Chalk Paint Mason Jar Project

I got really attracted to these chalk painted mason jars I’ve seen around… Dan bought me a couple for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I really like how they look. We seem to have collected a large amount of canning jars recently so I thought this would be a perfect way to “declutter” … by making something out of them to give as gifts or sell as gifts.

Ideally, I would have had these ready for a little pre-Mother’s Day sale, but I wound up actually making 32 of them to use as table decorations for a conference I’m helping with, which is taking place the 2 days before Mother’s Day… I was happy to do it because it was fun and it was motivational to make a certain amount, by a certain time.

Here are some pics of my mason jar crafts which are adorning tables at Mystical Rose Gardens in Baldwin for a conference on Living in the Divine Will being held there this weekend. We plan to offer them for sale at the end of the conference, in case anyone needs a last minute Mother’s Day gift 🙂

Lotion Bars for Mother’s Day

IMG_20190430_162157Last year I ran across some really nice recipes for making lotion bars. Well, what I ran across first were some super cute lotion/soap bar molds that I fell in love with! So I ordered the molds, then decided to try making lotion bars. Someday I will try soap, but for now, I’m enjoying using beeswax from local honey bee keepers and experimenting with different combinations of essential oils.

I someday hope to have a little shop set up on our “homestead” where I can sell things like this and other crafts, but for now, I’m going to just spread the word and likely add these to my Etsy store.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these lotion bars and live locally, I’d be happy to prepare one for your wife, sister or mom for this upcoming Mother’s Day 🙂 I have them in the form of larger 4oz size flowers, which come with/on an antique (or antique-ish) saucer for $8 or in a smaller 2oz size in tin for $6.

Lotion bars are made with beeswax from local beekeeper, shea butter or mango butter, coconut oil and an essential oil. They have a very light fragrance – I have used a mixture of lavender and orange with some, and peppermint and orange for others. They work great for rubbing onto really dry spots on your skin, for travel, and for sitting next to your kitchen/bathroom sink or on a night stand… having it rest on the little saucer makes it handy to keep anywhere! And it looks cute! (if I do say so myself!)

Since the flowers are all in various designs and the saucers have been collected from second hand shops, there’s no guarantee that you will get exactly what you see online… please allow me to pick the right flower and saucer combo for you 🙂 Your purchase will come in a little bag with tissue paper and a tag, ready to give 🙂

Please fill out the contact form or send an email to jennifer at turningleafstudio.com if you would like to place an order 🙂 Thanks!

Hand Poured Soy Candles

Forestville Candle Company LogoTwo teenage daughters of a good friend of mine have started a business for themselves, hand pouring soy candles. Their business is called Forestville Candle Company and they have an Etsy store that I would like to share here: ForestvilleCandles.

I’ve been a “regular” candle buyer from them since they started selling their candles before Christmas because I LOVE the glow of candles, and the fact that these candles do not emit toxins in the air.

Their scents are delicious! Some smell so good, I could eat them! (but not quite…). In the winter, I really liked their Balsam scent, and Peppermint. This spring, they have a huge selection and a variety of sizes to choose from… I have been burning Lemon in the house recently and it has helped my mood immensely on the more dreary spring days. My other current favorites are Cucumber Melon and Lily of the Valley…. none of their scents are overpowering, but they fill the house with a warm, comforting aroma. I just love them! forestvilleCandle2

If you need yet one more reason to purchase non-toxic candles from an entrepreneurial pair of teens, part of their proceeds go toward Feed My Starving Children, an organization that is dedicated to providing nutritious meals to children worldwide. So not only do you get beautiful aroma and wonderful ambiance, you also help support a couple of good kids in their efforts to build their savings accounts, & you also help other children around the world… !

Check out Forestville Candle Company and tell them Jennifer sent you 🙂

 

Making Herbal Infused Oils

Mountain Rose Herbs has a good post about how to make your own herbal infused oils. I’m harvesting the abundance of mint, lemon balm, basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano that we have growing here and am figuring out the best ways to preserve them right now… going to try making some infused vinegars and oils to be later used for cleaning, cooking or on our bodies as ointments. I am also referencing this great book called Alchemy of Herbs which has been very helpful for looking up all the herbs I have growing and how to use them. It’s exciting!!! (the photo above also includes a bowl of beans and lettuce from our garden today… those items are photo bombing and will be eaten later today…)

An easy way to make herb infused oils that I’m going to try. From their website post here.

Folk Method for Solar-Infused Oils

Use the sun to naturally infuse oil with the goodness of herbs!

Directions:

  1. We always recommend using dried herbs. If you desire fresh herbs, wilt them first for 12 hours to remove the moisture (too much water will cause your oil to go rancid), cut into small pieces, and crush with a mortar and pestle before adding to the jar.
  2. Place herbs in a clean, dry quart jar.
  3. Fill remaining space in jar with oil of choice, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1 inch. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, then pour more oil on top to ensure the herbs are well covered.
  4. Stir well and cap jar tightly.
  5. Place jar in a sunny, warm windowsill and shake once or more per day. You can also cover the jar with a brown paper bag if you prefer that to direct sunlight.
  6. After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer. Make sure and squeeze out every precious drop of oil!
  7. Pour into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place. The oil should keep for at least a year. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong shelf life.

Fly Fishing Reflections

My dad taught me to cast a fly rod at about the age of 6. This is at least my first memory of it… we were in New York, in the infamous Woodstock area, where my dad was in school for some IBM computer training. I remember standing out front in the yard of the rental apartments we stayed in, practicing “10 and 2, 10 and 2.” I probably couldn’t even tell time yet on a clock, and my dad may not have even been telling me “10 and 2” but I recall paying very special attention to where my rod tip started and ended.

Fly fishing has never been a passion for me the way it is for my dad, but something about it has always stuck with me and I feel very peaceful when I’m out on the stream. I have very clear and grounding memories of fly fishing in Wisconsin, and trips we took out west to Yellowstone and Montana, fishing in many of the really “famous” streams out there, hooking and (sometimes…) landing some VERY large trout on a tiny, tiny fly. Practicing casts that would not leave a wake, ripple or splat when landing on a calm, slow river, which would scare the fish. Mending a line on fast, rippling streams to avoid drag.

Of course, I’ve always enjoyed hooking a trout and succeeding in bringing it in where I could feel the reward of having done everything “right.” But I also simply enjoy the casting, the practicing… the perfecting of casts under overhanging trees to that really good looking spot where a trout MUST be. Casting side arm to avoid snagging a branch or tall weeds. Seeing how far I can gracefully launch my line without a tangle or snag. Or just standing there, looking at the light reflecting on the water. Hearing the sound of water rushing or trickling by. Watching birds and wildlife. Feeling the warm sun reflect on my arms and face.

When I read the following book/author review in our local Trout Unlimited Chapter‘s Newsletter the Rip Rap, I asked if I could share it on my website because I think it would be a book worth reading. And when I think that way about something for myself, I also like to share it here! I have not read it yet, but I think her essays sound very interesting. Let me know if YOU read it and what you think 🙂

Thanks for reprinting permission to Ms. Constantini, Ms. Manion, and the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited.


littleRiversBookBook Review I by Suzanne Constantini
Little Rivers: Tales of a Woman Angler, by Margot Page
Three Winds Media; 2 edition, 2015

Margot Page’s book Little Rivers is a compilation of 12 essays written over a 10 year period, that journals, in wonderful lyrical prose, some of Margot Page’s life experiences. As the granddaughter of Alfred W. Miller, AKA Sparse Grey Hackle, she was instilled with the importance of writing the real story as she saw it and felt it. In her own words, Little Rivers is about “a daughter coming of age after the death other mother … a woman becoming a mother herself and going on to confront the mountains most of us face as we grow up, and the passage of time, illness and mortality. These are the currents that interest me. And when I sit down to write, these events are inseparable from my time on the water.”

Of the twelve essays, two in particular intrigued me. In ‘Water, Light, Words’, she describes how fishing and writing are intertwined and how she endeavors to “leave the water with impressions, not data.” She captures her surroundings and writes beautifully as she describes “a patient parade of cows backlit by the sun… the light on the water… twinkling prisms… for an instant the world is timeless. The feel and sound of rushing water…the pulsing, a mind-filling symphony of a healthy clear stream in which wild things live.” Her words flow effortlessly from hand to paper, through the ever present note pad and pencil she always carries in her fly vest.

In ‘Women Astream’ she describes how fly fishing, historically a male dominated sport, is fast evolving into a more gender balanced environment. She encourages women to strike out on their own and learn through their experiences on the water. And as she has done, redefine for themselves what they need and want out of this wonderful sport of fly fishing.

credits: Kiap-TU-Wish, Suzanne Constantini, Margot Page