Monday, January 30, 2012

knitting ritual moonday

Life is so fast. Ritual seems to slow it down and helps me to pause and savor whatever it is I'm doing. A new knitting ritual is in the works -- last night in bed right before sleep, I knitted half a honeycomb for the beekeeper's quilt. This morning in bed, I knitted the other half. The night half was increasing, the morning half was decreasing. Sort of like a moon cycle. 

So I made up a little supply basket for the nights and mornings ahead. And do you notice the little blueberry-like stones around the Solstice candle? They are real and were bought from a rock & mineral booth at a fair. The man who sold them to me was an expert and I should've written down their name and where they were harvested from but I didn't. I think it was either Colorado or Arizona. 

Today is a waxing half moonday in Taurus. Some Taurus moon aspects are patience, tolerance, and increased willpower. Taurus energies are thought to be best applied to projects already begun rather than beginning new ones. I see these next days as ideal for activities that normally test my patience. Slow and steady as she goes. Digging in.

Taurus is an Earth sign that influences the jaw, throat and neck area including the thyroid gland, teeth, ears, larynx, and vocal chords. That means conditions of these parts can be either more easily aggravated or more easily treated and healed under a Taurus moon. On the healing end, it's good to remember that it takes time to heal, maybe longer than it took to get sick in the first place, steady progress being the goal. Also, Taurus days can feel cooler than normal so it doesn't hurt to have an extra layer of clothing handy.

Will have to find another time for reading with the new bedtime knitting ritual. Any yeas or nays on these books?

Friday, January 27, 2012

pinecones & honeybees

Wool, silk and cotton cloth went into the pine cone dye-bath yesterday. The photos pretty much speak for themselves, they're untouched/unedited except I sharpened the one with the checkered wool a little. I'm thrilled with the three circles on the silk (this was my first attempt at circular resists). The little circle is from a stitched-on penny and the larger ones are from a can and its lid.

It's snowing today, but yesterday was nice enough for the honeybees to come out. I don't suit up to tend to them in the winter, they're usually pretty mellow when they do come out. Yesterday, I had a couple get caught in my hair, and several landed on me. I thought oh, please don't sting me and they didn't! You see, not a single person has been stung in our yard since they were moved into the hive, and I didn't want my first sting just yet. I know it'll probably happen eventually though, misunderstandings are bound to occur in any close relationship.

Anyway, they were so active I decided to put an additional feeder out, a plate with maybe a quarter-inch of their regular sugar water. I soon discovered that even a quarter-inch deep can cause problems. Several bees looked like they were drowning -- kicking on their backs, trying to set themselves right, all the while getting coated even more with sugar syrup. Some made it out on their own, but some didn't. I was about to intervene but then saw, over and over, other bees rescuing them -- like lifeguards. They take care of their own.

Now I'm thinking about taking a class in goat-keeping. Home-keeping, bee-keeping . . . it seems logical, doesn't it?

Happy weekending! xo

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

wool stone rug

a need: the sewing room is slowly taking shape in what was once both my daughters' bedroom. It has light carpeting with a big make-up stain right smack in the middle that needed a rug to cover it.

a desire: I've been drawn to the earthiness of stones lately -- collecting and writing on them mostly, but have also been wanting to stitch some, inspired greatly by the magic diaries class.

Well, the need for a rug somehow melded with the desire to sew some stones. While going through some of my home-felted wools, I noticed their colors were very stonelike. Then I remembered the felted pebble rug here and searched for a tutorial but really didn't come up with what I was envisioning. There's this one using knitted balls but I already have the beekeeper quilt going and one long-term knitting project is enough for now. Plus I wanted to use the stone-colored wool cloth I already had.

The first three stones are stitched & gathered and lightly stuffed with wool. I'm thinking a lightweight base with corduroy as a heavier backing, but some details are undecided. Even though it's my favorite, I'm not sure wool is the best filler.

I'd love some tips. Has anyone made something like this?

Monday, January 23, 2012

new moonday activities

I started a pine cone dye bath this morning. It's brewing on a hot plate outside on the patio because I read that pine cones release an irritating steam. It's sort of fun to be cooking something outside even though it's pretty nippy. After I got the pine cones simmering, I made myself a new moon breakfast. Since the new moon will appear below Venus when we first see it in a few days, I made a toast crescent and a Venus egg. You have to use your imagination. Like this *). Then the crows came calling so they had both peanuts and an egg for their new moon breakfast. Today was one of those days where I woke up thinking about the new moon and it was a happy first thought of the new day.  

This new moonday in Aquarius isn't just the beginning of a new lunar phase, it's also the first day of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese tradition. I've only read a little about it but it's looking like a good time -- high energy, all things possible, powerful, and lucky.

I always try to do a few things to sychronize myself with the new moon's energy of beginnings and possibilities. I usually write some wishes on paper, cloth, or stones. Or make intentions by placing objects in a round basket. Sometimes I stitch something lunar or read something moon-related. I always draw an oracle or tarot card for guidance during the following moonth. Today I have an urge to write some wishes on the undersides of stones when I take the dogs walking. I'd like to make wishes for enough rainfall this year for the plants and trees to thrive, for clean air, for people to tread lightly and clean up after themselves. This comes up because we're facing a possible drought situation in Colorado again. Will I scare people off if they see me writing on rocks? On second thought, maybe I'll just mentally project my wishes.

The moon in Aquarius is a time for work and play in community with others so we may find ourselves drawn away from solitary activities and carried to and fro from here to there and back. It is an airy, imaginative and energetic time as well, befitting the first day of the Year of the Dragon.

Aquarius influences the lower legs to the ankles so we should remember to put our feet up and take a well-deserved rest. Aquarius is a good time for nonstrenuous types of movement. Another thing to remember is standing still too long often aggravates varicose vein conditions in our legs but maybe even more so under an Aquarius moon.

Hoping you're feeling the energy of possibilities. xo

Friday, January 20, 2012

goose print anchor

Canada geese migrate to Colorado in the winter and hundreds spend their days in the park where I walk the dogs. I don't let the dogs off-leash when they're around because it doesn't seem like good karma to disturb them. One more reason to walk later in the day when they've flown off to their sleeping park, also nearby.

Geese footprints look like little anchors. Not to be too airy here, but I got to thinking. Anchor-shaped footprints from a creature of water. Goose-print-shaped anchors stabilize boats in water. But anchors aren't just related to water, lots of things can be anchors. A physical body anchors a spirit. Roots are anchors, Earth is, even a focus is. Which reminds me of the Anchorites. I'm thinking about all this as I stitch on a nine-patch for flying dreams -- is stitching, itself, an anchor? The geese prints seem to be clues of some sort.

I'm wondering what comes up for you around this idea of anchoring?

Happy weekending. xo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

::on the kitchen table

:: The prayer flags are ready to be hung outside. Ready to align with the winds of change. Ready to release some hopes and wishes for us all.

:: Amaryllis in all her sensual glory. The stalk is 28" and the blooms are outright humbling -- all this from an egg that bears year after year. Only plant eggs can do that.

:: Piles of magazines. Every few years, I let go of a magazine collection. First to go was my Mothering collection, then Martha Stewart Living followed by The Herb Companion. Now it's the ME Home Companions. It's not a real clean letting go with these though -- I've just got to leaf through them one last time.

What's on your kitchen table?

Monday, January 16, 2012

chiming half moonday

A dark and light piece was woven this morning to the chiming of three angels. Even when the chime isn't lit, they make little tinkling sounds. The Sun XIX was my Solstice card for the coming year, appropriately, and the herb on this card is angelica. It's interesting that I planted angelica last year and it will bloom this summer. I normally don't really feel that much connection with angel energy but once in a while I bring angel objects together without even realizing it -- and I go whoa, the angels are here again.

Someday the weaving will be a moon, half dark and half light.

MLK. Today a courageous man is remembered and honored. Even though I was young and basically unaware of social issues when he illuminated the darkness, I feel lucky to have been alive at the same time, that in some way our lives intersected.

This moonday's waning half moon is under the sign of Scorpio. The waning moon phase is when to let go of things -- and not just stuff or projects but also inner baggage. Scorpio helps us to deepen and go inward to reflect on exactly what it is we want to carry along on this life journey. Just as the moon's gravitational pull lessens on the Earth now, we may more easily release that which we hold too tightly.

It's believed that a waning moon is the time to do things like mow the lawn and trim your hair and fingernails. I've been tracking my haircuts but learned there's also the season to consider because evidently hair grows faster in the spring and summer. So I really haven't figured anything out yet.

Scorpio's influence on the body pertains to the sexual parts and the urinary system. Conditions of those parts may be either more easily healed or aggravated. When you keep in mind that Scorpio is an intense water sign, this makes sense. A good few days to stay hydrated -- I've been forgetting to do that lately.

Good letting-go vibes to you. xo

Friday, January 13, 2012


I don't know where time goes. I do know I'm not alone on that.

I've been practicing some new stitches on the little frankenstitch sampler. It's nice to work on a sampler because you don't really have to make any decisions, you just thread a needle and start in. Maybe if I looked at my flying dreams project as a sampler, things would come easier.

The top photos are from late afternoon yesterday and the tabletop is the goodness I saw this morning when I walked in the sewing room. It just made me feel really happy.

Here's hoping you have a happy weekend! xo

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

mending day

This morning I woke up thinking it was crazy how materialistic we've become, that reality felt like the book Wacky Wednesday. Do you ever wake up feeling like that? And then I realized it was Wednesday!

Mending day was inspired in a big way by Suzanna's comment here last week. As you can see, these pajama bottoms were on their last legs -- I was planning to sew new ones out of a spare cotton sheet when the time came. All they really needed though was some patching right over the frayed parts of the waistband and one leg hem using cloth from Herm, a clothmate gone on to the great beyond. The cloth is thin and so soft. They'll be good for a long time to come.

Maybe more mending will make the world feel right again. You think?

Monday, January 9, 2012

art-full moonday

I'm calling the January full moon flying moon. Flying fascinates me in both dream life and earth life. Last night I went outside to see the night sky three times -- first I noticed the moon was a lovely soft yellow in a deep lavender sky. By my last visit, it was stark white in black night. For flying purposes, I preferred the former over the latter. Painted on a 3" square mini canvas.

If you already have or are still stitching/painting/drawing/photographing full-moon art this week, see the end of this post for how to link so we can share with each other.

Today is a full moonday in the sign of Cancer. For some of us, this technically occurred yesterday, but let's just say we all have a full moon right now. The full moon is a time to recognize and celebrate the fullness in our lives. I make a list on paper sometimes, when things to recognize, much less celebrate, don't come to mind easily. And it's always surprising how large that list turns out to be once I get going. Think of creative projects completed, organizing goals and officework/homework/housework accomplished, and relationships in a good place. Include questions that have been answered over the last weeks and new directions you've thought of or begun. Eating healthy food, walking more -- there's lots of reasons to celebrate in my opinion.

The sign of Cancer influences parts of both the respiratory and the digestive systems -- the lungs down to the gall bladder. Later today, the moon will move into the sign of Leo -- Leo affects the heart and circulation and is a mover of energy. While Cancer is watery and introverted, Leo is fiery and outgoing so hang on to your hat (or hair).

Share your full-moon art! Leave a link in the comments or email me a photo.

Blogger doesn't make a comment link active automatically like other formats, so I poked around a little to find out how and it's really easy. Just copy exactly the following black letters/symbols and fill in the green ones with your information. Don't miss that space between the a and h at the beginning and don't forget the quotation marks.

<a href="url address">words you want to appear</a>

Or, you can leave the URL within your comment and we can copy and paste to visit you. Either way is fine and this will be open-ended with no deadline! And I'll set up a separate full-moon art page at some point.

through the kitchen skylight

Friday, January 6, 2012

greencraft: prayer flags

My 2012 good vibe prayer flags have been started. I love making these simple little drawings with words of hope for all of us here on Earth. It's also nice to make at least some of the flags by candlelight -- maybe because it seems to create a sacred space. I'll continue on these here and there and by next Friday or so, they'll be hand-stitched onto a long strip of cloth and hung in the garden. Last year's flags with a little tutorial are here and here.

When I was writing morning pages today, I accidentally wrote "prayer lights" instead of prayer flags. A slip of the pen? When you think about it, hopes and wishes are sort of like shining lights.

The January full moon is this weekend. That means full moon art! I'll be painting or stitching a simple moon piece and if you'd like to join me (in spirit), that will be fantastic. Then whoever would like to share their art can leave a link on Monday's post. And if you don't have a blog, send me a photo via email and I'll see what I can do.

A several-years-old amaryllis plant close to blooming -- always feels good when it happens, like we did something right. Happy weekending! xo

Thursday, January 5, 2012

taking it further: stitching x 3

With the moon growing into fullness once again, this is a great week to take things further. So I've been stitching. Yesterday I closed up the neck opening on a brown peasant top that's been hanging in the closet for too long. Up to the pin up there. Because of cleavage and the desire to not show it. I don't get why an age-appropriate top would have such a low opening other than it's a ploy to sell a cami to wear under it. This is the second top I've done this with lately and I have one more to do. Has anyone else been noticing this?

Then I practiced a little frankenstitch.

This morning it was back to the hand for flying dreams. I'm loving red thread lately.

Speaking of, today I'm taking my thread stash further, too, for the frankenstitch class. Going to the fabric store to stock up. I think this'll be the first time I'll have made a special trip just to buy an assortment of random threads! So decadent -- does anyone ever do that? But, of course, I need to. For the class you know.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

another trade-off

Fudge. The kids took most of it home with them, but we have nine and five eighths ounces left. Wouldn't you know, the fudge turned out the year I'm on a diet -- even though my daughter didn't use a candy thermometer (I couldn't find one) -- even though it hardly ever turns out right even with a candy thermometer. It turned out, all right -- it's so good.

The trade-off is having a poached egg instead of my usual breakfast. At the other end of the day, I get an ounce or so of fudge.

This trade-off thing is okay.

Monday, January 2, 2012

trade-off moonday

I've been getting ready to shift gears and needed to do some rearranging. The Viking moved backwards into sleep mode, just started playing around with enshrining it during its hibernation, only some treasured stones so far but I've only just begun. Then my sewing basket moved front and center and this is where I hope to focus my energy now -- on handwork for the two classes I'm involved in, Magic Diaries and Frankenstitch. It's a trade-off. I'm noticing a lot of trade-offs in my life lately, and that's okay because we can't be all things at all times, right?

Today is a waxing moonday in the earth sign of Taurus. I've read that we may be inclined to hold back under a Taurus moon and maybe that's where making trade-offs is a good course of action. Once we're comfortable, then we can be focused and consistent with whatever it is we're doing. Stability and security are other needs of Taurus at the forefront now.

Taurus influences the health of the jaws and neck including the teeth, vocal cords, ears, thyroid gland, and larynx. Speaking out and being heard are important now. The color associated with both Taurus and the throat chakra is blue -- I'm thinking I'll wear a blue scarf today to self-nurture as I find and use my voice. Join me?