Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Winter Incense

 The Yuletide is long passed, which means that old trees are popping up each and every trash day. The Crafty Household has been dragging them home to be cut up for firewood and mulch, nice smelling work on a sunny winter's day. It's traditional to burn all the leftover Yule at Imbolc, but first I did some collecting...

I collected needles and branch tips from a variety of evergreens - Pine, Spruce, Fir, and even some Cedar and Juniper. I left them in this jar, breathable fabric on top, on a warm porch to dry for a few days. We've been alternating between blowing snowstorms and 70 F and sunny, just a normal Colorado January.
 Usually I do all my incense making in a small mortar bowl, but this was quite the pile. I used the Cuisinart to quicken the work. Pulsing it gently for a while.
 There were a few bits that hadn't dried as much as needed, so I put the whole thing in a cracked-open low oven. At this point Mr. Crafty and the Crafty roommate were attracted by the smell, and came to ask why this was not an everyday occurrence...
 After a short while drying further the needles all fell apart perfectly! I pulsed a while, not trying to pulverize the bits, just break them small enough to be heaped on a coal.

It fits a much smaller jar now! I can use it a bit at a time, grinding fresh what I'm going to burn. Yummmm, winter smell...  For Yule I made a version with cinnamon chips, clove oil, and frankincense. For Imbolc I added lemon peel and flowers. Note - don't put resins in your electric grinders, they will make a sticky mess!

Don't bother with cheap imitations, if you want a "Forest Fresh" scent, use the real thing!

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