Monday, October 27, 2014

The Glory of Fall

Fall in Colorado is warm and wonderful with a bit of dramatic vistas thrown in for good measure. Our leaf peeking days are behind us even though the weather here has indicated we are still in Summer with the temperatures hovering near 80 for the past two weeks and no snow (yet) for us in October. Today the temperatures finally took a dip and I went out to the back and pulled the final harvest of vegetables and pulled my big pots of herbs into the house.
The tomatoes will ripen over the next month and we will be able to enjoy our bounty for a while to come. Last week, while getting ready for the Witches Ball, I sat outside knitting in the warm afternoon enjoying the quiet. It was so quiet, I could hear the leaves dropping now and again, looking up to see them swirling through the air on their final descent. I'm glad October is a long month becuae it is my favorite month. Getting the house ready for Samhain was a nice long and thoughtful process this year. I was thrilled to be able to use my pumpkins on the mantle in the family room.They fit in so nicely with the ravens, lights and other fall foliage. I never get tired of my decorations. They add to the fun of all of the Halloween movies I have been watching as I knit my nights away.
Thus far I have made my way through "Hocus Pokus", "Corpse Bride", "Nightmare Before Halloween", "Addams Family", "Practical Magic", "Beetle Juice", the first four of the Good Witch movies, and some episodes of Bewitched in between. I still have a handful of Halloween movies left to watch before Halloween arrives which I will have to fit in between watching "Sleepy Hollow", Gotham, The Flash, The Arrow and now, Grimm! I predict I will have lots of wooly things to wear very soon as a result of all this entertainment. My annual Witches tea is later this week so today I baked the breads I will use for my tea sandwiches. The aroma of baked bread still permeates the house. A bit later tonight the house will smell liked apples since I plan to settle down with a nice hot cup of tea and a steaming bowl of a hot baked cinnamon apple. Taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the season resonates deep within my bones. Decorating my home, eating seasonal foods and filling my home with aromas of the seasons, are my rituals as a witch. I hope that everyone takes the time to stop and enjoy the bounty of this season.
Our magical purple Ash

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I can hardly contain my excitement over having been able to decorate my Mabon home with pumpkins and corn that I grew myself from seed. We harvested the last of the pumpkins over the weekend, and although my total harvest is not as large as I had hoped for, there are plenty of pumpkins to decorate with.  I love the fact that I share my birthday with Mabon. This next 3 months of Autumn are my favorite time of the year. Though I am busy crafting away for upcoming Samhain, I am also taking time to make some fall theme things as well. Harvest time is not finished. There are still plenty of tomatoes on the vine turning redder with each day, yellow squash striving to grow big enough to use in the coming weeks and a pepper here and there. I had to harvest and then cover the plants just over a week ago when we had a frosty night, but they all seemed to have survived the frost thanks to some planning.
My Mabon ritual table included the pumpkins and corn I had harvested. I also included a bowl of three different  freshly cut herbs from my garden that blended well with my ritual. By chance I found some new statuary just a few days before Mabon. She is a brown Celtic Goddess who wears a small moonstone on her head. Not only was she perfect for Mabon, she also looks great on the mini altar I keep on my desk. I often use my tarot cloths as altar cloths for my rituals. I like having handmade things on my ritual table whether they are made by me or someone else. It adds to the personal nature of the ritual.
The trees around here are already starting to turn a golden yellow that looks so dramatic against the backdrop of the dark green pine trees that dominate the high country. This weekend we plan to take a trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park to take in the Fall colors against some dramatic landscape. Though it is still warm around here, up there we will most likely feel the subtle crispness in the air. Excitement!
Now that Fall is officially here it is also time to start cooking some of my Fall favorites. This coming weekend  my D&D group is gathering to do some Pathfinding. Along the way we will have to stop for some adult beverages and my homemade chili. I feel there might also be the first apple crisp of the season for dessert as well! With just a month to go until the Denver Witches Ball, I must make time to sew up a storm since I will be a vendor there this year for the very first time! My plans for increasing my blog posts will most probably have to be put off for a bit, though one never knows.. Wishing you all a Blessed Fall!

Monday, August 11, 2014


It's hard to believe that Lammas has come and gone. Wasn't it yesterday that we were happily planting the things we grew from seed? This year we were able to enjoy our tomatoes in late July thanks to perhaps all of the extra rain we've had. It has been so much fun to see everything I grew from seed get so big! Back at the house the herbs are going wild. It has been great to be able to use fresh herbs in my recipes and for the altar. I also have a small bouquet of the flowering ends of the basil sitting by my computer for abundance! My cat Merlin is often seen residing in "his" herbal garden which is located on my planting table, when he isn't hanging out on the big blanket in the middle of the yard. I have been spending my the bulk of my days outside enjoying our not so very hot summer. My laptop, yarn, I-pad, phone and plenty of iced tea and the cats equals my summer office.
Come Fall I will have many mini pumpkins, gourds and ornamental corn to decorate with and use on the altars.
Chive flowers
My crab apple tree is getting full of fruit that is starting to turn a lovely red color. It looks like there will be some crab apple butter being made come September!
Crab apples growing redder each day
I have been caught up in the Outlander craze! I was so taken by the first show. It promises to be visually beautiful with some stunning costumes yet to be seen. I just found a wonderful online pagan radio station called Earlier today they were playing some wonderful Scottish music by a group called Albannach. Me thinks I have found some music to sew to! Although we have well over a month of Summer left, I have already started working on Samhain items for the store and an upcoming market I am doing in the Fall. I still have some Summer lovelies in the works though so keep checking!
Summer Solstice Tarot Bag

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Celtic Summer

 Summer is officially here! I welcomed the season in with a drumming down of the Sun followed by a sweet fairy inspired dinner for two with my muggle husband. By the fairy door at the tree I set out the milk and honey offering for the fairies, lighting a small candle on either side of it so they could see their way. It worked because by morning it was gone.Candles and lights lit up my porch and the festive music of Spiral Dance playing in the background added to the ambiance of the warm summer night.
I sipped some frozen Lemoncello while my muggle enjoyed some chocolate satin mead. I set the table so that we could both look out into the yard in case a fairy should happen by, though
I felt that they were waiting until we went inside.
I have found that  my creative inspiration for this season is coming from the fairies and my Celtic leanings. I have been working on coaster sets and singles for the store that I hope reflect the season while still working on items for the upcoming season which is my hands down favorite after all.
I have rearranged the shop into different sections in order to better reflect the variety of magical themes that encompass my work The coasters above are from the "Celtic Inspired" section as are the Celtic Flower set here.
With Mercury retrograde over today, and a waxing moon in our midst, now is the time to start planning all of those things you want to see increase in your life. May our gardens bloom and grow and may love, health and abundance grow as well. Summer is a time to relax, renew and explore the beauty and serenity of Mother Earth as she is awake in all of her glory.
I for one, love sitting outside on my porch in the mornings sipping my coffee and enjoying the soft sounds of nature that can be heard in the silence of early morning. Evenings emit their own magic under the twinkling lights of a summer sky and a candlelit porch.  Enjoy the magic of summer! Blessed Be!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Garden Time

Where would a witch be without her garden? Less frustrated says I. Gardening in Colorado presents challenges for even the most experienced of gardeners who must deal with cool June temperatures and hail. This year I expanded my garden kingdom to include a plot at our community garden. In late March I started the seeds for ornamental corn, birdhouse gourds, and mini pumpkins in orange and white. Come harvest time I am hoping to have a bounty of fun fall things to decorate and gift.
Pumpkin seedlings
At home I have the usual suspects planted and growing in their pots. Though I do have a yard, the Colorado soil is hard and rocky so raised beds seem to be the way to go, however I don't have a good spot for one so for years I have been growing things on the back porch with reasonable success. This year's crop includes tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, peppers,tomatoes, and a variety of herbs. I like to grow enough for us to eat and enjoy right out of the garden without having to worry about preserving the extras. Since I am the mom of four cats, I make sure to have a catnip plant for them to much on while they are outside with me. I do harvest the plant now and again and air dry the catnip to stuff into small muslin bags.
This year we put up a new hummingbird feeder which has started to attract some attention, but with the recent cool weather and rain, we haven't seen any birds for a while. When spring arrives I start to look forward to the summer days where I can sit outside on my yard and knit, embroider, or read while sharing a blanket with my cats. It's not as relaxing as it sounds because I must keep a watch on them as they look around for the baby rabbits that live in our yard. Fortunately my cats are well fed and horrible hunters. In fact it is I who has to chase the chattering squirrels away from us as they let us know how upset they are that we are in their yard!
My husband put together this workbench that I ordered through the mail. It has made it easy to pot all of the plants and given me a space to include more herbs and a few decorative cactus plants. I have also found Luna and Merlin sitting in one of the large pots on the bottom shelf. Apparently, they approve of the workbench. 
I've included a link to ToadWerk's new Facebook page. Be sure and check it out. You will find the link on the right hand side of this blog. It will including some daily tidbits and of course show off some of the shop's new merchandise!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

It seems like Ostara was just the other day and now Beltane is coming up in just over a week! Ostara was a lot of fun for me. I use the holiday to usher in Spring at my house including decorating with a lot of eggs and some bunnies and sheep. I like to use the purple and green with a bit of brown mixed in because to me these colors symbolize the earth just again coming to life. I save the bold colors for later in Spring and in the summer. That said, I had to decorate my Ostara altar with red this year to represent the energy of Aries and Mars. It went quite well with the purple flowers my hubby sent me that day.
Ostara Altar
The eggs that we colored turned out bright which happened to go along beautifully with the rest of the altar. I took advantage of the weather and the fact that my husband was home, to enjoy an Ostara breakfast out on the back porch. I baked an orange bread to go along with my morning eggs. I decided to bake the bread in my Spring theme silicone baking pan so the bread came out in shapes of a dragonfly, butterfly and ladybug. I even had enough dough left over  to make a mini loaf to freeze and use at a later time. For the breakfast table, I used the hand sewn napkins I had made in anticipation of some summer outdoor eating. Since they are rather larger and there were only two of us, I used some of them as place mats. I incorporated the purple and yellow together which was pleasing to my eye and a good Ostara morning color theme. Pagans understand how color is a symbol for different things such as green for prosperity, red for passion, purple for intuition; but sometimes color is simply a feeling and what is
My reversible napkins
used to create an atmosphere. A note here about the wreaths: They are small artificial wreaths that I bought on sale at Joans in mid March. I can incorporate real flowers and such with them and be able to use them for various altar and holiday setups making them a very affordable decoration item. A few days after Ostara I hosted my monthly Scrabble group and chose to set the dinner table for Ostara. I went with my purple and green and added some eggs and my flowers to the decor. It also gave me an opportunity to explain to my non pagan friends what Ostara is. Did I really just summarize it as "all the fun stuff of Easter without the Jesus thing'? Perhaps...
Just a few days before Earth Day, a beautiful Earth Goddess statue caught my attention. Though I didn't do a ritual per se, I did set up a place for my statue so that I might enjoy her as I sat outside in my yard today. I had all of the cats outside with me, some meandering in and out at will. I took  my hand stitching outside, along with a fresh brewed glass of Pineapple/Raspberry white Iced tea and worked on stitching some bookmarks and an herb bag that I hope to have up in the shop sometime in the next decade. I may not be the fastest crafter in the world, but I give myself an P for "patience with the process". My flowering crab apple tree is just now blossoming this week. I am still eagerly waiting for the lilac bushes to burst forth with their fragrant blossoms, but that won't be for a few more weeks. If you haven't already, go outside and hug a tree today or dance barefoot in the grass and love your mother earth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Ostara is just around the corner! Those of us who live in Colorado have already seen the clues. Snowstorm one day, 70 degrees the next. Still, the crocuses are peeking out in some areas, but alas, not mine. We are up high enough in the foothills to be the last to bloom but that's just fine by me. Early next week I will begin digging out the bunnies, baskets, and little sheep figurines that will be used to create an Ostara mantle theme. On Ostara itself I will be dying eggs and maybe some yarn with the leftover dye. The colors of Ostara, are subtle and pale and include a bit of brown as well, since the earth is just at that time, coming out of its slumber. When I made this bag, I was thinking of how the crocuses look when they are just pushing through the inevitable Rocky Mountain spring snow.


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