Monday, June 30, 2014

a mandala pillow moonday

I ended up making a round insert for the mandala pillow crocheted by my mother or maybe her mother, I'm not sure who crocheted it. Each side has different colors so in a way it's reversible -- it's pretty bright, too, right along with those seven orchid blooms. That orchid is earning a well-deserved rest after the production she's put on for us these past weeks.

The feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium, in the garden this summer is the best I've ever seen with tall, sturdy stems and perfect blossoms. My first moon garden herb ever, it literally glows at dusk and into the night. It is a preventative treatment for migraine headaches and I've decided we don't get headaches very often around here because we have so much feverfew growing all around us. It reseeds freely but is also easy to control. I honor and appreciate this plant, we go way back together.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of Leo. If you have been feeling the effects of Mercury's retrograde, it will be happy news that Mercury will go direct again tomorrow, July 1. A Mercury retrograde can have disruptions, mishaps, bloops and blunders that revolve mainly around communication, technology, mechanics, and travel. The positive side -- and there always is, isn't there -- is that these delays might just create more time for reflection, examination and change.

Lemon mint honey was made this morning. I filled a jar with tops of garden mint that hadn't yet bloomed, about half a lemon's worth of grated rind and a few hard squeezes of lemon juice, then covered everything to the top with honey. It is good. Right after that I read in an herbal that mint is a good herb to take during periods of Mercury retrogrades. Ha!

"When Mercury is in retrograde, individuals who suffer emotionally and have great difficulties in their lives will be aided by using peppermint. Mercury's swiftness and ability to impart rapid mental states and quick thinking are activated." The Spiritual Properties of Herbs by Gurudas.

Wishing you a back-in-the-swing-of-things kind of week. xx

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


The little June mandala is blooming -- it's #6 of my monthly sewing ritual, 13 moondalas. A grape-dyed full moon on a raspberry-dyed background -- the French knots are in honor of a certain angelica plant blooming her heart out right this very minute.

Inside, the orchid re-bloom is still going well, six of the seven buds have opened. The plant-pick wrapped with beads in the background is from the garden store, am thinking about making a few myself though.

Outside, well for starters we had hail for dinner the other night, I've lost count of the number of times it's hailed this year -- but being smallish and it being early in the season yet, the garden has bounced back every time.

I braided a clump of young sweet grass -- collected one morning volunteering at a public herb garden. You can't let sweet grass escape its pot in a demo garden and I couldn't let it go to waste. It smells heavenly as it dries as well as when it smolders and smudges.

For some reason summer has a connotation of being slow and easy, but I'm finding it to be just the opposite. Maybe it's just not hot enough here yet.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

moving on

This is an amazing video -- Moving On by James -- using animated yarn and I just can't get enough of it.

Right now we're either moving toward our longest or shortest day of the year, depending on where we live. I'll soon be celebrating a fiery Summer Solstice with some women friends and I'm wishing you some very happy solstice weekending, too. xo

Monday, June 16, 2014

a woolly moonday

June's woolly moondala is a grape-dyed moon on a raspberry-dyed background. Its colors seem to have been influenced unwittingly by the sweet woolly pouch that Jan got me when he was out-of-town. I love noticing and then feeling slightly surprised by synchronicities like this.

June always means roses -- these were a little beaten up when I picked them, having just made it through an afternoon of rain and hail, so they're not lasting very long. They are Gertrude Jekyll roses, my favorite for flavor and fragrance.

We like to watch for goldfinches around here, the photo was taken through the living room window that needs cleaning really bad. We decided that the streaks and spots help the birds to not fly into it though, we really hate it when that happens.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of airy Aquarius. Aquarius days are good for social gatherings -- also known for improvements and inventions -- perfect circumstances for a group-brainstorming session.

To a beautiful week!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

three good things

Three good things today.

An orchid re-blooming -- I've been reminding it to bloom every time I water it --and it worked. This is cause for celebration because a re-bloom has never happened before.

A little fox on a hexipuff for the beekeeper's quilt. We are fox-lovers but rarely see them around anymore since coyotes and mange entered the picture. Living in the city, any kind of wildlife sighting is a pretty big deal for us -- we even sort of like rabbits. Well, the dogs love them, Jan likes them, and I'm so-so because of the garden.

A heavenly bouquet -- Cheyenne mock orange, Philadelphus lewisii.

Three good things. xx

Friday, June 6, 2014


This has been the perfect spring for angelica to grow and thrive -- and by the looks of it, there will be many seedlings to share next year. She grows in the lunaria garden and I do hope they get along all right, giving each other the space they need. About as tall as me, I am reminded of a woman standing watch over the little ones at her feet. According to the doctrine of signatures -- the idea that a plant treats the body part or condition that it resembles -- angelica, with its hollow tube of a stalk that resembles the tubes of the body, heals bronchial (tube) congestion and enhances blood circulation (vessels and veins). The Herbal Tarot describes angelica as an herb that encourages communication with the angelic realm and following the heart's path with faith and certainty.

It feels awkward to knit on such big needles for the shoulder cozy, I think I prefer small ones. I bet a lot of people feel the same. It's always a relief for me to knit up a tiny hexipuff on size 3's or whatever they are. I suppose if I knew how to knit socks, I might turn to socks for large-needle relief.

That vintage crocheted pillow was made by my mother or maybe her mother, not sure. I took it apart to be cleaned and must have thrown out the old insert -- deciding now if I should make a new one or take the easy way and just stuff it with fiberfill, which is the direction I'm leaning. As you can see, it's pretty bright but it'll be a nice pop of color on our gray retro-style sofa. Actually, I'm surprised that there was anything this BRIGHT anywhere in my parents' home. But there it is.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending following your heart's path. xo

Monday, June 2, 2014

moondala moonday

A nettle moondala -- a May mandala -- or just #5 of 13 moondalas, my monthly sew & dye ritual -- there are many names for this little bitty cloth. It is a tulip-dyed moon on a nettle-dyed background, all wool with cotton embroidery threads. Little hairs are stitched onto the leaf-centered spiral, just like the little stingers on the nettle plant, herself. As nettle is a beloved plant to me, the nettle patch is one of my favorite parts of the garden. A perfect example of making food your medicine, we eat steamed nettles in the spring before she blooms and I drink dried nettle infusion year-round. Nettle also freezes nicely so we're able to have it in winter soups, too, or in any recipe that calls for a cooked green.

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of fiery Leo. Since Leo's ruling planet is the Sun, Leo days may feel warmer than normal, something a person welcomes in the winter, but not so much in the summer. It's pretty hot here today, maybe the sun is making up for those freezing temperatures with snow that we had only a few weeks ago. If you find yourself more self-confident now -- enough to be extra-frank and straightforward with other people, well that's a Leo characteristic, too.

To sunny days ahead.