Friday, June 28, 2013

red lady


The red lady is getting closer (pattern here). I haven't done crewelwork for a long time and am really liking it, sort of don't want it to end. I may have to find something else to embroider when this is done. 

A medicinal St. John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum, oil to heal burns, scrapes and other skin conditions was made yesterday. I usually call it St. Joan's Wort because Joan knows more about burns than John. This is just a start -- the jar has room for more flowers to be added as they become available. The oil will turn a reddish color and can be used topically as is or as a salve ingredient. I noticed that there were no bees visiting the blossoms when I was picking these and then remembered that flowers release their nectar at various times throughout the day. I keep meaning to write down what time the bees work what flowers. It's just so cool to know and makes me wonder if that might indicate potency of medicinal qualities as well.

Our front porch planter has become totally shaded over the years. I'm grateful for the shade but it's not easy to find plants that will live, or rather thrive, in the planter. So I'm thinking more stones and more moss might be just the thing to go with the few plants that can handle it. The window boxes are also shaded and I've figured out that houseplants do quite well in them -- specifically ivy, spider plant, and asparagus fern. Then they all come back in the house for the winter. Most are many years old so need their roots pruned along with new soil every few years. The fountain by the front door quietly welcomes  -- and that white holey stone from Lyn came all the way from England. 

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xx

Monday, June 24, 2013

woad moonday

As instructed by people in the know, I cut down our woad, Isatis tinctoria, flower stalks before they formed seeds. Except for one that made a seed head so beautiful I almost can't believe it -- leaning downward with seeds the color of eggplant. I'll dance and rattle and shake it all around in a wild patch where it can do what it does.

The red lady received her first embroidered vine with more vines, leaves, and flowers in the works. The pattern is here. I've signed up for a mystery knit-along over at Craftsy so want to have some things completed to clear the slate. A bigger-than-normal moon is ready to be stitched on this month's full moon cloth. Traditionally, a June full moon is referred to as the strawberry moon, but I might call it the woad moon instead. Some of those seeds might just find themselves stitched onto a moon cloth, too.

Today is a waning moonday in Capricorn. We can feel quite ambitious under a Capricorn moon and will get more done if we stay on-point, organized and disciplined. I'm hoping to feel motivated, and not too sentimental, as I declutter a closet that's full to the gills.

Capricorn affects the bones and skin, especially the knees and especially when they've been stressed -- so easy does it.

And have a grand week.

Friday, June 21, 2013

sun charm

Summer Solstice casts a spell of some sort. Every year about now, I begin to move slower, lower my expectations, read more, pare down, feel more dreamy and tired. A sense of fullness and relief at the same time. A good word for the movement of summer, for me, is floating. Spring was rising and autumn will be deepening. I'm not sure about winter because the holidays can make it feel like something other than what it truly is.

I like small harvests from the garden and easy sewing and knitting projects now. No more than what I can hold in my two hands or in a basket for any of the above.

Yesterday I burned copal incense in the Buddha garden. Then I sat cross-legged on the ground  and stitched a sun charm with eco-dyed scraps and tiny carnelian stones  -- as a reminder of how now feels -- to go into my new little medicine bag along with its other nature treasures (from Nancy). A person must hold feathers and needles tightly when in the garden because they both can fly, in case you didn't already know. And a wine corkscrew works on all sizes.

Happy Summer/Winter Solstice to all. May no one hunger. May no one thirst. May all be well.


Monday, June 17, 2013

a boro bobble moonday

The roses are excellent in these whereabouts, maybe due to the fact that last year was pretty much a wash. I'm collecting Gertrude Jekyl blooms that have already peaked to dry on screens. Their fragrance is heavenly and the house will soon smell like a rose garden.

I stitched one tiny boro bobble this afternoon -- thinking future ones should be made using only scraps of cloth and threads from the thread nest.  It's a sweet little project.

Chamomile is thought to be a plant doctor in the garden so I probably won't cut any more of its flowers this summer -- I want it to go to seed now in order to re-naturalize itself. For some reason, it nearly disappeared from my garden except for the one that grew alongside a kale plant in the cold frame. These few flowers I cut will be just enough for a few cups of tea -- you only use the flower heads for tea so any stems or foliage will come off. When I squished one of the puffy centers, it gave a nice apple aroma like a freshly-cut Granny Smith, so I know it will make good tea. (A plant doctor has a beneficial effect on nearby plants.)

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Libra. Balance, beauty, and the use of color are enhanced under a Libra moon. To me, that means feathering my nest.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I tied some cloth strips onto the sweet little pine cone branch thinking it could hang on the bee house. We'll see -- I'll have to try it out after dusk when the bees are in for the night. Yesterday I put on my bee suit to pay them a visit, opening up the top level, removing a layer of insulation, and checking the top frames. They were most gentle with me -- I was appreciative, too, because last time I checked on them they seemed a little aggressive. 

More wild greens went into the freezer this week. The bowl holding nettle leaves is my largest mixing bowl so that gives you an idea of how big the leaves were. Out of all that -- four more cups of summer greens for winter soups. The broccoli is the first cutting from plants that repeatedly froze back, yet persevered. Remember the snowstorm on May Day.

The talisman for the knitted goddess holds items that I feel relate to the root chakra -- a ruby, pomegranate seeds and red rose petals from Nancy. "... the spiritual purpose of the root chakra is deeply locked within the seeds of the provide the ability to tap into deep levels of courage and strength whenever necessary..." (Gurudas) 

Speaking of! -- Nancy, who writes up food for thought (and the soul) over at Pomegranate Trail, tagged me with beautiful treasures -- just a few of them are in the photo below -- thank you again, Nancy. TAG (Together Articulate Gratitude) is a sharing of positive feelings and memories by showing gratitude and there may be gifts involved. Nancy's TAG spreads the love. I know. 

Thanks for visiting here and happy weekending to you. xo

Monday, June 10, 2013

moonday gardens

I've been planting stitches inside and seeds outside. As I stitched on this tiny May moon cloth, I thought about the cycle of bud to bloom, how a bud becomes so swollen it has no choice but to burst into blossom. And so this little full moon followed suit by swelling out trapunto-style (slit, stuffed, stitched). The background of the piece is a repurposed silk sleeve eco-dyed with St. Joan's wort -- it took a bit of loosening up on my part to allow the rough and refined to come together like this.

The pole beans have been planted, one type per pole. This is a working back yard, I try to make use of each and every plant in some way (drying, freezing, tincture, etc.) over a period of time. One year, I'll harvest and freeze nettles and the next year my focus may be on a different wild green -- and so on. It is a low-stress way to get to know most of the plants on this little patch of land I'm lucky enough to care for.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Cancer. A time of possibilities and potential, it feels good now to be home tending inner and outer gardens -- exploring, planting, watering, and nourishing.

As the moon swells into perfect fullness, here's to filling and growing ourselves.

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom." Anais Nin

Friday, June 7, 2013

a plastic bag planter

I bought another little planter made by earthlinks, a development project (for homeless and low-income people) that has its roots in the garden. Made from recycled plastic bags, it's generously sized, has drainage holes, sits nicely when filled, and folds up for storage. What's not to like, I say. See the ones I bought from earthlinks last year here.

Pole beans saved for seed -- now I'm going to sort them and plant each variety separately to determine, once and for all, the best bean. And there's a lot going on at the bee house, the photo doesn't do it justice!

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. I'll be in the garden. xo

Monday, June 3, 2013

moonday gifts

My one spiderwort, Tradescantia occidentalis, is blooming, the contrast between the leaves and the petals is striking. When its blue stamen hairs are exposed to radiation or chemical pollution, they turn pink. It was planted here in Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal as an indicator plant during an on-going clean-up process. The gifts from the plants are everywhere and endless, that is the one thing I know for certain today. 

Another bundle (silk) came out of the oak leaf/lightning water dye-pot and I stitched black and yellow onto the May moon cloth (dyed with St. Joan's wort).

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of Aries. The moon is retreating into the shadows now, soon she will be totally hidden. If you feel like pulling back, you may be in sync with Nature and moon energies. And if being invisible sounds appealing, well then, too. I like knowing and living these simple moon lessons of ebb and flow. I believe we are each attuned to them at the very core of our being.

Have a beautiful week.