Last year my handmade gifts were of the sweet variety. Lots of baskets of pumpkin bread and jams made by my father-in-law. This year I wanted to be a little different so I spent some time at the Mountain Rose Herbs website and found a recipe for calendula cream. This looked like something I could handle.
First I melted shea butter in a double boiler.
Then I added the calendula flowers and simmered for about 40 minutes.
Then I removed it from the heat, added Vitamin E oil, rose otto oil and lavendar oil. After is cooled a bit I poured it into a glass jar.
After it cools completely it will become a white cream which is useful on dry chapped skin and also as a diaper cream. It would make a nice gift for a new mom or anyone who spends any time outside in the cold winter air.
I was on a roll, so I made some Herbal Body Soak courtesy of The Herb Companion. This was super easy. I ground majoram and bay leaf (dried from my garden believe it or not) in the food processor. I added fine sea salt and baking soda.
It smelled heavenly.
Then I started feeling crafty. This often does not end well here at the bonny blue house. Usually something ends up glued to the wrong thing or person but I think I did ok this time. I used my big funnel and put the bath soak in a mason jar. I am an obsessive jar saver and Dave often
complains comments about the empty jars in the pantry. It's topped with a scrap of linen left from some embroidery I'm working on which is held on by raffia and an antique tortoise shell button from my button box. I made a pretty label with some collage paper and glued it on the jar.
This was really quick and easy and since there was a bit that did not fit into the jar I can assure you that it is a very soothing bath soak. :).
Since I was already in jar mode I mixed up a batch of Mocha Cappuccino Mix which I've used for a while in gift baskets. It comes from the book Homespun Gifts From The Heart which I have used for years. It has great ideas for gift baskets and pretty handmade gifts.
The recipe is:
1/2 cup powdered creamer
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup instant coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Add it all in a large bowl, mix with a whisk until thoroughly combined and pour into jars or bags. Add a pretty tag with directions (add 3 tbsp to one mug of boiling water and stir) and you're done.
All in all I had a fun evening making some gifts and planning for gift baskets. I also went ahead and pre-ordered the Learning Herbs Medicine Kit which should help me make some more potions that will be useful as well as beautiful.
I hope you feel inspired to try making some gifts for the upcoming Advent and Christmas season as well as the new year's worth of occasions. It really is a great way to be creative and tell people how very much you care for them.
Have a wonderful evening.