as the crone flies

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Happy Easter

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Imbolc and Brigid in Stitches

With Imbolc and Brigid’s Day right around the bend this year I was determined to make several hand embroideries to add to my celebration of the day. 

This first one is for Imbolc and the other one is of Brigid the original artist is Mia Anthonia Fries Ørsted a friend sent me a copy of her drawing and I thought it would be lovely a embroidery, the green batik with Celtic knots I thought would be perfect for the backing fabric.

I do quite a bit of projects with fabric so I thought I would share two little blessings with you.

A tradition of hanging a piece cloth (prayer flag) from a tree for Brigid to bless as she passes by on her day. I hung my prayer flag in a tree, where the sun and wind can lift the words to the spirits, who now and then need to be fed by our praise and thanks. The words were simple as they spiraled across the cloth, in the end asking just one simple thing:

May we be blessed, and through our lives, Bless.

On midwinter’s eve January 31st place a piece of linen or cloth outside. It is said that on this night Brigid travels all over the land and if she sees this cloth she will bless it and give it healing powers you can use this blessing: Let the cloth of life be mended. Let the thread be linked again, restored, cleansed – the forests growing, native plants in field and fen. Let the cloth of life, in beauty, be restored by will to be. People with the plants and creatures, tending earth and sky and sea.

This year I am going to lay several yards of fabric out to receive blessing so I can use the fabric throughout the year when making gifts like embroideries, pray flags and spirit dolls for friends and family.

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These words speak to me deeply

Your magnificent story

Why would you wish
to change the canvas
of your beautiful face
as you age?
Why would you want
to rid yourself
of the unique terrain
you have so deservedly
come to inhabit,
the visible and faithful
testament that you
have lived?
Why would you
not want people to
recognize the multitude
of seasons that
considered you
a worthy dance partner ..
the droughts and harvests,
the winds and storms
that have shaped
your brow,
supplied you with
an enviable furrow,
that have deepened
and softened the gaze
of your sorrowing
and courageous eyes
with tears that shine
in the dark?
Why would you not
want to be that old
gnarly tree that
children can swing from
as you creak?

Why would you want
to betray your own
magnificent story ..
all the things you’ve done,
all the ways you’ve fallen
and gotten back up,
all the ways you’ve said
yes or no to love ..
why would you want
to let someone cut “you”
away and inject you
with the “not you” and
then pay for it?
Why would you want
to not become fully
yourself and be
recognizable to your
ancestors who walked
before you
when you die?
Why?

© Poetess (Rachelle Lamb)
Photo: Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

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Uncovering: With the Cloak of Many Colors

It’s been quite cold here in north central Florida with gray skies and cold winds blowing through, temps fell into the low twenties all week which of course meant it was time to tuck in the plants

We weren’t fortunate enough to get any of the snow that fell on Tallahassee or Pensacola but I know when I left the house earlier this week I was hit in the face with sleet or maybe a few flurries. I feel a little disappointed each time the temps drop so cold, the skies break gray  and in your heart you just know it is snowing north of where you stand and I long to walk in the beauty where everything covered in white snow surrounded by the silence that usually follows.

I know I could drive north to enjoy the snow, I also know my old bones feel the cold now more than a year ago and those old bones ache deep inside, the arthritis and old bone breaks let me know I’m not missing as much as I think, so perhaps just longing for the snow and reading about it on friends and family blogs is enough for me this year.

A few days ago I was browsing the internet as I do from time to time, reading blogs, looking at posts on Pinterest, reserving a few books for the library reading challenge when somewhere along my web travels I came across this colorful Ruana:

Oh the riot of color, I was enchanted from the moment my eyes fell on the photo, yes that photo above, from Paradox Moon. I saved the photo and posted it on my Facebook along with this one also from Paradox Moon and asked for opinions.

I think I knew I was going to buy it the moment I saw it but I waited a few days I don’t like to make impulse buys.  For days I couldn’t get it out of my mind, I just loved the colors, the embroidery the way it made me feel when I thought about it, something was happening to me I couldn’t explain it but I felt that feeling before a long, long time ago.  Four days after I first laid eyes on it I bought it.  I purchased it on the evening of the first full moon of the year perhaps shedding my old ways to lay a path to start a whole new cycle.

It arrived Thursday afternoon when I wrapped the ruana around me I unwrapped a part of myself  I felt more alive, free and easy. This baffled me to no end could a mere garment cause such a feeling of transformation, I felt awake for the first time in a very long time, not the awake you feel after a long night of sound sleep, but awake to my life the part I seem to have tucked away a while back and somehow I forgot all about.

My friend K left this comment on my FB page It’s gorgeous. You are going to feel so wonderful walking around in it.  She was right, though I felt so much more, I could feel layers of dust fall from me the old stirrings of creativity rumbling from deep down inside me, the potter, the painter, the writer, all long tucked away deep within like my garden plants waiting to be uncovered to the sunlight once again.  I need to hold on to this rediscovery of me , it looks like 2018 is going to be an interesting year.

The link to Paradox Moon:  https://www.facebook.com/ParadoxMoonClothing

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Have a Warm and Wonderful Yule

Wishing you a magical Yuletide season, the clock seems to be moving faster with each passing day with life getting a little bit more hectic here for a while.  Between the flu season and the holiday season I don’t think I have had a chance to catch my breath.  Hopefully once the new year rolls around things here will settle down and I can get a few things done.

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Have a Warm and Wonderful Samhain

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When the Spirit Moves You Make Dolls

I have been expanding my crafting lately to include areas I am not so familiar with to improve my skills, one of those areas is making goddess or spirit dolls.  I have made soft sculpture dolls for years with good results but over the last few months I wanted something different. I have several books on making Art, Spirit, Healing and Goddess Dolls so it was time to put what I read to work. As a needle arts and fiber fanatic I have accumulated more supplies then I will probably use in my lifetime so venturing into spirit dolls is a great way to use up lots of those scraps of fabric, ribbons and lace. Not to mention beads, charms and flower bits and all those novelty yarns we tend to try and either make a project or shove the yarn in our stash bins.

Here is my Nature Goddess doll

She is made with scraps or fabric, ribbon, dried and silk flowers, and the big flat shell for the moon as shown, she has a twig for a staff and a clear crystal, charms and seashells complete her look, she stands on a wood base and face is air dried clay painted.

The Butterfly Goddess was the next doll to be made

She has beautiful painted faux butterfly wings, wrapped in blue printed fabric with beads stitched randomly throughout. Her clay face was purchased while I was shopping around, I saw the face and knew it would be perfect for this doll.  I have made three more clay faces for more doll projects my original intention was to use the blue round face for her but when I saw the face I used I just knew it was the right choice.

I am working on a new hand embroidery project this one is a sew along project over at https://jacquelynnesteves.com/  

It is the I Love Home project here is the 3rd block I decided to do hand embroidery for the block there is a choice of applique or embroidery

I came late to this stitch along so I worked the latest block first.  The stitch along is free and the patterns are provided also free and there is time to join if you are interested.  Check out the site there are lots of crafty projects to do.

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It’s supposed to be Autumn but it feels like Mid-Summer

Ugh! the weather has me completely knackered this month, after hurricanes and tropical storms the weather has not made the usual transition to fall like weather here in Florida.  We don’t get much of an autumn but it would be nice to get a few days if not I sure hope it cools off by winter.

So this week I have been reading the Autumn issue of Faerie Magazine, which centers largely on Practical Magic, that lovely novel written by

Alice Hoffman in anticipation of the new Alice Hoffman novel The Rules of Magic the prequel story.  If you are familiar with Faerie Magazine than you know Alice Hoffman often has an article among the pages.  It was a happy surprise when I heard a knock on my door Tuesday afternoon and upon opening the door the mail carrier handed me my package.

Earlier this month I began a new hand embroidery project and completed the Cauldron with labyrinth late in September, I love how it came out. I also completed the Spiral Goddess inspired by the Abby Willowroot statue shown below, I drew a spiral on her head and tried to make it look like it was forming a labyrinth with her arms.  There is a spiral on the back of the statue.

The Willendorf inspired hand embroidery was finished as a prayer flag and hangs on the tree branch at a friends house, luckily she brought it in before Hurricane Irma or it would have been destroyed along with the original branch it hung from.  As I mentioned above I began a new project this month, Aine is the name of the design and is done in a Sashiko style of embroidery.

I haven’t made very much progress I was rethinking the use of pearl cotton for the stitching since I added a lightweight cotton backing fabric its hard to tug the needle and thread through the fabric but I manage slowly, I find my fingers ache after only a few stitches.  The pattern is from a kit by Scarlet Rose here is a link to view other embroidered pieces including the Aine design:

http://www.scarlettrose.com/embroiderygallery.html 

My heart yearns for the colors of Autumn so I am once again planning a short road trip up north in a few weeks, with nationwide warmer weather I figure about mid November for northern Florida and Georgia. For now I will leave you with this.

 

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