Here's my annual Christmas crafts thread. So far I had just been in preparation stage, gathering and drying herbs, canning salsa, and a bunch of different jams and jellies.
Today I started mixing up some herbal tea blends and putting them into little tea cannisters. In the process I got inspired. I've done the teas for a couple years already. So far I have just followed the recipes I found (there's a thread here somewhere with herbal tea recipes) which are different combinations of familiar garden herbs: lavender, mint, bergamot, chamomile, anise hyssop, etc.
Suddenly my mind opened up and I started walking around seeing what I had in my garden and looking them up. Aster flowers, chrysanthemum flowers, marigold flowers, and geranium and raspberry leaves can all be used in teas and I have lots of all those. And if I brew up the chrysanthemum and marigold tea/infusions, they can then be used as the basis for jellies! Chrysanthemum jelly, don't you love it?!
So that's my next project, harvesting a lot of flowers! I already today picked and dried a bunch of raspberry leaves, but still want to do more (more! more! ). It was fun, almost a physical sensation of my mind expanding and realizing I don't have to be limited by the recipes I found!
Other Christmas crafts will be soaps, candles, lotions made with my home made essential oils. This year maybe I will do some herbal oils or vinegars.
Once I started thinking about geraniums, I realized that geranium oil (geraniol) is a good mosquito repellant. I didn't think of it soon enough, don't have that many geranium leaves left, but I will remember for next year, to make my own bug repellant.