Sunday, August 16, 2015

This Is Who I Am


This is my meditation spot in Hawaii.  I spent our trip in the wee hours of the morning watching the sun rise over the water and thinking about my life and what I want to be doing with it.

Which is why I haven't written for a month.  I needed to figure some things out and I think I have.

Hawaii was, in a nutshell, life changing for me.  DH and I have always loved the way the spirit of the island takes you by the hand the minute you land and all those things which make up the day to day grind...just melt away.

Yes, this happens on any vacation, but Hawaii for us is somehow different.  It feels like home to us.

I would be remiss if I didn't show you a few shots of our trip so here we go:

Rainbow Falls in Hilo

Madame Pele during the day


Madame Pele at night


Petroglyphs

South Point, the southernmost part of the US


Kealekekua Bay
Back to my life.  I love my life.  I have a beautiful family, wonderful friends, 3 awesome cats and many talents and skills.

I've been trying to focus myself into knitting; which I absolutely love to do.  I love to teach and I love to create new patterns...but knitting for profit and deadlines...not so much.

Madame Pele and her Mother taught me that I don't have to be one thing.  I don't have to focus my creative juices into one little shining moment; I can spread them out and give each thing I create my focus.

So after much pondering on me and the Universe I realized it was time to get back to basics.  Deep down I've been missing something and I didn't really realize what it was until I took some time to think and be alone with my thoughts.  I miss my herbs.

I used to have an extensive herbal collection that was cataloged and labeled by ailment and spiritual property.  I used to make teas for everything or little mojo bags for different needs.  I loved the smell of the herbs on my fingers and I felt very connected to the hearth and my healing energy through my herbcraft.

When we had some little children come into our house I knew how dangerous some of these herbs could be and abandoned this part of myself.

Last year we had the front bed and walk lined with plants.  What did I insist was planted?  Yep, herbs.  Rosemary, thyme, sage and lavender greet me every time I walk out the door and I adore taking a moment to smell their lovely scents before getting on with my day.

Last week I made a rosemary / peppermint foot scrub for some eager testers and it had rave reviews. I used coconut and sesame oil because they are absorbed into the skin quickly and really penetrate the layers to smooth and soften.  I used sugar because it is not as abrasive as salt and this was a restorative type scrub.  I also mixed in some Bach Essences to aid in washing away the stresses of life.

Feet, after all are what you stand on and they support you throughout your choices, they take you where you need to go and they take a beating every day.  This isn't just a scrub; it is an experience. The oils are both ones that relax the body through their scents.  They are full of many properties that help strip the feet of their toxic layer and pamper and support the new emerging skin.

I am very proud of this scrub.  I put love and Reiki into it and it gave me a sense of peace to create it. I used organic, healthy products with no preservative or additives.  The herbs shine through in this scrub and connect one back to nature if only for a few minutes.  My testers said that the cooling effects stayed with them for quite a while during the day and their feet were both softer after using it for a week.

After talking with DH we decided some things about our company Vixenpath.  We are making Vixenpath an umbrella that will house our other interests and they may or may not get sub names...not sure on that yet.

We have always done a myriad of different things and it feels good to have them all under one roof, so to speak.  DH makes silver chain mail jewelry, I make beaded jewelry, I knit and crochet, I teach and design knitting, my Sister crochets, knits and is an artist (she drew our beloved logo) , I am a Reiki healer, I am an herbalist and I love to write...hence the blog.  lol

So, yeah, all that is Vixenpath.  Just like me, it was never about one focus...so it feels good to let it breathe and evolve.  I think my foot scrub took of more then a layer on my feet; I believe it cleansed my whole outlook on everything.

This week I joined the Herbal Academy of New England.  I have been waffling on this for a while. I finally decided to do it and I signed up for classes.  I like that you have to make tinctures, salves, oils and other concoctions to pass a class.  They have a huge herbal resource that I can access anywhere and that is a wonderful thing.  I feel like taking this refresher course will be really wonderful for my soul's connection to nature and I'm really excited about it.

Caitlin


I got to teach this last weekend as well and it was a lovely class with amazing ladies who each added something special to our time together.  Here is my Caitlin in yet another amazing colorway from Done Roving Yarns.  This one is #19 Rainforest.  I love this pattern and the way the yarn makes up.  I do love to knit and feel the fiber between my fingers.  After a month's hiatus...this is heaven.

So yeah, this is me...changing...evolving and circling back to my center and I feel radiant and full of happy bubbly goodness which I am happy to share with all my readers.

Hugs and happy crafting!
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kitsune



This is Kitsune our new baby boy.  He is sweet and fun.  He likes to wrestle and cuddle.  He loves his soft new bed and is striving for the high score in the fish game.

Frost is cool but Shadow is really out of sorts.  I know he will settle in a few days but right now he is a grumpy cat.  :(

No knitting happened since I ran out yarn.  It is making its way from the UK.  

I hope this summer is a wonderful one.  Happy Midsummers...and Happy Father's Day!

Hugs!
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New Directions





So, the pink did not work out.  So I will have to go back to it later when I have more focus.  It is humid and hot here and it has been playing havoc with my brain.

So I figured a change of sensory input would help get some creative juices going.  The above yarn sitting on the thyme is CASHSILK, Linea Pura by Lana Grossa.  It is a luxurious 15% silk, 15% cashmere, 30% viscose bamboo and 40% polyamide.

This is the most wonderful yarn.  It feels like liquid silk running through my fingers.  It is thick and knits up quickly and I have failed at the gauge I need 3 times now...but that is okay.  I want to make something I can throw on for the beach and I found a cool pattern but it felt stiff to me so I changed the needle size and added a few repeats in theory.

I wanted to show you something.  But I couldn't get enough done after ripping it out so many times.

This week I got the Chariot as my tarot card.  Usually this is a card of choices but in this deck it is a direction has been given, guidance has been offered and you are firmly on your path.

If you ask me what this actually points to I would have trouble answering you...yet...I feel this sense of rhythm in my life.  I know what needs to be done and it gets done.  The things I couldn't due because of time or limitations...are getting done.  Everything is different, yet, on the outside it seems nothing has really changed.  But the little things...they really do make a difference.  And that is what I think my card was trying to tell me.

When you take essences, they peel away layers and at first you can't always tell they are working. But then one day you wake up and everything is just a little different...you feel just a little off from what you felt the day before.  That is a layer being peeled away to reveal something new underneath.  Then this new layer becomes your new reality until that too is peeled away.  This keeps happening until you find the core, the answer or the meaning to it all.

In some areas of my life...I have reached this point of utter happiness that works in harmony with my goals and aspirations.  

Hugs and happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, June 07, 2015

And Now For Something Pink

Caitlin's Caitlin is fini!

I am very happy to have a FO to show you this week.  I really like the way Caitlin's Caitlin came out.  This yarn came all the way from Italy and it really has some rich tones to it.  Yay!  I hope she likes it!





So this is what I'm working on now.  Just a little dabbling to see if my numbers were right.  This is Nightfall from FibroFibers.  It is a yarn that starts in one color and works into the second color gradually.  The effect is stunning and I have been chomping at the bit to try it.

There is something almost magical about a yarn that changes colors gradually.  You get to enjoy each stage as the hues shift and blend and then change color again.

When I knit with yarn like this I am reminded of all the journeys that I have taken where the steps themselves were almost more important then the final result.

I'm not sure if my numbers are going to work out on this one, but we will see...and in the mean time I get to play with lots of pink!

This week has been gray and dismal.  I really want to send the rain somewhere it is needed...but c'est le vie.  The constant dark skies have made it very hard for my internal clock to stay set and I find myself dozing off early when I get home after work.  It has been hard to stay awake past 9.

So here we are at the weekend and I just want to sleep...but there is knitting to do and blood fiends to find...we have never found any.  I did find some werewolves and now my character is one...but hey...it is all steps on the journey right?

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:D

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Journey



"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
-- William Faulkner

Sometimes you just keep on doing the same things because you are heading towards something; far off in the distance there is a goal that you are tying to obtain.  I have been knitting on Caitlin and I have about a foot done now...I have 6" to go.  I  have brought it everywhere with me this week. When I visited the Doctor I was able to get a bunch done in the waiting room.

This is where my crafting focus is and I have the goal of getting it done by next week.

There is something to be said to be able to follow through with something even if one hasn't completed the journey yet...we spend most of our time in medias res...in the middle of things.  Most times it is the journey itself that is as significant as the goal.

In ESO my son wants to be a vampire.  This has been one of those rare gaming goals that take planning and conviction.  You can only do this when the moon is full which is roughly every 5.5 real time hours and only at special spawn points.  The moon changes phase every real day and goes through 8 phases before it becomes new again, which is 8 real days.

We have yet to see a blood fiend...and we have looked and waited and ran up and down the roads to the places that they haunt.  We have a chart of times and a map of locations, we are prepared and not giving up.  This is important to him; so it is important to us.

Along the journey our characters have gotten stronger and learned new things.  For my part in things; I have learned to be a better healer and I now know an uber spell that I can cast to heal my party back to full.  All this waiting has not been in vain; whether the blood fiends show up or not...I am stronger and I have become better at kiting (keeping the enemy chasing you where they cannot attack you but you can hit them with long range attacks; the enemy looks like they are on a string...hence the word kite) and strafing (moving side to side instead of forward and backward...sidestepping).  I am getting good at dodge rolling to avoid attacks as well.

Gaming has taught me how to live a better and stronger life.  We all use tools to cope or to conquer things...each of us has a different path and a different view of life and we have to figure out what work for us.  Eating well, getting enough rest, moving and devoting a portion of my day to Spirit all contribute to my well-being.  They all make me stronger.

So even in a week when it seems as all I have done is knit another 6 inches on my Caitlin and search for blood fiends; in truth, I have been creating a better me on many fronts.

Congrats to all the behind-the-scenes things you have done to better yourself this week.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:D


Sunday, May 24, 2015

What's In Your Glass?



"If a pickpocket meets a Holy Man, he will see only his pockets."
-- Hari Dass

What one focuses on is the window in which the world presents itself.  Is the glass half empty, half full...or do you wonder just what in that glass?  Is it worth drinking at all?  Is it worth worrying about or even caring about?  Why are we even talking about glasses?

If I judge myself on the progress that I made this week on Caitlin's Caitlin...how do I do that?  I actually knit quite a bunch and I should be proud of myself.  Could I have knit more?  Sure.  Could I have knit less?  Yep.  So, what do I see when I look at my progress?

It is so easy to judge ourselves with negative eyes, but I choose to see that I accomplished something.  I knit exactly what I was meant to knit this week; not more, and not a stitch less.

I have stayed focused on this project.  I have not cast on something new.  Enjoying one project is something that is hard for me to do, but I am doing it.  I am actually quite proud on the rows I accomplished and that is what I will focus on.

It is easy to get lost in the beauty of this yarn.  The colors are bright and full of enthusiasm.  I am really happy with it and I hope Caitlin enjoys the subtle shades of her new school colors represented in this colorway.




This is my sage.  It has overcome so many things.  It was moved twice.  It endures our harsh Winter year after year.  Yet, each year in the Spring it sheds the cold and embraces the sun to bloom again.  The blossoms are such a lovely purple / blue mix (this photo made them more purple then blue).  These are a little past their prime but still their blooms give me such joy.  The scent is sweet and mixes with the aromatic woodsy smell of the sage.  I love that delightful fragrance that sage has.  It is somehow calming to my entire system and I adore that this wonderful little plant greets me every morning and every evening is waiting at my door as I transition between work and home.

This week has been a challenging one and it has helped me to focus on the positives in my life that I take for granted, like this sage...or...the fabulous bounty of veggies that we got delivered with fresh herbs to boot!  There is always so much to be thankful for!

My tarot card this week was a card of enjoying and embracing family though sharing a meal together and really connecting.  This is easy enough since it my goal for every day.

I wish you a beautiful weekend full of blessings and happiness.
Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, May 17, 2015

I Don't Doubt It

Nature hued Ostara Garden
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Wayne Gretzky

Every day I play a game of Sudoku, Ken Ken, Crossword and Crossword Cubed.  Mom used to do puzzles to keep her brain sharp and I've been doing the same for a while now.  Sudoku is one of the puzzles that can be really frustrating to me because if you mess up it is hard to fix.

But If I mess up then I just start again.  I don’t go into it thinking I will mess up and I don’t worry about the numbers not working as I am figuring out what goes where.  It is a puzzle and I work it out.

In games this is easy; in real life…well it’s just…not.

Those thoughts that creep up like a tangle in a skein of yarn and grab you, are not so easy to work through. Doubts, worry and indecision can wrack your brain and drive you into an anxious fretting mess if you let them.

My Mom was a chronic worrier.  She worried about everything.  I think at one point worry becomes the norm and it just starts to seep into everything until you worry about everything. 

I am trying to stop the cycle before it takes root.  My mantra is:
I choose to see peace, instead of this.

The this is anything that is bothering you.  I believe all trials and tribulations can be slowly overcome through faith, family, friendship, tenacity or sheer force of will.  Death and taxes can’t really be negotiated; but other then that…in most cases you choose how you are going to live.  Each moment you decide how you will see the world and everything that surrounds you.

If I am going into a boss battle I’m gird my loins and have the best of everything that I can manage at my level.  I will stock up on potions and buffs and be ready for that boss.  If I fail, I will learn from my mistakes and I will change my attack.  If I fail again, I will watch how the boss moves and see what patterns might be helpful in defeating him.  After gaining new insight I might change out my spells and or use a staff instead of sword.  The point is, just because I lost, I don’t become afraid of the boss.  I learn from my mistakes and go forward until I beat him or her.

In real life it is not so easy it seem to fight the fears that way us down with their white noise chatter.  How can we gird against these unseen foes?  If you are a person of faith then that is one way.  Faith is a very powerful weapon.  Everything for me goes back to one thing:  I am a beloved child of the God and Goddess.

My faith is about love and light. The doubts that are created in my mind are 90% of the time totally not based in reality and devoid of love or light.  Fear is all in our head as well…doubt…worry…they all hit us from within and they can be brutal.

When the negative emotions start, I pray.  I take essences and breathe relaxing breaths.  I count my blessings: my awesome family, my supportive husband, my kind son, my sister who gets that part of me that is still 5...and the list goes on.  I am thankful for my friends from all walks of life who are there for me and help me in myriad of little ways each and every day.  I am thankful for a roof over my head and a man who mows my grass.  I am blessed by my little Rhoomba who saves me a bit of cleaning each day by sweeping up the downstairs for me.  Every Friday I get a delivery of healthy veggies and meats that allow us to live a better life style. 

The truth is this is very long list and when it gets going, no fear; no worry and certainly no uncertainty can last.  I gird myself in my Faith; I take potions of gratitude and blessings.  My sword is the light which drives out the shadows and the love that surrounds me is my magic.

That is not to say, "poof" that all my troubles fade away like dew on a Summer's Day, because that would be a lie.  Life will always had us obstacles; but it is how we face them that matters.

My finances were a mess about ten years ago.  It took saving, changing the way I looked at money, doing without and a lot of prayer to get where I am now.  It wasn't a microwave quick dinner fix, it was a slow simmer crock pot meld of new concepts and ways to look at things kind of dinner.

When I was grieving, it was a long and emotional roller coaster.  It takes time to heal.  It takes time to do anything really.  There might be set backs along the journey...just keep getting up and try again.

Life and knitting have a lot in common.  Every thing I make is a journey of sorts.  As you can see all those flowers got together this week and made another Ostara Garden.  My first commission is done. Fini!  It is very earthy and naturesque.  I really like it.  I still want to make my awesome neon and sparkly one...but not for a while.

So, someone asked me how I put them together and the answer would be the most wonderful mattress stitch.  If you have never used the mattress stitch then you are in for a treat.  It does a bit of magic that is fun to watch.

Just a FYI...the mattress stitch is also used to close wounds securely and distribute the tension across the skin evenly.

So there are different ways to do the stitch based on preference and the type of fabric that you are seaming.  I have used 2 flowers to demonstrate.



The first pass goes in the vee on the left-hand flower towards the left, the second pass goes in the vee on the right-hand flower towards the right.  You are always stitching away from the center.



When you get a little way through you give the working yarn a tug and watch those stitches disappear...just like magic.

This is a great technique when you don't want the colorway to show through.  I hate seaming, but this stitch is really fun.

I hope all your troubles melt like lemon drops!
Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)