Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

reed diffuser

Being someone who appreciates food and an abundance of flavors, it’s no surprise that I have a strong sense of smell. I enjoy scented soaps, lotions, perfumes and often burn incense and scented candles.

A few months ago, I remember seeing some very pretty reed diffusers at a small pop-up shop. They were somewhat pricey and I wondered how well they actually worked. Would the scent really permeate my whole apartment like a candle or incense?

Then a few days ago, I saw an Instagram post with some simple instructions on how to make my own reed diffuser. I realized that I already had all the items necessary to make one. So why not give it a go?

About an hour ago, I made my own. It took about 15 minutes, which includes the time it took to empty a spice bottle and remove the label.

I probably used a little more than the recommended 25 drops of essential oil. Don’t! I shouldn’t have. I had removed the stopper from one of the bottles, so it spilled out. The smell is actually a bit too strong now.

Next time I’ll be more careful with measuring and will play around with the different scents. It does smell good though and will fade over time. Plus, I like the look of it.

This cost me nothing to make, because I already had everything at home, so I’m glad that I didn’t spend money buying one. The markup is incredible.

So if you like making things and already have most of the ingredients at home, do it yourself and save the $25 or more for something else. Below is what I used, based on the post from Wandering Wild Home.

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DIY Reed Diffuser

Small glass bottle with a smaller opening at the top – spice bottles work perfectly.
7  bamboo skewers
1/4 cup grape seed oil
2 T vodka – I only had vanilla vodka, but it worked fine.
25 drops of essential oil – I used 5 drops eucalyptus, 10 drops orange, about 12 drops vanilla.

Mix the oil and vodka in a tiny bowl. Then mix in the essential oils. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the bottle. Put the skewers in and you’re done! Flip the reeds when you want a stronger smell.

How I Made My American Quilt

Folded patchwork quilt on top of bed spread.

Remember when I ran to make the train and fell on the tracks? That was my most recent lesson in learning to slow down and be patient.

Well, this post shows that sometimes I can be patient. The quilt pictured above is the result of nearly twelve years of patience!

For me, the key to patience is to forget about whatever I’m trying to be patient about and do other things. Time will pass and often things will work out as originally intended.

I’m grateful for blogging, because it helps me figure out the timing of when things happened. February 2008 was my first quilting post. But I had already started quilting before that.

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My quilting journey started in the summer of 2005. My mom and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and saw an exhibit called The Quilts of Gee’s Bend.

I have never been a fan of traditional quilts. Had never wanted a quilt. Not the ones that I had seen.

Then I saw the quilts made by the women of Gee’s Bend and realized that quilts can be so much more. My perspective of what defines a quilt changed.

Photo of back of quilt next to photo of quilt folded on top of cushioned stool.

They can be beautiful and boho. Modern and freestyle. Jazzy. Sexy. Solid colors. Different textures. Sewn by intuition without a pattern. Sewn by hand. Using pieces of fabric from old clothes alongside new fabric.

It was possible to quilt the way I cook and bake. Using the foods that I have on hand and improvising a new recipe. I could create a style of quilting that matched my personality. This exhibit gave me freedom and permission. I could do exactly what I wanted. With no limitation or rules.

I learned about quilts with hidden messages made by slaves. I learned that as an African American woman, quilting is my birthright. This exhibit was like breathing fresh air. I claimed myself.

Looking back I can see the journey. Finding myself anew. Bit by bit over time. I started blogging within a year of seeing this exhibit — and pushing my freelance writing. Trying to manifest my dreams. I started doing yoga and meditating.

As I’m writing this post, I am seeing even more. A relationship that I had been in (on and off for far too long) had a clear and definite ending. My heart was so broken. More than I care to admit. It’s taken a long time to mend. Maybe too long. The mending happened in ways that I did not expect. Within another relationship and while alone. I’ve learned many lessons. And I’ve quilted here and there along the way. Over many years.

In 2013, I blogged a picture of my quilt in progress. In 2014, I took part of the quilt and used it as the covering for a chair cushion.

I worked on it, then put it away and forgot about it. Then remembered it. Worked on it and put it away — and that pattern repeated. Focusing on other things and knowing that it would be finished eventually. When the timing was right. Going with the flow.

Quilt spread out on rug, patches of blue denim, along with other prints and textures.

At the end of 2015, I finished reading Marie Kondo‘s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I started tidying and finished tidying around April 2016. Well look at that, about a year ago.

Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish a lot and move forward with many things. Clearing out the old to make room for the new. So about a month ago, I started feeling like I needed to clear out more things and finish the quilt. I set a deadline for last Sunday and finished last Saturday night in the wee hours.

It’s done. What a journey!

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Updated 4/28/2020: Since I’ve been so inspired by the women of Gee’s Bend, I was happy, yet sad, to read about how the pandemic has impacted their community. The women have turned to making face masks instead of quilts.

Boston’s Latest Crafty Girl Craze: Terrariums

Many terrariums and plants on a table for workshop.

Spring is finally here. It’s National Park Week and tomorrow is Earth Day. So it’s the perfect time to think about all the beauty of the earth.

Many of us don’t want to only enjoy the beauty of trees and plants when we’re outdoors, but we want to bring the lush greenery inside as well. I’ve been blessed with a green thumb and have plants and trees growing quite nicely in my apartment. Tending my plants is very relaxing and a kind of meditation for me.

It seems that I’m not the only one who feels this way about plants, because a new zen trend that I see growing 😀 is terrariums.

Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street has a weekly “Plant Nite” where you can build terrariums and enjoy food and drinks.  But it’s not the only place. Plant Nite, similar to Paint Nite, brings people together at different restaurant venues all around the Boston area where they can drink and go home with a terrarium.

Niche, focuses on urban garden supply and is located on Tremont Street in the South End. They encourage plant ownership and sometimes offer classes and workshops on terrarium building.

This Sunday morning, on April 24th, Shake the Tree, which is located on Salem Street in the North End, will be holding a terrarium building workshop along with mimosas and breakfast bites.

If you’d like to go west of Boston, on June 5th, Tovah Martin of Terrarium Wise will be speaking about terrariums and there will be a workshop as well. This event will be held at Brandt House B & B, located in Greenfield, Massachusetts and sponsored by the Greenfield Garden Club.

If you can’t make it to an event, or even if you can, maybe you’d like to wear a terrarium. Dara Cheek, of Hieropice, who I met at ASSEMBLED in Somerville, makes the cutest terrarium necklaces that you can buy from her Etsy shop.

You can also just make terrariums at home. West Elm gives a tutorial on making a tabletop terrarium. Sunset Magazine also gives some nice ideas for DIY terrariums.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy terrariums, you’re sure to have some fun!

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Flickr Photo Credit: Terrarium Workshop by Amy Gizienski