Friday, December 13, 2013

FRIENDS:  I have moved to a website dedicated to the use of wild plants and fungi for food and medicine. Come and check it out! Wild Herbs and Edibles

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

woodland plants

The woodlands hold lots of different plants from what I am used to seeing in my urban backyard. The alley contains some disturbed area plants like dock, poke, and dandelion, but nothing like what comes from a lush and moist forest. 

Mike and I alternated between riding our mountain bikes and hiking the trails of a place we've both been to several times before. We made lots of new plant discoveries! We were initially looking for alder and basswood trees, but we found much more in addition to those two tree species, including two little woodland creatures!

Prunus serotina (Black Cherry)

Wild Yam

Underwing larva

American Basswood (Linden)

Lady's Slipper

Toad friend

Wild Sarsaparilla

Wild Sarsaparilla flowers

Turkey Tail fungus

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

baby animals

There are babies all over the place here -- baby squirrels in the front tree (so cute!), baby plants in the garden, and ... baby French angora bunnies!!!

Here are some cute babies for you to gaze at.

Mama squirrel getting groomed by one of her 5 babies

Velvet-soft baby French angora rabbits

Monday, May 13, 2013

tiny plants

Though we experienced a frost here in west MI last night, almost all of my vernal seedlings are coming along well. The potatoes were bitten pretty well, but I can see that there is still nice thick growth of foliage under the frosted leaves, so they'll perk up soon enough.

The garden this year is focused mainly on medicinal herbs.  There will still be, of course, plenty of vegetables, but just not as many as in previous years.


California Poppy

tiny Gotu Kola

Lady's Mantle

False Unicorn


Friday, May 3, 2013

little lamb

Oh, I dream of sheep! I love everything about them -- their wool, their portly bodies, the cheeses made from their milk...

I also love their babies, and I was very pleased to find out that I have a second cousin who keeps a flock of Shetland sheep just northeast of where I live.  My grandmother and I took a trip to his farm together to look at the sheep and we spotted a mother who had just given birth to twins! They were so sweet -- their spindly little legs were so wobbly and unstable and their faces were just the cutest things ever.

When mama sheep stepped away from one of her napping babies for a moment, I swooped in and scooped one up. He was a little ram and I had a hard time giving him back to his mother!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sneak peek: Avena

I am bubbling over with excitement and therefore could not wait until it was published to show y'all this new hat! Avena, named for the little oat-like bobbles that border the brim, is knitted with some some yummy yarn of silk and mohair.

I will be out of town for school for the next week, but as soon as I'm back, Avena will need to be tested and prepared further for publishing.  Interested in testing for me? I will be sure to post when the test will be ready so that anyone who would like to test has the opportunity to do so.  The test will be through the group "Free Pattern Testers" on Ravelry.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Meet Stellaria

I am so excited to announce that my first knitting pattern has been published!  It has been tested over the last couple of days by some amazing Ravelers and it was decided that there were no errors and that the pattern should be sent forward for publishing.  Well, here it is! Meet Stellaria, the star of spring!

For the Ravelers, Stellaria is available here.

For the non-Ravelers, Stellaria is available here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Collar Necklaces

These little babies have been all the rage, and ever since I made this one last year (I haven't posted any of my own photo projects of it...), I've been wanting to make more. They're great to use up any leftover skeins and are easy and fast enough to pump out two in a day.

Introducing, Csipke and Betula!

I love the simplicity of Csipke with the little eyelet border, and also love the scallops and fun orange slice pattern of Betula.  I can't decide which of them I like better -- they're both so sweet!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Winter has been good. Busy, yes, but quite good. The weather has finally turned to real winter, and it is the best.  Last night's winter storm produced 12-16 inches of snow on top of the snow we already had, so this area of MI has officially welcomed the snow season.  Perhaps I'll measure the snow tomorrow -- it is impressive!

male house finch

Saturday, January 12, 2013

schooling and tea

Well, for as crazy as I was going with my fiber fanaticism, it did come to an end and not by choice. Part of training to be a naturopath involves other co-requisites like human anatomy and physiology, and so that is now taking up my life. Don't get me wrong -- I absolutely LOVE A&P. In fact, it is one of the only studies that I can easily and happily read the textbook in.  Yes, I am talking about those boring textbooks that cost way too much and have 1000 pages in them.  Somehow (thankfully), I love my A&P book.  It also happens that I love learning about the human body, so I think that that definitely helps. Regardless, not having time to play with fiber has been challenging.  I spent a good hour and a half last night knitting further on my fingerless mitts I've been working on, and boy, did that feel nice! It was definitely a treat to be touching mohair and silk, that's for sure.

On a separate note, I've been making lots of teas! They've been an absolute blast to make, and they're super fun to drink, too.  Here are a couple of pictures of my latest teas that I've added to the Apothecary section in my Etsy shop.

Women's Nourishment Tea


Lemon & Lavender Relaxation Tea

Friday, January 4, 2013


Fiber has all but taken over my life. I spend nearly every waking moment either spinning or knitting, though I do find that my yarn stash is growing, which means I need to knit more than spin! Ever since the truly cold weather hit here in MI, I have turned into a complete hermit, typically only stepping away from my fibery-fondness to do basic things like heating the kettle for tea and such. It's great.

We also found a suitable stud for Mel, our REW French angora.  His name is Archibald and he is a Cinnamon French.  We anticipate new, fluffy, fiber-filled babies toward the end of March. I can barely wait! Mel is a proven doe, so I am hopeful that she doesn't kill her litter like I've heard other bunnies doing.

One of my most recent projects in the fiber department has been a triple plied yarn of two different colors of angora (Elise is well-known in our household for growing different colored coats after each shearing) and metallic sewing thread. I plan on putting it in my Etsy shop just as soon as I get it skeined up and take some decent photos of it.

In the meantime, here is a little teaser shot.  You can't see the thread as well as I had hoped through the camera lens, but in person it is lightly glitzy and totally feminine.

and a little close-up...

I hope all of you are well, happy, and enjoying the season!