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Arts & Crafts

Make a set of Runestones

We here at the Garden of the Midnight Moonchild are fortunate to live on the shores of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States. This great big beautiful “Inland Sea” is the source of our hand-picked supply of naturally hewn granite composite stones.

Once selected, the stones are hand carved, and cleansed with pure running water, and the influence of the Full Moon. There is quite a bit of effort that goes into this process, but we feel it can be most rewarding for the serious student of Runemal.

Of course, you can do this same thing for yourself, wherever you are. And it is actually our belief that you will be FAR better served to create your own tools for divination rather than purchasing them from another… even another as wonderful as us. This is why we spent so much time and effort in giving you all the information you need to create your own Runestones.

Once you have collected your stones, be they from a lakeshore, a quarry, or the driveway, you will want to clean them, allow the surfaces to dry, and select the right place to begin carving the Runes. It will probably be best if you select a part of the stone that is fairly flat and featureless for increased ease in carving.

The tool you choose for carving can be entirely up to you also. We use a small rotating engraving scribe called a “Dremel” which allows you to select different attachments. You may need to experiment with the different “bits” available to you before you find the one you are most comfortable with. This means it might be a good idea to have a couple of “practice” stones at the ready…

Once you have selected your preferred tool, you will want to inscribe your stones in a specific order known as the Aettir. Each Rune stands for a letter and a phonetic sound and as a discrete grouping they represent an entire alphabet known as the “Futhark”. Within this alphabet, or Futhark, there are three divisions known as Aettir consisting of eight letters each in numerical order. Therefore the first Aett will be comprised of runes 1 – 8, the second Aett will be comprised of runes 9 – 16, and the final Aett is comprised of runes 17 – 24.

This means that you will be carving your runes adhering to the following process by sets of Aettir, so you will not begin any work on the 9th rune until after you have carved, reddened, and sung all of the stones in the first Aettir. This is so that you don’t get tired, and tempted to shortcut the process by skipping over some things, because this is a process best not rushed.

First you will be carving or cutting the runes into the wood, bone or stone.

Second, while cutting or carving the runes you will be speaking or singing the names of the runes to empower them while they are being carved. You should be singing slowly and with reverence so that you have intoned every vibration of the rune’s name with each stroke you engrave.

Third, you will be colouring (“reddening”) the runes with either red paint, stain, ink, or your own blood (this is said to connect the runes magically to the person carving them) and it is advised that you allow your runes to bathe fully in the reddening process for a full day and night. We would ask that you use your head where this step is concerned, there isn’t any need to do much more than introduce a drop of your DNA into whatever mixture you will be using for this process. If your carved sigils are deep enough so that you can clearly see them without any additional inking, then you may not need to do much more than introduce a drop of DNA into a bowl of fresh rainwater and let the stones bathe there. If you feel that the symbols will be better seen if the engraving is also inked, then you should be able to introduce a drop of DNA into your “ink”, either way you will effectively accomplish the bond this step is designed to establish between you and your tools.

Finally, when all the work of carving your runes is done you will be making an offering (a “blot”) of thanks to the Gods, usually of mead or ale.

You can elaborate on this simple ritual as much as you like. You may use whatever materials suit your purpose also. There are many substances that can be marked with rune symbols, you don’t need stone… there are many fine tools made from wood, bone, or other material. Sometimes the symbols are carved, sometimes they are burned, sometimes they are inked. The method is yours to choose and we would urge to use whatever works best for you… after all… these are your tools.

Inspiration Jar

The purpose is to bring on inspiration. For creativity.
Items you will need:
1 mason jar
1 small crystal
dried orange peels ( 2/3 )
dried mint ( 1/3 )
2 drops Orange oil
1 drop Mint oil
a square piece of black cotton fabric
a rubber band
orange fabric paint or orange acrylic paint
orange ribbon

*Note: The colour orange is the colour of creative energies. The shading
of how dark or how light the orange is that you use will denote the
level of creative energies you wish to channel. A dark orange will take
you deep into the creative energies while a light orange is less
intense.

Moon cycle: No moon cycle is selected for this spell because all phases
of the Moon hold different levels of creative energies, including the
Dark Moon. If you follow Moon phases, choose the cycle that fits your
purpose best. Gather all items. With a clean and dry jar before you
place the mint first and then the orange peels inside, filling it up
about two thirds of the way. Add two drops of Orange oil and one drop
Mint oil. More if you are using a large mason jar. Stir ingredients
together. Take the small crystal in your hand and saying these words:
“Creativity
Come to me
In whispers and dreams
And visions that gleam.
So Mote It Be!”

Now, place the crystal inside the jar with the potpourri. For the lid,
cover the opening of the jar with black fabric so that the side of the
fabric hang down over the edges about 2 inches. With a pencil, mark the
center top of the fabric. Take the fabric off the jar, lie it flat on a
hard surface. Using orange paint, acrylic or fabric paint, paint on a
spiral. While the paint is drying, cover the jar temporarily with a lid
so that it does not get spilled.

*Spiral: The spiral is a symbol of the dance of life. It shows the
continuous cycle of ourselves going inward within ourselves and then
going outward expressing ourselves.

*Black: The black fabric in this spell is used as an absorption colour.
Black absorbs all colours and all energies. By placing the orange spiral
on this we are signifying just what those energies are that the black is
absorbing, all creative energies.

Once the paint is dry, place the fabric on the jar once again. The
spiral should now be on the centered top of the jar’s mouth. Holding the
fabric in place, wrap the rubber band around the sides to hold it in
place. Next, tie the orange ribbon overtop of the rubber band. Keep this
inspiration jar in your work area, where you do your writing, painting,
drawing, or keep it by your bed to bring on inspiring dreams.

~ source unknown

How to Make an Athame

Some traditions call for a specific size for the Athame, though it usually is between six and twelve inches. The size of your Athame should be of whatever length is comfortable for you.

Stop by your local hardware store and ask for a piece of untempered steel that can be tempered (also known as 10/10 steel). If they dont carry this, buy a steel file that is about three inches longer than the knife you want to make. Also buy a corse steel file and a fine steel file to file your new blade into shape. Be sure to get a hacksaw and blade capable of cutting the file once you have removed the temper from it. (Yes, files have a temper, so dont make them angry!)
I know what your first question is. “Don’t you need a forge to get the steel hot enough to remove the temper?”
Well, yes. Do you have a charcoal barbeque? Great! You have a forge! However, in a barbeque, it takes longer. So be patient. Even the shaping of your blade will take some time.
If you are making your blade out of a file, you have one advantage. The advantage is that you won’t have to cut out the tang for your handle, as a file already comes with a tang! You have to remove the temper from the file before you can do anything else. To remove the temper, stock up a large pile of charcoal in your barbeque (large enough to bury the entire file.) Once they are fully lit, bury your file halfway deep in the pile of charcoal. Cover any exposed ends with charcoal using a pare of long handled tongs. The file will need to stay in the charcoal untill the charcoal goes out. This may take all day, so start early in the morning. BE SAFE! Don’t leave the fire unattened! If you need to leave it for a short time, put the cover on your barbeque untill you get back! This should be enough to remove any temper. If the metal is still hard to work with, repeat this procedure.
You also need to do the above procedure for untempered metal, to make it soft.
If you dont have a barbeque, and no other way to do this, you can lay it on the burner of a gas or electric stove. This will take a long time, but has the advantage of being able to see the to-be-blade. Once it it becomes a dull red, it is ready. Turn off the stove and let it cool down naturally.
Mark on the steel or file with a Sharpie marker (or other permanent marker with a fine point) the shape you want your knife to be. Make sure you mark the tang as well if you are not using a file. Just trace the one from your file. Remember, an Athame is a double edged blade. With the hacksaw (or a power bandsaw if you have one) cut out your blade and tang, and file off any rough edges. Now start shaping the blade area for sharpness with a grinding wheel, if you have one. If not, then use the files, rough file first. Finish it off with two grades of wet and dry sandpaper. If your blade is being made from a file, make sure to remove the grooves from all surfaces.
Now you have to harden and temper it. You ask “but didn’t we take the temper out of it?” Yes, but your blade will not hold an edge if we dont harden and re-temper it. Heat up the blade again, this time making it red hot, not dull red. Then take hold of it with a pare of pliers (the longer the handle, the better) and immerse it into a bucket of tepid (warm) water. If the water is cold, it will crack. Let it cool, then clean it with wet and dry sandpaper. Youv’e just hardened your blade.
Now you need to temper it. Again, reheat it. Again immerse it in tepid water and clean it with wet and dry sandpaper. Next, heat up again to a dull red, this time keeping a good eye on it as it changes color. It will get a bright, light straw color, then a medium straw color.Immediatly dunk it into the tepid water and let it cool off. Do not allow it to go past the straw color, it will go blue, then purple and green. Keep an eye on the tip, as this will change color first. Keep the point furthest away from the heat to allow an even heating.
To make the handle, take two rectangular pieces of wood and trace the tang onto each of these. Chisel out the marked sections one half the thickness of the tang. After this is done, the two pieces should lay together perfectly with the tang between them. When they fit together well, roughen the inside wood and spread a good epoxy resin glue all over, including in the tang grooves. Put the tang in it’s grooves, press the two halves together, and clamp. Clamp slowly to give the glue a better spread. Leave clamped for three days.
When unclamped, draw the shape of the handle you desire, then cut or carve it out. To finish, sand it down with a coarse sandpaper, then again with a fine sandpaper. then paint or stain the handle.

OR….

Try to find a suitable piece of steel. If one isnt available then a file or chisel will work just as well. Whatever steel you have it is going to be hard so the first job is to soften it. Heat the steel till it is a dull red. If you have no other way then lay it on the burner of a gas or electric stove. You may have to leave it there for a few hours with the burner turned on high. It will eventually turn a dull red color. Once it has reached that color, turn off heat and let it cool down naturally. Now it will be softer and easier to work with.
Mark on the metal with a pencil the shape you want it be. With a powered bandsaw, or a simple hack saw, cut out the profile and file off any rough edges. Then start shaping the blade for sharpness. A grinding wheel would come in handy here, though you can work with roughand smooth files.The blade is going to be double edged so you are aiming for a diamond shaped cross section. Finish off the blade with two types of wet and dry paper.
Now your blade will need to be tempered. Heat it up again this time until its red hot.Then take hold of it with a pair of pliers and plunge into a bowl of TEPID water or oil, not cold or the blade will crack. Allow it to cool off then clean i with wet and dry paper.
Next, to temper it, reheat the blade to a dull red again. Again plunge it point down, into TEPID water or oil, moving it up and down in the liquid. Clean it with wet and dry paper then heat it up again. **WATCH THE BLADE CAREFULLY THIS TIME AS IT CHANGES COLORS** It will go to a bright, then light, straw color, then to a medium straw color. Immediately plunge the blade into water and let it cool off. (DON’T let it get past the straw color; it would go on to blue, purple, then green) Watch the point as it will change colors first. At the first sign or of “blueing” on the point, plunge it back into the water. **NOTE** The colors will appear quickly so keep the point furthest from the heat.
Once the blade is cold take it outside and plunge it into the ground a few times (there is a method to the madness) Now you have:
Moved the blade through the AIR,
heated it with FIRE,
plunged into WATER,
and showed to the EARTH.
For the handle, take 2 pieces of wood. Draw around the tang, the handle part of the blade, on each of the pieces of wood. Then chiselout the marked sections, each one to half the thinkness of the tang. When finished, the 2 pieces of wood should lay together perfectly with the tang inserted between them. When youare satisfied they fit well, slightly roughen the inside of the wood and then spread a good epoxy resin glue all over. Put the tang in place, press the two wooden handle halves together and clamp. When clamping, put the pressure slowly so as to give a better “spread” to the glue. Leave clamped for AT LEAST 3 days.
When removed from the clamp, draw a profile of the handle you want on the wood and start cutting and carving it to shape.
Some traditions call for certain signs to be carved on the handle. Even if yours doesn’t, you may wish to decorate it with some. I put my craft name and monogram on mine. You may also wish to etch something on the blade as well.
Melt some beeswax and cover the blade with it. Then cut into the wax with sharp inscribing tool, A nail will do the trick, in the way you want the inscription to look. Make sure that you go right through the wax to expose the blade. Then pour on either sulphuric acid, iodine, or a similar etching agent. Leave on for a few minutes then rinse off by holding under running water. The acid will eat into the metal while the wax is protecting the rest of the blade. IT WOULD BE WISE TO PRACTICE THE ETCHING ON A SCRAP PIECE OF METAL FIRST SO YOU CAN DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF THE TIME TO LEAVE THE ACID ON BEFORE FLUSHING IT AWAY.

How to Make a Grapevine Wreath

by Monica Resinger

Is your grapevine beginning to look like a mini jungle? If so, take out your
clippers and make grapevine wreaths!  If you don’t have a grapevine, but
would still like to make grapevine wreaths, maybe you have a friend or
neighbor that has one that needs trimming.

How to make it:
First, take a long, fresh vine and form a circle in the diameter you want the
wreath to be. Most likely, you will have excess vine; wind this excess vine
around the vine circle you just formed. When the vine is to the end, tuck
that end firmly inside a space between two wound vines; on the first round,
there might not be two wound vines to tuck the end into, so just hold the end
of the vine until it is wrapped in with the second vine. Now take another
vine, insert the beginning end between two wound vines and begin the winding
and ending process all over again. Keep doing this until you have a wreath in
the thickness you desire. Keep in mind that the wreath will shrink quite a
bit as it dries, so you will want to make it  thicker than your desired
thickness.

When you have finished assembling your wreath, you can lay it in the sun to
dry for a couple weeks, or bring it in the house and hang it to dry.  If you
hang it to dry, you may want to change its position every couple of days so
the shape will remain circular.

These wreaths make great gifts to give to friends and family as-is or fixed
up with dried flowers, herbs and ribbons. To attach anything to your wreath,
hot-glueing is the easiest method, but wiring things on with florist wire is
another method.  They are also great to hang on the front door or on your
walls as decorations.

How to make a dream pillow

By DJ Conway

Every ordinary person dreams when they sleep. Scientists have
discovered that if we do not dream, because of the use of drugs or
sleep-deprivation for example, we can become disoriented, distracted,
and even nearly schizophrenic during our waking time. Dreaming appears
to be essential to a healthy mind.

Making dream pillows for specific purposes is an excellent way to make
your subconscious mind work with you on problem-solving, prophecy, etc.
Dream pillows will also help when you are troubled by nightmares.

Traditionally, certain herbs and oils are used for specific purposes.
The following lists of herbs and oils will help you decide which you
want in your personal dream pillow. Do NOT ingest herbs and oils!

Oils~Bergamot: (not the mint kind!) soothes the nerves, gives relaxing
sleep.
Hyacinth: stops nightmares.
Jasmine: helps increase psychic dreams, lifts depression, quiets the
nerves; is calming.
Lavendar: relaxing deep sleep.
Lilac: recalling past lives.
Mimosa: prophetic dreams; getting to the truth; making decisions.

Herbs~Angelica : prophetic dreams and visions.

Anise: use just a little to repel nightmares.
Bay Laurel: inspiration; repels negativity.
Cedar: helps to repel bad dreams.
Cloves: use just a tiny amount because of the strong odor. Retrieving
buried memories.
Hops: restful sleep and healing.
Marjoram: relieves depression.
Mugwort: visions and prophetic dreams.
Mullein: repels bad dreams.
Rosemary: use just a little as it is very strongly scented. Avoid
nightmares and headaches.
St. Johns Wort: banishes spirits.
Valerian: deep rest. Some cats love this herb as much as catnip so keep
it out of their reach!

The supplies you will need to create a dream pillow are: a piece of
plain or muslin cloth; a piece of fancy cloth or of a material you can
decorate; your choice of herbs and oils; an eye-dropper; wooden or glass
bowl; wooden spoon. It is never good to mix herbs and oils with or in
anything metal!

Before beginning the dream pillow, decide what you will be using it
for: to repel bad dreams, strengthen your prophetic abilities, rest and
healing, etc. Choose your herbs and oils according to the pillow’s use.

To Make A Dream Pillow~Cut out two pieces of muslin or plain cloth to
hold the herbs. These pieces of muslin should each be 12″ by 8″. With
the wrong sides of the material (if there are any) together, stitch down
the 8 inch side to the depth of 3/4″; stitch the same depth across one
12″ end and across the other 8″ side. Three sides of the fabric should
be sew. Turn this little bag inside out so the seams are now on the
inside. This is the “inner pillow” in which you will put your herbal
mixture.

Using fancier material, or a cloth you can paint or embroider, cut two
more pieces of material 12 inches by 8 inches. Stitch them the same as
the “inner pillow” except sew only to a depth of 3/8 inch. As with the
inner pillow, turn it so the seams are on the inside. If you wish
embroider it in any design or decorate it with fabric paints. If you
plan to make this cover removable for washing, turn down a small hem on
the open end and attach small Velcro disks or snaps to keep it closed.

In a large wooden or glass bowl, mix together the herbs you have chosen
with a wooden spoon. This is done gently, rather Iike tossing a salad.
With the eye-dropper, add the chosen oils to the herbs. Use no more than
a total of 5-6 drops at a time until you reach a strength to your taste.
Remember, what smells nice standing over the bowl may well be too strong
when you sleep on the pillow, so use restraint.

Fill your “inner pillow” with the herbal mixture. Don’t pack it full or
it will be uncomfortable to sleep on. Leave it a little flat. Turn in a
little of the open end so the raw edges are inside, then sew this end
shut. Slide this inside your decorated cover, attach the fasteners, and
you are ready for sweet dreams.

How to Harvest and dry your leaves and flowers for crafts

There are lots of ways to dry botanicals for craft use. Let’s look at harvesting them first. The best time to harvest these materials is a in the dry weather. Humidity plays a big factor in your drying time, high humidity can double your drying time and also increase the chance of developing mold and mildew.

When choosing blossoms, pick those that have not yet reached their full bloom. This helps to ensure that fewer of your petals will drop off when dried. Choose foliage that have good color. Flowers that have an intense color retain their colors better than ones with pastel shades.

Keep the plant material that breaks or doesn’t dry as perfect as you wanted for potpourri or even papermaking.

To Air Dry, simply strip of the lower leaves. Gather the stalks into a loose bundle with the flower heads at different levels to help with air circulation.  Tie the base with string or raffia. Hang them with the heads down. The best place is out direct light with good air circulation available. Attics are usually very good for this. I don’t have an attic but we have an area that has a high ceiling and we’ve installed a wooden type rack that runs the length of this area with different hooks here and there to hang items. Drying make take anywhere from several days to weeks. Remember to check your bundles as needed and tighten the ties as the plant materials shrink.

Oven Drying is also a great way to dry leaves, grasses and flowers. Simply spread them on cookie sheets covered with paper towels and put into an oven set with the low temp of 125-150 degrees Fahrenheit. My oven’s lowest setting is 170 so I always make sure I leave the door ajar to encourage air circulation. The easiest way I found to do this is too use a small round magnet that is about 1/2 inch depth to keep the door ajar.

Now the next step is vital to getting leaves to lay flat. Lay  a piece of wire screen over it prevent curling of the leaves. The weight of the screen is all that is needed.

The tricky part of this is timing of different items. The more fragile leaves should dry quickly in about 5-10 minutes. The thicker flower heads and thicker leaves may take longer so you’ll need to watch them.  You want them to be crisp and dry.

Mini Gazing Balls

Band Saw

Staircase spindle

Sandpaper

Drill with 1-inch bit

Newspapers

Acrylic paints in desired colors

Paintbrush

Tack cloth

Glass Christmas ball ornament

Thick white crafts glue

Alternative base for gazing balls in place of spindles:

Glue together wood parts such as round and square beads, candle cups and thread spools. If you choose to use this method you may not have to drill a hole in the top to place the ornament.

Instructions: Cut the desired length from the staircase spindle and smooth out any rough edges with the sandpaper.

Decide which end of the spindle will be the top and drill a 1-inch hole in the top to hold the ornament.

Cover work surface with newspapers and paint the spindle base with your desired color. Let it dry thoroughly.

Sand the edges of the spindle to achieve a worn effect. Remove any dust by wiping with a tack cloth.

Remove the hanger topper from the ball ornament and glue the top of the ornament into the hole in spindle and let glue dry.

You can personalize by writing a message, date, name on the spindle base. To give place it in a planter and fill with packages of flower or herb seed packets tied in a pretty ribbon.

Gel Air Freshner

You can make your own great smelling gel air fresheners, using liquid potpourri, or from scratch. They make great gifts!

You will need:

* 2 cups of distilled water
* Essential oil/fragrance of your choice.
* 4 packages of knox gelatin
* Food coloring (optional)

Heat 1 cup of water almost to a boil. Add the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat add another cup of distilled water, 10-20 drops of oil/fragrance, and food coloring if desired.

You can replace food coloring and oil/fragrance with premade liquid potpourri (available at most craft stores, candle shops, etc.). Just make sure it’s the concentrated kind or it won’t retain its smell. The procedure would be the same. Heat 1 cup of the liquid potpourri, almost to a boil. Stir in 4 packets of Knox gelatin, until dissolved. Then stir in 1 cup cool liquid potpourri.

Pour the mixture into clean baby food jars and set at room temperature overnight until “set”. You can place the jars in the refrigerator if you need them to set more quickly, but be aware that the smell will permeate the fridge.

For gift giving, you can decorate the baby food jars by wrapping with material, or glueing on wallpaper, stickers, wrapping paper, etc.

To use, place the jar on the stovetop (not directly on the burner!) while cooking, heat in a potpourri burner, or simply set out on a table and enjoy the aroma.

Garden Gems

(From:  BHG.com)
>From the book, Gifs to Make

Give a gift that can be used indoors or out — rocks with a personal touch.
What You Need:

a.. Rocks with smooth surfaces
b.. Leaves
c.. Alphabet stencil
d.. Heavy paper
e.. Pencil
f.. Crafts knife
g.. Spray adhesive
h.. Newspapers
i.. Spray paint in gold, copper, or other desired color

Instructions:
1. For the painted leaf or initial designs, trace a leaf or letter in the center of a piece of heavy paper. Using a crafts knife, cut along the traced lines, remove the shape, and discard, leaving a stencil. Spray the back side of paper leaf or alphabet cutout with spray adhesive.
2. For the painted rock, spray back side of leaves with adhesive. Place onto rock.
3. For both rocks, cover work surface with newspapers in a well-ventilated work area. Spray rocks with three light coats of spray paint. Let dry. Remove leaves or paper stencil.

More Ideas:
a.. Make enough monogrammed rocks to spell a name or Welcome.
b.. Use bright-colored spray paints for someone with contemporary tastes.

Making Sealing Wax

Materials:
1/2 oz (weight) beeswax
3 oz (weight) blonde shellac flakes
dry artist’s pigment of fresco
colors in the hue of your choice
aluminum foil for molds

First, prepare modls for your sealing wax sticks by shaping several
layers of aluminum foil into rectangular molds about 1/4 ince wide
and 6 inches long. Lubricate the molds with cooking oil.

Melt the beeswax in a microwave. Add the shelac flakes and microwave
again, stirring every 30 seconds until the mixture is melted (about 2
1/2 minutes total time). Stir in the dry pigment, judging the the
amount of color to add by the color of the wax. Pour this into molds
and let cool.

Use the finished wax sticks to form a unique seal for an envelope
by holding a flame to one end of the stick, holding the wax downward
at an angle . Put 10 to 15 drops of wax on the closure flap of the
envelope. Wait a few seconds for the wax to cool , then moisten your
metal seal and lightly press into the soft wax.

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