Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All Back Together Again

The Mister & I worked hard over the holiday weekend and were able to get my herb garden plot all laid out again! I am so excited!

Here's the destruction of my original garden that we started out with...

... halfway there...

... and... DONE!

The checkerboard design was something I read about somewhere, years ago; the design is supposed to help contain some of the more tenacious herbs that like to spread. The flat space along the back fence is for a garden bench-- once all the herbs are planted it will be such a nice, fragrant place to sit and relax in the evenings.

Now-- time to plant! Lavender, sage, yarrow, hyssop, thyme, foxglove, lemon balm... mmmm... can't wait to have my little green friends back again!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Herbs In Half Barrels

I'm using my oak half-barrel planters for some of my herbs this year, as my herb garden is still not put back together yet (working on it, though). I do love my barrels as planters, especially since we put wheels on them.

In planter #1, chamomile and lemon verbena, although right now the lemon verbena is getting overpowered. Its supposed to grow up to 3 ft. tall, so I'm sure it will catch up and surpass the chamomile eventually. I was so excited to find it! Usually I can find verbena, but not lemon verbena.

In planter #2, rosemary... and more chamomile. Although this chamomile will probably get transplanted into the herb garden once its finished. Rosemary doesn't winter over here in Colorado, but since my barrel planter is on wheels, I can roll it into the garage and hopefully it will survive during the cold, snowy months. That's the plan, anyways.

I also planted some basil in one of the bench planters on the patio... but...

... its not doing too well. The weather has still been too cold at night, I think. This is the coolest, wettest May I can recall in years and years.

Even though I covered my basil with empty upside-down plastic gallon ice cream containers on the cold nights, I think I noticed they were chilled a day too late. Only one is still alive and its not looking too good. Evidently basil is more delicate than I realize, because this is the third time I've tried growing it and I'm still not having much luck.

But its early in the growing season and I'm not giving up yet. We'll see what happens.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Feline Friday: Helping With Laundry

Got a big basketful of laundry to fold? Sassy is on top of it:

Am I cute or what?

Cute enough for lovin's from dad! Purrrrr....

Yep, and that's how Sassy helps with the laundry!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making Loose Incense

Last year with my circle, I learned how to make loose incense for burning on charcoal and I fell in love with the process. The very first incense I created was my own personal power incense. It has about 10 different ingredients, including herbs, woods & oils and it turned out absolutely amazing, which I still find hard to believe as it was my first attempt ever. I love using it.

House blessing/protection incense in the square jar on the left, personal power incense next to it on the right.

A couple of weeks ago my circle met and we made incense for house blessing/protection. This time my incense had a much more modest ingredient list, only five different things:

Basil~ courage, love, protection, repels negativity, wealth; basil is also an old traditional housewarming gift

Cloves~ cleansing, purification, wards negativity, wealth

Lavender~ cleansing, purification, peace

Myrrh~ binding, protection, purification/consecration, wards negativity

Rosemary~ blessing, courage, love, health, protection, purification

I am trying to get my herb garden put together again so that I can once again be growing many of the herbs myself to use in incense, candle magic, etc. I still have some of my own calendula, lavender, chamomile and garden sage, but my stash is running low. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can soon afford to replace/replant them all and have a good growing season this year!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Round Robin PAJC Journey

My Pagan Art Journal Circle recently decided to take things a bit further and have started a Round Robin art journal circle to share our artwork with each other, as well as have our own pagan art journals!

Each person in the circle has a journal that we send around-- and each person in the circle will eventually receive it and add at least a page (or more) of pagan themed art to it. When we get the journal back, it will have journeyed across the United States, to Canada, Germany and Australia, and will be filled with art from everyone participating.

Because of the cost of mail these days, most of us went with a large (8 x 5) craft paper cover Moleskine-- it's a reasonable size, lightweight, plenty of pages, and has a handy-dandy pocket in the back.

If we chose, we could have a theme for our art journal. I decided to go with the theme "Divine Nature" and decorated the cover of my Moleskine to express this theme. We also send along an "introduction letter" with our journals-- I shared in mine some childhood experiences related to my theme of Divine Nature and finding my way to my pagan path.

And, I have already received my first journal! I must say, the gorgeousness of the leather cover and paper inside put my poor Moleskine to shame. I was delighted to read the letter included and am now plotting and planning what I will add to her journal as my artistic contribution.

I'm already loving this experience, the anticipation of receiving a new journal every few weeks, seeing the artwork from everyone who's had it before me. So exciting and so much fun!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Blessed Beltaine


The May-pole is up,
now give me the cup,
I’ll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown’d it.

~ Robert Herrick, 1891

Wishing you all a blessed Beltaine! The weather here has been very un-Beltaine like-- cold, cloudy, windy and rainy, but the rain has been a real gift, we have badly needed it.

The cold weather didn't stop me from celebrating Beltaine, however. I went to my first Earth Temple Beltaine celebration last night and had a fantastic time jumping the (indoors, electric) fire and dancing around the maypole, with sweets and fruit after. I haven't smiled and laughed so much in one night in a long time! I am really thankful there is such an active pagan community here where I live.

Happy May Day to everyone, and for all my friends who celebrate-- may the blessings of Beltaine be upon you today and throughout the year!