Monday, February 23, 2009

Making Butter,Facial Scrub Toutorial, and Painting

Finally! It was the computer again! Does anyone have as many problems as we do??? I still seem to have something lurking. We've worked through several problems, some that were hidden by the technicians working on this beast last time. They could not fix the problem, so tried to bypass, that worked for a while until.........Now there seems to be a conflict between our anti virus and our server..........I run on while I could be writing about some fun stuff.
I've been buying our milk from a farm nearby. The milk soooo yummy! One fun thing is that it comes with cream. If you look carefully, you can see the line between the milk and the cream. I whip some of the cream to have on mocha's and hot chocolate. I use most of the cream for butter.
Right now, I'm making it in the blender. I know, sure way to burn the motor out. I'm hoping to find a small churn soon.
I like making fresh butter. It's a relaxing process. "Churning" the cream, washing the buttermilk out, then adding salt. I know what the cow ate and how the cow is cared for. I know that my family is eating dairy that is pure, no gmo's, no hormones or additives. I like that. I also have been making yogurt, cream cheese, and other simple cheeses.
I made a gentle face and body scrub. I use oatmeal for the base. Then add dried roses, calandula (pot marigold), and lemon peel.
First, I grind the oatmeal in a small coffee grinder. It's a grinder that I use only for herbal things. I don't want my herbal things to smell or taste like coffee, and my husband doesn't want his coffee to taste like herbs. I grind the oatmeal to a powder. Oatmeal is very nourishing to the skin and is a gentle exfoliate.
After putting the oatmeal in a jar I grind small roses saved from last summer. I pull the petals off. In the center are small seeds that I add. Then grind.
Then I add some calandula to the jar. You can see about how much I add. I don't measure too closely. On top of it all I add about 2T of ground lemon peel. This is anti bacterial, cleansing, and exfoliating.

Now it's time to mix it all together.
When You want to use it, just scoop out about 1 1/2 T. I have this cute little soap dish I put it in.
Then I add a little warm water, and stir it around with my finger. I scoop a little up with my fingers, and rub it onto my face. I gently rub my face all over, then rinse it off with warm water. Then rinse again with cold water. It's refreshing. I love the way my face feels afterward. I have very oily skin. This really helps without making the cells produce more oil. Again, it's something very natural and gentle for me. No additives. I can say the name of every ingredient.
I also started a larger project. Look at this horror. It's a large closet that we have used as an office. Lots of years ago the kids wanted to paint it the way they wanted. They wanted to have fun with it. I let them. Every wall was a different, bright color. It suited them at the time. Now they are gone. My husband wants to use the space for his at home office. One daughter is back home for a short time. A HA! She gets to paint the base coat of paint. With that done, I get to have some fun with the walls.
I'm sponging on some greens and copper, and making some swirls in antique bronze.
It's very random. It's hard to see in these pictures. When I get the room (closet) finished, I'll see if I can get a picture that gives you the feel of the whole room. It has an old world feel. I don't usually use white or off white, but with no windows, and small space I went for it. It's called Primitive White by Dutch Boy. It's kind of fun to rub and swirl paint on here and there. The walls in our home are lath and plaster. All the bumps and ridges that you see are really there. Painting a more modern look wouldn't would look out of place. It's great to finally change this wild look.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Treating the Winter Bugs With Herbs

I'm an herbalist. I know I've said that before. I guess I say that again because it is one of my passions. It's part of who I am. I love to work with the plants. I love to watch how they interact with humans. Plants meet us on so many levels. Think of the smiles you give when you see a flower, or smell the wonderful aroma. Your favorite foods wouldn't be what they are without the flavor plants add. Plants added to bath salts help ease your muscles and you mind. I could go on, but you get the idea. This week the winter bugs hit our household. So, I was reaching for my favoirte medicinal plants to ease my family.
I made decoctions to gargle. Teas to drink.
I brought out some dried elderberries from the depths of my herbal closet to make this sore throat and cough syrup. It is really yummy and effective. All you need to do is:
Add 4 oz. of dried elderberries to 3 cups of water.
Simmer for about 30 min. Reduceing to about 2C.
Squish the berries while they are still in the pan.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Add 3/4 - 1 c. of honey. Stir til honey is well blended.
This will keep in your frig 3-4 months.

I was busy taking care of everyone. I was sorry that they were sick, but I was having fun making herbal remedies. Then I decided to make something we could all use.
I gathered ingredients for some body cream. Melting oils and some beeswax together. Then pouring them into a blender and letting them cool to room temperature. Mixing aloe vera gel, secented water, lanoline, a few drops of essiential oil, and a few drops of vitaman e, letting them rise to room temperature.
Pouring the waters into the oils as the blender runs on high. In a moment, the mixture turns into this beautiful white cream. Kind of the same process as making your own mayo.
It is the best body lotion. A little goes a long way. I know what all the ingredients are, nothing I can't pronounce or reconize. Dealing with illness doesn't need to be a hardship. I enjoy using the plants for healing. It's an amazing process to watch and be involved in.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What Hat?

It's Monday. The day I draw three names out of a hat to give away three feed sacks. But which hat???? There are piles of knit hats around.
Should I use ones of these? There are many others to choose from.
Lets have a look.
Maybe this little black hat, with feathers and netting. Or.....
This black and white with a huge black bow and netting. Or....
This wedding hat. It also has netting and tulle down the back. Mmmm, I seem to have a likeing for netting. Maybe this would do:
A summer straw hat that I like to wear on picnics. Or the blue wool.......
There is this hat, given to me by my girls on my XXXX birthday. It's rather outlandish.
How about this little straw garden hat?Perfect! And the Names ARE..........
Denice from Look beyond the Picket Fence
Paula from The Fraker Farm and
Kim from
Up On A Hill

Congratulations. Please E mail me your address so I can send you your feed sacks. Let all of us know what you do with them. I love to see every ones ideas.