Monday, June 18, 2012

Homemade Summer Gifts

homemade summertime essentials

Summer is here - officially it is three days away but unofficially it begins as soon as the kids get off the bus and school lets out for summer break - which for us is tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to a change of pace and more time spent outdoors especially in our garden.  Speaking of our garden - we've been toiling away creating a most magical space to be hanging around this summer.  We want to enjoy every moment of green grass and blue skies here in New England while we can.  The only thing standing in the way of utter garden bliss are the pesky mosquitoes. 

Last year we found a company that uses an organic product to get rid of mosquitoes or at least "disperses the crowd" so there were fewer of them to contend with.  They use oil of rosemary in their spray solution and it  really did get rid of the mosquitoes while leaving a lingering scent of fresh rosemary.    I thought that perhaps I could riff off of their idea and create a bug spray solution for my family that was all natural and good smelling too.  (I thought it would also make a nice little summer hostess gift)

Let me share it with you ( or invite me over and I'll bring you a sample - just kidding):

bug spray ingredients

Witch Hazel (I'm using Humphreys but use what you have)
Distilled Water
Rosemary Oil ( I'm using Aura Cacia organic essential oils)
Lavender Oil 

distilled water

Fill your bottle (I am using a 4 ounce spray bottle) 1/2 way with distilled water.

witch hazel

Fill to the top with witch hazel.  Your solution will be 1/2 distilled water and 1/2 witch hazel.

rosemary and lavender oil

Add 30 drops of Lavender Oil and 20 drops of Rosemary Oil.  (this is the combination that I liked - not too strong although you could have it be only rosemary oil or only lavender oil - it's up to you).

bug spray 

I put a kraft paper sticker on the bottle and tied it up with a clipping of rosemary and lavender.  This really would make a great little gift.  

If you have extra lavender oil on hand - you could make some fantastic room spray for indoors or outdoors.  Here is how:

Ingredients for room spray

You don't need much just reach for your leftover distilled water and your lavender oil. It's really that simple and oh-so-good smelling!

Distilled water

Fill your spray bottle to the top with distilled water.  I'm using a 4 ounce spray bottle.

Lavender oil

Add approximately 30 - 40 drops of lavender oil to your distilled water and shake it up to distribute.  I am using Aura Cacia organic essential oils.  They can be found in your health food stores or online here.

Lavender room spray

Tie a little piece of lavender onto your bottle with twine and give it away as a little "thank-you" gift.  It is guaranteed to please.  This would make an easy and fun summer project to do with the kids.  

Happy Summer
Look for my new blog and website that is coming soon!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A little bird told me ...

Carrier Pigeon by Ellen McHale

I've got some exciting news to share.  The Nelley Kelley website (as we know it) is flying the coop.  Currently,  I am working with the very talented Lorell Gifford (RiverVisions Web Design ) to create a fresh, new website.  We plan to integrate my blog with my website to make it more interactive.  I've got new artwork to showcase (I think you might love it as much as I do!) and will also begin to offer some of my vintage finds.  I love treasure hunting and now I want to share some of my finds with you.  

So stay tuned ... I will keep you updated on my blog and hopefully when the time comes, you will be so kind to follow me to my next location.

See you soon,