Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Coffee filter Jesse Tree angels

This year I finally got signed up on time to make Jesse Tree ornaments with my church. I am so excited to finally get a full set of ornaments when we are all done. If you haven't heard of the Jesse Tree I highly encourage you to look that up and see if it's something you want to do with your family. It spreads throughout December and tells the story of Jesus up to his birth. It's a great way to be interactive with your family and if you can get 25 people together it works out great to have each take a day and make 25 ornaments, each takes a day and symbol to make that represents the story for that day. Then you all get together and exchange ornaments! That way each person gets an ornament for each day and it has special meaning not only because of what it represents for the day of the story but you have that each family has put in work to make that ornament. Obviously mine was day 24, the angel. There are plenty of posts that have GREAT ideas on what to do for the different days. One that I found that had some great ideas was Faithful Provisions, she has some very cute ideas on what to do for each day. 

To make the angels was easy, this is all over the place and easy as all get out to do. Of course that being said my kiddos did struggle a little bit with the wings but with help they got it and had a good time making these. 

First you need to get;
Coffee filters
Thin ribbon
Cotton balls
Hot glue gun
Pipe cleaners, I used white

Start with 2 cotton balls in the middle of one coffee filter and then squeeze under the cotton balls to make the neck of the angel. (If you would like to do something extra special put a drop or 2 of your favorite holiday essential oil on the cotton balls prior to closing it up. I would make sure its in the middle so it doesn't bleed onto the filter.) 

It's helpful to make sure you have everything centered to get a good layered dress. Then stick another coffee filter up just until you hit the cotton balls to make the layered part of the dress. 

Tie a ribbon around the neck to hold the cotton balls in and the second coffee filter in place. Then take a third coffee filter and pinch it right in the middle to make the wings. Wrap a pipe cleaner around it to hold the space then loop it for hanging. After that spread the "wings" out nicely so it's ready to be glued onto the back of the body. 

Glue the body on with a hot glue gun and set aside to let it dry while going on to making more! Yup that simple. :)

This one had a small tie around the neck. Most of my other ones I made it longer. 

Now off to bring these to the group and collect up the other ornaments made by others! Can't wait to see what other people have done as their ornaments. 

For those who are interested in learning more about the Jesse Tree here is a book that can help you get started on this fun tradition. 

Some Ideas to Help Make The Most Of Your Essential Oils

As most know I love my essential oils and use them for everything from cleaners to soap to the obvious medicinally in lotions, ointments, massage oils, straight and in my aromatherapy nebulizer. Knowing how to extend and use them when I need them medicinally was a huge help. For this post I will stick to some tips on how to mix oils so that you can use them better and know how to mix them with a carrier and still get the benefits. Remember that oils, while used straight by a lot of people, can cause issues, burns, reactions and can be toxic if not used properly. Like I have said before, they are still medicinal so there are definitely things to be aware of. 

While this isn't a comprehensive "lesson" in how to mix and use EO's it does give a decent guideline to use as a rule of thumb to be more responsible in the use of these more natural methods to help ease medical issues that arise. I find I can extend my oils quite a bit by mixing with a carrier oil also, gotta love that especially when using more expensive oils!! 

Mixing oils is simple, first find the carrier oil that you want to use. I generally use Grapeseed oil due to it's faster absorption rate and natural vitamin E so that I can keep it longer than some other oils without adding Vitamin E. That is my preference but there are many oils that you can use as a carrier oil. This is not an exhaustive list but gives you a start. I encourage you to research which oils will work best for you. 

Some common carrier oils are;
Apricot oil
Sweet Almond oil
Jojoba oil
Avocado oil
Fractionated coconut oil
Coconut oil
Kukui oil
Sunflower oil
Olive oil
Grapeseed oil

(Some of the above oils can cause or exacerbate allergic reactions which I covered in my massage oil post.)

Once you have the oil that you are going to use for whatever need and have your carrier oil picked out then it's time to figure out the percentage you want. I was reminded of this from a person on our DōTERRA FB site and was so thankful to have the reminder. I hope that others find this as useful as I have. 

Remember that if you are on medications already for any issue always run EO usage by your physician or naturopath prior to starting. Also, making sure to list any EO usage when asked for medications is needed to ensure you aren't using something that is contraindicated or could have an adverse effect on any new medications. 

Here is a general guideline to use when mixing EO's for use. This is what I use, and it works well for us in my family. Feel free to research and check if there may be other concentrations if you are going to use this for your family. 

Blends are generally not considered therapeutic strength under 3%. While I don't recommend or advise use on babies, a percentage of 1% strength is what I have seen used by others. For the elderly or frail a strength of 1% is generally used also. If you chose to use EO's on either of the previous mentioned I highly recommend contacting a primary care provider prior to using EO's on them. 2% is good for full body massages and lotions although I have gone as high as 4% for my husband due to muscle strains and need to massage and treat at the same time. 5% is good for small area or spot treatments as a rule of thumb. 

To mix a one ounce bottle the best tip I have seen is to fill a one ounce bottle up to where the bottle starts to curve. Then add your EO with a dropper so you can control the number of drops better. 

1% concentration is 5-6 drops/one ounce
2% concentration is 10-12 drops/ounce
3% concentration is 15-18 drops/ounce 
4% concentration is 20-24 drops/ounce
5% concentration is 25-30 drops/ounce

To do a compress you can use 5 drops in 1/4 c. water

A bath is 3-15 drops in a warm, not hot bath

If you are making a mouth rinse use 1-2 drops EO in 1/4 c. water

Using as an inhalant is 3-5 drops in a bowl of steaming water (not to be used for an asthma attack)

Sitz bath 3-4 drops in a bowl large enough to sit in, fill with cool/warm water

Neat 1 drop direct application 

In a aromatherapy nebulizer, 4-6 drops and diffuse

You can use more than one EO by just dividing between the oils until you achieve the amount of drops needed. 

Some oils that we use neat are lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil but using any oil neat can cause irritations, rashes, burns or allergic reactions so while we use them that way, I recommend getting professional advice first. 

Hopefully this gives a nice way for those of you that use EO's to use them more effectively, extend the life of your EO's and, like me, enjoy your essential oils more appropriately with less chance to cause harm from oils that may cause adverse effects. This works well for our household so I thought I would share so that others that are just beginning and not sure how to mix their oils can get a good jumping off point to doing so. 


For links to some of the oils listed above click on the picture. 


Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. I am a mom, I am not a doctor, I enjoy passing on the knowledge I have learned in doing these types of projects and through my research. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use. Always when using essential oils for a medical condition or if on prescribed or over the counter drugs, seek advice from a medical professional (DR./PA/NP/Naturopath/pharmacist) on whether the oils will cause potential adverse reactions. 

These practices are what work for me and my family, if you chose to take and use them I encourage you take my research and do some of your own prior to using the tips I give. While I do a lot of research when putting these posts out it generally fits into what I would do with and for my family. If you have specific issues, allergies or conditions these practices may not work or may be detrimental to what you are intending to do for yourself. Again, I encourage wisdom and discussions with your healthcare provider to determine safe use of all posts that I provide that can be used for health reasons.