Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Resolutions for the New Year - Sort Of

Rio Grand

As 2014 draws to a close I, and so many others, look to the New Year and make resolutions that will hopefully make it better than the last year.

2014 was pretty good to me. I've been busy creatively, I've been able to celebrate the Wheel of the Year at home with my family and this Yule I was able to connect with my local Pagan community and share a meal and a celebration with them. IT WAS FABULOUS! My goal of becoming more spiritual was one that I have enjoyed working on all year.

As I was reviewing my resolutions for 2014 I found that they are very much the same things that I will be working on in 2015.

Purge – I've already started the New Year cleaning frenzy of my studio and it has made a huge difference in the feel of the room. I can find things! Seriously, that is awesome!

Live Healthier – this is the one area of my life that got derailed. In April I injured my leg, then a couple of week s after that healed I injured my arm. I stopped going to the gym regularly and it shows! 2015 will be better. I've learned ways to reduce the risk of injury and have started working out at home with plans to hit the gym on Friday (I am sleeping in tomorrow – got to keep it realistic :0) I will be re-posting my Witchy Green Cleaning Series beginning the first Wednesday in January. I have been using these homemade cleaning produces for two years now. My house is clean, smells great and my hands look so much better than they used to!

Journal – I am not an everyday journaler but I enjoy the written word. I love how writing things down can make them untangle – when I have a problem I am dealing with I write it down then use the free form writing style from The Artist’s Way and write non-stop for 3 full pages every morning. In a couple of days I can usually figure out my problem!

Explore – I love to explore. I joined a hiking group this past year and will be joining them again in 2015. I visited so many beautiful places because of this group. I also got to see New Mexico with my best friend. Amazing state, beautiful area! This year we’ll be exploring somewhere new. I can’t wait!
Connect with Nature - I’ll be taking my Kayak out more in 2015. I am lucky enough to live near Lake Tahoe and several other lakes and this year I am going to explore them from the water. I want to see the Osprey nests, the pelicans and the many other amazing things that my area has to offer.

The past year has been very fruitful for me creatively! I've branched out in my craft and I have taken a giant leap outside of my comfort zone and have started selling my work – yay! I am so grateful to have this passion, this fabulous creative outlet. It makes other, not so fun areas of my life bearable! So once again I plan on creating more and stressing less. My day job is stressful. There’s nothing I can do about that. It is what it is and since I need a job (and I actually like what I do) I will work with what I have to make sure that the stresses of my day do not spill over into the time I have with my family and friends. Art helps!

Other then getting my butt to the gym these things are easy to work into my life. Getting to the gym is something that I have to do to make sure that I can enjoy my life so off the gym I’ll be heading!
So these are my resolutions plans for 2015. I think they will help me continue to become the person I want to be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Yule and a Blessed Solstice

Happy Yule and a Blessed Solstice to you all. 


I am celebrating this shortest day with fire and wine. Thank you for joining me in my little part of cyberspace. 

My hope for you all is for love, laughter and prosperity in the light half of the year!

Blessed be

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I just joined the Grow Your Blog Party for 2015

Vicki at 2 Bags Full is once again hosting her amazing Grow Your Blog party and I am so excited to be participating this year. Last year I had an amazing time and met so many talented bloggers.

I am re-evaluating what I want to do here since I got sidetracked and lost my focus a bit. I am already working on fun this for the blog, things which get back to magical living, back to my fun and magical life, back to the artsy craftsy (and magical) things that I love and just back to the original intent of this blog.

I look forward to sharing with you in the months ahead! I hope you'll stop by on January 25th to see what fun things I have planned as well as what magical present I'll be giving away.

Thanks for being here

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween

Pumpkin Patch

Today is one of my favorite holidays both for the spiritual aspects and for the secular festivities. This week, while still digging out from under my piles of work, I had the chance to enjoy a trip to the Pumpkin Patch with my co-workers to celebrate a birthday. It was a beautiful day to be outside and it helped me stop for a moment and really enjoy the season.

Hay Ride

Taking a simple hay ride through the corn fields and along the river brought to mind the work that went into this harvest, that the season of abundance is quickly coming to a close and it is time to prepare for cold weather and the dark nights of winter. It brought to mind my wonderful grandfather who was an amazing gardener. His garden was always lush, regardless of how poor the soil was. I was always amazed at how well he could grow anything!

Corn Maze

Walking through the corn maze was fun. We ran, we walked, we got lost and eventually made our way back to the pumpkin patch. It was an enjoyable way to spend the early afternoon. 

Last week I had another opportunity to send a few hours outside...


I took part in a short hike for my employer's wellness program. It was a cold and windy morning but it felt great to be out in the forest. The gentleman leading this hike also talked about local flora and fauna, showed us where the mistletoe and nightshade grew as well as how to tell the difference between several local species of pine trees and even offered us some of the local history of this particular area. All in all a great way to start the day (even if I was sick and running a fever LOL)

These past several weeks have been especially crazy for me. My youngest son (17) broke his writs a week before my Arts and Crafts show and had surgery 2 days before the show. He has an amazing sense of humor, while we were sitting in the emergency room he looked at me and said - "I don't think I am going to tell people I broke it roller skating, I think I'll tell them I was playing rugby, it's more manly". Funny, funny kid! He did tell people he was roller skating with his buddies but the rugby story makes me laugh.

He is mending well and hopefully gets the wires out Tuesday and if he is lucky will only be in a cast for another 3 - 4 weeks. Fingers crossed!

My studio still looks like a bomb went off in it though my work office is starting to look normal again - all in all I am looking forward to a restful rest of the year, I will be spending it with friends and family and have no obligations to do anything! 

Tonight, in honor of Samhain, I'll be spending time paying tribute to those who came before me and celebrating this most wonderful Witch's New Year! My goals for the next year are to enjoy each day, to celebrate love, life and friendship and to focus on my health and my art. January I'll have a "list" but for today that is all.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Arrived!!!

Look what I won from Jean Wheelock over at TreasuresNWhimsy Studio during the Witches of Giggleswick Halloween Blog Hop!! Not only did I get to see some amazing Halloween art I won this awesome guy. He is even cuter in person!!

If you didn't get a chance to visit the hop click on the name above to find links to all of the talented artists that participated.

Jean, thank you so much!! I love this little guy, he is amazing :0)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And the Winners are...

Thank you for celebrating my 3rd Blogaversary with me!! I apologize for being a couple of days late, the show wore me out and I am still buried under piles of stuff at home AND at work!!

Without further ado the 3 winners are:

1) Katy Magee
2) Angela Perez and
3) Laura Morrigan

Email me at with your mailing address and I will get your presents mailed :0)

Thank you for being a part of my online world!



Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's my 3rd Blogaversary!

Last year I missed it, seriously, I realized it a couple of weeks late and so I let it pass but this one, well, I didn't want to let it pass, I've been blogging on here - pretty regularly- for 3 years now and I am so blessed to have all of you in my life! I've met amazing people, participated in some fabulous parties and really have enjoyed my life in the blogging world.

Since I'm celebrating my 3rd Blogaversary there will be cake and presents. Why? Because I like cake and presents. Of course the party wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun without you, so everyone who stops by will be entered into a drawing to win a present. I'll be giving away 3 presents in honor of my 3rd full year of blogging. At least one of them will be a sculpted pumpkin head, Mortimer is letting me give away one of his friends to a lucky party goer. The other two prizes will be surprises and won't be posted until they are delivered to the luck party goers.

To get in on the fun all you have to do is be a follower (of start following me) and leave me a comment below! That is it :0)

Thanks for stopping by, for checking out my blog and for making my life so full!

**UPDATE** I will be drawing for the presents on Monday October 20th (that is the day AFTER the big craft fair so I can breath again LOL)

***UPDATE 2*** Prizes will be mailed out on Tuesday, October 28th** Thanks to everyone who visited!



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mabon Blessings

Slowly the wheel turns, the seasons change and while it is still hot in Nevada the temperature is slowly inching its way down. Today it was just 84, not too bad for an end of summer day. I am always a little sad to see summer leave, those long lazy days full of sweet summer fruits, weekends at the lake, nights on the deck, gardens bursting full of color and food.

Sigh, I do love the summer but autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the spicy scents, the hint of chill in the evening air, the foods, the pumpkins... I could go on and on. Seriously, I love the way the light changes from the bright summer sunshine to a golden hue, making everything warm and lovely, the late afternoon light that just makes you want to snuggle in a nice soft chair with a book – well, it makes me want to snuggle in with a soft flannel blanket, a book and a nice glass of wine.

The Fire-Pit

This year, the equinox falls on September 23 and I’ll be celebrating Mabon this Tuesday. I'll be giving thanks for all that I have, the bounty of my garden and for my amazing family and friends. I’ll be lighting the small fire pit (as long as the smoke from the fires in Northern California clears out) and baking something yummy with apples and pumpkins, not sure what yet but I can’t wait!

Peach Preserves

This time of year is for giving thanks, for seeking balance, for preparing for the time when the earth cools and the crops have been harvested. I am making preserves, apple butter and canning various veggies as I can. This is my first year making preserves and I am pretty pleased with them.

During the winter months I usually have more time for my blog, this year I’ll be busy right up till the middle of October with the arts and crafts fair and a costume party, and a couple of birthdays among other things but I am planning on getting back to the heart of Beneath the Witch’s Moon, the love of the goddess, the rhythm of the seasons and the comfort of ritual. I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy to journey with me.

This week I wish you all a blessed Mabon, a happy equinox and a wonderful life full of balance and love.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Such a lovely day to play

I promise, I have not fallen off the face of the planet, I was actually selected to be a part of one of the largest juried arts and craft fairs in my area and I have been busy creating pieces for the show.

In addition to that I have been busy with my Animated Zombie swap which is due this week as well as working on various other things that I need to complete.

Here are a couple of the pieces I am taking with me. This is from my Mortimer and Friends collection:


He was almost complete in this photo. Soon I'll post pictures of some of the other things I have been working on.

Stay tuned for my 3rd blogaversary which is coming up the first week of October! I'm planning a party and everyone is invited and of course there will be a give-away, let's face it - what's a party without a present or two...

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Just Joined the 6th Annual Halloween Swap at Yarnigras Swapper Spot!

I am so excited to be a part of the 6th annual Yarnigras Swapper Spot Halloween Swap! This year we'll be swapping ...what else... Zombies inspired by animated zombie movies :0) I will be posting progress pictures on my sculpting blog Sunflower House Art but will post the finished Zombie here! If you like zombies or participating in swaps you should check out Val's blog she hosts multiple swaps throughout the year and the quality has always been top notch!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Beads and Bezels and Chains - Oh My (Cross Post)

For those of you who also follow my sculpting blog this is a cross post, I'll be slowly phasing out some of my sculpting posts from this blog and taking it back to its roots. If you like the creatures I create then please check out my sculpting blog Sunflower House Art.

As I delve more and more into the business side of art I have studied what I buy, what I look at online, what details I am drawn to and so forth and as I hone in on what I like, I have taken classes and asked some of the amazing, talented women I know for direction on how to add that special touch.

One of the things I love about figurative sculpture, which I’ve stated often, is that I can use so many different mediums and techniques on a single piece. Lately, as I gear up for the arts and crafts fair season, I have really started focusing on those tiny details, the ones that you don’t think about but that really make a difference.

For instance, now that I know how, I have to add beads to my figures costumes. These tiny little embellishments make such an impact. They can be subtle, adding a finishing touch to a hem like I used on Indigo


Or they can be bold by forming a focal point or major design detail. Beads can be used for jewelry, head pieces, trim and even used to form props. Doll makers often use jewelry findings for details. I’ve seen tiny pocket watches made from a loop necklace clasp; in fact I made one myself for my Hatter in Zombieland figure.

Hatter in Zombieland

Beads are so versatile. I use them for eyes, embellishments, focal points and even for crowns as shown here on my almost finished – just need wings – birdcage fairy:

Birdcage Fairy

As anyone who creates knows you can never have enough bits to play with. About a year ago our area got its first large scale bead shop which was so cool! The people are fantastic, the selection is great and the prices are much better that when I had to fly to Las Vegas to visit a similar store :0) but they don’t have everything I need so I do shop online. The bummer of that is I have to wait for my stuff and I really don’t like waiting.

However, one of the coolest places I’ve found online for beads and findings is Auntie’s Beads. Their selection is unbelievable and their prices are about as close to wholesale as you can get without having a business license. I was so excited with the quality of their merchandise and the super fast shipping that now I don’t worry quite so much about waiting.

Soon I’ll be showing you what I’ve done with my latest Hatter. He is almost done. Here is a sneak peek of his in-progress hat:


Soon he will have a jacket, shirt, cravat, pants and so much more! I can't wait to finish him. Once he is complete I’ll show you the details I’ve added that I think make him super special!

Monday, July 21, 2014

And the Winner Is...

And the winner is #31 - MagicLoveCrow! Congratulations! If you would email me your mailing address to
AutumnWindReno@ I'll get you towels mailed out to you asap!

Thank you so much for stopping by my Mad Tea :0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dad Update

Thank you all for the good thoughts and healing prayers. Dad came through the surgery like a champ, it went well and hopefully he'll have a swift recovery!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Asking for Good Thoughts and Healing prayers!

Greetings my friends,

This morning my step-dad, the best dad I could have ever asked for, went in to surgery to have 2 heart valves replaced. My dad is truly one of the best men I know and I would really appreciate it if could send healthy, healthy thoughts and prayers his way. This amazing man took me on, an abused and troubled teen, and showed me what life could be like if I worked for it, respected it and enjoyed it. He’s always been there for me and I hate that I am not at the hospital right now.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Welcome to a Mad Tea

I am so glad you were able to stop by. Thank you to Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist for hosting this awesome party! I am so glad I was able to be a part of it again this year. 

The tea is ready, the food is out, so please have a seat and join me for tea. 

Don't those cherries look great! I love fresh cherries. 

Look, Alice has decided to join us. She wasn't too sure about the party since she had to try that "Drink Me" juice and is currently vertically challenged but she decided to join in on the fun. She hopes to return to her full height soon!

She does have a friend to hand out with since she gave the flamingo some too!

His friend Harry just laughs! He knew better than to drink glowing green liquid! Seriously!


Looks like the hatter is here somewhere and so is the White Rabbit, he dropped his pocket watch on the table, though it looks quite large for a pocket watch... I guess Wonderland has that affect on things.

You never really know who will show up at a Mad Tea party. 

Thank you so much for visiting my little party. I am so very happy you stopped by. I am having a give-away here and also on my sculpting blog Sunflower House Art. Both will have a set of 2 embroidered Alice in Wonderland Themed Tea Towels (pictures to be here soon) as prizes, I am almost finished the embroidery and will post pictures of them by Sunday night!!

To enter the give-away leave me a comment here and follow my blog (if you don't already). That is it! I'll be doing a random drawing on the night of Monday July 21st. 

** Update** Here is a picture of the embroidered tea towel. This set will include the Red Queen and Alice. The finished set will be uploaded soon :0)

***Update 2*** Dad's in surgery this week and life is crazy. I'll be visiting more parties this weekend and am still drawing a winner for the tea towels on Monday: 0) Thanks for visiting!!!

I'll see you at the next party!

***Update 3*** MagicLoveCrow is the winner of the Wonderland Tea Towels :0)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mad Tea Party This Weekend

It's been a fun and hectic several weeks and I am really looking forward to the Mad Tea Party this weekend! I just wanted to pop in and verify that I really was going to be a part of it. I've been away from regular blogging for too long but life is crazy so I'll be doing to best I can here :0)

I really miss my blogging regularly. I think there is something special about the online community that I am a part of and I plan on being an active part of it again soon.

See you Saturday!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Artsy Monday - Drying Rose Petals

Greetings everyone, amazingly I am finally posting an Artsy Monday post!! I really do have several in the works and I will share them as I finish them. For my first Artsy Monday post in WAY too long I thought I would share with you how I dry my rose petals.

My Roses

When dried, these petals are used for sachets and are especially good for love and romance spells. These roses are rich in color and have sweet, heart shaped petals.

For petals you want to cut the flowers that are open, in their prime and after the dew has dried. You do not want old, brown flowers or those that are wet. Neither will give you a good result. You can also dry rose buds. Chooses buds that are tightly formed  but showing color. When drying buds you do not remove the bud from the stem. 

As you can see above the petal on the far right has some discoloration on the top. I try to avoid using these. I like to use the best looking petals that I have. 

Pic. 1

Pic. 2

Pic. 3

Pic. 4

To remove the petals from the stem I grasp the flower and pull all of the petals away from the stem as shown in Picture 1 above. Next I gently twist the petals, pulling them away from their center (Pic. 2), this leaves me with the petals between my fingers (Pic. 3) and once they are laid out I can go through them looking for rot or defects (Pic. 4). Practice on a flower that is not as nice so that you have the technique down and won't bruise or damage the petals. It doesn't take much to remove the petals from the stem!

Once you remove the petals from the stem, discard the stem and go through the petals. Remove any that are discolored, moldy, brown... I do this one flower at a time, putting the petals I wish to dry on the dehydrator racks as I go.

When placing the petals on the tray you want to make sure they do not overlap, this causes uneven drying time which could lead to problems like mold if they are stored before they are fully dry!

Petals and Buds

Full Dehydrator

I like using my dehydrator to dry flowers. They dry quickly and I can lay out a lot at one time, which is important because they shrink, a LOT, during the drying process.

Same Batch! 1/2 Hour Later

After 1/2 hour the petals are already noticeably smaller.

Final Petals

Beautiful color!

I leave mine in the dehydrator for a full day, watching to make sure they do not start to brown on the edges. At the end of the day I turn the dehydrator off and leave them for the night. I live in a VERY dry climate so I do not need to worry about any humidity. When drying petals be sure to follow the directions on your particular dehydrator and for your climate.

Once this batch was completely dry I ended up with 1 cup of petals and buds from the 5 trays of petals/buds I started with. They are a rich, deep pink color and  smell wonderful! These are perfect to use in a potpourri mix or a sachet and they look wonderful in a small bowl.

You can also dry flowers and petals between paper towels, in wax paper inside of books but dehydrators are easily found in thrift shops, they help to reduce the instance of mold and are much faster. Be sure to wash the trays well before use. Make sure the trays are completely dry before adding your petals to them.

This method works great for petals and buds, for full bouquets I suggest tying the bouquet stems together and then hanging the bouquet upside down in a cool dry area and letting it dry naturally. Hanging it upside down tends to help the bouquet retain its shape.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit.

Mediterranean Olive Bread

Mediterranean Olive Bread

I know it's Monday and this isn't really an Artsy Monday type post but this bread was so great I had to post about it! 

A couple of weeks ago I found a loaf of Olive bread at my local supermarket. I love olives and it sounded interesting so I bought it for the family. It was pretty good and, me being me, I decided to find a recipe so that I could make my own. This was the start of my journey into the art of No-Knead bread making.

I scoured the internet and found several recipes for Olive bread but not till I found this recipe did I find THE recipe for Olive Bread. The link takes you to the You Tube video for the No-Knead Mediterranean Olive bread by Artisan Bread with Steve. 

I was new to the No-Knead bread making method and I can tell you that I am now hooked! Steve has several cookbooks and you can find them on Amazon, the video has the recipe for the bread I made and it was SUPER EASY! I started watching the video, writing down the recipe, then I googled Steve and when I found that his cookbook 28 Popular No-Knead Breads was only $3.99 to download for the kindle (I have the app on my computer) AND it had the Olive Bread recipe in it - I bought it!

Just an FYI- You do not need to buy the cookbook to get the recipe, Steve provides it in the video. I am not trying to promote this video or any of the cookbooks, I am not receiving any type of compensation for my post (in fact Artisan Bread with Steve has no idea who I am LOL), the bread is just so good that I had to share and I wanted to do so in a way that respected his recipe :0)

Anyway, This bread is baked in a covered stone baker. Because I was so impatient I chose to go buy a new baker from my local kitchen store for the hefty cost of $60. I have since been told to check 2nd hand stores though I will confess that it has been worth every penny!

Superstone Baker by Sassafras 

Ready to Bake

The bread itself it super easy. Basically you mix everything together and then let is sit overnight - this is where the no-knead comes in. 12 - 24 hours later you divide it, let is sit for another 2 hours then bake it for a total of 35 minutes (part with the lid, part without) and you end up with an amazing loaf of bread full of flavor! 

If you like bread, especially easy to make, delicious bread, then check out the video. You can also google "no knead" bread for alternatives to buying a baker which will give you pretty good results and make you bread adventure a bit less expensive.  

One tip, if you decide to make this bread, get the best pimento stuffed Spanish olives you can find/afford. I used inexpensive green olives that I had in the fridge with the first loaves I made and a much better Spanish Green from Costco the second time and there was a noticeable difference in the flavor, both were fantastic but the second batch had a deeper flavor. 

Finally a word of caution - this bread is so good you'll find yourself making it, a lot! I've baked 4 loaves of this and the longest it has lasted is 2 days!