New Adventures in Alchemy

Well, I haven’t unearthed the secret chemistry to convert base metals into gold…….

HOWEVER…….

I am totally enjoying my newest endeavor……….

Electroforming!

judystreehouse

“Electroforming is a metal forming process that forms parts through electrodeposition on a model, known in the industry as a mandrel. … The mandrel is most often separated intact or dissolved away after forming, but occasionally (as in the case in decorative electroforming) left in place.”   As so defined by Wikipedia

Don’t know how I stumbled across this cool process but glad I did.    The internet is an amazing source of creative catalysts.     While searching for something not even remotely associated with electroforming, or so I thought, a YouTube video caught my eye.   Then one thing led to another and before I knew it I had purchased all of these gadgets and chemicals and protective gear and what nots……because I just HAD to give it a try.

Now mind you as I’ve grown older I’ve become much wiser (ha, ha, let’s say I have).    And, had I known then what I know now I would have been a much more attentive student back in the day.     Researching electroforming and finding all of the technical terms and formulations can be quite intimidating.   Especially for someone like me who was always present but often bored during her high school years doing just enough to get by.    Imagine if I had really applied myself.    Oh, well, it’s never too late to improve, enhance, and grow in ways you might never have imagined.

Electroforming………..it’s complicated, it can be dangerous, it’s messy, it’s time consuming, it’s marvelously interesting and challenging and frustrating and enjoyable!

So, here are my first few pieces.     Are they perfect?     Hmmm, well, that’s a matter of opinion.     I think they turned out awesome!      I still have much to learn and a lot of hands on trial and error but each piece that comes to fruition is an amazing piece of self satisfaction and joyful accomplishment (pat self on back).   Plus, they are so very cool!

judystreehouse judy's tree house judy's treehouse judystreehouse judystreehouse judy's treehouse judystreehouse judy's treehouse judy's treehouse judy's treehouse

 

judy's treehouse judy's treehousejudy's treehouse judy's treehouse judy's treehouse judy's treehouse judy's treehouse judystreehouse judystreehouse judy's treehouse judy's tree house judy's treehouse

judystreehouse judy's treehouse judystreehouse judy's treehouse judys treehouse judystreehouse.

What’s up next?    Some falling leaves for autumn and whimsical deep sea creatures.

judystreehouse judy's tree house

Huge Thank You for all of the YouTube videos on electroforming by Jason Welsh.   I’ve learned SO MUCH from his videos.   His style totally resonates with me.    And, I did purchase his formulas for graphite paint and electroforming solution which has worked wonderfully for me.    Still have much to learn but getting better bit by bit.   Trial and error and then those AH HA! moments!    That’s how I tango!

Well, that about sums up what I’ve been about for the past couple of months…….well, that along with creating new jewelry pieces, gardening, foraging, learning herbs, delving into homemade lotions and tinctures, and everyday needs and necessities.

There’s so much joy to be found in the journey of discovery and the sense of accomplishment with personal development and growth.    Find Your Passion, Grow Your Wings, Get in Your Groove……… and, Wishing you a Beautiful Journey along the way!

Peace Love and Joy

Judy

“Herbal Tea Time – Good for the Soul”

Of late I’ve really been getting into and enjoying herbal teas.     I guess you could say they are my newest addiction.   There’s just something about the “mystic” of the blends, the “calm” in waiting for the water to heat, the “melodic” whistle of the tea kettle calling your attention, the “clarity” of the hot water as you pour it into your cup, the “anticipation” of good things to come as the leaves and flowers “meld” together to become a “unity” of unique, earthy flavors and aromas, the “vision” of nature as I add a drop of raw honey to sweeten the moment, the feeling of “peace” that engulfs me as I wrap my hands around the warm cup and  bring it to my lips to enjoy the fruition of my preparations.

Image may contain: coffee cup, drink and indoor

Truly a zen moment and one I enjoy at least twice a day.

I’ve grown herbs, dried herbs but never really started growing and harvesting herbs for the purpose of medicinal and culinary uses.

drying herbs 2018 judystreehouse judystreehouse herb garden

Most of my herbs and tea blends I purchase on line from MountainRoseHerbs.com.     I love their blends and their huge selection of herbs and more.     And, I’ve quite the supply on hand.

For quite a while I’ve been on the lookout for a cool, vintage storage cabinet type piece to create an apothecary cabinet to display and store my earthy treasures.   Every now and then I would stumble across something that I thought might work but never got that “this is it” feeling so I’d continue my search.

Recently, on a trip to Lisa’s Antique Mall in Auburn, Illinois I found another piece, actually three pieces, that I thought would be perfect.    Now, Greg doesn’t share my enthusiasm for old, vintage furniture.    So when I would point them out to him he’d just shrug and say, “get it if you want it”.   Hmmm, that doesn’t help solidify a “this it it” feeling.    So I hemmed and hawed with indecision.   Greg went out to the jeep for a fit measurement to be sure we could haul it home.   He came back and gave me the thumbs up.   We put our heads together to discuss an offer and came up with a number.    But in the end, as usual, I had talked myself out of it.

Well, all this took place about two weeks before our wedding anniversary.    Imagine my surprise when Greg disappeared for a few hours and upon returning told me I “had” to go out to the jeep, he had something he wanted to show me.    Yep, the cabinet.    So cool but the real gift is the gem of a husband I have.

judystreehouse
My tea and herb apothecary cabinet

So now I have the start of an apothecary cabinet.   I love it.    And, I think MountainRoseHerbs.com has been loving me lately, too, as I fill my shelves with herbal goodness.

Now my goal is to expand my herbal knowledge and continue to work on creating my very own herb and flower garden that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also with culinary and medicinal benefits and regenerative in nature.   Not to mention more foraging for beneficial plants that grow wild and untamed.    Cool places in which to further enjoy some Zen moments.

foraging judystreehouse
out on a foraging expedition

Then there’s my love of incense which has piqued my creative curiosity with thoughts of blending and forming my own little cones of sensory delights.    But I’ll save that for another day.    Right now I am very happy with the incense from LeftOverHippies.etsy.com.     Hazel’s blends are perfectly earthy and spicy and the best I have ever enoyed.   And, enjoy them I do on a regular basis.

incense
my cool incense burner

As I grow older I find myself changing my ideas and ways of living in ways I’d never imagined.    It’s refreshing and peaceful and amazing this life.    And, change can lead to growth and experiences and joy you’d never imagine.

judystreehouse
Let your free spirit soar!

And, so I leave you now with Blessings for a joyful journey, a few ideas for perfect Zen moments, and a fruity herbal iced tea recipe…..

judystreehouse
an early walk down our lane
  • daily; read inspirational, deep, thought provoking books.   I am currently reading Wayne W. Dyer’s “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem” Great read!
  • have a tea ritual like the one I explained in my opening here
  • take a walk in the country, breathe deep, look beyond what you seen in front of you, and listen for the sounds that aren’t obvious
  • think of someone you know, maybe even someone you don’t know well,  look beyond their appearance and the little you know about them; think of their spirit and send them blessings

This recipe is from “The Medical Medium” by Anthony William and an excerpt from a recent post from his Facebook page.

“Lemon Balm Wild Blueberry Iced Tea

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 lemon balm tea bags https://amzn.to/2FyeF04
4 cups of water
Ice, to serve
Handful of fresh lemon balm, for garnish

Directions:
Place the wild blueberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over low heat until the wild blueberries are mushy, about 5 minutes.

Add the water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off, add the tea bags and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Pour everything through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or bowl, using the back of a spoon to squeeze out juice from the blueberries and tea bags. Chill the tea for about an hour in the fridge, then serve over ice with fresh lemon balm for garnish.

Serves 4-6

Lemon balm: Kills viruses, bacteria, and other pathogenic microorganisms inside the liver. Makes a better environment in the intestinal tract, which supports the delivery of cleaner nutrients from the gut to the liver. Lemon balm calms the nerves of the liver, causing it to be less spasmodic, agitated, and angry, while also calming the nerves inside of the intestinal lining, which lowers toxic heat inside the liver. It also supports the adrenals, which makes the liver less toxic.

Wild blueberries: Contain dozens of undiscovered antioxidants, including anthocyanin varieties. There’s not just one pigment inside a wild blueberry; there are dozens of pigments not yet researched or studied. The wild blueberry is to the liver as mother’s milk is to a baby. Not only do wild blueberries have the ability to grab on to plenty of troublemakers, they also hold on to them as they leave the liver, in a way that most other healing foods cannot. The pigments in wild blueberries have the ability to saturate deep into liver cells and cross cell walls and membranes inside the liver, spreading their blue everywhere. Wild blueberries enhance the intestinal tract, feeding good bacteria there, which benefits the liver greatly.”

So, let your wild self free, enjoy new journeys and adventures and always look beyond for the glory of each and every moment.

judystreehouse
From My Sunflower Garden 2018

Peace Love and Joy

Judy

 

Simple Pleasures Bring Great Joy

The weather here in Central Illinois has been almost fall like the past few weeks.

The A.C. has been turned off!

Open windows tease and tantalize all of my senses;  a cool breeze, fluttering curtains, fresh air, scents from my gardens, sunshine on my hardwood floors, shadow art, crickets, locust, and frog bands warming up for the night, dinner on the front porch with veggies and herbs from my garden…….. A few of life’s simple pleasures bring me such joy……..

View from my front porch...one of my favorite hangouts!
View from my front porch…one of my favorite hangouts!

Being outside on my porch.   Seeing the peaceful beauty of butterflies, bugs and hummingbirds (to name a few) as they flutter and fuss around my front yard garden.

Happy chics!
Happy chics!

Watching my chicks and fancy rooster waddle and cluck around the yard.   They are such a hoot!

One of my giant mums.....going to be spectacular this year!
One of my giant mums…..going to be spectacular this year!
My fall garden....Indian corn, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds, oh my!
My fall garden….Indian corn, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds, oh my!
Love Zinnias.......a must plant every year!
Love Zinnias…….a must plant every year!
Mums......must have for fall.   This one will showcase lovely purple blooms
Mums……must have for fall. This one will showcase lovely purple blooms

My gardens!    Ever changing and preparing for fall.    Mums, Indian Corn, Sunflowers, Gourds, and Pumpkins!     And my zinnias…….a must have every year!    Bursts of bright colors and the butterflies love them!

earthy treasure hunts.....tiny bird nest blown from a tree
earthy treasure hunts…..tiny bird nest blown from a tree
cool spider home
cool spider home

Amazing and intricate architecture in nature!    Like this little birds nest I found on the ground and cool (albeit creepy) spider webs!

Cool Halloween Decor!    Love to celebrate the seasons!
Cool Halloween Decor! Love to celebrate the seasons!

Magazines in the mail advertising cool stuff!      Especially for Halloween and Christmas!    Two favorites for decorating!

Shadow art and other eye catching creations from the sun streaming through my windows

glass jars and plants in a window create two beautiful displays!
glass jars and plants in a window create two beautiful displays!
Love the shadow art through my lace curtains
Love the shadow art through my lace curtains
Sunrise on the farm....in the boys room!
Sunrise on the farm….in the boys room!
shadow art.    Captured this pic a few weeks ago.   Angel!
shadow art. Captured this pic a few weeks ago. Angel!
A room full of rainbows.  A joint effort between Mother Nature and My Suncatchers!
A room full of rainbows. A joint effort between Mother Nature and My Suncatchers!
Otis......capturing a few rainbows!
Otis……capturing a few rainbows!

Dinner Al Fresco!    With someone I love!

Dinner Al Fresco!
Dinner Al Fresco!

Enjoying the fruits of my labor!

Garden bounty and gifts from my chicks
Garden bounty and gifts from my chicks
pickles every year!
pickles every year!
corn from gardens past.....
corn from gardens past…..
freezing and preserving and enjoying year round freshness
freezing and preserving and enjoying year round freshness
pickled tomatoes and green beans
pickled tomatoes and green beans

These are a few of my favorite things!

Every day we are blessed with the abundance that God has created for all of us to enjoy!   Life is full of simple pleasures!

Carpe’ Diem!

Peace, Love, Joy and Enjoy!