Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wild Crafting in Suburbia....

Today I finally got up the nerve to go foraging down along the busy street for some of the red clover that I have noticed growing so nicely along the road in the past few months......

Well, I was kinda convinced to do so by my friend, who insisted I should come for a walk as I have been saying I should go foraging down there for ages and I just never seem to get around to it.

Today the beautiful spring sunshine was a great lure.......and along with my faithful little helpers, we managed to gather quite a bag full with some funny looks from passers by in cars......Yep...that looks about enough for today.....

I'm so glad I went and my little helper here even managed to find some end of season lilli pillies to feed me! A wonderful walk indeed. Later today I plan to taste my very first red clover tea!

Herbal Blessings to all, Hugs ands smoochies xoxox

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Herbal Ally - Challenge #12 - Make a Salve

This challenge was to make a salve using our herbal ally oil we made previously.  I did not have any beeswax and was unable to get a hold of any for a while there, then a friend kindly gave me a few of the sheets of beeswax from her candle making kit.

I was at first unsure as to whether or not they were suitable and kept putting it off with worry as to whether it would work but after finally finding a great site online where I could order, the people were going to be away until the very day I happen to be booked to go away myself. I sent an email asking whether this would be suitable and they confused me a little more with quality etc. They did tell me however that about 15 sheets would be a kilo so I thought as I had never made a salve in my life and I really was a first timer that I would just go ahead and give it a whirl anyway.  I figured at least if I stuff up I am not wasting the more expensive quality wax anyway.

So armed with my instructions courtesy of James Green, I set to it.  I had to do a little creative maths to work out the amounts as I did not have a whole cup of tansy oil handy and I really did not have enough time to make some more as my slow cooker is busy with some Rosemary oil right now.

With the intention of using this salve as a rub for sore muscles, or rheumatism I set to it and I learned a valuable lesson through trying new things. This is what happened....

I grated up one sheet which I estimated to weigh just under 50g then measured out half a cup of the tansy oil. I added about 2/3 of the wax and put it on the stove on low heat and waited.

 I then did something on instinct (my lesson here) I added some powdered cayenne pepper to the mix (I now worked out this is a no no, I should have put it in the oil and strained it, which I am sure you all know but hey I'm new to all this!)

It melted away slowly and then I tested a little in the freezer and it was a little runny, so I added just a little more wax and waited again.

This time it was perfect and I poured it into a small jar, I do not have any salve containers as yet and then poured the left over into another jar. The smaller portion quickly set, the other was a little slower.

It was really interesting watching the salve set and seeing the lovely colour emerge as it did so.

It was all a bit magical really! Watching it creep up the glass second by second!

Until finally it was all set! And while I was most proud of my very first, lovely consistency salve! I had to have a good laugh at myself when I picked it up and saw the cayenne all nicely settled on the bottom! Never mind! Of course my first salve will be just for me! I rubbed some into my hands and my hands felt so soft and lovely afterwards! A fine first effort and a lesson well learned! Even if I do say so myself! Its been a great day for lessons for me today! :-)

I shall use my little jar of salve with love! 
I am so looking forward to getting more wax and some little jars and tincture bottles as I have also found some suppliers that are affordable to me! . 

I am glad I finally took the plunge and had a go! 

And really cannot wait till Spring when hopefully I will have more time to get back into my herbal ally adventures once more! 

Hugs and smoochies xoxoxo

Absent note....

I find myself feeling really guilty about my lack of posting here and more so my lack of spending real time with my herbal ally this past couple of months. Of course, I am always thinking and planning and trying to fit things in but life seems to be catching up with me and not leaving a lot of time for the things I want to give my attention.

For those who follow my other blogs, which are also neglected but not as much as this one has been. Its because my family and friends I don't see all the time want to keep up with us that way and of course my crafting is something I must do to keep sane. Its not that I don't love my herb blog, its just I don't feel I have had anything beneficial to post about lately.

I would however like to thank the lovely ladies of The Crones Gazette for my first issue which was a delightful read. I loved and enjoyed every bit of it. Dear friends, if you have not subscribed already you should do so! Its awesome. All the things I enjoy and love rolled into one magazine! I can't wait for the next issue to come up. The only improvement I could think of is a handheld version. I love my books. LOL Seriously though the articles are so good I think I will print it out to keep. I will try and write a little more about it when I have more time available.

As it is, the guilt of spending this time online refreshing my blogs has left me feeling more guilty as I have so much that needs doing in my garden and indoors right now. Will try to catch up more often in the future. Hope everyone else is getting more done than me.

Herbal blessings to all. Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox

Monday, May 9, 2011

Not much time for my herbs this week....

but still managed to do a little gathering of dandelion roots, mint, wormwood, tansy flowers, and basil. I have managed to get some mint dried and some elder flowers (late bloomers) too. The others are hanging in small amounts as Im not sure what I will be using them for yet. Wormwood like Tansy is considered a bit toxic so needs to be used with caution. I however of course plan to try it! How else will we ever learn?

I have been feeling very neglectful to my studies of late and have not had the time available to be with my herbs as much as I would like. I do however have some new reading material, some bought and some on loan. So hoping to find the time actually read them. Life just seems extremely busier than usual lately, and juggling children, homeschooling, my own studies and crafty pursuits is proving a major challenge. So, just muddling along and trying to tackle one thing at a time. This week looks like being even busier with several outings on the table so will see if I can manage to catch up or not.

Hope all is well in everyone elses world! Hugs and smoochies xoxoxoxox

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still alive....well some of us are....

Some people bring back souvenirs when they visit new Well, I came back with some nasturtium and violet in slurpee cups! Yep I am very resourceful! LOL AND check out the great big bag of FREE Wool! Ahhhhhhh.....things that make me go Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

I have been very remiss in my studies of late, although I have been trying to keep up with a bit of reading here and there. After a very long trip came home to find most of my baby seedlings had not survived the cold change in the weather. :-(

BUT and there is a very big but here, nature and the faeries have fixed this little problem by self planting as per usual in the vegie patch. I noticed that though some of the seedlings I planted did not make it and all of my baby Tansy plants were gone.......the garden is full of a gazillion little Tansy babies AND basil and even some sneaky coriander. So I guess I will make do! I mean even IF the tansy did not self seed, I have enough growing here to last me a lifetime.

I have not had time to complete my herbal ally writing task, though I do know what I have to write.  I have been truly blessed with hearing her song! So hopefully I can fit it in soon!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Herbal hugs,  xoxoxox

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meditation attempt: Take 2

Twice today, I attempted to meditate with my Tansy only to have a certain young man, ahem, lets call him  Mr Bossy, try and stick his nose in.

The first time was quite by accident, I was standing in the morning in between all of my Tansy and closed my eyes for a moment and simply breathed in, my vision was inundated immediately with a bright white pulsing impression of Dandelion.

I have to admit, I was slightly annoyed. You see, he has been making himself known to me in a very strong way this week. I had given my dandelion vinegar to my daughter who moved this weekend and had planned to make more. Seems he was a bit impatient with me. I have been a little unwell and in my usual fashion when it comes to my own health, I was ignoring ALL the signals, messages, promptings.....what ever you want to call it.......that I guess he just got a tad indignant so decided to make himself heard in a big way.

When I opened my eyes I noticed that he was simply everywhere, pretty much competing with the Tansy, thats for sure. I looked at the grass and thought OH MY, if my man decides to mow this before I can get to it, I am going to have to kill him. Not that I would really do that but can you see what I see?

 These dandelions are huge (please excuse the mess!) and I am thinking that this time I will manage to get some roots to dry.  Its raining today, on and off, so I decided to start with collecting some leaves and flowers with the thought of making a vinegar and some infusions. Of course I went inside and got waylaid with the kids lessons and went to make a coffee when I get this indignant "Don't you drink that!" in my head. "Drink some dandelion tea! You know you need to!"  "Yes I do know, but I would really like to drink this coffee right now, I will get the dandelions later!" "NO NO NO NO....NOW!"

By now, you are probably thinking.....what a nut job.....but this really is normal for me, arguing with little voices in my head! This little voice was not shutting up .... Bossy little man! 

So off I trotted and collected lots of small leaves and some flowers, came inside and made my vinegar, and an infusion and then drank my coffee! I explained to his majesty that I would drink him later but for now I was having my damned coffee.

Fast forward to the afternoon, I have been shopping and returned and once again went outside and sat this time in the middle of my garden next to one of my Tansy bushes. I asked for a little peace and guidance and closed my eyes. I was partly sitting under a bush and holding her leaves in my hands talking to her and then I began to quiet and slowly breath.

Immediately rushes of green came into my mind and guessed it....he was back. Showing himself in lovely colours for sure but this time I was ready. In my mind I spoke to him and thanked him for his caring but pointed out that I am hopeful to hear Tansy sing for me and she is not going to do this if HE was there nagging all the time. I assured him that I would deal with him later. And yes I would eat him too.  Reluctantly he left me for a bit and I was able to relax and bond a little with Tansy and almost but not quite put him from my mind.

These ones are growing around a bunch of garlic!

All the time I am wondering, why is he being so forceful and demanding. I have never seen so much Dandelion in my yard before. It is popping up everywhere, even in the concrete cracks, amongst the garden, under the tansy and all through the grass. 

 And so, I went inside once more and I took some garlic and an onion and I fried him up and ate him for lunch. I stored and labeled my vinegar and left the infusion on the counter to drink later.

Oh Mr Bossy Boots........ you are rather lovely! But tomorrow you really must allow me a little time with Tansy okay?

So today, my friends,  I leave you with Dandelion Blessings! Bossy ones to boot!  What a delightful herbal spirit! Bossy but sweet!

Much love and light to all. 
Hugs and smoochies xoxoxox

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Simply Tansy.....

I am unable to do my meditations as yet due to a lot of family business happening's, there is just no time for quiet time....I am hoping to get started next week! :-) For now I have had to console myself with just a few shots of things as they are......simply growing without much interference!
So looking forward to some pre-planned garden time next week. 

Herbal Blessings xoxox