Essential Oil Pendants Wednesday, Sep 7 2016 

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As you’ve read in previous posts, I’m a fan of high quality essential oils. They have so many uses to support health and happiness. I use them for everything from cleaning and air freshening to flavoring water.

One way to benefit from essential oils is by diffusing. Most often this is done with a small appliance that spreads drops of the oil into the air with or without water.

Diffusing is also done by placing a couple of drops of essential oils on cotton balls or a pendant and allowing the oil to penetrate into the air. Pendants made of clay look attractive and work particularly well. They can be made simply or intricately depending on your creativity.

I had fun making some of these pendents for gifts and myself. I kept the rejects-which were many-and hung them in closets, my car, lingerie drawers, the laundry room, and placed them in my handbag and luggage. They also can be worn as a necklace which offers a way to enjoy the fragrance of your choice all day long.

To make them, purchase clay that air dries, string, leather, or ribbon, and beads or stones of your choice. You also might want to look for stampers, but check around your home first for buttons, leaves, jewelry, or other items that can make a deep enough impression into the clay.

Begin by taking a small amount of clay and knead it until soft and pliable. Roll out to the desired thickness. Thinner pendants are easier to wear. Thicker ones are best for larger spaces like closets. Cut into desired shapes. Gently press stampers or objects into clay being careful not to spread the clay. Take a straw, chopstick, small doll rod, or other round object to push through the top of the pendant for a hole for the string.

Loop the string through the hole and then slide the desired beads onto the string. Another option is to glue a magnet on the back and use the pendant for an air freshener on the refrigerator door.

Allow the clay to dry about three days. Then slowly drop essential oils onto the pendant. Be careful not to let the oil run to the back which can mark your clothes or object you place it on.

(See my newly updated website, Mary K Doyle, my posts on Mary K Doyle Books and Saint Theodora/Mother Theodore Guerin and my Facebook author page.)

 

 

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Recipe Art Sunday, May 20 2012 

Food is an important part of family traditions, and the recipes we share help keep those traditions alive.

Back in the 1970s I started framing recipe cards and displaying them in my kitchen. The framed cards are inexpensive artwork, keep favorite recipes handy, and warm my heart every time I see them.  It’s as if my loved ones are in the kitchen with me.

I prefer cards that are handwritten but have fewer of them these days. In the not too distant past we traded recipes on handwritten index sized cards. The cards were saved and passed down through the generations.

Technology has certainly made it quicker to acquire a vast range of recipes from people all over the world. It is as simple as an Internet search. If you have a surplus of tomatoes from your garden, simply go to sites like Ladies Home Journal, The Food Network, Kraft, or Pinterest, or check-out any of the countless food blogs. You also can ask friends to email you their favorite recipes. Within minutes you will have dozens to choose from that are easier to read than hand-written ones.

But we miss a bit of the personal touch when we don’t see the cook’s handwriting. In fact we have little opportunity to see anyone’s personal handwriting anymore.

The cards displayed in my kitchen today are mostly typed. I included photos of the person who gave me the recipe and glued them on colored poster boards. I also added scrapbooking stickers around the cards.

Below is a recipe from my mother with her photo. I especially appreciate this card in her handwriting as she passed away in 1999.

Be creative with your recipe art. You can frame your cards individually or grouped. It’s best to scan and print your cards rather than using originals that will quickly fade on the wall. Mount the cards under photo mats or on colored paper. Or feature one recipe in a shadow box with measuring spoons or other kitchen gadgets or photos of the prepared food. The project takes relatively little time and ends with meaningful home decor that will prompt conversation from guests and a smile from you.

©Mary K. Doyle

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