Monday, January 22, 2007


I received my latest edition of “Zonya’s E-news" the other day, from the high energy PBS nutrition and fitness guru Zonya Foco. I admire her zany upbeat nature, and find her family nutrition tips very helpful. But what really caught my eye this time around was her suggestion to adopt a two word mantra to motivate you in an area that you’d like to improve.

Of course she encouraged healthy mantras such as “nutritious and active”, but I found her strategy very interesting:

“Pick the words that can change your life the most and represent what you are ready to change the most. And then go for it! Tape the written words to your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, computer monitor and coffee cup. Perhaps program them to be the opening greeting on your cell phone, computer or PDA. Chant your mantra often and watch your “new year/all year” resolution come true!”

Since I’ve been on a quest during the past year or so to cultivate a more grateful heart, (with mixed results) I’m going to take Zonya’s suggestion, and adopt my own “give thanks” mantra. I love the idea of programming it into the opening greeting of my cell phone, computer, and PDA – those are all places I tend to be absorbed in my business, and quickly forget about being grateful to my Creator.

"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what He has done. " 1 Chronicals 16:8

Isn't awesome how He can speak to us in so many different ways...even in an e-news letter.

Thanks, God.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Year of the Calendula

Calendula flower seeds are absolutely everywhere this year! Every seed catalog I have (and I get a lot) has them this year, when in years past they showed up only sporadically. And, much to my delight, now there are tons of new wild and colorful new hybrids!

Let me back up. Calendulas, otherwise known as “pot marigolds” are cheerful daisy like flowers, which typically come in brilliant shades of orange, yellow, gold or cream. They have been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, and the petals are completely edible, with a light, tangy flavor.

I first grew them a few years ago as a part of a wildflower mix, and they have since become one of my all time favorite flowers to press with my Microfleur flower press. They are very durable and simple to press, and they come out perfect every time. They also make a wonderful inclusion for handmade paper. Thankfully, they are wonderfully easy to grow.

Much to my surprise, I couldn’t find an example of a pressed calendula on my website! At any rate, I include a pressed calendula card in just about every one of my boxes of pressed flower cards, as well as my gift card packets. I also occasionally make botanical luminaries with them.

Order some calendula seeds this year – you’ll love them! And, if you’re in the market for a Microfleur microwave flower press, you’ll receive a free bonus sample of calendula seeds, as well as my favorite red poppy seeds, with every Microfleur press ordered this month.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

January in Wisconsin…

January in Wisconsin isn’t what it used to be. The green grass, blooming pansies, budding crocuses, vibrant green herbs and brilliant heuchera leaves. Yes, they’re beautiful, but they also strike me as being, well, creepy. It’s just not natural. Not in January.

A few months back I was jotting down some future blog ideas, and thought that January, the month when Packerland aptly earns its title of “the frozen tundra” would be a fine month to drop by my local Twin Lakes florist. Then I could buy myself a beautiful bouquet and blog about my favorite “flower store” flowers to press when I’m stuck inside and pining away for warm spring breezes. Well, there’s no need. The breezes are eerily warm, and there is still a surprising amount of pressable plants in my backyard. In January.

In case you’re wondering what I found this afternoon, here’s the line up of a quick scan, starting at the top, from left to right:

Nigella frond, pansy, cannula (I think), the second row contains 3 different huechera leaves, and one green mallow leaf, and the last row features a column of cute pelargonium leaves, a chamomile sprig, dusty miller, sage, parsley, and thyme.

In January?

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

A Worthy Mandate for 2007:

Rosemary from Seasonings has a very excellent Mandate for the New Year, based on
Colossians 3:12-17.

What a difference it would make if followers of Him would take these rich words to heart. I’m going to give it a prayerful try. Want to join in?