Thursday, December 22, 2016

All the Best of the Season to You!



As the Old Woman of winter shakes her cloak and blasts us with snow and winds, may you all have merriment to keep your spirits bright and be blessed with all the comforts the body needs on these long cold winter nights! 

I leave you with a lovely poem and reading that I thought was suitable for this time of year by Adam Christianson: 

"When harpers once in wooden hall
A shining chord would strike
Their songs like arrows pierced the soul
Of great and low alike
Aglow by hearth and candle flame
From burning branch ot ember
The mist of all their music sang
As if to ask in wonder
Is there a moment quite as keen
Or memory as bright
As light and fire and music (sweet)
To warm the winter's night?"



Warm Hearts & Hearths!

Laurel

Friday, December 16, 2016

Homemade for the Holidays Part 2



I have recently been getting my Pinterest-inspired Yuletide craftiness on, so I thought that I would share some ideas for thrifty gifts and decorations. Enjoy and happy crafting!

Bottle Brush Tree in a Teacup


This little pretty cost almost nothing to make. The teacup and saucer were about 50 cents and the bottle brush tree is from the dollar store. The little decorations are faux pearls found in a thrift store craft bag and the hearts are from a card making kit from the dollar store. 


Framed Wrapping Paper


This is an idea I got from some friends which I used a couple of years back for some pretty vintage wrapping paper I had found. This is something that you could also do with gift bags or greeting cards that you like. You may have a framed already on hand that you can use or find one at your local thrift shop. 

Saucer Dioramas


I have seen some people use old ornament boxes, spools or ribbon and other items as their launching point for their diorama. I found a batch various Christmas saucers so I decided to use some of those. The figurines are both thrifted finds and I used items that I had around such as pine cones, holiday greeting cards, and old bits of kitschy greenery and garland. 


Yuletide Recipe Book 


For a while now I have been on a mission to find the right box or photo album to hoard my holiday recipes in. I found this one in a bargain bin for $3.00 at a local gift store. It has sleeves that will fit recipe cards and dividers and pockets as well. So far I have only decorated the outside but I intend on doing the inside as well and making snazzy recipe cards. 


Festive Plant Markers


These are actually "paper wands" that I thought would look cute in house plants. I used paper straws, cupcake liners, doilies, stickers and bits from a card making kit all from the dollar store. In the bottom I stuffed a piper cleaner up the straw to stick in the plants. I think that these would be a nice touch to add to a plant that you are giving as a gift!



Bottle Brush Trees in Retro Santa Mugs 


This is pretty much the same idea as the bottle brush tree in a teacup, but this time I used vintage Santa mugs. The bottle brush trees are again from the dollar store, and some of the bits I used are from card making kits {again from the dollar store}, faux pearls and little ornaments. I think that turned out pretty nifty. 

Wrapping Paper Candles


The idea for this easy project came from this blog, which also has match books that you can dress up as well. I used some wrapping paper that I had around and sparkles and slapped them in some candles with some Modge Podge. Next time I will definitely give the match books a try as well!

*********

Sláinte!

Laurel

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Am Going Home With Thee...



"I am going home with thee.
To thine eternal bed, 
To thy perpetual sleep."

May your Samhain be filled with joy and memories surrounded by loved ones here and past! 

Warm Hearts & Hearths,

Laurel

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A New Haunt


Yesterday the better half and I went exploring a lovely woodland and wetland area that is delightfully close to our new home.

Upon arrival we were immediately greeted by oak, linden, ash, maple and other deciduous pretties, along with various songs of birds. I was surprised that this place is tucked right in the city.



After walking for a half a km or so, we came out to an expanse of wetland, that we could cross using a bridge. While crossing I found myself being reminded of the ancient trackways found in Irish bogs. It's definitely not like any route I take on a regular basis.



On the other side of the wetland we were met by path that was flanked by a hedgerow on one side and a wood on the other. Eventually the wood turned into a mix with more coniferous trees, along with some ferny and mossy fixins'.  



The trail led us right down to Lake Ontario, but we decided to turn around and head back the way we came.


I have a feeling that I will be frequenting this stretch for both ritual and wildcrafting. I am looking forward to getting to know the local flora and fauna, as well as the local spirits.



This city is starting to feel like home.

Sláinte!

Laurel

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The 2016 Garden


Previously I had mentioned that my partner and I were moving to new city, which meant I would be leaving my happy little garden behind. I miss it already.

We had decided this past Spring that we would be making the move; this was just after I had gotten our veggie patches prepared, but thankfully it was before I planted anything into the ground. With that big move coming, I ended up just sprinkling grass and various flower seeds onto the veggie patches and helping the perennials along when I had the time.


To be honest, both our front and back yards ended up looking like wee jungles the whole season, as I had very little time for weeding, cutting back and the like. That's ok though, because my gardening aesthetic is wild and woolly anyway. ;)



When I had a moment I would putter around the garden to enjoy it, harvest some and snap photos. What I did do regularly however was still make offerings and utilize our outdoor shrine for festival observances.



Before leaving North Bay, many of the plants from the garden had been adopted out to other folks, some strangers, but mostly friends and family. There are still plenty left behind and I hope whoever lives there after will take good care of them and enjoys them.



For those who are into gardening, I think that we can all understand the attachment that we come to have with both the land and plants we tend to, along with the wildlife that makes their home there. It can be heartbreaking to leave that all behind.



But it is not all gloom, our new home has a pretty large balcony, so it looks like I will be doing some container gardening and plenty of wildcrafting. I will also be keeping a lookout for possible community garden opportunities, which altogether should be enough to keep me happy until we have our own patch of earth again. 


Sláinte!

Laurel

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Apple Spice Whiskey!


Today I finally got try a recipe that I have been daydreaming about for a wee bit....Apple Spice Whiskey! I can't wait to see how it turns out! The recipe inspiration came from Able & Cole, although theirs is for crab apples. Their recipe can be found here

Sláinte!

Laurel