Monday, July 30, 2012

beginning to grow moonday

A new love is growing. Here it is in a little patch of burdock seedlings. Thanks to the lesson links given to me by Nancy and Deanna, I've practiced enough to know that I really like to crochet and have signed up for crochet lab.

Burdock, Arctium lappa, is a common, all-around herbal food and medicine. I originally planted it for one of my girls who had eczema when she was little and my intention was for her to take a few drops of gentle burdock seed tincture everyday. As it is a biennial, we needed to wait until the following year to harvest our own seed and by then I had forgotten about it. That next summer as my girl walked by the burdock plant one day, her long hair got caught in the burdock burrs. The more she tried to get away the more burrs attached to her hair. She cried and screamed for help, it was quite a sight -- the plant literally held her captive. There was a message there, I don't know that I heeded it, but there was definitely something there. 

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Capricorn. In other words, it is a working moonday -- Capricorn energy is all about discipline, ambition, and accomplishment. To soften these qualities and make the next days easier somehow, I choose to think of it as an energizing time for the many things I want to grow.

Capricorn influences the health of our skin and bones, specifically the knees. Skin care as well as making skin preparations is well done now. Interesting that the ingredients to make more rosa body wash have been sitting on the counter for over a week, I just haven't gotten to it. Today is the day.

Wednesday is our next full moon so I'll be making full moon art once again. I'd love you to join me and share your painting, stitching, photographing, knitting, writing, or whatever expression the moon stirs within you.

Wishing you a great beginning to your week.

Friday, July 27, 2012

st. joan's wort and hexipuffs

I made a little silk dye bundle this morning with the starry flowers of St. Joan's (John's) Wort, Hypericum perforatum. The silk is from a thrifted blouse and was mordanted in alum. This is my first attempt at dyeing with this plant -- usually these tiny precious blooms are used to make healing oil infusionI like to use the name, St. Joan's Wort, because it is a topical specific for burns and we all know Joan knows more about burns than John. 

I can finally knit hexipuffs without thinking. It took a while but it does become automatic after a while. Crocheting, for now, requires too much concentration so I'll still go to these when there's a little bit of time. This isn't all of them but I'm thinking about the colors now and if I even like them before I make too many more. I don't know. I was going for bee colors but am thinking it needs something else. Still deciding. Any color suggestions? 

These photos were taken on the pathway of the buddha garden -- it may appear that I'm a slacker but that weedy purslane groundcover is intentional! It keeps my and the dogs' feet from getting muddy plus it's nice and cushy to walk on. And I do try to keep it out of the actual growing beds.

Thanks for visiting and here's hoping you have some happy weekending ahead. xo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

one, two, three

Something new at our house. One, two, three. I want to skip down and back, over and over.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

practicing moonday

I think I'm crocheting, I almost can't believe it. You know that state of mind that comes with repetition? -- well I'm not there yet but this may be a way to get there in the future.

Today is a waxing moonday entering fair and balanced Libra. Now is a good time for teamwork, negotiating, and making agreements. And for cooperation and practicing peace.
Libra affects our our lower back including the hips and buttocks, kidneys and bladder. That means now may be an ideal time for healing and re-balancing those areas -- and it is also a time when those same parts could come out of balance more easily. As the hips balance the frame of our bodies, they also help us to carry extra weight -- a baby on the hip comes to mind because I'll have a baby girl on mine over the next few days. 
This morning I read a writing by the Nostradamus scholar John Hogue referring to native prophecies. They say there is an ever-increasing high-mindedness taking place within us, an energy frequency much-needed to take us forward in these changing times. High-mindedness is helped by being consciously open to new things including the unknown, meditating, and other positive life-affirming practices. Hogue also explains the exact opposite phenomenon called un-high-mindedness -- caused by thought used irresponsibly resulting in fear and psychic trauma -- mind plague, he calls it -- and how it contributes to the violence we are experiencing now. I don't usually want to dwell on this kind of thing, but it got my attention all right. 
The way I see it, the best thing I can probably do today is hold that baby on my hip and practice my crocheting while she naps. 

Friday, July 20, 2012


It's time to learn something new. I was once told that when a person feels like she can't take on another thing, to take on another thing. It was something to do with growth, one of those paradoxes. 

For someone who doesn't know how to crochet, there are a lot of crochet hooks around here. I can do the chain stitch okay, so I hooked a bit with different hooks and yarns to see which feels best. I like that word, hook.

Blue feels good even though it's the lightest weight yarn, I hope that doesn't make it harder to learn with. Does anyone have any YouTube recommendations? I don't think I learn this kind of thing very well out of books.

Thanks for visiting here and happy weekending. xo

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

things i'm waiting for

It feels like late summer outside today but it's too soon for that. This morning I saw a plum with one bite out of it on the front grass so I know we're getting close. Squirrels never wait for anything to get ripe, do they? I just picked a peach, a pear, and a plum from the back yard to ripen on the counter. Because I couldn't wait either.

The grapes need a lot more time, I love watching them turn from green to blueish purple. These are St. Theresa, a seedless variety that is unbelievably prolific with no special treatment at all. Nothing around here is babied, once in the ground.

In the dye garden, the indigo needs more time, too -- it's only about 18-24" tall and should grow to 3-6'. Woad has been easy to grow and seems to be a plant that instills confidence in the gardener -- like radishes and marigolds. The blue plate is a water source for the bees who live three feet away. There are also a few purple carrots for dyeing (like Nat) but the rabbits have left me so few it wasn't worth taking a photo. This is our first year ever with rabbits and it's been interesting. It may sound heartless but I sort of hope our depleted fox population has a resurgence soon.

I didn't plant the safflower, it's from birdseed, but there may be just enough blossoms for a small dye bundle if I wait a little longer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

re-doing moonday

You can return knitted yarn back to the way it was. First unknit it, then soak for five minutes in warm water with a drop of soap, rinse, and hang to dry. Then it's ready to be reknit. I learned this from Ulla

Today is a waning moonday entering the sign of Cancer -- the moon is only days away from completing another orbit around the earth and beginning its next. We can't see the moon now so this last stretch is called the dark moon time.

And we've just entered a period of Mercury Retrograde (until August 7). While there may be certain future activities to avoid beginning during this time, it is good to go back now -- revisit, rediscover, review, rethink, recall -- let's just say verbs with the "re" prefix that might apply to ideas, communication and travel.

Cancer energy pulls us inward right down to the soul level. This isn't always easy because we're emotional now too but we're also more honest with ourselves, and that can't help but be a good thing.

Cancer influences the chest and stomach areas -- that means both resolution and aggravation of problems in those parts may be energized -- and the healing qualities of herbs harvested now for treating them may be enhanced as well. One of my intentions this day is to listen for which plants are calling to be harvested -- drying for medicine, fresh for dyeing and cooking.

Do you feel the draw inward? I do.

Friday, July 13, 2012

it was just right

It was inevitable but I dreaded making the trip to my dad's funeral. I see now that I mostly dreaded the not knowing when and how it would happen. Every time I wrote to him or talked to him on the phone, I wondered if it was the last letter, the last conversation -- and if it was good enough to be the last.

But as it usually goes, my dread was unfounded -- he left peacefully, our last conversation was just right and the last letter was good enough, too. And then as we emptied our sadness, we filled ourselves with memories, talking, eating, and laughing. It was all just right.

I stayed in a hotel and didn't rent a car so I had some time on my hands. As I was walking around I saw the stones -- so I kept walking all the way to the mall and bought a package of sharpies. I've never enjoyed sitting at a hotel desk so much. My new travel tip is to pack sharpies wherever you go.

My brother drove me right up to some beehives near the home place. You'll see these every few miles. It was so beautiful there.

From a place of deep gratitude, I thank you for your kind words and thoughts. And I wish you happy weekending. xo

Friday, July 6, 2012

he loved cucumbers

I've been putting cucumbers in my drinking water. Just 7 or 8 slices will infuse a quart of water into an amazing elixir. And then I've been using the cucumber slices left from the water on my eyes to soothe eye strain. If you've never tried this, I can vouch for it.

My dad loved cucumbers from the garden. We had cucumber salad almost every night for supper during the summer. Supper could be as late as 10 PM because we waited for my farmer/rancher dad to come home from working in the field before it was served. We got hungry waiting so long -- my mom's comeback to any hunger complaint was have a banana -- so lots of bananas and cucumbers were eaten at our house.

My dad once wrote in a birthday card that he was the first man to ever love me. I saved that card. He was an older father in his 40's by the time I arrived, I'm not sure how he felt about a baby at that point in his life, I never thought to ask. He died two days ago on the fourth of July and I can only imagine his sense of freedom as he released his 101 years of earthly ties.

I'll be back next week sometime. Thanks for visiting here. xo

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

full moonset art

I painted while thinking of my dad today -- a full moonset on a wheat field horizon. Where night and day meet -- moonset, sunrise -- endings, beginnings. So many delicate yet unyielding patterns we traverse whether we see them or not.

And I'd love you to share your full moon art here -- your stitching, painting, drawing, photos, writing, or whatever expression is yours. Leave a link in the comments or email me a photo if you don't have a blog and I'll post it on the drawing down the moon page.

Moon sightings . . .

Visit here to see Joan's sailing full mooncloth.

And Nancy's peeping-moon is here.

Els just finished stitching mandala, a gift cloth.

Ms. tells us here about the Hindu and Buddhist tradition of devotion to spiritual teachers on this full moon . . . and more.

Monday, July 2, 2012

a small project moonday

Small projects on the table this morning. Growing the moon cloth. Deconstructing three silk blouses from Goodwill. Getting ready for full moon art.

Today is a nearly-full moonday entering Capricorn, a grounding time when a little more structure seems to be in order. Earthy and productive Capricorn compels us to organize, take care of details, finish projects and tie up those last loose ends. I'm going to try to consciously harness this great energy because goodness knows, I need help in all of those areas.

Capricorn influences the health of our bones, skin and knees. That means this would be a good time to both treat problems and avoid triggering flare-ups. I've been reading about interior and exterior skin as classified in the Ayurvedic tradition -- the interior skin lines the gut and meets the exterior skin at the mouth. I'm drawn toward the idea of nourishing my skin with probiotic-rich baths -- think Cleopatra -- maybe a nice full moon bath with yogurt and honey? Go here and you might be as fascinated as I am.

Tomorrow is the full moon and I will be making full moon art. I'd love you to join me -- painting, stitching, photos, drawing, writing, knitting, etc. --  and share your full moon art by leaving a link in the comments on my next post or emailing me a photo for the drawing down the moon page over on the sidebar.