Thursday, February 27, 2014

moon of mine

Stitched around, 
Love is bound,
Wheel divine, 
Moon of mine (repeat 100x or so)

I loved thinking about them, and dyeing and then stitching them. These moons of mine, oh how I love them. February's dye & stitch mandala, is complete -- part of my moon art ritual for 2014, #2 in the series of 13 moondalas. This one is a pansy-dyed background with a raspberry-dyed moon stitched with embroidery floss. January's is a grape-dyed background with an undyed white wool moon. They are about 4" square.

It is the dark of the moon now and I'm trying to be more still, to do one thing at a time. No multi-tasking allowed -- even stitching and knitting in silence. No radio, no music, no podcasts -- only the sounds of the dogs sighing as they fall asleep and their yips and growls as they chase rabbits and squirrels in their dreams.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending to you. I'll be knitting sleeves on a certain purple february lady sweater as well as making a permanent impression on the seat of my chair. That kind of multi-tasking cannot be avoided. xo

Monday, February 24, 2014

play before work moonday

Today is a waning (fourth quarter) moonday moving into the sign of Capricorn. Both the moon and Capricorn are associated with using our energy where it serves us best. The moon helps us to let go of lost causes and Capricorn helps us to focus on realistic possibilities.

I started the day with a list of housework and errands to run. What I really wanted to do though was make myself an Americano coffee and stitch. Play before work.

The February moondala, part of my monthly sewing ritual for this year, is a raspberry-dyed wool moon on a pansy-dyed wool background stitched with embroidery floss. It's not a full color spectrum piece just yet but when all the moondalas are together, the larger piece will be.

And February's flower bouquet has been rolled and steamed. I wonder what will come of all the white daisies?

Wishing you a lovely week filled with color!

Friday, February 21, 2014

horseradish and rosemary

After fighting a cold for several days, I surrendered. Sometimes that's the easiest thing to do. I see it as an opportunity to both detox and try different herbal remedies on myself. People don't take your recommendations seriously if you haven't experienced using them yourself. I think that applies to a lot of things, don't you? 

I started with horseradish. I mean to make horseradish sauce every autumn but things get too busy and I forget. The ground is frozen now so an organic root from the healthy food store sufficed. I chopped up enough root to fill a little glass jar and topped it off with 100 proof vodka. It should be strong enough to use in just a day or two, so I'll try it later to clear my nasal congestion. There was some root left so I grated it up (on the small holes of a box grater) and added a little vinegar and salt to make a condiment for last night's dinner. I also added a little cream to some of it but that really toned it down, almost too much. The bite is half the fun. If you take a spoonful of this and let it sit in your mouth until it stops feeling hot, it'll clear your sinuses. I've been doing this all day today and it works. Rather than me going over all the goodness of horseradish, here's a nice page on its medicinal uses. And Susun Weed of the Wise Woman Center was my inspiration to use horseradish for my cold and also for this easy method of condiment-making.

Today I made fresh ginger tea -- about a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger steeped in hot water -- combined with homemade basil honey and it also cleared congestion -- I could even taste the sweetness which was wonderful. Honey is sugar, yes, but it also has antibiotic and antiviral qualities plus it lifts one's spirits. Then I had a mouthful of honey-candied osha root which is a precious commodity around here. Sometime I'll write about the experience of harvesting osha root by hand, literally, in the mountains. Finally, after testing all these various herbal medicines, I think I'll have the horseradish sauce bedside tonight as it does the best job, all in all. 

I'm starting to baby my houseplants again, poking in dog food kibble as fertilizer, topping the soil level, a haircut if needed, and ending with a nice shower. The cat figurine in the rosemary pot was my mom's so she's pretty old. And she loves being in the rosemary. In fact, her name is Rosemary! What a coincidence. ;)

When I was picking up the sleeve stitches on the February lady sweater, I knew I should have left the yarn that was place-holding them as a lifeline. But I didn't and as I was pulling it out I thought to myself you're going to be sorry. And I am so sorry. It has been a nightmare, I tell you. I told Jan I am not capable of doing such a pattern, I have no business knitting this sweater in the first place. I was in a dark place. After about four hours, I'm maybe back to where I was. I'm not going to be doing any more lace knitting any time soon.

So looking forward to finding new patterns on Ravelry -- as soon as those two sleeves are knitted up and they're only 3/4 length so it won't be long.

And that is that. Thanks for visiting here and happiest and healthiest of weekends to you! xo 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

out of the january dye-pot

I unrolled the January flower bouquet bundle this morning, once again moldy as all heck yet smelling divine with those few eucalyptus stems in the mix. Meanwhile February's bouquet to dye with is still being enjoyed on the coffee table but it's getting close. I started these monthly flower bouquet dye-bundles in November and here are the ones from December, too. I might set up a page for this monthly dyeing ritual.

The raspberry-dyed wool for the February moondala was still a little sticky even though it'd already been rinsed. As long as I had to swish it in water again, I figured a splash of vinegar might help fasten the color. I can't wait to get going, I love this kind of stitching -- the needle sinks into wool in the nicest way. There should be a special name for it.

Our bee sisters are ravenous today. I poured a little sugar syrup on a plate to help thin the crowd at the feeder and it was gone immediately. In a little while I'm going to suit up to refill the feeder jar because they are really in a frenzy today. When taking this photo, they were zipping around me and I could feel them touching my hair, which sort of stuck out all over because I still had bed head.

Every single day moonrise is later by 50 minutes. Days go by where I don't even see the night moon, but I know her light steadily wanes and fades now as I sleep. The moon lets go, so I try to let go, too, with simple living and finishing what's already begun. And that feels pretty good.

Friday, February 14, 2014

full moon dye-pot

Today is the full moon so I'll begin a second moondala for full moon art. I feel like it should have some red for the energy and power of the season -- the light is noticeably strengthening here, day by day brighter and lighter and longer and higher in the sky. My intention for the 13 moondala art project is to use eco-dyed wool as much as I can so I used what red-makers I had on hand -- a bag of frozen raspberries with a 2012 expiration date and some red beet powder (for coloring homemade lipstick). The raspberry wool turned the exact color of raspberries, the beet wool came out dark rusty red, and I choose raspberry. It has been rinsed by the way, the color held. The background for this moondala will be some ice-flower-dyed wool (pansies), a light blue-green hue.

With all the patterns flying around cyberspace, I had to try some heart knitting. They are so cute and take only about 10 minutes each. A garland of hearts perhaps -- the pattern is here.

The hanger heart is a plain heart, no lace for that one. Just a millinery bit and an old button.

On this full moon day, it will be good to take stock of all that is good and loving in life. Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xo

Monday, February 10, 2014

moonday heart

One could say I've been focused on matters of the heart. Easy bright stitches using threads plucked almost randomly out of the thread nest. No decisions to be made which can really hold up a project for me -- it's that Libra moon of mine and even though I know it's that Libra moon of mine, there doesn't seem to be much I can do about it sometimes. 

I like how the hanger heart is looking so far wrapped with strips of frayed cloth. Now for some lace.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Cancer and how I love a nice Cancer moonday. Working on projects right in your cozy home is the ideal activity for today and maybe a pot of soup, too.

Home is where my heart is.  Today, tomorrow, actually all week. xo

Friday, February 7, 2014

ivy and lace

It's been so cold here -- some days the high has hovered around 0 degrees F. A little indoor gardening was in order and potting up a few sprigs of rooted ivy was just the ticket. The wood coaster the little pot sits on is a slice off the bottom of our tree at Yule. 

I'm thinking about making a valentine with the wire coat hanger, cloth strips and pieces of lace from that pile up there. I did a search online and there are about a thousand ideas so I clicked right out and will see what I come up with on my own now that I have about a thousand images in my head.

Do you or did you ever memorize words to popular songs? It's always sort of bothered me that when I'm with my friends and we listen to 60's-70's-80's music, they know ALL the words to the songs, and I don't. Oh maybe easy lines like maybe "drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry" -- you know. I guess I didn't used to be the sing-along type. But recently Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles came up and it seemed easy enough and it was. Thinking about what my next song should be, something a little harder.

Fittingly, I'm really looking forward to the ice slowly melting. Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xo

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right.

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes (5x)

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear

Here comes the sun, here come the sun
And I say it's all right
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It's all right, it's all right

Monday, February 3, 2014

sunshiny moonday

A new month, short and sweet. Between the sun reflecting on the snow outside and the February calendar page glowing in the kitchen, today is the brightest of days. I finished the little woven heart cloth, adding rose quartz beads to strengthen affairs of the heart and love and contentment. The cord was made by twisting lengths of blue and creamy pearl cottons. Nice to finish something and now I'm back to knitting the february lady sweater.

I found the Mona Lisa print when we cleared out my parents' house a few years ago and think it was mine during a phase in high school. I remember having jewelry with her image, too, and still have a funky pair of cuff links. I could not resist the sunshine pillow from One King's Lane because it was a song my parents sang to us kids all the time. You could almost say it was their theme song and my dad used to whistle it when he was driving as well. Funny that he and I both sneezed whenever we looked at the sun -- called a photic sneeze reflex.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Aries. Moonwise, we continue to grow and increase projects already begun while fiery Aries energizes and motivates. A nice combination for the next few days.

To sunshiny days.