Monday, September 28, 2015

Roses n Rose Beads

Pot-pourri & rose bead necklaces
When I began to think of my 'Menus' of class offerings for 'Red Thread Sessions,' Grandmother's Rose Beads came to mind as a lovely offering.  
Rose Bead Necklaces

My grandmother Mary grew herbs & worked with them. As a teen, my mom & I experiemented with making rosebeads, as she had an old necklace grandma Mary made 30 or 40 years before!

My first attempt to make rose beads, using a recipe from 'American Girl Mag' looked rather like raisins, as the instructions didn't include any mashing! Next go - round, I ran the petals thru the Foley mill, & later ground them in the blender, with better results.

I used little brass beads from the fishing supply (my dad was a fly fisherman), as we didn't have any bead shops, & often strung them on fishing line. The outer necklace is 50 years old, & made by this method. The inner, strung with rose quartz, about 25 years old was  made with my dried petal method. 

In an herb class in the late 80s, Glen Nagle suggested drying herbs whole, then whizzing in a small coffee mill when ready to use.  Ah- ha! I could do that with the rose petals, as I often used a combo of fresh & dried for my beads. Viola, an easy way to store the petals (powdered or whole in zip lock bags or tins) & simply reconstitute ~ 1/4 Cup of prepared petals with a rose petal, lavender & rose geranium leaf 'tea' when ready to make beads. You can add a splash of Rose water as well.
Grind as much into powder as you want, & store in glass jars or canisters till ready to use. Choose petals from fragrant 'old fashioned' roses - the David Austin clones are often wonderfully fragrant, with extended season. You'll want to remove the petals from the centers, &; I sift the ground petal mix, so the powder is as smooth as possible.

Jude the Obscure (David Austin)
I usually add ground cinnamon, nutmeg & cardamom to the roses, & have found that a small 'simmer pot' is ideal for the heating & mash making process. (these are often available from thrift stores) My original recipe called for simmering the petals an hour a day for 3 days, so I often heat them up a couple of times before making the beads.
Glen recommended having the herbs 'crispy dry' before grinding. Any combination of traditional Potpourrie spices can be used: whole cloves, grated nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, corriander, fennel, and star anise, added these to your petals while grinding, as can a spoonful of lavender flowers. I grind spices with part of the petals, then grind other petals separately, so the spices don't overpower the rose fragrance. These days, I pour rose 'tea' over 1/4 - 1/2 C petals in a simmer pot, stir a bit, & cook for an hour or so.  Pour some tea for yourself as well - ahh :) You can place some of the mash in the fridge or freezer at any point, if you can't make the whole batch into beads. I've heard of folks trying other flowers, but I've never had that work for me. After shaping the beads, I place them in a plate and let dry for a day, then pierce each bead with a darning needle. I let them sit another day, then string on nylon line or waxed thread. Beads that break, I return to the mash. I string groups of about 10, then dry in an airy place, away from heat. Push pins along a bookshelf are good for this.I often simmer the petals for awhile the day before, then reheat the next day. You want your mash a 'playdough' consistency. A small electric potpourri crock pot is perfect for this process, just plug it in for a couple of hours! 

Roll the beads in the palm of your hand, about twice as big as you want - they'll shrink! Yes, it's messy! But oh, so sweetly fragrant! I make several size beads, & like to string in patterns of 3s & 5s.

Store the finished necklaces in tins or jars with rose potpourri, a few whole roses & sprigs of lavender. They will last for years when kept in dry in tins.   For classes,  I've purchase tins at thrift stores, & sprinkle potpourri in the bottom, to gift the students. The beads smell more fragrant when worn, as your body heat warms them. Just keep them dry, & they'll last a long, long time! Tiger tail coated wire is nice for stringing beads, & you can find a number of closures for necklaces. 

Rose flower essences are some of my favorites! & a pinch of the dried rose powder is great for staunching blood - what a nice way to deal with a bloody nose! 

Enjoy your play with Rose Beads!! 
Italic Link

Friday, September 25, 2015

Biz Muse - creative business planing

We are in the Biz Muse section of our Color of Woman Teacher Training, & one of the assignments is to paint Biz Muse on watercolor paper. I've had *awhile* to work on this (OK, since this summer!!)
For those interested in the training - follow the link above for access to Shiloh's FREE introduction, online next Friday, October 2! A local friend signed up for the intro, & met me for coffee this week, to chat about my experiences! She's been teaching 'Paint Night' classes, but has felt a lack of connection to Spirit in these ...
Here's one of the prompts for our Biz-Muse: Create a business plan using your winged eye – you have to know how to look with a visionary lens to craft a business that reflects who YOU are.

Strips for Collage
I answer the call to create,
without feeling, I am taking anything away
from something or someone.
- Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Like several of our projects, we write intentions on strips of paper for collage - 
- I Am a Visionary Guide, HeArt filled and Joyful creatrix - 

- I Am Called to Create expansive and Joyfilled Expereinces, Images & writing that inspire others to a deeper expression of their Soul Purpose -

There are 6 more strips, which will be collaged on the Heart of this Visionary Biz-Muse

Biz Muse - WIP

I also scheduled my first Meet-Up class for next Saturday - making a set of Affirmation Cards (you can see my post about my first set here)

MeetUp - Soulful Story Affirmation Cards

So we begin to step out 

Linking to Paint Party Friday

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mystical Mermaids

One of the goals of entering the Intentional Creativity Quest is to share these teachings with others in Red Thread Circles & Workshops. I am so fortunate to live close to three graduates of this training, & to have experienced workshops with each of them. 

In early summer, IC teacher & coach Lora Rinke invited me to be one of the co-organizers in a MeetUp group for Intentional Creativity. She felt it would be good to coordinate with other CoW teachers &  students in our area, & I agreed!

Lora listed a workshop on 'The Mystical Mermaid, a Woman's Creativity Workshop,' for Saturday, June 13. When I asked if I could audit, Lora suggested I assist her! We met for lunch the day before the workshop (which would be in her town, about 20 miles away) to do a bit of planning.
In the invitation, Lora wrote, "She is a symbol of letting our hearts and passion overrule the analytical mind.  Perk your ears.  Let the mermaid woo you into churning seas of dreams."
Students engaged with their Mermaids
Lora, two students & I and met in a lovely, bright room in the Sherwood Senior Center.  Both students had painted before, and were quite comfortable with the process. I brought my small therapy harp Bella Luna along, & after our Red Thread Circle, I played while Lora read the journey/visualization! I have envisioned playing for one of these, & Lora was quite receptive to the idea, & the students loved it.

Lora & I each brought a 20 x 24" canvas, & painted on easels, the students had 16 x 20" canvases, and were set up on the covered tables. Lora suggested they bring journals, & provided extras.

Altar with my story cards & painting
Our altar on the counter close to the sink had a salt candle holder, roses, some shells, my Soulful Story cards & a painting I had done in another local class, my Awakened Healer ('She heals with Light & Compassion') who has sea horse earrings, a starfish & other sea elements.

Lora brought along large painting of a mermaid, & one done on watercolor paper in Hawaii with Shiloh, & we set those up in the front of the room.
Nadya at the easel

Since our subjects were painting mermaids, there wasn't as much instruction on the faces (which were smaller), & each of the students seemed to have a clear idea of where her lady was taking her!

I was intrigued that we were able to do so much in a 4 hour class (WITH a snack/lunch break, which we took on the picnic table outside the classroom!!)

Lora brought about a dozen Golden Acrylic paints, and the limited palette seemed quite adequate for our work, & cut down on time spent 'choosing' colours. We used rose petals to write our intention on the canvas, which was delightful!

It was a fun relaxed day, & a great experience.
Happy Paint Party Friday!
Lora (L) & Nadya (2nd from Rt) Beautiful mermaids

Friday, September 11, 2015

Alter & Atelier Reset

Last year when we began our Art of Allowing course, we were invited to set up our studios, & production assistant Ann Manatt offered a sweet little video for inspiration. I'd already been amassing art supplies, & was figuring out where the best spot for painting in my home (950 sq feet) was. I settled on my 'dining nook' & began shifting things around.

Magic Paintbrush
As we finished the third painting in our Color of Woman Quest, Shiloh issued an invitation:  "I would love for you to finish your painting if you haven’t, and then to clean your studio. Reset your altars. Make new room for the sprouts to come up through the ashes. You need space and time to see what’s coming up and what wants to be shared and prepared for Visionary in October."

I finished my Alchemist painting, Fire Keeper last week, & have been in a good cleaning whirl around the house, now it's time to focus on the Studio!

So I watched a few videos - Maria Munar on setting up a studio (starting from scratch!)

Ann Manat: Setting up your studio & supplies (for acrylic painting) 
Ann also has a series of videos on setting up face book pages & other helpful tips!  

And .... let's begin .... 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fire Keeper

Lo'oet, Owl Woman

Owl Woman - Fire Keeper
Wind at my back, fanning the coals, sun rises in the East
Fire keeper Am I, Keeper of the Sacred Flame
From Lo'oet, Fire Keeper
Long have I known you
  loved you
    guided you
      Little one, little SiStar, Talis Tenas
       Beloved little one
I sit on the bridge, tending the Sacred Fire
  for the people
     for the old and the young
      the sound of heart & spirit,
     for the weak and lonely ones
       for the free, for those ensnared
Medial Woman Am I
   On the Bridge between the Worlds
     Tending the Sacred Flame
       Carrying the stories, bringing change & renewal
And the Chalice of Pure Water
  During this time of fires, of drought
    This time of Smoke and danger
      I remind you to guard your flame carefully
   I hold the fire, yet my colours
     Are watery blues and purples
The Chalice brings life, brings renewal,
  Come, share the water of life!
Owl Woman, Woman between the worlds
  Wisdom woman, Keeper of the Sacred flame
    One with Clear vision, who calls sacred the homeland
Who are you?
   What would you?
      When will you?
    Who do you Ally with?
       What calls your Heart & Soul?
          How will you live from your vision?
Way shower, holder of blessings
  Who are you, in the great world?
     What do you bring
        In your Medicine Basket?
Medial woman, Owl woman
   holding place in the Middle
     Holding Soul Fire stories,
       Which warm the heart & enflame the spirit!
    Watching over the land & the people.
Fire Keeper am I, story keeper, wisdom keeper
    Keeper of the Sacred Flame
      Ever renewing, ever renewed
        Come! Drink from the sacred well!
      Come! Come home to your soul!
********* ********* ********* ********* ********** ********** **********

Tenas Talis, Little Beloved one!
 We bring you Wings & the gifts of the old Knowing! We light the fires of the hearts and souls, as you fill the cups, & share the abundance that comes to you naturally and sweetly! You draw from the well of old stories, weaving the NEW renewed and renewing You reweave the dreams, shining light on the strands, untangling, smoothing, awakening understanding. Quantum blessings await all who come to the bridge between the ways and worlds. 
You are so blessed, share the blessings! As you dance into who you came to be, the people come to the bridge - they come, they come! Are you ready? Fan the flames, pour the cup, tend the hearth, set the table, Welcome those who come to be renewed & ever renewing! All is well, all manner of being is well.
Aho - it is good!
** In the late 70s, I followed a meditation to 'meet your internal healer,' & Lo'oet came forward. Lo'oet is the old name for Mt St Helens, & in the NW tradition, she was the only one along the Columbia River who still had fire ... so Great Spirit (or coyote!) commissioned her to sit on the Bridge of the Gods, (then a land bridge) sharing her fire with those from both sides of the river. The children sent to receive fire from her mock her, so she asks Great Spirit to renew her youth and beauty, which Great Spirit agrees to, reluctantly! and then ....
In the late 80s, I retold her story, weaving in an Owl companion, & shared it in my Creative Writing class. A few years later, I wrote a song for my new harp, 'Fire Keeper's Lay,' which begins with the line "Wind at my back, fanning the coals, sun rises in the East" ... In a workshop on healing I took around that time, Rosalyn Bruyere commented that people ally around the goddess of the land, Isis in Egypt, in the NW, it was Owl Woman.
My grandmother's middle name was Vestella, 'little fire/hearth goddess' ... in both the NW and Greek stories, Lo'oet & Vesta have trouble choosing between two loves ... Apollo (sun/fire) & Poisiden (water!) .... here we have the chalice & the sacred flame ...

Owl Woman, Fire Keeper is the third painting for my Color of Woman teacher training, within the theme Soul Fire or Alchemist. Within the crucible, base metal becomes fine gold.
During 'Adornment, I used interference paint (just a dot!!), some mixed with Quinacridone Magenta or with Pthalo Turquoise. You'll notice these places where highlights reflect different colour!

What lights your soul fire, and keeps it burning? 
linking to Paint Party Friday (one of my delights!!)