15 November 2016

Giveaway winner...

Hi there!  I'm super late with this, but better late than never right?


Congratulations to Stacy-Magic Love Crow!  She's the winner of my Halloween giveaway.   Email me your address and I'll get your prize out to you this week.

I really enjoyed the Halloween memories you all shared.  Thanks for participating!

I'll be back here in a day or two.

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings
~*~

31 October 2016

Samhain blessings...





 







  

 Hello!  Happy Halloween and many Samhain blessings to you all!  I hope this finds you enjoying the spirit of the day and having a bit of fun too.  

I spent a good portion of yesterday getting ready for today.  I took a quick drive to the farmers market for a variety of things, including cut flowers and a carving pumpkin.  Then I spent the rest of the day setting my dining table and sideboard area for Halloween and The Ancestor Offerings.  I made some banana bread using one of my grandmothers recipes and made a few plates with some of their favorite food for offerings to the Ancestors.  One of my Grandmothers used to keep Zero candy bars in the freezer so when I saw a Zero bar in line at the grocers I just new I had to get it for her.  I haven't seen these in ages!  Some of the offerings include, pimento cheese sandwich (a favorite of my Great-Grandmother Ida), pasta with homemade sauce (for my Granddaddy, Lester, whose knickname in college was Spig, because he ate so much spaghetti having never seen it until he moved to NC), pepsi (my other granddaddy, George, retired from Pepsi Bottling Co. after a lengthy term of employment), and iced sweet tea (because everyone drank it).   

I cleaned up my year-round ancestor altar on Saturday and spent this morning making up fresh bouquets for them and one for Maman Brigitte's altar.  I used elements of the flowers I picked up yesterday and a few things from my own little garden.  

I'm feeling very right today, I don't even know the correct word.  I just feel as if I'm doing the things I should be and that everything is good.  I pulled out one of my journals last night to find that I hadn't read tarot for myself since last Samhain.  I read over the year reading I did and boy, was it spot on.  I'll do another for myself for the coming year, tonight.  (As I've been typing, the word I had been looking for came to me - balanced.)

I've walked the line between the worlds my entire life.  For the most part I've kept it to myself, and/or hidden what I am and the gifts the Ancestors have given me.  Recently, I've realized that this is the time to step up fully into those gifts and use them.  What is the saying, use it or lose it?  Well, I lost this gift several years ago and it was the most miserable year I've ever spent.  Not like anything bad happened, I just didn't feel like myself.  I didn't feel...whole.  But this autumn, things are feeling balanced.  Like I'm no longer trying to keep from tripping off the rope into one world or the other.  So, I'm going to use it, as much and as often as I can.


I'd planned to do a giveaway at the beginning of the month so I could send out some Halloween goodies, but time and other things conspired against me and it didn't happen.  However, there is no rule that says Halloween can't be enjoyed throughout the year!  So, I'm having a little giveaway today.  I have some Halloween items to send to someone out there in bloglandia.  Included will be what you see in the picture above as well as a few other little things (like maybe some candy!).  I'm also offering the winner a tarot reading.  You can ask a question or just see what the cards and spirit have to tell you if you'd like.

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment telling me your most favorite Halloween memory* and I'll enter your name into the mix.  I'll put everyone's name in the witches hat and draw one out (old school style!) on Saturday, Nov. 5th.  Entries will be cut off at 11:59pm Friday (Nov. 4th).  

*To be sure I don't add someone who doesn't want to be added please be sure to start your comment with "My most favorite Halloween memory is".  For an extra entry, you can mention this giveaway on your blog.  Nothing big, just a line or two will do.  Leave me a separate comment that you did so, please, and I'll enter your name a second time.  

Well, I just realized what time it is and I must run!  I still have treat bags to fill and lunch to eat and a pumpkin to carve!!

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings
~*~



 

29 October 2016

a little art...





Three posts in three days?!?  Amazing, huh? :-)

As promised, here are a few pictures of pages I made for my Red Thread book.  None of the pages I've made are completely done (I don't think).  Some are still blank pages, with backgrounds started.  Some, like these, have elements added to them.  

The top picture has an old library card sleeve holding the item in the second picture.  It is a TAP image that I got while on the retreat that I put on a Dylusions spray inked index card.  

The map is a cutout from a giant old map of the US that I have had since I was a kid.  I decided to mark my driving route from the first trip using red thread.  The old tag at the top is also inked with Dylusions and with stamped letters.  I really like the You Are Found tag because I feel like I found an important part of myself when I made that first trip.

The last picture is another TAP image, one that we all received at the first retreat.  I had brought with me a worn and stained cloth that belonged to one of my grandmothers (not sure which).  I cut out a piece from a corner large enough for the image and then hand stitched a hem on the two sides I'd cut.  (Something I'd never done before.)  The washi tape at the bottom of the page is from a package I received a couple years ago from the wonderful Nina Bagley (our instructor at this retreat).  

I have several other pages that are mostly done, but these are the ones I thought I'd show you today.  I haven't started working on the covers yet.  I have some ideas there, but am not entirely certain.  

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little "art show."  Any projects you have been working on?

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings
~*~
  

28 October 2016

about that story...

When Magaly put out her invitation for this years Witches in Fiction posts I was intrigued.  I'd read previous years entries and enjoyed them but hadn't felt I was up to the challenge.  This year, I decided to give it a go.  I really loved the theme and felt drawn to participate.

I started thinking about it prior to my trip to Maryland and decided I would make a mixed media piece to share. I put it out of my mind during my trip and when I returned home, I dived in.  I started with a blank canvas (always intimidating) and began adding layers of paint and paper.  I spent my first day back working on this piece.  When I stopped for the day, I wasn't really happy with where it was heading, so decided to let it sit overnight and come back to it with fresh eyes the next morning.  

I worked at it for two and a half days before I accepted that things just weren't coming together.  Well, you know what that means.  Panic!

Yes, I started freaking out and almost backed out.  But...I kept thinking about all the times I've ever committed to something and then backed out at the last minute and I just couldn't do it.

Now we are up to Thursday evening (the day before it is due) and I got nothing.

I spent several hours working on my written submission.  I started letting the words come out (and not trying to make them fit, which is where I run into trouble).  After a while, I felt like I had something I could work with.  I went back over it, tweaking this and that.  Changing a few words and looking for things that would make it seem more cohesive (I think that is the word).  When I finally stopped, I was not happy.  I just didn't think it had the elements it needed.  But...I was exhausted and it was due in just a few hours.  

So I scheduled the time for it to publish, then went to bed.  I was kind of proud of myself for sticking to my commitment, but still worried that it wouldn't "measure up".  (Why do we do that to ourselves?)  

When I woke the next morning, I checked to make sure it had posted (and it hadn't, of course).  I hit the publish button and sent it out into the wide world of the internets.  After that the day was busy and I didn't back to my computer for a while. 

Saturday morning I was going through my blog feed to catch up on the blogs I'd missed while away for over a week.  I landed on Joanna Devoe's Weekly Witch Review and while clicking through her links received such a shock.  She had included my Witches in Fiction post as a link.  She said such wonderful things, I was so amazed.

Have you ever had one of those surreal moments that just takes your breath and stops time?  I swear, this was one of those moments for me.  I kept looking at it and then clicking the link thinking there was some sort of a mistake.  But...well...  

I have to thank you, my readers and visitors here, for all the encouraging and thoughtful comments that I received on that post.  I tried to reply to everyone and hope I didn't miss anyone.  But if I did, please accept my gratitude.  I can't tell you how all those comments lifted my heart.

It's kind of funny actually.  I don't believe in coincidence.  One of the things that I indulge in when I go on these trips, is a wonderful massage by the owner of the facility.  As we are finishing up each of these sessions, she always says, "you should write."  I always reply that I'm just not good at that.

See the thing is, I love to tell stories.  I have spent my life creating stories in my head.  I used to write them down, but a few times friends (or school bullies) found them and made fun of my writing and ideas, and I stopped.  I still create them, I just don't record them anywhere, except for a few that just demanded being recorded.  

So when I saw the reaction to the story I made up for Witches in Fiction.  I was really overwhelmed.  And really happy.  And really encouraged to maybe, start writing all those stories in my head down somewhere.  And that feeling, is all because of YOU!  So, thank you, again for giving me hope.

Okay, I'm feeling like this is scattered and really too long, so I'm going to wrap it up. I have some ideas for upcoming blog posts, so hopefully, I'll be here more often.  

Has anything amazing happened to you lately?  Something that just makes you feel really good?  I'd love to hear about it.

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings
~*~

27 October 2016

retreat...


An invisible Red Thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
~ Chinese Proverb
 

 





 





 These are just some of the photos I took on while I was at the Red Thread Retreat earlier this month.  I had the most marvelous time.  I think it might have even been better than the first time I went.  

The drive is a bit difficult for me, 6 1/2 hours sitting in a car, being very focused on what I'm doing and what everyone around me is doing.  This is very difficult with a severe headache the entire time.  It is even more difficult when my squirrel brain is added to the equation.  If I could stop to take a photo every time I saw something I wanted to capture, it would take WEEKS!!  :-)

Anywho, the food was fabulous (as usual).  The weather couldn't have been more perfect and I was able to spend lots of time visiting with the trees.  That little fox photo was from pretty far away, as I was headed toward the field he was crossing for a walk.  I forgot to take my walking shoes and marching through the woods in flip-flops is really not a good idea.  So, I settled for walking around the edges of the field and woods.  I startled a foursome of does and wasn't able to get a photo of them.  But it was so nice to just watch them.  (The next day I walked past my bedroom window and saw two just a few feet from the house nipping at the grass.)

Normally, at these retreats, I come away energized, but while there quite frustrated because I'm not happy with what I create.  The first year, I made a couple of small things that I liked.  The second time I went, I came back with a few found poems I'd created and one piece of art I really loved.  This year, I had a breakthrough.

I listened to our instructor, the amazingly talented and wonderfully sweet Nina Bagley, talk about how she creates.  I watched the demonstrations and I worked.  I'd had a hard time deciding what my theme was going to be when I was ordering my supplies, but on the drive up, I realized I wanted my book to be my Red Thread book.  I wanted to document my activities at these retreats.  

I picked up lots of good tips from my friend and tablemate.  My particular favorite was how she will lay down elements that she is trying to decide on and photograph them with her phone so she can get a different perspective.  I've been doing that a lot.

I also learned how to think outside of the box when creating pages for my book. I found elements to add and worked on backgrounds.  On our last night, we all sat together and shared one page of our book and talked about what our best take-away from the retreat was.  I had a bit of a problem with this.  Not my usual problem, in that I didn't like what I'd made so didn't know what to show.  No, my problem was that I LOVED everything I'd made.  I had no idea how to choose which page to share.  When it was my turn, my friend/tablemate, announced my dilemma and asked if I could share more than one thing. :-)

I was very sad to leave the next day and I lingered as long as I could.  I was, however, very excited to get home and unpack.**  More importantly, I was excited to have spent time with a group of beautiful (inside and out), intelligent, caring, supportive, creative women.  I always come home from these retreats rejuvenated and feeling a lot better about myself.  I laughed, a lot.  I smiled, a lot.  I talked, a lot.  I was HAPPY, A LOT!!  :-)


If you ever have a chance to attend one of these retreats I highly recommend it.

I promise to show some of the pages I created in another post.

I hope you've all had a good month.  I can't believe how quickly October has flown by.  I'm very sad to see it go.

**When I arrived home I remembered that I'd signed up for Witches in Fiction and so started to work on a mixed media piece for that.  I'll have a post about that next time.

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings
~*~







21 October 2016

Healing from the Otherside - Witches in Fiction 2016



Healing from the Otherside

“It’s all falling apart,” she whispered in my ear. 


I looked around, trying to find her, but all I could see was decay.  The trees were dying, dried up skeletons of their former selves.  There were fruits and vegetables rotting on the vines.  Grass was turning brown, while the ponds and rivers shriveled up as I watched, leaving their residents gasping and searching for refuge.  The heat of the sun seemed to grow more intense with every moment and the wind, which had been blowing gently across my skin, became still as death.


“It shouldn’t be this way,” she said.  Her voice was quiet and a bit shaky.  I stood quite still for a moment, before I realized it had come from behind me.  I turned, very slowly, to see who had been speaking.


She stood a few feet away, looking pale and worn.  Her hair flowed to her knees, the color of a raven’s wing with sparks of auburn floating throughout.  Her eyes were a clear, crystal blue and her skin was smooth and as light as cream.  She was tall and stood strong as if rooted to the earth. 


“What happened here?” I asked.  I took a small step towards her and glanced around again. 


“They’re killing us.”  She whispered it so quietly, so sadly.  She had changed when I looked back at her.  Her hair white and limp, her skin had taken on a grey tinge and wrinkled.  She seemed to float just above the ground and tears flowing from her tired eyes.


“Who?” I asked, although I wasn’t sure why.  I already knew who had done this.  I already knew why.

I closed my eyes for a moment and took a deep breath.  As I slowly breathed out, I opened my eyes and saw a living world.  The world I’d just seen, the woman I’d seen, was gone. 


I walked around a bit, marveling at the soft green grass beneath my feet, the breeze blowing across my skin.  I listened to the bees moving through the flowers and the birds singing in the trees.  Wandering to a tree, I sat underneath and leaned back.  I could feel the rough bark against my back and closed my eyes to listen.


After a few minutes, I felt a shift in the air.  A thrumming began in the tree I leaned against, like the beat of a heart.  When I opened my eyes, the world had shifted back to decay.  


“Grandmother, what can we do?” I asked her.  I reached for her hand, but it just went through to the ground.  


She gently placed her hand over mine, just a hint of space between, and said, “Your world is dying.  Things look normal from the outside, but inside it is rotting away.  When your world dies, ours does, too.  All the hate, the ugly words and uglier thoughts.  Each one creates more of the same, until everyone and everything is rotting inside. “


Her gaze roamed over the land in front of us, “I know you feel it, the pain and fear.  But, my darling girl, you can change this.  You just have to remember the words.  Remember and you heal not only yourself, your world, but mine too.”


I looked into her eyes, so like my own, and saw a hint of hope.  “Remember,” she said as she slowly faded away.

----------

This is my entry for Magaly's Witches in Fiction 2016.   

thanks for stopping by!

love & blessings
~*~

27 September 2016

Witches in Fiction 2016




The lovely and talented Magaly has sent out her invitations for this years Witches in Fiction. I've decided to join in this year rather than sitting on the sidelines.  I have no idea yet what I'll do, but something will show up here.  

Please follow the links above to Magalys' site to find out more about it and maybe sign up yourself?  

thanks for stopping by!

love & blessings
~*~