Sunday, 27 November 2011

Medicinal Alcohol - Work and Play Mixing Again....

Hi Everyone,

It being the sniffles time of year I thought I'd put up a post on my work blog about the use of elderberries for coughs, colds and the 'flu.

Being a natural health therapist, and a qualified medical herbalist, although not practicing as such, I had a bash this year of making my own elderberry tincture (Elderberry Vodka) and these are the pages I made to illustrate the post.

Elderberry Tincture/Vodka

This tincture came out a lot better than the first one I ever made, using hawthorn berries, used for cardiovascular problems. 

I must have got the proportions of alcohol to berries wrong because it became so thick and gelatinous due to the mucilages in the berries the only way to get it out of the bottles was to whack the base, like you would with ketchup.

I couldn't use it for my clients, so after that I stuck to buying in my tinctures, and making my own elderflower cordial until the OH got diabetes, so the cordial-making had to go because the sugar is too much for his blood glucose control.

I have made sloe gin, with sloes we gathered the last day of one of our holidays in Yorkshire, quite a few years ago now. That does have sugar added to make it a liqueur type of tipple and I might make it again if I can find more sloes, as I quite like it, but the OH doesn't care too much for it.

It also makes a very nice present for the festive season, if decanted into decorative little bottles. Hmmmm, ideas for next year; must try and find a source of sloes.....

This elderberry vodka is totally sugar-free, yet still very yummy - it tastes like unsweetened Ribena.

Next summer I might do the same with the elderflowers; make a tincture of them. They are good for hayfever and the like. 

I created these in Craft Artist, as usual, using my own photos of elderflowers, berries and the tincturing process. I even made my own labels for the bottles.



Thursday, 17 November 2011

Accession Day - 17th November 1588

Hi Everyone,

I have had a great love of history since before I was 10 years old. When I reached 10, I was allowed, with my parent's permission,  to roam free in the Adult section of the local library, and the historical novels and the Historical Non-Fiction sections took a weekly pounding from there-on-in.

My main period of interest is the late 15th century; the Wars of the Roses and the last Plantagenets. However, I have also had a longstanding interest in the period of 1509 to 1603, with the wives of Henry VIII, and his children. 

After my favourite English sovereign, Richard III, the next one has to be Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, Gloriana.

Today, 17th November, marks the 453rd anniversary of Elizabeth's accession to the throne of England. 

Daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who he had executed in 1536, Elizabeth had a very strained and dangerous childhood.

She survived being a prisoner of her half-sister, Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) in the Tower of London, where her own mother, her stepmother Katherine Howard, and her cousin Lady Jane Grey, met their deaths.

On the death of Mary, the 25 year old Elizabeth was now Queen of England, and remained in that role until her death on the 24th March, 1603.

This page was made to commemorate that occasion, which I understand continued to be celebrated as a public holiday for many decades after her death, possibly even as late as the reign of Queen Anne, the last of the Stuart sovereigns who reigned between 1702 and 1714.

Created with Serif Craft Artist Professional, the main images on this page came from the Wikipedia entry for Elizabeth I, including the background image of Hatfield House, Elizabeth's main residence as princess.  The Tower of London image also came from a Wiki entry. The Tudor Rose brush was made with an image (CC by SA 3.0) from Sodacan from the Wikimedia site, and the Royal Arms of Elizabeth also came courtesy of Sodacan.



Monday, 14 November 2011

New Christmas Kit from G & T Designs

Hi everyone,

This evening I have had a chance to play with a new kit. It is the very first freebie kit that Gracie and Tracy from G & T Designs have put together, on their new blog G & T Blogspot.

Well done, girls! It is called A Christmas Mix - Part 1, and is a lovely vintage Christmas style kit. I'm already looking forward to their next collaboration.



Friday, 11 November 2011

Meditative Page for 11/11/11

Hi Everyone,

Today is Armistice/Remembrance Day, and at 11 o'clock I spent a few minutes in silent contemplation in respect for those who lost their lives in the fights for freedom down the years.

As well as this day being Armistice/Remembrance Day,  in some quarters today, 11/11/11, is a special day at an energetic level, especially at 11 minutes and 11 seconds past the hour of 11 am. 11/11/11/11/11.

After posting the page - Time to Remember.... I listened to a meditation that came to me in a newsletter yesterday. This page came to me out of a that meditation.

11/11/11 Meditation Page

If you want more details about the meditation then please pop over to my other blog for the post. Some may consider it all a load of nonsense, but I am open-minded about it

It seems to me though, that spending some time in meditative reflection on the hope that Universal Love, Light and Peace may be really becoming a world reality isn't a bad thing to be doing, or a waste of my time. 

I do believe that what we send out into the world returns to us, magnified over, and I'd much rather be getting positive things back, rather than dwelling in a state of fear on all the negatives.

And see, it got the creative juices flowing as well. Wonderful bonus!  

Created in Craft Artist, I used images from Crab nebula and  2 copies of Comet 73P-Schwassmann-Wachmann blended all together for the background; the Earth image was from Wikimedia; and the Amethyst geode cave I found at

I used a Glass effect on the heart and the man image and various Glow effects on the "energy rings" and the heart. The wings were made from the Fractal Wings brushes by flashtuchka.  



Thursday, 10 November 2011

11/11/11 Time to Remember....

Hi Everyone,

Now the PC seems to be working again, after a second time in PC "ICU" undergoing diagnostic tests after it died on me for the second time within 4 days (at least I got a number of other outstanding jobs finally finished ) , I am able to upload the page that I made for a challenge on SBF that had to feature at least 3 clock faces.

With Remembrance Day approaching, I decided that would be a suitable focus, allowing me to pay my respects to all those who have lost their lives in conflict since World War I right up to the present day.

11/11/11 is also the day for PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day. Many who have served in the military come home bearing invisble scars and trauma, even if they bear no physical signs. 

If you are interested, you can learn a bit more about this on my other blog - Time to Remember.... and 11/11 PTSD and Trauma Awareness Day

Edited today - 11/11/11 at the end of the challenge to add that my page was picked as the Challenge Owner's Choice, so I am well and truly chuffed about that. Thank you very much, Krystal. It was so unexpected, but is very much appreciated!

Kits used Digicats and Dogs "Tempus Fugit"; Cindee's Designs "Steampunked"; Lori Davidsons "Poet's Keepsakes"; Efiesblogspot "Steampunk". The poppy wreath I made last year from a poppy off the 'net. The background images come from various sites -;;;