Category Archives: Holidays and Celebrations

How to make a Winter Solstice Lantern

In preparation for our first time celebrating Martinmas, we’re hosting a Winter Solstice Lantern Making Party.  This is the best resource I’ve seen on the topic.

And now, for my first tutorial!

How to make a Winter Solstice Lantern.


* Clear glass jars

* Tissue paper – various colors

* Scissors

* Flat paintbrush

* White glue or gel medium

* Plastic bowl (to mix glue solution)

* Tea Candles

* Wire

* Wire cutters/ pliers

* Optional: Ribbon & Hot Glue gun

1. Collect and flatten leaves.

1a. If using glue, gently mix 1 part glue to 2 1/2 parts water. gel medium can be used straight.

2. Cut or rip pieces of tissue paper in colors of your choice.

3. Brush your medium onto the jar.

4. Stick pieces of tissue on the medium and then brush a little more on top of them.

5. Add a leaf or any other special something you’d like to be on your lantern.

6. To help keep the leaf secure, add white pieces of tissue over it and brush with medium.

(You can use strips too!)

7. For the handle, wrap some wire around the lip of the jar. Cut a second piece of wire to connect to the piece around the lip in an upside U. Twist the wire to secure. Tuck in all ends.

8. Using the hot glue gun, fold a wide piece of ribbon in half around the wire handle and glue the edges shut.

9. Secure the wire around the lip of the jar (and cover the edges from the handle) with more hot glue and a piece of ribbon wrapped all the way around.

10. Once dry, put a tea candle inside.

Please let me know if any parts need further clarification.

Enjoy your beautiful lanterns!


Migrate & Dally

Migration opened last Friday. Here are a few shots  haphazardly taken during the reception. (I’m still mourning the loss of my DSLR, and making due with this point and shoot camera.)

We stopped by the Dally in the Alley on Saturday, which is always a fun end of summer event. This was Felix’ first Dally. He loved the music!

Dally History
What began as an inner city art fair in 1977 evolved into a performing arts festival when it was moved to its present alley and renamed in 1982 to “DALLY IN THE ALLEY”, the title of a medieval drinking song. Great musical talent, good beer and a remarkable string of fabulous September weather has indelibly marked the alley at Second and Forest in Detroit ’s Cass Corridor as the site of the best music festival in the Midwest .(more history on the Alley)

(poster designed by Mark Arminski.)

Michigan State Fair

This weekend we took Felix to the annual Michigan State Fair.

The Nation’s Oldest State Fair was officially first held in 1849, only twelve years after Michigan attained statehood. At the onset it was customary, in fact, for the fair to be held one year in one city, the next year in another, and there was always a hot contest to be the city selected. The Michigan State Fair settled down at the present fairgrounds in 1905. (

We were sad to find out that this will be the last year for the fair.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, faced with a $1.8 billion budget deficit, has proposed cutting all funding after Sept. 30. Eviction notices have been sent to tenants at the 164-acre site. (Mlive)

In any case, we had a great time walking around, there was just so much to see. Here are some favorite shots from the day.

Running through the maze.

He was very interested in the chicks!

Loved these feathers, hated these cages.

classic fair fare.

Blueberry break.

Sending off Anne

This weekend we attended a farewell party for our dear friend Anne. She’s off to grad school at RISD.  As much as she’ll be missed, I’m so excited for the opportunities that await her.

What a cool, misty night. Felix and I warmed by the glow of the fire.

The party was in a great big yard, beautiful lit. Full of delicious potluck plates and a bunch of good people.

I made Anne this tote to take with her. We stocked it with a moleskine, some film, a pencil (in the pencil pocket) and a Hand Made Detroit pin.

Ginger’s Blessingway

I was so fortunate to be able to attend Ginger’s Blessingway recently. We gathered to honor her as she prepares to have her second child.

Sharing our blessings and beads.

Binding of the wrists – The woman running the ritual brings a real of wool or fine thread. This is bound around each woman’s left wrist by the woman who sits to the left of her, as each woman binds the thread on the other woman’s wrist she says ‘ from women we were born into this circle, from women we were born unto this earth’.

This ritual is symbolic of the thread that connects us all as women. It also keeps each women tuned into the birthing mother as she leads up to her time. When she goes into labour, all women in her circle are contacted through the phone tree and each woman breaks the thread and sends a blessing for an easy birth. This circle of women can then be contacted once the baby is born and be invited to support the mother in practical way that allow a new mother to relax and bond with her baby, which is her priority right now.  (Empowering Birth Services)

Sara applying Ginger’s Henna design which was inspired by a dream she had. It’s a willow tree and a wave. (henna tradition)

Glowing Ginger.

Though I haven’t known Ginger for very long I admire her for many reasons, among them her strength. Many blessings to you, Ginger!

family ball

This weekend was my annual family reunion. I always look forward to catching up with everyone- and it’s always amazing to see how much the kids grow each year. At last year’s reunion Felix was a newborn in the middle of a growth spurt which meant we spent the entire day in the rocker nursing. It was pretty fun to see him running around and playing this year.

Traditionally, my family plays a game of baseball (and horseshoes) at the reunions. This was Felix’ first baseball encounter, and he seemed to like it.

Summer has finally warmed up.

A Blessingway for Rachael

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of hosting a Blessingway (or Motherblessing) for my friend Rachael.

Blessingway ceremonies create a sacred and safe environment where a mother-to-be can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches birthing and mothering. Surrounded by the most important women in her life, she gains a sense of power, confidence, and support that will help her rise to motherhood.

Birth is a key life passage for women. But modern culture has become preoccupied with the arrival of the baby-to-be and has lost touch with birth’s profound impact on the expectant mother. While our most common birth preparations focus on getting women physically ready to give birth, the blessingway ceremony helps a woman to prepare mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for the work of birthing, and it opens her to her instinctive abilities, which will guide her as she steps into the role of mother.( Blessingway Book)

As henna is being incorporated into modern culture, new traditions are being created. One new way women are using henna is to decorate the belly during pregnancy. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the body’s physical changes during pregnancy and embrace this special time. Baby showers, blessingways and henna parties can be combined into a day of pampering and relaxation for the new expectant mom, her friends, and family. (The Birthingway)

Beautiful Rachael.

She chose to have a Birch tree for her belly henna because “it is the tree of birth and beginnings”.

It is tradition for the women who attend to bring a blessing and a bead for the woman being blessed. Rachael always refers to her baby as chickpea, so I sculpted her a chickpea bead out of polymer clay.

The beads are strung as a necklace and can be worn during labor.

I wrote Rachael a Haiku because traditionally they are focused on nature and human’s place in it, a season, as well as contrast and compare implicitly two events, images or situations. (Wikipedia.) (Photo Haiku inspired by A Foothill home Companion.)

Rachel gifted us candles that we will light individually while she is in labor.

Sharing our blessings and beads for Rachael.

It was truly an honor to be surrounded by these wonderful women, their warm energy and wisdom. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening.

Many Blessings on your way into Motherhood, Rachael!