Saturday, September 29, 2012

lightning full moon art

A lightning moon in memory of the other night's big thunderstorm. And for the lightning water being charged by the full moon tonight. And because I'm learning about Oya, goddess of rain and wind, who stirs things up to bring about change.

My copper-haired girl and her moon are painted on a 2½” x 3½” itty canvas. The burnt patch on an old suitcase seemed fitting as a background for the photo. I enjoy this kind of painting, but realize it's primitive at best. This is #11 in a series of full moon itty paintings begun December 2011. 

I'd love to see and share your full moon art here, too! Just leave a link in the comments or email me a file to be posted on the drawing down the moon page on the sidebar.

**Michelle is making something fabulous -- a cloth NY moonscape.

**Nanette stitched a lovely Jacaranda Moon using a vintage block as the background -- with real jacaranda blossoms for those of us who've never seen them.

**Judy sent photos of her full moon knitting and dyeing -- see them here.

**Helen has taken some beautiful photos of the Moon of the Turning Leaves.

**Fly on over to Kathy's to see the Michigan full moon and her exquisite moon cloth!

Friday, September 28, 2012

lightning water

The night before last, we had a very loud thunderstorm with spectacular lightning.When it dawned on me that our three copper birdbaths held mostly rainwater charged by all that lightning, I poured all of the lightning water into a big canner-turned-dye-pot. I stirred it a little with a piece of burdock stalk and then decided to stir vortexes into it, first one direction, quickly switching to the other. Three sets of three vortexes each. (I re-enacted one more vortex to take these photos!) Tomorrow, this water will be charged again by the full moon. Three charges total -- lightning, woman, and moon -- then ready to begin an oak leaf dye-bath.

I'll be celebrating the full moon tomorrow by making some full-moon art. If you, too, would like to share your full-moon makings -- sewing, knitting, writing, photographing, painting, etc. -- I'd love you to leave a link in the comments or email me a file to be posted on the drawing down the moon page. 

Happy weekending and thanks for coming by. xo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

it rained

It rained here last night. This morning I went out to pick a flower for the little Oya altar on the sewing table and got sidetracked. I was thinking of making the sock spirit doll a dress today, she's been naked much too long, but I need to get back outside before it starts raining again. Wouldn't you know, Oya is the goddess of rain along with change and wind and rivers and brooms and ancestors and more. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

cricket moonday

Familiar signs of the changing season are everywhere now. Crickets slow and lengthen their chirps in step with each drop in temperature. Trees slow down and stop chlorophyll production allowing the leaves to show their beautiful true colors of gold, orange, and red.  Such collaboration in Nature is breathtaking. If we humans slow down, might we discover our true and beautiful selves, too? And how awesome would that collective result be?

Here is the beautiful result of crickets collaborating their song -- as they sound to themselves -- slowed down to human timing.

Today is a waxing moonday about to enter the sign of Aquarius. Aquarian energies enhance things best done in groups for the greater good -- and because Aquarius is associated with new ideas and inventions, it is a great time to make improvements. Also, cooperation of resources, building connections, and reaching outward, like Nature does.

Aquarius affects the lower leg -- the calves and ankles. The legs carry us forward. Maybe we just don't need to go quite so fast?

At whatever pace you choose, I wish you a beautiful week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

sage pesto

Autumn is coming. Which could possibly mean winter is coming where I live -- it honestly could be any time, it's happened this early before. The garden is never more alluring than now, is it?

Sage, Salvia officinalis, has taken over me. I want to smell it, eat it, and drink it. I want to dump it over my head. I was thinking a couple of nights ago over our dinner of roasted squash and sage butter that this was one of the things I would choose for my last meal, if I get to choose.

About mid-summer I began to notice how stocky and gorgeous the sage plants were this year. I started picking sage bouquets for the vase on the kitchen table and have been doing so ever since. Then I started cooking with it more. Today a sage pesto was made. Not a pesto that you'd eat gobbed onto bread like basil pesto, this is one for roasted squash or potatoes or chicken or soup. It is potent and powerfully good. Eight tablespoon-size mounds went into the freezer and the ninth is for the half butternut squash left in the fridge.

I was taught by one of my herbal teachers that the plants that thrive in our gardens through the ups and downs of the growing season are the ones that can act as adaptogens for us as we move into autumn and winter. That is, they have a normalizing effect and can help us adapt to change. Sage seems to be an adaptogen for me this year.

What adaptogen plants are in your garden?

Sage Pesto

3/4 cup fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove
1 t. white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Thanks for coming by and happy autumn (or spring) weekending. xo

Also posted over on Food Renegade.

Monday, September 17, 2012

moonday wishing

The squirrels ate most of the plums on one particular plum tree. I wrapped a paper bag around one that was left so it could ripen undisturbed. They immediately stopped eating all plums and turned to the tomatoes. Dozens of tomatoes have been sampled, I wish they wouldn't do that. We eat what's left after cutting off the bitten area. Aren't things turned around here?

A crocheted wool headband, the first usable thing I've crocheted. I usually wear headbands instead of hats when it's cold out, so this is good. Not a color I wear often, it wasn't really meant to be anything other than a practice piece. But one row led to another until it was a headband. I'll certainly stand out on snowy days.

Lunaria seeds for new moon wishes.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Libra, less than two days since the new moon on Saturday. A new moon time energizes beginnings and even a thought, hope, or wish for something is a beginning. On top of it all, Libra is ideal for initiating things, especially with another person. It's not too late -- I am making wishes (intentions) with lunaria seeds and will sprinkle them back into the garden later today.

Libra is an air sign that helps us to see and enjoy the beauty in life. We want to get along with people and we want everyone around us to get along as well. Something else to keep in mind is that Libra days are thought to be good for creativity, decorating, and clothes shopping. Maybe we're not so hard on ourselves now.

Libra affects the lower back, hips, bladder and kidneys. Problems in those areas may flare up while at the same time they may also be treated more easily. Simply drinking water can heal and support the bladder and kidneys in a big way. And again, the idea of water being conscious arises. I once saw Z. Budapest speak on a book tour -- when she was given a glass of water, she remembered, even in front of a roomful of people, to thank her water before she drank. A water ritual, so beautiful.

Thanking water in advance today.

Friday, September 14, 2012

things to do now

I don't usually go on here about world events and I won't now. But things have definitely gotten my attention lately. 

And when it gets to be too much, there's cloth to stitch, bulbs to plant, floors to sweep, and dogs to walk.

Back and forth.

Thanks for visiting. xx 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

design board

Last week I finally got around to making a design board for the sewing room. I started out with a 4' x 8' foam insulation board, cut down to 48" x 76" to fit the space. White side down, I laid it onto 90" wide Warm & White textured batting, trimmed a 4" border around the sides, and then stapled all around. Lastly, lengths of duct tape cover and stabilize the staples. I pretty much followed Oh, Fransson's instructions.

Then I put three nails one foot apart into the wall and just pressed the board against them to hang it. For now, flying dreams, is up. I'm so glad to see it up again -- it had become too big to tape onto the wall anymore. I haven't sewn on this for quite a while because I felt like I needed to see all the pieces together before continuing. It definitely feels like an autumn/winter cloth.

A design board is ding-dang wonderful, as Nancy once said.

Monday, September 10, 2012

blue water moonday

Floating with soft colors again today -- I'm noticing this about Mondays lately. Here are three eco-dyed silk stones cut out and ready to be stitched, a little perle cotton crochet experiment, and an especially-loved vintage postcard because I grew up about 40 miles from there.

We have fresh eggs (with one feather) sold by a marvelous woman-urban-homesteader. The soft old linen tablecloth doesn't quite cover the entire tabletop and it might look funny, but I don't care. And garden sage.

Today is a waning moonday in the water sign of Cancer. Because this is an emotional time, we may want and need to feel nurtured, comfortable, safe and secure. There is no place like home for self-care -- cooking, gardening, watering houseplants, and making cozy changes in our surroundings. And if you happen to notice an attraction to blues and blue-greens today, both the sign of Cancer and Mondays are associated with the color blue. 

Because the sign of Cancer influences the chest area, breasts, stomach, liver and gallbladder, now is a good time to support and heal those parts. Water healing seems most appropriate -- hydration, hot/cold soaks or compresses, baths, even the sound of water soothes and heals. Author Annemarie Colbin writes about a few water healing methods here; I like her easy way to increase circulation and energy -- simply walk barefoot on grass that is still wet with early morning dew for 10 minutes before putting socks and shoes on. 

Water is precious -- we are more than 60% water and can only survive about a week without it. Water is conscious -- Masaru Emoto teaches that our thoughts affect the molecular structure of water. For either/or, I am in deepest gratitude for clean, healing water.

And for the hens that laid these beautiful eggs.

Friday, September 7, 2012

facing north and other signs

It's odd that some of the sunflowers in the buddha garden aren't following the sun whatsoever, in fact they're looking toward the north. I'd blame it on hybridization or GMO crops but it was heirloom seed. 

The red amaranth, Amaranthus sp., leaves are ready for the dye-pot; a few smaller-than-normal peaches are trying very hard to ripen; and blossoms from holy basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum, and lunaria, Lunaria annua, have set seed. Holy basil (tulsi basil) is one of my favorite fragrant plants. Sometimes when the dogs and I step out late at night, I'll get a whiff of its fragrance, and then I smile because it means that a night creature has just brushed against the leaves. And I wonder who it was. Or maybe a soul was leaving the earthly plane -- in Hinduism it helps spirits depart -- in that case, I still wonder who it was. I'm saving a big handful of the lunaria moonseeds to write future new moon wishes on. I know that lunaria grows freely in some places, but it took some effort to get my lunaria garden established and I love it dearly now. 

This morning I snapped a photo of a man in front of my house who was snapping a photo of the naturalized moonflowers, Datura sp., along the walkway. I don't know who he was but he should visit here to see them bloom.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xx

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

angelica and tomatoes

I've been reading that angelica seeds and roots are fragrant. From the number of bees always on the blossoms, I thought they, too, would be fragrant. But no. I'm anxious to dry the seeds and root now though. It's quite exciting to know that I'll soon experience a new fragrance, one I've never known before.

It is the year of the tomato in my garden. Unlike last year and the year before, a person does get lucky now and then. I've streamlined my tomato-sauce-making even more by eliminating onions, garlic, and other seasonings from the roasting pan and it's still the best sauce I've ever tasted. I think the secret is to combine different varieties of tomatoes -- beefsteak, plum, cherry, and whatever else you have. These are all heirloom varieties but I can't remember any names now except Cherokee Purple. And I also think the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes is irreplaceable.

Tomato Sauce: Coat a roasting pan with a little olive oil. Cut 3½ pounds of various fresh tomatoes into chunks and toss with a little more olive oil. You don't need to peel or seed them. Roast at 375 degrees for one hour. Let cool a little and blend into a puree -- I use an immersion blender. Pour the puree through a large sieve first, then pour into pint-size jars and freeze. 

Pretty easy.