Friday, April 24, 2015

Earth day, birthday

Earth day, birthday, that is my day.  This year my kids gave me a surprise birthday party. Complete with Spring flowers and a gluten-free cake

Live music played by the twins with their new recorders.

The best birthday cards, made by the grandsons.

Complete with the earth, suns, moons and one spaceman circling the earth tethered to his rocket.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Solace project

Last Fall, India Flint (the natural dyer extraordinaire and discover of Eco dyeing) from Australia began a project titled "Solace".
In a nut shell this project is like the Tibetan Prayer Flags. Using a natural fabric anyone can make a "flag" and "stitch a word or phrase on it that might act as a wish for peace or an acknowledgement of beauty ..."  To understand this beautiful project more fully (as there is so, so much more to it) and hopefully participate, click on the link and scroll down the left side to read all about it.

My flag I made from a piece of raw silk I Eco dyed last year with some of my birthday flowers. A birch bark cross hangs below my prayer "for the women and children world wide".  Wool yarn ties are stitched on each side for hanging.
These flags have to be in Australia by the beginning of June. You still have time to make one!

With supplies running out it was time to make some natural body cream. I assembled some healing flowers (organic calendula, lavender and rose petals) into a jar and filled it with organic coconut oil

Set the jar in a pan of water on the wood stove to infuse for a week. (this was the last of the wood heat as we're finally warming up here)

After infusing the oil I strained it through 4 layers of chees cloth, twice. You don't want any organic matter left in the oil.

Set it on the stove to simmer

added natural shea and coco butter. After it all melts together stir gently and add a few drops of lavender essential oil or what ever oil you like.

Pour it in a jar. The little cakes have a little bees wax melted in also, firming them up and helping to  hold in moisture. Their great to keep in your purse or next to your bed to use on your hands and feet right before you turn out the light.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Full, Blood Moon

This past Saturday was a eclipse of the Full moon. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow, giving the moons' surface a blood-red color. Hence the name Blood-moon. In our area it was suppose to begin around 6:16 a.m. So, I was up and out of bed early, made myself a chai latte and out I went to see if it was visible. Perfect, you could see the beginning of the eclipse. In I ran, grabbed my husband, bribed him with a chai and down to the lake we went.

The sun was coming up and it was getting lighter but the moon was still visible.

Getting a rusty orange color.
It was beautiful.

Almost in the full shadow of Earth.
It was so inspiring I had to make one to add to my Moon quilt.

That night I cut out a moon and a shadow then appliqued and quilted it in bed.

Love my full moon ritual, full moon shining in the window, hand quilting, all's perfect for a minute!

I added it to the other blocks on my design wall. The quilt starts in the middle with the "Mother Earth" surround by turtles and fish. (A piece of fabric my daughter marbleized when she was young and decided it looked like "twilight" represents the earth). Moons and suns circle around it clock wise in chronological order. Blank spots will be filled with pieced star blocks. All of the blocks are quilted and dated, someday I'll stitch them all together, probably just before I die;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kombucha tea

At our last Herb meeting our speaker spoke on Kombucha tea. I never heard of this and I still don't know enough but here are a few things I learned.
Kombucha tea is a probiotic meaning "for life" containing micro organisms such as bacteria and yeast, giving health benefits to the host, which is you and me. This tea is a living food, which contains acids, enzymes, and vitamins aiding in digestion, boosting energy and strengthening the immune system.
It has been drunk for hundreds (thousands) of years.
The health benefit claims are too numerous to list.

The process to make kombucha tea begins with a starter (like when we use to share sour dough bread starter). It kind of looked like an amoeba. I'm not to sure about this.
Along with sugar, green teas and the starter you brew up the tea.
If your interested there is a YouTube video titled: Kombucha: how to make a 1 gallon batch.

A lot of the members are all ready using this, one brought in kombucha finger jello with raspberries to share. They tasted pretty good.
If any of you drink or know about this please let me know what you think.

I went to a lecture at our art museum, the speaker was Bob Friese, AFID floral designer and coordinator of Nature's Creative Edge, the outdoor floral art exhibit.
The museum brought him and his assistant in to do a Nature-Inspired art demonstration. It was wonderful, the following are a few pieces.

A large glass vase, a few river rocks in the bottom, a interesting branch from a tree and two large tropical flowers.

Bob started with a piece of drift wood and moss, two vases into the floral foam,

a few correctly placed flowers and you have a beautiful arrangement. I wish I took a close up of the green puffy flowers, they are a new variety of carnations! They look so different.

Bob carved this rabbit out of green floral foam and covered it with dried moss. A few fresh flowers and it's ready. Wish it was going on my Easter table.

This was the trunk and roots of a dead bush, he keeps it outside in his landscape on a iron pole, says it beautiful especially with snow on it.

Bob also carved these birds out of foam, covered them with moss and formed branches around them into bird shapes.
Well, that's the fun stuff happening in my life, have a good week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Herb Conference

Last weekend I attended the Michigan Herb Conference, this "Bee" display greeted you when you came in and lets you know "Springs on the way".

They have lots of wonderful educational displays.

A large one on the importance of milk weed.

This was an interesting fact.

I don't know if this is good, it would take a lot of seeds to using as stuffing. How would the plants reproduce without them and then what would the monarch butterflies live on???

The "Herb of the year is Savory". They used the plants for center pieces on the banquet tables.
There are two types of savory, winter and summer. This is the summer variety, it is the most popular.

Little place markers made from old wooden thread spools, vintage lace and a button.
Love these.

A few health benefits from savory besides the wonderful flavor it imparts to food.

More medicinal benefits.

Winter savory is much more bush like, more like rosemary.

One of our speakers talked about gardening and crafting ideas. This is a good one. She purchased two containers from the dollar store, a plastic basket that will fit inside a plastic pot.

Take them out to harvest your vegetables in the garden, then you can rinse them off outside and just bring in the basket.

Our speaker does a lot of crafts and every year comes to the conference with wonderful "flower" purses and accessories. This was one of her apron ideas.
To make a no sew garden apron, cut up a pair of jeans only leaving the waist band and back pockets with a little leg fabric left. To use, button the waist band in back and the pockets go in front for garden tools, seeds etc.

This was her Hosta purse for this year.

Made from green polar fleece.

Last year was this wool poppy purse.

Another year was wool roses and a necklace to match.

A rose purse.

A needle felted and felt wool purse.

Necklace to match.

Knitted then felted wool purse.

Her accessory for the second day of the conference, hand made jean and fabric flowers.

Besides savory I bought a new variety of scented geranium called Sweet Mimosa. The flowers are suppose to be bright red and suitable to pick for a bouquet. We'll see this summer.

Here is a recipe to make your own Herbes de Provence made from dried herbs for cooking.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo