Saturday, April 30, 2011

Travel Log 5-1: The Thrifty Witch Rides Again!

First things first- Blessed Beltain everyone! I plan on spending the day baking and then end it with a nice little bonfire in the back yard. I hope all you lovelies out there are getting your May Day on in your own style!
   Second things Second I will be doing the drawing for my Witches In Fiction Sir Terry Pratchett Signed Discworld novel Giveaway tonight, so get those entries in!
     Do any of you remember my witchy broom tutorial? Well it's been featured in a brand spankin' new e-zine called The Witches Hour. I am so excited I squeed. Check out this month's issue with my little craft inside here (it's under The Thrifty Witch).
    And now on to current business, lol. In my quest to create a complete set of witchy tools as inexpensively as possible I've created my own Book of Shadows (henceforth known as a BoS since I can be lazy on occasion). I've actually made these for about a year now and I use them for all sorts of stuff, so it's yet again one of those versatile crafts I love.

Personalized Book of Shadows How To

What you'll need:
 1. A 3 ring binder (I got a few of these for $0.99 right after back to school this past year)
 2. Fabric you like (The one I used was actually scrap from my Halloween costume)
 3. Cardboard as big as the binder or bigger ( you will need 2 pieces so make sure to have enough cardboard- I've used cereal boxes before so it doesn't have to be thick)
 4. A hot glue gun and glue sticks.
 5. Scissors

Step 1: 
     Lay out your fabric and open your binder, open, on top.
Now is a perfect time to check that your pattern is going the correct direction. As you'll note I did not do this, lol. Go ahead and cut your fabric leaving about 2 inches all the way around the binder. You will need 2 of these pieces so doubling your fabric before you cut saves a little time.

Step 2:
Take your first fabric cut out and lay your binder back on top of it (make sure your binder is on the wrong side of the fabric if you have one sided fabric) and glue one side of your fabric down.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Step 3:
  Now fold the bottom edge of the fabric up, and then fold the corner again to make a triangle.
Then glue it into place along bottom edge of the binder, and repeat for the other corner and glue along the straight edge as well.
Repeat this for the other edge. Now it's time to work on the inserts.

Step 4:
Grab one of those cardboard pieces and position it on one side of the binder. Make sure to put the edge where the crease in the binder is, not right up against the rings. Mark where you need to trim it and snip snip.
Make sure you line up the cardboard so that it covers the edges of the fabric you already glued so it makes a nice finish later. You can go ahead and repeat this on the other side now if you want, just make sure you mark the sides so that you know which one goes where (I have so forgotten to do this before and it can be a pain in the rear).

Step 5:
Now we're going to need that second piece of fabric. Go ahead and lay it down wrong side up and lay your cut cardboard on it. This first piece you're actually going to cut longer than the piece of cardboard on the side that will be next to the rings so you want to make sure that you cut that edge long enough to go about 4 to 5 inches past the rings.

Step 6:
Glue down the three edges that are not going to be next to the rings just like you did for the binder. Go ahead and glue the edges of the fabric down on the long piece like you would a hem, so that no rough edges are showing.
 Oh hi mom..what ya doing?
 Can I help?
What's this?
Now is about when you move the cat away from the hot things he's about to play with and get on with the project.                                                                                                            

Step 7:
 Now flip your cardboard piece over and position it over the binder where it is going to go. You'll have that extra fabric laying across the rings.
 This is the part that can be kind of tricky. You're going to have to cut little holes and slide each side of the rings through the fabric so that the fabric covers the metal and lays flat along the other side.
This really is the trickiest part, and if you mess up you can always add some scrap fabric to the back and do it again. Once you have that done, go ahead and glue all the edges down all the way across.

Step 8:
Time to wrap that other piece of cardboard in some fabric. Now unlike the one we just did, this one is going to be fitted all the way around on all the sides, no extra fabric, so go ahead and glue all those sides down.
Step 9:
Now go ahead flip that over and glue it into place, covering up the excess from the other side as well as the rough edges from the covering of the binder itself.
And Viola!

   You can leave the outside plain , or decorate it any way that your imagination fancies!

I decorated mine with  some silver ribbon and a salvaged heart locket (that I can keep messages or wishes folded up inside) and pentacle pendant. As you can see, I didn't pay attention to the pattern on the outside, lol.
   All together this cost me about $5.00 and I can use this a ton of different ways, but it definitely gives me a unique and very personal BoS.
   I hope you all enjoyed it and I have some definite ideas for my next little project!

Travel Log 4-30: Witches in Fiction

First off lets get the business out of the way- GO SIGN UP FOR MY TERRY PRATCHETT SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!!!! you only have a couple more days but there is more than enough time to get in on that little bit of sweetness (and I may very well cry sending this off to it's new keeper..).

     And now for my actual post:

    Magaly over at Pagan Culture is doing her wonderful Witches in Fiction Blog Party, and ever since I heard about it I've been working on an idea that has been revolving around in my head.
    Lately the Pagan community at large (henceforth for purposes of this post knows as the royal 'we') have been kinda hopping from one brewhaha to another. We seem to be on a bit of a bitching fest. As it appears from as pseudo outsiders view( mine, lol, Other than your lovely blogs I don't hit up the message boards or forums so I seem to miss all the storms when they are happening and get the gist from you lovelies later when the crazy storms have cleared) it seems that we are constantly bitching about something, and it's usually something trivial. We're either bitching at someone for an inappropriate ad (I am sure WE ALL remember that debacle) or bitching at each other for not being exactly what we think we should be. Kallan has an excellent post on this here that I would love to refer people to.
    But what all this really made me think about was how far we've come. As much as we worry about our PR, and not being considered the lunatic fringe I think a lot of us have missed the really big cultural signs that we aren't the Wicked Witches anymore. To me, one of the biggest cultural thermometers for how something is accepted or viewed is it's fiction. Now a days that means movies, books, TV, internet fan fiction, comic books, etc.
    Fiction is like an over view of a societies collective brain. It's constantly changing and evolving to reflect not only the people who create it, but the people who consume it as well.
    So look at how often witches are cropping up in fiction these days. How many movies have women of power in them? How many books and comic books have witches as characters? And not just how many references we get in modern fiction , but look at the tone and tenor of those characters.
    They are human (well some of them are super human, but their psyche and emotional lives are usually VERY human). They are people dealing with problems and happen to have an extra facet to their lives that can help, or in a lot of cases complicate, said life. Even when we are depicted as villains these days it's still not as vilifying as it once was.
     And to me that is the biggest victory. That a witchy villain is not a villain because she is a witch, but because she is a person who made bad choices who happens to be a witch.
   Ladies and Gentlemen we, the Witches, are now cool. We're right up there with the sparkly vampires on the list of trends. And after about 3 decades of this I would have to say I think we are here to stay.
   And personally, while I adore Granny, the witch that I can point to and say did a large part of the work to make us people instead of monsters to scare kids is Samantha Stevens. She was a twitchy witch who rode her broom into peoples living rooms and LIVED. She wasn't in a fairytale, she was in a regular house that even had shag carpeting (shudder). She was every housewife, she just happened  to have powers too.  She was the change in the wind that started things blowing in our direction. And then real life witches took up where she left off and won us our acknowledgments and rights.
    Now we're everywhere and, as far as the fiction goes, we're fabulous. We wash dishes and talk to fairies. We kick butt and take names and still have to go clean the cat box. We are more than one dimensional characters scaring children and stealing dogs.
    So embrace fiction my lovelies! Love it ! Revel in it! For truthfully it has helped to make us real.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Travel Log 4-29:Witches in Fictoin #7(or my Granny-isms)

Hello all! This will be my last Granny-ism for Magaly's wonderful blog party. Since the Hubby lives (check out my last post to see how close a call THAT was) we're going to spend the weekend thrifting and crafting and I hope (crosses fingers that it works) a couple new tutorials on some thrifty ritual supplies- I still hope to outfit a complete altar. See I haven't forgot that, lol.
    So here we go-
Magaly over at Pagan Culture is being kind enough to host this little get together, so here is my contribution to Witches in Fiction.
   My Favorite Non Alive Person (or A Tribute to Granny Weatherwax).

Granny Weatherwax ( captured here by Paul Kidby the official Discworld portraitist check out his site at

Here's my Granny wisdom for the day:
    From Witches Abroad:
    " I'm going to give you the hidin' our mam never gave you, Lily Weatherwax. Not with magic, not with headology, not with a stick like our Dad had, aye, and used a fair bit as I recall- but with skin. And not because you was the bad one. Not because you meddled with stories. Everyone has a path they got to tread. But because, and I wants you to understand this prop'ly, after you went I had to be the good one."

This is honestly my favorite Granny quote. She is taking on her sister who had become a rogue fairy godmother to a kingdom that is very similar to New Orleans, right down to the voodoo. I think it pretty much sums up Granny to a tee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Travel Log 4-26: I Could Be In Jail Right Now....

   Sorry I took a bit of a break from blogging the past few days because the holiday was getting hectic.I'll get back to my regular schedule 9not that I really have one of those, lol) in the next few days. Oh and if you haven't entered my Witches in Fiction Giveaway of Sir Terry's signed work then hop over here.
    Now on to my title. I don't normally use my good 'ol blog here to vent about my life, but today is going to be an exception.
   Let me start off by saying I love my husband. I do. If I didn't he would have been dead long ago.
   Here's a little background on the past 2 days. Yesterday BOTH the little guys had doctor's appointments for checkups and shots (I waited until they were MUCH older for those so I got a lot of fun looks from the doctor and nurses). Now while their doctor is really good, she is also really slow. So we didn't get out of our 9:3o am appointment until about noon. Then we had to run to the pharmacy for some meds for squishie (who apparently had amazingly swollen tonsils) and treats for getting the big 'ol needles. When we got home everything was normal until around the time my Hubby got home from work when squishie started to spike a fever. Not a bad one, but one that was pretty much wiping his little butt out. Hubby made dinner while the squishmeister fell asleep on me on the couch holding an otter pop (they were always my favorite when I was little and wasn't feeling well). And knowing what the rest of the night was going to be like I headed to bed right after him, with the hubby telling me not to worry about everything else.
      Then for the rest of the night it was up every few hours for more fever reducer until it finally broke about  4am. Now here is where I have to tell you that I am not a deep sleeper, nor is it easy for me to get back to sleep once I'm awoken. So with that last wake up over, I settled in and started to go to sleep for the few hours until I had to get the kids up for school.
      Then I get woken up at 5am (an hour later) with "I need you to get the hell out of bed and find my keys because your desk is a mess."
     You can imagine how pleased I was with this.
     Now I am no  Donna Reid by any means. When my friends found out I was going to be a stay at home mom most of them laughed so hard they cried. When I was growing up I never even had to make my own bed, so keeping a household in order is not easy. Which is why the Hubby and I were supposed to have a system where we each had chores and kept the house clean together. While this was the plan, it in fact has not been the practice. I have taken care of my area (the kitchen and dining room which includes dishes everyday). His area was the living room included folding laundry. Now guess how often this gets done by him? If you said every couple of months you would be right.
    Normally I can't live with it long enough for him to actually get around to doing it so I just end up doing it and having a 'talk' with him about it. But recently I have tried to be stronger, and actually not do anything about it until he actually gets off his butt and does something with it because as long as I keep doing it for him he's just not going to do it.
     And that brings us to today, after finding his keys behind a paper (where he tossed them last night btw) and going back to bed for another couple of hours and getting the kids up, I walk into my kitchen.
    It is a gods awful mess. Dishes piled up in the sink, a dirty skillet still on the stove, and counter tops with gods above knows what all over them (it's sticky...and yellowish...ick). Then I walk into the living room and there are crumbs of some sort ALL OVER  THE FLOOR. And all the laundry I did yesterday piled on a chair and, for some reason, tossed over the floor. The trash has not been taken out and the kids toy room looks as if every toy they own is now in the middle of the floor.
     If he had been here I would have taken that dirty skillet and whacked him upside the head with it. Apparently his idea of  "taking care of everything" would be letting me handle it the next day. And honestly under normal circumstances I would leave a large portion of this alone and make him clean it up when he gets home but today I happen to have to take the Monkeyman to his cardiologist so my MOTHER is coming over to watch the other 3 while I'm at the doctor.
   So if I don't clean it all up this morning in a freakin' hurry my mother is going to come in and think we live in a pigsty. That and she is handicapped and uses a walker and int he current state she wouldn't be able to get far past the front door, let alone chase the kids around the house.
   And The Grand Poobah of Getting His Butt Kicked By His Wife calls me this morning to have me console him in the fact that his boss yelled at him. So I do the wifely thing and swallow the screaming I want to do at him, and give him support and there there's. Then he tells me he's sorry about his morning, and when I tell him I don't want to talk about this morning yet because I don't want to get him more upset at work, he gets pissed at ME!
   I need to go light a  candle....