Friday, January 22, 2010

Garlic and Glue

Garlic and Glue? What does one have to do with the other you say? Nothing really, just these are the things I wanted to talk about today for Feeding your creativity, mind body and soul Friday. Yeah, I keep tinkering with the name, bear with me. :)

Anyway lets start with garlic, aka the Stinking Rose. Garlic is an ancient medicinal plant. It is native to the Central Asian area of the world and thus you will find it in the cooking of the peoples that live around the Mediterranean. It is even mentioned in the Bible, as one of the seven foods missed and longed for by the children of Israel after the Exodus from Egypt. In Egypt it was highly prized and even found in the tombs of the Kings. But interestingly enough in the US it was not so highly regarded just half a century ago. Probable cause was it was associated with the working class which was highly made up of immigrants from the area mentioned above.

But that has all changed today and wither in 'ethnic' foods or everyday cooking to 5 star restaurants garlic has become a star. There is even one town in California whose fame revolves around the lowly bulb, Gilroy California, known as the Garlic Capital of the world, where their annual festival Known as 'the preeminent food festival in America' draws people from all over the world in the tens of thousands ( last year was 107,553, in a town of only less than 50,000). People come to sample just about any dish made with the star, garlic, that you can think of, including Garlic Ice Cream.

Now if you haven't attended you may wonder what all the fuss is about, and garlic ice cream? Well here's a fact for you that you might not know, garlic has natural sugars in it but they are covered up most of the time by the other chemicals that give them their 'tang'. But like most vegetables, this sweetness can be brought out with heat, mainly roasting. If you've ever tasted a roasted carrot you'll know what I mean. But the best way to eat garlic for health reasons, and they are numerous, is to eat it raw. Why raw? because that same heat that brings out the sugars and sweetness of the bulb also destroys certain properties garlic possesses that will bring you good health.

These are allicin and Diallyl sulphides. The most important thing you need to know is that the allicin and the Diallyl sulphides only appear when the bulb is crushed, or when you have some in your mouth to chew it up. Allicin is created when garlic is crushed or otherwise damaged, the alliin reacts with the enzyme allinase, also found naturally in garlic. Allinase acts as a catalyst and results in the transformation of alliin into allicin. This allicin is what is so great about garlic, it has been shown to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Very similar to last weeks star food, Coconut oil. But in order to benefit from these you must consume them shortly after the crushing has taken place. So if you make a salad dressing and include crushed garlic you should make it right before serving or add the fresh crushed garlic right before serving.

Now the garlic I use is from my organic farm and I am still using it and haven't gotten any since the summer harvest last year. It does increase in potency and strength. Be sure to store it in a cool dark place and watch out for any mold setting in. I like to grate ( not chop) some fresh over pasta (even though I've used it in the making of the sauce and meatballs etc) or even chicken soup, grate some fresh and put in the bowl just before serving, ladle the soup on top. You can do this on salads, fish, sandwiches, omelets, whenever you feel a sniffle coming on.

Some precautions, high intact of garlic may react with certain drugs so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using this in a medicinal way. Also beware of allergies and sensitivities. When garlic is older the juice can burn the skin or the mouth or your insides, so make sure you are aware of this and that you eat it with other food. I have bitten into a piece and it did burn my lip a bit but goes away when washes off with water or more food.

Fresh organic Garlic has so many wonderful things about it I hope you will look into it more. I've even seen where it makes a great natural mosquito repellent and no you don't have to wear it! So take a look around the internet and find out what this wonder herb can do for you!


Now lets talk about glues. In the creative world there are lots of glues and just about every project one takes on involves glue in some stage of the process. I am not going to go through a whole dissertation on glues here, that information can be found easily around the web. I just wanted to share with you some things I've learned about certain glues.

Hot Glue- I happen to own the Aileens Glue gun, I think I purchased this either through a store sale or on a home shopping club, it's been so long ago (15 years?) that I've forgotten where, but that should tell you that it is a good one and long lasting. Aileens takes all kinds of glue sticks and has a range of them in their line, floral, paper, metal/jewelry, foam, fabric and more. I think this is why I love it so much, it also comes with numerous tips to get the glue to flow just how and where you want it and has it's own kick stand that works well and a carrying case for on the go crafting or easy storage of all parts. I went online to look up if they still make them, and they do, in fact it now is dual temp which is an addition to mine. You can find one at Michaels. I mostly use this for quick gluing or as a temporary clamp. Some items need to be glued quickly but don't work with epoxy well, such as fabric. I've used this on my Pincushion rings (shown back on What's new Wednesday) and it works great for holding the fabric to the base. You also don't have to worry about the messiness of mixing epoxy for such a project.

One word of caution when using a hot glue gun, always keep a bowl (not glass, something big enough to get your hand in) of cold ice water close by, but not so near that the gun could fall in. This is case, and I really mean 'when' the hot glue gets on you, you can plunge your finger, or hand into the bowl to give immediate relief and then peel the glue off carefully. No need to have burnt and sore fingers for the rest of your projects, remember, your hands are you most precious tool in any kind of art or craft.

Gel Medium - I am finding a use for this more and more. I love how it glues paper together for collage, also there are transfer abilities I've been exploring. It's thick but not so much as other thick glues, and has a body that spreads better and less sticky. Wait for a sale and get yourself a jar (I prefer matte finish) and do some experimenting.

Super Glue - I've tried all kinds of Super Glues and none have worked as well for me as Zap-a-Gap. This is what's classified as a Cyanoacrylate Glue if you were a fan of the Carol Duvall show. This is the only kind I use, especially for use with polymer clay. Not all glues react well with polymer clay and that isn't always immediately apparent.

Known well in the sporting world, especially in sport fishing for its ability to work on things that are going to be wet, such as fishing flies, this glue to me is superior for many jewelry and polymer clay projects.

One word of caution though, this stuff bonds fast, so be ready to place your two pieces together. Also even though it works on greasy areas, it's always best as with any project to take an alcohol wipe and wipe both parts you plan on gluing together and give it a moment to dry. The applicator tips are great for precision work but you can still get this glue on yourself. EXAMPLE: once I was gluing a cord into a bead. I was holding the end of the bead and put the glue on the other end. I held it for a minute waiting for it to set (usually only takes 10 seconds) and then I went to put it down and my thumb and index finger were glued together. And not just a little bit, a good quarter inch of skin was bonded together. It took some quick searching on the net to find what to do then to find a place that carried the remedy. We called just as the only place in town that had it at the time was closing. Thankfully they stayed open until my husband could get there and buy me two bottles. Meanwhile I felt like my left hand was in a weird hand cuff of sorts, very unsettling! What ever you do , DON'T try to pry your fingers apart, you will tear your skin right off and an ER visit will ensue. Cheaper to have the remedy on hand. It is made by Zap and called a Z-7 De-bonder. It takes a bit of time to work it free but it works. While I was waiting for him to bring it back I tried what is recommended for other super glues, nail polish remover. But that didn't budge my fingers a bit. So make sure you have this on hand, just in case. But if you do notice you have gotten it on yourself. Sometimes I use a hand wipe to wipe it off quickly, but best to just let it dry (will only take a minute for sure) and then you can use an emery board on the fine side to carefully sand it down, but watch you don't sand your skin off too!

Glue dots or Epoxy dots - I found these in the scrap-booking area when looking for a glue to use with polymer clay and paper. (Zap-a-Gap doesn't bond with paper and PC). At the time, over a year ago now, I was trying to come up with a unique business card for OrganicOdysseys. I had seen many unique ones online for other businesses and wanted something that would represent me, my work and be as eco-friendly as possible (not be thrown out soon!). So I came up with making my own business cards, leaving a space available to attach a small sample of my work. A medallion with the imprint of an organic leaf, flower, or veggie. These dots seemed perfect. No mess of wet glues, no chance of warping the paper of the card because of the wetness of the glue.

I made dozens of these and sent them out. I also employed the dots to hold up samples of stamped clay with various colors of metallic powders on them near my work table so I could see at a glance how they would look before applying to my project. One day I noticed that the top tile fell off. I picked it up and stuck it back on with the dot that was already there. It stuck. I figured I hadn't pushed hard enough or something. Then about a week went by and I found it on the floor again. It was funny, it seemed only this one was doing it, so I figured that perhaps there was something on the paper making this happen. Then the other day I went to grab one of the cards I'd made with my medallions on and the medallion fell right off. The Glue could still be seen on it, but it was no longer holding to the card. See the top of this post, that is the same card with the medallion laid over where it used to stick. This photo is the back side. As you can see the glue has stayed on the polymer piece but is not sticking to the card. I noticed that there is a blochy darkened area where the medallion was, looks like some kind of reaction that soaked into the card and thus caused separation. Now these were fine months ago, but now something has made them release and besides the fact that people all over have my card that is falling apart, I now have to find something that will work just as well with the same properties (ie, no warping, ease of placement) but stick for good! If anyone knows of a glue that will do this, please let me know! The brand I was using is 'CRAFT' and it states it can be used on paper (of course, scrapbooking!), and also plastic, wood, foam and more. They have a patent and their website is If anyone has any info to share, I'd appreciate it!

So there's my little run down on glues. I have in my glue arsenal at least two dozen more, but will save that for another day!



  1. I actually was the Honor Guard Captain for the Air Force (DLI at the Presidio of Monterey) in 1988 and marched in the parade at Gilroy!

    I just bought my first jar of Gel Medium for a class -- and I wrote on my blog a few weeks ago about getting SuperGlue in my mouth.

    Don't ask.

  2. Love your garlic ideas, well we Palumbos love everything garlic! My son's favorite jelly is garlic jelly ;)
    Any recommendations for where to buy Zap a Gap?

  3. Lori - you can't leave me hanging like that! Let me guess, you were using your mouth as an impromptu vise while glueing something together (a third hand would come in handy many times when crafting wouldn't it?) :)

    Jill, it used to be that you could only get it at sporting goods stores, fishing tackle places, etc, but now I see it a lot in my local crafts stores like Michael's and AC Moore, I think JO-Annes carry's it, not sure about Hobby Lobby, but they might.



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