Wednesday, July 31, 2013

trust building

I'm drawing a blank on how to proceed with the little moon cloth -- kantha or not, buttonhole or not, color or not. It's still incubating, I guess.

Have you heard of bulletproof coffee made with grass-fed butter and coconut oil? This is what it looks like, and trust me, it's good. I make it with espresso from organic coffee beans and hot water and then blend it all up with an immersion blender until it's a little foamy on top. I'm not sure that I'll make it like this everyday though. And I still take a two-to-four-month coffee break every few years just to prove to myself that I can -- but, for me, a coffee in the morning is pure pleasure.

It's called sustainable living architecture -- a ancient way of building bridges from the roots of a rubber tree that gives new meaning to the term root system. And trust-building! 

I first saw this video over at hella delicious -- you can read more about the amazing root bridges here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

button card moonday

All I can say is thank goodness for lifelines. The same six rows of the purple lady sweater have been knit and torn out twice. The first time I lost one stitch and could not find it. The second time -- well, how does a person knit instead of purl all 282 stitches of gull lace pattern? And then continue on her merry way for two more rows after that?

I've been telling myself be patientyou're really learning a lot, you're learning how to pay attention, this is good, you're learning the gull lace pattern forwards and backwards . . . but really.

I saw button cards in The Gentle Art of Stitching by Jane Brocket. Now, button cards I can do! -- and it's a nice way to use both vintage buttons and old postcards (or greeting card fronts like the winter scene up there). When I'm looking for a button, I can remember and reread the postcards. Not that I use that many buttons or have all that many postcards, but I have saved them forever. Vintage flash cards might be fun, too -- just playing around with those though.

Today is a waning half moonday in Taurus. Earthy Taurus makes us slow down, dig in, and savor precious time spent in our homes and gardens. Projects that we focus on under a Taurus moon tend to be long-lasting, and we are more patient and practical now.

All righty then.

Friday, July 26, 2013

july things

July's full moon art is in the form of cloth once again. This is the eighth calendar moon cloth in the current 13 moon series. The calendar cloth is nearly hidden by the lace of the house, but it's there, looking out. And there's a patch of Rumi cloth on top -- "Some Kiss We Want" written on muslin -- I call it written-word cloth in my label section over on the sidebar.

This morning I cut lemon verbena and chocolate peppermint for drying. They'll be ingredients in a tea blend of whichever herbs thrive in the garden this summer -- to be named Spirit of the Garden Tea Blend 2013. I've always wanted to do this and will try not to be too concerned about whether or not flavors "go" together. Whatever does well in the garden ought to do well in the teacup, I say. I hope.

The dogs, Daisy (black) and Talula (rusty), and I watched a nice rain yesterday. Well, the dogs were actually waiting for it to stop for their walk. I watched, they waited. Normally Talula is after rabbits (which she feels she has a chance with) but with the rain she had to settle for squirrels (no chance). An old red step-stool chair that's the year-round haircutting station of my outdoor barber shop, rain or shine -- buddha rain man garden -- lantana -- hoya plant stretching for distant lands.

Thanks for stopping by and happy weekending to all. xo

Monday, July 22, 2013

moonday lifelines

Whites and lights laid out for the July full moon cloth -- keeping in mind the ideas of surrender and making peace with summer's hubbub. The lacy house is a piece of a linen napkin edged with lovely cutwork embroidery (from Nancy).

I learned about knitting lifelines from Deanna a while back and have been making them on the purple lady sweater -- threading green yarn through all 282 stitches every so often. From hereon, it will be every four rows exactly, the number of rows in the gull lace pattern. A lifeline is a real confidence-builder, I tell you.

I hate to complain but the Rowan silk/cotton yarn splits with almost every ssk. This happens to me a lot for some reason. I need to make better choices in the future. The yellow button is what's keeping me going, I love that color with the purple. I haven't found the perfect yellow buttons yet but haven't looked too hard yet either.

The roses from my sweetheart are ready to be hung for drying.

Today is a full moonday in Aquarius, the perfect time to name and celebrate good things in our lives. We don't have to wait for big things to happen, small everyday events are worth noticing as well, maybe even more so, because they are our true lifelines. Writing them down is nice and stitching them into cloth works, too.

I'm wishing you a beautiful week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

polka-dot pincushion

Flower love. 

Today I made a skinny little pincushion that ties onto my sewing machine, based on this. I'm a pin-ner so it seemed like a pretty good idea. The fabric is a polka dot scrap and the ties are cloth handles from Anthropologie bags.  The 1974 Viking sewing machine was a gift from my parents when I was 21. They gave one to each of us girls in the family but I think I'm the only one to still have mine. It's been taken apart and reassembled twice, that's how much I love it. The first time it was dismantled, the repairman kept procrastinating putting it back together. I called every week, a few months went by. Finally my husband went to the shop and sat down and said he would wait. And the guy put it back together again right then and there. I found a new place to take it after that.

Thanks for visiting. And have some very happy weekending. xx

Monday, July 15, 2013

burlap-bee-basket moonday

One burlap-bee-basket has been made. A person could make many in one day if she or he cut the pieces the right size the first time. The pattern by maya*made describes it as a nesting bucket, but I'm going with basket. And it really did go together in a flash. 

Four little oranges in the making, I hope. It's happened before and they've always fallen off. Fingers crossed.

A new half-batch of raw brownies was made, too. This time I substituted dried unsweetened cherries for some of the medjool dates. It is good. I would compare this recipe to a Lara Bar, if you're wondering. Only better. 

I found a forgotten jar of unlabeled dye-bath in the back of a cupboard (my first one ever, I think) and these are the unedited results -- beige, beige with speckles, and dark beige -- actually a really nice set of cloth.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Libra. Sort of feeling like I've been spinning my wheels lately. Frustrated that no matter how fast I moved, nothing (or not enough) seemed to get done. But then, thank goodness, I realized we're in a period of Mercury Retrograde and will be so until July 20 -- and it all made sense. Now I'm thinking that since Mercury only appears to be in reverse, maybe my sense of not getting anything done is an illusion as well. And rather than fighting this feeling, embrace it -- so this week I hope to move slower, look back, review, and then maybe even make a few simple changes. 

To go with the flow.

Friday, July 12, 2013

a busy moon cloth

To my great relief, the calendar moon cloth for June is finished. It's a perfect representation of how June felt to me because it's so busy with color, pattern and texture all happening in one tiny space. June really is a chaotic month, when you think about it -- the endless yard clean-up and simultaneous planting frenzy combined with regular life make it rank as probably my busiest month of the year. I surrender. July's moon cloth will be white.

A double-batch of basil pesto, four more little jars-worth for freezing. The smell of pesto-making awakens olfactory memories -- I can feel the first summer I ever made it and all the summers between then and now.

The honeycomb-bee burlap is from JoAnn's, I went for floss and left with one yard of this. I'm hoping to make some nesting buckets using striped cotton from stash for the lining. My pattern is by maya*made but I don't see it anymore on etsy.

I am usually focused on one particular plant at a time to learn more about it -- by reading, observing, and experiencing firsthand -- some call this approach having a plant ally. Lately I've been spending time with yarrow, Achillea millefolium. It's believed that the most potent yarrow flowers for medicine-making are from plants that have toughed-it-out in the wild and grow much smaller than cultivated ones. The yarrow that lives with me definitely qualifies. I find it so interesting that yarrow both stops and causes bleeding and both dulls pain and heightens consciousness. Plants are much more than just a flavor or one medicinal action, aren't they?

Thanks for coming by and happy weekending. Making yarrow tincture now. xx

Monday, July 8, 2013

2-basil moonday

A holy basil blossom. A holy basil harvest. A holy basil oil. 

This is one of my favorite plants in the garden -- holy basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum -- that happens to grow at the very front of a low planter. When the leaves are brushed as people or animals walk (or jump) by, the scent drifts on air and oh my. It's wonderful. The oil I made will be good for soothing and healing skin conditions but my plan is to use it in a more luxurious way -- as a fragrant moisturizer and to scent bath water. I have high hopes for this oil. And it reseeds itself generously which is another plus.

I'm still sewing the June moon cloth -- extending the pattern with little strips, that perfect green is from Nancy. The eye on the house is a woad seed.

A new fragrant orchid in the living room. I think it releases nectar or fragrance at 11:00 AM because that's when I smelled it from another room in the house. Amazing.

Today is a new moonday in the sign of Cancer. This new moon time is good for beginnings of all sorts -- projects, directions, studies, routines, behaviors, and so on. 

In the garden, moonwise gardeners plant seeds now and we can draw on this exact same moon energy for other kinds of growing. Write down wishes or form intentions now. Or place items in a basket to represent hopes and desires. Then as the moon grows into fullness, so too do wishes begin to take form and intentions manifest.

This morning I made a new moon basil honey with Genovese basil from the garden. To make an herbal honey, loosely fill a jar nearly to the top with fresh plant material and fill again with honey. Stir well with a chopstick. Cap and store on a protected surface (it might ooze) in a cupboard for 2-4 weeks. This small jar of basil honey will be just enough to drizzle into salad dressing, sweeten peppermint tea, or eat by the spoonful. Basil is really a medicinal food -- good for digestion, to relieve cold and cough symptoms, and as a relaxant -- among other things.

Again, like the moonwise gardener planting seeds on a new moon, it's nice to be able to make at least some herbal preparations to infuse and increase in potency along with the waxing moon. On the full moon two weeks later, some oils and vinegars are ready to be strained. If they don't seem strong enough yet, I often wait for the next full moon to strain and re-bottle for storage. 

And so, here's to a beautiful week of living moonwise.

Friday, July 5, 2013

the enough stone

I retraced enough and added the words i am to the other side of the stone. I'm focusing on the solar plexus chakra now, our center and the place of well-being, sense of purpose, will-power, and self. Enough is still a good message.

Our front porch walking surface is pink flagstone, a local resource, and this fossilized section is the centerpiece. It's so beautiful and I walk on it many times every day without even noticing it. If ever one of my dyeing projects produces these colors, it will be a base to embroider these same little leaves -- they look like evergreen needles to me but who knows.

A bedspread hangs on the back fence under draping grapevines -- makes a nice backdrop for the larkspur-gone-wild. And there's a wonderful outdoor reading spot all ready for an equally wonderful book, I just have to give myself permission to go there.

Realized that I've read two books with the same title literally within weeks of each other. One was Life After Life by Jill McCorkle and the other was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and both were released this year. I think it had something to do with ordering online from the library and they both came in? My favorites so far this summer though are The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (loved) and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Now back to non-fiction for a little while.

Thriving, fragrant tulsi, or holy basil, Ocimum tenuiifolium, is ready to be made into a healing oil. The aerial parts will be placed in a jar and covered with olive oil.

Thanks for coming by and happy weekending. You are enough. xx