Gardening

Garden Journal :: Late Summer Bouquets

Zinnias for happiness, Dahlias for beauty & mystery, Goldenrod to bring inside the brightness or the sun and blue sage foliage for grounding & protection.

Call it a bouquet or a sculpture made of flowers, anytime one makes art there is the possibility to infuse life with meaning 💐🌻🌼

For drying, for salads, for indoor decoration 🌿🌼 these are just some of the gifts for the garden in the magical time when summer transforms into fall.

And speaking of fall which is quickly approaching, these past few days I have been spending time each morning harvest & processing. I am drying herbs, making tomatoe sauce, and medicinals jams – trying my best to save and savor the abundance.

These hours in the morning become my own little rituals. A way to connect with the place where I live and be in the now moment, while simultaneously preparing for colder months ahead when flowers and fruit will be scarce.

Vara de Oro – Golden Rod flowers
Gardening

Weaving with Willow 🌿

Basket making is a future goal though during the herb-drying season, woven trays are super useful! I really have to thank this instagram and tumblr for filling my feed with endless inspiration for artistic and useful projects using materials made directly from nature. It is a funny thing, that social media reminded me of something so ancestral: making use and making useful things with the resources that grow naturally around us. 🌳

Online you can find all kinds of tutorials for making baskets but I always go with this wild weave – this one is new and needs to dry but the ones I made last summer are holding up just fine. All you need is lots of fresh willow and time.

Crafts

A Pile of Clothes to be Mended

These purple shorts are probably my most worn item of clothing and have accompanied me during my years of traveling.

Recently they acquired a rip and needed to be fixed so, in this post I am going to go through step by step how to mend any kind of small tear using these shorts as an example::

✂️First, trim off any loose threads and turn the shorts (or whatever item of clothing you will be mending) inside out. Then cut out a patch from scrap materials you have already, in this example I used a piece of recycled jeans because I have so much of it.

✂️Personally I am a fan of visible mending and I tend to use thread and patches of different colors. But, if you don’t want to mend to be noticeable, pick a patch and thread that is similar in color to the clothing you will be fixing up.

✂️Secure the patch with pins and then sew (by hand) around the patch at least twice. You can use whichever stitch you know and be sure to tie knots to secure the fabric around each corner.

✂️Then, flip the shorts right side once again and do a final set of sewing around the rip(s) to be sure that they won’t unwind any further.

✂️And there, the rip is secured and these shorts will serve many years longer! By mending clothing we are making it possible to re-use and up-cycle the clothing we already have. And by doing so we are keeping unnecessary items out of the landfill. Donating torn clothing isn’t a guarantee that it will be re-furbished, so the best way to be sure is to mend yourself. This is something I am very passionate about and for that reason I started making mending kits which I sell on my Etsy page::

Crafts

Magical Days

When big changes occur it is easy to forget about our daily routines and the little things that make us happy.

Getting back into my routines means getting back into my magical practices: harvesting herbs, making herb sachets and  getting acquainted with my newest tools.

Handmade herbal bouquets to bring tranquility and self-love, made with plants growing in our garden.
Floral resin runes – a solstice gift to myself. I am excited to explore these ancestral symbols and have already recieved some insightful messages.

On my other blog Libra Herbolgía I share much more on the subject of botanical magic both in English las Español – check it out if that is your thing.

What activities are part of your magical practice? Let me know in the comments!

Crafts

Snail Mail and my DIY publications

This project – Libra Gardener – is more than a blog, there is also a print publication (aka zine) associated with the work I publish online. Well, I say associated but really each zine dives deeply into subjects mentioned here, with color photos, handwritten tidbits and expanded articles on all the subjects I most.love like herbalism, pollinators, and magic!

On my Etsy page you can find a variety of offerings: there are individual zines for sale as well as a combo-pack with all four instalments of this zine published in 2021.

Each zine is designed, printed, and hardbound by me and mailed out either from my homebases in Argentina or California, depending on the time of year.

So, with that said I cannot guarantee super fast shipping but I can ensure that you will receive a heart felt publication meant to inspire, and printed on ecological paper 😉

Thank you all so much for your support, views, comments and however it is that you participate in this garden-zine-project!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LibraGardener

Crafts

Herbal Crafts :: spell bottles

I am all about drinking tea and eating veggies from the garden but, I also like to make art and magic with the harvest. Herbal bottles or bottle spells are a staple in the world of green magick, they are easy to make and very cute. In this article I am going to walk your through a simple floral bottle and some magical meanings of common flowers and herbs.

bottle one

The first step is collecting and processing your herbs and flowers. These bottles are not for consumption so you can use any herb or flower that feels right to you. Depending on the goal of your bottle spell you will use different herb / flower combinations. In this example I used rose & calendula petals and whole yarrow flowers to attract self-love and friendship.

To determine the meaning of each flower I used the book “the Green Witch” by Arin Murphy-Hisock and inspiration from one of my favorite podcasts called Herb Oracle which goes in depth into the medicinal and emotional meanings of one herb each week- I highly recommend it!

As well as the classical magical meanings of each herb, I also incorporate my own intuition and associations with each herb or flower.

magical books

All of the flowers were grown in my garden or collected in the fields of the farm were I live. This place was once a perfumery so there are a lot of roses growing all around. I personally prefer to use herbs I grow or collect myself but, you can certainly use herbs or flowers you bought or collected from a special place. Just make sure the material is thoroughly dried before inserting into the bottle.

Spell bottle combinations:

Protection bottle : yarrow, vervain, rosemary, and cedar or pine.

Friendship bottle : calendula flowers pink or white roses, zinnia flowers, sunflower petals and orange peel.

Self love bottle : vervain, lavender, pink or red roses, yarrow, lemon or orange peel.

These are combinations I came up with based on the spiritual meanings for the plants. I also only included herbs that I have access to. Think of these as suggestions or guidelines and feel free to replace or alter the ingredients based on your intention and what herbs and flowers you have access too. For this craft I like to use a very small bottle or tiny jar, so not much herbal material is needed. It is more important the quality and care you put into collecting and processing the materials for this jar than having large quantities or diversity of herbs.

Making your bottle:

Now that you have all the materials and the herby contents are totally dry, we can discuss when you will construct this bottle spell. Depending on the goal of your spell you will want to choose a specific day to do the spell. For example, if your bottle is about love, beauty or self-love you should work on Friday – Venus or Aphrodite’s day. A bottle for friendship or communication should be made on Wednesday – Mercury’s day. But, you can be flexible and creative with this for example if you want to do a self-love spell to help connect with and accept your emotional self, Monday or Moon’s day would be good too. If you want to make a bottle to encourage you to achieve your fullest protection, SunDay would also work.

bottle two

Next, write out the ingredients and/or your intentions on a beautiful piece of paper. In this example I made a spell bottle for my sister and only wrote the meaning of each ingredient, on the back she can write her personal intentions when she receives the bottle in a couple of weeks – she lives in California so I mailed her bottle from where I live in Argentina.

all the bottles

That day – last Friday – I made several bottles for my sister, a friend, my partner and myself so each person will do as they wish with their bottle and consecrate them in the manner of their choice. Even though I have no control over what day they will receive the bottle or how they are to use them. I made the bottles with love & care and that energy will surely aid whatever magic they are working in their lives

E-journal

Analog Log

Over and over I am getting the same message – to lessen my time spent online, and separate my creative life from my cellphone.

Instead of aimlessly scrolling, I am setting a goal of doing more in the real world and keep going with this blog as a log of some of these real life activities.

It probably sounds paradoxacal but, I am trying to find a balance between sharing and keeping my life totally private. I’m working on a middle ground between living the reclusive homestead life up here in the mountains and also feed my need for connection with the world wide web.

Still, I am not exactly sure how this will look, but I have a few ideas of how to replace time in previously spent scrolling on instagram…

 More time reading books and writing letters (with my phone off and far away).

 More time working on the projects that really matter to me, my fam, and my community – like fixing up our garden and collecting around the farm.

 More time finding simple solutions to ecological problems.

 More time re-wilding, in nature with ones I love, and getting back to roots.

 And finally, less time lost on social media means more time dedicated to making beautiful things, creating art to share here and now as well as here on this blog.

So, I will be plotting my next post out on paper. You know, living the analog life!