Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flying By & Checking In

So... here I am, still with my mother near Tampa. My aunt, who has been caring for her since the surgery on August 24th, left last Monday to go home. I will likely head home early next week. My mother is doing well. I took her out today and checked out a needlework shop in Largo that I have not visited before.

The Crazy Framer & Cross Stitch Store, located at 9204 Ulmerton Road in Largo, Florida, has quite a nice selection of goodies for all stitchers. They do framing too, as the name implies and they have one of those special cutting machines for mats that can do all sorts of neat designs. I will bring something up and let them frame it next time I'm here - which will likely be sooner than later. Believe it or not, fifteen years ago I designed and then stitched a small sampler for our 15th wedding anniversary. It has never been framed and sits wrapped in tissue paper with some other unframed stitching. High time - another fifteen years has gone by - I got it framed!!!

I am planning to visit Enchanted Earth in Dunedin tomorrow so I can say hello to some favorite folks. Great witch shop with lots of goodies too.

I've been cooking, stitching, reading and chattering away with my mother. I am working on an old Shepherd's Bush design, Pumpkin Stew, which I started YEARS ago and just never finished. It is almost done, don't know why I never finished it. I brought a couple of other old unfinished pieces too, along with two new designs which will be holiday gifts.

Magically speaking - lots of healing work and affirmations - for myself mostly, but my mother and a few others. Healing for the healer - very important!

Hope everyone is well!

Blessings nine! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

2 AM Musings

I have a very strange sleep cycle sometimes. If I go to sleep too early, I tend to wake up a few hours later and can't get back to sleep. Even my famous sleeping potion, while it certainly relaxes me, doesn't put me back to sleep. So... here I am, at two AM, listening to Peg O' My Heart by Buddy Clark, while I write.

I love big band music. I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but I believe I was Glen Miller in a previous life, LOL! Actually, my mother always had music playing in our home when I was growing up - a wide variety, classical, big band, her favorite 1950s hits, folk, bluegrass, easy listening, even our, then, modern favorite pop - it has given me very eclectic tastes in music. I have a friend of many years, whose husband, now passed, taught me a lot about big band music and introduced me to recordings I'd never heard before.

Nostalgia - but can one be nostalgic for a time one never experienced? Perhaps that's where past lives come in. (now I'm listening to Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition - WW ll!) Do my feelings of nostalgia for certain periods in time come from having lived at that time? I've read that some people believe so. I think I'm inclined to believe that. (now, I'm listening to Buttons & Bows, Dinah Shore) I can only think that those past lives must have been very nice indeed because I feel cozy and good when I think of those times. I also know that every period in time had bad times, but perhaps we only remember the good times. I must have been very lucky to have peaceful existences.

Well, whatever the reason, I'll just enjoy the feeling and get on with the business of THIS life, because that's the one I'm living right now. Oh, now one of my favorites - You Belong To Me, Jo Stafford! That calls for a cup of tea and some stitching. So sweet dreams and...

Blessings nine!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Remember

In honor of those  who lost their lives, those who lost their loved ones and that which was lost on this day in 2001, changing our lives forever, I remember. May the people of this world find peace, tolerance and freedom, so mote it be! 

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Garlic & Basil, Not Just For Tomato Sauce!

(National Garden Bureau)
With discussing and eating tomatoes lately and a needed post on my yahoo group, The Witch's Cottage, for Favorite Herb Wednesday, I decided to look at the herbs I use with tomatoes. 

Basil and garlic are both extraordinary protection herbs, and when used together they provide powerful protection from a variety of problems. Historically, it is purported that witches in Serbia carried sprigs of basil and garlic cloves so that they could protect themselves while invoking spirits if something went wrong. Garlic has a long history of use as a protective plant. Known to ward off witchcraft and vampires, it also was and is an ingredient in most Four Thieves Vinegar recipes. As for its use in warding off witchcraft, witches have used it for centuries in their magick to protect themselves and others. 

Basil can be used in the magickal circle to asperge  blessed water for protection, but also to open the circle and extinguish the fire in cauldron or fire pit. It may be used brewed into the holy water to enhance it. Also know as a family protection herb, it keeps the family happy, bringing prosperity and driving away bad energy or spirits. Basil can also be used as a protection aid when applied to the body. For an all-purpose basil water, steep the dried herb, a tablespoon to 2 cups of water, for 27 minutes, strain and use to mist over the body and around the house, especially at the doors and windows. An especially effective protection ritual, recommended by Catherine Yronwode of Lucky Mojo.com, can be used for problem situations. She recommends that one boil basil in water, then strain. Dip a WHITE handkerchief into the water and wipe down the body, from head to toes. Do this for nine mornings. On the last day, throw any remaining water out the front door and enemies will not be able to harm you. Dried basil can also be sprinkled on the floors of one's home and swept out the door to remove negative or harmful energies.

 Garlic is known for protective energies and health benefits. It is a fine antibacterial and anti-inflamatory, purported to reduce blood pressure, lipid levels and fight infections. Naturally, it would be included in magickal workings for all manner of ills and problems.

Place a head of garlic next to a sick person, make appropriate invocations and prayers, it will absorb the illness; take the garlic and dispose of it in a body of water or bury near a tree. 

Radomir Ristic, in his book, Balkan Traditional Witchcraft, shares this amulet: tie a stalk of basil with a lock of hair from the person the amulet is being made for, with red or white yarn. Enchant in the usual manner. It will function as a general charm for protection, happiness, good health and prosperity.

Hang a braid of garlic in your kitchen for protection, using it for cooking and replacing when needed. A clove of garlic can be placed at windows and hung over doors to protect the home.

I use a charm which is kept in a stoneware bowl near our front door: salt, basil, three cloves of garlic, dried pasta, rice, barley or flour, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a clear quartz crystal to amplify the protective energies. Say a blessing over it at each new moon, asking the spirits of your home and your matron goddess to watch over and protect your family and dwelling. I usually dispose of this every three months and make a new batch. 

A clove of garlic, with a pinch of basil and salt, can be carried in a small red bag to repel the general negative energies one encounters in daily life outside the home. It can be hung in the car or at the office as well.

Garlic and basil enhance happiness and when added to tomatoes, also know as love apples,  it can, with proper intention, increase loving energies in the home or be used as an addition to love spells and fed to one's intended. The addition of oregano, which brings joy, and a spoonful of sugar will really sweeten the power of your sauce when used as a charm! So while they are not just for sauce, they certainly add a certain something to it!

Blessings nine!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day & happy September. Well, there's a sixty percent chance of rain for today and the clouds are rollings over Toadstool Condo. We'll have our usual indoor barbecue for Labor Day, burgers, homemade potato salad, some nice sliced tomatoes and there are some leftover baked beans in the fridge from Friday night - sounds good! 

Last night I stitched into the wee hours - a little Halloween design from the annual Halloween issue of Just CrossStitch. The design is By The Full Moon by Tracy Horner of Ink Circles; a big full moon, two leafless tree silhouettes, two black cats and pumpkins - very nice. In past years I've haven't been overwhelmed by the Halloween and Christmas ornament issues of Just CrossStitch, but this year, they are both just wonderful with lots of great ornaments. I've got quite a bit of stitching to get done before the holidays!

Someone asked me what fruit butters are. It is a jam of sorts. I've been making fruit butter for years, started with apple butter (I am known far and wide for my apple butter) and now make several kinds in addition to apple - peach, apricot and plum. They are very easy to make; cook the fruit in a small amount of liquid then put it through a food mill. All that "sauce" goes back into the jam pot along with sugar (about a half cup of sugar per cup of fruit) and spices. Let it gently simmer away until just the right consistency - a spoonful on a plate that's been chilling in the freezer will not have a liquid ring around it and will set. You have to keep your eye on it while cooking, stirring regularly as you don't want any burning on the bottom of the pot. Now, you can do a small batch and just put it in the fridge;  larger batches can be frozen in small containers, but I like to put mine up in half pint jam jars. I process in a water bath for fifteen minutes - very easy. Yes, it is a lot of work, but well worth it. I give my fruit butters as gifts and they are always greatly appreciated. And, you know, there is something very satisfying about the whole process. It makes me feel good, a good day's work, something very pleasurable. Of course, I love to cook and feed people, so maybe that's the real pleasure.

Oh, one other photo to share! My birthday was back in early August. Lucky gave me a nice little bag of goodies, but told me she had something else, it was at the framers - ah ha, said I, it must be a little stitched something. Well, it took a while to get it from the framer, but here it is.
                                                                                                                  And  I love thee, dearest Lucky! An angel of a friend.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."     ~ C. S. Lewis

Blessings nine!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Road Trip!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucky and I were off to Palm Beach Gardens yesterday, to visit Always In Stitches, a needlework shop. I hadn't been there in many, many years and was delighted with our visit. We had a lovely browse, chose a number of items we couldn't live without - I know, I know, we both have enough stitching supplies, charts and other accoutrements to last several lifetimes if we did nothing else but stitch! However, those stitchers among my gentle readers will understand perfectly. But I promise - no more stash for a while. (Fingers crossed!)

Here are the obtained goods:

Beautiful Finishing from Victoria Sampler, finishing biscornus, including the amazingly lovely 15 sided biscornu! Also the chart, Laura's Embroideries, by Coeur de Lin (Marie Suarez) which I have seen on line and really wanted. It's an enchanting little stitcher surrounded by her sewing supplies and an alphabet. And yes! Yet another TWO!!! pair of scissors; the red handled pair look like a green man image of sorts with a nifty little leather case. The other pair, preemies, those tiny scissors I adore, with a very pretty handle - entwined roses - called Eizabeth 1 Scissors! How could I resist, especially when Lucky brought them to my attention - after I had already paid for my purchases. 

 Browsing the wonderful selection of threads!

Beautiful 40 count linen which I have been waiting to find, because my stash of that count is low. I've been stitching on 40 count as much as possible - don't know when the old eyes will say "enough!!!"  LOL. My favorite, Vintage Autumn Gold, an overdyed, which I have used on a few pieces previously; Vintage River Willow (oooh!) along with Park City Blend - both also overdyed; and finally, Lambswool (not overdyed) but another favorite which I haven't found before in 40 count. Two kits, a little witch at her cauldron with everything needed to make an ornament and The Sweetheart Tree's Blackberries on Gingham Biscournu Pincushion - love the beaded blackberries and can't wait to stitch them. I also bought the chart for the matching scissor fob, of course, which came with the beads!

We were then off, chattering all the way, for a quick bite to restore us, a visit to the shop owned by a friend, Nature's Emporium, a metaphysical shop extraordinaire in Coral Springs, where we sat and chatted with the owner, a very good friend, Sandy. She and her husband, Frank, joined us for dinner, our usual Flo's Filet, at Longhorne.

Later, a little magick, iced coffee and more laughing and chatter! A truly fun and wonderful day!

Friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life!

Blessings nine!