Thursday, October 23, 2014

Apothecary Herb Labels {Free Printable} ~ Home Pharmacy Series

"Always put labels on vials of medicine, and keep them out of the reach of children. Be careful to label all powders, and particularly all white powders, as many poisonous medicines in this form are easily mistaken for others which are harmless."
~ Beecher, Catharine & Harriet Beecher Stowe, American Woman's Home, 1869

As my desire is to make this Home Pharmacy Series fun, it means that labels are in order (and for me, to label is to love!)! Although they are pretty to use, they are also quite practical. We are sharing eight pages worth based on the most commonly used herbs. And don't be discouraged, I don't have even half of these herbs... yet! But they are included so that you can use them as your home apothecary grows. It is a very exciting time when I am able to cut out a new label to add to my collection (and especially if it is one I have found and harvested for free)!

{I almost hesitated to share them because they are not "perfect" (fonts are not all the exact size due to long names, etc.). However, for this busy homemaker, homeschooler and homesteader, they must will do. We will just consider them "rustic".}

Each label features the common herb name along with the latin name for a more "apothecary" feel. We also included some extra blank labels for your specific needs. You can cut and paste them to the front of your bottles and/or jars or you can affix them atop of your mason jar lids. You may even want to print them out on sticker paper for a stronger adhesive.

The following posts have been shared thus far in our series:

Simply press the link from the menu below which takes you to the document service and then you may download and print the PDF file for FREE. If you have any problems printing them, you can email me and I will send you the PDF file.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Playtime without Toys and Electronics/Creating a Home Library

If someone was to ask which toy was a favorite in our home, I would be at a loss for words. Besides the basic basket of blocks, Lego's, plastic dishes and baby dolls, we had never purchased any "toys", nor do we own any forms of electronic entertainment (besides a DVD player for a weekend family movie).  The most interesting and best part is that boredom was and never is an issue.

The truth is, our "toys" were our books! Books were the cause and beginning of everything! They sent our child in search of hidden treasures in the back yard, foraging for medicinal herbs in the garden or engaged them in raising children of their own on the child sized rocker. Books fed the imagination and birthed all the playtime scenarios in our home.

"A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself."
~ Jane Austen, Excerpt from Mansfield Park

This love of books starts in the lap of the reading parent. Besides the special time cuddling on the couch together, books are the tool for presenting the world to your little ones within the safe confines of your cozy home. Here is where they will learn that plants and animals were created by God (science), that certain parts of the world are covered with ice while other areas are full of sand (geography), that children of yesteryear spent most of their time in helping the family survive (history) and most importantly (if carefully chosen), books are also character building.

"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."
~ Henry David Thoreau

A home library can be created for pennies. Used books are often for sale at your local library, Goodwill, Salvation Army Stores and yard sales (starting as low as a quarter!). Our family would spend an hour every available Saturday loading up on these gems. Five dollars later we had a box of education and entertainment packed inside hardcover and paperback volumes. How quickly and inexpensively our home library grew!

If there are specific titles that you want to purchase, is a wonderful place to find discounted books. Amazon is also wonderful for instant gratification and the free shipping incentive is worthy of attention (here are some of our favorite picture books). The best part about the home library is that you have hand selected (and read) each title and know that everything it contains is safe for those little souls!

"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."
~ Henry David Thoreau

You will begin to notice a pattern when you see your child perusing the bookshelves. It all begins with the turning of the pages, a study of the illustrations and attention is paid to every detail they could muster up. Within the next few minutes, you will see they are dressed peculiarly, they are on a mission and about to forge their own trails. Today, they are Sacajawea, Daniel Boone or Paul Revere...

What will they be tomorrow?
What will they be in the future?
That all depends on what your home library encourages...

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
~ Theodore Roosevelt

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
~ Philipians 4:8

"If we encounter a man of rare intellect,
we should ask him what books he reads."
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #23

"Home is the sphere of harmony and peace,
The spot where angels find a resting place,
When bearing blessings, they descend to earth."
~ Mrs. Hale

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemaking, homeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* Features From Last Week's Link Up *

Child Raising: 10 Tough Lessons We Need to Teach Our Kids by Mom's Morning Coffee

Healthy Home Management: DIY Medical Binder by Rejoice the Heart

Gift of Encouragement: A Prayer Jar and Homemade Applesauce by The Mrs. with the Dishes

Now for this week ~ For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Medicine Making Supplies ~ Home Pharmacy Series

"a time to heal...
... and a time to build up..."
~Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 3:3

Are you ready to start making your own herbal medicine? Is that pioneering spirit in you prepared to stock up your pantry with natural remedies? It helps to have all your supplies in order so that you will actually make them. This is a "time to build up" your inventory! Below is a basic list to assure you can make all of the simple recipes we are sharing. Many items will be found in your kitchen but we will include them all just the same.

Basic Supply List:
  • 80-100 proof vodka (For tinctures, elixirs, liniments, etc., visit this post if you are concerned about using alcohol-based medicine and what the alternatives are.)
  • apple cider vinegar (For tincture making and/or oxymels, etc., raw is preferred.)
  • beeswax  (For medicinal salves and balms, pastilles are easier to measure out but you can also use shredded beeswax from a bar.)
  • cheese grater ~ (This will be necessary if you are going to shred your beeswax instead of buying the pastilles. I would recommend purchasing one at a second-hand store strictly for beeswax if you go that route because it doesn't come off the grater very well.)
  • cheesecloth, muslin and/or thin cotton fabric for straining herbs
  • essential oils ~ (Though I constantly use essential oils as medicine, this series is focusing more on the herbs themselves but some recipes may include an occasional oil which also may act as a preservative.)
  • food-grade glycerin (For tincture making, etc., sweet tasting for children though not as strong medicinally as the vodka or vinegar based medicines but still effective.)
  • glass spray bottles (Plastic leeches but can be used if necessary.)
  • herbs (shared below)
  • jars ~ 4 oz., pint jars, quart sized jars (variety of sizes for a variety of projects)
  • measuring cups
  • olive oil, almond oil, and/or coconut oil (or any other of your favorite body oils)
  • raw honey (local is best if you suffer from allergies)
  • stainless steel pots and pans (aluminum leeches, don't use)

Optional Supply List (Useful Though Not Absolutely Necessary)
  • chap-stick containers ~ (you may want an on-the-go balm or healing stick as they are convenient to carry)
  • corks (for storing syrups and such which can make most glass bottles into medicinal containers, more information below)
  • glass amber dropper bottles (For storing and administering tinctures, though dark bottles are preferred, you can use mason jars and simply keep products in a dark area such as your pantry.)

Bonus Tips and Thrifty Thinking
  • Save and recycle all your amber vitamin glass bottles, etc., for storing herbs (ask your family and friends to save them for you as well).
  • Save and recycle all your glass extract or cough medicine bottles (also ask your family to save them for you). The smaller extract bottles are nice to tuck into a get-well basket for someone who is under the weather and could use an herbal lift!
  • Save tiny glass condiment jars (such as pimento jars) and/or baby food jars (have friends save for you or just purchase some baby food on sale, the apricots are delicious and this is often cheaper than purchasing a salve or balm jar).
  • If you are going to make a medicinal oil, save your original bottle to store your infused oil back into. Do not wash it since the oil will be the same (and it is very challenging to wash out an oil-filled bottle anyways since oil and water doesn't mix!).
  • Once sanitized, many glass bottles (such as seltzer waters, taco sauce bottles, etc) can be re-used for storing syrups, tinctures, liniments and elixirs providing you have a cork to fit on top. I purchase the variety-sized pack of corks and am able to fit one onto all my collected bottles which also gives them an apothecary look. Corks are also good to use in case your product ferments. They will allow the air to escape so the bottle doesn't explode. Certain syrup recipes may require the use of a cork.
  • If deciding on which vegetable oils to use in our projects, keep in mind that olive oil and coconut oil have the best shelf life and are highly medicinal (though you may use other oils of your choice such as almond oil and jojoba oil, etc.).
  • I try and use quality essential oils in our medicine making. The easiest way to collect a good set at a "somewhat decent" price would be to purchase kits. I was able to stock an instant medicine cabinet filled with therapeutic grade oils, with an excellent variety through this type of promotion. We chose the doTERRA Family Physician Kit for our essential oil apothecary.

First 9 Herbs We Will Cover

Many of these may be found in your back yard (we only needed to purchase two).
With these simple supplies, you can create a home pharmacy in your pantry! You may also be interested in our *free* printable apothecary herb labels. I hope you enjoy this series and contribute your recipes, etc., to the single herb link-ups we will be hosting in the near future.

{Once again, please keep in mind that I am not an herbalist. My methods are simple ~ though learned from reputable books and herbalists ~ but you won't find any fancy scientific talk, just homemaking talk like sharing a recipe from my kitchen ~ perhaps in the same way grandmother would pass information down. This is also meant to be a fun and creative series for the keeper at home.}

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sHomestead Barn HopAmaze Me MondayMonday's MusingsMarriage MondayTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersMake Bake CreateWise Woman Link UpWow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayThe ScoopCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysGrowing in Grace ThursdaysHome Acre HopFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopSimple Meals FridayFoodie FridaysCultivate NourishingSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Foraging for Free Flowers "Planting Petals" ~ Free Printable

It may be hard to think about summer bouquets in the beginning of autumn. However, the frugal woman in you may enjoy foraging for a few free flowers to plant next spring… Perhaps this picture will be an inspiration?

Taking a brisk walk in the fresh fall air, we spotted a meadow of zinnias past their prime. The next day, baggie in tow, we cut the tops off all of the brown, dried, dead flowers. We placed them in a jar, covered it with a lid and set them in a dark corner of our laundry room (you may want to place contents in an envelope or paper bag prior to putting in your jar if you have humidity issues). We didn't bother separating the petals from the seeds.

And there they sat until the following spring...

Once the sun began to warm the earth, we sprinkled our "petals" inside our flower beds and showered them with water.

They began to grow… and a cutting garden was made without spending a dollar!

This will work with zinnias, marigolds, daisies and echinacea (to name a few)… Just collect all the dead flower tops as you see them in the next few months (no need to separate the seed from the other plant matter). There is life in them yet!

Our extra "planting petals" will be given in small seed packets as spring gifts. We will share our printable below in case you are interested in giving some away. The first page is left blank to fill in your flower name while the second one is labeled zinnias since that is what we had.

What thrifty ideas can you share for creating beautiful bouquets? What seeds are your favorite to collect? Little pug is quite interested!

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6

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