Monday, March 31, 2014

Hand Quilting

O.k. I'm just going to come out and say it. The ugly truth....
I've never hand quilted anything. Ever. In my 15 years of quilting. Never.
That's almost embarrassing to say.
But, there's no time like the present right?
I'm telling you, this off-grid stuff is changing me!
{I may have over pinned this}
Lucky for me, my first hand quilting project is small. This was the sweetest little pattern from Thimble Blossoms.
There were a few recent Moda collections that really caught my eye but I've kept telling myself "no" to them as the last thing I need right now is more fabric.
Until this pattern came along and I realized that I could use Plum Sweet and Mirabelle in these mini quilts.

The quilting has begun.
I'm impressed.
But not with my work. I'm impressed that women used to hand quilt bed sized quilts.
Mine is only 14"x16" and I'm already thankful for long-arm machines.
I'll let you know how this one turns out.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fighting Off A Cold Naturally ~ Ginger Tea

We love ginger tea. Well, I love it and it's a love/hate relationship with my kids. Their first sip of it always brings a "yuck!!!" expression to their face. I usually then say something like, " I know. But it's so good for you while you're sick." Then after a minute or two they're all begging for a cup of it. And then they're begging for it the whole time they're sick.

Try and make sense of that...

Ginger is a classic herb of traditional Chinese medicine and is regarded as a primary herb for the respiratory system. And the Lord has provided it, here, for us!

~Ginger Tea~

3 cups of water
1 handful of fresh grated ginger root
The juice of 1 lemon
3 Tb raw honey

Directions: Bring water to a boil in pot. Add grated ginger and cover. Remove pot from stove. Allow to steep, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain tea into jar, using a spoon to press out all the juice from the ginger. Add remaining ginger to compost.
Juice lemon and add juice to tea.
Stir in honey until well dissolved.

Drink and enjoy!

For those who aren't well acquainted with ginger, it has somewhat of a hot sensation to it. If I have a cold, it's all I want to drink. I feel like it is actually burning the cold out of me!

You can adjust the lemon and honey to your liking as well.

I hope that you enjoy this tea as much as we do and that it's a blessing to your family during times of sickness.

~ And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29 ~

Disclosure:I am not a medical professional and do not have any "professional" education in regards to medicine. Please use common sense when using any recipe found on the internet. Any advise given on this blog is simply a sharing of our family's experiences. Not everything works for everyone. If you have more questions, please contact your medical provider. (Or preferably an herbalist or alternative medicine provider.)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fighting Off A Cold Naturally ~ Homemade Vapor Rub

Recently I had 3 little ones that all had a cold. We handle colds (or any sickness) in our house a little differently than most.

First, we know that an occasional cold or flu is actually beneficial for our children. It helps their immune system to become stronger, leaning to fight off the bug.

Second, for the most part we let our bodies do the work of getting rid of the sickness, occasionally with the aid of herbs. For example, when anyone is running a fever we don't immediately reach for the Tylenol. We let our bodies ride out the fever, knowing that the fever is working in our body to rid itself of the sickness. If fevers do get to a very uncomfortable state we use yarrow tincture to bring it down temporarily.
We also try to avoid sugar and other foods that compromise our immune system as well.

So with the runny noses and coughs that our kids had, the first thing we started was a combo of homemade Elderberry tincture and Echinacea tincture. Then I made ginger tea out of grated ginger root, raw honey and lemon juice. (We actually like the tea so much we enjoy it even when we're not sick.)

And we rested. The kids took naps and resting breaks. While they rested they seemed so stuffy that I wanted to do something else for them. So, I made vapor rub.

This is an easy-peasy recipe and works wonderfully.

~Homemade Vapor Rub~

1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 oz of beeswax
35 drops of Eucalyptus EO (essential oil)
30 drops of Rosemanry EO
25 drops of Lavendar EO
20 drops of Peppermint EO

In a double broiler, melt beeswax. Add olive and coconut oils and heat until melted.
Remove from heat and add essential oils.
Pour into containers.

Directions for use:
Rub over chest and neck area and onto the bottoms of feet as needed.

Let me say that you can tweak this recipe as you'd like. You could really use any kind of oil, sweet almond, olive, coconut, apricot kernel, etc. I just use the coconut and olive because I like their properties and non-greasy feel.

{Vapor rub}
Adjust the EOs as you'd like as well. If you're not partial to one of them, leave it out. This amount seemed perfect for my liking but you can adjust the drops to more or less to fit yours.

Also, after combining the wax and oil together, and before adding the EOs, I take a couple teaspoonfuls and place them on a plate and stick it in the freezer for a moment. This cools it off rapidly and I can decide if the consistency of the rub is to my liking. If it's too hard, you can always add more oil or if it's a sloppy mess, more wax. Then go ahead and add the essential oils.

I hope that this is a blessing to your family!

I am not a medical professional and do not have any "professional" education in regards to medicine. Please use common sense when using any recipe found on the internet. Any advise given on this blog is simply a sharing of our family's experiences. Not everything works for everyone. If you have more questions, please contact your medical provider. (Or preferably an herbalist or alternative medicine provider.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An Overdue Update

Things have been wonderfully busy here. I can't even begin to express how much we are loving living here. The sunrises over the hills, the peace, the sound of the creek flowing, the bees that are flooding the plum trees, all of God's handiwork around us. It's amazing. And humbling.
And I for one am just downright thankful.
{Driving home}

We've been doing some clearing around the homestead and besides that there isn't much news around the property. Except that we finally added another rooster to the flock. And that we added 17 (which turned out to be 15 after they arrived) new chicks to the homestead. Timber and Layton now have their birds for fair and we have some new hens for the flock.
As far as the off-grid brooding, I took the easy way out....and we have the chicks at a friends house until they fully feather and can head up here.

I finally finished the top of a block-of-the-month quilt I did with my mother-in-law....which we began back in 2008. Yeah, I know. That's sad.
But it's done and on it's way to Kathy now.
I also added this quilt to my Etsy shop.
A special little girl turned 6 recently. Her Auntie made her a special cake.
She got a new bed from Grandma and Grandpa for her birthday.

And everyone helped to put it together for her.
She also got a new sewing area, compliments of her Nana and Papa.
The only problem is that the generator must be running for her to use it.
Which has been our sewing problem since we moved here.
So, to resolve that somewhat this got added to the homestead....
Mercy, I am in love.
 I could go on and on about this machine. But I think that's for another post.
It is amazing though and works beautifully. I have already sewn curtains on it and have begun piecing my first quilt on it.
Now Timber says that she needs one in her room. And I think we're just going to have to share.

 I've also been soap making. I got a new mold that makes a 1/2 batch of my normal soap recipe and love how it allows me to try different things in smaller batches. Now I only have 8 bars (plus the ends) in a batch instead of 15!
I think that's about it for now. I hope that all of you are well. If you're still here and still reading, thanks!
Be blessed!

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