Friday, December 28, 2012

an eye for the moon

I started a little 4" x 7" moon cloth today to celebrate the full moon in the sign of Cancer. A house with an eye for the moon. This is sort of how I feel -- content to stay put, with an eye for the moon while the future incubates. Nice to be able to do this. I'll be stitching for some time yet -- even though it's small, there's a good amount to be done.

A new cycle of full moon art begins with today's full moon. I'd love you to join me and leave a link in the comments or email me a file for the drawing down the moon page on the sidebar.

(* Kathy, the Woodland Quilter, posted about her moon cloth today -- go here to see all her lovely blocks up on the design wall!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

hyacinth-bulb-in-a-jar yule gift

Yule gifts. Hyacinths. Reminders that we, too, have all we need inside us to grow and bloom.

I am grateful beyond words for the many wonderful, synchronistic connections this woman with wings place has created for me. And I am wishing very hard for a peaceful, loving world for us all. xo

Friday, December 21, 2012

little cloth balls

Today is Winter Solstice where I live. When I got up this morning at 6:30 it seemed a little lighter outside compared to the last four mornings that I've gotten up at 6:30. Anyway, I know that technically the increasing light won't be noticeable for a while yet, but still. It seemed lighter.

About joy -- the j is a rusty piece for dyeing projects, the berry o has been lying around waiting for something to decorate and the twig y is always on the back of the counter where I can see it. And that is how I made joy today.

And then I made some little cloth balls like on the 15 cotton napkins I bought yesterday at a close-out store. The little balls are a good use for thread ends and pieces of cloth and take probably less than a minute to make. I don't really know why or what I'm making them for, but I just love them so much.

Joy to you. xo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

finished and begun

It's snowing today -- someone's lunaria moonseeds would be mailed to them if only it would stop. And here is the green sweater. Such a to-do, I tell you. It's very loose but I tell myself that's sort of the style now. I may put in a pleat or gather the back a little. I definitely should have made it one size down because my gauge was right on. 

It seems I've turned into my grandmother -- African violets, crocheting, and variegated yarn. This is to be an infinity hood/scarf and I deliberately chose the wool for its funky 70's vibe.

I like to crochet, I think I get it now. It helps take the edge of things -- I get that, too. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

looking forward to . . .

Eucalyptus is everywhere all of a sudden, I guess it's considered a holiday green? This huge bunch was only $5.99 -- to be enjoyed in the vase with eyes for a time and then in the dye-pot.

The green sweater has been blocked once, and again a second time in certain areas that still curled. Shaving it is like mowing a green lawn. I haven't tried it on since before I started all this blocking, it takes days to dry. It's too wide, I already know. And a little short, I know that, too. But it'll be just fine because it has to be.

I just finished reading Fifth Business by Robertson Davies and loved it, I missed this one in the 70's. It's part of a trilogy so there's the other two to look forward to now. I don't read for pleasure as much as I used to but more than once, I've caught myself reading a book I'd already read. Thus a book list was begun a few years ago -- kept in the same journal that holds favorite quotes and phrases. Maybe I'll add my book list to the sidebar here, I know I always like seeing what other people are reading.

Clothwise, I'm thinking of stitching houses with eyes like on the book cover. Another wonderful thing to look forward to.

I've just removed my happy weekending line. Because I've just learned about the darkest of dark journeys that so many families suddenly find themselves on today. Numbing. Love and peace to us all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

moonday snowflake curtains, etc.

I was hoping that winter would finally arrive and it seems to have happened. Today I ironed and hung the snowflake curtains. This is their third year now and I still love them.

Yesterday I made lace cookies for a brunch potluck. There is a learning curve on these -- the recipe said to use foil but what a mess that was, nearly every one broke or cracked. I don't have silpat sheets (but will definitely think about getting some now) so subbed parchment paper and it worked. They are sweet but really light, like eating air almost. You can sprinkle powdered sugar or drizzle chocolate on them, too. I left them naked because they took up too much time as it was.

Tomorrow I will finally get to blocking the green sweater. I've got anxiety over it for several reasons, I wish I had a blocking board. And I'm concerned about the furry coating all over the sweater already -- do I shave it off before or after blocking, if anybody knows? I ask because I read about wool "blooming" during the blocking process. What the heck does that mean? My next big project is still to be discovered. In the meantime, I'll either be casting on -- or -- hooking on a cowl scarf and looking at more knitting books. This choosing process only occurs every so often for me because I'm so slow, but it's almost the best part of beginning a new project. It's why I even have knitting books.

This moonday we have a waning moon in the sign of Scorpio. Scorpio is intense, takes us inward, and helps us to end things. It affects both the reproductive system and the urinary tract. I only have one thing to say about ending urinary tract infections and it is D-mannose. If they are a problem for you, read about it. I use a combination of D-mannose capsules with doses of an antibacterial/antiseptic/demulcent herbal tincture blend, and unsweetened cranberry juice -- and have had good results.

We are approaching the time of the dark moon, we can't really see the moon at all now. This is a time of trust and hope that it will show itself once again. In the same way sunlight returns each morning. And winter or summer finally arrives.

Or the next knitting project appears. To trust and hope.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

finding and making

The garland I started last month seemed to need a little something more -- and vintage red buttons are it. It was fun to make this.

I forgot about the carrots in the garden! Until this morning, that is. Their seed was for assorted colors and I was hoping to get mostly purple for dyeing cloth. I don't know if these would be considered purple or what, but they're not orange. Now I need to decide whether to eat them or dye with them as I intended. The weather has been unseasonably warm so the pansies and violets started blooming again -- and notice the nice green woad foliage in the carrot photo. Our dogs are shedding heavily, as well. Signs of the times.

Yesterday I arranged greens from around the yard, dried stems from the lunaria garden, and bittersweet vines from Thanksgiving in an outdoor planter. I want to use lunaria inside, too, maybe tuck little sprigs into tiny silver vases. I am crazy about this plant, fresh and dried. I know it's common in some areas, but not here.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xo

Monday, December 3, 2012

moonday joys

I went down this kefir road a few years ago but wasn't fully committed. Now I'm committed to the point of happy obsession. When starting out with dried kefir grains, you need to strain and place them in fresh milk every day until the resulting brew thickens, smells fresh, and tastes slightly tart, but not sour. On the sixth day it happened. Real kefir made from raw milk from our cow (share). Did you know that kefir is pronounced kef-eer? Now I don't know whether to say key-fir or kef-eer. I guess it will depend on who I'm talking to. 

And the little holly leaf spirit hanging from the hutch key was made from a Magic Cabin sewing kit, but I don't think they sell them anymore. It has a tiny Waldorf-style head with wool felt and wool stuffing. 

Today is a waning moonday in fiery Leo. Some descriptors for Leo are: Confident, straightforward, generous, warm, and dominant. Our individual personalities shine now making this a good time for job interviews and other performance-type activities -- teaching, acting, training, sales, etc. We enjoy the Leo spotlight and might feel like wearing bold colors -- reds, golds, and oranges especially.

The sign of Leo affects the heart, circulation, and upper back. That means conditions may be aggravated, while at the same time healing efforts and actions are well done now. Louise Hay in You Can Heal Your Life relates the heart with love and joy. Life and stress can squeeze out all the joy in our hearts and make us feel hard-hearted. The treatment for this is simple. Take joy.

Wishing you a joy-filled week.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

snow-capped moon

The November full moon was at apogee, the farthest distance in its orbit around Earth. That makes it appear to be the smallest full moon of 2012 for all of us here on Planet Earth. And as we are also going into the longest nights of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, last night was dark indeed.

My girl is on her path under the stark white moon in a black night sky on a 3" x 3" itty canvas. I'm thinking maybe she has a magpie guiding her -- strangely, I found this 2" feather on the living room floor yesterday and set it aside. After I painted these little mountain snow-caps, I remembered the feather had a snow-cap, too, and that made me pretty happy for some reason.

This is the 13th moon in my itty full-moon painting series. All 13 will be hung together, hopefully this weekend.

I'd love it if you would share your full moon art by leaving a link in the comments or emailing me a file!

And thanks for visiting here and happy weekending. xo

full moon making:

~Over at Ancient Cloth, Marie whispered a lovely full moon post.

~Deb at Bee Creative has a really great photo of the moon and Jupiter.

~Kathy, the Woodland Quilter, stitched a Full-Snow Moon cloth and began another unique winter wall-hanging (made from hands and feet!).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

stuffing croutons

This is good. I read somewhere that leftover stuffing could be made into croutons so I tried sauteing chunks of stuffing in ghee. As a comparison, I also slow-baked some smaller clumps in the toaster oven -- and decided they are delicious both ways with the baked ones crunchier.

Then I made a salad with just things on-hand -- romaine lettuce, parsley, green onions, black olives and Gorgonzola cheese. I added a couple of spoonfuls of cranberry sauce and some fresh thyme to a basic vinaigrette dressing. Sprinkled dried cranberries on top. And another spoonful of cranberry sauce on top of everything, what the heck. This is good.

If I'd thought ahead, these last pears (from our pear tree) would've been a nice addition but they've been in cold storage and are hard as a rock. Toasted nuts, too, but I was too lazy.

And a happy full moon to you -- I'll be making some full moon art later on. Join me?

Also posted on Fight Back Friday over at Kristen's Food Renegade.

Monday, November 26, 2012

glittery moonday

On the kitchen counter tops this morning -- banner-making on one side and kefir-making on the other -- glitter everywhere. The baby's shoes were left behind last week. I'm not a scrapbooker but find papercraft to be relaxing, almost meditative -- placing shapes and letters and colors this way and that. Not to mention the beautiful papers, old and new. Haven't picked a word yet so I don't know exactly how long we'll be eating glitter.

This is a new batch of kefir. I've tried making it before but something went awry and it didn't turn out right. Fermented foods are good for us but a person can only eat so much sauerkraut.

Today is a waxing moonday in Taurus. Slow and steady we go, sinking roots every step of the way. Whatever is begun under the sign of Taurus tends to be long-lasting so this is a good time to plant seeds or begin new habits or even start up a new batch of fermented foods. Other key words for Taurus -- patient, creative, stable, practical, and obstinate.

The jaw and neck areas including the teeth, ears, voice, and thyroid gland respond to the influence of a Taurus moon. That means we should remember to avoid activities that might stress those parts or if a problem already exists, the healing response may be strengthened.

Our next full moon occurs mid-week -- I'll be making some full-moon art and I'd love you to join me and share your art, too -- stitching, painting, writing, photographs, etc. Just leave a link in the full-moon art post or email me a file for the drawing down the moon page.

Have a nice week. It's a cold, dark day here, just right for slow and steady.

Friday, November 23, 2012

thanksgiving 2012

Snapshots of Thanksgiving 2012 for the 13 of us starting with our tradition of crafting before dinner and ending with a bedside stack of knitting books. I'm going to curl up with these three books and a nice pumpkin spice latte to look for my next knitting project. It's tough work but somebody has to do it.

Thank you for visiting here. And I wish you some very happy weekending. xo

Monday, November 19, 2012

in the middle moonday

It seems like everything I'm making is either partially started or partially finished. But this piece for the larger flying dreams cloth is right smack in the middle. Sometimes in the middle is the easiest place to be, not that many decisions to make there. 

Today is a waxing moonday in Aquarius. The Aquarian effect helps us make improvements, encourages us to be more intellectual and less emotional, and prompts us to exchange solitude for socializing. This is a good time for brainstorming, too -- group work will benefit from our Aquarian imagination and enthusiasm.

Aquarius affects the lower leg, our calves and ankles. Even slight stress on our legs may cause symptoms -- I know firsthand because my legs ached last night for no reason that I could come up with. At the same time, leg problems may be more easily relieved now. Remembering to stretch our legs and put our feet up might be just the right thing.

I guess the little leaf cloth up there is finally getting its legs. Wishing you a nice week.

Friday, November 16, 2012

various things

Whole Foods has bundles of bittersweet vine in now. I think I need to plant some of my own next year, I love it so much.

The green sweater would be finished if I had not obsessed so much about the shoulder seams. One side has been stitched and unstitched four times using different methods. Since this sweater is a solid color, it stands out if it's not right on. I even went to the yarn shop to see how their sample sweaters were sewn but that way didn't work either. Ended up with this. Almost there.

I made a big pot of beef stock. It simmered for about 30 hours total. Then I made a batch of French onion soup with some of it and froze the other 4½ quarts. The finely-chopped carrot in the soup is a nice addition -- the recipe is from The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook by Shannon Hayes. I haven't decided what to do with the tallow yet but it won't be wasted. I'm thinking the birds might like it mixed with some birdseed.

A new 3' blue spruce made it through its first summer, a hot and dry one at that. Such a brave little tree. Even though we've already had icy temperatures and snow, many plants in the garden haven't given up yet. Today I realized a potted jasmine vine was still out on the patio. It looks fine -- not blooming, of course, but nice and green. Does anyone in Zone 5 or colder over-winter jasmine? 

Thanks for coming by and happy weekending. xo