Archive for October, 2013

2013, October 28

My relationship to destruction

True explicitness comes along sparingly in my blog posts.

After reading a friend’s blog, her thought on everything in her life being there for a reason, otherwise she’d be smart and destroy it (which she found not true), got me thinking. There are some things I could/need to destroy in order to stop feeling stuck.

And how do I feel about destroying what must be destroyed in my life? Quite comfortable with them, actually, or I’d be facing some changes I’m not convinced I’m ready for.

  • Some physical clutter around me
  • Impatience
  • Being upset for small things, usually out of my control
  • My ability to procrastinate
  • The fear of asking for what I want

 

Mirror street

It’s interesting how life works sometimes.

Without realizing it to be said action, I’ve recently destroyed one of my major issues when, biting back my fear asked if I could go back to my old job, in a new location. The boss was surprisingly nice when I brought it up and let me know she was thinking of bringing another person to the shop I asked about. Perfect timing.

The whole shift needs some time to adapt, but being closer to the work place, the much better schedule, the small shop and its not being in a mall, liking what I do and the welcoming colleagues – are all making it a pleasant experience and easy enough transition!

Plus, I get to say “I work on Mirror Street”. What an awesome sentence to use! ;)

 

What is your relationship to destruction? How do you guys feel about destroying what must be destroyed in your life?

 

*Blog post inspired by my dear friend Trisha’s list, whose blog post was in turn was inspired by Danielle LaPorte and her post on Your relationship to destruction, Goddess Kali, and Fridays with desire.

2013, October 25

The Closet of Dreams – by Estrella Azul, featured over at ArtiPeeps

When Nicky from ArtiPeeps contacted me about a feature article, I was thrilled. I’ve been reading the website for quite some time now and have discovered many great artists thanks to it. It’s humbling to point towards the website today, and say: I’m featured there! *blush*

“In the past, people have described me as pensive. As proof of that, and of how my mind works, after the click is a little slice of life flash fiction piece which came to life as I was thinking of writers, of bloggers and their blogs, and of how short-lived some blogs are or how quickly they disappear without a trace leaving us wondering what might have happened to their owners.”

Hope you enjoy “The Closet of Dreams” over on ArtiPeeps today!

2013, October 21

Recipe of the Month: Eglantine Jam for 87 cents/jar

I love homemade. Especially because I found that in 90% of the time, the quality and taste of many store-bought bottled and canned items pales in comparison to the real deal. Plus, homemade tends to be a huge money saver as well!

Such as the below recipe for Eglantine Jam (Rosehip Jam), which resulted in 18 jars (of 200 ml), and after some number crunching, was broken down to 87 cents/jar. (The cost would’ve been even less if I’d been able to gather the rosehip myself.)

Just for fun, I did a quick Google search. I learned that Rosehips are very rich in vitamin C (one-half pound of rosehips contains as much as is found in two pounds of lemons), they have more antioxidants than blueberries and contain a lot of iron as well. 

As far as prices go, it’s sold for around 5-6 Euros in France, and for around 7 Dollars in Italy and the US. It was mind boggling for me, but it really is that expensive! I asked my friend Bellanda, who lives in Paris, to check that fact for me and she confirmed.

With those numbers in mind, let’s see how one can make their own! ;)

 

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Confiture d’Eglantine

8 liters Rosehip paste
4 kg sugar
A large saucepan
Canning jars and lids

Bring the Rosehip purée to a boil for about two hours, then add the sugar one kg at a time. Cook this mixture for 30 minutes, stirring constantly, then ease up and cook it for three-four hours more stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Put the jam in jars and seal them. I turned the jars upside down while warm, so they seal better and no air gets in.

The consistency of the jam depends on how long you cook it, and will also vary from year to year; some years it comes out firmer than others.

Some variations include adding in grated apples, diced oranges and lemon zest when cooking. (I’ll have to give that a try next year!)

This jam has a sweet, unique flavor and is perfect on morning toast, or as a dip with apples wedges (credit for the latter to my friend Trisha, who discovered they’re a great combo) :)

Bon appétit!

2013, October 14

My Seven Horcruxes

S7005487-1 If you are someone who has read Harry Potter, you’ll know that a horcrux is something one puts a part of their soul into so that one can never completely die. Voldemort managed to split his soul into 7 pieces.

During a conversation recently, a friend asked: “If you could pick any 7 things in the entire world to make your own horcruxes, what would they be?”

She listed her items, and I replied with my own list:

  1. A pair of cherished earrings (you won’t guess which of the two)
  2. My paperback copy of “The Best of Friday Flash – Volume One” which features one of my flash fiction pieces
  3. Some memento of my travels, like a magnet or something
  4. My laptop
  5. A love letter
  6. Something I’ve crafted
  7. and My silver necklace

I thought that was that for the interaction.

However!

Ever since, I’ve been thinking about horcruxes and what they might mean to different people. Because you know something? I believe we all have horcruxes in real life.

There are so many people who are depressed, sad and inconsolable. It’s serious, and at the root of it can be the feeling that they’ve lost the things they care about – which I’d phrase as: their horcruxes have been lost or destroyed.

We do things with lots of energy and interest, with love. We put our character, ourselves, our heart and souls into many things, most of all into the things and people around us. Into what we love most. When we are 100% dedicated and passionate about something, people will remember it for ages.

So my question would be: “What are your 7 horcruxes?” What are the things you’ve already put your soul into?

Mine are, in bullet-list form because they’re hard to divide into seven separate things:

  • Everything I’m writing and most of what I’m reading
  • Anything I’m crafting
  • Loved ones (family, friends, pets)
  • Flowers and Items I cherish because of the memories they prompt
  • Hope, Trust and Dreams

How about You?

2013, October 7

How to prolong the life of your cut flowers

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One of the very first things I’ve learned when I started working at a flower shop (by now, so many years ago) is that cut flowers’ lives can be prolonged.

There are small packets of flower-food people can purchase and add them to the water when placing flowers in vases, or I’ve heard crushed Aspirin, tiny spoonfuls of sugar or a droplet of bleach also help. I’m not really a fan of these however.

In my experience the most effective thing one can do is wash the vases well, change the water in them every single day, cut the stems diagonally, and a little bit more each day when changing the water.
This is why flower arrangements in floral foam (which aren’t tall) last for such a long time.

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What about when flowers in a bouquet start fading at different rates? Simple: rearrange. :)

First off, take the flowers which appear less affected and cut the stems to half, then place them in a smaller vase and treat them as before the bouquet was pulled apart.

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Second, take the more affected flowers (or when you notice fading again) and do the same exact thing. A “baby” vase looks just as pretty as a vase with tall flowers in it!

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Third, one of my favorites, floating flower heads:
What I found is that when flowers such as Gerberas, Lilies and Daisies for example are fading, you can prolong their life if the stem is cut even shorter than short.
You should cut the stem as close to the flower head as possible and arrange them so as to make a bowl of floating flower heads.
I have two champagne glasses (the old, wide type ones from my grandmother’s) which are lonesome, their sets broken years ago. I add water and place my flower’s heads in those. Or in round bowls – glass, clay, whatever you have on hand works.
The end result looks really pretty when your arrangement is placed on a table as a center piece or where ever you have a place for them, and your flowers will live so much longer than they would in a simple vase.

page bowl and glasses of flowers

 

Do You have any tips that have worked for you and prolonged the life of your cut flowers?

2013, October 3

Time at the Top

Today over at Friday Flash Dot Org, I talk about Edward Ormondroyd’s “Time at the top” and the movie adaptation by the same name easily being two of my favorites, in this month’s From Scene to Screen feature.

If this helps make up your mind, I also share a picture of my copy of the book below my Ramsing of my favorite number, won in a giveaway from Rukmini’s place. Just perfect together!

time at the top - with a little luck

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