Friday, 24 August 2012

Homemade air-freshener

We've all done it. Come home from a long weekend away only to be greeted by the stench of the garbage you forgot to take out before leaving (at least, I hope we've all done it... Otherwise shame on me!). So you chuck out the stinky bin, wash out the container but the kitchen still smells pretty revolting... I, for one, have always detested the sickly synthetic smell of shop bought air-fresheners, and when it comes to scented candles I'm afraid I have rather expensive taste... So in the interest of saving some pennies and avoiding nasty chemicals, I have chosen to make my own air-freshener using two basic ingredients I'm sure most of you will already have at home.

You will need:

  • bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda) which absorbs and neutralises bad smells
  • about 20 drops of an essential oil of your choice
  • a shallow jar (clean & dry)
  • a scrap of fabric cut into a circle 2 inches wider than your jar (open weave fabrics work best)
  • a rubber band

Fill your jar about 1/3 of the way with the bicarbonate of soda. Add the oil and mix well (I went for Egyptian Jasmine this time). Have a little sniff - it should smell fairly strongly of the oil you mixed in. Position the fabric over the jar and secure with the rubber band. 

My personal favourite scents when making this powdery potion are Rose and Jasmine, but you could make up infinite blends according to your own tastes, and better yet, if you look into the properties of essential oils, you can mix specific blends to alter the mood of a particular room or even ward off unwanted insects. For example, lavender and chamomile have a calming effect - use in the bedroom of someone having trouble sleeping; rosemary has antibacterial qualities; citronella helps to repel mosquitoes; ylang ylang and patchouli up the, umm, romance... You get my drift!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

On a day like today

With the inconsistency synonymous with the Summer Holidays, and with the whirlwind of work getting done in these parts as I prepare to launch a brand new line of sewing patterns,  I wanted to introduce a new regular feature on this my personal blog, and at the same time re-evaluate what I want this space to represent for me. Keeping most of my fashion related DIY projects for the By Hand Blog, Stitch me Softly will be a place for me to focus on my personal makes, share knitting & crochet patterns, recipes and home DIY's, and the bits in between that most make me happy.

On a day like today will allow me to slow down, reflecting upon and savouring those fleeting 'little things' in my life responsible for reiterating the wonder I feel (almost!) every day. 

Secretly my favourite kind of day: warm and blustery, patchy cloud and intermittent showers... 

Picking the first of the blackberries in the garden - the ones within reach at least - of which only half (if that!) make it past my boy's sneaky fingers and into the kitchen...

...Where they are gently heated them up with a splash of water and a squeeze of agave nectar, and drizzled over a chocolate cupcake... 

Later that evening, whilst watching The Land Before Time, my son looked at me and said, "I love it me and you".

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