Flowers, Feathers, and Fabric

From Sasha

I have been working my butt off to get some amazing dresses for the shop, and you will all be seeing the fruits of my labors this week! Here are some of the new beauties, all hung up and waiting to have their pictures taken:


Meanwhile... while I was out shooting some new shoes for the shop, I spied this beautiful feather on the ground. What a blessing! I have been calling in feathers this summer-- I decided my dashboard shrine in the car needs more of them-- and this is one of the loveliest yet. Here she is exactly as she fell:

And taking flight. Destination: Honda.
This feather initiated a photographic odyssey, so when I was done shooting the shoes, I spent another hour taking pics of the flora and fauna by my house. I love the texture of this moss:

This is actually waaaay bigger than a dandelion seed ball. It is from a wild plant called :

The Panther ZouZou and his kingdom:

Queen Anne's Lace, the delicate yet sturdy flower which blooms by the side of every road in Nevada County:

These irises were a gift last year, and they have really added some drama to the garden!
St. John's Wort, which blooms at mid-summer, or St. John's Day. This herb is famous these days for countering depression, but in the Middle Ages it was more popularly known as a plant with a very special, protective energy. It's also fabulous in an oil infusion for aches, nerve pains, and bruising.
Borage, whose flower is said to give the heart courage. I love how that rhymes, "borage" and "courage"!
Here is the amazing flower of the Clary Sage plant. As I mentioned in a previous post, the essential oil is used for "clearing" energy (just like the name sounds, again, I love when that happens) and for balancing female hormones.
Yarrow, or Achillea Millefolium. This name has a cool story, too- the "millefolium" part refers to the flower heads, which may appear to be one solid flower from far away, but are obviously made of many tiny flowers on closer inspection. ("Mille" is the latin for thousand, as in a "Millenium"). The "achillea" refers to the legend of Achilles, who, as you might recall, was felled with an arrow through his heel (that's where we get the phrase about someone's weak spot, which we call their "achilles heel"). It was no coincidence that this heel was his downfall-- Yarrow has always been revered as a protective plant, and babies in Achilles' time were baptized in Yarrow water. However, poor Achilles was held by his heel when he was dunked in, and that one part of his body never was fully immersed! 

Sweet Pea- a common plant all over the region, even considered a weed-- but she never ceases to delight me!

Another "weed" who I love-- Mullein. Her leaves are a fabulous lung tonic, and these little yellow flowers are used in an oil for easing ear pain.

Every veggie garden needs a good arch... and a little lace, don't you think?

This is Love-In-A-Mist, or Nigella. She grows low to the ground, but she is one of the stars of the garden! Now if someone can remind me the herbal uses of her seeds, please leave me a comment, okay?

About to burst into flower, this is a weed that even I have a "thorny" relationship with (ha ha ha ha). It is so painful to have a brush with these spikes, and I thought I'd pulled all of these Thistle plants out in the spring. Well, they are tough individuals, and some of them staged a comeback. I was too busy in June to catch them, and sorta put that weed-yanking job on the bottom of my list, as it gets harder to get them out the bigger they get. But now they are about to flower, and my heart softens, because they really are beautiful. Oh, I am such a sucker!
These Thistles are relatives of the famous liver-healing Milk Thistle, and word on the Herbal Street has it that Native people's used Thistle for strong Women's Medicine. How she was used, I don't know, but she certainly is a study in Beauty with Boundaries!
As I finished the Flower Tour, I turned my camera to the homestead-- I figured I shouldn't hide the Family Flag from my blog readers any longer. This pair of oversized boxers were given to me by an employee at a cool vintage store on Melrose Avenue in L.A. as a kind of, well, love-offering (this all happened in broad daylight, thank you very much, and no, he was not wearing them at any point!). They have been a sort of lucky charm ever since, and yes, they wave proudly from our balcony. The weird thing is that they stayed out there all winter and didn't mold or tear at all. At one point they even had icicles hanging from them! Maybe they are some kind of Miracle Boxers.
Here is the Manzanita branch from which hang Headpieces From Hairdos Past (yes, including the bird. If you've never worn a bird on your head I highly recommend it!):
Here is where the Magic happens-- the shipping magic, that is! Ah yes, my beautiful tape gun...
Dare to tell me that if you had a shelf like this, you could resist putting weird creatures on it. The trolls are Chris', the Big Eyed dolls are mine, and the Misha Bear is my fathers. It was the mascot of the 1984 Olympic Games, which were held in Russia, and which the U.S. boycotted. It is also the official Soukup Family mascot of buying and selling nostalgic goods in the worldwide marketplace. If you think that is an odd mascot, I can't argue with you-- families are weird!
The corner above our music practice zone:
Thank goodness for the outdoor shelf, where the tschotskes can live when there is no more room inside!:

And finally, a score from an estate sale this summer: a Japanese bamboo owl windchime! it even came in the package from the 60s!
Hope you liked the Tour. Exit through the Gift Shop, please.