Friday, August 31, 2012

blue moons

She's on the porch swing to celebrate the blue moon. The reason I go on and on about the porch swing is because this is a new one, a gift from my husband. It has a deep contoured seat and rolled edges that make it more comfortable on the back of the knees. The full moon is when to acknowledge the goodness in our lives and this swing certainly qualifies as that for me.

An apropos cloth to work on today? Happy weekending to you and thanks for visiting here. xx

If you'd like to join me in making full moon art, leave a link in the comments here or email me your file and I'll post it over on the drawing down the moon page on the sidebar. If you leave a link, I'll add it to the moon posts that you see below.

)* Click here to visit Ms. and see her Blue Moon of August post today -- there's art and music and trivia and more!

)* See what was revealed to Laurie on the drawing down the moon page.

)* Visit Nanette to see what beauty she drew down and then stitched into being -- a blue moon cloth, swimming in cosmic tides.

)* Nancy has begun stitching a lovely blue moon cloth -- now over on the drawing down the moon page -- and soon to be posted on her blog.

)* Be still my heart! Kathy, the Woodland Quilter, has just posted some gorgeous blue moons -- from a felted local harvest blue moon to an indigo-dyed moon scarf, with a few others in between -- here!

)* A magical blueberry knitted cowl and magnificent blue moon photo is up now on Cindy's blog. Her sons have magical names, too.

)* Jo and Laura found themselves without brushes so fashioned some out of pine needles and duct tape! See their paintings over on the drawing down the moon page.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

grapes and knitting

Last weekend I made and froze grape juice from the St. Theresa grapevines. The grapes are like little blue moons and the juice is as thick and sweet as syrup.

We've converted our children's play-set platform into an arbor -- you can see the ladder on one of the photos. And our porch swing hangs where the original swings did. We removed the slide and left the trapeze bar, but eventually a vine will probably take that over, too. This is my favorite place to be. 

The Concord grapevines grow in a different area nicely covering a chain link fence, but they're not quite ready yet, as you can see. These grapes will be made into more juice for freezing and a jar or more of peace and abundance vinegar.

I sat at the patio table this morning for my second cup. Practiced crocheting a little, then thought about what to do with this scarf I began about ten years ago using odds & ends yarn -- back when knitted scarves led a new knitting movement, remember? The problem is it has a back side plus it would need to be blocked. I remember realizing this early on, but I just wanted something, anything, to knit so kept on knowing full well it wouldn't really be a good scarf. The blocking isn't a problem but the back side sort of is on a scarf. Now I'm tempted to take it apart but it does fit nicely with minestrone knitting. Maybe I could line it? Or it could be one section of a blanket? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

easy does it moonday

Every night and every morning, I step outside for a moment. Last night I saw an egg-shaped moon against a dark blue sky with clouds racing over and around it. This morning I saw the same thing on a little garden altar. Some stone moon stitching is in the works already.

Checking the bindweed color in the iron dye-pot, the other bindweed dye-pot has an alum mordant. Making and freezing one batch of tomato sauce -- a little homemade Kuan Yin prayer flag there in the tomatoes. Knitting one orange hexipuff (thank you for the color suggestions a few weeks ago on the beekeeper's quilt).

Today is a waxing moonday in work-oriented Capricorn. Earthy Capricorn is usually ambitious and motivating -- so much so that we might expect more from ourselves and other people than is reasonable. When I spiral down that pathway, it's pretty much a sure thing that someone will disappoint me, and that someone is usually me. So today, it's one thing at a time and hopefully tasks that I can actually accomplish.

Capricorn rules the bones, skin and knees and may enhance healing treatments for those parts while at the same time flare-ups might occur. I'm seeing that Capricorn days and knee problems are eerily synchronized.

In the garden, this is a good time for planting seeds and harvesting crops, especially ripened fruit -- fruit is thought to have a stronger life force and stay juicier longer now.

The month of August began with a full moon and also ends with a full moon. The blue moon is Friday and I'm feeling the stirrings of some full moon art. I'm pretty sure it will involve the color blue! If you feel inclined to ritualize the celebration and fulfillment of this full moon by making art, please join me. It can be anything -- stitching, drawing, photographs, writing, knitting, weaving, etc. -- just leave a link in the comments of my full moon post or send me a photo or file for the drawing down the moon page on the sidebar.

Now let's go easy on ourselves today.

Friday, August 24, 2012

some real wonderful

All kinds of thoughts and feelings come up for me every time I see this Dancing 2012 video by Where the Hell is Matt? Anything else I say won't do it justice. It's been around for a few months I think, but if you haven't seen it yet, you're in for some real wonderful. You may or may not need a tissue. 

Happy weekending. xx

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

one side of the sewing table

On one side of the sewing table today -- a freshly-spray-painted old wire basket filled with strips of light-colored cloth. It was an outdoor candle holder from Target -- now I wish I'd bought about five of them because there's a place in the room where they could be hung.

And the Crosley ipod dock/radio, a garden bouquet, and one tiny feverfew blossom in a water-filled geode.

I won't be showing the other side of the sewing table just yet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

maybe moonday

A good day's harvest from our little garden. And a thrifted piece of crochet. I notice that neither contain the full color spectrum, but almost.

Today is a waxing moonday in Libra, the sign of balance, neutrality, and agreements. It is the perfect time to notice or bring beauty into our lives, especially with color -- set up or refresh an altar, arrange lovely vignettes on tabletops and window sills, make or shop for clothes, decorate, etc. We're only held back by those maddening moments of indecision that Libra often brings.

Libra rules the lower back, kidneys, hips, and buttocks and we may feel tinges of old injuries or experience flare-ups now. The balance here is that efforts to heal these same parts may also be more effective.

Even though Libra is an air sign, it is still a semi-fruitful time -- and along with the waxing moon, these next days are perfect for planting in the garden.

I'm thinking of making a pillow with the crochet work, maybe with natural or white linen to balance and calm it down a little? 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

i needed this cloth

I thought I needed energizing. I thought I needed enthusiasm. I thought I needed red, orange, and yellow. But all I really needed was to simply unroll what was right in front of me the whole time. And my stones from North Dakota. And some salty peanut jalapeno chocolate. 

I hope you find what you need right in front of you this weekend. I'll be here stitching. xo

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

wonders from the dye-pot

I unrolled the St. Joan's Wort silk bundle from a few weeks ago. As the leaves and flowers of this plant are perforated -- you can see the perforations when you hold them up to the light -- it makes perfect sense somehow that the cloth is covered with tiny little dots. Wonders never cease.

Brewing in the dye-pot is this morning's harvest of bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis. More wonders -- last year's outcome is here.

I'm intrigued by the light and dark values in a plant grouping on our patio. As with cloth, changing a color photo to black and white is a way to see if the light and dark components are balanced to one's liking. The size and shape of the leaves and flowers stand out more, too -- this reminds me of old garden books and magazines.

I'm hoping for no rain this afternoon or tomorrow night but I'm looking for our rain ponchos. We have baseball and concert tickets. Rain is predicted for both! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

back to the garden moonday

I'm going back to my garden now that we're done celebrating. The angelica, Angelica sp., a biennial, is beginning to bloom, and I've just realized that I have so much to learn from and about this plant. This excites me. The last time it grew here was many years ago, before I knew how to get to know a plant on a deeper level.

Today is a waning moonday in moon-ruled Cancer. A Cancer moon is a good time to nourish and nurture ourselves and tend to our homes and gardens.  We may feel more emotional and sensitive but we're also more receptive and intuitive. We can go deeper too and it may be easier than ever now to explore and examine desires and feelings long-suppressed.

The sign of Cancer influences the area from the lungs to the stomach, liver and gall bladder. This means that problems in those areas could be well-treated now while at the same time problems can be avoided by taking simple preventative measures. When I wake up during the night, unable to sleep after a bit of celebrating, I know my liver is working overtime. It's no surprise that it happened to me last night after celebrating our son's wedding for three days in a row. As Cancer is a water sign, healing treatments using water are especially effective now -- staying hydrated, beginning a liver flush, taking baths, or just soup for supper.

Hoping you find ways to nourish and nurture yourself.

Monday, August 6, 2012

come what may moonday

Come-what-may knitting in the spirit of knitted minestrone using whatever yarn ends come your way. It's a come-what-may week, too -- all the pre-wedding, wedding day, and day-after planning and preparations are taking form and coming to life. Many good people are packing suitcases right now to travel here. Dresses are being fitted and altered. More 4" clear glass vases, one evening bag, and one good gluten-free lasagna meal are still being hunted down. The groom's mother is wondering why she is getting a haircut the day of the wedding and didn't do so last week. And she is ardently putting tanning lotion on her white legs so they match her arms. And wearing her heels for 15 minutes a day to get used to them. Whatever happens, there will be a wedding celebration and it will be wonderful.

Today is a waning moonday in fiery Aries. Aries is ruled by the planet Mars which is generally thought to be warrior-like energy but I like to think of it as a positive and powerful force instead. For instance, all that energy and spontaneity generated by Aries can be directed toward brainstorming and starting new projects or editing and improving old ones. What may be lacking now is patience to see things through or to understand where someone else is coming from.

Aries influences the health of the head and face, from the top to the nose. Conditions like headache, eyestrain and nose/sinus congestion may be more apparent now. As always, this too will pass -- the time the moon is in each planet is only two and a half days. Be cautious, breathe deep and drink lots of water.

Tomorrow Mercury goes direct, completing its second retrograde of 2012, the next being November 6-26.

Hoping you have a beautiful week, come what may.

Friday, August 3, 2012

lammas log

I offered to bring dessert to the Lammas celebration tonight. Since I'm a little short on time for cooking because we have a wedding coming up next week (our son), it had to be easy. And for a change, I didn't want to think about nutrition -- I mean, it's dessert! So after not making this chocolate wafer log for 20 years or more, I've made it twice in the last nine days. The first go-round I had helpers and we followed the recipe on the package but this time I added two tablespoons of sugar. And grated Hershey chocolate bar on top. Ridiculously easy, fun to make, and good.

Chocolate Wafer Log: Whip 2 cups whipping cream, adding 2 T. sugar and 1 t. vanilla extract, until soft peaks form. Put 1/2 T. whipped cream on each chocolate wafer making stacks. Use the entire 9 oz. package of chocolate wafers, and then arrange on a platter in whatever shape you'd like. Grate and sprinkle chocolate bar on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Slice on the diagonal if you make a log shape.

Happy weekending and thanks for visiting here. xo

Benefit of the emptying nest -- mine to lick.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

(first) august full moon art

Learning to crochet is a desire fulfilled so my girl is drawing down the moon with her magic hook wand.

The full moon beckons us to recognize and name what has ripened in our lives -- accomplishments, gifts, blessings. For me, making full moon art is a way to ritualize fulfillment.                                                                                                          
Today is the first full moon in the month of August, the second "blue moon" is on August 31 -- not every calendar year has a blue moon. All kinds of imagery swirls around for making full blue moon art but I think bigger than I can do sometimes. As anyone can tell, I'm not a painter -- my little full moon art paintings are done on a 2.5" itty-bitty canvas and are primitive, at best, but boy do I love doing them. 

If you feel stirred to ritualize the full moon by making art over the next few days, please share your link in the comments or email me a photo or file. I'll post links at the bottom of this post and emailed photos and files will be posted on the drawing down the moon page over on the sidebar. 

full moon links:

(* See Kathy's full moon post and her lovely hand-stitched green corn moon cloth here!

(* As I was visiting Suzanna, I saw this most wonderful delicious apple moon photo.

(* Seeing Nancy's beautiful full moon photos against the dark night sky made me wish I was there on the balcony with her. :)

(* Nanette has a new puppy and you can see her Mirrhi moon cloth here -- and I have to add, the likeness is remarkable.