Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The central bead is a beautiful electroformed green jasper that shows the shape of a tree in copper on the stone. I added a goldstone above it to represent the sun and smoky topaz droplets below to represent moist, deep roots. On the reverse, I have selected words that read, "Broad trunks branches root form a circular temple". Other pendants include: a pocket watch face with leaf hands backed by a crop circle depicting a fruit-filled tree protected by a vintage watch crystal, and topped by a lucite egg and a Green Girl pewter pendant depicting a tree with the words "Grow Strong"; a rectangular jasper frame encasing a glass bead acorn and andalucite heart; a trio chain of roots, maple seed wings I made of polymer clay, and another acorn, this time of tiger eye and brass; a jasper donut with hangings of a glass leaf, an antique key (which resembles the shape of a tree), and a brass acorn; a green and gold stone rectangle that resembles a lightning strike with a piece of bark from a struck tree adhered to the reverse and the words "antennae reaching heights" on either edge; a tree agate heart and a moss agate disc that resembles the moon; a clay stamped pendant depicting a Mother Tree by my WomenSpirit (a twice annual retreat honoring the Feminine) sister, Helen; and the inside of an antique pocket watch resembling a crescent moon surrounding a peaceful face with a petrified wood bead dangle, on the reverse is a photo of a bristlecone pine, the Earth's oldest living being. I've also included a wooden ring, prehnite, rhyolite, handmade lampwork glass beads, and amber chunks to the necklace. While all of these pendants are special and sacred to me, I later added an even more special hanging: a bodhi leaf a friend brought me back from India found under a legendary bodhi tree. I sandwiched it between copper and mica to protect it. What a gift! (I often ask friends who are traveling to places I've never been to bring me back a small bit of Mother Earth: a stone, a leaf, a shell, sand, a feather, etc. I keep these bits of Earth either in my office/studio or in a piece of jewelry to help me remember that it is about ALL of Mother Earth, not just the piece we stand on.) I brought back lots of rocks, etc. from England last summer, some from in the crop circles.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I love their strength and their shelter; their reaching and their rooting; their bark and their beauty; their colors and their textures; their patience and their whispers; their fullness and their nakedness; their generosity and their growth; their majesty and their mystery.
Lifts embrittled arms to the sky
antennae between earth and sky.
Soon, this exquisite Crone
Her limbs will whine
The earth will shudder
Three years ago, a 72 foot oak that stood 6" from the back of our garage fell from the wind caused by a hurricane that blew through (an unusual occurence!). The storm came through at night and -- other than the wind and rain -- we didn't hear a thing. Imagine our surprise and sadness when we looked outside our window the next morning and saw that another oak had fallen! And again, it fell the only way it could in order to avoid hitting a structure.
They stand in strength and the fall in grace.
It took a week or so to cut the tree apart. We intend to do something special with some of the trunk: mill and plane it to make a table to honor the tree. I sat in the lowest fork in the tree (trees look SO MUCH BIGGER when they are horizontal than when they are vertical!) and just relaxed into her lap and nurturing (even fallen!). The wood from that tree warmed our home for a year. Even after they fall, they still nurture us. Just like mothers in many ways.
Two years ago, Andrew built a deck onto the back of our home. There is an old oak growing right outside our back door. Andrew intentionally cut the deck around the oak, honoring it and giving it room to continue growing. He was careful where he dug the 6x6 supports that he embedded in cement so as to do the least amount of damage to the root system. I watch the moon climb this oak tree when I relax in our hot tub at night, watching the stars and satellites and planes. Squirrels scamper all along its length and breadth, jumping from twig to twig taking household items to their nests. Doves nest in its top branches. Insects travel along its deeply ridged bark. It shades the hammock in the summer and offers us sky views in the winter.
Recently, this old oak has started shedding some of its bark, so I'm keeping a close eye on it. I'm sending prayers and energy to it. After all, the moon climbs this tree.
I hope your day is full of the blessings of trees!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
These are a few photos I took while at the White's farm in Ohio. You can see why it is so relaxing! It was sunny my first day there, and rained softly each remaining day I was there. It was lovely no matter what the weather!
I have been noticing the shapes of trees recently, since the limbs are visible before their leaves grow back. I've been enthralled with how trees that are allowed to grow naturally (unimpeded by anything nearby or by pruning) will grow in perfect symmetry... even though no two branches are the same. It's amazing. This photo of Crinny's Japanese Raisin Tree is just one example I saw on my travels.
And, joy of joys, when I returned home, I found that the amaryllis bloom had begun to open! What a bright welcome home. Two blooms are open with 2 more still buds. And, as is all reflective of the wheel of life, many of the camellias had fallen off the bush. It's compost in action. Isn't Nature's "litter" so much more beautiful than humankind's?
So now I'm home, catching up with family and email. There are two great things about traveling: one is getting away; the second is coming home.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I have been growing sweet woodruff in the north flower bed of our yard for a few years now. Sweet woodruff is a woodland herb, meaning it likes shade and moisture (which isn't typical of most herbs). Its cluster of leaves resembles a small umbrella, and its bloom is a miniature spray of creamy white blossoms on a stalk. I love herbs, and was really drawn to sweet woodruff. It held our powder of snow in its own shy way yesterday.
A few years ago, I learned a recipe for May wine using sweet woodruff. Ever since, I have looked forward to celebrating spring with this refreshing drink. Here's the easy-peasy recipe:
- a large bottle of inexpensive white wine (the sweet woodruff changes the taste of the wine, so why pay for a taste you're going to change?)
- a few sprigs of sweet woodruff
Open the bottle, push the sweet woodruff into the wine, close the bottle and let sit for at least 24 hours, chilling. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the taste.
I especially like to serve it to celebrate Beltane (or May Day) on May 1. Supposedly in Renaissance times, maidens would drink this May wine before flitting and flirting with the men on May Day (I don't know if this would be before or after them dancing around the May Pole). Anyway, it certainly adds joy to the day! It's a refreshing, unexpected, and indescribable taste. Try it and toast to the gifts and joys of spring!
Here's to all those joys!
Hence, the need for me to practice and learn how to regain and maintain balance. I felt this tension all the time when I was working outside of the home full-time: how to balance work, family, friends, and me. I'm working out of my home now, and still need to find a balance: between and within art (creating and promoting), my family, my friends, other commitments, myself.
I feel as though everyone I am interacting with right now has wisdom to share with me. This is probably always true; perhaps I am paying more attention to it now.
A couple of friends came over this morning who are Qigong teachers, and we talked about balance. They shared with me how helpful Qigong, Tai Chi, and meditation are in helping them to maintain balance.
A couple of weekends ago, I was a vendor in a Festival where all the vendors' tables had been placed in the room by Daniella, a feng shui practitioner, based on their facing their "wealth" direction (based on each person's birthdate). Daniella also helped me individually to better arrange my tables to encourage the flow of abundance. Sure enough, as soon as I followed her suggestions, I started selling more jewelry! It was pretty astounding.
Another feng shui practitioner, my friend Melody (who is so much more than a feng shui practitioner), has guided me with energy work both for my home and for my Self. And today, I received an invitation to attend a feng shui workshop on Thursday evening at a friend's home. Hmmmm... too coincidental to ignore! I've read a little on feng shui and found it fascinating; however, the Chinese belief of there being 5 elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) is a bit hard for me to adjust to since I typically honor the 4 elements of earth, air, fire, and water. The Chinese believe that everything has chi or energy, and so do I. So I expect I can accept another element into the mix when considering this practice.
I've been thinking about balance and change the last several days and realized this morning that it isn't a coincidence that I have been creating "Spring Babies" necklaces that honor new birth... depicted as a moth or butterfly emerging from her/his cocoon. This style of jewelry is quite a different one for me; and now I recognize that it reflects the metamorphosis going on within me presently. My friend Ouarda reminds me of the importance of visualizing light to our energetic benefit; not so much as a defense mechanism or protection (because neither one of us want to live life reacting in fear) but as a cocoon where it helps us develop on the inside and insulates us from harsh elements that would stunt our growth. That way, we can also send the light back out whenever we emerge (or even peek) from our cocoon.
Art is such a meditative process. For me, it's a magnificent use of intuition to connect with Spirit within and without... and find symbolism and guidance from the images and connections that are created from this explorative flow. I am so thankful to have the time to spend on this inner process! It is a blessing.
I hope your day is full of blessings, too.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
So today is Day 6 in the 37Day challenge to change just one thing in your life. I thought I was doing well... (I'm not going to say I should be doing well...). But we sure have a lot of ways to disguise a word and the sentiment behind it.
I just sneaked a peek at Patti's 37Day blog, and today is Day 7 (which day did I miss?!? What else am I missing?) and she writes about being selfish, doing things for ourselves. Interesting that I just flipped to that as I was going on about "shoulding" myself about the kids.