Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spa Night at Quilt Bee

Last night was my turn to host my "once a month" quilt bee. We take turns at each other houses always starting with a wonderful dinner. Since there are 6 of us it works out nice, you host it twice a year. I decided to make it a "spa night" for my friends also.
I started the day before infusing a rose/lavender spritzer. I put organic rose petals and lavender in a jar and poured boiling distilled water over and left it for a 24 hours.

The petals infused all their goodness into the water.
After it was finished I added a few drops of rose essential oil to it and poured into a spray bottle.

Off went my St. Patrick's day table cloth and on my spa night table cloth.
An oil cloth from Moda with one of their Sea Side Rose fabrics printed on. (Moda is a very popular fabric manufacturer for quilters).

Spa ingredients for our center piece.

After dinner we put rose petals and lavender in our bowls and poured boiling water over the top.

It was relaxing and a hoot all at the same time.
After steaming our faces we sprayed them with the spritzer then tried out different face creams. I had two commercial ones from the health food store and my grape seed oil I infused a couple of weeks ago, they overwhelming loved my grape seed oil. I think some almost took a bath in it!

Next (ahead of time) I made this hand/nail soak. Oh my gosh this is the best recipe! I made each about one cup.

After soaking and massaging a while they rinsed their hands in their left over facial water.
Our hands felt heavenly!

After the long, long cold winter we've had this night was needed in more than one way.

Last Saturday we went to a Pow Wow, a welcoming Spring celebration. The grand kids love playing the drum and sang and played for 3 hours.

My friend Garth was there selling his sweet grass and sage he grows.

Also some of his heirloom bean seeds.

I bought a couple packages to try this summer with the boys, Seneca Bear beans, a pole bean with red flowers that humming birds love.
Also Ukrainian Comrades because some of my ancestors came from there.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patricks Day and Full Worm Moon

Every year for the past 40 years we have had a big St. Patrick's Day dinner with corned beef, red potatoes, cabbage and carrots meal at my in laws. My mother in law started it and we haven't missed a year. Now, none of us has any Irish in them but you know what they say "on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish".  So I continue the tradition and yesterday had 11 for dinner. Before I filled the table with dishes I took a picture of my cute vintage table cloth.

with clover embroidery on every corner. I bought this years ago, second hand somewhere.
Along with all the food my sons girlfriend brought along her violin and played Irish music for us. We all were enchanted.

This morning we were up early and the Full Moon was still visible in the sky.
This moon was know to Native Americans as the "worm moon" for this time of year the earth worms were beginning to move about and soon it would be time to plant the crops. This year I don't know if anything is moving the temperature this morning was 3 degrees.

So the kids and I jumped in the car and off we went to find a good place to photograph the moon before it was gone. (They had their winter coats on but took them off  for a St. Patrick's Day picture in their new green shirts mommy bought them).

Last week the day after the herb conference I started a medicinal herb infused dry skin oil. In a stainless steel double boiler I placed in a cup of organic rose petals, calendula  petals, lavender flowers and rosemary.  I poured grape seed oil over all.

In a double boiler I simmered the pot for 4 days, (after an hour on the stove I moved it to our wood stove) keep it covered, stirring once in a while.
Dr. Oz recommends grape seed oil for dry skin. After learning how to make this flowers/herbs infusion I couldn't wait to try.

After simmering 4 days I strained the herbs out (twice), added a little rose water and it was ready to test. My little helper and I love it as now does my daughter and the rest of the family. I store the large one in the refrigerator and the little one near the shower. It's best to put on before you dry off completely.

Speaking of Dr. Oz a week ago on his show he said everyone over the age of 40 should be taking these supplements:

Bacopa 300 mg. per day.   Brain Food

Baby Aspirin 2 daily.  To help fight against cancer

Krill oil  1-3 grams daily.  Heart

Like all supplements check with your Dr. before starting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Herb Conference

Last weekend it looked like Spring and I was in Heaven!! As we walked into the conference we were greeted with lots and lots of green.

Plants for sale,

many different Artemisia (2014 herb of the year), some edible like tarragon and some for beauty in your garden and for drying for wreaths and crafts. Also, some special Artemisia are used by Native Americans for smudging (purifying themselves and their surroundings).

One of my favorite vendors with herbal topiaries was there,

another with hypertufa planters and garden accents.

This was a new vendor selling her handcrafted jewelry made from organic, rare heirloom seeds.

A lot of different styles,

using lots of different seeds.


Another vendor selling spices, teas and gifts from around the world. These small animal print containers were made out of animal hoofs from a small co-op in Africa.

She also sold these lamps made from chunks of  Himalayan crystal  salt.

Along with great lectures were a lot of educational displays. This one about having an herbal spa day.

With lots of good recipes for making your own natural spa cleansers, creams etc.


A medicinal display for colds and flu.

This is the recipe, I'm not sure you can read it, I'll write it out next week, also with a herbal body oil for dry skin I'm making as we speak. I learned so much this year about flowers and herbs and their chemical make up for medicinal use. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing some with you.

This display was on Heirloom seeds.

One on different teas and their medicinal qualities.


And my favorite two attendees who always make some wonderful wool accessories for the conference.

This year was this wonderful felted wool poppy purse with buds hanging on the side. They also made a matching wool poppy pin for their sweaters.

This was cute a long wooden crate filled with different lettuces.

A new type of herb garden container made for herbs instead of the usual strawberry pot with too small of openings.

This was a beautiful woven watering can filled with herbs.

I love these vintage spoons made into herb garden markers. This is a project will be on my hubby's project list for this summer.

At our banquet for centerpieces they had these pretty lanterns surrounded by different Artemisia.

OK my favorite attendees again, while we were all at the banquet they stayed in their hotel room and made theses cute yo-yo necklaces. I wouldn't wanted to miss the banquet but I would have liked to have been there!

I hope your didn't get tired of all my pictures, I edited them way down, there is just so much going on at the conference this is just a small sample. Someday maybe you will be able to attend too, there's lots of room and everyone's welcome.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quilt Guild meeting

Last night at my quilt guild meeting our guest speaker was Darla Parks. She is well know for her long-arm quilting. Her workmanship is beautiful. She gave us a wonderful show of her quilts.
The following are just a few of them.

This piece she just finished and is ready to enter it into a National show. She pieced the dahlia flower, machine quilted it,

beaded the center,

and what looks like appliqued corner treatments is actually colored pencils! She first outlines the design with the sewing machine, then colors in the design and finishes by painting on a clear medium so the design doesn't fade and is machine washable.

She also teaches classes using this technique.

A few more of her designs.

One of her samples of machine quilting.

She keeps very busy with her machine quilting business.

This is one of her own designs she teaches with many different quilting techniques: 3-D  trumpet flowers, pin tuck piecing, applique and reverse applique etc.

How cute is this table cloth for Spring,

the bunnies with their chenille tails.

Two of my friends (their faces hiding) just finished piecing two "stack and whack" quilt tops. For those who don't know what that is, all the blocks in the quilt were cut and made from one printed piece of fabric. The way you stack the fabric to cut it gives you many different block designs.

This top was pieced and appliqued by Lynn using a month by month kit designed by Pat Holly and her sister Sue Nickels.

This cute quilt was made 50 years ago for a young man by his mother. The quilt was well used with holes throughout. One of our guild members took the old quilt apart saved what dog blocks were good and put it back together using new fabric. When presented back to the owner she said he cried. I love that he understood the love his mother had put into that quilt so many years ago.

Well, it is still freezing cold and the snow is still coming down here, a lot! It looks like Christmas. But I am off to the Michigan Herb Conference!! Yea, a bit of Spring in my life. Hopefully I have some great pictures and ideas for your gardens next week.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo