January Dreams

Sprouted Oak – this acorn sprouted in the cold room so it will be planted in a cup for now!


January is like the deepest sleep.

“Tending my inner garden went splendidly this winter. Suddenly to be healed again and aware that the very ground of my being — my mind and spirit — was given time and space in which to go on growing; and there came from my heart a radiance I had not felt so strongly for a long time… ”

Rainer Maria Rilke, to Heise, 1922

Seabuckthorn – planted in early December in this pot – hopeful for it to establish itself outside this spring.


The sun definitely begins to restore that “radiance” in January.  The still, bright night sky all a lit with pure silver cast stars!  The sun that lingers in the kitchen while I fix dinner, cats wandering on counter tops.  I feel like we primarily driven by the sun and the moon, so it makes total sense to me that the longer days have me dabbling with seeds, earth and growth!

I have sensed revival and growth – and maybe I express it through a primeval way – working with new life.

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Seeds Collected over 2017

The earth and plants have bewitched me and I feel like I’ve become their faithful, voluntary servant.

And so, early in January I began to take a little bit of action in this realm, despite the seed packet guidelines.   My logic is that I have house plants of all kinds, so why shouldn’t I be able to start some perennials as “houseplants” before transplanting outdoors.  I have done this for the past 2 years since we have had our own acre and never experienced any problems with starting some early plants! It actually really deepens my bond with the particular plant because they receive so much early care (as opposed to my plants in April because there are hundreds!)

Mostly Holly Hock – collected from one beauty plant in the back!
Seed Packets for 2018 – collected in 2017!  Among the Foxglove to be packaged up and a pack of poppies filled to the brim – I use old window frames to house the seeds throughout late summer and fall
The tiniest echinacea beginning to germinate – to plant in the spring – the last seed that I have as well.  Echinacea or coneflower does not flower the first year of planting (like so many others!) and are difficult to germinate so I like to give them a little bit of a head start.
Milkweed in a David’s Tea tin – I will have to move these quickly – I wasn’t expecting this many to germinate!
Hollyhock in a yogurt container and a very dirty window – taking these photos makes me realize how badly they need cleaning 😛
Peperomia – I actually gave this beauty a ‘hair cut’ yesterday
January Yard – Today it is 5 C and there is no snow – the river is melting – such a strange up and down winter
A small seed order – I have one more to place for the final veggies, flowers and herbs –

So it begins… I can’t wait for the day in May that we go to the nursery, the greenhouses!  But for now, I really don’t mind just the stirring of life, the rising sun and clear night skies.

In other parts of my small world – I am working in the library, knitting a sweater that just needs button bands and buttons and preparing to make a little pattern available on here for the last pair of fingerless mitts.  It may be so confusing which is why I am just going to put it up here and state “make at own risk.”

Mountain Ash


In memoriam of Dolores O’Riordan – she helped me through being a teenager and always, always made me think of spring and life and growth and just moving on.  I feel so incredibly sad for her and her family and just wanted to share with you her beautiful voice ❤ May she rest in peace




Entering the Dark time with Company

Peppermint, ginger and green tea for our late November walk.  We stopped along the streams to sit and drink a hot cup.  Health to you!

The sun has set and it’s not yet 4:30!  The days have been grey, but every evening the horizon hosts a brilliant pink and gold sunset, fading in the west to a gentle dream-like purple.  It only skims the skyline below the grey cloud, but it is beautiful! My window faces the west.

View from my work window – to the West – that fading dreamlike winter sky.  And overnight, the snow melted! (The only time of day we glimpse a blue sky – The window is obstructing the view of the river, it reflects the sky and is lovely).


We are having very happy days, my Mom is visiting and we have been spending time knitting by the fire sipping peppermint tea, re-potting plants, going for long winter walks with the dogs, watching silly Holiday movies and gushing over Collette O’Neill of Bealtaine Cottage.  She brought rose plants for me, hand-sewn bags for our etsy shop and little pieces of porcelain.  Every evening we have been having delicious home cooked meals (last night was a fish chowder – one of my favourite meals of all time… not stereotypical at all for a Maritimer) and I’ve just felt so warm and happy.  Tomorrow, I am working in one of the libraries (and consequently, going to the Spinners & Weavers Guild to do some spinning and dyeing!) so we will say goodbye just for a short while.

A late afternoon walk on November 28th
A walk in the woods before the snow
before the first snowfall of the season
Beauty of freshly fallen snow! A stream between the trees.
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Red Squirrel Galore, Two best friends very excited

We both love to use our hands – create!  Since she has been here she has made a sweater for a wee one and has already started a pair of baby soakers (She has two grandchildren on the way and I am soon to be an aunt to 3!!!).  I have attached the arms of the grey lopi sweater and put it aside to work on a pair of lopi mittens for the Etsy shop.  I also finally used some calendula and rose infused oil, combined with beeswax and spruce sap that I collected last winter to create a salve.

Calendula & Rose that have been steeped in oil since August!  I finally drained the herb infused oil for making salve today
I finally used the spruce resin that I collected last winter during winter walks in Nova Scotia, and with the calendula oil – made a salve.  Perfect for wounds or cracked skin this winter.
Among the spruce, I did make a grand mistake using my regular pot to make this salve – sap is very tricky to clean :\ I think it’s worth it though!

We also went to a plant shop in Charlottetown this week to bring home a little bit of pure happiness.  Plants are so expensive so I just continually get clippings from other plants, root or start from seeds but occasionally, I buy a new plant >.<  I bought a little cactus and a succulent.  I also received a very sacred package from Incredible Seed Company in Nova Scotia.  I ordered a some seeds that need warm and then cold stratification in order for them to germinate.  I will be busy this weekend 🙂  I have already started dreaming about planting for next year so there is nothing better than getting started early 😀

Two new plants!  I am so excited about these two!!  I now have 3 cacti plants and a new succulent that is very beautiful.  
Repotting a couple of plants – the bird terracotta pots are new, as are the plants inside of them!  The rain came and washed away the snow (the rock is a piece of Obsidian that I found at a garage sale many moons ago!)
A Begonia, Hoya and Moses-in-the-cradle rooting in an old pepsi bottle that I dug up while digging gardens.   Now have a home in my very last plant pot (eep!)
A couple of plants that require extra love and care for germination (except for the lamb’s ear – I just added those on a whim in the case I forget when I place a larger order in the new year).  We have Witch Hazel, Mulberry, Apple, Cherry, Dogwood and Korean Pine!  SO much you can do on 1.25 acres.
Two Seabuckthorns I grew from seeds (also I think some poppy seeds fell into these pots!).  hopeful for these two 

And now, I am sitting by the fire listening to the ambient works of Aphex Twin.  My Mom and Jamie are making dinner together and I am going to join them.  I do hope you enjoy this and are finding happiness and solace in the darker part of the year (and happiness to all those in the light half!).

An absolutely wonderful gift from a reader!  Thank you SO much Holly, I am so excited to read about this fascinating woman.  This book is right up my alley, I love it!! 
Until next time ❤



Dyeing Wool with Mushrooms!

The woods by our house – autumnal glory

Hello and I hope you are well!

It has been awhile.  I am SO inconsistent, especially because I have been drawn into a place and time sans social media or blogging or even e-mail.  Of my own choosing… I didn’t go to an off-grid camp or anything like that (although.. I would love to :))!  Sometimes, I just love to detach and it’s beginning to feel like such a luxury, so wonderful to be “offline.”  It’s funny because I feel as though going back online is returning to “the real world” when in fact, it’s anything but!  But… it’s the reason why I feel like I’m not alone in my musings, my hobbies, the way I see this world!

Alas!  I have SO much to share.  The first is that our dear orange tabby, Petey, is well!  After my last post, we had to bring him back to the vet.  He was put on a catheter and had to stay at overnight : (  I was so worried about him…. but knew that we could not do what the vet could at home. He is much better and is drinking fluids and peeing.  He slept curled up against me the whole night that he came home ❤

Walks close to home and a haven for red squirrels, fox and mushrooms!

I have been making and gardening quite a bit.  Jamie and I planted garlic this morning.  Our wood is almost completely split and stacked and we had our first frost and consequently fire yesterday.  I love fall so much, it’s so fleeting.  On our walk this morning, most of the bright red sugar maple leaves were already under our feet.  The earth is damp and the north winds strong.  Henry and I have been walking down a beautiful wooded path to the river that we live by every day.  The mossy parts of this wood are replete with beloved mushrooms.

Mushrooms…. the reason why I write to you today.  What amazing specimens they are!  Not only are they adorable and surrounded with fairy lore, they are beyond healthful and practical!  A couple of months ago, I posted on instagram about wanting to dye a pair of socks with lichen.  A user suggested that I use a type of mushroom: Cortinarius Semisanguineas or red-gilled webcap.  On one of our walks, I was looking very closely (okay, on my belly in the moss looking up at the gills…not weird at all) and noticed how beautiful the colours of this mushroom was and it clicked.  It was the very mushroom that the user had suggested! I got so excited and went back to the spot with my knife and a basket to collect and experiment ❤

Cortinarius Semisanguineas!  How beautiful are these colours?
Warm Autumn Day in The east of Canada
Collecting – I sliced the mushroom so not to damage the root of the mushroom in order to grow and thrive next year.

And so!  What did I do?  Welllllll, I first collected mushrooms.  I have read a lot about dyeing wool and nothing intrigues me more than using what grows close to you rather than what you can buy from a grocer.  I am not despairing the use of avocado or yellow onion skins (I plan on trying both!) I just don’t find the process as exciting, rewarding and directly engaging with this eco-region!  Something that naturally finds its home and is nourished by the same rain water that falls on my skin, on the earth that grows our food.  I want so badly to be more entrenched in the land around me. Dyeing is such an ancient way to connect to the land, to even represent the region you live!  I remember as a Celtic Studies student, learning that Scottish tartans began to be associated with certain clans simply due to the plants that were available in their region!

I first boiled some water with Alum and Cream of Tartar.  Once boiled, I added the wool and let it simmer for a short while (This is a mordant.  A mordant is the chemical composition that holds the natural dye to the fibre, otherwise you could end up with very washed out colours after exposure to the elements or a wash). I used pure white wool from MacAuslands here on PEI and an angora wool from We are Knitters.  once this wool was dry, I collected a small basket full of mushrooms (I only like taking a portion of what the earth provides), boiled them on the fire in the backyard and added the wool with the boiled mushroom broth in a mason jar.  Cortinarius Semisanguineas are actually poisonous so be cautious when handling!  They will not harm as a dye but they are not edible and I wasn’t crazy about having them in the house for long, especially with 4 wild ones about.   I repeated this process 3 times, hanging the experimental wool in a crab apple tree to dry.

I have looked at quite a few pictures online.  I believe it was the amount of the mordant that made my end result significantly paler than what I have seen and the amount of mushroom caps that I used.  Other examples are such a deep orange or red!  I really like the salmon shade that these turned out. I did try one strand of wool without a mordant and it was significantly darker.

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A Little mushroom study – The drawing on the right is a result of humidity, it looks a little strange but honestly, this is what they looked like!  This door was closed to critters while I worked with this fungi!  I love to draw plants and fungi that grow close to home.
Drying outdoors after their first dye bath
A closer look
A second dye bath – I started to do most of the process outdoors – partly because red-gilled webcaps are poisonous
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After a second dye bath – in our crab apple tree
Beauties after the 2nd bath
Beneath the mother white pine ❤  This tree is wonderful
A third dye bath never hurt anyone…. with the straw and wood for a couple of nights – a deep red!
Finished Result, I brought it back to the woods where I found the mushrooms to show them what wonders they do for us ❤
End Result – My sorry attempts at twisting a skein of yarn and my mushroom study

There you have it!  My first experiment with a close to home fungi!  I am SO excited about this project.  It was a lot of fun and very inspiring.  I hope you enjoyed this, even if you just looked at the photographs!  In our yard is a beautiful horse chestnut tree and I hope to use the husks to actually make a pair of fingerless mitts using the two colours 🙂

Autumnal blessings to you and I hope this post finds you well, inspired and happy ❤ I would love to hear about your own experiments or even desires with natural dyeing!


Gardening, Plants & Herbalism APRIL Pt. 2

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Hi dearest Fae readers!

How are you all!   I am currently sitting at my kitchen counter, taking a break from making pizzas to finally post my last experience with plants, gardening and herbalism of April 2017.  It has been a beautiful past week, the sun is shining right into the window before me, bathing the plants and warming my soul.  The wind has lost her bite and is back to being a good, powerful ally.  One of my favourite friends.

A kitchen workspace, sitting on a stool and very happy indeed!
True love ❤ Petey and Pangur sitting in a tree – this is usually the case somewhere in the house!

This week has been extremely busy and I am happy to finally sit down and not have a million things going on in my head at once (Although, I might still be buzzing – still need to finish those taxes… sigh).   We have been graced with the most refreshing rain (that Henry and I got caught in yesterday, drenched to the bone!), such pleasant warm temperatures and just a general blissful attitude in the midst of a little bit of chaos.

WHY have we been so busy?  Well, I am knee deep in garden working – sowing already potatoes, onions, kale, spinach and wildflowers, collecting natural fertilizer from the sea, planting trees, working with the indoor seedlings as well as just other general things.  Aside from that, which obviously is only limited to certain times of the day – our washing machine broke.  Yes, it  is a 12 year old machine that came with the house when we bought it. I felt rather stressed since we absolutely need a washing machine and the price to replace one is not cheap.  Moreover, the room in which our washer and dryer are hooked up is reached to by going through our upstairs bathroom (probably once a hallway to the room).  Well, the previous owners must have had the washer installed and afterwards, installed a corner shower in the bathroom because the shower blocks about 5 inches of the old door (I’m sorry if this is confusing!  It’s an old house and some things just negate common sense since these houses were not built for showers and washing machines!).   Our solution?  We tore out the shower with the intention of redoing the whole bathroom (it needed to be done at some point, why not now?).  So, our first renovation job for our house is coming a little bit earlier than anticipated! Thankfully, our new washing machine arrived yesterday, so I can finally, finally, finally wash our clothes at home (it has been broken 2 months – yes, we procrastinate and used a laundromat), including sheets and quilts and arg I am so excited!  I really never thought I would see the day that a washing machine would excite me SO much (Have you watched Tales from the Green Valley?  The old way of doing laundry was SO so so much work, I’m very grateful for these machines).  Next step is to build a clothesline and then I will be feeling very grateful indeed.

Anyhow, that was a little overwhelming and maybe a little too much about washing machines.  I wanted to share a couple of pictures from the week about some of the things we have been up to.  The crocuses and siberian squill are blooming – the tulips rising.  Dandelions are popping up all over the place and I have been digging up, scrubbing and cutting up the roots for roasted tea (the plants that have crept up in garden spaces).  The robins have been flying to and fro and I even saw 3 Cedar Waxwings the other day! The tide has been so incredibly low on our evening walks to the river and we are only spotting gulls and ducks – no longer the Canadian Geese.

On the New Moon,  I planted a bed of red and yellow onions, russet potatoes, kale and spinach.  I also began to dig a new garden by our driveway because the earth is amazing.  We think that some time in the past, someone must have had a fire in this spot.  I have dug up small glass bottles with twisted tops, forged nails, and animal bones. The soil is nearly black which is such a contrast to our regular red soil!  I look forward to planting flowers and am hopeful to perhaps start a rose plant for rosehips.  I’ve collected all of the dandelion roots in this area to roast for tea but first they are drying on a screen!  I am SO excited that collecting and working with plants again has begun 🙂  I do believe that we are about a week ahead of last year.

The guest room is now home to many small plants
The studio
My work room – most of my energy is going into working with plants, soil and outdoor things so I am not in great need of this table (or that’s what I tell myself to not feel bad about my drop in productivity..)
Sea Lettuce
We live by a salt water river – a river that stems off of the Hillsborough River that runs through Prince Edward Island into the Charlottetown Harbour and eventually to the Northumberland Strait. Our river abounds with all kinds of seaweed, muscles, clams and even oysters. We have been taking bags down on our walks and filling them with seaweed to place on our garden beds. This kind I believe is sea lettuce (although i’m not completely sure) and is the most brilliant green as well as excellent compost!
Some sea lettuce for a garden bed, I mixed this into the soil along with some of our compost and planted onions in this bed


Dandelion Root
I very politely asked these roots to let go while I was trying to pull them up and miraculously, they did! These are the only roots I’ve had such luck with – I’v been back to using an old fashioned shovel 😉
Siberian Squill in the front yard, flowers for the fairies


Lichen on our walk!


Breaks in the woods
Jamie ❤
Walks in the woods


A R T & O T H E R  T H I N G S

Not much art has taken place – or anything aside from domestic and gardening stuff but alas, I did a couple of things!  Granted, they are small. But I thought you might enjoy them!

I also finished a hazel heather Pangur Bán sweater!  I will make a post next week, when it has dried and we have some photos for the etsy shop.

I am still reading Outlander, but have also been reading through The Celtic Realms by Nora Chadwick and Myles Dillon because… Jamie and I are going to  I R E L A N D in 2 weeks and I can barely believe this is happening.  Many of the places we are staying do not have internet, so I will probably not be using it much at all but I will be sure to make some posts about it when we get back.  This is a pretty important trip for us, especially since I was a Celtic Studies student and feel a great connection to my Irish Ancestry (which I’m always scoffed at for when I meet people from Ireland!!  Sorry, we don’t have thousands of years of history in Canada that we feel rooted in).  I am ecstatic… and have kept it in for several months since we knew we were definitely going.  But, soon dear fae friends, you will be bombarded by two small Canadians’ adventure on the emerald isle!!

A tiny painting for a very dear customer who sent me tea when she read that I was feeling depressed last month – she brought me so much joy that I made her this small bookmark
Very rough sketch of one of the Dandelion roots that I dug up – it looked so much like a fairy creature walking that I felt like drawing him!  Just going for a stroll into my sketchbook.
Cutting up dandelion roots to dry!  Dandelion root is a overall health tonic


Sadly, I must go!  I enjoy writing these posts so much as I feel as though I’m communicating and almost having tea with all of you!  This evening we are having friends over for homemade food and a bonfire, sending off a friend who is going away for the next month and a half.  I am also seeing it as an early Beltaine celebration.   I have so many other things on my mind, that really makes me feel like blogging more despite the death of blogging (I know I am so late to this).

I’ll be back next week! taking another solid break from SM this week for my sanity and clarity of mind!


Blessed be, Merry May and make your own magic ❤




April Gardening Pt. 1 & other ramblings of a fae folk

gardening and knitting 😀  


Well, the pink moon has passed but any opportunity to quote Nick Drake 🙂

The weather is WARM and the sun has been gracing us with his presence!  I am happy, so incredibly happy.  A little sun burnt and exhausted but so full of the cleansing, full happiness that fresh air and manual labour brings.  I’m back to communing with the land, with roots and branches, robins and bluejays.  April is a muddy and plan brown (or red on PEI), drab time of year here, but as soon as you get outside and take a wee closer look at the earth, the trees the colours of life on this green earth are just abounding.

The work on our 1.25 acre is endless.  Especially since our plans include using every inch of space for flower, vegetable and herb gardens, animals and trees.   We have a huge checklist which includes new gardens, a ton of raking, preparing wood for next winter, tending to our forest (really a small wood but the forest just sounds so much more majestic ;)), mulching, digging, burning, felling trees (I’m starting to sound a little destructive but it’s all part of the process!).

This week has been g l o r i o u s.  I completely disconnected from instagram and feel as free as a bird by just removing myself from social media.  The earth is speaking to all of us, if we listen and work with her.

At this time of year, we are not even touching vegetable gardens because the earth is too damp to turn. So, it’s mainly raking, woodland, and clearing up flower gardens.  I even started to plant some chestnuts that have sprouted in our basement.  I hope you enjoy the photos of our work and can not WAIT to show you the contrast of now and a couple of months!

Found while digging in a garden! Folklore tells us that nailing an iron horseshoe above your door/barn door will keep the fairies at bay.  Fairies detest metal and were notorious for interfering with livestock and crops – you still see remnants of this tradition 😀  It also translated over to holding your luck (I think originally because it protected you from fairies) however if you hand it upside down, your luck will dribble away from you : (
Clearing out the rose bushes and plotting stones for a fairy garden in the front of the house – Not much colour at the moment! I started to mulch the roses with decomposing stumps and lining this garden with mossy logs and branches.
Flora Helping out!
Among the rose bushes – offerings from our beach walks to the elemental beings that inhabit the earth
A friend of mine gave me this really cute, vintage garden gnome!  I’m so excited to finally give him a home in the garden ❤
I see growth on this rhubarb plant!  My mom brought these over last year from her garden –  I love having a family connection to plants as well as a earthly entity connection (I guess we are all one big family afterall)


One of our raised beds that I wattled last year – Not a lot going on in this part of the garden until late May so I’m leaving the cover of leaves on there
Rosebuds ❤
sprouted chestnuts I collected last fall – to be planted in the woods!
The Forest literally looks like a tornado lingered there for a little bit – weedy like trees are trying to choke out our maple and trees and branches down everywhere!  On a good day, we have a long day of burning down what we can’t salvage (which is still a lot!) – the process of turning the woodland into a shangri-la will take years but it will be SO worth it – benefiting the soil, animals, insects and humble humans
We have been making baked potatoes in the coals of our bush burns – salt, pepper, butter and a potato from down the road – delicious!


And on the indoor front – it’s getting a little wild!  The plants are shooting up and need daily care.  The tomatoes are strong and the herbs already fragrant.  The lupin seeds I collected on the side of the road last year have sprouted and I am beyond excited to give back to the insects of our world!


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A little painting of one of my favourite spring time flowers – Siberian Squill – painted for a friend
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Tomatoes growing up and up – we still have a month and a half before they can go outside! I can’t believe how quickly they are shooting up – so different than the past 2 years
A Vintage Owl Mug with a Tulsi basil plant as well as a few parsley plants
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Little Pine Tree ❤ I collected a few seeds last fall and am so happy one of them has burst into life!
Two more trays of seeds – displacing my work area and some old drawings I found from Botanical Art class back in 2010 (eep!) – I decided to spruce them up a big and still working on it 🙂
Little Seedlings – my babies
WORK SPACE MAGIC – It won’t be long before plants completely displace me 😛

A P R I L  P I C K S


I’m reading OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon and I can already say that it is fantastic.  A friend of mine suggested it when I told her I was watching the show and felt like it was made for us (plants, magic, Highlands of Scotland, yes please!). I stopped watching it immediately and started the book

I’m also reading through some Norwegian Folk Tales as well as our man, Ronald Hutton’s Witches, Druids and King Arthur.


Other than repeatedly watching Tales from the Green Valley, I’ve been listening to The Higherside Chats with Greg Carlwood – about fringe topics.  He has an episode on PLANTS that I definitely suggest called “Earth Alchemy, Plant Spirits, & Engineered Abundance” with Shamangineer.  My sister suggested it to me and I am hooked.  It’s available both in his website and youtube.

Maybe I’ll reveal a part of myself I don’t tend to share on the internets but, I was thinking of making a compilation of books/videos/documentaries on modern fairy lore.  I’ll start with a really fun documentary that hits very close to home here on the East Coast  ❤  ❤ ❤



I’m working on a lopapeysa, of course! Hazel Heather and I’ll show you soon, I promise!


Quilt’s self titled album (on Google Music) and the birds that are singing a consistent tune.  I love slow, droning psychedelic guitars, need to start playing music again !!!

Other than that – I’ve been working outside and then coming in exhausted and ready to sleep zzzz.

B E   W E L L

Beach Girl ❤  Something I love about living on the East Coast – often the only people at the beach

March Gardening

Starting a little bit early this year since last year we had many green tomatoes ripening in the spare bedroom!

H I   F R I E N D S

It’s the last day of M A R C H!  You guys, I am so excited.  Right now, it’s blowing snow, minus 10 with that wind chill and just down right unpleasant.  I love winter, but this slow rebirth honestly tears at my soul.  I’m confused and feel like I’ve been swallowed up by some eternal grey and cold void.  But it’s never as bad as all that, since it’s so temporary and it won’t be long before we are outside in the sunshine smelling the damp earth.

I am currently sitting by a drafty window with my big headphones on blasting the band QUILT (self titled album) and drinking caffeinated beverages interspersed with water and trying to figure out how I am going to write about the almost non-existent March gardening season (PHEW long sentence!).  But I can’t stop thinking about how I need to play guitar and mandolin more and just change my life completely?  Throw away my phone, read more books and just work on becoming telepathic with plants and how can I start writing music (sounds reasonable)?

A N Y W A Y . . .

If there is one thing that lets me feel a never ending sense of life and excitement during this time of year, it’s SEEDS!  Yes, seeds. This year, I ordered some from the Incredible Seed Company and Hope Seeds (both heritage seed companies in Nova Scotia).  I have a few packets from Heritage Harvest Seed (now 2 years old) and Veseys,  an Island company about half hour drive from our place. I also have quite a few collected from the garden.  My ultimate goal is to become self sufficient and not have to buy seeds, but this is only our 2nd year on our acre, so not quite there.

Seed Packets – flowers, tomatoes and peppers
Poppy Pods
Poppy Pods, collected last year 2016

I started …

Tomatoes (many different types: Bloody Butcher, Alaska Tomatoes, Acadian Cherry Tomatoes, German Johnson, Black Prince, Black Krim, Orange Mennonite Beefsteak, Amish Canning Tomatoes, Early Rouge… Okay I have an addiction to buying seeds), peppers, F L O W E R S & H E R B S (lavender, rosemary, basil, sage, catnip, hollyhock, echinacea, black eyed daisies, bergamot, strawflower, poppies, zinnias and I know I’m forgetting quite a few).

I also planted a giant pumpkin seed which is slow going and a couple of pine tree seeds that I collected in the fall.  Last year, I planted Oak and Horse Chestnut so hopefully this year, I can add some pine to the property.

Last week, I’ve now added quite a bit more!

S T A R T I N G   E A R L Y

For the past couple of years, I have followed the instructions on seed packets.  6-8 weeks indoors before the last frost in your area.  Last year, many of our flowers bloomed around (or didn’t bloom for that matter) the first frost of the season.  Our tomatoes had to ripen inside and our pumpkins were definitely not orange or big enough to carve.  I don’t know if this is going to be WAY too early to start a lot of our tomatoes and flowers, but my rationale is that when I go to the nurseries in late May and Early June to buy perennials, they are WAY older than 8 weeks and they do swell.



Echinacea is sprouting!  I am so excited, last year I planted a lot of it hoping that we would forever have echinacea in the summer.  Nothing happened at all.  I was disappointed, my visions of an everlasting supply of the cold busting flower destroyed.  I blamed it on the seeds not being viable and bought new seeds from a different company, without actually doing research on growing the flower.  When it came to starting it again… I did the sensible thing and looked it up on the internet.  Apparently, you should stratify the seeds, so I put them in a damp paper towel, sealed in a plastic bag for a week or two and placed it in a cupboard in the kitchen.  Lo and behold, they sprouted! I was SO excited and immediately went to the recycling and found a home for them.

In the plastic container – ECHINACEA!!! And yes a very snowy and grey exterior


I dream of a house being surrounded by the fairy tale flower, and will do my absolute best to grow these.  The past two years, I have failed terribly.  I bought seeds from Heritage Harvest Seed Company (I think out of Manitoba) and I could not start the hollyhock seeds at all.  This year, I ordered from a company much closer to PEI (Hope Seeds in Nova Scotia) and have about 5 little plants growing!  I am going to baby these in the hopes that they will grow and grow and grow and live on for the centuries to come on our little farmstead.

They are black jet Hollyhocks and I dream about them at night. They are growing into beautiful wee plants and this is the reason why I am planning to document plant growth.  I can’t wait to show you in August or September.

Beautiful little plant, I promise you the sun will shine

W A X I N G  R E P O T T I N G

 And, when the new moon graced the skies, my Mom (visiting for the week <3) and I repotted many of the house companion plants: Aloe Vera, Jade, Hoya Wax Plant, Peperomia, Spider plant, English Ivy, Haworthia.  You have bigger homes now for the summer and I hope you will be happy!

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Pots and plants and plants and pots
Mom and I repotting
Roots of a Haworthia – yep just messing up the floor – thankfully I do have a broom 😛
Plant World ❤

F A C I N G  the C O L D

During my Mom and Merlin’s visit this week  – we still braved the cold, heading out through the fields to visit the hundreds upon hundreds of Canadian Geese on the river.

Canadian Geese
Resting on the river 
Shell of a nest
Snowy Woods
Heading toward the woods to visit the river and the geese

T H A N K  Y O U

And I just want to thank you for reading and joining me on this absolutely magical journey of starting plants from seeds.  I almost feel like I need to apologize for the total lack of colour from my posts lately, the glimpses of green though – life and more life in this grey and stark winter world.  It won’t be long I hope before our world is bursting with colour.  Before, winter feels like a distant dream and summer a sweet, buggy reality.


Planting seeds is E A S Y and honestly so incredibly vital to life on this planet.  Evolution before your eyes.  Vesey Seeds is currently giving away free packets of wildflower seeds in an effort to bring the extremely concerning issue of vanishing bee populations to the public as well as obviously providing more food for the bees.  If you would like your own packet to help out, simply fill out a form by clicking  H E R E


Last of Winter

North Shore
The Beach is no longer mud!

S P R I N G 🌿

Rejoice, rejoice!  It’s cold outside with a north wind.  I’m sitting on a cushion on the floor while the animals sprawl out on the couch.  I felt like just doing a quick post, to share a few pictures of our last weekend of winter.

Despite the cold and the wind, I still feel spring in the air.  This past weekend, we didn’t just hear the crows cawing but all kinds of birds and geese honking overheard. The bluejays have returned to our compost pile and the tips of the maples have buds.  Spring is a late bloomer here and we likely will be in an in between state for another month.  We are all itching to get outside.

The sun was so strong this Saturday and the temperature so pleasant.  Jamie and I had a busy weekend going for walks with Henry, working outside and going on aimless country drives.  It was a really beautiful end to this winter and I wanted to share with you little bits and pieces.

The outdoor work on this little piece of land seems endless!  This weekend, we focused on picking up sticks that have fallen during the winter gales. We had a bonfire and let the chickens and Henry free (Henry is pretty good with the chickens, although she occasionally runs as fast as she can at them to scatter them to the wind :\ ).

Chickens Free
The chickens had free range on Saturday!
Bon Fire
First bonfire of the year, many, many more to come!
Garden Shed
The Garden Shed, so much cleaning up to do!
Henry scared Dorothy and she came running to me for protection ❤
Driving along the north shore this weekend with Jamie ❤
My boyfriend and girlfriend ❤ First Beach walk of the year
It won’t be long before we can use the sun room…
Morning Light
The morning sunlight and a pair of angora mitts I’m working on
More Lighthouses, this one is at Wood Islands ❤
South Shore
Beyond the Lighthouse
The Strait
The Sweater, we drove to the strait to get a photo of the sweater and say fare well to winter!
Brilliant sunset for the last full day of Winter 2017


The end of winter!  I can barely believe it!  It does go by so quickly.  I would like to do more posts about gardening and despite the cold, I have started quite a few seeds already indoors.  But the extent of our gardening this month is cleaning up the yard and starting a few seeds.  I am ecstatic for the growing season!

Wishing you all a beautiful new season!




Carving Botanical Stamps

Carving away
Carving Away with the Fairies

Goodmorning Earthlings!

This March morning, the sun is shining and the birds are singing in the trees!  I went out to feed the chickens in my pajamas and a touque, trusting that the bright sun would warm me despite the dusting of snow on the ground.  It was glorious and I can’t wait to get out there today! But first, I wanted to share with you something I worked on this week, carving stamps.

Anyone can carve their own stamps, it’s fun and really rewarding!  If you wanted, you could even make a template with a leaf or a dried flower, there are so many options!  The only material you need is a linoleum cutter  and whatever block you choose to carve (I am using the rubber from Speedball – available at most craft stores and extremely easy to work with). I started this week, knowing that I wanted to make a very simple dandelion stamp for my tinctures (in my previous post!).  That small stamp, launched me into a morning obsession.  I decided to make a series of three of my favourite flowers that bloomed here on this land last year: marigold, tulips and poppies.

I am forever and ever inspired by the medieval woodcuts of plants.  I can’t explain why, I simply love the blocky, linear designs (Perhaps, I’ll do a whole post on woodcuts someday – or a series of them).  I hope my work will help shed some light on why I love this style so much and perhaps inspire you to look into the botanists and printmakers of the past ;).

I also made a small set of cards, available on my Art Etsy Shop: Wood Folk Prints

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the pictures of my process and work.

Merry March Saturday!


Collecting information about dandelion – I am inspired ❤ The small book with the beautiful red block print is Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland, featuring block prints from Gerard’s 1597 Herball. One of my favourite collections of plant illustrations (completely available on archive.org)


Shortcut to what? MUSHROOMS!
Small Stamp
A small Flower head based on these dried flowers
Looking back at some of my old drawings as well for inspiration – this poppy illustration was based on a 16th century German drawing (I found it in a library book and can’t remember any other details!)
completed! Pressed with black ink
Starting a marigold cuts – using a drawing from last year
Taking shape
Studio Companion &lt;3 Oh Pangur!
Studio Companion ❤ Oh Pangur!
A print!
plant inspiration
Inspiration for my last carving of the week ❤ I was torn between a tulip or a peony – peonies next!
Van Gogh Inspired Tulips ❤
Making Cards!
Using Red Ink – little remnants of the black in there
The Poppy is now a resident of my inspiration wall!
The stamps 🙂
Botanical Cards!
Botanical hand pressed cards!






Making Magical Tinctures ☽ 🌕 ☾

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Army of Tincture Jars


Since I was a little girl, nothing seemed so appealing to me than living deep in the woods, immersed with the plants, the cycle of the moon, the animals.  The dirt swept clean with my broom and the leaves entangled in my hair.  I wanted to be a witch. In fact, most children I knew wanted to be witches or let’s face it – felt like we were witches.  I remember at around 7, speaking to the sky for it to rain and feeling the most awesome power when a drop, then another and another fell on my skin.

In the very back of our property, there was a large vegetable and herb garden as well as a large brick fire pit conveniently located beside “the witches’ fort.” This was an enclosure of twisted apple trees that not only formed 4 “walls” and a door, but a roof! My Dad laid the ground within the trees with red brick. I can’t really express how perfect this spot was, we had wooden shelves and stump tables and seats.  My Mom actually let us have an old broom out there as well as an ancestral cooking pot (I think she regretted it later), some wooden salad bowls and wooden spoons.  I didn’t really know what else you could want in life!

I remember walking barefoot to the garden, picking herbs and placing them in the pot with some puddle water while munching away on chives. Now, as an adult, I am essentially doing the exact same thing – still barefoot in the summer but making tinctures and infusions!

M A K I N G  T I N C T U R E S

During the waxing Snow Moon, I combined our homemade Apple Cider Vinegar with all of our dried dandelion leaves and roots to make a super tonic!   According to Mountain Rose Herbs, using a vinegar to extract and preserve a plant is an “extract” rather than a tincture (which uses alcohol) – but tinctures just sound so much more fun ;).

I simply combined dried dandelion leaves and roots in a large mason jar and covered with Apple Cider Vinegar.  I stored it in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight (a cupboard) and shook it every once in a while, to make sure the plant parts were completely covered with the liquid.  It sat in the cupboard for around 5 weeks (I mark it on my calendar so I know for sure). The vinegar extracts and preserves the potent healing elements of the plant as well as adding some super beneficial bacteria and enzymes (I’m not a health professional so don’t quote me on anything! I simply like old folk methods).

I decided to name them SAP MOON since I bottled them on the Full Moon in March.  My calendar calls this the WORM MOON but that really doesn’t make any sense for where we live in the North East.  Sap makes so much more sense since this is the time we tap our maple trees to make the most delicious sweetener on the planet, Maple Syrup :D. I also love the idea of working by the cycles of the moon for making concoctions as well as gardening and tending to plants!

I also love the idea of naming now all my infusions or herbal remedies the name of whatever full moon it is – that way I know the rough date (you can always check back online to see if you need the exact date) to know the age of your remedies.  I added a little “2017” on the label in the case that it somehow gets shoved to the back of my cupboard and makes an appearance in 10 years ;).

A P P L E  C I D E R  V I N E G A R

One of the apple trees

For years now, I have been reading about the amazing benefits of natural Apple Cider Vinegar.  I decided to try to make our own and now after learning how simple it is, I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again (or I hope not to!).  We have one very old, large apple tree that produce hundreds of large, yellow, sweet apples (not pictured above, the above has the most delicious, crisp apples).   I have no idea what type they are but I made several batches using this type.  They are a soft, sweet apple ideal for baking so our cider is light and sort of sweet tasting!

Behold the Living Mother!
The vinegar on the left is the dandelion extract and on the right is just plain old apple cider vinegar

D a n d e l i o n  L E A F & R O O T 

Henry among some of our dandelions last spring
Henry among some of the dandelions last spring

Dandelions are such bountiful and healthful herbs!  Last spring, I watched the chickens go wild over the leaves and congregate around the plants.  I began to collect the leaves and even dig up some of the roots to dry indoors. We tried to eat them in salad but I found them too bitter to eat fresh.  And so, last spring I was determined to make an overall tonic with them in the form of a tincture.

B E N E F I T S (Information below taken from: Lust, John ” The Herb Book”1974):

” Aperient, cholagogue, diuretic, stomachic, tonic.  Dandelion has two particularly important uses: to promote the formation of bile and to remove excess water from the body in edemous conditions resulting from liver problems.” Lust, J. 171.

Aperient – mild laxative

cholagogue – agent used to increase the flow of bile into the intestines

diuretic – agent that increases the expulsion of urine

stomachic – agent that strengthens, tones and stimulates the stomach

tonic – agent that strengthens the organs of the entire organism


My little tincture
My little tincture ❤


And so, my first ever REAL LIFE magical concoctions (that isn’t tea or just food).  My childhood self would definitely approve.   I have a batch of 10 of these little gems and thinking in the future, perhaps after the next trip around the sun, I will put some of my remedies in an online shop or just sell at markets, etc.   Simply add a few drops to your morning water or herbal tea and you are golden 😉  (as long as you don’t have an allergy to ragweed..)!


Some of our poppies last June!  I can not WAIT, I can hardly contain my excitement >.<

(On one other side note, I am trying very hard to have regular social media ‘detoxes’.  I have simply decided to not go on instagram (my only social media really) during the weekdays. I could write a whole other post about this because I think it’s actually really important but maybe for another day!  I just wanted to shout out if you have noticed me absent… which I doubt anyone has…  it’s because I am just choosing to be offline and seek balance in my everyday life. This is something that has sorely been lacking since I have a compulsion to check social media throughout my day. Thank you <3)


Homespun and Winter Walks

So much snow fell on us yesterday.  Our windows were covered by 3 pm, our world grey and dark.  We have been having unseasonably cold temperatures, it feels more like we’ve been plunged in the depths of January and early February.  I talk a lot about the weather… my journal since I was a teenage is half discussing the temperature, the rain or snow, the wind or how the trees bowed and danced.  I love Mother Nature and simply observing her moods.  When I write I think I focus on the weather first as though to clear my mind for what exactly it is I want to say, so please bear with me 😉

This morning, I went out to see the chickens (who refused to leave the coop when they spotted the snow), lit a fire and finally sat down to draw.  My studio/work room had been overrun with my Christmas cards and packaging things up for orders.  This morning, I shipped the last of my orders so my mind has cleared for new projects.  I always have some kind of “Ode to…” brewing in my mind and this morning I worked out an Ode to working with the earth and with my hands. An ode to tradition bound up with the animals, insects and herbs that make a comfortable home. A home that goes so far beyond our front doors.

Preliminary sketch and my magic fox stamp
Letting the life come through a little more detailed
Beginning of the end – I used an old drawing I did based on a Grimms Fiary Tale
Indian Ink, a beautiful pitch black


Developing my altar art work

The sheep is at the center, providing us with wool that keeps our hands busy, our minds active and our bodies so warm (as well as countless other things – I’m currently contemplating insulating my chicken coop with wool and birch).  The spindle – representative of transformation – spins the rough wool to the versatile material that we love.  The quilt block is a marker of the home, of ancestors and narratives (to me personally, it is a symbol of love and comfort). The plants are dandelion, sage, lavender and Calendula – all magical, useful and healthful entities.  I included oak leaves for wisdom, the boundary between worlds and for the love of the steadfast tree. Everything ties together to allude to traditional folk lives – working with animals and plants.

I developed it a little further by adding a home, emerging from the quilt.

A home
Finished calendula and twisting wool
A Giver of life and the phases of the moon
One more thing…
Homespun – Finished

And there she is!  Homespun – an ode to a working kinship with the earth.  I’m hoping to make some prints on rag paper.  If anyone is interested, please let me know!

To leave you – some pictures from our walk through farmers’ fields today – in a foot of snow.

Walking along the fields
To see the remaining Canadian Geese
The sky changes so quickly
Interested in the Geese, she is 😉
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To sit and knit with fire and fairy lights during the long evening