Friday, August 12, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

"For where your treasure is there your heart will be also."
{Matthew 6:21}

How to Keep Freshly-Cut Flowers Longer ::

Find a nice sized bucket, and fill it with water, and into this big drink plunge the stem of each flower within the first sixty seconds of a trice after you cut it. This is bloom-preservation principle number one. A cut stem, if not put into water at once, begins to suck in air which later will form “blocks” to prevent the sucking up of needed moisture when the stem does finally reach water. The result of such goings-on is a droopy, under-privileged looking flower that will soon lie down and die.
Second principle for cut flowers preservation is proper treatment or “hardening” of the stem so that it can drink up more water and keep the blossom fresh longer. This hardening treatment varies with the type of stem.

Woody Stem Plants, Shrubs
Examples: Chrysanthemums, Lilacs
Hard, woody stem plants, because of their internal structure, usually draw water very slowly. To speed up their moisture intake, smash the cut ends with a hammer for about two or three inches up the stems. This will expose the fibers and allow the stem to take up all the moisture it needs.

Hollow Stem Plants
Example: Dahlias, Delphiniums
The hollow stems of these plants have very little fiber surface and are quite hard around the outside. To open and soften the fiber layer so that it will absorb more water, dip the cut ends of the stems to a depth of four to six inches in boiling water, let stand a moment, then plunge into cold water.

Milky Sap Plants
Examples: Poppies, Poinsettias
In these plants, the action is reversed from the usual. Instead of the cut stem sucking up water, it lets its moisture run down, along with the heavy sap. They can be made to last two or three days in water if, when cut, the stems are immediately plunged into cold water and then, as soon as possible, held over a flame for about 30 seconds before being put back into water. Burning forms a callous at end, stops “bleeding.”

Flowers Requiring No Stem Water
Examples: Camellias, Gardenias, Orchids
These flowers hold a great deal of moisture. They need no water in container, only a light daily syringing of water on blooms. Syringe corsages, keep in refrigerator.

Examples: Marigolds, Cornflowers, Asters
These require nothing more than immediate submersion of cut ends in water, and hardening in cool darkness for several hours.

Bulbous Flowers
Examples: Tulips, Lilies, Gladioli
These require immediate submersion in water in deep containers, with all of the stem surface under water right up to the flower head. Then keep in deep water in the coolest possible place for three or four hours, or longer.


Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe ::

  • 1 cup grated Ivory soap
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • Essential Oils or Fragrances {Optional}
Directions: Grade Ivory soap {you can get a bit more than one cup from one bar of soap}. Mix with Borax and Washing Soda. Store in a airtight container and use 1 tablespoon for every wash load.

Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe ::

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 8 cups white vinegar
  • Essential Oils

First mix the vinegar and water together then add the baking soda gradually, stirring the whole time. You will want to make sure to use a large pail to accommodate the fizzing activity from the baking soda and vinegar reaction.
Use a funnel to pour this mixture into a washed, gallon sized milk jug (plastic), add 1/3 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil, cap and seal then shake well.
To use: Shake each time before use, adding 1/2 to 1 cup at the start of the rinse cycle.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe ::
  • Aloe Vera Gel (make sure you get gel and not juice or it will be way too thin!)
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)
  • Essential oil
  • Small pump or flip top bottles
Mix equal parts of aloe Vera gel and alcohol.  I just eyeball it, but you can measure if you feel more comfortable.  Then add essential oil to desired strength.  I use 8-10 drops depending on what scent I am using. You can also make this using glycerin in place of the aloe Vera gel, but it can be pretty thin.  Use Tea Tree or Lavender oil for extra anti-bacterial protection.  Pour into your favorite containers and you are ready to go. This only cost pennies to make and you can use your favorite scent.  Try lemon for a light, clean scent, orange for a fruitier scent or peppermint for a scent kids love!
*Notes: There are some articles out there that say unless it is 60 percent alcohol it is not effective, so you can add more alcohol.  I use tea tree oil which has anti-bacterial properties, so I leave mine at half and half.  Nothing is guaranteed to protect you from all germs, so use what you are comfortable with for your family.
The above recipe was found at Heart, Hands, Home blog. See original post HERE!

5 Words of Grace:

alaw said...

Cool! But I get the flowers from a ravine a few blocks away from our I can't get the flowers in water that soon. :(

Grace said...

Thank you so much for these tips!!! I always love collecting homemaking tips, so I'll print these out and tuck them in my hopechest.

Thank you again, dearest!
Much Love,

Seven Sisters said...

Thanks for the recipes! Some of them we've used, but some are new :) I like the softener idea! We use straight white vinegar for our softener, but the herbs in the bottle made me think that it would be fun to make different scented 'vinegars' :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us ladies!!!! I am anxious to try the sanitizer and laundry soap!
In Him Alone,
emily j.

Anonymous said...

Great job, Bethany Ann and Johanna Rose! This is a great post:)

Blessings in Christ,