Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Canned Jar Pin Cushion

                                               Canned Jar Pin Cushion


• Fabric Scrap of your choice                     
•Jar with lid and band
•Cotton balls or fiberfill
•Card Stock
•Glue gun

1. Using the lid of the jar, cut out a circle of the same size from the card stock.

2.Using the lid of the jar, trace around it on the wrong side of your fabric. Increase that circle’s radius about 1” and cut out the larger circle.

3.Layer the fabric, cotton balls, and lid then place the “sandwich” inside the band.

4. Press the lid down so that the cotton balls and fabric form the pincushion on the opposite side of the band. Check to see if you need to move the fabric to avoid creases. Make any necessary adjustments and then fold in the fabric and hot glue it to the underside of the lid. 

5. Trim away any excess fabric and hot glue the cardstock over the fabric edges.

6.Line the band with a small bead of glue and insert the pincushion into it, pressing firmly. Add the lid to the jar and YOU HAVE A NEW PINCUSHION!

Homemade Spice blends for your Thanksgiving recipes

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Bath Jelly

                                           Homemade Bath Jelly

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup liquid soap (unscented–use shower gel, hand soap or bubble bath)
*Essential oil (choose your favorite–a few drops)
  • Bring water to a boil, remove from heat then slowly stir in and dissolve the gelatin. Slowly add liquid soap and stir to mix. Add essential oil, stir well.
  • Pour liquid into a clean clear jar or container, seal and refrigerate overnight.
Once the mix gels, it’s ready to use. Just add a spoonful under running water in the bath for a bubbling treat (a tablespoon or two will do).
*If you wish, you can skip the essential oil and use liquid soaps that have a fragrance.
Notes: Use within a few weeks. Keep refrigerated and airtight to avoid mold.
Optional: Add a couple drops of food coloring when first mixing bath jelly to give it some color, don’t use too much though since it can stain tubs.
Gift Ideas: Package in small jars, add a decorative label and embellish with ribbons or trims. You can put a small toy or object in the jelly when first poured, it will set inside. Make in small batches at a time so it can be used within weeks.

Classic Southern Pecan Pie

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Make an Easy Winter Hand Salve (Eczema Fighting Lotion)

I have been fighting eczema for most of my life and now my daughter is showing signs of eczema. I found this recipe from A Sonoma Garden

 and wanted to share it with you. 

How to Make an Easy Winter Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion)

This week is unofficially Natural Beauty Week on A Sonoma Garden. I’ll be sharing a few things I’ve been dabbling with, this is the first:
Shea Butter Lotion
About three weeks ago our daughter (still so strange to say ‘daughter’ after 6 years of having only boys!) started developing eczema, just like our boys did as babies. Our oldest didn’t have it all that bad, just around his ankles and elbows, our second son had it much worse. He had it all over his face, arms and legs. I tried everything for him and what worked best was my homemade lotion. Strangely enough what cured his eczema for good was going to Kauai and taking him off cows milk during the trip. I had read that cows milk sometimes either causes eczema or worsens it and I’m sure the humidity of the Hawaiian islands helped a lot. Even though our Sonoma air is quite arid, his skin has remained clear. Now, though, the thought of taking a five hour flight with three kids just to cure my daughters poor skin condition seems a little excessive, so I turned back to lotions.
My homemade lotion hasn’t been helping her quite as much as it helped my son. The doctor suggested either Vaseline and hydrocortisone lotion for the worst parts. I don’t know, I wasn’t happy with either of those suggestions, so I searched for something more natural to slather her with. I have a jar of shea butter in the cupboard for my homemade deodorant, so I scraped some out, warmed it in my hands and put that on her poor little face. That seemed to really help, however it was a pain to warm up and spread on her. I searched for an easy to make and easy to spread Shea Butter lotion recipe and did some research on some eczema fighting ingredients and came up with the recipe below. While I can’t claim that it has cured her eczema, it certainly has helped her poor face, chest and arms. It also makes a great hand salve for me too during these cold, dry days.
Shea Butter Lotion Recipe

How to Make Homemade Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion)

2 oz Shea Butter
.45 oz Avocado Oil
4 Vitamin E tablets (or .025 oz)
All three ingredients help with eczema, however if I could have waited a few days for a Mountain Rose Herbs order to come through, I might have tried Sea Buckthorn Oil in place of the Avocado Oil. I may still try it in my next batch, it sounds like a wonder ingredient! I did know I could pick up Avocado Oil at Whole Foods that day (though it is cheaper at MRH), so I went with that. Like I mentioned before I had the shea butter and Vitamin E Tablets on hand for my deodorant.
First, I measured out the shea butter and avocado oil on my digital scale then put them in my trusty Pyrex measuring cup. I put that into a pot of simmering water and let them melt together. When they were completely melted and mixed, I took them off the heat and added the Vitamin E, then I let it all cool to room temperature.
The next step is to whip it up into a meringue like consistency. I did this by putting the soon-to-be-lotion into a bigger bowl and setting that bowl into a bowl filled with ice water and blending it with a stick blender. It must be cool to be able to whip up correctly. I then finished it off with a hand whip until it looked like meringue.
I put that into an old lotion container and I store it in the fridge. When I need it, I pull it out and scrape off a bit with the back of my fingernail. It almost immediately melts with the heat of my hand and it’s so easy to spread on. I’ve been putting this on her about 2-3 times a day, sometimes alternating with my other lotion or with straight coconut oil. This recipe is indeed fussier than myhomemade lotion recipe, however I think it’s worth it. The total cost for making it is about $2 and it does such a nice job on her skin (and my hands) that for me it is worth the extra effort.
Shea Butter Lotion

Teacup Candles

Teacup Candles

You’ll need craft-store wicks, wax (or old candles) that can be melted down, old teacups, and maybe a fragrance or two. Pretty single teacups (with or without saucers) can often be found at thrift stores for less than a dollar. Melt the wax in a double boiler, add fragrance if desired, then support the wick standing in the teacup while carefully filling the cup with wax. As the wax cools, it will contract and form a well. You can add more melted wax of the same color or add a second shade. These are fairly easy to make,but beware cups with obvious cracking; the hot wax may cause them to shatter.

Southern Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing