Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Natural Moisturizing Spray has got to be the coolest 'natural' ingredient shop around for whipping up awesome skincare goodies! This is where I started purchasing my own supplies, in fact. For a business, when it comes to their butters they're pretty pricey- but if you're looking to purchase in small personal sized quantity then they are superb. Great service and fabulous quality.

I mention this particular shop to give you an example of where to purchase an ingredient which is the Mother of all moisturizers. Vegetable glycerin.

Here is's listing for it. A thicker consistency clear liquid, vegetable glycerin is the
byproduct of making natural soap. The most obvious question then becomes, "how/where do you get this glycerin?" The answer is probably going to make you develop an eye twitch in consternation but.... it's the truth.

Commercial soap makers chemically EXTRACT this natural glycerin and then sell it. The soap you buy in big stores does not contain vegetable glycerin. What you are purchasing then is essentially detergent. Because the glycerin is left out of the final product you bring home, you end up with skin that is more susceptible to drying and cracking. (Can you say Winter Skin ten times fast? )

I've discovered a natural way to replace this humectant (definition: substance which draws moisture into the skin from the outside air) in a very economical way. You can personalize it, too!!! This is the recipe I use every day to keep my skin in great condition.

You will need:
4oz spray bottle (pump works best)
Fill bottle nearly full with water.
1 full tablespoon of vegetable glycerin

Once the water and glycerin are in the bottle, put the lid on and shake. Spray lightly on skin and wipe over it with your hand. It will feel like water. Don't let that deceive you! It's technically 'glycerin water.' If, after ten minutes, it feels a bit tacky to the touch then only use a single teaspoon in the mixture instead of a full tablespoon. This means that your skin doesn't necessarily need that much glycerin. One tablespoon for every 4 oz is the MAX you should use. If you use any more than that you're going to have a sticky mess on your hands. Glycerin is very concentrated.

You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils if you like. Your favorite perfume. You name it. Add whatever you like.

I do not recommend making more than a single 4oz bottle at a time. You'll need to add a preservative if you do.

At $12 for a hefty 16oz bottle of glycerin, you're looking at way over a year's worth of moisturizer. Not a bad deal when you think of how much moisture your skin is missing.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, everyone!

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Home at ArtFire!

Etsy, the place where I began listing my wares, is officially my ..... closet storefront now. My new main store is located at which is a sweet new art community built by people who've taken notice of Etsy's shortcomings and decided to capitalize on it. (Not that I can blame them.) I am slowly moving items over to ArtFire and am adding LOTS of new items during the coming weeks!

I finally had enough of Etsy tightening the noose around our necks making 'small' changes which absolutely have no relevance to what the community wants or needs.

I had opened an ArtFire store in October when I first heard about its grand opening but never did anything with it until last evening.
This is what made me take the leap. Enough is enough. A renewal strike? HA! I think the cupcakes were piled a little too high with icing yesterday. I just about went into hypoglycemic shock reading those responses. How can this be such a 'non issue' when the things which need to be fixed are NOT fixed and still more changes keep being made which do not benefit the artist or the buyer? Of course the shop owners are rebelling and heading over to ArtFire in droves.

I responded with
this post in the Etsy forums and was quite amused at the outcome. Typical Etsy. I was in kind of a bad mood when MaryMary closed that thread so... I started another, simply asking for clarification. Egads! One would think I had just threatened to confiscate all the cupcakes in the breakroom of Etsy Headquarters with the weird responses I was getting.

Regardless of the s#*%storm going on over in Etsy, my products will all be available on ArtFire by the first of the New Year. I'm keeping a few items on Etsy for customers who originally found me there can still know I'm alive.

Hey, maybe Etsy just needs a refill of Boo-Boo Cream. Everyone has their ouchy days. I even have small one oz jars for portability!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Great Herbs For Your Hair

Last week I discussed how fantastic henna is for your hair. It heals, protects, help fight dandruff, .... you name it! However, what if you're not a redhead and... quite frankly you don't want to be?

There are so many other herbal options available for you but you probably didn't even know they existed!! You do not have to use man-made chemicals on your hair to change the color. Mother Nature knows what vain creatures we are. She gave us some healthy choices so we can indulge all we want while keeping our locks beautiful.

So lets go through your options. We're going to go from light to dark:

What if you have pale blonde hair or gray? Or what if you don't want to change your color at all but you simply want something that will heal the damage you've already done to it?

Zizyphus Spina Christi, also known as "Sedr" conditions, improves, and cleans hair without changing the color at all! Great for sensitive scalped folks or if you can't use commercial shampoos.

Blonde? Want to stay blonde but might want to tweak the color a bit? Or how about if you have brown or auburn hair and you'd like it to be just a bit lighter?

Cassia is the one you want. Cassia Obovata. It does have a slighty golden hue to it. But on most people when you use ONLY cassia on the hair you really can't see a difference in the color. It's when you add other things like henna that the real magic happens. Cassia is also known as 'neutral henna.' But it is not henna! Cassia is a completely different plant altogether. Cassia conditions, strengthens, and adds shine.

If you are trying to maintain or want to change to a simple brown with no red undertones then Buxus dioica is your answer. Also known as 'Katam.' Buxus/Katam has a GRAY dye. Now don't read that last part and get scared. What this means is that it essentially neutralizes the red in henna!! Keeps the brown and lifts the red out. Example: when you mix an equal amount of henna and katam together the end result is a plain brown. No brassy tones. No red, period.

All of these colors we've talked about so far are medium to light. They're on the upper end of the light spectrum.

What if you want to deepen the color? Make it a rich dark mahogany, black cherry, or the darkest black? Indigo is what you are looking for! Here is an indigo community to read and learn all of the finer points.

Indigo is a tricky little plant. It gives off a magnificent blue dye. So how exactly does one take a blue dye and end up with darker red, brown, or black hair? Henna. I'm not kidding. Redbrown and blue = black. Or at least it does in the world of herbology.

Let's say for example that you've got mousy brown hair and you want a deep dark cherry red. You're going to take henna and mix it with a bit of indigo. The more indigo you use the deeper the color will be. YOU control the color!

But what if you want a plain black? Please, ye gods, do not just slap a slushy bowl full of indigo on your hair. You will wind up with blue hair. The trick is to use straight henna on your hair first. Rinse.... rinse some more... and then you add pure indigo. Voila! Raven black hair. Shiny and healthy.

So you see, you can use Mother Nature's gifts wisely and enjoy a chemical free hair color. No more itchy scalp. No more "but they discontinued my color" whining in the hair dye isle. (Oh I am soooo familiar with that particular nasal tone emanating from the haircare section. I, myself am guilty.)

My own freezer has a ziplock bag full of individual baggies of pre-made henna. It's my own recipe stuff. When I want to freshen up my color or I feel like I need some pampering, I grab one of those individual baggies and lay it in a bowl of room temperature water. Once the henna mix is at room temp I put on my gloves, cut open the bag and apply it to my hair. (And I don't have to open a window so I don't die from the fumes, either)

No chemicals. No fuss. No allergies. Healthy hair.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Truth of Henna

Ever been to an art or craft fair and saw a "Henna Tattoo Art" booth? Have you ever seen 'black henna'?

The reason why I am making this a subject for discussion on my blog is that it encompasses a HEALTH issue. There are various dangers associated with henna(or what some people call henna) and I would like to dispell some myths and enlighten those who are truly interested in learning about this natural plant-based art form.

The definition of henna is "Lawsonia Inermis" a small shrub-like tree that is native to Asia and the Arab countries. The leaves are dried and crushed to a powder and the super concentration of red-brown dye in the plant itself means that it will stain anything it comes into contact with: hair, human skin, animal skin(think: drums and wooden ornaments or instruments), finernails, shampoos, conditioners, and even moderately used in self tanning lotions! Very versatile stuff. Henna has been used since Biblical times to beautify the body and even keep the hands and feet cool in very arid regions.

Safe, ecologically sound and efficient when you look at water usage and the humane harvesting methods. An industry which needs to be protected at all cost, in my opinion. It is one of the last truly natural and safe coloring ingredients available to us.

It is not a permanent stain unless the item it was painted on never comes in contact with water. Think of henna as a temporary tattoo on the skin or a semi-permanent hair dye.

This is real henna. The good stuff. The cream of the crop.

There are dozens of brands out there. My personal fave is Jamila. It's consistent and great for body art or hair coloring. I'm going to share my recipe with you in a bit, too!!

The problem is that there are folks out here today selling all sorts of things that are not henna but their packaging or advertizing states that it is. When you use these products you are in danger of rashes, blisters(which permanently SCAR!), hives, asthma attacks, liver and kidney cancers/failure, fainting, itching of the affected skin, swollen eyelids, and.. even death.

Straight from "Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is a chemical substance that is widely used as a permanent hair dye. It may also been found in textile or fur dyes, dark coloured cosmetics, temporary tattoos, photographic developer and lithography plates, photocopying and printing inks, black rubber, oils, greases and gasoline."

Alternative names for paraphenylenediamine:

Phenylenediamine base
para-Diaminobenzene (p-Diaminobenzene)
para-Aminoaniline (p-Aminoaniline)


Now go back and look again at the picture of Jamila in the picture above. Notice that it is a very earthy looking green, yes? Not at all like it is going to give you a reddish brown hue to your hair or skin.... Or like
these people's hair! Yes. Those colors were ALL made with henna + other natural spices and liquids you can find in a grocery store! (L'Oreal eat your heart out)

True henna powder can be found in many colors, depending on the area it is harvested and the amount of rain in a given season. Not sure what you're buying? Here's a good idea to keep in mind: Real henna can be olive green, light to medium mud brown, and even a medium brown with a 'sunny' hue to it. If it reminds you of a weird kind of dirt then it is most likely henna. (hate to be blunt but... that's the best example I could come up with.)

True henna is never bright red. It is also never black or mostly yellow or super light brown. True henna has an earthy hue which is always deceptive in what its final color will be.

If you find prepackaged hair color which says it is natural henna and when you open the package you see that it has any color except green or appears to match what color you are supposed to achieve as a final result- throw it out immediately!! All of these prepackaged deals are henna mixed with powdered hair dye chemicals. And if they're so devious to not inform you right up front that there are other dyes and chemicals added to their mix then heaven help you. You can't tell what your body's reaction is going to be.

I went into my local healthfood store last weekend and found at least 3 types of prepackaged henna hair dyes. Red, Brown, and Blonde in all three brands. I wouldn't touch these things with a ten foot pole.

Click here for more info and articles on fake henna.

My own personal recipe for natural auburn hair that also hide my grays?

A single 100gram box of Jamila henna.
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon or lime(key lime is my fave) juice.
1 regular sized coffe mug full of freshly made
Good Earth Chai Tea.

In a glass or plastic bowl, dump box of henna powder in and then add the 1/2 cup of citrus juice. Using a fork mix until it is a bowl full of clumps of even size. Do not add tea(made with one bag) until it is just slightly warmer than room temp. Let it cool down naturally. When ready, pour it in your henna mixture a little bit at a time and mix thoroughly. You may not use the entire cup or you may need to add a bit of room temp water. It depends on the weather.

The final texture of your henna should be very much like brownie mix or creamy cake icing. When you have reached that texture, take plastic wrap and cover the bowl. Make sure it is airtight!! I usually have to use two pieces crossed and then tucked under.

Let sit for an hour at room temp. During this time the bowl or plastic covering may feel slightly warm to the touch. This is normal. After at least an hour, take a spoon or butter knife and gently scrape the upper layer off. If the color you uncover is different than the upper layer then you're ready to go! The color change means that the henna is properly mixed and ready to impart color.

Put on plastic or rubber gloves. (If you don't your hands will turn red. Fun.)Apply to hair starting at the roots. There is no such thing as 'too much henna on your hair.' Seriously. Slap it on like it's mud. Don't be afraid of it. Make it thick. When you're done, cover your hair with a plastic hair bonnet/shower cap and then go read a book for an hour. Or clean the house. Whatever strikes your fancy.

My recipe makes a rather thick henna so it doesn't drip or run down your neck. A lot better than that old chemical stuff out of the store!

It's far easier to rinse henna out in the shower than by hanging your head in the kitchen sink. Trust me on this. Otherwise you're going to end up with a very painful neck. So hop in the shower and using mildly warm water rinse it out. It's going to be thick; take your time.The great stuff about using henna is that you can use shampoo the day you dye your hair! Some people do and some people don't. But the point is that you CAN and it won't kill the color.

Awesome Ingredients To Add for Color Adjustment

Dried/powdered herbs like: ginger, cardamom, rosehips, paprika, cinnamon, clove, allspice, tumeric, cayenne pepper, and spiced tea of all varieties.


  • Don't add coffee. It'll make you jittery and it kills the color quick.
  • Don't use scalding hot liquids in your mix.
  • Don't use wines unless you are prepared to stink like a wet dog. Not cool. The colors you can achieve are pretty darn nice but... sometimes I don't think it's worth it. I haven't found anything yet that will mute the scent enough for me to use it on a regular basis. If you're going to use wine and you don't mind the eau d'dog then I highly recommend Gallo's red cabernet. It's cheap and you can buy it in a little four-pack of single servings. Not that you need a whole lot of it anyway.

I hope you enjoyed learning about henna! Next I will be discussing a few other possible herbs you can use alone or add to henna to tint/color the hair + shop links for you to browse. Learning about this stuff is great but if you don't know where to get your hands on some then it's pretty frustrating, yes?

{Picture is from which is where I get my own henna. Great prices and service. Their 2008 crop is spectacular!!}

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Elemental Art

This is a painting I've just listed today in my Etsy Store. "Falling Down" was originally painted in 2007 but.... it's kinda been shoved to the wayside until recently. *shrugs* It's getting nippy in my area and I've been longing for those warm summer days, what can I say? This painting says to me, "soul food."

Pure acrylic medium with a lovely thick impasto texture medium, this is one hefty piece of art. 14"x18."

"Elements no. 1" is another of my more elemental inspired works. Also 14"x18", this particular painting is a bit confusing in that I can't totally make up my mind what direction I prefer it to be seen. Highly textured with rough lava-like mediums and smooth spherical mediums which diffuse the underlying color with an almost hypnotic effect when bright lights are directed at it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Orange & Red Delights

I've seen some fantastic photography and artwork on Etsy lately and thought I'd share.

The"Summer Heat" eye shadow kit from PinkQuartzMinerals

A clownfish by kself.

"Red Flowers" acrylic on canvas by Nataera.

Mixed Thread Selection by SassaLynne.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Books... Purses?

I found an Etsy artist today who makes me positively seethe with envy. (But in a good way!) I wish I was as imaginative and crafty with needle and thread. This lovely lady makes purses out of BOOKS! The sky is the limit and she also offers custom orders based on the book or color scheme.

This is the purse that 1) I'd kill to own. 2) Brings back nostalgic memories of the days in gradeschool when I read encyclopedias for entertainment. Hey, I'm a simple person. As long as I am learning something new I'm happy.

Chic, elegant, and classy. This is definitely the most beautiful purse I've found on Etsy so far. is where you can find her shop with this purse and many others to choose from.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's In A Name?

A friend notified me early this afternoon that someone .com'ed my Etsy store name.

I am miffed. Why, you may wonder?

My blood pressure skyrocketed for about two hours until I come to the conclusion that:

1) I am mad that I didn't do it first. I'm mad at myself. Yeah, it's a dumbass reason. No, I really don't want the hassle of dealing with any other websites besides my Etsy store and my Blog. That's enough stress. What would be the point? I have total freedom on my blog and I can even sell here too if I wanted to, using a PayPal widget.

2) It seems like they poached the name because it was 'cute.' Of course it's cute! I made it up! But if they didn't poach it on purpose then they're going to have fun thinking of alternate blog names. *smile*

I opened my Etsy store on June 7th, 2008 and my Blog on the same day, although my first post wasn't until the 19th of June. Then suddenly today the .com is taken. Very nice.

The decision that I have come to is that ultimately I don't care. I'm not going to open a or a just to have a .com because I already do. They just have other cute names after terrascents... like.... blogspot... and etsy... .com

I will still continue to offer the same products eventhough there is a .com out there that has nothing to do with ME and goes by the name TerraScents. Aggravating, but there ya go. will remain my home.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Don’t be frightened, my friends. It is only a cupcake. It will not harm you...

...unless you ask it for more sprinkles to go with that great icing than what it already has. Then it turns vicious!

The solution?

I can think of a few. The most logical is to take a piece of kitchen cutlery and—

Ok, so this was a piece-of-fluff article. But I had a container of cupcakes in the house and I couldn't resist the urge to stab one of them.
What does that say about me?

....... Maybe I should go slather myself with Boo-Boo Cream and see if that helps. {Snide self deprecating humor}

Monday, July 14, 2008

Still Life Artist

The lovely self-taught artist I discovered in my wanderings at is more than a little eclectic in her love of the flora and fauna around her. I can appreciate the fact that she’s got paintings of flowers right next to rabbits and kitties. What the future holds for her is a mystery, but what I do know is that she’s got talent to spare! This woman is dangerous with a paint brush.

I'm feeling a bit hungry now........

Can I have these for my dining room centerpiece?

What better way to immortalize your beloved pet than with a portrait? She does them! This little tabby tugs my heartstrings. Such gorgeous eyes.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nourishing Handmade Soap

I told myself I was only going to do this ‘Feature an Etsier’ thing once a week. My problem is that I find too many nifty treasures when I browse. So I’ll fess up now. I am a weak willed shopper. But I also know what I like. I have very strict rules about what kind of skin care products I’ll buy from anyone.

This particular Etsier I’d like to introduce to you made me fall in love with true handmade soaps. Having a propensity to develop dry patches and eczema in cold dry weather, I’ve always chased after products which claim to make my skin feel more hydrated and supple. And yeah, I even went the route of the dermatologist. (*sadly shakes head in memory of the resulting empty wallet*) My own Boo-Boo Cream works wonderfully on an emergency flair up- but what about simple maintenance so you don’t get quite so many flair ups? That’s the kind of thing that I’m sure a lot of people who suffer from dry skin would love to know about.

LilyBaySoap says about her products: “Real handcrafted soap is very nourishing to the skin. I use plenty of shea butter to ensure extra moisture. If you've used handcrafted soap before you know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't - you MUST try it! Handcrafted soaps retain their natural glycerin, which is something that manufacturers remove and sell. Store brand soaps are drying because they are made to be that. With the glycerin removed and chemicals added, its no wonder we're so dry and itchy after a shower. Try handcrafted, we think you'll notice the difference!”

I have to agree with her. Handcrafted is the best.

And here they are! Going down from top to bottom you can see my personal faves: Cedar/Sandalwood, Plain Castile with a bit of coconut for a harder bar, and Elements of Bamboo.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lights! Camera! .... Wine?

At you can find all kinds of colorful things. The kinds of things you don't know whether to gawk at or actually touch because they're so unbelievably beautiful. Thankfully, they're all lead free and diswasher safe.

I just thought I'd share two of my faves with you today:

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Hello everyone, and thanks for dropping by my business blog for I hope you have fun browsing around. While I am not new to the Etsy venue, this is my new 'baby'.

I traveled to the Etsy forums last night and received some interesting feedback concerning TerraScents. Some folks aren't too happy that I'm selling my Boo-Boo Cream next to my scent diffusers and canvas art. Well..... sorry guys. Can't be helped. I tried having several different shops and it got to be a headache and a half.

Good news: I DO utilize the Section tool on the right part of my store. I DO use all the tag spaces available to me by Etsy and I DO make sure I'm listing each item in their proper respective categories. So although the store may appear a bit jumbled, just know that those Section links are there for you to narrow down your search and when all else fails- convo me.

One last note & a plea for help: I've had some people contact me screaming that they want to be able to buy my Hair Balm again. I'd love to be able to make it available again! However there is one teesy little problem with that endeavor- the coconut oil. I cannot for the life of me find a good wholesaler for "extra virgin coconut oil." Ya know.. the kind of coconut oil that has the highest concentration of coconut fat + the scent? Yeah, that stuff! Everywhere I go it's only for sale fractionated or deodorized and... I can't use it! It kills my recipe! The last time I tried that stuff I ended up with a pot full of gritty coconut soup I appropriately named "Coconut Crap."

If you know of any place that sells the GOOD virgin coconut oil, please let me know at


~ Angel