Fish Scale Rose

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Scales are normally removed from fish before cooking them.  The good news is, there is a good use for these scales.  Because of their unique patterns and texture, they are good materials for handicrafts.  Follow these easy steps on how to make an artificial flower using fish scales.

 

What you need:

Fish Scale Rose

Fish Scale Rose

Fish scales (preferably the big ones)

Glue stick and glue gun stick

Papel de japon

Coloring dyes

Water

Salt

Artificial leaves

Strainer

Fish scaler or knife

 

What you will do:

  1. Remove scales by scraping the fish with a fish scaler or the dull edge of a knife.  Use short strokes from tail to head.  Select the bigger ones that you have scraped.  (Certain varieties of fish have big scales.)
  2. Wash the scales thoroughly in water until the slimy substance and unpleasant smell is removed.
  3. Remove the scales from the water using a strainer.  Afterwards, let them dry under the sun for two days.
  4. In one cup of water, dissolve one tablespoon of dye and 1/8 tablespoon of salt.  Soak the dried scales in the dye solution.
  5. Let the scales sit in the solution for 15 minutes so the scale will absorb the color from the dye.
  6. Next, place the scales under the sun for 1 hour or until these are completely dried.
  7. Using a glue gun, attach the scales on a stick and form a rose.
  8. Wrap the stick with papel de japon.  Attached three to four pieces of artificial leaves on the stick for the final touch.

Source:

►Michael Schirber, The New Mystery of Water.  http://www.livescience.com/environment/041201_water_bodns.html

►Martin Chaplin, Explanation of the Phase Annomalies of Water (P1-P2).  http://www.isbu.ac.uk/water/explain.html

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‘Refrigerators’ Minus the Electricity

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Want a fridge without worrying about high electric bills?  Try the pot coolers.  Now, you may cool fruits and vegetables for longer shelf-life, fridge-free.  Using the principle of evaporative cooling—the cooling effect accomplished when water evaporates as it draws energy from its surroundings—these pot coolers is good for both small-and large-scaled storage of goods.

What you need:

●  Two earthenware (one must fit on the other, and the smaller one must preferably have a cover

●  cheesecloth/wet sand

What to do:

  1. Place the larger earthenware in a cool place inside your home.
  2. Put the smaller earthenware at the center of the lager one.
  3. Fill the larger earthenware with water or sand damped with water just before the water spills.
  4. Place the fruits and vegetables inside the smaller earthenware.
  5. Cover the smaller earthenware with damp cheesecloth.

Is it effective?  A livelihood experiment on fruit shelf-life in Nigeria using pot coolers yielded the following results:

 

Fruit

Shelf-life without

The pot cooler

(in days)

Shelf-life with

The pot cooler

(in days)

tomato

2

20

Guava

2

20

Okra

4

17

Carrot

4

20

 

Source:

► Evaporative cooling, electric-free refrigerators.  http://www.mixph.com/2008/04/evaporative-cooling-electic-fee refrigerators.html#more-715

Natural Cleansers

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Did you know that most commercial cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that “pose human health risks and pollute waterways after they disappear down the drain?”  bleach, for example, contains chlorine and ammonia, which can be irritating to the respiratory system.  Chlorine is quite toxic when inhaled whereas ammonia is bad for the lungs and airways.  Good thing there are ways to make gentle, nontoxic cleansers at home.  All you need are the right materials and the right preparation methods.

Window Cleaner

You will need:

● ¼ cup white vinegar

● 1 tablespoon lemon juice

● Clean, reusable cloth

● Spray bottle

What you will do:

  1. Pour the white vinegar into a spray bottle half-filled with water.
  2. Add the lemon juice as grease-cutter.
  3. Spray on windows and wipe dry using a clean, reusable cloth.
  4. Repeat the process, if there are still streaks of dirt on the glass.

All-purpose Cleaner

You will need:

● 1/8 cup borax

● 1 liter water

● Spray bottle

● Naturally disinfectant oil; eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, and lemon

What you will do:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake the contents until the borax is completely dissolved.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place.

Scouring Scrub

You will need:

● 2 cups baking soda

● 1/3 cup liquid soap

● ½ cup water

What you will do:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture on a brush or damp sponge and scrub onto surfaces like the tub, toilet, and bathroom tiles.
  3. Prepare a fresh batch of the scrub every time you need to clean the above mentioned surfaces.

Source:

► Green and clean.  www.thegreenguide.com/blog/diy_diva/1008

► Recipes for a non-toxic household.  http://rps.uvi.edu/CES/recipes. htm

Buko Pie

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Enjoy this pastry from Laguna—buko pie.  If you have an over and a pie pan, you can prepare this tasty treat.

bukopieWhat you need:

Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup corn oil

1 tablespoon water

Filling

3 1/3 cup buko (young coconut)

½ cup white sugar

½ cup evaporated milk

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup cheese, grated

What you will do:

Crust

  1. To prepare the crust, combine flour and salt.  Blend in oil thoroughly using a fork.
  2. Sprinkle with water.  Continue “cutting” with a fork until flour mixture forms tiny lumps.  Form flour mixture into a ball.
  3. Divide dough into two equal portions.  Roll out to make two crusts.  Cover bottom of pie pan with one crust.  Cut excess.
  4. Prick pastry all over with fork.  Bake in preheated oven at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Filling

  1.  Combine all ingredients except cheese, and cook over low heat.
  2. Continue stirring until thick.  Pour mixture into pastry-lined pie pan.
  3. Top filling with the second crust.  Seal ends all around with a fork.
  4. Bake at 400°F until crust turns golden brown.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
  5. Bake for additional 5 minutes.  Serves eight persons.

Sources

► Buko Pie.  http://www.filipinobegatatianrecipe.com/native_delicacies/buko_pie.php

► How to Make Buko Pie.  http://www.mixph.com/2006/07/how-to-make-buko-pie.html

Visual courtesy:  myfoodaholic

Natural Refresher

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Beautiful skies a lasting impression.  Of curs, something else that makes quite lasting impression in an oily face.  Now, instead of investing on expensive mattifiers, cheaper alternative is to learn how to make your very own facial mist.  Not only do these solutions awaken the skin, they also degrease the skin especially after prolonged sun exposure.

Lemon Facial Mist

What you will need:

●  1 black tea bag

●  ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice

●  1 teaspoon (5 ml) calamansi extract

●  2 cups (473 ml) water

What you will do:

  1. Steep a black tea bug in one cup of freshly boiled water for about an hour.
  2. Mix one cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon calamansi extract, and ¼ of the tea in a spray bottle.
  3. Refrigerate and gently shake bottle before using.
  4. Remember to discard after one week if no preservatives have been added to the solution.
  5. Use cucumber, aloe vera, or witch hazel extract if lemon juice is unavailable.

Sources

► Lemon facial mist.  www/abc.net.au/wa/stories/s1386750.htm

► Herbal Refresher Mist.  http://www.makeyourcosmetics.com/recipes/viewerec.asp?id=105cat=facial

Make Loofah

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Loofah or loofa, known as patola in the Philippines, is a popular sautéed fare with misua (rice noodles).  But loofah’s popularity doesn’t stay in the kitchen—it also extends to the bathroom, as bath or shower sponges.  Some people swear by the exfoliating action of loofah sponges, because they leave the skin feeling tight and clean.

The good news is, you can grow your own loofah sponges.  Luffa aegyptica and Luffa acutangula are the two species most often cultivated in Asia.  The fruits of either species c an be grown in a typical vegetable or flower garden.

x_loofah_0042What you need:

●  Loofah seeds

●  Peat pots

●  Fence or a pole or string support

What you will do:

  1. Plant your loofah seeds in peat pots.
  2. When the seeds have sprouted, move them to a sturdy support system (fence or a pole and string support).
  3. Make sure the loofah vines are growing up and along the support.  During the growing season, the loofah fruits may become very heavy, with the vines reaching up to about 4 meters.
  4. Leave the loofah on the vines until the fruits have begun to lose weight.  This is a sign that the loofah is maturing on the vine.
  5. Once the fruit has matured, you can break the outer shell, and viola!  You now have a loofah sponge.

Sources

► How To Make (and grow)  A Luffa!  http://groovygreen.com/groove/?p=689

http://www.liffa.info

http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/11/how_to_grow_you.html

► Luffa.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa

 Visual courtesy:  boston