Friday, March 30, 2012

G is for Ginger: A Pagan Blog Project Post



I struggled with writing about something that started with the letter G this week. After some thought I decided to write about one of my favorite roots – Ginger.
This aromatic root is one that I often use in both culinary and magical workings. It has been used for centuries in China and India for both culinary and medical purposes. Due to it's lush blossoms and interesting foliage, ginger is also grown as a decorative plant in areas that are conducive to it's growth.
In one study ginger was also found effective in treating nausea. As a child, when I had an upset stomach, my grandmother always made sure we had ginger ale to drink. It certainly settled my tummy and I continue to use that remedy with my own children. When I was pregnant with my daughter ginger ale was a staple in my diet!
One of the things I love about being part of the larger Pagan community is that people recognize the wisdom in folk remedies and they know that things like sipping ginger ale for an upset stomach or eating chicken soup when you are sick with a cold are not just “silly things their grandparents did” but time proven remedies that actually have a scientific basis. Let's face it, the reason those things have been passed down from generation to generation is because they work.
According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, ginger is best used for spells involving Love, Money, Success and Power.   He states
Here is a recipe for Candied Ginger that makes it easy to take Mr. Cunningham’s advice: http://homecooking.about.com/od/dessertrecipes/ht/crystalginger.htm
The great thing about using candied ginger when you are working with spells that require you to ingest this powerful little root, is that you are able to infuse the ginger with your intent and power as you follow the recipe, giving your spell that extra little boost.
Thanks for stopping by
Autumnwind
that “Eating ginger before performing spells will lend them power, since you have been “heated up” by the ginger.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yippee! I've been awarded the Wonderful Web Witches Award!


Thank you to the Green Witch, Polly Taskey of Pagan by Design for this lovely award. I am honored! I am especially thrilled to be recognized along with some other pretty amazing Web Witches for March! Click on the picture above for more information.

Thank you!

Autumnwind

Monday, March 26, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Project- Update



This weekend was spent on my Alice in Wonderland sculpting project. She has definitely been a learning experience for me and she still needs a lot of work! The picture above is my inspiration photo. I  like the pose that Alice is in and since I will also be including the white rabbit and the flowers with faces in my scene it was the perfect picture for me to look at while sculpting.



Here she is with her base clay. This gives her a bit more support than if I were to sculpt the entire body at once.



This is where I am now. While she isn't even close to perfect, I am pleased with how she is turning out. This week I will work on her hands and feet and then on painting  her skin and eyes. I have never sculpted a full body before and I obviously have a long way to go but I am learning and since she will be costumed I am very happy with how she is turning out. She does have a pretty bad crack at the top of her thighs. I will be fixing this when I attach her hands and feet. Next time I do a full body sculpt I am going to work on a smaller scale!



Here are a few a few items I created for the scene. The bottle will be filled with a resin "liquid" and placed at Alice's feet and the white rabbit (to be sculpted soon) will be holding one of the pocket watches. I'll also be sculpting some faces for the flowers that will be attached to the wood burl.

I'll post more pictures as I go.

Autumnwind

GOYB Fitness Challenge Update

When I joined the original GOYB challenge it was a fun, supportive, way to meet other witchy/pagan people,a way to stay motivated to reach my weight and fitness goals, with no pressure and no guilt. Amazingly (to me anyway), some people found it offensive. The hostess was ridiculed and criticized for focusing on a number. The second challenge has received similar criticisms and the hostess has been personally vilified.

Warning - Here is my rant about this... Stepping up on my soap box... (I tried to be brief - feel free to not read this :)

Ok, why does anyone else care if I want to lose weight? Does it matter to anyone other than me? Nope. Just because I don't need to lose 50 or 100 pounds does not make my goals any less important, especially to me! When I  started trying to lose weight I had to lose over 65 pounds just to reach the high end of healthy. I've been slowly plugging away and losing the weight. The fact that I have less to lose now shouldn't concern anyone but me.

It's been fascinating to me to read some of the posts criticizing this challenge. Someone directed Serenity (the hostess) to a site that claims that all sizes of women can be healthy and beautiful regardless of their weight- well I am glad that there is a site out there telling women that regardless of their size they are beautiful, you won't hear any different from me but I disagree with how healthy it is to be morbidly obese. You can be happy and beautiful regardless of your size and some people are fortunate and can be healthy regardless of the amount of extra weight they carry with them but most people who have a lot of extra weight on their body also suffer from serious health issues - been there, done that and I am doing a lot so that I never go back to those ways. That is my choice. If you are happy at your size then be happy, don't tell me that I have to also be happy at your size.

Other criticisms have been that the challenge is denigrating to women because it focuses on a number and insinuates that you are not worthy unless you are thin. This is crap, a number is a way to track how much progress is made towards a goal. The numbers that this challenge tracked (if you chose too) were not only weight but measurements, neither had to be made public and both are a good indicator as to progress being made. Not once did this challenge compare people to each other. Personally, my weight went up because I started working with weights. Not once was I criticized for that.

Still others complained that the hostess looked fantastic so she shouldn't be complaining about anything - now that is just insulting to pretty much everyone - what that is saying is that no matter who you are, no matter what your goals are they don't matter unless you meet certain criteria. Just because a person is where YOU want to be doesn't mean they are where THEY want to be.

Why should it offend anyone that I want to be the healthiest me that I can be. Is it because I want to lose weight and look good as well. Losing weight,when you have some weight to lose, whether it is 5 pounds or 105 pounds is not a bad thing.  My weight goals are not the same as anyone else's. I don't set my goals based on how good someone else looks, I base them on what is best for me. I also base my fitness goals on what is best for me and what suits my lifestyle. In fact, I base all of my goals on my own issues and idiosyncrasies - as I should.

My self-esteem is just fine, thank you very much, but I feel more comfortable in my own skin at a lower weight and since I am also healthier, have no pain in my joints or back, have lots more energy and generally feel better I think I'll continue on as I have been until I get to where I want to be. That shouldn't bother anyone since my goals are for me.

I joined the challenge to meet others like myself and for support. I am pleased to say I got both. I have met so many amazing women through the GOYB challenges and I got and hopefully gave lots of support as well. It's been a fantastic experience for me.

If you don't like the challenge, don't participate.
If it isn't a format that works for you, don't participate - find something or someone who inspires you to reach for your goals- whatever they may be.
If you feel the need to put others down to feel good about yourself - don't participate.

However,

If you like the challenge format - join in on the fun
If you are motivated by public support - come on down
If you feel comfortable talking about your goals - this is a great place for you

My two favorite quotes right now are pretty applicable to this issue

"Life doesn't come with a remote control - get up and change it yourself"

and

"Judging someone doesn't say anything about them but it says a lot about you"

If you are happy with who you are then be happy. Don't criticize others because they don't fit your mold or your expectations. We all deserve to reach for our goals even if we don't agree on what those goals should be.

Ok, hopping off my soap box, sorry about that rant. I get all fired up when people feel the need to criticize me for doing something that does not harm them in any way. If something doesn't work for you then by all means, don't do it, but don't criticize those it does work for.

Friday, March 23, 2012

F is for Faerie, Part 2: A Pagan Blog Project Post


Writing about my love of the Fae was pretty easy. Writing about myths and legends is a whole different story. While whittling down what I wanted to write about this week I was drawn to the Cottingley Fairies, the true story about two young girls who were thought to have actually taken pictures of Fairies.  
The story began in 1917 (or1916 depending on the source) when young cousins Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright borrowed Elsie’s father’s camera and took some pictures that upon being developed showed Frances with a group of Fairies. The photographs were subjected to many authentications and even had the support Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle who believed in the authenticity of the photographs and felt that if the pictures would convince the general public that fairies were real then maybe they would be more willing to accept other psychic phenomena (Smith, Paul (1997), "The Cottingley Fairies: The End of a Legend", in Narv√°ez, Peter, The Good People: New Fairylore Essays, The University Press of Kentucky, pp. 371–405, ISBN 978-0-8131-0939-8)

Kodak, yes, that Kodak, the photographic company was called as the second specialist to authenticate the photographs, while they concurred with the original assessment that the pictures did not appear to be fake they would not issue a certificate of authenticity. (Magnusson, Magnus (2006), Fakers, Forgers & Phoneys, Mainstream Publishing, ISBN 1-84596-190-0)
In the 1980’s the girls (then in their 80’s) admitted that they faked the pictures by using hat pins and drawings that Elsie made using the book “Princess Mary’s Gift” for inspiration. Having been hounded about the pictures for most of their lives some suggest they “confessed” to spare their families from future harassment.

Many books have been written about the Cottingly Fairies and several movies have also been made, the most recent that I know of being the two released in 1997 - Photographing Fairies and FairyTale: A True Story. Two completely different stories!


Regardless of whether or not the photograph was faked, I find it enchanting. The Cottingley Fairies website has quite a bit of information on it about the girls, the pictures and controversy as well as some interesting information on where the artifacts are now and some things to ponder about how it was possible (or not) for two young girls to fake such amazing photographs.
Looking at the picture of Frances and the faeries makes me smile. If the girls faked them my hat is off to them for their talent and skill in convincing so many people! If they photos are real... Yay!
My belief in the Fae won't be affected one way or the other but every time I look at the picture above I smile!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Ostara - a little late :)



I hope everyone had a lovely Ostara! I'll admit, my favorite time of year is Autumn - yeah I know imagine that- but the beginning of Spring, when new life is starting to appear all aound us, is close to my heart as well. How can you not love it that the days are getting longer, the temperature is slowly warming and the world becomes green and lovely. The possibilities are there, just waiting to grow to fruition.

My wish for you all, my wonderful friends, is for friendship, good health and prosperity in amazing abundance!

BB

Autumnwind

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Figurative Sculpture in Progress



Since I apparently have nothing else to do (OMG what was I thinking??) I decided to join in on the Fantasy Art Guild's Alice in Wonderland sculpting project. I LOVE me some Alice in Wonderland, I love the book, I love the movies, yes, pretty much anything Alice is awesome as far as I am concerned though I find that I really am partial to Tim Burton's version of the movie.  

The project is simple, sort of, use the Katie mold from Patricia Rose and create an Alice in Wonderland themed doll. Well, the Katie mold is about 6 inches tall and that is WAY too small for me so I am sculpting my entire doll free hand which normally wouldn't be a problem except I don't usually sculpt the entire body, I do head, hands and feet with a soft, poseable body. The picture at the top is my inspiration for my sculpture. She will stand about 11 inches tall when I am done. I don't sculpt babies or young children so my Alice will be older, more along the lines of 17 years old. I usually sculpt adults so this will be challenging for me on several fronts.




Here is what she looks like now. The base she is standing on will also be home to the White Rabbit and some pretty little flowers with sculpted faces. I am looking forward to her though it is freaking me out just a bit, full body sculpture - YIKES! So here I am, posting to you all so that I actually do it! Nothing like a little self imposed pressure to get the ball rolling!

This morning I started on the White Rabbit's pocket watch. I love creating the scene. Details really do make the difference and I love those details. Tomorrow I will be starting to work on the most important part of a new sculpture... the face!

I'll post progress pictures as I go.

Wish me luck!

GOYB Fitness Challenge Update



Whew, I am slowly catching up! I am still working out with the weights but until this week I was only loosely following Weight Watchers. While I haven't lost any weight I haven't gained any either - good thing - and the weight training is awesome! I love it! When I started I only put 2.5 measly pounds on each side of my barbell and now I start off with 15 on each side and then add a bit more for different exercises. Not too bad.

The down side is that since I have not been eating as healthy as I could have been I am not really seeing my progress as I should be. I can feel it, I am stronger and my arms and legs are feeling tighter but my clothes are not fitting any different yet and that is frustrating! SO, beginning this Saturday I decided to actually eat right- I know, genius idea.

This week I have been cooking healthy meals and will continue my workouts. I have learned a lot of things that do work for me and then some that don't.

I signed up for the next fitness challenge and I am confident that I will see some great results by the end of that!

Ok, that is it for now!

Autumnwind

New Etsy Item - Kitchen Witch Apron



This adorable embroidered apron will be posted in my Etsy shop this afternoon.  It is a Cotton/Poly blend white apron with two roomy front pockets, an adjustable neck strap and it ties in the back.


Here is a picture of the embroidery work

I am currently working on a Wheel of the Year Table Runner that I hope to have in the shop later tonight and then plan to start work on a couple of Dupioni Silk Altar Cloths.

Thanks for looking!

Autumnwind

The Beach Ready Fitness Challenge


I just signed up for the next fitness challenge being hosted by Serenity Raven of The Domestic Pagan This is the third challenge that I will be participating in with Serenity and I have really enjoyed them all! If you are looking for a group to encourage and support you as you work towards achieving your health and fitness goals - this is the group for you!

The challenge starts April 1. Hope to see you there

Autumnwind

Review: James Hutchings - The New Death and Others



A collection of 44 short stories and 19 poems I found the eBook The New Death and Others... fascinating. There is no apparent order to how the pieces are organized within the whole which at first was a bit disconcerting but after a couple of stories it was fun. I never knew what I would be reading next. Several pieces are dark, some disturbing, and most of them had bits of fun interjected in unexpected places.

I enjoyed James' dark wit and satirical humor. There were a couple of stories that failed to hook me but for the most part it was a fun read. I thoroughly enjoyed the short stories How the Isle of Cats got its Name, The New Death and The End. If you enjoy fractured fairy tales, strange stories and mythology you'll enjoy this. 

If I were to rate this on a 5 star scale I would give it 3 out of 5.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Faerie- A Pagan Blog Project Post


After missing the letter E altogether I really wanted to write about very something special to me this time around. This is just a little tribute to some of the wonderful ways the Fae are part of my life.
Tinkerbell from Walt Disney's Peter Pan Movie


Fairy, Faerie, Fae…when we think of these magickal beings all sorts of images come to mind; princess type creatures with iridescent wings, earthy beings with pointy little ears and even dark and dangerous folk ready to entrap or seduce. Regardless of what image we conjure in our minds one thing I have found to be the same across the board is a Faerie’s love of tricks. It’s there, that twinkle in their eye, that thing that makes you wonder if you should get close or turn around and walk away, even Tinkerbell, of Peter Pan fame was a feisty little thing. Wendy was sure lucky that Tink listened to Peter or she would have been toast!

Faerie have been a part of my life for a long time. I enjoy the art, the images, their attitudes, the myth and lore that has been written about the Fae, the festivals and so much more that people create out of love for Faerie. I love to see the costumes that people envision Faeries wearing, especially if it is made out of natural items.

Sevi, one of my early faerie sculptures

Faeries were my inspiration to start sculpting, I just had to create one, or two, or more! Faeries have the power to free your imagination. They are full of trickery and magick.The wonderful thing about sculpting Faerie is that no matter what crazy thing I think up, the Fae are all for it! If you are an artist you know that when you start the creative process you have an idea of what the finished product will be yet somewhere along the way the project takes over and it becomes what it is meant to be. When I am sculpting I never know what I will end up with and that is part of the magick.
Faerie magick was definitely at work when I became seriously interested in sculpting, the amazing Wendy Froud was coming to my area to teach sculpting classes! I have since taken several classes from Wendy as well as from her son Toby and all I can tell you is this - if you ever get a chance to take one of their classes - DO IT! Just watching them create is worth the price of the class.

Faerieworlds Spiral Dance 2010


Me - Faerieworlds 2010

One of my favorite places to go is to the Faerieworld celebration in Eugene Oregon in the summer. A celebration of music and all things Fae, you can’t go wrong. This celebration has it all, amazing music, talented artists, a spiral dance, fabulous costumes and so much more.


I previously wrote about my love of the Tarot, I also have a fondness for The Heart of Faerie Oracle deck created by Brian and Wendy Froud, two of my favorite artists. This deck is lovely, for me, magickal! When I really need some perspective on my life I get this deck out. 
Next week I will be writing a bit about Faerie lore, some myth and mythology if you will. This was my week to gush about the Fae, next week I'll be a tad bit more educational.
Autumnwind

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Etsy Shop in Now Open!




Finally, after way too many delays, I have uploaded the first items to my Etsy shop, Beneath the Witch's Moon. I have been working on this for quite some time and I confess I did a little happy dance when that first item posted.





These two Spell Bottles are near and dear to my heart. I will be adding more items this week including custom Lace Masks like those I offered here.

Soon I will also have Pagan/Witchy/Wiccan/Magical themed embroidered items  including kitchen towels, Aprons, Altar Cloths and more, Witchy Die Cut Shapes (perfect for your Book of Shadows or scrapbooks), additional Spell Bottles, Charms, Supplies and more. Whew!

That's all for now. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Autumnwind

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Uggg!

Nothing like a mild case of the flu to set ya back a week or so! I am on the mend and will be updating the blog and FINALLY adding items to my Etsy shop this weekend.

Autumnwind

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back from My Travels - Updates

I am back from my travels and trying to catch up! My Etsy store launch is late, instead of getting my items uploaded yesterday as I had planned, I slept the day away! Of course getting up at midnight (after only 3 hours of sleep) to catch a flight is a pretty good reason to be tired. This weekend I will be adding a dozen or so items to the store with more to be added through out the month.

Look for another fun contest later this month.

My Pagan Blog Project post may be delayed, I hope to have it up tomorrow evening but it may not be posted until Saturday.

This weekend I'll be posting a review of The New Death and Others an intriguing e-book of short stories written by James Hutchings 

AND

I'll be updating my Reading & Fitness Challenges and posting about my latest adventure.

Have a great night

Autumnwind

Lace Mask Give-away Winners


I want to thank everyone who participated in my give-away this go-round. I will be doing another soon.

The winners are:

Sandi Crawford
and
Pagan by Design

Please email your contact information to me at autumnwindreno@aol.com and I will send you the color choices.

Congratulations!!

Autumnwind