Monday, October 28, 2013

our day of the dead

Yesterday our family, 13 of us in all including one boyfriend, gathered for our version of Day of the Dead, Dia de Muertos. We made tissue paper flowers, crafted garlands, watched football, cooked, and ate jalapeno poppers, guacamole, salad, fajitas, and chocolate cake. We played basketball and foosball, made dry-ice smoke, and lost and found one cell phone. We had our ritual of writing something we want to let go of on a little piece of flash paper and taking turns lighting it and tossing it high and seeing it disappear before our very eyes. And we remembered and laughed and cried.

I like going to the china hutch-turned-altar we created for our loved ones gone to the Great Beyond. Lifting the black tulle veil; lighting the candles; holding mementos -- a scissors, a pincushion; looking at photos -- seeing our little boy riding his big wheels and my mom standing beside the boy's bike she won in a contest in 1960; looking into the eyes of grandmothers and a great-grandmother to see if I can see myself.

Today is a moonday in Virgo. It's recommended to intentionally create relaxation and pleasure on Virgo days -- there is a tendency to overdo and slip into the mode of all work and no play. The moon continues to wane and Halloween, All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day will occur under the dark moon.

I'm hoping for clear nights and bright stars this week.

Friday, October 25, 2013

parsley salad

Regular life going on here. Eating, knitting, nesting. I love the green vibe of homegrown parsley salad more than anything in the world right now. A natural diuretic, it'll also make short order of any puffiness or bloating from water retention. Loving the boule, too -- a loaf of really good bread is a big deal for us -- with a thick layer of pasture butter spread on top. Oh my.

You can see the purple lady sweater has lifelines threaded around every so often -- but if you spot any mistakes, I probably don't need to know about them.

The acorns are headed for the dye-pot, courtesy of Nancy. What a treat to receive these beauties, bagged by location from her surroundings. I took lots of photos to remember them by, we just don't have acorns like these around here.

Houseplants are crowding out my other interests on the stacked-suitcase table. They love the southern exposure there by the glass block window. When I bring all the plants inside for the winter, everything gets crammed by the windows and it feels dark and crowded. After a while though, dark and crowded turns into cozy.

Thanks for visiting -- wishing you a cozy weekend. xo

Monday, October 21, 2013

moonday cloth and crow

After a summer break, the crows are back. Every  morning they roost in a big maple tree by the front door and call us until we toss out a handful of peanuts. Once in a great while they get an egg. We've got each other trained and there's something in it for each of us. They eat, we enjoy watching them. That's a velvet crow I started sewing a long time ago. I love velvet and I also love crows but realize that a lot of people don't. 

The October full moon cloth is underway. I tried this same background fabric for September but it wasn't right for that one. It's right for this one. 

Yesterday I picked all the marigolds I could find for drying, Calendula officinalis -- if the weather holds, there may even be more coming. Funny, I'd never thought of pot marigolds as being particularly hardy but I guess they are.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of Gemini. Waning moon energy helps us to let go -- that could mean finishing up projects, cleaning, cutting back, sorting, discarding, etc. Gemini is a mutable sign conducive to change and tolerance. More Gemini associations are socializing, brainstorming and other intellectual-type activities.

Wishing you a wonderful week. I'll be right here feeding crows and stitching moons.

Friday, October 18, 2013

making a skull pouch


I was up late the night before last, anytime there's an evening function, it takes a while to process and unwind -- and I had had one earlier that night.  So the dogs and I went out around 11 PM to both ground and moon bathe. The night photos (no flash) are unedited except for the moonscape, couldn't resist that effect. Normally things are black and white and gray at night but it was so bright a good amount of pink was visible. You could even see the stars. No wonder I couldn't sleep.

I'm making a little skull pouch from scraps of wool and some home-dyed indigo green silk. The package of vintage rick-rack from my mom's stash was unopened, I hesitated but thought to myself what are you going to do with it, sell it? -- of course not, use it. While I was rummaging through the stash bin, I found the page with my measurements on it and can't describe the feeling of seeing my name written in her hand. She measured me whenever she visited and once back home in North Dakota, she sewed outfits for me -- skirts and tops mostly -- my baby years so measurements fluctuated. Every single visit we went to as many fabric stores as possible to choose fabrics and she always paid, of course. I still have some of the patterns she used with notes about the fabric, length and so on. As we approach the time of year when the veil thins between the worlds, her presence strengthens each day and it feels really good. 

Today is the full moon. Getting ready to begin my full moon sewing ritual, the calendar cloth is nearly used up. This will be number 11 in the 13 moon series using months of calendar cloth -- a ritual of drawing down the moon with meditation and stitching cloth on cloth. 

Some corners of our home up there. Home is where I want to be always. Happy full moon weekending. Peace.

Monday, October 14, 2013

red powder moonday

Stitching 'round and 'round on the woven, as to whether it's a mandala -- well, probably not. But I still call it that.

Cayenne peppers were dried and ground into about a cup of powder. I sneezed and coughed and opened all the windows and doors and turned the stove fan on. Hot stuff. And redder than the commercial cayenne pepper, which for some reason makes me very proud. I used a spice grinder and it worked great.

A change of direction for the $2 skeleton from JoAnn's. I painted it white, then yellow, then white again, and in the end it was simply papered with old dictionary pages. I like about anything if it's covered with book pages.

Today is a waxing moonday in watery Pisces. Moist, cool, and fruitful, Pisces draws us inward and makes us more intuitive, more sensitive. Outer edges and personal boundaries can seem unclear and blurred. How we see things may not be the way others see them -- so live and let live!

Wishing you a most receptive week.

Friday, October 11, 2013

wavy on the woven

I'm going wavy on the woven cloth -- stitching the lines in the design -- all around and everywhere. I wish I was more decisive, seem to have to think everything through, a color choice is major and even how many strands of floss to use. It's that Libra moon of mine, I guess -- decisions slow in the making.

That's our front door. I got the decal here, in case you like it, too.

I made the harvest moon tassel a few years ago. The face is clip art and the rest is odds and ends. I pleated and stitched the vintage ribbons around the face. There's a small amount of glitter. I remember that I had a lot of fun with it. It's a whole different "feel" -- making with paper.

Getting ready to set up our Day of the Dead altar this weekend. Here is last year's. Decorating skulls and skeletons has become a tradition, I don't think we have a golden yellow one yet. This is going to be fun.

I really liked Kristen's post about practicing three ways of radical kindness when dining out so I'm passing it on in case you eat out this weekend!

Thanks for dropping by and happy half-moon weekend. xo

Monday, October 7, 2013

mostly knitting moonday

It's autumn for sure. We had a freeze last week so the tomatoes, basils, and other tender plants are done -- hardier ones like mums and chard and parsley prevail. Truthfully, it was a relief to let the tomatoes go toward the light, there was really very little hope. Our temperatures will be close to 80 degrees today so it's warmer outside than it is in the house, it feels so good out there.

 I've been knitting a lot lately -- on the lady sweater, some hexipuffs, and yesterday another acorn with smaller needles and finer yarn. Found a few real acorns, too -- felt sort of bad taking them because they're a food source for squirrels, but not bad enough to stop me. 

A mandala cloth of some sort is in the works on a woven background. It sort of looks like a dream-catcher at this point, but that's not really what I'm envisioning. But who knows.

I'm organizing cloth and yarn -- that means a few more short lengths of yarn leftovers were added to the minestrone project. Straight stockinette on straight needles. This is the kind of knitting that you can walk through the house to let the dogs in or out while you're knitting because there's no ball of yarn, just a length trailing behind you. I mention this because I've seen amazing old photos of people knitting socks and such while they're standing or walking, pretty amazing.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Scorpio. Quiet focus on inner matters is Scorpio energy. Building, growing and working toward completion are waxing moon energies. Things are happening on all levels so why not focus on the best-case scenario.

Harmony might be a good word for today.

Friday, October 4, 2013

black white red

The September moon cloth was finished just in time for today's new moon in Libra. It's the tenth little full moon cloth in a series of 13 full moons, my sewing ritual for this year. Each cloth has a full moon, a house with an eye, and a calendar cloth component -- to be completed by the following new moon. Sometimes I barely make my own deadline. This piece kept getting complicated, there was a lot of tearing out and a lot of sighing. Finally I decided to not worry about adding components, to just let the background cloth be the focus. Simple does not always mean easy.

I'm envisioning the wheat bundle from my birth state, North Dakota, as the Goddess Demeter's wand but probably not many farmers would think of it quite like that.

The fermented cayenne peppers for hot pepper sauce that I started a few weeks ago were blended and strained this morning. One half-cup was all I got from a whole pint jar stuffed with peppers because there was mold on the very top so half the jar had to be pitched. From what I've read, if you remove the moldy parts and the remainder doesn't taste or smell bad, it's okay. Really, really hot stuff -- I named it cha-cha sauce -- so a half-cup will be plenty. Chop-chop sauce would be a good name, too, because it makes you run for milk or water.

More cayenne peppers -- deciding what to do with them. I think I have plenty drying for homemade cayenne powder already. Any ideas? Pickled? 

This time of year, beautiful red is everywhere. Those four tomatoes ripening on the kitchen windowsill are probably the last beefsteak tomatoes we'll have -- I had to pick them early because we're expecting a freeze tonight. There's lots more to do in the garden before nightfall.

Happy weekending and good gardening to you, whether you're harvesting, planting, or in-between. xo