Monday, December 29, 2014

ice cold moonday

I drew from the light of the moon and the stars and the sun while stitching December's moondala -- #12 of my monthly dye & stitch ritual, named 13 moondalas. Each mandala is made with eco-dyed wool -- this one's black background is from a garden mint/iron water dye-bath but I don't remember the source of color for the beige moon. Anything having to do with plants needs to be written down, I really do know better.

It's been snowing on and off the past few days. I went outside to look for a glimpse of green but the only bit to be seen was in the strand of cloth chickens. After a minute or so, I decided to settle for the green inside the house instead. I'm loving this rhipsalis plant rooting in the bottle -- strange-looking, isn't it?

I just finished reading The Signature of All Things -- the plant descriptions, especially of moss, were fascinating and the characters eccentric, but hey aren't we all when you get down to it, so those parts I liked. I'm not quite sure what else to say about the book yet -- it's too soon -- it always grieves or maddens me when a good story ends before I'm ready. So that probably means a thumb's up.

Today is a waxing moonday in Aries. As the moon continues growing into fullness over this next week, we carry on, too -- developing and bringing things to fruition. I'm making lists and thinking about what my next full moon art ritual might be. Savoring this time.  

I wish you a happy week, wherever you are and however you welcome the New Year. It is ice cold here. xo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

december patterns

Every December I take photos of at least one sunrise -- I just realized that. Like a moth in darkness, I know I'm not the only one fluttering around the precious light. More strings of lights have been hung in this house this year than in a long time and thank goodness for the kind that come with timers now.

Every December I start craving fresh greens to eat and green threads to stitch. I would be a very good candidate to have a little greenhouse -- just big enough to grow lettuces in. I realized the easiest way to wash and dry lettuce is to trim off the bottom but still keep the bunch together while holding it under the faucet -- then pop into a container where the water just runs off, the same as it does when lettuce grows in soil.

And every December, the snowflake curtains are hung, to remain until winter is over. This is their fifth year, the best paper thing I've ever made.

I'm recognizing patterns, both intrinsic and extrinsic, in my life. It might be a good way to simplify and do what's truly meaningful in the future.

Thanks for visiting -- I wish you Peace in the changing Light! xo

Monday, December 15, 2014

glitter house moonday

Glitter houses were our Thanksgiving craft this year, I only just finished mine. I pretty much love anything to do with houses.

We used paper mache boxes in the shape of a house, some were pretty rough so that made it all the more interesting. There are six other sparkling, colorful, charming houses that my family made but the photos didn't come out well enough to do them justice.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of Libra. Love, beauty, balance and fairness are all aspects of Libra. The Libra way is a pathway to finding (or simply noticing) those qualities.

Yuletime is a season that seems to ask a lot from us. Each year, my priorities get straightened out a little bit more. What was important last year might not be this year and expectations of myself get pared down too. But it's still a bit much. This list came by email this morning from Colette Baron-Reid and I think it's a good one.

 1. Be grateful
 2. Be thoughtful
 3. Be compassionate to yourself and others
 4. One is enough and if that isn't true for you, abstain altogether
 5. No is an excellent word, use it
 6. Being present with someone you love is the best present of all to give them
 7. Make a daily self-care plan and stick to it
 8. Stay connected to like-minded others
 9. Meditate meditate meditate and breathe breathe breathe
10. Never compare yourself
11. Manage your relationships -- you and Spirit, then you and you, and you and others
12. If you do all of the above, then you have this truth to look forward to -- miracles can and do                 happen

To the beauty way. xo

Monday, December 8, 2014

moonday beeing

Today is a waning crescent moonday in Cancer. It's time for my monthly sewing ritual -- each month around the full moon, I begin assembling and stitching a tiny 4" mandala on home-dyed wool. This one is a beige moon on a black background dyed with garden mint and iron water. I didn't label the beige and now I've totally forgotten what plant produced its color. I'm sure I was sure I'd never forget.

The silk organza on the moon is also from the mint and iron water dye-bath. It may or may not be part of the finished moondala.

Even though I've been eyeing it lately, I couldn't bear to cut up the beautiful vintage table linen from Sandi M. quite yet -- monochromatic colors of cloth and stone with a touch of color are a very good vibe now. I'm trying to recreate this peaceful combination throughout the house wherever I can.

The moon's waning phase is always a good time to let go -- to relax and sink back into ourselves. I'm staying close to home, like our honeybees who only venture out when the temperature is above 43 degrees F.

Stitched a couple more lines on we are all here -- I love doing this. See you if the temperature gets above 43.

Monday, December 1, 2014

a moonday sheet of cloth

December 1. It is now that I feel like lighting candles again, even in the daytime. It is now when flower bouquets seem to last so very long. And it is now that I need small projects to keep me grounded.

The first line on the sheet of cloth is something I found myself thinking today, I really don't know why. Possibly all the figures on my sewing table or maybe I'm still feeling the love from Thanksgiving, or it could be all of us here on Earth right now. Whatever, it is a beginning and I am looking forward to filling the page.

Today is a waxing moonday -- it is now that we begin or continue to carefully tend the seeds we have imagined into being.

Grow, baby, grow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

a showy moonday

I love that I didn't see it coming. I came out to the living room the other morning and lo and behold the Christmas cactus had become a Thanksgiving cactus. Best of all are its magenta blossoms combined with the colors in those handmade pillows -- downright showy.

Some other pillows around the house that I am crazy about -- the sunshine pillow reminds me of my parents who sang that song to us kids. And there's the sweetest little fragrant sleep pillow, a party favor, in front of the smile pillow on the bed. The word smile is a reminder for when I wake up in the morning, inspired by this. A lot of days, I don't notice it until I make the bed though. You'd think I really like to make the bed because I'm always smiling.

The colors of the knitted leaves I blocked this morning are bright and cheery -- hoping to make a bunting with them in time for Thanksgiving Day.

Today is a waxing moonday in Capricorn. Capricorn is task-oriented and we are influenced to be more organized and disciplined about getting things done. I always welcome a Capricorn moon, especially when there's a lot to do. And there is.

Wishing you a good start to the new week, it's going to be wonderful, yes?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

no-vember's yes


Yes. Right when I needed it the most, I read (over at Dee Mallon and Cloth Company) about drawing inward at this time of seasonal change and putting the no in November. For me, November's no means yes on so many levels that it's going to become an annual ritual.

The woolly November mandala is stitched with a grape juice dyed moon on a Japanese indigo dyed background. This is #11 in my stitch & dye ritual, 13 moondalas. It's sort of Fair Isle-ish so that got me looking at Fair Isle patterns on Ravelry. I like this one but for today a little duplicate stitch on a hexipuff satisfies.

That's one of several jars of dye-bath from summer, rich with color and nearly opaque -- in just seconds it stained both the countertop and my hands dark purple. Out came Mr. Magic Eraser. The cloth is an unmordanted heavy cotton napkin, always hard to dye, but so far it looks like it may hold the color.

Two knits still in the making -- the Hitchhiker and the Stitch Sampler Shawl. Now that I have the hang of it, I'm liking the Hitchhiker a lot and the Stitch Sampler Shawl is some pretty adventurous knitting. I'm in an exciting part now, dropping yarnovers, I absolutely love the way it looks.

It is a waning moontime now -- I'm wishing you all the time you need to pull back and assess, to dream and plan . . . in the spirit of November.

Monday, November 10, 2014

moonday needle book

My little needle book -- cotton, linen, wool felt, an old button and vintage rickrack trim. Oh, how I loved making it.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of Cancer. We may feel more sensitive and find ourselves not wanting to leave home now. Instead, we want to nest and cook and feed people. And grow things -- everything from plants to collections.

A change of weather blew in this morning and the temperature has been dropping all day. They say we may even have our first snowfall -- one of these days that forecast will be right.

Wishing you the happiest of weeks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

needle book moonday

It is cold and wet outside on this waxing moonday in Aries. There might even be a little snow tonight -- just when we were starting to believe that autumn would be nothing more than a continuation of late-summer. Only a week ago I picked the last of the green peppers while lots of late-planted dill is still blooming and a big clump of lemon grass awaits its harvest. The bees have been out foraging daily but the time has come to get them ready for winter.

Step-by-step, I'm stitching a Rumi-cloth patch for the front of a needle book. I've never used or even owned a needle book before but think I'm going to like it. Because something or someone steals my needles during the night. The same something or someone that tangles up the garden hose every night all summer long.

Our Aries moon has really great assertive energy for starting new things. The general feeling though is that projects begun during an Aries moon will need long-term planning to see them through to completion -- Aries is so fiery it just fizzles out completely sometimes. 

I like a good strong start, it almost has to be to withstand all the second-guessing I do at the beginning. 

And I'm wishing you a good start to your week, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

crafting our day of the dead

October's moondala is #10 in the eco-dye & stitch 13 moondalas project. The fibers are recycled wool dyed with onion skins and raspberries -- my color choices were most definitely inspired by last year's October moon cloth. The stack is growing.

We had our Dia de Muertos, Day of the Dead, family get-together a few days ago. After dinner, our loved ones were remembered and honored with photos, memories and stories. We cried and laughed both. The altar had more photos than ever this year -- as our family grows, the circle of loved ones gone to the Great Beyond gets larger, too.

The seeds that grew this tradition were planted after our boy, Corty, died of leukemia when he was nearly seven. This ritual-like gathering bonds and strengthens us and for me it is necessary.

During our time together before dinner all 13 of us just hang out. There's a football game on in one room and music playing in the next. Basketball outside and Foosball inside. And there is always a craft. A few weeks ago at a re-use store closeout, Jan bought me seven identical snowy, sparkling churches for a nickel each. They've gone to the dark side.

It always ends with chocolate cake. It was a good day. And I wish you a good week. xo