Monday, December 30, 2013
Today is a dark moonday in the sign of Sagittarius. When the moon has retreated completely and can't be seen, it is in this darkness that potential begins to stir and grow. I envision a chaos of possibility and wonder what will come of it, what seeds will germinate in the swirling darkness?
Each moon phase holds different life-affirming/supporting/enhancing energies. I'm thinking about how I'd like to tap into those mighty forces throughout the coming year. And I'm examining some other changes and new directions that beckon me.
My work table is a place of chaos today. Even so, certain bits of cloth and threads and trimmings come together just because. As does glitter and paper. In the same way, over the next several days and maybe even by the new moon on January 1, I'm hoping for other things to coalesce.
To a lovely, happy week!
Monday, December 23, 2013
A 13th moon cloth is in the works, I found another one of my mom's crocheted snowflakes, so that was a sign. It's almost a miniature, I wonder if she ran out of thread. The mornings have been beautiful. A magic card came inside a package from Macy's -- I'm keeping the magic. The cold nights are beautiful, too.
Today is a waning moonday in Virgo, a time when we have a tendency to overdo ourselves. I say plan out relaxing activities from the get-go.
Wishing you happy days filled with beauty and magic! xoxo
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I finished the snowflake nine-patch pillow just a little while ago. It took me nearly all day, I thought it would only be about an hour, but there's a lot of little edges on a snowflake. I had a nice time sewing and thinking about how much my mom would like seeing her handwork find new life. White cotton crocheted snowflakes, black linen, and a December calendar-cloth patch.
After years and years of drinking herbal infusion, I've started making two quarts at a time instead of one every day, saving time and mess. It took a long time, too long, to come to this.
My focus now is on the change in season and the turning of the wheel of the year. To better see the darkness, I've been stringing lights everywhere, more than I've ever done, I think. The snowball lights remind me of little moons.
Which, by the way, today is the full moon. When I was writing morning pages this morning, I accidentally wrote today is the fun moon.
Happy fun moon. xo
Friday, December 13, 2013
My favorite time of day now is dusk. With a cup of tea or a glass of wine, a lit candle, in the quiet.
A few days ago, I came upon my copy of Celtic Devotional by Caitlin Matthews and, well, the saying everything old is new again applies here. There is value in forgetting things sometimes. Arranged by season with key words and phrases for meditation or prayer and activities as well, it is a gem of a little book. In the Celtic tradition, Samhain (Sow'en) isn't just one day -- a/k/a All Soul's Day, Dia de los Muertos, Halloween -- it's the entire season of November through January. The winter quarter of Samhain is a time of personal introspection, contemplation on the season, and remembrance of ancestors, loved ones, and "the elders of spiritual traditions whose footsteps have kept the pathways open." That feels good to me because I wasn't able to really let go of that connection with my loved ones at Samhain. Everywhere I look, I see something that reminds me of someone I love.
The black linen, nine snowflakes crocheted by my mom, and white pompom trim are coming together for a simple little sewing project. That she made nine snowflakes is key. I never truly appreciated them until I laid them on the black, it was very exciting.
The paper whites are shooting up. Soon. I read somewhere that winter squash stores well on top of the kitchen cupboards and so far, it's true. I like the way it looks, too. No snowflake curtain yet, it'll get hung in January this year. For now we'll just have plain and simple cheer.
Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. Cheer. xo
Monday, December 9, 2013
A little kitchen witchin' -- I strained the holy basil oil and unrolled a dye bundle. The holy basil oil smells so good. I think we'll just use it straight out of the bottle because it might lose its holy fragrance during the salve-making process.
A silk dye-bundle was made from the hardiest of alyssum flowers a few weeks ago -- after almost everything around it had died and turned brown, the alyssum continued. The purple of its little blossoms was so intense, they simply would not be ignored.
A little stitching on the slow cloth. I sort of wish I hadn't outline-stitched that part with the red perle cotton, I'm not really feeling the red anymore. And an outline stitch isn't quite as easy as a back stitch or a running stitch to tone down or alter -- but I'm going to try and work with it.
Today is a waxing half moonday in Pisces. Half-way to a full moon. Half-way there will be a good mantra for the next eight days until then -- affirmative and trusting that things will come to fruition. Yes they will because I'm already half-way there.
This afternoon the half-moon high in the Colorado blue sky seemed to be made from a half-circle of white cloth. Seeing the moon during the day always makes me envision how I would stitch a day-moon-cloth -- what cloth could possibly duplicate that texture and translucence and softness. Today it wasn't my usual daydream of white lace, but a little half-circle of white cloud cloth.
I have to find some cloud cloth now, pretty sure I have some.
Friday, December 6, 2013
A little winter eco-dyeing is in the works lately -- indoors, that is -- although I can't wait to use the antique stove Jan got me a few months ago. I'm happy for it to be a stand to just set dye-pots on, but he's also willing to hook it up to gas for simmering and boiling and brewing. It would be permanent then though, and for some reason I'm not quite ready to make that commitment for the space. But who knows.
Our Thanksgiving Day flower bouquets were so lovely and it came to me that something could be done with them. One dye bundle is beige/brown wool and the other is cotton. They've been steamed and are now being pressed under a stack of books (thanks again, Kathy) -- in a week I'll open them up.
The other day I was cutting back the leggiest stems of a sun-starved old-fashioned rose geranium. This is the same plant that's placed just right for a dog's tail to swat when she wags, releasing a wonderful fragrance. Aromatherapy takes many forms. In the thread basket, the posy might do the same when I rummage for colors.
The bee house is all cozied up. With temperatures below zero at night here, the bees are working hard to maintain a constant 92 degrees Fahrenheit inside. Speaking of cold temperatures, we just watched the Netflix documentary Happy People: A Year in the Taiga. It doesn't feel so cold here after seeing that.
Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xo
Monday, December 2, 2013
Oh my gosh, this little full moon cloth was so much fun to make. Getting to use something I'd already begun was really nice for several reasons, one being that the color scheme was already in place and I got to just go with the flow. It is extremely sturdy with a linen front and a cotton backing and all the layers of houses and the moon and the sun. I love stitching on linen. This moon cloth is number 12 in a series of 13 moon cloths, my sewing ritual for this year.
Last week our family gathered to craft and play and feast as is our tradition on Thanksgiving Day. The turkey place-settings were made by one of my girls, we will definitely be saving them for future Thanksgivings. Our craft was making bell jar ornaments -- everyone had fun with this and even some of the guys got into it. I took photos of most of the finished ones, but not all.
The cloche-tops were made from plastic wine glasses from Dollar Tree -- I grinded the nub off of each one with a Dremel drill, I thought they stuck out too much but some people leave them as is. The trinkets came from stash and internet miniature shops. Also, we used a circle punch, some card stock, glitter, trimmings, beads and string for the hangers, and that about did it. There are a few crafty sites with directions, but I liked these the best (thanks, Ashlee). I've noticed similar glass ornaments this year at both Anthropologie and Target so I guess they're in the air.
Today is a new moonday in Sagittarius. We begin a fresh new month with this new moon and anything seems possible. A new moon is when to begin a new project, form intentions, or make wishes while Sagittarius makes us more imaginative, adventurous, and confident. A perfect mix.
I just read this quote -- "be aware enough to notice some moment of perfection this day" (William Law) and so that is my hope for all of us -- that we can notice moments of perfection.
Monday, November 25, 2013
November's calendar moon cloth is coming along. Those trims are from the 1970's when my mom worked at a fabric and sewing machine store called Designer's Fabric Center in Dickinson, North Dakota. It was the place to go for high-quality fabric and Viking sewing machines and she loved working there. When the store closed, she bought what seemed like half the inventory, more than she could use during her lifetime, including a big steel pattern cabinet with those huge drawers. I sure wish I had that right now. After my mom passed, my sister and I took turns choosing fabric, patterns, buttons, trims galore -- what we could pack in suitcases or seemed worth shipping -- and still ended up leaving a bunch that went to auction. Anyway, I think the orange and gold pompom trim might work on the moon cloth, a 70's vibe for sure.
Just some other things I've been doing -- it seems a person can grow English holly here in Colorado and even get those beautiful red berries if the plant is placed in a spot with heavy shade. We grow Oregon holly here, no problem, but I didn't know we could grow English holly. Keeping Ms. Holly alive in the house until spring is the challenge for now. A red squirrel nutcracker was fun to wrap for a holiday party last week. Can anyone look at that squirrel without smiling?
It's planting time for the paperwhites -- various containers, gravel, planting mix and moss. Nice to get my fingernails dirty again. Winter weather has set in here -- by the time these bulbs bloom, we'll be craving all things green.
Today is a waning moonday in Virgo. Fittingly, to go with the half-moon cloth, it is also a half-moon day. Waning moon energy helps us to take care of the business at hand, tie up loose ends, and let go of the unnecessary or the unachievable -- while Virgo enhances problem-solving, practical decision-making, and a mighty work ethic. These are qualities that I will need over the next few days.
Wishing you a nice week.
Friday, November 22, 2013
A picture story of two leafy dye bundles -- serviceberry, pear, plum, rose and lunaria leaves on silk and wool. I know neither fiber needs a mordant but I soaked the wool anyway for about a half hour in hot water and a smidgen of alum. The same leaves were placed on each cloth, although not in the same order, which I should've done, darn it. But the photos will help to compare the outcomes.
The bundles were steamed with the leftover alum water for an hour, then placed in plastic bags under a pile of books (this tip is from Kathy) for about a week. They spent a few days outside to dry out a little and today was the day -- the kitchen smells very ripe if you know what I mean.
Amazing, maybe the best outcome I've ever achieved with leaves. After a few more days, I'll iron them. And after that, well, it's a mystery.
Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. I might look for more leaves when the snow melts. xo
P.S. I realized my photos of the wool outcome were of the underside of the cloth, so I've taken and added one more picture -- the third photo of the wool outcome is of the right side. What a difference. Just got too excited, I guess.