Monday, September 30, 2013

waning crescent moonday

The crocheted green cowl is finished, only because I ran out of yarn -- I loved working on this and will miss it. Maybe I need to start a bigger crochet project? The moon stones on the cowl show how the moon has appeared the last week or so. Where does the time go?

A big event occurred in the sewing room -- one curtain panel was finally chosen and hung -- I'll be going back for three more. It's been a slow process, converting a kid's bedroom into a sewing space. I think there's a part of me that doesn't want to let go of what the room was. And I'm wondering if purple can be a neutral -- because I really do like the purple but I like a lot of other colors, too. Not much stitching has happened because I was out of black floss until yesterday, in the meantime things are contained in the circle.

The little blue doily under the blue stone was crocheted by my Great Aunt Aggie. She had it shaped into a butterfly with a pipe-cleaner but I took it apart for the blue stone flower grid on my table. Have you ever repeatedly chosen the same card from a deck or rolled the same number on a set of dice? Well, that's what happened with both of the cards I drew on the last new moon. Even after shuffling and cutting the decks, I somehow drew the exact same cards as I had in August. From both decks. I guess I'm not done holding still.

Today is a waning crescent moonday in Leo. We may find that we're less interested in certain projects or activities now. Or that other people don't seem as interested or want to participate in relationships and ventures, etc. -- well, that's a fourth quarter moon. No use trying to force things along. Hold still a little while longer, a new moon is coming in a few days!

Friday, September 27, 2013

simple things

There's been a change of plan for the September moon cloth. Sometimes I just need things to be black and white, and that fits perfectly with the September vibe. It feels good to realize how complicated I was making things for myself, not just the moon cloth, lots of things.

We've had an explosion of beautiful green moss on our flagstone patio. It's a rarity around here and I find myself going outside just to look at it. I'm starting to get the houseplants repotted and re-situated -- a most satisfying task today because it's cold and dark and drizzly outside. The amaryllis plants are up next if I can round up enough pots -- they reproduce like crazy, don't they?

We're about out of unpetroleum jelly in the tube from the store so thought I'd make up a batch of the homemade kind. It's the only thing I use for chapped lips and chapped skin -- healing, soothing, and pure -- 4 ounces of organic olive oil and 1/2 ounce beeswax (by weight) warmed together until liquid, then poured into any kind of container, place lid on when it's cooled enough to set. I wanted mine plain so didn't add any essential oils or other oils, but that is an option. If it comes out too thin or thick, it can be rewarmed and the necessary ingredient added -- too thin, add beeswax -- and too thick, add more olive oil.

I really love this sweet medicine bag -- woven, filled, and given to me by Nancy -- some of my little feathers came together with one of hers to hang on the side.  The sewing room is dark today but feathers and fur (fake) both glow in the dark -- a good place to be.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending doing all things you love. xxo

Monday, September 23, 2013

autumn moonday

Autumn winds blew in last night -- today the trees are swaying, the sound of their leaves reminds me of ocean waves. I'm wearing jeans and will probably need a sweater to walk the dogs. It's very exciting.

A September full moon cloth is brewing. This moon cloth is #10 in a series of 13 moons, a full moon sewing ritual I started in December 2012. The light and dark background piece is a gift from Herm, a clothmate gone to the great beyond -- I remember when she made a fiery heart with this same cloth.

A scarf on the water bottle/cooler in the kitchen makes a big difference in a good way. That bindweed dye-bundle from last year is going to be unrolled and ironed today -- maybe a little piece can go on the moon cloth. The goddess in the garden, a gift from soul-mate sisters, reminds me to close my eyes, face to the sky, and listen. And did you know that Japanese indigo, Polygonum tinctorium, has red blooms?

Our sweet-bee-hearts are working every last flower getting ready for change. I saw a bee trying to get through the screen on the back door the other night so I think the worker bees (all female) have booted out the drones (male bees) for the winter -- it's something they do when brood rearing winds down and the drones are no longer needed for mating, which is their whole purpose in life.

Today is a waxing moonday moving shortly into the sign of airy Gemini. This may be why I've been going to and fro and around and about, starting one thing only to be distracted and continuing with another. It may also be why my i-phone can't hold a wireless connection to update software. Gemini influences forms of communication -- singing, talking, writing, and listening -- I love to visit with other people on Gemini days.

Autumn is associated with air, wind, and sound. This morning I heard ocean waves from the trees, kids playing on the school playground two blocks away, construction noises, dogs barking, birds singing, traffic and sirens three blocks away -- all as if they were right beside me. It's a good acoustical day. A sound I sometimes imagine and would like to hear up close is of wings on air, preferably my own.

I'm wishing you a beautiful week listening and doing things you love. xx

Friday, September 20, 2013

dark & light

I'm nesting -- getting ready for change inside and out. I've rediscovered my crocheting, along with my spot on the couch.

I went to see a fiber/textile exhibit a few days ago, and couldn't leave without some bundles of hand-dyed cloth. Just unrolled my own moldy little bundle as well -- orache and silk -- definitely colorful, but it's still wet so it may not last.

I'm choosing dark and light cloth components for September's full moon cloth. It will have more of the dark to convey the seasonal changes we're experiencing now. I'm going to like working on this, I love shorter days and longer nights, so beckoning and mysterious. And there's always a sense of relief about now, too, isn't there?

Thanks for coming by and happy weekending -- I'll be getting ready for an Autumn Equinox celebration here tomorrow. xx

Monday, September 16, 2013

a knitted acorn moonday

Overviews from the day -- taking notice. The little acorn was knitted up this morning. I love to collect oak acorns in the fall but they're just not that easy to find around here. Knitted ones will suffice though! The pattern is here -- thank you, Suse.

Organic pomegranates from the healthy food store -- so little, we hardly ever see them this small, they're usually huge -- a nice size for drying, too. Every year I lay one on the furnace and by winter's end, it's nicely dried out and ready to be added to an ongoing winter potpourri mix.

Today was our first full day with clear skies in quite a while, it seems. It's still a little soggy outside and sadly, flooding continues in some nearby areas. Yet life goes on. The Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani, are coming on strong and their sunny, healing vibe is most welcome in the house. The stamps are from an estate sale in our neighborhood -- I remembered the woman who lived there was from Europe -- I hope there are some unusual stamps from afar in the mix. I'm leaving them on the coffee table for anyone who wants to sift through them. Another thing I remembered about her was that she fed any kind of wildlife, even pigeons, because she had survived the war and had seen so many animals starve to death. And probably worse. I always liked that she had such a kind heart for birds and animals.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Aquarius. In just a few days, our growing moon will reach fullness once again. About now, it's good to start taking notice and validate the positive in life. Kind people, nice weather, healthy food, clean air and water, yarn to knit and cloth to stitch -- that cup is way more than half full. I just know it.

A beautiful week to you! xx

Friday, September 13, 2013

sewing cayenne peppers

It's been raining here the past few days but before things got crazy outside I went out to the garden and sewed up some cayenne peppers with dental floss. I've never made my own cayenne powder, of which we use a good amount, and this is the first step -- to hang and dry them.

There are plenty of cayenne peppers so it seemed wise to also make our own hot pepper sauce. This is new to me, too, I'm following this method of fermenting them. I love trying new things like this, especially when we actually use what I make.

The little cross-stitch sunflower witch on the sewing table was made a long time ago. She always comes out of the closet around this time of year. ;) And now I'm wondering about a different use for her, maybe stitching her onto some eco-dyed cloth. That's as far as I go with it though. There are more than a few little needlepointed, cross-stitched and embroidered pieces around here -- and I never know what to do with them.

Lately I've been thinking about things that I see or know now that I didn't used to. I know now that I'm not really into painting walls and trim, which I've been doing the past few days. I know now that I'm fine hiking but really need a lot of water. I know now my stomach will be happier if I get a little rice in my chicken fajita bowl w/hot sauce from Chipotle. I know now it's okay to email or call someone back even if I forgot to for a few months. I know now that paint fumes affect people in interesting but mostly unpleasant ways. It's endless, really, but sort of fun to think about these kinds of things.

Thanks so much for visiting here and happy weekending! Back to painting now.  xx

Monday, September 9, 2013

moonday cloth

A new moon cloth is up on the little wooden mannequin -- it's the August moon cloth, number nine of my 13-moons project. Each month I stitch a little moon cloth with the energy of that month's full moon in mind -- a sewing ritual. When I started these last December, I needed a plan -- so I decided there has to be a calendar cloth component and also a house with an eye on each completed piece.

This piece holds the green of summer's end. August, to me, is the greenest of all months because everything appears as if it's seen through a green lense. It isn't really the green of the plants so much as it is the light changing to green in August. I don't know if I would see it elsewhere, I sort of doubt it, but here where I live, that's how it is.

Now we're well into September and mums on the porch are another sign of change. We're expecting cooler temperatures and even some rain this week. I'm cleaning out garden beds and thinking about setting up the cold frame. The cayenne peppers are thriving and full of fruit. I'll be making a few different concoctions with them this week. The only tomatoes that have done well for us this year are the cherry tomatoes. That's okay because there are plenty, plus they glow.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Scorpio. With a growing moon, I like to focus on things that are truly important to me. What we think about and what we spend time on are the things that will thrive and increase in our lives. But first, you have to decide what's important -- I made a list on the new moon instead of making wishes like I usually do. Probably the same effect, but this way I sort of feel like I have more of a plan. And I do like a plan!

Wishing you a great week doing what's important to you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

earthing and stitching

Despite my self-imposed deadline to complete each little full moon cloth before the following new moon -- which I've already missed -- I'm still stitching away on this one. Yesterday, on the new moon, I spread out a blanket on the grass in a shady area and spent some Earthing time working on it until I ran out of thread. Then I lay down and watched the sky. Until the timer went off to leave to stand vigil downtown with Women in Black. Normally, I just walk around outside bare-footed to get an Earth-fix, but the blanket idea is nicer. 

That's red clover infusion up there. I try not to miss a day without a pot of mineral-rich herbal infusion -- rotating tonic herbs like dried red clover, nettle, and oatstraw for my infusions, either bought in bulk or homegrown. When I stray from this routine, I feel it in my energy level, my mood, even my sleep. To make medicinal-strength herbal infusion like this, place one cup of dried herbs into a French-press pot or jar, fill the pot with boiling water, cover and infuse for at least 4 hours, then strain. Drink within a day or so and if it goes beyond, water plants with it. 

Do you know the color indigo green? It comes from reusing your already-processed indigo leaves -- you take those used-up leaves that just gave you indigo blues, add water to cover, boil them to death for an hour, and leave it all to rest for a day. The next day add a teaspoon of alum along with some silk, let sit for another day or so and voilĂ , indigo green.

I've mentioned Earthing before. It is a means of connecting and grounding one's self with the healing power of the Earth. The Earth -- being a kind of battery for us when we physically connect, without sidewalks, shoes, etc. between us -- charges us with electrons that intercept free radicals and reduce inflammation throughout our bodies, among other things. Earthing is sort of like curling up with your mother to feel better -- remember that feeling? Below is a great positive introductory video and another good one is here.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending and maybe Earthing, too! xo

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

dyeing with homegrown indigo

    Japanese indigo, Polygonum tinctorium, growing in the Buddha garden.

    8 ounces fresh leaves covered with water.

    Turned to black.

    Turned to yellow. The utensils are holding down the cloth.

    Cloth is ready to be lifted out. See the parts exposed to air.

    First of three batches.


    Silks on the right, cottons on the left.

    Another cloudy cloth.

Yesterday was a good day to dye. I guess I really didn't have a clue. All the articles and blog posts that I've read about indigo couldn't even come close to describing the magic. It's one of those things where you have to be there. During the prep phase, the dye-bath changes from the darkest blue into yellow -- then as the cloth is lifted out of the yellow dye-bath, it transforms into its own perfect blueness right before your eyes. It might be in the miracle category.

This is 8 ounces of fresh leaves with cottons, silks and a felted wool using the directions in the book A Dyer's Garden by Rita Buchanan.

 I love each one -- from the light cloudy blues ~ to the royals ~ to midnight. Day to night. xx