Thursday, December 12, 2013


I have been thinking a lot this week about actions, reactions and repercussion. From a positive point of view. 
I do believe that each and every one of our thoughts and actions places effect on the universe. As someone whose faith is Taoist/Buddhist I know that my thoughts create my reality and therefore have effect on my world. But I do not live in a vacuum and my reality will have an effect on every other person around me, and they on the people around them. The ripple effect. 
This can be a very good thing, (and of course a very bad thing, but let's focus on the good). If I make the effort to make as many of my thoughts and actions have a positive effect on the world around me... I can make the world better.
If I actively choose to do as little harm* as possible then I am actively striving to lessen suffering in the world.
All of these can be simple actions. A please and thank you, a smile, a gentle word. For me it is living a vegan life (actively choosing to bring no harm through what I eat to the best of my ability). It means finding a way to strengthen my community, through shopping locally, through my herbal practice, etc.
It does not mean living a life of false happiness. This is more about finding a sense of peace. That deep personal sense of peace. And sharing it. We can, and I am sure we will, talk later about how to find that peace.
For now, let me leave you with the thought"
"May today bring you what you need the most. And may it do so in the gentlest way possible"

*Harm means not just direct actions for me. I know that not only my actions but my words and thoughts  can actually hurt others. If , for instance, my thoughts are negative and my face reflects that, some one may hurt from that. It is a bigger and grander concept that may be addressed later. 

** I am not sure if you can tell, but there is a shift in focus here and there will be more posts like this.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Active Meditation

Each act we do can become a meditation. Walking, sitting, breathing. There is an intention with the word meditation. I intend to still my mind so that I can find emptiness. I intend to still my mind to banish from it desire. 

I intend to still my mind so that I may find union with the source. It does not matter much what the formal intention is. Because at the base of all mediation is the stilling of the mind. 

I find that I can best achieve a still mind when my hands are busy. For me, simple acts that require no thought are meditation. I still my mind through washing dishes, or pulling weeds. The best meditation I have ever found is stilling my mind and being fully in and of the moment through embroidery. Each stitch is a breathing exercise. Breath in, begin a stitch, breath out, end a stitch. 

This is a simple practice. In all my years of meditation practice it is perhaps the simplest for me. A focus on the task at hand stills the busy cycle of thoughts. It gives me a chance to slip out of the self and into the now. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19th, 2013

I am working on my first big art for me project in a long while. I am making an altered book that will be stuffed with mantras and healing art. 

Really, I just made that decision as I was typing this. I have been wanting to make an altered book for quite sometime now. But launching what is essentially two businesses and renovating a house has left no time for art. The last two weeks, though, they were hard.

Things have stalled a bit. And while I am making loads of contacts, I am still not making money (which has to be a part of the process. {More on money as nourishment in a bit}). I am, or was, giving quite a bit of assistance to others and not filling my well. 

I had spent days and days making things for the sales, being on the phone supporting someone I love through a horrid time, and doing all the regular things on my schedule. I was able to crank out a ton of tea for one of the sales...and sold 1. (There is tea in the etsy shop..)

It was a disheartening month. (Fret not, I am down a bit, but never out). It is a reality of the capitalistic world we live in that I need money to make this work. I need funds for supplies, I need funds for space. And I need funds to pay my personal bills. 

And this is where the idea of money for nourishment comes in. I need money to make the things happen that will nourish my spirit to continue my work. At some point in the future, I believe that the business will become self supporting. But for now... there is a balance I am trying to strike. The money gives me space to do this. It nourishes my spirit, in a sense, by giving me the ability to move through to the next phase. This will be an idea that we explore more at a later date, I think. 

Now, onto the art bit... like I said, I have wanted to make an altered book for a long time. I just never took the plunge. Now is the time. I found a book that liked the shape of. And have been working on the base.

I realized that if I have something that is physical to show some of the things I can do, that it might be the breakthrough that I need. The vision is there and there will be a ton of photos as I go. Mantras, scribbles, labyrinths, and I hope, movement.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Memory of Scent

As I work on integrating this blog with my business, you can expect more lengthy wordy sorts of posts. Posts that will help tell you what I do as an herbal and intuitive healer.

I work with scent. A lot with scent. I think I always have. When I am thinking of teas to start working on one of the ways that I know I am on the right track is that I smell it. It does not matter where I am, I will smell the new thing I am working on and that is how I know it is done.

Scent is a powerful trigger. It reminds of us of good times and bad. The smell of a heirloom rose can remind us of the neighbor who used to babysit. We all have experienced our mouth watering at the scent of a well cooked meal. I would bet that most of us remember the smell of loved ones.

One of my first memories of scent is that of my grandmothers house. But not just her house. A very small tiny part of her house. One that reminds me of being safe. My grandmother had a gigantic king sized bed. When we visited I would nap there. The head board was where she kept some nick-nacks and perfume bottles and books and all the things one would keep on a head board. As a toddler I would play with them all. One of the perfumes was a paste style that was housed in a tiny little decorative birds nest. I would open it and smell it all the time.

And long ago when we were out and about running errands there was an explosion. We were actually quite close to where it happened. I remember watching the smoke and the fire. I remember turning around and going home to listen to the news. There was concern about future explosions and poison gas. So the news told us to stay away from windows. So they put us children down for a nap in grandma's room. I was 7 and too old to nap, but still to young to be in the glass filled living room of my grandmothers house. And I think it made my mother feel better to have me in with my younger siblings and cousin.

I was concerned. I had listened to Mom and Grammie talk. They could not get a hold of Dad. Or my aunt. So I calmed myself with smelling all of Grammies perfume. The little  bird nest was my favorite.

I still own the little bird nest. It sits on the desk in my studio. And when I am stressed I still sit with it and smell it. It still smells. It smells like Grammies, and saftey. And it reminds me of all of the things that Grammie means.

Healing is about finding what is good and whole and safe in us. That little bird nest is where I started.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Preparing for Autumn

It is the second day of grey skies here. It certainly brings to mind my favorite time of year...AUTUMN. When the days are still warm and lovely, but the nights are cold. When the first rain brings me petrichor. When the leaves change and light up the world around me in oranges and yellows.

I love autumn. And I love to decorate for it. So I make banners (those will be later) and pumpkins.
Because of who I am I also stuff those things with pouches of scent (pumpkin pie of course).

There will be more of these and they are all for sale. So feel free to message me if you want one.

Friendly reminder that I do commission work.

Check out

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just letting you know I am still alive. But might be moving the blog to my own website. I have one constructed, and almost complete. And boy wouldn't I love to have a shopping cart so I can sell directly from. 

Check out I have some great new things in the shop. Like a meditation oil that promotes self love and acceptance. Some dream pillows that go along with the oil as well. 

And I am all set up for consultations. So email me at 
Also... there is a facebook page.  Go like it.

I am in a place to make UrbanTao my full time business. And knowing that that is the path I am taking... there will be a shift in what this blog does. It will still be where I share what I am doing. But I think there will be some articles that I am writing. It may end up that the blog  becomes a catch all for the rapid running my brain will be doing in the next few months. 

Life is really good. The room in the garage is almost done, there is a line of stuff ready to go, and things are starting to calm down.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baker Street Tea is now in the shop.

So go buy some!

I make small batches to keep the quality as high as I can. This is a delicious blend of black tea with light vanilla texture and citrus notes that lift it. It amazes me the play of flavors this tea has without overwhelming.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I spent the weekend gaming. And then time on Sunday making some artist trading cards. There is not much to say about them. One focuses on texture and the other was more about me making something for the sake of doing it. 

Here are the pics. 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

Know what makes them awesome? My homemade blueberry liquor. Yeah, I did that. Yeah, it makes them tasty. 

The recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. But... veganized and tweaked as usual. 

I used frozen blueberries and thawed them and drained them. I saved the liquid to add to the batter, but the process helps the blueberries hold up a bit better. They do not really need the extra blueberry juice, and I would leave it out next time. 

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup soy milk with 2 tablespoons flax seed (egg substitute) well whisked together
3/4 cup soy milk or other milk sub.
1/3 canola oil

(I also added 2 tablespoon of blueberry liquor. I will post the recipe in a later post). 
1 teaspoon or so finely grated lemon peel. 
1 cup well drained blueberries (thawed or fresh)

Oven at 400 degrees

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Combine wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients until just moist. Add blueberries. Fill greased or lined muffin pans 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes.

If you wanted... just before baking you could add a bit of jelly or jam to the top of the batter.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time to pamper through the allergies.

They kicked in early, those pesky allergies. I am sniffly and sneezy and maybe several other dwarves (like bitchy, by the end of the day). The thing about allergies is that, for me, I don't feel sick. I just sneeze and sniffle and swell up. But by the evening I am exhausted.

So time for a little herbal help. Eucalyptus to the rescue. It is refreshing and opens up all those respiratory passages. I found a recipe that makes shower pucks that I through into the shower. I made them super strong, and added dried eucalyptus leaves at the bottom of each puck. I through them into the freezer, and then when nice and solid, I put them in a jar to store in the bathroom. 

Here is a link to the pucks!

I really love a lot of the stuff at 

Maybe a nice little gift
What I love about this recipe is the ability to add other essential oils to it. Remember that aromatherapy is so good for the soul. For me, lavender (duh). For a refresher  a mint base with a citrus lift. I can't even think of a limit!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Coffee Cake Muffins

I haven't been baking much since we decided to move. And here we are... in the new house for two months and I suddenly want to make all the things. 

So I pulled out the big old BHaG cookbook. We all know the one. In it is a bunch of great muffin recipes but not so much with the vegan. That is quite alright. I can fix that.

Coffee Cake Muffins made vegan:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup soy milk and 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (this will be the egg sub.)
1/2 cup soy milk


1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts ( I used almonds as that is about all anyone in my house will eat)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted earth balance or other vegan margarine

Sift the 1 1/2 cup flour, sugar and baking powder into mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. At the flax mix and the milk and mix until just moist.

Combine the brown sugar, nuts, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon and melted EB.

Place half the batter into muffin tins (greased or lined with muffin cups), sprinkle nut mixture over, then top with the remaining batter, filling half full. Then bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

They did take a bit longer for me, I think my oven is running cool. But they seem to be a big hit. I would even top them with a light vanilla icing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dream Collage

I know that I told you we moved. And we are finally starting to feel settled. Trust me there is a ton of renovation work left to do... such as building a new room and laying all new floors, and let's not even talk about all the painting or the bathroom work. 

However, I finally got my work space set up and proceeded to crank out 6 scrapbook pages for my sister-in-law. Those may or may not get posted. Some turned out fabulous.

My oldest daughter decided to have a fully shabby chic room. Which has been a blast for me. I have made curtains, have some ideas for pillows, just really going to town. I made a wee collage for her wall. Painted wood piece with paper and lace and a tag and flower.
I love the way it turned out. I am even thinking of doing a line of similar ones for the shop. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And on a new year

While we wait for the house to close (which is looking further and further away... hopefully a new date will be set tomorrow) I thought I would post a couple of pics of the Avengers quilt we made for shorty!

She is the biggest fan of  The Avengers... comics, cartoon, and the movie. And as we are moving and she gets her own room, we thought this would be a great addition. We in this case is my friend who keeps me both grounded and reaching for the sky. She is amazing. Let's call her AC.

Look for lots of new stuff in the coming year.