Saturday, May 25, 2013

Orange you Glad!

After weeks of school, utter exhaustion, vacations, and life getting in the way...Emilee and I are finally getting to hang out and have a Pinterest/Pinstrosity day! We're pretty excited about this and we have some fun projects in the works that we'll show you in a few days.
With summer rolling in I've been trying to find summery and cheap ways to liven up the d├ęcor and to add some fun summer pizzazz to the house. I love having the windows open, the breeze blowing in, and all the summer smells sifting around. I have been trying to think of things I could leave on the windowsill to pretty things up and maybe add some nice summer scent. I hadn't gone as far as looking on Pinterest yet...wasn't that motivated yet, but one nice thing about this blog is that sometimes ideas come to us in forms of submissions. Sarah-Jane sent us a Pinstrosity she had on her windowsill and, this may seem odd since it didn't work so well for her...but I think I'm going to try it.
The Original Pin:
Sarah-Jane says, "The idea is to peel an orange in one continuous piece and then use the peel to make cute orange-scented decorative flowers or roses by rolling them up and letting them dry out."
"Attached are my versions. In the first picture you might notice the 'orange roses' are on a plate full of crumbs, that's not where I was keeping them after I made them (they were on my windowsill) but I put them there when I realised what was happening..."
"First of all I was quite pleased with the result and even as the peel dried a bit, the edges became more crinkled and petal-like. However, I started to notice an ant crawling around on my window sill. Now, I'm a very clean person and never leave food lying around. I had a closer look at the orange-roses doing their job prettifying my window sill, and noticed something else starting to bloom in the middle of the orange-rose peel..."
The Pinstrosity
Sarah-Jane definitely didn't like the direction these took. "I don't really know what other conditions I could have put them in so that they would dry out without going mouldy but this was definitely becoming a health hazard, especially if ants were being attracted to my room. The orange-roses were destined for only one place - the compost heap!"
I'm so sad that these didn't turn out! I love how the original ones look in the Pin. Here are my thoughts on this. If you're leaving these out in the open to dry out, your climate will make a huge difference. My sister just moved from Mississippi and she said that if her little boy spilled water (or drooled) on his shirt and they just threw it in the hamper, the next morning it would be stained with mold. Humid climates will not allow an orange peel to dry out completely. Out here in the Southwest, I think these would work great. In fact I know they would because I've left orange peels out on the counter (I wish I could say I was as clean as Sarah-Jane) and they've dried out almost within hours. You may be able to dry these out in the oven (lowest temp possible!)...but that's just a guess...never tried it before. If you do live in a humid climate, you'll need to dry these out before setting them out, or they will most likely mold.
I think I need to get me some oranges and try this out, because I love how those look! Thanks Sarah-Jane for sending this in. I'm sorry yours didn't work out...but I'm glad to have the idea now!
I hope you all have a great Saturday! We're off to rummage sales to find the perfect touches for our projects. Have a most wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


  1. I think of things with dried orange peel as such a winter thing!

  2. I live in Atlanta - part of the humid south. What I do is save all those little packets of silica that come when you buy electronics. I keep them in a ziploc baggie in the pantry. whenever I have a project like this, I throw whatever I'm drying in a box with a couple of silica packets to help them dry out enough to not mold. You can reinvigorate the packets by heating them in a warm toaster oven for 5 ish mins - not enough to cook them - just enough to dry them out again. Or, you can buy silica for drying flowers at any hobby store like Michael's.

  3. Thanks Emilee and Marquette for featuring my Pinstrosity. Yep, must be the humidity that did it! Over where I am in the UK, we have had a distinct lack of summer weather and it has been raining a lot - I'm quite envious of your long hot summers!

  4. Another idea might be freeze drying. Turns out you can freeze dry things at home in your freezer, it just takes around a week or so to do it. Basically, you do all the opposite of the things you normally do to avoid freezer burn. Put things out in the open in your freezer, ideally on a grate or something so that air can get underneath, and let the cold dry it out for you.

  5. Best thing to do in humid climes (I did a pomander in Mississippi not too long ago) is to make sure there's air all around the fruit you're trying to dry. If it's touching anything, anywhere, it'll mold. Whenever I lived in a humid place (Mississippi, Virginia, Florida...) and I made anything like this, I just put it on a screen of some sort or tried to tie it with string and dangle it. Putting it over a vent on the or a fan works well too to speed the drying process.

    Oddly, when I tried to make a pomander here in New Mexico last year, it molded. Weird.

  6. The humidity ruins a lot of 'neat' projects. Should have seen my toilet paper plant starts.... I had to throw away everything lost ALL my seeds because of mold. Evil mold! I think we should hold a protest about mold and how we don't want it in our homes! (speaking of which tonight I got to go scrub the ceiling and tub again it's about a once a week thing in humid KY).
    I agree though drying the orange peels might work like how you would dehydrate other food stuff. Between 125-130 (whatever the lowest setting on your oven is. Though expect the overpowering scent of orange during the process.

  7. If you bake int the oven on low temp it will dry them out and keep them from molding

  8. Twice, back in the good ol' potpourri days, I attempted to dry orange peels. I live in the Midwest and we definitely have humidity, but the bane of my orange peel existence was worms. No matter the time of year or where I put the peels they always ended up wormy. So gross! I've never given dried orange peels another thought...but with these new tips I might give it a third go. Thanks :)

  9. I live in Oregon so it's not terribly humid so I don't know if this will work for sure in a humid area, but it's worth a shot!

    My grandma used to dry flowers. She kept a tub full of what I believe was fine sand and borax (powdered laundry detergent at least), and carefully bury the flowers she wanted to dry in it. She left them in for a few days, and when they were done they'd still smell great and kept their shape perfectly.

  10. Try burying the peels in a mixture of fine sand and powdered laundry detergent (borax).

    My grandmother did this to dry flowers and they turned out beautifully every time. We live in Oregon though, so I don't know if it still works in more humid climates.


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