Thursday, January 31, 2013

calling the 4 directions

One recent morning I got up when it was still dark -- my husband got up at daybreak and called me to look outside. Beautiful. So I invoked the four directions with the camera, these are photos (the color is unedited) taken from the front porch -- the north being the clear blue sky.

Now I'm noticing the same vibe elsewhere, like the 4-square still missing one of its squares that I'm thinking should be blue now. The bedside tabletop with African violets and amethyst. A blue jay feather on a moon cloth in progress. Blues, pinks, and purples make me feel a certain way that's hard to put into words. But I can relate that it's somehow a sense of deepening and well-being. How do these colors make you feel?

I wonder what color the hyacinth-in-a-jar bloom will be. Happy weekending. xx

Monday, January 28, 2013

moonday cloth

Frayed edges seem to be everywhere. The January moon cloth is symbolic on many levels because over a lifetime, lots of edges become frayed, and not just cloth. Boundaries, borders, and behaviors -- friendships, relationships, and so on. If they are to last, they need attention -- shoring up, reinforcing, patching, preening. And once they start becoming so worn that they're no longer useful, decisions need to be made. Keep or let go.

The house is part of an eco-dyed silk shirt cuff; the eye is the buttonhole, inspired by Spirit Cloth; the door is black bean-dyed wool; the moon is the unraveling of a crocheted stone cover; the snowy mountain is part of a dresser scarf from Lyn; and the background linen is about 4" x 6". I am looking forward to strengthening these frayed edges with stitch.

Today is a waning moonday in the Earth sign of Virgo. Virgo time brings clarity and organization. If I find myself making lists of lists, then I pretty much know the moon is in Virgo. Other Virgo qualities are discerning, hard-working, analyzing, and patience. And this is also a great time for bargain-hunting, maybe even making a list beforehand. I once knew someone who wrote up a list of the exact things she wanted before thrift-shopping or yard sale-ing, and had great success.

Virgo affects the part of our digestive system that includes the intestines, the spleen and the pancreas. A focus or treatment for problems in those organs may be more effective now. Lastly, along with the Virgo hard-working impulse, comes a tendency to overdo -- so we must pace ourselves.

Wishing you a beautiful week. xx

I'd love you to join me with your full moon art -- stitching, writing, photography, knitting, etc.! Just leave a link in the comments anytime over the next two weeks (before the next new moon) or email me a file to be posted on the drawing down the moon page (on the sidebar).

Friday, January 25, 2013

woolen owl pennant

The listening owls have been in hibernation in a dark closet for a long while. But it's time now for me to be reminded of this message every day again.  I used the owl pennant pattern here at Moonstitches -- inactive at present, but still very much worth visiting. They consist of scraps of wool, linen and vintage buttons -- soft and sweet.

I gathered most of my smaller stones and crystals together. Following some of the meditations and exercises in the book Sacred Stones and Crystals, I hope to listen to and discover connections with this realm of Earth called the Stone People.

The 13 Moons have finally found their way onto a wall in the sewing room. Home at last.

Thanks for coming by and happy weekending. xx

I'll begin stitching a moon cloth this weekend in celebration of the full moon on Saturday. I'd love you to join me with your full moon art -- stitching, writing, photography, knitting, etc.! Just leave a link in the comments anytime over the next two weeks or email me a file to be posted on the drawing down the moon page (on the sidebar).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

homemade stevia extract

Last weekend I made stevia extract following Kristen's directions here using dried stevia leaves and 80 proof vodka brewed for exactly 36 hours. I've never been a fan of stevia extracts or syrups because I don't like its bitterness. When I compared a drop of this homemade to a drop from a purchased bottle, it was obvious the homemade is way better with barely any bitterness at all. So now I feel like I can jump on the stevia bandwagon and try some creative ways of using it -- I'd love some tried-and-true recipes if anyone has some they'd be willing to share. 

Using cool paper from an old garden book motivates me to actually get labels written and on the bottle. This is nearly the most important part of making herbal preparations because what good are they if you don't know what they are. There are at least three of these small tincture bottles unlabeled on my shelf and probably more than a few unidentified oils in the cupboard. I am so guilty.

The wooden bowls are new -- I'm thinking they'll get a lot of use around here. There's just something about food in a wooden bowl . . . and I've never, ever had wooden bowls before. I'd like some wooden plates next. The packaging is quite something, too. I'm not sure what to do with it but I'm sure I'm saving it. 

Wishing all of us a beautiful week. xx

Thursday, January 17, 2013

crocheted stone cover

It was the reason I wanted to learn to crochet in the first place -- the crocheted stone cover. I used this pattern by Margaret Oomen over at Purl Bee. I'm about to unravel the one I'm currently working on because I see mistakes. I'm still a beginner crocheter, I don't count and can barely read a basic pattern. But it is a start and I'm thrilled to be at this point.

The blue gaptastic scarf is something I can work on at night -- the yarn is so thick, the needles so big and the stitches huge. A person almost can't make a mistake on this.

I'm still saving avocado peels and pits for dyeing with but had an urge to do the toothpick trick again even though I've never in my life gotten an avocado plant to grow taller than about 8". I found the magenta orchid at the grocery store. I bet houseplant sales go way up in January.

Thanks for coming by here. xo

Monday, January 14, 2013

hyacinth bulb in a jar moonday

Linens, cottons, threads and lace. I read somewhere to gather items you're drawn toward and place them all together in a basket. Then see what happens.

It's been cold here, even dipping below 0 degrees, so I'm deeply grateful for the green nation inside the house. My hyacinth bulb is showing signs of life now, hyacinth bulbs aren't like paperwhites that shoot up seemingly overnight, they take their time. The trick is to not give them so much water that they sit in it and rot. That reminds me, I still have one more yule jar to deliver.

Today is a moonday in Pisces, a cool and moist sign. Pisces is a sensitive sign where boundaries and reality might seem blurry -- I almost envision a kind of fogginess. When conditions are so foggy we can't see, we must stay in and focus on what is clear. By moving our focus inward now with Pisces, we can find amazing inner clarity in the areas of imagination, intuition and spirituality.

Pisces rules the feet specifically but also intensifies outside influences on all parts of the body. Maybe now is the time to make gentle changes that strengthen and support problem areas in any part of the body.

Hoping for warm weather here where I live. And cool, moist Piscean weather wherever it's needed but especially Australia.

Friday, January 11, 2013

full moon art

One little 4" x 6" moon cloth that I'm thinking might someday be part of a 13-moon border on a larger piece. I absolutely loved making it.

My hope for this next full moon art series is to begin stitching a cloth on the full moon and finish it before the following new moon. And today is the new moon so it worked.

13 itty canvas paintings from the last 13-moon series all together now in the collage. I have some ideas on how to frame and hang the actual itty canvases but things haven't quite jelled yet. 

And good weekending to you. xx

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

sun calculating

According to a sun calculator, the sun rose at the same time this morning as the previous 11 mornings, but each day has risen a little higher on the horizon. So today is the day. There are only a few times in the year when the sun beams through the glass block niches by our front door.  When it happens, I love how light bounces off the walls of the normally-dark foyer. So this is what you see when you come through my front door today.

A little sign made by my youngest when she was about eight years old. It may be rightfully hers but I'm keeping it -- I think it's been grandfathered in by now.

And when you get yourself all the way in and turn around . . . well, it doesn't take that much to make me happy sometimes. Are you noticing this around your house, too?

Monday, January 7, 2013

moonday braided tassels

I hope to finish this full moon art cloth before the next new moon on Friday. I'm adding little braided tassles today -- the house braid is woven from some hand-dyed perle cotton by and from Jeannie. It is gorgeous thread.

A eucalyptus sandwich was made a few days ago with leaves, silk, and wool, India Flint style, to determine color potential. These are okay but I'm not having very dramatic results with eucalyptus and am wondering why.

And stuff on the sewing table this morning -- just started saving labels from the thrifted clothing I take apart to dye with.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of Scorpio. Once again, we're drawn inward to focus on our desires and cut loose of what we don't want or need any longer. Scorpio moon times are considered to be highly psychic so give your intuition credit and go with its flow.

Scorpio affects the groin area, reproductive organs and urinary tract -- that means now may be a good time for healing problems in those areas.

The feel of a Scorpio day is cool and moist. With our furnace running so much lately, I've been noticing how dry it's been in the house, the opposite of cool and moist. We realized the humidifier wasn't set right so it was an easy fix. That led me to research ideal indoor humidity levels and I came upon this article. Coincidentally, I know the author. She writes that plants in the home can create as much humidity as a humidifier and has an anecdote about it that I loved.

Wishing you a great week.

Friday, January 4, 2013

dyeing with purple carrots on silk

Plant purple carrots and stock up on silk cloth because they are amazing together! I'd seen the magic happen over at Nat's and Jacky's but until you're actually the one unrolling this goodness....

None of the purple carrot photos are retouched, only sharpened. This is how it really looks. There was no pre- or post-treatment other than ironing with dry heat -- just purple carrots and a strip of silk cloth rolled with one bit of copper pipe and one rusty bolt, then steamed. I don't know how colorfast it is yet because I won't rinse it for a few months.

Bayberry candles lit for our New Year's Day dinner, said to bring good fortune if allowed to burn down completely at first lighting (which we didn't do because I couldn't stay up that late, the house burning down wouldn't have been good fortune). New and old books and the softest gray hexipuff on needles waiting for me.

Happy weekending. xx

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

favorite day

It's been cold here. I've been wearing my 70's-style crocheted cowl every time I go somewhere and even around the house occasionally. So I decided to start knitting another one last night -- the GAP-tastic cowl -- basically 131 stitches seed-stitched for 15". After knitting some rounds in semi-darkness, I counted 130 stitches. This morning I looked at it thinking I had to take it out and start over. I mean who would continue knitting seed stitch with the first few rows bad, and more telling, what kind of person would do that on New Year's Day, when you set the tone for the coming year. Plus I would always know it was there. Would it be a foreboding omen for the year? And then I said ha to myself and left it.

Stitching on the house with an eye brings me back to cloth. Feels sort of like a homecoming, it's been so long.

This might very well be my favorite day of the year because I give myself permission to do what I feel like doing rather than what I feel like I should be doing. I hope you can do the same. Happy New Year. xx