over the summer, despite being perpetually exhausted and mildly depressed (aka my journey with adrenal burnout - more on that later), i managed to get down to the creek in Chico and harvest elderberries. i steeped them in brandy and raw honey, and then, just a few weeks ago, removed the large jars from their dark cupboard and began straining and bottling the dark medicinal liquid that had brewed.
it was really quite fun and made a HUGE mess! there was red liquid all over the kitchen - i just had to roll with it because there wasn't much i could do about it. i brewed the tonic in large glass jars, and then i filtered it all into one extra large jar before pouring it, finally, into 4 oz tincture bottles.
the elderberry tonic tastes very medicinal, almost like robitussin. i haven't had an illness to treat with it yet, but i've had some just to taste it and feel it. it is so exhilarating having medicine that i made myself! don't you think? i know lots of you ladies have had experiences with this, many of you are always brewing magical potions.
i ended up with about 15 bottles of the tincture, and i also bottled some rosemary and vinegar hair tonic that i had been steeping for a while - less time, though - probably about 4 weeks on the hair tonic. the hair tonic i made with rosemary all harvested from my yard.
yay! medicine for days. if anyone wants a bottle of either ($20 for elderberry, $10 for hair tonic), let me know. i am having a trunk show in Oakland on December 8, and I plan on taking some bottles there, but I'd love to trade for other medicines or creations, too.
the trunk show is being held at a private residence and so it is invitation-only, but to any of my bay area friends - please come! you can contact me for location information.
we've had incredible late-november days here lately, where the sunlight is golden and warm during the earlier hours. of course, as soon as the sun disappears (which happens so early now), the temperature drops instantly and the wintery air envelops us again. not that i mind, because it means we get to have fires in the woodstove every day - we blow on the embers to restart the fire in the morning even before we brew our first cups of tea. fire is such a comforting winter ritual. (so is tea, of course).
i'm so thankful for all of these creatures pictured here. they are the beings who keep me warm and protected and laughing and loving. this big front porch is our family gathering space, a glorious place for tea and coffee, books and naps; and no matter how often i clean it, it is constantly blessed with the clutter of comfort and life.
Hey friends, I'm having a sale in my shop starting now through the weekends. Feeling the holiday sale vibes and wanting to let things move on to their next owners - I think the rain is inspiring me to clean out many things, in many regards. happy feasting days!
I am so happy to be featured over on the Cosmic Collage today! Alice, who curates the Cosmic Collage, is a wonderful spirit and I am so happy to have connected with her. She provided some very thoughtful and rich interview questions for me and I really love how it all turned out.
If you have a moment, please pop over and take a look. Alice and I are also working on a collaborative collage project that will be released as limited-edition prints....more on this soon, and I am very, very excited.
feeling so thankful for women and for collaboration! today i went for a walk in the rain and was so inspired by the little bits of nature that has come to life after the heat of summer. vibrant mosses and budding fungi hiding in every corner - the bark of the manzanita was bright red in its wetness; manzanita bark is so incredibly beautiful. this is how i feel in my gratitude - simple and refreshed, growing upward in (de)light toward skies heavy with water and promise.
Here is a first installment of some select photos from the Mystic Moon lookbook that launched yesterday. Big thanks to Christy Jay, from whose blog I borrowed these snapshots. I personally couldn't figure out how to get screenshots from the lookbook. So excited about these images and about this collaboration. As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, a big part of what makes this so meaningful for me is the connectedness and community that has sprung from this project. I think that each woman in this collective, (though we are undoubtedly all so different in our human natures) share a love and awe of the mystic and magical. Each of us holds this in our hearts and so it is channeled outward through our hands and into our art. Creation is ritual, our products are symbols and amulets, treasures from time and space.
WOW! big beautiful times abound. today is the new moon and the solar eclipse, so i believe portals are widening and opportunities to renew ourselves abound. i am feeling so grateful for the cold winter season that approaches.
i'd like to express my deep thanks here for all the women that are part of this collective, and particularly Laura, who spends hours and hours creating the lookbooks. beyond being beautiful eye-candy, the lookbook is also a form of community expression; we are each a part of it because we feel something similar in our creations and in our creative intent.
i have a jacket, a headband, and a dreamcatcher in the lookbook - i'll post photos of the LB+L stuff soon!
today over at Adelaide's Homesewn, shop owner and new mother Maria is wearing a beautiful 1940s dress that she bought from my shop long ago. i had just been thinking about this particular dress the other day. it's funny, in selling vintage - some items disappear from my memory just as fast as they disappear from my racks, but some things really stay in my mind for a long time. here she is:
Maria, over the course of the past couple years or so, has shared a very moving story of her journey with adopting a child. her Etsy shop originally started as a project to fund her dream of adoption.
also, today over on Gypsie Sister there is a great guestpost by Moondaughter on relating to and reading your tarot and oracle cards. this is something i've been thinking about a lot (still) and educating myself with more and more, so i liked reading the post.
I know i talked a long time ago about how Asher and i used to go through the tarot deck each night - at his request (let's play tarot, mama!). that particular phase has passed, but i still have two decks that i use and look at daily. both decks were gifts from my mother. i have also been practicing doing 3-card readings with women in my life who feel open to practicing with me. it is SO so fun and exhilarating to do these readings. i love it.
lately i've been wanting to call in the right oracle deck - more of a wisdom deck than a structured tarot deck. do any of you have oracle decks that you love? i feel drawn to an animal medicine deck as this year has had heightened animal spirit medicine for me in general but i'd love to hear about any decks that you all have and love.
this is sooo how i feel right now. this is my ultimate challenge to myself - to create what i can within the means i have given myself at this moment in my life.
i think it is this process that gets us to where we want to be.
then, there are beautiful things that inspire me, like this photo of Vivienne Westwood in her glory as our lady of roses. (photo by Tim Walker for Vogue, 2009).
i really think that beauty - beyond being beautiful - is a guide for things that feed our soul and spirit. because beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, it is a personal map for each of our hearts.
also, these words just crossed my path and i love them:
"...the struggle is to live an authentic life. Often, being comfortable and courting the illusion of safety cannot coexist with being authentically who you are. Anytime I have drastically changed my life - which has happened a number of times and, I hope, will happen many more - it's always been a mixture of terror and exhiliration and discovery. But, I believe that being surprised and being somewhere that's uncomfortable because it's unknown is really one of the main rules to live by."