Homemade Goodness

Homemade gifts are treasured gifts … gifts from the heart created with care and love.  The time taken to create these gifts cannot be measured in numbers and the goodness that flows from the gift cannot be measured in words.  There are many among us that have a natural talent and are able to create crafts with the whirl of a pen or the hum of a machine.  The gardeners in us are able to create homemade goodness fresh from the earth and as we plan ahead for the coming planting season we should think beyond our summer harvest and look to share the harvest with gifts of goodness that will no doubt be received without hesitation.  Canning our summer crops is an art taken and continued to this day from our ancestors and one that  carries a message of our hard work in the garden.  At times it truly is difficult to part with our canned goods but this act holds a true connection to the earth and the homemade goodness we pass along to those we care about as we give them a gift from ourselves.  Take some time to plan for those gifts now .  Grow extra tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers along with your normal plantings. 

Browse some preserving cookbooks and articles to find great combinations or create your own recipes that may become your next family favorite! 

Remember to include herbs which can be used fresh or dried for later use – these can even be used as a great gift …. dried herbs!  

Flowers need to be included in your garden plans as well.  Fresh flowers are gifts that  will brighten anyone’s day and a nice vase brimming with homemade goodness lightens up any room in the home.  Certain flowers dry well and can be used in dried flower arrangements and there are dozens of craft ideas you can create with them.  A few of my favorites are lavender, globe amaranth, baby’s breath, statice and strawflower. 


I did have my sewing machine humming along just recently making the new pup her own place to lounge.   Earlier in the year I spent some time creating this doggie bed for the bigger puppies and they seemed to have forgotten all about it until the new pup arrived.

Now they are very possessive SO I had to make the baby puppy one all her own!  It’s so funny – how she knew it was hers!  These doggie beds are homemade and the best part about them is I used old bed pillows and throw pillows to stuff them.  Took the old worn outer layer off and used the insides to make these.  I could have made new throw pillows but I am guessing the pups like their beds better!  Good way to recycle those worn out pillows –

Once I had them all put together I did pop them in the washer for a good cleaning using this Homemade Laundry Soap.  I have been using this soap for almost a year now and I love it!  I have posted these directions in the past and wanted to make sure to share it once again.  I was asked if it works good in a front loading machine. Yes, it does and that is one of the reasons I searched out this laundry soap recipe. Store bought laundry soap is ridiculously high priced and I wanted an alternative and it does a fantastic job!!!

Three simple ingredients – 1 bar castile soap, 3/4 cup “washing soda” and 3/4 cup borax

Probably the hardest part of all this is grating the bar of soap – I found this GREAT grater and it works perfect!  I did try freezing the bar of soap to make it easier, but it really grated the same (it’s a hard soap).

The finished laundry detergent seems soooo clean!  Use 1 tablespoon for light loads and 2 tablespoons for heavily soiled laundry.  For the most part I use 2 tablespoons and the results are wonderful.  I keep a copy of this recipe in the same drawer as the laundry soap so when I am running low I can make up another batch.

 Finished laundry soap

                                       Homemade Goodness!


10 Responses

  1. Thanks, I am excited to try it. Do you store it with a lid on or open?

    Christine in Alaska

  2. Hi Christine! I store the laundry soap in a container with a lid – all closed up. Hope you like the results! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. This looks like a great laundry recipe, I am going to try it. As it is, I currently use just plain white vinegar with a few drops of essential oils in place of fabric softener. It works great!

  4. My sis has recently gotten me into making my own kitchen and bathroom cleaners and an organic window cleaner. You’ve inspired me to try making my own laundry detergent. What a great post!

    If you do requests, let me say that I’d love some canning articles later in the season. I’m a novice, but we grew enough of our own produce last year to need to learn preservation skills (we gave it all away to neighbors, family, friends instead), and we’re growing even more this season. I’m determined to try to save it for us, and for gifts later on. 🙂

  5. The laundry soap sounds interesting, we will have to give it a try. My wife and I are committed to making our own bath soap this year, as well as baking all our bread. We gave away homemade gifts to friends for Christmas also. I have always thought homemade gifts are the best kind!

  6. This is great. I’ve been thinking about making some but hadn’t gotten around to looking for recipes. Could you use liquid castile soap? And is that Super Washing Soap available? I’ve never seen it but haven’t really looked for it.

    Thanks again.

  7. The vinegar and essential oil combination sounds interesting Katie – how much vinegar do you use? Thank you Everyone for your nice comments! Lynda not sure how the liquid castile soap would interact with the other 2 dry ingredients; if you try it, let us know. All 3 of the ingredients I found at our local supermarket Meijer. I should check to see if Walmart carries them since I know there are more of them located around the country.

  8. Great post! Going to try the laundry soap!
    We gave flower seeds we collected in the Fall for holiday gifts this year along with salve that we made from our herb garden. People really seem to appreciate home made gifts. I know I do!
    Have a great week end!

  9. You are right, homemade gifts are the best. Yours look great!

  10. I love the homemade preserves and pickles for gifts. Especially with all the pretty labels you can make these days with the computer! Great reminder–gifts from the heart that people can’t buy!
    Have a good Sunday,

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