Monday, December 08, 2008

Holiday Herbal Gifts Series #8 - tea blends and gel air fresheners

Making tea blends for your friends can be a lot of fun and very simple. Heat sealable (the iron works beautifully) tea bags are available various places and you can even print out these pre-designed tea envelopes to finish them in a good looking way. Containers to hold the tea bags can be almost anything, but craft shops have tons of containers. Design labels to give the recipient an idea of what is IN the tea.
If you've been saving and drying herbs from your garden you are all set. If not, look below at the previous posts in the series for advertisers/suppliers for dried herbs AND the heat sealable tea bags.
Creating the blend is unbelievably easy. Would you like a relaxing tea? Blend together chamomile blossoms, lemon balm leaves, and some passionflower. There are lots of other choices. A nice blend of mint and regular old black tea is fabulous! Roses, rosehips, and lemon grass is good. Need more ideas? Grab a copy of Blending Herbal Teas from The Essential Herbal right quick, and get to it!
Finally, look at what you have in the cupboard. Mix it together and brew up a cup. Is it good? Then you've created a blend. If it needs something, consider some spices - ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, or vanilla bean, for instance. Each teabag gets about 1 t inside for a cuppa tea.
If you have a friend that is really, REALLY a tea person, check out the handmade glass teapot pendants at my sister's site:, and I cannot recommend The Rosemary House highly enough for tea people. If you are in PA, a reservation for tea at Sweet Remembrances is worth considering. We love it there!
Gel Air Freshener
2 cups water
4 packets Knox unflavored gelatin
food coloring
1 t essential or fragrance oil
1 oz vodka
Bring one cup of water to a boil. Add gelatin slowly a packet at a time, until all is dissolved. Remove from heat and add second cup of water, food coloring, fragrance, and vodka.
Pour into 1/2 c canning jars. After they've set up, put a piece of netting over the opening, the lid, and then the metal ring. When in use, the ring holds the netting in place, but the lid is removed.
If you're not in the mood to make anything, there's still time to order from The Essential Herbal.
One idea for the outdoors type: A copy of Wild Foods for Every Table along with an Outdoor Trio, containing a bar of Happy Camper - jewelweed and plantain soap, a bottle of Hiker's Releaf spray made from apple cider vinegar, sage, jewelweed, and plantain, and a Git Stick.
For anyone who believes in faeries: A beautiful hand woven lavender wand and a copy of The Fairy Home Companion.


Rosemary said...

Hi Tina! I've been enjoying your holiday herbal gifts series. That gel air freshener looks easy! Also, thanks for the nod to Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances! Appreciate it.

Lisa Brawner said...

I just love all the neat stuff you are posting !!

Tina Sams said...

Thanks, you guys. Stay tuned for more :-).