Well, I have been trying the shampoo for two or three weeks now, and I really like it. It makes my hair very soft and keeps it from getting tangles. After I use it, my hair does require a little extra maintenance to keep it looking nice, but it stays looking nice for a couple of days. It also seems like not as much of it falls out. Later I will write a separate post on how to use the shampoo and on the extra maintenance that is needed when using it.
Here is the recipe:
Makes 32 ounces
Castile bar soap or palm oil bar soap
Aloe vera juice
I got my soap at Trader Joe’s. It is the package with two 4 ounce bars of tea tree oil soap. It is made with palm kernel oil. The cost is $1.99 and these two bars can be used to make 8 quarts of shampoo. You can also use castile bar soap. It is available at WalMart in the bar soap section in the Health and Beauty isles. This soap comes in packs of three, and I think the cost is $3.21. It is similar to the soap from Trader Joe’s but is made with coconut oil.
For the aloe vera, I used organic aloe vera juice from Vitacost and used Vitacost brand. The aloe vera juice from WalMart should work fine though. The organic aloe vera juice from Vitacost has no stabilizers in it, so shampoo made from it has to be kept in the refrigerator. The aloe vera juice from WalMart is stabilized with citric acid, so shampoo made from it should be OK out of the refrigerator. You will just have to keep an eye on it to make sure no mold forms in it.
First put 4 cups of water on to boil while you grate your soap. Grate about ¼ of one bar of soap (or one ounce of soap) into a stainless steel bowl. Use the smallest grater holes you have. After the soap has been grated, get as much of it off the grater as possible but don’t cut yourself. The grated soap should look like fine white powder. Do not leave any chunks in the bowl.
Now put a hot pad under your stainless steel bowl and get out a heat resistant spoon to stir with. Pour the boiling water over the soap powder. First, just pour in about 1/3 of the boiling water. Stir slowly and carefully to encourage the soap to melt faster. Make sure to press the back of the spoon against the bowl to soften and melt any soap that sticks to it. When it seems no more soap is melting, pour another third of the water in and repeat the stirring/pressing process. You should be able to melt all the soap this time. After all the soap is melted, pour in the rest of the boiling water and stir well. Your soap and water mixture should be clear at this point.
Allow the soap/water mixture to cool a little. After it has cooled a little, you can put your grater in it to melt some of the soap powder off of it. You can put it in while the water is still very hot if you have a stainless steel grater. The edges of mine are plastic, so I have to wait until the water cools a little first.
Let the soap/water mixture cool a little more – not too much or it will thicken. When it first starts to gel up it is time to add the aloe vera juice. Add three ounces of aloe vera juice. If you have really oil hair, you might want to add 4 ounces. When you add the aloe vera juice, the mixture will turn white. After the aloe is added, the mixture remains liquid; it will not thicken.
Note: I do not know if the shampoo will turn white if stabilized aloe is added.
Allow the shampoo to cool completely and then pour into a bottle. An old ketchup or mustard bottle that has been washed out works quite well.
Now your shampoo is ready to use. The total cost of each quart of shampoo should be about 30 to 35 cents, depending on which soap you use and what you pay for your soap.
Stay tuned for the follow up post. Coming soon, Lord willing!
We have so many old cassette tapes and right now the only place for them is the entertainment center in the living room. Since we don't use most of the cassettes very often, they need another place to "stay" so that they don't make so much clutter in the living room. Maybe a set of small hanging shelves could go on the wall in a corner in my bedroom. But what can I use to make the shelves? Well, we have plenty of cardboard boxes. Why not try one of those. So that is what I did.
To make the shelves, I used two boxes of approximately the same width. The longer box was used for the main body of the shelves. The shorter box, I cut into shelves and supports. Since the shorter box was the same width, I just cut it into four strips. One strip was placed at the bottom and top of the longer box to give it more strength. The other two were placed in the middle to make shelves. For the shelves, I left part of the sides on the strip along with the piece I had cut from the bottom of the box. The pieces of the sides pointed either downward or inward, providing support for the shelves.
Three or four layers of strong cardboard is surprisingly sturdy. Each shelf and the supports were screwed into place with half inch screws. First, I taped them in with packing tape. This gave them enough stability so that they didn't move around when I screwed them. They also were not as hard to hold in place. Some of the screws could be screwed in all the way. The others only most of the way. It took about 27 screws to finish the box. This seems like a lot, but a bag of screws only costs a few cents. The boxes were recycled from something we had ordered in the mail. All in all, it probably cost about $1.00 to complete the box.
The shelves can be left as is or painted or covered with pieces of wrapping paper. Decorating will increase the price of the shelves to between $1.50 and $2.00. Since it will be in an out of the way place that nobody sees very much, I might just leave it as is. Haven't quite decided yet. Anyway, here is what the unpainted box looks like. I messed up a little on the top shelf -- didn't quite get it cut evenly; but it still works. :-)
Isaiah Scruggs is a 14 year old boy with a spinal injury. When he was 13 years old, he fell out of a tree and broke his back. This left him paralyzed from the waist down. Although the family has insurance, insurance does not cover everything. Medical bills continue to pile up. Also, Isaiah is at the Shepherd’s Center having four weeks of therapy to learn many new skills. Some of this is covered by insurance, but the family still has to pay about $100.00 a day out of pocket for therapy and a bit more money for outings and other things.
Besides his therapy, Isaiah has other needs. One of these is a standing frame. This standing frame allows him to be upright and put weight on his legs. Doing this helps strengthen his bones and prevent bone loss and fractures. He will also need new wheels for his wheel chair soon. These items are not covered by insurance, and they are quite expensive.
Please pray for Isaiah and his family. And, if the Lord leads, please drop by his gofundme page and make a donation. This will be a great help and encouragement to the family. Thanks so much.
I will close this post with a verse that has been a special encouragement to the Scruggs family during this difficult trial. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Yesterday I tried my hand at some homemade shampoo. It seemed to work OK. The picture below shows how my hair looks today, one day after trying the shampoo. My hair feels a little bit "sticky," so it seems I did not get the shampoo rinsed out thoroughly. Am making a more concentrated solution today and will work on tweaking the proportions a bit. Once I get the proportions right, I'll share my recipe. The shampoo is very simple to make and the cost of the concentrate comes out to about 30 ₵ a quart.
My newest project is this afghan - zebra colors with hot pink border. It is for a special friend, Allison. I wasn't able to get a good picture because the lighting was not very good. The afghan is about 6 foot by 6 foot. To get the variegated effect, I used both black and white yarn at the same time. This made for a strong and sturdy afghan. The stitch used is V stitch. V stitch is my favorite stitch because it is so easy and fast. Total weight is probably about 7 pounds. In all, the afghan required about 14 to 16 skeins (including the 2 pink skeins for the border). It was so fun to make and such a joy to give away!
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This video by Gospel for Asia about Christmas has a message that reaches right into the heart and makes us think.