Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm A Feelin' Crafty

So, I've been battling an annoying cold for the past couple of weeks. It started out as a nagging sore throat, then I got the full brunt of it, now I have a cough that just won't go away. I haven't been deliberately avoiding blogging, I haven't even been on facebook that much (btw, I have a fan page there)
So I thought that today will be a good day to do some crafts with my son. I found a great recipe for salt dough in my recipe book. I used to make salt dough crafts when I was younger in school. I'll share my recipe with you, in case you want to try this fun craft yourself:

Basic Salt Dough Recipe


  • 1 cup of fine salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water (may add more)


  • In a large bowl, combine the salt and the flour
  • Make a well in the salt/flour mixture and add the water
  • Knead until smooth and shape into a ball
  • When not in use, wrap in plastic or store in an airtight container

    HINT: To get a softer dough you can add more flour. Adding more salt will lend a more granulous affect. Use wallpaper glue and the dough with be more cohesive. To add color to your dough, use different types of flour or add food coloring or paint. Knead to get an even color. You may also paint your ornaments and sculptures after they dry. Bake in the over for a quicker drying time at 200F

I have a few pix of the preparation, but then the batteries died as we were cutting the dough. I made a star, a triple moon (tricky) and about 9 witches flying on broomsticks (gotta love Hallowe'en cookie cutters). I have hole poked through, so I can hang them up. Next will be the painting process. As you can tell, I'm adding to this as I go along with my craft. My son is having a ball playing with his share of the dough. This is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday.

Now, I'm waiting for the dough ornaments to be completely dry before I start painting them. They're on a cooling rack drying out, I did have them in the oven for about 1/2 hr then I like them to air dry, as well. Weird, I know.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Origins of Valentine's Day

Did you know that Valentine’s Day has its roots way back in Roman history and was not really an innocent day to declare your (anonymous) admiration for your heart’s desire?

February takes its name from Juno Februata, the Roman Goddess of love and during that month, a holiday was devoted to her. It was also during this month, around 13th-15th that the festival of Lupercalia was celebrated – the time when love lotteries took place.

The names of young maidens would be written on billets of paper to be picked out by the boys. The two would then be partnered for the whole festival. Some sources state that this process put together the pairings for the erotic games that followed. These random pairings often led to much longer relationships.

The main event of the festival took place on February 15th, with animal sacrifice and ritual flagellation. After the slaughter of a goat and a dog, young men would run naked through streets, whipping women and crops with the flayed hide of the goat to promote fertility.

This festival was celebrated in this way as late as the 6th century CE, although by the late 5th century CE, the Christian Church had already taken steps to put an end to it, by introducing a lottery of Saints, rather than maidens. Whichever Saint was a boy selected was the one he was to study for the coming year.

Ritual flagellation and sacrifice was declared to be immoral and Pope Gelasius made a priest called Valentine the patron Saint of Romance/Lovers, although as a chaste man, his life story was somewhat embellished to make it more interesting! Martyred on February 14th for disobeying the ban on Christianity, he allegedly cured the jailor’s daughter of blindness. They fell in love, but their love could not save the priest and on the eve of his execution, he managed to sneak a note to the girl, and simply signed it “from your Valentine”.

The Church’s new take on the festival proved to be unpopular and within a couple of hundred years, the Church had given up on the Saint lottery and stopped celebrating the feast of St Valentine. By the 15th century, the Lovers’ Lottery had returned to England. Bachelors would draw the name of a maiden and would then be duty bound to attend and protect her for the coming year.

And what of the first Valentine cards? You could argue that these were the Romans’ billets selected at Lupercalia, or perhaps the martyred Priest’s note to his young love. Modern Valentine’s cards are attributed to the Duke of Orleans, kept prisoner in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. He wrote countless love poems to his wife during his imprisonment, and around 60 of these still remain in the British Museum.

By the 17th century it was commonplace to hand make a card for the object of your desire; in the late 18th century a book was published with suitable verses for those young men struggling to compose their own. Shortly afterwards the first cards were printed, although these were limited and were known as “mechanical Valentines”. When postal costs were reduced in the 19th century, mailing cards became more popular.

The possibility of mailing a card brought a new dimension to giving Valentines. Now anonymity was possible, and cards began to be quite racy. Sexually suggestive verses were included in great numbers of cards, causing alarm in Victorian society.

Lupercalia February 15

Celebrated in February, the roman month of purification, the origins of the Lupercalia are obscure. Centred on the Palatine Hill in Rome, the rites included a race between two naked youths who struck spectators to ensure their fertility.

The Rite of the Lupercalia

The Lupercalia was ancient and obscure. It was celebrated on the 15th February in the city of Rome.

The rite began in the lupercal, a cave at the base of the palatine. A goat and dog were sacrificed and two naked youths, known as the luperci, were anointed with the blood. They would give a ritual laugh before the blood was wiped away with milk soaked wool.

The youths were then required to run around the hill, wearing only girdles made from the skin of the sacrificed goat. The remained of the goat’s skins was used as straps which the luperci carried with them on their run. They used these to strike female bystanders.

The festival was celebrated in Rome until 494AD when it was banned by Pope Gelasius I. From that date onwards, the day of the lupercalia was used to celebrate the feast of the purification of the virgin.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Treasures from Michael's

I went out today with my friend, Lisa, to Michael's. I was like a kid in a candy store, looking at all the colored beads, what a way to lure you in a craft store, by putting all the pretty, sparkly things at the front. Looking at the beads I was reminded of when I used to make bracelets using my bead loom & seed beads. I haven't done that in a long time and I gave all my beads away to a friend of mine who makes & sells jewelry here in Halifax during the tourist season.

We continued on, looking down the aisles. They had some acrylic paints on sale so we picked up a few bottles each. I found a beautiful hinged box that would be perfect to hold Tarot cards or spell candles. It is unfinished, so I can paint whatever colors that inspire me. Lisa also bought some paint brushes, she's getting motivated to do some crafting now that she is participating in a Pagan craft swap on Facebook. We looked down all the aisles, sniffing the scented candles. I wanted to see of there was any candle making supplies, but I didn't see anything.

One aisle we went down held some very pleasant surprises for us. They have meditation CD's for sale for $3 each. I bought 3, Rains of Renewal, Relaxing Waters & Meditate in Nature. They're very peaceful, with soft music accompanying the nature sounds. They also carried body lotions, eye masks, pedicure sets, slippers, basically things you would need for a spa night with the girls. Who knew?? I also bought a mint body lotion that was $3. I can't wait to try it on my footsies after my bath tonight. ☺

Travelling down more aisles, I came across an herb garden to grow at home. It had Lavender, Thyme, & Oregano, the soil and a cute tin planter. I followed the directions when I came home and they are sitting on my window sill. I just hope I don't kill these, there may be still some hope for these thumbs of mine yet. Since I don't have a proper watering can, I may have to use the one that my son uses when he plays in his sandbox.

They had a lot of Valentine's things out, as well as for St Pat's and a couple of aisles for Easter (Ostara) Lisa bought a cute little Easter tree and a pkg of mini eggs to hang off it. I didn't get any Easter things, as I got a lot last year, but she got a few things for her altar. Time flew by as we shopped and soon it was time to eat & pick up my son from school.

I can't wait to go back to Michael's, there were some feathers there that I liked. I'm sure I can find some good uses for them...hee hee!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Book I'm Reading

Got a brand new book today...a splurge. It was recommended on Little Mysteries' YouTube video by Renee. My friend Lisa also read it & said it was an amazing book. I just started it, so I really can't say what it is all about. What I have read so far, it is about learning all about the 4 elements Pagans frequently use in ritual. There are little quizzes to see what element you are or what you are drawn to. No, it's not like what the element is that corresponds with your zodiac sign. So far, as I read, I'm more of a water-Earth type person. I am a Capricorn, an Earth sign, but I was surprised to see a lot of water coming up with me. I'm only on page 75, as I write this, but so far I really like it.
I know we all invite the elements into ritual, but do we really know about them? I find, so far, that this helps out a lot about the 4 elements. It's a basic book, packed with a lot of info. Great for newbies & adepts alike. Why am I starting to sound like a book reviewer?? I'll update this posting as I read.

Brightest Blessings,

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Fav. YoVille Rooms

My Ritual Room

My Indoor Garden

My other Indoor Garden

Oh, The Wheel, It Is A Turnin'

I'm always trying to be aware of the Wheel as we go through the year. I really noticed how much it's turning this winter. Is it me, or is it moving along faster?? I always pick up my son from his after school program at 4:30pm everyday. He used to hate it when I would come and the sky would be dark. This was December til mid-January. I noticed today when I picked him up that it was still daylight, not daylight where the sun will be gone by the time we get home daylight. That was a little over an hour ago and now I see the streetlights starting to come on. Pardon the cliche to my favourite books, but it's now Twilight time. That magical time between day & night when things are slowing down (except rush hour traffic), that shift in the day that I love. This is how I know the Wheel is a turnin'. We may be in the middle of winter, the snow is piled on the ground and we still have 5 more weeks of winter til Ostara.

Yes, I have changed the background of my blog. I chose a cliche Valentine's theme and I made another little Valentine's slideshow in the upper right corner. Included with that are pictures of Cupid/Eros and his mother, Venus/Aphrodite. Something seasonal for you all to enjoy. ♥

I am still addicted to my little game over on Facebook, YoVille. My avatar has a new house, a treehouse, that I have been busy decorating. I recently found out that the mystery bookcase is actually a secret library. I turned that into a Ritual room, complete with a virtual altar, with lots of candles and a bubbling cauldron in the middle of the room. I have plants everywhere in my little virtual house. Hey, if I'm lousy growing plants in RL, YoVille is making me a Queen of Green Thumbs. I even have an indoor garden room, complete with a babbling brook.

Ok, too much talk of my game, but I am in a club called, the Goddess Sanctuary. We get together and have discussions, swap items and share our witchy ways with each other. It is fun to be a part of an online community that doesn't attack you if they don't agree with what you have to say or ask. I find that with a number of fb groups (P&W). Anyway, I digress again.

I had a quiet Imbolg last week. I did a very small ritual and made a petition to Bridghid in my quest for a job. I had a job interview that day and I am waiting to hear back from them. 2 months of unemployment is driving me crazy. I am lucky to have been able to do a few haircuts at home for some friends (thanks, Lisa & Karen) but I miss working in a salon with others, sharing some laughs, helping each other with things and clients. I hope I get this job. My fingers are starting to cramp from all this finger-crossing I've been doing.

Well, this is what's been going on with me. I am going to try to be more diligent with blogging, but there are times when I don't feel inspired to blog. I hope you can all understand...maybe it is the winter. I'm going tomorrow to get some tanning sessions, anything to ward off SAD, which this year, I am again unaffected. No depression for me this year (YAY!!) but I am a little tired of looking at my pastiness. A good base for this summer, cause, if I'm going to be working, I won't be outside.

Blessings to you all,