Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I decided to make a fruitcake this year. The best part of this story is that I don't even like fruitcake. There is something about green candied cherries and citron that just makes my teeth hurt at the thought of biting into a piece of this dense style cake.I felt there had to be a better way to make a fruitcake so I went in search of a recipe and found "Free Range Fruitcake" which is a recipe from Alton Brown from the Food Network. What drew me to this recipe was the amount of alcohol called for, which was 1 cup. In some recipes I saw they wanted you to use just one ounce, which didn't seem to be nearly enough from what I remember of my grandmother's fruitcakes. The other thing that appealed to me was the use of all dried fruits as opposed to candied fruits. I also liked the idea that I could substitute heavily and basically put in whatever fruits I liked. The cake turned out nice and moist and pretty darn tasty. Next time I would add more fruit and reduce the sugar a bit more than I did this time. My husband (who actually likes fruitcake, loved it so I must have done something right. I will definitely try this recipe again next Yule if not before...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Getting Ready For Yule

Of late I have been busy at my sewing and embroidery machines whipping up this years decorations. The most time consuming project was the winter rag quilt. I am happy with the way it turned out even though it didn't end up following the well planned chart I had drawn up. It is no surprise to me that despite my best efforts to be organized about it all, that I managed to mess up the carefully planned design in the first two rows. Being the artist I am (lol) I decided to go with it and redo the entire design.  I love the holly and pine cones as representations of Yule. It's also a theme that can be used all winter long.
back of quilt
Although I take the tree down at the end of January, (no tree this year thanks to a little devil kitten called Spike) I do keep up many of  my Yule decorations, which include snowmen, deer, owls and greenery. I always get some fresh garland and a fresh wreath for the front door. While the garland lasts only a month, the wreath stays up for the winter.
The mantle in the family room is my seasonal altar. For Yule, this year's theme is gingerbread!
Gingerbread land
I went "shopping" in my crawl space and found some gingerbread items from years past that fit quite well with the set of lighted gingerbread houses and mini Mercury glass mini trees I got this year. The Wheel of the Year is a focal point for as I'm sure it is for many pagans. I like to decorate the house accordingly as a tribute to each season and the corresponding holidays. When I refresh my house, I also refresh myself. At the same time, I am also keeping myself in the moment and enjoying and appreciating the uniqueness of each season as the wheel turns.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Merry Krampus!

 Krampus the horned devil like creature of Christmas who's origins date back to pre Christian Austria/Germany, has had a revival in the past couple of years. The television show "Grimm" did a fun holiday show set around Krampus last year. This year there is a much scarier looking movie called "Krampus" set to come out soon. I came across Krampus a few years ago in Portland Oregon while browsing in the holiday card section of Powell's Books. I was delighted! A horned devil who would punish naughty children! The anti Santa! I also read that some historians say that Krampus has his roots in witchcraft in that he symbolizes the horned god. I'm not sure about that, but he is definitely pagan. Every year now I include some Krampus themed items in the store for your shopping pleasure. Come on by and check out Krampus!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hello Snow!

We had our first real snowstorm of the season yesterday! We got somewhere around 8 to 10 inches but other areas North of us had very little. Such is Colorado living! I found the snow inspiring! Here are some winter things that are arriving at the store now: Nordic Tree Tarot Cloths!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Reflections on Samhain

This year for Samhain I thought I would do a silent supper in remembrance of the four family members we lost since last Samhain. However, I discovered that I am not ready, so instead I celebrated by designing something for Samhain. I had tried my hand at making a rag quilt earlier in the Fall and quite enjoyed it, so for Samhain I made a Halloween inspired quilt that I managed to finish up just days before Samhain. Making these quilts has got me thinking of some new designs for the shop's tarot cloths so be on the lookout!
Here in Colorado, on the day of the full moon just before Samhain, the sky turned cloudy and the wind whipped up threatening to rain. What I saw when I looked up in the sky was the winds of change! Spirit of Air blowing in new energy and sweeping away the old! It was an  awe inspiring experience.
 Blessed Be witches and happy new year to you all!
Samhain quilt in my backyard
Back done in soft  gray and black

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pumpkin time!

I went over to the local nursery today to buy some herbs and a few planters and was delighted to see that they were all decked out for Fall! There were pumpkins everywhere, bales of hay, gourds and spooky decorations too. Oh how I love this time of year!
These were huge! Perfect for carving!

What a nice selection!

Black Cat Tarot Cloth can be found in the store!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Passion For Pumpkins?

The Samhain cloths are in the store with more being added in bits and pieces. I love pumpkins so it's no surprise that I found some fun prints and embroidery designs with pumpkins for this season! Come check them out!

Flying Pumpkins!

Damask Pumpkin

Lacy Pumpkin

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mabon Ritual

Mabon is also my birthday so it's a doubly special holiday for me, helped by the fact that I love the dark side of the year. The day was beautiful in every way making it a perfect day to linger around the altar after ritual was done.In this picture, if you look really hard you will see Gypsy, my Mabon cat, looking on.

I like to use fresh materials on my altars so it was great that I was able to harvest my mini pumpkin in time. My other little ones are still growing. The candle is beeswax that I bought at the Saturday Market in Portland, The mead is called Howling Moon, the round piece is the Green Man in Fall, the cloth is like the one I have for sale in the store and the Wheel of Fortune Deck is from my brand new tarot deck called The Green Witch Tarot.

For my birthday I got myself this beautiful Wheel of the Year to hang in my office.
I also found this beautiful copper Wheel of the Year Pendant. My 58th birthday brought with it a year of many difficult changes and some very nice ones that we manifested.
The theme of the ever changing wheel is something I have chosen to continue to embrace this coming year to see how I can direct some changes in my life. How exciting!

Mabon is a great time to reflect on how you can bring balance into your life which meshes with the coming of Samhain, a time when you can release the burdens of the year to leave room for new things to grow. Blessed Be!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Crafty Cooking On The Fly

These busy days I  have been having leave little time for complicated dinners. We have settled into a nice routine of what we call "happy hour " every night. Its' been a nice way for us to relax and reconnect before we settle down to dinner. I have been serving up nibblets to have with our drinks, and have gotten quite fond of finding new recipes to try. Appetizers can be easy to fix and can be easily incorporated into being part of dinner. The other night I decided to make pasta with sauce (the jar sauce) but wanted to jazz it up a bit, so I added spinach to the sauce. Earlier in the day I had made the dip for this wonderful appetizer dish I found from King Arthur's Flour Company. It's baked zucchini sticks with a sweet onion dip. It was not  only easy and delicious to make, but clean-up was easy too since I lined my baking pan with a silicon liner. I love using silicone liners because they are reusable and mine are purple!!! We ended up having a veggie rich easy dinner that was very satisfying and provided us with leftovers. Yum!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mabon Madness!

As Mabon approaches, so does my excitement. The garden is nearly harvested with the exception of some late growing pumpkins and gourds and my mantle in the family room has been festoond with ornamental corn, pumpkins and gourds. Autumn is just around the corner and I can hardly wait! The dark half of the year has always been my favorite. Perhaps it is because I was born on Mabon, perhaps it is the beauty of the earth as she slowly settles down to sleep, or maybe it's the food and drink of the season. Actually, it is all of that!

 I have been busy in the Crafty Cauldron Room sewing up some fun tarot/altar cloths for the upcoming Fall season. Stop by the store and check out the new cloths I have for Mabon! One of my favorites is this machine embroidered cloth which I can use as both a tarot cloth and an altar cloth for Mabon. I can also how nice this cloth would look on my dining room table with a freshly baked pumpkin pie sitting in the center of it. How do you plan on celebrating Mabon?

Crafting Fun

This coming weekend I am going to be hosting a bridal shower for one of my friends. It's funny to think that this is the first time I have been a bridesmaid! I'm having a lot of fun planning an Indian theme shower. The two other bridesmaids are very crafty as well so this shower promises to be something very unique and beautiful.
 For my part, I started by making the shower invitations.  I thought it would be unique and fun to use fabric in the card so I chose a fabric that I thought had the feel of India. From there I cut out the main image from the fabric to be the base of the card and let my imagination take over.

My assembly line

The continuing process

The inside is finally complete

Ready to Mail!
  With the remaining fabric I made a beautiful table runner that I can use for the main table at the shower. I also machine embroidered some napkins that coordinate with the fabric of the table runner and a set of four coasters. For a finishing touch I found some napkin rings that match. Once the shower is over, I will add the table runner to the other items I made, which will then become a fun wedding gift for the couple and a remembrance of her bridal shower for years to come.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Setting up an altar to celebrate a Pagan holiday through a ritual, is a common practice among pagans.  This year for Lugnasdah I did not do a formal ritual. Instead, I decided to "craft" Lugnasdah as a way of honoring the holiday. I decided to try my hand at baking a plaited bread from scratch. The process was slow, relaxing and quite satisfying. To begin, I did have the help of my Kitchen Aid mixer with the initial kneading of the bread.
It was the fist time I had used the dough hook in all the years I've had my mixer! I'm glad I decided to use the mixer because the recipe I was using did not, as it turns out, call for enough water for the dough, which is why it was not coming together as the recipe had described. With the help of the booklet that comes with the mixer, I was able to figure out the right water/flour combination to make the dough nice and elastic. On the second go around with the dough, it was time for kneading by hand which went quite smoothly, due in part to the granite surface I was working on. Plaiting the bread was a bit trickier but it didn't turn out too bad considering it was the first time I have attempted such a thing. The bread rose well and the loaf turned out to be crunchy on the outside and surprisingly light on the inside.
I ate a piece just minutes after the cool down with lots of melty butter. It was yummy!
While the bread was in different stages of being made, I started knitting a cotton washcloth with a grain pattern. I used two different colors in making the cloth in order to be a bit more imaginative with the design. By the end of the day I was finished with the cloth and we had polished off a third of the huge loaf of bread, making the day a nice observance of  the first harvest.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Home Improvements

In the last two weeks my sewing and knitting have hit a slowdown as our house and cats were tossed into a happy upheaval when we decided to go ahead with some kitchen and family room upgrades.
Between shuffling the four cats to their respective spaces (no one wanted to have to spend the whole day with a bouncy kitten) for the day and emptying the entire family room and then filling it up again, I felt I had walked 10 miles a day.
The counter tops, back splash and new sink turned out exactly as we planned and the new and improved wood floors are great. We still await the arrival of the new sofas and are still waiting to be able to put our area rugs down and then it will once again be home sweet home. In the meantime, I have received a shipment of Samhain fabric that I can't wait to get into! It is less than 100 days until Samhain and even sooner until Fall arrives. For now I have been working with some lovely celestial prints that are timeless and belong to no season. Look for them in the shop soon!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Denver Tarot Convention!

I have been silent for most of last month as I was getting ready to vendor at Denver's first ever Tarot Convention! I did a test run of my display before leaving the house so I would save some time once I got there. I introduced a few new products including homemade soap and a mini take along tarot in a bag.
I met a lot of fun people, sold a lot of my products and of course, I did a bit of shopping of my own. The most exciting purchase I made is on it's way to me as I write this. It is a used copy of the "Alice in Wonderland Tarot". I am so very excited to get it, thanks to the lovely gal from Tarot Garden. Unfortunately I sold both of my Alice in Wonderland Tarot bags at the convention so I will just have to make myself a new one! Another highlight of the convention was meeting author Mary K. Greer. She has written many books about the tarot, a few of which that were very helpful to me as I was learning to read the tarot

I have some wonderful new products in the works for the store so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 4, 2015


This TBT takes me back just two weeks ago when I was on another trip to Portland Oregon. My husband had a day off so we decided to head out to the Oregon Wine Country, part of which is just 30 minutes outside of Portland. After enjoying a wonderful lunch in the town of Newberg, we headed out to discover some Oregon wineries.The landscape was beautiful as we passed by several vineyards along our travels. It was on our third stop, at a General Store that had a sign outside that read "Wine Tasting Today, that we met Pierre the llama. Pierre is a
 member of the Rain Dance Winery. He is known to be quite friendly and likes having his picture taken, and I was happy to oblige him. They had llama wool and items made from llama wool inside the general store, but I refrained since I had just gathered quite a collection of yarn from the Rose City Yarn Crawl in mid March. As much as he seemed to enjoy having his picture taken, I had a feeling that he might have been looking for treats, or perhaps a glass of Rain Dance's incredible Pinot Noir.


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