Saturday, December 31, 2011

Woo Hoo! I Won the Owl/Jol Gourd

What a wonderful way to end this year. I won this lovely Owl/Jol gourd created by Howling Moon Designs in the EHAG Emporium: The Howling Haunted December Giveaway. What a treat!

Thank you to Howling Moon Designs and EHAG Emporium! You made my night.


Etsy Store Opening Soon

As I get set to ring in the new year I am putting the final touchs on my Beneath the Witch's Moon Etsy shop.

Currently the shelves are bare but I should have some items in stock by mid January, if not sooner. I will be offering a selection of spell bottles, magical supplies, embroidered alter cloths as well as some wonderful witchy themed die cuts that are perfect for the scrapbooking witch or for use in your BOS.

Check back soon for my official Etsy shop grand opening, I'll be giving away a special prosperity spell bottle that I am creating just for this blog.

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thoughts for a New Year

On the table that my computer sits on I have this tiny easel holding a blank 2 x 2 inch canvas. Every time I look at it I am reminded that life is just like that canvas, full of possibilities and ready for me to make the most of it.

As a Witch, my New Year's celebration is on Samhain. I make my "New Year's Resolutions", honor my ancestors and just enjoy my favorite time of year, however, I also like the traditions that go with the New Calendar Year that the rest of the world celebrates. I like the idea of a fresh new year. One full of possibilities and hope.

On New Year's Eve I revisit my resolutions, make plans for things I want to accomplish over the next 12 months, clean my house, my studio, my email in-box and what ever else I can think of, and then at the stroke of midnight I ring in the new year with my family and friends, some champagne and of course those noisy confetti poppers.

Generally I only make a few resolutions and each year they have become less the things I feel I need to fix in my life and more the things that I want to incorporate in my life to make it fuller, richer and more worth living. That's not to say that I don't have things I want to change! I am definitely going to work on losing weight but rather than focus on "dieting" I am focusing on adding fun activities with friends, eating tasty healthy foods and and working on having a better attitude about my body (that last one is tough, but I am working on it!)

On New Year's Day I will post my 2012 New Year's Resolutions and throughout the year I will re-visit them. I like making plans, lists, charts, graphs and progress reports. I like to see where I want to go as well as how far I've come.

Right now, I am going to go and do something fun. Enjoy your day my friends and if I don't talk to you before then, have a magical New Year!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Amazing Yule Gift

The fact that I am Pagan and my husband is not has, fortunately, never been an issue for us. He accepts me for who I am and respects my beliefs. He even celebrates my holidays with me. In our household we celebrate Pagan holidays as well as recognize most of the traditional Christian holidays, though in more of a secular fashion, as our families and children celebrate traditional Christian holidays.

This year for Yule, my amazing man bought me a wonderful selection of Pagan/Witchy books. We just recently started shopping at a fantastic used bookstore called Grassroots Books. They have a large selection of books and their prices are really, really great!

During our first visit to the store my hubby made sure I found my way to their metaphysical section.  What a lovely thing. I found a dozen interesting books that I HAD TO HAVE and that wonderful man got them for me for Yule. The great thing about used book stores is that you never know what you are going to find. I found fabulous books on Astral Projection, Meditation, Herbs for Healing, several spell books and more!

My two favorites:

1) The Dictionary of Witchcraft by Collin de Plancy - originally written around 1825, this fun little book is an A - Z listing/definition of common and not-so-common terms. It is fascinating! I have only glanced through it but I will be reading it cover to cover as one of my books for the reading challenges I am taking part in so look for a review and some comments on this little gem soon.

2) Signs, Symbols & Omens by Raymond Buckland - This is another reference book. I love symbols. I use them in my practice as well as in my art. This book has symbols for so many different faiths and practices that I almost did a little dance with glee in the bookstore!

I am so excited about these books! I love old reference books of any kind. The language, the way the sentences are structured, the ideas being shared, all of these things make old books such interesting things. I'll be writing more about these and others this year. Check back when you get a chance and look for my 2012 Reading Challenge posts to see what new and unusual books I have found.



Monday, December 26, 2011

Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows

I'll admit it, I am a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr. I admire how far he has come not only as an actor but as a man and the fact that he is one gorgeous man is really just an added benefit!

I loved the first Sherlock Holmes film, I'll confess I have watched it a dozen times and I still haven't really seen it, not for the reasons you may suspect though. I love the visual aspects of this film! Yes of course the male eye candy is worth the price of admission but the costumes, locations, sets... these things inspire me to create.

The second Sherlock Holmes film had the same effect on me. I left the theater and had to go home and create something. Of course this time what I want to create requires some planning. I want to re-create a lab for one of my sculptures. I want test tubes and beakers in a dusty, Victorian style, warehouse setting. But first I need to finish the detective. He was started quite some time ago and is almost complete

Yes I know he is green, that is because he is a goblin. The fabric he has draped around his shoulders is similar to what I want to use for his jacket. He will have a coat in the Sherlock Holmes style as well as a "detective" style cap, magnifying glass and other accessories. He will eventually have a Victorian era friend as I won't be able to move forward without creating something along the Victorian theme. I see soot covered buildings, velvet, tapestries, steam engines and the horseless carriage and I get all dewey eyed. *sigh*

Once sculpted this guy demanded that he be a sleuth. He loves that he is currently standing in the middle of my work space surrounded by fabric, metal and clay. I am usually working on at least 5 different projects at once and this poor guy has been pushed to the back for quite some time. I guess now is the time to get him finished.

Check back in a couple of weeks for some progress pictures of my detective.

If you get a chance go see the latest Sherlock Holmes movie. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are worth the price of admission, the sets, costumes and of course the story are all lovely extras!


Witchy Books Reading Challenge 2012

I am thrilled to be taking part in another reading challenge for 2012. I just joined the Witchy Books Reading Challenge being hosted by Pagan Culture. You can't go wrong with this kind of challenge, you read amazing books and then you learn about other amazing books from fellow challenge participants.

I'll be updating this post as I read and review books this coming year.

I hope you join us...


Books Read:

1) The Hollow - Nora Roberts  finished 01/06/2012
2) The Pagan Stone- Nora Roberts Finished 01/11/2012
3) Fairy Tale Rituals - Kenny Klein (In Progress)
4) the Elements ofRitual - Deborah Lipp (In Progress)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vacation Pictures... Finally!

I know I have been promising some vacation pictures since I got back so here are a
few of my favorites from out trip to the Eastern Caribbean.

This is our stateroom. It was a nice size and the balcony was huge!

Here I am on the balcony before we left Miami.

This is a side street in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. I love the colors of the houses!

Pirate ship anyone? What else would you expect in the port of St.Thomas?

This is the 99 step staircase at the site of Blackbeard's Castle in St. Thomas.
We walked back to port from here. St.Thomas is a lovely island.

I saw some of the most beautiful sunsets while we were at sea.
This picture was taken on the night between St.Thomas and St.Maarten.

St. Maarten was our last port of call. We made a mistake and took a non-cruise-sanctioned tour. I do NOT recommend this to anyone. We went on Mr. Toad's Wild ride with a stranger who, once we were out of the city, appeared either drunk or high. Good times - NOT! Fortunately we survived, we have a great story to tell and I did manage to get a few nice pictures. All in all it was a nice day.

We had 4"at-sea" days, one of which I spent reading on the balcony. I had a great time with my husband and our friends and even managed to relax on my vacation!

Have a lovely day,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yule Magic Blog Party!

What a lovely week. I am finishing up my 2011 Yule parties with the Yule Magic Blog party being hosted by The Village Witch.

I have been thinking about this post for the past few weeks. Each party participant is offering a virtual gift to everyone who visits. I thought about offering a pattern to a project, or maybe a recipe or two but what I finally decided on was this... my sincere wish for you

My wish for you, my most welcome friend, is for love and happiness, strength and wisdom and most of all the ability to enjoy the life you've been given. This year, take the time to stop and listen to the breeze, watch the sun set and the moon rise, smell the rain and if you are so inclined, dance in it! This year, don't rush through the things you used to enjoy just to get them done, take the time to enjoy them again. Life should be an amazing journey, not a rush to the finish line. Live, love, and laugh. Dance and Sing. Be kind to others and most of all be kind to yourself. Regardless - recognize that not only are you lovable, you are loved. That is my wish for you, my gift to you and my hope for you.

Have a Blessed Yule my friends.



Monday, December 19, 2011

Yule Fairy?

As I  have posted before, when you create figurative sculpture you learn quickly that the little creatures you are helping become "real" eventually take on a life and personality  all their own. Such was the case as I was getting ready to clothe my Yule "Fairy" for the swap I joined this season.

Take a look at who I ended up with. She was quite specific!

Here she is before she had "Skin and Bones"

Here she is with some of the fabric that I chose for her

And here she is before I packed her and sent her on her way to her new home.  She was Santa! Fortunately I had some left over fabric from a Santa Suit I made last year. I often joke about these little individuals getting bossy and demanding  but let me tell you, I heard her loud and clear and she is sassy! I hope her new mama loves her as much as I do. She has been fun to create and I am having a hard time letting her go!

I'll be catching up later this week with some pictures from my trip and one last Yule blog party for the season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yuletide Blessings 2011 Blog Party


Thank you for stopping by my party today. I want to thank  Astrea Sapphire's Almanac for hosting our event! Come on in, and make yourself comfy

As you can see, the table is set. Every year I like to "dress" our dining room table so that it looks festive. I try to do this early in the month so that we can enjoy it for a while.

 I found these gold star napkins and the tablecloth several years ago and I LOVE them. They just seem so festive and fun. I also like that I can add different items to make this look beautiful for Yule and then also fantastic for New Years.

The cookies are pretty good, the cream puffs are fantastic! Every year we host a Yule/Christmas/Holiday Party for our friends. This year we had lots of food and fun. We got to enjoy the company of the people we care about, listen to holiday music (most of the time* see below) Our friends outdid themselveswith food this year, we had blackberry pie, Cesar salad, tri-tip, teriaki meatballs, rum balls and much more. Makes me hungry just thinking about it! 

*We have an old Jukebox that has 45's in it. There are quite a few holiday songs in there, the trouble is, when we added the new records we forgot to change the labels so when you go to choose a song you really have no idea what you'll get. Part of the fun is to see what songs play. Sometimes we had great holiday songs, othertimes we had Frank Sinatra, then we got Aerosmith and Duran Duran.

These are some of my favorite ornaments. The pelican is the most recent addition to our tree. I found him while we were in St. Thomas on Vacation last month. He seems pretty happy to be here! I try to find an fun ornament for the Yule tree when we travel. I love to look at the tree and remember places that we have been.

Thanks for stopping by, I really enjoyed sharing a bit of my Yule traditions with you and I truly enjoyed your visit! I hope to see you again later.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Yule festivities continue...

Check out the cute little blanket I decorated for my artist's group holiday party. This is a machine embroidered/appliqued fleece blanket. I got the plain fleece blanket from Ross and the embroidery designs from - my absolute favorite place for machine embroidery designs. They even have the Wheel of the Year designs- so cool!

I am kind of hoping I get to pick my own gift at the party this year! I am also talking a few loaves of the cranberry orange bread that I made yesterday...mmmmm. I love meeting with my artist friends, we call our group Clay Improv because you really never know what is going to happen there! I LOVE it. We get together at least once a month and work on various projects, this month we are just getting together to celebrate the season and our friendship!

Later this week I'll be posting some updated pictures of the Yule Fairy project and some amazing pictures I took while on vacation. Be sure to stop by on December 18th for the Yuletide Blessings Blog Party being hosted by Astrea Sapphir's Almanac and also on December 21st for the Yule Magic Blog Party being hosted by The Village Witch.

I hope to see you soon


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Witches Yultide Ball 2011


Thank you to The Witch of Howling Creek and On the Broomstick for hosting our gala event!

I am sorry my Yuletide party is a bit late. I am still recovering from vacation! Welcome to my Yuletide ball, I have been busy getting the house ready for guests, I hope you  enjoy your time with me!

Meet Frosty, he watches over our stockings...

Which are, of course, hung by the chimney with care

Then there's Father Christmas and his sleigh pulled by reindeer who watch from above

and Bugs and the Gingerbread Man hold our stockings steady

a sleigh full of goodies has already arrived

It is so nice of you to drop by tonight. There's mulled cider and warm cranberry orange loaf in the kitchen.

I hope to see you again soon,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Pagan Reading Challenge

Wow, I leave for a week and I get home to two great new challenges being hosted by The Domestic Pagan!

This challenge is dear to my heart.I love to read and I currently read often, however most of my books on the craft have been only partially read. You know what I mean. I start it, reads a few chapters, put it down and if I pick it up again it is for something specific. This challenge should inspire me to read those wonderful books through till the end.

I chose the intermediate level of the challenge, which is to read 16-20 books.

I look forward to sharing with you some of the wonderful books I have on the craft. Some are old, some are new and all of them have so far been partially read by me.

The challenge starts January 2012, I hope to see you there.

Books Read:

1) The Hollow - Nora Roberts  finished 01/06/2012
2) The Pagan Stone- Nora Roberts Finished 01/11/2012
3) Fairy Tale Rituals - Kenny Klein (In Progress)
4) the Elements ofRitual - Deborah Lipp (In Progress)

Monday, December 5, 2011

2012 Get Off Your Broom: A New Year's Witchy Fitness Challenge

I am so glad the The Domestic Pagan is hosting another fitness challenge. I was really impressed with the amount of useful imformation she provided during the first fitness challenge and the other participants were so supportive! This time I plan to actually lose some weight.

My goals for this three month fitness challenge are:

1) To lose about 15 pounds
2) To increase the number of times I exercise each week and
3) To increase the number of home cooked meals I make as well as the variety of  recipes I use.

On January 1, 2012 I will post my before picture and re-post my goals.

Hope to see you there!

Back from the Cruise- Get Off Your Broom Fitness Challenge Update

So the cruise was pretty awesome. We had a great time and I will share some of my favorite things from my vacation later this week.

While I have not had an official weigh in this week and I missed one last week, I did manage to get on the scale this morning and I am happy to report that I only gained 3.5 pounds on the cruise!!!

How did that happen? Well let me tell you, I mostly adopted a pescatarian diet. I ate lots of fruit and veggies, fish, shellfish and some dairy. I avoided the red meat and went with lighter desserts though I did have a couple of rich desserts that were totally worth the calories.

The food on the cruise was amazing, the portion sizes were perfect and I did not deprive myself, seriously, I won't be going on another vacation for a while so I enjoyed myself but I didn't go crazy. We also walked, a LOT! So the combination of smaller portions, more fruit and vegetables and extra exercise really did the trick!

I now have a list of foods that I want recipes for to try at home. I had a black cherry soup that was amazing!

I am still trying to catch up on everything so my next post will have lots more information.

All  in all, even though I am up a bit from where I started, I expect to end this challenge at the same weight I started at, since this means I won't have gained weight over the holidays AND during my vacation I will consider it a success!!