Sunday, February 23, 2014

Color Me Blissful

When I was a little girl, maybe 8, I went to a birthday party and I won a prize.  It was a box of colored bath fizzies.  I adored those fizzies.  My bath could turn hues of blue and green gold and even red.  There was something about bathing in colored water that seemed magical to me.  It is an experience I have always remembered and cherished.

Flash forward to five years ago when the chromotherapy tubs started coming out and it became a dream of mine to own one of these tubs.

Color originates in light.  The light from the sun is colorless, as we perceive it.  When the sun shines on an object the surface of that object absorbs all the colored light rays except those corresponding to that object and reflects this color to the human eye.  The eye receives the reflected light and sends a message to the brain and we see color.

If you take a dispersive prism you can break light into its spectral colors or the ROYGBIV colors of the rainbow.  My sister and I used to shoot the hose into the air to create rainbows; it always seemed like a bit of magic when they would appear and shimmer in the air.

Color has always played a large part in my life.  Being a healer, the 7 chakras (energy centers that correspond to the colors found in prismatic light; they allow the force of life to flow through our arteries, veins, nerves and organs and they connect our mind/body/spirit) system is sacred to me.

One of the reasons I craft is to play with color.  Color is a central part of my being.  This is why I wanted the chromotherapy tub.

Last night I soaked in my tub of magical changing lights and effervescent warm bubbles and I was filled with so much joy as I simultaneously melted into a relaxed puddle of bliss.  I had the colors on scan so they faded gently into the next and each one was a revelation.  I used the lights to clean my chakras, to meditate and then I just relaxed.  It was one of those moments where you are in the "now".  There was no thought beyond the bliss of the bubbles and the changing colors.  I let go of everything until my cycle ended and I left the bath feeling like I had experienced some mystical transformation.  Even now, writing this days later, I am still smiling thinking about my next spiritual night soaking in my tub of color and bubbles.  :)

And on to more is layer 2 of block 2.  The blues are so soothing; they remind me of our trip to Florida this last Summer. many happy memories!  :)

Happy crafting,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's Snowing...Again...

Last week it was ice.  This week it was snow.  It is hard to measure exactly how much we got since the wind was pretty fierce and made drifts, but the first storm dropped somewhere in between 20-26 inches.  I was off for Thursday and Friday.  We had cleaned most of it up and another small storm came in and since we hadn't done the walks yet, I took the day off to shovel.  There was more snow on Friday night into Saturday.  Yep, Phil and I have to have a little talk.  I hate the shoveling and the danger of driving but here in the backyard, you can really see the beauty of a world covered in white.  It truly is lovely.

As you can see, it is snowing in my game too!  :)

I know I haven't mentioned my tree for two weeks now.  It is a huge project and I've been working on it on and off.  Truth be told, I needed to do some home remodeling.  Hubby built me a beautiful animal pen and I created a new garden.  I also discovered both a Jungle Temple and a Desert Temple purely by dumb luck.  The Desert Temple is my new teleport hub; which is awesome since the room I was doing it in was just a bunch of sticky notes in wood.  I reorganized my kitchen area and the basement is filling up with chests just like I wanted.  I have been dying the sheep around my home and then breeding them which is so much fun!  I found two Villages filled with Clerics and Librarians and both of them had no church; so I build one.  In case you ever need blueprints for the villages, they are here.  And I made a little fishing nook that is really great at giving you enchanted bows, ink sacs, lily pads and sometimes fish.  :)

The grey lace is the Nana Knit Lace Cowl I've been working on this week.  Every day I have been doing two full repeats.  Nana wanted one in wool and I thought this wool with a bit of silk in it would be perfect, and I was right.  It has just a bit of give and the definition is lovely.  I'm wondering how long I actually need to make it.  Nana had mentioned that she wanted it a bit longer in the back.  It is hard to judge without blocking it.  So I've decided to knit until the grey one matches the length of the sky-blue one.  When I reach that length I will block it and see how much it grows.  Regardless, I need to make a Knit Picks order....oh darn.  ;)

I will be back to squares next week and a new color scheme to boot.  I need to work on the cowl as much as I can before least until I run out of yarn.

I have no witticisms this week.  The ice..snow...sleet...whatever keeps falling from the skies is wearing me down.  I ache and now I leave you to go and soak in a tub of goodness.  My bathroom which was started in October is now almost complete.  I don't have jets yet or my chromatherapy, but a tub of hot water sounds delicious right now.

Happy crafting,

Sunday, February 09, 2014


After our sweet little furry prognosticator said that we would have six more weeks of winter, our weather just went crazy.  Monday we had a snowstorm that was mostly slush.  Shoveling slush is much harder than snow but I wanted to make sure the driveway was clean so it didn't turn into ice. And ice my friends is what followed.

In the above shot, you can see my work driveway blocked by 2 major tree limbs that had to be hauled away by a truck (thank you rescuers!) and a whole lot of littler limbs that I managed to move.  I had been given the go-ahead to leave because the power was out; it was out pretty much everywhere in our area.  The tree stopped me and I had plenty of time to sit and look and listen to what was around me.

First of all, it was beautiful in a staggering way that fine crystal is.  Everywhere was full of prismatic flecks of light; everything was covered in ice.  Second, it was dangerous.  As I sat there I heard the crashing of limbs as trees could no longer bear the weight of the ice.  Later that ice would fall from all the trees and rain down shards that sounded almost eerie and made an unearthly din.  Never had I witnessed such a thing as this ice storm.

It made me think about the Norse Rune Isa.  Isa means just what you think; ice...standstill.  Ice can be cold and unforgiving or beautiful and inspiring.  When you freeze something in ice you can see it from outside of itself and from all angles.  Ice is as effective in fire at pruning away those things that no longer serve their purpose within us.  As the ice overcomes them they become to heavy for us to bear and we have no choice but to shed them from our being.

I've always believed that winter is a time for introspection.  Ice freezes things in a snapshot sort of way. You can see the trees through the ice; so too while we are in the grasp of Isa's changing we appear the same until the metaphorical branches start to fall away from us.  Isa's transformation is a slow one that is full of ponder-some moments and deep inner reflection.  The first shift feels strange like something has occurred but one can't quite put their finger on it.   New thoughts seem to surface and moods may change as Isa is readying us for spring.  The whole process is methodical and barely can be noticed until one day we wake up and we just feel different and just a little more whole.

Everyone has had one of these transformations in their life-time.  One cannot grow without a little pruning here and there.  But these moments can be easily missed and dismissed as just a "good day" where everything seems to flow and be right with the world.  The message of Isa is a good one. Stopping once a day to just be still and listen lightens the soul and helps to relax the body.  It should also be noted that the rune of Isa can be found within 17 of the other 24 runes which says to me the message it carries is very important; slow down because ice can be dangerous, beautiful and wondrous all at once.  All one can do when Isa has graced your path is be patient.  Eventually, the ice will thaw and new growth will occur.

I found it hard to knit again this week.  The shoveling of slush made my hands hurt.  I managed to have just enough light to knit when the power went out during the ice storm.  Regardless, here is my first block.  It is a slow patient journey of fiery colors interwoven together in a beautiful play of hues that merge and meld to form something new.  I see colors in this block that aren't there; which, is the magic of this pattern.  It tricks the eyes by gradually shifting the hues into thinking that the colors are just a bit more yellow or red or whatever. This blanket truly is magic.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Creativity Takes on Different Forms

This an actual view of my temple at night, I decided to add vines and change some minor things with the side structure.  I must admit I really love the way it turned out.

For those of you that play Minecraft, I mined all the ore and such and everything is legit.  I spent hours in the Nether playing tennis with Ghasts mining Nether Quartz crystals.  I spent hours gathering materials up to trade with villagers for the Emeralds, and I still have a few to go as well as one diamond ore block.  But this is the way I chose to do it.

Everyone has rules that they play by and that is the great thing about Minecraft; you play the way you want to.  Each world I have played in has had different rules that I have adhered to.  In the Temple world everything I build, I gather myself.  I don't use Creative or spawn things in.

Each project takes resources and I must think about the impact of my taking of those resources on the world around me. When wood is harvested, seedlings must be replanted for a new forest to grow.  When ores are depleted, they are gone.

The Emeralds in the Temple I get by trading with Villagers but I still needed to harvest sugar cane, make paper, kill Zombies, shear sheep and kill Spiders to be able to make these trades.  I know that I am still quite a few short in the picture, but this is a work in progress.

This temple has truly taken a lot of planning.  I know it wasn't really huge but if you consider that each Chiseled Quartz Block takes 4 pieces of Nether Quartz to make a Block of Quartz.  You then take  3 Blocks of Quartz and create a Quartz Slab (you get 6 of these which is nice).  You then take 2 Quartz Slabs to make 1 Chiseled Quartz Block.  That my friends, is a ton of Nether Quartz.

I really enjoy the satisfaction that comes with each new area I complete or resource I am able to gather. Sometimes it is the simple things which bring the most profound pleasure.

In my vision, this temple area has always had a giant spirit tree so this is my next project.  I have chosen spruce wood since I like the look of it, though I will not be making a spruce tree because I wanted something with branches.  I took the temple picture standing on the top of the trunk portion of my spirit tree.  And the above picture is only a work-in-progress shot of the tree.  I still need to work on the inner branches.  I added a few leaves to flush out where the branches should be to give loft to the structure.

Building this tree is a challenge because it is so tall.  I hollowed out the middle and put Glowstone up the center to keep out undesirables.  I put vines down the sides of the middle so I can climb up there and get to my branches.

Everything is slow patient work since I am up there at cloud level and it is a long way to fall.  Each branch is built out by sneaking and peeking over the edge of the previous block.  Somewhere in this project I lost my fear of heights and started enjoying the view.  It really is beautiful up here.  Later on, I will be able to climb to the cloud level and mediate up here.  I'm putting in a hidden door that vines will cover the entrance on the outside of the tree.  I really love using vines since I am right by a swamp Biome and they grow on the trees anyway.

The wood for this project was not really an issue.  I gathered enough saplings to plant 8 2X2 Spruce trees. These trees practically hit cloud level themselves and each was just a bit different from its neighbor. These trees provided me with more than enough wood and I used shears to get all of their leaves as well.  Being four blocks they were easy to stair-step up, which made harvesting the wood easy.

This project teaches me patience; there is a time to gather and a time to build.  There are things that will need to be changed and things that I will like right away.  Ideas need to be flexible so that they can be seen from all views and improved upon as new sparks of imagination take place.  This tree may take me months, weeks or days depending on the fluidity of my building.  The time that it takes is not important as long as the finished project gives me joy.

Here is a project that is giving me joy, the Hue Shift Afghan.  Last week we took a pic of our blankets side by side to show how different our blocks are.  The jewel tones in my sister's blanket are rich and deep and my block is almost like shades of fire or a sunset.  They are both gorgeous in their own right.  Each week a new layer is formed in our squares and slowly we are creating a blanket; the journey is a delight and every week adds a new dance of color in our squares.

Here is this week's block layer; 1 layer to go until square #1 is done!

Happy crafting in whatever you choose to create,