Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love chocolates, but besides being more health-conscious these days, I have food intolerances that keep me from buying the cute little boxes at the stores. 

So, this year I decided to make my own. 

The first batch I did were pretty simple; I made a mix of cocao butter, coconut oil, anise extract and honey, and spooned them into a heart shaped silicon mold. I let that harden for about an hour and placed a toasted almond on top and then spooned some melted dark chocolate over them to finish. I let them cool in the fridge overnight before popping them out of the molds. I had a little trouble with the honey separating out of this one, not sure if it's an issue with the cocao butter, .... anyone work with cocao butter?

Cute, huh?!?

The second batch I made was a variation from a recipe from the Chestnut School that I may have posted before; Naughty Lavender Truffles, the recipe is towards the bottom of the page.

I love, love, love these!

I substituted coconut milk for the cream and coconut oil for the butter. 

Here's the batch going into the fridge to chill:

and here are the finished truffles!

These came out great!

Really, it wasn't very hard to make my own chocolates, and I can put what I want in, or more importantly skip the ingredients in commercial chocolates that are unhealthy.

Hope your evening is filled with fun and love or at least chocolate!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ceramic Garlic/ Ginger Graters

Before the holidays, I started making ginger/ garlic graters. A friend picked one up at a sale; I used it and fell in love.... so I made my own! 

I use mine almost daily....

It's great for ginger, garlic, turmeric, anything small of somewhat soft texture that's gratable...Is that a word?
I can hold it in my hand over a pot and grate right in, and then if it's going into liquid, swish every last bit into the pot, since it's ceramic, it's very durable.

I had several designs, but either sold or gifted most of them around the holidays. 
Will have more in stock in a few weeks, but for now just have these two left.

I love being able to make my own garlic and ginger paste fresh. It's a bit coarser than the store bought paste, but added to food, I don't really notice.

Have you ever used one of these type graters? What was your favorite thing about them?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2014

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holy-days season.... and now it's on to the start of a new year.

If you follow astrology at all, you're already aware that this January 1 is also a new moon; so, aside from the classic intention setting activities for the date, the stars are saying "do it now!", too.

We have layers in timing and purpose...

With Venus still retrograde, we're still mulling over past relationships and events, romantic or otherwise, and possibly dealing with surprise visits from the past, even though the dark of the year is supposedly moving forward. Chiron in Pisces helps us heal that old karma once and for all, and for deeper stump removal.... look past the memory that first knocks on your door, to way, way back, when you first felt this kind of feeling...

For me, it's been manifesting as mentally reviewing everything I've ever disliked about people I've known... ugh... and not very flattering to my ego to catch myself doing it.... what does it matter to me how people live their lives? In fact, they seem to be doing just fine without my input... ahhh, so that's it; I'm feeling just a little unimportant to some people who used to be a bigger part of my life... note to self: make more new friends in 2014, odd hint well taken..... and also, I've stopped the internal rants now that I understand what was going on, facing down shadows hurts a bit, but feels oh, so much better afterwards.
I've also seen a resurgence of ailments I haven't had for a decade... are the two things related? Maybe... being critical certainly creates tension in the body.

Winter is the time of year to nourish the kidneys, adrenals and spleen according to Chinese Traditional Medicine and also to check in on your Life's Purpose. This new moon in Capricorn is a good time to get on track in a practical sense, and set a grounded course of action. With Mars in Libra until next July, it's time to speak your truth and move forward, but take a moment to check your delivery, because how we fit that with others is key to doing it successfully. Anywhere we're out of balance will reflect right back to us and with  Lilith activated we may come across harsher than we intend as we release that old karma... Again, Chiron in Pisces brings us some closure and final healing of the wounds of the past, individually; but also hopefully for the world at large. With so much pushing us forward to success, it would be a shame to stay stuck... If you do manage to get your foot stuck in your mouth at times, just pull it out, acknowledge (ie apologize) and move on. There's too much to accomplish to get impaled on your ego....

Take the Middle Road when things are going to extremes and you'll surf this energy wave for the next 6 months or so.... and maybe get a nice payout from Jupiter sometime around August.
Maybe I can create a lovely birthday season for myself a few months hence....

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ecoprints on fabric - Getting Hammered

The posts on ecoprinting with fall leaves continue....
This time I hammered the leaves onto fabric to transfer the images...
This is on pre-mordanted fabric, so I'll see how the colors hold up, and maybe try it with some non-mordanted fabric next fall just to see if there's a difference. 

The colors transfer very nicely! In my experience, natural pigments tend to brown over time, but  I'm fine with the prints being as ephemeral as the leaves themselves.

I made these small prints into a bunting.
Isn't it cute?

Leave me a comment about my prints or link to some of your own....

More nature prints to come.....

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a happy day;
 being grateful for friends, loved ones, Nature and the planet, 
and this brief moment we are given called "Life"

I hope I can capture snapshots of the beauty of this world
to reflect back to others, so they remember it too....

I'm thankful for all of you out there in cyberland, some of whom I know
in "real life", lol, and especially my friends and family.

Be full of life and merry!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

9 of Wands

The other day one of my favorite Tarot sites, Angel Paths, posted the 9 of Wands as the card of the day.
I like this site, because it gives quick, concise meanings for cards as well as some positional information, and uses different decks, which is fun....... I get a lot out of the different, creative imagery people use for the cards. Btw, I find tarot cards to be a great resource for self study; to use to ponder things in my daily life. 

I'm not so much of the psychic reading variety........ I like to pull a daily card to think about.....

The cards draw upon common collective unconscious and personal themes.
The 9 of Wands represents an ongoing struggle, in which one has the fortitude to persevere.
I started thinking about how this card might apply in my own life, and suddenly remembered working with some "wands" myself the day before......... bamboo poles....

I went out to my garden and looked..... sure enough, I had 9 pole placements (if you look carefully, there are actually 10 poles, with 2 in one spot at the gate in the middle). 
I love when life is synchronous like that. 

Those bamboo poles indeed represent the culmination of of a struggle.... one to keep a very persistent chicken out........... she can dig a hole 2 feet deep in about 3 minutes flat and was destroying my plantings! 

The suit of wands represents, energy, force and movement. 
See the moving chicken....
I think I've outsmarted her......... for now..........

Magic often happens in the mundane events of daily life......
Can you remember any time when tarot or magic has intersected with your daily life?