Friday, January 31, 2014

C is for Chalice. A Pagan Blog Project Post

My Chalice

After a long week of playing catch up after being so horribly sick, I offer this pictorial representation of the chalice.

The Chalice is one of the many tools in a Witch’s toolbox. It is used during ritual, for libations, offerings to the Gods and Goddesses and to make blessings.


In my practice, the chalice is feminine in nature and represents the Goddess as the mother of all creation.


A chalice can be made of any type of material. It can be plain, ornate or anywhere in between. The most important thing about any magical tool is that it speaks to you and you want to work with it.

Vintage Gold



Dragon with Amethyst

Ceremonial Chalice

Wine Chalice

Alchemist Chalice


All of the images have links to their source. All are also from Etsy and can be purchased from the talented artists who created them or the wonderful shop owners who have listed them. I am not affiliated with any of these shops, I just found them while viewing their lovely listings!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Artsy Monday/Witchy Green Wednesday - Postponed due to Illness

Due to a severe case of food poisoning the Artsy Monday &  Witchy Green Wednesday posts for this week are being postponed until next week. Check back next Monday to see the adorable Valentine themed, hand painted wine glasses and Wednesday to see my homemade floor cleaners.

See you soon


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grow Your Blog Party 2014 - Welcome

Welcome to Beneath the Witch’s Moon! I am so glad you stopped in for a visit. I’ve been cleaning and organizing things all month in preparation for guests.

I am so excited to be taking part in the Grow Your Blog blog party being hosted by Vicki over at 2 Bags Full

I’m Autumnwind or Debbie – I answer to both though you’ll see Autumnwind here more often than not. I started this blog several years ago to blog about my witchy side and connect with other like minded people. As time has gone on I have met and became part of a larger Pagan community (both in cyberspace and at home) and I have met amazing people from all walks of life, many faiths and many different stages of life. It has been one of the best experiences of my life.  I am a wife, a mom to 4 amazing individuals and I have 2 hyper pups named Sophie and Alice ( they are a Jack Russel mix so I knew they would be a bit feisty!) and one old kitty named Rosie. My house is hectic and full of energy and love. 

As it has grown, my blog’s focus has changed a tiny bit. In preparation for today I was reviewing my posts and found that I tend to blog about 4 or 5 main things: Witchy Bits, Arts & Crafts, Health & Fitness, Travel and my adventures with my Family. Those are the things that are important to me and those are what you’ll find here.

New for this year I have 3 days that will be set aside for specific types of posts (mainly). They are:

Artsy Mondays – These posts will be DIY and Arts & Crafts related. I am an Artist, mainly a sculptor (currently anyway) though I also embroider, sew, paint, create jewelry and dabble in mixed media pieces. I also used to teach rubber stamping technique and paper crafting classes when I owned a scrapbook store so you’ll see some of those projects on Mondays along with all sorts of cool Artsy projects that I am working on. The first official Artsy Monday post was a project that is all the rage on Pinterest right now – re-purposing an old frame into a chalkboard – you can check it out here. It was a fun project and I’ll definitely be making more chalkboards soon! In my second Artsy Monday post I shared how to turn wine corks into a trivet shaped like a grape cluster. You can see that post here. I have lots of fun how-to posts planned for this series and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Witchy Green Wednesday

Witchy Green Wednesdays – These are currently focused on “Green” cleaning products. There are 5 posts in this series the first of which you can find here. Once I have wrapped up the Witchy Green Cleaning Series Wednesdays will be about health/fitness and “Green” alternatives to everything from pet treats to beauty products. Everything I write about I test in my own home first and I’ll share any blunders I make or tips I found. You’ll also see recipes, gardening ideas and more. Wednesdays are about Hearth and Home, Health and Fitness and how to make our living spaces more healthy and enjoyable.Some of these posts will be crafty as I show my adventures in soap making, wine making and creating my own lotions and body products. Anything I create will be presented with step by step directions and lots of pictures. For another sample you can check out this post on making homemade marshmallows.

Pagan Fridays – I am taking part in the 2014 Pagan Blog Project. Every Friday participants post about something Pagan/Wiccan/Witch related which starts with a specific letter of the alphabet. We do 2 posts with each letter of the alphabet and it has been a very though provoking experience. This is my 3rd year as part of the project though I have not completed a full years of posts yet. I hope to change that this year. Fridays will be Pagan Blog Project posts.  If you are not familiar with real witches you should check out a couple of these posts. Most people are quite surprised by how normal we witches really are! You can read my first post this year here.

There will be other posts about various things going on in my life. One of the things I found I liked reading about on other blogs was fun projects and the people who create them. It’s always nice to get to know someone online and reading about the day to day things in a person’s life gives you a snapshot of who they are.

One of the Tea Parties

I enjoy blog parties. I've taken part in many a Tea party here in cyberspace, some mad, others haunted and all of them a lot of fun!

A Hatter in Zombieland

I also enjoy swaps and have taken part in some really fun swaps that have challenged me as an artist... for instance the Zombie in Wonderland swap and Voodoo Doll Pincushion Swap

I love art, photography, kayaking, hiking, gardening and just living life to the fullest. I hope you’ll become a friend and follower and come along with me on this wonderful journey that is life.

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing to win a 4 ounce jar of my Witchy Green Scouring Powder in either Orange-Clovebud or Lavender (your choice) and a sweet little surprise! The drawing is for the scouring powder (and surprise) only, the essential oils and mortar and pestle are not included. For more information on this amazing scouring powder click here. You do not need to be a follower to win. Winner will be announced on February 15th.

Witchy Green Scouring Powder

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you enjoyed your stay and will come back soon!


Friday, January 24, 2014

B is for Book of Shadows - A Pagan Blog Project Post

I have always been fascinated with the written word. In fact I can’t image my life without my books. Since I was very small I have written things, lists, stories, doodles, more lists, you get the picture. Well, with my book of Shadows, the most important book in my witchy life, I don’t have a book I have digital files.

My personal view of the Book of Shadows is that it makes up the life experiences of a witch. It is a place where you write your spells and the results you had with them, the date you use them, the materials you used, your expected and hoped for results and the actual results – if any. A place to mark down the phase of the moon, the time of the year and any other important information that can affect the results of magical work. A Book  of Shadows is similar to a scientist's journal but way cooler - well, at least in my opinion!

It is a place for the witch to keep all of the important information they have gathered and experienced within their craft. A place to keep their notes, their preferences, correspondences, and anything else that has to do with their magical life. I keep the moon phases, information on the Wheel of the Year, magical correspondences of herbs and stones, and pretty much anything else I come across that I want to remember or use in my magical life.

Here is the Book of Shadows from the TV show Charmed –this is the coolest looking book, all sorts of artwork and spells, history, lore and just plain cool stuff!

Here is one that I found on Etsy, click on the picture to visit the page for the book or click here to visit the Etsy shop.

Here is one more – Swoon! Again, click on the picture to visit the book’s page and click here to visit the shop. 

I have several binders full of information and LOTS of digital files. While this is great and I can easily find what I want in my digital Book of Shadows, I still really like the feel of a book. I like a place to write down my experiences. Personally I feel that the written word is stronger and more powerful than one that is typed  - that is not to say that the information in my digital files is insufficient, I just prefer the written word so recently I signed up for a Binding your Book of Shadows class through Witch School. Witch School is a wonderful place for individuals to learn about Wiccan practices among other magical things. If you get a chance check it out here.

The class I signed up for has just started so I don’t have anything to show you except the very the beginnings of my book.

Here is the parchment style paper I will be using when I print the information to add to my bound book. I have several sections lined up but have not decided on the order yet. I will be printing the pages on a laser printer and then adding additional color and art as I see fit. Some of them will be printed with artwork but many of them will be plain. I'll be hand writing all of my spells into the book. Handwriting is important, and I believe it is a powerful thing to use!

Here are some of the sections that will be in my new Book of Shadows:

Spells –This will be broken down by type
Magical Meals
Casting a Circle
Candle Magic
The Moon
Folk Lore and Faerie Tales

I am working on finding the artwork I want to use on the main section pages, if I am going to have a bound Book of Shadows it has to be something that has meaning to me. When I hand this book down to one of my grandchildren  I want them to love it, whether they are magical or not!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Witchy Green Cleaning – Scouring Powder

This is the 4th segment in my Witchy Green Cleaning series. This post is new to the series and I am very excited about it.

If you are like me, cleaning is something that you have to do, not something that you want to do and when you throw in toxic cleaners it becomes something that you hate to do. Well, after last year’s oven cleaning debacle (you can read about it in my original Witchy Green Cleaning post here) I decided that I would be very mindful of every cleaning product I used in my home. Thus, the Witchy Green Cleaning series was born. I researched and tested and researched some more and tested again. I used essential oils and natural ingredients and I am happy to report that after using natural, homemade cleaning products over this past year that cleaning is no longer something that I dread.

My home smells great, is clean and my hands are no longer chapped and dry.

This week I am going to talk about scouring powder. Before I discovered how quick and easy it was to make my own scouring powders I used soft scrub, comet and other similar products.  They definitely got the job done but they are pretty expensive and if I run out it means a trip to the store - ick!

So after a lot of research here is the recipe that I found that works like a charm:

Scouring Powder 
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Borax
  • ½ cup Salt
  • 8-10 drops of Essential Oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Ground Herbs/Flowers/Spices
Easy enough to do and the main ingredients are part of my green cleaning tool kit so I usually have them on hand. Please note that this is a scouring powder and is not for use on granite counter tops or any surface that will scratch easily. Making your own cleaners is fantastic as long as you use them correctly.

I made a large batch of the basic recipe and then used canning jars to store the different batches I made for different areas of the home. To mimic the shaker top I punched holes in the lid using a hammer and nail and then cut circles out of a vinyl table cloth to cover the top when they are not in use. Using canning jars makes covering the holes easy and decorative, all at once! Another idea is to purchase a box of extra lids and use two, one shaker and then one without holes for storage. You can still seal a jar with two internal canning lids. I plan on storing mine with two lids and adding the vinyl top on those I give as gifts.

Before I get into the variations I made, here is the cost comparison for the basic recipe:
  • 1 cup baking soda - .24  
  • ½ cup Borax - .20
  • ½ cup salt - .08 
Total cost for basic recipe is 52 cents for 2 cups of mix. That is less than a dollar for the entire mix and comes out to approximately 3 cents per ounce. If you purchase your baking soda in bulk you can make this for an even better price per ounce! This product compares to Comet scouring powder which is approximately 5 cents per ounce. Not too bad at all and once you have the basics on hand you can mix up a batch in just a couple of minutes. While the cost difference for this product isn't as extreme as others I've made the convenience of making your own is huge!

Another great thing about making your own cleaners is that you can personalize them for your tastes and needs. For instance, in the bathroom that is attached to my bedroom I wanted something soothing, something that would make you feel relaxed and comfortable and also something that was romantic - of course. So for this area I choose to use lavender essential oil and dried lavender flowers. The magical properties of lavender are peace, tranquility, romance and love. Perfect!

For the powder room, one that my youngest son calls his own and is also used by any guests in our home I choose a combination of clovebud for its ability to drive away negativity and its protective qualities along with sweet orange essential oil which has the magical properties of joy and energy.  Not only is clovebud/orange a powerful combination, is smells divine! When combining essential oils you only use 4-5 drops of each, not 8-10 drops of each and always make sure you test the combination before you put it in your cleaners! To test how two scents work together place a drop of each on a cotton ball and place it in a baggie. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then check to see how the two scents work together.

For my kitchen I choose to use peppermint essential oil with rose petals, it smells clean and wonderful and has the magical properties of promoting action and getting rid of procrastination along with the peace and happiness properties of the rose petals! Definitely something I want in the busiest room of our home!

Not only is this cleaner easy to make is works! Here are the before and after pictures of the sink in my kitchen. This weekend my hubby was making both beer and wine and one of the sanitizes used in the beer making process stains the porcelain of the sink. This cleaner made quick work of that issue!

Here are some other ideas for witchy add-ins:
  • Jasmine: use this in the bedroom since its magical properties include love, sexuality and rekindling passion
  • Basil:  this is great for use in the bedroom and promotes intuition and an optimistic outlook
  • Dragon’s Blood (actually a resin) this is great in any room. Its properties are for power and protection
  • Cinnamon: great for the bathroom as it promotes purification of the body, healing and luck
  • Oregano is nice for any room where you want to feel relaxed. Some of its magical properties are tranquility, luck, protection and happiness.
  • Grapefruit's magical properties are energy and purity, this clean smelling scent can be combined with dried ground grapefruit peel to provide an invigorating cleaner for any room in the house.
Essential Oils

Coffee Grinder and Mortar and Pestle

I prefer to use essential oils when I make my own cleaning products. Fragrance oils are less expensive but I have found that I use less essential oil than fragrance oil and I prefer the scents of essential  oils over the same variety of fragrance oil. 

When grinding herbs and spices for use in my projects I use either the Mortar and Pestle or a coffee grinder that I use only for my artsy endeavors.  The one pictures above was purchased at my local Target store for around $18. 

Please keep in mind any allergies you may have as you create your own cleaners and always test your cleaners on a non critical area before using. I am not an herbalist or a physician, just a simple witch who enjoys making wonderful things!

To see some other amazing scouring powder recipes visit: The Nerdy Farmer Wife

A great resource for making home cleaners is the book TheNaturally Clean home by Karyn Siegel-Maier 

Next up: Witchy Green Floor Cleaners for tile, laminate and wood!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Artsy Monday – Wine Cork Trivet

This project was inspired by Pinterest – again. I love wine and my man and I have been saving our wine corks for several years now. About 4 years ago we threw out 5 years worth of corks and I still cringe thinking about it so instead of letting that happen again I took to Pinterest to see what others had created from wine corks. Fortunately, I found all sorts of fun ideas.

For this Artsy Monday post I decided to make a wine cork trivet in the shape of a cluster of grapes.

My finished project 

If you click on the picture above it will take you to the home page for the winery that makes the wine shown in the picture. I've been really pleased with these wines!

  • Wine corks – I used 32. If you are really talented at cutting them in half then you could get away with 16. I chose to not worry about it and just cut them all to 1” tall.
  •  E6000 Glue
  • Scissors
  • Felt (I used dark red)
  • Sand paper
  • Sponge Brush

Decoration items: not required for trivet
  •  Large silk leaves (any shape) 
  • Plain computer paper 
  • Pins 
  • Garland with brown wire base

1) The first step is to cut the corks in half or to 1”. 

Wine corks are approximately 1 ¾ inches tall so if you are cutting them to 1” you will not have two even pieces which means you will need more corks.  I had my guy cut them using his table saw which made it really easy! If you choose to cut them to the 1” mark, be sure that the wine colored end is the end you make 1” unless you want to mix it up and have red and natural ends. We tend to drink about 3 times more red wine than white wine so I went with all red wine corks. I also like the look of the wine stained end so I chose to use that end as the top of my trivet.

You do not need to use a table saw to cut our corks. Cork is a fairly easy material to cut by hand and you can use an Exacto knife or a small hand held saw or you can even leave them as they are and have a taller trivet.

2) Sand the ends of the corks to eliminate any rough edges and to even out the surface if necessary.


3) Once your corks are cut you will want to lay them out in the shape that you like. I did several layouts, taking pictures each time, until I found one that I really liked.

 4) Once you find a layout you like you will start to glue. This process was definitely trial and error for me. I went online to find the best glue to use for cork and got several different results. Many people had luck with super glue, others liked gorilla glue and still others liked E6000. Since all 3 are heat resistant and I had super glue I tried that first.

Super glue is great for lots of things but I did not like it for gluing the cork. If you get a little bit too much not only does it take a long time to dry, you can quickly glue your fingers together (ask me how I know!) I did not have much luck with the super glue.

Gorilla glue is an amazing product but it does not dry clear, it must be clamped to form a strong bond and it expands while drying so it could look really clumpy if you are not extremely careful! I didn’t want to see the adhesive so I chose to use the E6000 as my next adhesive experiment.

At first I was skeptical of the E6000, it takes a while to dry and I wasn’t sure it was going to hold the corks together, especially since I was not clamping them together. What I found was that if you apply a nice line of E6000 to the cork and let it sit for about 30 seconds to a minute and then attach it to the next cork it adheres fairly well.

Adhering the corks to each other takes a bit of time. Before adhering a cork in place I first set in where it would go and then looked for the contact points, especially if it would be adhering to more than one cork. You want to be sure that you have a line of glue on each cork that the one you are working with comes in contact with.

I started at the bottom tip of the cluster and worked my way up. Once I had my entire cluster glued, leaving the cluster on the table, I gently pressed the corks together, making sure to keep the shape as I went.  Then the hard part – I let it sit overnight to dry!

The next morning I went in and was thrilled with the results! Because I wanted to use this on my table I chose to add a felt bottom. Not only will this keep the corks together it will provide an nice soft surface between my trivet and the table.

5) Trace your cork grape cluster onto a piece of copy/computer paper.  Cut the out the shape being sure to cut well inside the trace line.

6) Before cutting the felt lay your paper template on the bottom of the cork trivet and adjust it for size.  You do not want the felt to hang over the edge of the cluster. This is not a design detail that needs to be seen, just a functional one. Once you are happy with the size of the template pin it to your felt and cut it out. Double check the size of the felt on the bottom of the trivet before you glue. 

7) Apply additional E6000 adhesive to the bottom of the trivet. I also added extra adhesive between the corks that were close to the edge to add additional strength.  Be sure that you do not get the adhesive too close to the edge; you want to cover this layer of adhesive with the felt and do not want excess adhesive showing. Fortunately E6000 drives clear so if you do have some excess if will not be too noticeable. 

Once you have the additional E6000 on the corks take a sponge brush and brush the adhesive to form a nice thin layer. Top with the piece of felt you cut previously.

8)  Let dry. HARDEST STEP!

Decorating your trivet

You do not need to add any additional decoration to your trivet however I decided to make a couple of leaves and some curlicues to dress it up a bit. These are not permanently attached so I can remove them if I want to use it for something hot.

Rather than purchasing grape leaves I dug through my stash of craft supplies and found some silk leaves from a large floral pick that I got at my local craft store. You want to make sure the leaves are larger than what you need because you are going to cut them.

I went online to find a grape leaf pattern and found this perfect picture. The original picture compared a maple leaf to a grape leaf and can be found by clicking on the picture above or using the link here: . I then re-sized the picture in a word document to the size leaf that I wanted and printed out my template. 

Many silk leaves have plastic stems attached to them, as mine did. These stems easily peel off the leaves.  Grasp the leave near the stem in one hand and the stem itself in the other then gently pull the two pieces apart.  Set the stem aside.

Take the leaf template that you have sized and pin it to the leave, far enough down that the stem area is in the leaf you are going to cut then cut out a leaf.

 I leave the stem area uncut on the template which give me additional support and control when cutting out the tiny stem from the leaf. In this project we are going to remove the stem from the leaf and add a plastic stem so you do not need to worry about the stem if you do not want to. I suggest cutting the first leaf this way to see the difference of the additional support the paper provides.

Once you have both leaves cut you will take one of the plastic stems and cut it in half. Remove a couple of the “veins” that are below the tip; leaving the tip and the two “veins” below it to support your leaf. Remove any remaining “veins” left on the half stem you are working with. If the plastic vein supports are longer than your leaf trim them to fit.  

Glue the stem to the back of the leaf and then trim the plastic stem to size. Complete the second leaf in the same fashion.

To make the curlicues I used the brown covered wire from a berry Christmas garland that I purchased on clearance at my local craft store. You can get great deals on garland right after the holidays – any holiday! I look for the brown based as well as metallics as these are the types I tend to use most.

Remove any decoration from the garland so that you are left with the paper wrapped wire.  Wrap the “good” end, the end that was not attached to the garland, tightly around a small paintbrush or pencil. Slide the tight coil off the end of the rod you used and gently pull apart and bend to shape.

Wrap the other end around the stem of the leaf. You will do this for each leaf. Once both leaves have curlicues take another piece of wire and wrap them together at the stem.

Bend wired stems in a 90 degree angle from the leaves and slide into a hole between the corks.

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me using hte link on the right.

Thanks for stopping by!