What's with the Lavender?! - Welcome to Serendipity Refined.

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You may have noticed the new blog name and design yesterday. You did, right!?  The new name is a reflection of what I feel I do here, take a serendipity find and turn it into something beautiful, on purpose! You may have also noticed the lavender sprigs in the name. For people who know me, lavender is a given. For those of you who have never met me, you're probably wondering, why lavender? I mean, it looks nice and all, but why not daisies, or chamomile, or lily of the valley?  They're pretty, too!

Serendipity Refined Mock Up
When my amazing blog designer and friend, Gwen (from This Bold Girl) and I began discussing the look of my new header and what we'd include in it, we talked about all of the stuff that I collect; vintage linens, old lace, white ironstone, old paint brushes, etc. but none of those seemed to represent exactly what I envisioned. I wanted something simple, natural and artistic. Something timeless and traditional but still modern. Gwen mentioned Lavender.  That was it!!!   I love it,  I grow it, I cook with it, I use it to decorate my home, and fragrance my linens. To me, it's the herbal equivalent of the "Swiss army knife" and I'm the lavender-loving, female equivalent of "MacGyver." Yep, that's me, Kimberly-gyver!

If you're not old enough to remember that show, look it up. If you are, then you'll realize that there's kind of a funny parallel between a guy who creates things and solves problems using rubber bands, chewing gum, and paperclips and me; the girl who makes headboards out of 4 foot fence boards and patio cushions out of shower curtains, but I digress...we were talking about the lavender.

Thanks to Gwen's magic with photo editing software and her incredible eye for design, the photos that I took of the rows of lavender growing in my yard and harvested to dry back in late May (before June's heat sapped them of their oils) became my trademark "sprig". She used the original font from Serendipity, added a second font because I don't like things "matchy, a silhouette of old lace, my favorite colors, and  viola! The new header became a reality! She's magic, I tell ya'...pure genius wrapped up in someone who is easy to work with and really "got me and the look that I was trying to achieve" after a single conversation and with very few revisions!

So, you'll be seeing more lavender on the blog in the future. It may become a regular feature, or not. I'm still figuring that out.  In the mean time, here are a few more shots of my freshly harvested lavender and  the recipe that I use for Lavender Linen Water. When I use it, I find that my house smell much less like "Martha Stewart" (my yellow lab) and more like "Martha Stewart" (the one with the "staff").

See how tightly closed the buds on the top are? This is how they should look when harvested to ensure maximum fragrance and oils. NOT open and fully bloomed like those on the right which I'll just put into a vase or use immediately rather than drying.

Lavender Linen Water:

To make enough to fill a spray bottle:
Mix together:
  •   2.5 cups distilled water (Distilled so that it has fewer bacteria in it.)
  •   1/2 cup vodka or Isopropyl Alcohol (No kidding, the vodka works! It acts as a preservative. If you use the vodka, use the cheap stuff. Save the good stuff for martinis with your girlfriends)
  •   5ml (about 100 drops) lavender essential oil (Use the good stuff. Only 100% Essential Oil.)
Mix together, pour into a spray bottle (or your iron). Shake well each time before using.
I've used this for years and never had an problem with yellowing or staining.

Have a lovely Wednesday!