Google+ What I Made Today: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Thing of Beauty . . .

. . . is a joy that never lasts long enough . . .

So, last night, the Elderberry wine gets its final racking into 14+ bottles. It is beautifully clear, deep, blood red and so amazingly delicious that it's challenging to conjure the improvement that will occur in the bottles.

Today I make my handmade, rock-n-roll-nothing-fancy labels with only the royal title of "Elderberry Wine" and "Born 2007 * Bottled 4/2008." I consider that April isn't really here yet, but it's close enough for this intention. I wonder if I'll actually be able to wait those "at least" 30-days before opening a bottle. I recall harvesting the berries at Frostfire Farm in Goshen, CT in the beautiful heat of summer. I remember the labor of love, relaxing on the evening deck, separating berry from stalk and twig until I had a gallon of berries. Truly a labor of love.

Love that colors the flavor as the berries color the rest.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bowl, Blend, Pillow and . . .

My friends Jes and Bruce visited yesterday and very generously brought over some awesome one-gallon jugs and a bag of plastic bags! The jugs all have t be cleaned and I'm waiting for a warm day to manage that outdoors. As for the plastic bags, I finished my camp-bowl last night. I like it and I have more "yarn" in the making and more bags, still, to cut and work. But it's pretty cool, eh? A bowl made out of plastic bags . . .

. . . and made this little pillow with more of that old fabric . . .

Next . . . Three gallons of elderberry wine to bottle! Then to sleep, perchance to dream . . . to dream of more creations . . .

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yesterday, the Day Before . . .

I have been remiss in my entries here. It's not that I've been slacking, I've just been . . . prioritizing. Sadly, blogging here took a back seat for a few days.

Since my last post I made some herbal capsules, blended some more tea, planted peas and I started a new crochet project, one that could go on for a few more days . . .

You see, I have a boat-load of embroidery floss that I snagged from my mom when she moved. Little by little I am discovering outside-the-box uses for it. There are many, many skeins of this earthy-putty-olive-drab kinda color that I thought I'd see how far I could take. So I started a circular lacy pattern and we'll see how long it takes - and how big it gets - to use up the embroidery floss. So far, it's about a 16" diameter. Of course, it will grow slower and slower as the effort continues.

I also thawed nine pounds of cranberries . . .

. . . chopped and combined them with sugar, tea, banana, champagne yeast, love and a few other secret ingredients to start a batch of wine . . .

. . . that's bubbling nicely now and that will be ready for Yule 2008!

As for today, more crocheting. I have more garden seeds to get started, herbs to play with and package and other practical matters to tend to as well.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Peace with the Elements

Today I negotiated with Element Air and made a temporary pact. I made Fire for a friend into which offerings of life-past were cast, fueling new life and all that that may hold for her. I quenched flames and heated earth with Water as we quenched our own thirst with the same. I walked the Earth and traveled the veins to purchase more seed-starting soil for more babies. 

Got a sweet complement on my funky handbag. Got new Olfa blades too. Woot! 

That's what I made today. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Brief Case

A heavy corduroy skirt from the Salvation Army . . . remnants from drapery my mom made some 50 years ago . . . remnants from (that same) heavy cotton mattress-pad (also discarded from mom) . . . chop-chop . . . snip-snip . . . stitch-stitch . . .

For something like a buck-fifty I have a new padded briefcase, of sorts, perfect for my laptop and some files or whatever. I even graced it with an inner pocket. It is rough-sewn, nothing fancy, but very functional and rather good looking, if you ask me.

The drapery made the lining and the trim. The corduroy, complete with already-sewn-in detailing, made the exterior. And, of course, the mattress-pad is sandwiched between.

You can see that my MacBook fits nicely with some room to spare.

So, there it is. I conceived it a few days back. I started it yesterday. I finished it this morning.

I hope that as you celebrate renewal or resurrection in this season of spring that you will consider the regenerative forces in your everyday, ordinary life.

I hope that, in this season, however you may honor it, that you will seek and find something to recycle, recreate, repurpose with meaning and value to your life and the lives around you - today, yesterday and tomorrow.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Journal Sack

It feels good to return home, to return to projects started, projects planned and projects yet to be dreamt.

I return home to, among others things, the remnants of the fringe that framed that shower curtain that I ripped into the makings of that baby rug. Today, I pieced together the fringed remnants to create the sack that I had been dreaming of, one that would accommodate my journal (or even my laptop - or both!). I lined it with a sage-like green cotton and leveraged the "button" holes from whence it once hung from the shower rod, to tie the shoulder strap. The strap, made of the same green as the lining. All recycled and repurposed.

And I still have more of the curtain to play with . . .

Vernal Blessings or Marketing - You Choose!


Spring enters my world in the cleansing droplets of clearing rain and in the sweeping gusts of freeing winds.  Then . . . a moment of stillness . . . a sunrise . . . and a new dawn. A new reign.

Even as the first renewing rays of vernal sunshine kiss my little acre, my summer gardens are sparking to life in the flame of my heart and flourishing in my mind's eye - two vital spaces of creation. Those gardens are certainly reflected in the promise of the little sprouts and seedlings that beam to me in the south facing windows of my little hut. Those gardens are certainly reflected in the renewal of the "ordinary" fruits that will manifest and rule as the seasons progress toward harvest. Those gardens, however, are reflected in much, much more.

The seeds we plant in this season (as in any season) are seeds of renewal and they take their places on the throwns from which they rule in the days ahead. If it’s tomatoes you feel in your heart and see in your head, then be certain to plant to tomato seeds.

And may peace find free rein somewhere in your gardens, if only for a moment. Vernal blessings of springtime to you. Ashe.


This is the seasonal message of my latest Walk in the Woods eNewsletter. If you like this *and* would like to receive these eNewsletters - and don't already - just contact me and I will add you to my list for distribution (which is, BTW, 8 times a year and summarizes events, workshops and classes).  Thanks for your kind attention. Now - go out and create a wonderful day!

Be well by Nature!



"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, March 21, 2008

Harness (for the Winds)

I have nothing to show for myself. Nothing tangible, that is. Nothing in picture form.

I am still betwixt and between, here and there, without my usual implements of technology, not to mention my sewing machine, et al.

I have - yet another - new project started at home. The sewing machine is set up on the dining table, just waiting for my return. My return will allow me to finish stitching together the fringed remnants of that very same shower curtain that will one day - when it grows up - be a rug! Those fringed remnants are becoming - at least, in part - a handbag-ish affair. Just a little something bright and cheerful that I may use to carry the little pieces of my portable life with me as I venture here and there and back again in this fresh season of spring!

So, I've got that to look forward to.

As for today . . . I'll just harness the winds that are gusting in this new-born season . . . and float and fly where ever they may carry me.


Friday, March 14, 2008


I'm away from my home base, my little hut on the hill, thus the break in daily posting. No images either, I'm afraid. But I'm still manifesting.

I'm still working on my shower curtain rug. It's a portable project, so it travels with me. I unravelled a good deal of it, and then re-crocheted so that it might lie a bit more flat--a desired quality in a rug, methinks. On the the other hand, it may not end up being used as a rug. We shall see what it wants to be when it's ready to be whatever it is!

Anyway . . . the place where I am is high on a hill, a lovely landscape woven with woods and open field and meadow, ponds and running water, light and shadow, beauty everywhere. A GREAT place to wander in Nature. Yet, it seemed quiet and yesterday the boy commented that there weren't many birds here, that it seemed that there should be more. "We just need to invite them in," I replied. So yesterday morning, I spotted a lone blue jay and asked him to invite his friends. My path crossed with a nuthatch and bluebird to whom I also conveyed this welcoming wish. When I was home on my own little acre (to manage and pick up a few things), I paused to listen to the birds. I listened to them, to their melody, to their rhythm, to their laughter, to the beautiful music that they make as they work away at the season's chores. I listened, thanked them, and relayed--yet again--the invitation to join us in this other realm.

Today, there are birds everywhere. Ducks and crows, robins and nuthatches, chickadees and blue jays, and more. It's amazing what pausing to Listen can offer, as well as pausing to Ask.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Old Curtain to New Rug

Hocus Pocus

I’ve had this old cotton shower curtain for years. In the closet, that is. It has some bleach spots, a few paint spatters, but is a quality fabric in very happy colors. In recent years I’ve used it for picnicking and such, washed it, folded it, and placed it back in the closet, high on a shelf, with an inkling that it was to become something else. I just had to wait to see the creation it held within.

The colors are faded, yet still vibrant, bright and cheerful. THe day before yesterday I saw what it--or MOST of it--is to become. What you see if the beginning of a throw rug. 

Saturday, March 8, 2008

An Honor to the Coming Spring

Morning to afternoon was spent with lovely students, graciously opening themselves to the wisdom of Nature. And teaching me a thing or two as well! That's one of the charming things about playing the teacher role - I learn so much!

Spending almost six hours immersed in discussion, tasting and exploration of herbs and self-care, I was left resonating Green with Love. The fragrance of rain and scent of thawing earth fed this verve, and then I was left dreaming of the coming of spring.

I pull out some old hand-drawn cards for inspiration. Then out comes the pens and the card stock and I begin to create a small expression of honor to the coming season. 

Ashe. Ashe.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Project in Progress

The ball of "yarn" noted in my March 3 entry grew a bit before I started this crocheted sack. It's only just started, barely 20% complete. I have a ways to go with it and MORE "yarn" to create in order to go the distance.

Because I use my fabric sacks when shopping, I don't collect near as many plastic bags as the average shopper. I have friends promising me theirs, so I will now need to enlist patience as I look forward to finishing this project and using it! I suspect it will last me for years, for it is heavy and tough. I hope my friends gain inspiration to use fabric bags or learn earth-friendly ways to recycle all this plastic.

I started a second round-base sack (that small round in the front) from the lighter-weight clear-plastic bags we often collect our fruits and vegetables in for purchase. This will be a lighter-duty sack, but still one with lasting quality.

So, that's what I made today - a start, a project in progress. I'll post the finished product, though it may be a while, since I'm waiting on the recycled kindness of friends . . . but I'll be posting other creations in the meantime, so check back, will you? And inspire with a comment!

Thanks. Now go manifest something from nothing! 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Yesterday I made headway. Today I make the lists.

Yesterday I began the seasonal closet exploration. The coming of spring inspires many of us to clean out our closets, all too often with the intention (conscious or not) to fill them up again. We sort out our stuff to go to Goodwill, to the recycling center, to the ::gasp:: dump. But me . . . I sort by what I see hidden within that which has served its surface purpose.

I look beyond the obvious to glimpse what might be. I see projects, many projects. Old clothes made new again. Old clothes made into things that don’t resemble clothes at all. I still have more closet to survey and the drawers to get to, but I’ve made headway and I’ve started notes and accompanying lists for the projects that I foresee and the few sewing notions I might need to purchase to make them manifest. Fun vision, this!

I challenge you, look at something old today, and make it new again!

A recent example is that funky purse you see. That was made of pieces from an old patchwork dress, an old mattress pad and old drapery and a very vintage red rhinestone button that was given to me, along with many others, by my Aunt Mary.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sacred Space

Today I made sacred space.

Well, all space is sacred. I suppose it's more about raising the energy of our own awareness to that reality. And in raising that energy of awareness, we create a holy place, an altar upon which to build, a cauldron to stew our dreams, a space in which to manifest our dreams, whatever they may be.

The practice of raising this energy of awareness may be done with nothing but a feeling or a thought. It’s truly that simple. Yet simple’s not always easy. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I appreciate something around me, something tangible, to help my awareness stay keen, sharp and focused, no matter what my intention might be.

So it is that several months ago I created such tools to help me in such efforts. Four cords, spun in prayerful meditation, each with its own relationship to the four earthy directions. East. South. West. North. Each with its own unique meaning, value and essence of support.

I can hang them around me, or wear them, or place them on a table and in an instant I am able to create an altar of focus, to create the cauldron, to become the vessel . . . to become the altar. To BE sacred and one with all that is, was, and will be.

Today I made sacred space. I made sacred space with the help of lovely tools that spirit guided me to create during the winter. I am grateful to have them now and grateful too, for this sacred space I now have in which to  stir my intentions and raise that energy of awareness.

Silly, huh?


Monday, March 3, 2008

Ball of Yarn?

One trillion plastic bags are "used" every year and only 1% are recycled. My guess is that most of that waste is born right here in the northern hemisphere-namely the wasteful US. For shame. For shame.

I take reusable, washable fabric bags with me when I go shopping. Admittedly, I sometimes forget and so come home with the plastic things and then find myself collecting them because I simply can't justify throwing them in the garbage to momma Gaia. She'd have my ass!

My recycling center takes them now, but still, the energy (fossil fuel) that too frequently goes into recycling this waste is equally challenging to justify to a fierce, yet loving goddess.

So I find myself cutting them up to make balls of "yarn" that will transform into . . . drum roll please . . . reusable, durable, crocheted shopping bags (among other things)! And not a drop of dinosaur used in the process.  I'll post more on the process as it continues and I will be offering free demonstrations on this process at various earth-friendly, earth day type events coming up in the days and months ahead!

So, yeah, today I made a ball of "yarn" that pleases momma Gaia. 

Sunday, March 2, 2008

For Face & Spirit

My day's not over yet and there's more to be manifested. I know that this evening will be filled, in part, with creating  recycled "yarn" from old plastic bags . . .  you know the kind. The kind of plastic bags that come from the mainstream super markets, when you go in for two items and come out with them somehow bundled in three bags. This kind of waste drives me crazy and yet it offers inspiration to recycle in creative ways. My hope is that much of that will be expressed here in this very blog.

But more on that, and the ball of yarn I have in the making, later.

Today I made some lovely herbal moisturizing cream, rich with calendula and rose petals, vitamin E, carrot seed oil and essential oil of patchouli. This is my face cream and I love it! I modified my formula yet again--the one that, even though I adapted it from a Rosemary Gladstar recipe, has taken me some seven years to perfect. Perfect the process that is, not the product, for as I learn, I am able to continue to enhance and improve my formula. In any event, I can think of a few folks who have been waiting for a fresh batch, and while I don't yet have "proper" labels for them (still trolling for the ideal software), I'll do the best with what I've got while I've got it. The little jars are lovely, aren't they?

I also made a prayer cord for myself. I have a gratitude cord already and as a spiritual tool, it needs to remain specific to thanks, so I decided I would spin a new cord with new intention with one of my handcrafted impressions of Nature (a bead, of sorts).  And there it is, ready to offer me meditative focus to my dreams, my wants, my needs--my prayers. It, too, is lovely.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Snow Gaia

Could be the last meaningful snowfall of the winter, so what better way to honor the season than to manifest a Lady of snowy grace, icy beauty and love?