Unique Soul Food Products

Consider buying a souvenir of White Owl Island where travellers have spent idyllic days in retreat.

Monika Roleff has joined forces with Heather Blakey to open the Soul Food Hermitage Art Store.

The really exciting thing about what Monika has done in the store is that it now matches the Soul Food Silk Road journey and has special sections where you can buy souvenirs of places like The Isle of Ancestors, Owl Island and Riversleigh. You can also acquire specialty le Enchanteur goodies so that she is near to you and goes on infusing you with creativity.

Please help to keep Soul Food a free site by supporting her work at the Soul Food Hermitage.

Shop News

Hi Everyone.

Thanks to all who have bravely ventured into cyber space to try some of the products shown in the store. I would like to share with you some tips and points Heather and I have discovered, which will help with mail order, and give more information on the nature of these online products, which may be discovered for the first time by some travellers:

1. The journals are purse size, that is, probably A5, like a great size to fit in an art bag or even a large handbag, so you can take it to work, etc. The quality of the paper is very good, and the binding, backing, etc. is supple and won't split. These would also double as a recipe book, a notebook, a photo album, a planner, workshop lecture note book, or a sketchbook. Writing journal is immediately what comes to mind, but these can be used for other purposes.

2. The magnets, rectangle and round, are brilliant because they have extensive coverage, meaning you can secure up to four "corners" of pics on your fridge. Some magnets fall off when you open the fridge as I have experienced, or slide down with photos, etc. These ones are large and secure and the magnet covers the whole rear surface, so no "magnet embarrassment" moments;-)

3. The totes are a heavy, durable, washable thick cotton canvas with a deep gusset. Bear in mind any images on the fabric will have a softer resolution because of the printing onto fabric. Fading with washing should be minimal. It is a deep bag and the handles are wide and securely stitched, and would hold a decent amount of art supplies, market shopping in the recycling aware age, baby bits, or whatever. Because of the gusset, a large art book would comfortably fit inside.

4. Postcards available in the store are small in size, and are of a "lightweight" quality card. We have considered they are better as Art Cards or bookmarks, and have kept these to a minimum. Traditional Greeting/Souvenir Cards are available throughout, and are purposely white bordered, so are suitable for framing. This is a reasonably priced option to pop in a simple frame, we decided, and create a quick gift. We have yet to hear of any mug feedback, so if anyone has purchased a mug, we would be pleased to know the overall impression, etc.

The next CafePress promotion starts March 30. Here are the details: Coupon Code: Spring10 Offer: $10 off $50 Dates: 3/30/06 - 4/13/06.

Again, we welcome feedback and queries. If you have any, please ask me or Heather and we will do our best to find the answers!

Thanks again
Monika ( Keeper of the Store)

The BookDepository 



Hello Foodies

Many residents at Riversleigh will choose to stay on at Riversleigh this month but some of them may well follow le Enchanteur as she heads off up the Faraway Tree and into the land that is currently at the top of the tree. The Land of Spells and Enchantments has moved on and now the Land of Stones has arrived.

Why would you want to go to the Land of Stones you may well ask? It doesn't sound nearly as exciting as the Land of Birthdays or the Land of Take What You Want for that matter.

Well, I am here to tell you that the Land of Stones is very likely the most important place any artist or writer, who faces an artistic block, can visit. You see, when you arrive and see your artist in the mirror, looking like a lifeless stone statue, you will know that you have to spend some time warming her again.

In the Land of Stones you can meet a tribe of tiny healers, participate in the Mirror Ceremony, work with Baba Yaga, fight alongside some hardy Word Warriors. drink from the waters of Mnemosyne and ignite the internal, creative flame. Of course, it is just possible that you will come to the Land of Stones as a writer and leave as a painter or musician. But then working at Soul Food has had this effect on people before and will have it again.

Heather Blakey

The Mirror of Matsuyama

In ancient days there lived in a remote part of Japan a man and his wife, and they were blessed with a little girl, who was the pet and idol of her parents. On one occasion the man was called away on business in distant Kyoto. Before he went he told his daughter that if she were good and dutiful to her mother he would bring her back a present she would prize very highly. Then the good man took his departure, mother and daughter watching him go.

At last he returned to his home, and after his wife and child had taken off his large hat and sandals he sat down upon the white mats and opened a bamboo basket, watching the eager gaze of his little child. He took out a wonderful doll and a lacquer box of cakes and put them into her outstretched hands. Once more he dived into his basket, and presented his wife with a metal mirror. Its convex surface shone brightly, while upon its back there was a design of pine trees and storks.

The good man's wife had never seen a mirror before, and on gazing into it she was under the impression that another woman looked out upon her as she gazed with growing wonder. Her husband explained the mystery and bade her take great care of the mirror.

Not long after this happy homecoming and distribution of presents the woman became very ill. Just before she died she called to her little daughter, and said: "Dear child, when I am dead take every care of your father. You will miss me when I have left you. But take this mirror, and when you feel most lonely look into it and you will always see me." Having said these words she passed away.

In due time the man married again, and his wife was not at all kind to her stepdaughter. But the little one, remembering her mother's words, would retire to a corner and eagerly look into the mirror, where it seemed to her that she saw her dear mother's face, not drawn in pain as she had seen it on her deathbed, but young and beautiful.

One day this child's stepmother chanced to see her crouching in a corner over an object she could not quite see, murmuring to herself. This ignorant woman, who detested the child and believed that her stepdaughter detested her in return, fancied that this little one was performing some strange magical art--perhaps making an image and sticking pins into it.

Full of these notions, the stepmother went to her husband and told him that his wicked child was doing her best to kill her by witchcraft. When the master of the house had listened to this extraordinary recital he went straight to his daughter's room. He took her by surprise, and immediately the girl saw him she slipped the mirror into her sleeve. For the first time her doting father grew angry, and he feared that there was, after all, truth in what his wife had told him, and he repeated her tale forthwith.

When his daughter had heard this unjust accusation she was amazed at her father's words, and she told him that she loved him far too well ever to attempt or wish to kill his wife, who she knew was dear to him. "What have you hidden in your sleeve?" said her father, only half convinced and still much puzzled. "The mirror you gave my mother, and which she on her deathbed gave to me. Every time I look into its shining surface I see the face of my dear mother, young and beautiful. When my heart aches--and oh! it has ached so much lately--I take out the mirror, and mother's face, with sweet, kind smile, brings me peace, and helps me to bear hard words and cross looks."

Then the man understood and loved his child the more for her filial piety. Even the girl's stepmother, when she knew what had really taken place, was ashamed and asked forgiveness. And this child, who believed she had seen her mother's face in the mirror, forgave, and trouble forever departed from the home.

Source: F. Hadland Davis, Myths and Legends of Japan (London: George G. Harrap, 1917), pp. 196-198.

This story is often told at Hinamatsuri (Girls' Festival), March 3rd, one of the traditional festivals still celebrated in Japan.

Yahoo Groups

After trialling Google for three months the Soul Food and Riversleigh groups have been moved back to Yahoo. General consensus has it that Yahoo provides the superior service.

Click here to join soulfoodcafe
Click to join Soul Food Cafe

Keeping Soul Food running takes a lot of energy and so if there is anyone out there who wants to act as a list moderator and help keep cracking the whip please contact heatherblakey at dailywriting dot net and you will be welcomed with enthusiasm.