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!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Some Thanksgiving Pictures While I am Away


I made these napkin rings a few years ago. I love the red sunflowers.

The table looks bare but I had to leave room for all of the food!

That's my girl Alice. She was watching me as I set the table.

I hope you enjoyed this snapshot into my day. I'll be back from my vacation soon.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Vacation Time!

St. Maarten

Yippee, it is finally here! I am leaving today for Florida then tomorrow I'll be cruising to Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Thomas for 7 days of fun in the sun with my man. I can't wait! 

I doubt I'll be able to post while I am away but I'll definitely be posting pictures of my adventures when I return, along with the completed Yule Fairy project and possibly a couple of sneak peeks at my Yule party preparations. 

Have a lovely week! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

He's here!!! Punky is here!

Punky and his friend

Yippee, Punky arrived safe and sound in the mail this week. I was so excited to finally meet him. He has already made a friend and seems to be settling in very well.

Punky was created by Richelle Clementson of Rinni's Playground and was part of a contest that Dana of On the Broomstick hosted.

Thank you so much Dana and Richelle! I will take really good care of him!

Happy Thanksgiving

MM everyone,

I hope that everyone is able to spend this day with those closest to them. I enjoy Thanksgiving. Since we live far from our families my hubby and I invite our friends over and enjoy the day with them. We cook, we laugh, the wine doth flow and a good time is had by all. Of course there is Turkey, pie and yams but occasionally there have been Tacos, Chicken Wings and Pigs in Blankets - that was last year - we let the kids cook! I like that I am able to spend the day and a good meal with the people I care about. We've learned a lot about each other over the past few years. For instance I am lousy at Guitar Hero but I totally rock at wii bowling.

This year my daughter is unable to be home with us. She works in retail and is not able to get away for the holidays. We miss her and will have a place set for her. I know she'll be thinking about us. Luckily she will be able to spend the day with my mom and dad, so while we will miss having her with us, she gets to spend the day with her grandparents.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Get Off Your Broom Fitness Challenge Update

MM Everyone,

This was a fairly good though hectic week. I am doing a quick check in before I go finish shopping for Thanksgiving and the Cruise  (Yikes, we leave the day after Thanksgiving).

I stayed the same, that is a good thing, I've eaten out most of the week so the fact that I did not gain is awesome. I exercised 2 times formally this week and also got in some good cleaning workouts.

That is it. I'll be checking in early next week.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Goodwill - Fabulous Find!

I confess - I frequently haunt my local Goodwill and Savers thrift stores. I have found some pretty amazing things at these places including Lucky Brand jeans for $4.99 (yes, that is 4 dollars and 99 cents) a Jones New York leather skirt for 5.00, and a Cold Water Creek Suede Jacket for 6.99 to name just a few. If you know what you like and are willing to look through a lot of junk you can often find a real gem or two.

During the course of my wanderings through the thrifty stores I've also found a stunning amber colored goblet, a pentacle shaped candle holder and some other very useful  and very inexpensive items for the Craft. (When shopping for Craft related items always be sure to cleanse them before use- I know - duh)

Recently I was at the Goodwill store looking for some summer clothes for my Caribbean cruise (I leave the day after Thanksgiving - YIKES!) when I discovered this adorable dress.

Yes it is a child's holiday dress. The ribbon is faded, there is a stain on the underskirt,oh yeah, and I really don't know anyone who would fit into it BUT the velvet is a lovely shade of purple and it is perfect for costuming my fairies AND this dress was a steal because it was only 99 cents! I couldn't get the fabric to make it for that price.

If you sew any type of craft, make doll clothes, purses, etc. check out your local thrift store for clothing that you can re-purpose. Some of the benefits of re-purposing old clothes are: you get the fabric at a really low cost, the colors and trims coordinate, the selection is amazing and because the item has been washed (usually repeatedly) you get to see how the fabric wears and you'll know whether it will drape how you want it to or be as soft as you need it to be.

Because I am on a deadline with my current Yule Fairy I won't be able to play with this until I get back from my cruise but ohhhh, I can't wait! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yule Fairy Swap... The Beginning

So, as I previously posted, after a glass (or maybe two) of wine I decided to join in a swap that my friend and fellow artist Patricia Hedegaard is hosting. We need to make a creature or fairy of some sort and also put together a gift box of goodies. After joining I actually sent myself an email reminding me that I joined the swap!

I am always hesitant when I create things for others. I love my art, I enjoy what I do but it has only been recently that I have become confident enough in my abilities that I have started to create things for others and *gasp* started creating things to begin to sell. (My Etsy store will hopefully be open after the holidays- we'll see)

Here is what I have so far.

The colors are so much prettier in person. They are cream,cranberry and a sage green. The thread is a close match to the fabric but for some reason the green fabric looks weird in the picture. The head in the picture is one that I sculpted previously, I am not sure if I will use it for this project.

Here are some other items I pulled together to work with for the costume. I love costuming though it freaks me out. I am not a perfectionist but sometimes I really want to be. I have coordinating beads, wire and fantasy film for her wings. Of course before I costume her I need to create her.

The problem with figurative sculpture is that you start out with a great idea and an image in your head of what you want to do. Then, as you work on your sculpture it starts to come alive and take on a personality all it's own. It sounds silly but after a while you really don't have too much say in the matter when it comes to things such as hair and eye color, clothing or even how they are posed. The little being you've created really lets you know if it doesn't like what you've picked out. If it disagrees with your choices things can really start to go wrong and if you try sculpting a girl when your creature is really a boy - yikes, let's just say - it isn't pretty!

So, I have an idea for what I want to do with this project and we shall see what I end up with. 

Here is another head that I have started for this project. She is coming along nicely. We'll see how she looks with eyes. I'll make at least 2 more of this size being and see which one likes the clothes I've picked out for the swap, after that... who knows what I'll end up with. All I know is I have until Thanksgiving to get her done, after that I'll be cruising in the Caribbean with my man!

Check back soon for an update on her progress.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yippee! I won Punky the Woodland Creature

This picture is from On the Broomstick.

Yippee, I just found out that I won Punky the Woodland Creature created by Richelle Clementson of Rinni's Playground from Dana over at On the Broomstick. How cool is that. What a great way to end the weekend.

Thank you Dana! I will give Punky a nice home and I will definitely be making some pumpkin pancakes to share with him.