Tuesday, August 14, 2018

late summer and sweetgrass

It's nice to always have some handwork going. Something that requires a bit of attention but not too much -- you won't lose your place by daydreaming or listening to someone or something. 

I'm not sure what a person would call this. Coloring with fabric, maybe?

Patchwork/applique stitched onto a piece of medium-weight decorator fabric. The cloth is probably heavy enough to upholster a chair seat but still easy to get a needle through. I use mostly odds and ends of thread and cloth.

I will probably color in one more flower and then make a pillow cover with it...or something easy like that.

As I plan to make a triple tincture with the flowers, seeds and roots of some Echinacea purpurea that grows along our front walkway, the echinacea altar seemed most appropriate.

The blossom and her leaves lasted for days and days.

Cilantro always bolts as soon as the heat sets in but this summer I discovered the blossoms are just as tasty as the leaves. Pretty happy about that.

I couldn't get over the colors in this juice before I stirred them together and everything turned drab brown/green.

The magician playing an ashiko drum, flowers, feather and rock placed on my ashiko drum.

Sweetgrass was braided on Lammas (Lughnasadh), the first harvest celebration on the old-time wheel of the year.

Lammas is usually a busy time for most people and it's sometimes hard to get together with friends. When that happens I try to do something special by myself.

Sweetgrass is considered to be the hair of Mother Earth. As an offering, I placed several scoops of vermicompost and an amethyst crystal in the pot.

I always thought sweetgrass was native to North America but learned recently that it is also native to Eurasia all the way from north of Switzerland right on up to the Arctic Circle. So now I find myself imagining my own ancestors harvesting long strands of the Mother's hair for medicine, basketry, flavoring and fragrance. I find it interesting that I had been looking for ways other than cooking or handwork to connect with my ancestors when out of the blue sweetgrass presented herself.

Making herbal preparations is much of what I do in late summer. Last year's red oil still smells nice and fresh but for some reason never got labeled. Suffice it to say, I will be using this oil generously over the next few months.

We had loads of black currants on one bush. They are not as tasty as red currants so I've not used them much -- however, this "cough syrup" is absolutely delicious. I prefer to call it juice from now on. I made it by simmering the berries in water, straining and adding a few tablespoons of honey.

And a liqueur seemed like a good use, as well, since I know now how much flavor those little nuggets have hidden inside.

The lavender in the front circle garden was nice this year, too.

Motherwort grows everywhere in our back yard, the bees love it and I do, too, in this honey. Motherwort is usually taken as tincture because it makes a bitter infusion, indeed.

I loved watercoloring some pages to use for my labels.

This hibiscus plant has been watercolored, too, don't you think? The Japanese beetles love her.

In the mornings lately, I have been making holy smoke with last year's remaining sweetgrass braid. I smudge myself while invoking the spirits to help me as I begin to create my day. The scent on my clothes and body is a sweet reminder.

Blessings of late summer and sweetgrass to you. xo