Monday, July 30, 2007


I've recently joined a virtual circle, a women's group of sorts that is enlightening my life in many surprising ways. I find myself pausing to reflect on some interesting ideas, and here are the musings for this particular week.

Am I safe? I have many tools for keeping myself safe, and I use them all. I do feel perfectly safe and secure on most levels, most of the time.

I also work to create a safe and nurturing environment for my loved ones. I wish for everyone close to me to thrive and grow in their own power.

I am not always comfortable in the darkness of my own soul. Is anyone? I am, however, not unwilling to meditate upon the dark corners. There is healing energy found in sitting with uncomfortableness.

I am protective of vulnerable beings. Why, I just rescued two abandoned bunnies this week and brought them home. And I do a lot of nurturing in Kindergarten. But when it comes to big people, I like to think I empower people to become their own protectors.

I take good care of myself. And when I don't, my self reminds me to. This way I can better serve the world...healthy body, healthy mind, healthy happy planet!

Lovely lilies home grown by a dear friend who has always made me feel safe and loved.

Friday, July 27, 2007


The henceforth mentioned apricot tree has become a tempting buffet for a little visitor. Actually she is almost the size of our larger dog, a fawn with black face and ears and a long dark stripe down her back.

You know she must be young, to be adventurous enough to come so close to the house. And I don't panic and shoo her off...she's not bothering anything, just eating the apricots that have fallen to the ground (pecked off by nasty bluejays, likely as not).

We watched her for a long time, fascinated by her method: pop one in her mouth, chew vigorously while twitching her ears and tail; then out drops the pit from one side, and she licks her lips over and over. You could almost hear her say, "Mmmmm, maybe just one more...."

Hey, now! Step away from the gate...there's nothing in the garden for you!

Ooooh! I hear something! Gotta go.

I am blessed to live in nature and surrounded by beauty...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

midsummer altar

Amidst the busy - ness of this particual summer, it's nice to stop and reflect in the quiet pool that is my altar. Here I focus on calming images that contribute to inner peace, even as the outside world swirls and heaves and crashes around me. Mary, framed by her namesake roses, and her sister of compassion, Quan Yin, both gaze into their own crystal pools (candle holders from my own sister.) In front, a found shell, a homemade felt ball, and that vial of love herbs awaiting oil and a night under the full moon.

From the left: orange blossom water, for clearing space. Green cauldron of sage and a thrifted bird (these seem to be multiplying!). Rose quartz candle holder to complete the trilogy. In front: a luggage tag, awaiting my next adventure (hint: it's Hawaiian print!). Mojo bag, and five apricots from our very heavy tree.

Gazing at my altar brings me peace, and creates gratitude in my heart for all things sacred. What does abundance mean to me? Inner peace, being able to make choices with a clear conscience, knowing in my heart that I am responsible for myself alone. Understanding that every new day is a gift, and every minute an opportunity to love. Feeling deep within that I am doing the best I can at all times. Loving myself and staying open to the presents the universe is sending me...for the universe is indeed abundant, and we are but a reflection of her...stay in the moment, and all will be revealed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

fashion victim

As the long days of summer stretch out, we are in constant search of ideas for things to make and do. I was tickled to find little P. sporting this inventive top.

Above her on the windowsill is a little piece of art that she created while "helping Daddy." This mixed media work was done entirely by herself. Thank goodness for Dads, I'm sure it never would have happened if I had spotted her with that hammer.

Scraps of wood picked up in the garage, lots of nails, blue marker, and that's one of the dog's balls nailed into the middle.

I guess boredom can be the mother of great creativity.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

needle felting

Fanny's holistic hoof care woman is very talented. She had mentioned to me that she enjoys needle felting...and I told her how much I desired to learn. So last week she brought her basket of wool, needles, and lots of encouragement.

The interesting thing I noticed was that the shape you are working on may start out kind of vague, but the more energy you put into it, the more clearly the work asserts itself. That is to say, as I started on this piece I didn't have a clear direction; and as it became more complete, this little woman let me know exactly how she wanted to look. Um, naked.

Confession: I've actually had all the materials for needle felting stored in my stash for oh, probably two years now. All I needed was a little encouragement; being a visual learner, it helped me tremendously to actually watch the process. Now I find it's a fast, fascinating and remarkably effective way to create. It's really fun!

The mushroom I purchased at camp; the puppy was my second attempt, and he totally charmed the little P., who went on to play with him for hours.

I guess everybody needs a friend. Even naked friends.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Summer is peaking here in the forest. Our plum tree has been bursting with fat specimens. Yesterday I picked a huge basketful, then fell into the hammock with my pile of reading material (I'm about halfway through....)

Hmmmm, this pile seems to run the gamut, doesn't it? From the bottom:
***indulging my love of all things bento
***wishful thinking that I really CAN lose five more pounds before I leave for Maui (hey, it's a two week program!)
***another lunch focused book that I first found at the library (then ruined, had to pay for it, and they refused to give it to me - hrumph)
***how to clean your house while you clear your mind (excellent!)
***pure fantasy indulgence - I've been eating fruit and Pecorino for a week since finishing this
***a channeled work from my favorite Saint
***a true story about a cooperative community that is flourishing (how did they do it?)
***how to move your stuff around to create the life you want
***setting up nature corners (I may do this in my classroom this year)
***and to sum it all up, Instant Karma! Just add water and zoom to enlightenment. (Just kidding - these are quick ideas for making your life more joyful and staying present.)

Time is flying by. Are you present?

Friday, July 13, 2007

material girl

I like to think I'm a simple person. Reuse, reduce, recycle. Well last week my life was reduced by one car. Denys Finch Hatton, my beloved Landcruiser, took his last turn. There was no reusing him; repairs would cost far beyond my financial reach. All I could do was recycle him to a local charity.

And after the sufficient mourning period, I went right to work. I bought this beauty! Maybe I am a little materialistic after all. I mean, look at it. It's gorgeous. And frankly, I deserve it! I am worthy of all the good things the universe is sending me.

Mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

present for grandma

In an attempt to keep my brain busy and off obsessing about problems (sorry!), I made this bag for my sweet mil. It's her birthday next week.

There's some of that Hawaiian fabric I got last year. The photo was printed on June Tailor's Colorfast Sew-In Inkjet Fabric Sheet. I love this product! It is so easy to use and works beautifully. I got mine at Beverly's...this is the second successful project I've finished with it (the first was a tank top for my sil - forgot to take a picture though) I find these photo fabric projects are just perfect for family presents.

No measuring or fussing around with a pattern here - just piecing it together, eyeballing the proportions, and making it look right. It was a nice creative flow that took about 4 hours.

My favorite part is the inside. This is thrifted (99 cents) fishy print fabric. I made two ginormous pockets inside. I think this bag will be perfect for beach essentials. Really it's my insurance for us all returning to Hawaii together every year! It's been such a wonderful ritual.

Fishing for comments!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

mojo bag

Has anyone seen my mojo? I seemed to have lost it this week. Aside from a few great parties, my string of bad luck has yet to break - death, by pet and by car, has stirred things up a little in the past two days. I guess that's why I was so motivated to finish my little mojo bag - I need to get this thing filled up!

I have lots of nice crystals and majickal bits and bobs I plan on storing in here. What makes it truly powerful is the process done with intent - essential when creating a majickal tool. And we all need the best tools we can get!

Plant dyed raw Cotswald from Simmy; spun in sacred space on my little rainbow drop spindle. You can look at old posts for pictures. I knitted it from the idea in The Twisted Sisters Sock Book; it's just a sock really, with the end decreased twice before drawing the string through the bottom and pulling it tight. I didn't do yo's for the drawstring, but Navajo plied some of my first merino handspun and threaded it through with a tapestry needle. The little plant dyed felted cutouts are not sewn on yet, and I have more I might add somewhere.

I think it's kind of neat. And it's my first fiber - to - fo!

Little P dressed Lucy up the other day. Here she is getting the prize for World's Best Good Girl Dog.

And here she is, cheering me up. Ah, that's better...thanks for the kiss.

I have helpers all around me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

mad about saffron

While dh was camping last week, we decided to surprise him with a little change - a - roo. I had never been satisfied with the way our living room looked. Maybe it's because it's not really a room - more like a big space in the center of our house. No matter how the furniture was arranged, it never felt cosy or comfortable. So for a few weeks I had been fantasizing about painting the one flat wall available. And of course it wasn't going to be pastel. I love color!

The painting was done by dh in Ireland as a gift to me. Our furniture is large and bulky, but somehow the intense wall and the rug grounded the area and made it more roomlike. I hauled the blue chair down from upstairs because there never seemed to be enough seats for more than three people. Lots of pillows and blankets cozied up the space. The whole arrangement was swung around to face a different wall, where I put the TV (okay, I have teenagers!) But with ample lighting it's a great place to curl up with a book - ahem, I mean knitting.

Then I held my breath. Thankfully, dh was in a cozy space himself from his camping experience, so I honestly thing the wall could have been black for all he cared. Victory! (I had agreed to repaint if he hated it.)

Observe Horsey Girl, assuming the Summer position. Never mind it's 90 degress and gorgeous outside. This angle reveals the clutter lining up the back wall...recycle baskets, dollhouse, shoe shelf, chinchilla cage...oops, more on that later.

The color goes through various intensities depending on the time of day, but never (so far) what you would call mellow yellow. So far, so good. I am satisfied.

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