A little birthday, a little late

Good, that’s kind of understatement. The birthday was big. For her. She loved it, she was so happy to have her friends over to play, and eat pancakes. Though this was July, now that we are moving inwards again, the real value of my birthday present to her is shown. They are playing everyday in their tent, calling it an Indian tent, or a train, or a bed, or whatever. I think, giving her this for her birthday was a good thing for both of the kids. They just love hiding, don’t they?

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It’s the Hideaway Play Tent from the book Growing Up, Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. It really is a fantastic book. I want to make everything!

And when I was cleaning up and tidying the house to prepare for (dare I say this word already?) Winter, this is what I found and hung on the wall above Saras bed. It was above mine from birth on. Isn’t it lovely? It’s made by my mothers best friend. I love it so.

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How to make calendula salve

Calendula 1

Here, Calendula is still in full bloom. It’s adding a lovely color to the falling red leaves.
Last year, I made Calendula salve, and we loved it so. It made little wounds and ouchies disappear. And the cardiologist of the little one was so amazed about the invisibility of his scar (I used it twice a day and the wound healed so fast!), that I have to say: Calendula is just a fantastic little flower.
Now that we know the second surgery is going to be anytime soon, I wanted to make sure to have a new batch of orange goodness on hand. And, of course, for all the daily life scratches and wind damaged lips and cheeks, after a good autumn walk. So here we go: a little tutorial for you, so you can join me in making this (did I mention Very Easy) salve!

First, you must take a walk (with the kids! they love it!) and pick up some Calendula flowers. Back home, put the flowers on the table, and put your kids to work. My 18-months-old worked just as hard as his 3-year-old sister, to take off every single orange leave and put them in a bowl. You can pour yourself a cup of tea now..

Cover the leaves with oil. I used olive oil. But mix it up, if you like. Let it sit for a week, shake once a day.
Calendula 2

Now we get back to work! Cute kitchen help is recommended. If you don’t have any, don’t worry. It will be fine.
Calendula 3

Put the leaves/oil mixture in a saucepan. The kitchen help can do the Very Important Job of stirring very, very well.
Calendula 4

Heat it up slightly. You don’t want to fry the leaves (you would never, ever do that, would you? I can tell you, it smells horrible, believe me. And now just don’t do it..), just to warm them up. I just put my finger in regularly, to check the temperature. When I notice it’s getting almost too warm for that, I turn the heat off.

Calendula 5
This is a picture by Sara, trying her best with the camera. I’m there (hello!), mixing it all up with a hand blender (do you see -hah, do you see anything?- my hand? I was injured. And wrapped in by a doctor to my elbow. In knitting season. Need to say more?).

Calendula 6
Now we need to strain. I took a little cotton bag and put it on a tea filter holder. Don’t know why my camera was so strange. Couldn’t get a proper picture. Oh wait, wasn’t there a kitchen helper that took pictures?

Calendula 7
Oh right! Cleaning the lens makes sense! So: filter the mixture, and squeeze all the oil out. You will be left with just a little bit of pulp, and a lot of orange juice.
Now, put it back on the stove and add a little beeswax. Heat it up just enough to make the wax melt. Stir, and put a little drip on a plate. Let it cool, and try the consistency. Add more beeswax if it’s still too soft/fluid.

Pour it in a little glass jar when still warm, and let cool. And then: start using it! Because it is an all-natural, homemade and inexpensive salve, my kids are allowed to take salve themselves.. They are so happy to have their own little jar!
Calendula 8

Green Land

I’m back in Green Smoothie Land. First, I just threw anything on hand in the mixer, just to make me feel better, though the taste didn’t really make me happy. But now I’m finally getting it! And somehow, I feel so energized after a glass of this..

Green Land
I used a handful of spinach, one banana, a little handful of cashew nuts, a teaspoon of agave syrup, real vanilla, and a little water to make it.. well.. fluid. Served over ice cubes. My daughter said: super good, mummy, super super good! I think that says it all..

Colour

 

I wanted to bring this little bag of goodness with me all day long. Colour 1

It’s going to be my first Fair Isle project, a new-to-me knitting skill. It’s going to be a little mans hat. I had two days of pattern design and swatching, now it’s going! I can hardly put it away, it is a fascinating process to watch.

Colour 2

Colour 3

Click, click, needles ticking. I love the sound and the colours of Autumn.