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Mediterranean Herb Pot Idea



An interesting and creative idea for your garden is to plant herb in containers that have a distinct Mediterranean style instead of ordinary plant pots. Italian tomato paste, sauce, puree, whole and crushed tomato cans make great small to medium sized pots. For larger pots you can use Greek and Italian olive oil cans. They can be found in supermarkets and specialty stores.

Another good idea is to use cans of stuffed grape leaves, a Mediterranean specialty. These cans also come in different sizes. You can find the smaller ones in regular supermarkets, but Greek specialty food stores carry larger sizes.



A collection of these various colorful cans in their different sizes make a really creative and attractive Mediterranean herb garden. And they don’t even require that much space which is great if you don’t have a large backyard. The cans can be arranged on patios, balconies, and even window sills for a charming little Mediterranean flavored garden. Even with limited space, I had a cute little arrangement of Mint, Oregano, Basil, and Rosemary in an assortment of stuffed grape leaf cans and tomato paste cans on my window sill in my apartment in New York. Mediterranean herbs are both fragrant and delicious. They give wonderful flavor to sauces, marinades, salads, fish, poultry, pastas, etc., and can even be used to flavor butter, oil, vinegar, teas, and other beverages. Some of the most popular Mediterranean herbs are Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Bay Leaf, Rosemary, Lavender, Sage, Marjoram, Parsley, and Mint. I planted Oregano in my crushed tomatoes can in the photo above.

To use them, empty out the contents, remove the tops with a can opener and wash them out. Punch drainage holes on the bottom with nails and a hammer and put in your soil just as you would a regular plant pot. You can apply clear varnish to the outside of the cans to prevent them from rusting and also to protect the pretty and colorful can labels. Be very careful of the sharp edges after you remove the top of the cans, especially when you’re washing them out and also planting your herbs. For protection, you can try putting heavy duty masking tape on the inside edges of the cans to cover those sharp tin edges.


Book Recommendation: Secrets of the Spas

Secrets of the Spas

Secrets of the Spas is a great little book by Catherine Bardey that gives you fantastic and easy ways to pamper yourself at home with recipes utilizing herbs, essential oils, and items you probably already have in your kitchen. Why pay to go to a spa when you can do these great recipes at home? Bardley includes natural recipes that are beneficial and healthy for your body, face, hair, nails, and feet. She also includes aromatherapy and skin benefits of essential oils and carrier oils.

You will find recipes for all skin types. You can utilize these recipes depending on what particular aromatherapy or skin benefits you are looking for (either calming, rejuvinating, etc.,)

You will find body scrubs, wraps, herbal bath blends, and milk baths.

body scrubs

bath

You will also find natural recipes for moisturizers, body butter, and massage oils.

body butter moisturizers

Bardley also discusses ways to care for and treat the skin on your face and includes recipes for cleansers, pastes, facial steams, moisturizers, tonics, and masks.

facial masks

You will also find recipes for your hands and nails like hand washes, rubs and moisturizers, nail and cuticle treatments. For your feet, there are foot scrubs, masks, and soaks. There are also recipes for hair treatments, conditioners, and wraps.

hair, nails, hands, and feet treatments

Bardley also includes a section for healthy edible recipes for smoothies, shakes, salads, and more.

food recipes

All in all, this is a great book with many detailed spa recipes you can use to pamper yourself and learn about and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, relaxing and detoxifying baths, and much more.

This book is part of my series of out-of-print fragrance crafting book recommendations. There are affordable used copies of this book at the marketplaces of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and Alibris, and Abe Books. You may also come across copies at used book shops as well.

* The photos in this post are © Copyright Secrets of the Spas, Catherine Bardley.

** I am getting no commissions from this book recommendation.

Nature Crafts – Botanical Bookmarks

It’s great to have a pretty and creative bookmark to keep your place in your favorite book.  Now that Spring is here and flowers and herbs are lush, you can use your creativity to make a lovely bookmark using nature’s bounty.  It’s very simple and fun and if you have kids, they’ll enjoy getting into the project too.


So if you’re an herb and flower lover, here are some easy DIY bookmark projects to inspire you.


















Book Recommendation: The Herbal Home Companion



The Herbal Home Companion by Theresa Loe is a handy and delightful book not just for herb lovers and crafters, but for anyone willing to explore the pleasures of herbs. From growing them to harvesting them and using them for cooking and crafts, you will find lots of practical and useful information.


This beautifully illustrated book contains a section with information about 35 recommended herbs to grow in your garden.  This section details the proper growing conditions, physical descriptions, and properties of each herb as well as ways in which they can be used in recipes, decorating, and other crafts.



Loe also provides lots of great and helpful information about growing your own herb garden.  You will find information about planning your garden, choosing the right type of soil and containers; fertilizing and mulching; how to propagate from seeds and cuttings; how to plant theme gardens; and how to harvest and dry your herbs.





 With their wonderful flavorings and fragrances, herbs can give life to any boring recipe.  Loe includes a section filled with mouth watering recipes for seasonings, dressings, butters, chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, salads, breads, and delectable desserts such as tarts, scones, shortcakes, and pudding, among others.




The beneficial properties of herbs make them ideal for use in bath and beauty products.  DIY beauty products are easy and fun to make and if you want to get creative, this book has a section dedicated to herbal beauty recipes such as lotion, cologne, body cream, bath oil, and more.





The unique beauty and fragrance of herbs make them wonderful elements for decorative and fragrance crafting.  This book will give you ideas on how to create and arrange wreaths, garlands, and topiaries, as well as pressed herb crafts. You can also enjoy their beautiful fragrances by making sachets, drawer liners, and closet bouquets. There are many beautiful decorative crafting ideas to inspire you in this book.




The Herbal Home Companion is a very well put together and comprehensive book of the many ways in which you can creatively enjoy herbs in all their beauty, their wonderful fragrances, and their flavors.

This book is part of my series of out-of-print fragrance crafting book recommendations. There are affordable used copies of this book at the marketplaces of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and Alibris, and Abe Books.  You may also come across copies at used book shops as well.



* The photos in this post are © Copyright The Herbal Home Companion, Theresa Loe.

** I am getting no commissions from this book recommendation.



Book Recommendation: Herb Crafts

 

Herb Crafts is a beautiful book by Tessa Evelegh, a talented and creative crafter and lifestyle writer. This rich and colorful book contains more than inspiring crafting projects with herbs. You will find information about the medicinal properties of herbs and essential oils, and how to use them in aromatherapy. You will also find helpful information about growing, cutting, harvesting, and drying herbs.

 

 

Evelegh also shows very creative and stylish ways to design an herb garden, not only backyard gardens but container gardens as well. She presents so many cute and artistic ideas that you will most certainly want to grow your own fragrant little garden.

 

 

Of course as the title states, the bulk of this book contains crafting projects using both dried and fresh herbs. There are lovely and fragrant decorative projects and bath and body projects utilizing the beneficial properties of various herbs.  All of the crafting projects are accompanied by inspiring color photos.

 

 

Eveleh also includes a section covering herbs used as flavorings for recipes.  This fabulous section includes breads, desserts, cheeses, oils, vinegars, preserves, and drinks, all using exquisite flavorings from the wonderful world of herbs.

 

 

The end of the book includes a directory of herbs and lists on their cultivation and uses in cooking and medicinal properties.

 


This is by far one of my favorite herb books and I have actually done many of the crafting projects, gardening ideas, and recipes.  I have found it very useful and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get creative with herbs.
This book is part of my series of out-of-print fragrance crafting book recommendations. There are affordable used copies of this book at the marketplaces of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and Alibris, and Abe Books.  You may also come across copies at used book shops as well.





* The photos are © Copyright Herb Crafts, Tessa Evelegh.

** I am getting no commissions from this book recommendation.



Simmer Potpourri



This is a simmer potpourri recipe to make your house smell wonderful. In a large pot of water, combine these ingredients and let it simmer on the stove top:

– Rind of one large orange (you can use lemon and limes too)

– 1/4 cup of cloves

– 1/4 cup of anise seeds

– 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks

– 3 or 4 bay leaves

You can adjust the amounts depending on your personal preference.

Be sure to use caution and keep an eye on the pot while the heat is on. The water will begin to evaporate as it simmers, make sure that the pot does not dry out You can add more water and let the potpourri continue to simmer for as long as you like.



Fragrant Decorating Idea – Bay Leaves


Calendula, also known as Pot Marigold, is a great addition to soap, bath, and beauty products like bath salts and body scrubs. In addition to moisturizing dry skin, it has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities and it helps wounds to heal by stimulating collagen. These qualities make it effective in balms and salves for rashes, irritated skin, and wounds. The bright golden petals also make great additions to fragrant potpourri blends displayed in decorative dishes and jars.



Bath & Body Herbs


There are many herbs that have beneficial properties and make great additions to soap and other bath products. Some have natural astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties. Even herbal scents have effects, some can be uplifting and stimulating while others can be soothing and relaxing. Herbs can enhance the quality of your bath. This is a list of some of the most commonly used herbs and additives in bath & body and soap recipes along with their beneficial properties.

Calendula (Pot Marigold): The orange petals of calendula contain antiseptic and antifungal properties. Calendula is also an anti-inflammatory and soothes and protects irritated and damaged skin.

Chamomile: In addition to having a sweet apple-like fragrance, chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties and is very soothing and relaxing.

Citrus Peel: The peels of orange, lemon, and lime are natural exfoliants and have astringent properties. They also have a strong uplifting scent. Their bright colors add a great visual to bath & body preparations like bath teas and scrubs.

Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that it can protect the skin against sun damage.

Lavender: Known for it’s wonderful soft floral scent, lavender provides antiseptic, antibacterial and healing properties. It is soothing and can relieve stress. The fragrance of lavender has a calming effect and can also help to reduce headaches.

Lemon Verbena: Lemon verbena has a gentle lemony scent and can soothe dry or irritated skin, it also acts as a toner for the skin.

Mints: Both peppermint and spearmint contain antiseptic properties and have a soothing and cooling effect on irritated skin. Their strong fragrances are stimulating and invigorating.

Rosemary: Rosemary helps improve circulation and relaxes muscles. It has a stimulating and refreshing pine-like scent.


* None of this information is meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care by your physician.

Herb Package Accent Ideas

Using sprigs of herbs is a great way to adorn your gift wrapped packages. Not only do they add wonderful natural splashes of color, they also give off beautiful fragrances. They enhance plain brown wrapping and give it a beautiful natural earthy look, and you can also match them to colorful bright wrapping papers and ribbons.

Check out these great wrapping ideas using herbs as accents:







From: Jane Means Blog

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From: Adventures in Making


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From: Blue, Purple, and Scarlett


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Potpourri Ideas: Apple Potpourri


This apple potpourri is a fragrant blend perfect for Summer, Fall (omg is it almost here?), and Winter. You can make this beautiful potpourri blend with dried apple slices, dried bay leaves, pear pods, apple pods, twistie pods, and pine cones.  You can add apple fragrance oil to enhance the scent.

This blend also contains one of my favorite potpourri ingredients – cedar roses:



They are cones that are shaped like roses. These cute cones go perfectly not only in a rustic primitive potpourri blend but also a pretty flowery blend. They are actually the bottoms and insides of the cones of the Deodar Cedar tree. When the full cones fall off the trees they start to break down and what remains are these cute little rose shaped parts of the cones.
All of these ingredients are available in potpourri supply stores. You can even find some of them in health food stores and aromatherapy supply stores. You can find so many wonderful ingredients in these stores and you can work this blend according to your tastes and preferences, adding whatever ingredients and fragrances you fancy.