Monday, November 23, 2015

hitchhiker moonday


Today is a waxing moonday in earthy Taurus. Some common-sense Taurus aspects are strength, balance, patience and perseverance. Another big positive about Taurus energy under a waxing moon is that projects begun at this time will likely take hold, take off and be long-lasting -- anything temporary goes against the Taurus grain. Making changes can be harder under the sign of Taurus as well so it's best to just hold off a few days until Gemini. 

A little leaf punch was put to work. The art journal prompt for Journal52 Week30 is the road less traveled. Journal 52 will definitely be extended into 2016. The Hitchhiker (scarf) had a long rest but I'm back at it again -- 25 of the 42 total "points" are completed. I haven't read the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but am curious about those 42 points so might need to do that some time. 

I love the idea of printing images on old book pages -- just playing with it until something good enough to frame emerges from the printer. I've been drinking eggnog coffee the last few mornings. I love plain eggnog too, it's a good thing for my butt that it's seasonal. 

I'm wishing you a beautiful week -- thanks for coming by. 


Saturday, November 14, 2015


One little leathery-looking leaf guided my color choice for November's moon stitching. A simple chainstitch, this is #11 of this year's sewing ritual named pathways. I collected more leaves to press the other day -- when I opened the big phone book to put them in, it was still filled with last year's leaves.

Our bees were attacked by wasps and it was awful. For days, yellow jackets flew in and out like they owned the place.  According to what I've read, wasps try to do this in the fall when there is a shortage of nectar but they still haven't died yet -- only the queen wasp survives the winter here. They tear up the honeycomb and eat everything in sight including the bees. There's not much a person can do except reduce the entrance opening, set up wasp traps or try to prevent the wasps from re-entering. I just pray to the bee goddess that they didn't kill our queen bee before a balance was regained. I think there is some symbolism here with what's going on in the world.

The taproot tunic top (a misnomer because it's not as long as a tunic) is finished but it is bigger than I would like. Next time I'm going down a size and using linen and making it long like a real tunic. Maybe black linen, I can't wait.

I found two dye-bundles from last summer in a box in the garage. One cloth has decent pattern and can be re-dyed while the other disintegrates when touched. The November calendar cloth is from 2013's moon stitch ritual -- nice to revisit pieces from the past.

Our Thanksgiving cactus with all its buds in various stages -- "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." 

Image result for coexist

Thursday, November 5, 2015

homemade bias tape


The other day I suddenly remembered the Taproot Tunic cut out so long ago, before my sewing machine went on the blink and gardens needed planting and replanting and whatever else happened to make me forget about it. And I love it. Mostly because it fits perfectly but also because it was so easy and fun to make. The pattern called for making double-folded bias tape, which only increased the job satisfaction level. I couldn't decide which print to use so decided to piece together both and that is the one I'll use. More later when it's all finished (and ironed). 

I'm thinking up ways to use homemade bias tape now. I can definitely see myself in the sewing room some night very soon listening to podcasts and using up all my leftover fabrics to make yards and yards of bias tape. I need bias tape makers in every size, I do. And more sticks.

Fall hasn't really kicked in completely here yet -- the milk thistle, Silybum marianum, shows no sign of decline and the same goes for ornamental kale in a big clay pot. Serviceberry leaves are taking their time as well.  If anything, some things look better now than ever in spite of their much slower pace. I hope to adopt this same kind of attitude particularly the part about looking better than ever.

There's absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go very slow...~Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

full moonday and much more

Our family's version of Day of the Dead, Dia de Muertos...we lit candles, we remembered and talked, we laughed and ate and crafted...y mucho mas. (More on the way we do it is here.)

Eleven of us made little wooden shrines decorated with paper, paint, moss, sequins, butterfly wings, skeletons & skulls, stickers & flowers and much more. I finished glueing sequins on mine yesterday and then made a nice dandelion latte using instant dandelion bags and coconut milk. It was good.

To symbolize going into the dark at this time of year I'm stitching on the pathways moon cloth with black thread. I absolutely adore the color black on natural linen. The cloth is starting to fill up, this is the tenth of what will be 13 stitched pathways for each of 13 moons.

The full moon tonight symbolizes fulfillment and fullness, something I most certainly am feeling right now. I am wishing you a full cup, a full heart...and much more.

Monday, October 19, 2015

sometimes you feel like a nut

The Colorado sun is intense, flowers and leaves need good, strong color to hold up under its power. Lower-elevation aspen never achieves the golden color that mountain aspen does so it is worth the short drive to see it every fall. And it might be my imagination but the sky seems bluer up there too. Some nice bear visited the same trailhead that we were at, you can see her claw marks.

I went nuts. I roasted 1) sage pecans/almonds/walnuts, 2) spiced pecans, 3) tamari basil almonds, and 4) they are all good. The sage mixed nuts are an Alice Waters My Pantry recipe, the spiced pecans are in Susan Branch's Autumn and the tamari basil almonds are from Judith Benn Hurley's Savoring the Day. (I couldn't find a link for the tamari basil almonds so I will just say that you dry roast a cup of raw almonds for 4 minutes, add some tamari to coat them, dump them in a jar and throw in a small handful of basil. Then you cover the jar and shake it good to bruise the basil.) 

There is more tomato sauce-and-salsa-making in my future. Those Supersweet 100 cherry tomatoes ripen so evenly, a whole sprig can be cut from the vine with nearly every little tomato ripened perfectly. Even though Supersweet 100 is a hybrid and not an heirloom, I'm going to stick with it from now on, I think. 

Weeks 28 and 29 for Journal52 -- combining two prompts, mail art and positive change, by collaging junk mail bits & pieces, layered painting, doodling, and finishing off with a quote I always identify well with. This is looking like a 104-week project rather than 52 weeks, but that's okay.

Today is a waxing moonday in Capricorn. Serious Capricorn is work-oriented and disciplined, helping us focus on both long-term and short-term projects. Like the Colorado sun, its calls us to do our very best and show our true colors. 


Saturday, October 10, 2015

stack of stitchery

I've surrendered to Nature. The garden and grass are all hers from now on even though we are still having summery days. No more pulling weeds, mowing (well, one last go-round maybe), or deadheading....hopefully not much more watering. It is time. Every day I transfer one potted plant from the patio back into the house after a quick shower and grooming. And each day, I sort of decide who's next so they know what's coming. It's working out pretty well, I haven't had any complaints so far -- the string of pearls, Senecio rowleyanus, actually started blooming since coming back inside.

Canning was not something I wanted to do this year but I am making tomato sauce to freeze. The recipe is here and it's a dandy. Every single batch I've ever made ever has been good. The secret is to use a generous amount of cherry tomatoes for sweetness. The batch in the photo up there made six cups which is a lot.

The indigo-dyed napkins are the first three of a set of 10 or 12 -- or however many stained white napkins we have. On these three the stains are mostly covered even after being machine-washed one time. I hope the color holds up but if not, back into the vat.

My super blood moon pathway turned out to be an easy red zig zag trail with moon knots in the zigs (thank you for the suggestions). Embroidering pathways is my 2015 moon stitch ritual -- one for each of 13 moons.

Books, magazines, papers, stitchery -- stacks everywhere. Here a stack, there a stack. Happy weekending.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

making things

I've been making good use of the basic quart jar. The last pickings from a late-bearing elder, Sambucus sp., made up a second batch of tincture with the extra berries going into the freezer. I probably won't need to make elderberry tincture for a few years now.

The golden elixir in the threesome up there is oatstraw, Avena sativa, infusion, something I drink several times a week as a source of vitamins and minerals. I buy oatstraw and other tonic herbs like nettle and red clover by the pound and drink them on a rotating basis. Directions to make infusion here.

Hard to believe but that is one whole cabbage fermenting in the quart jar. I recently attended a program on fermentation and the presenter recommended using Real Brand Orsa salt from natural mineral rock-salt deposits in Utah. That is as close to local as we inlanders (in Colorado) can get, salt-wise. The presenter also said to place a few cabbage leaves on top of the shredded cabbage to act as a barrier during the fermentation process but I forgot to save some leaves so I used kale leaves instead.

Bone broth has been simmering in my kitchen the last few days. Every so often I roast a good-size pasture-raised chicken for dinner and then make bone broth with what remains. I make it Meg's way -- you cook the first go-round with 1 T. salt and 2 T. apple cider vinegar for no longer than 2-3 hours, then strain. Save all the bones, etc. and repeat for another batch -- the same way -- but simmered for at least 12 more hours. Meg even goes a third round but I haven't tried that yet. 

I am thinking about what color and stitch to use on my moon cloth for the current moon phase. I want the stitching to reflect the super moon but it just hasn't clicked yet, I'm a little behind.

The prompt for Journal52 Week27 is kindness. The vines around the heart sort of look like elderberries but that wasn't what I was thinking at the time. Some of the best things happen when I don't plan too much.