I’ve been searching for an excellent way to create permanent plant impressions onto fabric, but the knowledge appears to be a secret art form passed down from teacher to student. So I’m sharing what I found from my own experiments.
I used organic linen and raw silk.
I collected local plants from a hike along the river.
I mordanted fabric with iron.
Then added plants to fabric.
I put down a layer of plastic wrap so each petal or leaf would leave its own separate imprint.
Then I rolled the fabric up.
And tyed it tightly,
Then I added the fabrics to iron water to simmer for an hour,
Here are my results
Linen here and silk here
geranium leaf on silk
maple leaf on silk
Have you ecoprinted on fabric successfully before? I’d love to hear about your method. If you liked this post and want more on ecoprinting let me know in the comments!
Natural Incense has been used for centuries in many a ceremonial and ritualistic fashion, for clearing out bad energy,be it death, sickness, pain, sadness, or just the foul scent of good old fashioned rot.
What plants are used in natural incense will have specific actions, either in creating healing energy or putting a certain affirmation out into the universe, citrus like scents enhance the mood and are uplifting, rose is for healing the heart, lavender is calming, cedar wood expels fleas, and burning most anything can cleanse the air and environment.
Most incense that is for sale is not plant, I mean it starts off with maybe a real stick of bamboo, but the people that produce incense get these ‘blank’ incense sticks and soak them in some paint thinner and artificial fragrance then hang them out to dry, package it and ship it off to be sold in your local head shop, health food store or what not.Now when you burn something like that it actually toxifies the air you are breathing, sending off heavy metals and potentially cancerous chemicals into your environment.I find that rather ironic as it is the complete opposite of what incense was traditionally made for.
Also a common agent used in incense to keep it burning is saltpeter which has many potential dangerous side effects including and not limited to kidney damage, anemia, headache, and upset stomach. I have found that I have never had trouble keeping my natural incense burning so long as I don’t over do the amount of resin I put in my incense, therefore I would never recommend using saltpeter, which can also cause an unpleasant explosion when used in excess.
If you’d like to purchase an easy to use kit go here.
I will walk you through my preferred natural incense crafting steps, although there are many other ways to go about crafting incense.
– Guar Gum
– Warm Water
– Herbs and spices that smell good
Flowers, resins, wood, leaves, etc
I do not recommend using citrus as it has a tendency to smell pretty yucky when burned.
You may wish to test your plants before putting much energy into them, as you may dislike the burned smell, do this by sprinkling a small amount on a burning candle and breathing in, I use this technique through out my mixing process and also with single plants as I go along.
Your going to want to have a little more woody plant than resin, if using resins, to create a good clay like consistency.
WORDS OF CAUTION: PLEASE DONT USE POISONOUS PLANTS
THEY WILL HURT OR KILL YOU.
– A burning candle
– A clean flat surface for rolling your own incense
– a mixing cup for making the incense ‘glue’ and a fork for blending this glue
– and either a mortar and pestle or just a bowl and spoon for mixing
Also a mortar and pestle for grinding herbs or a coffee grinder works great for tougher stuff if using your own herbs, if you are using the recommended kit the herbs come pre ground for you.
– wax paper or parchment for drying your incense on.
BE happy, and joyful, this will make a massive difference in the over all product outcome.
Grind up all your herbs either in your mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, keep these herbs in separate containers as you may find you don’t like a mixture or herb scent as you go along.
Next blend your guar gum with warm water
using one cup of water to one teaspoon of guar gum, if you are only making a small amount of incense, say 10 – 15 sticks, use 1/4 t guar gum
to 1/4 c of water.Set this aside to set up as you mix your plant material.
Light your candle, this will be used to sprinkle pinches of mixtures on as you go along to see if you like the scent or not.Keep in mind a lot of things will not smell as one would perhaps wish when burned, and you may be surprisingly disgusted.
Now mix your happy blend of plants in your mixing vessel of choice.
Sprinkle the final mix on your candle to be certain you are content with the scent.
When you are happy with the scent of your herb mixture start slowly mixing in your water gum ‘glue’ mixture, which ought to have set up by now into a nice thick syrup.
Mix until you have a play dough type consistency.
Now either start rolling into long worms or little cones or stars or whatever you would like, keep in mind that if you craft something too large it will not dry for a looong time. Also if you make your worms too slender they have a tendency to curve slightly as they dry, which may happen regardless and has no effect on how awesome the incense will be when burned.
Rolled worms or sticks rather will dry within 24 hours or so, cones take longer 2-4 days or so.
When you are pleased with your final result, place it on your waxed paper or parchment paper to dry and leave in a good undisturbed place til dry.
How to repel Mosquitos (and ticks) effectively, without repelling everyone around you.
I can’t stand mosquitos, that awful buzzing the horrid itching that comes after having its proboscis inject its wicked venom under your skin, and ticks, they freak me out, I know far too many people who have been afflicted by lymes disease for the rest of their mortal lives thanks to one tiny little bitty super scary tick bite.
But lets be honest, Mosquito repellent either smells of citronella, (which is hands down one of my least favorite scents ever) or mosquito repellents contain DEET, or some other nasty smell or chemical.
And do mosquito repellents really repel ticks anyhow?
Is that even possible?
So first lets address a variety of essences citronella, lemongrass, geranium, eucalyptus, and peppermint, all nice in the proper usage, but not really something I want to smell like, (except for my breath, I like that minty fresh) Just because scents can be effectively blended to repel things does not mean they should go together.
Did you know that the lovely woodsy musky scented vetiver is far more effective than citronella at repelling mosquitos, ticks, and fleas?
If we look back at lets say the bubonic plague of the 14th century that wiped out 1/2 of the European population. It was found that alchemists (perfumists) and people of the church, were not generally effected by the plague, turns out it was a direct result of the plant essences that were used in these peoples daily lives. The plant essences repelled the bugs! Out of this situation the pomander became a huge success (a ball of scent that was worn either as jewelry or hung on a sash around ones waist.)
So really all essential oils ought to work to repel insects in one form or another, some have just been clinically proven to be more effective.
Another thing to keep in mind when creating mosquito repellent is not to use too many sweet flowers because they attract insects.
Also most citrus will cause photosensitivity, which obviously isn’t a problem if you only wear your blend at night, but lets be real, mosquitos and ticks don’t care what time it is, they will attack day or night.
So lets talk about effective plants that make a lovely effective blend.
Patchouli though at times overwhelming scent, when used in moderation can act like salt in a recipe bringing out all the other scents and rounding things together beautifully, It is phenomenally great at repelling insects.
Cedarwood, this stuff rocks! It comes in a huge variety, some smells like a cedar chest, others smell like pee, but others smell like a dreg of an ancient forest. Cedarwood is ridiculously effective at repelling all things creepy crawly and winged.
The same goes for pines and juniper, all conifers really, spruce, firs, cypress, you get the idea.
Rose wood smells amazing and repels insects, it can create a really lovely heart note in a blend, along with clary sage.
I used Bergaptene free Bergamot in the top to give a nice beautiful perfume scented repellentwith the base, heart and top notes. This type of bergamot will not cause photosensitivity and is lovely effective at repelling insects.
Heres a little list of a few more that are fun and different and incredible insect repellents
Another thing to keep in mind when creating mosquito repellent is not to use too many flowers because they attract bees.
So here is a little recipe if you would care to try your hand at home crafted natural mosquito and tick repellent
Blend this into 2 oz of Organic Witch Hazel in a spritzer bottle.
LABEL so you and everyone else knows what is in the bottle.
Shake it with love and pure joy, use as needed.
KEEP OUT OF EYES.
This recipe is a 2 percent dilution of essential oils to base, you may choose to use more or less.
Also this may smell witch hazely when you first spray it, but it will diffuse quickly and you will be left smelling nice to humans but repelling to insects.
Although you can certainly use this blend right away, and it will smell lovely and be awesomely effective at repelling ticks, mosquitos, and fleas without repelling everyone around you, the longer it sits, the better it will smell.
A delightfully nourishing rose and sea salt love scrub for freshly exfoliated deeply moisturized skin, to leave you marveling in your divine beauty. This rose and sea salt scrub recipe is a fine balance of sea salt, oils, cocoa butter, and just enough castile soap to be moisturizing and exfoliating without being greasy.
This recipe makes about 10 -12 ounces total scrub.
Ingredients and tools;
11 oz sea salt fine
1/2 oz cocoa butter
2 oz oil (I used a blend of organic sunflower, rose hip, red raspberry seed and coconut oil, but you can use what you have on hand.)
1/2 oz castille soap
I add a lovely uplifting and healing blend of essential oils, but you can omit these or substitute as desired.
3 drops Benzoin absolute
5 drop rose de mai absolute
20 drops rosewood essential oil
20 drops ruby red grapefruit essential oil
Pyrex glass jar for melting oils,
bowl for mixing spoon,
one pot to use as a double boiler
Jars with lids
Rose petals to embelish the top with, if desired
Begin with measuring sea salt into mixing bowl,
set aside. Weigh out oils, cocoa butter and castile soap into pyrex cup,
set this into double boiler pan, fill with enough water to come to the same level as the oils and butters in your pyrex cup, put on stove on medium heat,
Stir until oils and butter are melted.
Remove from heat and add essential oils as desired.
Pour the oil blend into the salt and
stir until mixed well,
spoon into jars,
sprinkle rose petals on top if desired, cap, label and enjoy all for your beautiful self or share the love.
Purchase some Moon Magic Rose and Sea Salt Love Scrub Here.