further exploring regular use of Magnesium Oil.
It is important to note that the sharing of my research is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any disease or medical condition. It is recommended that you seek advice from your personal health professional before taking any sort of supplements or therapies in order to make sure there is no risk of harmful side-effects or contraindications for you.
Since I don’t personally know anyone who is currently using magnesium oil on a regular basis, I would welcome hearing any personal testimonials.
Just click this link to the Share/Contact Page to share your thoughts and/or email me directly.
I am hoping it won't be too long before I am able to re-open this topic to include personal testimonials from those who use Magnesium oil. Thanks again for stopping by.
there is a place for you to subscribe on the About/Subscribe Page.
Life just seems to have a way of sending me off on different paths. The next thing I know, so much time has passed that it is startling.
I miss posting here about things that interest me, but have not abandoned this blog by any means. I realize at the time of this writing it is likely only me who comes to visit. I've seen many things that need editing and have many ideas for future posts. What I am not finding is time.
If you have found your way to this blog and are wondering why it appears so abandoned, I thank you for visiting. This space is not abandoned. It is just untended due to life. I feel my current path leading me back this way again soon.
So much to explore and so little time *Sigh*
I was lucky enough to have someone gift me with a pre-order of the Legion expansion. This gave me the opportunity to create a Demon Hunter a couple of weeks prior to the official launch. The only problem I'm having is that I have so little time right now to indulge in my monster-killing hobby. I did, however, find enough time to create a new character and get as far as starting on my garrison. I hadn't been able to play in months, so it was like coming home. Here are some screenshots of my first day back in Azeroth.
Screen shots from Azeroth
Sure, i love my Blizzard games and play when I can, but the truth is that I am certainly no expert gamer. I know there are some of you out there who really know the world of gaming and I'm hoping that you will step forward and offer your expert opinions on your favorite games.
No detailed gaming review, but I do have a new pattern to share !
Clyde's Amigurumi Hearthstone Pattern
Supplies: Crochet hook size: H/8/5 mm
Worsted weight yard - White and Blue
Stuffing and Yarn needle
Round 1: Ch 2, 5 sc in first ch (do not turn. You will be working in a continuous spiral).
Marking the first stitch of each round is advised! I found it helpful to make sure I counted the stitches in each round before going on to the next one just to make sure I was staying on track.
Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch around (10 stitches)
Round 3: *1 sc, 2 sc in next sc* around (15 stitches)
Round 3: *2 sc, 2 sc in next sc* around (20 stitches)
Round 5: sc in each sc around (20)
Round 6: *3 sc, 2 sc in next sc* around (25 stitches)
Another thing I found helpful was to write down which round I completed each time as it can be difficult to count your rounds when working in spiral.
Round 7-14: sc in each sc around (25)
Method I used for sc decrease = place hook under next sc, yo and pull through that stitch, then place hook under next sc, yo and pull through that stitch, yo once more and pull through all loops on hook.
Round 15: *3 sc, sc decrease* around (20 stitches)
Round 16: sc in each sc around (20)
Round 17: *2 sc, sc decrease* around (15 stitches)
Round 18: *1 sc, sc decrease* around (10 stitches)
Round 19: sc decrease around (5 stitches)
This is where you stuff with Poly-fill or other stuffing (more is better)
I used end of the crochet hook to make sure stuffing was pushed evenly into the hearthstone.
Round 20 : sc decrease until down to 1 stitch.
Fasten off and secure ends. You may want to shape a bit with your hands and squeeze the stuffing into the areas that provide the exact shape you are looking for.
To make the swirl design, I used a blue worsted weight yarn and chained 35-40 (depends on your tension and how long you want your swirl to be). After finishing the chain, leave a tail that is at least twice as long as your chain before cutting yarn. Lay out the chain in the design you want. I used straight pins to hold it in place (just don't squeeze the hearthstone too tightly while finishing your design, or you may end up with drops of blood on your hearthstone!) Once the design is laid out as you want it, use the yarn needle with the long tail of yard to secure the design to your hearthstone using up and down stitches in the middle of each stitch on the blue chain. Hide ends.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about this pattern in the comments.
I am thinking I may hang my hearthstone from my rearview mirror (after putting a few drops of my favorite essential oil blend into the stuffing!) If you make your own hearthstone, please share a picture. I'd love to see. You are welcome to share this pattern with others, but please provide a link back to this post if you share it anywhere online.
As promised earlier, here are links to some of the other patterns that I found out there that gave me inspiration to try making one of my own.
http://www.sabrinasomers.com/hearthstone-amigurumi.php 4 EUR
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amigurumi-wow-hearthstone Free .pdf download
This one is worked in 2 halves and then sewn together, but has the shape I liked
I have been reading about this Oil Cleansing Method for the last few years on various blogs and online articles. My initial reaction was, "Yeah, like I need MORE oil on my skin". I actually have combination skin, but keeping my makeup from sliding off before the end of the day has always been a challenge. In addition to that challenge, I was still having to deal with occasional acne and blackhead problems and troublesome dry, flaky patches. The very last thing I wanted to put on my face was oil. I often used harsh cleansers on my face in an attempt to keep oily areas under control and used products on my face designed to inhibit oil but it was an ongoing battle and the dry areas of my face were getting pretty bad. My age was definitely showing in my skin. I would try expensive moisturizers on the dry areas but the only ones I really thought were helping were just too expensive for me to make a regular part of my daily routine.
I had been treating myself to occasional trips to a nearby spa for relaxing time in the jacuzzi and sauna area. I would splurge on a massage or pedicure once in a while so I decided I would treat myself to my first real spa facial. It was awesome and the aesthetician was very professional and knowledgeable. She told me something about my skin that truly surprised me. She said that my skin was dehydrated and lacked deep moisture. I asked her how that could be when I struggled so much with oily areas. She explained that the excess oil production was caused because I was regularly stripping away the natural oils in my skin and not replacing that with the proper moisturizer. hmmm. I had long ago learned that over-washing my hair caused it to be more oily. She confirmed that this is based on the same principle. My body was working overtime trying to replace the natural oils that I was scrubbing away. Of course she set me up with some amazing natural cleanser, moisturizer, and face serum. It was some awesome stuff and while I did make the initial purchase, I knew that I would not be paying that price for face products on a regular basis.
The next time I ran across someone on the internet talking about the oil cleansing method I figured it sure wouldn't hurt to try. Here is the basic method I used:
BASIC OIL CLEANSING METHOD
Get that hair out of the way with a headband
Apply a couple tablespoons of oil to face with fingertips and gently massage until entire face is covered (I chose organic coconut oil but I will list some other popular oils later in this post)
Soak an absorbent washcloth with hot water (not too hot!) and wring out excess water
while still leaving it pretty wet.
Lay the steamy cloth over your face and enjoy the warmth until cloth cools to room temperature
(doesn't take long)
Gently wipe face with cloth and then repeat the Steam/Wipe until your face feels clean.
The first time I tried this I thought my skin felt kind of oily, but resisted the urge to steam/wipe a 4th time. Literally within a couple of minutes my skin had soaked up any trace of oil from the surface and I had soft, smooth skin that wasn't the least bit greasy. It was only a quick step from the basic method to adding my favorite essential oils and even other natural ingredients (like organic honey) to mix up my own face cleansers at home. I no longer have problems with acne breakouts, I no longer have problems with dry skin or oily skin, (my makeup will still slide off after a day of Mississippi summer heat - but that's just because the heat and humidity melt it off!) I immediately began formulating my own facial cleansers, masks, toners and serums using essential oils and other natural ingredients with great results. I never dreamed that I would ever be cleansing my face with oil twice a day, but I can't imagine doing it any other way now. I'm convinced :)
Some Oil Options for your OCM routine
The above list is only a very short list of options and the descriptions of each are by no means exhaustive. The benefits shown are just a few of the many benefits of each that I have selected to share as they relate to skin care specifically.
I recommend that whatever carrier oil you choose, that you make sure it is 100% pure, and preferably organic, for greatest benefit. All of the above oils are ones that I have used in my beauty recipes and I love them all. Since I began making my own oil cleansers and beauty products with essential oils I have seen such a dramatic improvement in my skin. I will share here one of the cleanser recipes I've made. I chose this one because it is the one I am using today.
Coconut-Honey Anti-Aging Cleanser
4 Tbs. Organic Coconut Oil
2 Tbs. Organic Honey
1 Tbs. Jojoba Oil
4 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
2 Drops Geranium Essential Oil
2 Drops Copaiba Essential Oil
2 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Small container (I used a little plastic container I got at the dollar store. I recommend a glass container, but I knew this wouldn't last long enough for the essential oil to degrade the plastic!)
Small container of really hot water
Metal measuring Tablespoon
Spatula or whisk for mixing
Links to items mentioned in this post:
Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil
Billy Bee Organic Honey
Plant Therapy Jojoba Oil
Variety Pack of Carrier Oils This is a handy, reasonably priced set that will give you a variety to try.
(Fractionated Coconut oil, Avocado oil, Sweet Almond oil & Grape Seed oil)
NOTE: Fractionated coconut oil remains in a liquid state regardless of temperature. If you choose to use fractionated coconut oil in this recipe, there will be no need to melt and your final product will be more liquid in nature than solid. It will still work wonderfully, just make sure you put it in a container that will not leak and may be more prone to separating because the honey is so much heavier.
The essential oils used in this particular recipe came from Young Living. You can get a customer account at this link: Young Living Essential Oils or contact your Young Living Distributor.
I also use oils from Edens Garden. You can find their oils at amazon using the following link:
You can also order directly from their website: www.edensgarden.com
If you decide to give this recipe a try, I'd love to hear how you like it. Regardless of where you purchase your ingredients, please be sure to use high quality for the best results. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
I have made other soap bags of different sizes and design, but particularly like the compact size and how the little bumps massage the skin while I'm getting clean. I was going to get out my boxes of finished items that I have stashed in the back so I could share pictures of the other soap bag designs I have made; but just getting to the boxes was more of a task than I felt like tackling today! Feel free to contact me with any questions if you decide to try the pattern and find yourself with questions.
Clyde's Pattern for Soap Saver Massage Bag
Materials I used:
US – J/10 (6.0 mm) hook
I used Cotton “Peaches & Cream” for the multi-color ones. The solid Yellow was a little bit heavier cotton yarn from my stash that has no identifying tags.
I used what I’m gonna call a Bubble Stitch (Bubble) to make the bumps on the front. I had used a similar technique on a blanket that is still one of my favorites. Of course I couldn’t find the pattern for that blanket that had the exact name and instructions for the stitch – but after some trial and error I think I got it close enough for my purposes.
Instructions for Bubble: *Yo, insert hook into st, pull up a loop* 3 times, working in the same st each time. This should leave you 8 loops on the hook when you are done. Yo and pull through all but 1 of the loops, then yo one more time and pull through the two loops left.
NOTE: If you want larger bubbles then just add one or two more yo (4 or 5) before pulling through.
Row 1: Ch 8. Starting in the 2nd ch from hook, hdc in each ch to end. Turn. (7 hdc)
Row 2: Ch 1, hdc in each st to end of row. Turn. (7 hdc)
From this point on you'll work in rounds (around the edges of the rectangle made from rows 1 and 2.
Round 2: Ch 1. *Sc in next st, dc in next st* 4 times. Sc in next 1 st. **Bubble in next st, sc in next 2 sts** 2 times. Bubble in next st, 1 sc in next st, dc in last st, and join with sl st to first sc. Turn. (18 sts)
Round 3: Ch 1. Start in the last dc (not the sl st) *Sc in next st, dc in next st* 9 times. join with sl st to first sc. Turn. (18 sts)
Round 4 – 9: Repeat Rounds 2 & 3 three times.
Round 10: Ch 2, dc in each st. Turn. (18 dc)
Round 11: Ch 1, hdc in each st (18 hdc). Tie off and weave in the tail.
To make a Drawstring: Chain 50 (keep chain tight). Weave through top of Round 10 tie knots in ends of each side and and trim. You can leave drawstring with 2 ends to make a bow, or tie the 2 ends together to make a loop for hanging in your shower. Because the cotton yarn holds water so well, I always hang mine from one of the shower curtain hooks in the shower so it will dry better. When it dries, the soap will be stuck to the inside of the bag until you soak the bag again the next time you are in the shower/bath.
Now you can add your favorite soap and it’s ready to go!
Here are links to some other free Soap Saver patterns you may want to try:
"Absolutely Easy Soap Saver" by Rachel Chol at Crochetspot.com
Soap Saver Pattern at Swirls & Sprinkles Blog
Ribbed Soap Saver from crochetncraft.com
Crochet Soap Saver (also from Crochetncraft.com)
Pampering Massage Soap Saver by Tamera Kelly from Moogly -
(this one is quite similar to the one I used)
Easy Soap Saver Crochet Pattern by Amy Ranmarine from thestitchinmommy.com
(good beginner pattern)
If you have a favorite Soap Saver pattern of your own that you would like to share, feel free to post a link in the comment section. I've enjoyed seeing all the different variations on this popular item.
I've been doing quite a bit of research on using essential oils for pets. There is certainly lots of information out there about what is safe to use and what is not. I have chosen to use only oils that have been reported safe to use (from several sources) and to only use them after properly introducing each one slowly once diluted with a carrier oil. Our fur-babies are family in our house and I intend to be just as cautious in treating them as I would be with small children.
I have read information on both cats and dogs, but for the purpose of this post I'll just be using information as it relates to only dogs. It appears that using essential oils on cats requires even more care and caution than with dogs so PLEASE be sure to do your own research and check with a holistic veterinarian about what is appropriate for your own family pet.
Meet our Fur-Babies! These photos were taken not long after we got each of them. The little guy with the bat ears is my grand-dog Bruce Wayne. He showed up on our porch a couple of years ago looking like he'd been on his own for some time. After not being able to locate his owner, my daughter decide to make him her own. We found out on his first trip to the vet that this poor little guy had heart worms . Treatment was difficult on little Bruce and expensive for my daughter, but they both persevered and he is now healthy and happy. Bobbi (photo on the right) was a birthday present to me from my husband about 7 years ago. She is a smart and loyal companion. One of Bobbi's favorite things is sitting next to the diffuser when it has peppermint / lavender mist filling the room.
I began my research on essential oil uses for pets initially because of Bobbi's sensitive skin. She has a flea allergy that sometimes results in a trip to the vet for a cortisone shot. I am very pleased to report that the last time she had a bad reaction I was successful in treating it with lavender-water washes followed by applying lavender essential oil (diluted to about 7% solution with sweet almond oil) directly onto the irritated areas . Because she is already so fond of lavender, it was a pleasant process for her. We saw results almost immediately and complete healing within 4-5 days.
Make sure that you purchase only high quality, therapeutic grade, 100% pure essential oils. There are many companies out there that are selling "scents" or will dilute the essential oils before bottling to cut down on the cost. There are 3 companies so far that I am confident have quality oils (because I have used them). I'm sure there are many others. The comparisons I have been doing on different companies is still ongoing and include more than just oil quality, but so far I am confident that at least these 3 have quality essential oils: Young Living, Edens Garden and Rocky Mountain Oils. I will be including a testimonial in this post from a gal who will share with you where she purchases her oils.
You also need to make sure before using ANY essential oil on your pets that it is safe for them. I ran across lists of various lengths of oils that are NOT safe for use on dogs. In the book "Essential Oils for Dogs – Safe Natural Remedies for Your Dogs Care Guide Book" Author, Dave Lay, has quite an extensive list that included some oils that I have never heard of. The following list of unsafe oils for dogs was included in Amy Joyson's book "Essential Oils for Dogs – The complete guide to Safely using Essential oils" and most all of them were also listed in other sources:
So what oils do I recommend for use on your dog?
As I mentioned before, Lavender essential oil is one of my favorites to use on the dogs because it is gentle and has multiple benefits. It is anti-bacterial, helps to relieve itching, is good for treating irritated skin and allergic reactions, calms an anxious dog, and even helps repel insects.
Cedarwood has antiseptic properties, repels fleas, conditions skin and fights all types of dermatitis.
Citronella repels insects, treats insect bites, and calms a barking dog.
Eucalyptus is good at repelling fleas and relieving chest congestion.
Geranium repels ticks, fights fungal infections and is also good for skin irritations.
Peppermint repels insects, relieves motion sickness and improves digestion (and breath!)
Vetiver is very calming and is good for cleansing the skin.
Ylang Ylang is good for stress and anxiety, prevents wound infection and speeds healing, and helps to maintain healthy skin.
Organic Coconut oil is not an essential oil, but is commonly used as a carrier oil and has all kinds of handy and helpful uses. I cook with it, make beauty products with it, and frequently use it as a carrier oil in many of my essential oil recipes. Turns out it is also quite good for your dog. It is good for the immune system and the digestive system. It is great for treating itchy/dry skin and I recommend it as a carrier oil for any of the essential oil applications for your dog. It is safe (and beneficial) for your dog to ingest coconut oil in small quantities daily. It can even be applied to a rag and rubbed on their teeth to freshen breath and whiten their teeth. Because of it's detoxifying properties it is best to introduce it to your dog in very small daily doses at first to see how they tolerate it and to give their bodies time to adjust. After gradually increasing dosage, the recommended daily maintenance dose for a 20 lb. dog would be a teaspoon or less. With close observation you can adjust the dose for your own dog's weight and tolerance. Do not introduce too much coconut oil into your dogs diet too quickly or they could experience tummy upset and digestive issues.
Use patience and caution when introducing your pet to a new essential oil. Try diffusing it in the room and watch to see if they show any signs of aversion. You may also apply a couple drops of a diluted oil to your hands or soft rag and allow them to smell it. It is not a good idea to put a bottle of undiluted essential oil near your dog's face for them to smell. Not only could it possibly cause them distress (their sense of smell is highly developed and pure essential oil is highly aromatic), but it would be too easy to accidentally get some of the oil in their nose, eyes, or mouth which could be very irritating or even damaging depending on the oil.
If your dog exhibits no signs of distress when exposed to the aroma , then you may take the next step of rubbing some diluted oil on your hands and gently applying it to their fur on their back. Signs of distress may include heavy breathing or lethargy.
Before applying essential oil directly to their skin, always dilute the oil with a carrier oil and apply to a very small test area first. Watch the area for 24 hours to be certain there will not be any sort of adverse or allergic reaction to having the oil on their skin.
DO NOT APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS TO EYES, NOSE, EAR CANAL, OR GENITAL AREA
Here are a couple of recipes you may want to try:
To freshen and help get rid of bad smell you can mix up the following ingredients into a spray bottle (I would suggest glass or aluminum spray bottle).
Flea and Tick Repellent Drops - Combine the following in a 30 ml glass dropper bottle:
To help ease cracked or dry toe pads, you can make a balm from coconut oil (the type that is solid at room temperature) and a few drops of Lavender essential oil and apply it to the pads on the bottom of your dog's feet.
I recently saw some posts on my Facebook feed from a very sweet young lady. She was sharing how much she and her husband were enjoying their experience with essential oils and in particular what a benefit the oils had been for them and their dog. I am very happy that Mary Ann agreed to allow me to share her testimonial here:
Here is an awesome way to wear your favorite essential oils! This project started when a friend mentioned those rubbery bracelets that you can buy and wear as a mosquito repellent. She mentioned how she had bought them for her grandchildren to wear when they were fishing. I started thinking about how much more economical it would be to have bracelets that could be re-used with the added benefit of using essential oils rather than toxic chemicals to ward of those pesky bugs.
I tried a couple of different ideas for making the bracelets. I settled on a cotton yarn so that it would have good absorbancy and "hold onto" the oils dropped onto them. The first bracelet I made was a closed circle - (I joined the 2 ends). This worked fine - but I started thinking about my friend's grandkids and the fact that they were different ages. Each bracelet would have to be custom-sized for the wrist that would wear it. Could be done -- but wouldn't it be easier to have an adjustable bracelet? A little trial and error resulted in the product shown above. You simply hold the strings while pushing up the bead until the bracelet fits snugly. It's a good idea I hoard craft supplies! I already had a bag of pony beads and plenty of different cotton yarns to work with to develop the following pattern:
For the bracelet pictured above I used a cotton yard that I had on a spool -- can't tell you the exact weight as it has been sitting in my stash for some time and I think it originally came from a yard sale or something. But it is the type you would use to make washcloths or dishcloths. I found a size "G" aluminum crochet hook in my pencil holder next to my chair so that's what I used for a hook!
Place hook in first stitch (3rd from hook) and make a shell (Shell=1 sc, ch2, 1sc in same stitch)
*When shell is complete, ch 2 and turn. make 1 shell in the ch2space of previous shell*
Repeat from * until the bracelet is the length that you want. This bracelet works up very quickly and since it is worked vertically, it is very easy to just make the length you want without having to figure out how many stitches you need in a foundation row.
Make a chain just an inch or two longer than the circumference of the bracelet and fasten off. (keep in mind that when bracelet is tightened it will make the strings longer, so I usually go shorter rather than longer on the chain). The shell stitch leaves a little hole at the center of each shell. I use my hook to weave the chain in and out of these holes all the way around the bracelet. You will want to end on a hole that leaves both ends of the chain hanging on the outside. Pull and adjust until both sides of the chain are of equal length.
Thread a pony bead onto one string then thread the second string through the bead (from the same direction). Once you slide the bead up onto the part of the string that has the chain (not just the tails) it should fit snugly. If it doesn't, you'll need to use a bead with a smaller hole or start over with a larger yarn! At this point I made a knot at the end of each chain and wove in the tails.
That's all there is to it!
Turns out that the pattern I used above made just a sliver of a bracelet when using Cotton thread and a smaller hook so I modified the pattern a bit. I started with ch 6 and made 2 shells per row (no extra ch between shells - only the ch 2 and the end of each row) It made a nice lacy-looking bracelet. I did not add the chain to adjust size since I made it just to fit me, but I did add a little "button" on the top to hold the essential oil. There's no pattern for the button because I didn't write anything down. I basically just made a small circle (like the first few rows when making a doily) then started decreasing the edge so it curled back in on itself. I kept reducing until I was back to just 1 stitch. I sewed it onto the bracelet with the same black thread it was made from and it turned out pretty good :)
It doesn't take long for the lacy bracelet made from cotton thread to stretch out to a point where it doesn't spring back into shape. I promised to send my Auntie a bracelet and a little bottle of my special blend, but she needed one that could be adjusted and tightened as needed. For her bracelet I added the chain that wove through the length of the bracelet. (like in the first pattern) Because the thread was so small, I used one of my jade beads that had a much smaller hole than the pony beads.
I have enjoyed playing with different variations of this bracelet because they are so quick and easy to work up. Hope you will enjoy it too.
A continuing series of posts on my favorite essential oils must include Vetiver. Like Frankincense and Australian Sandalwood essential oils, I cannot seem to get enough of Vetiver. I find the earthy/smokey aroma to be calming and I use it in my personal blend that I keep with me at all times. My blend combines the following essential oils in a roller bottle with Sweet Almond Oil:
In my comparison of essential oil companies I have intentions to purchase vetiver for at least 2-3 other sources, but as of the date of this post I have only purchased from Young Living.
Vetiver is native to India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka but has also been cultivated in other areas such as the Philippines, Japan, West Africa and South America. The roots are mainly steam-distilled in Haiti and Java. Haiti is reputed for producing the highest quality of Vetiver essential oil.
The cooling properties of Vetiver resulted in it's use for bringing natural freshness and cooling during the warmer summer months by weaving mats of the Vetiver roots for use in the home. The roots were also placed into earthen pots to naturally cool drinking water and keep it fresh. The grass was used in making roof thatches and Africans used the grass for making rugs, baskets, and other items for their homes.
Vetiver was used in folk medicine due to the belief that it had properties that produced abundance and is known in India as the "Oil of Tranquility".
What's so good about Vetiver?
Because of it's calming properties, Vetiver essential oil has been shown to be helpful for people who suffer from anxiety and studies have also shown some effectiveness for ADHD when the oil is inhaled. It helps to balance the mind and spirit and strengthen the reproductive system. It is an effective tonic and sedative, proven anti-oxidant, and is even being studied for it's possible uses as a natural insecticide. Other documented properties include: antiseptic, immune-stimulant, circulatory stimulant, anti-spasmodic, and it helps with the production of red corpuscles.
Vetiver oil also helps with many skin problems including acne and aging skin due to it's ability to promote skin regeneration and strengthen connective tissue.
Popular ways of using Vetiver essential oil:
- Add a few drops to your favorite carrier oil and use to cleanse your face using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). I use organic coconut oil most often for this purpose,
- Add drops to a natural home made after shave or face toner. Make a 50/50 solution of distilled water and witch hazel, Put the mixture in a glass spray bottle and spray onto cleansed face,
- Diffuse by itself or combined with other essential oils. I love the relaxing scent of Vetiver and Australian Sandalwood being diffused together. (no carrier oil needed)
- Use in a warm bath (make sure you add to carrier oil first and THEN put a few drops into your bathwater)
- Add to your favorite massage oil
Internal use of frankincense (and other essential oils) may have toxic effects and should not be ingested without supervision of a health professional.
Always test for skin sensitivity prior to use. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose.
Not all oils are created equal, so be particular about the brand of essential oil you use.
I'm a curious-by-nature 50-something with random interests. Come visit often to see what the latest topic is.