Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Winter Sachet

Sachet (Sa Sha - A small bag containing perfumed herbs used to scent clothes) Using a sachet is the most fragrant way to perfume clothes, linens and note papers. Victorian ladies sewed little sachets into every thing in the house from arm chairs to sewing baskets. Sachets can be placed in envelopes of personal mail, hang bags in clothes closets, lay little pouches with your lingerie, and pretty embroidered envelopes find a place in gifts of handkerchiefs.

Bags for sachet are sewn from bits of silk. More elaborate designs use a less tightly woven fabric over the silk but the silk or an equally tight weave cloth must hold the sachet as it tends to powder and contents escape from the looser weaved fabrics such as lace.

Depending on the use, sachets range in size and shape from tiny, plump pillows of two inches square to envelope size. If you like needlework, they are delightful stitched in all manner of elaborate flights of fancy.

To make a sachet you dry the ingredients as you would for dry potpourri. All petals and leaves must be quite crisp otherwise they may mildew.


This is the best recipe for wool and clothes which have to be stored.

One 1 cup of dried rosemary, add the same of mint leaves, 1/2 cup thyme, and two tablespoons of crushed cloves. Mix this well and age it, then make lager sachets to scent your summer storage. No moth will go near it.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Cottage Journal - Home Appreciation

I've been sorting through things I have. I don't have a lot of expensive things and a lot of my items are still packed away in boxes for me when I go into my 'one day home of my own'. For now I'm learning to appreciate the home I'm in and making my rooms ( a bed room and small office) a cozy temporary nest.

I'm wise about what I'm keeping. I've always been a book lover and I love the older books that are DIY with content.

I've had this crochet scarf - a long skinny scarf I found at the thrift store and never new what to do with it after the novelty of wearing it wore off. I've found the best place for it is to use it as a shelf trim. 

I'm also playing with paper scraps at the moment, the frilly little looking card on top of the boxes is a 'Zine ( a mini magaZINE), using up my scraps.

I have a collection of vintage women's home magazines which I intend to start sharing here on my blog. I'm going to re-create the patterns and recipes that are in the pages and show some of the advertising. The magazines I have are from the late 40's right up to the late 90's and beyond. Although, I no longer really buy new magazines as they seem too expensive with very little content. I'm staying with the ones deemed 'vintage', Etsy declares anything that is 20 years old is now vintage. I suddenly feel ancient!

I may not have a lot items and a lot of them are hand me downs, thrifted, and rarely new. I make do with what I do have. The best thing to do when you're given a life of seconds is to make sure everything is organised nicely and it actually has a purpose. Even if it is to look pretty.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Frugal crafts - Crystal art - Diamond painting

I recently purchased a couple of kits from eBay called Diamond painting. The idea is a bit like paint by numbers but instead of painting you are using little crystal gems. I thought I would discuss these kits as they tick my boxes for frugal. They cost about three dollars with free postage. Some do cost up to eleven dollars (au) those ones are the ones they call FULL DRILL. Which means the entire picture is covered with crystals. There are more expensive ones with a better looking crystal but for now I'm happy with these ones. 

The kit comes complete with your art work. The 'diamonds' a 'pen' and you have a little pink square of 'glue'.  You also have a green tray to place your beads in. 

The picture has a protective plastic covering over the top as where the diamonds are placed it is very sticky. Try not to touch the sticky part too much as you will wear it off and the gems won't stick. Obviously you should keep pets and small children away from this project too.

The next step is to take your pen and poke it into the little pink square of glue. The pen is hollow at the tip and the glue will fill up the hollow.

The picture will have a chart. Each number corresponds to the number on the packet of diamonds.  Some people start in one section, they lift up a corner of the plastic covering and fill the entire area then move onto the next area. For this diamond painting I brought I found it easy to do one colour at a time.

When you are finished some people recommend using a brayer to roll over the diamonds to press them into the sticky surface more so that they don't fall off over time. I would place a towel over the top or something else to project the diamonds so the brayer doesn't crush them. I think too you could use a varnish over the top.

Overall these are really relaxing to do. On a vintage note my mother (in her 70's) told me how she used to do similar craft kits but with what they called crystal sands. This was in the early 70's. I remember those and I'm sure a few of you all out there might too.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening wherever you are.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


Catnip ( Nepeta cataria)

Parts used: Flowering tops, leaves.

Catnip is often used for wind or colic. It soothes upset stomachs, indigestion and stress-related problems. Because it contains tannins, it is also good for diarrhoea and inflammatory bowel problems. In the respiratory system it is helpful for coughs, bronchitis and asthma.  Another use is it helps reducing fevers and bringing out rashes in irruptive infections such as measles and chicken pox.

It is an antiseptic and staunches bleeding and speeds healing of cuts, bites, burns, scalds and bruises.

How to grow:

Catnip is a perennial shrub, traditionally thought to excite cats. It has attractive, aromatic, grey-green foliage and grows to a round 60 cm (2ft) tall. 

Propagate by sowing seeds in spring, taking softwood cuttings in spring or dividing the plant in late summer. It prefers well drained soil in full sun. 

Protect from cats if necessary.


Catnip (or catmint) is a herb suited to relaxing the nervous system, it has calming qualities  and a handful of dried catnip steeped in boiling water makes a good tea to calm down after a stressful day, drink before bed. A teaspoon of honey will take away the woodsy flavour.

In other uses catnip is useful as a repellent. Mice dislike the scent, catnip in sachets or planted around doors outside will keep mice away. The plant is also useful as a insect repellent.  A spray can be made using catnip & basil:

1/2 cup fresh catnip and basil leaves chopped
1 cup witch hazel

Any of the following essential oils: Citronella, lemongrass, basil, lemon, or eucalyptus.

Water for diluting.

Place catnip and bail in jar and pour the witch hazel over the herbs. Close the jar and leave in a dark place for 1 week. Strain and the infused witch hazel should stay fresh for up to a 1 year.

The spray:

Fill a small spray bottle half way with infused witch hazel add 3 to 4 drops of essential oils and fill the rest of the bottle with plain water, cap and shake.

Shake frequently before and during use. Spray lightly on skin to keeps bugs at bay.

CAUTION: As always be careful about using herbs. Never use while pregnant. Be careful when using on young children. And always test a small patch on the skin first to see if a reaction will occur. See your doctor first to check if it will react to any other medications.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

cottage journal - rambles

Cooler days means I'm sorting through my embroidery stash and thinking about what to embroider and crochet. I'm having a bit of a blank with art at the moment, so I painted a still life without mixed media.

I've also been out and about. Cleaning homes, petting pets, and losing a bit of weight with the 10,000 steps program. I can't see progress there yet, but I'm walking faster with less resting along the way.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.