Monday, August 5, 2013

I can hear the thunder, I can smell the rain

Medicine Garden partially snipped (I can see my stones!!)
I rolled up the proverbial sleeves and resolved today was the day. I needed to cut my backyard and give my Medicine Garden one final hurrah before we moved. I realize, my back yard has become somewhat of a reflection of my inner self; I avoid it at all costs, neglect it out of fits of despair, and let my dog do his business as he pleases (it's an analogy--c'mon!). I dragged out the whipper snipper (which is all I should technically ever need but I had let the grass grow into a field over the summer) got the extension cord and hauled my whining buns out back.

To the rather inspiring soundtrack of thunder rolling in the distance, it took me all afternoon to find my garden. I couldn't bear to leave it in its overgrown state a moment longer. I winced as I knelt on the stubs of hay left by my rather fierce assault and began to pull the weeds by hand. Remind me never to plant wormwood again unless I like the idea of it running rampant through hills and valleys. It's very impressive in the garden but excessively self-sows.
Pretty echinacea ladies & that darned wormwood in the bkgrnd

I had to take a break from weeding when the ground seemed awfully close to my face. Inside, with shaking hands I had a hysterical lunch of lobster and strawberries with whipped cream. Hysterical because in hindsight it's hilarious but at the time my body was on an instinctive drive for calories. It was literally grab and gulp.

I went out for one final push to get around the circular garden and made it! The thunder was still booming but the clouds had stayed off my hill while I worked. I had dirt everywhere. Except, ironically, between my toes.

 
Mallow against the thunder clouds
The reflection of my inner self now has a clear circular ring of smooth round beach stones, a patch of red beebalm, lavender, lady's mantle, chicory, one neat remaining stand of wormwood (the next owner can forge her battles with it as she may), white echinacea, wooly thyme, marsh mallow, a struggling st.johns wort, and comfrey. And two huge ant hills that I'm so not going near. What that says for my new frame of mind I'm only beginning to learn. That sucker's been under weeds for a long time. Now we just need a little blessing of rain . . .


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Vanilla Skies

I decided to spend part of the afternoon at a local farm with my son. We went for a wagon ride which he yet again showed his penchant for sharing the cab with the driver. I especially loved how he gripped the reins and twisted around in the direction he wanted the horses to go. Kinda like me with a game controller.
Woah!

It was a perfect day just for enjoying the outdoors. Gigantic fluffy marshmallow clouds floated overhead, pumpkin vines curled everywhere on the path and the smell of warm old leather tickled the senses. I wish I wish...
 
 

 

The end of our visit was punctuated with a lovely sweet vanilla ice cream cone. Which, when we got to the car, my son up ended into my cup holder while he climbed into his seat. Good thing I save napkins in the dash! What a turkey!

I need some encouragement. Here's a picture of my in between my sewing project, project. *sheepish grin* It's an embroidery sampler. I have to say embroidery is not my favorite pass time. Give me cross stitch any ol' day but embroidery is just so . . . hard!


What do you think so far?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tissue Paper Tenderhooks


I've been keeping busy! I redesigned my blog. Thanks in a big way to shabbyblogs.com! I'm on a steep learning curve in all sorts of media. I promise to try to take better pictures with my trusty digital camera. For example, my next project:

Can you guess what I'm up to my elbows in now?

Yup, sewing. I'm not going to give away what just yet.

But isn't it strange that I found myself utterly shaken at the simple activity of cutting out those tissue-thin patterns? My hands were shaking as I snipped close to the lines. My thought at first was that it was because the last time I had gone through these same motions I had been making my wedding dress. But no, I reminded myself that I had, actually, made a Jedi Halloween costume for my husband (now ex) a few years later.

Regardless of what the occasion, I realized, making anything with your own two hands starts with the intent.

If you make something with your own two hands, you cannot help but put a little of yourself in the work. Sometimes it's a little smidge of interest, sometimes it's with a truckload of heart. If I've been holding back in giving of myself out of fear (of getting hurt, of bleh feedback, or whatever) then the simple act of making something with meaning can be a challenge.

So if you're going to do it, I say it's best to start with scissors.  

Keep them sharp, ignore your shaking hands and let out a trembling laugh. If you make a mistake that's what tape is for. And who's to say the dog isn't going to come over and drool on the insipid tissue pattern and turn it into mush anyway.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Garden Blooms & Seaweed

Wouldn't you know it. Just as I'm in the home stretch, pardon the pun, my garden decides decides despite my marked absence it's going to show off with a final explosion of bloom. Y'know. Just to make sure that I miss it when I leave. I have Shasta daisies and Brown-eyed Susans blooming in the side garden. I snipped a few to enjoy while I'm at the computer . . .

And didn't my Chickory decide that this was the year it was finally going to make it's long awaited appearance! It was playing peekaboo with me, only blooming in the morning so when I went back later in the day to check it was gone as if I had hallucinated it. Well I waited till this morning and cut off a stem to catalogue for prosperity.

My kitchen is still a bit messy but at least when I go past/through it ('cause heaven forbid I should actually cook something in there!Whoever designed the kitchen was not a feng shui practitioner. At. All.) I get the lovely scent of drying lavender and chamomile. 

Of my list of things to do I now have 'how many flowers can I smuggle to my new place?'

Something else might interest you. Something you suspected but could never quite collect enough evidence. 

I'm a mermaid!!


The beach was lovely today. Had a bitty picnic with a friend after a long soak in the seaweed--I mean water. The crowds weren't quite as bad as they were earlier in the month. We could actually stretch without invading someones personal space. Afterwards my friend and I went to Lola's, a lovely little local shop with all sorts of treasures. I can see myself going there often.

All in all it was a loverly day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Over a cup of joe

I'm sitting here enjoying my morning coffee, listening to the light rain outside. Koda, my Shiloh Shepherd is resting behind me. I can just hear his plush falling out. Midsummer is when he goes through a major shed, as my house can firmly attest to. I can evoke the spirit of the Midwest whenever I feel like it, with all the hair tumbleweeds floating around. I can't keep up with their production. Oh well. No one can compare me to Martha Stewart. :)
Koda from last summer--we haven't had any grand photo ops yet this year

I finished embroidering my first badge last night (yipee!!) It was completed in backstitch since the pattern was a sketch and I couldn't for the life of me think of another stitch that would compliment it. I'm happy with the turnout though. I hope the transfer media washes off. It was not meant for stitching through and cracked in several places. The perfectionist in me wants a nice soft rubbable badge.
don't ask me why this came out sideways...

Plans for today? Get off my tush and go find some more boxes for packing up. Ugh. I hate asking around for boxes. Someone tell me to suck it up. I have one month left, give or take, before I move into my country rental where I'll have a few acres to spread my wings. It will be worth it to have the forest on one side and a field on the other (and the beach just down the road--joy!). Oh the wandering this farm girl
soul will have!

Green Blessings!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Creative Energy

I have been so inspired these last few days. I've visited so many of my fellow Farm girl blogs and been uplifted and driven by their stories. It makes me want to be accountable for my own quiet little corner of the world.

So bit by bit I am taking going green more seriously. I've started with my Laundry and my Kitchen. In doing so I have earned my first badge with the Farmgirl Sisterhood (yay!!). This weekend I will blow the dust off my embroidery skills and try my hand at embroidering the badge onto a piece of linen. I think eventually as I add to the collection I will put them together on an apron or a quilt. We'll see.

I also started a scrapbook for my fledgling chapter. Any fellow members will be able to help me decorate and add pages to the book to mark achievements or events. Or, heck, it will be an excuse just to make a pretty page! :)

I also made a friendship bracelet in advance of the first Meet n' Greet that I have scheduled for this weekend. I wanted to do a dry run so I could help anyone else with their assembly. If I don't have any interested parties this time around or if everyone is just happy on their own I can sew away on my badge.



Innit perty?! :D  You can make one too if you join me on Saturday!! Nudge nudge!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ripples

"Drop a pebble in the water:
just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples

circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,

flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling

where the end is going to be..."
~Quote by James W. Foley~

My Sunday was a quiet one but I did manage to sneak a couple of productive things in. I organized my storage containers; keeping only those with matching lids, disposing of the ones that were cracked or damaged, collecting the others to see if anyone on freecycle would be interested.

I started a Green Journal for my house. The first entry was a pledge to use only green cleaners in the home from now on. I was pretty much doing that anyway but I'm going to be more hands on, making my own cleaners to save money while being environmentally conscientious. My second entry was to add the recipe for the Laundry Detergent I made in my second blog post. :)

I finished reading Glamping with Mary Jane. I devoured it in two bedtime sessions. Boy is it ever inspiring! And daunting!! I have to admit I would love to have my own little Glamper. I'll have my own Gypsy Caravan all planned out by the time I can actualize it. In the meantime I'll be more than content with glamping out my tent.

On another note, there are these stalwart hollyhocks blooming away in my front entry. They are a reminder for me that amidst the chaos one can still find beauty.



Blessings,

Helena
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Shabby Chic

What do you do when you have a ton of cleaning to do? Distract yourself with a long-overdue project! That's what!! I've had two windows in my basement for I don't know how long now. Long enough that I remember the ex-husbands eye roll when I insisted on keeping them (or dragging them home--whichever it was). 
One of the things I wanted to make with them was a pot rack. I saw a picture of it once in a magazine, and then more recently on Pinterest.

I decided today was the day. I toted my little guy with me to the hardware store and picked out the few things I didn't have at home like the chain and a few hooks. I took the skin off my pointer finger trying to change the drill bit but finally got the holes in the frame for the screw hooks.

The end product is just about perfect! I put it above the island in my kitchen where it's out of the way of bobbin' noggin's. Now why would I go to all that trouble if I'm planning on moving so soon, you ask? Answer: I'm taking it with me, sillies!!


Oh and I added a little color from my very overgrown and, bless it, neglected Medicine Garden. There's a little sprig of lavender, beebalm and chamomile drying on the rack!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Going Green Clean

You are looking at an Official Farmgirl! Yay!! I got my email confirmation with my # and all. It inspired me to do all sorts of things but I chose to start close to home. I have been preoccupied with the messy and unorganized state of my nest as I get ready to move. One of the things that I need on hand regardless of where I am is a reliable and cheap supply of Laundry Detergent. I found a lovely recipe here: http://www.thehenpen.org/2011/05/homemade-laundry-detergent.html 

My ingredients

The castille soap after I grated it

The end result; including a neglected teacup from my cupboard that made a perfect scoop!

I can't wait to try it out!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beginning Stages

Well, to my surprise there wasn't a Farmgirl Sisterhood Chapter in Nova Scotia when I went looking for likeminded ladies. Not that there isn't a bajillion creative goddesses out there but c'mon! Even PEI has two Chapters!! So I decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and start one here in Halifax. I was tempted to wait because I'm in the middle of a giant life-altering (for me) move and since I'm moving out to the country I was tempted to wait until I was settled there. Pshyeah right. Nah. Too many cool things to do or at least plan while I pack up my house.

So unless the group changes the name at a later date the name of the Chapter is Hedge Herb & Hobbies Halifax in honor of the title of my home which I sanction The Hedge. The rest of the name hints at the variety of creative hijinks I'm sure will ensue. My own specialty includes Herbalism and Wildcrafting Herbs but I dabble in every craft I can get my hands on; Knitting, Rug Hooking, Sewing, Writing, Folklore/Spellcrafting, Decoupage, Scrapbooking . . . you name it I'll try it.

I don't have a farm per se, but I do have the farmgirl spirit which if you are familiar with Mary Jane Butters philosophy, "We are Sisters — a sisterhood of farmgirls. We’re country, we’re city, and every texture and stripe in between. It’s not at all about where we live, but how we live." Check out the website here: http://maryjanesfarm.org/



When I get settled in September I will host the first meeting. Unless I get inundated with interested parties and then we'll have to find a venue to hang. I've already got my first project in mind. But don't worry there's a whole slew of project ideas. Like these ones I've got on the HH&HH Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/havran/hedge-herb-hobbies-halifax/

If your interested in sharing your ideas and talents with others, having a laugh or two, and eating delectable treats contact the Chapter through the following website and hopefully I'll see you soon:
http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/Chapters/ContactUs.asp?ChapterID=2411