Sunday, May 31, 2009

blooms in Spiral Garden, Twilight

A quick offering from the Spiral Garden on this fine 'mostly cloudy' day.

I've titled this picture "Behind Bunny"... He is the first guardian one encounters at the entrance to the Spiral Garden at Twilight. The gate is in the East and the first quadrant of this large scale altar is dedicated to the colors and/or plants ruled by this direction... pinks, yellows, pastels, whites and light purples... amidst the many plants & shrubs... mexican poppies, roses, carnations, sages, lavenders, rock roses... with cypresses on the exterior... these are planted east to west on the southern side.

Speaking of sages here are two ceremonial sages in full bloom with the Santalina behind it getting ready to burst.

Now we are entering the southern part of the Spiral Garden... Here's a yellow Echinacea in full bloom with the another wonderful yellow bloomer behind it... a variety of sage. The yellows begin to become more fiery as we progress into oranges and reds...

This is one of my many favorite roses- otherwise known as a Joseph's Coat... it changes color as the bloom matures !

This is one of the most beautiful blue flowers I've ever seen... a powder blue with some hints of periwinkle... So breathtaking ! Right now this plant is in the West... but one day I will have the courage to transplant it in the East, where it clearly belongs :)

An absolutely enormous mallow which thrives on the outside edge of the Spiral Garden. This is a favorite cut flower on all the altars at the moment !

This photographic shot has now become a historical picture... the dome will never look like that again (see above).

Friday, May 29, 2009


For me, Tarot is a spiritual tool which renders aid to me as I grow and heal into a more balanced human being. Becoming one of 'those' is a never ending process, just like the maintenance on my property. lol. I don't use Tarot as a fortune telling device because I believe that once I place my awareness on a subject that its path has changed as a consequence. However like everything... choices have consequences and its helpful for me to 'see/feel' what the potentials are at any given crossroads.

In my opinion, Tarot archetypes hold wisdoms that are both rich & deep, and similar to the astrological signs and planets, have a plethora of meanings that I perceive to have a sliding scale. Divining, for me, is understanding 'which' meaning and 'how much'.

Brizel Tarot Key Message Bracelets were conceived as a complimentary spiritual tool. They are fun, colorful... perfect for the Child Self and Fetch aspect of our beings.

Each bracelet represents one of the major arcana archetypes and spells out an affirmation that reminds us of its enduring wisdom, as well as helps us keep focus on its positive message throughout the day.

By creating powerful daily mantras, one can attract what we want !

Created with white ceramic alphabet cube beads... each side with the same letter in a different color...

embellished with different specific colored Tagua nut nugget beads...

and adorned with a key & padlock charm...

these symbols remind us that solutions and challenges often present themselves at the same time !

Brizel Key Message Bracelets can become a perfect daily reminder !

They are strung with a high quality stretch nylon.... & gift wrapped in an appropriately colored organza bag.

Please visit Brizel Handcrafts if you'd like to see more of my work... you can press here and away to there you'll go !

©2009 Nicole Planchon ALL rights reserved

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BRiGiT ALTAR, well house, Twilight

This is an image of the permanent Brigit altar at Twilight... it resides in the well house... 460 feet above the source of water for the property...

The main components on the altar are:
a large papier mache swan... a cow bell... a wheat doll... a Brigit Cross plaque with entertwining raspberries... a yellow glass vase with whatever is blooming in the gardens at the time... a White Lady statue... an oak leaf & acorn platter... two ceramic pot covers with spirals or suns... and a signed copy of a portrait of Her by Chesca Potter.

Not seen but nearby: a large metal anvil and a glass bowl.

Hail Brigit !!!

"Brigit of the Mantles, Brigit of the Peat Heap,
Brigit of the Twining Hair, Brigit of the Augury

Brigit of the White Feet, Brigit of Calmness,
Brigit of the White Palms, Brigit of the Cattle

Brigit... Woman Comrade, Brigit of the Peat Heap,
Brigit.. Woman Helper, Brigit.. Woman Strength "

(Incantation adapted from the Carmina Gadelica by 19th century Scottish folklorist Alexander Carmichael)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Brizel Handcrafts Apple Wood St Brigid Cross

Brizel’s Brigit Crosses are handcrafted & individually unique, made from apple wood and sewn together with colored hemp cord. They are an original adaptation of a very ancient pre-christian Celtic tradition.

Brigit Crosses are solar symbols, equal armed and stretching in four directions, which symbolically encourages the strength of the Sun through our front doors and into our homes. It is a talisman, usually hung above the inside of the front door or near the hearth, and it is believed to bring protection, blessing, fertility and prosperity into our households.

Also known as St. Brigid’s Crosses, they are traditionally made from woven straw or rushes gathered on January 31st, the eve of St. Brigit’s Day. Crosses from the previous year are burned & replaced with new ones affirming the old saying: “Out with the old, and in with the new”.

Every year come January, I prune my apple trees. This is a special grouping of trees, eighteen in total and each one bearing a different variety of fruit. The apple orchard is planted in a huge spiral, with lavender bushes between each, and with a large path that winds around them and into a ceremonial space.

When the small budding branches are pruned, they are cut to size and allowed to dry for one year. The following year, during the Imbolc season, the apple wood Brigit Crosses are sewn together using colored hemp: purple for the center and elemental colors for each arm.

Brizel’s Brigit Crosses are spell crafted for house protection.
May it bring blessings on your home !
Please visit Brizel Handcrafts if you'd like to see more of my work... you can press here and away to there you'll go !
©2009 Nicole Planchon ALL rights reserved

Bearded irises @ Twilight, favorites 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

brizel HAND WOVEN SASHES from Guatemala

In a recent interview with Celestecraft I was asked about the origins of the Guatemalan sashes which I use on the Brizel's Silk Tapestry Hip Pouches and also sell in my Etsy supply store...

"When I discovered Las Manos, they were going out of business so I did not get the opportunity to get involved with them. I simply arrived at the right place and time and later on became the custodian to 80 different rolls of hand-woven sashes.

I had no idea at the time what I would do with them. I just knew that they needed to ‘come live with me’ until i could figure it out. I fell deeply in love with them and began immediately to share them with the world.

I personally became fascinated with their color, motif and started buying books about Guatemalan textiles. I came across an article in one of the books that addressed the spiritual aspects of weaving and everything clicked into place for me. Once I had finished cataloging the sashes, i realized soon after that the sashes needed to be synthesized with my Silk Tapestry Hip Pouches."

That is the simple version of the story... the full version is much more complex and for a change those details are not important to mention.

Las Manos was a store that specialized in Fair Trade Goods and they worked directly with the weavers and commissioned them to hand craft these beautiful textiles.

When I catalogued the sashes that I had acquired... I counted 80 different ones. The sashes were woven in one warp length... what divides one sash length from the next is a double long fringe that needs to be cut. I'm not sure what the original diameter of the rolls were but I love the way they were stored... in a spiral dense roll.

Each roll, by the way, came with the weaver's family name on it. After studying them closely I noticed that some had identical designs but in different colors... these similarities were almost always created from within the same weaving family.

When I was selling the sashes on Goldenhr (Ebay)... part of my item description read:

"In Guatemala, this type of traditional Mayan belt is still worn today- sometimes the only remnant of the native costume worn by men. Women, on the other end of the spectrum, have kept to traditional wear much more passionately.

Sashes- called Bandas (men’s) and Fajas (women’s) can range from thin to wide, plain to colorful, striped- with or without plaids, to intricate brocaded designs. Wound around the waist several times- often holding up either pants or skirts- men’s sashes are tied at the bellybutton, the ends allowed to tangle in front; women usually wind theirs and tuck the ends to the side or at the back. Tradition varies by region- style, color, pattern, tying methodology. Nothing is haphazard.

Weaving is a spiritual tradition- affirming connection with the Gods- bringing myth and prayer into physical manifestation."

Guatemalan sashes, generally speaking, are the weaving product of a back strap loom. This is a very basic loom which warp strings are tied to a tree on one end... and at the other end has a length of wood and a fabric seat. The weaver sits at this end, holding the tension on the warp strings whilst weaving.

In that spiritual tradition, the warp strings represented the umbilical cord between the divine and the individual... and the tree was 'the' tree of life.

What strikes me the most is how much this ancient crafting culture resonates with how I have come to craft my own work. Everything has meaning and is done with a spiritual consciousness. To me this is the essence of celebrating life...

Blessed be !

ALL iMAGES designs CONTENT ©2008-2009 Nicole Planchon / Brizel ALL rights reserved

Friday, May 8, 2009

king MAWR

The wonderful spring rains have subsided and we are now enjoying sunny weather in the upper 70s.... a rare day up here in the mountains !

Mawr ('Ma...wer') poses for me from the rooftop... He's been with me at Twilight for over two years... Originally born in this county some 9 years ago, Ellen had named him 'Superman'... but when Gabriel adopted him, being a 'Welsh-o-file', settled on his version of the name.... 'Mawr'... which means 'big' in Welsh... and he is that... weighing at least fifteen pounds, our handsome fellow has an extra digit on each of his paws. Originally... Gabriel had plans on giving him harp lessons... but this of course never happened... Instead... he became a level 2 Reiki kitty !

Mawr's main job today is to enjoy life as well as to keep Dingo company...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trellis wall for rose... Spiral Garden, Twilight

The scented rose which climbs on the trellis at the entrance of the Spiral Garden at Twilight is blooming like never before... Its a pink rose which Gabriel & I had chosen on one of our many excursions to the Antique Rose Nursery. I'm not sure that I even know its name at this point !

Today, I was finally able to realize the plan to cut down the hardware cloth wall at the beginning of the spiral path and erect a new trellis wall for the climbing rose to spread. The wall was spontaneously created with existing resources... some lovely rusted metal lengths which became the uprights... wrapped with horizontal lengths of heavy gauge galvanized metal wire. The wall spans approx 12' long x 8' high... and it was created this afternoon !

This wall when covered with the rose will hide the plastic shed from sight, as well as help to disperse the view of the neighbor's mansion !

Sunday, May 3, 2009

i keep on going !

A very good friend of mine, Judy, gave me a wonderful fridge magnet last summer... It has a Winston Churchill quote that reads: "If you're going through Hell, Keep going...".

It was a perfect gift then and continues to be appreciated every day. Apart from loving the concept behind the saying... showing me exactly where my power is during tough times... i adore how the magnet was designed... arranging the quote in a circular motion... it certainly creates the needed motion to carry out its motion. lol.

Another friend of mine, Michelle, who runs a 24/7 Ebay store selling wonderful vintage buttons... had a large glass red cabochon with cherries on it... It was so bright and cheerful... I had no idea what i would do with it but i got it anyway... Last night I finally glued a large circular magnet behind it and placed it at the center of Winston's quote. PERFECT !

The cherries remind me of Mary Engelbreit's work... and as i recall she has an image that says: "Life is a bowl of cherries" so now... not only do i get to keep going during the tough times... but there are tantalizing cherries that beckon to me... Are they a pre-verbial carrot ? its SO... LiFE AFFiRMiNG !!! Whatever works, right ?

Gratitude to both Judy and Michelle !

Flowering Rainier cherry at Twilight April '09

Friday, May 1, 2009

Heavenly WiSTERiA !

At the heart of the Spiral Garden at Twilight... the wisteria bloomed well this spring... I look forward to building the shade structure that one day will be graced with its divinely scented dangling flowers. In the meantime... almost all of its energy is going towards becoming a tree with a nice thick trunk !

I recently found two gorgeous Czech glass buttons that reminded me of the wisteria... The one at the top I call 'Swirl-sicle' and the one below 'Dream-sicle'... both are available for purchase through my Etsy supply store:
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