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Sean was so inspired at the Fibershed Symposium back in November (2016) that he decided he wanted to learn how to knit (and weave, spin, felt, etc.)  So I promptly taught him how to knit and he worked on his first scarf over the next many weeks. At the same time I decided to knit […]

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For Winter Solstice this year I made small jars of handmade lotion as gifts.  In the past I have made salves and hydrosols.  Making lotion is like combining those two things.  And this is where the magic of emulsification comes in.  Mixing fat and water, which doesn’t usually work well, works beautifully with the added […]

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Alice Duvernell is an amazing herbal body-care teacher currently working in the Bay Area.  She taught a Handmade Hydrosols workshop at the local herb store Gathering Thyme in San Rafael, Ca.  This was truly low-budget DIY distilling in your kitchen.  But she did bring a beautiful copper still from Portugal for demonstration purposes. The basic […]

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Winter Solstice 2015

I made more of my little wash cloths for family this winter.  And paired them with small bars of locally made soap. This was the first time I’ve used the technique of blocking.  After knitting a washcloth the tension was all wonky (I forgot to photograph this wonkiness.)  Blocking is the process of washing a […]

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the garden grows

I have been negligent in my blogging duties. The garden right now is actually quite sparse as we have been pulling out and cutting down spent plants, weeding, and pruning back overgrowth.  Also planting seeds for our Fall crops.  And many plants have gone to seed so we have been seed collecting.  SO much abundance […]

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I have very basic knitting skills – knit, purl and decrease.  So making this simple washcloth actually introduced me to two new knitting concepts – “yarn over”, which is basically an increase, and “binding off”, which I had learned before, but since the only knitting I have been doing over the last few years have […]

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Living out on the ranch is truly inspiring us to get our hands dirty and get a garden going.  Sean has been connecting with his inner carpenter and building our garden infrastructure.   This was what it was like in the back yard in September when we moved in. The Autumn rains started greening things […]

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Staghorn love

I love Staghorn ferns, and for this past Winter Solstice I decided to try mounting them on scrap wood pieces as gifts. I ordered eight baby plants on amazon, followed some google tutorials, and threw my first one together.  Basically I made a circle of nails, nestled the fern in a pile of Sphagnum moss, […]

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A new year, a new home…

Yes, it has been a little over a year since my last blog post.  I unintentionally took a sabbatical because I was unknowingly getting ready to make a big move.  One month missing a post turned into two, then three, then a year.  I kept telling myself that I needed to use the time that […]

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Body Butter

My Solstice gifts this Winter were tins of a very special body butter – literally. The simple ingredients are: 50% coconut oil, 50% grass-fed ghee, beeswax, and lavender & vanilla essential oils. I first melted the coconut oil and ghee separately.  Then mixed them together 50/50 and added the beeswax into the warm pot to […]

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