Tuesday, April 30, 2013

6 Bags before Beltane (Part 2) Update


The goal was to purge/cleanse the house of 6 bags for donation/recycling/or trash before Beltane.

1 of 5 bags to go from the Faye household

Overall, I think I've done fairly well with this challenge. I've sorted through 3 bags of crafting related stuff, 1 bag of trash, and 1 bag of books/magazines to donate. I was going to go through my clothes to make up the last bag but quickly realized that I'm not a good judge of what to keep or donate at this point because I can't really wear any of it at the moment. So that's a job for down the line, post baby, once I'm back in my regular clothes again.

More importantly, I feel like I've made a significant dent in my crafting supplies by using a lot of my stock in recent projects. From baby soap to soap for Mr Faye and myself, to Baby Talc to burp cloths, I think my upcycling efforts this past turn of the wheel have been pretty dang solid!

Calling this challenge a win for me. My craft space is less cluttered and I feel like what's left is really stuff that I use or will use. I can see what I have more now and I'm pleased with the results. Purging the library is still a challenge for me however. I would have liked to have gotten rid of more of my books but part of me feels like I'm giving away part of my hard earned education when I purge books. Plus, my books just look so pretty on the bookshelf that it's also a decor thing. I know right, totally lame, but true!

Maybe when Baby Faye starts getting into his destructo phase I'll have an easier time sacrificing my library!



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Monday, April 29, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 13

This week's prompt: Energy

Do you work with energy? How do you experience energy? What do you do to recharge your energy? What senses do you use to attune to the energies around you?


I am someone who feels energy, if I'm willing to be open enough to feel the energies around me. I don't see energy, but I feel it when it comes off of people or places.

For example, I've always been a good judge of character (or so I'm told), but I suspect this has more to do with how I react to people's energy than anything else. And with this, comes the fact that I don't like people getting into my personal space unless I feel comfortable with them. I have a well defined personal bubble that others tend to sense (unless they really are useless with that kind of thing). I sense when people are out of sorts and if there is tension between people, not because of their body language but by the way a room feels with them in it.

And I know that when the world becomes too much for me, taking time by water always soothes me. Always. This is why, when my husband and I were looking for a house, it was imperative to me that said house be within walking distance of water.

Part of this can be due to the fact that I grew up on the West Coast and lived by the ocean my entire life, but part of it goes beyond that. I need water. I would almost venture to say that I need it more than I need any other element, in the material physical sense, in my daily life. Crossing bridges, walking around a lake, sitting on a rock staring out over water, are part of my fundamental make up and as such, integral to me keeping my energies balanced.

What about the rest of you? Do you recharge your energy in different ways? Are you an extrovert who needs people to recharge or a gardener who needs to muck about in the mud to reconnect? What works best for you?


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baby Faye's Eco Soap

As I've mentioned before, I'm really trying to minimize Baby Faye's (and by extension the Faye family's) eco/carbon footprint. Some projects, when you do the math, are just cheaper to go out and buy, even if it's the expensive eco stuff, than they are to make.

Baby soap, at first, seems to fall somewhere in between. But upon closer consideration, is actually far cheaper to DIY than it appears.

For example, if you're the average Canadian consumer, shopping at Walmart (yes, Walmart is bad, that's another conversation for another day and yes, Johnson and Johnson's is bad... but again, another conversation not relevant to the point I want to make today), a 444 ml bottle of Johnson and Johnson's Baby Wash retails at about $7.79 Cdn.

Doing the math, buying all my soap making supplies ($45 for 4 items, 3 of which, lye, distilled water and castor oil, have enough leftover for many, many more uses and I actually had them already on hand), each bar of soap (which is about the equivalent of one bottle of wash), costs: $2.25.

Baby Faye's soap in an old milk carton. Always trying to use what I've got on hand!


If you factor in the fact that I mucked up the first batch, then each bar cost me $4.50 if I bought all the ingredients from scratch (but I didn't), which is still cheaper. Sweet! Added bonus: Not only do I now how 20 bars of soap, I have eco, high quality, know what's in it, soap for Baby Faye's skin.

Overall, I think it's totally worth it!

Here's what I used (modification of this recipe):

Bio Olive Oil
Bio Castor Oil
Bio Dried Chamomile Flowers
Distilled Water
Lye

I divided the quantities into 3/4 the amounts recommended, still using slightly less in the way of dried Chamomile flowers (just because I didn't want to buy the bigger quantity).

Here's the soap out of the mold and curing:


The soap bars are all cut and are sitting on my counter, curing nicely. I will definitely have to think of a better place to store said said while it cures, cause Mr Faye is going to protest if I leave them on the counter for the next 5 weeks!

That said, the soap is really luxurious to the touch and the quality of the ingredients in this soap vs store bought soap are night and day. What can I say, nothing but the best for Baby Faye.



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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

adventures in soap making

A long time ago (at least 2 to 3 years ago) I took a soap making class with a local store here that specializes in soap (from supplies, classes, and finished products). Slowly afterwards, I started collecting soap making supplies but just never got around to making soap.

I'll be honest, I was always a little daunted by the chemicals and mess that it felt like it would be. I always felt confused by how to really understand trace.

Looking back, 4 batches of soap made at home later, I have no idea why I let myself feel so nervous or avoidant of the task.

Don't get me wrong, I royally mucked up my first batch by using potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide and even though I spent hours trying to salvage it into liquid soap, I eventually decided that enough was enough. Blame google search and wikipedia (and crafter error) for said blunder.

But hey, now I know, in principle and somewhat in practice, a lot more about hot processed soaps and liquid soaps. (Enough to know that I won't be going there again any time soon).

The other 3 batches worked like a charm though!


This one is for the baby. I'll share how I made it in another post. The plan is to let it set and cut it into 4 quarters to use on Baby Faye. It is an olive based (castille) soap, superfatted and meant to be luxuriously gentle on a baby's skin. If it turns out (and it looks like it will), I should have enough from this batch to last me a while. 

Added bonus: the only supplies I purchased were dried chamomile flowers and castor oil. I had everything else already in the house. Woo hoo... using up more of my stash. Sweet! So far Baby Faye has been great in terms of me working my way through stashed crafting supplies!

And then, since I had everything out already, I made soap for Mr Faye and myself:


The soap on the left is for Mr Faye. I actually made it using Palm Oil (which I just found out was bad, but I had it in my stash already and guess what... the Palm Oil I have is not only eco, but ethically produced and certified sustainable, phew... I feel much better now)! Don't you just hate it when you find out something you've purchased is so rotten, but love it even more when you realize... WAIT, no it isn't... Yay for purchasing from suppliers who care and are informed!

So Mr Faye's soap was scented with a Cedar based essential oil. Note that I always use eco essential oil and not fragrance because perfumes are quite toxic. What would be the point of buying all the eco, sustainable supplies if I was going to them fudge it up with chemical perfumes?

The smell was strong as I was mixing it, but manly in an earthy kind of way. Fingers crossed that he'll like it. I'm a little nervous that he'll find it too earthy. But with a month to cure and only a tablespoon of oil in the batch, it should be fairly mellow by the time it's ready for him to use it.

Only new product: the castor oil that I bought for Baby Faye's soap.

The bars on on the right (which look blah but are actually in a mold that says handmade on the top), are for me. Same soap base as Mr Faye's soap but with Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, and Lavender essential oils. More stash used up from the days that I was really into Aromatherapy.

I should really get back into that.

And, I really have too much stuff in my house! It's good to realize that I'm finally getting more use out of them but man, crafting can be dangerous, not only for your pocket book, but also your living space. Thankfully I'm not feeling daunted by soap making anymore so I foresee more of it in my future!



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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baby Talc Powder Alternative

Did you know that Talc powder is actually considered dangerous, for baby and for you?

Apparently talc is dangerous to inhale and let's face it, short of wearing a face mask, when you sprinkle the stuff it's pretty much impossible to not breath some of it in. In fact, little did you know, what you're breathing in is actually similar in nature to asbestos and can cause cancer, making it a no go option for not only you, but also baby.

With that in mind, I started looking for eco alternatives and found out that cornstarch, whether used straight up or with a bit of essential oils added is pretty much as eco, cost efficient as you can get.

So being a DIY kind of crafty gal that I am, I decided to give it a go.

Here's what I used:

Tea Tree Cornstarch Talc


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (added bonus: it was already in my kitchen stash)
  • 5-7 drops of tea tree oil (known as an antiseptic and good for rashes, which makes it perfect for a baby's bottom!)




Obviously the oil, when added to the cornstarch, causes it to clump, so I blended it in my coffee grinder (which I use for herbs). Please note that I do not recommend doing this if

  • you use your coffee grinder for coffee as coffee absorbs all flavours
  • you're using fragrance oils, not essential oils
  • you don't know if the oil you're using is organic
  • and MOST IMPORTANTLY if the oil is dangerous when consumed orally
For now I've stored it in an air tight glass container, but I plan on transferring it into a spice jar with a shaker top when it comes to use said concoction on Baby Faye. 

Simple and easy, and better yet, using supplies that I already had handy in the house, thus fitting into my 6 bags challenge on some level (ok, not a bag but in keeping with my goal to purge or use my stashes)!


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Today is Earth Day so I thought I'd take a moment to learn a little more about an environmental issue that is close to home: the Tar Sands and the trans Canada/US Pipeline.


Photo: 100,00 litres or almost 500 barrels of oil spilled near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border as the result of a broken underground flow line. This was one of the biggest oil spills in Manitoba, so where was the media coverage? http://tiny.cc/r5zmvw
Underground Oil Spill on the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border courtesy of the Sierra Club

I've kept my mouth shut about the  Pipeline, despite the fact that it's going to be going through my region, because I have somewhat mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, there are already oil pipelines out there that need to be replaced. Blocking new pipeline construction is somewhat problematic because it means that the older lines don't get updated and run the risk of breaking, etc. Moreover, while pipelines are a huge issue, they are, unfortunately, one of the safer ways to transport oil. The other options, trucking over land, or by boat over water, aren't exactly any better of an option. In fact, they may actually be worse options.

That said, is updating, replacing, or building new pipelines really the solution? Should we not be moving away from our oil dependence?

The Canadian Government is earnestly advocating for these pipelines as a means to ensure our economic prosperity. Without them, the Harper government is essentially implying that our economic viability as a nation is threatened.This is a questionable claim and one that, even if true, is problematic because it means that we're doing nothing as a nation to move beyond exporting products extracted from the land (wood, oil, water) instead of moving forward to develop a more sustainable economy.  However, in typical Harper government fashion, transparency and many means of official dissent in regards to this issue is quickly quashed or veiled under a guise of openness (you can voice your opinion, but only after filling out this complicated form, before this date, oh, didn't I mention that the deadline was in 10 days? Oops, too bad)!

Given all the arguments about it being the lesser of 2 evils or about the economic necessity of said act, am I against the pipeline?

Yes. But ironically not just because of the pipeline itself and all the ecological issues it presents us with.

I'm against the pipeline, first and foremost, because it advocates and ensures our continued dependence on an oil based system that is unsustainable. It's time to find better energy options. I'm also, and this is almost as, if not more of an issue for me, against the importing, maintenance, and general practice of dredging up oil from the tar sands.

Extracting oil from the Tar sands, which is where the oil itself would be shipped from, is one of the worst ecological practices out there. For more information, visit Greenpeace to find out a bit more about why. `

The unfortunate thing is, if we all take an honest look at our immediate surroundings, from the veggies and goods in our cupboards, to books on our bookshelves, incense from abroad to plates made in China, we are all guilty of feeding into a system that relies on oil and feeding the supply and demand market that endorses maintaining said system.

I know that I'm guilty of this and even some of my eco choices are in and of themselves just as problematic or more problematic when it comes to supporting this system because they rely on being imported vast distances. So can I honestly stand up against the Tar Sands or the Pipeline if I'm still part of the system? And better yet, how do we actually step outside of the system?

Right now I'm in the process of challenging myself to buy less, more local, and from sources that are more sustainable, in hopes that not only will this help reduce my overall carbon footprint but also move me a little off the beaten, toxic, ecological path that our society is currently on. I am far from being anywhere near where my ideal aspirations are, but I'm plugging away at it so that I can feel like demanding that our society move away from Oil dependency is really a viable option!

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52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 12

This week's prompt: Mixed Spiritual Families

Do you live in a mixed spiritual family? Do you think they can work? How do you make yours work?



As my due date approaches and my husband and I deal with the reality of navigating our different belief systems with openness and trust, I am increasingly aware of how much work, tolerance, and communication is going to be needed when raising a son within 2 different world views. I know that we can do it because ultimately our values are aligned and we both believe, beyond the paths we've personally chosen for ourselves, that all paths are equally valid expressions of individual spirituality. I think for us, this is what ensures the success of our mixed spiritual family.

I do wonder though, how others navigate this often tricky landscape, especially when extended families factor in with their own expectations.

As many of my long time readers know, I am openly pagan within my own circle of friends and immediate family, but very much in the closest with my husband's family. This is something that I am am working on, slowly but surely, to rectify in my life because it leaves me feeling at odds with my personal integrity and belief in living a life based on openness. That said, I will likely never come out to my parents-in-law or the older generation of aunts and uncles because it will cause more chaos than it's worth. I will however, find a middle ground that clearly identifies me as non-Christian (mostly already established, despite familial blind eye/denial), new agey (pretty clearly established), more attuned with Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism/Yoga sutras (working on), and intent on passing on said legacy to my child (getting ready for the fights that will follow....)

I see this work as being very important in terms of giving our son a safe environment to grow up in. He's bound to see things I'm doing and comment on them. Having grown up with 3 little brothers, foster children, and daycare children, I know very well that children have big mouths and that the more you want something to remain secret, the more likely they are to blurt it out unknowingly.

How do those of you living in mixed spiritual families attempt to create a safe, open, and tolerant space?

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Friday, April 19, 2013

life cycles and letting go

This morning, and the past few weeks really, I've been thinking about patterns in my life. You see, I've come to the conclusion that talking about life as a cycle is a bit misleading. In fact, I think my life in small cycles, layered one on top of another, interconnected, but always growing and evolving.

Some people might call them phases, but for me they always feel like cycles, life cycles, and I think that maybe they follow a similar pattern on some level, like the wheel of the year. I think they add up, one on top of another, as part of a larger life journey.

Does any of that make sense?



Let me try again.

I'm an over-thinker. It's a well known fact. I stay in situations too long, thinking about whether or not I should really let go of something, talking myself in and out of choices more often than you can ever possibly imagine. I'll never be that person who just knows because even when I do know... I question. It's my nature, it drives people crazy, but I've learned to accept this as part of who I am.

The irony in this is that I have excellent intuition. In fact, when I know something is right, I can feel it in my body. Of all the decisions that I've made in my life, it's the ones in which I've felt a certain lightness of certitude, a sense of calm peace, that have always proven to be the best decisions I've ever made.

So you'd think that making decisions would be easy for me. But no. Even when the lightness comes over me, I still struggle and talk myself back and forth.

And lately I've spent a lot of time meditating on exactly why that is. Why it is that I don't let things go, even when I know deep down what I need to be doing.

Well, I could blame in on my family history. I could blame it on fear of abandonment or of missing out on something. And all of these things would be true. But here's the catch, even knowing that, I still hold on.

  • I hold on to friendships and romantic relationships
  • I hold on to objects
  • I hold on to family and keep fighting for something that will never be

This is where my thoughts on layered cycles come in. Each time I face this question, I ask myself the same thing: why can I not let go sooner? And the fact of the matter is, is that there is no easy answer. Each turn of the cycle merely brings me closer to seeing or having a deeper understanding of the pattern and hopefully breaking it sooner than I did the last time.

I'm trying to learn something new from this turn of the wheel/cycle, break the pattern, or at least alter it. 

So yeah, while I do see life in general as a cycle, I see there being a myriad of little cycles within a larger cycle, working in a concentric pattern that will hopefully lead to some sense of personal enlightenment or break-through... at least in this sphere!




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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Baby Faye Updates

Just thought I'd share: Today Baby Faye and I enter the third and last trimester before we get to meet each other. How crazy is that?

Baby You've Grown!
 
Slowly but surely, I'm starting to feel large and a bit cumbersome. Belly is starting to get in the way and I see how the next 3 months are going to an adventure. And well, let's face it, life after that is going to be an even bigger adventure!

In keeping with my eco goals in regards to Baby Faye's carbon footprint, I've been trying to be conscientious about the baby decisions we've been making. From purchasing, upcycling, and everything in between, here's what's what so far:

  • About 98% of the clothes we've purchased for Baby Faye have been bought 2nd hand


  • I made homemade burp clothes from an old towel and pillowcase

  • Our stroller, crib, rocking chair, car seat, high chair, etc are all second hand
  • Our diapers, cloth, are also 2nd hand
  • This weekend we're painting the nursery (Mr Faye has finally moved his office to the basement, aka man cave, and opened up the space for baby-fication) and we're using low VOC paint, leftover from when we painted our living room.
Mr Faye settling into his man cave, all rustic like, until we have $ for bamboo flooring & other greener reno options

  •  I'm upcycling a bunch of old fabrics I bought 2nd hand for projects I never did and making a baby wrap carrier
  • I'm planning on making homemade baby soap from Olive, Casttor oils (both of which I have on hand) and dried organic Chamomile flowers  (I'm going to use this recipe but with way less in the way of chamomile flowers for the steeped infusion)
 All in all, I'm trying to keep things on an even keel, using the resources I have, from my extra consumerism to my community around me, to buying 2nd hand or just saying no to a bunch of unnecessary goods that the baby marketers keep telling newbie mothers that they have to have but don't really need.

I have made concessions though. I bought new fabrics for the baby quilt to fit with the bright colours that I wanted. I justified this as an act of baby bonding love and family history that can be handed down (hopefully). I also bought the cute bear ears hoodie from Old Navy when it was on sale because it was just too cute to say no to:


I will also buy a few things that are just cheaper for me to buy than diy, especially the eco, organic versions of said items. And I am saying nothing about family purchases because I know that I need to choose my battles and that there will be enough battles ahead that this isn't one that I want to engage in.

That's it on the baby front for now.


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

gratitude calendars


I just came across this calendar project at the Kathryn Wheel and I think I'd like to use it a little differently. Here's what she's doing:



Image Source: the Kathryn Wheel





I love her idea and think it's gorgeous. But I want to use it and build on it to go back to a practice that I was doing a while ago: Gratitude Journals. I like the idea of creating a quick journal to jot down just one thing to be thankful for during the day. Forget long lists or complicated logs. Nope, I just want a pretty space to jot down something lovely from the day. (I need to be careful though, at this rate I'm going to end up lugging way too many journals in my purse...)




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Monday, April 15, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 11

This week's post: astrology in your daily life

Do you pay attention to the cycles of the sun and moon in your daily life, or are they relegated to horoscope reading and nothing more? If you do pay attention to lunar and solar cycles through the planets, how do you pay attention to them? What influences do you notice in your life?


This is something that I have struggled on and off again to notice in my life. While I work with the lunar and solar calendar in my workings and keep track of them in my daily life, I'm not always sure how much I notice of their effects in my life. Part of me thinks this is because I don't actually take the time to contemplate said effects, but I'll be honest... It's just not something I'm going to take on at this point in my life and my practice. A waxing moon in Libra might influence me, but I'm not in the space to sort through said patterns.

You know who does though and I totally admire her work in this area? Aine from the Deepest Well.

One day I'll get there... just not today!
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Friday, April 12, 2013

sustainable global capitalism vs something else....


Beware... this post might be something of a political rant. Proceed with caution!

Recent news of the Royal bank bringing in offshore workers to train and then relocate jobs to India and the ensuing discussion on CBC's the Current about McJobs for university graduates has left me wondering a great deal about what our modern world has in store for us.

clip art from MS Word
I think it's safe to say that when guests on the show say this is the death blow to the middle class, they aren't wrong. In fact, given the reality that I faced (and I was very blessed to find work quickly) in terms of repaying student loans. (only 2.5 years to go, not that I'm counting or anything) and that I see my colleagues face, I can vouch for the fact that the future doesn't always feel so bright.

There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with how the system is currently working in light of the ideal that a Canadian should be able to go to school, find work, and aspire to a certain standard of living, particularly one that is meant to continue to drive our economy through consumerism.

Bear with me here: we are told that we need to be spending in order to keep the economy, thus the country, healthy. And yet, how are we meant to do this when my generation and the next generation is facing the reality of less jobs and a lower standard of living than our parents? When we are saddled with more debt, often admittedly our own fault, but also because we exist in a system that endorses and demands that we have credit cards and credit ratings from the moment that we step outside of High School.

And to top that off, while we might not pay as much as our American counterparts, educational expenses aren't always easy so we take on loans for things that maybe we shouldn't be taking out loans for: education, particularly education that doesn't lead to employment. But herein lies the biggest irony, if corporations can get away with sending our jobs abroad in the name of profit, what good is even the most mercenary approaches to schooling in our day and age?

It's one thing to call my generation apathetic and jaded, but another to tell them they have the ability to change things when every time they stand up to change things there is yet another pundit or politician willing to court their vote only to abandon them the moment they step into power.

Image from Sylvie Bedard
Currently, the Quebec Premier, having been elected on the backs of the student masses screaming out against the system that is not only saddling them with unsustainable debts (and not just in terms of education but also in terms of every social system that is corrupt, bankrupt and not working for them) but also failing to take responsibility for the unethical enrichment of the upper classes at the expense of this generation, the future middle class that will no longer exist if things continue the way they are at the moment, has betrayed pretty much every campaign promise it made to the generation of voters who elected her.

I don't think the answer is free tuition or any other simple placebo patch. I think that we need to re-examine the world in which we live because honestly the system we have doesn't work anymore.

If we think that we can trust companies in a capitalist global economy to act with integrity, we are sadly delusional! We live in a world based on greed, from the individual who consumes for pleasure to companies that feed that pleasure seeking instinct for more for its investors and top execs, to a government that will never dare to do the right things because that would actually mean admitting that the system doesn't work and the necessary changes are impossible to make without shattering things first.

We are in for hard times ahead and frankly I don't know what I'm more scared of: having to make the necessary changes or having to face my son or his children should we opt to keep our comforts instead of making said changes. All I know is that changes must be made because the system we live in is unsustainable and crumbling around us. 

The irony of it of course is that I look at the world around me and I don't even know where to begin, it all feels so vastly overwhelming. I'm trying to make small, tangible steps, but I feel a bit like I'm swimming upstream, against a strong current of not only societal expectations but also my own comfort and apathy. Therein is my biggest issue. Some of the things that I would need to do to REALLY make a difference would also require that I really look at my habits and comfortable middle class life honestly. I'm not always happy to do this and I suspect that if I, with all my sanctimonious fervor, is unwilling to look at things honestly from time to time, it's no big surprise that our government, who wants power, is unwilling to make unpopular decisions that will force us to give up our material comforts!

While I want more from my government, I find myself asking: can I really demand more of them if I haven't done more myself; if I'm unwilling to make the bigger changes myself? If for every 2 steps forward I take, I take 1 back? If I always make the cheaper choice or the more convenient choice when push comes to shove? 

Sometimes I can't help but wonder if global capitalism doesn't work ethically because it exposes our hypocrisies and feeds our greedy natures: the ego in us that wants more and only feels complete with the dream of more.

When I think about all of this in relation to my spirituality, I find myself wondering how to make the way I live my life a reflection of my higher aspirations. I know that this is vital to me, but it's something that I so often find myself missing the mark on. I do realize this is a process and not something that can be attained easily: this is a life journey, not immediate gratification. But there is always a voice in the back of my head demanding more of me; asking me if I am really even trying to live up to the ideals that I hold for myself. 

image source
Beyond saying that I want to reduce my consumerist ways, am I actually doing this? Or with my credit card debt, car, big house and love of pretty things, am I really just feeding into the system that I am so quick to condemn? The answer is yes, for the most part, yes. And that's a hard truth to face... that my middle class suburban lifestyle is very much part of the problem and that my actions right now are only surface deep. I am part of the unsustainable economy, world view, etc., and that needs to change: from reducing to eliminating my credit card debt to reducing and altering my consumer choices to eventually, slowly but surely, moving myself out of the mainstream current and living a life more on the margins of what is the norm (finding a balance between the yurt in the forest, completely off the grid, and the house I have and the reality of still needing to be plugged into the grid because that's where my life is).

All in all, I want to find an alternative to global, capitalist consumerism as a life choice because I really hate what it has come to represent, or has always represented.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

6 Bags before Beltane (Part 1) Update


The goal to purge/cleanse the house of 6 bags for donation/recycling/or trash before Beltane.

2 bags down, 4 more to go! 

The first 3 weeks so far have looked like this:



This might not look like much, but it is! The bag is huge and I think it counts as 2 in my mind! Unfortunately, I think most of what's in this bag will be heading to the garbage as it's all scraps of fabric, wool, and garbage crafting supplies. If I hunted around a lot, I might find someone who could use them, but chances are slim based on what the goods are.


Up next, sorting through my magazines and my scrapbooking supplies.

I'm trying to keep the following in mind as I start eyeing up my crafting stash:



I have so many supplies that really will never be used. Things that have been given to me, bought in a kit, or just look nice but don't get used. I'm trying to be tough love about this. I suspect that these items might make their way to an elementary school if I can find one that wants them...  We'll see.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 10

This week's prompt: Living with an Open Heart

What does it mean to you to live with an open heart, a big heart, a heart open to others? Yes, an open heart even on the days when you want to poke people in the eye? Do you feel like this is an important goal in your path or not really a priority? Often people find as they do more magical workings and attunements that they become too sensitive to others and seek out ways of protecting themselves as they grow.

Should we protect ourselves? Or find a happy medium? Do we let go of said protections when we feel stronger in our path?


If the Goddess feels it all, the happiness and the suffering, does this mean that we're called to do the same? Or to aspire to the same on some level?

I don't have an answer. Obviously I want to shy away from an absolute answer, or an answer that is too black and white in nature because I don't think that things are found in the extremes, but rather in the grey nuances.

But that said, I do think that there is something in any pathworking towards enlightenment/understanding/connection [insert your word of choice here] that asks us to be bigger than we currently are, more open, more vulnerable and yet also, stronger at the same time. Have I worked out all the details of said pathworking? Not by a long shot! I'm still striving and letting go, working to find a balance in it all and to make sense of my place within the grand scheme of things. What I do know thus far though is that when I live life with a bigger heart, the rewards and sense of connection seem infinitely greater than when I close off and protect myself.

I still struggle but I'm ok with that. Suffice to say, I consider it a great work in progress...

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Friday, April 5, 2013

links this week that made me think

Some of the things that caught my attention this week:

The Organic Sister's post on The Four (Biggest) Mistakes of Personal Growth Junkies

The Green PhoneBooth's post on America as the land of eco opportunity: Chasing the Green Dream

I might not even want to do all of these but some of them seem like great practices to bring into daily life: Heather Church's Simple Ways to Practice Yoga off the Mat

Really intriguing documentary about beavers: reclaiming the land and working with them on the Nature of Things with David Suzuki

Sarenth Odinsson's post on Honouring your ancestors who walked a different path.

An interesting interview with Ethan Hawke. I love it when actors actually talk about their craft and what it means to them. Too many interviews are just blech. Blech I tell you.


Ok, this isn't a thinking post, but the photos of artsy food are pretty awesome!


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

it's the little things that make me happy...

Just wanted to share a bit of good news about nothing all that important, really!

Random fact about Faye: she loves her multi-eyelet Converses!


I bought these babies 3.5 years ago at a shoe outlet somewhere in New York city. They have been some of the best shoes I've ever owned. That's right.

Why? Because the laces are stretchy, which means I can just slip them on or off at will. But alack, alas, these bundles of joy are on their last legs (or feet) and I'm going to have to give them up soon. This makes me sad. Very, very sad. Especially because they are no longer carried.

On the one hand, this is good because I can move to a more eco-sustainable version of said shoe, but on the other, this sucks because they won't have the stretchy strings that make these shoes amazing!

Or will they?

I recently discovered that Converse sells replacement stretchy laces so I can change out the laces of my eco fair trade version with said wonders!

Colour this witch ecstatic: 2 birds, 1 stone: fav shoes, eco option. Awesome!


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Monday, April 1, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 9

This week's prompt: Today

What's on your mind today?


What is going on in your world today? The page can be as detailed as you'd like. I felt the need to keep things relatively simple in terms of text but there are more layers on this page than you might realize. Tons of scraps, paint, gesso, washi, ribbon, ink...

It kind of feels like the perfect blend of form and content, my need for stillness in the face of the layers of thoughts I was wading through as I made the page!

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