I just got in from Sense of Wonder Camp, where I taught the girls how to make herb beads using the method I developed and published with instructions in Under the Sun. They were guided by Park Ranger and Naturalist Lisa Sanchez - who uses some of her vacation time every year to lead this wonderful camp - to gather leaves from plants that smelled good, and I took along some freshly ground peppermint, lavender, rosemary, oakmoss (that was an experiment that needs some work, although it will be worth it), and red and yellow sandalwood. The girls had piles of spice bush and sweet cicely waiting when I got there. They also had unripe black walnuts, which would have had a great scent, but we couldn't grind them.
One of my oversights which turned out to be a spectacularly good thing was that I forgot to take along any finished beads as examples. It hit me in the car, but instead of going back to the house to get them, it seemed like maybe they would do better if they followed their own whims. They did a GREAT job, coming up with unusual shapes and sizes that would never have happened if I had shown them the small, regular round beads that I usually make.
Unfortunately, even though the camera was ready in my purse, 22 spirited young'uns made me completely forget to get pictures until we were all headed out to the creek where they were excited about swimming. The deep red sandalwood and the bright green sweet cicely looked beautiful next to beads made from less brilliant plants. The oakmoss looks almost silver. I really regret not getting pictures of the girls working on their beads.
But speaking of beads, my sister has started working on tiny teapots. She has made several of them using glass rods and an oxygen torch. You can see quite a few on her blog, but my favorite is this green one that looks like a miniature antique. I adore the way the frit she used along the sides look like tiny roses and leaves.
In a minute here, I'm going to head out and replant the garden that was too chilled early on. All of the vegetable seeds decided not to come up. Luckily, I saved 1/2 of all the packs, so we'll just have a late harvest this year. The produce from the Mount Joy Farmers Market will serve in the meantime (and beyond!).
Oh - and we spent the day yesterday at Penn State/Hershey Medical Center with a relative who needs to get on a transplant list. They did ALL of the testing and conferences in one day, and gave us some very good news. All in all, it was one of the most grueling 12 hour days we've spent in a while. Someone should have told me that the instructions mentioned packing a lunch, because by the time we got out of there I was ready to gnaw on the car seat.
I got home to find that someone, somewhere (thank you, whoever you are!!!) posted an old blog entry to an email list, and hundreds of people came to read. Several decided to subscribe to The Essential Herbal. It was a good and tiring day :-).