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Monday, July 23, 2012

Steam..WHAT? You say?

Good morning, All.  If you just happened to be in Winnsboro, Texas last Friday, well you probably were witness to the craziness.  And actually, it was rather crazy....because it was Crazy Daze in Winnsboro.  Or for the more civilized 3rd Friday Art walk.  All that means really is that the merchants and citizens get together, keep the stores open late, have great sales and tasty appetizers, lots of wonderful music and a few of us are into keeping Winnsboro Weirder by playing dress up!  (If you have every been in the Austin area, they have a Keep Austin Weird campaign.)

So, on the 3rd Friday of the Month, whether it is full moon or not....a pretty good handful of merchants and citizens, weeeell, let me put it this way, sometimes we don't even know what is going to happen!

Have you ever heard of Steampunk?  Neither had I but let me tell you about it, just in case, you come to Winnsboro and see us all dressed up!

Annie Oatmeal and the beautiful, but dangerous


"Streampunk is a genre that originated during the 1980's and early 1990's and incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, horror and speculative fiction.  it involves a setting where steam power is widely used--whether in an alternate history such as Victorian era Britain or "Wild West"-era United States, or in a post -apocalyptic time--that incorporates of elements of either science fiction or fantasy.  (The term "Steampunk" originated in the late 1980s with a cheeky letter to Locus Magazine from science fiction author K.W. Jetter.  Jeter was trying to find an accurate description of works by himself (Morlock Night), Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates), and James Blaylock (Homunculus).  While Jeter coined the word, it was William Gibon and Bruce Sterling that brought the genre attention with the book The Difference Engine (1992).  This info is from the website www.ministry of peculiarocurrences.com).  Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology, or futruistic innovations as Victorians might have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style and art.  This technology includes such fictional machines as those found in the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the contemporary authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld and China Mieville."

This info is from Wikipedia.

Always dapper and handsome.  Note the

Mademoiselle!  Straight out of the pages of Art and Espresso!
And just where may she
be hiding her gun?

Hi, Annie!  Watch out she must
have a ray gun in the pocket
of that beautiful dress!

You said I needed what removed?

Okay, now this is just a sampling of the photos I took on Friday.  I will share more with you in the following weeks!  And yes, I did dress up as the mad (as in crazy) herbalist.  Ms. Dandy (Dandelion) Dragonfly.  My costume needs some work.....more metal, I guess, and definitely will have goggles and a gun.  Because a girl just cannot be expected to make a trip through the jungles of Victorian science fiction with out all the right stuff.  

Ms. Dandy Dragonfly....
the "Mad Herbalist/Chemist"
Okay, folks to my credit (or craziness)
I am wearing a wool skirt,
black boots,
a leather vest
and a hat.
I had just returned from a rushed trip to
Quitman, Tx to deal with a TAX issue
in an unairconditioned car
that decided to break down in
104 degree heat.
Oh well,
this is a great shot of a bit of
StarDragonfly Herb Company!

So, next time you are in Winnsboro, stop in and visit all our wonderful shops! We are a crazy lot here in Winnsboro, but we have lots of fun and hope all our customers, family and friends do to!  Until next time!  Herbally, Susan

Steampunk is...a joyous fantasy of the past, allowing us to revel in a nostalgia for what never was.  It is a literary playground for adventure, spectacle, drama, escapism and exploration.  But most of all it is fun!
George  Mann

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Medicinal Mystery Plant and a Cool Soup!

Indian Mallow
Family:  Abutilon 

How many people can really and truly say, I love my job!  Well, I do love working with plants (though admittedly, I am not crazy about gardening in the summer heat), growing plants, touching plants, talking about plants, and making herbal teas and medicinals from plants.  Saturday night, I was so happy to be able to share some recently gained information on this beautiful plant, Indian Mallow.

L and I were enjoying an Ice Tea and music at Liefie's in Winnsboro when a gentleman came over to our table.  He had just learned that I owned StarDragonfly Herb Company.  He was so excited to show me a photo of his "mystery" plant.
Indian Mallow seed pods
When he showed me his photo, "Well, Lo and Behold!", it was my new plant friend, Indian Mallow. Needless to say he was very happy.  So, my new friend from Saturday evening, if you are reading the blog today, I thought you just might be interested in some more information on your "mystery" plant.

Indian Mallow generally grows wild on the prairies and open woods of Central and West Texas.

The roots and mucilaginous bark increase the secretion and discharge of urine.

A tea made of this plant (Indian Mallow) is an effective remedy for treating fevers.  Indian Mallow has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes.  A paste can be made and applied to all types of abscesses and itches.

Makes an effective mouthwash for toothache and tender gums.

Seeds of Indian Mallow can be used in killing thread worms.   A decoction (made by boiling and steeping the roots) is used for bronchitis, catarrh and biliousness.  (If you have "biliousness" your liver or gallbladder is in distress and producing large quantities of bile.)
Meadow Beauty

The seeds are laxative and very effective for curing piles.  (Another name for hemorrhoids.)

The whole plant is uprooted, dried and is powdered.  In ancient days, maidens were made to consume a spoonful of this powder with a spoonful of honey, once in a day, for 6 months until the day of marriage, for safe and quick pregnancy.  The leaves can be used to treat ulcers, headaches, gonorrhea and bladder infection.

Well, ya'll....keep cool, keep safe, be happy!  Herbally, Susan


“Bowl in a Bag” cooking class
Presented by CHEF NANCY and StarDragonfly Herb Company
Friday, July 20, 2012, (6 pm-7pm)
Location:  StarDragonfly Herb Company

“The Little Herb Shop on Elm Street”
Winnsboro, Texas

Gazpacho is a chilled soup made with chopped
Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers and herbs.
Learn how to prepare this gourmet
Summer soup using fresh, local

“The Bowl in a Bag” cooking class series
asks aspiring “chefs” to bring a bowl, spoon/fork/knife in a zip-lock bag.  Plan to shop and eat supper at the store.   Dessert will be served after class. 
Learn more about CHEF NANCY at
And StarDragonfly Herb Company at

Participants will
Cut, prep & Season
A Farmer’s Market style Gazpacho

Receive 20% off
StarDragonfly Herb Company
Spice Seasonings

Questions or to Register call:
(903)588-4313 or email:  stdragonfly@yahoo.com
Class fee:
$25.00 per person or $40.00 per couple

Texas is neither southern or western
Texas is Texas!
Senator William Blakley

4th of July greeting