Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Posts from The Woodwife's Journal


Happy New Year!
As we say goodbye to 2012 and prepare to welcome 2013, I thought I'd share a recap of the most popular posts from The Woodwife's Journal...looks like some of my older posts are still topping the chart thanks to all my readers!

Many of these posts are from the Herbal Medicine Chest series.
Photobucket
You can read the entire series
by clicking on this button!

1. Salves, Ointments and Balms

2. Compresses, Poultices, Plasters and Fomentations

3. Very Personal Herbal Remedies

4. Lacto-Fermented Peppers

5. Capsules, Pastilles, Lozenges, Chewables, 
Gels and Electuaries

6. Castor Oil Packs





9. Tinctures, Glycerites, Extracts and Infused Oils

10. Lotions, Creams and Hydrosols

One of these posts has been nominated for The People's Choice Award!  If you enjoyed reading 
 Very Personal Herbal Remedies, please go to this page and vote for it!  Then follow the directions to cast 3 more votes for this post on other blogs.

Thanks so much for your support!


Be sure to check out my Facebook Page
@ http://www.facebook.com/Woodwife61!
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,
   
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Monday, December 24, 2012

My Junky Christmas Mantle

I've been following Funky Junk Interiors for quite some time and I always look with envy at her amazing photos of  ways she's used things she calls junk to decorate her home...especially for Christmas. So this year I decided to try my hand at a junky Christmas Mantle of my own.  I made a vow that it would not incur any costs and could only be made with things I had on hand already.  

If you've been following The Woodwife's Journal for a while, you know that I have this little problem...I tend to have difficulty separating myself from things that still have lots of years of usefulness left in them...or the promise of new life...
Okay, I'll say it out loud..."I'm a Packrat!"  Click on the link to read about my confession and projects.  

But see!  There were a lot of useful and decorative things that could be made from those salvaged items!  And in this economy, keeping up with the decorating trends can be a luxury many of us don't have the means to achieve.  

Here's another up side to keeping all that stuff around for a while longer.  After raiding the garage, I came back with a small hoard of vintage hardware.


Vintage candlesticks are nestled among fresh greens and accented by these lovely old doorknobs.


The mirror, separated from it's old dresser years ago, is a year round fixture and made a nice focal point for my junky mantlepiece instead of a picture..

More candle sticks on the other side boast some very ornate knobs and an old folding ruler made into a star.

In the center, there are some vintage lockboxes, and old letter slot, and a pair of rolling barn door hinges.


Good for the environment, fun to do, brings out your creative side, provides a homey, environment at little to no cost...it really can't be beat!  Make your own junky, recycled, refurbished, vintage style and be proud that you saved those old relics from the landfill.
My photography needs a little work and the mantle could use a little more bulk but for my first try, I'm satisfied...and severely bitten by the "Junky" bug!  Now if I could only convince my family that I'm not crazy!  

  If I could show you a photo tour of my house, you'd see that there are lots of goodies to use in my next vintage decorating adventure.  Nothing fancy, just collected stuff that I liked and can't part with.  None of the items are especially valuable, except sentimentally, and some just interesting things I've found but each one holds a bit of charm that needs to be shared instead of being stored away in a box on the garage shelf.  Or worse, ending up in the garbage!
  
Quick!  Go take a look around your garage or basement and see what kind of goodies you have stored there that are just begging for a chance to come out.  

Then keep your eyes open when you visit the thrift store, garage sales or grandma's attic for more junky decorating ideas!  Once you try it, the wheels will start turning and more and more possibilities will become obvious.  And, Voila!  You've gone from being a packrat with a secret to a vintage decorator with an eye for turning unique old goodies into charming displays.

UPDATE:  Since posting this morning, I'm kinda on a roll!  My family says I work best under pressure but also drive them crazy!
Here's the latest junky arrangement for the holidays.

With my junky mantle in the background, I wanted to use some faux candles, compliments of my mom, whom I call a Gadget Girl because she likes HSN!  You can see the remote in the corner of the picture.  I had an old rusty tea style tray with handles that I used as a base in case we want to move the arrangement.  

The candles came in a trio so I grouped them in the middle of the tray.  Fresh cut greens were added.  Then I began my hunt for vintage junk I could use to fill in the rest.  What I found was my box of tinsmithing tools!  A few more doorknobs.  And some clay pots.


And some sweet gum balls from our yard.


The pots are filled with my homemade salted pumpkin caramels.  
Star anise makes a lovely holiday aroma.  I'm having so much fun and my home looks great!  All the interesting  things I found to add to my holiday decor provide unique conversation pieces, too.

Merry Christmas to all from 
the home of the Woodwife's Journal!

Mr. Wood, Miss Lizzy Woodwise, Miss Indianna Woodwise and me, the wandering, meandering Woodwife.

I'm sharing this post with the folks @ :
Wildcrafting Wednesday


Be sure to check out my Facebook Page
@ http://www.facebook.com/Woodwife61!
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,
   
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Herbal Distance Learning for the whole family!
Herb, Teas, Essential Oils, Tinctures, Incense and more!
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Friday, December 21, 2012

The People's Choice Award

Vote for your favorite blog post in The People's Choice Awards.

Each week amazing bloggers link up incredible posts on the Wildcrafting Wednesday blog hop. Based on responses from our readers, the following ten posts were this year's most popular Wildcrafting Wednesday entries.

We want to recognize the outstanding work and talent of these bloggers and need your help choosing the winners of The People's Choice Award. Please visit each of the following blogs, read the posts, and vote for your favorite.

Voting will take place on all four Wildcrafting Wednesday host sites: 
and right here on The Woodwife's Journal

 Votes will be accepted from Wednesday, December 26 through Friday, January 4th and the three winners with the most votes will be announced Monday, January 7th. Each reader may only vote once on each host site, so choose wisely! :)
That means you have the chance to cast 4 votes total!

Your choices for The People's Choice Award are:

Natural Vapor Rub for Coughs and Colds by Nearly Natural Nicole

Immune Boosting Tea by Modern Alternative Mamma
Congratulations!


Sloe Gin by Wildcraft Vita

Garlic: From Plagues to Panacea by The Family Herbalist

Very Personal Herbal Remedies by The Woodwife's Journal

Why Sea Salt is Good for You (and Table Salt is Not) by Small Footprint Family
Congratulations!

Mullein for Colds and Flu by Joybilee Farm
Congratulations!



Voting has closed.  Results will be posted on Jan. 7th.
Thanks for your participation.

And the winners are...!
Congratulations!

Be sure to check out my Facebook Page
@ http://www.facebook.com/Woodwife61!
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,
   
Pin It
Herbal Distance Learning for the whole family!
Herb, Teas, Essential Oils, Tinctures, Incense and more!
A passion for organics
Start your own Herbal Medicine Chest Kit!
Herbal Medicine Making Kit

Saturday, December 8, 2012

DIY Orange Pomander Tree

Nothing says Christmas like clove studded orange pomanders!

I've made mine in to a little festive Christmas tree to decorate my holiday table.

These easy to make Christmas decorations have been found in various forms through out history.  You can read more about the history of pomanders here.  Their use was much more serious when the quality of the air was filled with bacteria and viral concerns and garbage filled the streets.  Along with tussie-mussies, Victorian ladies often carried metal spheres resembling apples or oranges filled with spice blends to ward off unpleasant aromas and protect them from the disease.  They were often worn around the neck or hung from the waist on an ornate belt or chain.
If you didn't live in an area where citrus fruit grew, these scented fruits were also a sign of prosperity because to have the luxury of lemons and oranges or tangerines was not available to the lower classes.

Colonial Williamsburg featured these beautiful handmade decorations in their holiday displays.

In my haste, as is often the case, I get caught in the moment and forget to take pictures until I'm finished.  But I'll give you a little wordy tutorial of pomander making.

1) Start with fresh oranges (or other citrus fruit - the top of my pomander tree is a lime with a start anise on top.)
2) You'll need about 1/2 cup of whole cloves for each pomander so you might want to buy them in bulk.  Please click on the links at the right for any herbal supplier)
3) Next you'll need to plan your design ~ the skies the limit.  You can see that some of the pomanders we've made are completely covered and some have designs.
4) To aide in studding the fruit, a toothpick can be used to make a hole in the rind or skin first, followed by the stem end of a whole clove.

5) Once you've finished studding the fruit, you can allow it to air dry, as is, or you can roll it in a mixture of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground orris root powder (as a fixative).

Display them in a bowl, decorate them with ribbon, hang them on your tree, put one in your car, add them to a festive wreath, or do as we've done here...make a pomander tree.

To start the tree, I used a cupcake tree I had on hand.  Once it was filled with the oranges And a few lemons and topped with a lime), I tucked bits of holly in between to fill the gaps and add more contrast color. You could also weave a tiny bit of ribbon, gold wire, or twine around your tree...hmmm I like the sound of that!  Maybe I'll have to add some to mine!  To elevate the tree, I turned over one of my favorite antique mixing bowls as a platform.

The tree pictured here has pomanders in various stages.  Some are freshly made, some are last year's and some are about 28 years old because I made them as a young wife.  See how well they've kept?  Rolling them in the fixative mixture allowed them to dry thoroughly and hang onto their scent all these years.  If you do keep your pomanders from year to year, you can refurbish their scent by adding a drop or two of sweet orange essential oil.  Be sure to store them in a dry place so they don't develop mold or discolor.

I hope you have a great time making your own orange clove pomanders with your family and friends. A time honored tradition, we've made ours over tea and cookies with friends or just gathered around the family table swapping stories!  However you chose to do it, be assured, the memories will last a lifetime!

I'm sharing my post with:
Wildcrafting Wednesday

Donna and the gang over at Funky Junk Interiors! DIY mini Christmas Trees

Be sure to check out my Facebook Page
@ http://www.facebook.com/Woodwife61!
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,
   
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Festive Traditions ~ A Real Food Guide to the Holidays!

Check out the Cyber Monday Promotion of



Special sale today only...40% off!
Use code FESTIVEMONDAY40!

Be sure to check out my Facebook Page
@ http://www.facebook.com/Woodwife61!
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,
   
Pin It
Herbal Distance Learning for the whole family!
Herb, Teas, Essential Oils, Tinctures, Incense and more!
A passion for organics
Start your own Herbal Medicine Chest Kit!
Herbal Medicine Making Kit
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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.