Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elderberries and Garnets

In September, I wrote about here about a special project that I took part in.  A group of herbal friends wrote a booklet together about the herb of the year 2013, Elder.

Ever since we finished the book, I've been thinking about making some kind of jewelry with an Elderberry theme.  I had a vague idea of how I would do it, but with the PA Herb and Garden Festival in York, PA coming up this weekend, this seemed like the time to sit down and do it!

This is the result.  The "berries" are 4-5 mm round garnet beads and I love the leaves I found - they sort of have the sword-like shape and droopy habit of the actual leaves.  
I'll have these at the Herb Festival and, if there are any left - on my website next week.

I'm making a special trip to get more garnet beads on Sunday, so I will have more soon!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Something "borrowed"...

There are quite a few recipes attributed to me in an ebook I had nothing to do with (see previous blog entries) - the first one was really mine. I don't think I used this name even if it was oddly appropriate, but the recipe was mine!  The more I look at the recipes, I really don't think that even the ones I actually did share with her were correctly copied.

Back when we had our shop, we were purchasing a liquid soap base that we scented and sold there. I read that the addition of glycerin was all that was necessary to make it into a bubble bath.  My husband happens to love bubble baths - and he also suffered from dry skin, although our soap seems to have solved that problem pretty well. I thought it would be fun to try something special for him and I scented it with his favorite at the time, patchouli. That's probably why it only calls for a few drops of essential or fragrance oil - with patchouli, more than that would have been totally over powering!
The bubbles didn't last at all because of the addition of the oil, but they looked pretty as the bath filled!  Maybe that was why it was called "Disappearing" Bubbling Bath Oil.
If, by chance, you decide to try this recipe, be careful getting in and out of the tub because the oil can make it quite slippery.

Disappearing Bubbling Bath Oil- From Lancaster County Soapworks
1 C. Apricot kernel oil
½ C. glycerin
½ C. liquid soap
Add a few drops of Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil
Shake gently and use ¼ C. into bath under running water

The next recipe is completely unfamiliar to me. If this is your recipe, you can be sure I did not give it to her.  I have never seen this before! The reference to liquid surfactant is interesting - I think that liquid soap IS a liquid surfactant. Also, the recipe calls for 20 drops of fragrance oil, but the instructions only tell you what to do with 5 drops! (I'd add all of it.)
Since I have never worked with this recipe or anything like it, I have no suggestions to add.  Apparently there is a gel type product out there, but it isn't mine and, personally, I find this kind of yucky!  Maybe kids would like it.

Lime Bath Gummy Recipe - From Lancaster County Soapworks, Etc. (Not really!)
2 Packets of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup of liquid soap
1/2 Cup of water
Green food coloring
5 T liquid surfactant
20 drops Lime Essential Oil
Plastic storage jar with lid
Empty the packet of gelatin into a bowl and set aside.. Boil 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Pour the hot water into mixing bowl and mix it with the gelatin powder.Dissolve completely. Next pour the liquid soap into the gelatin mix in the bowl. Add 2 drops of food coloring into the mix and also add your fragrance oil now (about 5 drops) and stir it very gently so the bubbles do not become agitated . Pour the mixture into molds, and refrigerate until set. To use, add one "gummy" to the bath.

There are still more to come...  meanwhile, be sure to visit Tina & Becky who are also sharing their purloined recipes on their own blogs.