Monday, October 25, 2010

Herbal Holiday Decorating Ocasional Series part 2 or 5

I enjoy using herbs for seasonal decorations.  I love certain herbs and how their scents enhance holiday and event experiences.  This season I wanted to share a few of my favorite herbie holiday ideas, which includes food and beverage recipes as well as decorating tips and gifts that use herbs.  This is Part 2 in an occasional Series of 5, to read part 1 on Herb Scented Dough, click here.

One of the downsides of living in Zone 5 is that certain plants are not capable of wintering over outside.  One of those is Rosemary.  Rosemary also does not do well in a dry environment.  So usually you bring in the plant and it dies in January because running the heat dries out the air and the lack of humidity kills the Rosemary.  My solution to this problem is water my rosemary every day from the bottom while the pot sits on a tray filled with pebbles.  If I plan to travel during the holiday and won’t be home to water daily, I cut the plant and use the sprigs to scent my Christmas cards.  In the language of flowers rosemary is for remembrance, so when I remember my family and friends with an annual holiday card rosemary is a perfect item to include and the pine-like scent makes it even better.

Christmas Gift Tags
Speaking of Christmas cards, one of my favorite things to do with those I received in years previous is to make scented gift tags for this year’s gifts.  I craft or purchase a potpourri, then trim the cards into playful shapes and seal the edges with craft glue or double stick tape, leaving one small opening for adding the potpourri.  Once the card is filled, I seal the opening.  When the glue is dry I punch a hole in a corner, thread it with ribbon and using a permanent marker, I write the names of gift recipient on the face.  Tied to the gift they make an additional gift themselves which can be slipped into a drawer or boot.

Garland of Mittens
I don’t know about you, but my hall closet seems to be populated with several seasons of unpaired mittens and gloves.  I kept trying to throw them away, but I would convince myself that might find the other half of a pair if I just waited.  Finally instead of delaying, I turned them into decorations.  I created a garland by pinning them to a red scarf to create a swag, then filled them with potpourri. I hung them across the front door so you brushed them as you entered the house everyday.  Here is a photograph of last year’s garland.  This year I am going to add a few colorful  thrift store mittens and encircle the door.

Scented items
Scented items are an easy way to enjoy the holiday.  Something I enjoy making, which is also rather easy, is a cinnamon stick hotplate.  It makes a great gift, especially when coupled with a tea pot or kettle.  Try making this for the upcoming season and see if you don’t get hooked too!

Cinnamon Stick Hotplate

Cut a 6” x 6” square of luan or plywood (about ¼” thick) using 3-inch cinnamon sticks, glue the sticks into a checkerboard pattern with white clear-drying craft glue or silicone glue (do not use hot glue.)  Felt feet on the bottom are nice too.  When used as a hot plate it releases a great cinnamon scent.

This is an occasional series, which means I will not be putting it up at the same time every week, but if you miss it, you can search for it under "Holiday" to find all five posts.  I still have more recipes and hand-crafted gift ideas, so stop back.

And for those who enjoy spiced cider, hot chocolate and spiced teas check out our holiday listings in our e-store:

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