Friday, January 29, 2010

Book of the Month & Essential Oils

As I mentioned in my 2010 goals post this year is beginning with mindfulness about wellness in our home. All three of us had a cold the first week in January and as Kyan and I nursed our colds on the couch I realized that I have not fully embraced a holistic approach to aiding in our family's wellness. The intention has always been there but the reality has often been to just push through with vitamin C and rest.
One area that I have dabbled in in the past is with the use of essential oils. I have many wonderful friends who know much more about oils and their uses than I. I have often picked their brains over what to use when or looked things up online. For my baby shower (over two years ago now) Heidi gave me a simple and lovely book called: Instant Aromatherapy For Stress Relief: Simple Tension Treatments and Relaxation Recipes by Mark Evans. So as we sat sniffling I looked through it. This book was perfect of course for a jumping off point. Learning simple techniques to relieve headaches, menstrual cramps and backaches. Descriptions of the oils and their properties and the ways in which to use them whether diffusing or using in massage oils. This also led to me looking into what my inventory of essential oils is and I started wondering what oils I need to add to help our general wellness.

I feel like there is a huge amount of knowledge about oils and their uses, not just relating to health and wellness but magical uses as well. For now I am endeavoring to just learn and collect oils that can enhance our daily lives and contribute to our overall well-being as a family.

Here is my inventory so far:
  • Lime
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Rose Geranium
  • Bergamot
  • Lavender
  • Juniper berry
And these are ones that I need to get:
  • Chamomile
  • Rose
  • Orange
  • Marjoram
  • Pine
  • Lemon
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Rosemary
  • Clary Sage
  • Jasmine
  • Benzoin
  • Tea tree
If anyone has advice or ideas on other oils they think I should add or ones that you don't think I need from the list please let me know. Being able to alleviate stress and encourage a more balanced atmosphere in the house with aromatherapy will hopefully fuel our fires of good health this year. I'm also curious how people with a large collection of oils store them? I have a little cardboard box for them right now but I'd love to have something a little bit more sturdy and certainly more pretty. I'll have to do some investigating.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sneak Peak

Just a couple of glimpses into the very interrupted and scattered art card making session that Heidi Joy and I had on Monday. My card is in the mail....hope you all receive yours on or around Imbolc. The actual date is the 2nd of February but apparently the astrological date is the anytime next week should fit the spirit.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Night out for two Mamas

We talked, drank wine, ate great food

We laughed, complained, and completed thoughts without being interrupted

We watched a ballet based on the music that had glued our friendship for life

We wore pretty clothes and tried not to yawn on the way home

We felt very lucky to have friends and family that loved us enough to make it happen

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Imbolc Art Card Exchange Update

Just a little housecleaning to attend to with the Art Card Exchange. I wanted to send out every one's recipient today but I am waiting on two mailing addresses. If you haven't sent me your mailing address please do so by the end of today, otherwise I will have to leave you out of the exchange. Some of you may have noticed that some of the participants do not have blogs and I have mentioned to them that they can send me a photo of their cards and I will post them here so that everyone gets a mention and we can ohhh and aww over every one's work. Stay tuned for your recipient tomorrow and happy card making!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting back on my Soapbox

Lately as I was thinking of my posts for this month I realized that I had not done many political commentary writings in the last few months. When I looked at my records I saw that I haven't written any political commentary since Blog Action Day which was in October, so a two and a half month break I've (unconsciously) taken but I'm going to get back at it.

There is an important place for politics and social issues in my life and being. I believe the adage that the personal is political. What my government does, what people with power in society do effects me. Their decisions can change the course of my life and that of the ones I love. That is why I write about what is going on in my town, country or the world. My intent is not to appear as an expert but to share information that I feel is important and to give others some resources to search out answers for themselves.

Chasing Domestic Bliss is about many things and I think that makes it hard to attract readers but I write from a deep place and one that is as complex as my personality. I can't compartmentalize myself or subdue my passions to exude a certain feeling that may attract more readers. So I hope that if my political rants are not your thing that you will just skip them and come back when you feel compelled to read. I am very grateful for everyone who posts comments and for the people that read here, this blog has come to mean a lot in my life and I am so grateful to have this avenue in which to share.

During the months leading up to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit that took place in December of 2009 there was an electricity in the air that held hope for environmental activists. I first heard about it when listening to Treehugger Radio's podcast with Bill McKibben. McKibben turned a scientific discovery into a global movement with the website
The importance of this number is that scientists have determined that in order for life (humanity) to be sustained on this planet we can not exceed 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. The science in more depth can be found here. 350 ppm is the safest place for the levels of carbon in our atmosphere to be and right now they are at 387 ppm. That means that climate change is happening faster and that is not a positive thing for countries living at sea level who face the possibilities of losing their homes altogether.

The reason that Copenhagen was filling so many with hope was that this was a chance for the leaders of the world to come together and create change. A global day of action was held on October 24th 2009, people from all over the world (181 countries) came together to say we need this dealt with, this is the issue of our times. But when the summit rolled around in December skepticism crept into me. As each day passed and I listened to the news I became more convinced that nothing was going to happen. Political maneuvers, jargon and the bureaucratic ridiculousness that grows like bacteria in most world politics took over and we were left with a non-legally binding accord and a bunch of men in suits shrugging on podiums. For more details of why the summit did not reach a solid agreement you can read more here.

I think the reason that I did not write about this until now is because of how pessimistic I feel about it. I prefer to share positive ideas and thoughts and look at issues optimistically. What makes me angry about this is that science has proven a number and people are still apathetic. There are even those who still question that climate change is even happening despite mountains of evidence. When I look at my son and think of the future I am sometimes paralyzed by the way we can all be so naive and take this earth for granted day after day while life as we know it gets closer and closer to extinction. I do some things to change this and I need to do more. What do you do?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Art of the Month: Memory Keeper Project

It is hard to believe but over a year has past since my first Memory Keeper Project post. For anyone who was not reader last year and who wants to start at the beginning head over here. In essence I make a new 9 x 9 inch quilt block at the beginning of each year with a symbol that calls to me and at the end of that year after having looked at it and lived with it I chose a name for the year and embroider that name on the back. 2008 was "The Birthing Year" as it was a year of healing from birthing Kyan and the birth of parenthood. 2009 is "The Foundation Year." The triple spiral called to me last year since we are a family of three and it has such deep and rich symbolism. I used bright and odd fabric and let my intuition guide the embellishments.
I decided on "The Foundation Year" because 2009 was about building the foundations of our family and the life we want to live together. Kyan was learning to walk, talk and was in a period of constant growth and change. Building, creating and slowly laying down the beginnings of family one brick at a time were the essence of 2009 to me.
This year as I contemplate what the symbol on the third block of my future Memory Keeper quilt will be the essence of this project and its longevity fill me with promise. The pace of this endeavor fits the snippets of time I have to sew and sets a tone for each year. Since we live with each image for at least a year I feel like the symbol and fabric absorb energy from our day-to-day life so that when we hold or see them in the future we will remember, for better or worse the days that passed oh, so quickly. And in the way that photos can capture moments in time visually, the quilt will hold energy in a tactile way.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Stone of Blue

(With the clouds and rain that are gracing us right now I couldn't get a nice photo of my piece but here is what it looks like and here is where I found this image.)

My darling gifted me with a piece of blue heaven called Kyanite this Yule. This stone aligns all chakras and is a bridge between mind and matter. It is a stone of manifestation helping one to reach for your hopes, dreams and desires. It calms, dissolves anger and frustration and clears the mind for meditation.
It can help with work in dealing with the throat chakra and the third eye chakra. Kyanite's zodiac signs are: Taurus, Libra and Aries.

The reason he picked this stone was obviously the name (I had no idea when we chose Kyan's name that it was also part of a stone's name) but reading the properties of this stone led me to think that the universe guided him to a stone that I really needed to help with my internal work as well.

A most wonderful gift.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Imbolc Art Card Exchange

I am pleased and nervous to announce an Art Card Exchange hosted by myself to celebrate the wonderful and often quiet holiday of Imbolc.

"Imbolc celebrates the first stirring of the seeds, deep within the womb of earth. Just as nature is beginning to waken under its covering of snow, the birds sing again, the seeds to put forth the first tiny shoots, so we can feel ourselves beginning to look ahead, after long months of forced inactivity, to the plans and projects we will work on bringing to fruition in the greening season that is nearly here." -Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw

This holiday has many names and associations. In Ireland Brigid is celebrated. She is the Goddess of poetry, smithcraft and healing. I see her as a source for creativity, the stirring of a spark, the birth of an idea and the pulse of the energy that drives the urge to make something with your hands.

With that in mind I thought it would be fun to host an Art Card Exchange. What is that? Well, if you sign up you will receive a mailing address to send an Imbolc Greeting card to some one and you will receive one as well.

Now, I can hear the "not artsy types" objecting already but this is not about being a great artist but about making something small and fun in as little as an hour or you can work on it for weeks. You can paint, collage, draw, take a photograph, use embroidery or even crayons. You can use Brigid as your inspiration or seeds stirring, you can make it very personal or keep it to a theme around an element or symbol that reminds you of this season. The sky is the limit and this is all about sharing and having fun so please join in.

Here are the guidelines:

The cards need to be 5" X 7". They can fold like regular greeting cards or you can just decorate the front and back. You can use card stock or more delicate paper just keep in mind the weight in regards to mailing them.

Sign up will last until the 22nd of January and I will send out every one's card recipients on the 23rd. I recommend that everyone take into account shipping time and mail by the 27th at the latest so that they arrive in the first week of February since Imbolc is on the first or second of the month.

Please only sign up if you can mail internationally, I may try and accommodate specific requests to stay in country if you mention it to me but I can't guarantee them. And on that note please only sign up if you can complete this exchange. I understand that it is fun to sign up for things in the moment sometimes but I would hate to have someone waiting for a card that never arrives.

To sign up (oh, please I hope some of you will sign up :) just leave a comment here with your email address and your blog if you'd like me to list it in the sidebar list of participants. (If you are reading this on Facebook you can leave a comment there as well)

Grab yourself a button from the sidebar and if you are inspired please write a post and share the exchange with your readers and friends.

And once you get your card please post about it so that we can all share in the beauty and fun.

Okay everyone. I've put this intention out into the blog world and hope you find it inspiring. If anyone has questions or is struggling for ideas please email me and I'll do my best to help.
stonegirl1177 AT yahoo DOT ca. I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone creates and I'm looking forward to making my card as well.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Setting Goals for 2010

dawn, a time of new beginnings

I was planning to update last year's goals in this post but my six month review was pretty thorough I thought, so if you are interested you can find them here. One thing that I found funny when reading them over was that I planned to research a "pagan themed" essay and I have no idea what that "pagan theme" was. Perhaps I've written it down in my notebook and I will stumble across it one of these days...I was a bit too vague on that one, lol.
My goals for 2010 are less specific this year. I have lots of things that I would love to make for my home, chair cushions, a quilt for Kyan and of course I have the whole reorganization of my home in sight as well.
Spiritually I want to keep the momentum that I built up in 2009, again celebrating every Sabbat and not putting a requirement on the celebration being large or small but just marking it. As Kyan grows each year he is becoming better able to notice the changing seasons and celebrate with me. I lost some momentum with meditation and personal ritual work but I am recommitting myself to that goal, and art is stirring within but it of course changes like the weather.
Health is coming up a lot these days for our family. I feel like this year will be one where health in food and exercise will be in the forefront. Health in the holistic sense: physical, emotional and mental, since as the years progress I am reminded over and over again that they go hand in hand with each other.
I have lots of personal goals, some quiet and soul related and some that will be louder and reveal themselves with time. This year will be huge for Ky and some big changes will unfold in our relationship: weaning, potty training, moving into a big boy bed and developing more of that unique personality of his.
Seven days in to 2010 I think the year feels good. Fresh, limitless and mysterious too. I say mysterious because the universe has a way of unfolding time for you in ways that you can not anticipate and you often have to change your path accordingly.
Here's to 2010 and taking it all in stride (that's a goal I've been working on for years now).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting lost in words and piles

Beside me is a pile of empty After Eight chocolate wrappers. On the floor around me are scattered toys new and old. Upstairs in the bedroom are piles of clothes that need to be put away and in my head are words....three weeks of words from my favorite blogs. Taking a break from reading was nice but has left me a bit overwhelmed with the wonder of the interesting people whose lives I am able to peak into. I am in quite a state of limbo here which is a frequent place that I tend to reside, where I have a list longer than my arm of things that I would like to get done but something inside me is taking too long to warm up and get pumping. I will work my way through this, I always do and I will get cracking on goal reviews from 2009 and flesh out the hints of interesting things to come that I have been dropping here for far too long.
Thanks for you patience friends. I'm just going to pick a pile and get through it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Hi everyone.

I took a bit of a break from blogland for a few weeks, soon I'll be caught up on all of your holiday doings. Our holidays have been great. Our west coast bones have been shocked from some seriously cold days but we tried to take advantage of the snowy wonders while we could. We fly home on Monday and so you can expect regular posts after the 4th. I wanted to share some pictures from our holidays...hopefully you aren't all holidayed out yet. Before we get to the images I wanted to welcome the new followers who have appeared over the last few weeks, thanks for joining me on this little journey.

I also wanted to share that the new Pagan Pages article is up. This month I wrote about flow in parenting as it relates to the element of water. And Angie at the Pagan Writers Community has posted an interview with me since Chasing Domestic Bliss is the featured blog there this month. I have a fun (hopefully) surprise for everyone next week, so Happy New Year and happy weekend to you all and I'll be back here on Tuesday.

Our Solstice table

Solstice fire

My parents who joined me despite the cold (my Dad built the fire for me) I am blessed with loving and supportive parents

A walk in the woods on a warmer day....only -5 Celsius

The blue moon on New Year's eve.