30 September 2014

Rosemary for Remembrance

"There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember;"
—Wm. Shakespeare, Ophelia in Hamlet, Act IV, Scene V
Today is the 102nd anniversary of my mother, Rosemary Fogarty McDermott's birthday.

I spent much of the day making this watercolor of a rosemary plant. In the middle ages, brides would wear rosemary in their hair and grooms, a sprig of the plant. Coincidentally, I found my mother's wedding ring while looking for a pair of earrings today and slipped it on.

In folk traditions, rosemary was said to be good for the memory.

Ah, but rosemary is good for so many more reasons. Indigenous to the Mediterranean, the original latin word, rosmarinus means dew of the sea.The scent is invigorating and a strong pleasure.

I recently bought a new bottle of doTERRA essential oil of Rosemary and have been using it every day. I've used rosemary oil on my scalp and hair for years. It's stimulating for the scalp and helps make hair lustrous.

Rosemary is an absolute must have on hand in my medicine cabinet. It's fabulous to add to hot steamy water. Throw a towel over your head and inhale to help with sinusitis, hoarse voice, and flu symptoms. Rub a few drops on your temples and inhale for headaches (mix with Peppermint oil for astounding results.) For that matter, the same combo will help bring you around if you're feeling faint.

If you're not feeling faint but just confused, drop some rosemary essential oil in your palms, rub them together, inhale and then massage with your fingers around your hairline and forehead and into your scalp. This will help clear your mind.

Going through a transition in life? Rosemary will help you adjust. The essence of this woody evergreen gives you confidence and trust in the unfolding of changing circumstances—an understanding that there is more at work in events and circumstances than meets the eye.

Can't figure out a problem? Rosemary helps with learning, too.

And then, there are potatoes! And Focaccia. Rosemary as food in the kitchen. Mmmm....

I'm giving a 6 week course in Art Journalling with Essential Oils! It's staring in a couple of weeks and I want a small group so I'm not advertising.

If you're interested, make sure you're on my Essential Oils email list by clicking here. While you're waiting for the course description (out soon), you can receive my complimentary 10-day Introduction to Essential Oils.

Click here to ask me anything you like about the course or how to order the absolute best essential oils ever (in my increasingly loving and happy experience.)

16 September 2014

The Grand Tour + Charleston Watercolors

Click here to download both for $25.
Upon payment, you'll be redirected to your downloads with clear instructions.

NEW eBooks!

Together, these eBooks include most of the travel paintings I made throughout my European and South Carolina touring years as a performing songwriter morphing into a full time painter and teacher of drawing and watercolor with a downloadable song in each.

Click here for excerpts from the original blog.

Complete set of eBooks

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See above descriptions for the first two eBooks, click here for more about The Age of Flowers, Walden Pond Watercolors is a personal study of Thoreau's legendary site with related excerpts from Walden.

Click here for a description of Basic Drawing Lessons, and Creative Wake Up is an inspirational approach to starting each day of your life from the inside out.

26 August 2014

Lavender: A Universal Panacea

Lavender Field, 5 x 7 inches, graphite + watercolor, Suzanne McDermott

I cannot imagine life without Lavender

By now all the Lavender in Provence has been harvested.

I once visited the Lavender capital of the world. That's Digne, or Digne-les-Bains, also the capital of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Their annual Lavender Festival ended yesterday. I'd wanted to visit Digne for many years.

When I finally got the chance, it was November. I boarded the Chemin de Fer and chugged up the side of the Maritime Alps on what started as a beautiful day on the coast. As we climbed into the mountains, the first snow of the season began to fall. Lovely.

By the time we reached Digne, the air was chilled and everything was wet. Lavender season had long passed. No lavender to be found. Everything but a small café was closed and I'll remember that café for having the single most expensive cup of tea I've ever purchased.

Still, I slogged through the slush and rain in search of an historic house I never found and eventually worked my way back to the station for the ride down the mountain with my sopping socks slung over the radiator.

It was a wet adventure but at least I can say that I've been there. Several days later, I did find great Lavender oil at the market in Antibes so all was not lost.

Somewhere in between Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton, Yardley of London put Lavender on my pre-teen radar. I have not lived without it since. It was a large presence in Guerlain's far more sophisticated Jicky which is why I must have loved that perfume so. For years, I used the Crabtree + Evelyn Lavender Water but that formula was retired in 2012.

No worries. Now, I take my Lavender straight, no filler, no alcohol, no additives. Just the purest essential oil.

If my ashes can't be scattered at sea, a field of Lavender will do.
‘As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul.‘
— Anonymous
What? No Lavender plants?

I keep a little bottle of Lavender oil at my desk and in my purse at all times. And by my bedside, too.

I had a terrible burn last week and part of my treatment is aloe vera mixed with Lavender and Melaleuca oils. Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil is antibacterial and Lavender is analgesic, antiseptic and a skin regenerator.

Lavender is also a great sedative which is why a little bottle lives by my bedside. It helps me fall to sleep when I need a little nudge.

Some people make wonderful food with Lavender. That would not be me but whenever people do this, whatever the food is tends to look and taste particularly lovely.

Lavender makes my clothes smell great (I add it to my detergent and put drops of oil on cloth in the dryer. Lavender also keeps moths away.

But the very best thing about Lavender (for me) is that it smells so good and makes me feel so happy! Oh, did I mention that Lavender is an anti-depressent? It's that, too.

There are plenty more uses, but that's enough for now.

Click here to try a bottle of dōTERRA Lavender Oil. For me, it's the best Lavender to be found outside of Provence.

Or, better yet, pick up a starter set of dōTERRA oils with their Introductory Kit of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint.

Click here if you'd like my help with an order.

Want to learn more? Click here to sign up for a free 10-day Introduction to Essential Oils course.

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