Tuesday, March 31, 2015

About Calendula {Information, Recipes, DIY's} ~ Herbal Link Up

"The Common Marigold is familiar to everyone, with its pale-green leaves and golden orange flowers. It is said to be in bloom on the calends of every month, hence its Latin name, and one of the names by which it is known in Italy - fiore d'ogni mese - countenances this derivation... Old English authors called it Golds or Ruddes. It was, however, later associated with the Virgin Mary, and in the seventeenth century with Queen Mary."
A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve
{Please note that this is a special edition link up we are running which is separate from our weekly link up, The Art of Home-Making Mondays.} Learning from other women about herbs is something that really interests me and here is the place where I would love for you to share your knowledge!

For this month, please link up all of your articles (past & present) which pertain to:


aka Pot Marigold

This can include herbal recipes and remedies, bath and body suggestions, informative articles, how to grow calendula plants or even culinary and craft ideas. Our link up will be up until the end of this month (April 2015) in order to collect a massive archive of calendula information.  {Please understand that all posts which do not pertain to the highlighted herb will be deleted in order to maintain the goal of this post.} Thank you for joining us!

This post is a part of our Create Your Own Home Pharmacy Series.

Don't know where to find calendula flowers? I purchase my supplies here {affiliate links}:


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysHome Acre HopGrowing in Grace ThursdaysFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Herbal Illustration by Elizabeth Blackwell.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Make Your Own Spray Starch {DIY} ~ A Tiggy-winkle Tutorial

'"Oh, yes, if you please'm; my name is Mrs. Tiggy-winkle; oh, yes if you please'm, I'm an excellent clear-starcher!" And she took something out of a clothes-basket, and spread it on the ironing-blanket."
~ The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

I would like to share a recipe with you from a dear friend. She has a bit of a nervous nature, otherwise she would have given it to you herself. You see, she was quite concerned that perhaps some of us were paying a pretty penny for something we could prepare ourselves! "Oh, yes, if you please'm; just take a peek in the pantry," she says. And so, without further adieu, I give you Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's "signature" spray starch recipe.
"There was a nice hot singey smell; and at the table,
with an iron in her hand stood a very stout short person staring anxiously at Lucie."
~ The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

All you need is one tablespoon of cornstarch and two cups of water! Whisk the ingredients together in a sauce-pan. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and simmer for two minutes.

Note: For a heavier spray starch, use a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch.

Once the mixture has cooled, you can add two drops of lavender or lemon essential oil (this is completely optional). Pour into a clean spray bottle and it is ready to use!
"And what are you dipping into the basin of starch?"

"They're little dicky shirt-fronts belonging to Tom Titmouse—most terrible particular!" said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. "Now I've finished my ironing; I'm going to air some clothes."
~ The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

We are sharing a printable of this tutorial HERE. You may like to add it to your "herbal" (a book of household wisdom). You can find the printable to make your own "herbal", right here. I filed this recipe under "The Laundry Room" section.

I hope you have enjoyed Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's tutorial. Have you met her? She is such a dear!  Thank you for joining us for "Fun Friday" this spring!

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Illustrations are by Beatrix Potter.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wash Day {A Little Laundry Love} ~ Collection of Inspiration

“'Washing Day” has an ill repute that it does not deserve, for laundering is a science and an art that it is a pleasure to practice, if one has skill. Make it one of the household arts which you must carefully study, and you will find it pleasurable as well as necessary."
~ Foods and Household Management, by Helen Kinne and Anna M. Cooley

Bringing beauty to the everyday in some little way is what makes a house a home and transforms a common task into a practical pleasure. Here is our collection of posts from the past, inspirational quotes, romantic homemaking tips and concepts which hope to encourage you to enjoy "wash day" in your home!

The Common Tasks

The common tasks are beautiful if we
Have eyes to see their shining ministry.

The ploughman with his share deep in the loam;
The carpenter whose skilled hands build a home;

The gardener working with reluctant sod,
Faithful to his partnership with God—

These are the artisans of life. And, oh,
A woman with her eyes and cheeks galore,

Watching a kettle, tending a scarlet flame,
Guarding a little child—there is no name

For this great ministry. But eyes are dull
That do not see that it is beautiful;

That do not see within the common tasks
The simple answer to the thing God asks

Of any child, a pride within His breast:
That at our given work we do our best.

~ Grace Noll Crowell (1877-1969)

To begin, here is some wash day inspiration in the way of pretty pictures, poems and a "Wash Day Prayer" printable. I think all the beautiful images and thoughts can be pondered as you begin your daily routine {visit here for the complete article}.

Have you been contemplating a clothesline? I am in love with them! Visit here for our clothesline collection which is sure to inspire. You will also find our seven favorite reasons for hanging clothes to dry.

To make it more enjoyable, we share a tutorial here on how to make your own decorative clothespins. Sometimes it is the little details in life that make us smile during our daily duties!

"The Work of Our Hands ~ A Homemaker's Wash Day" shares the therapeutic and spiritual opportunities we have while managing our home {visit here for the complete article}.

Abigail Adams and granddaughter Susanna watch as a servant hangs laundry in the East Room– by Gordon Phillips

Did you know that the First Lady, Abigail Adams had some very sobering thoughts about laundry for wives? Visit Laundry Lessons from Abigail Adams for the complete article. 

Laundry in our household is a family affair. Here are some ideas to get your children involved (and learning at the same time) so that wash day doesn't overwhelm you. Between three and four years of age, children can begin to fold napkins, dishcloths, match socks, etc. A shorter clothesline at their level can be placed in the backyard where they can hang tedious items like socks and such for you. Older children can be taught to sort laundry (whites, lights, darks), remove all items from pockets as well as fold and put piles away. This will tremendously ease your work load while teaching responsibility and home economics to your children at the same time.

"Our Elizabethan ancestors dried their clothes and bed linen on rosemary or lavender bushes to infuse them with the smell and scented the washing water with orris root. We have many more possibilities, because although most of us haven’t seen a rosemary bush big enough to hang our double sheets over, we do have a multitude of essential oils which can be used in the wash, the dryer... And it is not just about making clothes smell sweet, as we shall discover....

If you have a washing machine put 3-5 drops of your chosen essential oil into the softener compartment. If hand-washing, put 2 drops in the final rinse water and swish it around. Avoid the resinous oils, and some of the heavier oils such as rose which tend to cling to the clothes in the wash but are fine to use when drying or storing clothes. To add delicious fragrance to your wash try lemongrass or lavender. If you prefer a more exotic perfume, try ylang-ylang or neroli. If winter colds or flu have struck the household, put eucalyptus, rosemary, or pine in the wash. These oils are especially beneficial on bed linen to relieve coughs and catarrh throughout the night. If whooping cough is in the house, use hyssop and peppermint. If insomnia is the problem, marjoram, chamomile, or orange blossom will help to aid sleep if used when rinsing the bed linen or nightwear. To infuse clothes with an essential oil when putting them through the tumble dryer, simply add 2 drops onto a piece of material no larger than 4 inches square and pop it in with the clothes.

Here are some oils you might like to try:

FRESH Lavender Bergamot Rosemary Pettigraine

FLORAL Geranium Neroli Palma rosa Bois de rose

ROMANTIC Ylang-ylang Jasmine Rose Vervaine"

"Another mode of systematizing relates to providing proper supplies of conveniences, and proper places in which to keep them. Thus, some ladies keep a large closet, in which are placed the tubs, pails, dippers, soap-dishes, starch, blueing, clothes-lines, clothes-pins, and every other article used in washing; and in the same, or another place, is kept every convenience for ironing."
~ Beecher, Catharine & Harriet Beecher Stowe, American Woman's Home, 1869

The Victorian Era Beecher sisters would have loved the concept of a modern day "laundry room". Visit here for a look inside ours. It was rather a dark and spooky space when we moved in. We painted it a cheerful blue and used some second-hand finds to make it into a pleasant place to work in. You will also find some printable laundry room labels and other thrifty ideas to perk up your room. We also share seven different styles and sets of laundry room art for free here! Feathering your nest is so much fun.

In the cold months, I added a few homemaking touches to brighten those dark and dreary days. I called it the "winter blues". You will find a different set of laundry labels and other fun homemaking ideas to make your place special {visit here for the complete article}. 

Making your own fabric softener is a simple two-minute project that will save you money and lend a romantic touch to your wash day. You can decorate recycled bottles to store your fabric softener and display them in your laundry room. We share two recipes on our website: A Scented Fabric Softener which utilizes essential oils and a Frugal Fabric Softener which uses citrus peels and herbs. Of course, you can always use plain white vinegar during the final rinse but do be sure to prettify your container before displaying it in your washing area. It does make the work lovely!

{Note: When using vinegar based fabric softeners, do not add to loads containing bleach!}

A stain removal chart is also handy to have in your wash area. Here is a printable of "Stain Removal Basics" from Martha Stewart. This can be hung in your laundry room in an inexpensive frame as practical decoration, tacked onto a bulletin board or placed in some other convenient location. You may also choose to store the chart inside of your herbal for reference in the "Laundry Room" section {you will find our printable herbal here which is simply a book of household wisdom}.

Here is also an easy recipe to make your own stain removal spray. It takes only a minute to make but features all natural ingredients that even your children can use safely.

If you enjoy simple sewing and handcrafting, then you may be interested in creating a "clothespin apron". This is such an easy project! We used a large napkin and a vintage piece of linen to make ours (all you need to sew are four straight lines!). Visit here for the tutorial.

“When you choose to work with a willing, happy heart,
you become a beautiful source of joy to all.” 

I hope you have been encouraged to love your laundry just a little bit more. If we must do a task, we may as well embrace the task! Oh, and before you go, below is a bit of wash day advice from on old friend. Methinks there is a lot we can ponder on as we clear out our brimming baskets.

"There is so much dirty linen in our own house needing to be washed that none of us need to take in our neighbour’s washing.  “Mind your own business,” is a command that might have been spoken by Solomon himself, and the apostle Paul was inspired to write to the Thessalonians, “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business;” and he and Peter very sternly condemned those who were “busybodies in other men’s matters.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). For some laundry room clip art, visit here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Collection of Peter Rabbit Posts ~ Printables & DIY Projects

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were— Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter."
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Fun Friday is back in season! Today we are sharing a round up of our Peter Rabbit printables and DIY projects. These posts were shared last spring in our Beatrix Potter "Baskets of Fun for the Homemaker" Series (all titles are linked):

I am sorry to say that the pre-school printables are no longer available on the Peter Rabbit website.


This spring, we will be spotlighting another character from the world of Beatrix Potter. She happens to be my personal favorite. Can you guess who? Which darling character captured your heart?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shelf Life of Canned Goods ~ Think Before You Throw Out

"You can store canned goods for at least one year. After one year, the quality of the food tends to deteriorate. However, experiments have shown that properly canned and stored food may remain safe for consumption, even after 100 years."
~ The Home Preserving Bible by Carole Cancler

Though the nutritional value of your home canned goods may be less after one year, I would hesitate before I threw them out. If you need the jars in order to can more food, then that would make sense. However, if you are simply dumping jar contents because they are over your year mark, you may want to reconsider. These items can still be a blessing as an emergency food storage supply. If anything unfortunate was to happen, you would be praising God for your "old food"! I have personally eaten our plum jam five years later (and lived to type this story) and it still tasted wonderful!

"Properly Canned and Stored Food"

Just keep in mind that this applies to "properly canned and stored food" with updated and tested recipes and canned with the correct and modern processing procedures. In other words, if a recipe says to pressure can, you must pressure can. If your canning cookbook is from the 70's, consider a newer version.

For optimal storage, keep your jars of canned goods, with rings removed (and with jars wiped down with a damp cloth after canning), in a clean, dry and cool location (50-70 degrees is ideal, though not always possible for us). Avoid storing home canned goods in direct sunlight or in areas like a garage where there is extreme temperatures.

"When in Doubt"

When in doubt and in dire straits (like that emergency we spoke about earlier), you can boil all home canned vegetables and meats for 10 minutes (15 minutes if at 5,000 feet above sea level) prior to tasting and consuming. Boil home canned spinach or corn for 20 minutes prior to tasting. According to Carole Cancler who has a BS in food science, if toxin is present in those items, it is readily destroyed by boiling.

"When to Throw It Out"

Do not keep jars that are oozing liquid, with swollen or bulging lids, contents smell "off" or jar contains any fuzzy mold inside/around lids or with the liquid inside the jar showing moving bubbles. Seals should be inverted, strong and in place. Never taste food if jar shows any of these signs of spoilage. Botulism is deadly and can lead to respiratory failure, paralysis or even death. Lastly, remember the golden canning rule, when in doubt, throw it out!

Disclaimer: No guarantee is given that the information provided in this website is correct, complete, and/or up-to-date. I have made my best effort to share safe techniques. I make no promise regarding accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this blog. Therefore you are responsible for the results of your efforts. The information contained on this blog is provided for general information and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The owner of this blog does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Thank you for understanding.