Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘roses’

Homemade Potpourri When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if life gives you six dozen red roses, make potpourri. When the heads of my birthday roses started drooping, it was time to say goodbye to the lovely bouquet. It seemed a shame to toss them in with the green garbage when only the outer petals were dried up, so I decided to use the rose petals to make potpourri. The Queen of Hearts often said in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Off with their heads,” and that’s exactly what I did. I cut off the heads of the roses, removed their petals, and dried them in a microwave oven. After mixing in some aromatics, spices, and a fixative, I now have potpourri that preserves my lovely gift of roses and makes my home smell heavenly.

Drying Roses
1. Cut the rosebuds off of their stems, leaving about an inch of stem on each bud. Toss the long stems into the garbage. Gently peel off any unsightly outer petals and discard them. Decide which heads will remain intact for dried rosebuds and set them aside. IMG_4500 Rose Stem Text

2. Hold onto the bud and grasp the short end of the stem, twist it and pull out the center. Discard the center. IMG_4499 Twist Stem Text

3. Gently unfurl the blossom, separating the petals. Place petals in a microwave safe container lined with paper towels. I used a 9-inch by 13-inch glass casserole dish. IMG_4512 Unfold

4. When the dish is sparsely covered with petals, put it in the microwave for about 1 minute. Check the petals and if they still feel moist, put them back in the microwave for 30 seconds more. Continue microwaving them at 30-second intervals until petals feel dry. Transfer to a paper towel-covered wire cooling rack to cool. IMG_4546 Dried Petals Text

5. Set aside the dried petals if making potpourri or store in an airtight container for future use.
Homemade Potpourri

6. The same process is used to dry the rosebuds. Peel off unwanted outer layers of petals. Lean the rosebuds against the sides of a paper towel-lined microwavable dish. Microwave them for one minute. Check for pliability and moistness. Microwave again for one minute. Check them again. Microwave them for 30-second increments until they are sufficiently dried.

Rose and Lavender Potpourri
Recipe from The Book of the Rose by David Squire

INGREDIENTS
4 cups of dried rose petals, preferably red or deep pink as these usually have the strongest scent
1 cup whole pink or red dried rosebuds
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup powdered orris root
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
Several drops of essential rose oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, sifting and mixing them well with your fingers.

2. Add drops of essential oils judiciously until the scent is strong enough.

3. Transfer into a paper bag and seal.

4. Leave in a cool dark place for six weeks to cure, shaking it occasionally.

5. Display it in shallow baskets or bowls and decorate the top with large dried rose blooms or little bundles of whole cinnamon sticks.

6. If the fragrance fades after a while, simply refresh it with a few more drops of rose essential oil.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I decided to keep some of the lavender flowers on their stalks for appearance. Otherwise most of the small lavender flowers will sink to the bottom of the potpourri.

2. Orris root is a common fixative in potpourri recipes. According to Save On Crafts, “The fixative absorbs and retains the volatile scented essences. Essential oils or fragrance oils are used to reinforce the natural perfumes and to boost the scent. Without adequate fixative the life goes out of potpourri very quickly.” Powdered orris root can be purchased at health or craft stores.

3. I recommend mixing the powdered components together first and then gently folding in the flowers. The essential oil is added last.

4. I used a few drops of both essential lavender oil and essential rose oil for a refreshing blend of scents.

5. I sealed the paper bag with clothespins, so that it would be easy to check the potpourri’s progress.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Red Roses Dozens of long-stemmed red roses sit on my kitchen table. The gift of these magnificent flowers symbolizes love, but for me they also represent a passage of time. I am a firm believer that every birthday is special and should be celebrated without hesitation. With another big milestone birthday under my belt this week, I remain philosophical. Getting old does not scare me, but the mere thought of not being true to myself, of living an unauthentic life, does. I may no longer be “younger than springtime,” but there’s still plenty of spring in my step, enough curiosity to keep me engaged in the world around me, and an immeasurable amount of space in my heart with which to welcome love and joy.

#1 – Never Stop
25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing For Yourself No matter how old you are, you need to strive to be true to yourself. Along that line, Marc and Angel’s list of 25 Things You Should Never Stop Doing for Yourself, is an excellent reminder for all of us.

#2 – Simple Beauty Tips
Beauty Tips Some of the best beauty products are right under your nose and in your kitchen. According to InStyle, “Honey has exfoliating natural enzymes and is loaded with humectants, which reduce the loss of moisture.” Check out InStyle’s 20 Timeless Skin-Care Tips to learn about other simple beauty tips.

#3 – Art and Our Inner Child
Javier Perez Ecuadorian graphic designer Javier Pérez, brings out the inner child in all of us when he combines everyday objects with a few touches of his own to create whimsical scenes. Check out his fun Instagram Experiments series.

#4 – Wonders Around The World
Iguazu Falls View breathtaking wonders around the world in spectacular high resolution by taking 360° virtual tours at AirPano. Scroll through the selection of sights at the bottom of the page and select which attraction you would like to “travel” to. For maximum enjoyment, watch in full screen mode. Listen to the enchanting background music as the camera pans through each scene. Click on different icons that appear on the screen to enter rooms or to view scenes from different angles. Simply incredible! To see the complete list of virtual tours, click here.

#5 – The Fountain of Youth
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Sophia Loren

Enjoy your weekend! Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Miniature Rose Several dozen rose bushes reside in my garden and, just like my children, I appreciate each one of them for their unique qualities and gifts. But, unlike my children, I have a favorite. With blossoms smaller than a penny, but just as pretty as their full-sized counterparts, this micro-miniature rose bush captures my fancy with its petite stature and amazing hardiness. In a world where everything is super-sized, don’t forget to appreciate the little things in in life.

#1 – The World of Miniatures

Video screenshot, Who Lives There, c Art+Practice.

Video screenshot, Who Lives There, © Art+Practice

After watching a four-minute documentary on Dawn Reese, a miniature artist and dollhouse builder from Ohio, I was reminded of my fascination with the world of miniatures and of my own small childhood collection. If you’ve ever been intrigued with teeny tiny things or played with dollhouses, you’ll enjoy watching Who Lives There. Both the video and additional information about Dawn Reese can be found in a well-written article on Yatzer.

#2 – October Food Fest
Apple and Browned Butter Tart It will be no small feat to keep yourself from salivating as you peruse through the photos of BuzzFeed’s 31 Delicious Things to Cook in October. What will be even more difficult to do, will be to decide which recipe to try first! Mash Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles or Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche?

#3 – Travel Tips
40 Travel Tips to Help You Travel Smarter, Cheaper, Safer . . . Little tips can make a big difference when traveling. Flashpacker Family shares this list of 40 Tips to Help You Travel Smarter, Cheaper, Safer, Lighter . . . and my guess is that there’s at least one tip in it that you haven’t thought of before.

#4 – Less Is More
In this short TED video, writer and designer Graham Hill suggests that less can mean more in life. Watch it and see if you agree.

#5 – It’s the Little Things
“Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.” Frank A. Clark

Enjoy life and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

First Kiss Rose Delicate porcelain-like petals unfurl into a creamy kiss of pink — First Kiss to be exact. All the qualities of a first kiss can be seen in its blossoms: blush, innocence, and joy. Admiring the beauty of this rose had me wondering about the person who named it. This person’s first kiss must have left an everlasting imprint. Do you remember your first kiss?

#1 – 96 Seconds of Joy
This video has been around for awhile, but it never fails to make me smile. The pure joy the dog exhibits is a reminder for all of us to live in the moment and to do what we love with gusto!

#2 – Amazing Product Designs

Bottle Opener Cell Phone Case

Bottle Opener Cell Phone Case

Loving clever and innovative designs, I always enjoy sharing them. Some of these designs, compiled by Glorious Mind, are Eco-friendly, some of them are extraordinarily clever, and some of them are just playful.

#3 – Homemade Hand Scrub
Black Sand Hand Scrub After a long day working in the garden or around the house, it’s nice to treat your hands to a moisturizing scrub. From the site StyleList comes this recipe for Black “Sand” Scrub, a scrub packed with good things:

1 cup leftover coffee grounds
2 tablespoons macadamia oil
1/4 cup of steel cut oats
Contents of 1 tea bag of high antioxidant tea

Combine coffee, oil, oats, and tea in a small disposable bowl until everything is well-blended in the oil. Scrub into skin using a circular motion.

#4 – Three Simple Materials

Art by Kumi Yamashita

By Kumi Yamashita

Last Friday I featured an artist who used thread and nails to create huge rainbow-like art installations. This week I’m featuring a talented Japanese artist named Kumi Yamashita who uses similar media to create portraits. Of her Constellation series, Yamashita says, “This body of work consists of three simple materials that, when combined, produce the portraits: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread.” While on her website view some of her other amazing portraits made from different media.

#5 – Dreamers and Doers
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Kiss someone you love this weekend!

Read Full Post »

Bending to the wind and rain, the rosebuds looked as if they were praying. The first bloom of the season is usually the best, but this year the roses in my garden tempted fate by making their first appearance during a storm. Days later, with the sun on my back, I walked through my garden and inspected the blooms. Several had irregularly-shaped petals and showed signs of water damage. Reflecting on these imperfections, I thought about the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, where there’s perfection in the imperfect. With that in mind, these stalwart roses had to be some of the loveliest ones I have ever seen.

#1 – Held Up

Thousands of tiny figures support the weight of a man in a thought-provoking art installation titled Floor. Korean artist Do Ho Suh positioned the tiny figures, with their arms held upward, under plates of glass. Check out the rest of the photos first and then consider the artist’s message. Are you a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty type of person? Do you think this piece represents support or oppression?

#2 – Hold On To That Hose!

From This Old House comes this article 10 Uses For A Garden Hose. Here’s another 10 reasons why you should not throw out anything, at least if it can be reused!

#3 – Spice Up Your Life!

Herbs and spices bring flavor into our diets, but many spices do more than that. According to an article in Eating Well, the spices listed below are considered eight of the world’s healthiest spices. Read the complete article to learn about the benefits of each spice.

Chile Peppers
Ginger
Cinnamon
Tumeric
Saffron
Parsley
Sage
Rosemary

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme . . . wait thyme’s not on the list?

#4 – Morning Rituals
Some of my most creative thoughts, whether related to problem-solving or just ideas for projects and recipes, come to me when I am blow drying my hair. Having short hair, I’ve wondered if my creative productivity would increase if I grew my hair out. You know –  the longer the hair, the longer it takes to dry. A wise friend advised me to write down everything I am grateful for every night before I go to bed. It keeps life in perspective. And in the morning, upon her advice again, I write down everything that’s in my head before I even get out of bed. She calls it the “Morning Dump,” where you dump out all the thoughts floating around in your head and you start your day fresh. Along the same lines, of being grateful and starting your day in the proper frame of mind, comes an article called How To Wake Up Every Morning On Top Of The World from the website Tiny Buddha.

#5 – What Would Dorothy Say?
There is no need to reach high for the stars. They are already within you. Just reach deep into yourself!
-Unknown

Have a great weekend!

Read Full Post »

My garden is so lush and lovely right now and would be perfect, if not for the glaring exception of the fountain in the backyard. Thick, icky green was the only way to describe it yesterday. So what to do? Well, a little algaecide goes a long way or so I’ve just learned – now I have a fountain full of bubbles! It’s fun to look at, but I’m really concerned about little birds taking bubble baths in it. It’s time to use elbow grease instead of chemicals! Be kind to the earth.

#1 – Random Acts of Kindness
“Random acts of kindness are those sweet or lovely things we do for no reason except that, momentarily, the best of our humanity has sprung into full bloom. When you spontaneously give a stranger the bouquet of red carnations you had meant to take home to your own dinner table, when you give your lunch to the guitar-playing homeless person who makes music at the corner between your two subway stops, when you anonymously put coins in someone else’s parking meter because you see the red “EXPIRED” medallion signaling to the meter maid – you are doing not what life requires of you, but what the best of your human soul invites you to do.” Daphne Rose Kingma

Make someone’s life a little easier, a little better, perhaps a little happier, by performing a random act of kindness for them. Here are a just a few suggestions that I’ve not mentioned before on this blog:

*Call a soup kitchen to find out how many people they generally serve. Then offer to prepare and deliver muffins, salad, or dessert for one of their meals.

*Share a recipe.

*Tell someone you appreciate them.

*Park farther out, giving others the choice parking spots.

*Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car.

*After loading your groceries into the car, return your shopping cart.

*Invite someone new over for dinner.

*Invite a college/apartment-bound student over for a cooking lesson.

*Open the door for another person.

*Give your full attention and simply listen to someone.

*Pay a compliment at least once a day.

*Roll an elderly neighbor’s garbage cans back up the driveway at the end of trash pick-up day.

*Volunteer to drive a sick friend to his doctor’s appointment or to his chemo appointment.

*Donate blood.

Please send me your ideas for random acts of kindness so I may share them with others.

#2 – Cutting Roses
What time of day is it best to cut roses from your garden? According to Rayford Clayton Reddell’s book A Year In The Life of a Rose, “Rosebushes begin drawing in moisture with the first hint of approaching dusk, and they hold it until the morning light gets strong. Since you want blooms with as much moisture in them as possible, cut either before midmorning or after midafternoon . . . . What you most want to avoid is cutting during midday, especially during hot weather, when blooms are limp.”

#3 – Reuse Those Plastic Storage Bags
Why waste plastic bags? As long as ziploc-type plastic storage bags can be washed out, I reuse them. Unless they contained something gross or raw, I wash them out in sudsy water, rinse them, and then let them air dry. The best way to air dry them is to open them and invert them over something like a bottle or a vase. I separate these used bags from the new ones and use them only for storing nonfood items. These used bags came in very handy during my recent trip to Greece; they held sundries, medicines, cosmetics, scarves, etc.

#4 – Unkind Food
According to the most recent issue of Nutrition Action, The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake ” . . . weighs in at three-quarters of a pound . . . Just 1,670 calories and 2-1/2 days’ worth of saturated fat (48 grams), nearly all of it from chocolate, sugar, cream, white flour, and butter.”

#5 – Make a Living and Making a Life
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

It’s going to be a warm weekend in my part of the world and I’m ready for it! Have a good weekend!

Read Full Post »

I lost myself today. I mean I lost myself in the sense of not caring where I was or what time it was. Feeling a little creatively blocked this morning, I grabbed my camera and went outside to photograph my rose garden. There is nothing quite like losing yourself in the magnificence of nature, in my case a rose garden during its first bloom of the season. The first bloom of the season is always a show stopper. After being dormant for many months, the roses put forth a tremendous effort to produce a caliber and profusion of blossoms not seen during the rest of the year. One hundred and sixty-four photos later my head cleared and creative ideas flowed again.

#1 – Flower Power
Here’s a thoughtful way to recycle flowers! If you are planning an event that has flower power, such as a wedding, contact the Flower Power Foundation. Its web site states, “The Flower Power Foundation is currently working in association with world-renowned hospice care centers, nursing and rehabilitation centers, rape crisis centers, Alzheimer facilities, and hospitals. Since inception we have facilitated millions of flowers from being discarded and turning them into heart opening experiences for the receivers and the givers. We are passionate about living in a society that takes care of each other now.”

The wheels of this foundation may not have arrived in your area, yet, but the concept is still viable. Why not recycle and rearrange flowers from an event and give them to those who would really appreciate beautiful gifts of hope?

#2 – Wine Bottles In Your Garden!
If you have a lot of empty wine bottles around the house, here’s a way to recycle them. An an article in Lifehacker suggests using wine bottles as garden edging. Bottles are stuck neck down into the soil, two rows wide to form a protective border around vegetable gardens.

#3 – Aphids, Aphids, and Aphids
How many different types of aphids exist? I must have seen at least five types in my garden today. According to Wikipedia there are about 4,400 species! To rid my rose garden of aphids, I dislodge them with a blast of water or run my gloved hand along the stems to brush them off. For more ideas on how to get rid of aphids read this article.

#4 -Reusing Parchment Paper
When I bake cookies I always cover my cookie sheets with parchment paper. Most of the time it’s parchment paper that’s been used before. Every time I’m done baking, I wipe the grease and crumbs off the paper with a slightly damp cloth. After it dries I store the paper on the cookie sheets so they’re ready for my next baking adventure!

#5 – Find Beauty Every Day
You cannot control the world outside, but you can choose what you bring into yourself. If you do not see anything of value in life, begin by finding one thing of beauty every day until it becomes a habit.
Ron Rathbun, meditation teacher

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderfully dedicated mothers out there!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: