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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in arts & crafts
Soothe Your Spirit; DIY Massage Candles

Making massage candles is very similar to making any other type of potted candle  I recommend using soy wax as it is soooo gentle on the skin . Soy was is also nice and soft so it melts easily and stays together in a puddle after melting and can be reused for us thrifty crafters. If you have an allergy to soy and it won't irritate your skin unless you have a soy allergy, you can use beeswax instead which is so widely used. (For example, it is in nearly every single Burt’s Bees product.)  It is the addition of the additional oils and prevents it from hardening again and also enables your skin to absorb it.  Essential oils or cosmetic-grade fragrance oils are also added to create a soothing atmosphere. All soap-making fragrances that are also soy candle safe are perfect choices for scenting your massage candles. Try the basic directions below to make your first candle. For every three ounces of wax, you'll add one ounce of liquid oil, and one-quarter ounce of fragrance. I suggest making two candles in 4 ounce metal tins while you master this craft.

Gather together:

·        2 ounces sweet almond carrier oil or vitamin E oil

·        6 ounces High quality soy wax

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witch Craft; DIY Enchanted Amulets

Rarely will you see an unjeweled pagan, even if it one single rings or pendant.  Know full well that jewelry can be used as defense.   take it one step further by Witches knowing the meaning, power, and properties of each stone and metal and wielding that energy for the good of others and themselves. The term amulet comes from the Latin word meaning “defense.”  Indeed, amulets are a way to protect yourself that dates from the earliest human beliefs.  .  Evil eyes might be the most global of all amulets, as they are believed to ward off a hex by simply reflecting it back to its origins.  Some amulets were devoted to a specific god or goddess, offering that deity’s sheltering protection.

You can make a powerful protective amulet with only two items: a tiny muslin pouch and a tablespoonful of dried herb. This following is a list of herb from which to choose for the specific kind of safeguard you feel you need.  Amulets are very easy to make and make nice gifts, as long as you feel your friend will truly benefit and is aware of the special qualities and power of such It can also be a small gift to yourself that yields big benefit. Wear your amulet as a pendant or tuck it in your pocket or purse for a “guardian to go.”

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Animal Guardians on the Roof

A while back, my husband and I came across Escape to the Country on Netflix. We love house-hunting shows in general, and we enjoyed the glimpses into the local cultures, traditions, and landscapes of different regions of the UK, where the majority of our ancestors came from. In episodes featuring thatched homes, the straw bird finials that sometimes occupy the roof lines stood out to me as a particularly interesting craft. The show didn't make too much mention of them, but it was obvious that there was more to them than mere decoration.

 

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Kitchen Witch Dolls: Modern Household Icons

My great-grandmother, whose father immigrated from Norway when he was around nine years old and whose mother was a third-generation German American, had a kitchen witch that was passed down to my mom, her granddaughter. Unfortunately, it was lost over time, but my mom remembers that it wore a long, red dress and perched on a straw broom. This is the traditional form of the kitchen witch: a long dress, usually a kerchief tied around its head rather than a witch hat, often a characteristic long nose on a friendly face, riding upon a miniature broom (or a wooden spoon!)

Over time, craftspeople have branched away from this traditional form, creating kitchen witches that reflect the various interests and needs of contemporary cooks. This is typical for folk traditions: to remain relevant, they transform over time, taking on new elements and meanings. One thing has remained the same, however: they are always friendly, always helpful, always good luck.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember a little kitchen witch over the sink in my parents house. I think one of my sisters got it after my mother died, but I

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
We are the Weavers

Ic wæs þær Inne þær ic ane geseah
winnende · wiht wido bennegean
holt hweorfende heaþoglemma feng
deopra dolga daroþas wæron
weo þære wihte ⁊ se wudu searwum
fæste gebunden hyre fota wæs
biid fæft oþer · oþer bisgo dreag
leolc on lyfte hwilum londe neah
treow wæs getenge þe þær torhtan stod
leafum bihongen Ic lafe geseah
minum hlaforde þær hæleð druncon
þara flan on flet beran

The Anglo-Saxon riddle above falls in the group usually classified as 'domestic' items: better to call them work tools. The aim of the riddle of course is to disguise a very familiar object with an unexpected description. Here's Paull Franklin Baum's translation (because it is hot even in Scotland, too hot to come up with my own translation!):

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Lots of great info in Max Dashu's book: https://feminismandreligion.com/2016/09/19/weaving-and-spinning-women-witches-and-pagans-b

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Fiber Art Success With the Goddess Frigga

Here's another story of abundance made manifest. When I made the Northern Lights Goddesses Brew, I included dried linden flowers and leaves to honor Frigga. I still had some after making it, and I decided to use some to make a brew specifically for Frigga. The Frigga Brew flavor was linden and vanilla. When it was ready, I raised a toast to Frigga with it. I also brewed tea with the dried linden, and raised a toast to her with hot tea. 

Frigga is a mother goddess and the queen of Asgard, but the aspect of her with whom I relate best is her aspect as patroness of fiber art. I first connected with her fiber art aspect while I was spinning at a Renfaire, but after that I have been connecting with her when I do hand embroidery and when I make quilt tops and turn my hand embroidery into finished projects such as bags. 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Corn Dollies: A Harvest Tradition

Since I can remember, my mom has had two small corn husk dolls. I’m not sure where or why she got them, but it was before I was born, so they’ve always been there, through all my family’s moves from city to city, country to country. Even now, they’re nestled among other knick-knacks in the enormous Bavarian schrank my parents keep in their formal living room. They are quaint, dainty little things, and they’ve always held a kind of mystery to me that, for a long time, I couldn’t quite pin down.

As an adult, I learned that corn husk dolls originated among the Iroquois, and the tradition was picked up by European settlers who had similar traditions. In some ways, corn husk dolls are the indigenous American cognate to European corn dollies, which are usually not so much “dolls” as we think of them as they are decorative objects taking a variety of shapes: hearts, handbells, lanterns, horseshoes, to name just a handful. Another difference is that corn dollies are often made of wheat, barley, or oat sheaves, not the ears of maize used to craft corn husk dolls.

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  • Hugh Gadarn
    Hugh Gadarn says #
    Fascinating. I find corn dollies intriguing and there are examples in early Britain. On the eve of St. Bride's day girls used to m
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    Thanks for sharing, Hugh! I love learning about the similarities and differences in corn dolly traditions across European cultures

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