Archive for ‘Crafts’

November 12, 2013

The History of the Pinecone as a Symbol

The humble pinecone has always been a
powerful symbol of regeneration, nourishment 
and
enlightenment. Some of the earliest records are from
Ancient Sumerian palace carvings that date back to 713-716 BC which
depict winged gods holding pinecones and using them to pollinate
the tree of life. What other mysteries do they hold?

Sumerian god Marduk/ Dionysus

Sumerian god / Dionysus

Dionysus, the Greek god of winemaking
and ecstasy, later known as ‘Bacchus’ to the Romans was known to
carry a staff topped with a pinecone called a ‘Thyrsus.’ The
pinecone is also found on the Egyptian staff of Osiris,
which
depicts two intertwining serpents, like kundalini rising or like the caduceus symbol of medicine in the West.

Egyptian Staff-of-Osiris Egyptian museum Turino Italy 1224 BC

Egyptian Staff-of-Osiris Egyptian museum Turino Italy 1224 BC

In India in Hindu tradition
Kundalini energy shows two spiralling snakes
wrapping around the seven chakras rising up along the spine into
wings, which represents the path to enlightenment. Chakras are an
energy system, and the snakes that encase the chakras represent
another energy system, kundalini but also associated with the infinity symbol. The
infinity symbol is the prototype for DNA and means infinite life.
In Celtic tradition it’s represented in the ancient weave
carvings of the infinity symbol.

Learn more about the infinity symbol-

http://earthelixir.ca/2012/10/10/infinity-symbol/

A statue of the Mexican god
‘Chicomecoatl’ which means seven snakes, has a pinecone in one hand
and an evergreen tree in the other.Mexican god

There is also a pinecone on the
Pope’s staff, and the largest pinecone in the world is a
bronze sculpture located in Vatican Square in the
Courtyard of the Pinecone.

Pigna in Pinecone Courtyard, Vatican

Pigna in Pinecone Courtyard, Vatican

Legend has it that Romans built an
enormous bronze pinecone they called ‘Pigna’ which stood on
top of the Pantheon and acted as a lid for the round opening in the
centre of the buildings vault. It is confirmed the
pinecone was part of an overflowing fountain next to the
temple of Isis. Pinecone symbols adorn candle holders and
lamps in the Church as a symbol for the source of illumination.
Pinecones are found in Freemason art and sculptures. Pinecones
appear on the ceilings of Masonic temples and lodges, and in
architecture like the one on display in the Financial District in
New York on the side of the Whitehall building, which depicts two
spiralling serpents rising to meet a pinecone overlooking Battery
Place.

Masonic-Pine-Cone-Caduceus whitehall nyMasonic sculpture Caduceus
with pinecone, Whitehall NY

DIY Pinecone Ornaments http://earthelixir.ca/2011/12/09/diy-aromatherapy-pinecone-ornaments/

Pinecones resemble the structure of
the pineal gland aka epithalamus, which is located in the
centre of our brain and is an unpaired structure. It
is isolated from the blood brain barrier while it receives a large
percentage of blood flow. The pineal gland which is
pronounced (‘pine’ eel) has been referred to as the seat
of the soul and the ‘third eye.’ The pineal gland has rods and
cones just like our seeing eyes do which could be the reason it is
called the ‘third eye.’ It is responsible for melatonin
production and governs our circadian rhythms, which regulates light
perception to regulate our light awake and dark sleep periods.
The pineal gland has always been a mystery and little has been said
about it in anatomy physiology books until recently. The tree of
life could represent the
arbor vitae’ which literally translates
as
the tree of life, in the cerebellum. It consists of bands of white
matter that forms a tree like appearance when it is cut in section.
The cerebellum is responsible for muscle activity in response from
higher centers.

October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Carving with Cookie Cutters

I created this pumpkin a couple of years ago for Halloween/ Samhain using cookie cutters. I filled the holes with spiders and snakes, which I tried to give away to the children trick-or-treaters but for some reason they wouldn’t take them :D I used cookie cutters in the shape of a heart, a star and a round one. I had to use a hammer to press the cutters and hammered them into the pumpkin. It takes a bit of work but eventually it will pop out a pumpkin cookie cutter shape. The cookie cutters took a beating and will only be used for other art projects now.

Happy pumpkin carving!!!

October 16, 2012

DIY Glow-in-the-dark Eyeballs

Halloween is coming up and I’m making some decorations. Glow in the dark eyeballs are an easy and quick idea. All you need is some ping pong balls, battery operated tea lights and markers to decorate the ping pong balls. I found some ping pong balls at the dollar store so I bought white for the eyeballs and orange ones for pumpkin faces.

Drill a small hole in the ping pong ball enough to fit the top of the tealight inside. I used a vice grip to hold the ping pong ball while I drilled a small hole.

I used colourful markers to create eyeballs, or whatever design you wish.

They look amazing at night when you light them up! Darker colours show up better at night.

I even cut out holes and put a pair in the pumpkin for eyes.

Making these eyeballs were fun! I put some inside a pumpkin for eyes and the trick or treaters just loved it! You could even put them on a string of lights with skull faces or ghosts, get creative! Enjoy Happy Halloween time!!!! muahaahhh!

July 20, 2012

Beaded Treasures

 I married my love of beads and precious healing stones from the earth together to create high vibe healing jewelry. I love working with these amazing gifts from the earth!

I love working with turquoise, lapis lazuli, crystals, tiger’s eye, jade, amethyst, jasper, hematite, and other gems and stones from our amazing earth to create beautiful healing jewelry.

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This is the hematite sodalite double necklace I beaded. I enjoy wearing them as much as I like making them. I also do custom designs.

July 14, 2012

DIY Lavender Bundles

I call this craft lavender bundles, but they are known as Lavender “bottles” or “rattles.” These beautiful smelling decorations freshen up linen drawers and closets.

What you will need :

18-22 (always choose an even number) supple fresh stalks of lavender in full flower just picked

2 feet (about) of satin ribbon, 1/4 inch wide works best, in colour of your choice.

Directions:

Gather the lavender stems together with the flower tops even and level.

Tie the stems with one end of the ribbon just below the flowers.

Turn the flower bunch upside down and carefully bend the stalks down so that they cage the flower heads.

Space out the stems in pairs and weave the free end of the ribbon over and under the alternate pairs of stems to enclose the flowers.

Pull the ribbon tighter at the top and bottom so that the center looks fuller.

Tie the ribbon in a knot and bow to finish the ends, and add more ribbon with a bow.

Trim the stalks. Voila!

Place the bundle in a drawer or closet to scent clothes and linens, and help to deter moths, and insects. Hang these lavender bundles anywhere to freshen, and clean the air. I like squeezing them like a stress ball, :) squeezing the bundle helps to release the scent.

These bundles will hold their aroma a long time, but you can add a couple of drops of essential oil in the end to spruce it up. Enjoy!

I am giving away one of these lavender bundles to one of my top readers on a first come basis. If you would like one message me colleenchafe@rogers.com

July 4, 2012

Making Natural Perfume Update

The full moon in Capricorn thunder moon has been busy, of course!  The flowers that have been macerating for perfume from my blog a month ago, that I’d made during the Sun Venus transit,

http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/05/making-natural-perfume-from-flower-petals/

I filtered and pressed the petal pulp out from the luscious liquid yesterday during the full moon. It was a wonderful surprise to smell those long-lost smells of spring. The anticipation was well worth it!

I was so impressed with the rose one, I tinctured more. I used pink roses this time because of their peak bloom, and wonderful strong odour.  I wonder if it will give me a light pink liquid along with its divine aroma. The bees certainly love it!

The rose tincture is edible, and I will use it internally as delicious medicine, as well as externally for perfume.

The Dianthus looks and smells like grape juice, which is a far cry from my white chocolate wishes, but I will still use it. If all else it will become an air freshener and cleaning product.

The Peony is very subtle in smell, and next time I will use more petals, they are so delicate.

The Lilac is strong, but next time I will use all varieties I have, which is four, to see which one is the best.

 

I have essential oils in tincture, and I am looking forward to creating perfume blend alchemy with these lovely beauties!

Stay tuned to see how they turn out!

June 7, 2012

Making a Daisy Chain

imageNothing says nature wild crafting like a daisy chain! I haven’t made one since I was a kid. I had to pull a bunch of daisies because they were crowding out a rose-bush that was about to bloom.

DIY Daisy Chain:

Pick some daisies and strip the leaves.

Hold the flower head and run your fingertips down the stem to easily and quickly remove them leaving only the flower on the stem.

To start making the chain make a little slit with your thumbnail, about half an inch long in the middle of the stem.

Thread another daisy stem through the hole where you want the flowers, crowded or spaced out. I started braiding the stems for stability in between threading the stems.

To end the daisy chain, pull the petals from one daisy (like the game he-loves-me, he-loves-me-not ;) and use the yellow centre like a button. Use the yellow center to finish it, weave, and cut the loose ends.

I floated mine in a bowl of water to keep it fresh because a cloud burst of rain came before I could take a picture.  It also got rid of bugs, and I let it drip dry before I took a picture.

This is my daisy chain crown:) Make the chain long or short, into bracelets, necklaces or whatever your heart desires. 

This wildflower is also good medicinal food. Eat the leaves as a raw salad green, it tastes good. I prefer the young leaves before they flower. Fresh Daisy herb also makes a good tea, tincture, and essence. 

Common Name Daisy
Latin Name  Leucanthemum vulgare
Family Asteraceae (Aster family)
Parts Used Perennial herb
Target Organs Immune, Nervous, Kidney, Skin
Common Uses Skin: wounds, cuts, bruises, strains, inflammation Nervous system: relaxes nerves, tonic,

Immune: stimulant, tonic

Kidney: diuretic

Properties Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulating emmenagogue, immune stimulant, lymphatic, nervine, relaxant, tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary, mild demulcent,
Constituents Essential oil, phenols, alkaloids, methylsterols
Cautions Caution emetic in large doses. Excessive amounts may cause nausea, vomiting. Do not use during pregnancy: stimulating emmenagogue

 

June 5, 2012

Making Natural Perfume from Flower Petals

The flowers that are blooming smell so divine I made perfume out of them today.

I started with wild rose petals, and I choose a native rose that grows around Lake Ontario and in parks. It has a euphoric, subtle sweet smell that is going to get me through a long cold winter.

The wild rose petals look like white hearts when you pluck them out.

The peonies are so delicate they look like tissue paper, and the most exotic smell exudes from their floral pink clouds. With my fingers I tore the petals from around the center and left the remaining flowers to continue to bloom they are so gorgeous.

Peony

The small lilac bush smelled so hypnotic I could smell it through the open bedroom window at night haunting my dreams. I just have to capture that smell again! This is the lilac bush the hummingbird moth visited.

Lilac

Dianthus is a favourite perennial that smells like white chocolate to me.

Dianthus

I know it will make amazing perfume. Dianthus petals

All the flowers are basking in sunbeams of the sun and venus transit in a water alcohol mixture.

See how these natural perfumes press out next month!

December 9, 2011

DIY Aromatherapy Pinecone Ornaments

Pinecone Ornaments

My mom asked me to make her some pinecone ornaments for her tree this year. I’m using the ones leftover from making pinecone wreaths. See my blog DIY  Aromatherapy Pinecone Wreaths

for added instructions. I’ve never made any before so I had to start thinking of ideas.

Pinecone Wooden Beaded Ornament

I decided to use beaded necklaces and bracelets that were broken or I didn’t wear anymore.  I took a wooden beaded necklace that I never wore and broke it to use the wooden beads. If the beads have large holes you can use any kind of string but the smaller the hole is I would recommend using beading wire or fishing line instead.

Pinecone Wooden Beaded Ornament

I made four hanging loops with the large wooden beads to suspend the pinecones from the tree. I used a broken small brown beaded necklace to make hanging loops for the other two pinecones to make half a dozen. It was a fast project!

Pinecone Wooden Beaded Ornament

I drilled a small hole in the middle of the bottom of the pinecone to fit the end bead halfway, and then glued the bead to the hole with a hot glue gun but you can use any fast drying glue. You can add ribbon and/or greenery… the options are limitless.

You can add your own favourite essential oils, a couple of drops to each pinecone to make them into Aromatherapy Pinecone Ornaments. I am using tree oils like Balsam fir, Black or white spruce to blend with the tree or Cinnamon and Orange because I love cinnamon cones!

Pinecone beaded ornament

I also used these wonderful ‘candy’ glass beads my friend gave me. I used black beads that were already strung and ran the beaded wire through them and put the colourful candy beads on. I put snowflake obsidian chips on either side to hold it so the big candy bead wouldn’t float through the small beads.

Pinecone ornaments with clear glass beads

I wanted a snowy effect for some pinecones without using glitter, because I have pets and inhaling glitter probably isn’t that healthy. I decided to try clear glass beads instead. I tried wrapping a string of clear glass beads that I had bought already on a string, around the pinecones spiralling centre. I put kid’s white glue on the end of the pinecone tips and dipped and rolled it in clear glass beads on a paper plate. Let them dry on the paper plate for at least 24 hours before touching them.

I am going to hang these from the tip at the top of the pinecone with string or ribbon, which is the easiest way to hang them.

I am going to dip these pinecones quickly in natural melted beeswax that I get from local beekeepers and buy at the maple syrup festival. The beeswax will make sure that the clear white beads stay on the pinecone and it will give the pinecones a shine and protection. I will dip all of the pinecones when I make beeswax candles soon. (I smell another blog!)

You can leave the pinecones au natural and put a couple drops of essential oils on each one or dip the pinecones in melted beeswax with added essential oils.

Either way if you add essential oils make sure you do not put them around open flames or candles because dry pinecones with an added accelerant can start a fire.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy pinecone crafting!

December 1, 2011

DIY Terrariums~ Miniature Plant Worlds

Terrariums

Terrariums are low maintenance, miniature, magical plant worlds. They are a great solution for people who want to grow plants but don’t have a lot of light, space or time. It is important to group plants together that have the same watering requirements. A really low maintenance planter consists of cactus or succulents which don’t need a lot of water.

Flowering succulent Terrarium fishbowl

Top view Terrarium

Terrarium with Unicorn close-up

Items You Will Need:

1. A clear glass/plastic container, such as a fish bowl, a vase or whatever you can find, but it needs to be colourless. It can have a lid or it can be left open like the one I made for larger plants that stick out over the top. Use a lid to put on top of the terrarium to keep in moisture when you go away for long periods of time. The planter is self watering through the process of condensation.

2. Rocks, for the bottom of the bowl. You can use river rocks, pebbles, polished decorative stones, coloured gravel or even make sand pictures with coloured sand.

3. Charcoal or sphagnum moss, to help absorb bad smells and prevent rot.

4. Soil. Use specific soil for different plant types. For instance use African violet soil for African violets, and use cactus soil for cactus and succulents. The soil should be sandy for good drainage.

5. Small plants that fit inside the vessel without touching the sides. When plants touch the sides during condensation it can lead to rot.

6. Add fun elements, like a wooden toothpick bridge, pebble path or miniature animals. Do not put in things that are going to rust. Create whatever themes or ideas you want and let your imagination run wild.

The pebble path at the back that leads to…

Jade Buddha with chunk of rose quartz

Assembling a Terrarium

Fill the container with rocks or pebbles.

Then layer the charcoal or moss and then put the soil on top.

I use chopsticks and a long-handled spoon to help to put the plants inside the glass container.

After planting make sure that the plants don’t touch the sides of the container to avoid rot.

Water each plant by measuring a shot glass of water for each plant.

Add fun elements or go au natural.

Terrariums

When you travel or are away for long periods place a lid or plate over the top of planter so that the process of condensation will keep watering the plants.

Do not over water or you will cause rot and mould to form, especially when you leave the top on.

Do not place in direct full sun, especially with the lid on.

Mist the plants occasionally to help them to get established. Water the plants about once a month or according to plant type. You can see for yourself through the clear glass if there is water in the bottom of the container. Do not over water!

Glass Terrarium

The beauty of terrariums is that they need little maintenance in the long haul and can be left for long periods of time because they are self-sustaining. I enjoy succulent terrariums which are more kid-friendly than the prickly cactus terrariums.  My favourite combo is baby hen and chick succulents, which look great with stones, and a Jade plant in the centre. I separated the baby jades from my larger Jade plant. I like to add crystals and gemstones.

Jade with baby hen and chicks

Jade and assorted succulents Top View

Jade and assorted succulents with hen and chicks

 Enjoy creating your own green magical worlds!

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