Google+ What I Made Today: 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bottled Verjus

Remember the verjus I started back in September? Well, it felt like the time was ripe to strain, filter and bottle it. Besides, I needed the gallon jar in which it was macerating.

The color is gorgeous, the bouquet is magical, and at the first wee sip I began - without hesitation - to recognize the medicinal and mystical extremes within this very tart, remarkably astringent, fragrantly potent and oddly delightful elixir. Now that it's bottled my hope is that the flavors will mellow over time like with my other more conventional cordials and liqueurs.

We shall see. We shall see.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Giveaway - Enter It!

To celebrate my six years of blogging, the upcoming calendar flip, and some new Walk in the Woods offerings … I'm running a giveaway through next wednesday and I hope you'll enter to Win a Whimsy. The winner will be chosen and announced in a random drawing next wednesday morning (January 4, 2011) at 9:00 a.m., eastern time.

What might you win? Well … I'll be adding new Nature-inspired mini journals to my ArtFire Studio this week and the winner will choose the one they want from those listed!

So … to enter this giveaway …

  • Have a public profile, otherwise leave your email address with your comments. If I can't contact you, you can't win.
  • Post each of your entries in separate comments on this post. Otherwise, entries combined in a single post will only be counted as one.
  • Any comments determined to be sp@m-r-sp@mish will be deleted and not counted as an entry - so please don't leave links unless they're relevant to this giveaway.
How to enter? You have up to seven ways to enter for up to seven separate entries. Do one, or some, or all of the following, leaving a separate comment for each, each comment being a separate entry/chance to win a whimsy. Make sense?
  • Leave a comment - any comment at all.
  • Visit my ArtFire studio or my Zibbet shop and leave a comment about your favorite thing(s) there.
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave the URL to your blog post as your comment.
  • Tweet this giveaway and post the URL to your tweet as your comment. You can use the twitter button (below) if you like.
  • Be or become a follower to this blog, leaving a comment to let me know.
  • Be or become a walkinthewoods1 Twitter follower, likewise leaving a comment.
  • Stumble this blog giveaway page and leave the URL to your StumbleUpon profile page as your comment.
So there it is ... Best wishes!


A Silly Six Year Milestone

Six years ago today I posted my first blog entry ...

Wellness Journey . . . Here and There

Welcome to my blog!

No telling where this may lead. For me, herbs encompass one day, spiritual guidance the next, shamanic journeys another, maybe time spent with Nature, or drumming, and so on . . . you get the idea. To me, this diversity is at the heart of the people's medicine. We have choices. We have the will to learn about them. We have the power to choose. And we have the right to change!

A regular entry in a blog, like any journal, may force me to focus on one aspect of wellness or another (something many of my peers have "encouraged" me to do, and yet I resist!). On the other hand, this practice may simply allow me to organically explore the diversity of life, healing, spirit and energies that make up my being and offer me the experiences and opportunities that I am able to share with others - in the hopes to nurture holistic wellness and growth.

So, join me in this journey, wherever it may lead, and - please - add your comments, for they are food for me! I invite you to offer your experiences and insights, as well as your challenges to my perceptions!

So that is where I am today. I wonder where I will be tomorrow?

Be well by Nature!


In those six years things have changed, some quite a bit and others not much at all. One constant is that I'm still honoring where I am each day and still wondering (dreaming) where I will be tomorrow. I hope you are too.

To celebrate this silly milestone - and the upcoming calendar flip - I'm having a giveaway. After all, it is Wednesday … Win a Whimsy Wednesday (remember Win a Whimsy Wednesday?- so watch out for that post!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Time to Share

See Santa peeking around the tree from the window?

The other night my dog Halley got very agitated and started barking at something and she just wouldn't stop. I thought maybe the neighbor's cat had been on the windowsill, but I didn't see anything. I thought maybe someone was coming to the front door, so I put on the light and looked out. No one, no cats, nothing and Halley kept barking.

Then I realized that my ridiculous dog was barking at my old childhood book depicting Santa on the cover.

I'm still chuckling.

And I had to pause to share the chuckle with you before too much more time had past.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

This ...

… the mincemeat pie. Well, yesterday. But we ate it today. Well, part of it. Among other feast foods. ::yawn::

That's what I made today. Peace.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Midwinter Offering

On this first full day of midwinter the dried peony and calendula petals that I had reserved from high summer were returned to the earth. All but a handful. As I scattered them around my mostly-snow-covered little acre I asked them if they recognized this landscape. They did. It's all one, they assured me. Equal opposites. Opposing harmonies. Contrary balance.

Winter food for polar thought.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mince Meat

Life is bland without new experiences. I like change. I like variations. I like the occasional pleasant surprise.

So today made manifest a new experience, one born from a dream to make something classically traditional to Yuletide festivities … something I'd never made before. I originally had my sites set on plum pudding until I discovered what a close cousin it was to mince meat. So that oddity - one that I know as loved by more than a couple loved-ones - mince meat, became the solstice day food project.

I chopped beef suet, dried fruit - including my own honied orange peel … I peeled, cored and chopped green apples … I measured brown sugar, cinnamon and apple cider … grated nutmeg and pulverized mace … and The Boy minced the beef.

It all went into a pot and simmered together until it was time to add the cognac. I must say that this seemingly odd blend of foods creates a culinary alchemy that is really quite surprising.
So now I look forward to making a classic holiday pie and who knows what else.

That's what I made today. Peace.

An Introduction to Crocheted Little Things

This weeks On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan is Luisa of Crocheted Little Things, who creates really cute crocheted cupcakes, faux foods and self-care/spa items too.

You can visit her handmade shops at Artfire and at Etsy. You can learn more about her at her Blog and you can follow her at Facebook and on Twitter.

Go on, You know you want to!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Package of Love

The cookies that The Boy and I have been baking finally came together in adequate variety, so today I packaged some up to mail to my mom with her other holiday goodies. To my way of thinking, this is a major-mission-accomplished and I'm delighted to have it behind me for one more year.

The tin contains (clockwise from the top), chocolate chip cookies, molasses raisin bars, oatmeal raisin cookies, pumpkin pie bars, chocolate crackles, hello dollies and chocolate rugelach at the center. They look pretty good, eh?

Tomorrow I'm making mince meat so that I can make a proper, homemade mince meat pie for christmas day. But today, I made a package of love for the Post. Peace.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creation, Destruction

It's been a long while since I worked with the ol' knitting needles, so the other evening I figured I'd start by practicing my knits and pearls with a basic basket weave pattern. Then I moved on to more practice with other simple patterns.
Satisfied with my practice, I pulled them apart, wrapped the yarn back into balls to make ready for learning a new method of knitting.

My mom taught me to knit, English method, when I was something like eleven years old. A couple years back I discovered another method, called continental, and I want to learn it.

In many ways it's like learning to knit all over again. Aside from mastering getting the basic logistics of holding the needles, controlling the yarn, finger placements and motion, I'm finding the damned tension to be my biggest struggle … and this experience hurled me back in time and space to that eleven-year-old struggling with the same challenge. I wonder if that's the key hurdle for most beginners - the tension - be it with knitting or anything else?

When we're brave enough to learn something new it seems that an element of tension is usually involved, and it feels important, vital even. It keeps us focused on the challenge, on the desire, on the process … on the journey. We may feel some fleeting pride in an outcome, but it's the process of learning, of doing that nourishes and sustains us over the long haul.

In any event, I've made - and destroyed - several practice patches these past few days and find the process smoothing out a little, the stitches are looking a little better and the tension is finding its balance.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today The Boy made oatmeal-raisin cookies. I made chocolate rugelach. I love these little cookies and I really can't believe I've never made them before. Anyway, by now I should have a variety of homemade cookies to prepare a suitable goodies package that will be sent to my mom as part of her christmas gift.

Now I'm going to knit. Peace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Introduction to Cosmic Hippo

Today I make time to share with you this week's "On Fire for Handmade" featured artisan, Cosmic Hippo.

Cosmic Hippo is a designer and crafter of unique handmade leather handbags, beautifully crafted, one-of-kind works of accessory-as art. As I read her bio I was charmed that her rescue dog, Chester, acts as her muse as he sits under her desk while she works. As I browsed her studio I found myself attempting to justify the purchase of another handbag. Yeah - her work is that cool.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scarves and More Scarves

Being sick forced me not only to slow down, but to be still for a couple of days. During that time I did some reading, some journaling and pulled out some yarns and crochet hooks. I love working with fibers during the cold, dark days of this season, and doing it under the comfort of a blanket, sipping hot tea added to the healing verve that I was nurturing. This activity offered me a harmony and balance that not only kept me still and relaxed so that my body could rest and mend, but also allowed me some passive activity that was enjoyable and productive too.

Today I made time to finish a few from those dark, sick days of this past week by adding fringe. I have a few more to finish off too and can't seem to stop crocheting in the evenings now. I even broke out the knitting needles and will be playing with those stitches soon.

I love how these simple and ordinary things tangle together to create beauty, balance, harmony and healing in our lives.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nature-Inspired Notebooks

Short of a few final touches, I mostly finished up a batch of little Nature-inspired notebooks today. These little guys measure only 3¼ x 4½ inches and are the kind I toss into my purse or tuck into a pocket to have with me anytime a thought strikes me as noteworthy. I capture inspirations, ideas, shopping lists, addresses, among other things in mine. And at least one of these will be mine. I wonder who the others will go to?

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Last of the Tender Greens

I still have kale and other greens in the garden, and even some hardy herbs worthy of plucking, but today I harvested the last cabbage from a frozen patch of earth dusted sweetly with snow - the first of the season. Tonight I made a simple and delicious stir fry with asian noodles for dinner and even The Boy paused to clarify, "this is from the garden?"

It was a day of lasts and firsts, passings and returns. And a new moon too.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Best Effort

I made this the other day …
… before the sickness crept in and took hold.

An apple pie with a half-whole-wheat butter crust. While it could have baked for another ten minutes or so to fully cook the apples, it still came out pretty good. I was glad I made this "practice" pie, because it gave me something to give to my goddesschild before she returned to the west coast. I'm so glad I got to see her, brief though it was, and offer her a still-warm from-scratch apple pie. She is a beautiful, remarkable, intelligent, compassionate, witty and talented being. I'm grateful to have her in my life.

So, that's what I didn't make today.

As for today … I'm simply making a best effort to get myself well again. Peace.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Offering of Free Shipping

Today through Tuesday I offer you free shipping on all purchases that are destined for the U.S. and Canada. Just use coupon code "CYBERMONDAY" at checkout at my ArtFire Studio or my Zibbet Shop.

While you're visiting, be sure to check out all the other wonderful handmade, vintage items and supplies at ArtFire and Zibbet too!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Wish for You

May abundance be yours today … and every day.


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Universal Observation

It's the little things.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Carrot Goodness

There really weren't enough carrots to do a heavy mulch for winter harvesting, so yesterday I dug up the last of the garden carrots. Today I washed them and some were grated into salad, some roasted, some simmered and a few were simply nibbled. Some will be pureed to go in to tonight's polenta sauce, with garden sage and freshly grated nutmeg. Some will hit the freezer. And some will sit in the refrigerator crisper until they are summoned.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Horseradish, Carefully

Yesterday The Boy dug up some of the horseradish from the garden.

I trimmed off the greens and washed the roots - outdoors. I don't know about you, but I don't want all that sandy soil going down my drain. Better for it to return to garden in a direct way.

Today brought the cleaned roots into the kitchen and scraped the skin and any imbedded earth from the small-to-moderate sized roots. I love the aroma at this point, it is decidedly horseradish, warm and stimulating, but not biting. Not yet. I chopped the roots into even-sized pieces, placed the pieces into the food processor and chopped them up a bit. Then I added some apple cider vinegar and sea salt (I eyeball it) and let it whirl again, until it was quite fine, because that's the way I like it.

I carefully removed the lid and carefully transferred it to a canning jar and carefully capped the jar with a plastic lid.

Carefully, because the aroma at this point will knock your socks off and send your sinuses into orbit. A plastic lid, because a metal one will corrode from the vinegar.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Custard

Today I roasted one of my pumpkins, pureed the delicious pulp, froze two fat quarts …

… and made pumpkin custard, which I served with a little coconut milk, since some was left over from the ::gasp:: recipe.

Yes, contrary to usual mode, I (mostly) followed a recipe to make this, an adaptation of my old herbal friend, Cindy Baker's recipe from her book, The Get Real Cookbook.

Pumpkin Custard
2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
6 egg yokes
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 cups of pumpkin puree (I don't measure, I eyeball)

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to sit and dissolve while you … in a sauce pan, whisk the egg yokes into the coconut milk over medium heat, add the sugar and continue whisking until thick. Blend in the pumpkin puree, remove from heat and add the gelatin water and spices (to taste) and blend well. Pour into individual servers, or into a pie plate (for a crustless, pie), or into anything you like. Refrigerate until firm. Serve in anyway in which you are inspired. Makes 8-10 servings … or less.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sencha Tea

Lately I've been more human doing than human being. So today I set intention to pause at mid-day, much my like Nono used to do, to make a cup of green tea, to sit quietly and to be. It was downright joyful!

Then the busy-ness commenced. That's what I made today. Peace.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Artful Reproduction

I've been so darned busy this past week and I see no end in sight. Well, I do, but not until we get much closer to winter. I'm not complaining. I actually enjoy being busy, and it makes downtime that much sweeter and luxuriant. Among the many things I've made over the past few days, I resurrected the image of an old favored Artist Trading Card by having lovely giclee reproductions made on nice watercolor paper. Needless to say it's called "overjoyed" and I'll be overjoyed when I make some of that downtime!

You can find these prints and other handmade goodies at my ArtFire Studio and at my Zibbet Studio. Peace.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dona nobis pacem

Last November, for BlogBlast for Peace, I offered a simple reflection of how I see and acknowledge ☮Peace☮ everywhere. I know this to be true no matter the circumstance, no matter the challenge, peace is everywhere, for peace is a "peace" of that from which we are made.

I do my best to apply compassion in all that I experience, meager and mighty. I may not always be as successful or as graceful as I might like, but I am willing to act from a place of love and to do my best to see it, honor it, be it, and express it to the world.

Be it in memory.

Be it in the gardens.

Be it in "work."

Be it in "hobby."

Be it in relationships.

Be it in collaborations.

Be it in life.

Be it in death.

Be it in rite.

Be it in creation.

Dream it. Do it. Make it manifest.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My 1st BlogBlast for Peace Sighting of 2010!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Headway on a Fresh Project

Today I made headway with a fresh project - like I need another one. A couple years back I made myself small embellished notebooks à la mixed-media, the kind of notebooks that you toss in your purse or pocket and always have to jot down ideas, ToDos and ToGets … you know - notes! I have only one left, after I use up the one that's in my purse that is.

Over the past few weeks more than a few folks noticed it and commented how much they liked it and one asked me why I don't offer them for sale in my shops. It was a fair question - made me wonder. So, if I'm happy with the way any of these turn out they may just show up at my Zibbet shop or ArtFire studio … we shall see.

So along with some braising greens still from the garden, that's what I made today. Peace.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pleasure in Memories

I was traveling last week, visiting my mom, and while I was there I made more doodles in my art journal. I also reviewed past entries and discovered some from July that begged for color, like this one of her hutch. Today I finished adding color to it. One thing I love about the ink doodles in my art journals is that I get to revisit each one and add fanciful color - or not - and when I do I take such pleasure in the childhood memories of meditative time and space invested in coloring books.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little More Color

A couple weeks ago I met some friends at a tavern and being early I doodled a bit, while chatting-up the bartender. Today, between making phone calls, drying produce, cooking, preparing packages for the Post and listing new Spirit Cords I put a little color to that doodle.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Color, Revisited

Today I relaxed a bit with artful activities. Aside from making time to work on my Sketchbook Project, I went back to another black and white page of one of my journals to add color, a page lovingly titled "Imagined and Not."

I enjoy this activity … for me it is akin to playing in a coloring book, much like I did as a child. You too, I imagine.

That's what I made today. Peace.