Welcome to the CRAFT-y Corner of my Web!
A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Herbalism: Lemon Balm & Honey Sore Throat Syrup.

So ... I've caught my first cold of the season. Due to this being a common cold and not a flu, I pretty much need to ride it out and allow my immune system to deal with it (lots of water with tinctures of Echinacea and Catnip to bolster my immune system, and Mullein to support my breathing).

Since I have a sore throat and pained ears that flare together when I swallow, suggesting that my eustachian tubes (the canals that link ears and throat) are involved, I am making up a batch of Sore Throat Syrup.

Water - 2 cups
Lemon Balm - 1 cup dried leaves or 2 cups fresh, shredded leaves
Cloves, whole - 6
Ginger - 1 tsp dried, ground ... 2 cup fresh, grated
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Honey, crystallized - 2 cups

Place a pot (preferably ceramic) onto the stove and add all the ingredients except the honey ... stir gently until all the of the lemon balm leaf has been wet down. Set heat to simmer and allow to sit for 1 hour ... DO NOT BOIL else all the beneficial elements of the Lemon Balm will be lost (it IS a mint after all ^_~ ).

Rinse the pot and set aside for now.

Strain out the solid ingredients and return the liquid to the pot ... add in the honey and return to simmer until the honey has melted well in, stirring gently. Usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Again DO NOT BOIL.

Pour contents of the pot into a container, cap and allow to cool.

Refrigerate ... will keep about 4 months in the fridge but odds are you will likely use it up before then ^_~

Dosage: As needed - 1 teaspoon either melted into 1 cup of warm water or milk, or direct from the spoon.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Herbal Wildcrafting: Blackberry/Bramble-berry Freezer Jam.

In an attempt to encourage my body to break it's weight plateau, I have taken to walking about the neighbourhood once per day for 30 minutes (making use of the local hills to vary my pace and exertion). A couple of days ago, I dragged Kara along with me and brought a container with me for the purpose of harvesting some of the Bramble-berries/Blackberries that grow wild in the areas away from the paths that traffic takes. 

Proof that I made Kara walk with me ^_~

It is important, when wildcrafting, to ensure that you harvest away from roads where the toxic products of petrol exhaust belching vehicles taint everything that grows within 10 feet of the curb. I am fortunate to have found a walking path well away from vehicular traffic where there is a profusion of bramble bushes growing to either side. I managed to fill my container to about the 3/4's mark ... taking only a few berries from each location as it is important to leave some for the wildlife (raccoons, skunks, rabbits, etc) that abound in the area as well as to allow the plant the ability to re-seed itself.

I brought my haul of purple-black berries home and set them to soak in a mixture of  1 part vinegar to 2 parts water overnight in the fridge (this cleans the berries, killing off any hidden buggies and removing anything that may be coating them). I brought them out the next day and rinsed them very thoroughly with cold water. I'm cheating for this batch by using a powdered pectin that is designed specifically for making freezer jams and which does not require the fruit to be cooked. I followed the quantities for sugar and fruit listed on the package. I'll be making more jam and rosehip jelly later in the season and I promise I'll do it the old fashioned way.

Placed my rinsed haul in a bowl  while I mixed the powdered
pectin and sugar in a separate one.

I mashed the berries until I had a nice soupy mess to which
I added the sugar/pectin mixture and then stirred it briskly
with a whisk for 3 minutes.

The end result was 4 jars of ready to eat Jam.
They will keep for about 3 weeks in the fridge
or up to a year in the freezer.
Mmm ... nice tart flavour and not over-sweet like the store-bought jams are ^_^.
And (counting the cost of the pectin, the jars, and the sugar) it works out to less than $2.00 for the bunch ... far more cost effective than buying the store stuff.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Herbalism: Lemon Balm & Peppermint Lemony Iced Tea

Hello again,

While we're enjoying much milder temperatures then most other places in North America at this time, I looked out at my little garden and figured that this might be a good time to experiment with some of the plants I have growing out there.

As my gaze settled on the two containers which hold my Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) and my Peppermint (Mentha piperita) which sit side by side and their very generous bounty, I decided that an Iced Tea would be a really nice idea. Both plants are of the mint family and they have a tendency to compete with each other so my setting their containers side by side has spurred both to grow most rampantly. I would advise against planting either in ground as they spread prolifically and WILL cross a lawn to get to each other.

Grabbing my trusty snippers, I ventured outside and trimmed a generous amount off both plants (which has hardly put a dent in the bushy foliage of either). Coming back inside, I washed them and then set to shredding the leaves ... you will want to have enough of each plant to make up roughly 1 loosely packed cup of plant material.

Lemon Balm is an excellent calmative for the nervous system and can be used infused in teas and honeys to soothe sore throats and strep. Peppermint is a cooling herb which has strong beneficial effect on the respiratory system.

Peppermint on the left and Lemon Balm on the right.

Place the shredded plant material into a container that has a lid.
Boil 8 cups of water in a separate container or kettle and pour it
over the plant material and cover quickly. Allow to steep for 20
to 30 minutes before straining.

Place 2 - 3 tablespoons of Honey into a mixing bowl and
then pour the still hot strained tea over it and stir until
the honey has completely dissolved.

Straining the plant material out of the tea.

As my straining container couldn't hold all the tea at one time,
I had to strain in two batches as quickly as I could to not allow
the fluid to cool too quickly.

The honey has melted thoroughly into the tea. Pour into a
pitcher and place in the fridge until cold. Add the juice from
2 medium sized lemons (or 6 Tbsp of lemon juice) and refrigerate

Stir and serve the next day.
You can garnish if you like with lemon slices and
a sprig each of Lemon Balm and Peppermint.
My eldest poured himself a big glass upon getting home from work and described it as mild and refreshing ... quite nice. For my part, I decided to be a little wild and added 1oz Artisan Elder-flower Liqueur to 7oz of the chilled tea and it was pure DELIGHT!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Herbalism: Healing Salve variations for Respiration and Flu

I made these salves today as I woke up at 4am this morning when my brain informed me that it had heard Kara stop breathing (yes, apparently the years I spent raising my two boys has honed my "mum-senses" to the point where such things will still rouse me). I used the same basic herbal recipe and procedure as I had when I made the Anaglesic one back in March.

My intention with these two variations was to create a salve/rub which would be a healthy substitute to Vicks Vaporub as well as a salve/rub which would contain my aromatherapy recipe for a anti-flu blend.

I used the same proportions of Calendula, Lemon Balm, Plantain, Comfrey leaf, and St. John's Wort (7 grams of dried herb each) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 cups) ... but I have altered the Beeswax (remember to use Soywax if bee allergies are an issue) amount to 27 grams from the original 33 grams as I want to have an end result that is more readily spreadable than the original.

I am using two different Aromatherapy blends:

Respiratory Rub (RR) -  6 drops Ravensara, 6 drops Eucalyptus, 9 drops Cedar, 9 drops Frankincense

Anti-Flu (AF) - 8 drops Oregano, 16 drops Thyme, 8 drops Turmeric, and 8 drops Tarragon.

I placed the essential oils into the jars I intended to hold the finished product ... a 125ml jar for the RR blend, a 250ml jar for the AF blend ... which has given me another full 250ml jar of unscented healing salve which I can use plain on/for someone with scent sensitivities or can rewarm at a later date to add essential oils to (likely my kitchen burn blend as I'm running low).

No photos this time as I documented and explained everything in detail in my first healing salve post.

The RR blend is meant to be used as one would the Vicks product ... chest (not over areolas or nipples, mind you [on male or female]), throat, and back.

The AF blend is meant to be used 2 times per day on the throat, back of the neck, and (if actually fighting a bug) across the sinuses.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gardening: Medb vs. Japanese Knotweed ...

Round 1, fight!

Oh my goodness, suddenly I understand what my Mother used to mean when she'd talk about her startlement at finding that moving the chesterfield was suddenly harder than she remembered ... without taking into account, of course, that it had been a decade since the last time she'd tried.

Two days ago, you couldn't see the tops of the Knotweed above
the line of the retaining wall.

So, I went out today armed with a sharp pair of telescoping cutting shears with the intention of doing battle with the invader which has suddenly sprung up above the level of the retaining wall. This stuff grows horribly fast and, as the only way to really get rid of it is to dig up every last bit of the rhizomes (root system) this will likely not be the last time I will do battle with it.

The North-facing group already towering over my
Rosemary and Uva Ursi.
The East-facing group which also gives you a brief look at the slope
of the cliff going down beside the retaining wall to the truckyard below.

I started with the East-facing group as it was actually the harder of the two to get two ... requiring me to sit on the edge of the retaining wall and drop approximately 2.5 feet to the slope. That's about the point where I started to realize this would be harder than I'd initially thought as there is a 50% angle to the slope and very little solid purchase. It took a while to hack through the stems and I had to balance myself so I could stand in a crouch, leaning forward and reaching with my arms to reach to the back of the grouping ... all without toppling myself down the cliff. Once that was done, I then had to haul myself back up the retaining wall and over into the yard (harder than it sounds when one is out of shape :-p )

I then approached the North-facing group warily, getting down there seemed at first to be a much simpler prospect than what I had just accomplished. I quickly discovered, as I made my way down the grassy slope  of the yard along the retaining wall, that the fact that the damp grass extended in large patches a fair way down the cliff was going to make things tougher, not easier. Like standing on ice, it was ... but I persevered doing yet another insane balancing act and refusing steadfastedly to allow my thoughts to wander in the direction of what I would do if I lost my balance and fell. I stubbornly hacked my way through that grouping.

Shot of the same scene as the first picture after the
invasive plant battling has been accomplished.

By the time I finished and slip-crawled my way back up to the yard, I was trembling like a leaf from the combination of adrenaline and exertion but the job is done. Suffice it to say, the next time I undertake this task (and I know there WILL be an next time), I'm going to avail myself if some climbing rope and approach it a bit more safely/intelligently

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Herbalism: Making Tinctures Part 2 ... cont'd ^_~

So ... I've had a couple more tinctures mature since I updated last and I decanted each as it came ready.

Tincture of Catnip - decanted April 2nd, 2012
I'd say the Tincture of Catnip was a success being that, as I was in the process of decanting three mewling fuzzballs appeared at my side and began crowding my ankles. It was almost comical to see them begging like puppies ... alas, being that alcohol is a poison and I refuse to drag my furkids back down the evolutionary scale on the off chance there's a laugh to get out of it, I was unable to acquiesce to their demands and they had to make do with the dried leaf instead. Which, in turn, resulted in looks of disappointed disgust as only another cat-parent would be familiar with.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Herbalism: Making Tinctures ... pt 2 - Decanting

So, it's been 6 weeks since I posted the Part 1 of this segment ...

I have been quite diligent about making sure, during the first 2 weeks, to check and top up the alcohol as the dried herbs absorbed it AND to take the time to vigorously shake the jars every single day to keep the plant material from settling too much.

All together, as of this morning, I had six tinctures brewing:

  • Echinacea root - ready today
  • Peppermint leaf - ready today
  • Elder flower - ready today
  • Catnip leaf - ready April 2nd
  • Mullein leaf - ready April 8th
  • Lemon Balm leaf - ready April 22nd

Being that the Echinacea root Tincture got all the attention in Part 1, I'm going to put the majority of the focus on decanting the Elder flower and the Peppermint leaf Tinctures today.

This part is just about as easy as the first part was ... what you need:

Either a filter set up (like shown) or a muslin or jelly bag to strain the plant material.
Glass jars or bottles (sterilized) to pour the strained liquid into and use as Stock Bottles.
Dropper bottles to use as Working Bottles that you can refill from the stock bottles.
Labels for both the stock and the working bottles which will indicate
the contents ,date decanted, and the % of alcohol used. 
Normally, I would use the jelly bag to strain my plant materials but not every one can find them so this time I'm going to use regular, plain, old, unbleached coffee filters which have the additional benefit of being compostable right alongside the plant remains I'll be using them to filter.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Herbalism: Analgesic Healing Salve

Kara's been healing up well, according to the Dr, from her surgery but one thing that is proving to be a real problem is the searing, electrical pain that accompanies nerve healing. Unlike muscle, bone or skin tissues, nerve tissue heals very slowly and can only successfully regenerate for the first 18 months after an injury ... after which time, there will be no new regrowth of damage. It has only been 5 months since she went under the knife, which means that her nervous structures are well underway in their efforts to heal up as much as they can before their time runs out. 

Being that her surgery restructured her whole pelvic floor (an area understandably nerve and sensation rich in men and women) as each healing nerve tries to regenerate itself it is accompanied with the most excruciating pain imaginable (if you've ever had neuralgia or sciatica you'll be able to empathize, only imagine the pain beginning in the vaginal region of the internal pelvis and then shooting down the whole leg). She is a trooper ... despite the fact that she is in pain a lot ... and that some of those pains are enough to have her clutching a nearby person or counter so she doesn't hit the floor ... she hardly complains at all. The Dr has prescribed her a fairly powerful pain killer, but nerve pain is a tricky thing and the pills often don't do much for her.

Still, no point in suffering needlessly if there's something that can be done. I recently managed to get a stock of Lemon Balm in; a plant which, among it's other wonderful properties, has a talent for treating nerve pain and is commonly used in salves and liniments to be used by people with neuralgia and other nerve based pain. 

I'm taking the recipe that I taught Kaylee while I was up there Thursday/Friday and altering it a bit to add an analgesic component to what is already a wonderful anti-bacterial skin healing salve.

The ingredients are:
7 grams each of dried Calendula, Comfrey, Lemon Balm, Plantain, and St. John's Wort
2 cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
33 grams pure Beeswax (note: if bee products are an allergy issue, use Soy Wax instead)
3 drops each container of Neroli, Nightqueen and Turkish Rose essential oils.

You also need a Bain-Marie pot setup, a wooden spoon, measuring cup(s), and jars to pour the end result into.

This is a Bain-Marie. A larger, water filled pot sits on the
heating element while a smaller pot rests within it, in contact
with the water. As the water in the bottom heats,
that is transferred to the contents of the smaller pot.
It prevents scalding/burning of the contents of the smaller pot.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Herbalism: Mullein leaf Draught - Pt3

How to use it once you've made it.

This is actually as easy as the making it part was ...

You need:

Gathered everything needed ...
you can see Kara's tiger mug and my black cat mug in the background.

  • milk (whole, organic is best but homogenized and 2% will work in a pinch)
  • a pot
  • approximately 1 cup of the Mullein infusion
Put the pot (non-metal is preferred) on the stove and pour in your cupful of infused Mullein. Add an equal amount of milk and heat, stirring gently, until it just begins to steam.

Herbalism: Mullein leaf Draught - Pt2

Well, the infusion was allowed to steep all day and overnight as Kara came home from work to show that her bug had resurfaced as a laryngitis, meaning that I had to maintain the focus on the throat for the night with Rosehip syrup - 1Tbsp for the Vitamin C kick added to the usual Elderberry Syrup and Peppermint leaf & Elder flower flu buster tea.

The upside of this is that the infusion has had the time to steep the maximum amount of the good stuff from the Mullein leaf as it could possibly have needed ... resulting in a very nice dark brown end product. Since Kara insisted in going to work today (thank goodness she has the next 4 days off to rest), I won't be able to dose her with it until she gets home, I strained it before putting it into jars and then popping it into the refrigerator where it will keep for about a week if not used.

I gathered the jelly bag, bowl, glass thermos, and
thermos pitcher in preparation for straining.

Strained Mullein Infusion in all it's dark brown glory.

Jarred and ready for refrigeration.
I'll be back this evening to post Part 3 ... how to use the infusion.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Herbalism: Mullein leaf Draught for the Respiratory System - Pt1

Being that the bug Kara caught has succeeded in settling into her chest (where she has a congenital weakness due to having been born 2 months premature) I'm going to be making an herbal draught of Mullein leaf today.

Mullein is a wonderful plant which has a multitude of uses ... you can infuse the little yellow flowers and it's tiny black seeds in oil to create an anti-microbial and pain relieving infusion that works wonders with ear infections (especially in children who are so prone to them) ... you can dip it's long candle-like flower stalk in wax to create a natural torch (strongly recommend sticking the torch in a bucket of sand to avoid being burned by dripping wax) ... and the leaves can be tinctured in alcohol or infused as a draught.

DO NOT ... I repeat do NOT make the mistake of using the large, woolly, grey-green leaves as TOILET PAPER if you find yourself  out in the wild and in need of some. As soft as these leaves feel to the fingers, they have some very unpleasant fiberglass-like guard hairs that will make things very uncomfortable for anyone foolish enough to draw them across sensitive mucous membranes. Often people will make this mistake due to the fact that the plant is commonly referred to, mainly in the USA, as "Cowboy Toilet Paper".
(No, I haven't experienced this first-hand and I have no wish to ;-p )

I have some Mullein leaf brewing as a tincture but, being that a tincture takes 6 weeks before it is ready to decant, it's not going to be ready in time to be of use for Kara's current situation.

Therefore, I opt for the draught. Now, when I was living up on the acreage where the Mullein grew aplenty, I wildcrafted and prepared my own draught regularly. Being somewhere between moderately and severely asthmatic, I found the draught brought a great relief to my breathing and the amount of mucous my lungs created allowing me to forego my cortisone inhaler.

Making it is really easy ... you simply need:

  • dried Mullein leaf - 28 grams (1 dry ounce)
  • water - 1 Litre (34 fluid ounces)
  • a glass container like a large Mason jar
28g of Mullein leaf and you just see my assortment of
brewing tinctures in the top right of the shot,
on the far side of  the blue honey pot.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Herbalism: Elderberry Syrup

I noticed yesterday morning that Kara was coming down with a cold. Being that I have no intention of sharing in said bug, I started last night in dosing her with the organic Peppermint leaf & Elder flower tea (sweetened with honey as she isn't a tea fan).

I have made her spend the day napping on the sofa while I occasionally approach her with food, water and more tea. She's making good progress through the day, if only I could get her to stop throwing the blanket off when her body kicks into bug-fighting mode and her internal temperature goes up. I'm not frustrated with her, though, it's not her fault if she's not awake when she kicks the blanket off ... but fever serves a useful purpose in helping make the body an inhospitable place for a foreign invader (microbe).

To help bolster the fact that, at best, I'm going to get her to take 3 mugs of herbal tea (and I know she's only doing that to humour me) ... I decided to use the small stock of elderberries I had on hand and make up some Elderberry Syrup.

The ingredients are easy:

Gathered the ingredients together.
That funny looking red dish with the yellow brush-like thing  sitting
on top of it is my current culinary pride and joy. It's a grater that originates
in France and works like a dream for things like chocolate, nuts, garlic, ginger and
just about anything else I need to have grated really fine.

  • 1/2 cup of dried Sambucus nigra (Black Elder) berries -- they are the only variant of the Elder which has the scientifically proven flu fighting effect. The other variants make a tasty wine, syrup, or jam with lots of beneficial nutrition to them but not the medicinal effect that we're looking for here.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 5 whole cloves
You also need a non-aluminum pot to cook with, a wooden or bamboo spoon, a jelly straining bag (or cheesecloth) and clean jars to bottle the end result. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Herbalism: Making Tinctures ... pt1

So, I decided to do a little herbal brewing today.

Specifically, I'm making three different Tinctures: dried Echinacea root, dried Peppermint leaf, and dried Elder flowers ... or, at least, getting a start on them. It will take six weeks before they are ready for bottling.

I start by gathering my ingredients together. The herbs I picked up at Gaia Garden, an Herbal Apothecary in Vancouver (along with a few other supplies) ... eventually, I'd like to be able to garden (as in actually have space to have a garden) and these are three plants that will for certain be included. I'll explain the uses of the different tinctures when I reach the decanting/bottling stage.

Vodka, empty jar, label, dried Echinacea root.
It is really important to make sure to clearly label the infusion to show what is in it, when it was started and when it needs to be decanted. If it's the only thing I have on the go, it's easy to remember what's in it ... however, once a number of jars of various chopped fresh or dried herbs begin to accumulate, it becomes difficult to remember them all. Getting into a habit of labelling helps to prevent any confusion later.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Craft Work: Imbolc crafts

With Brìd's Fire Festival coming up on February 4th, and still trying to make positive strides in reconnecting my spiritual and mundane lives, I decided that this year (for the first time in over 15 years) I would get the materials I need and create a Brìd doll and cross. Not having ready access to reeds at this point in time, I went with the next best thing that I could find ... raffia from Micheals.

An unruly mess, no?
Being that I haven't done this in quite a while, I'm fairly out of practice so it was actually quite the challenge. I opted to begin the doll first. Being that the doll is supposed to represent Brìd, I used 28 gauge blue coloured copper wire to secure the raffia so it wouldn't come apart on me.

I made the arms first.

And here's the completed Doll.
The cross caused me more trouble as the raffia pieces were large
and difficult to keep from snagging with itself.
But I'm pretty pleased with the end result.
I still have to make Brìd's bed and a makeshift "cloak" to leave out overnight to catch the dawn (and the dew, of course) of the 4th ... those will be posted as I have them ready.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baking: Lembas

I finally got around to making the Lembas recipe.

I'd had to wait till Kara could get me a cookie sheet (there wasn't one in the suite) before I could attempt this recipe. She came home with a broiling pan ... not quite what I needed, but I figured I could make it work.

Mixing the ingredients.

Fresh out of the oven.

Cooled and ready to eat.
They came out rather lighter than I'd expected for the amount of dry ingredients that went into it and how dense the dough had been going into the oven. The most interesting part about them was how filling they were without being heavy ... just a bit on the dry side (goes down well with tea) and just sweet enough to be tasty.

I'll be trying this recipe again soon ^_^

Monday, January 23, 2012

Baking: Hobbit Honey Cakes ... again ^_^

I'm trying to see if I can manage to make this recipe in smaller batches ... the biggest problem with the last one was the sheer size of portions I saw my dear older boy walking off with. Besides, after building the little Altar and candle shrine, what better way to finish off the New Moon (and beginning of the Chinese year of the Dragon, no less!).

Yes, it is a compliment when you make something and they keep sneaking back to have more .. but the ability to make it last (being that I can only have a little at a time due to calorie restrictions), so I can have more than one piece before it has disappeared, is important.

Cakes going in ...
I will say, with 1/4 cup of fine Scottish Whiskey in the mix, licking the bowl has it's own kind of fun ^_~

Cakes cooling ...
Didn't take nearly as long to cook as the last time ... only about 30 minutes and they were ready to come out.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baking: Hobbit Honey Cakes

On the 3rd of January, the literary world celebrated the 120th birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien and I wanted to to do something to celebrate it. It occurred to me that it might be most fitting to bake up some honey cakes, as they are a Hobbit's proper snack for tea-time (and supper, and dinner ...).

Sending Kara out on a quest for those ingredients that I lacked in the house (which amounted to most everything ^_~), I got everything ready. Sadly, due to time constraints, I wasn't able to get the cakes done that day like I'd wanted, but I did get onto them first thing this morning.

Since my jars of honey had crystallized,
I started by heating them thoroughly in a
water bath to return the honey granules

Getting all my tools together.

All the dry ingredients whisked together.

Only the best will do for a Hobbit's cake,
12 yr old Glenfiddich Whiskey to warm the
soul after a hard day's toil.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wire Writing: Ogham experimentation

One of the things I have always been interested in has been the Ogham (owam) alphabet. I spent scores of hours, during my younger years, pouring over books and perusing photographs and illustrations of the script carved into standing stones, way-points, and grave markers. When I was introduced to the internet and learned about the wealth of information and images available online, one of the first things I did was to search out and download the Beth-Luis-Nion and Beth-Luis-Fearn fonts by Curtis Clark ... which have been loaded into every computer that I've ever owned.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Craft Work: Ties that bind con't.

Well, I managed to get everything done that I wanted to (out of respect for the individual in question, I am not posting photos of the workings I wrought as it would be inappropriate) for my friend.

Being that I spent most of the evening of the 30th, and all of the 31st in the grips of a barometrically induced migraine, I'm pretty pleased that I did so ... and delivered the care-package to her at our usual rendezvous spot in New West with Kara's help (she drove so I could take one of the powerful pills).

The package contained:

  • a Reiki charged stuffie for the little one
  • a similarly charged pillar candle (a good large one so it'll last her a while) for herself to burn at those times when she needs a little extra TLC
  • one blue rose candle lit from my Kildare Flame and then extinguished so that the wick would carry the energy for her
  • an indoor safe, easy lighting incense coal (in case she didn't have access to an actual fireplace/firepit)
  • a smudge bundle of yarrow and white sage for purification and healing
  • a jar of a combination of dried Centaury, Trefoil, and Blessed Thistle for her to burn either with the coal or on an open flame as part of a personal cleansing/tie cutting ceremony
  • and the materials for a protective charm she can make herself (which included the basic materials to craft a dreamcatcher as well as: a magickally wrought and charged wire name for both her and her child; a Turkish evil-eye bead to ward off active malignant energies; a silver key charm to promote the opening of new doors and moving forward; a magnetized hematite bead to attract positive energies; a rose quarts bead to promote loving and healing energies; an amethyst bead for protection; and a clear quarts bead to energetically power the whole thing).
It was all well received, though I do think I may have overwhelmed her somewhat as I kept producing item after item from my bag to give her. 

Oh sure, I could have crafted the dreamcatcher for her, but I followed my instincts and opted to allow her to take each charged component, add her energies and wishes for peace and harmony in her life,  and make it truly hers (paying the energetic tithe through the actual effort of assembly) so that it can be a strong amulet for her.