Recipe Book: Sugar Wax Beauty

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I am so happy to have met Tiffany, she bequeathed me her magic book of beauty recipes which I have been spending some glouriously fun time experimenting with over the past week. I was thrilled to try out a recipe for sugar waxing, yes, waxing. I know I’m a hippie, but I love the feeling of smooth skin, and shaving while showering outside can be a tad bit brutal. “Sugaring” is significantly less painful than waxing because the resulting caramel from the recipe is strong enough to pull the hair but not the skin, so it’s far easier on the body. It’s also all natural from ingredients in the kitchen, and clean up or disposal is as simple as warm water.

Mix 2 cups sugar with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, heat in pan stirring continuously until it becomes caramelized (it should become a thick gooey but still liquid consistency). Pour off into a widemouth jar. Keep jar in a pan of warm water to keep the wax liquid. Cover areas of body to be waxed with cornstarch or talcum powder(do not bathe before sugaring). Use popsicle sticks, or similar, to spread wax over desired areas. Let cool on body and peel off. I recommend doing short sections and be sure to keep the skin taunt, pulling the opposite direction of hair growth. Shower off any sugar, shave any minor missed spots and finish with a body oil Β such as jojoba for wonderful smooth skin everywhere. Yay bathing suits!

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Ahh! The start of summer, painting projects, fresh berries, travel adventures and growth on every level. Hope you enjoy this month’s Carousel of fun!

The Gypsy Network: Some of my favorite gypsy blogs

http://foxandgypsy.blogspot.com/

http://www.nestinggypsy.com/

http://www.drifterandthegypsy.com/

http://sevengypsies.blogspot.com/

http://lipstick-gypsy.blogspot.com/

After using chalkboard paint to transform my fridge, I have really gotten into seeing all of the fun stuff that can be created via chalk medium:

Beautiful Art:
http://www.viralnova.com/weekly-chalkboard-art/

http://www.boredpanda.com/5-most-talented-3d-sidewalk-chalk-artists/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariellecalderon/brain-melting-works-of-3-d-sidewalk-chalk-art

Chalk Art Tips:
http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/07/how-to-draw-like-an-artist-on-a-chalkboard.html

http://indiecraftparade.com/blog/archives/2370

http://gwenmossblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/10-things-you-should-know-about.html

On Making Fairy Wings:

Inspiration:

How-to:

http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/11/how-to-make-your-own-fairy-wings.html

http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/11/how-to-make-your-own-fairy-wings.html – This blog is wonderful for all things fairy!!

And some fun in science news:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140609153508.htm

 

Sorry about the irregular programming lately folks, we are deep in the intrenchment of government offices and real estate issues, punctuated with regular trips to far reaching wilderness, so the wi-fi access has been nearly impossible. But it should all be coming to a head soon and I’ll be back with a pile of new work!!

xoxo

-V

Summer Bar-b-que

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As a perfect prelude to a miraculous few days the weather cleared up on monday, right as Pam and Brian’s daughter Tiffany- the remaining family we had not met- and her husband and kids came down to visit for a few days. Family friends showed up with their 3 month old and before we knew it, summer kicked in full swing with a massive outdoor barbeque with 12 adults, four kids, 9 chickens, I don’t even know how many cats anymore, and a dog just to make everything a little less chaotic. Paradise in a backyard.

I have witnessed a miracle of life in watching this progression of events- from chance meetings one after another that have lead to people connecting to build dreams I never imagined could truly happen before. We had an impromptu community meeting to discuss issues, ideas, concerns and set plans. And it happened automatically. I’ve always felt like dealing with people was frustrating, oftentimes, impossible. I feared that there were only selfish, uncaring people in the world, that I would wander alone forever. Without even realizing how much I wanted and needed a family, one ended up surrounding me, and it is openly growing everyday.

As I was toasting rolled oats in a frying pan this morning, cook the bacon first and toast in the gristle, Tiffany and I talked about the idea of combining forces on this, my blog and hers, so that between the two of us we could post more easily as I have many projects and she has many children. I add eggs and cream to the oats to cook it, and as we shredded cheese and chopped fresh fruit and avocado to top the oatmeal with we discuss book ideas. I love collaborations- all the beauty and creativity of a project, with the support and enhancement of loved ones. Kindred spirits are rare treasures. And with this new influence this page may be coming to you under a new name- The Nature Spirit. ( I have also been informed, repeatedly, that not everyone will think of the old english spelling of Faerie while looking this site up- simplicity has it’s usefulness I guess)

Zoe and I took Tiffany on her first Girls’ Night Out in, well, enough years she didn’t remember anymore. We arrived at Sonia’s house in town, proceeded to kick her boyfriend out of his own room( he was smart enough to bow out gracefully when girl number 6 showed up- a wise man knows when he’s out-numbered) and leave us to our sacred feminine goddess time. We turned up the music, danced wildly, laughed and talked to wake up the next few blocks and made almond-butter cherry chocolate chip cookies- Sonia’s recipe. She is now a contender in the ever ongoing cookie war for “greatest cookie ever”- a very scientific and technical title that can only be conferred after many years of tasting and debating. Consistency is key of course.

After a chance to let loose, hug, laugh, support and care for each other, we were all finally able to go back to our lover’s revitalized and strong. Apparently it had a major effect because I caught Aaron helping to hang laundry without me asking and even before running off to the shooting range. The effects of women coming together can be terrifying ;P

Tiffany had to return home this morning, but I am certain of seeing her again soon, and look forward to further adventures with a new part of my family.

Love to all!

xoxo

V

June Moon

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The new family rooster, Starbuck, who’s way to pretty for his own good. All the hens have been beating him up!

It has definitely been a mercury retrograde kind of week- all plans have just somehow gone awry or taken ten times as long as they should have, but all that being said it’s been busy. Radiators fixed, five loaves of bread and two cinnamon rolls baked, kitchen and laundry room all squeaky clean, and all in time for tomorrow’s Strawberry Moon!

Galadarling “how to survive mercury retrograde”
http://galadarling.com/article/how-to-survive-mercury-retrograde/

Cinnamon Rolls

Use base bread recipe: yeast let to ferment in warm water(about 4 cups water will end up with about two large loaves) with honey and a bit of flour for about 20 mins. Add flour(about two cups to start, esp if you add flax, bran or other grains), salt and melted butter or oil, stif into soft mush let stand in warm oven or sun for about two hours(24 is ideal, but let’s face it, you want to eat some bread), for sponge rise. Add flour to stiff texture, let rise, repeat once more. After second rise, flour and split into two portions, roll out on floured surface, coat with melted butter and cinnamon/sugar until the melted butter becomes thick. sprinkle with salt, roll up and place in pan, bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes. Can also add cream cheese, marcapone cheese, dried fruit or nuts to filling.

I’m looking forward to a full moon celebration, I’ve been sorely neglected my nature practice, and I’ve noticed it’s so much harder in the winter. One wants to be outside to enjoy the sky and honor nature, but she can be just so cold! Watching the January Wolf’s Moon rise over the mountains was definitely the best one so far this year. I’m hoping the weather will work for a small bonfire tomorrow night to celebrate. As it’s the Strawberry moon, or sometimes known as the flower moon, a bowl of strawberries shared among friends and a little bouquet given to someone who needs uplifting seem like as excellent way to honor the moving into summer phase. Along with gourmet s’mores of course! Cinnamon graham crackers, dark chocolate Lindt bars, and fresh vanilla marshmallows(whole foods carries very good ones, often in the deli section) make outdoor living absolutely lush.

For other moon ritual ideas:

 

http://mooncircles.com/full-strawberry-moon/

http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/full-strawberry-moon-june

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Brian has been preparing to bring in honey bees and spent the time Zoe and I were redecorating the RV making a giant “beehouse”, not the traditional upright hive, but a long bird house style home, with a lid that can be taken off and everything ready to go but the screens. It’s longer than I am tall! (Not that I’m very tall at all or anything…)

Momma Pam seems to have invented an excellent allergy remedy- Aaron and Brian have been seriously suffering so we’ve been working on a concoction. It seems that if you pack a jar of fresh grated ginger, cover it with warm water, let it steep for a day and strain, then mix it with a bunch of local honey, coconut oil, fresh ground cinnamon and drink about 2-3 shots a day of it, the allergies disappear. Aaron’s been so happy to be able to breathe through his nose again, I’m getting chapped lips from all the kisses, which would be easily remedied with some honey, but that just makes him kiss me more πŸ˜‰

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Promise has declared that the rest of her time here is “Fairy Week” and set Brian to making her fairy wings, and has commandeered Zoe and I as actors in a play she is writing. It seems to involve covering everyone in glitter, so I am definitely looking forward to it. Uncle Sakka has been set to work on building a stage and Momma Pam, as always, is support with dinner and cookies. Aaron has not been pressed into labour, she’s too fascinated by the fact he’s doing things like building a motorcycle and melting metal.

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Zoe made her niece the fluffiest purse imaginable, and this is only her third completed project! (Aaron calls it the octopus, guess what he’s getting for his birthday) I have barely even progressed past the basic scarf stage of crochet! I am learning to make socks though, being a size four foot makes that a very useful skill. I’m learning that it takes me so long to make stuff, and custom fitted wool things get very coveted come winter, that I’m working on getting the supply done now. Maybe I’ll even finish a christmas list in time this year? EEK!

Paint Fumes become Gypsy Vardo Part 2- Tada! PICTURES!!!

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Outside- a standard RV, all set up pretty in it’s newly cleared out camp space πŸ˜€

 

Julia Cameron Excerpt from: Walking in this World
“We are miserable not because we are neurotic but because we are creative and not functioning in our creativity. Therapy may help us to “understand” our blocks. We do better to just get over them. Art is therapeutic. It is NOT therapy. Therapy aims at transformation through understanding. Art aims at transformation directly. When we make a piece of art about something we don’t understand, we come to understand it, or, at least, our relationship to it through our own experience- which is more full-bodied than merely cerebral….healing is a somewhat automatic by-product of self-expression, not a goal per se…therapists urge us to “accept how we feel”. Art teaches us to EXPRESS how we feel and so alchemize it. …therapy adjusts us to the world. Art adjusts the world itself….At bottom, art is rebellious: You cannot name me. I am more than the sum of my parts.”

 

 

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It started off ENTIRELY grey- grey grey grey, with a bit of dirty blue grey on the ceiling and dirty yellow grey on the curtains. It was a depressing sight. A whole winter of grey, filled with outside grey, and did I mention it was just generally grey? So, with the onset of summer, and a super deep clean need growing in my bones, when Zoe said “Hey we could paint the RV” as I was walking past the box full of acrylics, I kind of exploded out a rainbow. We did the walls purple, green, and yellow, and filled in all the space with a rainbow texture covered in a marble texture of silver glitter and a super high gloss clear coat- the goal was to make it look like the walls were made of polished opal- and I think I succeeded as much as paint possibly can.

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Promise petting Harold in the finished RV

Since I was already doing mad colors, the idea of a chalkboard on the fridge was only fitting. We also found magnetic paint, but it was SO expensive, instead we put metal on the freezer front. It has been a big hit already.

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The wood stove, fully finished and installed, with our collection of garage sale cast iron

Learning to cook on this has been quite an adventure- and now I have strategically painted to hide all the ashy marks from maintaining it all winter, yay!

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The most interesting part of this was the transformative effect it had on me. For so long I’ve tried so hard to keep control of everything, to be productive, capable, focused, planned. But as I was fingerpainting rainbows on my wall I simply had to let loose, to let go, to just have fun on a level that I had not touched since I was a child. All of a sudden I was caught up in the flow of creation, of expression, of simply being and impressing the greatness of my being into the world I inhabit. For the first time in a long time I felt a radiant and expanded soul.

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I rebelled against the grey, the standard, the mundane. I rebelled against the fact that I was sharing a small space with another large personality. I rebelled against the feeling that I had to stay within the lines or the world would collapse. I found out what it meant to stop trying to understand and simply to DO, and the power of heavens that resides there. Things that should not have worked out did. Things that were impossible were done. I worked harder than I ever have on anything and I was joyful every moment of the day. And I did it for myself, no other, and everyone in the community has appreciated it and enjoyed it. I took paint and made it a home.

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It doesn’t matter what else is going on, just create.

 

Paint Fumes become a Gypsy Vardo

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Aaron is home! He got in late last night to an overwhelming change in the environment- the entire RV redecorated. (Pics to come- even I was recovering from this one). I have spent the last four days, from 7 am to 8 pm cleaning, organizing, repainting, dyeing and redecorating the entire place. And the rest of the community helped as well- Zoe helped me inside, Brian and Sakka made shelves and cleaned up the campground by clearing out more space for a workshop area, and Momma Pam was support staff with dinner and cookies every night for fuel. we’ve had Lemon Bars, No-Bake Cookies, Coconut cranberry chocolate macaroons and Poo-kies, chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips(they look like poo, get it? I know, way to many boys in this household!)

It has been gorgeous weather for Oregon, sunny and warm, perfect for the job I was doing, as we needed to have the windows open because of all the fumes. The kittens have started to come out of the greenhouse on their own, though there is a lot of hissing and arched backs about silly things like foot steps and chickens. Right now the chickens are bigger and picking on the kittens, but soon, that battle will go a different direction. There may be a recipe for shredded chicken sandwiches if they don’t start behaving. I’ve readjusted my schedule to rise with the sun and it’s been a beautiful transformation. I love the quiet feeling of the morning to drink tea and write my story. I sit in my robe to meditate and journal for a while, then move to writing. I’ve found the robe to be particularly inspiring. One reads fantasy in a robe, writing it in the same mode just feels condusive to the creative process. By the time I’m done the sun is fully up, as is everyone else, and the day is ready to start.

There is a 9 year old granddaughter visiting Pam and Brian, and it’s been fun to have a kid around, she has such a quirky perspective on everything, still in the stage of just saying what she thinks, though I’ve been forced to bite my tongue more times than I can count when she’s made a comment that any response too is just entirely inappropriate. But she’s been forcing us to slow down and realize what’s going on around us. We’ve made daisy chains and fern leaf fairy wings, and collaborated to get revenge on Uncle Sakka’s teasing (there was a lot of water and glitter involved :D)

In doing so much work in such a short amount of time, the last few days have been almost damaging in the amount of stress I’ve put on my body. So, when I reached the point of muscles starting to give out from overwork and shaking from anxiety, I reach for passionflower herb. About two teaspoons dried to a cup of hot water (I use less, but I’m sensitive to, well, everything), works as a anti-anxiety, sedative and even has properties to promote muscle repair. It’s often used by bodybuilders to build up damaged tissues. If you are trying to get into shape, it’s excellent to help handle the pain of getting back to the gym.

Now that the RV is redecorated I finally have a proper place to put all of my medical supplies and herbs and so on. I was very happy for Aaron’s comment “Now it looks like a proper gypsy vardo in here!” With green, yellow and purple walls, silver trim, glitter accents, and blue and wine dyed couch, I should hope it looks gorgeous! And now that it’s all “finished” (it’s my pet project, it will never really be finished, of course), I can get back to, well, sanity. Zoe’s first comment to Aaron was “Yeah, she went a little psycho while you were gone”- yup, I exploded my sanity and rainbows and glitter came out, but everyone expected that anyway! We did learn lots of fun things such as: always get the paint with primer, the few extra dollars will save you half the work, double check what supplies you have and always get a little more that you think you’ll need, Rit liquid dye is the only dye worth buying, chalkboard paint is epic, roller curtains are evil, chicken feathers make fun texture when dipped in glitter paint and most importantly, if you’re going to get high off of that many paint fumes, do it with a friend, it’s way more fun πŸ˜€

Photo Update :D

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ImageAaron making a mess in the Workshop tent

I’m taking a short trip down memory lane today. Aaron has been in Santa Fe for nearly a week for his sister’s graduation, and I’ve been a bit lovesick. I even miss arguing with him! So, I’ve been taking comfort with kittens, fantasy books, and repainting the interior of the RV. You know, the simple things.

We had a great trip up to Portland to drop him off at the airport. The flight was for an ungodly early hour, he had to be there before six am, so after showers we recovered at Zoe’s favorite place from the time she lived in Portland, Sound Grounds cafe’. It lives up to it’s reputation as a comfy and eclectic art world. We arrived as a couple of clowns were doing a kids storytime, which was an interesting way to enjoy a late breakfast. I was very impressed with their coffee, tea and food selection. They did a $3 Dave’s Killer Bread egg in a basket with cream cheese that was AMAZING! They also offer a wide variety of activities for a wide range of age groups(there are more than just clowns). My favorite part of the trip was all the roses though. We walked so many streets just drinking in the sight and smell. I saw every kind of rose imaginable, even pink and yellow ones as big as my head!

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Of course we were all eager to get back home for kittens and a good night’s sleep after a very long day. The little grey tiger has been adopted by Zoe and Sakka with the deceptive name of “Muffin”, such a sweet name for an increasingly large terror. I adopted the gold tiger kitten, who is bratty enough to befit her name of “Princess”, and Aaron adopted the black one, adoring his mellow nature and little white-dipped tail, and calls him “Alfred”.

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Sakka holding the little Muffin of doom(they’ve taken to calling her Bran Muffin)

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The greenhouse (pictured above) is thriving, though we had to get ladybugs to eliminate a mild aphid problem. But the echinacea is blooming, the mints threaten to take over, we’ve eaten enough greens to feel like rabbits, and we just got a pile of oils, shea butter and beeswax to make salves out of a number of the herbs.

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Zoe outside of one of the Tipi’s

I have been shocked at how comfortable tipi’s have turned out to be. Sakka has been impressive at making it homey for Zoe, putting together a vanity table, and a set of flower boxes outside. The key is to use a broom around the rafters to eliminate spiders, but even that hasn’t been as bad as I expected- and being a first-rate arachnophobic that was a major concern.

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Zoe’s first completed knit hat

Zoe has taken to the knitting like a fish to water, but after several attempts and a good deal of improvement, as much as I want to knit, crochet is just more my thing. Maybe I just did it too long first, but either way, I find it significantly more easy than knitting. Momma Pam found a crochet pattern for socks so I could make them for Aaron instead and they turned out to be more than twice as thick in texture, which is what I needed for him anyway, and I can do it in a fraction of the time. Win-win. But I may do some knit lingerie for winter, light, warm and sexy πŸ˜‰

I’ve been feeling like I’m on vacation, being alone again for the first time in months. Adjusting to such a large family in a short time has left me feeling a little overwhelmed and having a quiet space to retreat too for a few days has certainly helped. I’m remembering why relationships are so important and re-establishing my boundaries. Oh, and painting, lots of painting. And fabric dye, and hanging art, and my will I be busy the next few days!