Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Solstice



Spirits of The North,
I call you in on this,
the longest night of the year
You circle the Earth
connecting all of this hemisphere
From Tuvalumiut, to Kallaalit Nunnaat, to Kautokeino, Murmansk,
The Bering Sea, to Nunavak and Kodiak
Who connect us to the first People
who came to this land over a bridge of ice
And remind us of their wisdom
and all the wisdom of our elders
As we turn inward tonight
You remind us that even in the coldest places there is warmth under the snow
and new life waiting to emerge
That even in the darkest places have their own mysterious light
To begin this long night, to usher in your season
I light for you this small fire





Warm Solstice Blessings, everyone! I'll be thinking of you on this long night. And the winner of the giveaway is Jenny Day (email me your details and I'll put our order in.)!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You went in for a winter hat and came out with the Height Street Headband...

...or maybe that was me. Ever since I first "met" this lovely lady through Wardrobe Remix, I've been gazing longingly at her beautiful crotchet pieces, which she herself models with such flare. For literally years I've dreamed of owning a Softspoken Bubble Beret.

And what's stopping me exactly, with the totally affordable prices and endless color selections that Rachael offers with her beautiful handmade wares? Just the latter.
Softspoken Granny Tank in Paprika and Cream
Is it wrong for me to want to own a beret in every color?
Lux Bubble Beret in Lavender Purple - Slouchy Beret Hat - Baby Alpaca - Softspoken
I think not. It is however, entirely unacceptable that I have not been able to make up my damn mind for three whole years. It's just that all the colors are so amazing that it is way too hard to decide whether one should get theirs in a practical, gorgeously subdued charcoal, or a bright, dazzling sunshine yellow, which would make me smile, but might not go with every outfit ever. So you can see where my difficulty in buying a piece I've actually wanted for aeons might stem from.
Bubble Beret in Beige Ruby Red Shimmer - Slouchy Beret Hat - Softspoken - VEGAN
Bubble Beret in Light Brown Golden Haystack - Slouchy Beret Hat - Softspoken - VEGAN
But darn it, if it isn't cold, what with the winter truly beginning on Solstice and my head needs to be stylishly covered.
Haight Street Headband in Crimson - VEGAN
So that's where you come in, folks. Benefit from my utter indecisiveness! Support an awesome artisan! If you help me pick a color, I'll get you one too. It's a Solstice Giveaway!

All you need to enter is pick out your favorite Bubble Beret and post your choice in the comments. The winner will be drawn and announced on Solstice Eve (12.21.11) and the beret will arrive on your doorstep whenever Rachael has the time to take the hook in her nimble fingers, probably after the new year.
Softspoken Chain Scarf - Long Length in Apple - VEGAN
While we're not doing much Holiday-giftage this year (instead, we're renting a house here on the Island for the whole family to be together in), were I in need of gifts to buy, I would look no further than my favorite etsy shops. I love holiday craftfairs, but I usually need to leave them after browsing just a few booths, lest I succumb to total overstimulation of the senses.
Sunburst Beret in Mustard Yellow Gold - Slouchy Beret Hat Tam Toque - Merino Wool Blend - Crochet -  Softspoken
Whether it be online or in your neighborhood, supporting crafty entrepreneurs like Rachael, is to me just putting your money where your mouth is, getting those things we need, or want (I'm not so deluded as to claim that all my fancies are needs), from independent businesses, rather than big box stores.
Softspoken Chain Scarf - Medium Length in Cinnamon - MADE TO ORDER

Sunburst Beret in Mustard Yellow Gold - Slouchy Beret Hat Tam Toque - Merino Wool Blend - Crochet -  Softspoken
Buying goods from small businesses is all part of that micro-economy, where we keep our limited funds circulating amongst our own. My feeling is that what we can't make ourselves, or don't want to do without, we should get from those who can fulfill our needs with beauty and passion, give us inspiration along with our purchases.
Sunburst Beret in Deep Sea Teal Blue - Slouchy Beret Hat Tam Toque - Merino Wool Blend - Crochet -  Softspoken
Personally I can't think of a better hat-maker to receive my money, than a girl who shares my love of Richard Brautigan, has a rocking personal style, a delightfully dark sense of humor and activist opinions to boot, not to mention a shop full of amazing goodies.
Richard Brautigan On A T-Shirt
Slouchy Beret in Ivory Tweed - VEGAN
Slouchy Pom Beanie in Crimson
And yes, I've already decided to purchase a Height Street Headband in red for next summer, for no practical reason, other than that I'm in awe of its design.
Big Bow Headband in Red Crimson - Crochet - Softspoken - VEGAN
Pumpkin Orange Rust Beret - Crochet - Slouchy Hat - Knit - Tam - Toque - Softspoken Windowpane Beret - VEGAN
Lux Bubble Beret in Magenta Berry Pink Tweed - Slouchy Beret Hat - Baby Alpaca - Softspoken

Crochet Collar in Cream - Peter Pan Lace Detachable Collar - Cream with Black Ribbon - Softspoken
What strikes your gift getting/giving fancy this season? Are you making your own, visiting craftfairs, or shopping online?
Cream Shrug - Crochet - Bolero - Cropped Cardigan Sweater - Knit - Ivory - White - Softspoken Honeycomb Shrug

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gifts

6448123343_09bd4ce4dc_z
It never seizes to amaze me that I now live somewhere where there's daylight in December, even sunshine and not an inch of snow on the ground. Where there can be T-shirt days in midwinter. I know that down here winter is only supposed to begin at Solstice, but I cannot help but think it the season's midpoint, the moment when we're halfway to spring.
6448119183_d1b7c12278_z
Speaking of amazing things, the generosity of folks who've never even met me in person, always brings tears of utter joy to my eyes. Last month when I wrote that I was ill, a lovely reader, gypsy vintage seller and woman of the woods, Sheri, offered me a remedy in the form of a medicinal mushroom, Chaga, which grows on birch trees in her Northwoods, much like in my native land. In Finland, it is known as Pakurikääpä, an ancient folk remedy.
6448159531_dfe5543581_z
Upon receiving my contact details, she then promptly shipped me not only the dried Chaga, but an array of other lovely goodies, mushroom-themed clothes, two lovely mushroom mugs and this gorgeous paisley skirt among them. Receiving this her package was a medicinal treat in and of itself.
6448124453_d3117b5c0e_z
6448117441_ac65b1a7b3_z
Wondering what those magical looking winter fruit hanging behind me in the tree are? Custard fruits. Apparently you let them go to where they seem almost rotten, soft and gooey and they taste like custard. I can't wait to try mine.
6448125227_0680f7a050_z
Togehter, these little blessings and surprises make me smile.
6448127211_33e95a4669_z
After gathering such fruit and relishing Sheri's healing tea, I came home to yet another gift, from these shores this time.
6448138841_958740b8ef_z
Smelt! A tasty little fish that a friend has been gifting us with. Like most little fish, best rolled in rye flour, white pepper and salt and fried in butter, then gobbled whole, bones, tails and all.
6448139657_5de174a1d6_z
6448163203_a2c8fda642_z
Without a computer to record my thoughts on, I've been doing a lot of silent meditation, painstaking writing on paper and revitalizing my typewriter skills. I try to look on these too as a gift, though I feel my creativity a little impeaded by this lack.6448130835_caea552a63_z
For a few weeks I was able to journal and meditate in this lovely space, new to me, though close to my own home. A beautiful, mysterious piece of land that will soon belong to some young next door neighbors, who might just be open to bees in their orchard. Having them around feels like a gift too.
6448135473_c92d77116f_z
6448136229_7806e0b3c4_z
Though there are plenty of young folks on the Islands now, a big change from when I first came here, not many live in our immediate neighborhood and we're looking forward to spending more time with them at their magical digs.
6448137047_4e77f18492_z
Their property is bathed in light, its beautiful cob-structures inspiring dreams of one's own little cob house someday, artistic, inexpensive and gorgeous.
6448137697_8f0ba0b776_z
As we enter the Solstice/Christmas/Birthday season, I cherish these last quiet fall days, time to observe and experience deeply, to craft and ponder.
6448129165_f891e8dc3f_z
6448128131_5a954fc17a_z
The unexpected gift of the moon's sickle, or a flock of Junkos in the field...
6448138119_2d04979cff_z
Happy December!