Friday, 31 January 2014

Imbolc and Goddess Brigid and the Sweater Gwen

I want to share a post I found on another blog that says it all so very nicely, with beautiful Celtic springtime pictures : Has Spring Sprung It is a wonderful read, here is a tiny quote to get you started:
IMBOLC Imbolc was the pre-Christian, Celtic festival associated with the Spring season. The date it was celebrated on was the exact midpoint between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox, what is called a cross quarter day.
Of course, here in Calgary, the answer is NO, spring has not yet sprung. There is snow and Ice everywhere, the current temperature is -7C and feels like - 15C. I dont know why always go to the trouble to say the current temp and then the windchill temp... both are cold, do we need to accentuate it? Anyway, cold winter weather is perfect for KNITTING, and also, Celebrating the HOPE that spring is coming. Maybe that is what the saying Hope Springs Eternal is all about ;) Knitting is what I am all about at the moment, with quite a long list of works in progress.

 Today is a good day to work on the sweater I call Gwen.   There is not much to see yet,    just several rows with  plenty of pretty cables running in twisty little lines up from the bottom.   The pattern calls it a jacket.  I call her a sweater.

The beginning of a cable knit sweater
Gwendolyn

I bought the soft grey yarn last year, for something else,  but,  by the time I wanted to knit,  my plans had changed.   This happens often to me,  and I don't really mind.   Awen,  creativity, comes when it wants, and how it wants.     And,  I am okay with that!

~ feather ~

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Great book "Essential Reiki"

New moon in Aquarius today.  Yippee!!  After the last few days, I am really enjoying the new moons arrival. Have you done something that changed your life, connected you with something so wonderful that you would never be the same?  Sounds dramatic, doesn't it? That's what Reiki did for me.  Reiki, the laying on of healing hands..Universal Love.

I've read alot of books on Reiki over the years and there is one that I always go back to.  Essential Reiki by Diane Stein has been a constant companion for about 8 years since a beautiful soul sister aligned me to Reiki.  I have bought this book three times as my various copies have disappeared, lent to those who showed an interest, never to be seen again.  :-)   I no longer lend out my copy but Feather has put a link to the book in our widgets!


Blessed Be

~Beadorh~


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Critiques, flowers, and sleeping cats

Greetings kittens,

Well this is my completed drawing for my ideas and concepts class. 

The critique went well, and I learnt about different flowers and their symbolism. 

Best book for flower reference is by far the Wild Flowers of the World by Barbara Everard and Brian D.Morley. 


Hope everyone is feeling warm and safe with this strange cold weather. Keep looking forward to spring :)

emac

Yarn Along - Follow Your Arrow to the Herb Garden

Follow your arrow continues to be a fun knitting mkal shawl. I have finished the first three clues now, choosing options 1b2a3b. Hah! It is starting to look like a serial number!   I was a bit concerned about the varigated yarn,  but all in all, I think the stitch pattern still shines through.    I really cannot wait for the next clue,  and what direction it will take me.     The shawl is a half circle now (although I cannot stretch it out - the needle is too short for that).   Here is the link to my Forest Sky on Ravelry.   It is also worth a look on the pattern page to see all the different ways this shawl is turning out.   It is amazing really how versatile the pattern is.       I am sure to make another one,  using the different option choices and  maybe a solid colour..

Follow Your Arrow MKAL Shawl and Herbal Almanac
FollowYour Arrow MKAL Shawl and Yarn Along

I have been reading the 2014 Herbal Almanac and dreaming about spring and gardening..  This book is filled with so many little tidbits of information.  I have high hopes for next summers container herb garden.
I am even planning to dig out a spot for some holly hocs  and sunflowers.

To see what other knitters are reading click here for Ginny's yarn along post. 


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Clean socks

Hand knit  and hand washed wool socks drying on a rack.
Freshly washed and drying hand knit socks.
Washed and drying almost ready to wear again.
Nothing is better than hand knit socks,  except maybe kittens, but that's another story. 

~ Feather ~

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Monday, 27 January 2014

Something wonderful about Rubber Stamps!

Rubber Stamps  for Crescent Moon Collective logo and name
Brand new Crescent Moon Collective rubber logo and name stamps.

Crescent Moon Collective hand stamped purple business card
Crescent Moon Collective  hand made business card

Silly Switches

Hola Surfers

Thought I would share one of my creative meanderings with you.  A few years ago, while scrubbing the switch covers, it occurred to me that light and plug covers are like blank canvases and there are several in every room of the house just waiting for flair.  Might be weird but its my place, I can be weird here. I started in the kitchen and figured at worst, if it failed miserably, I could be standing at the nearest hardware store with a $1.49 replacement cover.  It was worth the risk.  Taking them all off right then and there was probably not needed as its slow putting them back up so instead of boring covers, I have no covers!  Here's a couple all finished and back on the wall.

I stared by painting the base on this one black..then just doodled.  Covered it with a clear coat and walla.



I had some fun with this one.  Dipped tissue paper in watered down white glue and went to town.


Blessed Be

~Beadorh~

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Snow Flowers or Hexi Puffs

Happy Sunday,  and Happy Birthday to my Dad!
What could be more happy and cheerful than bright colours in a crazy random sprinkling of soft, puffy, cuddly woolly, squishy hexi puffs?



I have been working on the  Beekeeper's Quilt off and on for a couple of years.   I have at last count 570 hexi puffs.  (hexi puffs are the little stuffed knit hexigons)     It started out  being a way to use up left over bits of sock yarn.     Then, it became an online social experience,   trading and swapping bits of yarn and hexipuffs too)  I have knit hexi puffs here and there and every where.    Even Dr. Seuss himself would be impressed.  Eventually, this  colourful conglomeration will become a bed quilt for emac.   She has been wondering when it will ever be finished....  (good question)



Hexi puffs live in various stages in our house.  Some are completed, and tied together in the big bunch.  Others are completed and tied together in bunches of 7,  like little flowers.  I did this so I would be able to rearrange them a thousand times for fun...   And, still others are little singletons, stuffed into a bag waiting to be tied.  They didn't make it to this back yard photo shoot.    I do have enough sock yarn scraps again to knit up some more hexi puffs... production never really ends it seems.

Possibly the most amazing thing is the number of people working on this pattern.   There are 6686 projects listed on  Ravelry for the BKQ by tinyowlknits ..    And,   I would think, many more that are not even listed.

I am just imagining all the  fun locations I can knit and take woolly hexi puffs pictures from this year.  Maybe that's weird, but there are at least 6 thousand hexi puffers out there who would agree with me!  Who knows,  maybe  Hexi Puff Selfies will become a trend.     Ha Ha...



~ Feather ~

Lightening up with Lemon Swirl Soap

I was feeling a bit heavy with the energies of January and felt I needed to clear the air.  What better way than to literally clear the air?   First step, I picked the front windows to clean, which led to the casings. I scrubbed them like a mad woman.   In order to clean the casings, I needed to remove the blinds and clean them, which led to the cleaning the walls surrounding the windows. I opted to stop there before the house became a huge hydrosol experiment.  Scrubbed with TSP, rinsed and dried, the place feels better.  We've raised three teens here and I can still smell body spray in the basement as a result so I've opted for cleaners without fragrance. I just want clean not coated. At least I can look one direction and not see the need to clean..until spring then its high gear! Sitting in a freshly scrubbed room feels so good to me.

Anyway, thought I would make some lemon swirl soap to capture the moment.  Something about lemons is so uplifting isn't it?  So...on with the energies of air...soap style ;-)

Canola, coconut, palm, shea and the fragrance and colour of lemons.



and off to cure

:-)

~Beadorh~





Friday, 24 January 2014

Follow Your Arrow to the Hot Toddy

I could have titled this post,   "Yes, another MKAL Mystery Shawl Knit along" ... but I thought we would all soon get tired of that shenanigans.    So,   yes,  it is another MKAL, and it is a shawl,  but this time it is accompanied with a recipe of sorts.

First of all,  the MKAL is  Follow Your Arrow by Ysolda Teague  and  I have completed the first two clues so far.    This shawl is quite interesting.  There will be  5 clues,  and each one is actually a choice between 2 pattern options.   The result is there will be  32 different variations possible.  I just could not resist jumping in on this knit along,    and,  of course, I had ample yarn in my stash to choose from.  The details are on my ravelry project page.

Now, to the Hot Toddy bit!   The first one I had ever tried was at my sister's house this past Christmas.  Those ones were delicious,  with  rum and butter, honey and hot water.  (I think that was all)...  Tonight I decided I should make myself something delicious and for some strange reason,  I wasn't thinking about chocolate, but a hot toddy.  I checked some online recipes,  and found there are many variations.  Rum, Whiskey, Brandy can all be used.  black tea, green tea, sugar, honey, lemon, ... it seems anything you feel like stirring in will work.

I didn't measure (maybe that is why it is so wonderfully rich and delicioius) but  started with  honey and lemon and  rye whiskey.   I added in hot black tea, and a spoonful of  margarine.  This just might be the beginning of a new tradition.




Those are my  boxing week special purchase.  Knitting styled mugs and a tea pot.  They were marked down to about a $1 a piece.. how could I resist?

Also, in the  how could I resist category, is Pixie.   She apparently can't resist sticking her little pink cat nose into the frame anytime she hears a camera click.    There we have it,  the perfect picture,   cat, knitting,  cute teapot and a Hot Toddy.    Enjoy!




Have a good weekend everyone!

~ Feather ~

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Blueberry Swirl Soap

Today was unmolding day for the blueberry swirl.  The house is filled with the aroma for blueberries and its making me hungry! I used canola oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and palm oil (environmentally sustainable source).

I like working with canola oil more than olive oil truth be told.  Canola is grown here and has some pretty wonderful anti-inflammatory qualities along with being high in the omegas, a great moisturizer rich in Vit E.  Great for the colour of the soap too! Coconut oil gives lots suds and is a wonderful cleanser along with being a fantastic moisturizer that hardens the soap. It's really wonderful on dry itchy skin but overdoing the coconut oil in soap can be quite drying to the skin because of its great cleansing properties.   Palm oil adds to the suds and is super moisturizing.  It helps to harden the soap and is very mild on the skin.  I can't say enough about Shea butter (part of the nut family), amazing on the skin.  Anyway, I used 40% canola, 30% coconut, 10% shea and 20% palm.  Used a soap calculator (as always) to ensure I was good to go.

I scented the whole recipe, adding the colorant to only one half.  I layered the soap going in the mold and the swirl went better.   Here's some pictures of the unmolding and cutting.


A picture of the parchment paper lining the mold.  Lining is a really important step.  If you don't focus on making crisp corners, the soap won't look as nice.


Unwrapping






Now off to the curing rack for them and I am off to dream about the next batch.

~Beadorh~

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Blocking Magic - a real transformation

As you already know,  I love knitting.   There are many reasons why,  and today,  I will show you a bit of the transformational magic of lace.

This is a mystery shawl I started just over a year ago and set aside at about the half way mark.   The lace stitches were just too complicated for my then current knitting ability,  mental focus and concentration. Fast forward to now.  I picked  the Creekwood back up determined to finish it.   I did.   It is finished, and I am so pleased with it.

Here is a picture of the shawl, finished and just off the needles.  See how thick and puckery it is?  The lace is all bunched up.

The yarn, Dream in Colour - Knitosohpy  Laugh,  is so pretty,   a million shades of purples, with blues, greens, and a bit of rust thrown in for good measure.  It is  100% Merino wool and must be hand washed and dried flat.  This particular skein was a prize in a blog contest I entered 2 years ago.  I am glad I chose it for this shawl.

Lace shawls need to be blocked to show off the beauty of the delicate stitches.     The steps in blocking are easy enough.  First,  soak the shawl gently in a warm water.  ( I always add a bit of  yarn soap to the water).  

The next step is to gently squeeze out the water.   To really get the most of the water out,  I lay a stack of towels on the floor and the wet shawl on top.  Then I roll it all up jelly roll style and  stand on it.  Then, I walk back and forth on top of it, squishing out the water.

Step three:  pinning.    I have several interlocking foam mats I use for blocking my knits.  They are designed as play mats, for kids, and work perfectly for this job.     Lay the shawl on the mat, and begin to pin it in place,  stretching and shaping as you go.  It takes a while, but you soon see the lace emerge and can really shape the shawl to your liking.   I aggressively block (stretch the living snot out of)  my shawls.


I like to use  T pins the best, but end up using all the pins I have, it really doesn't matter.  As you can see, the more pins the better!    You have a lot of leeway here,  you can make long points, or many little ones,  what ever your heart desires.


This picture really shows how tightly I stretch the knitting, and how the lace really opens up.   This is the magical transformation of lace.  I think it is beautiful, and a little bit amazing!



This is Pixie,   one of the official blocking inspectors.  For some unknown reason, cats are attracted to blocking shawls.  They just cannot help it.

Sometimes it takes a day or so for the yarn to completely dry. Today it was quite quick.  :)    Once it is dry,  take the pins out and ta-dah!  you have lace.










I am pleased with how my Creekwood  turned out and will be getting some modeled pictures soon so I can put the shawl in the shop!  This might be a perfect shawl for a Steampunk costume.

~ Feather ~


Art Supply Haul

Here is what I picked up tonight to finish my drawing assignment

Copic:
6 pack sketch markers in gray
N1 
N3
Colour less blender 
N1 refill ink
N5 refill ink

-emac



Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday Night Drawing Homework

Work in progress small detail shots of my new drawing ! I will post more pictures as I complete this drawing.

e

It's reading time: The Wakeful World by Emma Restall Orr

My copy arrived in the mail today. It has been many many years since I have done a book report, hopefully the cobwebs shake out fairly easily!
Alison Leigh Lilly is hosting a blogging book club to read and review Emma Restall Orr's The Wakeful World, on google+ .   Info here.

So,  for the next few weeks, this will be my night time reading.  Stay tuned for the reviews.    I  am looking forward to reading the book,  and reading what the other bloggers have to say about it as well.  This will be fun.

~ Feather ~



Soap Cupcake Monday

What's a soap cupcake without icing?


I can't wait for these to be cured!

~Beadorh~

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Paulus Berensohn - Hand Crafted Journals and the power of ART.

This video is maybe the most beautiful and inspiring thing I have seen in a long long time.   The way in which Paulus Berensohn approaches life through his art is so very peaceful and loving.  He has such a wonderful and peaceful way of explaining the power of journaling,  right from the first step of creating the cover of the book.   Even just watching the video gives me a sense of calm.

Enjoy!




Soul's Kitchen from TOTM Film on Vimeo.

~ Feather ~

Friday, 17 January 2014

Sweet Orange Swirl Soap

Yesterday, temps around here reached a balmy +4 C (39 F) so I opened the windows and let the fresh air fill the house.  What a great soap making day.  Thought I would snap a picture of the totally awesome soap molds I use.  I think we made ten.



I made CP soap yesterday using 50% Canola Oil, 30% Coconut, 20% Cocoa butter.   Added the orange fragrance, divided it in two at thin trace and added a bit of orange colourant to one half.  I think the scent of oranges moves stagnant energies out the door, the whole place felt lighter when I was done.

I tried for a swirl but am not too thrilled with the results.  I am using a retro fitted plastic hanger for that but am on the look out for something that works better.  Just starting to work with the swirls so maybe with more practice it will come.  











Off to think about the next batch :-)




Introducing: Brigid Goddess Doll, ready for Imbolc

One of the  Amethyst crystals from yesterday's post here is now safely tucked into the belly  of   my first of hopefully many  knit and felted  Goddess dolls.    I chose the Amethyst  stone for its healing powers and drew a little diagram of what I intended to make.


I knit with  100% pure baby llama fibre,  it is so soft and extremely feltable.  For stuffing,  I used 100% wool roving that I bought from PaSu farms a year ago.    I had a basic idea and started at the bottom,  working my way up the body, with no idea of what the finished size would be.  One of the charms of hand felting is its unpredictable results, especially regarding the amount of shrinkage.

As I knit,  I stuffed the body with the wool  and slipped in the crystal.



As you can see the doll was quite large at this stage,  the knitting loose with stuffing visible.  (maybe I should have added  more stuffing).   I kept knitting, and sewed up the openings.


This is the doll completely knit and stuffed,  just before I took her for her warm water bath and massage.  As you can see,  her arms are nothing like my original drawing.   This goddess has long magical arms and fingers,  perfect for hugging and what ever else she might like to do with them.  Her hands are not bound together!


Here is a picture of the doll,  mostly felted, soaking wet, and  in front of the fireplace for drying.   All this time,  I thought I was making  a Cerridwen doll, to be decorated with the Awen symbol.  However,  I was wrong.   While I was sitting in front of the fireplace, holding,  rubbing and agitating the doll (necessary for felting)  I received a very direct message.  "I am  Brigid". 

It should have been obvious to me,  with Imbolc only a few weeks away, that  Brigid  the Goddess of Fire, would be my first doll.


It took several hours of hand felting and most of the day drying in front of the fire place before she was done.  I needle felted a Brigid's Cross on her belly,  as her only decoration and think I am finished now. If not,  I am sure she will let me know what else should be done.  

Goddess Doll
I will continue to knit and tweak the pattern,  starting next with Cerridwen.   All in all, I am pleased with the results, and looking forward to discovering more about Brigid in time to celebrate Her at Imbolc.

~ Feather ~