Monday Make A – Green Man Wall Hanging

March 22, 2010 at 9:02 am (altar, Children, Crafts, Decoration, Fun, Greenman, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Witch, Witchlets)

Green Man Wall Hanging
Found at PaganMoonbeams

The Green Man comes by many names and purposes. He has a place in most Pagan based religions and has for a very long time. He has become a well respected symbol in the Pagan populous. He is an example of nature and how people should live with it as well as individual or special religious symbolism. Having the Green Man nearby is a constant reminder of how we are to connect with as well as take care of nature. Make a Green Man wall hanging to go above your altar or in a place to constantly remind you of the things it stands for.

Take a walk to gather items needed for this project.

  • Tree Bark
  • Acorns or nuts
  • Anything unique thing you find on your walk!
  • Shells
  • Branches
  • Pine Needles
  • Small Rocks

No-Bake Clay

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt together
  • 1/2 cup very warm tap water

Mix flour & salt well, then add the water. Knead for 5 minutes. It is now ready for use. Unused portions can be put in airtight containers for up to a week.

Supplies Needed:

  • Cardboard box (size you want the wall hanging)
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Various items from the woods that nature is not using
  • Clay or no-bake clay using recipe (may want to double, need enough to comfortably fit in the bottom of the box and be at least 1 1/2 in thick.
  • to hang your work with

Make your Wall Hanging

Put your clay into the bottom of your box, it is best to cover 1 1/2” to 2” of the box with your clay. Try and level out the top as much as possible and be sure that the sides aren’t bulging (this will make the hanging sideways). Use your items from your walk to make the whole square box into a Green Man imprint. Anything that you stick into the clay will be sticking out of your wall hanging. If sticking things in the clay make sure you pull them out with care so you don’t mess up your picture. Be careful not to stick things in so deep that you can’t get them out. When done double check to assure you didn’t leave anything in the clay and that the imprint looks like you want it to. Mix the Plaster of Paris following the directions on the package. Pour the Plaster of Paris over your clay work, you will need to have it evenly cover your imprint and have at least 1 1/2” to 2” over it. Tap all sides of the box one at a time. You will see small bubbles come to the top, these are air bubbles. Continue to tap the box until all the air bubbles are out in order for your wall hanging to be smooth and not have holes in it. Carefully sit your box in a well ventilated area so it can dry. It will need to dry as long as it says on the package. Please remember that when half that time is up you will need to carefully place the ends of a piece of wire (desired length) in the back pushed in at least a half inch. When totally dry pull off the box from both the Plaster of Paris and the clay. Next carefully (not to break off anything) remove the clay from the Plaster of Paris (if lots of small areas use an old toothbrush to remove the clay). You may want to paint your wall hanging before hanging it up.

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Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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Wednesday Whatever – Repost from 2008 – My Yule Views

December 16, 2009 at 11:27 am (Christmas, Fun, Hope, Magic, Me, pagan, Santa Claus, Spell, Wednesday, Witch, Yule)

tree.0007

Well, here we are. Samhain is past, and Yule is creeping up fast. Time to put up the pumpkins and skeletons and bats and other scary decorations for another year, and break out the Christmas stuff. Woohoo! This is my favorite time of year. Christmas trees, twinkling lights, images of Santa Claus and Father Christmas, ornaments, garland, and beautifully wrapped gifts. People are (usually) kinder this time of year – to everyone. It’s something in the air – the Christmas Spirit! But what is the "Christmas Spirit"? Is it something caused by people just thinking that they need to be kinder during the season of giving? Or is it something more mystical? Is it an actual "spirit" or some sort of coherent "entity" that has the ability to affect the entire planet? Is there a spirit that powerful? I tend to think it just may be. Let’s look at it…

Starting about the time Halloween/Samhain is over, the Christmas (and yes, I say Christmas – it’s been "Christmas" in my world for 41 years, and I’m too old to change, and quite frankly, why should I? What difference does a name make, really? "A rose by any other name…" It’s a holiday that almost everyone on the planet celebrates, that causes normally self-absorbed people to suddenly notice the world around them and feel a need to do something positive. Who cares what you call it – I just want to know how to make it last beyond December 25…) decorations start to appear in the stores. Any more, they’re usually out BEFORE Halloween is done. I went to Wal-mart yesterday, and heard Christmas music for the first time this season! Again, Woohoo!

Once the stuff is in the stores, the "feeling" slowly begins to permeate the air. I think maybe the "Spirit" is in the physical "things." It makes sense… if you were a spirit that wanted to "affect" as many people as possible, what better way..? Everyone goes to the store sooner or later – even my storaphobic (is that even a word..?) Hunny! And the "stuff" isn’t limited to stores, either. It’s everywhere. By Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) you can’t throw a rock and not hit something "Christmassy." Awesome, I say! So now we have a world full of "things" possibly inhabited by the "Christmas Spirit." Affecting everyone they come in contact with. That would explain why normally oblivious people are suddenly aware. Why all of a sudden misers become givers. Why stoics now feel a need to have their home looking Christmassy. And the more "stuff" one is exposed to, the more it affects them…

This theory then begs the question "If it is a Spirit or Entity of such magnitude, why doesn’t it just infect everyone permanently?" Well, think about it. Can you imagine how much energy is required to have such an affect on almost everyone..? Does ANY entity have the ability to maintain something like that? My answer would be no, not indefinitely. That’s why it is only this way once a year, for a month or two. The rest of the year is spent resting, recovering, and recharging, so it can be done again the next year. But it may be getting stronger… The cynics say it starts earlier every year due to greed. But what if it isn’t greed? What if it is the "spirit" gaining strength, and thus the ability to affect us for longer periods? Is it really a bad thing that Christmas decorations come out earlier in the year than they did 30 years ago? Is it bad the people get into the "Holiday Spirit" at the beginning of November instead of the end? That people become more aware, and thus kinder, sooner? I don’t see how that could POSSIBLY be bad…do you..?

I also think some are more easily affected – some like me, who don’t "fight" it. Which in turn gives even more strength to the "Spirit." After all, the people who truly LOVE this time of year tend to be already aware, and therefore the "Spirit" doesn’t have to exert energy on them. I have Christmas "things" in my home – and my workspace – all year round…  Although thinking on that, based on this theory, do you think I am  draining the energy, affecting people year-round..? Upon further thought, I’d have to say no. I’d say rather it’s MY "Christmassy" energy infusing those things, hopefully having a similar effect on those who come in contact with them.

So there you have it – my personal theory about the "Holiday Spirit." From today forward, people will be more & more strongly affected by it. Each time you visit a store, or any location with decorations, pay attention…do you feel a little bit more compassionate? Not on the surface – on the surface you’re liable to feel a bit frustrated and frazzled the closer we get to the Big Day. But inside, in the quiet place, don’t you feel it? Compassion, kindness, empathy, a desire to help someone. Someone who truly needs help – and there are plenty out there. I make a point of doing my "good deeds" in ways many would never consider. I rarely give to any "charitable organization." I give to the young couple from Evansville, caught out of gas in the Camby Wal-mart parking lot at eleven o’clock at night. Trying to ask for assistance (which in itself takes courage) and being looked at by the "good Christian folk" with the "Jesus is my co-pilot" bumper sticker and the In God We Trust license plate like they are some kind of new bug species one wouldn’t want to get too close to. I give to the young kids in the Speedway buying $2.38 worth of gas, with change. I give to the lady in the Wal-mart line trying to pay for her food with change. Granted, there isn’t any tax deduction for these things, but since that’s not what I am looking for, who cares? What there is, is people who will now (hopefully) at some point down the road, when they are able, do something similar for a stranger in need.

And that brings us back to the "Holiday Spirit" because isn’t that what it brings about? A willingness to do something for someone in need, that will never gain one any acknowledgement outside of oneself? And as more people are willing and able to maintain that desire beyond the last two months of the year, the spirit is able to strengthen, and thus affect more people, more strongly, for longer periods of time…maybe one day, the "stuff" will never come down…

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Snowman Wind Chime (yes, I know it’s Tuesday….)

December 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm (Children, Christmas, Crafts, Decoration, Fun, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Winter, Witch, Yule)

Snowman Wind Chime
Posted by Susie

You will need:

  • 4" ceramic clay pot
  • 4" Styrofoam ball
  • 36" long 1" diameter plastic candy cane
  • lg felt snowman hat
  • wooden carrot (for nose)
  • 2 buttons (5-1/2" and 2-1")
  • 1 jar decoart snowtex
  • white acrylic paint
  • green felt square
  • 3 large bells
  • 2 yard jute
  • plastic holly blush
  • scissors
  • xacto knife
  • flat paintbrush
  • hot glue gun and sticks
  • craft stick ruler

Add some acrylic paint to the snowtex jar. Use craft stick to stir until consistency of paint. Cover the entire pot with mixture, let dry. Cover the Styrofoam ball with the mixture, let dry. Use knife to cut candy cane into 3 equal lengths to use as chimes. Cut 3 12" pieces of jute and tie a bell to the end of each piece. Gather ends of jutes (the bell less ends) making sure chimes hang at different lengths. Thread through the hole in the bottom of the pot and knot. Glue to secure knot and trim off excess jute. Glue Styrofoam ball to the top of pot to form the head of the snowman. Cut 2 12" x 2" strips of felt, glue ends together to make one long strip. Make 2" cuts along each end to make fringe. Wrap scarf around neck of snowman and glue to secure. Glue the 1/2" buttons on the face (2 for the eyes and 3 for the mouth). Glue the carrot nose on. Glue the 1" buttons down the front of the pot for buttons. Cut a 12" piece of jute and knot the ends together. Use the scissors to make a small hole in the top of the Styrofoam ball. Push the jute knot into the hole and glue to secure as a hanger. Use the scissors to make a small slit in the top of the hat. Thread the hanger up through the slit and glue the hat to the foam ball. Add blush to cheeks and glue the holly onto the scarf.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A(n)- Evergreen Yule Candle

November 23, 2009 at 11:39 am (Candle, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Fun, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Witch)

Evergreen Yule Candles
from Kaboose

What You Need:

  • Paraffin
  • Empty, clean, dry can
  • Pan
  • Water
  • Use of a stove
  • Paint brush
  • Candle (a large candle is easier to use)
  • Small Sprig of evergreen
  • Holiday ribbon

Melt some paraffin inside a can placed in a pan of hot water (on the stove). Flatten the small evergreen sprig and put some hot paraffin on the candle where you want the sprig to go. Place the sprig decoratively on the hot paraffin – it should stick to the candle. Then paint more melted paraffin over the sprig of evergreen. Let set. You may need multiple coats. Tie festive ribbon around base of candle. This will make a nice centerpiece or to give as a gift.
Adult supervision is recommended.
This project is rated EASY to do

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Friday Form A Circle – Family Yule Ritual

November 6, 2009 at 9:39 am (Children, Christmas, Circle, Family, Friday, Fun, Home, Kids, Magic, pagan, Ritual, Witch, Yule)

Family Yule Ritual
by Wind*Dancer;
Excerpts from: A Wiccan Primer: Rituals for Children.
Copyright 1996 by Wind*Dancer.

This stuff is a combination of information gleaned from many sources. The
candle ritual is from Ceisiwr Serith’s The Pagan Family: Handing the Old Ways Down but I’ve been heavily influenced by Margie MCArthur’s Wiccacraft for Families and Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner, too. (Just so you don’t think I came up with all this

stuff. )

The way we set up our Family Book of Shadows was to start each section with a picture that represents the Sabbat. For instance Yule could be a Christmas tree decorated with candles and fruits, a Yule log in a fireplace or kids out caroling. Since I have four kids and they’re still young we only have one common BOS. Those of you with only one or two children (especially older ones) might want to let them create their own books, with their own art work and stories etc.

Our actual book is a 9X7 three ring binder. It fits very easily at the dinner table and pages can be added and taken out as your ideas change and grow (I’ve rewritten our rituals many times over the years trying to find the way that works best). These little note books are inexpensive and come in many colors. The refill pages are easy to get, as well as those colored tabs which can be used to separate the book into sections like Sabbats, Esbat, Prayers, Stories etc. Some of you might be tempted to buy a fancy bound book to make it extra special for your child but from experience I’d try to steer you away from that. They’re expensive and once you make a mistake you either have to scratch it out or tear it out.

Something else you might want to consider is creating a "floppy disk of Shadows" as Scott Cunningham calls it. I type all our rituals on the computer (which I happen to think is one of the niftiest pieces of magic around!) so they can be printed out nice and neat and easy for young readers to read. Plus if you want to change anything (or share it with your friends ) you just copy and paste and voila! ("Daytimer" makes pre-punched plain sheets to fit this size book so you can print your rituals right from the computer)

So anyway our book starts with a picture on the first, left handed page, then the right handed page lists the Sabbat, some information about it and what you’re going to need for supplies. I have the different sections underlined or starred to make them very easy to follow, but that stuff, unfortunately, doesn’t carry over to e-mail. Just remember that this stuff is all going to be new to your kids and if you want them to like it it has to be easy to read, easy to follow, short and most importantly, fun.

Oh, one more thing. These rituals are written with different parts for mom and dad. That’s in no way written in stone, just the way we like to do it. You might have to do some reworking to make it right for your family.

Yule (About December 21st)-Special Notes: The Winter Solstice. Solstice means "sun stands still". On Yule the sun stops its decline and for a few days rises and sets in about the same place. This is the crucial time, the cusp between events. The sun stands still and everyone waits for the turning. It is a time of darkness. Yule is the longest night of the year, but it also marks the return of the sun.

Extra Supplies:

  • Seasonal decorations
  • a bell
  • a large Sun candle (we use a 9-inch yellow pillar candle)
  • a small votive candle for each person at the table (it’s nice if your child can have their favorite color)
  • matches. (Actually I refer to matches but we use one of those Aim-n-Flame plastic automatic lighter things because, no matter how careful you are, matches are just too dangerous with kids).

Begin by turning off all the lights all over the house, to simulate the dark of the year. Start upstairs, make sure you leave a light on so they can find their way back down safely! And be sure to explain to younger kids why you’re doing, before you start, so they don’t get scared. The house should be in total darkness now, except for one small candle to read by. Dad says quietly:

For half the year, day by day
Slowly the world has gone dark.
For half the year, night by night,
Slowly the dark has grown longer.

Making sure the matches are right at hand, Dad blows out the last candle, plunging the room into darkness. Keep the little ones close to mom or dad so they don’t get scared because the house will be very dark and very quiet. Wait a minute for effect and then dad says:

But the darkness was never complete.
A spark was always waiting…

Light the match and let the drama of the moment have its effect. Then end with:

To return
And turn the dark to light once more.

Dad lights the Sun candle. Now Mom says:

Tonight the dark time ends.
It is Yule. The Solstice.
The Wheel has turned
Bringing our land back to the light.
And now the spark will grow
Greater and greater.
The light will come back,
The cold will go away
And soon we will celebrate Spring!

Dad lights his candle from the Sun candle and places it in the middle saying:

The wheel is turning
The light is returning!

Then each person at the table, starting with mom and proceeding to each child from the oldest, lights their candle from the sun candle and repeats:

The wheel is turning
The light is returning!

When everyone has had their turn, bask in the glow of the candle light. Now send the kids hurrying through the house turning on all the lights. Every light in every room (try to forget your electric bill ) should be turned on to drive away all the darkness and shadows. When everyone is back at the table mom says:

Winter is a time of darkness. We all have moments like that, When you feel lost or scared or unsure. The Earth understands us because it is alive, too. That is why the Earth teaches us that no matter how dark it gets the light always returns. The night will always end And a new day begin.

Now you can serve supper, leaving the candles burning. (We leave candles in the center of the table so little hands are tempted to play with them). While you eat, discuss the celebration of Solstice around the world. Midwinter is celebrated in remarkably similar ways in very different cultures. The most important part of the celebration is light. The Pagan Yule log, Christian Advent candles, Hebrew Menorah and African-American Kwanza candles all celebrate the light. (If you’re looking for a neat Christmas video pick up The Puzzle Place Christmas tape. It doesn’t actually say "pagan" but it handles the whole light thing very nicely) Its meaning varies from culture to culture, and even person to person. It can be magic to help the sun return, a sign of hope in the dark and cold, a symbol of the Unconquerable Sun to cheer us or an  xaggeration of the light needed in this dark time. But the common denominator is light.

Bring in the Pagan background of Yule by explaining that the Yule Log is an indoor bon- fire. All the same virtues were ascribed to it: fertility, purification, continuation of life, protection from evil and such. Much ritual and ceremony surrounded the bringing in of the Yule log. It was usually oak, ash or fruitwood, and it had to be cut from one’s own property, because purchasing it was considered bad luck. The Yule log was always kindled with a piece of last year’s Yule log, which was kept for just that purpose. Once lit, it was essential it burn steadily until it was time to extinguish it. Some customs say let it burn for 12 hours, others say for the full 12 days of Christmas. In any case The Yule Log was never allowed to burn completely away, that would forecast bad luck for the coming year. The leftover log was saved to kindle next year’s Yule fire.

The Christian celebration of Christmas mimics many of the Pagan traditions, oo. Explain how the new religion built their story of Jesus’ birth onto the Old Religion’s beliefs, to make it more acceptable to the Pagans. Gently point out the Sun/Son theme. (Be careful not to let any negative feelings you might have about Christianity creep into your words. Children are an open book and they’ll learn what you teach them, so be positive and loving.) You can tell them how Jesus was actually believed to have been born in the spring, when the sheep would have been out in the fields, like it says in all the songs. But the church decided to set his birth date to coincide with the ancient celebration of Winter Solstice, so the "birth" of the Son would match the ancient Pagan festival celebrating the rebirth of the Sun.

Talk about what other religions do at this time of year. Let them tell you what they know about Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanza. And if they don’t know the stories, fill them in! Remember, this is a time of great celebration. The Goddess has given us a sign that it is the beginning of the end of the long, cold winter. The change won’t come over night of course, but the Wheel has turned and spring is on the way. Remember, Yule might be the longest night of the year, but it marks the return of the Sun. So celebrate!

When dinner is over make a show of putting out the Yule candles. Mom goes first and says:

May the light of the Yule candles
Burn in our hearts
All throughout the coming year.
Blessing of the Season on you all.

As each person extinguishes their candle (we made a long-handled candle snuffer for safe extinguishing) they can say:

Blessings of the season on you all.

The candle ritual might seem short. It was actually longer but we had to cut it down because the kids need things short and sweet to keep their attention. (The TV generation) The best part about this ritual though, is that the kids have such fun doing it. Now when we talk about getting ready for Yule they automatically know what it is, "Oh, goody! We get to turn off all the lights!" And although it’s all a game for them, they’re actually remembering that Yule is The Winter Solstice and what that means. And it’s establishing a family tradition I hope they’ll carry on with their own kids.

I know this ritual is heavily Pagan and you might want a more Wiccan influence for your rituals, but again, I thought this might give you a good jumping off point. In passing I have rituals on disk for all 8 Sabbats as well as Esbats (Full Moon anyway, we don’t do New Moon yet). Our rituals all center around mealtime (which is the easiest time to get everybody together in one place) and we do a simple Circle Casting that involves calling the quarters but we don’t seal the Circle since 1) we’re not raising energy for spell work and 2) mom and dad have to keep coming and going from the table to serve. Big Grin

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A- Garlands For Kids to Make

November 2, 2009 at 10:42 am (Bird Feeder, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Decoration, Family, Fun, Garland, Home, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Witch)

Garlands For Kids to Make
From by MamaWitch’s Pagan Parent site,

Construction Paper Garlands
Materials:

  • Construction paper
  • Glue or Stapler or Tape
  • Tape or Thumbtacks

Select the colors of construction paper you want to use. Cut all the paper into strips between 1 and 2 inches wide. Make the first loop: Fasten the ends together so that the strip forms a circle. If you use glue, let the glue dry a little bit before continuing. All other loops: Pass one end of the construction paper through the previous loop. Fasten the ends into the new loop. Continue until the garland is the length you desire. Attach to walls, shelves, doorways with tape or thumbtacks.

Popcorn Garlands
Materials:

  • Plain popped corn
  • berries
  • Dental floss (extra fine, unwaxed)
  • Large needle (it should be sharp enough to pierce berries and nuts) all the things you will put on the garland

***(Swampy’s note: Stale popcorn works better to string than does fresh. Freshly popped corn will split in pieces easier. Stale popcorn gets sort of mooshy so that it doesn’t shatter when you stick a needle into it) I like to use dental floss, because it is really hard to break.

Measure out a length of dental floss. 4 to 6 feet (an arm’s length) is good; any longer and you have potential knot problems. If you want a really long garland, tie several together. Thread the needle. Tie a big knot at the far end. An alternative is to leave a couple of inches at the end and tie a loop around the first thing you string on the garland. Pass the needle through the popcorn. If you children are too young to handle sharp needles, they can move the popcorn down the length of the floss to the knot. Continue stringing until the garland is full. Hang the garland inside or outside. Remember that popcorn tends to "melt" in the rain. Also, if it’s an outside garland, the creatures will probably eat everything in a couple of days, so if you put it out early, it won’t last… If you are planning the bird-food garland, consider hanging suet (animal fat) from the garland. Birds really like that when it’s cold outside. These can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to make sure the popcorn goes on the garland and not in your mouth!

***A variation: Add berries, popcorn, and seeds for an outdoor garland for the birds and small animals that share your space. Remember it’s winter for them and they will appreciate the treat!

You can make garlands out of Construction paper, Popcorn, Live or artificial evergreen branches, Holly, or any other material that can be strung.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Bringing Autumn Magic In

October 19, 2009 at 10:07 am (Associations, Colors, Crafts, Earth, Family, Fun, Halloween, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Samhain, Witch, Witchlets)

Bringing Autumn Magic In
From
Care 2 make a difference

There’s nothing more luscious than inviting nature indoors in the Fall: the brilliant colors of Autumn make our homes feel deliciously warm and cozy as the weather turns cooler. Changing leaves, swags of grapevine, and vibrantly colored apples and squashes make gorgeous, inexpensive decorations. Find out how to connect with the abundant bounty and beauty of this harvest season with these fun, easy tips for decorating with nature. . .

  • Preserve some colorful leaves. You can iron them between sheets of waxed paper, microwave them for a few seconds, put them in a solution of glycerin, or press them between the pages of a heavy book. Then you can apply them to backsplashes, place them artfully in a vase, mound them around a pile of gourds or squashes, or even use them as coasters for your favorite beverages.
  • Food is art. Find a local Farmer’s Market or roadside stand and load up on apples, pears, pumpkins, decorative squashes, nuts, gourds, and Native American corn. A simple wooden bowl loaded with these treasures makes an abundant centerpiece. You can parade them in a line on a mantel-piece or pile them in a basket. What you don’t eat, you can enjoy looking at.
  • Other treasures. Bring in grapevines to twine along the countertops, or make wreaths for doors or cabinets (see our article on making your own Inner Harvest Wreath). If you live in an area where bittersweet is not a protected plant, harvest some to put in an earthen vase. Corn shucks are traditional to stand beside a door, but broom corn makes a beautiful and less usual alternative with its graceful russet fronds.
  • Beeswax candles. The amber color and honey-sweet aroma of these safe, all-natural candles just evoke the golden glow of autumn. As the days get shorter, it can be a soothing ritual to burn a beeswax candle at dusk.
  • Echo Fall colors. Bring in the Autumn hues of russet red, vibrant shades of orange, deep greens, mellow golds, wine reds, and vivid scarlet with cushions, towels, scatter rugs, or other decorative accents. My family has a brightly colored autumn leaf potholder and a set of pumpkin-shaped mugs that we use with pleasure year after year. Find the simple treasures your family will enjoy.
  • Try this creative and relaxing Leaf Meditation. Find a perfect autumn leaf and spend some time really looking at it, noticing the variations in color and shape. Trace its outline on a piece of paper, then try your hand at coloring it in with colored pencils, markers, or paints. Slowing down and taking time to savor the beauty of something as simple and commonplace as a leaf opens our eyes and hearts to nature’s magical variety. You may want to cut your colored leaf out and glue it on the cover of a journal to keep you company throughout the autumn months. Or do several leaves to decorate your cabinets or walls!
  • Think water. Western European traditions often associate Autumn with the element of water, since it is a time of deep feeling and flowing away: birds migrate, trees shed their leaves. Honor this ancient idea with a bowl of water in a special place. Notice how water evaporates. As you refill your bowl throughout the autumn months, give a little thought to your own feelings, and the things that you are in the process of releasing from your life.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Tuesday Try A New Taste – Samhain/Halloween Drinks

October 13, 2009 at 10:33 am (Children, Fun, Halloween, Kids, Magic, pagan, Recipe, Samhain, Tuesday, Witch, Witchlets)

Adult Party Drink Recipes

Blood-Orange Mimosas
From
VampHalloween (link is still deadConfused – oddly appropriate)

Okay, first things, first: What is a blood orange? I myself hadn’t even heard of them until I started research recipes for this year’s Halloween. Well, here’s the scoop: It’s a sweet-tart orange with a bright red or red-streaked white flesh. Most blood oranges are best eaten fresh, but the more acidic varieties like the Maltese work well in cooked sauces. They can be found at specialty produce markets. It’s recommended to use a good-quality California or Spanish sparkling wine for this recipe. Both are widely available and less expensive than Champagne.

Ingredients:

  • Two 750-ml bottles chilled sparkling wine
  • 3 cs chilled blood-orange juice (from about 10 blood oranges*)
  • 1/4 c grenadine

In a pitcher gently stir together Mimosa ingredients.

8 Servings.

Great Pumpkin Punch
from "The (Un)Official Internet Bartender’s Guide"

Ingredients:

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 part rum
  • 1 part apple cider
  • 2 parts ginger ale

Serve in a hollowed out pumpkin with floating pumpkin chunks.

Kid Party Drink Recipes

Vampyre Punch
From Kristin

Ingredients:

  • 8 cs cranberry juice
  • 6 cs sparkling apple cider
  • 6 orange slices

Put all ingredients in a punch bowl. Add ice cubes just before serving.
Makes 14 cs.

Witches’ Brew Punch
From
Mighty Cool

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: about 15 minutes total for simmering juices. Serves: many little goblins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 C (1L) Cranberry Juice
  • 4 C (1L) Apple Juice
  • 1 C (~150g) Candied Ginger, chopped
  • 3 Oranges (pick variety that is good for juice)
  • 2 L bottles Ginger Ale
  • 2 C (~375g) Grapes (for eye balls)

In your "cauldron," bring one c of cranberry juice and candied ginger to a boil over a high heat. Boil, uncovered, for about two minutes and set aside. With a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the oranges and cut the peel into thin 2-inch-long worms. Add the peel to the cranberry mixture. Cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight. Juice the oranges and put juice into a large pan or heavy bowl. Sir in the cranberry-ginger mix, the remaining 3 cs of cranberry juice, apple juice and grapes. Cover and chill for up to two hours. After fully chilled mix in ginger ale and serve.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Vampiric Decorations & Make-Your-Own Blood Recipes

October 12, 2009 at 10:15 am (Children, Decoration, Fun, Halloween, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Samhain, Witch)

Vampiric Decorations & Make-Your-Own Blood Recipes
From VampHalloween (link is dead Sad)

Okay, you’ve got the lights turned low… now what do you do to make your house appropriately vampiric and spooky? There are so many great ideas out there that I had trouble deciding which ones to tell you about!

Blood
Blood is an absolute must at a vampire party. Other than candles (and lots of them!), blood is the one staple for decorating – you can do so much with it! As I asked around, I came across many, many recipes for blood.

Recipe 1:
An excellent (semi)edible one:
Mix together:

  • 1/2 pint of chocolate milk still in the pint
  • 7-8 drops of blue food coloring
  • 1/2 pint red food coloring

Recipe 2:
A thick blood mixture
Mix together:

  • 16 ounces of liquid starch
  • 3 ounces of red food coloring
  • 1 ounce of yellow food coloring.

Recipe 3:
A VERY thick blood mixture
Mix together:

  • 1 tube of CLOSE-UP brand toothpaste (or any other red toothpaste)
  • 1/2 oz. Red Food Color

Recipe 4:
Another (semi)edible recipe
Mix together:

  • 1 Can Frozen White Grape Juice Concentrate
  • 2 tbsp. Red Food Color
  • 1 tsp. Yellow Food Color

What can you do with blood? (some of you are asking, horrified). One idea is to take small bowls of blood and place them in strategic places around the room. Add some cinnamon to the blood mix to give the room a bloody, cinnamon-y smell. Drop a handful of white rose petals on top of each bowl. You may want to dip the rose petals in preservative first, so they don’t brown during the night – this is available from most craft stores. Simple, but looks very effective in low light.

A small amount of fake blood can go a long way when decorating a room. Pour a thin layer onto a plate and use as a base for pillar candles, topping off with scattered white rose petals. Or pick up white bedsheets from a secondhand store to drape over your furniture (giving it that aged, spooky look) and let a few drops of blood fall here and there on the sheets. Makes it look like someone’s has a recent meal there, for sure! (Note: please make sure you don’t use your GOOD sheets since I have no idea if these recipes will stain or not. Plus, be sure to sprinkle the few drops of blood onto the sheets BEFORE you drape the sheets over your furniture – for the same reason!)

Dress up your bathroom by keeping the lights off and filling the tub with a mixture of water, Epsom salts (to make the water cloudy), cinnamon (again,
for the smell) and water-based red and black (just a little) powdered paint
(to protect your tub, you can also line it with foil first). Add white rose petals and white floater candles on top for effect.

Bleeding candles – Even better than plain candles, it looks spectacular when you candles bleed as they burn! Two great ideas I came across for achieving this effect:

  • Wrap red wax candles (preferably homemade, they are more opaque)with sheets of white beeswax. As the candle burns, the interior red wax will drip over the white beeswax.
  • Melt red crayon slowly and drip over white taper candles. Be careful not
    to burn yourself in the process! (Warning: this can be messy!)

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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Monday Make A – Dried Apple Shrunken Heads

September 28, 2009 at 10:12 am (Apple, Children, Crafts, Fun, Halloween, Kids, Magic, Monday, pagan, Samhain, Witch, Witchlets)

Dried Apple Shrunken Heads for Halloween/Samhain
by Cheri Sicard

You will need:

  • apples
  • whole cloves
  • a few grains of rice
  • 1/2 C lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. salt

Peel a large apple and coat with mixture of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt to prevent browning. With a potato peeler or small knife carve out eye sockets, a nose, mouth and ears. Don’t worry about carving small details as they will be lost when the apple dries. Go for the big features and nature will take care of the rest. Use whole cloves for eyes and raw rice grains for teeth (the faces
also come out looking great without these extra props, just carve and let dry if you want to keep it simple). Set apples on a wire rack in a warm, dry place for about 2 weeks. Shape the faces as they shrink and harden. You can speed the drying process a little by drying in an oven set at the lowest temperature. However, the process will still take several days.

These little faces, made from dried apples, can look really nasty and sinister – the perfect thing to decorate a Halloween party. Tuck them in among the food at your Halloween Buffet. You can also make lots of dried apple heads and string them up like a spooky garland.

Another idea is to make apple dolls. Once dry, insert a strong wire to form a body, add clothes or other accessories.

 

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

Fair Use Notice: This page may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107.

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