Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lilacs are in full bloom! Making Lovely Essential Oil...

Finally! A good crop of Lilacs! The past few years I haven't had healthy aromatic blooms on my lilac shrubs - they either got frosted, or just didn't flower well. I used to only make lilac essential oils on the years when the flowers were especially fragrant, since oil doesn't get infused with the scent that easily when using lilac. I decided to try it again this year.

I collected a grocery bag full of fresh healthy flowers (enough to densely fill the medium sized crock pot I would be using). Being sure to pick them when they were in full bloom at mid day, when they were dry of dew and warmed by the sun. I removed the tiny blossoms from the stems by simply pulling them through my closed hand to strip the blooms away, and then discarded any greenery.
 I decided to use my food dehydrator to remove the excess water within the flowers because it's faster. But if you don't have a dehydrator you can layer the flowers between paper towels and let them sit for 12 - 24 hours. With both methods you just want them to get slightly wilted - still soft, not dried, before processing them. This will ensure that the water contained in the blossoms has evaporated away, but that the oils contained in the flowers is still present to provide scent. Any water left in flowers will promote mold in the end product.
Next I poured an ~18 0z bottle of Grape seed Oil in the crock pot, added the now dehydrated blossoms and turned the covered crock pot to the low setting to let it simmer for at least 8 hours. Or you can simmer it while covered on low heat on the stove if you prefer.
Every hour, the flowers were stirred around in the oil and bruised a little with a wooden spoon. I turned the crock pot off when the desired pleasant scent wafted up at the last stirring.
When it was finished and cooled slightly, I placed cheese cloth in a cullender and then drained the oil through it into a bowl. Gathering up the cheese cloth full of spent flowers, I hung the bundle over the side of the cullender and pressed it with the wooden spoon several times to squeeze out remaining oil. Then I left the bundle over the side of the cullender to drain further and to also let the sediments settle completely to the bottom of the bowl below.
Without disturbing the muck at the bottom of the bowl, I  used a baster to transfer the clear oil on top back into the original grape seed oil bottle and capped it tightly. I just discarded the murky oil at the very bottom of bowl, ending up with a little less oil than I started with.
I'll be sure to label it with the type of oil it is, the date it was made, and the use by date at 6 months later. It will be stored in a dark, cool, dry place. But if you don't have a dark place convenient for storage you can store it in a different dark colored bottle or place a opaque label around whole bottle to keep the light from deteriorating it if needed.   
 My efforts resulted in a somewhat darker green, lovely scented oil that I am quite pleased with!
~ ~ ~
Your Lilac Essential Oil will have a lovely floral scent that blends well with other floral and spicy aromas.
 It can be used:
For Aromatherapy - soothing your mind and promoting increased energy and sensuality. 
To Scent - homemade candles, potpourri, shampoos, lotions and hand creams.
As - a perfume oil rubbed directly onto your skin, or diffused oil to scent a room.
As Herbal Remedy - Some modern herbalists use lilac essential oil to treat skin ailments such as rashes, sunburns and minor cuts and scrapes. (The ingestion of lilac was used as treatment of parasitic worms, malaria and fever in the past.)
 For Ritual Use - Anoint the back of the neck to improve memory, attract health and longevity. Or use at a pulse point or in environment to promote peace, harmony, happiness, creativity, intuition, wisdom, abundance, clairvoyance, divination, protection, psychic awareness, good luck or as a general spiritual aid.
*** Warning: The use of, or processing of, essential plant oils can trigger allergies or asthma in those susceptible to these possible irritants.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Chunky Jewelry from Upcycled Materials

Matching Chunky Necklace and Bracelet made from paper beads with chrome painted accents and varnished to a light weight wood-like finish. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gardening Hat Wall-Hanging Made entirely from Upcycled Materials!

Gardening Hat Wall hanging made from the bottom part of a cool whip container, used skewers, yarn from an old wallhanging, grocery bags, bread bag twisties and silk flowers found in a cemetery refuse can.
Cost: a little time! :-)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hand painted clay tiles - Lotus Flower Design

Lotus Flower Design on up-cycled 6" clay tiles to be Incorporated into stepping stone.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gestalt face on photo of fairy house...and a George Carlin quote

Anyone else see a scary gestalt face within the photo of the back of this fairy house?
A protective fairy spell perhaps?
And now a reminder of what's important from George Carlin:
Society has given us wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more time, but have less.

We buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses, but smaller families.

More degrees, but less sense.

More experts, yet more problems.

More medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired and look after
ourselves too seldom. 

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less.

We plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not how to wait.

We have computers capable of holding more information than ever, but we
communicate less and less.

We've been to the moon, but struggle to cross the street and meet our neighbor.

These are crazy times we're living in.

Remember to spend time with your loved ones.

Remember to tell them you love them. It's free.

Remember to cherish the precious moments, and grow from the bad ones.

        ~ George Carlin

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bangle Bracelets made totally from upcycled materials!

These bangle bracelets were created from the seal rings from mayo jars, bread bag twistie wires and wooden beads salvaged from a discarded bead curtain.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hand Painted Clay Tiles - Purple Aster Design


Hand Painted Purple Aster Design on Up-cycled 6" Clay Tiles to be incorporated into stepping stone.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hand Painted Clay Tiles - Daisy Design


Hand Painted Daisy Design on Up-cycled 6" Clay Tiles to be incorporated into stepping stone.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hand Painted Clay Tiles - Sunflower Design


Hand Painted Sunflower Design on Up-cycled 6" Clay Tiles to be incorporated into stepping stone.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hand-crafted Faerie Bower ~ Fairy Country Cottage

This hand-crafted miniature indoor fairy house measures 6"x6" at base and is 7" tall at top of chimney. It is displayed here on a hand made mushroom fairy ring base.
Both cottage and base are created entirely from up-cycled and natural found materials. Including white birch bark, veneer peeled from junked furniture, dyed egg shells, cardboard, wisteria vines, reused tissue and brown waxed paper, small stones, a seashell and different types of moss with a bit of sparkly fairy dust sprinkled about.
The window-panes of cellophane allow the light from an led flickering candle to show through in the dark, and if you peer in the windows from the outside you can glimpse a tiny table with fairy spell books laid out on it, the fireplace that houses the candle flame, a small chair, oval throw rug, a small mirror, bunches of herbs hanging to dry and a ladder that goes to the loft where bottles of magick elixirs are stored. The door is left ajar as an invitation for any good fairy to enter and feel welcome.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Colorful Bangle Bracelets! (using Upcycled Materials)

These colorful Bangle Bracelets are light in weight, thin and flexible. They are very comfortable to wear, even when your arm is resting on a surface while writing and there is no noise from them clanging together when moving your arm.
Made from the rings that are on mayonnaise type jars to seal the tops, with yarn wrapped around them with a slip knot macrame technique. Smaller size rings can also be used as closer fitting wrist bracelet since they are flexible the smaller ring can be squeezed down to make a wider oval that will fit over your hand and then spring back to the closer fitting circlet once it's around your wrist.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lovely Vintage Rose Bookmarks Hand Crafted with Upcycled Materials

These lovely Inspirational Vintage Rose Bookmarks were fashioned from all Upcycled Materials.
First I cut cereal box cardboard to bookmark size.
Then I covered the printed side of cardboard with white paper and glued it in place.
After letting it dry I adhered an inspirational word cut from a magazine to the white paper and then allowed that to dry completely.
Next I covered both sides of cardboard with brown parchment-like brown paper that some shopping bags are made of and glued it in place so that writing shows through.
Lastly I created a paper rose from the same brown paper and made a leaf from green paper scraps, gluing them in place near the top of the bookmark