The Hand fasting of Magnolia and Ironroot

Magnolia’s Journal:Sabbath,

imagesLike the silver workings of the spider’s web, my life seems to be remade over night.  Ironwood received a message late last night.  He must leave Santooshka and travel to the eastern Civil Lands.  He does not need to say the words, but I know he fears he will not return.  He has asked my hand in marriage, a small token to hold dear to my heart in face of the impending emptiness.

MM

Woddenday,

Featured imageIt is a fine thing that our Santooshkan Vale revels in impromptu festivals! Our Lughnasadh celebrations are usually quite small with only the valley’s inhabitants attending.  Once again this cycle, I give thanks for our bountiful gardens and prosperous woodland gleanings.

Juniper’s cottage was  filled with the sweet chirruping of sparrows, as they alight on the sills to take  the freshly inked invitations from GreyStone’s hand.    Azalea wandered around the meadow picking wild flowers.  Juniper has left her spinning wheel to help me sew my gown. Featured image The cavern weavers sadly refused my desire for new cloth, quoting the wrong season and lack of time.  It is just so, I have mountains of small scraps, and we will sew them together.  A perfect symbol for my past transforming into my future.

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Thorsday,

Two great things are occurring. It is no surprise that I feel as if my soul is shining and spilling out into the ether.   My wedding, and Juni’s and my decision to reach out to the Purblinds.   In a dream, Juniper saw our “other selves” and it planted the seed, which we have nurtured into a realized action.   We will create the secret Society of Moss and Lace.   Moss for Santooshka and the Still Water Way and Lace to symbolize the interconnectedness of not just the fay folk but of all peoples who wander the earth.

It is not necessary to emphasize our need for secrecy.  If even the slightest hint of our rebellion reaches the Queen, I have no doubt that Titania will follow through with her threat of banishment.  Despite the heavy consequences, Juniper and I must do what we feel is right.  I can not deny the Still Water prophecies.  It has become our obligation to open the eyes of as many Purblinds as we can, even if it is only one.  They deserve to know magic is real, and that the Earth Mother is alive.

After my dear Ironroot leaves, I will be able to give myself completely to this new cause.  Juniper and I know what we want to accomplish, but the exact means still evade us.  Despite the worry in Ironroot’s eyes, he knows he can’t keep me from this task.  The three of us have spent many evenings this week discussing the Society.  Juniper and I have decided to keep this from the changelings at the moment.  We are truly an odd assortment of people, preparing for a wedding by day, and making furtive battle plans by night.

MM

Blue Moon,

My Husband (even though that will not really be true until tomorrow),

I know when you read this you will be far outside the protective veil of my Santooshka.  I have secreted this small package into your belongings, if only to gladden your heart, and bring a smile to your beautiful face.  And perhaps too, because it is difficult for me to speak of separation when we are just about to be joined.

It will be an easy task to bind the two of us, because I know we are already one. The universe brought us together and neither of us expected to be to be so intertwined, especially at this moment. We are like knotted macrame, so many different ropes fasten us together, but also take us in different directions.  You outward on your clandestine sojourns while I must stay grounded in Santooshka to begin the Society with Juniper.  Even though our paths will take us different places, our cause is the same.SAM_0772

Place this enchanted locket in the light of the full moon.  The rays of Luna will connect us no matter where are we are. Words that are spoken into the open locket at midnight will be written in moon beams for me to read.  I will not be able to respond, but I will know that you are safe.

Juniper sends this Moss Amulet.  We believe whole heartily that it played an essential role in reviving her after her entanglement with the trolls this spring.  It is a small part of Santooshka and thus a small part of me.

Travel safe, my other half. I know your commitment to spread the Mother Earth Rebellion is as strong as your love for me.  If you sense the path ahead of you is is diverging into two futures, I beg you, please, choose the way that will bring you back to me.

Eternally Yours,

Mags

The Wedding of Magnolia & IronRoot

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“Love is the language of two.”

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Fay Folk flew in from all over Santooshka to witness the cemermony

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Trading of Rings

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Magnolia and Ironwood

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Queen Mab made a special appearance

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Ironroot drinks from the quaich

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OakLeaf the Wizard and the Elven Lady Evermore

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Three Fairy Maids:  Sunshine, Sparkle, and Glisten

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An Ancient Rock Spirit wishes Iron Root Good luck on his journey

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After IronRoot and Magnolias Lips met, the sky opened up and rain poured down

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In Which: A Merry Berry time is had, and a Stranger comes to Santooshka

Moonday, Mooald

Juniper’s return is only brightened by the two changelings she has brought back to the Wood.  In the short time they’ve been here, their haunted looks have been replaced with the healthy glow of happy sprites.  I am already accustomed to their bell-like laughter echoing through our valley.

Azalea is quick to make friends with all the Fae and Forest Folk she meets.  The Cottage Fairies were first to love her, and so I think they adore her best.  They leave her violet candies and bits of colorful thread.  Just last eve, her nimble fingers easily mended Flit’s broken wing.  The red tailed hawk was most grateful, rubbing his tawny head against her small hand.

I can see the innate earth magic in Greystone.  He certainly has the power to harness the Purblind’s “magic,” Eleckricity.  His only belonging was a small parcel tied up in string.  I recognized the flowing symbols of the Silicon Elves from the far west, but their meaning is unknown to me.  It contains various rare earth metals and tiny tools.  He is most interested in the wind mill, and has plans for improvements.

Juniper and I have long been the sole keepers of the Still Water Grimoire.  My heart is swelling and my soul lightened by our little changelings!

The water Elements have been running a muck of late.  Dark gray clouds have been slowly dragging their way across the sky, dumping heavy rain for days.  Finally, today, the sun has decided to show her shining visage.  Taking advantage of the good weather, we packed a picnic and headed to Woods Edge.   The meadow was overtaken by Beards Tounge.  The white belled wild flower swayed in the slight breeze beneath billowing clouds and brilliant blue sky.

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Azalea and Greystone spied the row of mulberry trees along the field’s outer boundary.  The limbs were heavy with fruit, the first berries just turning the dark purple-red of ripeness.   The sun kissed berries were warm in my mouth and juice ran down our faces.

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We spent the afternoon lazily snacking on berries and constructing poems.  Juniper wrote this for me:

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Hair as long as the river/Hands as small as a wren’s /Reaching the mulberry branches /The wind was kind to bend

On our way back to the valley, we passed our own little berry patch.  The strawberries had been neglected in the rain and were drooping with large red globes.  Even Juniper’s blueberry bush had the first fruit of the season.  Gleefully, we added them to our bounty.

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We had an impromptu jam-ing.  Four extra hands made the work light and was a merry night, indeed!

M.M.

Strawberry Full Moon

Joyful and most auspicious happenings today!! The time, we have so long prepared for, is at hand.  After these years of preparation, it is difficult to believe, but I welcome it wholeheartedly!  The way of Still Water and Santooshka will be broadcast across the land.  Sowing the seed of magic and awakening the latent Purblind’s need to fit into the natural world.

After morning tea Juniper gave me a jug of honeysuckle cordial and asked me to give it to Ripple, for her most fortuitous gift of the amulet.  The path is now over grown in its early summer greenery and I heard splashing long before I could see the running water.

Standing knee deep in the middle of the stream was a  man.  His dark curls too short to keep the sun’s reflection from dappling his face.  Laughing, he was holding the largest sunfish I have ever seen.  His laughter was contagious and I could not keep from giggling.

Startled, he lost his grip on the fish and what followed was nothing but comical.  The fish sensing it’s last chance for freedom wiggled frantically, while the bearded man put hand over hand as if pulling an invisible rope, trying to secure the flopping fish.  In the end, he lost his balance and landed in the stream with a large splash.  He recovered, flourished his sopping hat and bowed most gracefully, “My lady,” he said.

“Since I am the cause of your lost breakfast and wet tumbling act, I insist that you come to the cottage and allow me to show you the hospitality entitled to any guest who makes through the veil of the Santooshka.”

He bowed again, smiling, “I am called Ironroot, a wanderer by nature and raconteur by choice. I’d happily take the company of a beautiful lady anytime over that of a fish, and I am much heartened to learn I have made it to this enchanted wood, for it is my journey’s destination.”

We walked the short way back to the cottage, between the noise of his watery squelching and shared laughter, there was little space for chatter.  The changelings heard and ran to meet us on the path.  Excited queries gushed from their berry stained lips.

I shushed them and told them to run tell Juniper to put the kettle on.  General mayhem descended into Juni’s kitchen, dry clothing was found, wet ones hung out, cats and the Cottage Brownies ran beneath our feet, and the changelings constant questions were drowned out only by kettle’s whistle.   We had just laid out thistle seed muffins when Ironroot arrived wearing –if not well fitting- a well suited tunic and breeches.  Again, the children’s voices were woven into an intricate tapestry of questions and suppositions.

“Now, now, lit’ uns, let the gentleman drink his tea, and he will tell of his travels in due course, ” I cheerfully chided.

He laid his hand atop of mine; stirring up a place in my middle I had long forgotten.  “Madam, it is time for me to tell you why I have come.  ”

And so it was, over steaming sips of raspberry tea we learned the time has come for the magic we have held so dearly to our breasts, to spill over the boundaries of Santooshka and into the unnatural world of the Purblinds.

His tale went this way.  For certain, he was an outer worldly traveler and had had many adventures, but they had all led him to this inevitable sequence.  After spending the winter in the mountains, he returned to Stonestack, a northern Elvish village, bringing the enchanted Angora goats back to their spring pastures.   Knowing his gypsy heart, the village elders called upon him to serve the Earth Mother Rebellion- as they were now calling it.  They bade him to go from one hidden magical enclave to another, calling upon the denizens of each enchanted community.  He was to be a harbinger of revolution.  Spreading the word, it was now time for the Fae Folk to change the heart of Man.  Time now, to show them the love they seek can only be given, not taken.  To teach them that the earth, water, and sky were not resources to be used and thrown away, but our mother, father, and protector.  That magic is an never ending well of heart healing.    It was time to share the way of Still Water.

Ask Magnolia Magpie to sew you a tunic like Ironroot's! Magnolia@societyofmossandlace.com

Ask Magnolia Magpie to sew you a tunic like Ironroot’s! Magnolia@societyofmossandlace.com

M.M.

Freeday,

We spent yesterday in Juni’s kitchen, discussing Ironroot’s plan of action further.  He hoped he could spend a fortnight here before continuing south.   He had followed the Cahokia ley lines to the outskirts of Santooshka, but the way to Evergreen Glade was more dangerous and there would be times when he would have to use glamour to blend in with the Purblinds.

After we had discussed our devotion to the cause, the forming of councils, supply lines and other needs must associated with what I could only think of as a magical uprising, our conversation wandered like the paths through our forest.  He is a man of conviction and has spent ages on the road, opening the eyes of the Purblind, only when it was safe.  It is obvious why the Northern Elves entrusted him with such a mission.  We shared heart and hearth with him until the moon rose.  He set up camp in the commons betwixt the cottages for the night.Featured image

This morning he appeared in his own clothes, clean shaven and bright eyed.  He is truly most handsome.  Out of a sack he produced a variety of packages in different sizes.

“I heard from certain armadillos that to gain the true admiration of the Ladies of Santooshka, I must bring gifts along with good tidings.  Locks of curly mohair fibers for the lady Juniper,” he said handing her the first parcel.  “And a bolt of the finest calico for the Lady Magnolia.  And here; silk strands dyed in the rainbow river by the Northern Elven Folk.”

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“Such finery!” Juniper exclaimed, running her fingers through the silken locks.

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He smiled back, “…Which pale in the comparison with your hospitality.”

The changelings looked mildly rejected until he turned to them, “Don’t fret, I did not forget you littles.”

He gave Greystone two lengths of silver wire and Azalea a lovely blue ribbon.  “For you both,” he laid an old tome on the table.  Written in western Elvish, the symbol for changeling was engraved on the leather binding. “A beginning to discovering your past.”

Azalea eyes became dewy, but Greystone grew quite serious, “Thank you Sir Ironroot.”

Juniper and I had plans to do some spinning with the Meadowlark.  The silly conceited bird believes his song sounds best when accompanied by the soft humming of Juni’s spinning wheel.  Despite our insistence that we could postpone, and be perfect hosts for him, he waved us off and said he was quite good at keeping his own company.

It was such a beautiful day!  The sun was especially sunny , the grass wonderfully green and for once, I completely agreed with the Meadowlark, his song was the most beautiful, yet.   Juniper whirred up skeins of the Mohair, while I gave up my attempts with the drop spindle and lay down dreaming Iron Wood’s face in the clouds.

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On our return,  I realized (and I must add sadly) that Ironroot’s belongings were no longer assembled in the common.  And after moments looking through the valley I found a small bunch of wild flowers on my doorstep with a scrawled note beside it.

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“In this life, we do not make friends but recognize them”

The note said nothing else. I must admit I am surprised at my own disappointment.  It seems that the wind has blown Ironwood out of our lives, just as it had brought him.

M.M.

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All things have meaning especially in Santooshka : Honeysuckle- psychic powers, protection Mint-love, healing, travel, protection Clematis- communication with spirit, imagination Daisy- joy, youth, family Also- Mulberry- protection, strength

Juniper and Magnolia’s Honey Basil Berry Jam

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In Which Juniper Arrives With the Changelings:

Magnolia,

I thought it best to finish the letter I sent while on the road home and give it to you discreetly so that you may read it after supper and perhaps dream about it tonight.  You must have guessed by now that it was the changelings who kept me alive that night in that dark Ozark Forest I crawled into after the Troll attack. Two of the wee ones patted my hand and dabbed my forehead all the night long.

I awoke to early morning birdsong, and the two had fallen asleep on either side of me.  I noticed the amulet Ripple gifted to me was now hung around my neck and the cork unstopped and the contents spilled out onto my chest, and the unmistakeable and glorious scent of the Santooshka had enveloped our trio in a swirling protective mist. I heard a Whippoorwill whistle in that certain way we taught them, and I knew you must have received word of my plight and instructed the woodland animals to open the amulet.  After earnestly thanking the forest for my miraculous healing and renewed sense of well-being, I carefully arranged the contents back into the jar and went about making breakfast.

While I was cooking a tidy breakfast of Blue-Jay egg, pine-needle tea, and reconstituted serviceberry mash, I started to remember that song we used to always sing when we drank pine-needle tea at the Garden’s Edge- and before I knew it, I was humming and singing that old familiar tune…

I looked up from my cup of tea to see the changelings staring quietly at me. The poor things didn’t remember anything before waking up in the back of that old Troll truck, not even their names! I will tell you now, because they’ve been so quiet since our arrival: I’ve named the girl-child Azalea AlderTree after the songs we sang before, and all the beautiful Azaleas blooming now. The boy-child I’ve named Greystone Gardiner because I saw him throwing stones at those Trolls; and Gardiner because it is the loftiest of occupations, isn’t it? Anyway, they’ll just need a little time to warm up to us and Santooshka Forest, and I’m sure they’ll fit right in.

But, how we all came to arrive at the Seed Festival is quite the story! As you might imagine, I was a little disoriented and not having ventured from Santooshka like this before, I found myself pacing under a row of pines. I think that’s what did it. The pacing, I mean. The ground began to purr and then, rumble, and Magicicada’s – the Periodical Cicadas that awaken every 17 year- wriggled by the thousands up from the ground all around us! Before I could say “Ecdysis!” they started chirping- “Where are we?” “I’m hungry!” “Who are you?” and they turned and stared at us with wide-set red eyes and wanted answers! Normally, it is days before the Magicicadas can fly as you know, but this brood was particularly robust and began flitting their wings and encircling and mussing our hair and ruffling our clothes. Thankfully, I was able to convince them to work together to transport us to the Seed Festival which just happened to be on the other side of the wood in exchange for telling them stories of the world above ground for the past seventeen years.

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The Seed Festival! Sure, there were Purblinds everywhere, but there were also lots of magic folk from other forests and prairies, and deserts, and mountains from other lands. We were told we would always recognize our own kind Magnolia, it’s true. Even all the way in the Ozarks, I could tell I was surrounded by a network of people just like us, who believe in the same future we do.

Ambassadors from All lands visit The Baker's Creek Seed Festival in Mansfield, MO

Ambassadors from All lands visit The Baker’s Creek Seed Festival in Mansfield, MO

Juniper GinFairy, Azalea AlderTree, Greystone Gardiner enjoy a sunny day at Baker's Creek Seed Festival May 2015

Juniper GinFairy, Azalea AlderTree, Greystone Gardiner enjoy a sunny day at Baker’s Creek Seed Festival May 2015

Azalea AlderTree Wearing a handsewn hat lent to her by Juniper- Order yours from Magnolia@societyofmossandlance.com

Azalea AlderTree Wearing a hand-sewn hat lent to her by Juniper- Order yours from Magnolia@societyofmossandlance.com

Secret meetings were held. Councils were formed. The network of believers strengthened. I left with Greystone and Azalea with a lighter heart and wings on my soul. By the time we caught up with the Cicadas, it was apparent the Magicicada King had awoken because they were all flopping around chanting “Pha-raoh! Pha-raoh!” And there was no convincing them of anything, least of all to quiet down and listen. We covered our ears and ran from the thicket to escape the din of their listless chanting.

On a narrow goat path down the hill, we got to chatting with a fez of armadillos that had also just left the Seed Festival. As it happened, they stopped by on their way from Arkansas, with bundles of Ouachita Mountain Quartz in leather sacks strapped to their backs, for a rest and a few fruit-and-larvae smoothies. They were headed east and were kind enough to offer us a ride back to the edge of the Santooshka Forest! You and I both know there are no coincidences, and so though I’d like to say I wasn’t surprised to find out that they all knew our friends Mud Dog and Dusty Pearl. I was elated to learn that they had packed special quartz bundles just for them!We were delivered to their doorstep along with the quartz bundles after only a few days of uneventful armored travel at armadillo pace.

Dusty Pearl made us tea upon our arrival, and I recounted the miraculous story of the Troll attack, the changeling uprising, and how the amulet revived me. Mud Dog and Dusty Pearl suggested that bits of the Santooshka be shared outside the forest for other believers to utilize. Before I could protest, Mud Dog began fashioning tiny leather pouches for me to carry back to our neck of the woods. Dusty Pearl instinctively painted The Fern Defiant on each pouch as a reminder to all who hold the amulets, that though difficult times lay ahead, we are the people who grow and thrive in inconvenient conditions.

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Some of the Ouachita “Wa-She-Ta” Mountain Quartz in the Armadillo shipment.

Mud Dog creating amulet pouches for The Society of Moss and Lace

Mud Dog creating amulet pouches for The Society of Moss and Lace

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With deft fingers, Dusty Pearl paints The Fern Defiant on the leather pouches.

With deft fingers, Dusty Pearl paints The Fern Defiant on the leather pouches.

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Live Moss Amulets with

Live Moss Amulets with “A bit of the Santooshka” inside ready to be put inside their pouches for transport!

Since arriving home this morning, I have fielded a barrage of questions from the changelings and they have slowly begun meeting the inhabitants of Santooshka. Even Kitty Purry climbed out of the Sugar Maple tree to say hello!

Kitty Purry lives inside the trunk of a Sugar Maple tree.

Kitty Purry lives inside the trunk of a Sugar Maple tree.

Greystone wanted to know why we hung mirrors in the garden. He didn’t know how vain the insects are in Santooshka- especially in spring when their wings aren’t tattered and their shells are glossy and new.

Greystone Gardiner, newly of Santooshka Forest.

Greystone Gardiner, newly of Santooshka Forest.

This one may be more manfolk than Faerie kind... only time will tell.

This one may be more manfolk than Faerie kind… only time and growing will tell.

A Cicada admiring his glossy new exoskeleton.

A Cicada admiring his glossy new exoskeleton.

Azalea AlderTree newly of Santooshka Forest.

Azalea AlderTree newly of Santooshka Forest.

Azalea reveling in the scent of the Santooshka!

Azalea reveling in the scent of the Santooshka!

Azalea peeking in windows to see who sleeps late in Santooshka Forest.

Azalea peeking in windows to see who sleeps late in Santooshka Forest.

The sweet smell of woodland roses!

The sweet scent of woodland roses!

I thought maybe I would ask Honey Bower to set aside the first 10 letters we receive that have the words “The Fern Defiant” written in them outside the usual mailbag so that we may send a reply post-haste with Moss Amulets inside. As was foretold in the Stillwater Grimoire, the time to share the magic of the forest is upon us and I am certain if we can just get the amulets into the hands of the right people, our mission to spread frivolity and enchantment through the lands will be that much easier! Dream on it, Magnolia, and let me know your thoughts in the morning. Enthusiastically Yours, Juniper

We're giving away these live moss amulets to the first 10 people who write to us with the words:

We’re giving away these live moss amulets to the first 10 people who write to us with the words: “The Fern Defiant” !

To Enter our giveaway, simply write a letter or postcard to Juniper and Magnolia with the words: “The Fern Defiant”. Make sure your return address is legible enough for Wandering Woolgatherer to decipher and we will send you your Live Moss Amulet from Santooshka Forest straight away.

The Society of Moss and Lace

C/O Honey Bower

#53Buttermilk Hill Rd

Ava, IL 62907

USA

Magnolia Magpie’s Journal: Ripple Gives a Gift

Firstly, I’ve noted the Sweet Cicely seeds, we threw about last autumn, took well!  A small section of the path is dotted with its lacy blossoms.

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I’ve been so busy helping Juniper prepare for her trip to the seed Festival, I have neglected my writings.  A much needed venture, to be sure, but it is never easy when she is gone long from the Santooshka Wood.

Beltaine was a truly beautiful day!  In the misty hour before dawn, we collected glow worms and put them in jars strung on strings. Drinking our raspberry leaf tea, we watched the sun light slowly slink along the forest floor. We dedicated the early morning to making our Belatine crowns.  Juniper and I wandered down the path picking wild flowers and gathering new sprouts of honeysuckle.  The malleable green stalks were heavily budded crowned in the first blossoms of the season.

We sat on the edge on the creek and wove the stalks together.

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The honeysuckle smelling like summer nights under the stars mingled with the light sweet aroma of the blue phlox.  Water sprites played in the running water, splashing,  swirling  in microcosmic vortexes between the creek stones. Ripple, a sprite we do some trading with, swam towards us, as the others let the current sweep them downstream.

“A traveling amulet,” she bubbled, her voice barely distinguishable from the creek song.  Her small webbed fingers unfurled  to reveal a shimmering glass bottle.  “A part of the Santooshka.”  As I peered into the small vial, it seemed to pull me in.  Though I was only looking into the tiny glassed in forest, I could feel it’s immensity. I could see the little trees inside swaying in the breeze and I though I saw a warbler flit by.

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Juniper was most grateful and thanked Ripple before she dove beneath the waters to join her sisters.  The rest of the day was spent in the mundane tasks of preparation.  We hung the ribbons from the maypole, readied the bonfire,  and there was general hustle and bustle in the kitchen.

That of course was days ago and Juniper left just before the full moon.  She has been gone too long….

…I have just received a sparrow post from dear Juniper, she is in the utmost peril, I must consult with the woodland creatures and try to help!!

EASY FLORAL WREATHES

Gather lengths of Honey Suckle

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Start with two pieces.

Wrap the ends of the stalks together, minding the leaves.

Do so on both ends, so you have a circle the size you desire.Featured image

Starting in the middle of the third piece, twist it around the junction of where the previous pieces meet.

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Continue in this fashion until you are satisfied with the look.

Add wild flowers or what-nots.

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