Overcast, although the clouds should mostly go away by lunchtime. 57F, winds are calm, AQI31, UV8. 10% chance of rain today and 20% tonight. Other than on Thursday, where there’s a chance of some rain, the 10-day forecast is dry and gradually more sun than cloud.
When I was awake I alternated reading and sewing. I’m whomping my way through the edge stitching on a UFO (un-finished-object) from back in the mid-90’s. I’m hoping to get the ethnic doll that I’ve been working on pulled out, so I can get the petticoat done.
Tempus took off for the paper route at 1:50. I’m going back to bed as soon as this is done. I wonder whether I’ll sleep some more? ….but in any case, the shop will be open at 1pm and at least until 5. I think Tempus said something about someone who is coming back around 7pm, so we’ll probably be open at least until them.
Today’s Feast is for William II Rufus, the 2nd Norman king of England, who may, in the tradition of sacrificial kingship (if it existed) have been shot and killed on this day. Well… he died, anyway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rufus He was hated, to put it mildly, and his body was left where it fell, after he had been shot by one of his own hunting party, which included his brother. The Rufus Stone (same article) has this wording, “Here stood the oak tree, on which an arrow shot by Sir Walter Tyrrell at a stag, glanced and struck King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, on the breast, of which he instantly died, on the second day of August, anno 1100. King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, being slain, as before related, was laid in a cart, belonging to one Purkis to take the king’s body to Winchester Cathedral on his cart, and drawn from hence, to Winchester, and buried in the Cathedral Church, of that city.”
Today’s plant is Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, (not watercress, which is true nasturtium). It’s certainly not native to the PNW, but grows well here. I love the brilliant oranges and yellows of the flowers. They’re yummy, too, with a slightly peppery taste, both leaf and flower and the seeds serve as a substitute for capers in pickles.The flowers stand for Victory in Battle; Patriotism and Affectation. They are little used in magicks other than as symbols and foods for Ostara and Beltane celebrations because of their association with the Sun. They also can be used as a symbol for sacrifice to the larger good of soldiers, firemen and police, but are usually only seen at funerals in this context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropaeolum_majus
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 8/3 at 8:59am. Full Moon – The day of, the day before, and day after the true Full Moon. “And better it be when the moon is full!”! Prime time for rituals for prophecy, for spells to come to fruition, infusing health and wholeness, etc. A good time for invoking deity. FRUITION Manifesting goals, nurturing, passion, healing, strength, power. Workings on this day are for protection, divination. “extra power”, job hunting, healing serious conditions Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. God/dess Aspect: Mother/Abundance/Kingship – – Associated God/desses: Danu, Cerridwen, Gaia, Aphrodite, Isis, Jupiter, Amon-Ra. Phase ends on 8/4 at 8:59pm.
We’ve now entered the tail end of the Alpha Capricornid and Delta Aquiariid meteor showers, both of which peaked overnight July 28/29. However, you might still spot sporadic shower meteors over the next few days, particularly in the early morning hours between moonset and sunrise.
Another nighttime sight that’s winding down is Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). The comet is about 50° high at sunset, although you’ll likely need to wait for the sky to darken before you can find it. It’s currently in the west-southwest, sailing through the constellation Coma Berenices. Observers report the comet is now magnitude 4, meaning it’s barely visible to the naked eye under good conditions. NEOWISE’s fuzzy coma and tail require binoculars or a small scope to really pick out, while stacked or long-exposure images will offer the best views.
The bright Moon at dusk forms a gently curving line with Saturn and Jupiter to its upper right, as shown above. Later in the evening the line shines higher and turns more level. It’s exactly level around 12:30 a.m. daylight saving time, depending on how far east or west you are in your time zone. The Moon continues its journey through Sagittarius this morning, passing 1.1° south of Pluto at 2 A.M. EDT and 2° south of Saturn at 9 A.M. EDT.
Magnitude –1 Mercury passes 7° south of Pollux at 2 A.M. EDT, although the pair won’t be visible for a few hours after that. An hour before sunrise, they’re both above the horizon: Mercury is just 2.5° high in the east-northeast, rising as the sky brightens. The planet appears just 6″ wide. Gold-hued Pollux is to Mercury’s north, with blue-white Castor to Pollux’s northwest. This is one of your last chances to catch Mercury before it sinks too low at dawn. It will reappear in the evening sky later this month, after reaching superior conjunction August 17.
Much easier to view will be magnitude –4.5 Venus, nearly 25° high in Taurus an hour before sunrise. The planet is 44 percent lit and spans 27″; you’ll find it less than 2° southeast of magnitude 3 Alheka and just over 15° east of magnitude 0.9 Aldebaran. And once you find the latter star, look about 14° directly above it to spot the Pleiades.
Venus (magnitude –4.5, moving from eastern Taurus into the top of Orion’s Club) rises in deep darkness more than 1½ hours before the very beginning of dawn. As dawn gets under way, Venus blazes brightly in the east. To its right or lower right is Orion. The brightest star high upper left of Venus is Capella. In a telescope Venus is a very thick crescent, shrinking this week from 28 to 25 arcseconds tall while waxing from 42% to 47% sunlit — just short of dichotomy.
Old Farmer’s Almanac July Sky Map – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-july-summer-triangle
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh)
Celtic Tree Month of Coll/Hazel, Aug 5 – Sep 1
Runic half-month of Thurisaz/ Thorn/Thunor, 7/29-8/12 – Northern Tradition honors the god known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thunor and to the Norse as Thor. The time of Thorn is one of ascendant powers and orderliness. This day also honors the sainted Norwegian king, Olaf, slain around Lammas Day. Its traditional calendar symbol is an axe.
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Tinne/Holly, Jul 8 – Aug 4, Tinne (CHIN-yuh), holly – The holly (Ilex aquifolium L.) is a shrub growing to 10 m (35 feet) in open woodlands and along clearings in forests. Hollies are evergreen, and stand out in winter among the bare branches of the deciduous forest trees that surround them. Hollies form red berries before Samhain which last until the birds finish eating them, often after Imbolc. The typical “holly leaf” is found on smaller plants, but toward the tops of taller plants the leaves have fewer spiny teeth. Hollies are members of the Holly family (Aquifoliaceae). The common holly is often cultivated in North America, as are hybrids between it and Asiatic holly species.
Graves (1966) and others are of the opinion that the original tinne was not the holly, but rather the holm oak, or holly oak (Quercus ilex L.). This is an evergreen oak of southern Europe that grows as a shrub, or as a tree to 25 m (80 feet). Like the holly, the holm oak has spiny-edged leaves on young growth. It does not have red berries, but it does have red leaf “galls” caused by the kermes scale insect; these are the source of natural scarlet dye. Holm oaks are occasionally cultivated in North America.
Su 2 Low 6:42 AM -1.3 6:05 AM Set 4:46 AM 96
~ 2 High 1:17 PM 6.3 8:39 PM Rise 8:35 PM
~ 2 Low 6:32 PM 2.5
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Be grateful for people who make us happy; they are charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Real excellence and humility are not incompatible one with the other, on the contrary they are twin sisters. – Jean Baptiste Lacordaire
~ Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. ~Ursula LeGuin
~ I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. – Malcolm X
~ Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind the stronger the trees. – Williard Marriott
Where-e’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade,
Where-e’er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes. – Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
Take advantage of the season’s beautiful plant life to enjoy a fun time with the young ones: Have the kids collect flowers, press the blooms, and turn them into lovely, lasting crafts. They are sure to learn something from each step in the process, including naming the flowers, collecting them, pressing the blooms until they are thin and delicate, and turning them into decorative creations.
Step 1: Gather flowers – Spend time outdoors with the kids talking about your favorite flowers and theirs. Point out the different types in the garden and discuss why plants have flowers. Work side-by-side to collect a good assortment, snipping the stems near where they meet the blooms.
Remind your grandkids to look for other pieces of nature that catch their eye, too – not just fancy flowers. “I love using weeds, leaves, bushes, seedpods. It doesn’t have to be a flower,” explains Tricia Paoluccio, a crafter in New York City, who sells pressed-flower greeting cards on etsy.com, a website that allows users to buy and sell handmade items. Paoluccio says that she finds many pretty wildflowers and weeds on the side of the highway, in addition to her own garden. “Or, if you don’t have a garden, pieces taken from florist bouquets work as well,” adds fellow Etsy-vendor Sherry Bloom.
Both crafters agree that some flowers work better than others: “Any kind of daisies, pansies, and violas press well, along with other purple flowers. But white petals tend to turn brown and don’t look as good over time,” says Paoluccio. Timing is also important. “Cut your flowers early in the day,” Bloom suggests. “That’s when they look the freshest and have the best color. Make sure the flower petals are completely dry — that means no raindrops or early morning dew. Any moisture on the petals will cause them to turn brown during the pressing process.”
For faster pressing and drying, choose delicate flowers and stems. Heartier varieties take much longer to dry and often don’t turn out as nicely.
How To Press Flowers – Purples, fuchsias, and lilacs: Here’s how to preserve the rich colors of your favorite flowers by Lisa Freedman
This article is the second in a three-part series on collecting flowers, pressing them, and making dried-flower crafts.
A simple method of pressing flowers is to lay the petals between two sheets of scrap paper (tissue paper and coffee filters also work well) and place them in the middle of a thick phone book, then place something heavy atop the book to help press the water from the petals. “This will ruin your phonebook,” warns Tricia Paoluccio, a New York City flower-crafter who sells pressed-flower greeting cards on etsy.com. The flowers usually take a little over a week to dry completely.
Serious flower-pressers use a press that you can purchase from websites like flower-press.com or make one from a few simple materials. “A press is just two slabs of three-quarter-inch wood sandwiched around repeating layers of cardboard, paper, flowers, paper more cardboard and so on,” explains Paoluccio. The layers are held tightly together by a four-inch screw that’s fastened with bolts on each corner.
If you choose this type of press, Paoluccio suggests a shortcut method: “After the first day, open your press and microwave the cardboard for one minute to dry the sheets.” Repeat this every day and the flowers will dry faster, finishing in about four or five days.
This article is the third in a three-part series on collecting flowers, pressing them, and making dried-flower crafts.
Step 3: Make dried-flower crafts – You and the kids should know that dried flowers are very fragile, but if you handle them with care, there are many projects you can decorate with them.
Cut a sheet of paper to the size you want your card to be, instructs Tricia Paoluccio, a New York City crafter who sells pressed-flower greeting cards on etsy.com. Paint the paper so that the background enhances the bright colors of the flowers — pale pinks and yellows work best. Put the flowers upside-down on a sheet of newspaper and gently paint them with rubber cement, starting from the center of the flower working your way out. It doesn’t take a lot of glue, just enough to cover each petal. “Next, take your finger and softly touch the center of the flower — not the petals because that will break it — this will lift the flower onto your finger so you can work with it.” Affix the flower to the card. Paoluccio suggests layering the flowers and letting some petal edges hang off the perimeter of the paper. After you arrange each flower, place a piece of waxed paper on top and smooth the flower down. Remove the paper and repeat until you’re satisfied with the design. When the glue is dry, cut the flower parts that extend off the paper and rub your finger over the excess glue to remove it.
To enhance the look of a plain candle, simply glue on a few pressed flowers. Apply rubber cement to the flowers — the way you would to make a greeting card. Then affix the flowers to the candle. Securely press the edges of the flowers to the curves of the candle to avoid their lifting off over time. Then (you should do this part) light a tea-light candle; when it melts down, dip a paintbrush into the melted wax and paint over the pressed flower to act as an additional form of glue.
Make simple jewelry
“This project is very simple and great for young children,” Sherry Bloom, a crafter and vendor on etsy.com, says. Cut two pieces of packing tape, making sure they’re bigger than the flower you wish to use. Gently place a flower in the middle of one of the pieces of tape. Sandwich it inside by laying the other piece of tape smoothly on top. Trim the excess tape and cut a circle, heart, star or any other shape you desire. “Attach a pretty cord, ribbon, or yarn to turn it into a charm and make it a bracelet or necklace,” Bloom suggests.
- Personalize a jewelry box
- Make a bookmark
- Decorate a photo album or journal
- Make a sun catcher
- Frame pressed flowers as their own work of art
- Make decorative soap the same way you made decorative candles