Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jane's Exotic Garden

Happy New Year to you! Waking up to a new year and a whole bunch of fresh possibilities is always exciting. I am one who sets goals and makes them come to fruition. It isn't so hard if they are reasonable. Then looking back at the end of the year, I realize that I have not only accomplished my goals, but something surprising and unexpected, too.

In 2014, I completed a year of apprenticeship with Darcy Williamson, a veteran herbalist from McCall, ID. I graduated to Senior Apprentice a few weeks ago and am proud of my accomplishment. What this means is that I have mastered the following skills well enough to teach them: pulverizing herbs and making capsules, harvesting and garbling seeds from wild plants, making tinctures from roots, leaves, flowers, and mushrooms, and bottling and labeling them, preparing salves with the correct consistency, making soap and packaging it, setting up and using the distiller to prepare hydrosols and essential oils, and dissembling and cleaning the distiller, taking inventory of the studio and stocking the shelves, and foraging and sustainably harvesting wild plants from the forest  for various uses throughout the year.

Now I can use my skills to teach classes or seminars, write monographs on the pharmacology of wild plants, assist Darcy in programs she gives, and develop and market my own line of herbal products. Creating my own logo is on my goal list. My arnica and brown's peony root salve is very popular around here for easing aches and inflammation, and treating bruises.

In other news, I completed my December sewing goal (shown in the last blog post) but did not get it blogged in time for the end of the month finish. I sent it off to mom, a soft and snuggly lap quilt with a wild purple binding from Jane Sassaman's line, called, "Jane's Exotic Garden." The backing is the softest, thickest flannel, Moda's needle felted cotton flannel.

love me some selvedges
My goal for January's A Lovely Year of Finishes is to complete 4 quilted purses that I started last summer. I blogged about them here and completed one for the Michael Miller challenge. These will need some embellishments and hand quilting to add zippy eye appeal. I haven't decided who will get these, or whether I will sell them in my etsy shop...

4 seasons: snowflake, crocus, orange creamsicle, and zinnia.
The bags have magnetic snap closures, which are inexpensive and very simple to install. They also have lots of pockets including inside elastic pockets. The handles are sturdy quilted fabric, and the whole bag is safe to launder. I have already put them together, but they are begging for some dressing up, don't you think?

which one is your favorite?


  1. I just love ALL of those wonderful purses. I wish I had some but I just prefer to make quilts instead. My favorite is either the 1st one on the left or the third one with big flowers and bright colors.

    Congrats for graduating as senior apprentice in your herbal classes. Sounds like very useful skills to share and grow in.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I prefer quilts, too, but like to try new tricks once in a while. Happy Sewing! Jane

  2. Jane I need something for bruising. Let's get your own display going at the shop! Thanks for sharing. I'm ready to learn.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. Brown's Peony root is harvested in March, Arnica flowers picked in May, then tinctured for a month, then made into salve. I'll consider your offer and have more in the summer.