Sunday, April 29, 2012


Have you seen the new Wunder Budder website?

It's new and improved for searching and contains additional information.

With the new website comes a new blog. Actually, two blogs!

One, that contains news and ramblings from yours truly, and one that contains articles on general information about skincare, aromatherapy, and living naturally, among other things.

Add both to your RSS Feed, and stay tuned for Facial Care returning this week!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part III

(continued from Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part II)

So, there I was with the table, perfectly stained, but looking like a hand without Wunder Budder.
It needed wax.

So, I thought about it.
Beeswax, of course.
Candelilla wax to harden it up a bit?
Jojoba is a liquid wax, so why not?

Remember, this was my first try!

I put the waxes in a glass measuring cup, put it in a pan of water, and melted them on low heat.

As this was melting, I went back to Google and did some more searching. Then I found out that flax (often called linseed oil when used for painting) is what is known as a drying oil.

What the heck is a drying oil? I wanted to know that too. What I found out was that it's an oil. A wet, easily applied oil, but through oxidation it becomes hard. How cool is that!

I had some flax oil in my fridge, so I added some of that to the mix. But, I was running out of room in my melting cup, so I just added as much as could fit, then for fun I added some rose and chocolate extracts that were too old for use in skin products, but still smelled amazing!

I poured the new furniture wax into one of the ex-peanut butter jars I always have around my house, and let it cool, but in true Lisa fashion, I couldn't wait anymore and started using it while it was still warm.

This turned out to be a good thing, because as it cooled more and more, it became almost too hard to work with! So, I did what I don't suggest you do (but it was really fun!)... I applied the wax with my hands instead of a cloth! Scooping out large amounts of wax, I used the heat from my hands to soften it and make it easy to spread over all surfaces of the table, even the hidden ones. Although the danger of splinters is a real one (especially if you put as many coats of water based stain on your table as I did!), it's a pretty amazing, grounding feeling to work with raw wood and waxes with my fingers.

I massaged the wax in a circular motion, giving it a nice thick layer. I left it to dry, buffed it with a soft cloth, then applied another thick layer of wax with my hands. Once more, I left it to try, then buffed it with a soft cloth. After the third application, I used all my strenght to buff it down as much as I could. To remove as much excess wax as possible. I buffed it until my arms hurt.

Then I left it alone.

Heavy coating of wax on the table
At first, no matter how much I buffed, a thin sticky film remained, but luckily, due to a mixture of procrastination and being too busy, I left it for days. Somewhere within those days, the stickiness changed to a unique softness that felt neither wet or dry, to just a nice and smoothly finished table.

I'm in love.

And I'm proud. So proud of it, I've put off actually switching the tables out and using it as a full time coffee table. I know my life will have to change once it's out!
No more Stuff being left on it. No more forgetting the coaster. Daily cleaning.

But this weekend... it's happening.

The giant table is going into the attic, and we start using our awesome new table.

And with more space, I can start working on the second table. And with the second table, comes more experimenting and learning, two things I love doing.

Did I make the stain too weak (definitely!)? Did the jojoba sink into the wood (maybe)? Did I use too much candelilla (yes!)? Did the flax help it turn from sticky to smooth (I think so!)?

I'll share what I find with you, and when I do, I'll be sure to include the recipes and formulas I chose and tell you exactly what and why I did or didn't do differently.

Because I want you to Love Living Naturally!

Have you done this before using your own experiences? Did you try it based on mine? Are you looking forward to more specifics about how to do it? Let me know by commenting below!

Talk to you soon...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part II

(... continued from Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part I)

So, I had these two new unfinished pine tables that I didn't know what to do with, and I started Googling... I found lots of websites that all told me to do the same thing:
brew a pot of coffee and apply it to unfinished wood with a sponge or rag.

So, that's what I decided to do.

Kind of.

Hating to waste anything, I took the grounds out of the French press from the morning coffee, put it in a jar, and poured fresh boiled water over them.  Then, while wishing I had some hibiscus to add a warm reddish tone to coffee brown, I remembered I still had some dried elderberries left over from my ginger-elderberry syrup (which I still owe you the story for!) and I began to steep those in a separate jar.

The pink stain is just elderberries.
What a great color!
I spent a day or two adding different amounts of
coffee, elderberries and water to the jars,
occasionally testing it out on the underside of the table,
then steeping and testing and adding
and steeping some more.

Eventually, when my urge to start staining took over,
I poured them both into one giant jar, and let them steep
together as long as I could could take it.

I love how the coffee filter and elderberries
remind me of  a sunflower
with its petals blowing in the wind.
I strained half of the stain,
leaving the other half to steep,
and grabbed the only paintbrush I had around -
a crappy brush with loose bristles,
but it would do for the moment.

Applying the stain heavily, as the websites
told me to do,
I dripped coffee everywhere,
but gave the table a nice wet coat,
smoothing out the drip spots as I went.
And it smelled good!

I waited for it to dry,
and then covered it in stain again.

And then again
and again
and again.

I lost count after five or six coats.

Every time I painted on the stain, the table seemed to be almost exactly what I wanted,
but as each coat dried, the color grew lighter.

And then my husband brought home a sponge brush.  After two coats using the sponge brush, the color was exactly right and I realized that when I work on the next table, I will start out with a sponge brush for best results.

Another thing about painting so many coats of stained water onto wood is that it really dries it out!  It makes sense, and I was thinking of it as I applied coat after coat, but I didn't realize just how dry it had become until I was done staining and running my hands along the rough top.

Look at all the cracks!  It's like a hand without Wunder Budder!
So, it was a good thing I was also planning on making a wax.

To be continued...


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part I

I live in a small apartment, with an extra large coffee table.

I love the table.  It's the perfect game night table, with enough room for eight people to sit around comfortably and have plenty of table space.

The problem lies within the small apartment, which has shrunk over the years with the addition of hand-me-downs, family heirlooms, yard sale, thrift store and flea market finds, with a few new Things thrown in.  Because of all these Things, the room still fits the perfect game night table, but no longer has room to fit people around it.

Why not just get rid of the Things you might ask?  Isn't that really the problem?  You know your apartment didn't really shrink, right?

No, it has nothing to do with two Collectors of Things banning together to create the greatest collection of Things ever, the apartment really just shrank, magically.  I think it's a Salem thing.  Yeah, I'll stick with that.

Anyway, without the people, the extra large, perfect game night table has become a
Place to Put Things.

Lots of Things.

So, after Christmas, I decided enough was enough and we needed a new, smaller table, stat.  No more waiting to find the perfect used table somewhere, I wanted something Right Then.

So, I went online and ordered a coffee table, with a matching side table.

This is the new coffee table on top of the giant coffee table,
with plenty of room to spare!
I love that it's calendula yellow in this photo.
Two brand new, unfinished pine tables.

I've never finished a table before, but as well as being a lover of Things, I'm also a lover of Projects.  And being Me, I'm a lover of Projects, especially when they have something to do with Living Naturally.

So I decided to finish the table with items I had
at home.

To be continued... (go to Part II)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wunder Budder 2nd Annual Birthday Sale!

Last year I held a birthday sale online, but only certain things were on sale and everyone needed a coupon code.

This year, I decided I'd like to turn the sale into a tradition, but with a few small changes.

This year, EVERYTHING in the store is on sale!
Well, everything that isn't already sold out, that is.

No codes are needed.  Everything is priced as marked, and 5-25% off the usual price.  Everything!

In order to keep prices as low as possible, we don't have any full store sales except for this one, the Birthday Sale, so get in on it while you can!

Please note, this sale takes place online at only, and will run from 01/01/12 through 01/15/12 or while supplies last!  Once an item is sold out, it's gone until after the sale, as well as its sale price.

Happy Birthday to Wunder Budder!  (Read about it here)

Thank you to all of you who support Wunder Budder,
I love you more than I have words to explain!

XoXo, Lisa

Happy Birthday to Wunder Budder: 01/01/12!

Ok, I know, it's not the real birthday of Wunder Budder.  That would be the day in November of 2002 when I registered Wunder Budder as a business.  But, just a little over two years ago was when I decided to turn my life (and my beautiful/understanding/supportive husband's!) upside down to go for it full time, with no business experience and no money.

Wunder Budder Studio - 2010
It started as a plan of expansion out of my home kitchen, but out of some fantasy searches for places to rent, I happened upon a place that just felt right.  I looked at the listing online for days, until I took the next step to go look at it, and the leap to sign a lease.
An 18-month lease.
A contract to rent this location for a full eighteen months, and I secret I kept from most people until this point!  Although the term was a long one, I felt confident, and was happy to renew my lease for another year when the term expired.

As you can see from the pictures to the right, it wasn't a fancy place!  But it was a good size, an amazing location (walking distance from both home and downtown!), and best of all, it already had a hook up for a triple sink, a shiny new stainless steel three bay sink, which is still my favorite piece of equipment.
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Flowers on my Shiny New Sink - 2010
The studio needed a lot of work, but luckily for me I have some talented friends and family who were willing to give up their time to help me transform it from a big empty room that needed a new paint job to a working studio fit to make the things I love to make the most.
I will be forever grateful to those of you who helped me get my studio together (you know who you are!), and to everyone who donated furniture, counters, and equipment.

 Seriously, forever.

The biggest transformation happened in just one day.  One.  How?  I have no idea, but it was mostly because of these three people...

Plus me, but mostly two amazing friends and my husband.
That whole first year was a bit of a blur of new beginnings and creativity, with the second year being a blur of learning how to be a business owner and what that means, but those are stories for another time.
It's now Wunder Budder's second birthday, and time to enter into a third year of business.
I'm looking forward to a new year, a third year,
a year to combine what I learned in the first two years while making room for new stuff.
A year of convergence, change, growth, and one where Wunder Budder will learn to stand on its own two feet (hopefully!).


Happy New Year!

Don't forget to check out the 2nd Annual Birthday Sale!