Herbal Creations

I had this fantastic idea this month to post a great craft, something really intense to get some interest going in this new column; however life and its strangeness sort of bit me.  I have a very emotional and sensitive four year old son.  Over the past week or so, he’s been having horrid nightmares (night-terrors his doctor called them) but this diagnosis carried with it no solution.  This isn’t the first time this has happened to him, and I suspect it won’t be the last.  Being the crafty Hedgewitch type I am, I wanted to find a creative solution that he could help to make.  I decided to help him make a dream pillow.

Dream pillows can be as intricate or simple as you want them to be, but with him being only 4, I will go through the way I’ve done it with him.  (I tend to try to be as environmentally conscious as I can, as well, so we’re using recycled fabric on this pillow).

First things first, we need to grab all the things we need.  I opted to use a pair of pants that he’s worn out. I am only doing a simple one layer pillow, since it’s too much for him to be involved too long and the fabric is thick for an inner and outer layer (The inner pocket I normally use is muslin or something similar, its simply filled with the herbs and sewn on all 4 sides).  My adult dream pillows tend to be a bit larger, but he’s only got a small head so for this project his size pants leg works great and even better, I don’t have to hand sew 4 sides of fabric (my new sewing machine hasn’t arrived yet, and the old one, well its as useless as it gets).

For a child’s pillow I try to keep the shape and size simple, for this project I want a 4 inch by 4 inch square.  For adults I’d tend to go 6-8 inches by 4-5 inches (rectangle not square).  I do adult pillows in an envelope style, this one will be a plain square (mostly because I often change the herbs in my own to suit my particular needs at any given time, but I am honestly making an excuse to have another craft to do with him in the months to come 😉 )

Now that the fabric is chosen lets grab our herbs).  Lavender for him is an obvious first choice as he loves the smell and it calms him, as it does for most people.  If it doesn’t work for you or you’d like additional herbs; you can try Cedar as it helps to rid you of bad dreams, Anise does the same, Bay Laurel (the bay leaf you cook with) rids you of negativity, St John’s Wort is thought to banish spirits (I personally haven’t tried this).

Ok, now you need your needle and thread or sewing machine, whichever you prefer.

Sew 3 sides of the fabric all the way, and the 4th side part of the way down, with the wrong side of the fabric facing out.  Flip the fabric so the seams are inside.  Now we’ll add our herbs.  I am using about ¾ of a cup of lavender for this pillow, you can use as much or as little as you want, but remember if the pillow is too thick it will make sleep uncomfortable.  Once you have added your herbs, sew the open edge closed.

Now that you’ve finished your dream pillow, slide it inside your pillowcase and enjoy an herb filled restful nights sleep.

Help Me Sleep Tisane

Tisane is an herbal tea style drink.  The difference between tisane and herbal tea, is that there are no tea leaves in tisane.  So we’re creating an all natural herb based hot drink.

You’ll need the following:

1 cup chamomile (the herb, chamomile tea will not work for this)

3 tablespoons lavender flowers

Mix together and store in a sealed container.  Use what fills your brewing method of choice (a tea ball for instance) pour boiling water over, and steep like normal tea for 3-6 minutes (the longer you steep, the stronger the flavor) add a bit of honey to sweeten and you’re all set. Enjoy