Saturday, August 31, 2013

Goodbye August



It's amazing... the things you could get done while the kids are back in school. I've spent the past 2 weeks catching up on a home list that was created back in April. Could you believe it...April?! But before any of those things got underway, I slipped into the craft room to let my sewing machines know I haven't forgotten about them. As I spent one morning sulking in different fabrics that were untouched for 2 months, I came up with this cute & funky apron. I can't wait to get started with more fabrics which will sport a similar style. And the lace on the pocket? It's just enough color to make this piece pop! I love the curved edge and the deep pocket for tools.





On another note... the weather is already changing. You can smell the start of fall around the corner and nights are much much cooler. And the thought of autumn makes me eager to pull out those knit sweaters and boots. In the meantime, we're enjoying the tastes and sights of what is left of summer.



 
 


 
 
 





 
Happy Trails:)
 


Monday, August 19, 2013

A Half Homemade Soap and a Baggie



What do you do when you want to make homemade soap but don't have the time to invest in 'methods' and lye? You go the half homemade route! That's right. Half homemade. I did this when an over~abundance of dried calendula had me thinking, "a soap of this sort would be great for the skin." But, I didn't have all the tools down and the methods are still being studied. So until I could do things the right way, I found my fix with these items: coconut oil, raw honey, calendula petals, and ivory soap. (I chose ivory for the lack of perfumes and dyes, and I like that it is air whipped, but any soap will do.) All I did was shave my soap bars using a grater. I added two heaping Tablespoons of coconut oil and honey. I nuked it for 20 seconds, mixed and added my calendula petals to pull out the extra fluid. You might end up microwaving for an extra set of seconds, but do not exceed 20 seconds at a time. Timing really depends on the strength of your microwave and what soap your using. So stay close by. After my batch was all combined and super clumpy. I lined a square ramekin with wax paper and pressed my soap inside. Pop it in the fridge for a couple hours to harden thoroughly.




That's it~! 

My little soap storage bag was made with knit pants I'm no longer wearing. You can use an old knit sweater or t-shirts. I used the leg portions to make small squares and added ribbon so that it can hang in the shower and dry. If you want extra lather, use two layers of fabric or sweater scraps. The double layer of knit fabric creates some more suds. This is a fun quick project for those wanting to experiment with herbs, flowers, and soaps.

 
 
To adding a little bit of home to everyday items!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oils



One of the greatest new things I've embarked upon this summer is making homeopathic oils, thanks to my mom. With all the items in bloom around our home, we figured what better way to preserve the goodness than making them into essential oils. With a simple system, we were able to create wonderful smelling oils that could be used for massage, moisturizers, or topical medicines for months to come. All you need is some grapeseed or olive oil, (they're the best carriers), some clear jars, your plants, and cheesecloth. Start by taking your plants and chopping or pinching them apart. I don't like to wash the plants prior, so if your like me, you'll have to pick on a rain free - wind clean day. Pick your plants early and get to choppin'. Place the plant flowers or pieces in a clear jar and then add your 'carrier' oils. Place them on a sunny window for 2-3 weeks. Strain your flowers out using the cheese cloth and add some more fresh. Place on the window sill for another 2-3 weeks until your achieve your desired potency. This is a time consuming process but the benefits are great. When you're all done, place the oil in the amber bottles and make sure you label the plant and year. I love to use these oils as natural treatments for the hair and skin. Keep in mind, some plants will cause your oils to change color. For example, St. John's Wort will turn into a rich, clear pink shown below.




So..... a good thing to remember during fall planting ~ what plants would you like to harvest as oils next year?  It'll take you on a whole new path when it comes to gardening ~ and a good one.


On another note.... can I please have a little time to get this project rolling?
 
 
I found the cutest romper pattern and have been aching to get my hands on it. Never mind that it's sized for the teens ~ there are perks to being 5'2". I am convinced that it will fit perfectly in these adorable tiny red polka dots in rayon challis. If there were only enough hours in the day. Hopefully you'll see this project pan out sooner than later. After all, school is starting in 11 days but who's counting;)

 

Happy Trails:)