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  • Stuff I found to share

    6 parts powdered Sandalwood (or other wood)
    2 parts powdered Benzoin (or any gum resin)
    l part ground Orris Root
    6 drops essential oil
    3 to 5 parts incense mixture (recipe follows)
    Tragacanth Gum Glue (recipe follows)
    Salt Peter

    Mix the first three ingredients until combined. Add the oil and mix again. Then add three to five parts of the completed incense mixture to this. This should be a powder. Weigh and add ten percent potassium nitrate (salt peter).

    Mix, add the gum tragacanth glue, combine again and mold to small cones. Let dry overnight.

    Tragacanth Gum Glue: place a teaspoon of the ground herb in a glass of warm water. Mix with a whisk or egg beater until it's evenly dispersed. If it gets foamy you can skim it off or wait a while and it'll go away. This Tragacanth Gum will absorb up to a gallon of water in a week, so if it gets too thick to work with, just add some more water and mix it in. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit for a bit until it turns into a paste or "glue".

    Incense Mixture: This can be anything that'll burn. I light a charcoal tablet and then go around gathering various herbs, woods and resins to try. Some things smell wonderful when you burn them and others are just foul. As long as you take the following rules into consideration, you'll be fine.

    * Never use more than ten percent saltpeter. Ever! Woo Hoo Fireworks!

    There should be at least twice as much powdered wood as resins. If there is too much resin, the incense won't burn.

    When you create your incense mixture, take the base into consideration so that there's never more than 1/3 resin in the entire incense recipe.

    Because of the nature of homemade incense, this will be much more "sparkly" than you're used to, it's no more dangerous than commercially made incense but it could be a surprise. It's my own opinion that one should keep an eye on anything that's on fire in the house.

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    Herbal Potpourri Valentines

    2 oz. sweet woodruf
    1 oz. each red rose petals and red clover tops
    3 oz. rose hips
    3 tonka beans, sliced
    1 oz. orris root, cut
    30 drops essential oil of choice
    Muslin
    Lace
    Ribbon

    Cut muslin hearts and sew together sachets, leaving an opening for the herbs. Tuck some of the potpourri mixture into each sachet, close up opening and trim with lace and a ribbon for hanging.
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    Herbal Beads

    Equipment
    tapestry or carpet thread (smooth, not fuzzy)
    a darning needle
    a button
    a small knife
    dental floss (for the finished beads)
    a food processor or spice mill (optional)

    Ingredients
    1/2 cup flowers or herb leaves, fresh or dried
    3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    water
    10-15 drops essential oil (complimentary to your herbs)

    If you're using fresh flowers (or fresh scented geranium leaves), take petals and discard the hard parts like stems and such. Try to use only the parts that are aromatic. Process the herbs until they are pureed or very finely chopped. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor. If you are using dried herbs, process them the same way or rub them through a sieve to make a powder.

    Once you've pureed or finely chopped your plant material, begin adding the all-purpose flour. The amount listed is approximate. You will need more flour if your puree is soupy or your chopped herbs are very moist. You may need less if your plant material is drier or if you use powdered herbs.

    If you use powdered plant material or if your plants are dry, you may need to add water. Start with 1 tablespoon and begin mixing the plant/flour mixture.

    The dough should be about right when it looks like craft clay for kids (e.g. Playdough). Add a little more flour to the mix if it seems too soft or a teeny bit of water if it seems too stiff. The dough will definitely be too soft if you pull on it and it easily stretches like kneaded bread dough. I do most of my dough mixing right in the food processor, periodically playing with the dough to see if it feels workable.

    When the dough seems right, begin by pinching off chunks and shaping them into beads. You'll notice that chopped plant material will cause your beads to look course at this point. They're still quite attractive this way! Another way to make the beads is to roll a chunk into a long tube or snake and then chop off bead-sized bits with a knife.

    The dough remains workable for quite some time, but if it starts to feel very dry to the touch, it's starting to harden. Making the amount specified above should keep them from beginning to harden before you're done. If they start, try moistening the surface of the dough very lightly and working the moisture in quickly.

    Once the beads are shaped, you can add essential oil to them if you like. Adding the oil sooner usually results in poorer quality beads because the oil evaporates quickly when you mix everything together.

    Once your beads are shaped, knot the end of the thread and string it through the bottom of the button. Use enough thread to string your beads with room between them for moving around as they dry. String the beads carefully, being sure they have their holes where you want them (some people may not want the hole to go right through the middle). The beads will shrink slightly as they dry.

    Hang the beads in a warm, dry place with plenty of circulation and away from lights. It should take about 3 or 4 days to dry fully. The size of your beads and the weather will make a difference. Be sure to slide the beads on the string every so often to keep them from sticking together or to the string.

    When the beads are dry, store them in an airtight container until you're ready to string them together. I've found that dental floss (not tape!) works best for stringing the beads together.

    Other Hints and Tips

    Fresh, red rose petals from my neighbor's garden turned a lovely bright purple when I mixed the dough and faded to a dark lavender when the dough dried.

    Dried, scented geranium leaves held their scent throughout the dough drying process and required absolutely no essential oil.

    Don't hang the string without the button over your cats' water dish. They think it's a treat, the beads might slide off, and you could end up cleaning far more of the house than just the litter box.

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    Scented Hot Pads

    This quilted hot pad is actually a fabric envelope that holds a scented mixture. When placed under a hot teapot or casserole, the pad gives off a spicy aroma while protecting the tabletop from the heat. The inner pouch can be freshened to rejuvenate the scent; the outer envelope is washable.

    Materials

    Three 10" x 10" pieces of cotton fabric
    10" x 10" piece of cotton batting
    2 yards seam bias tape, double folded, 1/2" or wider
    Two 9" x 9" pieces of cotton muslin or sheeting

    Equipment

    Needle and thread or sewing machine

    1. Sandwich the cotton batting between two layers of cotton fabric. Stitch quilting lines every 1" in both directions.

    2. Cut the third piece of cotton fabric in half. Stitch bias tape along a 10" edge of each piece.

    3. With wrong sides facing, lay the two bias-taped (back) pieces on top of the quilted (front) piece, butting the taped edges against each other in the center of the pad.

    4. Stitch the bias tape around the four sides of the hot pad, turning under the edge at the end of the tape to form a clean finish. Note: The folded bias tape has one side that extends out farther than the other. Place the extended side under the fabric, to ensure that you will catch the binding in the back.

    5. To make the inner pouch, stitch the muslin squares together around all four corners, leaving a 3"-4" opening along one edge. Turn right-side out and press.

    Making The Filling

    Use these ingredients individually or in any combination:

    Whole cloves
    Whole allspice
    Dried citrus peel
    Broken cinnamon sticks
    Star anise
    Rosemary

    Make about 1/2 cup of spicy mixture and place it in the pouch. Stitch the pouch closed. Slip the pouch into the quilted pad and flatten the contents as much as possible.

    Creative Options

    * If you prefer a different scent for your filling, you can fill the pouch with your favorite potpourri scented with the essential oil of your choice.

    * Make the pads half the size and use them as coasters for hot drinks.

    * Decorate the face panel of the pad before quilting it. Then, instead of quilting in straight lines, quilt around the shapes of your design.

    * For the holidays, make a long table runner filled with spices. When you serve the hot dishes for that special dinner, placing them along the runner will release a festive aroma.

    * A scented hot pad would make a great addition to a gift basket. Combined with homemade teas, flavored honey, and a unique cup or mug, you'll have a gift that tastes and smells wonderful, and will leave the recipient feeling loved.

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    Crocheted Ankle Bracelets

    Size 10 crochet thread
    Size 7 or 8 steel hook
    Asst. beads of choice (ones with holes large enough to take the thread)
    1 barrel clasp

    1. Crochet a chain long enough to fit around your ankle comfortably. Remember that crochet stretches so err on the side of "a bit short" rather than "a bit long!" Fasten off.

    2. String desired number of beads onto thread. I've done from 6 to 20. I've been thinking of using those little Indian bells also - I love chiming as I walk

    3. Count the chains in your base & divide by the number of beads you've threaded then subtract 1. For example, if you've chained 50 and have 10 beads threaded, you'll get 5 , minus one = 4 as your space.

    4. Join thread with sc in first chain. *Chain 5, draw up bead, chain one to hold bead in place, chain 5, skip 4 chains, sc in next chain, repeat from * across. Sc in last chain and fasten off.

    5. Use the tails of the base chain and the second row to tie the barrel clasps in place. I put a dab of "Fraycheck" on the knots to make sure they don't come unraveled. If you don't have that you could use glue also.

    6. Obviously you can play around with this pattern - less or more chains on the bead loops, several beads in one space, etc, etc. I hope I've been clear enough - I just sit down & start crocheting and don't give much thought to how I'm doing it. But thought I'd share anyway.
    Yes people are talking about you behind your back. That is where all the laughter is coming from.
    Dear Lord, I pray for:
    Wisdom, To understand a man Love, To forgive him and Patience, For his moods Because, Lord, if I pray for Strength
    I'll just beat him to death. Amen!

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  • #2
    *giggling*@ saltpetre!
    ~ Mairwen

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    • #3
      Those scented hot pads sounds deliciously smelly! Im printing the list off to use in the future :D Merci!
      New mommy & loving every minute of it!
      Co-moderator ~ Tarot & Divination
      &

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      • #4
        good stuff Yvonne, thanks for sharing!
        Last edited by Sunday's Child; July 22nd, 2001, 05:38 PM.
        Lets cultivate.

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        • #5
          Wow. Some really great ideas! Thanks! I tend to make many gifts for birthdays and holidays, and am always looking for something new and unique!
          Time flies... whether you're having fun or not

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          • #6
            hooray for herb beads

            I can't wait to sit down and make some beads. Thanks for the recipes Yvonne!

            Another fun project:

            String Juniper berries as a necklace
            towards the "front" (middle) of the chain, add dried rose buds between series of berries.

            Can be used as a love drawing charm, or just for fun.
            ~Sage Witch

            "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another." -Johnathan Swift

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            • #7
              Excellent stuff Yvonne!! Thanks for sharing!
              just a little white duck
              swimmin in the water.......
              just a little white duck
              doing what she oughtta.......

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