Saturday, October 31, 2009

Animal update @Twilight

GREETiNGS on Hallow's Eve... and also full moon night !

Here are some recent photos of me and my family and animal friends...

My new avatar showing off my new GreenWoman hat, with coordinated earrings and Bee-licious necklace... created by two of my very favorite Etsy artists: Cerublu, a crochet & textile Goddess, who lives much as i do in Australia... and lkfarnsworth, a talented writer and maker of colorful adornments, who is currently under a snow siege in Denver, Colorado.

You can press on their store names to explore their wonderful Etsy shops. I will be posting more photos of some of their delicious wares and in the upcoming future will be featuring them on this blog !

Dingo wanted to participate in the self portrait series so here she is in all her glory... she is doing well and loving her new daily diet of three home cooked meals consisting of baby oats, chicken, spinach... sweetened with honey and topped with slippery elm syrup & two papaya digestive enzymes. If I wasn't a vegetarian... i'd be sharing one of her meals... at least... lol

This is what happens when I leave the property... Merlin & Nimue congregate at the gate... waiting... waiting... until my return. They enthusiastically throw themselves into the van upon my arrival and ride up the hill as if they were the charioteers :)

Ah yes, Zippy Zip... now king of felines at Twilight... a wild thing who zig zags up the Empress trees when the wind is blowing- miow-ing in defiance at the swaying leaves. Such an independent soul... but always comes home in the end to cuddle up with the dogs & me (or is it the dogs and I ?).

And lastly... meet Svernia, an icelandic pony who lives on the ranch at Jo's house, along with 6 other stallions: Andie, Fly Boy, Cappy, Memur, Bastian, and Bleiker. Her two mares live off property as the boys tend to misbehave when they are around. Ha ha ha- ain't that the truth of it :)

I've been taking Svernia for walks once a week and last week actually got to ride him. WOW... The first horse back riding i have done in.... 30 years. I hope to get together with Jo and the stallions once a week for some horse loving fun !

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Upper orchard trees @Twilight

The Upper Orchard at Twilight are two groupings of fruit trees situated on the uphill east of the floral Spiral Garden and right above the apple Winter Spiral.

The south facing Upper Orchard is a group of 14 fruit bearing trees... 2 cherries, 2 mulberries, 4 pears, 2 quinces, and 4 nectarines. All are individually unique in terms of variety.

These are all young trees which were planted in bare root form some 6-7 years ago so they do not yet produce substantially. The usual challenges with water hardness, borer beetles and a lack of financial means have not helped to heighten production either... but all being well, this too shall pass and future improvements will assist.

Nectarine in full autumn mode

The quinces have been the most consistent in producing fruit- and large ones too ! I have two different varieties: Smyrna and Pineapple... It has been wonderful to find recipients for the fruit and then hearing back from them about their successes.

For example, my friend Jo(hanna) sent me home the other day with some of my very own quinces... stewed for hours in cinnamon, cloves & maple syrup. Therefore my version of breakfast these last three mornings was adjusted to include warm stewed quinces with my usual heaping cup of honey granola, almonds, raisins and vanilla yoghurt. Very healthy AND berry deeee-licious !

The biggest tree in the Upper Orchard: an albino fruit bearing mulberry !

The north facing Upper Orchard is a grouping of 6 fruit trees... three olives and three figs... and these were planted to honor my Mediterranean ancestors. They are also individually unique in terms of variety.

All the olives, of course, produce BLACK olives... two are for making oil and the third is for pickling fruit. These are doing well and each year prosper in height and with fruit. I look forward to the time when i can sit under their shade and read a book :)

The fig varieties are Black Mission, Brown Turkey and White Genoa... alas the harshness of last winter left the fig production scant this year.. but it was better than loosing the trees altogether, which is what happened to Jo's fig tree. I hope this winter will be gentler on them and that they will perk up next season... because... as my youngest brother, Philippe, so fondly remembers...

There's nothing like a ripe fig picked from the tree that pops straight into ones mouth melting and delighting ones senses... YUM !

Friday, October 23, 2009

an introduction to... Brizel Hip Button Belts

Brizel Hip Button Belts are hand crocheted special occasion belts made of smooth colorful satin cord and embellished with high quality vintage collectible buttons from around the world.

They are designed with a reversible pattern: two different complimentary motifs with unique centerpieces. The ties are placed to one’s side so that the centerpiece is positioned at the bellybutton.

Simply flip the belt over to enjoy the other motif at the front !

Creating the designs on a Brizel Hip Button Belt is a work of meditation and artistry.

Each button must bring harmony to the overall balance of the motif and this can only be achieved with the correct color tone, texture, shape & size button.

Finding the right buttons to create a Brizel Hip Button Belt takes a serious dedication to collecting a wide range of buttons and often they must come from a variety of sources to achieve the desired effect !

There can be up to eleven different pairs of buttons per belt... five pairs on each side which rhythmically alternate into the design motif that is becoming typical of my belt work.

Brizel Hip Button Belts are decorative ornamentations... designed to be worn on special occasions... over a tunic, robe, dress, skirt or slacks...

Brizel Hip Button Belts are silky & delicate and should be treated with care.

The philosophy behind the product...

In the mundane world, both belts and buttons connect individual layers together...

In ancient weaving traditions, Guatemala for example, warp strings represented the umbilical cord between the divine and the individual.

Back strap looms were tied to trees and the weaver would sit to create their beautiful sashes... out in nature under the tree of life.

In witchcraft and in some shamanic traditions, the cord, or belt, is the ‘tool’ associated with Ether... that which brings Consciencousness to the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.

It is that Divine spark that brings soul & presence into those elements which we are all intrinsically a part of.

Generally speaking, buttons are round in shape... The circle is regarded to be one of the most powerful religious symbols... as there is no end nor beginning to it.

Jung says that by contemplating this great primordial image... we are analyzing and reflecting on the self.

Buttons, in a variety of cultures, have a great many interesting spiritual and magical meanings... one example is with four hole buttons, for when sewn in place with a cross can represent the Crossroads, a noteworthy place to be !

The Nanai, an ancient Siberian shaman tribe, use buttons on their ceremonial robes to ward off evil spirits.

In my own personal mythic imagination... a button is the pre-verbial coin that fuels a call to the ‘other world’.

A button becomes a symbol of a prayer and a belt the pathway to connecting with Spirit.

Brizel Hip Button Belts are a manifestation of a desire to connect and celebrate life with the Divine !


through Brizel Handcrafts...

click HERE to get there !


©2008-2009 NiCOLE PLANCHON...


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Latest on Dingo- new moon report

Good day to all Dingo fans out there !
Just a quickish note to say that Dingo is doing better in most ways...

Her mobility is mostly restored- and although she is no spring chicken- she is managing with little help to go up & down ramp to the outside and much to my concern insists on 'jumping up' to the big bed when she comes out into my bedroom.

She is evidently dealing with some digestive / stomach issues- probably some sort of stomach ulcer... so I have switched her diet to a homemade cooked mixture of baby oats, chicken, spinach and honey which she is receiving in smaller portions several times a day. I'm also giving her a little yoghurt with acidophilus in it between meals and I plan to get some chewable digestive enzymes for her today. For this particular issue, she has responded favorably to homeopathic Chamomilla 30c and is now switching to Kali Bichromicum, a remedy that needed to be special ordered. Healing from this particular challenge will take some time and it is my hope that with home care her condition will ameliorate.

Please continue to send her love & positive thoughts as I firmly believe this is helpful... and thanks to all who are holding her in your hearts... she is such a deserving creature !

Happy new moon :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some more news of Dingo :)

Dear Dingo fans...

I thought i would do a little follow up...

In many ways, Dingo is much improved... Homeopathic Arnica and then Ruta in 200c dosage with a dash of Hypericum here and there have been most helpful in getting her up & mobile again. It was the drastic and sudden shift in climate temperature that triggered a cold shock to her system that made her legs not be able to function properly. The new ramp and support harness handles were very useful to have around- acquisition timing on those was uncaningly perfect.

Her appetite is waning but she is still eating... it needs to be soft, sweetened with honey and warm fluids. She is sleeping more or less peacefully and much of the time... her breathing can be a little taxed or elevated at times but nothing drastic... At the moment, she is comfortable and alert... alternating between her two beds in my office... and happily keeping me company whilst i work on the computer.

Dingo is not yet ready to leave so she's sticking around for a while longer :) We are both so grateful for your many thoughts and prayers... Thank you so much :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

a little Dingo update

We all slept well here... in fact... i slept in a little :) I spent the first half of the night with the large ones on the 'big bed' and then shifted on to Dingo's yummy down mattress bed. Yep, I sleep with Dogs every day of the week... they make the best teddy bears !

Dingo was ready to 'zoom' outside when i got up. She went down the steps before i could put ramp in place and went outside to do her business. I did put the handle straps on her when she was ready to go up the ramp on her return voyage.

She has had breakfast which was amplified with warm honey water which she is wanting at the moment. I think the warmth and Arnica has made all the difference for her. I do not think i will shy from giving her a higher dosage of it if the same thing happens again... I just wasnt sure if she was lying down to die, in which case it would have been a different homeopathic remedy. But it seems, Dingo is not quite ready to leave this plane and prefers to sleep on this one for right this minute. Lucky me !

So... it will be one day at a time... and probably 3 times up & down the ramp every day... I am grateful to be a work-from-home fur mom. We shall see what each day will bring... Dark moon is only 10 days away and energy tends to naturally deplete as that unfolds. I will report in with updates on this particular post :)

Thanks to everyone for your continued love & support !
MUCH gratitude,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Please send love to Dingo !

Dear Dingo Fans...

It is with a sad heart that I write to ask for prayers and positive soothing healing energy to be sent to Dingo.

At approximately 17yrs of age Dingo is feeling very tired, almost ready to transition out of her body but is still waiting for that 'right' moment. Last night she just couldnt make it up the ramp into her bedroom (her legs were not strong enough) so she slept by the door. I rigged up a makeshift bed there and Zippy Zip stayed with her through the night whilst I went back and forth between being with her and the alternative space I created for Nimue & Merlin in a seperate building.

It is a hard transition for me so I spent the first few hours talking to a couple of friends on the phone whilst i figured out what to do for her. I gave both of us some rescue remedy and then gave her 200c Arnica for muscles, aches & pains and trauma. We snuggled up together and i talked with her about our times together and then i told her a bedtime story- her story- and we slept together.

This morning she got up and went outside to go potty and smell the air... then went up her ramp to settle on her down pillow bed... the most comfortable bed in the world... which resides a few feet from my computer/office.

Please send us lots of love and courage as we transition into another phase.

with gratitude,


to my friend BJ who was available right away to chat with me last night;

to my friend Julia for the same & her usual assistance with long distance 'muscle testing' & support work; and to her daughter, Mari, for her psychic diagnosis of the situation.

to my friend Karen, a very talented animal communicator, for talking with Dingo

Friday, October 2, 2009

etsy TREASURY FEATURE 10/02 - 10/04

I'm quite excited today :)

Maykela, Etsy store owner, put together this beautiful Treasury of purple and plum items and decided to feature one of my Brizel Hip Button Belts.

Brizel Hip Button Belts are a fine luxurious ooak ornamental accessory... handcrafted with rayon satin cord and carefully embellished with a myriad of eye catching vintage buttons...

I will put together an official blog write up on my Brizel Hip Button Belts because... not only do I love making them but they are also very unique as well. Tune in for that write up shortly !

You can find my handcrafts for sale in my Etsy store: Brizel Handcrafts.... and belts can be found in the Brizel Hip Button Belt store section.

And now a little about Maykela...

Maykela is a jewelry maker, who works with precious & semi-precious stones, pearls and metals. She loves creating her pieces which she designs and makes herself. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband, three kids, two dogs and two cats !

Visit her two Etsy shops: Maykela and Lavenders, if you'd like to feast your eyes on more lovely jewelry !

Thanks so much for the feature, Maykela !
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