Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party - Welcome!

Welcome to Beneath the Witch’s Moon, my little part of the internet/cyberspace. I am so glad you stopped by. I have been organizing, cleaning and making all sorts of fun plans for the upcoming year.

This is my second year taking part in the Grow Your Blog Party. I am so thankful to Vicki over at 2 Bags Full for hosting this awesome event. Last year I found so many wonderful blogs to follow and even made a couple of friends during the party! After your visit here be sure to click on the picture above to be taken to the blog party page where you will find links to lots of cool blogs to explore.

I started Beneath the Witch’s Moon several years ago to connect with other like minded folks and to blog about my witchy experiences. Blogging has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve met amazing people from all walks of life, many different faiths and from all over the world! I have slowly become active with my local Pagan community, which was one of my very first goals, and I have been able to dispel some of the myths that are associated with my witchy faith.

I’m Autumnwind or Debbie, I do answer to both. I am mom to 4 amazing children, an artist, photographer, and a traveler when I am able to be. I have two Jack Russell/Mini American Eskimo Mix pups names Sophie and Alice who are feisty and full of fun. My home is in Nevada close to Lake Tahoe and Northern California. I love the natural beauty of this area and try to spend as much time as possible outdoors.

My blog’s original focus was on my witchy experiences. Over the years it has changed a bit. Last year I tried to do too much and failed so this year I will be getting back to my roots and focusing on my adventures, my art and magical living.

On Witchy Wednesdays I’ll be posting about all things witchy. Currently I am re-posting my witchy Green Cleaning Series. You can check out the first two posts here and here. I plan on posting two Wednesdays a month on Witchy things. These posts will be varied and can include information on the Tarot, Pagan Holidays, Spells, Myths and much more. My intent is that my Wednesdays are full of witchy fun.

On Artsy Monday’s I’ll be showcasing some of the artsy/crafty projects that I am working on. I enjoy figurative sculpture and have take part in many a doll swap. These swaps challenge me artistically and are just plain fun! I also sew, do embroidery work, scrapbook, and basically just love to create. So you’ll see things from those aspects of my life as well. If I find a useful tool or product I’ll share my experiences with it and I have several tutorials in the works including one on making a clay pumpkin head figure. I hope to post at least once a month on these topics as well.

Here is one of the Zombie Doll’s I created for a swap. 
She is based on The Old Woman who Lived in the Shoe nursery rhyme.

You’ll see posts on my adventures including my travels, hiking and also some of my kayaking excursions. I love to try new things, below is me gold panning. I loved the experience though the specks of gold I found are so tiny I have to keep them in a jar so I don't lose them!

Me Gold Panning in Northern California

You'll also see blog parties because I love them! I have participated in Mad Tea’s, Haunted Party’s, Oz parties and more. These parties inspire me to create and then inspire me again as I see what others have created!!

One of the Mad Tea Parties

I hope you enjoyed your visit and will stick around for a while. As you can see, my blog is an eclectic little space. I have enjoyed meeting so many new people and hope to get to know you too!

Leave a comment to be entered into my giveaway. I’ll be giving away this embroidered mug rug and a mug of goodies to one randomly drawn person. You do not need to be a follower to win. Winner will be announced on February  15th

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Witchy Green Wednesday: Witchy Green Window and Glass Cleaner (Re-Post)

Below is the second post in my original Witch Green Cleaning Series. It was first posted on January 6, 2013 (and then in January 2014). I have added a bit more information on Witchy Add-Ins from the original. I hope you enjoy these posts. I have been using these cleaners in my home for over 2 years now and I am thrilled with them! 

This is the second post in my Witchy Green Cleaning series. Click here to see the first post on a simple bathroom cleaner (2015 re-post). 

For this post I experimented with two green window and mirror cleaners.  Both are simple to make and the ingredients are very similar.

Window & Mirror Cleaner 1
This recipe was listed on the Being Frugal website:
  • 2 Cups Water
  • ¼ C. Vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Original Formula Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Gently shake to mix.

Window & Mirror Cleaner 2
The second recipe is super simple, very similar to the one above and was found on the Daily Green Website:
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 1 Gallon Water
 Mix and pour into a spray bottle.

With both formulas you spray the mixture onto your window or mirror and then wipe clean with newsprint, not paper towels since paper towels tend to cause streaking.

My results: Both cleaners worked beautifully. The mirrors were sparkling clean and were streak free.

After the first use I decided to add a tiny bit of essential oil to the second formula. The reason I chose to experiment with this particular formula was because it did not contain the Dawn Dish Washing Liquid and I am pretty confident that if the oil does not leave a film with this formula it will also be fine in the first formula.

Since this product is for windows as well as mirrors I chose to add Bergamot oil for its protection, prosperity and luck properties. I added 10 drops to the 25 oz. spray bottle of my solution.
My results were fantastic. No residue, no smearing and no streaking.

Formula 1
2 Cups. Water = .12
¼ C. Vinegar = .04
½ Teaspoon Dawn Dishwashing Liquid = .01
Total:  $.17 per 18 oz batch roughly .01 per ounce

Formula 2
2 Tablespoons Vinegar = .02
1 Gallon Water = .88 (cost for 1 gallon of bottle water at Walmart)
Total= .90 which breaks down to .007 or less than 1 penny per ounce!

Cost Comparison
Windex = $3.49 for 20 oz = .18 per ounce

**New for 2014** Witchy Add-In's
I realized when I was preparing to re-post that I neglected to include additional Witchy Add-In ideas in the original post. You can of course use any of the oils listed in the Bathroom Cleaner post or you can try one of the following:

Bergamot (This is the oil I use) - This oil is great for guest bathrooms and the windows of the house. A few of the magical properties associated with Bergamot oil are protection, prosperity and luck.

Oregano - This is an all around great oil for the bathroom mirror or any room that you want happiness and tranquility in. Some of the magical properties associated with Oregano oil's are happiness, tranquility, health and protection.

Cinnamon Leaf - This is a great oil to use in the cleaner for you bedroom mirrors or windows. Some of the magical properties associated with Cinnamon Leaf oil are love, passion, and luck.  

While saving money is awesome, the fact that I can whip up a batch from ingredients I almost always have on hand, in less than a minute, can personalize the scent to suit my taste and can add some additional magical mojo to my cleaning makes these products exactly what I needed. One more safe cleaning alternative for my home. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to do this. Seriously!

 Next up an all purpose cleaner, this one is a bit more involved ingredient wise but it is very versatile, still a green choice, inexpensive to make and again, I can add some extra oomph to it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Witchy Green Wednesday: A Witchy Green Bathroom Cleaner (Re-post)

Below is a re-post of my first Witchy Green Cleaning Post. I have been using these products for two years now and I have been very happy with the results. My house is clean, it smells great and I don’t worry that I am working with hazardous chemicals every time I pick up my cleaning products.  

My hands are no longer cracked and red after I clean and the products are quick and easy to make. The basic ingredients are easy to find and fairly inexpensive and the final products are much less expensive when compared to the harsher chemical cleaning products. Cost comparisons and prices are included in my posts. 

Since I purchased the first set of ingredients (2 years ago), the only items I have had to buy more of have been Vinegar and Baking Soda. These are definitely cost effective cleaners!

I hope you enjoy my Witchy Green Cleaning Series. Look for them on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

Originally posted January 2, 2013 (reposed January 2014):

As the year begins I always feel like cleaning, well, pretty much everything! I really like to start the calendar year off with a deeply cleaned house but over the holidays(the day before Thanksgiving) I managed to do some serious damage to my hands because I forgot to wear gloves while cleaning my oven(yes I acknowledge that it was my own fault)! It has taken almost 6 weeks for my hands to be almost healed.  After that horrible experience I decided to make the switch to green products that are economical, easy for me to make at home and safe to use around my family, my pets and in my house.  Above is a picture of some of the ingredients I will be talking about over the next couple of weeks as I make the switch from chemical cleaners to homemade. 

The first recipe I choose to try was for a Bathroom cleaner that I saw on the site.

This bathroom cleaner is an easy one to make. You’ll need the following:
  • Spray Bottle
  • ½ Cup Original formula Dawn Dishwashing Liquid 
  •  Vinegar (I used white vinegar, it is easy to find and very inexpensive)

Pour the Dawn Dishwashing liquid into the spray bottle and then fill the rest of the way with white vinegar. Gently shake to mix and you are ready to go. Like I said – easy peasy!

Cost for this batch (Based on the prices at my local Walmart and Lowe’s stores) –
½ cup of Dawn =  .24
18 oz of Vinegar =  .36
22 oz Spray Bottle = $2.28 at Lowes
Total Initial Cost = $2.88 (cost decreases each time you refill since you don’t have to purchase a new spray bottle)

Cost for the cleaner comes out to about .03 per ounce (I did not include the cost of the bottle in the per ounce cost because it is reusable and not part of the actual cleaning recipe). Formula 409 is roughly .18 per ounce.

 ** New note for 2014** If you are not able to find the Original formula Dawn Dishwashing liquid you can use the blue Dawn Ultra dishwashing liquid; just cut your amount you use in the recipe in half since it is twice as concentrated. For the above recipe  you would use 1/4 cup of  Dawn Concentrated instead of 1/2 cup of the Original Formula Dawn**
A great money saver and making this product is easy on the environment and on me!

The first time I used this I was thrilled. It did an excellent job cleaning the tub, toilet and counter tops - in the bathroom my boys use – ‘nuf said! It was also easy to make and did not of require tons of scrubbing. There was a very strong vinegar odor at first but that only lasted about 10 minutes. Once the tub was dry the vinegar smell was gone. After that first use I added 25 drops of essential oil to my bottle of cleaner. The result, the vinegary smell dissipated much quicker and there was a very light, lingering fragrance of my choosing, over all - I LOVE it!

Another benefit – I did not cough, my eyes did not burn or water and my still healing skin did not get red, cracked or become sore, in fact, after cleaning all three bathrooms in my house I am surprised at how soft my hands are. I will definitely not be going back to chemical cleaners. 

Now, for the Witchy add-ins…

The fun thing about making your own cleaning products is that, as a witch, you can add a little bit more oomph to the recipe just by the essential oil you decide to add. Of course you want to make sure it has a scent you like as well as a purpose that is compatible with what you are using it for.
A couple of ideas:

Add 20 -30 drops of peppermint oil to clear a room of negativity. This will also help get rid of the tendency to procrastinate and during the holidays it smells very festive.

Add 20 -30 drops of Lavender Oil to balance and calm an area, this is great for bedroom windowsills (mine are tile) and bathrooms, imagine taking a nice warm bath in a room that has been cleaned with a lavender charged cleaner!

Add 20 -30 drops of Sage Oil for overall purification and cleansing, this is a great way to purify spaces between uses of your sage smudge stick!

The variations are limitless! I love working with oils so this was an added benefit to making my own cleaning products. I chose to add Clovebud Oil to my cleaner due to its purification properties, ability to drive away negative forces as well as its tendency to invite abundance. It also has a smell that I find very pleasing!  

What I noticed about adding the essential oil was that there was no oily residue, only a very light scent of the oil that I added. I would imagine that this is due to the small amount of oil used, the fact that I used essential oil AND the fact that it is combined with a really nice grease cutter in the Dawn dishwashing liquid.

One thing to add, vinegar has been proven in many scientific studies to be an effective disinfectant.  Here are some of the sites I visited while researching green cleaners which discuss the effectiveness of vinegar.

Coming Up Next:

A  Witchy Green window and glass cleaner

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fare Thee Well My Faithful Kitty! You Will Be Missed


This year started off with a great loss. My wonderful Rosie, my faithful kitty of 18 years, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is now playing with her sister Mitten. I had hoped that she could pass peacefully at home but that was not meant to be. I had to take her in to the vet on January 2nd. I was able to hold her in my arms as she passed and she is buried in our backyard under the trees. This week I’ll be making a stone to mark her spot.

It’s terrible to lose a pet (furry friend and companion), we know it will happen, their lives are so short compared to ours yet still we persist on bringing them into our homes and into our hearts. Of course the amount of love and joy they bring to us in such a short time is worth the pain of their loss.

I was fortunate to have Rosie’s company for 18 years. I met her just days after she was born and brought her home as soon as she was weaned. She has been with me through so much and I will miss her. Even though I am still hurting the loss of my beloved girl, I am so glad, so very grateful, that I had her in my life.

I have to share a moment that I had on Rosie’s last day with us. I was cleaning the dog hair from around the hall table when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Rosie’s sister Mitten. She jumped down off the table (the one I was sweeping under) and ran towards the living room where Rosie was laying under an end table. I heard her land next to me and then heard her soft footsteps as she ran by me. Of course, Miss Mitten passed away a couple of years ago. She was my son’s cat and had I not heard her land I would have thought it was just wishful thinking. Here is a link to the post I did about Mitten. It’s so nice that Mitten came to help Rosie cross over. It was such a comforting feeling, knowing that she would have a friend take her to the other side!

I am digging my way out of the depressed mood I have been in for the past couple of weeks. Knowing my kitty was nearing the end of her journey here with me made me sad. I know she is still with me but I will miss her stubborn ways and soft fur!

So, fare thee well my faithful kitty, fare thee well my brave mouser!

Thanks for letting me share my grief. Tomorrow my Witchy Green Cleaning series re-posts will start. I have already scheduled them so my descent in to hermit mode won’t affect them :0)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I hope your New Year is filled 
with the love of your family & friends, 
prosperity & good health, 
lots of happiness and laughter 
and, of course, magic!