Monday, May 22, 2017

Lake George Regional Park Spring Celebration



The Sugar Tree will be one of the vendors at this wonderful event on June 4th, celebrating Lake George Regional Park's 25th Anniversary Year.  It will be taking place at the Lakewood Inn Restaurant, which is one of my personal favorite places to be; with a percentage of sales going directly to Lake George.

I'll have some of my wooden kitchen tools, felted goodies, hand blended loose leaf teas, and maybe a few other surprises!

4:00 Happy Hour, "Cocktails and Fine Craft"
SHOP with members of Maine's artisan craft, food, and farming community, with a portion of all evening proceeds to benefit Lake George!


5:30 Dinner with lively auction to follow

$30/person

(207) 474-1292

In lieu of printed tickets this year, your name will be entered on a reservation list at the door! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blue Cornflower





Blending some teas today! I love using blue cornflower, yes, I will freely admit, because it is so pretty. But for what it actually adds to the teas.*  Here is what  HomeRemedies.com has to say:


The flowers of this herb are rich in mineral salts and contain a bitter ingredient known as pectin. It is rich in calcium that is essential for the development and maintenance of bones. Cornflower also contains components like anthocyanins and flavonoids, which contribute greatly to its medicinal value. Being rich in potassium salts and tannin, cornflower has powerful astringent, antiseptic, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in treating a number of health concerns. These minerals also help regulate ph levels in the blood. Cornflower is also rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and other organic compounds that help detoxify the body.


  • The bitterness of cornflower makes it an effective natural remedy against a variety of digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, gas, and other gastrointestinal complaints. It also acts as an appetite stimulant and is therefore used for treating cases of anorexia as well.
  • The flowers of this plant are used as an expectorant, diuretic, and stimulant for gall bladder and liver function. It also supports and regulates the functioning of the kidneys. Therefore, people suffering from kidney, liver, or spleen problems can take prescribed doses of this herb for relief from symptoms of these disorders.
  • Cornflower is also used as an astringent oral rinse for treating mouth ulcers.
  • Women suffering from endometriosis can take cornflower preparations to ease menstrual cramps and other related symptoms.
  • Cornflower has a calming effect on the nervous system and it therefore beneficial to those suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other nervous system disorders.

 
*The Sugar Tree shares this for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Forget-Me-Not Irony







Spring is here and it is seed season! Or actually every season is seed season, as they always make great gifts - container gardening is a real thing - but springtime is when we feel it the most as we emerge from our winter rest and realize it's time for planting. I have long been in love with the beautiful watercolor illustrations used on the packaging Potting Shed Creations, Ltd. uses and it is just one of many reasons I offer a selection of their products for sale.

I adore their little tins of seeds for scatter planting of flowers, and was particularly thinking of the forget-me-nots for bringing to the Maine Retired Teachers Conference next month. And I thought I would perhaps craft little felted flowers to go along with them. Little blue flowers of course. So I set to work, from, um, memory. 

Hmmm...it seems forget-me-nots have five petals, not four; and have yellow centers not white... 

I'll just have to think of something else to do with about 30 little blue felt flowers!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beeswax





(photo credit to Mountain Rose Herbs, where I get my beeswax from)


It's beeswax day here and I simply love the aroma! I use beeswax to season my wooden kitchen items, and of course for making candles. But here are some other uses (101 in total actually) as originally shared from Crafting Montana

1) lubricant for very old furniture joints.
2) Smooth movement for doors and windows.
3) Component for mustache creams.
4) Prevents bronze items from tarnishing.
5) Use as a rest prevention.
6) Furniture polish when mixed with linseed oil and mineral spirits in equal parts.
7) covering cheeses and preservatives to protect from spoilage.
8) Conditioner for wood bowls and cutting boards.
9) Coat nails and screws to prevent wood from splintering.
10) Used by NASA with an enzyme to mop up oceanic oil spills.
11) Cake guitar bodies to boost longevity.
12) Coat tambourine surfaces for thumb roll playing technique.
13) Coat reeds for woodwinds to get a tight fit.
14) Egg painting in a Ukraine folk art of Pysanky.
15) An essential ingredient in Indian art of fabric dyeing called Batik printing.
16) Candles that don’t drip and have no smoke.
17) In candy like gummy bears, worms and jelly beans.
18) To water proof leather.
19) Molten beeswax to polish granit counter tops.
20) To make crayons.
21) With palm oil for soap.  The palm oil reduces scars and the wax a natural moisturizer.
22) Mix with palm wax for a natural hair remover.
23) To reduce bow string friction.
24) on whips to water proof.
25) in bullets.
26) With comfery and chick weed powder to alleviate itching.
27) Wire pulling.
28) Sewing to strengthen the thread and prevent snagging.
29) To fill seams between pieces of slate when setting up a pool table.
29) Plucking the feathers from fowl.
30) As a flexible mold for a variety of mediums.
31) Jewelry.
32) Clean your clothes Iron.
33) In glass Etching.
34) Encausting Painting.
35) To make earplugs.
36) Ear Candling.
37) When fashioning Dreadlocks.
38) To make Dental floss.
39) For cracked animal hooves.
40) When making cosmetics.
41) When making chocolates.
42) Copper sinks.
43) Removing previous waxes.
44) In Blacksmithing.
45) Basketry.
46) To coat Baking pans for smooth exit of goods.
47) To coat the hemp strings on Bag Pipes.
48) To make balms.
49) Barbeque preparation.
50) When making healing salves, creams and ointments.
51) Use in pharmaceuticals.
53) In manufacturing of electronic components and CDs.
54) As a polish for shoes and floors.
56) To unsticking drawers.
57) Keep zippers moving smoothly.
58) To water proof boots and saddles.
59) To coat hand tools to prevent rust.
60) To lower cholesterol, ulcers, diarrhea and hiccups.
69) To relief pain, swelling (inflammation)
70) In beverages.
71) In manufacturing as a thickener or emulsifier.
72) In fragrances in perfumes.
73) To seal documents.
74) An ingredient in surgical bone wax.
75) Blended with pine rosin to serve as an adhesive.
77) A metal injection moulding binder component.
76) In the embalming process.
78) As a stabilizer in the military explosive Torpex.
79) To coat hemp strends – an alternative use to lighters.
80) A natural Air purifier.
81) Glazing of fruits and vegtables.
82) Chewing beeswax can help quit the habit of smoking.
83) As a hair pompay.
84) Grafting plants.
85) In the restoration of pictures.
86) Wax fly fishing lines so they float.
87) To keep saws sharp.
88) Grinding and polishing of optical lenses.
89) Used in crafting of dentures and other dental equipment.
90) To seal and polish smoke fired pottery.
91) Used on snowskies for a good glide.
92) Used for base ring for toliets (in the past).
93) Use3d to cover a broken wire on braces until you get to your orthodontist.
95) To prevent stretch marks.
96) Saturate cardboard with beeswax and use as a fuel for a backpackers fuel for stove.
97) Beeswax candle as emergency heat when trapped in a car or small space.
98) Temporary filling until you can see your dentist.
99) To seal stick matches to stay dry when boating, fishing or skiing.
100) To prevent slippage for belts in vacuums and sewing machines.
101) As a wood filler

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Matcha Tea

 
  
The Sugar Tree offers matcha tea powder for sale, in various flavors, as well as accessories for preparing it. Many folks are still new to it, so, just what is matcha?
• Matcha originates from Japan and is the finest green tea.
  • To create matcha, tea plants are covered with shade cloths before they’re harvested. This triggers the growth of leaves with better flavor and texture. Leaves are hand-plucked, steamed briefly, then dried and aged in cold storage. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into fine powder.
  • With most tea, the leaves get infused into hot water, then discarded. With matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves.
 • Because the whole leaves are ingested, matcha is a potent source of nutrients.
 • Matcha is rich in antioxidants and detoxification properties.
• Matcha is high in caffeine and gives us an energy boost, and a calm alertness without the crash.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Sugar Tree... two...or too...





The search is on! Who will build me a simple little building to do a little Sugar Tree business out of this summer? So many companies and builders to choose from! And, I like them all.  Ideally, I want it to run on solar power. And have plenty of windows. And be...portable, so that after it finishes it's summer in the Madison/Skowhegan area it can come home again to Freedom.    (seriously, if you know anyone interested, and they can pitch best, they can drop me a line  sugartreecafe@gmail.com )

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bluebird of Happiness






Though a large part of my mantra is to be eco-friendly, I still enjoy the feel of paper, and crafting. [use recycled materials whenever possible!] So today, for the new calendar year, I am sharing my very favorite resource for paper projects with you, thetoymaker.com

Marylin Scott-Walker is an amazing artist and paper craft maker, and she is oh so very kind to share quite a number of her paper projects with her adoring public, for free. Any cold & snowy or rainy day can be brightened by her creations, and they are wonderful activities to share. The Bluebird of Happiness template and directions can be downloaded (for free) through the following link. And you'll find so many other fun projects on her site!

Enjoy!
 
http://www.thetoymaker.com/Toypages/73Birds/73BluebirdsofHappiness.html

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Infuser


I love this little infuser. Usually I steep my tea by the pot, and it's not often that I do just a single cup...but now I might more often. It's an easy scoop and slide, then swirl and steep. And an easy clean after. And yes, I sell them. $12 each

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Blended Loose Leaf Tea



I have been offering herbal tea blends as longer than The Sugar Tree has been in business, but have sought out other companies to provide black, green, and rooibos tea blends to my customers as well as for my own enjoyment. So it's about time I learn to do some blending of my own! This will require lots of research and experimentation... and I'm thinking it may become a serious focus for the Sugar Tree.  Indeed. Look for Sugar Tree Blended Teas in the near future... alongside the wooden kitchen tools, felted art, and everything else.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Apples

Our apple tree!

It has long been debated, where the name "Sugar Tree" came from...is it for the Sugar Maple trees that surround our property on Freedom Pond? Much of the wooden items I craft come from it's wood, and if we ever get more trees tapped I'd use much more Maple Syrup in the cooking! In fact, the sugar in our Sugar Tree is the thought of the sweetness of apples, and a symbol of my favorite time of year.

Monday, April 27, 2015

HOPE Festival: 2015




The Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine holds its annual organizational fair upon the University of Maine campus each April, with more than sixty organizations showcasing their work for a better world, an interactive children’s space, and delicious food - if I do say so myself! - from local vendors.






Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kids Kitchen

Kids' Kitchen Activity with Sugar Tree Felted Veggies, and Bamboo Cheese Board



When you can't catch The Sugar Tree on the road, the Kids' Kitchen Activity Card Deck is available to purchase online through  The Storyteller's Books, the felt veggies & the cheese board* online through the  Sugar Tree Cafe etsy shop

*Bamboo cheeseboards are available by special order, wooden ones are usually in stock

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kids' Garden Program

Potato Friend made during Carver Memorial Library Summer Gardening Program
 

The Sugar Tree  very proudly supports the Kids’ Garden program for schools, libraries, and communities. The program in its entirety is a forty weeks, but is also available in seasonal sections, or individualized classes.  Other supporting activities are also available upon request, including an entire companion program, Kids’ Kitchen  which is based upon fun and healthy recipes (all suitable for vegetarian diets, and none with added salt) Session topics include: Exploring the Garden; Planting and Growing; Fun with Plants; Discovering Creatures; Creating Garden Art.  For more information, please contact me at sugartreecafe@gmail.com

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cream Puffs






Put together a sampling plate of cream puffs for the Recycled Shakespeare Company to test for their performance night of  'Midsummer Night's Dream' on June 21st. Vanilla cream filling, a bit of chocolate drizzle, and candied white violets and mint leaves.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Herbs


Herbs grow all year round here...even in the Maine Winters they are inside looking out enjoying the sun. Sage, parsley, oregano, basil, chives, and mint are just a few. I put some away throughout the year, in oils, frozen, or dried...but fresh is always best.










Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Harvest Soup Blend


When I can't decide, I have both... Creamy Potato Garlic Soup, and Ginger Squash/Carrot, garnished with fresh sage leaves.