RECIPE: Flower Infused Sugar

RECIPE: Flower Infused Sugar #diycraftchallenge #herbs #infusion #diy

While out and about last week, I slipped into a local bookstore to browse for a few minutes. With no intention of buying anything, I of course walked out with a new book, Herbal Goddess by Amy Jirsa. The book is filled with gorgeous photos of herbal remedies, recipes and potions. Amy discusses 12 of her favorite herbs, how they effect the mind, body, spirit and pairs each one with a yoga pose. I was hooked!

I’ve been looking for new ways to incorporate some of my favorite herbs into my cooking, particularly roses. So I decided to try out Amy’s recipe for infusing sugar. For fun, I chose three different (edible) flowers to try: rose, lavender and chamomile.

RECIPE: Flower Infused Sugar #diycraftchallenge #herbs #infusion #diy

Flower Infused Sugar
 
Author:
Recipe type: Infusion
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • • ⅓ cup dried herbs or edible flowers
  • • 2 cups organic sugar (white or brown)
Instructions
  1. Pour herbs into a quart size mason jar. Cover with two cups of sugar and close with a lid. Give it a good shake and let sit in a cool, dry place for two weeks (giving it a good shake every day).

 

RECIPE: Flower Infused Sugar #diycraftchallenge #herbs #infusion #diy

More infusions to try:

Vanilla, citrus (lemon, lime, orange), ginger, rosemary, mint

Use your infused sugar just like you would regular sugar! Sweeten your tea or coffee, use it to bake cookies and cakes, and have fun experimenting!

RECIPE: Flower Infused Sugar #diycraftchallenge #herbs #infusion #diy

November DIY Challenge Results + A Holiday Recipe!

We are so excited to share the great submissions we received this month for our DIY Challenge! The theme for this month was ‘Herbs & Spices’ and we were blown away by the delicious looking food, beautiful crafts, and homemade concoctions. As promised we are awarding our three favorite projects and showcasing everyone’s submissions.

DIY CHALLENGE AWARD: Most Relaxing

Because we all need some self-love this time of year, the award for “Most Relaxing” goes to Sarah White who made her own Rosemary Lemon Body Scrub. Check out her recipe and tutorial on her blog, Our Daily Craft.

November DIY Challenge Results!

I came across the new crafty challenge from Adventures in Making and thought, why not? The theme, Herbs & Spices made my mind turn to the rosemary plant we just brought inside because it’s freezing outside. And because it’s cold and dry I also thought of body scrub recipes, because I love scrubs for exfoliating and moisturizing in the winter. They also make great gifts, so keep it in mind for teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, whatever little giftable occasions you have coming up. – Sarah White

Visit Sarah’s blog for the recipe and more DIY projects and crafty inspiration.

DIY CHALLENGE AWARD: Most Wearable

The award for ‘Most Wearable’ goes to Christine Stoll. We are in love with the vintage necklace she created inspired by the herb, Mustard.

November DIY Challenge Results

I’m Christine Stoll from Bellevue, Washington, and I love working with vintage materials. I chose an image of the mustard plant from a 1953 Webster’s Elementary Dictionary for one side of the pendant, on the other side is a clipping of the definition. Joining the pendant are a vintage button in the color of ground mustard seed, a vintage metal drop, and a bird charm. – Christine Stoll

Visit Christine’s Etsy shop for more beautiful repurposed and reinvented jewelry. Connect with Christine via her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter!

DIY CHALLENGE AWARD: Most Mouthwatering

Amanda was kind enough to share her favorite holiday recipe, Homemade Cranberry Sauce!

November DIY Challenge

Amanda's Cranberry Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 bags of cranberries
  • zest of one orange
  • a pint of orange juice
  • ¼ cup of port
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Throw it all in a pot and simmer on low, like all day (4-6 hours). Smooch the cranberries when they get soft enough. Once it reaches a sauce consistency of you're liking you're done!
  2. So this is awesome as part of the traditional meal, but it's amazing on ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, bagels, toast.... you get it, anything!

Amanda lives in Seattle, Washington and makes beautiful knit scarves. Take a look at her Etsy shop.

Herbs & Spices Gallery

November DIY Challenge Results: Herbs & Spices

Credits Left to Right:

1. Simmering Cranberry Sauce by Lindsay McCoy from Oregon City, Oregon
2. Herbal infusion (to be made into a chest cold salve) by Branda Tiffany from Milwaukie, Oregon
3. Hand-carved herb stamps (used to make Herb Garden Markers) by Sarah Bak from Seattle, Washington
4. Hand-lettered wrapping paper by Alison Lang from Issaquah, Washington
5. Gypsy soup recipe by Rachel Beyer from Portland, Oregon.
6. Homemade vanilla extract by Stacy Dutton from Portland, Oregon.

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! We’ll be back on Monday to announce next month’s DIY Challenge theme! Here’s a hint: the December theme is also one of our favorite craft supplies.

Happy holiday weekend!

RECIPE: Sweet Slumber Tea Blend

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs
I am a big tea drinker, especially on cold winter days when I want to stay warm. This tea is one of my favorites- a delicious herbal blend of chamomile, peppermint, lavender and roses. I made up a big batch of this loose leaf blend to enjoy this winter and also to give as gifts.

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

To make this blend I first acquired the herbs I wanted for the tea. I always use high-quality, organic herbs purchased from my local apothecary. Mountain Rose is also a great online resource. Then I combined equal parts of the chamomile, peppermint, lavender and rosebuds in a small bowl and stirred to combine.

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

There are tons of creative ways to package tea. You can simply fill a mason jar, or fill your own loose leaf tea bags, tie with some baker’s twine and add a cute tag.

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

Labels and tags courtesy of Evermine.com

I can’t wait to try making more of my own tea blends. Anyone have a favorite recipe they’d like to share?

DIY: Dream Pillows

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy

This year I’ve become almost obsessively interested in learning about herbs and both their healing and magical properties. I love making my own scent blends, and discovering new ways to use and make herbal gifts. While shopping at Goodwill, I found a book called, Making Herbal Dream Pillows by Jim Long and fell in love with the idea of making a ‘dream pillow.’

What’s a dream pillow you ask? A ‘dream pillow’ is a small pillow filled with relaxing herbs, like catnip, lavender and mugwort. They were once called ‘comfort pillows’ and used in the sickroom to ease the nightmares that may come with medicine and the smells of illness.

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy"

Supplies Needed

• One 5″ x 12″ piece of cotton fabric (I bought a handful of fat quarters)
• Needle and thread
• Iron and ironing board
• 1/2 cup herb blend (see below)
• Cotton batting or fiberfill
• Sewing machine (optional)

Choosing Herbs

You’ll want to use dried organic herbs either grown from your own garden or purchased at your local apothecary.

Herbs that are great for Dream Pillows are:
Aniseed, Calendula, Balsam Fir, Catnip, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Hops, Jasmine, Lavender, Leather, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Lilac, Sweet Marjoram, Mimosa Flowers, Mint, Mugwort, Passionflower, Rose, Rosemary, and Thyme.

I chose to make a Pleasant Dreams herbal blend using a recipe from the, “Making Herbal Dream Pillows” book. I also plan to make up my own herb blends and experiment!

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy

Pleasant Dreams Blend

• 1 cup mugwort
• 1/2 cup rose petals
• 1/3 cup chamomile
• 1/3 cup lavender
• 1/3 cup catnip
• 2 tablespoons mint

Makes approx: 3 cups (enough for 5 pillows)

Step 1: Cut your fabric

Always prewash your fabric to remove any excess dyes or other smells. Cut your fabric 5″ x 12″ in size.

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy

Step 2: Sew your pillow

Fold your fabric in half with right sides together so that you have a piece that is 5″ x 6″. Stitch up two sides of the pillow, leaving the folded side not sewn and one end open.

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy

Turn right side out and place a cotton ball sized amount of cotton or fiberfill in the bottom of the cloth “pocket”.

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy

Step 3: Add herbs & finish

Using a funnel, add about 1/2 cup of the dream blend and then some more cotton or fiberfill to the top. Then carefully sew the open end shut using a running stitch. Now your dream pillow is ready to give as a gift or to place inside your pillowcase!

DIY: Dream Pillows #sewing #herbs #aromatherapy

Card and tags courtesy of Evermine.com

DIY: Smudge Sticks

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense
Smudge sticks are small bundles of herbs that are bound tightly with string and dried. They are later burned and traditionally used as part of a ceremony or ritual. I like to burn sage whenever I’m cleaning my home or meditating to help cleanse my space and chase away any negative energies that might be lingering.

I’ve been waiting for my sage plant to grow large enough to harvest and I was finally able to make my first smudge sticks. White sage is most commonly used (this is what you can typically buy already made into smudge sticks). My garden sage isn’t white, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I also harvested a few sprigs of rosemary and some rose petals.

Other herbs you can use are: lavender, cedar, mugwort, lemon balm, mint, or catnip. Feel free to try any other herbs you have in your garden! Just be careful as some herbs, can cause a bad reaction when burned. I’d recommend burning your smudge stick outdoors when you are first trying it out so that you can test the smell.

Supplies Needed:

• Herbs
• String
• Scissors

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

The first step is to gather your herbs. Take a bunch of sage, a sprig of rosemary and some rose petals and bunch them together. The more herbs you use in your bundle, the better as larger/thicker smudge sticks tend to burn easier. Carefully stack your herbs on top of each other until they form a bundle. You can pinch the bundle a little with your fingers to help them stay in place.

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense
DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

Take your string and make a slip knot and secure it around the end of the herb bundle, making sure it’s pulled tight.

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

Wrap the string tightly around the herbs. Once you reach the end, continue to bind it back down again, making a criss-cross pattern with the string. Once you return to where you started, you can tie a knot and trim your strings.

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

Let dry completely and then try it out!

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense