Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old and in with the new...

I don't know about you, but I am so glad to see the back side of this year. I am looking forward to the new year like you wouldn't believe. A clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning are all magical phrases to me. Today being the hinge day between the old and the new is kind of a special day as well. I like the in-between things in life. Bittersweet Autumn, joyful, happy Spring, Christmas eve, New Year's eve. The times that are neither one thing or another, farewell and anticipation. The space between. A comma. A held breath. Potential magical moments. A chance to pause, catch one's breath and then either run pell-mell into whatever is next or cautiously dip one's toes into the mystery that awaits. I wish each and everyone of us a new year filled with HOPE, LAUGHTER, LOVE, STRENGTH, FAMILY AND FRIENDS, GOOD FOOD, WARM HOMES,KINDNESS AND COMPASSION TOWARDS OTHERS LESS FORTUNATE. Oh, and WINNING LOTTERY NUMBERS.
As I recently posted I have been compiling a list of things I want to release. Tonight is the night I am going to symbolically let them go. I am not one for going out on New Year's eve. Been there, done that many times and don't really feel the need to right now. Lately, I have chosen to spend the evening by myself. I have a tasty meal planned, carmelized Winter squash & onion pizza with feta cheese, green salad with honeyed pecans and dried cranberries with some feta and a hard apple cider to add a celebratory bubbly finish. I have three new CD's to listen to while I play around with my sewing machine. I wish you all a very happy 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Angelina has been posting about some major life changes she is making. I too am working on some similiar ones. There are some things that need to be gotten out of the way first. Some are a bit more involved than I want to share but a few of I need to publically state. I have always tried to be the nice person, the caring person, the one that can be counted on. I haven't always succeeded all the time (and you can bet I beat myself up when I have fallen short.) I AM a nice person, a caring person and a dependable one, BUT I don't want to be responsible for anyone else's well being other than my own. I have taken on too many people's expectations of me and fashioned them into essentially a noose that I feel is choking my soul. If I sound harsh, well there is a lot of anger simmering underneath my mild mannered exterior. It is for the most part directed at myself. Though there is some directed at some family members and some for a few other people that have or had significant roles in my life. If I were songwriter like Richard I would write a scathing yet witty catchy little song and let folks wonder if it is about them. Instead I have been writing down the hurtful, hateful, lame, angry, poisonous things I have been hanging onto for years. The things like how an uncle of mine used to call me heifer (I was overweight as a kid.) The promises my Dad would make that as soon as he made them were forgotten by him. How a boy in my A.P. European History class told me I didn't belong there. How praying to God was supposed to make everything better but somehow wouldn't keep a family relative's hands off me. How I questioned my sanity while going out with various alcoholics and drug users. How I let people use me as a doormat and how I feel guilty for getting mad that they do. How I have let my body down by not consistently exercising and by eating as self medication. These and many more are going up in flames on New Year's eve. They are being released. I will remember them but they won't be part of the fabric that my clothes my soul.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Belated Solstice Wishes

I know I posted this image several days ago but I didn't get around to doing a Solstice post. As things are winding down and I am trying to calm the frantic hamsters in my brain I look to this image and feel a warm peaceful feeling. It could also be the herbal tea I have been drinking I suppose. I had intended on posting a couple of recipes I make for tea. I forgot and am so sorry Jenn! Here they are now, they are from this book
I recommend this book for the eye candy alone. The recipes are good although I would prefer a bit more substance. I have tried quite a few of them and enjoyed the results.
The first recipe is:


I play around with the amounts and sometimes throw in a little crushed nutmeg (a little goes a very long way)or Allspice or finely chopped dried ginger. I think this is a nice winter blend. I like it without sweetener but might try some of the ginger honey I made last week. The amount used to make a pot or cup varies on how strong a brew you want. Experiment with it. The recipe as posted above makes enough for about 30 cups worth.
The next one is:


Again, I don't usually use sweeteners in this, but a little agave syrup or honey wouldn't go amiss.

I have a Christmas eve dinner to go to. Yeah! I am bringing the marinated Manchego cheese from here It is from her post on December 12th.
Anyway my fingers are freezing so let me offer my Solstice/Christmas/Human Light and any other religious OR non religious holiday for PEACE, UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION now and in the new year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow day!!!!

I have had a few days off from work starting last Wednesday. I went back to work yesterday and today woke up to a commuter's nightmare (at least this commuter) or a stay at home person's dream. I chose the latter. Earlier this week when the storm first hit I bundled up and trudged down to one of the local markets (the Kiva) for supplies. I felt rather Eastern European, heavy coat, scarves, long heavy skirt (with sweats and long johns)underneath and boots. A pinup girl for Babushka Illustrated. I needed honey and ginger for some honeyed ginger I am giving as gifts. I also stocked up on sweet potatoes and other fixins for soup. I felt so hardy and alive. The following day I walked to an appt and again felt exhilerated from being out in the cold.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This is a collaged card I did for Solstice/Christmas a couple of years of ago. I love the painting of The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse. When I first went to England, I went to the Tate especially to see her.
A trio of snowpeeps made out of paper clay. I love that stuff!!!
Snow, snow, snow. Meh.
This year's holiday wreath.
Note the mushroom groove.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

But wait there's more!!!

Vanilla, orange, clove and cinnamon, pear and cinnamon and pear and vanilla scented candles
Various items for sale tomorrow.

What I've been up to...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Busy weekend...

I am not able to post any pictures at the moment. I will soon. I took another class taught by Jill Cardinal. Oh my goodness!!! It was pure alchemy; potatoes, ink, crayons, paper bags and bee's wax. I am just totally excited about this. I LOVE reusing/repurposing stuff that would otherwise get recycled or tossed.
Also this weekend I made about 14 candles. These are soy candles in glass jars with lids. I used vanilla fragrance (synthetic) for half of them. The other half was scented with orange and clove essential oil. Earlier I had made some vanilla essential oil and orange essential scented ones. The amount of vanilla essential oil it took was a bit cost prohibitive so I opted to try the synthetic. The vanilla ones turned out fine. I really like the orange clove scented ones, they smell very holiday-ish and festive to me. I will be buying some more wax today and some more jars. I am also going to playing around with some more oil combinations. I was thinking a chai scented blend and a fir citrus blend might be nice. These are to sell at our craft fair. I am busy making yarn wreaths inspired by Katie. I have a lot of velvet leaves and birds and nests and flowers. These are mainly for gifts though I may have a few to spare to sell.
I am trying to use up things that I already have in my studio, but it seems that for everything that I already have I need to purchase something else to make the ideas work. Rather frustrating on the frugality crafting front. However, I have scored some amazing clothing finds very frugally. I have had an aversion for years to going to thrift stores for clothes. Dishes, books, the odd whatcamacallit-no problem. Clothes for some reason have been a no go for me, until two weeks ago. I went to one of the local St Vincent's looking for cookie trays to use to catch wax when I pour the candles. I had to walk through the clothing section to get to the housewares area. I grabbed a long gored corduroy skirt, an argyle sweater, a pale pink corduroy jacket and a vest all practically brand new and a Pyrex casserole (for my friend Karen) for under 20 bucks! (Clothing was half off that day.) Since then I have scored a brown velvet jacket much like the one in the Boden catalog that I lusted after mightily last year. It is a tiny bit too big but definitely workable and it is warm. It is a gorgeous chocolate brown color. Pictures soon...