Sun Care

shelterAs people start to head off for their summer holidays, can I remind people to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day, to find some shade, drink plenty of water, cover up when possible, to use sunscreen as needed and wear a hat and sunglasses.

I grew up in Australia. I have fair skin and red hair. As you may guess, I had problems in the sun. Our primary school uniform was a sleeveless dress, but my mother made one with sleeves to protect the tops of my arms. Every time I wore that dress there were comments made about it and my parents were called into the school several times about the issue, but they insisted I wear that dress on the sunniest days. It wasn’t until my secondary school days that the “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaign started about sun protection. In full, it was “Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunblock and Slap on a hat”. I am glad to report that the primary school uniform was eventually changed to include short sleeves and a hat.

Please take care this summer, sun protectionnot just for yourself, but for those around you who need your help to understand the risks of the sun and the need to cover up, whether with clothes, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses or a shaded area.

Didi Lou Crafts does not have any items that will help with protecting your skin in the sun, but this is an issue I feel strongly about, so forgive the lack of product recommendation today.

A handmade craft item can be a wonderful gift for a summer birthday, but don’t forget to order well in advance to allow for your vacation time. Our range of products can be found at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts.

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Making bath/beauty products

Children’s clothes and toys, food and body products all have legislation or rules associated with them here in the UK. Selling internationally would just add to the complexity, so at this stage Didi Lou Crafts will not stock these types of products, although I won’t stop making some of these as personal gifts for friends.

I enjoy cooking and baking and have done food as gifts in the past. I recall as a teenager baking cookies and making pears in crème de menthe as Christmas gifts for aunties and uncles. Chocolate truffles or hand made marzipan fruits are also things I’ve made as gifts in the past. It is a few years ago now and she is no longer with us, but to see the joy on the face of a grandmother at the ripe age of 90+ when I turned up with a fresh loaf of bread I had cooked in the bread maker overnight was a delight.

Presented in a good quality jar that can be reused and done up with a pretty bow, food items make a cheap yet thoughtful gift for friends and family. I really like the recent idea of layering the ingredients for biscuits in a jar and giving that as a gift with the instructions for baking. This example is from the US, but shows the principle: http://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/mhplibrary/seasonal-ideas/cookie-mix-jar-gifts

I don’t make bath and beauty products for Didi Lou Crafts, but again I have made them in the past as gifts. I have two particular favourites which I have made with teenagers and which are very easy to make: Kool Aid Lip Balm and Milk Bath Bags. I still have a few of the lip balms from the last batch I made.

Kool Aid Lip Balm
The lip balm is quite simple as there are only 3 ingredients. Kool Aid is not common in the UK, but can be ordered online at places such as Amazon.co.uk for under a pound including postage. Petroleum jelly can be found in the baby section of most supermarkets or in most chemists/pharmacies. The bees wax makes this lip balm more solid and is optional. 100g of bees wax is less than a fiver online and is more than enough. Beaded bees wax is better than a block as it melts quicker. It should say for cosmetic or BP grade, for your own safety. The containers are also fairly easily sourced cheaply online, or reuse old lip balm jars.
Ingredients:
1 pack of Kool Aid powder of your choice
1 cup Petroleum jelly
1 tablespoon BP grade bees wax (optional)
Method:
Mix together the petroleum jelly and bees wax in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Take out and stir to ensure it is all melted. Mix in the kool aid powder. Pour into small containers whilst still warm.

lipbalmMilk Bath Bag
Ingredients:
1 cup (full fat) powdered milk
¼ cup cornflour
¼ cup baking soda/bicarb
5 drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional)
Method:
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the oil and stir thoroughly. Divide the mix into 4 and tie into circles of fine material. (For a cheap alternative, use new striped dishcloths/all purpose cloths. Cut each cloth in half and round the corners. Place ¼ of the mixture in the centre. Tie up with string or a matching ribbon.) To use, either hang the ball on the nozzle so that the running water pours over the ball as it fills the bath, or open the bag and sprinkle into the bath while it is still filling.

A hand made gift suggests uniqueness and thought has been put into it. Most people will appreciate the time put into making the gift and see any flaws as character, proving it was hand made. If you can’t find the time to make a gift, consider buying something someone else has put time and effort into making. There is a growing range of items I am producing which all offer that personal touch of a home made item. Have a look and see if any would delight one of your friends or family at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts.

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