Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

We're in an Etsy Treasury!

The top half:

The bottom half:

fifthquadrant from Etsy was sweet enough not only put one of our items in a a Treasury for us, but she dedicated it to our shop :)

The Treasury will be up for another day or so, and you can find it here. You can also find the Luverly of the Week we featured her in here.



Thursday, March 26, 2009


just wanted to update, as i had promised a follow-up post to "Our Chemical Romance".
i'm under the weather at the moment, & will have things up, when i am feeling better.

~ hope everyone is enjoying the beginnings of spring ~

p.s in the mean-time...have a little look-see & listen to some of these greats:

Careless Love Blues
by Bessie Smith


How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels
Directed by : Craig Welch. Produced in 1996
National Film Board of Canada
{best to watch in full screen view!}

An Etsy Update & an Awesome Free Documentary

Aymi & myself are currently having a sale in our shop until April 9th! For the sale all material items will have free shipping, and all readings are 25% off. We will hopefully both be adding new items to our shop shortly as well.

Also, through the CBAN webby, I was 're-introduced' to a documentary called Seeds of Change: Farmers, Biotechnology, and the New Face of Agriculture. I had watched this film in Toronto at a screening a few years ago, and thought it was excellent, so I am very happy to see you can watch it online for free.

Here is a trailer:

and you can watch the movie at the Seeds of Change webby by clicking here.



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More GMO Woes

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network has a campaign to try and stop Lantic-Rogers Sugar from using GM sugar beets in their product.

From the CBAN site:

Keep Canadian Sugar GM-Free!

Canadian company Lantic/Rogers Sugar needs to reject Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) sugar beet and stay GM-Free. Lantic Inc. is the only Canadian sugar company that processes sugar beet and it is the last GM-Free sugar beet processing company in North America. It is deciding now if it will accept GM sugar beets for the first time - the beets will be planted in April! (

If you think that this GMO business has gone too far, here's what you can do:

You can go here and send an email to the President of Lantic here

and you can find free printable postcards for this campaign here and here.



Monday, March 23, 2009

Antler Magazine

While reading the Cabinet of Curiosities blog, I stumbled up a new online mag called Antler.

It looks pretty neat! Here is a blurb from their webby:

ANTLER is an online magazine which focuses on composing a collection of beautiful, inspiring ideas and designs from all aspects of life. We come in the body of a fashion magazine, but are more than just that. We look for ways to inspire through not only fashion, but art, design, literature, and culture. We strive to compile a new collection each month that meets this criteria.

They feature up-and-comers, and they have a whole slew of Etsy shops in their first release. Check out their debut issue, it's luverly!



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hill of Tara Updates

A scenic view from teamaskin

If you are not familiar with it, the Hill of Tara (also known as the Hill or Seat of Kings), located in Co Meath, Ireland is a place steeped in ancient history.

Tara is a site of archaeological significance, and even more importantly, a site of heritage significance for the people of Ireland and of Irish descent. Many would argue that it is a sacred site, and should be protected for all of these reasons.

It has been found in the Tara Discovery Programme (started in 1992) that the Hill of Tara is part of a wider sacred site; because this, many also think that this whole area should be protected.

There has been a battle the last few years activists-- with organizations such as Save the Tara and TaraWatch involved-- have been have been trying to save the Tara-Skyrne Valley from development of the M3 Motorway. They feel that having this motorway so close to the area would desecrate the landscape of this site.

Lia Fáil/Stone of Destiny

Recently Tara has been proposed to be one of the United Nations heritage site:

Tara proposed as Unesco world heritage site
via the Irish Times

The Hill of Tara is among a number of sites which have been nominated for inclusion on the country's list of possible United Nation world heritage sites.

Campaigners against the route of the M3 motorway in Co Meath have joined with heritage groups in submitting proposals to an advisory group set up by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley, to review the list of Irish sites.

The existing tentative nomination list for world heritage sites dates back to 1992 and includes Killarney National Park, the Burren and Clonmacnoise.

Deadlines for submissions for inclusion on the revised list close today.
Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said: "We have nominated Tara to be a World Heritage Site, but only on condition that the M3 motorway is re-routed first." "It would be a breach of the World Heritage Convention for Unesco to approve Tara, with the M3 going through the site," he said.

Tarawatch and the Campaign to Save Tara have said the Hill of Tara complex qualifies for World Heritage status as a natural and cultural landscape of outstanding universal value, due to its unique cultural significance, and the extent of the surviving remains.

Read the rest of the article here.

As well, the Smithsonian has placed the Hill of Tara on the list of 15 endangered heritage sites:

Hill of Tara makes Smithsonian endangered list
via the Irish Times

One of the most respected educational and research institutes in the United States, Smithsonian, has listed the Hill of Tara among the 15 must-see endangered cultural treasures in the world.

The Co Meath site, which was the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland, has been the subject of controversy with the nearby construction of the M3 road. Campaigners say the road will cut through one of Ireland’s most important historical sites, but the National Roads Authority says the new motorway will be further away from the hill than the existing route.

The motorway is scheduled to be finished in the middle of next year, but may be completed before that.

In its March edition of its magazine, Smithsonian says “the only music you're likely to hear around Tara nowadays is the clang of construction equipment”. The magazine is dominated by “14 other precious historic and artistic sites” around the world which it says “can be visited today, but might be gone tomorrow”.

“Each testifies to our urge to build and create; each reminds us of how much we stand to lose,” the magazine says.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sunset over the Hill of Tara from Neil Forrester

To find out more about the fight to save the Hill of Tara and the Tara-Skyrne Valley, check out the TaraWatch and Save the Tara websites.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our Chemical Romance

Although i feel this clip speaks volumes and is quite brilliantly presented, it should be noted that i do not endorse the slight negative connotation this film tends to indicate toward “street” dealers.

The big pharmacy conglomerates et al. should indeed be the only ones fined & jailed for “pushing” their largely unstudied, research lacked, hazardous, destructive, side effect laden, chemically synthesized “medication”, packaged to heal & help, & intended for children, teens, parents, & adults. “Street” dealers are at least candid “no, this was not ‘intended’ to stop your headache, depression, or panic attack, {even though it may do those things} but it will make you 'high'.”

Perhaps, if our nations stopped pumping so much money into making & pushing more chemically engineered pills intended to “fix us”, we then could be looking more into those naturally occurring drugs & chemicals the “street dealers” are selling & dumped into prison for. By funding research into them, we may quickly find {or begin to listen to those who have already found} that many of these so called “street” drugs can actually heal us beyond anything the big name pharmacy drugs could only hope for & lie that they do {for centuries}.

We should finally end the “war on drugs” & focus our energy on unmasking the real dangerous drugs;

the ones we give our children to make them more manageable to teachers {ie. Ritalin}

  • side effects: "hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizzines; palpitations; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up and down; tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy. There have been rare reports of Tourette's syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking this drug: leukopenia and/or anemia; a few instances of scalp hair loss. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur." {Novartis}

the ones given to our teens, young adults or ourselves for feelings of depression or not feeling “normal” {ie: Prozac}

  • warning: "Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders." {Eli Lilly}
  • side effects: "nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, weakness, tiredness, sweating, yawning may occur, unusual or severe mental/mood changes ( such as agitation, unusual high energy/excitement, thoughts of suicide), uncontrolled movements (for example, movements of the lips/tongue), shakiness (tremor), restlessness, inability to keep still, decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, blurred vision, numbness/tingling, bloody/black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easy bruising/bleeding, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness/spasm, seizures, change in amount of urine, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing." {Eli Lilly}

Well, in that case... i say Fuck normal.


{the opinions stated in the above post are mine & should not be taken as medical advice. i am a strumpet not a doctor. it is simply a rant & in no way meant to be offensive to anyone relying on any of the medication listed above. i believe in choice. Which means it is your choice if you want to take pharmaceutical drugs & it also means it's your choice if you want to take “street” drugs, recreationally or medicinally. However, i also believe strongly in transparency & passionately believe that people should be given real choices, based on having various options, accurate & truthful information & not be bombarded with false hope, misinformation & judgemental, narrow-minded, one-size-fits-all health care.}

Rites of Spring

Spring by Alphonse (Alfons) Mucha


Come, shell divine, be vocal now for me,
As when the Hebrus river and the sea
To Lesbos bore, on waves harmonious,
The head and golden lyre of Orpheus. Calliope, queen of the tuneful throng,
Descend and be the Muse of melic song;
For through my frame life's tides renewing bring The glad vein-warming vigor of the spring.
The skies that dome the earth with far blue fire
Make the wide land one temple of desire;—
Just now across my cheek I felt a God,
In the enraptured breeze, pass zephyr-shod.
Was that Pan's flute, O Atthis, that we heard,
Or the soft love-note of a woodland bird?
That flame a scarlet wing that skimmed the stream,
Or the red flash of our impassioned dream?
Ah, soon again we two shall gather fair
Garlands of dill and rose to deck our bare
White arms that cling, white breast that burns to breast,
When the long night of love shall banish rest.

~The Poems of Sappho by John Myers O'Hara (1910)

Boy, is this a busy week or what! St Paddy's Day & the first day of Spring! But, there's definitely no complaints from over here ;)

The birdies are finally making their pretty noises again; in the last 24 hours alone I have seen the cedar waxwings on my balcony (I am pretty sure that they're the same ones who nested in the hedges last year), a larger amount of crows, chickadees, red-winged blackbirds, and my raven and blue jay friends are back in full force. Yay!

So tomorrow is the Vernal Equinox, where we will have equal halves of daylight and night time (the only other time of year is during the Autumnal Equinox), sending Winter on her way out for us in the Northern Hemisphere. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the Equinox will officially start at 7:44 am EDT.

Tomorrow is also a holiday that is celebrated by Heathens, as well as Wiccans and some other neo-Pagans called Ostara.

I am sure many have already started their 'Spring cleaning', but if you are a talented procrastinator like me, then the Equinox might be a good day to begin. For some thrifty and eco-friendly household cleaning recipes, check out this post.

If one wanted to set up a shrine/altar in honour of Spring, some appropriate things that would be to put on it are seeds/seedlings, spring flowers (i.e. tulips, daffodils, and crocuses), painted eggs, nests, crystals (especially ones that are green, purple, pink, and yellow), artwork animals (such as lambs, rabbits, and chicks), or anything that reminds you of Spring.

Here are some photos of Spring shrines/altars to give you some inspiration:

Photo from Pip Wilson

Photos from On Bradstreet

Photo from Robbi Baba

Photo from sb poet

Photos from Lorelei Raveig

This is a day where I really like to start thinking about my garden. At this point I already have seeds and the like picked out for the growing season, and I may have even started some seedlings. The Spring Equinox is a great day to bless your garden for fertility and the like, if you are inclined to do so.

I like to use my own, but here is a neat blessings that I found online:

Garden Blessing for Ostara

The earth is cool and dark,
and far below, new life begins.
May the soil be blessed with fertility and abundance,
with rains of life-giving water,
with the heat of the sun,
with the energy of the raw earth.
May the soil be blessed
as the womb of the land becomes full and fruitful
to bring forth the garden anew.

~ by Patti Wigington

I bury moss agate tumbled stones in with my plants (one per pot) to promote a fertile and healthy garden. If you are planting in ground, you could always mix in moss agate chips, or tie one onto your hoe or a tree by your garden. Apparently Europeans did this in the Middle Ages to promote a bountiful harvest.

I have also heard of people burying eggs in their gardens for the same purpose. For a ritual involving this, and natural dye recipes for those eggs, click here.

Alexander Carmicheal in Carmina Gadelica (Volume 1, 1900) talks about farmers in Scotland consecrating seeds before planting. He says:

The ritual is picturesque, and is performed with great care and solemnity and, like many of these ceremonies, is a combination of Paganism and Christianity. The moistening of the seed has the effect of hastening its growth when committed to the ground, which is generally begun on a Friday, that day being auspicious for all operations not necessitating the use of iron.

And tomorrow happens to be a Friday!

Here is the English version of the ritual (to see the Gaelic one, click here)

I will go out to sow the seed,
In name of Him who gave it growth;
I will place my front in the wind,
And throw a gracious handful on high.
Should a grain fall on a bare rock,
It shall have no soil in which to grow;
As much as falls into the earth,
The dew will make it to be full.

Friday, day auspicious,
The dew will come down to welcome
Every seed that lay in sleep
Since the coming of cold without mercy;
Every seed will take root in the earth,
As the King of the elements desired,
The braird will come forth with the dew,
It will inhale life from the soft wind.

I will come round with my step,
I will go rightways with the sun,
In name of Ariel and the angels nine,
In name of Gabriel and the Apostles kind.

Father, Son, and Spirit Holy,
Be giving growth and kindly substance
To every thing that is in my ground,
Till the day of gladness shall come.

The Feast day of Michael, day beneficent,
I will put my sickle round about
The root of my corn as was wont;I will lift the first cut quickly;
I will put it three turns round
My head, saying my rune the while,
My back to the airt of the north;
My face to the fair sun of power.

I shall throw the handful far from me,
I shall close my two eyes twice,
Should it fall in one bunch
My stacks will be productive and lasting;
No Carlin will come with bad times

To ask a palm bannock from us,
What time rough storms come with frowns
Nor stint nor hardship shall be on us.

Foods such as leafy greens, asparagus, eggs, and edible flowers are certainly very appropriate for feasting on at this time of year. Below are links to some recipes for you to try:

Hot cross buns--these are often associated with the Christian holiday of Easter, and according to Leopold Wagner is his book Manners, Customs, and Observances (1894) are 'cakes which the pagan Saxons ate in honour of Eoster, the goddess of light, at the annual festival of Spring'.

Honey Cakes

Elderflower Cheesecake (Sambocade)

Asparagus Quiche

Chervil Vegetable Omlette

Stuffed Nasturtium Blossoms

Violet Salad

Dandelion Wine

Hyssop Tea



Etsy Treasury: Homesteader Digs

A screenshot of the top:

A screenshot of the bottom:

has created two features called Treasury and Treasury West, which allows members to showcase some of their favourite wares from other shops.

This is the first treasury that I have created, and I decided to go with a homesteading theme. To see my treasury click on this link.

Since the treasuries only stay up for a limited time, below are the featured listings:

'Grow Your Own Food' T-shirt from Happy Family

'Teamwork' horse print from k9 Art Gallery

Candle Wall Sconce from Bacon Square Farm

SCA Farmshare of Shetland Sheep Roving or Handspun Wool from Call Wool

Heirloom Swiss Chard Seeds from My Victory Garden

Mason Bee Box from Andrews Reclaimed Wood

Brown Farm Half Apron from Little Bird Designs

4 Foot Oak Triangle Loom from Hideaway Homestead

Hand-Forged Weeder Made From Railroad Spike from Iron Oak Forge

Honey & Goat's Milk Soap from Artistry Farm

Antique Chicken Waterer from Surrender Dorothy

Harvester's Basket from Kevin Carter

Not Pictured (For Rotation):

Early Homestead Pin Keep from Vermont Harvest

Sheep Mini Print from Kari Herer

Vintage Farm Girl with Calf Print from Wilson Graphics

Five 'Living Landscapes' Permaculture Card Game from Living Earth Games