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Summer News

Merry meet all,

The Once Upon a Fairy Tale festival event is in 2 days. I am ready to wear my fairy wings and fly to the Fair. I can’t wait. I promise to post all about it here. My wings, costume and wand are finished. I even bought purple glitter nail polish.

My garden is growing beautifully. I need to put in more plants to avoid the rampaging weeds and fill up the empty spaces. I have decided it will cost a lot of money to fill in the empty spaces. I cut up some comfrey root and planted the different chunks into other spots in my garden. The local garden center doesn’t sell comfrey so I had to propagate it myself.

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice. I planted beet seeds and enjoyed the sunny day. I hope you all enjoyed your Solstice too. The New Moon is coming. I think the highlight of my summer will be the Fairy event.

So there is lots to look forward to this summer. Summer is my fave season next to autumn.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

 

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Healing with spirit

Merry meet all,

Its hot here in this apartment. Summer is upon us. Tis not long before Midsummer. Where has the time gone? Time slips through our fingers like sand. Yet we cling to it. Well I say that now that it’s summer, carpe diem. Seize the day. I love summer and I live for this season. Midsummer is approaching. The full moon has just passed.

I have been working away on my garden. My rhubarb, garlic and berries are in full swing. I cut up plastic pop bottles and tucked them in around my baby veggie seedlings to protect them from slugs. Slugs are the bane of every gardener. I also made my own comfrey fertilizer. I filled the jar partly with comfrey herbs and water. For three weeks, I steeped the  comfrey in the water, which gradually became discoloured. I shook the jar regularly. Finally this morning, I sieved the herbs through a mesh colander. Oh it smelled unpleasant.  I poured the water – smelly water- onto my veggie seedlings. Comfrey has many wonderful qualities, including being good for a garden fertilizer.

Last week was an emotional week for me. Not only did my pet guinea pig Magic cross into the Summerlands, but I rescued a bird with an injured wing. I saw the bird wait for its mother from the nest. Me being unhealthily curious, I stood guard during the mother’s absence. The young starling bird got too excited for its mother’s food.It fell from the nest. It hit the ground, as its wing was injured. I became concerned, when the poor bird never took flight. She instead fidgeted terribly on the ground. I tried to pick her up – wearing gloves. Well…. the outcry from all the birds including the baby. I called the witch shop. I was concerned because I didn’t want the local neighborhood cats to eat the poor bird. Eventually I called Hope for Wildlife. I told them what happened. I found a large basket to put the bird in. I stood guard until my friend arrived. We put the poor suffering frightened bird in a basket and brought it inside. The mother bird is probably wondering where her young is. At first, they were going to come to my place. Mark and I dropped the bird off at a drop off location for Hope for Wildlife, where they will rehabilitate the bird. They will release it in my area.

I hope all goes well for my feathered friend. I hope the mother bird finds a way to continue to trust me. I want to be there when they release the bird that had the injured wing. Perhaps it was Magic’s spirit telling me to save the bird. I like to believe that.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Faery Costumes

CIMG3164

Merry meet all,

On June 24th there will be an awesome fantastical Once Upon a Fairytale event. I can’t wait. They are encouraging people to wear costumes and are offering prizes. I’ve created a beautiful faery costume and I want to show you how I did it.

I used the Simplicity pattern 3632. They have 3 lovely patterns to choose from. The best fabrics to use are chiffon, satin and tulle. All are tricky fabrics to use. Tulle is sticky but if you spray it with Static Guard, it should reduce the static. The fabrics are see through so sew or obtain a slip to wear for your protection.

The patterns are for a dress, pants and a slip and skirt. I made all three-slip, dress and skirt. The main dress on the front of the envelope looks tricky. I suspect its intended that way. So the main skirt is satin with chiffon or tulle as the overskirt. The pattern instructions don’t tell you how to make the wings but more on that soon.

Chiffon is fragile fabric. Be mindful when sewing the patterns. Lay out the fabric and pattern pieces neatly. Cut them out carefully. In fact, the more attentive to detail you are while sewing, the more beautiful they will look. Trust me. You can quote me on it. You may choose to sew this with an experienced seamstress nearby. Follow the instructions step by step carefully.

The bodice of the dress is first. You sew the bodice then make the midriff, and make an elastic casing. I recommend the slip get made of a solid darker satin fabric. The slip, dress and skirt should be light and ethereal. Faeries are magical and graceful. Don’t sew this when angry. You won’t do the costume justice. The bodice of the slip needs a lining. Here is another tip: never skimp on sewing neatly and be sure all edges meet up. When you turn the lining to the inside, press your seam allowance.  I always press the heck out of my fabric. Ironing is key to a beautiful garment. Try to sew an even neat stitch through all pattern pieces here.

The overskirt is tricky. I made the big skirt sections from tulle and the yoke from a type of dark dark purple cotton knit material. I sewed myself a yoke but hated the color and it was the wrong size. I made a new yoke. You stitch the front and back of the yoke together on the sides. Iron the seam allowance. Set aside. Don’t forget to mark in the notches.

The remaining skirt sections have a trick to them. You need to cut out 3 pieces. With the right sides together, you stitch two sections together to create a center back seam. Press. Now here is the trick to it: you stitch remaining overskirt sections to the rest of the skirt. So in front should be two seams. The back of the skirt in the center has one seam. Then you gather the upper edge of the overskirt, make two rows of stitches. Leave long thread tails and knot them using a basting stitch.

Pin the skirt to the yoke. Ease in the skirt and pull on the thread tails. Match the center back seam and place the side front seam at small dot in yoke front. Pull up the gathering stitches to fit. Measure your wasit and be honest. It must fit properly. Now we make the underskirt. I made my overskirt and skirt of 2 different colors of tulle. You stitch the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams. You gather the upper edge. Leave making the jagged edges at the hem for last. On the inside, pin the Right side of the skirt to the Wrong side of overskirt t yoke seam. Match the centers and side seams. In other words, both right sides of the skirts should be facing up. The seams are always on the wrong side. Pull up the gathering stitches to fit. Press the seam toward yoke. Then you add an elastic casing to the yoke’s upper edge. I found some detailed purple fabric and stitched that to the yoke, since my stitches were showing on the outside. Only you know my secret.

Now you can worry about the pretty details. I used a hot glue gun to adhere dark purple rhinestone glitter butterflies to the overskirt.

The faery skirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wings:

I had some galvanized wire. I bent the wire into wing shapes. I owned lots of pretty fabric as you can see. I couldn’t have done this project without a glue gun. They are messy but wonderful at attaching fabric to wire. It is hard work attaching the fabric. I chose to extra creative and use different fabrics to give an unusual look. I bound the wire ends together. I made the two bottom wings the same way. Then I bound the wires and fabric together at the center base. I secured it with a purple ribbon. I spent a lot of time securing down the fabrics with the glue gun and my needle and thread. I spent more time on that than anything. i stitched the fabrics to the other fabrics with needle and thread and glue. oy Then I painted the outside edges of the bottom wings on both wings with blended glitter, glue and purple acrylic paint using my paintbrush. I painted a butterfly edging pattern on the inside of the wings with glue and silver glitter. Again, I kept tacking fabric down. I trimmed off excess fabric. Since the 2 upper wings were too far apart, I stitched on a piece of fabric to close in the space between them. I worked in purple lace fabric to the center base to conceal the binding of the wire. I measured the strap I needed to hang the wings on my body. I stitched on the strap to hang over my neck to the upper strip of fabric. Beautiful and well worth the effort. Count on glue and glitter and fabric to cover your apartment. Wings are fun, hark work and messy.

The upper wings were covered with plain purple tulle. Then I added the two different lacey fabrics.The effect is the wings go from a dark purple shade to a light violet shade.

I made the antennae by using galvanized wire again. I bent the wire into the shape I wanted. I covered the wire with shimmery light blue craft tape. I need to tack the tape down with my hot glue gun. I glued the antennae to the wings using my glue gun. How I have existed all this time without a glue gun is beyond me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, it is a lot of effort but it is achievable. Paying attention to the tiny details will help you.

My wand:

I was gifted clay at Yule. I used a pink clay to make a star. I worked the clay to loosen it up in my hands. I cut out a star shape using a star-shaped cookie cutter. I happened to own a skewer stick which I painted blue then let dry. I glued the star to the stick. I added glitter too. I outlined the star in dark blue clay. I added dark blue clay to the star center and added glitter there too.

Let out your inner fairy!!

 

Blessings, Lady Spidrwitch )O(

 

 

 

 

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Fertilizing a Garden of Dreams

Merry meet all,

I’m excited to improve on my garden soon. I can’t wait. I have it all planned. I am sharing my knowledge with you so you can get started on your garden too. Then you will find out what I’m excited about.

I plan to buy the soil for my raised bed you saw in the photo in the previous post. I will add seaweed, earthworm casings and fertilizer to the soil. This will nourish the soil and prepares it all for the growing season. I drew a map of how I want to arrange my veggies and companion plants or herbs in the raised bed. The tomatoes and cucumber will grow in the back and the lettuce, mesclun mix, beets and peas and carrots will grow toward the front. I’m planting chives and garlic chives to grow in a row alongside the vegetables. Nasturtiums and marigolds will control the aphids. The nasturtiums attract pollinators such as bees.

First I plan to root out the weeds such as dandelions. I will layout newspaper where the soil will go. Then I plan to add the 12 or more inches of soil to fill the raised bed. I’m working in the fertilizers and compost after that. I’ll mix up the soil with the seaweed and casings and fertilizer then add my plants. Once I add the plants and I am starting my veggies from seed so I need to wait until germination. I can plant my tomato seedlings now. Then I will water my garden. I finally own a hose. I run the hose from my kitchen sink. After 8 years of using a jug. A hose saves me time and effort.

Seaweed enriches the soil, loosens up compact soil, deters weeds and repels slugs. The seaweed when dry also adds salt to soil but as I live in an area where there is a lot of rain, the salt won’t be a problem. The dry seaweed works in through the soil and adds nutrients such as beneficial trace nutrients which stimulates plant growth. It is rich in carbohydrates which helps plant growth. Seaweed keeps soil moist at ground level.

Apply the seaweed over the soil surface. In a few days it will mix into the soil. Apply more after that. The seaweed will be dry from the garden center. It breaks down and adds its nutrients to the soil. It can be mixed with other mulch. Keep the seaweed away from plant stems.

Worms are good for soil. Soil is tiny insects, tiny microbes. Good soil contains earthworms. Earthworms aerate the soil and remove toxins from the soil. They increase the life of microbes which benefits the soil. They are obviously earth friendly. They are loaded with trace nutrients and and are time released. When it comes time for my veggies to be transplanted, my soil will be more than nutrient rich. Veggies need far more potassium and phosphorus than nitrogen which burns plants.

I can’t wait to work on my garden. The birds visit the feeder, the squirrels also visit the feeder and the cats graze or hold territory wars in the garden. The birds eat the bugs and spread seeds and the cat’s fur disperses seeds. Squirrels can sometimes plant flowers or seeds in the garden because they hide seeds but forget where they planted them. Bees pollinate the flowers, herbs and veggies. Butterflies and dragonflies are also excellent pollinators. My garden is an ecosystem and it all works in harmony. I never use pesticides. I will post more on how to work a garden in the future.

 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

 

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Merry Beltane )O(


Merry meet all,

Beltane is here!! The spring season is upon us.

I raked all the leaves away from my garden. When I rake the leaves, I am careful not to disturb the young buds underneath. I added fresh soil, six bags of soil, to the garden and worked it in with a trowel. I can now watch my plants grow! Penny sits in her tall scratching post guarding the home at the back door while I putter through the garden. The starlings get Penny’s attention. When I cleaned my yard, I saw a black beetle, earthworms and saw bugs. I also found a blue baby bird shell egg. A bird hatched from that egg.!!!  A sure sign of spring.

Indoors, my garden on my windowsill is growing well. I can’t wait till the frost has passed to transplant them outdoors where they can flourish. The plants are getting big which is good.

BELTANE

Beltane is about spring so use spring colors. That can range from a bird’s egg blue or spring sky to lovely light greens to fuschia. Use these colors in your candles, cloths and rituals.

Add fertility symbols to your altar. Consider using seeds, acorns, antlers or a small Maypole as a centerpiece. Honor the Goddess too by adding a cup, chalice or a cauldron to the altar.

Flowers are blooming everywhere. Daffodils, forsythia, hyacinth and tulips represent spring. Make a floral crown or a floral centerpiece!! Flowers are power

Those items should help you create a lovely altar setup for your Beltane rituals.

Here is a recipe for Beltane incense. Keep it floral and fresh!

Mix mugwort, daffodil, hyacinth, lavender, patchouli and and cinnamon in a bowl. Chant to fill the ingredients with your intent and store in a labeled jar. It will keep for three months.

DEITIES

The main fertility deities of Beltane are popular during this Sabbat. They can be honored by meditating on them, prayer and offerings. The faeries are present now too, since spring has returned. Faeries like shiny objects, milk and honey.

Artemis, Cerunnos, Bacchus, Dionysius, Flora, Hera, Pan and Xochiquetzal (Aztec). They all have different backgrounds and cultures and come from different mythologies but they are all fertility deities.

Merry Beltane

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Garden Work

plantz

Merry meet all,

Spring is here!! I am a gardener and that is exciting for me. Tomorrow I have a few chores to do in the garden, including rake away the leaves, add fresh soil, water and fertilize the soil, and clean up debris. I have to clean the bird feeder and add fresh seed.

The starlings nested in the vent above my garden again this year. They’ll compete for the seed with the chickadees, woodpeckers, gold finches, sparrows and blue jays. The bluejays steal the egg shells I sprinkle on the soil.

The insects will love it that I have cared for the garden. They either eat the plants or help them grow. Its exciting to manage a garden. I have to keep the deer away, while feeding the birds, squirrels, cats and bugs.

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My indoor plants are just blossoming. My morning glories are several inches high. The lavender and thyme are growing well. I started pumpkin from seed, tomatoes, elecampagne, dill and basil. I can’t wait to get to plant them out. I’m growing some for a friend too. I’m ordering mandrake, mugwort, moonwort and monkshood seeds from Horizon Herbs. Last year, I had no mugwort.

I planted a cherry seed and some oak seeds. I want to clean up the dead wood behind the fence. Good luck with your gardening.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Ostara Correspondences

witchery

Date: Celebrated on or about March 21st on the date of the Veranl Equinox (a time when the sun passes the celestial equator and day and night are equal in both hemispheres). Also the day the sun enters the sign of Aries.

Activities and Rituals: planting, welcoming spring, coloring eggs, making/wearing new clothing, fertility rites, rituals of balance, herb work – magical, medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and artistic, spells for prosperity/fertility, new beginnings, potential, action

Stones/Gems: Jasper, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone and red jasper.

Incense: African violet, jasmine, rose, sage and strawberry

Herbs/Flowers: Honeysuckle, Iris, Peony, Violet, Woodruff, Gorse, Olive, Iris, Narcissus, Daffodils, Jonquils, Primrose, Forsythia, Crocus, all spring flowers, pine tree

Colors: Green, Yellow

Symbols & Decorations: four leaf clover, baskets, eggs, lambs, flowers, chicks, bunnies, budding twigs, flowers, pussy willows, sprouting bulbs, colored ribbons

Foods: jelly eggs (jelly beans), chocolates, lamb, eggs, seeds, leafy green vegetables, spiced or flower cupcakes…

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5 MAGICAL HERBS IN SLAVIC MYTHOLOGY

Yew B. Archer

In every mythology of ancient times, nature has been the main source of magic. Whether it was used for magic rituals, healing purposes or even casting curses, the fact was still there. Our ancestors believed they held a form of energy. So really it’s no surprise today that your granny says to drink tea made from a marshmallow’s root for a bad cough. That being said, here are 5 magical herbs in Slavic mythology which serve us to this day.

1.HAWTHORN

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This magnificent herb which is native to Northern Hemisphere of Europe, Asia and North America has been a source of magical procedures in the treatment of various diseases for centuries by the Slavic people.

The cult of the hawthorn tree has been preserved until today, and has survived the belief that a man who is sick should take a cake made of corn or wheat flour (in many cases…

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Ides of March

CIMG2938

Merry meet all,

Snow huddles over the grass. The air is still cool but March is the in between month. Winter lingers but spring fights back. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Ostara. Ostara is the second spring Sabbat.

To celebrate the early return of spring, I rummaged through my seed packets stored above my fridge. I kept the seed packs in paper envelopes in a plastic ziploc bag. I put dill seeds, echinacea seeds, lavender and thyme seeds in the paper towels. I prefer growing from seed since you can actually grow more of the same plant that way. I look forward to planting them in the spring.

The spring equinox occurs on March 20th. Ostara, or Eostre, inherits its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and dawn. The origin of the word ‘east’ comes from many Germanic words for dawn that have in common the root for the word “aurora” which means ‘to shine’. Ostara basically means the vernal equinox.

Ostara means the balance of the earth’s gravity between the extremes of light and day- think yin and yang, the dark of Winter Solstice and the light of spring. Beltaine celebrates the sexual union of the God and Goddess and fertility.

Now is a good time to start the seedlings. I plan to start my tomatoes from seed and pumpkins too. I want to start mugwort and mandrake from seed. I just hope to find an organic seed supplier.

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=1991

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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I dream of spring )O(

Crow3

Merry meet all,

The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Ostara. It sure doesn’t appear to be spring now. We just suffered a massive snowstorm with a record topping amount of 75-90 centimeters of snow and 100km/ hour winds. More snow is reported to be on the way. The whole city was shut down. We Haligonians have just come out of hiding. This quarantine is starting to drive me a little crazy.

February also marks my kitty’s birthday adoption month. I love her so much. I remember the day she entered my home, my heart and my life. I can’t live without her.

Its almost time to plan our herb and flower gardens for spring. I miss my garden so much. It is buried beneath several feet of obnoxious snow. Its a bit early but this is around the time when seed catalogues arrive in the snail mail. I pore over them and muse on what to grow this year, what I will do different this year. I want a raised bed! That will help me grow vegetables better. Raised beds are beneficial and awesome ways to grow veggies. Nothing is stopping me. I want to complete my rock wall at the back of the first garden, help my  scarlet runner beans grow, order mandrake and moonwort seeds, plant tons more lemon balm and shasta daisies and mint. I can’t wait for spring.

Plan what you will grow this summer. Plan what seeds of new dreams, ambitions, dreams and goals you want to sow this year in your life. Mingle the two in magical ways. Brush up now on your herbal lore and balm and bane plants. Wait for the shiny new seed catalogs and take stock of your gardening supplies. The snow still fills our yards but before you know it, the snowdrops and crocuses will shove their saucy heads above snow to defy winter.

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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