Thursday, June 16, 2016
I noticed the daylilies were in bloom this morning. While googling "daylilies" because it is highlighted as misspelled in this post, I realized that they are edible. That means that all three of these yellow flowers in my gardens are edible. Kinda cool.
The Elizabeth Gilbert quote I included in the graphic I just found, and I love it! It seemed to fit perfectly with my thoughts, as I yielded to absorb the beauty of the blooming yellows I found.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
I took out the Plaka paints again. Though I was a bit more successful getting those nice round dots (maybe due to trying a different brush), I realized how I am so much more appreciative of the beautiful dot painted rocks I have seen. It is much more difficult than it looks!
Today, I wanted to actually try to use the process of painting the rock as a devotional meditation. I was thinking about how much the world needs the Holy Spirit right now to intervene in all our hatred and fear. That is when I decided I wanted to somehow incorporate the symbolism of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit on the rock.
My first challenge was to figure out how to get seven dots around the center--uneven numbers are harder to space. After debating how to do it, I decide that making a smiley face with two eyes and three dots for the mouth might work. Then, I added the one dot on either side to connect them. It still required eyeballing some spacing, but it actually worked pretty well.
As I worked on painting the little rock, my mind did go all over the place. To use rock painting as a meditation tool will require some practice. But, I tried to stay focussed on the significance of those 7 dots, which were symbolic to me of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The simple prayer "Come, Holy Spirit" is what I used when I wanted to draw myself back to my intention. When I look at that painted rock now, I am reminded of that little prayer.
You can see in the photos above that I did add the word "Practice" to the back of the first rock I did. (Lettering with a brush is a whole other skill that requires lots of "practice" and those skill get rusty when they are not used.)
Sunday, June 12, 2016
A few years ago we stayed at a hotel in Denver Colorado that had an Aveda Spa next door. I have always loved Aveda hair products, so I stopped in to see if I might treat myself to some shampoo. Along with the shampoo, I found this essential oil diffuser blend that I fell in love with. Frankly, I had forgotten about it until I was searching through my old stash of essential oils for a henna care oil I once purchased. The henna oil was gone. I suspect I threw it away at some point, but I pulled the Aveda oil out thinking it would be a nice scent in the diffuser this afternoon.
When I purchased the Aveda oil, I was only using essential oils (EOs) on a candle burner thing to make the house smell good. (I thought of essential oils as my cleaning motivation oil.) Since then, I have become a bit more educated on essential oil use and have a pretty big stash EOs. Curious as to what oils were in the Aveda blend, I searched the internet for some information, as the ingredients were not listed on the bottle. (The blend is discontinued, so it is not listed on the Aveda website.) Some websites said it was peppermint and coriander. I did not have any coriander, so I used cilantro. But, there was something missing. The Aveda oil had something else in it with a deeper, sweeter smell. I tried adding lavender and ylang ylang, but that was not it.
With a little more internet searching, one site said clover. Well, there is no such thing as clover essential oil that I know of. A little more searching and I found a thread where someone said it was actually clove EO. Aha! The missing ingredient was found!
I know most diffuser recipes include the amount of drops, but I tend to just sprinkle stuff in until I like the smell (unless I have an actual recipe I am following.) For those of you who want a recipe to follow, I will give you the following estimations:
5 drops Clove Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
3 drops Cilantro Essential Oil (or Coriander Essential Oil)
It really does smell just like the Aveda blend. =)
Saturday, June 11, 2016
I read about these neat paints online and wanted to get some. Unfortunately, I found that they were no longer imported to the US in colors because of temperature concerns during shipping and not enough demand. Plaka paints by Pelikan are an enamel that is soluble in water--no stinky mineral spirit clean up!
When I found this set from an ebay seller, I snatched them up and I have been itching to use them. I decided this beautiful, warm Saturday morning on the deck was the perfect time to try them out. I knew just what I would try to pain on first, as they are easily accessible to scavenge for around our pond next to the deck.
I have seen the work of an artist that does awe inspiring dot painting on stones, so I thought I might try something like that. Ideally, I would have found a nice smooth flat round stone, but this the closet I could find to fit those descriptions. It was not round or totally flat, but it was pretty smooth. (In leu of taking a 4 hour trip to Lake Superior's North Shore, I decided it would work.)
After a few dots, I realized that getting nice round dots with the paint was not the easiest task. I will hunt for some better dot making tools next time I do it, but I decided the brush was good enough for now.
|It looks better from a distance, but here is a close-up.|
I did think about painting a word on the rock, but decided to just play with the dots instead. Something I have really wanted to learn more about is mandalas. Maybe this is a kind of mandala creation?
I also thought about putting someones name on it for a prayer stone, but I was so focussed on trying to figure out what to paint and how to do it that I was not really thinking of a special person when I painted it.
With both of those above thoughts, I have decided that I will paint the word "practice" on the back. Lately, I have found much meaning in that word that is applicable to many things in my life.
Now, what am I going to do with it? It is actually a pretty little thing to incorporate into a centerpiece. Some of you might read this and think "What a waste of time!" But, my newest motto is "Time you enjoy waisting is not a waste of time." (I need to look up who said that and give them credit.)
I might just have a little painted stone garden soon. Stay tuned!
Thursday, June 9, 2016
One of my favorite summer pleasures is giving myself henna tattoos. I prefer not to have a set pattern and just do it freehand, because it is more fun to see how they turn out. I never know what I am going to get! With my Scandinavian heritage, I sometimes feel like a bit of that influence presents itself. Then again, it could come from my German heritage. As I have done both rosemaling and bavarian folk painting, it is probably a mixture of both.
It took me awhile to figure out it is pretty easy to make your own henna paste from powder. (I order it online from hennacaravan.com). One of the best assets of mixing your own is that it is fresh, and the fresher the paste the darker the henna stains, in my experience. You also have the freedom to add the essential oil(s) you prefer. My preference is always eucalyptus. I like the cool fresh feeling it has on your skin, the aroma, and I think it makes the stain darker than other essential oils.
The other thing I like about mixing my own paste is the left over lemon rinds you end up with if squeeze you own lemons. I just pop them in a glass pitcher of water in the refrigerator to pour up for fresh, cold, lemon water.
Ah...it is not summertime here yet in MN, but it is a nice hot day. Even the humidity feels good after our long winters. The phrase "suck it up" can be negative in some instances, but not in this one!
UPDATE:I am often asked the question, "How long do henna tattoos last?" As I have photos of a few days already, I thought I would post them here so you can see what it looks like from day to day.
Photo 1: Henna paste on and drying. (I try to leave the paste on at least 6 hours. When it really starts to crumble off, I put some oil on it to wipe it off.)
Photo 2: The stain results the next morning.
Photo 3: The stain results the 2nd morning. (It changes from orange to a deeper brownish orange.)
As far as after care, I simply put oil on it when I take a bath or shower, and try to keep in from soaking or soap.
Monday, May 30, 2016
Last year, I planted a lovage plant. The gal at the local garden store told me about it. She said is is like celery but hollow making the stalks great straws for bloody marys. It is a perennial, and this year it is flourishing. Above is a picture from the first harvest. I have heard it referred to as "celery on steroids," which is an apt description. The flavor is very pungent, but definitely like celery.
Searching around on Pinterest, I found this neat bloody mary mix with turmeric in it. It called for fresh basil and parsley chopped up. Thinking about how to chop it, I got this idea to use a pizza cutter, and it works great--even better than an herb scissors for this task. (Thinking of trying to simplify and downsize, I think the herb scissors can go.)
Other Pinterest recipes mentioned using things like fresh mozzarella on skewers. (Awesome! I have some fresh mozzarella in the freezer. ) That gave me an idea to add a bit of balsamic vinegar to the mix, so I did. I am still missing the fresh lemon, lime, and carrot juice. That will require a trip to the store, but yum! So far, so good.
Girls getaway, here we come!
Saturday, March 12, 2016
I did some typing of descriptive into the Ode to White page on this blog this morning. Here are some wonderful white visuals from Etsy. It is so great to be able to shop at home. =)