Monday, July 27, 2009

Fabulous Free (or almost free) Finds

my whole family laughts at me frequently about my frugality! but i thought i would share with you all some of my recent finds that were either free, or only a couple of bucks! we have a yearly event here in our town called gabby days. on this weekend everyone can clear out their basement, garages, attics etc. and set out to the curb all unwanted articles and then everyone else in town roots through these things and takes what they think they want! great fun actually! then the following monday, the trash trucks start coming through to get the remains. you just never know what you might find, but this year was a good year for me and yard ornamentions! i found this lovely trellis that just needed a coat of paint and now is going to be perfect for my new autumn clematis to climb!
the yellow ceramic basket, on the bricks, was a find sitting on top of the garbage cans at the recycling center! perfect amongst all the yellow and purple flowers in this part of the gardens!the adorable little concrete skunk was also found on gabby days!
the cool old double seater metal chairs were found at an auction for 2 bucks! all they need is a little sanding, new paint, and they will be awesome! the nice swing was found for free on gabby days also!
how about all of you? do any of you love to find things and fix them up to decorate and use also? i just love recycling and reusing things! now, if someone can please explain to me how to insert pics with blogger so the pictures come out right i will certainly appreciate it! i would love to be able to write a paragraph, insert a pic, write another and insert another, etc! seems all my posts always just turn out so sloppy as i haven't figured out how to do the pics properly!!lol hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comfrey Cottages New Comfrey Fairie!! Do Come Meet Her!

oh my gosh i can not tell you all how much i LOVE Comfrey Cottages new faerie! Rebekah Klitzke has an awesome shop on Etsy called Mulberry Mudd! You have got to check it out! Her items are one of a kind, handcrafted and simply beautiful works of art!! not long ago i bought one of her beautiful necklaces, a dandelion pendant, and am sooo in love! ladies, i would like you to please meet Comfrey, our newest inhabitant here at Comfrey Cottages!!!
Rebekah also has a web page for Mulberry Mudd.
I am in love with all her work! This faerie came packaged so well and Bek included the most darling little handmade card! Quick delivery also! Next time you want to treat yourself, or someone else, please consider buying handmade first! Thank you Bek!! Comfrey Faerie just rocks!!! hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages!!!

Lemon Loaf Lavandula

oh july 11th we had a huge family get together. several brithdays to celebrate,one being my herbal accomplice aka eric, my second brother,( i have three!) the picture is taken after everyone attacked it but you can see how i decorated it with lemon balm leaves, beebalm, dianthas, lavender and other flowers. here is the recipe, it rocked!
cake ingredients
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
glaze ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lavender
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
heat the oven to 325 degrees. grease a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan. cream the butter and sugar until soft. add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. add the rind and lavender. combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing lightly with a spoon. add the dry ingredients and the milk into the creamed mixture, alternating in two or three pours. beat until just mixed. don't over beat. pour batter into greased loaf pan and smooth top with a knife. bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
toward the end of the baking period, combine glaze ingredients in a small pan, bruising the lavender between your fingers before adding it. bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and when the sugar is dissolved, remove from stove. when the cake is done, remove it from the oven and prick the top of the loaf all over with a toothpick. pour the glaze slowly over the top of the loaf until all of it is absorbed. when the loaf cools a little, remove from pan. it's best to let it sit for 10-12hours before slicing!
enjoy! hugs :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Making St. Johns Wort Oil

i had to hold this jar of st johns wort oil up to the light to show you its wonderful red color! for the first few days it really just looked a kind of ugly darkish color, but i have had this jar sitting out to absorb the sun and moonlight for about a week now, and suddenly, beautiful red! st johns wort oil has a place in the home medicine chest, being useful topically for bruises, strains, srapes, nerve pain and burns, soothing repairing damage. very easy to make. the fresh flowers and some of the plant leaf and stem is just cut up and put in the jar and then filled with olive oil. i just shake mine daily and it just sits out in the garden gathering the sun and moon energy! drying some also as it is a special helper for menopausal women like me. here is a lovely recipe for a tea
2 parts lemon balm
2 parts chamomile
1 part St. Johnswort
1 part red rose petals
i will probably use some of this oil in salves with my home harvested beeswax also!
hugs to all who visit comfrey cottages

Friday, July 10, 2009

Learning about Yarrow

the children and i are exploring yarrow this month. learning so many new things thanks to several sources. i have to give a shout out to kristine brown and her herbal series herbal roots, which is sold as a printable pdf file for just $6!! so far this year, we have enjoyed exploring marshmallow, chickweed, violet, dandelion, plantain and now yarrow! i have to encourage everyone to check out herbal roots. the file is just gorgeous with everything created and illustrated gorgeously by kristine. every month we enjoy legend and lore, crafts, recipes for herbal tinctures, salves etc. or even some recipes to eat! there are crafts, puzzles, crosswords, and so much to do packed into each lesson. i have to say this is just such an awesome product anyone, whether seasoned herbalist, beginning herbalist, gardner, lore lover or teacher of children will love herbal roots. here is a link to the page with info on yarrow and how to order herbal roots!

this link has a great article about yarrow from susan weed. it explains the differences between the yellow, white and red yarrow. both susan and kristine explain about using yarrow as a bug repellant. kristine"s herbal roots gives the recipe.
this lin is for another article in which susan talks about yarrow

Monday, July 6, 2009

Daisy the Baby Wood duck!

the other day i saw some boys running through the neighborhood with a baby bird in their hands. i went dashing out to explain to them that fledglings run around on the ground for a day or so learning to fly, and that the babies mom was probably close by where they found it. i was so surprised to see it was a baby wood duck! they said a momma duck had been going through the backyards and got in one yard that had dogs! the dogs killed two of the babies, and the momma got away with other ones, and this little darling was trying to get through the fence and the boys grabbed it before the dogs did! unfortunately, they couldn't find momma again! we searched and searched, but couldn't find her. i ended up taking her to a rehabilitator that had 5 other baby wood ducks under a heat lamp. hopefully she survives. i guess wood ducks are especially hard to save, and they do best when with several others. she was sooo cute and those little webbed feet were too cute!