Thursday, October 28, 2010

Travel Log 10-28: And the Winner is.....

One of a Witchy Kind!!

Just drop me a line and give me your shipping info and your new broom will be winging your way!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Travel Log 10-25: Welcome Everyone On the Blog Tour

Welcome everyone who is stopping by from Mrs. B's Haunted Blog Tour!
     I'd like to give you a hearty welcome to our little corner of Astral Space. We seem to have been having some navigational issues, but they should be resolved soon. Pay no attention to that beeping or the red warning lights. And I have no idea who Will Robinson is or why that robot seems to keep telling him there is danger....
    But anyways, I thought I would entertain you all with a tutorial on how to make one of my favorite Halloween decorations. These are some of those multi-purpose crafts that can be decoration, spell paraphenaila, or even protective ward or spell charm. Also I am currently doing my annual Halloween Tale and this year it is a "Choose Your Own Adventure" version. You can find the start to the story here.
     So without further ado (because there has been more than enough ado so far, and we here at Lost In Astral Space have pledged to become an ado free establishment at some undisclosed time in the near future) here is my walk through on making my Witchy Brooms!

What you will need:
         Wooden dowels (1/4inch thick, about 12 inches long- you can get them in a package at your craft store)
          3yrds of ribbon (any color or pattern you want)
           A package of pre-dried corn husks (I use the ones that you get from the grocery store for making tamales)
          A bowl of water (large enough to soak the corn husks in)
          A drying rack (I use a cookie sheet with paper towels on it)
         Hot glue gun and sticks

Step 1:  Soak the corn husks in the bowl of water until they are soft and pliable.
Step 2: Take one of the corn husks and tear it into thin strips (you will need 2 per broom)

Step 3: Start wrapping the corn husks around one of the dowels with the thin end lined up to the end of the dowel, leaving the wide end laying along the length of the dowl

Step 4: Using one of the thin strips of husk, tie the strip around the thin ends about 1/4 of an inch from the end of the dowel.

Step 5: Now push the dowel down until about another 1/4 inch is showing below the husks.

Step 6: Now begin to fold the husks down over the tie, until the other end of the dowel is now clear of husk and the end that you just pulled down in Step 5 is now hidden in the husks. This is a good time to tear the husks so that they seem fuller and more broom like.

Step 7: Now you'll use your other thin strip and you will tie the strip around the husks about 1/2-1 inch below where they meet the dowel. This will really make it look like a broom.

Step 8: Let them dry. I suggest over night, sometimes longer if you have a particularly thick set of husks.

Step 9: I usually, as soon as they are dry, use a hot glue gun to clue the upper (folded over) part of the broom to the dowel ensuring that it won't move around.
Step 10: Decorate! I use ribbon to wrap around the dowel and the "broom tie" so that mine end up looking like this:
This one I used 2 different colors on (orange and purple) in the Halloween spirit. Or they can look like this:
This one i used a patterned ribbon on and it looks a bit more homey.

I also like to add a little folded envelope (you can find a great tutorial on the one I use here) and stuff the little pockets with protective symbols or small stones, or anything that sets my purpose. I then punch holes in the top and string a ribbon through it and hang them from the brooms.
These can be just simple decorations, or you can charge them with intent and hang them as charms, or you can even use them as home made altar besoms for those of us who have limited ritual space! One of my favorite things to do is to soak the corn husks in tea or an herbal concoction instead of water. It leaves a sublte scent to the brooms. Also herbs or potpouri can be put into the envelope or can be hung from inside the "bristles". It's one of those multi-purpose crafts that I love !

And now to the giveaway!
I'm giving away one of my brooms pre-made!
You can have this sweet little broom all for your own!

Here are the rules:
1. be or become a follower of Lost In Astral Space
2. leave a comment on this post
2. Leave me a way to contact you- either a blog profile with email contact, or leave your email in your post!
Good luck and I hope you enjoy!

Travel Log 10-24: An Apology Then Onward!

Sorry about not getting this up last night, but we had some internet problems over here. The tech goblins were playing around much too much last night! (you can find the first installment of the story here)
     So without further ado, here is-

                                             "Mockingbird Lane, Part Three"

     Linda opened the door to the hallway.
     Where on earth is Samantha, and what happened last night?
     The hallway she stepped into seemed to stretch the length of the house with doors lining each side. At one end was the landing that lead down to the rest of the house, and at the other end was a couple steps leading up to a door that she assumed lead to the tower. Her room appeared to be the closest one to the stairs and she turned to check the rest of the rooms down the hallway. Samantha had to be here somewhere.
     The walls were covered in what looked like silk and were faded but she could still make out the pattern of alternating stripes of light blue that would have been gorgeous when it had been new. Photographs were spaced along the hallway in elegant frames. The one next to the room she had come out of was an old black and white showing two  young girls posed in the serious tradition of the Victorians. One of the girls was tiny, had dark hair piled into a gibson girl bun, had very thick glasses, and was seated on a velvet chair. This could only be a very young Ms. Ashworth. She even seemed to be wearing the same dress she had been last night. Next to her was a blond girl with large bows tied to her long braids. While Ms. Ashworth was serious to a fault, the blond girl seemed to be almost impish in her short skirts and and pigtails, a slight smile playing on her lips. Linda almost smiled back at her.
      She turned to the door directly across from her. The soft carpet that ran down the center of the hallway completely muffled her footsteps. The door opened easily and showed an empty sitting room. The furniture was covered in a thin layer of dust and the room appeared to be unused.
       The picture outside this room was of the same girls in almost the same position, only a few years later. Ms. Ashworth looked almost identical, only her face had seemed to fill out more, but the blond girl had grown a good foot and towered over the small woman in the chair. Her hair was now put up in a bun as well, and she appeared to be wearing a high necked button down gown that looked very similar, if not identical, to the one that Linda now wore. She had not lost the air of mischief in this photograph, but it had taken on a subtly sultry edge.
       Hmm. Must be relatives, Linda thought. If I am wearing her dress then she must have lived here. I wonder what happened to her.
     There was a second photo not that further along the wall and it showed  what appeared to be a wedding party with the happy couple stoically not smiling at the camera. The blond woman was standing with a a rather good looking young man and did appear to be happy. Ms. Ashworth was still on her chair to the side of the rest of the wedding party, looking not at all happy. Hmm, can't be fun to be left behind.
      The next door along the hallway opened into a bedroom outfitted similar to the one she had woken up in except that where hers had been decorated in lilacs, obviously decorated for a woman, this one was definitely masculine. The furniture was heavy and solid, and the walls were done in a dark oak. The other difference was that where her's had been clean, with everything in it's apparent place, this room looked as if it had been ransacked. The bedclothes were torn and tossed around the room. Furniture was over turned and broken, or haphazardly stacked in the corners.  Really weird.
      Linda turned away from the room and walked a little further down the hall to look at a cluster of photographs. They were all set up like the early photo's of the two girls. These were obviously done over a period of years as Ms. Ashworth aged visably in each of the pictures but the really weird part was that while Ms. Ashworth was in every one, her companion changed with each photo. They were all in the same pose and all blond, their faces were different. They looked frozen and stiff, and they were all wearing what looked like the dress she was wearing now. And in the corner of each photograph was a stone that looked like the ones out in the garden, but she could read them in the photo's. They all said Sylvia but had a different date under the name. The latest was dated about three years earlier.
      Ok. Really, really creepy. Time to find Samantha and get going on our merry way.
     Linda began walking a bit faster and tried the rest of the doors in the hallway. These were all locked and no answer came when she knocked and called Samantha's name. She had just reached the door she believed lead to the tower when she heard loud sobbing coming from the room she had woken up in.
     No one had been in there, had they?
     She cautiously headed back to the room and peered around the door frame. There was a woman sitting in the bedside chair, sobbing uncontrollably. her hands covered her face and her blond hair hung down in tangled clumps. Her body rocked slightly back and forth as her grief shook her.
     Linda went to her, preparing to offer comfort, but as soon as she reached out to touch the woman she shrieked and ran across the room. The woman ran through the other doorway in the room. Linda went after her and found herself in an empty sitting room. This one, while matching the bedroom in femininity, had recieved the same treatment that the man's room across the hall did. Furniture was splintered and even the wallpaper had been shredded. She took a moment to check behind the piles of what used to be nice furniture and found the room to be truly empty. The door leading out into the hallway was still locked, and the window was closed.
     "Alright, that's it, I'm out of here." Linda said as she unlocked the door that lead to the hallway and stepped out of the room.
      As she passed through the doorway she felt something cold  brush her cheek.
     "She's in the tower" came to her on a whisper almost to low to hear.
       Linda paused and glanced back and forth between the landing and the door to the tower.

So which one is it going to be?

Will Linda-
  Go down the stairs
   Try to get into the tower room
You Decide!