Google+ What I Made Today: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hot Tea, Friendship, Green Wisdom

I enjoyed a glorious morning with my friend and student, Ruth. We sipped tea and reviewed the many herbal Medicines that she's been working with and created a few on the spot.

We started by making a simple herbal syrup using elderberries, astragalus root and … cardamom pods. The cardamom was a stroke of brilliance straight from Ruth. We used:

1 ounce Elderberries
½ ounce astragalus root
½ cardamom pods
To this we added about 3 cups of water, brought it to the boil, turned it down to a slow simmer, covered, for about a half an hour, then shut it off to let it steep while we worked on other things. We strained the liquid, which measured about 1½ cups and added to that 1½ cups of cane sugar. We returned it to the heat, brought it back to the boil and let it simmer, uncovered, until all the sugar was dissolved and the liquid was clear and glossy. When it cooled it was funneled into bottles. We tasted some too. It is divine. We both said so - at the same time. This wellness syrup, great for the immune system, can be used like any syrup, on oatmeal or pancakes, ice cream or fruit, in a plain or sparkling water or tea. Or, by the teaspoon at the hint of that "first tickle" or anytime.

We made a calendula lanolin unguent by, quite simply, beating tincture of calendula into anhydrous lanolin until it wouldn't take up any more. This is great topical treatment and I love it for treating my stubborn cuticles with some softening love.

We then warmed some local honey and mixed and kneaded slippery elm powder into it until it formed a stiff dough, rolled the dough into "snakes," cut it into little pieces, and then rolled each piece to create slippery elm pastilles. These are great for sore throats and digestive support. These will sit, covered in cotton for a few days to thoroughly dry and cure before jarring up.

Hot tea, friendship, green wisdom … yeah … that's what I made today.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

A New Obsession

Yesterday I attended day-one of this weekend's Fiber Festival at The Phoenix Rising Center in Thomaston, CT. I taught a morning workshop on spinning Spirit Cords and was available all day to demonstrate how to up-cycle old, worn, discarded, and otherwise unused fabric to create "yarn" for making all sorts of things. I brought along my handmade drop spindle that The Boy made for me a few years back when I gifted some sheep's wool. I never felt like I was doing it "right." So I took a workshop at the Fest and it turns out I had the hang of it after all. Gotta dig validation.

I purchased several ounces of merino wool roving in a rainbow of colors to play with and now I find myself obsessed with the process. I really do love pushing through the challenges in order to learn new skills.

I'm already looking forward to spinning enough yarn to spin myself a Spirit Cord. This will be a Spirit Cord dedicated to my inner Magician, that part of me that loves gathering tools, materials and doing my best to master new abilities that nourish and sustain me.

I have a feeling that I'll want to spin like crazy, some natural alpaca, methinks, to make enough yarn to create a shawl or poncho. But right now, that's a dream. In the meantime I'm focused on the joy of the process, on learning, and on that first Spirit Cord to honor my Magician.

That's what I made today.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Tea and Time

Today was one of those days where plans change … and I rolled with it. It felt good. But, then again, I am fond of change. With some time in the afternoon freed up I brewed a pot of tea and sat outside in the brilliant, if not frigid, sunshine with a hot cuppa and enjoyed watching my chicksters enjoying their sand baths.  

When I returned indoors I took a few postcard-sized paintings that I had started a while back and finished them up. Made some other paint play, too.

I gathered my materials for tomorrow's Phoenix Fiber Festival at The Phoenix Rising Center in Thomaston, Connecticut and … made time to enjoy more tea.

Yeah. That's what I made today.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Herbal Love

I have a question for you: Are we able to care for others before we care for ourselves? I don't believe so. Do you? 

So it is that practices of self care have been bumped up on my list of personal priorities. One pampering practice that I absolutely love is pausing, in meditative fashion, to relax, eyes closed, embraced by fragrant vapor, for a facial steam. Lately, when I do pause for this herbal treat, I generally take a scoop of this and a scoop of that, but today I decided to blend a favored mix for my maturing skin to have at the ready. Not only that, but a dear friend was with me to help and to add some extra love to this mix.

Rose petals and lavender, calendula and chamomile grace this blend and later this evening I'll be relaxing over a steaming brew of these herbs, and enjoy one of my herbal tea blends afterwards. Yeah. That's the ticket. ♡

That's what I made today.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Heart Flames

My day started with the warming glow of brilliant sunshine, not the kind that shines from the sky, rather the kind that burns from the hearts and minds, stories and dreams of friends, old and new. It was a morning that motivated and inspired me. Here on this New Moon Friday in January my cauldron is filled to the brim and simmering with the insight of my Muse.

The dry, overcast day turned to rain and I turned from note-taking to picking up an old, unfinished project and … finishing it! A bag, crocheted of old plastic bags, a size perfect for my files and notebooks, a briefcase of sorts. It hangs in the south window now, soaking up the energy of the Moon, the day, the love, the vision and voices of not only my Muse, but the Muses of those who joined me around the dining table this morning. I have another unfinished project I shall complete in the next day or two. And another for which a dear friend has been waiting ever so patiently. Ah, New Moon energy … finishing up those things hanging in the darkness … to make room for the new projects beaming for attention.

I made space, too, to light a candle of loving intention for a friend and her family who lost their mother today.

I feel renewed. I fell calm. I feel compassion. I feel rooted. I feel braver than I did a day ago. I feel more bold than I have in quite some time. I feel fires warming and see them flickering in the hearths of my heart.

Heart flames. And a bag.

That's what I made today.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Plans and Action

Well, the calendar has flipped to 2013. But, you already knew that, didn't you? So, late or not, I'd like to wish you a very happy new year!

I've been making time to reflect back, as I do at intervals throughout the year, at the events and circumstances that reside in the "past," namely, in this instance, the calendar year 2012. It has been a year that overflowed with blessings and challenges, ideas and inspiration, actions and inactions, starts and stalls, friendship, community and love, and more. Much more.

As I gaze into the reflections I am able to glimpse evidence of those things that I choose to continue, those things I choose to change, and those things I choose to shed. I see the infinite cycles of life and the seemingly singular message those cycles offer to me.

Today I step both feet and a very full heart into the "new year" by taking action plans and transforming them to pure action. This blog post is just one such sample.