Thursday, July 23, 2015

in the middle of summer


In the middle of summer:

::The Buddha garden has been in recovery mode all season long due to hail damage -- there are no vegetables or tomatoes ripening or even forming yet. However, because it's a cherished labor of love, I am willing to go the extra mile by 1) waiting longer and 2) planting more seeds. The waxing moon in watery Scorpio makes the next few days beneficial for seed sowing and I want to tap into those unseen forces. 

::A ballband dishcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting in the works -- the Peaches & Creme pattern is a favorite, just enough stitch variation to keep you on your toes. The soft and lofty Bernat Gloucester cotton yarns were a gift and are a pleasure to work with. 

::I didn't know an asparagus fern would bloom in our climate. But she did, and magnificently so. Hundreds of tiny blossoms, I feel like I should make a flower essence.

::The prompt for Journal52 Week21 was top 10 lists. Painting and wiping the page with layers of tan and brown resulted in a wood grain look. I love the way this journal is starting to feel with its pages all thick and wrinkled and warped.

::The girl with moon paintings above the little vase was my first full-moon art ritual -- painted itty canvasses, one for each of 13 moons.

::We decorated little jars with scrap papers and washi tape and then filled them with flowers. Our fourth grandchild was born just this week so these three bright spirits have a new baby-boy-cousin. 

::There are and will be miracles. 



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

swallowtails love larkspur



The swallowtails love larkspur and there's a ton of it. I didn't realize swallowtails have blue and red markings -- there is a way to distinguish male and female but when I looked it up, it hurt my brain to follow the directions. Whatever gender they are, they are very welcome.

The bouquet of fragrant sage can be added to bathwater, too. Week 20 of Journal52 is good advice -- the watercolor background is for Week 22, wings. The little box, origami butterflies and pretty papers are all from Daphne's Diary magazine, a splurge. Similar to FLOW magazine, maybe a little lighter in subject matter which is nice sometimes. And there's a good amount of paper/coloring pages/punchouts, etc. for future projects.

With the swallowtails visiting every day and the dark moon upon us, I've been dreaming and thinking about metamorphosis. How a caterpillar hardens into a chrysalis which in turn begins to produce imaginal cells. Imaginal cells are of a completely new and different vibration from the caterpillar and they reproduce until there are so many that they literally take over . . . and begin to grow into a butterfly. All the while, the caterpillar melts and liquifies to feed the new life.

I wonder if when people have meltdowns, there are imaginal cells being produced to create a future self that is strong and free. Gain from pain. I know I always feel so much better afterward.

I meant to pull up most of the larkspur last spring but never got around to it. So glad I didn't.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

getting the hang of it




From Mary Oliver's The Summer Day: ...I don't know exactly what a prayer is, I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields...

For me, I'd add...I do know how to cut & paste outside, how to plop down and stitch and sip under clouds a-building, how to be okay with weeds in cracks.

The prompt for Week 19 of Journal52 is outside in. That is, to take an assortment of materials and create a journal page outside. I really like the limits that working outside creates, didn't go back in the house for more or better stuff a single time for this page.

Same with handwork -- one needle, two thread colors and two cloths -- a Frankenstitch practice cloth from a class a few years ago and the little nine-patch from last week. A magazine article on using the blanket stitch more adventurously reminded me that was a technique in Arlee's Frankenstitching as well, so I went looking for the practice cloth with the least amount of practicing on it.

Macrame -- remember? Our large-ish 70's wall hanging is from a yard sale last summer and now I want more. I can think of many places to hang them around here, inside and out. The embroidery hoops -- I'm thinking of stretching fabric on them, maybe that would be a nice use for some of the dyed cloth that I don't know what to do with. There are more hoops in the closet too, they reproduce. Or maybe just a big wooden bowl or basket filled with hoops.

This is a waning moon week -- the next new moon is July 15. The waning moon energetically helps us to sort and purge. I thought I had already done quite a bit of this kind of work but over the last few mornings, more things have surfaced. Getting the hang of it though.

Well wishes.

Monday, June 29, 2015

the roses are fine


A little 9-patch cloth weaving in the works. I wonder if my color choices are a subconscious effort to replace the many flowers lost in the garden. Because we recently had hailstorm #6 -- I took that photo of a mound of hail the morning after. Our tomatoes have regrown their foliage so many times I don't know if they can pull off another resurgence. Cucumber, cilantro and basil plants are 3" stubs again. I've sowed more seeds but won't buy any more plants. It's just a really strange year weather-wise. 

On a happier note, the roses are fine. I've been reading and learning about roses and how rose spirit medicine focuses on matters of the heart. Love and joy are her gifts -- feelings that harden, weaken or break the heart are transformed. I don't know that anyone can feel anger or shame or any difficult emotion whilst breathing in the pure spirit of Rosa.

I'm hoping to dry most of this year's Gertrude Jekyl rose harvest for teas and syrups. A very small amount will be used fresh in the tiniest jar I can find to make tincture. By the drop rather than the dropperful fits my intention to experience plants on an energetic level.

Other summer doings around here: Japanese-indigo-dyed wool yarn washed and dried, labeling lovely simple wooden plant stakes -- a gift from Colonial Williamsburg, growing a collection of wild wood bits and pieces mostly from walks, concocting a journal52 page with a quote that made me literally sigh in relief the first time I saw it. Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life. --Brian Andreas

Today is a waxing moonday in Sagittarius -- I was moonstruck by last night's gorgeous gibbous moon. And have you noticed how brightly Venus and Jupiter shine in the west as they creep closer and closer together, night after night? They will be their very closest tomorrow evening, June 30 -- apart by only half the diameter of a full moon. If you're near-sighted, it'll look like one really bright star. 

It's getting exciting, I tell you.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

take the moon by its horns


I love the old, beat-up chalkboard as a background, a tray, a frame, and a place to doodle. It used to hang in our basement for the kids to keep game scores on so it has a long history. The camera focused on the flower, a gazania -- in this case, the camera knew best. 

A new pathway for June's moon stitch ritual -- the cable chain-stitch in orange. With all the rain this spring, some valerian plants are growing up to 5-6' tall, normal is about 4'. This stand of valerian, Valeriana officinalis, the little spruce tree and the bench are in a pocket-sized wild area and if you sit there and close your eyes, you can smell the mountains. 

Yesterday was a new moon in Gemini, the zodiac sign that helps us to be curious enough to find out what is needed for real change. In general a new moon cycle brings about opportunities for change and growth. So I am taking the moon by the horns.

It's time for me to let go of the first half of the year and begin anew -- yes, right here in the middle of the year. I've been over-committed for quite some time and nearly every day of the past year I questioned why and how I got myself into the situations I did. I began planning on withdrawing from some things and limiting others. I finished out my commitments, one by one. Rather than cutting longtime threads of connection I decided to cut those threads some slack instead to create distance and rest. And here I am at the point of completion that I've held in my heart to look forward to for so many months. 

June...sitting with beloved plants...and bees...crazy big chunks of time to cut/paste/paint crazy art...needle chanting in the sewing room while the pups Daisy and Talula sleep, the ceiling fan hums and aspen leaves rustle...listening to darkness outside...knitting on the porch swing...days and days in a row with no place to be but home.

If and (probably) when life turns from being into doing again and I find myself paying the piper too much, I will have to let it all go again. Until I get it.

Wishing everyone a beautiful June, what remains.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

viola seed bombs





We're way ahead of the game with all this rain, 10.21" of precipitation already -- our yearly average is only 14.30". In 2008, we had 10.23" the entire year. Another inch is forecast over the next 24 hours. Not sure what it all means or when exactly I'll finish planting. I do know exactly what window of opportunity means, however -- it means those hours or days between rains when the soil is dry enough to work and plant. We've also had five hailstorms, one very bad that calls for replacement stock in some areas and also a new roof.

The little bouquet of flowers in a salt shaker vase was a party favor. And my sewing machine is home again after a few weeks at the spa. She is repaired, cleaned inside and out, and has a healthy glow about her. Even though I don't sew that much, I am attached to this machine and really didn't like it being away. I thought about buying a new one but only for about 15 minutes because this one is the only one for me.

In case you like coffee substitutes, Teeccino has a new line of "tee" -- dandelion caramel nut made into an iced Americano-kind of beverage is amazing, I have one every afternoon lately. Lattes would be good too, I bet.

I love old-fashioned garden violets, Viola sp. Have you ever seen viola seed capsules? They don't form from petaled blossoms like their pansy cousins -- viola seed capsules form after spring bloom from small closed-petaled, self-pollinating (cleistogamous) blossoms along the trailing stems at the base of the plant. As the capsules dry out and shrink, pressure is created until the whole thing bursts to disperse its seeds. The original seed bombs. Being self-pollinated, these seeds are true-to-parent as well. From this one small clump it's easy to see how they proliferate so easily.

I find these cloudy days are conducive to waning moonwork -- completion, letting go, resting and dreaming. A forgotten 10-month-old dye bundle was unrolled -- those wrinkles are going to be impossible to get out though, right? -- the Hitchhiker scarf dance still going slow but easier after transferring to longer needles, a completed page for Journal52: treasure, and one new book bought solely on its good title.

xo

Q: How many fairy godmothers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Into what?


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

peony moon



As the sun rises higher, the house gets darker. I never really noticed this change in light until a few years ago when I started taking more photos. I like it though, it's easier to pretend it's not so hot when the light is dim.

The peonies. They have something in common with the lilacs this year, yes they do -- these Sarah Bernhardts have endured snowstorms, rainstorms and hailstorms -- and still pushed bud into bloom in record numbers. They are the shaggiest, cuddliest flowers.

The other day I sorted through the thread nest to find green threads of various shade and size for the woven cloth. But I see one red thread in the photo, it must have been too dark to see right.

The little calendar/moon cloth was part of 2013's moon stitch ritual -- when its month rolls along, each little moon cloth gets to come hang out again. I was struck by how nicely the June cloth coordinates with the card I drew on the last new moon -- the tower. Some people don't like to draw this card because it looks scary plus the meaning is one of change which can be uncomfortable. Other aspects are an inner awakening and clearing out old patterns and obstacles. All of which can only be a good thing, in my case.

Today is a full moon in Sagittarius. It's always nice on the full moon to take notice of that which has come to fruition. I see gardens tidied and planted (mostly), peonies and roses in bloom, newly-planted aspen, spruce and juniper trees -- and the greenest grass ever. And much more.

Full moon, full heart. xo