Google+ What I Made Today: March 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Impressions of Nature

Springtime vibrates with renewal and what better way to honor that verve than with resurrecting last year's jewelry pressings? I make my base clay pressings during the growing season with fresh plant trimmings so that I have a cache on hand for painting and finishing throughout the year.

Today was overcast, cool and damp, making it a good day to stay indoors and do - well - indoor things! Besides, I have a couple special requests for my Impressions of Nature pendants, so out came my paints and brushes and I got to work. I enjoy every aspect of creating these little pieces of wearable art, and painting them - on a chilly spring day like this - is especially pleasing. As I mix the colors and add them to the pieces, layer at a time, I can imagine, and feel, and sense Nature reviving all around me. I can see in my minds eye, and in these wee images all the color and renewed vibrance of the season right here, right now.

It was a perfect way to add warmth and renewal to an otherwise cold and dreary day. Peace.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Burns

Yesterday I made the second ritual burn of spring. For me, these fires honor the season in spiritually practical ways, as it transforms so much of the brush and fallen limbs of seasons past into lovely alkaline ash that will add renewed value to the compost and gardens throughout this season and those that follow. The Boy and I broke and chopped the larger pieces of brush to add to the fire. As we made a dent and removed a good section of brush from under the cedar I discovered - with foolishly joyful glee - the nettles up and greening away!

I also worked in the gardens, cleaning up beds, transplanting some garlic that ended up being in what will be a path this year. I had to shift a couple beds and paths because there's Hypericum perforatum (St. Joan's wort, or John if you prefer) that established itself in a path that I will leave exactly where She wants to be. I harvested some dandelion and baby garlic chives too. All this and brush collecting-n-busting and fire tending over several hours proved to be a bit too much for me.

By the end of the day there was a fire burning in my lower back as hot as the one that burned in the fire pit. I already had a small bottle of Hypericum tincture ready, for it's an ally to me every spring as I ease back into more energetic physical work. I had allowed myself a couple droppers before going out as a preventative to potential muscle ache. Last night I continued the droppers along with a little Salix alba (white willow back) tea, and hot and cold treatments. The Hypericum bottle was at my bedside, but I slept through the night without waking.

This morning I woke sore and stiff, but not nearly as extreme as one might expect. The fire in my back had burned down and only a few coals lingered. So today I made space for rest and gentle stretches, hot and cold treatments, tea and more green love. Especially Hypericum.

And through this fiery challenge I realize how pleased I am to leave the ol' willful girl of summer's power right where she is in the garden. It's what she wants and deserves. Me too.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Porky Pick-Up

I finally made my way to Southington to pick up our half a pig from the butcher. The freezer is packed full again with the delicious remnants of last year's meagerly abundant garden harvests, along with beef and now pork from Schreiber's Farm. I kept out a loin roast, some ham hocks and fresh bacon for cooking over the coming days. I started fermenting some dried limas to make a batch of the baked beans my mother loves. I'll be visiting her for easter and will have lots of cooked, healthy meals to restock her freezer - home-cooked, convenient foods that she can easily defrost and heat up. I prepare meals like this for myself too because as much as I love to cook, I'm not inspired to do it every single day. Though I am inspired to eat real home-cooked food every day.

In any event, no one's gonna go hungry around here! Peace.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Energy & Rest

Several hours in my dispensary made my morning today. I strained, filtered and bottled a couple ready tinctures before moving onto blending some batches of my Energetic Sprays. While I was measuring waters and alcohols and counting drops of essential oils and chanting flower essence counts, I decided to recreate the original formula for my "In the Day" energetic spray. My little bottle was empty and I've been feeling a bit in need of some youthful inspiration, and that was my original motivation for making this blend in the first place. I sold more than a few bottles a couple years back and after a mere spritz or two I began doodling some label concepts. Then I realized I needed to clean up the room, wash the jars and graduated cylinders and assorted funnels and droppers.

Once that was done I acted on the suggestions of a few friends and made my way to the mailbox. When I returned to the hut I settled on the couch with a book and blanket and read about three words before dozing into a nice afternoon nap. When I woke, I danced my way to finding my little book of chants - to seek new music to share with friends in May.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dried Fruit Compote & Honeyed Orange Peel

Between dropping things, knocking things over and boiling over local raw milk for the yogurt I started, I somehow managed to make a delicious compote of dates, figs, raisins and rose hips. I just used what dark dried fruit I had on hand and tossed in a tablespoon-r-so of crushed rosehips and simmered them all together in a little water until softened. Then, I gave it all a gentle whirl in the blender to make a lovely, delicious and nutritious spread to be used for all manner of things in the days ahead.

Then, as I brought some local honey to simmer, I cut and enjoyed the fruit of an organic orange and set to slicing the peels nice and thin. I placed them in a clean jar and poured the hot honey over them. Just a few hours later and it's already quite good, but will improve by leaps and bounds over the coming days.

Both of these creations were inspired by and adapted from recipes in Susun Weed's book, New Menopausal Years - The Wise Woman Way.

That's what I made today.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And the Win a Whimsy Winners Are ...

... a little late today. I had to wait for my new 2Wire to be delivered after my old one pooped out yesterday morning. I must admit that I've been a bit beside myself without internet connection, yet let's move past that and get to our latest Win a Whimsy winners! I used a random number generator to choose three numbers and ... drumroll please ... the winners are:

#73 Lori of Juz4gun

Congratulations enelya, Lori and Bonnie! I'll be contacting each of you for your mailing addresses so I can get your winnings out to you right away!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Unapologetic Promotion

It has been an idea for several months now. But it was Annie's recent post about Finding Fifty Things that spurred me into action.

Today I announce the grand opening of Rita's Attic, a place for all things vintage, collectable as well as occasional crafting supplies and destash. As I like to say, you never know what you might discover in Rita's Attic.

I chose the name as an honor to my mom, Rita, who always wanted to have an antique and collectable shop, but never made it manifest. She was, and still is, a collector of lovely Things. I suppose, to some degree, I am too. Anyway ...

After reading of Annie's post of Fifty Different Things I realized I already had a few things set aside for this shop, and I set out collecting more things around my little hut and decided that the Dream had been dreamt and that it was time for me to do something to make it Manifest.

So here it is. Rita's Attic. If you love all things vintage and collectable, if you seek the occasional crafting supply or bits of destash that so may of us seek of share, join me on Rita's Attic Facebook Page or follow me on Rita's Attic Twitter. And hey - tell a friend. Thanks!

Now ... back to working on those online herbal and creative healing classes that have been consuming me lately. More later!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good Garlic!

Today I sorted last season's garden garlic and leveraged its divine wisdom in my little kitchen. I spun a few more wee book cords and then returned to the kitchen to make my adaptation of Stracotto di Manzo, to which I added extra garlic. And it was very, very good if I do say so myself.

That's what I made today.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Win a Whimsy!

Last week at a small gathering my friend Annie shed some old jewelry as part of her Fifty Different Things hunt. Those of us in attendance nabbed a piece of two. For instance, I now have a lovely amber ring as a result. I kept what was left to find it all a home. The beaded pieces are heading west to a jewelry maker to undo and refashion. I looked again and saw some small pendants that begged to be spun with floss to become bookmarks. After all, I needed a few more markers for some journals.

So I made a few extra with some of Annie's castoffs as well as some of my smaller pendants.
So this coming week, I'm passing along the giving spirit that ignited this spinning frenzy and am hosting a Win a Whimsy giveaway! And I figured I 'd start and end it on a Wednesday in honor of my old weekly giveaway.

So here's my plan ~ Next Wednesday I'll randomly select three winners - one for each of these three little spirit cord bookmarks ...
So ... How to enter Win a Whimsy ...

It's easy! Just leave a comment - any comment at all - to this post for an entry to win. Make sure it's attached to your contact info/email so I can reach you if you win.

Now if you want to earn extra entries - one for each day of the week - and only if you want to, leave a separate comment for each day you Tweet this message: RT *Win a Whimsy* from @walkinthewoods1 at then leave a comment here for each of your Tweets to secure that extra entry.

The winner will be randomly selected and announced next Wednesday, March 17, sometime around 9 a.m., eastern time. Best Wishes and thanks for playing!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Cast On & Then Some

My charming goddess child, the very talented Pauline Rose, asked me if I would teach her to knit. Yikes! When did I last have my ol' knittin' needles out, I wondered? I've been on a crochet jag for ... years! So I dug out my needles (and I have plenty - some quite old, having belonged to my mom and Aunt Mary). My first challenge was to see if I could remember how to cast on ... and I could. From there, the two basic stitches - knit and pearl - were a cinch. So I started to play with simple variations to create familiar patterns, but mostly I was focused on finding my ideal tension. I toyed a bit in attempting the continental technique, but that's for another time. I'll play a bit more this evening and then see if I remember how to cast off. Once accomplished I'll make my appointment with Pauline.

I hope she catches on better than her mom. That - as I recall - and it was a long time ago - was a classic exercise in futility.

Anyway ... that's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some Kind of Squash

I still have three acorn squash left from last summer's garden - and this isn't one of them. I forget the name of this particular winter squash and I'm too lazy to check last year's garden journal at the moment. What I can tell you about it is that it was delicious - so earthy and nutty and a fine complement to the grilled chicken, cauliflower salad and a green salad with blue cheese.

That's what I made today.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bread & More Bread

That, and more, is what I made today. Peace.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rolls, Chokers, Markers & Listings

Today I made rolls. Tomorrow, bread. Two loaves. I also spun a couple of custom Spirited Chokers for a very sweet woman, which was a lot of fun since I hadn't done that in a while. While I had the cotton floss out I split some, recombined some color combinations to spin a few book markers with some jewelry pieces that I was blessed to receive as a result of my friend Annie's "50 Different Things" hunt. Seems I found a fitting home for much of the other jewelry pieces that went unclaimed too.

I put up three new Impressions of Nature listings in my ArtFire studio today too, and have more on the way. Pins!

And in these little impressions I sense a distant memory of spring transforming to rebirth! That's what I made today. Peace