Honoring our Daughters with Braids

IMG_7527Hello hair friends and sisters:)

This post today is dedicated to the daughters of the world, which is all of us with possibly some additional sons, and this is for them too, if they are into braiding their hair with flowers, and if they are, we salute and love them for it.

I want to be the kind of mom who honors my children for truly who they are, and I want them to be the kind of kids who understand that and know it deep in their hearts. And it is so hard sometimes to nurture that connection and love when we are stuck on the hamster wheel of ‘normal life.’

A month ago, I took my kids out of school for 2 weeks because I wanted them to be able to run free in the Ozarks and spend time with their loved ones and friends in our other hometown of Fayetteville Arkansas. And I needed a chance to remember who I am, and who they are, and why and how I love them.

I had been feeling increasingly out of touch with them in our busy Seattle life……Our days a routine of rushing them around and then feeling frustrated at their slow pace.

IMG_7417Being a mom is really hard because I often feel like the asshole, or I like to call it a momhole, if you will ( DON’T google it! No DON’T!) We simply don’t get enough time to just relax together (much less on our own!) , follow our curiosity, and just be without plans to keep us rushing around like rats in a race. We desperately needed some time to slow down together.

On top of feeling like a momhole in general, there is also the guilt of motherhood and womanhood, where everything we do is in opposition to what we should be doing, no matter what we are doing. What?????????? wtf. Makes one want to just say fuck it, I’m just going to do whatever I want forever.

IMG_7447Which is what we did in Arkansas last month, and it was divine. We crashed couches, we invited ourselves over to the homes of some of our favorite people, we ate, we danced, we played, we slept, we spent mothers day in our underwear lounging around like sloths, and we worshipped the great mama in the river with some of our best friends.

2 full weeks just BEING with our daughters, letting our little community hold us, not rushing, and just letting our days unfold was the best therapy that we could have asked for.

IMG_7512As we drove back to the airport at the end of our trip, a 4 hour journey to Kansas City, the guilt started to creep back in. What kind of mother would give up this sort of life? What kind of mother would leave the sweet community that raised her a mother, to move to a city that is no longer hospitable to part-time working parents who refuse to not be there to watch their kids grow up?

We drove past a sign advertising the Gentry Animal Safari…….Just 15 miles up the road!

IMG_7503What kind of mother would drive past the Animal Safari and not stop so her kids could see the weirdness of totally not native animals roaming the land that WallMart bought? What kind of mother would not let her children hand feed a kangaroo white bread while drinking coke and eating red vines and hot dogs cooked in rancid oil?

What kind of fucking mother am I.

And then, as if by magic, a literal field of beautiful wild flowers entered my vision on the side of the freeway. Hark! A Park!  I pulled the car over, and we ran together into the middle of the field. We all knew what to do. We sat at flower level, watching butterflies flutter by and listening to the sound of the flowers sing.

As I watched them frolic in absolute joy and wonder, I forgave myself for all the things I don’t do for them. As I braided their hair, I bowed to them in my heart, honoring them for being who they are and reminding me to stop beating myself up for not doing more for them. In my own annoying mom way, I tried to telepathically beam that straight down their throats and into their joyful little hearts.

There is nothing like braiding someones hair to show them that you honor them:)

If you are a mama, braid your kids hair. If you have a mama, braid her hair for her.

Thanks for reading my rambles:)

Here are the braids I gave them.

selahsparrow

marleymae

Pretty self explanatory, although the trick for this second one is that I pulled out all the hair along just the outer edge of both braids, instead of both edges. Then used pins to secure the braids across the back of the head to the other side, and tucked and pinned the ends of the braids underneath.

Honor yourselves, Honor your daughters. Lot’s of love.

Also, PS. Our youngest daughter Selah is graduating from Preschool today so I’m feeling very sentimental.

xoxo, HTHG

 

When Curly Friends do Each Others Wedding Hair

IMG_7021Hi dears! Today I am sharing a little fun and heartwarming project that I did last month in Arkansas with some dear lady friends at the river. Here is the story-

Christina was getting married in the Ozarks, to an Ozark man who she loves dearly and I was leaving town 3 days before the wedding (Cry!) so I wouldn’t be able to make it to do her hair and celebrate in the union of their sweet family.

So, we decided it would be a good move to teach her best friend Audrey how to do her hair for her. We met at the West Fork of the White River, near a lone goose who was clearly offended that we were around.

We set up our picnic blanket, and stripped down to our swim suits and set up shop. The goose hopped into the river to find a new place to hang.

Both Christina and Audrey are naturally curly women, with wild golden curls. We chatted a bit about what kind of hairstyle Christina wanted, and I gave her my bride hair shpeal which goes like this

For your wedding the most important thing is that you feel like yourself but at your very best and most elegant. So, let’s take your ‘usual’ hairstyle (a low loose bun on one side.) and fancy it up a bit. Can’t go wrong that way.

She was down with that. We decided which side to put her hairstyle on, knowing that we wanted it low and slightly off center. I

Now, for curly haired babes who are getting married, I generally like to leave the hair in it’s most natural texture without disturbing the curl pattern as I style it. Christina had a deep side part, and her heavy side falls naturally into a really lovely sort of fingerwave pattern when left to it’s own devises, so I planned the hairstyle to work around that, preserving that gorgeous natural feature of her hair that she loves.

I began by sectioning (gently) her sides, from the top of her head to behind both ears, pushing all the side hair forward of her shoulders and out of the way so I could build from the center of the back.

With all the hair in the back, I began a braid down the back, pulling the braid slightly to the side as I braided.

Halfway through the braid, I started at the top on one side of the braid, pulling the edges out to widen that side and create petal-like shapes on one side of the braid.  These ‘petals’ will run along the outer edge of the bun, creating a floral design.

I didn’t braid too tight, but also not too loose. I continued braiding to the end, then pulled the rest of the petals out all the way to the ends of the braid. I secured the end.

IMG_6915Then, holding the braid flat against her head, I wound the braid into a bun, pinning as I went, securing the braid to the head discreetely, with the ends tucked out of the way.

Next step, I created another braid on the light side of her part, pulling the petals out on the outer edge of the braid as I worked my way to the ends.IMG_6919

I secured the ends, and then wound that braid below and then up and around the bun, pinning it into place as I went. This made the bun bigger and more intricate.IMG_6925

Then, I created a third braid on the other (heavy) side of her hair in the same way, pulling the petals out of the outter edge as I braided. I secured the ends, then wound that braid into another small bun (flower) pinning it discreetly nestled up against the first bun. (Braided Rosebud:)IMG_6927IMG_6929

Then, I did my favorite little trick that adds volume to the back of the head…….Holding the buns tightly to her head with one hand, I used a bobby pin in the other hand to lift up the hair at her crown, threading it in underneath the hair at her crown and then lifting it towards me to create a bit of space, but without pulling too hard. I did this a few times around the back of her head to add a bit of oomf.IMG_6930

Then, she got flowered. Peony flowers and leaves and Queen Anne’s lace.

The whole while, Audry watched and asked questions to clarify……..Making sure she understood the directions so that she would be ready when the big day came.IMG_6960IMG_6958

Then, Audrey got a haircut in the wind (my favorite sort of challenge). All the while, the goose watched us from the river.

Hair Friends for Life.

The End.

xo, HTHG

UPDATE!!!!!

IMG_7815Here is a photo from Audrey of the finished hairstyle the day of the wedding, complete with succulents. SO beautiful. Nice job ladies.

 

 

A Female plant ally, 4 Leafed Shamrocks, and Clover Braids.

IMG_6732Marley, our 9 year old has an undeniable gift for finding 4 leafed clovers (Shamrocks) . This gift she inherited from her father’s mother, who looks into a clover patch and only sees the ones with 4 leaves, they just jump out at her.

They say that people who find four leafed clovers (shamrocks) can see fairies, and that finding 4 leafed clovers is good luck, because only roughly one in every 10,000 clovers has 4 leaves……the rest have 3.

IMG_5049Here is one of Marley’s recent 4 leaf clover hauls. She sits in a clover patch for a couple minutes and this is what happens.

These 4 leafed clovers, as well as a few beautiful red clovers that are popping up around our house in Seattle and the huge abundance of purple clovers that are blooming all over Fayetteville Arkansas (where I currently am as I write this, gazing out the window at a clover patch)……..are the inspiration for today’s post.

It seems as though the older I get the more I am attracted to plant allies that are powerfully medicinal for women, and I have been paying more attention to clovers recently.

IMG_6865They grow so abundantly and are so lovely, both the shamrocks and the flowers. Some people consider clover a common weed because it grows wild in so many places, and it is easily overlooked because of that. So many of our most potent plant allies are overlooked as common weeds!

Clovers are a wonderful flower for tea, because they are a great source of many valuable nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.

For women specifically, clover is very helpful in softening the symptoms of PMS, and Menopause because it has an estrogen like effect on the body. They are know to aid in communication and are widely used to aid in boosting female fertility!

Susan Weed on Red Clover and Fertility-

One of the most cherished of the fertility-increasing plants is red clover (Trifolium pratense). Common in fields and along roadsides, it has bright pink (not really red) blossoms from mid-summer into the chilly days of fall. A favorite flower of the honeybees, the tops (blossoms and appending leaves) are harvested on bright sunny days and eaten as is, or dried for medicinal use. The raw blossoms are delicious in salads and nutritious when cooked with grains such as rice or millet.

To make a fertility-enhancing infusion, I take one ounce by weight of the dried blossoms (fresh won’t work for this application) and put them in a quart size canning jar. I fill the jar with boiling water, screw on a tight lid, and let it steep at room temperature overnight (or for at least four hours). Dozens of women have told me that they had successful pregnancies after drinking a cup or more (up to four cups) a day of red clover infusion.

It is especially helpful if there is scaring of the fallopian tubes, irregular menses, abnormal cells in the reproductive tract, or “unexplained” infertility. It may take several months for the full effect of this herb to come on and pregnancy may not occurs until you have used it for a year or two. You can improve the taste by including some dried peppermint (a spoonful or two) along with the dried clover blossoms when making your infusion. Treat the father of the child-to-be to some red clover infusion, too!

Read up here for more on the medicinal benefits of clover, and here on harvesting and drying your own.

Today’s braids are inspired by, and decorated with, clovers.

Peep this……….

Clover Braids DIY

marsley

  • Begin by taking a section of hair from the front of one side, basically sectioning off from the top of the head straight down to behind one ear. Braid that section, then pull the braid across the back of the head.
  • Holding the ends of the braid, gently pull at the sides of the braid to widen it and make it more irregular.
  • Use a bobby pin to discreetly secure the braid to the head on the opposite side.
  • Repeat this with a section of hair from the other side.
  • Return to the first side, and create another section and braid beneath the first one.
  • Hold the ends, pull it apart, and overlap it to the other side, pinning it.
  • Do this once more from the other side. You will end up with 4 braids, pinned across the back of the head, back and forth.
  • Now, take all the rest of the hair that hangs down the back, and braid it. Secure the end with a clear elastic, pull the braid apart, then wind it into a flat braid against the back of the head. Pin it into place, hiding the end of the braid behind the bun.
  • Add more pins as needed to secure the hairstyle, and then go back over it and pull more pieces out gently to create more texture.
  • Adorn with clovers.

 

Thanks for being here!

xo, HTHG

 

 

 

Intuition and No Basic Witch Pentagram Braids

IMG_4632Witches are quite en vogue these days, in style, in theory and in practice. I think it is part of a massive uprising in feminine power and awareness and I am sure grateful to feel it happening around us.

IMG_6877Quilt of Divine Feminine Connection by Ozark Fiber Artist Sage Billig;

Witchcraft is a term that is difficult to define with precision. In this post, I use the term witch to refer to a woman who believes and explores her sources of inner intuitive strength which can be used to heal, transform, and get big, important shit done. The all powerful and connective/collective forces of unseen strength and energy infused with intention.

Witchery is a value that was first instilled in me by my amazing kindergarten teacher Judy Beerman, who had a girlfriend, a black mullet with a pink tail, and a guitar. She sang most of our lessons to us. It was Seattle Public Schools in the late 80’s and I lucked out with a radical, truth speaking role model.

Judy’s songs have stuck with me and shaped me in a huge way…..Lessons from the songs she sang about the Civil Rights Movement, our right to love, and the importance of Witches instilled deeply into my heart a need to understand and accept peoples differences while always questioning mainstream thought and building and trusting in my own intuition……..These were things that Judy’s songs taught me.

‘Who were the witches,

where did they come from?

Maybe your great, great grandmother was one.

Witches were wise, wise women they say, there’s a little witch in every woman today’

And the song goes on and on. This song was originally written and sung by Bay Area children’s songwriter, activist and pagan Bonnie Lockhart. Judy played this song a lot.

Digging into Intuition a bit, I recently read this, from the Power Path, and really loved it…..

‘Another potent and exciting aspect of this month is acknowledging the power of your intuition as a guiding principal in setting your intentions and trusting in a new direction.

Intuition is non-intellectual and helps us to feel into things, instead of rationalize them. Remember that rationalization uses language from the past and past experiences, where intuition feels into the future.

Your intuition knows your true values, and your values are important building blocks to the foundation of your future.

IMG_6204Knotted Magic Eye Necklace by Spanish Fiber Artist Nayra Del Bosc.

These words are very affirming to me. There is a lot of pressure on us to be rational and methodical in our decision making, but sometimes that can really be stifling to our connection to our own inner voice, which is always speaking. Trusting our intuition can take practice but it is so necessary to our souls to do that work.

IMG_6187In Honor of the exploration of the divinely Witchy ways in each of us, and in persuit of a healthy intuitive life, I present you this DIY braided representation of the sacred symbol of the Pentagram.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.25.50 AMA little history on the Pentagram.

The Pentagram is an ancient symbol of divine knowledge, a sacred symbol used commonly in Celtic tradition and Paganism, with origins dating back to Pythagoras, ancient Egypt, India, Persia and Greece.

It represents our connection to each other, and the sacred geometry of nature and all life, and our connection to forces unseen. Please read up more on the Pentagram to familiarize yourself with it’s roots and meanings, and then braid your hair into a Pentagram and divine that inner wisdom and connection.

IMG_4730No Basic Witch Pentagram Braids, DIY

witch

  • The idea behind this is that we are using tiny braids to draw the picture of a 5 pointed star.
  • Beginning with the lower left hand point, use a hair pin or something pointy to section off a tiny circle of hair, and start a nice tight tiny braid within that circle section. Continue the braid until it is long enough to stretch across the back of the head, upwards to the top center point of the star.
  • Now, create another tiny circle section where the top center point is, and divide it into three to create your second braid, braiding the ends of your first braid tightly in with the second braid. (The ends get added right into one of your 3 braid sections from braid 2.)
  • Now continue braid two until it is long enough to meet braid 3, in the bottom right point of the star. Add the ends of braid 2 into braid 3 in the same way, and create that bottom right point.
  • Now continue this same method to create braid 4 on the upper left point, straight across to braid 5 on the upper right, and back home to bottom left point at braid 1.
  • Add a tiny bit more hair into braid 5 at the base of braid one, to secure the star. Braid all the way to the ends if you want, just to be sure your star wont unravel.
  • To finish the Pentagram Braid, I hid the ends of the last braid underneath her hair, then braided all her hair down her back, secured the ends, and wrapped the braid into a bun, securing it with pins. Then, naturally, I added some flowers:)

I really believe that when we infuse our small daily rituals with intention, like brushing our hair and thinking about letting go of negative thoughts, or braiding our hair while thinking about strengthening our intuition, or wearing and adorning ourselves with items that were made with love, we really up our game on manifesting those positive thoughts into truths.

IMG_6863I wish this for all of us. Please stay tuned for more Witch Thoughts and Musings, and tell us how you feel about your own inner witch.

xo, HTHG

 

Amethyst Braids

DSC08134While experimenting with some braids and flowers, something told me to break through to another medium. I reached for an Amethyst to finish of a look, not knowing if it was going to work out. I had to create a bit of a hair bezel to secure it, but it wasn’t out of the question. The hairstyle, complete with the crystal, ended up gorgeous. So I added some flowers and plants just for good measure.jules

Remember the rib-cage braid, where we dropped a piece of hair out of every overlap from one side of each braid? This hairstyle uses that same technique, accept that we are working with a french braid, and dropping a piece of hair from each side every overlap our middle braid.

So with a french braid down the center of the head (untidy partings are fine) drop half of each overlap section as you braid in hair from either side. Continue this all the way to the base of the neck, and then continue a regular 3 strand braid down to the ends, securing with a clear elastic.

Now, do a french braid on either side, not dropping anything, just braiding in the dropped sections from your first braid. Continue your braids to the ends, and secure them.jules2

Next, wind each braid into a bun, and pin them securely, hiding the tails.jules3

Now, decorate your buns! I used lilies, waxflowers, and pussywillows. For the Amethyst, I made a nice hollow spot on top of the bun, nestled the crystal into it, and then manipulated the edges of the braid using tension and pins to bezel it into place.DSC08103

Wearable, as long as you don’t tip your head too far forward or backward. I am determined to find a way to make this even more secure and wearable, so expect to see more hair crystals in the near future:)

xo, HTHG

 

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