Friday, December 20, 2013

Soliloquy from a Freight Yard: An Open Fall Window

Our lovely friend and photographer, Virginia Harold, took some amazing shots of our family and some old friends, gathered to enjoy a night of poetry, music and each other. Sean Arnold was celebrating his third book release of poetry, Soliloquy from a Freight Yard . The first two books of this series can be found here. These photos capture so much...she's sneaky like that!!!




Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Christmas Creations

Every year I do Holiday Craft Fairs, I make ornaments and various other small gifts.  This year I turned my magnets into ornaments of old depictions of St. Nicolas.  I found five different book covers of " A Visit from Santa Claus/The Night Before Christmas," and one illustration, creating a unique vintage-looking set of ornaments. 
I also made Organic Healing Salve, from the St. John's Wort oil I made early this Fall.  I will be filling larger glass jars later today. 
I'm making some steam punk stockings, little wool skirts, more wool hooded scarves and if I have time... journals from the eco-printed wool scrapes.  We will see what I can fit in by this weekend.
Fair Ophelia will be at the Skinker DeBaliviere Wintermarkt this Saturday, 11-4pm, in St. Louis, MO. Come by and support your local artisans. Bundle up... it is going to be a cold, but sunny one!!!!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Madrone Berry Necklaces

One of my favorite things to do, while walking in the woods around Tipi Village, is taking a moment with the Madrone trees. The thin bark peels off leaving a smooth layer exposed and I am in constant awe of its twisting and gnarled branches.  One of the older Madrones, called Grandma by the kids and I, has swallowed a barb-wire fence. Nature does not care about our imaginary boundaries.
It is one of the many sacred trees of the Pacific Northwest.
In the legend of the great flood, the Salish First Nation describe how the Madrona tree provided an anchor for their canoes to hold steady and not drift away. It is known as a Tree of Knowledge because it knows how to find the sun. It twists and turns, growing new branches where the sun can reach them. Poet Richard Olafson shares another Native legend, writing, "The tree's webbed roots hold the splintered earth together." If it should disappear, the myth warns, the planet would fly apart and be utterly destroyed. The Madrone is also known as the Tree of Depth and Integrity, and is symbolic of protection and versatility.
One of our fellow villagers found Madrone berry necklaces at a primitive skills gathering and I couldn't wait to make some the following year.  Waiting is one aspect of wildcrafting that makes things more exciting and cherished, you usually only have a short window of opportunity to gather materials!
I spent a good amount of my time, while driving to Missouri, stringing the berries and after a month of slow drying they are ready to become necklaces. 
I am honored to adorn my body with these berries and hope those of you that get your own will appreciate this trees beauty.