Dragonfly Treasure: May 2017
Welcome to my
Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Monday, May 22, 2017

Renaissance Faire Lore

When visiting a renaissance faire, you usually see quite a number of folk wander into the herb shop. It's always a wonder to look around and see the assortment of items they carry.  Some such as amulets, talismans, potions, charms, and spells could be used as components, more often than not, used to draw love to the one purchasing the herbs. Drawing of money or success I'm sure is quite popular too.

As a little girl I learned to pull the petals from daisies ~ “he loves me, he loves me not.” Twisting an apple stem while reciting the alphabet tells the first letter of the future spouse’s name. On and on ~ so many ways to learn of that one true love. And let’s not forget leap years. According to tradition, women proposing to their chosen mates are not considered to be forward during this time.

Many wish to learn of their lover, draw someone back to them, or feel more secure in the relationship they already have. In a sense, all potions, charms, and spells are a means of visualization ~ helping a person to focus on that which they truly desire. Some people will do anything to find out their future love. Then there are those who feel you should give up completely, decide it would be a pain in the patootie and avoid it at all costs. It will then, undoubtedly, sneak up and take you by surprise.

Talismans are often made to bring love. An easy way to remember the talisman/amulet quandary is that talisman starts with a “t” as does “toward.” Amulet starts with an “a”, as does “away” ~ thus amulets keep things away. A very simple love talisman is made by stringing rose hips into a necklace and wearing it about the neck. A more precise talisman might go something like this: start with a square of cloth ~ red for love. 

After considering what characteristics would be desired, find herbs (and other objects) that will represent and correspond to those traits.  Someone down to earth? Add a pinch of patchouli. Spicy lover? Cayenne pepper. You get the idea. Traditionally, it would seem that rose petals are an absolute must have.

Now make a romantic beverage to add to the mood once you’ve found that special someone. This can also be made ahead in anticipation.

Nectar of Venus Cordial

The flowers give it a beautiful deep pink color 
and can be served with ginger ale and lime slices.

The following ingredients should be placed in a ½ gallon jar with a tight fitting lid that allows for shaking. Be sure to label and date the jar. Put out of sunlight while it sits for 1-6 weeks. Shake occasionally. All herbs and flowers are dry.
For alcohol:
1 fifth of good quality vodka
½ cup red rose petals
½ cup hibiscus flowers 
½ cup rose hips
½ cup spearmint 
¼ cup granulated orange peel
¼ cup cinnamon bark chips
For syrup:
1 cup Grand Marnier
4 cups simple syrup made from 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon either rose water or orange blossom water
  • After sitting for 1-6 weeks, this mixture is ready to decant. Strain through fine cheesecloth or muslin into a pitcher large enough to also hold the additional 5 cups of Grand Marnier and simple syrup.
  • Add syrup ingredients to the vodka mixture and blend well. Allow this to rest for a couple of weeks so that the flavors can become well acquainted.  
  • Pour into beautiful bottles, cork, label, and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bird Cages, Blooms and Kisses

We have been having such gorgeous weather the last few days.
About 75* during the day and 50's at night.
The garden is waking up with bright shining faces!

I was looking through my Treasure Pile and spied these two old bird cages.
I remembered seeing "planted" cages somewhere here in blogland.
 I can't remember where, so if it's you let me know so I can give you proper credit!
Anyway, with all this Spring weather I needed to get my fingers in dirt!

This one I found in a farmer's field...
as is, no bottom.
But I loved the color!
Perfect for the backyard.
It was still there a few weeks after I first saw
 it so I pulled over and snagged it ;)
I picked up a tin baking pan at Dollar Tree,
made a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
Then painted it green so it would blend better once the plants fill in.

I had some Moisture Control Planting Mix so I added that.
It will help hold moisture during our 105+* Dog Days of Summer.
I also hooked it up to my drip line, which is that black hose you
see in the back.
I planted Impatiens which should do well in both cages.
In the center I have an angel that is blowing a kiss.

I added sphagnum moss to the top to help hold mositure
as well as hide some discrepancies, like the drip line.

Onto the next one which came from the free pile at a garage sale.
It is missing the sliding tray...no biggie.

I stuffed sphagnum moss into the front opening
where the tray would be. Covered the moss with a coffee filter
to keep soil from escaping when it drains.
Added soil and planted.
Yep, another angel blowing a kiss.
Sphagnum moss again over the top.

In her final resting spot near the front door

By now you're probably wondering about
my angels....

They have special meaning to me.
After we moved here I wanted
to find "something" blowing a kiss.
It's a special memory from when I was younger...
and older too.
Doesn't sound difficult.
I was always on the look out at
Yard and Garage sales, Thrifts, etc.
Wasn't any to be found.
I kind of forgot about it for awhile.

Then my Mom passed.
Once I started going to sales and; thrifting again
I started finding them.....
Lots of them!
I don't seek them out anymore...they find me
I feel it Mom's way of saying "hi".
Sounds silly I know, but they have a way of turning up
just when I need a "hug".
Love and Miss you Mom.

Speaking of blowing kisses...
look what I found while thrifting this weekend

Yep, another one
she's already settled nicely into
"The Fairy Walk"
$1 at yard sale

Love ya Mom 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Creative Haven American Beauties Coloring Pages

These slightly reimagined portraits reflect the style that made artist Harrison Fisher so popular a the turn of the twentieth century. Each depict ladies in both flirty and pensive poses.

Print out for your coloring and relaxing pleasure.

You can click on image to enlarge

Courtesy Dover Publications

Monday, May 1, 2017

Treat Mom With Bath Relaxation Time

In this day and age it's so hard to find some me time, 
down time has come almost non-existent.
But it is really the most important thing we can do for ourselves ~ we need to relax in this hectic spinning world ~
we need to recharge ~ mind and bodies.

So what better to give Mom this Mother's Day is a home spa kit made by you. We all are watching our budgets and nothing says love like a gift made by the gift giver. Thought and love goes into the making, sweet sentiments.

When #3 son was in 3rd grade we had made a 
spa basket up for his teacher for Christmas. 
It included some scented candles with candle holders, 
a pretty poof, a few Dove and Lindt Chocolates,
 a wine glass and homemade Bath Sachets. 
She raved about that sachet every time I saw her! LOL
She said she kept rubbing it all over her because it made her skin feel smooth and smelled so good.

Come Mother's Day she had me bring in the ingredients and
 have a craft session with the class to make the sachets
 for their Mom's for Mother's Day gifts.
Good thing I have a Lavender patch :)

They are pretty simple but very soothing to the skin.

♥♥Some ideas for your Home Spa Kit ♥♥

Bath Sachets

I used approx. 7''x7'' triple squares of cheesecloth,
but vintage hankies, pretty fabric, or organza bags 
would look cute and work too.


1 cup oatmeal
1 cup Epsom salts
4 Tablespoons dried milk
1 cup dried lavender

Place approx. 1/4 cup in the center of cheesecloth, gather up and tie with ribbon string, bakers twine, or whatever you'd like.

You can leave the ribbon long enough to hang from the tub faucet so the water can run through it while your bath is filling or just let float in the water.

Here are some other ideas you may want to add:

Cleansing Mask

4 tablespoons rolled oats
2 teaspoons dried chamomile
2 teaspoons dried parsley

Make into a fine powder using a blender or coffee grinder.
Measure 1 tablespoon of the dried ingredients into a small glass bowl. Add 1 tablespoon honey and 1-2 tablespoons very hot water and mix well. Let stand 5 minutes. If mixture seems to thick add a small amount of hot water. Apply to face using gently circular motions and leave on for 2-5 minutes. Rinse face with warm water. Store unused cleanser in refrigerator and use within 5 days. (Chamomile and parsley are antibacterial and honey and oatmeal are softening.) 


Herbal Facial Steam

Mix into a pretty container:
2 tablespoons dried chamomile
2 tablespoons dried comfrey
2 tablespoons rose petals
2 tablespoons dried peppermint
2 tablespoons dried rose geranium

Measure 2 tablespoons of the herbs into a small saucepan and simmer in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl. Bend over the bowl with a towel draped over your head and allow steam to touch your face and neck for up to 10 minutes. 
Pat dry.

Lavender Toner

4 ounces of witch hazel
15 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
5 drops chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) essential oil

Mix all together and pour into a nice container with a flip top spoutApply to clean face with a cotton ball. 
This helps your skin to return to its normal pH level.

Lavender Geranium Moisturizer 

4 ounces of unscented lotion base
10 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
5 drops geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil

Mix all together and pour into a plastic container with a flip top spout or wide mouth small jar. Add a nice label and of course you can use other essential oils. Using purchased unscented lotion base just gives the lotion a longer shelf life. Apply to cleansed and toned face nightly.


Soothing Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup Dead Sea Salts
20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil. 

Place salts into a canning jar and drop in the essential oil. Put on lid and shake, shake, shake it up well. This can be packaged right in the jar itself with a pretty ribbon or piece of raffia tied around the lid with a nice label
After filling up the tub with comfortably warm water, add ½ to 1 cup of the bath salts. Stir around with your feet then sit in, relax and enjoy!

There you have it, some ideas for inspiration. 
The fun part is putting it all together in a basket. Add some pretty dried flowers, herbs or spices. It will be sure to please. Don’t forget to make at least one extra basket of goodies for yourself, and take time to relax!


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