Drying Elder flowers & berries, Roses, and creating tinctures & an infused oil

As spoken about before, I love collecting berries and drying them. This has now extended to flowers. Our lovely Elders have been in full bloom, so I collected some of the creamy sprays to make tinctures from. Some had also started to become berries, so I thought these might be good for a transition-type tincture – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE UNRIPE BERRIES ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR INTERNAL USE. I intend to use the tinctures mainly for aura and energetic sprays, and for cleansing baths.

I’m really loving getting so connected to nature again, and finding new ways to bring Mother Earth’s bounty into my life in magical ways. I’ve been making sprays for a few years now, along with oil mixes. At least I won’t get the raw berry bits clogging up the spray bottle mechanisms now!

Here are some pictures of the Elder flowers and proto-berries before and after drying. They were particularly fiddly to get off the stems, and I still have to remove the flowers from their stalks to make up the tincture. I will be leaving them to ‘soak’ for at least two months before filtering them.

dried elder_01

elder berry

My second project was to dry some of the lovely Roses we have. As some are highly scented I thought they would be nice to add to Jojoba oil to make an infused oil. Because we had warmer weather at the time they didn’t take too long to dry.

roses_01

It’s deceptively easy to make your own tinctures and infused oils. For the tinctures I used English potato vodka, and for the Rose-infused oil I used a Jojoba base because it doesn’t go rancid easily.

Traditional Crafts at Local Village Fair

Last Summer my parents and I visited a neighbouring village for their annual village fair. It’s been going for hundreds of years, and there are no signs of it stopping any time soon. What was lovely to see, amongst the craft stalls, were two areas showcasing traditional crafts.

Rob lives in our village and makes traditional wooden frame buildings. He also does thatched roofs. He had a display of some of the techniques used, and was even giving a demonstration of how he cuts beams into shape by hand.

The tent of a local community historical society was particularly fascinating. They displayed some of the finds from an archaeological dig at their church.

The members of the society themselves also got to try their hand at crafts relevant to the period their church and the finds were from. These included kiln building, making clay bowls, stone carving, flint knapping, and even corn dollies.

There were also live demonstrations of rag rug making, wool spinning and calligraphy work.

Outside the tent a man was weaving a fence panel from willow.

The hour or so we were there made for a very pleasant diversion, and also surprised us with the cultural elements.
On a side note, I bought a partner for my felt partridge. One of my friends is a multi-talented florist who makes lots of crafty delights. So Penny is now joined by Patricia, and I hope to continue to add more to their little family.

Lincoln Christmas Market – including the Medieval Market!

Lincoln Christmas Market – including the Medieval Market!

I made it! Last year mum wasn’t well enough so I didn’t go, and even though I had a migraine overnight I was determined to make it this year. The Lincoln Christmas Market is usually the highlight of my year. It’s spread out across the top of the city, winding through streets and even invading the Cathedral and Castle grounds. If I’ve been feeling ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas music this event usually cures me of it.
Sellers from all over Europe attend, so there’s usually quite a wide variety of items to look at.
Because many of the items are handmade I have included names and links to websites or pages where possible.
The photos are a mix of mine and mum’s, depending on who had the better photos. Most of the buildings photos are mum’s.

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