Sunday, May 31, 2009

Peacock Feather Necklace

We love this necklace!
It's a purple agate with sterling rivets to attach the sterling silver chain. The peacock feather is affixed to more rivets securing it to the agate.
This is made here in Portland, Oregon by the lovely artists at small things designs newest venture Stone & Honey. We always have a few of the honeycomb necklaces available as well. We currently have this large purple agate necklace and a smaller green agate with a different feather and a small honey colored one with honeycomb on it.
Sadie (pictured) has been eyeing this one and finally tried it on. Doesn't it look great with her green tank?
Each piece is completely unique, hand made and one of a kind.

Friday, May 22, 2009

beeswax floating candles

Tiny floating candles made from pure oregon beeswax. They burn for about twenty minutes and smell like heaven.
Available in pairs, packaged in a glassine envelope for $1.50 or 5 in a cellophane (biodegradable) bag for $3.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hawthorne Harvest

If there is an herb for each month, Hawthorne definitely belongs to May.
Of course Sweet Woodruff would get her knickers all in a twist about that statement, however, Hawthorne is the first one I think of this time of year.
Each May I harvest Hawthorne near May Day for the Love Potion that I will make the following year.
Hawthorne can also be added to teas and baths for heartache as well as for anxiety that is centered in your chest.
Some might say that is is good for gladdening the heart, and however true this might be, Hawthorne is kind of a bad-ass. Have you seen those thorns? I call on her for protection and healing, specifically in areas of the heart. Looking for a little gladdening? I would suggest a more happy-go-lucky plant like calendula or sweet woodruff.
Here's a little honey bee, having it's way with the pink bloom. I would love to get my hands on some Hawthorne Honey. Local Beekeepers?

I have to be honest, I don't really know the difference between the pink and the white Hawthorne flowers. You can see that the white flowers have pink stamens and the pink flowers have white centers. The trees grow in the same areas, often so close together they are like one tree. You can also graft them together so that they are on one tree. Although they grow so abundantly, to be considered weed trees to some, that I see no need in planting them. I use the pink & white blossoms (along with their leaves) all together and harvest as I am called by the trees.
I always tell folks that when they harvest they ought to be thoughtful with harvesting ethically and all that goes on with that, but to also be thoughtful of the exchange. This for that. The honoring of the offering of the plant.
Always ask yourself "what is the intention?" and "how much do I really need to harvest?"
My intention was to enjoy my day in the sun and to gather some flowers and leaves for tea, possibly a small bottle of tincture and for the Love Potion.
Even with all of those things in mind, I really
didn't need that many flowers.
I was loving the trees and enjoying my time and then it occurred to me: I hadn't brought an offering.
Some common offerings are cornmeal, tobacco, food for small animals, etc. Personally, I usually bring something shiny for the fairies. I peeked into my bag and found some copper pennies and a big, beautiful vintage shell button. I tossed them under the tree I had spent the most time with and just as I turned away I got snagged, hard, on a thorn.
"Pay attention". The tree seemed to say. "The shiny things are nice and all, but I really wanted you to notice my thorns."

The last part of this story is about Hawthorne's scent.
I'll never forget the time when my herb teacher Cascade was teaching our class about Hawthorne and she had us all smell it. I was enraptured with the scent. To me it smells like raspberries, the salty sea, green apples and hot sun. I was surprised when I pulled my nose away from the blossoms to find all of the other 20 or so students expressing disgust to the scent in varying degrees. I felt a bit embarrassed by my revelry, yet Cascade laughed and said to me "you have an old nose". Meaning my scent sensibility was not tainted by the modern lack of acceptance of anything other than what is appropriate to scent laundry soap.
I can't get enough of the sexy scent that Hawthorne emanates. I have it drying in my dining room and am loving it.
It's been almost a week and the Hawthorne is almost dry, but I'll tell you this; I still have a piece of thorn stuck in my finger and each time I feel the irritation, I am reminded again and again of my love for this feisty, insistent, strong and beautiful tree: Hawthorne.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Herbal Iced Tea - sage, dandelion, thyme & honey

We had some friends over for dinner a few days ago and I wanted something for the kids to drink that wasn't soda.
Not that I'm opposed to the occasional sugar indulgence, but the last time we allowed soda while having a bunch of kids over, we were finding soda cans everywhere for days.
With iced tea, even if it's yummy, it does not encourage overindulgence the way a fridge stocked with all natural Orange Cream Soda does.
Honestly, it all began with the dandelion syrup that I had begun earlier in the day that got neglected as I prepared dinner.
Earlier in the day when I had gone out to check on the chickens I saw, to my delight, some fully blooming dandelions. I picked about 2 cups of the tops and put them in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them. As they cook, the flowers reduce down and then the water does as well.

This was as far as I got. (If you want to continue on with making the syrup, you add sugar and boil, then pour over pancakes, ice cream etc. I will post the exactness of the recipe soonish.)

So I had about 2 cups of strong dandelion brew and I wanted iced tea. hmmm. Would children-who-do-not-belong-to me drink this?
I went back out and harvested garden sage and a small handful of thyme
I put the sage and thyme in a heat proof glass vessel and poured boiling water (24oz) over them, put a cover on it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. I wanted it to be lightly sweetened, so I poured (8oz) boiling water into the mostly empty honey jar that had crystallized honey lining the inside of the jar. The boiling water melted it down as I stirred and scraped down the sides to help it along.
I filled a metal pitcher with ice and poured the strained dandelion brew, the tea of thyme and sage and the melty honey sweetness all together.
It was surprising even to me in it's yumminess.
It was so good.
The children loved it as did the adults.
Please note that they were offered iced tea, not dandelion-sage-thyme iced tea.
I have learned my lesson on that one again and again. Once after making muffins for my girls and having them deemed "the best muffins ever" I took a risk and told them they had beets in them, they felt so betrayed and will now ask whenever presented with a chocolate muffin "are there beets in it?"
oh well.
"Would you like some iced tea?"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

purifying against bad dreams

Recipe to remove bad dreams - directed to a child -
1. place a bowl of salt water (2-3 tbl of SEA salt in 3-4 cups water, stir counter clockwise until dissolved) in her room wherever she thinks is the right place (tell her it will absorb negative energy) if she doesn't care put it at the foot of her bed.
If she thinks there should be more than one bowl, do that.
In the morning dump the salt water down the sink or toilet and rinse or flush it down.
2. Have her call on one of her stuffed animals or dolls to stay awake while she sleeps to guard against bad dreams.
3. Give her a bell to have by her bedside as a safety for her to ring if she gets scared.

there are a million other things you can try, but these are good starters

good luck.

Monday, May 4, 2009


the vandals came in the night, a random passerby called the police. The police came straight away and boarded up the window at 3am. This was how I found it when I arrived at work the next day. It is all cleaned up and the boarded up hole has been replaced with shiny new glass and all is well.

These pictures look like butterfly wings to me. So pretty.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day - May Wine

I have often been called the Queen of Cups and yet I'm more recently thinking of myself as the Queen of Spring Tonics.
Spring tonics make my heart sing.
I like them as simple as can be.

May Wine
-how to make-
On or near May Day (May 1) harvest tops (all that is above ground) of Sweet Woodruff Gallium odorata.
Buy a bottle of white wine.
Open the wine, sort the less than lovely parts of the Sweet Woodruff from the lovely and put the lovely parts into the wine.
Let sit for 30 minutes or so, then pour little sips and toast to May, the May Queen and springtime. Make another toast for yourself and for what you wish for in the coming spring season of new growth and wonder.Sweet Woodruff is a modest May Queen. Perhaps a May Princess.
Realted closely to Cleavers Gallium aparine.

The remainder of the May Wine can be stored in the refrigerator and sipped as your heart desires. The tiny bit you have sipped can be replaced by more white wine. It can be topped off as often as you like, depending on how much herb you have in the bottle. It's a bit like making tea in that the first steeping is fragrant and delicate and as the tea steeps longer it becomes full and imparts the deeper notes of a tea, sometimes bringing out the bitter notes. If you add more water to the same tea, it can be lovely still, but different.
This May Wine is like that.
The first day, right after I made it, the taste was delicate and flowery. Now, 3 days later the taste is richer, more full and has a distinct vanilla aroma.
I will sip it strong like it is until the weeks end and then top it with more wine and put it in the fridge. Of course I will offer some up to the May Queen.
Do what you like and trust your instincts.

There are a bit more complicated recipes for May Wine, but I like simplicity.
Try multiple recipes if you like, and let me know what you think.

This is a favorite spring tonic for making the heart joyful.
What could be better.