Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Gardener's Spa, Junior Edition

At the beginning of the month I volunteered to teach a class on making skincare stuff. I had a small group of adults come to the Oakhurst Community Garden to learn how to make sugar scrub, body butter, lip balm and facial grains. I loved it. They were a really engaging group and it helped that there was a fridge full of wine left over from the Martins in the Garden event 2 weeks earlier. Joy took my class and decreed, as a member of the Garden's board, that it was a good idea for us to enjoy a glass of wine while we made our goodies. It went well, and I felt good about being able to give something to the garden, an organization I love. I never show up for garden clean-up days, so this is what I bring to the table. A few days after I taught the class one of the interns at the garden contacted me to say she'd heard it was a great class, and ask if I'd teach it to a bunch of middle school girls. I have to say, when I was a middle school girl, I was hard pressed to think of a segment of the population I liked less. However, now the thought of making this sugar scrub with a bunch of silly kids seemed so fun to me that I was undaunted by the fact that the class would have to be from 10AM - 12PM on a week day. Indeed, I took a personal day from work to do it.

Today I had seven girls, and much like having a second child is something shockingly more than having twice one, teaching 4 wine-drinking adults is to teaching seven 11 - 13-year-old girls as performing in a coffee shop to a few of your friends is to being the Blues Brothers in the redneck bar. I definitely had to break out my Stand By Your Man.

I made a few mistakes. First, kids are a lot like puppies. Can an entire bottle of essential oil be spilled? They will find a way. Is that a full bag of flax seeds for the facial grains? Yeah, not anymore, but the birds will be very happy. Does an 11-year-old know what "one drop" from a dropper is? No, she does not. Do middle school girls like the natural scents and textures of dried herbs? No, they do not. GAWD, no.

I did some stuff right, too. I chose to eliminate things that required melting. No body butter, no lip balm. Instead, we did sugar scrub and facial grains, but I moved out the melty things and moved in Fizzing Bath Bombs. Also, I brought finished examples of everything we were going to make, and showed them what the bath balls do when you drop them in water. That, friends, is my Stand By Your Man. They ate that up. Most importantly, I conducted the class outside. This may be have been the best decision I made...well...possibly ever.

All in all, it really was a lot of fun. Delightful group of kids, too. They seemed to have fun; the fact that they had scrubs and bath balls to bring home made them very happy. They plan to make and sell their wares at the Decatur Farmer's Market on Wednesday evenings. I'll have to stop by one week and see how it's going. And now, I need to attempt to get the myriad essential oil scents off me. I'm just covered.


Anonymous said...


LMP said...

So's your face!

jennifer said...

its so cool that you make your own stuff like that and spread the knowledge. I am into making perfumes w/ essential oils right now, and stronger blends in roll on dispensers. Jojoba oil is always my carrier - I think its the best oil in the world. just splurged on some awesome sandalwood and am so addicted to it. I sniff it every day but it was sooooo expensive I am scared to use it in blends that might not turn out perfect.