diy flowers herbs homemade gifts tutorial

Making a flower essence- crabapple blossom

Crabapple flower essence is for times you feel polluted for mental, physical, or spiritual reasons. If you feel the need to cleanse or purify, crabapple essence is the perfect flower remedy and so easy to make!

crabapple and dandelion harvest


You will need:
Fresh crabapple blossoms, enough to fill the surface the bowl
*spring or mineral water (about a cup to 2 cups)
*glass bowl
*3fl. oz. amber bottles
* 1 1/2 oz. brandy
*natural and unbleached filter paper
*mason jar

Cleanliness is vital to avoid contamination so all utensils used need to be sterilized. I lined my harvest basket with plantain leaves to transport or you could pick the flowers and put them into the water immediately, on site.

Properly ID flowers and pick when the flowers are first coming into bloom. Choose a cloudless, warm, and sunny day. The best time of day to harvest is after the flowers are dry from the morning dew, between 9:00am and noon.

As with any plant you use for herbal remedies, pick with respect, pick the flowers you are drawn to from every angle.


flower essence 1


*Pick the flowers and put them in the spring or mineral water as soon as possible.
*Float the flowers on top of the water until the whole surface is covered.
*Leave the bowl outside where it will receive direct sunlight for at least 3 hours, I like to keep the bowl close to the original plant I picked the flowers from.
*Bring the bowl inside and filter out the flowers, smell the water, you should smell a floral scent.


flower essence 2


*Fill a 3fl. oz. amber bottle half way with the brandy, then fill to the top with the floral essence. The brandy is a preservative and an “anchor” to hold the essence energy in the water,
*Label the essence and store it in a cool dark location. It should keep for years if utensils were sterlized.


crabapple essence


This is the Mother Essence (stock concentrate, undiluted) and can be taken under the tongue or diluted in water or tea. A very hot tea dilution will evaporate the alcohol if you are concerned about the alcohol.

Read more about and how to take crabapple flower essence and others here.

“That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

diy herbs homemade gifts tutorial

Persephone’s flower tonic- homemade astringent from your yard

Organic lawns are in full color with dandelions, violets, plantain leaves, and chickweed in the early spring. Did you know that these 4 wild edibles are perfect for a skin soothing astringent? Yes, a skin astringent made from the wild plants in your yard! If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at herbal body care, this recipe is an easy way to start!

persephone facial tonic 2

Violet leaves and blossoms are great for skin irritations and can help clear stubborn problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.”Plantain (see picture here) is an amazing herb for skin disorders as well, it also has drawing properties to draw toxins from the skin.


Chickweed is good for relieving itch and soothing dry, irritated skin, and rashes.


For the recipe you will need:

*a fresh handful of each: dandelion blooms, violet blooms and leaves, chickweed, and plantain (all organic)
*a pint mason jar
*1/4 c apple cider vinegar
*1/4 c rose water
*3 teaspoons witch hazel
*tea tree or lavender essential oil (optional)

**Note- if you want your astringent to be pink use a lot of purple violets!**

persephone facial tonic 1

Directions for the astringent:

-Place your earthly pickings in the mason jar.
-Set the kettle on and bring it to a whistle.

persephone facial tonic 3

-Pour the boiling water over the herbs until they are submerged, then cap the top.
-Let the herbs infuse for 2-4 hours.
-Filter out the herbs.
-To 1 cup of the facial tea add:
*1/4 cup vinegar (watch the tea turn pink at this step),
*1/4 cup rose water, 3 teaspoons witch hazel
*10 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil (optional).
-I keep a small portion of the astringent in a half pint glass jar on the bathroom sink and refrigerate the rest; after a week I am ready to replenish with the refrigerated portion. It keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and keeps for about a week on the bathroom sink.
-Keep a cotton cloth and rubber band around the top, the metal rings will rust due to the ACV.

persephone facial tonic 4

To use:
-Use a cotton ball or cloth, dip into the astringent and wash face and neck in the morning and evening.
-The astringent can also be used on other areas of the skin to help ease rash, bug bites, sunburn, cuts, etc.

peresphone facial tonic 6

In the picture above you will notice that the mason jar with violets is a knock out pink color, this is because the violet water mixed with an acid (ACV or lemon juice) turns pink! The more violets you add the pinker it will be.

“That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

herbs recipe tutorial

spring scent simmer- citrus, geranium, and mint

While spring sometimes looks like winter outside, I like it to smell like spring inside. My favorite way to create a lovely and refreshing spring scent is using citrus, mint, and geranium.

lime geranium mint steam 2

Citrus Geranium Mint Simmer
dried grapefruit peel
dried spearmint
fresh lime
fresh scented geranium leaves

*Place the ingredients in a small Corningware or stainless steel pot.
*Add enough water to set the ingredients a-float.
*Set the stove burner on low.
*Let the plants do their magic by diffusing a refreshing scent into the air.
*Remember to keep checking the water level, it can evaporate fast, leaving burnt plant bits in the pan producing a not so very nice diffused smell!

lime geranium mint simmer 1

“That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

activities homemade gifts sewing tutorial

Marimo moss ball plush DIY

So, our Marimo moss ball obsession has crossed over to plush! These little guys are so easy to make and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, even if you’re a beginner.

moss ball 1

Supplies needed: The sleeve of an old wool sweater (or wool blend, at least 80% wool), safety eyes, green and pink floss, poly-fil, scissors

To make the Marimo: 1. Wash the wool sweater in a hot wash cycle, then throw it in the dryer. 2. Cut 4 inches of the cuff part of the sleeve.

DIY moss ball 1

3. Sew a running stitch around the top of the cuff, leaving about 3 inches of thread tail, go all the way around, meet at the beginning tail, knot beginning and end tail together and you will be left with a little tuft.

moss ball diy 2

4. Push the tuft inside and stitch the top closed.

moss ball diy 3

5. Add the safety eyes and make 3 hot pink stitches to make the mouth.

moss ball diy 5

This is how Marimo moss ball should be looking.

moss ball diy 4

6. Repeat the running stitch around the bottom of the moss ball, just like you did for the top.

moss ball diy 6

7. Stuff your moss ball with poly-fil or wool. 8. Pull beginning and end threads together and knot together to close. 9. Stitch closed. Done!

moss ball diy 7

moss ball diy 8

Care for you Marimo- place in a jar, with a friend (they do get lonely), name them, add tissue paper water around the bottom of the jar, and display. Take excellent care and talk to them daily, this will bring you good fortune and luck.

moss ball diy 9

If you want to grow live Marimo moss balls in a water terrarium, visit here.

 “That’s all,”

Visit my 5 orange potatoes Instagram account for sneak peeks and daily life.

diy homemade gifts sewing tutorial

Embroider your baby or child’s artwork- DIY

My little niece was just shy of a year during the holidays this year. She was starting to experiment with markers and paints, and making little doodle scratches on paper (and herself); I thought a permanent piece of artwork would make a lovely gift for her mama this year.

embroider infant art 7

you will need: a hoop, muslin/cotton cloth, Mark-B-Gone pen, floss, needle

embroder infant art 2

I had her use the Mark-B-Gone side so I had plenty of time to embroider her lines. I gave her the fabric to draw on in the hoop so I could focus her drawings in one space. She needed time to use ALL of her senses to discover her new writing utensil, blue ink was all over her! When she finally started drawing, she didn’t have any trouble understanding where to place her doodles.

embroider infant art 8

embroider infant art 3

When the fun was over, I cleaned her up, and loved what she had drawn- I saw a whale shape in water so I went with it!  I did a basic running backstitch and French knots for the design.

embroider infant art 6

I trimmed the fabric, glued down the edges, thread a ribbon through the top, and Cora’s work of art was done!  I see more of these in the future, would be fun to see how her pictures evolve through the years.

“That’s all,”

To see our daily doings, follow my Instagram account here!


health healthy snacks herb herbs recipe tutorial

ginger candy and ginger syrup

ginger candy 5

There is nothing more invigorating and warming on a cold winter day than a cup of ginger tea! It is a mild stimulant, promotes circulation, aids digestion, and is very effective for motion sickness. It is great for cramps and the perfect herb to help remedy congestion when you are under the weather.

Next time you are in the grocery, bring home a root from the produce section and try it. Not sure how to get it from it’s natural state into your teacup? It’s very easy and tasty!

ginger candy 4

Candied Ginger and Syrup

2 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar (if you don’t want to use sugar you can use honey or fruit juice)
1/2   cup warm water
1/2   cup peeled and sliced ginger cut into 1/4″ slices
1/4   cup cinnamon
*Melt the sugar in warm water, add the ginger, and simmer on low until the slices are tender.
*Strain the syrup from the ginger, keep the syrup in a small 4 oz. jar and store in the refrigerator.
*Coat the ginger in cinnamon then place in a dehydrator at 125 degrees for about 2 hours -OR- (if you don’t want to dehydrate) store the ginger in a jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator, keeps for about 2 weeks. If you triple the recipe, it freezes well.


How to use the candied ginger and syrup?

1. Eat it straight from the jar (Fauna eats a lot of ginger this way).

2. Add a few pieces to your green tea (Rainy’s favorite).

3. Add a few pieces to warm lemon water- bring water to boil in a tea kettle, squeeze half a lemon into a mug, add the hot water, and sprinkle in 1-4 pieces of ginger (my favorite).

4. Add 2-4 pieces to warm water and spoon in a few teaspoons of the ginger syrup (Fauna’s favorite).


ginger candy 3

For many more herbal ideas, follow my 5orangepotatoes Instagram account, I share and update daily.

“That’s all,”