Special recipe of 'Mamman piirakat'



My daughter recently spurred me on to finally take action on a recipe I received seven years ago but which seemed way too sacred for me to even contemplate on making. My beloved grandmother passed away while I was expecting my daughter, and later I asked my aunt if she happened to have this recipe so specially connected to my early years at my grandmother’s. I hadn’t eaten these for ov
er twenty years, and the taste brings back so many memories. Not a local recipe to where I grew up, but most likely it comes from the Karelian area of Finland. I remember my grandmother saying the recipe might be from Latvia or Lithuania, but my cousin supplied me with more accurate knowledge: her mum (my aunt) received this one from a fellow student while at university, gave it to her mother (my grandmother) who then mastered the making of these pies that we all in the family have since known as 'Mamman piirakat'. The name is quite interesting in itself: supposedly the recipe originates from Karelia, the very the Eastern region of Finland that  borders to Russia, yet baking these on the Swedish speaking west coast of Finland, my grandmother referred to them as 'Mamman piirakat' - 'mamma' being 'mother' in Swedish and 'piirakat' being 'pies' in Finnish. 



The dough is subtly sweet, filled with a mixture of pudding rice, finely chopped boiled eggs and salted butter. Soon after the first lot came out of the oven, I was bursting in my seams, having gobbled up most of them while the second lot was still baking... Certainly best eaten warm!

If any of you want to try this lovely recipe, I translated it into English for you:

'MAMMAN PIIRAKAT'

Make the filling first:
9-10 eggs (boil for 11-12 mins)
3.5 dl pudding rice (boil in salted water until soft)
3-4 dl melted butter (not margarine)
Amount of added salt according to taste

Use fork to mush the boiled eggs, mix with the boiled rice, then add melted butter until then mixture resembles porridge. Add salt according to taste.

Dough:
1/2 litre milk
1 dl sugar
50 g fresh yeast (or 25 g dry yeast)
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 dl melted butter (not hot)
approx. 12-14 dl plain flour

Melt the yeast, sugar and salt into suitably warm milk. Add eggs and melted butter, then flour through a sieve. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise in a warm, draught-free place until twice the size. Knead the dough on the baking table and roll (a chunk at a time) as thin as possible. Use a large round cup to cut out round pieces, add a good amount of filling and close the edges to form a ‘ball’. Place on a baking tray so that the dough’s seam is underneath, against the tray. Let the pies rise a while on the tray before placing into the oven. Egg the surface of the pies and bake approx. 8-10 mins in 175-200 degrees’ heat.

Old studio, new studio


Leaving my beautiful 'crystal cave' behind, now having a few tumultuous weeks ahead sorting out everything for my new work space - packing, unpacking, pondering where everything needs to settle. It's not possible to decide at the outset, I can plan sure, initially, but a good studio space 'grows' in time. I need to Be & Work in the new space patiently, and little by little all items of furniture and storage will show me where the best place for them is. Can't wait to be fully settled!

Clearing space

Trip down the memory lane... I'm to let go of many old things to make more studio space, but these little booklets are the most difficult to throw away. All the course notes I prepared for my workshop participants when I was teaching creative book art all those years ago. Oh the nostalgia of releasing such physical memory touchstones... But away they must. Thus this goodbye post. Space for new things!

Also found my old sketchbook from year 1995...! This spread is from one enjoyable day sketching the treasures in the British Museum. Later I made a water colour painting based of this small statue of 'Psyche Bound'. I entered it in a young artists' gallery competition in Finland that year. It won the 'Public's Choice' award. Feels like many lifetimes ago now.


And another sketchbook victim of this ruthless studio clearing... I was never big in creating sketches prior to beginning book art work, but rather created compilation collages of commissions that I had completed. Something to remember each project and process by. Bits of materials and elements I had worked with. A tactile memory, now only existing as these photos.

Shamanic stone poem

Some of these unusual sandstones from the Moroccan desert have been journeying through my studio lately. Each of them a unique individual, looking like a mysterious key to some hidden crystalline wisdom.

This particular diamond-shaped stone shaman chose its new keeper a while back, and I received this wonderful communication from her a little later - how wonderful it is when the connection between a healing stone and its keeper comes forth in such poetic flow! I asked for permission to share, so here it is for you to enjoy too.

How about making a book

Our son had a holiday project from school, related to various Christmas traditions in different cultures. He had chosen Finland, funnily enough, and of course there were quite a few differences to cover in comparison to the British traditions. But what shape and form should the project take, he wondered... My first suggestion in pretty much every such situation is always "How about making a book?" which to my surprise was this time welcomed as a viable option! He hasn't been too eager to try his hand at bookbinding before. So I finally got to teach him a simple process, and he was no different from the other children who get to make their first book from scratch: "I hadn't realised how much FUN it is to make a book with my own hands!!!! I want to make millions more!!!!!" 

New! Spirit Carrier's crystal grid base

Something fun coming up! I felt it was time to offer a lovely little 'tool' for my treasured crystal-loving customers, so this small, travel-size 'Flower of Life' crystal grid base was born. The first stack arrived from the printer yesterday, and I've been playing with it myself ever since!

This is the first edition of this crystal grid base and will be available from my next shop update (16th Nov) onwards. There will be a few unique sets of crystals available, like the one in this photo, that come with one of these crystal grid bases, allowing you to start playing instantly. But I also plan to send one of these base grids *free* with any purchase to both new & existing customers until I run out of this first batch. That means, when you purchase something from the Spirit Carrier shop from next week onwards, I'll be including one of these grid bases in the parcel too. You can then have fun with your own existing crystals :)

The crystal grid is printed on paper that is is 200gsm thick with matte surface and square in shape (12x12cm). The Flower of Life pattern is white lines on a dark brown, subtle photographic background (the stones in the background photo are the wonderful, shamanic desert sand concretion stones from Morocco).

Enjoyable crystal playtimes ahead!

Give-Away of healing crystals

This Give-Away is now closed.
The winners were notified and have received their crystals.

If you'd like to take part in this crystal Give-Away, head over to Spirit Carrier Facebook page to enter. You've got until the end of Monday the 10th of October 2016, and I'll announce the three winners on Tuesday morning.

Each of the three talisman pouches contains these five stones, you can read short descriptions of their crystal healing properties below.

. . .
Snakeskin Agate
Smokey Quartz ’Seer Stone’ (also called ‘dragon egg’)
Double-terminated Sichuan Quartz
Golden Calcite tumble stone
Natural Flint
. . . 

SNAKESKIN AGATE
Stone of strength and inner peace. Reduces the tendency to worry. In folklore, said to help find lost things and to help its keeper blend into the crowd and appear invisible. Has been used to initiate the rise of kundalini. Said to increase its wearer's love of life!

SMOKEY QUARTZ
A grounding and calming stone that elevates moods and dissipates negative emotions. "A Stone of Serenity", it is comforting and protective for one's aura. Smokey Quartz is thought to assist in creative endeavours and also in setting personal boundaries. Offers protection against electromagnetic rays. A good healing stone for improving general feeling of well-being. Relieves anxiety and worry, wards off confusion. Shielding crystal to create a calm, safe environment.

SICHUAN QUARTZ
Spiritually attuned to the white flame of pure consciousness, activating the crown and the third eye chakras. Aligns all the energy bodies, bringing forth a meditative state, peace and present moment awareness. Expands your consciousness and opens up psychic channels. Releases old, stagnant emotions, cleanses one’s auric field and releases negative thoughts. Emanates a strong “OM” vibration. Can be used to intensify attainments, find out about karmic lessons and to bring deep healing for all levels of being. Double-terminated Sichuan Quartz brings powerful spiritual protection and purification.

GOLDEN CALCITE
Amplifies and increases energy in general. Protects and purifies. Helps in remaining detached from chaos and in dealing with challenges. Increases one's sense of self-worth and belief in one's abilities, creating trust in expansive possibilities in life. Draws in high frequencies, eases transitions, is empowering and helps in releasing limiting beliefs.

FLINT
Ancient protection amulet, calling in spiritual guides and allies. Helps cut away anything that is not in your highest good, dissolving energetic blockages and detaching negative etheric ties from the aura and chakras. Increases self-esteem and courage. Excellent electromagnetic conductor, thus useful for those who are sensitive to EMF pollution. Purifies its environment. Said to prevent nightmares. Known as a "Portal Stone", facilitating your connection with higher dimensions and with your true self. Grounding vibe, which resonating with the Earth Star chakra, yet also corresponds to the Soul Star chakra, offering spiritual expansion and allowing you to ground higher spiritual knowledge into your physical existence.

. . .
Good luck in the Give-Away draw!

 

 

Magical murals in Pompeii

Three decades ago, a TV series called 'Last Days of Pompeii' made a deep impression on me. Later on, as a book artist, one of the favourites I made a binding for was a poetry book with photographs of murals ~ 'Angels of Pompeii'. Today, I got to walk those excavated pebbly roads, wander among the ruins and travel back in time where the lava from the eruption of Vesuvius covered the whole city. And the murals... oh the murals...

Beautiful stone art by Soul Stones

There's a local holistic health fair held here every summer, and like last year, I enjoyed browsing the stalls again, making new discoveries. This time I was stopped on my tracks by stones that were best described as 'silently singing' when I walked past... well I couldn't walk past, of course, but gasped and had to stop. Ah, any photos just don't do justice to what I was able to handle, so you'll just have to take my word for it.



Chatting with Alexis, the creator of these Soul Stones, was like meeting a long lost friend. Her beautiful calligraphy and sensitive handling of the stones she works with, really bring out the best in them. Because I'm so enamoured with natural sea-tumbled Flint pebbles, it was delightful to see their spirit brought out in this way. I especially loved her 'Map' stones that reminded me of ancient treasure maps, showing an explorable terrain by accentuating the stones' natural patterning and shapes. Breathtakingly beautiful, including the chosen words that allow the stone to speak its message in a poetic yet direct way.  



Two of her stones whispered to me (very loudly) so I couldn't leave them, and thus my art studio now has two new stone spirits to keep me company. There could never be too many, right? The other one (with a natural dent that in time might have developed into a holey hagstone) says: "vortex, whirl, wheel, spin, coil, spiral" and the other one shows an intricately drawn compass, painted in gold, with words: "You are always exactly where you need to be." Aren't they special?

If you want to commemorate something or gift yourself with one of these treasures, Alexis creates custom stones too. You can get in contact with her through her website at soulstones.co.uk

Old dress to new dress with natural colour

Thinking about a dress choice for an event later this summer, I kept coming back to my all time favourite long silk dress. I just love it so, it's comfortable, and I'd have to spend way too much time trying to find something remotely as lovely... But wearing the one single dress at every occasion probably is getting a bit boring. So, my creative solution: updating the plain all pale pink dress with some arty eco-dyeing, why not! This dress being such a favourite, I'm still surprised that I had the courage boil it. That's what I did three weeks ago. Bundled with some plants from our back garden, this is what it looked like in the process of "being planted":



I was very patient, more patient than normally, and was able to let the bundle soak for a full three weeks before the excitement got the better of me and I opened the dye bundle earlier today:



Removing the wet, slimy plant material from the fabric isn't my favourite thing, but can't be helped. I had hoped for but hadn't dared to expect, the colours that I was now happy to discover. Delicious pinks, peaches, purples, hints of green and yellow... Just like an abstract watercolour painting.

Every step in the process of eco-dyeing with local windfall plants is so beautifully visual. Just up my street, really. Like this crunched up dress right after I had rinsed it:

My beloved dress is now drying, and I'm onto pondering the next necessity: a raw crystal necklace to match. There are a couple of crystals in my collection that I've hoped to work with for a while now, but making something for myself is never a priority. Now I think I have a good excuse. Natural plant colour (dress) combined with natural crystal energy (necklace) is certainly my kind of fashion.

Little hands making



My crystal cave is closed this week as it's half term and I'm on family duty. But while not working with crystals, creative endeavours are still on the table - today I'm making some soft cover leather bound books with two 11-year olds. If ever kids complain in my earshot that they're bored with nothing to do, my standard solution is always to get my bookbinding tools out!

And it's always so lovely to see the delight on the face of someone who's completed their first book ever. Only we lost track of time and I forgot to make dinner in time... Oops!

By the sea

The public holiday weekend turned out to have exceptionally lovely weather so we decided to venture out to explore the coast. Having moved to the Peak District, this was our first time driving to meet the sea... something I've been longing to do for quite a while now! And the location of Formby Beach turned out ever so beautiful. Only the littlest of our family was brave enough to swim, though. There were quite many jellyfish too. The fresh sea air was just what I needed.

Give-Away ~ crystal amulet with Smokey Quartz, Carnelian & Hematite

Announcing a crystal amulet Give-Away which is open to enter until the end of Saturday the 28th of May 2016. This is a Facebook-based event.

TO ENTER: You need to head over to Spirit Carrier's Facebook page to leave a comment, so I know you'd like to be included in the draw. No need for words even, just a little smiley is enough! I will then *reply* to your comment with a unique number which enters you into the Give-Away.

Good luck!

Celebrating Brooke & Justin



Never before have I been this excited about writing a blog post! Look at the photo above, a glorious wedding in Hawaii - I think this will always be one of those images for me that when I look at it, brings instant happiness, a feeling of serene joy. And would you believe, I've never met this couple in person. Yet I feel like this stunningly beautiful bride, Brooke, is one of my long time dear friends. This is what crystals do!
I'll backtrack to the beginning...

Some years ago, before I had an independent website, I started selling my crystal healing jewellery on Etsy. Brooke was one of my first customers at the time, and after her first purchase, through some synchronities a certain Gold Rutile Quartz crystal that was meant to connect with her happened to travel through my studio -  and was united with her. Crystals have connected me with many lovely people the world over, and so too, we've exchanged many emails with Brooke over the past years. I've made some custom pieces for her which has been very meaningful since we've always been on such a similar wave length about crystal energy. Knowing her energy signature from our communications has allowed me to choose the exactly right crystals for her. The bracelets and the anklet in the below photos came about from such exchanges, now quite a few years back, so it's amazing to see them here, still being cherished by her on this special day. It's always wonderful for me to see how crystal amulets take on a life of their own in connection with their owner!

Towards the end of last year, one of my shop updates included an amulet with Angel Wing Selenite as the focal stone, braided in white silk and cotton. Strangely a thought crossed my mind at some point in the making process that "this amulet really reminds me of Brooke for some reason..." and lo and behold, I was soon addressing a package to her! At this point I didn't yet realise that something would also be arriving for me in the post very soon after... A wedding invite! Brooke and Justin would be getting married in Hawaii in a few months' time! Ooh, how I wanted to jump in the plane and see Brooke in person on their special day! Of course, being in the UK and with two little ones, it wasn't possible for me. But they had a wonderful idea for those who couldn't be present: I was able to watch the ceremony remotely online. In fact, these photos are all screen grabs from the beautiful video produced by Hawaii Video Memories, published here with Brooke's permission.



This radiant bride also chose Spirit Carrier earrings to match - I rarely make earrings, yet towards the end of the year became strongly inspired by the flow of white peacock's feathers... Inspiration indeed comes in many shapes and forms! That creative vision must have been clearly, uncannily connected to Brooke as she told me later she had just hoped the right earrings would appear in my shop. I just love synchronicity!

I've lost count of how many times I've watched the video compilation of their wedding day. It is unbelievably beautiful, their love, their connection, the atmosphere, it all comes to life perfectly - such a treasure for their offspring in later years too. I feel so blessed and it fills my heart with deep gratitude to have been able to follow Brooke's journey to this beautiful moment through the crystals that connect us. May they live happily and magically ever after!

 

A blast from the past



Just received this publication in which one of my sculptural books from years back is featured. I had totally forgotten they had asked to include my work, when they contacted me again a year ago about where to send this complimentary copy. It took a while to arrive and I didn't know what to expect. Very pleasantly surprised at the quality! It covers a broad range of book design and book art, and especially fascinating are those by many graphic design agencies that adapt traditional bookbinding methods and styles to create modern, relevant, more commercial projects. Over 150 designers are included, many of my favourite artists among them, and I'll be perusing the pages with delight!

Below, my sculptural book work titled 'Paradise Found' and on the page to the right, some amazing fore-edge paintings by Martin Frost.


Title: Inspiration of Book
Publisher: Artpower, Hong Kong
Format: Hardback - 264 pages
Dimensions: 220mm x 290mm x 28mm | 1,560g
Publication date: 10 September 2014
Language: English
ISBN 10: 9881261627
ISBN 13: 9789881261625

Morning smoothies

When the morning smoothie ends up being exceptionally good, it wouldn't be nice to keep the ingredients all to myself. Just like in making jewellery, I don't use pre-defined recipes, but instead prefer to experiment. Not being a cook, nor always knowing how various tastes might combine, the success rate of my smoothie experiments isn't nearly as high as in combining crystal energy. But this particular morning, a few weeks back, my experiment resulted in such a delicious smoothie that I really need to remember what I put in it. That's the second reason for this blog post. In the above glass, there is: avocado, apple, pear, prunes & pomegranate. I've since experimented by adding also cucumber and spinach into this mix both of which are yummy in the combination. Sometimes I also add turmeric, cinnamon and grapefruit seed extract.

Today's smoothie was slightly different but also resulted in a lovely sweet taste: avocado, honeydew melon, spinach, cucumber and pear. (If you think green smoothies taste icky, I promise they really don't with these ingredients.) And now, back to my crystals...

Promise for the new year

For a long while I've had a thought at the back of my mind that I need to find time to play with some new ideas. Specifically, that I wanted to develop a lovely way to carry those crystals that one might want to stay loose - sometimes to be worn but perhaps other times being part of a crystal grid or a healing set up or similar... I kept being busy with other things but the inner nudging just got stronger and stronger. My creative muse kept whispering, "Crystal pods, knot some crystal pods..." And eventually I had to find the time, clearly the vision wouldn't leave me alone otherwise.

I'm not one to follow patterns or repeat anything that's already in existence. When I published the image of the first completed crystal pod, I received many messages asking where I had got the pattern from and is there a tutorial somewhere. Well, no. Because the joy in creative work for me is in developing something original from nothing, by relying on the structural and technical skills I've accumulated over the years, combined with intuition and a willingness to explore new ways of doing things. I'm sure those crafters who are inspired by this crystal pod idea, will be able to rely on their own skills to develop their personal version without the need to copy any specific pattern.

First I hoped that maybe I could find a way of creating simpler versions of these, that wouldn't take so much time, to be able to offer them perhaps more than a few at a time. But that's exactly it - that's not what fires up my creative muse. At all. My muse goes into a right humph if she needs to repeat something many times, almost like a factory line... Nope, not happening. To stay true to the essence of my creative path, to keep the uniqueness and freshness alive in whatever I make, each will have to be unique in its own way. I will allow the lace-like meandering of the knots lead the way, at each intersection I will assess which crystal might want to be included, or not. I will revel in discovering new ways of connecting, structuring, finishing... It is about being present and focusing on the exact moment, each knot, one at a time. Therefore, one of my promises for the new year is that I allow myself to stay true to my ways of working that lead to the best results and keep the spirit alive in whatever I do. To enjoy the exploration. For me it's not following already treaded paths but to forge new ones for the sake of infusing each piece with such a resonant energy without which I might just as well not make anything at all.



I will keep making these crystal pods when the inspiration strikes me... But these are also one of the few pieces that I do offer to make as custom pieces. Only you'll need to be open to having something unique made, in the spirit of these, but with a slight differences to keep each new one fresh and to make it its own individual. You can of course choose the cord colour you'd like for your very own crystal pod! Feel free to get in touch, if this is something that interests you.

 

Bringing the year to an end

It was time to take apart a crystal grid I had up for the last few months of the year. Cleansing the crystals and having them rest for a while before I begin making a new one, inviting the ones that might like to be part of the first grid of the new year.

There's also a few things I meant to do earlier, like these five remaining little bowls, two in Rose Quartz and three in Fluorite. I had saved these particular ones for being perfect to combine with gold. I used to work a lot with genuine 23.5. carat gold leaf in my bookbinding days. It's among the few metals I resonate with, it seems to 'spring to life' when worked with, very gentle and pure feel to it. I'm pleased I got these completed, definitely adding some special crystal sparkle to the new year!

First Snow

For the past two weeks it has been rainy and stormy, so to finally see not only a clear sky but some of the white stuff too, was just wonderful. For the past two decades I've not lived in a place with a lasting winter and snow so I wish I could do a little 'snow dance' to make it keep it coming!

This rugged landscape in its muted, neutral colour scheme is soothing. I was comparing the vibe to those parts of world where bright colours are more prevalent. These northern, wintery tones are indeed engrained in me. And the rocks speak their familiar language.



The terrain was slightly treacherous with pools of chilly water hiding under freshly fallen snow. The littlest member of our walking party discovered it with wet consequences. Sharp eyes needed, and steady steps to manage the ice. Still, isn't it gloriously beautiful!

 

 

Comforting weather

My walk to fetch water from the local "Well of Living Waters" was an eerie, foggy one last night. Before, I might have considered this weather miserable, but it wasn't now. The soft fog lowering down over the town was simply beautiful - much more beautiful than my quickly snapped photos. And rather comforting. The desaturated landscape was easy to wander through lost in my own thoughts, nothing in the surroundings beckoned my attention. The contrast was so clear compared to the eternal bright sunshine where we once lived. I did love it there in the warmth and even a thought of this type of greyness back then felt like a threatening prison. Something in this scenery has clearly won me over since then. I think in this weather, it's easy to be an introvert. I feel very much at home in this introvert's weather.

 

Off to new adventures

It is unreal how quickly time can whizz by. It was literally just "yesterday" when my studio assistant Mira started her six month contract - yet suddenly it was time to say goodbye. How did that happen? Where did six months disappear? Well, it was certainly very productive time and it allowed me quite a few more sleeping hours as I didn't have to stay up through the night completing tasks that I was able to delegate to her during day. I've yet to figure out how to carry on without her help... While pondering this problem, I want to show you a few glimpses into Mira's delightful sketchbook pages. Myself, I only ever sketch "in my mind & heart" but her proper pen-on-paper musings are so very lovely that I wish I'd have this kind of record to flick through as well. These are only a few of Mira's sketches, but I can tell you, the whole book is quite a treasure! It sure was wonderful to have her help in the studio, and I wish Mira the best of success wherever her path leads her next.

Landscape in muted colours

Autumn's palette of colours is very calming in its subtlety. Walking around the historical landscape of Derwent dam was yet another of our enjoyable weekend treats. It's difficult though, to convey the sense of scale in photographs.

I left behind a little 'guardian' on the shore, that perhaps has stayed standing a few days, greeting others walking in this autumnal landscape.

One evening's walk

A short drive away, there's a place, popular with mountain climbers, that we hadn't yet been to - called Stanage Edge. I think I've now found my favourite stony scenery around here! No further words needed, just these pictures...

Forgotten & remembered

A lot of my childhood in Finland was spent in my grandmother's house. Her presence in my life has left beautiful marks and in many ways she was one of my most cherished friends. Whenever I stayed with her overnight, I always asked for a certain story at bedtime. It was a volume of a cartoon magazine, possibly from the early 40s or 50s. She had been reading it to her three children already. The story was called Moon Princess. We were reading it for years, until I got to the age that bedtime stories just weren't part of the routine any longer. Then, after two decades with her, I moved abroad. Still very close to her despite the distance, we occasionally reminisced about Moon Princess together, even tried to search for the magazine but couldn't find it anymore. When she passed on ten years ago and the family was sorting through her belongings, I was slightly hoping that Moon Princess might magically turn up... Similarly, when my grandfather passed on a year ago and the house needed to be cleared for sale, I had a little hope that perhaps Moon Princess might be found... But no, no Moon Princess, sigh. By now, I had forgotten all the details of the story, just remembering that it was about a young brave girl going on a long arduous journey to save the Moon. The story was about the fight between light and darkness, very archetypal and symbolic. Instead of any details, all I remembered was how utterly important this one single story had been to me for many, many years.

Then, earlier this summer I received a message from my aunt. She had come across a box, that had needed sorting out - one of the last remaining ones from my grandparents' house. She had found Moon Princess. Together with another favourite volume of the magazine, Hidden Jewels, which I always chose after the Moon Princess if it wasn't too late to read another story. Oh joy!



I've now had these fraying, old, worn magazines for a few weeks, but didn't want to read Moon Princess until the moment would be just right... It would wait. It was too precious to hurry. Almost like it wasn't even particularly important to remind myself of the details in the story, because even if those were forgotten, somehow the story has always lived on in my innermost workings... difficult to explain but it's the only way I can express it.

Then, tonight, our daughter was immensely sad as she searched everywhere and couldn't find her beloved diary. I joined the search and we exhausted ourselves, still not finding it. We even went looking in my studio as there were no other places left to look! I saw the Moon Princess on the corner of my desk. It had been patiently waiting. We sat together, and I read the cartoon story to her. It was a welcome break. But more than that, it totally blew my mind. Like I said, I had forgotten every single detail... What did I now read in this most meaningful story of my childhood? A tribe chieftain's brave daughter, called Hina, wore a sacred stone around her neck, and when others tried to tell her not to proceed on her journey, she explained that the stone will protect her and give her the strength to do what she must. Perhaps my brain had forgotten the details, but the story clearly has been alive within me throughout my life journey! And now I have come to know many, many brave "princess Hinas" all over the world, each wearing their own unique Spirit Carrier stone, hopefully supporting them in whatever is required on their own journey. It's a happy, magical thought.



My next task is to carefully restore the disintegrating paper and mend the tears in this precious old magazine, to perhaps make it last a couple of more decades... Good that I still have many of the required tools and repair papers left from my bookbinding years. It might be lovely to one day read the story to my own grandchild.

Treasures galore

I've been frantically photographing today, hoping for the bright daylight to stay, to catch crystals in the most natural way. I'm aiming to have many new goodies in the shop soon. Having been in deep discussions with my most recent finds to find out which ones I'm allowed to keep and which might indicate their wish to be journeying on to find their new keepers... Such lovelies coming up! Menalite Goddess stones, Chrysanthemum stones, Moqui Marble, Smokey Quartz points (with glorious inner rainbows!), pop rock pairs and elixir bowls... The photographing and listing will continue for another day or two as it's very time-consuming. I'm also preparing the latest crystal amulets for the next shop update - hopefully all ready on Wednesday or Thursday!