Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last day of January

Thought I'd follow up on the high school herbal class Robin and I finished last Friday before I turn the calendar and move on.
I am very proud of the work the girls did in every aspect of the class. They made two kinds of soap, a salve, a body oil and lip balm. They calculated the costs and prepared a suggested lowest bid for their products at the coming Valentine dinner and silent auction fund raiser. They hand crafted boxes, note cards and wrappings to best show off their products for the auction.

The top photo shows Iris hand stamping the paper that became the bottom of this box. The second picture is her table partner Jasmine decorating a bar of the lavender soap. The lid of their box was made by ironing purchased tissue paper to freezer paper then folding the box. 
The girls had fun with paper punches, fancy edge scissors,  and color sample sheets from the paint section of the hardware store that I've been collecting for years. The intense colors in every shade imaginable were each beautiful in the way the girls used them.

Robin normally prints a label for her products containing the contents information. We wanted the recipients of the products to know what they contained. Since all the items were decorated the information had to go somewhere else. The girls used simple cardboard templates to make envelopes and then made small cards with the contents attached which they slipped inside the envelopes, each decorated to match. Below is an example of one envelope and some of its cards. Note the embossed calligraphy on the outside of the envelope. Papers cut from scraps of the box bottom and top were used as backing for the contents labels. Lovely fancy cut edges.

And here is the finished ensemble for this set.

Again, the top was made with tissue paper ironed to freezer paper and for the bottom of the box a simple piece of black construction paper was used.
Eight boxes were made in all. Each different, each uniquely the product of our 11 teenagers.

In addition to the auction project, the girls were introduced to other herbal uses: infusions, concoctions, tinctures, etc. They spent part of one class making a teabag of crampbark which they could brew and drink as needed.
Here they are preparing the bark. Using a potato peeler they carefully removed the bark of viburnum opulus, then broke it into small pieces.

The bark was then placed in teabags and ironed shut.

They also sampled some tea Robin made with some of the extra white pine needles they had collected to use in their body oil.

When it's heated, it turns this lovely shade of rose. Add a little honey for sweetness.
It was a marvelous 3 weeks and I'm not sure who enjoyed the class most. I learned so much, had a ball, and have some nice souvenirs of the experience. All the girls, three of the staff members, Robin and I each were able to take home soap, salve, oil and lip balm. But the best of it all has been the pleasure of working with the beautiful youth of my community.
Thank you, Robin, dear friend.


  1. lucky girls and lucky you! don't you just love their energy?

  2. P.S. I love your new header. I am big fan of paperwhites. xo

  3. Beautiful header. I can almost smell the blooms! The girls (and you) did a great job of making and presenting their herbal products. I would have loved to attend such a class. I am sure that many of them will go on to make their own products from home. I have the urge to do so myself!

  4. Your new header is heavenly, Sharon! And I'm excited just looking at the photos of your students' work! Such attention to detail in every aspect of this project. I'm sure they enjoyed the experience immensely, perhaps even more than you did! A wonderful skill to learn!