The sage I planted this spring is ready to harvest so I've been making Sage Bundles. Sage and other herbs, such a red cedar, have been burned by cultures and tribes through out the world for thousands of years. Sage is most often associated with Native American Indians, yet not all tribes participate and the uses may vary, or even be taboo, depending on the time of the year and the tribe's beliefs.
My first project was a flowing caftan, followed by a skirt made from scarves in similar colors. I gave the skirt away before I thought to take photographs.
The skirt above is made from 10 silk scarves with the top corners pressed to the outside to form a casing for an elastic band.
I ripped two scarves into sari ribbons and crocheted the strips to form a matching belt.
Fill in the blank.
We are surrounded by __________________
What is the first thing that comes to mind?
Choose your word before you scroll down!
Simply answering this question can say a lot about who we are, our stress level, and how we spend our time. Does your answer represent something wonderful you value and appreciate, or something you fear? Is it something in the present moment or does is involve things that relate to the past or the future? Does your answer direct you to action for improvement or simply more frustration?
I recently asked this question in a training and the answers were as varied as the people in the room.
Here are a few -
- Media Manipulation
- Bad news
- Work to do/unfinished projects
- Crime and violence
Answers were as varied as the differences in people and their points of view. There were examples of both half empty and half full. Some people felt hopeful, others hopeless.
If you thought of something positive, you will attract more of it into your life. Congratulations! What we focus our attention on increases. This is a universal law, first recognized by the ancient philosophers and it continues today with Mike Dooley, Deepak Chopra and other great thinkers of our time.
With all of the concerns in the world right now, we undoubtedly need to pay attention and be aware of injustice. There are many parallels to things we've seen play out in history. Turning our heads, denying and being naive and uninvolved won't serve us well.
But we need to be cognizant of whether we can (and will) take action, or whether we will allow concerns and frustrations to continue to instill worn out messages playing over and over in our heads. If we don't, or won't, take action, our stress will continue.
If we can't think of any action that will improve our situation, we need to simply let go and focus our attention on what is in the realm of our possibilities.
The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr
Hopefully, you'll be able to direct most of your attention to the beauty and abundance that surrounds us, and have the optimism and energy left to find out how to make a difference. We are living in challenging times and we need positive, caring people to join forces and take action.
There weren't even any silks available. I purchased a garland of daisies and hurried home to paint the centers with acrylics, thankful that it was a quick drying paint. Next year I'll be prepared, and may even try to force some blossoms for the event.
Even California Chrome, the winning horse, was deprived of the thrill of wearing an authentic garland of the official flower. Instead his 10 foot long, 4,200 bloom blanket was made of golden yellow chrysanthemums with black in the center.
Numerous people, including a local florist, told me as recently as the day of this year's race, May 17, 2014, "the flowers used for the race and the blanket that covers the winning horse are daisies with the centers painted with black lacquer or shoe polish." However, more reliable sources state they haven't used that technique for over fifteen years.
Susan Reimer, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, noted that the archives of the Sun first mentioned the Black Eyed Susan taking the place of the rose blanket for the Maryland Preakness race in the late 1930s. "In 1939 the Sun described what it said was a blanket of black-eyed Susans gracing the neck of Preakness winner Challedon. Racing writer Jesse Linthicum said the change gave the race 'a real Maryland flavor'."
As far as the origin of the daisies with the centers painted black, Reimer reveals the beginning and the end of the mystery. The Black-Eyed Susan, a wild flower too delicate to hold up to the technique of being woven into a blanket and remaining fresh and hardy for a couple of days, doesn't even bloom until late June. "It was Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Price Day, writing in The Sun in 1946, who revealed that florist and devoted horse lover George Cook had been painting the center of yellow daisies with shoe black for years. He'd made every blanket from 1928 to 1953, and he died just days before the 1954 race."
The choice of the Black-Eyed Susan is in honor of it's position as the official flower. The state legislature of Maryland officially endorsed the Black Eyed Susan as the Maryland state flower in 1918. There are thirteen petals, as there were thirteen original colonies which included Maryland, and the black and yellow beautifully represent the colors in the Maryland flag. Admittedly, other than its untimely debut and fragile nature, it is a worthy choice for the official Preakness flower!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Do The Write Thing
Fashion And Fabrics
Lessons From Nature
Pay It Forward
Take The Rose Instead
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!