Month: September 2013

Natural air freshener DIY

Natural Air Freshener

The key to a fresh smelling house is ventilation, keeps those windows open people! Sometimes you want to add a little extra fragrance though, for a special occasion or just to lift the mood. Here’s how you can do so without resorting to chemical-filled cans or plug-ins. The bonus is you can make it ahead of time and simply heat when the time comes to use it!

Natural air freshener DIY

All you need is a jar, water, and whatever smells good to you! I included citrus peel, a sprig of lavender, a rose geranium leaf, dried liquorice root, and a couple of drops of essential oil. Crush the botanicals a little to release their fragrance, pop them in the jar, top up with water and add any essential oil you fancy. You can keep it in the fridge for about a week and heat it up multiple times. I simply pop the jar in a bowl of hot water (I usually make myself a cup of tea and the leftover boiling water gets put to this use) and once nice and warm remove the lid. If you have a microwave you could give it a quick zap, minus the lid of course!

It’s lovely to enjoy the beautiful scent permeating your home knowing there’s nothing sinister accompanying the fragrance. Due to the nature of sourcing the scents (flowers, fruits etc) your air freshener will almost aways be seasonally appropriate which I really love. That and the practically non-existant cost!

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Marvellous Macramé

I love indoor plants. Love them. Especially hanging plants. There’s something about tendrils cascading and over-flowing that proclaims health and relaxation.  They turn a utilitarian environment into something fecund and verdant.

Of course hanging plants go hand in hand with macramé. Once the epitome of style only to be relegated to the daggy corners of the craft world in recent history, macramé has made a comeback. I had coveted the new stylish incarnations on etsy but was pleasantly surprised when I decided to save my pretty pennies and have a go at macramé myself. It’s so easy!

A little googling led me to Green Villages To DIY For: Crafty Ideas to Green Up Your Act, the second of which happens to be macramé. I like this tutorial because there is a YouTube video to watch as well as PDF instructions you can download for more detailed reference. It was very easy to follow and very soon I had my own little pot holder!

macrame

It’s very plain for macramé but sometimes simple is best, at least to start! I’ve since borrowed a couple of old macramé books from the library so we’ll see if I can make something more detailed with a little practice. I’m looking forward to making more plant hangers as gifts, hopefully with a little potted seedling I’ve raised myself included!

What’s your verdict on macramé, daggy or delightful?

Lime Cordial

This is the last citrus post for a while. I promise. And yes, it’s another drink!

Lime cordial is a favourite around here. My husband loves a long cold cordial on a hot day so making lime cordial seemed like a good thing to do with all those limes.

I did a little googling and most recipes appeared to be quite similar so I decided to create my own version using ingredients and equipment I had on hand. In order to make juicing easier I boiled the limes for a couple of minutes, if you have a microwave you could give them a quick zap, as heating them releases all that lovely juice.

juiced

Ingredients:

  • 10 limes
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp citric acid

Method:

  1. Zest a couple of the limes.
  2. Juice the limes.
  3. Bring water to the boil with the lime zest.
  4. Add sugar and citric acid to boiling water.
  5. Stir until dissolved. Boil for about 3 minutes then remove from heat.
  6. Add lime juice and bring the cordial back to the boil and simmer gently for a couple of minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  8. Pour into sterile bottles.

This makes a lovely fresh cordial, both cloudy and syrupy. If cloudy is not your thing you can strain the cordial before bottling using a fine sieve or muslin but I am quite content with a cloudy cordial. You can of course adjust the amount of sugar etc but remember sugar acts as the preservative here so yes, a lot is necessary (the upside being when you make it yourself you realise just how much sugar is in it and hopefully will serve accordingly!).

limecordial

And yes, these are limes not lemons! They ripened on the tree in the sun so they are a wonderful yellow-lime green colour rather than the green limes you find in the supermarket which were picked unripe and ripened with gas after being stored for who knows how long (ugh). As you can see from the label it’s taken me a while to get this post up but the lovely hot weather over the weekend had my husband cracking open a bottle and it was delicious! I just had to share it with you.