Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sonnen Licht on the Mountain

My very first Sonnen Licht (sunlight)
Repurposed Solar light
If you read here often, you know that I like to make my mark on the repurposing/ junker/ packrat scene with some of my own ideas.  During some of the power outages we experienced last winter, I had a few ideas about using solar lighting indoors and as creative outdoor lighting that goes beyond sticking a stake in the ground.


Here's a link to some of those "coming out" of the pack rat closet posts...
Time to Fess Up
Recycled Projects in Review
Pack Rats Anonymous
My Junky Christmas Mantle

Now, you have to admit, I've made some useful and interesting things with some of my stash...at least that's what I keep telling myself as a way to justify my problem!

Last year at a garage sale, I picked up a very pretty ceiling light with a crackle finish and a nice little knob on the bottom.  I had no idea what I would do with it...I just liked it.  Now if you've read any of those Pack Rats Anonymous posts, you know this is not unusual and, yes, my husband tried putting his foot down but there's too much junk on the garage floor!

But as spring came around, I began to get a few inspirations about that globe.  I had a large terra cotta flower pot with a design on it that I had never used... and I put the two together to make, in my opinion, a very nice Mother's Day gift for my mom.  She has it on her porch and it gives a nice glow to an otherwise dark area in the woods on the mountain or pike, as we locals call it.

It's assembly is a bit more involved than just putting the two together.
First, I found a solar light that would fit through the small opening in the globe.
Then I figured out the correct height for the light and used Plaster of Paris to give the pot some weight and keep the light in place.
Next, I used some rope caulk to seal the joint between the pot and the globe in an attempt to keep water out.  There are lot's of ways to create a better seal but I wanted something that I could take apart if the battery or entire solar light needed to be replaced in the future.
After the globe was seated in the caulk, I tied a few pieces of burlap around the top of the pot as a finishing touch.

Voila!

 Here's a shot after dark.

I made another one for my bff using a giant coffee cup and another style of frosted or white globe that I found at a thrift store, but alas, I was so excited to give it to her that I forgot to take a picture of it!

I've been collecting pieces that I can use to create more of these Sonnen Licht (sunlight) repurposed lights to sell and gift...again, in an attempt to justify my pack rat tendencies!  I'll try to remember to take pictures to share.

So don't throw it away if you can give it new life!

This post has been shared with Wildcrafting Wednesday #151

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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Green Alternative for Your Bug Out Bag!

What's in your bug out bag?
Do you keep an emergency preparedness bag ready to grab if something causes you to evacuate your home on short notice?  What do you keep on hand for times like these?

I've added a new item to my emergency preparedness list...solar lights!
Now I don't mean those expensive newfangled flashlights although I'm sure they are very handy.  I'm talking about outdoor sidewalk lights.  I picked up a dozen, 99 cent solar lights at Walmart while I was getting a few things before the last storm hit.
When we got home, I pulled out all the tabs to activate the lights and was surprised to find that they already had a small charge and began to glow.  I put all the lights in a small bucket that would hold the lights upright and set the bucket on the porch.  Since the storm was already on her way, the skies were overcast and threatening heavy rain soon.  That evening it was dark earlier than usual and I noticed a bright glow coming from the porch.  All the lights in the bucket were brightly lit!
We had a test run even though the power never went out.  I placed a light on every other step so we could see to come down at night if the power was off.  They were still lit in the morning and spreading plenty of light over the steps and the hall...like night lights!
We have an iron chandelier that holds 4 taper candles.  I removed the posts from the solar lights and with a little padding they stood up very well in the holders.  This idea is so versatile!  You can use them in place of candles during an outage without fear of fire!  I'm going to keep my eyes open for deals on solar lights to add to my survival kit.

Other ways to use these little renewable energy wonders:

You could strap one or two on the outside of your backpack while hiking to provide light while you set up camp.

You can make your own solar lantern from a canning jar by removing the post and clear cover from the light. Then, mount the solar panel with the actual light to the top of the jar.

If you pack a survival kit for your family in case of emergency, be sure to include a small solar yard light in each one.  Although they can't completely replace the directional light of a flashlight, they could provide adequate light for those in between times allowing conservation of flashlight batteries.  If your family or group should be separated, it may help relocate each other in the dark.

Include the small post, too because it could be used, in a pinch, for a number of things besides providing a handle for the light, like diverting water into a filter bottle, as a digging tool, etc. The inside of the post could store a bit of rope or other survival needs.

Also, the little pointed stake that goes in the ground could be used as an anchor for a tent/shelter rope, as a digging tool, maybe even as a spear type point for fishing/hunting.

Yes, solar lights use the power of the sun to gather energy but once you start thinking about it, the ideas for bringing them indoors, especially during a power outage or even just to conserve power, are phenominal!

This post has been shared with Wildcrafting Wednesday #151

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

The Wedding

Let me be the first to introduce you to Mr. & Mrs. Kwazulu Natal!  I am sooo very happy for my oldest daughter and her new husband as they start their life together with plans for the mission field.  But, as a mom, I'm waffling between letting go and being proud of the young woman she's become and missing my little Goosie!  I guess that's the reality of loving my girls so much.
She was a beautiful bride! 
She's wearing a gown of her own design.  When I was a little girl, there were two elderly spinster sisters who lived on the family farm in the country until they died.  Before old age and cancer got them down, they would dress up in vintage dresses (I really wish I knew more about the history of these dresses!)  and go out to tea or the Community Center for a picnic.  When they passed away, their pretty dresses were up for sale at their estate auction.  I bought two of them for my girls, who were just young at the time and loved to play dress up.  They took good care of them and eventually out grew these vintage treasures.  When Goosie was planning her wedding, she asked if I thought it would be okay to use the dresses to make her gown.  I thought it was a great way to bring new life to something that would otherwise be forgotten in the closet!  So she sketched a few designs and talked to a local seamstress about her ideas.  We found some handkerchief fabric that matched the vintage cloth and she picked a pattern for the bodice form.  After another trip to the seamstress, she knew what Goosie wanted and she set about bringing her idea to life!  Goosie bought a few vintage doilies or scarves to overlay the top and create cap sleeves and a beautiful, sheer but lacey neckline. 
The back of the vintage skirts were dressed up with a bustle style flounce, made from the handkerchief fabric.  

I'm a heel.  I am not the visual that my daughter is and has always been.  She kept me up to date with all the developments and I had this picture in my mind of what she wanted her dress to be like.  When I saw it for the first time, all I could think of was that it didn't match the picture in my head...and my response matched my confusion.  I was afraid that it wasn't what she wanted and she was afraid to tell the seamstress.  Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful but it caught me off guard.  Plus, she grabbed a nude slip instead of a white one and the dress looked like it was two colors.  Now, I should have trusted both my daughter and the seamstress not to send her off with a mismatched dress, but hey, like I said, I'm a heel...albeit a frazzled heel from all the wedding prep, but still.

When she put it on at the church for the wedding, I saw just how wrong I had been.  She looked like an angel!  And in my defense, the white slip made a world of difference in the color!  But my initial reaction was't what she had hoped for and I'm afraid she thought I didn't like what she'd designed.  My apologies for taking the joy from that moment by my awkward response.

See how lovely she looked!



She chose neutral colors for her party with the bridesmaids being in dresses of their choice that they could wear again, accented with wood and leather.  The fellows were in gray slacks and white shirts with leather shoes and belts and a silver tie to match the groom, who was wearing a gray suit.


Of course, her little sister was the Maid-of-Honor.  She took her responsibility seriously from throwing a fabulous shower, even when I had to go out of town for an emergency two days before, right up to the bachelorette and bridesmaids parties.


When my girls were small, I had a little craft business that included floral arrangements.  We found some beautiful flowers and set about putting together the bridal bouquets and coursages, etc. 

If you read here often, you know that we're kinda a repurposing, upcycling sort of family.  We wanted the wedding to be beautiful but thrifty, her own boho sort of style and yet not something that folks might think of as shabby either.  So we, of course, turned to pinterest for ideas!  After searching and making a plan, I went back to my roots a bit by creating some floral decorations from fresh leaves and some leftover bridal flowers.  Here's what we came up with...

The doors were repurposed from 20+ years of storage in the groom's family's barn.  I made the garlands from fresh salal leaves and my old garland machine that I finally figured out how to use!  We had the obelisks and decorated them to match.  The curtains were borrowed from a friend who had them from her daughter's wedding.  The large candle holder was a perfect find and we used some old wooden ones I had here at home to go with it.  The lace tablecloth was crocheted for me years ago by a dear friend and neighbor who was like a grandmother to my girls.  The wooden table was a family heirloom from Mr. Wood's mom.


In the gym, she had the idea to move the bleachers to form a 90 degree angle with their table being in the corner surrounded by their attendants.  In order to make it a little more candle light, the fellows suspended two old wooden extension ladders above the bridal party tables and the rag curtain we made for the shower hanging behind the bride and groom.  A matching salal garland hung from the curtain.  The ladders and garland were lit with strings of round lights that made a nice little glow for them.  There were also battery candles in lanterns hanging from the bridal party tables and one on a shepherds hook behind the bride and groom, opposite a salal kissing ball.


 They were seated at a small metal patio table that I borrowed from my mom.  Tables for family were lit by candles centered in salal wreaths.  The other guests had the option of standing or sitting in random seating groups in order to make visiting easier.

A friend of ours is a radio host.  He and his wife made the reception unique by providing PA for all events and also setting up for karaoke which didn't take off as well as hoped but still made for some fun.




The bride used extra ribbon from invitation accents to create wands for the little girls to wave as they exited and there were bubbles for the rest...however, we had so much fun and there were so many folks there to celebrate with us, that the crowd had thinned a lot by the time they left the party. 


 The end of a beautiful celebration of love that we were blessed to share with so many friends and family.

With lots of help, we had all this torn down, packed up and hauled home within a couple hours.  We could not have done this without the help and support of some wonderful people who made all this possible in so many ways. 

Congratulations to my Dearest Goosie and her Ben! 

I got to be the mother of the bride and gained the son I never had!  Mr. Wood and I are very proud!


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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Go Forth from the Fourth


June 4th, 2014 was the 4th anniversary of The Woodwife's Journal.  It's funny how life doesn't always go in the direction you planned at the time you thought it would.

It seems like every year when I think I'm going to take off and make this a great go to place for folks who share my interests, something happens that keeps me from doing that.  So the only conclusion I can come up with is that now is not the time.

I've finished my homeschooling career and have raised two beautiful, godly daughters who are such blessings to me.  I thought this would be the year, but alas, not to be at this time.  I directed a play that took up a lot of time last fall which i enjoyed greatly, My daughter got engaged and planned a spring wedding, no problem at all but still kinda took over the spring, my mom's illness has escalated and I'm caring for her, sometimes 24/7, until she's better.  That's the new reality and where I'm living for now.

But someday, when I grow up, I'm going to take this blog and my herbal career to the place God has planned for me.  And until then, I will not pray for patience because I know He might test me...and test me....and test me until I'm ready for what He has in mind.  He's like that you know...always a sense of humor.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here, near the summit of the mountain where I grew up, just remembering and dreaming in between things I'm here to do.  The mountain laurel is nearing it's blooming peak and the bees are buzzing, the birds singing, as gentle breezes blow me back to days of yore when this mountain forest was filled with indians, pirates, villians, princesses and knights...wait!  I think I just heard someone calling me from that thicket!

Be sure to check out my Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/Woodwife61 !
Hope you "Like" it!
Much herbal love,
   
Herb, Teas, Essential Oils, Tinctures, Incense and more!
A passion for organics
Start your own Herbal Medicine Chest Kit!
Herbal Medicine Making Kit
Buy one for you and one is donated to a needy family in Africa! 
 Buy one for you and one is donated to a needy family in Africa!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts from the Past 30 Days

The Woodwife's Shop

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.