Craft

Motivation is a Bitch

Now, I’m sure to just about all of you this is anything but news, and to me it’s not news either it’s just one of those annoyances constantly tripping me up when I’m not paying attention. Much like the cat’s water bowl that they enjoy sliding into my path in the middle of the night, but I digress. What usually happens to me is that I’ll get a burst of “oh my god I need to do something yes let’s do something! Let’s get something done~!” And it’ll last a little while, I”ll journal every day for X days and then something happens and I’m kicked out of routine before it’s a real habit.

A good example is the exercise stuff I had going. I was walking just about every day, but then my sister moved in at the end of october with my niece (just turned 2 years old) and let’s just say things got a little hectic and a lot exhausting. Then November arrives and I started NaNoWriMo which decidedly was eating up my time and that was also going well until about the 4th when I got really sick alluva sudden and ended up in the ER and checked into the hospital up until Saturday night. That’s Saturday the 10th, I was in there for a whole week or so.

So here I am at home, itching to get stuff done again. Excuses excuses are easy to find, and mine tend to be pretty good when I want them to be, so good that they could be actual reasons as opposed to excuses. Let’s go back to the walking thing shall we? I’m back home now, I’m not sick and I could probably make a few walking rounds in the park or something. The fact of the matter is that while I mentally want to (to a degree) my whole body is sore, and still recovering from the medications being pumped into me while I was in the hospital. I’d say that’s a pretty good reason not to go out exercising wouldn’t you?  But I also think that maybe if I push myself I can get stronger up to par faster, but at the same time there’s the risk of just burning myself out by not giving myself time to rest so my ‘plan’ is to just let myself recoup until my next doctor appointment later this week and see what they say.

But see, I’ve still got this problem of wanting to do something. Most of my crafts are on hold due to the little one buzzing her way around the apartment all the time (I think my sister would kill me for even thinking of pulling out a carving knife in her presence, let alone a woodburning pen, or such), and I’ve got all this seeming motivation and nothing to do with it!

A lot of it has to do with the fact that there are little grabby hands (and paws) about so I’m apprehensive about pulling out the needles or yarn or blades or any of that and I do need one piece of equipment before I get some herbalism brewing. Once again because of the little grabby hands I’d rather pulverize my herbs in a mortar+pestle than chop them with a knife and I can’t quite afford that bit of kitchenware yet.

Of course the main complaint I have is that all my motivation comes at the most inconvenient times! Why couldn’t I be motivated before they arrived or so on and some such. It’s really just bothersome haha. So I’m left in the mean time until they can go back home trying to find things to do to feel accomplished without really making any messes or putting little extremities at risk.

Oh motivation, you fickle thing, come back when there’s some space on the kitchen table for me to work will ya?!

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Simple Stitched Books!

So, my mother (who I am currently staying with), is part of a certain support group for cancer survivors and their families. It’s a sort of small group for a very specific kind of cancer/tumor that I had when I was young. But since many a few families are in our area, they decided to have a picnic for this group! Once it started getting planned though, things quickly snowballed so now we’ve got a whole lot of people coming from out of state even! So, my mother decided to put together little giftbags/goodie bags for everyone who was going to attend.

About 3 weeks ago, I attended a class/event thing at my local library and learned out to make very simple booklets. So, of course, with this new found skill I was tasked to make a booklet for each giftbag (15) for the picnic, rapidly approaching.

Luckily I was able to get a lot of the supplies I would need for this project, for my birthday at the end of July. I knew I wanted to make journals but I wasn’t planning on making so many little booklets so soon, but either way I consider myself pretty lucky that I got all that I did. So for this project I’m using the following items:

Those are all things I got on my birthday haha. I promptly cut myself with the Z series blade and it bled quite a bit (I haven’t cut myself with an xacto in 10 fucking years until that day =___=) so be careful! The paper trimmer has been INVALUABLE, swear to god it’s fantastic. So right now I’m cutting up a bunch of standard 8.5×11 sheets of computer paper into smaller 5×4 sheets with the trimmer (oh god just thinking of using scissors on this is painful).  Oh, here’s the supplies I’m also using for the booklets:

So here’s a couple photos of all the supplies before and after production.

All of the supplies laid out. The smaller ones are the cut versions of the big pages.

The beaded spine of the completed booklet.

The completed booklet

The pages of the completed booklet fanned out.

I made each book with two signatures(multiple sheets folded and nested into each other to become the pages of a book) and 16 total pages. Due to the construction they aren’t the most sturdy things in the world but I have no doubt they’ll hold up well and be lovely little souvenirs. :3

Have you dabbled in bookmaking? Have you ever hand-made gifts or goodie bag
items? Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

Leave a comment below!

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Just a Short update!

So a week ago or so I was at the goodwill with my sister where I spotted and procured two Buzzy grow kits! One for basil and one for cilantro. They’re currently sprouting out on the balcony and soon they should be strong enough to transfer into their own little pots!

I’m keeping a much better eye on them and maybe one of these days I’ll get some pictures for you guys. Other than that I’ve been working on a few projects but I don’t have a lot of space so my brother has been building a shelf into the closet for me. Once that’s done I’ll have some wiggle room to work and will have some more updates to post to you all about.

I recently participated in a class demonstration thing at the local library and i learned how to stitch small books which I think I’ll be able to use to make slightly larger leather ones.

Also, as I make more salves, tinctures, and things I’ll be sure to post up pictures!

I feel like I’ve just come out of a major rut so I’ll probably be updating more often again. Thanks for reading!

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Getting Settled In

Well, I’m safely in California and have already started having a good time and getting to work! This week I saw Brave (That new disney Pixar film that there’s been a shitton of hype about) It was really good, thoroughly enjoyable though it did feel a bit short imho.  I saw that with my brother early in the morning at like 8:35 or so and was super surprised by how many little kids there were in the theater even though it was so early!

Then we went out to lunch and I got back to the house a little after 1.  At 2:30 my mother drove us out to the aquarium to see my sister and niece and we had a nice time and had dinner and stuff but I was TIRED let me tell you @__@

When I was hanging out with my brother i found out a few interesting tidbits for when I get to crafting, his girlfriend has a large garden and I’m allowed to help myself to pretty much anything but the food from it (flowers, weeds, tree blossoms, bird-pecked strawberries, etc.) so that’s kind of exciting for me! It means I don’t have to start from scratch which is fantastic.

I also saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with him and his girlfriend. That was really good too and i really enjoyed it haha. Yesterday or so my brother brought me some plant material to work with Dandelion flowers (just the heads/flowers… i don’t think he knows how these things work XDD; I have to admit I”m tempted to make wine or dye with them or something instead though…) and some mint, and lastly, parsley.

Parsley! I have a ton of dried parsley i have no idea what to do with! I mean, I looked around online and I can’t find anything to use it for! I mean I could make anything with it btu what would it be good for? From what I read a tincture of it would be pretty worthless as you could just as well eat the bloody things… and that would probably at least taste better. My sister told me to make some spray cleaner like parsley plus. BUT that stuff isn’t… well… it’s not the PARSLEY that cleans! the parsley is just the garnish fancy smell! It’s actually some kind of coconut surfactant(detergent) that actually does the cleaning part! Looking around as I’ve done it’s mostly used in addition to other herbs to make them smell nicer. so I really don’t know what to do with it. I’m half debating whether or not just to save it for some incense but I don’t know if it’s good for that or not! Not to mention there can also be the issue of magical uses if I do make incense, or anything else really… But then…

My bestest witchbro Jasie gave me this quote by Cat Yronwode (which she said, despite it’s source, is a perfect quote).  “PARSLEY is an herb of mixed meanings. Of course we all know it is employed in cooking, generally as a garnish, but as to its magical uses, there is almost no agreement. When a common garden or grocery store herb like this carries such widely diversified symbolism, the wise root worker may suspect that it is not very strong for any particular use, but just happens to be handy and easy to come by. In other words, in magic, as in food preparation, Parsley may be primarily a garnish.”

So… yeah… I’m kind of stumped there… But if anyone’s got any ideas on how to use this parsley (not cooking) I may be exceedingly nice and send you a free sample of whatever I make with it~! (Yeah, you want to help now, don’t you~?) 

But in other plans I”m probably just going to make some different dandelion tincture and some mint balm. Also one thing I”m trying to figure out is that, in process, what’s the difference between hand balm and lip balm? seriously? I mean I guess it would all come down to consistency but that can be changed easily by how much beeswax is added amirite? I guess that’s something to think about before I make it =3= hrm.

Categories: Craft, Garden, General, Herbalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Things are moving right along

Well, time seems to be just speeding away from me it feels like. Once again pleasantly surprised that it hasn’t been much more than a week since I last posted for you all.  I’ve been doing some yard work for the past two days, mowing the grass and digging up dandelions~ Some really big ones too! I did think about making an Alraun (as per Ms. Sarah Lawless’ post over here ) But I have this lovely habit of not doing things I’m even slightly scared of and an Alraun would be one of those things, so I decided against it and simply went along thanking them and leaving offerings as I took them home to make a dandelion tincture. I sliced everything very very small, and it took so long my grandmother checked on me four times! I labeled the jar, and have been shaking it up every day since. I’ll check on it in a couple weeks or so and we’ll go from there~

I don’t know if I mentioned it before or not but fairly recently I also started an orange oil infusion. Jars of pretty things to be shaken daily~ haha. (And if you can’t tell from my gratuitous use of the tilde key, I’m quite excited!)

Though there is a bit of sadness, the broccoli seeds I planted either died, were eaten, or were duds. In any case, as my brother told me, if they haven’t sprouted by now, they aren’t going to.  But, I had many more seeds where that came from and so with a new technique my brother told me, I’ve already got about 5 seeds barely breaking out of their shells.

This technique is one I’m sure most of you garden aficionados know of. Starting the seeds in paper towels.  My bro told me basically take about 3 paper towels, in a bow, soak it enough to where there’s just a tiny bit of water on top of the towel, place the seeds and take about 5 layers of paper towel on top of it, and cover the whole bowl with saran wrap and place in a sunny window.  Works like a charm! but as  we’re already in april now, I’m gonna have to get a few more grow-bowls goin’. So much to do so little time it feels like haha.

So how has your week been? Any garden adventures? Interesting crafts? Questions? Suggestions?
Leave a comment below!

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Spring has sprung! Or at least it was here yesterday…

Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to get outside to get some things done. I’d spotted a little hole in the roof of the garage and having seen hornets buzzing all about on the sunny days and wanted to plug that up. I got a bit of plywood from a man that goes to my church and he was happy to be rid of the scraps. When we got home after a potluck after church the neighbors were out using the good weather as an opportunity to get shit done! Tim was working on something or another with his truck, but kindly let me use his ladder and then cut the plywood into the right shape for me on his circular saw (It was hooked up to some kind of table guide-thing. Don’t ask me the only power tools I know how to use are a dremel tool and a nailgun!). Then I grabbed a hammer, and his daughter kindly helped out by getting some nails for me and holding the ladder.

One of the nails wouldn’t go in all the way for some reason, but the others went pretty well and no the garage is defended against hornets!

Next it was time for a foray into the garden. (It’d been raining for what seems like 3 days straight before that) I was gonna start digging but when I got back there I realized  it had never been cleaned out, so the neighbor girl helped me pull out the dead weeds and leaves. and we got quite a big pile. I might have to invest in a 55 gallon drum to turn into a composter! After which we all hung out on their back stairs and chatted till I got thirsty and came inside haha.

Then, still feeling productive, it was time for me to finally utilize my dried orange peels and get going with some herbalism practice.

Unfortunately, many of them were rotted since, when I wasn’t  watching, my grandmother continued to add fresh and wet orange peels to the bag >___> Many were still good and so I was able to grate and chop them up (more of a labor intensive process than I anticipated) and I then put them in a jar and covered with enough olive oil to cover the plant material (2 cups in this case). I labeled the jar with contents and date and I now have it in a paper bag. In approximately 3-4 weeks, provided it works well, I should have some orangey oil with which to experiment~

Today I was planning to get back into the garden and finish weeding, but we got a sudden cold snap!  It’s roughly 45 degrees out there right now! But that’s quite alright, I’ve got plenty of things to putter around with indoors. (Not to mention I’ve got a speech due in class on wednesday. Ah procrastination!!)

How are you enjoying spring in your area? Have any big projects underway? Questions? Suggestions?
Leave a comment below!

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Updates all around!

Well, I thought it’d been longer since my last blog post but I’m happy to realize I’ve been keeping up with my goal of “at least once a week”.  Though losing time isn’t something I tend to do often, though this is a special case as I’ve been kind of distracted, last week my best friend was visiting from all the way across lake michigan! She was here last week from the 12th to the 19th, but I did manage to get a post in that week. But other than that I got almost nothing done. Then this week, (19th to well, today the 22nd) I’ve been up north visiting my girlfriend and talk about getting absolutely nothing done! haha. But anyways let me deal with this in moderate order.

Well, I talked to my cousin on maybe the 13th and she said that for starting tomatos from seed, they should actually be started in January…. Goes to show just what I know, eh?

And of course I find this out almost immediately after  I buy my tomato seeds…  She also let me know that I should start my broccoli. So! my best friend and I dig around in the garage and the basement for pots, potting soil, and so on. (Okay I did it mostly by myself but that’s only because she’s scared of spiders and well… this house is old and my grandmother doesn’t exactly go in either of them much…) Anyways! The tomatoes I bought were from the Seeds of Change Tomato Garden Starter Kit, which you can get at walmart for less than 10 bucks or something. They come with two little pots made of some fibrous material that will break down in the soil, roughly 9 or so seeds. (Thats how many sprouts I’ve got so far… I thought i only planted 8 seeds… but I digress) and it comes with some soil to put in it as well as a little plastic tray to put beneath the pots for excess water.

I also took a large circular pot, and planted 3-4 broccoli seeds but none of those have sprouted yet…

This week I plan to dig up and plant the rest of my seeds (except for the ones that explicitly say April) I’m also gonna look for a few smaller pots for my herbs. But we’ll see about that when I actually have some extra money haha.

I’ve also got a small wood project in the works, which I’ll give you guys pictures when it’s completely finished but I’ve got a few supplies I need yet :T

Now that I’m back home I’m going to be reading more and deeply delving more into my rune-study. I cleaned up my altar today and just yesterday I was able to get my hands on a mjolnir amulet.  Thinking about it I could’ve waited and found one I really liked online but I felt a strong need to grab one idek. It’s nice, pewter with black in the recesses (Though I would’ve preferred it without the black methinks) but it was shorter than the other one they had so I liked it more.

Also one of these days I’ve just got to fix my pants. I have two pairs that I wear most often (The others uh don’t exactly fit anymore.) and I recently cleared off my grandmother’s desk/sewing machine and so I’ll be able to repair the back pocket of my green pair (I mended the other pocket by hand) and I also need to fix my belt loops on those and my camouflage pair. but I’ve never used a sewing machine before… so we’ll see how that goes! haha.

Categories: Craft, Garden, General, Runes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matters of Illumination.

love  Illuminated manuscripts, I mean, who doesn’t? One of my more recent fantasies has been to learn calligraphy and maybe even play with that kind of thing. Though I don’t think I have nearly enough free time to make an entire bible or somesuch :v

Well I turned out pretty lucky and recently got a calligraphy starter kit (The Calligrapher’s Studio Kit
to be precise.) from my neighbors and a couple days ago I finally cracked it open. The book that comes with it is… to be honest kind of lame. It doesn’t explain the components of the kit and barely tells you how to get started. The page that talks about supplies and stuff concerns a lot of things that don’t actually come with the kit which sorta pissed me off >3>

But I was able to figure out some things more or less and it looks pretty good, I just need to get some better practice paper since the ink it comes with bleeds through my sketchbook real easily =x= Also the bottle it was in was leaking so I had to sacrifice one of my glass bottles to become an ink well (which, inadvertently, may actually be what it was made as…). So I’m working on my skills with the dip pen it comes with. it has quite a few odd pen nibs, one of which is called an “automatic pen” which is really wide and kind of like a weird-ass paintbrush in it’s effect. It’s certainly an adjustment from normal writing to this calligraphy writing, I have to hold the pen at different angles than I’m used to even with a fountain pen.

But it’s pretty fun! and it seems like I can get the hang of it pretty easily so we’ll see what projects I’ll make out of this in the future and maybe by then I’ll have something decent to take pictures with!

Do you have any experience in calligraphy? Any hints or tips for using a dip pen? Questions? Suggestions?
Leave a comment below!

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