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!


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