The art of making
What is it, and why should you care?
I’m digging through my notes and files as I prepare for the upcoming workshops that I’m offering in February — The Divinely Feminine Art of Making. Details coming soon, provided I have no more unplanned (who would plan such a thing?) visits to the ER and all the self-care that follows.
Update: The workshops are scheduled, and you can sign up here (or click on the image).
I’ve been a maker for at least ten years now. I’ve been brewing my own kombucha for that long, and making herbal remedies and beauty products for about that long as well.
Being a maker is a true reflection of my values. The key value at play here is the one that claims sovereignty over every aspect of my healing journey and puts me in the center of every decision to be considered. Another big benefit of the art of making: made-by-hand artisanal products make great gifts.
A short recap of the journey that led me to the art of making:
- I lived the first four decades of my life recklessly, heedless of my own safety and that of others. I never planned to live this long; I drank and I drugged and I drove like someone who was pretty sure she was gonna die young.
- Once I came to, and got through the first decade of a life lived in the light — less driven by miserable desperation — my relationship to myself, my physical body, and my health began to change. For the better.
- When I started paying attention to and caring about taking care of myself, I found myself drawn to alternative ways of healing. I’m sure you’ll find it’s really hard to imagine, but for a few years I was pretty stubborn about this. I scorned Western medicine and resisted and resented most of my encounters with it.
- As I’ve grown older, the physical manifestations of the consequences of living each day manifesting zero self-care have shown up in my body in some pretty interesting ways. I’ve had quite a few opportunities to revisit my thoughts about and relationship to Western medicine. I’ve mellowed, and really appreciate the excellent, caring, smart MDs and other professionals who have shown up in my life. Not instead of my alternative healers, but fully and gratefully invited to the conversation.
- Don’t even get me started on beauty! Despite our culture’s protestations, women in the third third of life are radiant, beautiful, and wise. When you dive into making your own beauty products, your inner beauty shines through more than ever.
The art of making is so rewarding — once you start, if you’re anything like me, you just want to make more and try new things.
Being a full participant in your healing journey — instead of a passive unquestioning patient — is by no means the easier, softer way. You gotta to do the research, ask a ton of questions, and consider your choices. Add the option of making some of your own remedies and you’re looking at a snapshot of how I roll.
I’m excited about sharing the divinely feminine art of making with women who are open to considering alternatives to passively accepting medical advice. Once you begin experimenting with making, if it’s a good fit for you, you may find yourself reaping some amazing benefits. Increased chutzpah, curiosity, and passion, for example.
Shine Your Light Serum
I concocted my first batch of the luscious Shine Your Light serum in November. (That’s it in the image above.) The idea came to me in a flash — I thought I was headed to bed, but my curiosity about the possibility of improving the appearance of my skin got me going. I did some research and got out my oils.
Want to make your own?
Here’s some helpful information (with some resources at the bottom if you’re inspired to do further research).
Or you may want to skip the concocting and buy some from me. I’d be delighted.
I guess now is the time for me to do a little disclaiming. I am not a doctor. The ingredients in this serum may not agree with your body; if you have had skin reactions with essential oils before, then this may not be good for you. Be careful.
- You don’t need to use to use as many oils as I did. I love nourishing oils and as I collect them, so I had many of the recommended ones on hand. Same with the essential oils. I suspect, provided you’re not as big a fan of mixing varieties as I am, that you could be very happy with a simplified base oil — I recommend use apricot kernel oil, argan oil, and rose hip seed oil as the top three. Then choose your essential oils based on the qualities you looking for.
- Shine Your Light serum makes your skin glow and feel absolutely amazing. The skin on the back of my hands is way softer to the touch than ever before. Not only that, fingernails and cuticles love it and so does my hair. And it takes makeup off so easily — even waterproof mascara. Be careful around your eyes; some of these oils can sting.
- Don’t lose your shit if your skin breaks out when you first start using this. Mine did. For about a week. A few little bumps. Then they were gone and they’ve never come back. This seems to be a common initial reaction by skin that is unfamiliar with this method of rejuvenation and moisturizing.
- Test test test test test. Control yourself and make a small amount. Or go with your gut. The art of making teaches many lessons. I’ve had to toss a failure or two away when I’ve miscalculated. Not so much any more, as I’ve found ways to tweak and rescue failures more than once. Every success and every failure makes you a better maker. And, I think, teaches you skills about risk and patience that you can use in your life and in your work/business.
- Quantities. I play pretty fast and loose. You may not want to be as fierce as I am with this. Just like when I cook, when I’m creating something I’ll read a ton of articles and recipes, take a few notes, and then run with it.
Shine Your Light serum is simple to make: Mix up a jar of your base oil, and then the essential oils that call to you.
All of the oils I use in the base absorb quickly and leave no residue. Women in the third third of life experience loss of collagen, skin tone, and moisture inside and out — skin, vagina, anus. (Yup, I’ve developed a line of products that restore those areas as well!)
Apricot seed oil contains high fatty acids, Vitamin E and A which can be used to moisturize and nourish dry and mature skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, and it firms and tones.
Argan oil prevents premature aging and its signs, such as crows feet and wrinkles, while making your skin soft and supple. It protects skin, hair, and nails from UV damage, and activates the cells’ ability to regenerate.
Carrot seed oil has several skin benefits, including the ability to rejuvenate dry and mature skin, It’s high in antioxidants, and can also help protect your skin from environmental stressors.
Grapeseed oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, aiding your skin’s ability to repair and regenerate.
Kukui oil is antioxidant and antimicrobial. It speeds healing and heals wounds.
Jojoba oil closely resembles sebum, a waxy substance produced by our skin glands, making it a natural skin conditioner that nourishes skin while also protecting it.
Pomegranate oil can reduce depth and severity of wrinkles, restore elasticity, fade age spots and increase the regenerative rate of healthy skin cells.
Rose hip seed oil has anti-inflammatory fatty acids and vitamins A and C. It treats signs of aging and pigmentation, hydrates and repairs damaged skin, tightens pores, promotes elasticity, and provides a strong protective anti-oxidant boost.
St John’s wort oil reduces the appearance of fine lines. It’s hydrating and plumps up the look of your skin, making it appear more fresh and dewy. It’s also soothing and great for sensitive skin.
Vitamin E oil is also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and repairs damage while it moisturizes.
Anti inflam, anti oxidant, repair appearance of damaged tissue
A good starting place is a 2% dilution ratio: 12 drops of essential oil to each fl. ounce (30 ml). Your mileage may vary.
Cypress is astringent; it tightens up loose skin and muscles. It’s also antiseptic, and helps heal wounds.
Geranium is astringent and healing; it reduces scars.
Helichrysum is moisturizing, reducing the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles.
Lavender is also anti-inflammatory. It firms and tones. It also reduces redness, blotching and ruddiness of the skin, helping to restore your bright, natural skin tone. When used regularly, this oil may also help to reduce dark age spots and other types of skin discolorations.
Lemon oil is a good remedy for restoring the luster of dull skin. It is astringent and detoxifying in nature and rejuvenates sagging or tired-looking skin. Its antiseptic properties help in treating pimples and various other skin disorders. Lemon is also recommended for reducing excessive oil on the skin.
Myrrh oil slows down the signs of aging and soothes cracked or chapped skin.
Frankincense oil reduces scars and relaxes skin tautened by lack of moisture.
Patchouli oil reduces scars, and prevents skin infections. It also helps rapidly heal injuries without leaving scars.
Rose oil has emollient properties for moisturizing dry skin; it also offers antiseptic and astringent properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help treat redness and inflammation. This oil can also help refine skin texture, controlling skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Rose geranium is anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. And it moisturizes and slowly fades scars.
Sandalwood oil is astringent and anti-inflammatory. It heals and fades scars.
Tea tree oil is known for shrinking pores and making your skin completely oil free. It does this because of its astringent properties. I used just a tiny bit of tea tree because I find it to be drying.
The previously unmentioned secret ingredient.
If you have access to cannabis oil (or can make some), adding a bit to this serum enhances the healing qualities. By a ton. I’m now using cannabis in everything I make. More about cannabis and healing to come….
The Divinely Feminine Art of Making workshops — coming in February.
I’m hammering out the details now. (I’ll come back to this post and update when it’s ready.)
Two versions! Attend online or in person.
In person, at my home in Petaluma (north bay, SF area). We’ll make something together and you’ll get to take what you make home with you.
The online workshop will take place on Zoom. We’ll talk about how many of the cultures we descend from revered their healers and how important the wise women were in the tribe.
My experience with making and the knowledge I’ve gleaned by experimenting and tweaking recipes and formulas has made me really sensitive to what’s working, what might need to be changed up, and what I might want to put aside for a while for later review. (The life lessons, and applicable skills that come on your maker’s journey are endless. And awesome.)
Stay tuned. Workshop dates and times coming soon. Let’s gather around the cauldron together. We’ll talk story, share tips, and dive into the lore of wise women healers and makers. Learn how to tap into your own wise and brave healer self and see what happens.
Some references, to get you started:
Apricot seed oil and one more. • Argan oil. • Carrot seed oil. • Cypress essential oil. • Frankincense essential oil • Geranium essential oil. • Grapeseed oil. • Helichrysum oil. • Jojoba oil and one more. • Kukui nut oil. • Lavender essential oil. • Lemon essential oil. • Myrrh essential oil.• Patchouli essential oil. • Pomegranate oil. • Rose essential oil. • Rose geranium essential oil. • Rose hip seed oil. • Sandalwood essential oil. • St. John’s Wort oil. • Tea Tree essential oil. • Vitamin E oil.