Elderflower Drinks for Winter (previously published ’09)

 
Tea samles

March 10th, 2009 by Grace Long, with photographs by Jessica Christine

The scent of elderflower is very similar to honeysuckle. Delicate white or cream coloured petals and beautiful, pinnate leaves.

  • To purchase elderflower syrup, visit a Dean & Deluca’s or Ikea.
  • To make it, collect the flowers from mid spring to mid summer, away from pollution and transportation routes.  Clean them to rid leaves, dirt, insects.  Get about fourteen fresh lemons.  11 pounds of sugar (5 kilos) with 102 fl oz/ .78 gallons (3 liters) for sweetness and preservation.  Heat to dissolve the sugar, meanwhile grate the lemons, avoid the pith (soft part of the peel), then add the lemon peel into the sugar water syrup.  Squeeze the lemon to release the pulp and juice into the mixture.   Stir very well to combine the ingredients and lift thickness from the bottom of your pan.  Cover the syrup for 3-4 days without disturbing it in any way.  Remove the elderberry heads from the syrup.  Sterilize your bottles by heating them in the oven, without cracking them, for ten minutes.   Decant syrup into the bottles with a sift/sieve and store them in a dark, cool place.

Elderflower Soda

1 ounce Elderberry Flower Syrup
1 cup sparkling water (plain)
Lots of ice

Fill a glass or pitcher to the rim with ice before serving.  1 ounce syrup to 1 cup sparkling water.  For a pitcher, use 6 ounces of syrup and six cups of sparkling water.  Stir well before enjoying.  Adjust syrup to taste with a small portion of syrup at a time.  It is very potent.

For a sore throat, add some to hot water as a tea.  It also works well as a decongestant.

Elderflower champagne

(makes 25 litres)

Ingredients:

  • 50 elderflower heads
  • 3 2lb bags of caster sugar
  • 11 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 25 litres of cold water
  • 11 large lemons

Pick the elderflower when fully out and shake to remove insects.  Place the flowers in a cloth bag, seal it and put it into the water with the sugar, vinegar, juice and zest from the lemons.   Mix well, cover and stand for 72 hours. Bottle in plastic or glass and release the pressure by opening the bottle once every couple of days for two weeks.  Store in a cool place.

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Anna Calvi – STRANGE WEATHER (music review)

 

Anna Calvi is this hidden gem in the darkest volcano bliss. She is in the soundtrack to your favourite novel (think Nymph by Francesca Lia Block or Beauty’s Release by Anne Rice), the voice of pure molten lava and golden silk in the shower that you try to emulate. Anna Calvi’s sound shudders down the spinal cord with her vocal range and just allows the thoughts to melt into passionate feelings.

She does a breathy, haunting cover of a Connan Mockasin song (the deepest stalker/huntress/hunter song in the streets of Paris with a trench coat on), an etheral melody duet with David Byrne entitled  Strange Weather.

The title is thee absolute perfect title for this album, as isn’t all music that strikes us deep in the chest and plucks our heartstrings a strange kind of of electric thunderstorm in our hearts? Those violins stream through the blood, those piano chords tingle the nerves,  that drumbeat commands the beat of the heart…

Take a listen to this album in your bed, with a warm chai tea in a lover’s oversized sweater and really. listen. to. it. Each lyric licking down hurtful memories, driving a new powerful energy into the soul and healing everything that came before. From her cover of Papi Pacify to covering David Bowie, this is a moody album of purity and enchanting genius for the DeerWomen.

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Poetry in Motion – Interview with Russian ballerina, Maria Kochetkova

Maria Kotechetkova
What is your inspiration behind your dancing when you were younger?

I liked  moving always since I remember myself. I wasn’t so much as in to ballet as it was my parent’s idea to put me into ballet but  the secound I got into ballet in London… I just didn’t really know much about it, that’s why I didn’t want to do it…
It’s just a- sorry, it’s just a way of interpertating myself, you know. It’s like this is how I talk to people, through dancing. It’s expression, it’s a way of expression.

Do you feel that it’s unhealthy, as a dancer? A lot of people out there find dancers to be unhealthy or the way of life unhealthy…

 

 

 

 

Oh, life is unhealthy.

Anything is unhealthy if you look at from that point of view. But you can be an unhealthy dancer, you can be a very healthy dancer. You can be that just as a normal human being who sits in an office. I don’t think that sitting in an office in one room is healthier than being a ballet dancer. In a way, ballet -it’s so clever and so smart, it’s been there for so long. If your technique is right, if you do what you have to do, steps in the right way you shouldn’t be getting injured. I mean of course I think it happens. It happens to all of us, not just dancers.

Do you have a certain health routine or diet that you follow, secrets?

I don’t have any secrets, my diet is really bad. I am not the right person to ask about it (laughs), that’s for sure. I don’t have anything good to recommend.

I eat what I want. My body knows what it needs so I just try to listen to my body.  If my body craves sugar, I have sugar. If it craves fish, I have fish. I think that is the smartest way to do it. That, for me, works.

How many hours a day do you train?

I don’t know. How ever many it takes. If I have to do 6 hours of the 6. If I have to do 2, I can do 2 but I try to work a lot and not count by the hours but by the result. I can achieve much more in one hour sometimes than working 6 hours a day.

Blend the Femme

Poetess Segovia Amil and Blende the Femme Interview

What is Blend the Femme?

Blend the Femme is a monthly ladies night located in the blooming arts district of Wynwood, Miami Florida where local and independent artists, merchants, vendors and community organizations are given a platform to perform, sell and promote their unique talents, products and share their activism.

Who created Blend the Femme and how did the idea originate?

The idea for Blend the Femme first started with our DJ, Stephanie Zehno. She had always had a vision for a creative, theatrical and innovative ladies night in Wynwood that would be different and refreshing for the community. Luckily for us, she was approached by Paulina Villalobos, who is a known promoter and bartender here in Wynwood and from there the idea came into being. Zehno wanted the best possible team to make this event come to fruition. She brought on two of the city’s locally known poets, Rune (who organizes and books the artists) and myself (as host and organizer of the event) to get it started and from there, we worked pretty hard to get it off the ground.

What is to be expected when someone attends an event?

Usually, when someone first comes to BTF, there is just so much going on, from community organizations sharing their goals and activism at the front of the event to local jewelers and live artists selling and performing their work, that is pretty exciting to just walk around and get to know every corner of the event and its people. The beginning of the event is always somewhat of a time to network and grab a drink from the bar (since ladies drink free till midnight). After that, I come on and introduce the night to our audience and the show would commence. We have every kind of performer on that stage from local DJs, spoken word poets, drummers, dancers, great local bands…the list really just goes on. We try to mix it up performer after perfumer so the audience is continuously engaged.

How can people who are not in the area be part of this?

Blend the Femme is all about promoting independent artists. Since we are based and run our event out of Wynwood, its difficult for us to fly artists in from other cities, but we are always open to featuring them if they are ever in the area by chance. We also would love to just know about them through social media etc for exposure and just sharing their talent with our audience here in Wynwood.

What do you hope to get out of this?

I accepted the offer to come into Blend the Femme because I believed that the community needed a place where women could feel empowered and welcomed to show what they have got. I didn’t have any expectation with it at first, to be honest. I just wanted women to feel welcomed and happy and if I could be the face of an event where women suspended their insecurity and fear then I was definitely on board. Seeing as how the event has had such success, I would definitely like to see Blend the Femme generate a greater audience in different cities and maybe even travel out of Wynwood and hold the event in other cities and spread the community and oneness nationwide.

Can you give our readers details on the next Blend the Femme and what will be special about this one?

The team at Blend the Femme definitely likes to keep people guessing. Our next event is definitely something new and needed. We are aiming with this months event to reach out into the realms of higher consciousness, awakening, oneness, yoga. We believe that there is a great shift taking place within the world and its people and we would love to highlight this with artists who are tapping into their higher purpose and exude that through their craft. I’m definitely excited about this upcoming event. However, its still in the works.

How do you want to change the world with this?

What is so great about Blend the Femme is that its definitely the event for the underdog, for the girl at home who has invested time into her oil painting, or the jewelry maker who needs a little boost and exposure to get her feet off the ground. I want people to know that their dreams are possible. Even if by coming onto Blend the Femme, they only gain a small bit of exposure – at least they know there is a place to get started. We don’t judge anyone. We are definitely a platform to get started and get your name out there. We aren’t a strict and snobby gallery where you have to pay or be well known to get a chance. We just believe in all women and artists.

Segovia Amil, poetess.
Segovia Amil, poetess.

What is your role within Blend the Femme?

I am the host at Blend the Femme…so I’m definitely front stage most of the night- introducing performers and keeping the party/event going. I also perform my own poetry at some point in the night for the audience. Before the event, I handle certain aspects of our social media, promote, organize and book artists as well. It’s definitely a job in itself.

What place in the modern world does a poetess have?

I think right now, especially in the US, women are at the peak of their potential and are being acknowledged and recognized as leaders. I have to say it is a great time to be a poetess not only because our girls, within the US and further into third-world countries, really need a role model who is not someone who is just a model or an actress but a speaker and an activist but because for so long, poetry has been thought of as a ‘dead art’ and now its coming back. I think most of the modern poetess in this day are the really changing the face and role of women. In so many countries, women aren’t even allowed to speak or vocalize their opinions. The place of a poetess now in the modern world is definitely one of power. She is revolutionary, she is a leader.

Where does your inspiration lay?

I’d have to say that the root of my poetry really stems from my experiences growing up/the observations I’ve made in regards to human interaction and their behavior – all that paired with how it weaves together with the spiritual realm. The real inspiration comes in from what lies in the beyond and how it can be tapped into. The spiritual realm is definitely one that has driven my poetry farther than anything. The mystery of the beyond is the seed of my work. I have an insatiable appetite for it.

Who do you write for?

I write for women.

At first I believed I wrote for women because it was my reality – being born into this world as female and raised as a women, I draw a lot from those experiences. As I get older, Im starting to realize that I’m writing for women because we need it. We need to be reminded of how powerful we are. I love the power a women has. She can do anything and everything. Literally, everything. She can do everything a man does, and still, everything a man can never do – like bearing and raising a child. Every woman is a goddess. I write for them because a women and her power is truly a never ending story.

Inspirational authors, poets, people?

I find inspiration in most people I meet, to be honest. As far as authors and people, I am a big fan of Frida Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir…to name a few. I really do have so many icons and people who have formed me.

Day job?

I actually quit my job, recently haha. I was very unhappy there so I took the plunge and vowed to never endure another day of unhappiness due to a job…now I am taking a few months off to truly work full time on my writing and activism.

Share your most loved work or art:

My most loved work is the tintype photograph called “Four Women Crying” (c.1878). Unfortunately, there is no known artist behind the work, but it is truly an inspirational piece for me.

Beauty secrets, tips, word of wisdom?

I am quite obsessed with coconut milk and coconut oil hair masks . But before that, the greatest beauty tip I try to remind myself daily of is to make decisions with my highest purpose in mind. If we make decisions from our core, we will always be beautiful and lovely. It will shine through the face and skin.

 

blendethefemmeevent

 

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Protection in Rosey Hues – the Kubaton in pink!

DeerWomen supports the martial art forms and weapon training in all forms, especially for women. The most important thing is awareness.
DeerWomen encourages women to find the beauty in the art of protection. Pictured is a #Kubaton in pink, with a glass-breaker in case of need. Easy access to keys in a cluttered purse, as well. Always have your keys on hand ready on your way to your auto.

Collab with MiamiStickfighter (via Instagram).
You can carry non-lethal self-defense tools like this on your keychain – for practical use when needed, but also as a frequent self-reminder to be alert and vigilant. This particular tool is a keychain called a Kubotan – it’s actually named after the person who developed it, Takayuki Kubota. Not only can it be used for the self-defense purposes I mention in the photo, but pointed or metal varieties can additionally be used for breaking glass in other sorts of emergency situations, like escaping a vehicle that is submerged in water or accessing a fire extinguisher or alarm. And if you do decide to carry a tool like this, training in the street weapon-focused disciplines of the Filipino Martial Arts would prepare you to use it very effectively if you ever needed it. 

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KICKSTARTER for DeerWomen is LIVE!

Nature. Vitality. Wild Beauty.

HELP FUND OUR KICKSTARTER!

Natural beauty remedies inspired by ancient traditions, natura and the wild women in the modern age. Created in 2009 as an online magazine, DeerWomen is about reconnecting to nature in the modern world through natural, handcrafted cosmetics, tea blends and concoctions. Interviews with authors, movie reviews and articles written from the perspective of women living on all corners of the earth created an international audience. A move back to the United States put DeerWomen on hiatus for a while. It’s time to come back and start a movement!

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Until fairly recently, women relied on their own ingenuity to concoct, produce and blend their cosmetics. They used natural herbs from the fields, garden flowers, barks and roots, fruits, berries and even clays and mud from the earth as beauty aids. Unfortunately, as the world becomes ore cluttered, noisy and further retreats from tge natural and becomes a place for “modern city-dwellers”, women have to find their way again to their roots, escape the madness, rat-race and find the fresh air and loveliness of the tangled forests, animal & gardens in the world. DeerWomen is meant to explore the art and knowledge of wildcrafted herbs, roots, scents, healing balms, etc. All while giving readers an intelligent, international and informed POV. Articles and product collections for women of strong character.

Check out interviews with Russian ballerina Maria Kotchetkova, author Francesca Lia Block, Poetry and spoken word from Segovia Amil, healthy rituals from Cleopatra and more coming soon…

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