Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ARRGHH! The MD Renn Fest is kickin my arse!

Map of the Maryland Renaissance Festival
You can find me on the weekends either at the White Hart tavern or across from the Joust.  You'll know me because I'll be the one yelling "Soap and Candles!" or telling you "The glass is much more beautiful from the inside!"

Regardless of my crazy schedule this harvest season there will be Tarot Wednesday tomorrow, a giveaway on Friday and a post about an AWESOME conference coming up on Sunday.  This I swear!

In the mean time, take a look at some of the DELICIOUS food you're missing in the White Stag Grove.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

That day still burns brightly in my mind.  I remember being in school in New York and staring at the TV in disbelief.  What was happening in New York was bad enough but you should have heard what the announcers were saying about DC, where my family lives and works.  Just like everyone who survived that day there are stories of near misses and frantic phone calls.  None of my family died, but everyone knew someone.  Even now it hurts my heart.
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened." ~ Obi-Wan, Star Wars Episode VI: A New Hope
Never again will a commercial plane be used to attack us; the heroes of Flight 93 have seen to that.  And once again the world remembers what it is to have a united United States of America bring the brunt of their force to one target.  Power shifted and the world changed. 
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”~ Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

We are not forgetful people and we are not afraid.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Giveaway! Featured Favorites Friday: Pillow Runes

Deity Diva Imbolg Goddess
I know I don't typically talk much about my daughter, mostly because I don't want her to hate me when she grows up and reads my blog, but I do have one.  She's amazingly cute, a tad precocious and claims Thor and the Goddess as hers.  Don't ask her to name her Goddess, though, because she'll tell you a different one every time.   Quite a while ago I was searching for something to be just as loved by her as the Thor Super Hero Squad figurine but that represented the Goddess.  Of course I searched around etsy and I found a lovely woman willing to trade for a beautiful purple stuffed Goddess doll, and it was a HUGE hit!
Elder Futhark Pillow Rune Set - Samhain

Today I'd like to introduce you all to this lovely crafter, Dana of By Land Sky and Sea.  Read a bit more about her below and then enter to win your very own set of Elder Futhark Pillow Runes by using the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also find her on facebook and her blog.

Q: What got you into your work here on etsy?
A: After the birth of my daughter in 2010 I was a stay at home mother until she turned 18 months. I was looking for a way to earn some extra income and came across Etsy through a mutual friend of my husband and I from high school. I haven't sold a whole lot since opening up last year, but the sales I have made mean a lot. It really is an incredible feeling to make something by hand that someone else feels is worth enough to buy.

Custom Handfasting Cord
Q: Which piece in your shop has the most meaning for you and/or is your favorite to make?
A: The answer to both of these is the same. It would definitely have to be any handfasting cord that I make, whether premade or custom. My husband and I were married in handfasting ceremony in 2010 and it's a tradition I fell in love with while researching ideas for ours. I love the meaning and symbolism behind it and whenever someone requests a custom order each one is always unique in their own way, from the color combination to beads and/or charms they wish to add.

Trick or Treat Halloween Bag

Q: Which is your favorite holiday and why?
A: This one is hard because it's a tie between Halloween and Christmas. I love the buildup to each, the decorations, the lights... Deciding on a costume every year for Halloween was fun and then running around the neighborhood collecting candy from everyone. With Christmas there is just this feeling of warmth and happiness that I wish we could all feel every day of the rest of the year. Because of this I am definitely one of those people who gets depressed after the holidays are over - though the sales on all the decorations for the next year help. lol

Deity Diva Yule/Christmas Goddess
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: My mom was a huge crafter growing up so I got the crafty streak from her. I'm also inspired by other people and things I see around me. I'm always looking for things to make, but in my own way, with my own mark on it. And from paganism - finding useful, inexpensive ways to make things people need or want to celebrate their faith with.

Q: What inspired you to make the leap into children's items?
A: I was making some ornaments one afternoon and my daughter who is almost two kept picking them up to play with them and I realized, I have made nothing for her to play with. I can sew and crochet and craft but I have nothing for her yet. That's when I decided to not only make stuff for her but stuff to sell as well for children. Especially for those who are pagan and have children that they are raising pagan and want to include them more in rituals, etc. or just want them to have a symbol of their own.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Stuff Mondays and Tarot Wednesdays: catch-up

So opening weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival went well, if wet.  But playing catchup from the weekend has lead to me needing to catchup on this weeks posts.

My Stuff Mondays: As I'm sure everyone has heard by now, tomorrow is the second Full Moon in August, making it a Blue Harvest Moon.  Personally I feel like having an extra harvest moon is great because the strength will help to power through the harvest season reaping as much as possible.

I like to keep most of my everyday magic simple and sweet so I will share with you the following spell/blessing that can be used tomorrow night:

Hold a candle between the palms of your hands and direct all of your energy into the candle.  As you light your candle, concentrate on your desired outcome and say (either aloud, or to yourself):
                Lady of the Moon, I ask that you grant me your blessing.
                In the fullness of your light let my intention become reality.

You can find the entire spell and a New Moon Cleansing spell in my etsy shop.  Use the coupon code KAT10 for 10% off anything, just for being an awesome person.

Full Moon Blessing and New Moon Cleansing Spell Kit

Tarot Wednesdays: I feel like if I were to pull some cards for some of the regional pagan community I would be pulling the Moon and it would read as "you're too emotionally invested to see the problem clearly, consider taking a step back... way back".  The situation is beyond frustrating and I hope that the coming season of darkness will allow everyone involved the time for reflection and re-birth.  But right now, it's The Moon: There are mysteries here that have not been explored and if one can be open to hearing them, they will be rewarded.  However, if one can't step back then they will be fighting the tides and what could be inspiration will instead be madness.  Like the waning and waxing, the moon is a two edged card.
"The Moon" from The Stolen Child Tarot, a Major Arcana Deck by Monica Knighton

Friday, August 24, 2012

Featured Favorites Friday: The MD Promotion Team is having a SALE!!!

In case you missed it, the MD Promotions Team is holding a Fall Into Autumn Sale!
From August 15th to the 31st, you can save 5%-30% on spectacular handmade items by using the coupon code "MDFIAS" at checkout!  Over 40 Maryland Etsy shops are participating in a huge sales event!  Check out our captain's blog for the full list.

Did I mention we are having a huge GIVEAWAY too?  You can enter here.

For this weeks Featured Favorites, I would like to share a Treasury Collection of artisans participating in this sale.  Check them out, click through their awesome stuff, and don't forget my own giveaway here.

'Harvest Blue Moon' by ReadingsByKat

Over 50 Maryland artists and crafters are participating in the Fall into Autumn Sale with gorgeous handcrafted designs.Coupon code MDFIAS gets discounts in all these fabulous shops!

Stained Glass Trinket B...

Pinwheel Star Pin Cushi...

Bracelet with Blue & Gr...

Pastel Powder Blue Croc...

Beard for a Beanie Hat,...

Quilted Coffee Cup Hot ...

PRICE SLASHED---Sodalit...

Vintage Johnson Brother...

Toddler Hat and Infinit...

Turquoise and Jade Crys...

The Blue Lagoon Bag

Vintage Glass Mason Jar...

Nautical Table Topper

10 Blue Flower Petits

Necklace Guitar Pick Bl...

Yellow Rose Lavender Ir...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Stuff Mondays: How to personalize a spell

Samhain Remembrance and Celebration Spells and mini-Altar

 Well... it's Tuesday, but I'm close to on schedule :)

Oh yea, and don't forget the giveaway here!

I'm sure by now you all know I provide spell crafting services.  I always enjoy my custom work more than anything else because I have the chance to work with a client and really delve into the deeper intents of the spell work.  I enjoy adding the details and finishing touches that take a spell from being general to very directed for the individual an their intent.  There are some really easy ways to accomplish this for any candle spell you're crafting or casting, even if you just bought the candle off the shelf in the grocery store.

First things first, make sure you like the color of the candle.  Yes, the spell says green but make sure it's a green that represents something to you.  Make sure the scent is not distracting from your spell as well.  Pine might be really positive for a money spell but do you actually like the scent of key lime?

Psychic Power Knot and Sachet Spell
Second, make the candle yours.  Warm a butter-knife or other edged object under some hot water and carve your personal symbol, your name, your initials, the initials of someone else or something that only have meaning in your head into the wax.  This works for any size of candle, even tea-lights.  Altering the candle helps to imprint your energy and intention into the physical object which may increase the effectiveness of your spell.  You're adding energy and intention.

Third, be specific.  When you write an intention, for instance one your are going to burn, make it specific and personal to you.  Bad Example: Abundance.  Good Examples: More opportunities for work, A new job in my field, A positive review next week, To meet a new client.  Being specific and concise in your wording helps to focus your intention and your energy.

This is just the beginning of the list of tips for spell work.  I would love to hear your tips in the comments!

Home Protection Spell Bottle Kit

Friday, August 17, 2012

Giveaway! Featured Favorites Friday: Papercut Cards and Gifts

Wiccan Rede Vinyl Wall Decal
Welcome back to Giveaway Featured Favorites!  Today I bring you the chance to win a beautiful piece of Paper Cut art from Paula of Arwen Designs.   This artist's unique illustration style is created with hand cut paper silhouettes, collage, ink, and digital art. Silhouette art has a long history in many cultures. From silhouette portraits popular in the 1700’s to traditional cut paper art in China and Poland, it is a beautiful art form using the contrast of dark and light, shadows and illumination.  Having clicked through all her links I must tell you that her OOAK Altered Art My Little Ponies are my absolute favorite!

Paula is offering one of my readers, worldwide, the chance to win ANY item from her etsy shop up to $10 in value.  Read through to the end and then use the Raffle-Copter form to enter.

Halloween greeting card
What got you into your work here on etsy?:
I was looking for a way to share and sell my art when I discovered Etsy. Although I have my own website for my illustration work, it's hard to get noticed and bring web traffic there. Etsy already has the traffic, and they make it easy to set up a shop and join their community. There are so many talented artists and creators on Etsy, I knew it was someplace I wanted to join!

Three Horse Greeting Cards
Where does your inspiration come from?:
My inspiration comes from everything around me, a walk in the woods, a ride on the subway, a good movie or book, or a vivid dream I've had. Sometimes its an instant thought or image jotted down on scraps of paper, which then evolves through a process of sketching with both pencil and an x-acto knife. When I'm illustrating a story or poem, I let the images come to me as I read it, then go back and pick the best ones to work on.

Post Apocalypse Valentine
Which piece in your shop has the most meaning for you?:
My favorite piece in my shop right now is my Post Apocalypse Valentine Card. I'm fascinated with Apocalyptic themes, and it was fun to come up with the imagery. I wrote the poem inside for my husband, so it has special meaning for me.

What's your favorite mythical animal and why?:
A unicorn and pegasus combined was something I always wished was real. I've always loved horses for their beauty, strength, and character. Both the unicorn and the pegasus are beautiful but fierce, solitary and magical.

You can find out more about Paula and see all her amazing works at her website, etsy shop, Cafepress Shop and her Artist Rising Gallery.  Or you can find all these links by clicking through the links in the Rafflecopter form below!  Oh, and as an aside, the MD Promotions Team is holding a Fall Into Autumn Sale and GIVEAWAY too?  You can enter here or here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends in two weeks at midnight on 31st August 2012 .  Open WorldWide!  All winning entries will be verified.  If a winning entry cannot be verified a different winner will be chosen.
The Winner will be notified by email and has three days to reply or another winner will be chosen.
 ***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. Please note that I  am not responsible for the delivery of this prize and can not be held accountable if, for any reason, is it not received. Furthermore, I am in no way liable for any injuries that may result from the use or misuse of this product. **

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MD Promo Etsy Team - Fall Into Autumn Sale and GIVEAWAY

The MD Promotions Team is holding a Fall Into Autumn Sale!
From August 15th to the 31st, you can save 5%-30% on spectacular handmade items by using the coupon code "MDFIAS" at checkout!  Over 40 Maryland Etsy shops are participating in a huge sales event!  Check out our captain's blog for the full list.

Did I mention we are having a huge GIVEAWAY too?  You can enter here or at the end of this post.

Autumn is a season of change and transformation and I'd like to honor that while featuring Maryland Promotions Team-members. I have asked hem to share with me their most trans-formative or life changing fall memory and they have agreed to allow me to share these moments with you.

large fabric covered button earrings
Mary from KissemHut is a a preschool teacher and an eclectic crafter who has a wide variety of jewelry, accessories and decor in her shop.  You can find her at her etsy shop where you can get 15% off with the code MDFIAS, blog and facebook.
We didn't have four seasons in the Philippines where I grew up. The things I knew about fall were entirely based on movies and tv shows that I've seen. I moved here to the US about 5 years ago - right when the leaves were changing. I was so fascinated with how beautiful everything was. That view was one of the first things I loved about moving here. I thought to myself that if this is what I'll see every year, then it wouldn't be so bad. The drive from Reagan Airport to our house was one of the most beautiful routes I have taken in my life and it was one of the things that assured me that I was in a whole new place. I will never ever forget how scared and excited I felt at that time.

Peridot and Pearls Multi-strand necklace
Janet from A Gems Journey and Janet's Fun Jewels has passion for the creation of jewelry and thrill of the hunt for gems.  The code MDFIAS will get you 5% off at JanetsFunJewels and 10% off at AGemsJourney.  You can also fan her on facebook.
I would have to say fall, in general has some very bitter sweet memories for me. I was way too young when my father passed and it was a cool November day. The 8 short years I had with him were the foundation of what made me who I am today. I learned to love and let go of someone who treasured every little thing I did. We loved to walk in the woods and look at the wildlife in all seasons, but fall had a special kind of magic. But best of all, I LOVED to sit and in his lap while thunderstorms rolled through. The fall storms were the BEST ... watching all the colors fall to the ground. To this day a good thunderstorm and the beginning of fall brings back all the warm memories I have of an amazing Dad.
Copper colored Wreath
Rebecca from Wreaths By RebeccaB makes each of her wreaths as if they were for her own front door, with a unique flair and eye popping beauty.  Use MDFIAS for 10% off at WreathsByRebeccaB and fan her on facebook and her website.

The birth of my second son, 5 years ago this November was a beautiful time for us! What a way to end Fall and begin the Winter months...
Another fond memory I have is jumping into a huge pile of leaves with my sisters that my dad would rake up for exactly that purpose.

Add caption
Laura from Rockefeller Crystal got tired of salivating over mesmerizing magazine pictures of crystal jewelry so she decided to create her own.  The team coupon code MDFIAS is good for 15% off at RockefellerCrystal but Laura can also be found at RockefellerJewelry and her facebook page.

My most transformative moment has to be the birth of my son on November 20. Unfortunately it wasn't the happiest time for me since I had complications delivering and I recently married the boy's father who I knew in my heart of hearts wasn't the right man for me. However, the picture is of my two babies a few years ago and it's definitely a fall moment that I will savor for the rest of my life.
Fall Place Mats
JoAnn from I Sew Much Time boasts an amazing array of Handmade Quilts, Towels, Wall Decor ,Table Runners, Bags and more.  She eats, sleeps, and quilts, hence my shop name.  She is offering 10% off at ISewMuchTime with MDFIAS and you can also be one of her first fans on facebook.
One of most life changing fall memories was a few years back when my husband and I visited Deep Creek Lake in October. We took a quilt and a picnic lunch and sat near the lake on a crisp autumn day and I remember looking around at all the beautiful scenery. I remember taking in the moment with all my senses. I could hear all the sounds of nature like the birds chirping, the water lapping on the beach, and the leaves crunching under walking feet. I could feel the wind blowing on my skin and blowing my hair so much I could hardly see. I saw all the beautiful homes on the water’s edge, and the white puffy clouds in the blue sky. What a beautiful day we had that autumn day in October at Deep Creek Lake. And then, of course, reality set in and we had to drive home. But, what a day, and we still hold those memories.
Next Wednesday I hope I can share more Autumn Memories with you, including my own.  For now, please check out the list of participating shops and their discount.

Oh yea... and enter the giveaway!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sponsored Post: AstroBrights wicked awesome paper

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
So this is my first foray into the realm of sponsored blog posts.  I'm really excited about the opportunity to share some amazing products with you from a unique perspective.
AstroBrights paper, from Neenah Paper, is blindingly bright and vibrantly colored specialty paper that comes in 23 different bold colors.  I have never before worked with paper that pops as much as these do.  I have browsed through them in the store and plotted magical ways to make use of them:
  • Add some color magic to basic everyday lists
  • Use the easel pads or poster boards to add a creative interactive element to circle casting
  • Color code people's name-tags for big participatory rituals
  • Add some brightness to BOS pages and notes with colored filler paper
  • Witchy family crafts galore (see more about this below)
Oh, and did I mention that many of their products "are FSC® certified and meet the mark of responsible forestry. Specified colors are Green Seal™ certified and contain 30% recycled post-consumer fiber."

In addition to having bright and vibrant paper, AstroBrights is holding a sweepstakes to give $30,000 of supplies to a lucky winner's favorite school.  Now many of you don't know but my Mother is a teacher and I do have a little one who is school age and I know schools can always use additional supplies.  This sweepstakes could free up $30,000 of the school budget for other things.  The "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes is an amazing opportunity.
  • What can you win?: The school of your choice wins $30,000 in supplies but the winner of the sweepstakes also wins a $500 Visa gift card (details here)
  • How do you enter?: 'Like' Astrobrights on Facebook and then head to the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes, approve the app and fill out some basic contact information
  • How do you get extra entries?: Every week you can head back to "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes and fill out some simple survey questions for additional chances to win!

One of the ways the AstroBright community of facebook brightens up each other's day is the family-friendly "Make Something Astrobright" design challenges.  I would love to see what my amazing witchy friends can do posted on Astrobrights Facebook page.  The community shares on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media channels (using the hashtag #goastrobrights) and I would LOVE to see a witchy presence with Wheel of the Year or Sabbat crafts represented!

Please swing over to Astrobrights on Facebook, enter to win $30,500 worth of prizes at the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes and show some witch craftiness in the design challenges.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, August 10, 2012

Featured Favorites Friday: Vintage Altar Pieces

I have a confession... It will surprise no one who knows me... I am a Stuff Witch.  I like magick, witchy and pagan stuff.  I like having options for any type of altar I could ever imagine using.  I like to be able to shift my space to maximize correspondences for any given working.  I like the shiny pretty things.  And I'm OK with this.  As a relatively green-minded earth-loving pagan, I really enjoy the opportunity to recycle or up-cycle beautiful objects instead of buying a new shiny something from my local pagan store.  Conveniently the etsy market-place is full of amazing vintage pieces, many of which are altar worthy.

Vintage Brass Moon Candle Holders by Creos $60.00