Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enter the Virtual Medicinal Garden

The whimsical, imaginative image above is a beautiful watercolor painting called "Bowers, Parasols, Progress" created by Julianna Bright.

What are the odds? I get featured in two treasuries, two days in a funny, my item is even located in the exact same spot in each treasury (3 down, 3 across)! My White Willow Bark is featured in this lovely treasury called Virtual Medicinal Garden created by I Stand Connected.

Don't forget to tell everyone how much you like this selection of items by posting a comment on the treasury...thanks!

Go ahead, relax, sip on a cup of medicinal herbal tea, and consider trying out some other therapeutic herbs for your health and well-being! I absolutely LOVE this treasury!

The elegant, tranquil image above is an original watercolor painting titled "The Special Blend" by The Brilliant Magpie.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sexy Little Snow Bunnies

"What, I just got featured in a treasury?!

Want to get your hubby "in the mood" this holiday season?! Transform yourself into a sexy little snow bunny and "play" is all your "boy" is going to want to do! Check out this adorably arousing treasury titled: "Snow Bunnies Rated R" created by a2n2koon.My "Vintage 60's Playboy Print - Vargas Pin Up Girl" is featured in this treasury! Also, don't forget to tell everyone how much you like this selection of items by posting a comment on the treasury! Thank you! :-D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kombucha Making Tutorial: We've Got a Kombucha Mushroom Scoby!

The other day at work (I am a cashier at a health food store called "Akin's"), a sweet lady customer came in and gave me a kombucha mushroom scoby! I was so excited...and so was my husband, Joe, when he saw it...I knew he would love it because he has been wanting one for sometime and he loves working with new experiments for our health...and besides, we both LOVE kombucha! I have posted pictures of our new scoby below as well as a simple photo tutorial and recipe for making your own basic kombucha!Basic Kombucha

- 1 kombucha mushroom scoby

- 1 gallon of water

- 1 cup of sugar

- 1 teaspoon sea salt

- 5-8 black or green tea bags (we used 8 oolong tea bags)Boil one gallon of water in a large to medium sized pot, add a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of sea salt; keep simmering until all is dissolved.Remove from heat and add tea bags; let sit for 20 minutes and then remove tea bags.Then let the pot of tea sit until completely cooled and add it to your desired vessel (we used a vase that I cleaned out with all-natural, mild soap) and then add the kombucha mushroom scoby and cover the vessel with a breathable towel.

Depending on the temperature of the room, you will want your kombucha to ferment around 10-14 days...although if the room is 80 degrees it takes only a week for the kombucha to ferment completely (the warmer the room, the faster it will ferment; however you don't want the room to be too warm...that would make a not very good kombucha). Good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Embrace the Sun's Healing Properties Through Your Window

Ever notice how an indoor cat will curl up on the floor where the sun is coming in through the window...embracing the wonderful benefits of the sun and enjoying it's warmth? The picture above is of our Flame-Point Siamese girl, Nozomi, doing just this...I adore the freckles on her nose!

Just like how little Nozomi here is embracing the sun's benefits so can you! Did you know that it is possible to soak up the sun's Vitamin D and even get a little tan through your window...depending on which type of glass you have; as long as it doesn't have too much UV protection, you can soak up all of the healing properties our precious sun has to offer!

Thankfully we can kiss our winter blues goodbye just by lying under an open window! The other day, I gave it a try and basked in the sun under our bedroom window by our little indoor herb garden. It was a serene moment and after switching from front to back a couple of times (probably tanned for about 15 minutes), I got up and realized that I had the classic rosy hue to my skin and when I poked myself the area became white and then went back to rosy...showing that I got a little sun glow! So go ahead and give it a try; maybe try reading a book or setting up your desk by a window; or do what I did, just lay down a yoga mat and soak up the sun!

The beautiful image of a sunny window is titled "Through Your Window" by Liz's Shop. Check out her Etsy shop filled with gorgeous original prints!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Bountiful Benefits of Chickweed

Chickweed is a yummy, refreshing plant with many health benefits; it grows wild in temperate and north Arctic regions, and originates from grows wonderfully wild in Bixby, Oklahoma where my husband, Joe, and I live. However, many people consider Chickweed a "weed" that is an eyesore and must be "killed" I think this is absolutely crazy (same goes for the medicinal Dandelion). I understand wanting to have an aesthetically pleasing part of your yard for grass and other desired plants, but isn't it nice to embrace what naturally grows on you property...especially if it is edible, has health benefits, and is tasty?! I work at Akin's Natural Foods Market and one day I saw a lady come in to purchase Chickweed in a supplement form and I told her that Chickweed grows wild in this area and that my husband and I eat it on salads and in sandwiches and that it tastes kind of like spinach; I also told her that you can make a tea out of the fresh Chickweed...she then looked at me with a confused look on her face and walked off. I thought that was a little odd and I thought "Oh well, at least she is giving it a try and feels that she needs it for some health benefit". She probably wanted to use the Chickweed to help her lose weight, since Chickweed stimulates our metabolism and makes our bodies burn more fat! It also stimulates the digestive system and can help you if you are constipated.

My husband, Joe, picking some Chickweed with me in our backyard.

Hopefully I have sparked your are some health benefits of Chickweed:

Chickweed is a demulcent, a vulnerary, an alterative, a carminative, and an emollient. It is a useful remedy for respiratory infections, digestive issues, arthritis, and an array of skin problems - chickweed is even used as a weight-loss herb.

Wonderful raw, chickweed is a rich source of nutrients, slippery, soothing saponins, protein, fiber, and even essential fatty acids. This herb is a direct source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a derivative fatty acid of omega-6 fatty acid, which is rarely found in food sources.

Chickweed greens are a powerful source of minerals, with high amounts of magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, aluminum, silicon, and zinc. It also boasts moderate amounts of calcium, chlorophyll, potassium, chromium, B vitamins, vitamin A,C, and fiber. The saponin content of chickweed thins cell membranes, increasing the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Saponins work as emulsifiers in the body, picking up useful vitamins and minerals, while also helping to dissolve harmful plaque build-up in arteries, fatty material, and toxins, thereby working to cleanse and rejuvenate the body while at the same time nourishing. Chickweed is a positive herb for weight loss as it helps the body dissolve and rid itself of excess fat cells.

The beneficial chickweed properties can be utilized simply from ingesting the leaves. Eat the fresh greens to strengthen and heal the glandular system, relieving cysts, thyroid problems, and ovarian cancer and also for all respiratory and digestive illnesses. Chickweed cools and soothes, reducing inflammation and healing tissue, whether taken as a whole food, used externally as a poultice, or made into a tea or tincture.

For painful joints, a strong chickweed infusion can also be added to a bath. Chickweed baths will relieve arthritis, a stiff neck, joints, and back. This is also an effective treatment for eczema or psoriasis. For serious cases, soak twice a day.


Here is my darling husband, Joe, eating some chickweed. I put some on my ham sandwich today and it transformed it from dull to delicious!

If you don't have chickweed growing in your area, you might want to check out these Etsy shops who are selling chickweed and therapeutic creations using chickweed!

Chickweed - 1 Pound c/s Stellaria media by Spirit Herbs.

"Chickweed Tincture (1 oz bottle) green nourishment for city dwellers" by Good 4 You.

"CHICKWEED cold process SOAP" by Lydia's Needle.

"Chickweed Herbal Infused Oil 30ml" by Naturally Up North.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Love Making, Lichtenstein, and the Allure of an Eco-Friendly Freckles Canister

In our bedroom sits one of my favorite hand-painted, upcycled, decoupage creations: my "Paulie's Confession" canister; which is actually currently for sale in my Etsy shop. As you may notice in this picture, I have a very simple Roy Lichtenstein-influenced decorative tablescape displayed here where I feature a very informative, erotic book called "The Guide to Getting It On" by Paul Joannides. Boy, is this book jam-packed full of information; this has got to be the most extensive book about about having a book that you can't put down! ;-)

The photo above displays one of the many functions of a one-of-a-kind hand-painted, upcycyled decoupage canisters by myself "Eco-Friendly Freckles"; I am currently using this canister to store some of my candle serves a good purpose for storage and it has artsy elegance!

If you would like to view this entire canister "Paulie's Confession" and read its story and can check out its listing here:

Speaking of "Love Making and Lichtensten"; here are my favorite picks of items on Etsy with this theme! You'll want to check these might get you "in the mood"! ;-)

This is an eye-catching and elegant bracelet titled "Comic Romance Five-Cameo Stretch Bracelet" by Joolz Bracelets.

Wow, wouldn't this vibrant vixen look stunning on your wall?! This magnificent oil painting is simply titled "Woman" and is created by Alice in Wonderland.

Awesome, you will be the coolest kid on the block in these Lichtenstein-influenced rockin' high top sneakers titled "Handpainted Pop Art Hi Top Sneakers" by Wicked Shoes.

I love to recycle and I love this adorable pop art tote bag; it is titled "Planet Saver Sack Daphne Dearest Cotton Canvas Silkscreened Cartoon Eco Lichtenstein" by Planet Saver Sacks & Saucy-Wear Aprons.

Oooh la la, these would make lovely envelopes to send love notes in to your sweetheart! These are titled "2 Roy Lichtenstein REUSED ENVELOPES" by Stupid Flamingo.

This is such a breathtaking necklace pendant capturing the passionate romance of love; this item is titled "GLASS PENDANT NECKLACE - Kiss - Roy Lichtenstein" by Bellspeal.

I actually have another Lichtenstein style hand-painted decoupage canister in my shop called "The Recipe for Love" (below is a picture of it)...I plan on making and adding some more pop art-influenced canisters in the near feature!

Need to make a decision on a last minute Halloween costume?! How about you be a Pop Art Lichtenstein Girl?! Check out this incredible make-up and fashion creation to make this very unique costume!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mickey Mantle's Birthday and Natural Baseball Cake Brainstorming

It's Mickey Mantle's birthday and in celebration I am featuring my favorite Mickey Mantle items on Etsy! This one above is a "MICKEY MANTLE Limited Edition Pop Art Print (Only 25 Made)" by Pet Prints.

This is the collector's dream: a "1957 MICKEY MANTLE TOPPS BASEBALL CARD" listed for $1,150.00 by Joe's Books and Things.

Here is a Mickey Mantle item from my shop! This is a collector's figurine titled "Starting Lineup New York Yankees Mickey Mantle 1997 Collectible" by myself: Eco-Friendly Freckles.

Wow, what a attractive and thoughtful gift for a Mickey Mantle fan! These "New York Yankees Mickey Mantle Cuff Links" are created by Blink Photo.

Amazing! This is a very stunning work of art titled "Custom Vintage Style Baseball Painting" by Avery Marie and Me Creations.

Also, in celebration of Mickey Mantle's birthday, I am going to share some of my brainstorming ideas for making an all-natural baseball themed birthday cake since I have a few baseball fans in my of these days I might make one of these cute cakes with healthy/organic ingredients of course.

I really like this cake; having a baseball and a bat gives the cake a complete and thorough look. I am not a big fan of the look of the field bases, but I really like the ball and bat cakes. In making the bat I would use a rectangular shaped cake pan and carve out the shape of a baseball bat with a kitchen knife. To achieve the look of real wood for the bat naturally, I am considering using an all-natural yellow food coloring (like turmeric) and maybe making some natural-wood looking dark lines with cocoa powder mixed in the icing.

For the baseball itself, I am thinking about making a round "bowl cake" and coating it with a thick layer of white icing and then using the paper technique (where you take a clean/new piece of paper and rub the edge of it over the entire cake making the frosting have a smooth/flat effect with slight noticeable lines that look very neat); then making a highly concentrated all-natural red dye with maybe beet powder, red cabbage extract, and natural red plant-based food coloring for the red stitch lines on the baseball (this needs to be highly concentrated to avoid the chance of it turning out pink...ha ha, which isn't very "boyish").

I LOVE this cake! To create this baseball mitt cake naturally instead of using chocolate fondant (which was used to create this pristine looking cake), I would use a dark cocoa frosting again and do the paper technique, as mentioned above, to form the smooth surface and then go over the cake with a piping bag and a different shade of brown frosting to make the outline of the mitt and create the weaved effect of the catching section of the glove. The cake pan I would use for this cake would either be square of round and then I could carve out the shape of the mitt with a kitchen knife (if I selected a round pan there probably wouldn't be too much carving to do). The baseball on this cake is perfectly round! That might be a little difficult to create without a specific cake pan in the shape of a ball...I might try using two small round baking bowls and putting the two cakes to form a ball; or I might make this small cake from a cupcake or just one small bowl to create baseball-like cake (either way would be cute). Once again, I would use white icing, the paper technique, and highly concentrated natural red food coloring for the red stitch on the ball.

If you would like to see this paper technique demonstrated on a cake to form a smooth surface on the icing (I think it almost makes the icing look as smooth as fondant), you can view this video for making a barbie doll cake...this video also has some other great cake decorating tips!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Repurposed Yogurt Cup Planters and Our Window Sill Garden

These are our delicious organic, heirloom mustard greens growing in our bedroom window...great for spicing up any salad or sandwich. Notice how we are using recycled yogurt containers as planters? Did you know that many yogurt containers are not recyclable at all. Most yogurt containers are produced with polypropylene (#5) plastic, which isn’t recycled in most communities; including here in Tulsa Oklahoma. Even those made with #2 HDPE plastic, which is normally recycled, may be trashed once they get to the recycling center because they melt at a different temperature than the plastic bottles made of #2 HDPE. With this in mind, reducing the number of yogurt containers you purchase, and reusing as many as possible, is even more important.

So in doing our part, we have transformed these large Greek God's yogurt containers into planters for our window sill garden...and they are working out great! In fact, we cut a few holes in the bottom of each cup and placed the lids underneath them to catch any excess water; this technique is very effective. By the way, you might have noticed that the yogurt containers we are using for these planters are Greek God's Honey flavored yogurt...if you have never tried this yogurt....OH MY GOODNESS you have got to try this yogurt! I think this has got to be the world's best yogurt; it tastes kind of like cheesecake and it is better than ice cream! Like most yogurts, it is full of friendly bacteria which is good for your digestion and health; and since it is such a wonderful dessert it will satisfy your sweet tooth and should help you lose weight! As some of you may already know, I work at a health food store and this yogurt is always flying off of the shelves because of its amazing taste, texture, and help with weight-loss. Even though it is high in fat, it is much better for you than most dessert indulgences. ;-)

Ha ha, any way back to the window garden, here are some more pictures of our beautiful botanical window sill! The picture above is of our peat pellets under our window sill with peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower growing.

Organic, heirloom Basil in a recycled yogurt cup!

Here is our lovely organic, heirloom Sage. :-)

Isn't that a cute pot?! I got this adorable planter from my grandmother and it features a panda bear munching on some bamboo. At one time, I think my grandmother had some bamboo growing in this planter; now, we are using it for our organic, heirloom Scarlet Emperor Bean plant that has pretty little red flowers!

I know this photo is a little blurry, but can you see the little white flower on this pepper plant? This little flower will produce a pepper someday soon (I think these are bell peppers). We have this pepper plant in a recycled yogurt container too!

Now as I mentioned above, yogurt containers are very difficult, if not impossible, to recycle in most communities; so if you can recycle or support someone who is recycling yogurt containers, you will be giving Mother Nature a wonderful gift of a cleaner environment! Please check out these two beautiful upcycled creations made out of yogurt containers by two lovely Etsy shops!

Can you believe this gorgeous Christmas ornament is made out of a yogurt lid?! This upcycled ornament would look stunning on a Christmas tree! This item is titled "Noel - Christmas Ornament From Plastic Yogurt Lid" by Dankh Creations.

These darling earrings are made from yogurt cups...Wow, that is awesome! This item is titled: "Happy Cows Recycled Plastic Earrings" by Brandy Fisher.