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Arts & Crafts

Make An Maypole Centerpiece

You Will Need:

A cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels

Heavy cardboard

Paint

Crepe paper in two or three colors

Some small stones

Flowers for decorating

A ruler

Scissors

Tacky glue

1) – Cut a circle from heavy cardboard about 1 and 1/4 inches larger than the diameter of the cardboard tube.

2)- Glue the cardboard tube to the center of the cardboard circle. Let dry.

3) – Paint the cardboard tube and the cardboard circle. Let the paint dry.

4) – Cut 3 or 4 pieces of crepe paper the length of the tube. Cut the crepe paper in half length-wise. Glue the crepe paper strips to the top inside of the tube alternating colors.

5)- Put some small stones inside the tube to add some weight so that it will not tip over.

6)- Decorate the top of your Maypole with flowers and more crepe paper if desired. Enjoy!

Make an Inner Harvest Wreath

Adapted from Celebrating the Great Mother, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw (Inner Traditions, 1995).
Simple Solution
“We are a gift the earth is giving to herself.” –Joanna Macy

Harvest is traditionally the time to take stock, when longer nights and colder weather send out a strong call to turn inward, to identify the accomplishments and qualities of character that will see us through the long dark months ahead.

Find out how to make this easy, simple wreath that celebrates our own autumn harvests. Your finished wreath will make a beautiful and unique door decoration, or a centerpiece for your harvest table. This Autumn activity is perfect for the whole family, a heartwarming way to honor each person’s uniqueness that is their gift to the world.

1. Give some real time and thought to your own harvests over the past year. What did you learn? What did you do? How have you grown, deepened, or changed? What were the major events or accomplishments you would like to honor?

2. Find small ways to represent these inner harvests. For example, if you just bought your first home, a tiny house carved out of wood or shaped from clay would make a perfect addition to the wreath. If your child just learned how to ride a two-wheeler, she or he could draw a small bike on a piece of cardboard to glue on. I might include one of my new Care2 business cards, folded and tied with a gold ribbon. My son could make a small copy of the letter telling him he won a contest for young artists and roll it up like a scroll. My sweetheart just became a yoga instructor, so he might make a tiny yoga mat. You could cut discs of wood from a fallen branch and paint them with personal harvest symbols. Take some time as a family to think and talk about your achievements.

3. You may want to harvest some wild grapevine and twist it into a circle-shape or you could buy a premade grapevine wreath to be the base for your creation.

3. Using non-toxic wood glue or green wreath wire, glue or attach your symbols to the wreath base. Add any decoration that strikes your fancy: autumn leaves, nuts or seed pods, dried flower-heads, corn necklaces (see the September ’03 issue of Care2 Lifestyle for a How-To), feathers, crystals, apples cut in thin slices through the center and dried–all would make pretty additions to your wreath.

Make a Walking Stick

You will need:
A 5-6 foot branch/stick
Stain or varnish
rough sand paper

Find a branch that is unique and fairly straight. The length can be 5-6 foot, or slightly shorter. A stick with a curve at the top is also neat to use. This should be a stick that has fallen to the ground and is dead, not green. Look for a branch that has character!

Peel all of the bark off of the stick, scraping if necessary with a putty knife-nothing too sharp, you don’t want to “carve” the stick. After it’s clean of bark, sand from top to bottom with a piece of rough sandpaper. It works well to tear the large piece of sandpaper in half, then fold once or twice. Get a good hold of the stick in your left hand and rub with the sand paper in your right hand until you get a nice finish over the entire stick. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth-remember, you want it to have character.

Next, wipe off the stick with a clean cloth. Follow the directions on the can of stain or varnish and apply to the entire stick. Remember to do the very ends also. Allow to dry, and if you wish, you can apply a second coat.

Make a Traditional Besom

(Witches Broom)
© 1996 by Edain McCoy

Besoms, or round-shaped brooms, are deeply linked to Witches and their magick, both in popular fantasy and in actual practice.  Brooms were one of the “safe” tools of Witchcraft, meaning they were a necessary household object that could not be held up as evidence of Witchcraft in the clerical courts.

Brooms are used as wands to focus and direct energy, to sweep areas clean of negativity, to ground a finished circle, and to protect hearths and kitchen magick.   Two crossed brooms were used in medieval Ireland to prevent negativity from entering homes through the fireplace or front door.

FIRST . . . you must obtain a 3 to 4 foot stick or dowel, 1 inch in diameter.  This shaft can be painted or decorated.   You will also need a small bundle of straw or broomcorn, approximately 16 to 20 inches long and some utility twine, about 2 to 3 feet.

NEXT . . . Lay the broomcorn or straw up against the bottom shaft of the stick.   Cut straw approximately 4 to 6 inches longer than desired finished length.

NEXT . . . Approximately 2 inches above the end, tie twine tightly around straw and broom handle.   You may wish to apply some craft glue to the lower 2 inches to help secure loose straw ends.

AND THEN . . . Bend the straws backwards over the tie.   Secure with twine close to where the broom handle sticks out.

Besoms are great gifts for home decoration, magical protection, or both!

Ice Candles

These are fun to make and relatively simple but they look beautiful
when they’re finished.

Instructions:
Clean out an empty milk carton and tape along the outside/bottom of
it with masking tape to make
the walls stronger so they don’t bow from the weight of the wax. Melt
some paraffin wax to about
140F. Place a taper candle the same height as the candle you want to
make in the center of the
milk carton and fill up the carton with crushed ice. The ice should
hold the taper in place. Place the
carton in a basin of some sort to catch any spilling water as the ice
melts (not in the sink though!).
Slowly pour the wax into the carton until it fills to the top. If the
level of the wax goes down, just add
more wax. When the candle is cool to the touch, hold it over a basin
or tub and peel/cut the milk
carton off the candle. The melted water will gush out so be prepared.
The taper inside the candle
can be replaced when it burns down completely.

Birch Yule Wreath

Materials needed

birch twigs

spool wire

paint as desired

glitter as desired

tiny lights (optional)

This craft uses a whorl of birch twigs dipped in paint and sprinkled with glitter.

To shape the twigs into a ring, cut stems to 3 inches long and bind in groups of birch twigs to one another with spool wire. Bent the twigs into a circle as your work until your ring is complete. You can add tiny lights at the back of the wreath to make it sparkle, simply hide the cord. This makes a nice wreath without the lights for the front of your door.

Baby’s First Samhain keepsake

you’ll need :

1 6″ square of construction paper (Black or orange)
Washable Tempura paint (White)
Black permanent marker

First wash the child’s foot, (you how dirty those things can
get) either brush the paint on the child’s foot or dip the foot
into the paint. Now press the foot firmly onto the square of
construction paper. Lift the foot off and let the paint dry.
When paint is dry turn the foot print upside down so the heel is
at the top and put two dots for eyes on the heel, you now have a
“foot ghost.” you can frame this or decorate the edges with
anything you feel contributes to the “ghost” theme.

* Now here’s another idea that I had that stemmed from this. You could make a whole year of Baby’s First Year Keepsakes. But use the Bread dough or other favorite salt/bread dough recipe to make oval ornaments or hangings. Press the baby’s foot into a flattened piece of oval shaped dough at each holiday. Then after its dried/baked you can paint it in the colors of the holiday or even add painted pictures of different symbols of the holiday. You could have a whole first year of your baby’s magical year in ornaments or wall hangings! One for each turn of the Wheel.

Apple Head Dolls

By Brenda Hyde
Dried apple head dolls evoke fond childhood memories for many of us. The early pioneers made dolls out of whatever was on hand, and apple dolls became cherished toys for many young girls. In 1914, Mary McAboy, a homemaker in Montana, began selling handcrafted Native American dolls wrapped in blankets, with dried apple heads. She lovingly pinched and carved the apple into a face, adding pins for eyes and string for hair. Her dolls were called “Skookums”, and are highly collectible today.

Children love making apple dolls, and are fascinated with the process. I’ve seen ideas ranging from spooky to silly, and everything inbetween. It’s a great project for one child or an entire group. It allows the kids to use their imagination. When you are finished with your creations use them as decorations for the autumn season!

Here’s the basic things you’ll need:
1 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt
apples

There are so many different methods that have been developed over the years, that you will eventually find your own once you do this a few times. After peeling, (you can leave some peel at the top and bottom.) the apples need to be coated with the above mixture of lemon juice and salt to keep them from turning brown, BUT if you want a darker skinned doll you won’t need to soak the apples. To maintain the light color soak them in the lemon mixture for about 45 minutes. You’ll need to do this with each apple, so you may need to double the amounts if you have quite a few. This is not exact-you can soak longer or shorter if you wish. A favorite apple to use for this is a Golden Delicious-they are large and have a nice color. You can however use any apple. If you have a large group of kids I would buy inexpensive varieties by the bag to save money. Choose apples without bruises or other markings.

After you have soaked your apple you’ll need to carve it. Use a small knife that you can have good control over. You want to make eyes, nose and a mouth, but you don’t want to cut too deeply, this could cause rotting. Also, don’t make slits in the apple, try to carve out the spots for the features. You can carve out ears as well. A small spoon, such as a stainless steel baby spoon can work well for carving too.

Drying your apple heads can be done in a few ways. You can take a large paper clip or a heavy piece of wire and carefully run it through the middle of the apple. Bend it at the bottom, and form a little loop at the top. You can then hang it to dry. Choose a place without direct sunlight. It will take 2-3 weeks to dry. If you can use a hot attic or a furnace room it may speed it up a little. The apples can be dried on a tray or screen as well, but be carefully not to handle them as they dry. Or try a dehydrator at 135 degrees or below if you own one-this will need to be checked frequently. You can also dry the apples by placing in your oven with the door slightly ajar for 4-5 hours at 200 degrees, then leave them to dry on a tray or screen for several days. I think it’s better to plan ahead though and use the air dry method if you can.
Finishing Your Apple Head Doll
Your apple heads are dry and now you need to do something with them. You can use many things as a base for your doll: a wooden dowel, heavy wire, twigs, a doll body from a craft store, or an old one you have laying around, Styrofoam cones, or any other base you can think of! You can make or buy doll clothes and stuff them with batting. You could even attach little fake doll arms and legs. Or keep it extremely simple and make a little ornament by decorating only the head. Create a wreath by attaching several heads to a grapevine base. You can use yarn or fake hair on the head, paint on the eyes, cheeks and “lips”. There are many artists who create pieces from dried apple heads, so use your imagination and items you have on hand. They are a wonderful old fashioned craft that shouldn’t be left behind!

About the Author
Brenda is the owner of OldFashionedLiving.com. She is a wife, mom to three and a freelance writer as well.

http://oldfashionedliving.com/appledolls.html

A Basic Spell Box

Crafting with a Witch

Project One

source: http://www.wiccanguide.com/craft1.html

*********************************************************

A Basic Spell Box

Please read through completely before starting.

Tools Required:

1 small box, wooden, with a snug fitting lid

Most craft stores carry these small boxes with lids that latch or
fit snugly. Just pick one out that feels good to you. Of course, if
you have a small box at home all the better, or if you are great
with wood go ahead and make yourself one, remember the more of your
energy put into a project the better.

Acrylic Paint

Small brush

Water

Spray Sealer (optional)

Colors are entirely up to you, but keep in mind what you want to put
onto the box, and try to use colors representing special meanings to
you. Example: I use a lot of blue and blue greens in any of my work
because I am a water sign. So get out the paints and let yourself
go, do not concern yourself that you are not an artist extrodinare,
if you choose to paint only one small sign, or maybe just your
initials, that is ok. Always remember that its what makes you feel
good. When you are finished, you may then use a sealer over the
entire box if you so choose, I personally feel it is not needed as
its a chemical compound that seems to seal in the natural vibrations
of the wood, but this is only my opinion, you decide what is good
for you. Remember, while working concentrate on the intent, the why
are you making this box….place your energy into it through your
thoughts.

One piece of white material (big enough to cover box)

Fabric Paint (optional)

When you are finished with your box, set aside and take the white
material and lay out on your table, this cloth will cover your box
and protect it when it is not in use, so concentrate now on it
protecting your box.

Now if you want, you can take fabric paint and decorate your cloth
anyway it seems fitting to you, when finished leave until throughly
dry usually overnight.

NOTE: Now above we have used paint, both on the box and cloth but it
is important to understand that everything we do is entirely up to
you on how to proceed. Some of you may wood burn and not like to
paint at all, this is acceptable, others may want to embroider their
cloth or tye dye it, again this is quite all right. I am only giving
you a sample of what you can do. The end result is a spell box, a
box for magikal intent so however you choose to decorate it or not
is up to you.

Addt’l Info For the Spell Box! BB, *Starra* )O(
**************************************************************

Crafting with A Witch

Empowering

Now we are ready to empower our spell box, on the night of a full
moon, open the lid of your box and:

Raise it to the Northern Quarter and ask:

Element of Earth, I ask that you place your gift of healing within
this box.

Turn to the Eastern Quarter:

Element of Air, I ask that you place your gift of communication into
this box.

Turn to the Southern Quarter.

Element of Fire, I ask that you place your gift of passion within
this box.

Turn to the Western Quarter.

Element of Water, I ask that you place your gift of cleansing into
this box.

Return to the Northern Quarter and say:

I ask that this box now be empowered as a tool of magic. That only
positive intent will be sent from its heart as I ask it to forever
assist me in my magical life. So Mote It Be.

The box is now ready for use in spells of all types, when not in use
please wrap it in its white cloth and store out of site. It can only
be used for one purpose at a time. Specific spells for the box are
in our spell book section of this site .

Make a Silver Branch

© 1995 by D. J. Conway

Some folks who do not care for the sound of the drum prefer to use the musical Silver Branch instead. Similar to the rattle used in other shamanic cultures, the Silver Branch is used as a guide on the journey to the Otherworlds. King Cormac of Ireland received a Silver Branch from an Otherworld stranger and used it to heal his people. As a link between the outer and inner realms, the Silver Branch is a source of inspiration and authority.

To make your own Silver Branch, first select a tree branch 12-16 inches long. Try to get one that has fallen naturally, or use a length of dowel instead. Strip it of bark. If the branch is too smooth, you will want to cut some grooves in the surface so that the bells will not slide off. Once it is ready, paint the branch with silver paint.

For the golden bells, choose 3 bells with a clear, pleasing tone and tie them to the branch, once it has dried.

In legend these bells were called chiming fruit. Three is usually given as the numbers of apples or other items that adorned the Silver Branch. Three was an important number to the Celts in both Ireland and Wales. The Celtic clans held the Triple Goddess in high esteem; the Druids believed in the three rays of Light that created and renewed; Gwion Bach drank three drops from Cerridwen s cauldron.

In Celtic lore the Silver Branch was always given to a mortal by a being from the Otherworld. It became fee emblem of the PoetBards of Ireland and Wales.

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