Hello Dear Fae Folk!
The end of June! The sun is beating down on us with such relentless energy – something that my northern bones relish in every way. This morning, I took my coffee and journal outside to sit and absorb as much as possible before having no choice but to go back inside. It has been a wonderful month in many ways – the sky has gifted us with so much rain that the forest is happy as can be. The streams are flowing and my tomato plants are thriving. I hope you are as well in this ever changing world. I felt compelled to share with you what has been going on this month and a few plans for summer! My world has changed a lot in the past year. Today marks our one year anniversary living in the Kjipuktuk region, the Mi’kmaw word for Halifax meaning “Great Harbour” a name that holds so much more meaning than The earl of Halifax. Here, I’ve disconnected and have been living a meaningful life filled with seeing my family, swimming in lakes and wandering forests. I do miss the island and it will forever hold a place in my heart but Faes, change can be vital. Even if it can hurt, know that in the future you will be grateful you made a plunge into the unknown.
So the month of June! Beloved June, midsummer magic, birthday month of all wonderful growing things. Jamie has started a brand new job remotely so we’ve been undergoing a lot of transition this month. I’ve been finishing up a commission, working on the garden, reading books, visiting family, making homecooked meals (attempting to use up things only from the pantry). This is my first year container gardening which has been a lot of fun. I’ll share a post later in the growing season about it but currently I’m battling white fly on my tomato plants >.< Also developing the front gardens and planning our back. Our land is polar opposite to our island land which was flat without any rocks and a mosquito Mordor. Here, it is small, very rocky, sloped and covered in invasive weeds. I can actually sit outside without dousing myself in bug repellent! The challenge is exciting and I’ll be happy to share some progress as well, progress happens. Everything seems to happen inch by inch in my world. If I can manage to conquer the white flies on my tomatoes, i’ll share more this summer 🙂
Last year, I purchased a book about dyeing textiles using plants from Nova Scotia. One of the plants that stuck out to me was Coltsfoot or Tussilago farfara, because I noticed it growing all along the railway. It grows in forgotten open places like the side of the highway, in cracks along the pavement and lining the railway. It’s an interesting plant that flowers first in the spring and then puts out its leaves. The leaves are supposed to produce an olive green dye. Last year I wanted to attempt to use the bountiful wallflower plant but waited for this summer. It came and I collected a bag full of coltsfoot leaves from the area where I beachcomb. Spotting other interesting plants wile down there like milkweed (and even a monarch on the plant) as well as white flower comfrey not to mention the regulars like wild roses and blackberry. Simmering the coltsfoot at home, I’m always daydreaming about colour extracted from plants. My iron mordant right now (that is iron soaked in vinegar to create a chemical solvent that will naturally adhere the dye to the textile) is an old railway tie sitting in a water vinegar mix. I don’t know why but I always go overboard with the mordant >.< and so what I thought would be an army green, turned out to be a stormy dark grey sky. I still like the end result and will try to not use as much next time! I also collected some copper while beachcombing to make a copper mordant – that will be interesting and i’ll share with you guys whatever may be the end result!
I want to thank you all for the supportive words on my last post as well as all the love shown to our handmade soap! We sold out quite quickly which really surprised and delighted me, I guess my mom and I will be busy making more soap while we visit! Unfortunately for me, I really screwed up the shipping – it’s SO expensive so moving forward with soap in the shop, I’ll only be able to offer 3-4 bars an order so that the shipping makes sense. I really wish I could do something about shipping costs. At times, I wonder if I should even keep the shop running due to how high costs currently are but I love running a small shop so will just have to raise the prices for shipping. The cost will be roughly 15- 20 dollars which I know is a lot, but it is the price at the post office currently with rising prices. Thank you for understanding <3
Last weekend, we spent time in rural NS and I brought home with me the last batch of soap my mom and I made together. The weekend was wonderful, full of seeing family, walking in the fog and admiring all the wildflowers Nova Scotia has to offer this time of year. Wild rhododendron, lupins, paintbrushes, daisies, clover, sheep laurel… all in forgotten places providing so much joy for us as well as insects 🙂 Jamie and I hop in the car and drive around one of the most rural counties of Nova Scotia, turning down any dirt road we can, looking for off the beaten path beaches, sea glass hunting and generally day dreaming. I love doing this, listening to music and forgetting about much of anything. The song I included for you here is a black sabbath cover that I adore, it often accompanies us on these drives (might come as a surprise that I love, love Black Sabbath while simultaneously loving Gregorian chants and traditional Celtic/Acadian music among SO MUCH ELSE! <3 ).
Well, it is the end of the month, I hope so much you’ve had a nice June wherever you may be. I’ll be checking back in with a shop update next week and over the course of the summer, we will finally have many (the most we’ve ever had) handknit sweaters<3 Blessings friends, tread lightly and be curious.