crafty

Tink About it

February, 2014

Crafty witch

 

On the internet and around me in real life I see a lot of crafty witches. I like to make things too. I’ve made my own runes from willow wood, made my own drum, several brooms, etc. In the past I’ve done a lot like making paper cards, creative journaling, using all kinds of techniques. So… it’s not that I’m not creative or something.

There’s a part of the crafty world though that I can’t find my way in, although I’ve tried several times. On Pinterest and Facebook I see lots of beautiful wool work: crocheted and knitted mostly. My mum learned me how to knit when I was little. She was very good at it herself, but I didn’t like it. Still I knitted a scarf and sweater, but then I stopped. Over the years people have tried to teach me how to crochet, because I really would like to do it! Earlier this year I tried again. I practiced for weeks, but it wasn’t a success and… I didn’t like it. So now I decided to give up on knitting and crocheting for good.

 

Through a friend I got to know ‘tvinningsbennen’ also known as lucet. I bought a tool from her and she learned me how to do. It’s a very old technique, already used by the Vikings. It’s easy and I like it a lot! Some people compare it to spool knitting, but the result isn’t a round cord, but a square one. The produced thread is 7 times stronger than the original material.

 

 

 

 

First I made lots of loose cords. Perhaps I’ll make an altar cloth or rug from those. But of course the witch in me wanted to apply this craft for ritual use or make pagan stuff. The first thing I discovered was, that it is very meditative because of the repetitive movements. It helps me focus. I also use it in nature to get in tune with the place.

Then I got another idea, a variation on a witches cord or witches ladder. You can make spell cords, moon cords, initiation cords, or sabbat cords, etc. For spell work, protection, decoration even; it’s all up to you! The first one I made was a Samhain cord. I used Samhain colours. While making it I tuned in on my ancestors and put things in it (physical and non-physical). For the Yule cord I used appropriate colours and attached bells at the end. I used the cord to cast the circle for our ritual to welcome back the light in the early Yule morning last year.

For Imbolc I wanted to do something different. I used the lucet to make a cord around copper wire, bent a circle from it and made a pentagram from twigs in the middle.

From left to right: Samhain cord, Yule cord and Imbolc pentacle

At the moment I’m working on a rite-of-passage-cord for the daughter of a craft-sister. She is 13 and we are going to do a ritual with her to mark the transformation from girl to young woman and to welcome her in our circle of women. We will all give her something in the ritual and I decided to make a cord for her.

 I’m using 7 different threads in one: multi-coloured for life itself, black & white for the balance between light and dark, blue & pink for male & female energies, red and very thin silver for the red thread with silver lining. I’ll work little things into it that represent my wishes for her. A key to open (or close) doors, a holey stone for health and strength and other symbols, etc. – a total of 13. While working on it I will think of her life until now and visualize her as a healthy and happy young woman. The length will be her current length.

 

Herbal Creations

March, 2009

Crafty Natural Dyed Eggs and Herb Salad with Champagne Dressing

Crafty Natural Dyed Eggs

With Ostara just around the corner, everyone in my house is preparing for the coming spring.  Our yearly routine, after cleaning and clearing is the preparation for the celebration at Ostara.  I decided for this month’s column I’d add my families method of creating Ostara eggs and the herb salad that we serve with lamb.  I always use herb and vegetable dyes for eggs, as I am not about to eat or serve boiled eggs coated in chemicals.  Doing the herb dyes takes quite a lot longer than it does with the variety you buy in the local store. I personally don’t mind the extra time it takes, as I know they’re safe to eat, without any mysterious additives.  I hope you’ll all forgive me for adding some veggies to the dye list, as sadly the eggs can’t be done with herbs alone.  This method requires a bit of preparation and a lot of experimentation, but it’s all great fun.  You’ll need a pan big enough to allow the eggs to roll around in the boiling herb/veggie and water mix.  I always add my herbs first, then the eggs, cover them with enough water to leave about 2 ½ inches above them so they can roll around well.  For each quart of water you add, add about a teaspoon of white vinegar (the vinegar makes the color more bold).  Allow the eggs to come to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.   Remove the eggs, and allow them to sit in an egg carton long enough to dry, then decorate with glued-on dried herbs, markers, or similar things.

How to get the color: (Of the list below, you can add a single item or any combination you wish, it’s all experimentation to get the result you desire).

Purple:  crushed violets, purple pansy, geranium, grape juice (frozen concentrate seems to work well), blueberries or blackberries

Yellow: Chamomile tea, goldenrod, dandelion tops, daffodil blossoms, orange or lemon peels, carrot tops (yes I mean the green part), green tea, celery seed, cumin

Red: Hibiscus flowers (I use the tea), red onion skin (you’ll need a good quantity of these, ask in the produce department if they’ll save them for you), pomegranate juice, cranberries, raspberries, fresh beets (cut up, sometimes this produces a more pink color)

Blue: Red Cabbage leaves, liquid grape juice

Green: Spinach leaves (these may take a bit longer than 30 minutes, use your own judgment on the color)

Brown/Tan: I use discarded coffee grounds (about 3 pots worth), black walnut shells and black tea (used tea bags)

Herb Salad with Champagne Dressing
Herb Salad

4 cups baby spinach leaves

1-cup fresh mint leaves

¼ cup fresh parsley

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Goat cheese (to your personal flavor)

Champagne Dressing for Herb Salad

1 cup of extra virgin olive oil (the best quality mild flavored oil you can get)

¼ cup champagne vinegar

½ cup champagne

A dash of sea salt (to taste)

A dash of freshly ground pepper (to taste)

½ teaspoon of white sugar

Blend all of the above in a blender, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.