Welcome to Lydia McCauley's Garden of Simples Blog

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get from it, but what they become by it. - John Ruskin

Lydia McCauley and Kurt Scherer are owners of STONEHOUSE ARTIFACTS, offering Treasures from Colonial India. Online Here.

Our shop is located in Bellingham, Washington. We welcome you to come and visit our small estate, enjoy the grounds and share a cup of Chai.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Today is a good day.  I started this year's Cottonwood Oil.
I live in the Pacific Northwest and our cottonwood trees release a wonderful scent in the spring.
The scent comes from the sheath that surrounds the new leaves.
When it's time for the leaves to pop, it is time for me to collect the pods.
And that is today!

If you want to make Cottonwood Oil here's what you do:

Find cottonwood trees in the early Spring.
Pick up the pods that have dropped.
Collect them in a jar.
Add olive oil.

I collect them until the jar is full.
I shake them once a day for 6 weeks.
I open the jar and breathe in the wonderful scent.

Then I make Cottonwood Lotion.

I especially enjoy using a blue glass jar and zinc lid.
Vintage Ball Jars are perfect for this.
And it brings me joy to see this color blue.

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