Friday, December 30, 2011

goddess bookcloth

Goddess bookcloths are my Solstice gifts this year. The triangular shape symbolizes the three lunar phases --growing, fullness, letting go. Giving moon phase cards has become a tradition, maybe bookcloths will become one, too. Some have found their way out into the world already, but a few more are being made and mailed every day.

The bookcloth was inspired by a beautiful soft sculpture Venus doll I saw in a magazine. My take is sewn from homemade cloth -- remnant strips sewn onto a remnant backing -- and homemade fringe. I played with interfacing as a stiffener but decided a bookcloth should be nice and thin with just a little bit of fringe to mark the spot.

I'm hoping to set up a page on the sidebar with a few goddess shapes to use for various projects, in case anyone is interested.

Happy weekending and, of course, happy new year! xo

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

this dark morning

 I love getting up in the morning when the house is still dark. Only in the winter though, in the summer that would be too early for me. Some mornings I'll turn on the party lights in the kitchen -- they're up year-round so I don't call them holiday lights. This morning, after letting the dogs out and making my latte and going back to bed to write morning pages, I lit my Solstice candle. And took pictures. Then I went back to bed again and just waited until it was light enough to start writing.

I'm still focusing on making my Solstice gifts. I think we're are at the point where I can call them New Year's gifts. A little early for Valentines.

Anyone else in my position?

Monday, December 26, 2011

crosley moonday

By no means am I a techno gadget kind of person, in another life I might've even been a Luddite. But I love the retro vibe of Crosley, my new companion in the sewing room. We are going to be good friends.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Aquarius. This last growing moon of 2011 feels special to me because we are still in the deepest part of winter darkness. The inner workings of what is to come are just beginning to stir, all we need do is nourish and nurture ourselves on all levels.

The lower legs may be influenced by Aquarius today and for the next two and a half days. Our legs represent going forward in life or making a change in our circumstances, seeming to connect them with courage. The only changing of circumstance or leg strain for me will be walking the dogs and going from the sewing room to the fridge and back. Oh, and pushing the sewing machine foot pedal.

I hope you are having a pleasant moonday on all levels.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


The crocheted hat was made and given to me by my grandmother, Lucia, one year. It was a pretty big deal because she had more than 20 granddaughters to make hats for. As I recall, she made mittens for the boys, another 20 or so. I don't think we all got them in the same year either, so it was special when your turn came up. My extended family is large on both sides, I tried to add up all my first cousins and think it's around 92.

I love the clearing energy of fresh garland and simple lights. I love the house still and ready for everyone to come over. And I love to remember that we, all of us, light up each other's lives. I know that each person who stops by to read this web log shines a little light on mine. As do all you whose blogs I visit.

Happy weekending! xo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

new life

Joy to the world, the light has come.

On Winter Solstice we celebrate the light's return and the many possibilities it avails. I'm trying to take it slow though by remembering that stillness and quiet in the dark incubate new life. 

Yes, I'm trying. xo

Monday, December 19, 2011

snowball-lit moonday

Early morning in the sewing room with the new snowball lights. I've got a thing for snowballs lately.

I've set up a separate project page for the snowball cloth on the sidebar. In the style of others who've documented their creations from a single large piece, I'll do the same with my vintage, handmade snowball bedspread. Homemade chenille is what it is. There was so much time and labor, not to mention determination, in its making that it deserves to be parcelled out thoughtfully.

Today is a grayish waning moonday in Libra where I live. There is snowcover over ice over snow over ice. Not fun to walk on but it actually is a good thing -- snow insulates the earth and prevents heaving of plant roots plus it fertilizes the soil. Yes, that's right, as snow crystals fall through the atmosphere, they collect particles of this and that -- nitrates, sulfur compounds, potassium, and calcium and more. Maybe yellow snow isn't the only kind to not eat, maybe we shouldn't eat any snow!

Libra is an air sign that affects the health of the kidneys, hips and bladder. I've read that the life force is stored in the kidneys and is best strengthened during the winter with rest and warming nourishing foods. Very much like bulbs are buried to overwinter before blooming in the spring. If we don't follow through with this self-care, we may feel the consequences in the spring. And today is the perfect time to draw on Libra energy for balance between celebrating and resting.

Doesn't "snow crystals falling" sound magical? And speaking of magic, has anyone dyed with snow? I think I'll bury a bundle today.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today I'm:

::making cloth from strips sewn onto a thrifted background

::making fringe from little clumps of yarn

::wondering if it'll come together the way I see it in my mind's eye

Happy weekending and happy making, too! xo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

unknitting moonwise

Moonwise, now is a time to cut back, let go of, and rest. Not exactly how I've been spending my days and some re-syncing with moon energy is in order.

Since it's been so-so cold out, I'd like to wear this red scarf I made a few years ago. It was such luscious yarn that I literally couldn't stop knitting -- it's 140" long including the fringe. Crazy, huh? Too long to wear -- wrapping it 'round and 'round my neck or even doubling it -- nothing helps. Besides, it's itchy. I don't know what I was thinking, must've been trance knitting.

Moonwise, I'm trimming my to-do list for the day. And then unknitting at least three feet. How about you?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

all were fed

Last weekend when the temperatures were in the 40's, the bees came out! It was wonderful to see them, I even suited up so I could get close in to clear out some dead bodies and widen the entrance for a little while -- and just be with them again, I've missed them. The beehive looks like Fort Knox because we're keeping both the cold and the mice out. I'd just refilled the entrance feeder when I took the picture so there was a lot of activity, comparatively speaking. The bees eat a 2:1 sugar water mix with a little extra bee food added. Still keeping my fingers crossed. And thankfully, the robbing bees seem to have gone "toward the light" so we don't have to worry about them anymore.

I like to try out new soup recipes so I made Marie's pumpkin soup from a pie pumpkin that served as a Thanksgiving decoration. About four cups worth -- half for the soup and the other half was later frozen for the next batch. There will definitely be a next batch because it was delicious! The squirrels dined on the rest of the pumpkin decorations.

So all were fed. And next up is Trish's onion soup.

Monday, December 12, 2011

painted mini moonday

I went outside last night to visit the still-full moon and this is what it looked like to me. Since I don't have much luck taking photos of the moon, I decided to try to paint it even though I'm a beginner in the truest sense. It was such a nice time. Now I'm thinking of painting or stitching every full moon for a year and then hanging them all together. The mini-canvas is only about 2.5 x 3.5 inches. From the checkout aisle at JoAnn's and inspired by this.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of Cancer. Cancer is watery and also emotional so you know what that means. I don't mind the actual act of making tears so much, it's the after-effects I don't like -- the puffy, sore, tender eyes that take at least one day to go away -- I hate that part. And I do think it's true that tears of happiness don't do that, it's the other kind that cause the problems.

Cancer rules the body area from the lungs to the gallbladder. So take deep breaths, remember digestive bitters at or before mealtime, and eat healthy. Digestive bitters can be something as simple as arugula added to salad or a sip of peppermint tea. Bitters stimulate the appetite and enhance digestion -- they are so good for us, it's too bad about their name. A bitter can't be taken in a capsule because it must be tasted; the taste buds reflex sets off the brain reflex that sets off the digestive reflexes. Some common herbal bitters are dandelion, hops, tarragon, gentian, and chamomile; a few bitter greens are escarole, kale, mizuna, endive, mustard, watercress, and sorrel. 

Here's to a day with only happy tears and healthy bitters for all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

vintage currier & ives pillow

I loved making this pillow cover. The Currier & Ives cloth panel from yesterday paired up nicely with the snowball bedspread. And I had no problem cutting into the snowball cloth, it had been sitting long enough. Even the thread was vintage and it didn't break once. Felt like a dream, it was so easy.

 Happy full-moon weekending! xo

Thursday, December 8, 2011

fealty to the past

Beware of shopping in your own house, it almost always inspires more, maybe too many, projects. I came upon my mother's 1964-65 McCall's and one thing led to another, starting with the cute little turtle tissue holder that I hope to make a few times.

Then I noticed scary girl and decided this is why some people are afraid of dolls. I realize she doesn't look too bad here but face-to-face, she's evil. Anyway the pocket on her jumper reminded me of the pockets on an old catering apron. (If anyone in your family has ever worked catering, you have these around!) The glittery crocheted snowflakes (?) were made by my Great Aunt Aggie and they literally fell to the floor in front of me. If I decide to take this further, I'll see how they wash up first before I stitch them onto the pockets. She would be very tickled at this.

Lastly, I spotted my mother's vintage Currier & Ives panel folded up and tucked in a stack of fabric -- wouldn't it make a nice pillow/cushion on a bed? Another take it further project.

Fealty to the past comes from qualities associated with Thursdays along with honor, family loyalty, harvests, clothing, and riches. Corresponds to my morning perfectly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

seasonal changes afoot

Seasonal changes are taking place. The snowflake curtains have been rehung, I think my favorite time of day for them is early morning when everything looks gray. But they're really beautiful at night, too. It's hard to choose. One thing I do know is they are among my favorite of all the things I've ever made in my whole life.  And so simple. (We're always wondering if the humidifier is working and, yes, you can see that it's working just fine!)

The winter potpourri is five or more years old and I keep it in a half-gallon jar in the basement most of the year. It's a blend of whatever I had on hand and whatever essential oils I was drawn to at the making. It's still nice and fragrant but I'm slicing and drying new citrus as the old has browned so much. I've read that potpourris can be kept going for years and years and I fully intend to do so with this.

I like doing a little something each day. I go to the basement and poke around and see what I can find. My only rule is it has to be something I really love. Shopping in my own basement. How 'bout that?

Hoping the seasonal changes taking place in your home unfold softly and easily. xo

Monday, December 5, 2011

keeping on moonday

I have a strong desire to make a winter cloth like last year's Lucia Moon so I'm going forward with a star moondala.  I've ironed a freezer paper star onto blue linen and am appliqueing moon pieces around it. I've never done paper piecing but think this might be the basis of it?

The moon is still growing and today is a waxing moonday in fiery Aries. Some aspects of Aries are action, energy and passion and I'm paying attention to how this translates into my creative life. Even after several years of taking notice of lunar cycles, Aries isn't quite clear for me -- certainly not in the way that Scorpio is. I hope to take advantage of Aries' movement in a couple of areas -- this moondala cloth and also finding my place in the green sleeveless sweater I've set aside for about a year. Proceeding.

With Aries, attention is once again at the top of the body, meaning the head down to the nose. Any worry about catching a cold may turn out to be preparation to actually come down with one. I know because it happened to me. They say viruses have a place on this planet, too, like any living creature. I'm trying to think of it like that anyway!

Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing. ~~St. Augustine

Friday, December 2, 2011


I thought I would begin to do something with these blank slates today or maybe even start stitching a foot for flying dreams, my Magic Diaries project. But then I noticed the moon is half-full and that made me realize that I'm not in a beginning place right now, I'm more in a half-way place. And I do sort of feel floaty and half-minded, come to think of it.

So these red threads seemed appropriate for today -- half-way stitches on flying dreams components. I didn't really have anything "attached" to the color red other than it's a take-notice-and-pause kind of vibe -- but I realize there is a deeper symbolism behind red threads and red strings. I need to look into that. What vibe do you pick up from red threads?

Happy weekending! xo

Thursday, December 1, 2011

knitted mushrooms

Oak-dyed-mellow-yellow joins red and white. Knitted, then felted. The white spots are bits of wool stitched on but if I make another spotted one, I'll needle felt instead. After stuffing the stem with wool and adding a little rice for weight, a circlet of wool is attached. The very wonderful  pattern is here.

I'm thinking a whole colony of mushrooms from tree-dyed wool might be a fun way to document wool in the dye-pot. No leaf collecting today though -- maybe pinecones.