Monday, 21 September 2009

Mabon Blessings.

Happy second harvest to you all, I hope that the full blessings of such a wonderful time of gain are flowing into your lives right now. I think that, especially with Samhain fast approaching, Mabon does get put on the back burner a little at times. This year I made a special effort to really connect with the season by going on a walk and scavenging objects. I had a really great time and found myself blessed with loads of natural harvest materials all that had been discarded onto the floor.

At one point I was a little disappointed thinking I wouldn't be able to get any conkers, despite the mass of trees. They had all been long since raided and believe me I searched. In the end I gave up and said a little mental prayer by a particularly large tree to find some further down on the walk. Doubling back to go home I passed the same tree I had prayed at and lo and behold there was, and I'm not joking here, a tidy pile of conkers at the base of the tree - I couldn't believe it.

All in all it was a lovely walk through the parks and a little wooded area. I'm just sorry I forgot to take my camera in my rush to leave the house this morning, so I've decided to rewalk it another day and take some pictures to share later too.

As you can see I brought home a massive collection of items, I tried to get something from every tree/plant/area I went through. I even found chestnuts! Which was a big surprise though they weren't really decent enough to do anything with. They reminded me of the trips we used to do every autumn as a family, out into the woods in the middle of nowhere chestnutting, and then roasting and eating all we found in the evening...yum.

Anyways, I decided to make an autumnal wreath with what I found and I'm pretty pleased with the results, particularly seeing as I hadn't made one before.

I then made a great big bowl of autumnal pot pourri for the lounge with all the rest of the stuff, adding a few drops of sandalwood and patchouli oil to give that subtle earthy smell that I just love at this time of year.
So what have you all been up to for Mabon? Are there any autumnal activities you get up to every year to celebrate the season?... Or some new ones that have been good?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Rosehip Syrup

Right, this is the recipe I use for making rosehip syrup. It's super yummy, especially on pancakes or warm waffles.....mmmmm....waffles *drools*. It is packed full of vitamin C so if you're feeling a bit under the weather it's really good and works well as a natural homemade throat syrup.

You will need:

Fresh Rosehips (as many as you can get, be sure to weigh them before you begin)
Boiling water
Sugar (1/2 the weight of the rosehips, I use a regular caster or granulated sugar)

Weigh the rosehips and put in a nonmetallic pan with some hot water. I always just bung enough water in to cover about 1/4 the depth of the hips in the pan.
Boil rapidly until soft, then begin to mush the fruit down into the water. When the water is well saturated strain (and keep) and add more boiling water to the pulp.
Strain and repeat once again.
You should only need to do this three times, but if the liquid is still coming heavily saturated then you can repeat more to make more syrup. It depends on the number of hips and amount of water you use each time.
Next discard the pulp, return the rosehip water to the clean pan and add the sugar. Boil rapidly for 5-10 minutes. The longer you boil it for the thicker the syrup will become (be warned that the first time I made this I boiled for too long for the amount of liquid I had and couldn't get the syrup out of the bottle once it had cooled, lol). Again I find it depends on how much liquid you have and how thick you like your syrup but I tend to edge closer to the 5-7 minute mark.
Pour into sterile bottles or freeze in ice cube trays.

It should keep for around a year bottled, once opened refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

I know I'm a bit vague, but most of my cooking is 'experiment and make it up as you go along'. Hopefully you will be able to make use of the recipe. It is quite easy to make. If I make a jelly this year I'll add that recipe too. Enjoy :)

Monday, 14 September 2009

Autumn's Here!

This is officially my favourite time of the year. With the influx of roses that I always have in my garden comes the inevitable rose hips which I usually pick to make syrup when they are ripe. This year I have decided to try to make a rosehip jelly with the harvest, and maybe a late batch of syrup when the second bush crops. They are still not quite ready yet though, but hopefully it won't be long.
In the mean time I sliced and dried some apple to use on my altar, in an autumn pot pourri and for a little spell work.

The apple, to me, is one of the ultimate Autumn symbols. Locally available in so many varieties it is often considered boring and as such neglected, but it is a fantastic fruit. And of course within it holds the magickal star, making it perfect for spell work, offerings, devotionals and pretty much any seasonal use you can think of.

Also, if there was ever any doubt as to the arrival of the season I can verify that I got caught in my first Autumnal downpour of the year today, lol. It was brief, but thoroughly soaking, just one of the many things I love about this season.

Autumn Blessings x

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

09/09/09

Today is, as you may have already realised the 09/09/09, and what better day and night to take the time to connect to the feminine energy of the universe.

Sacred to the feminine the numbers 9 and 3 displayed in this case as three lots of nine make it a perfect time to draw on the power of your patron Goddess or female energy in general.

I spent some time this evening doing a little trance work once the kids were in bed, and finally did the banishment and protection ritual I had been planning, asking that the mother lend her strength and power to bring peace and wellbeing to the house. It was a simple affair, but highly effective and I hope that you have all felt her magickal presence in your lives today.

Blessings x

A thankyou and an advert....


As indicated by the title this is a big thankyou to Rue over at Rue and Hyssop who sent me a wonderful thankyou package of goodies. I wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks a bunch publicly for all the lovely treats she sent me and to let you all know that if you want some treats for yourself you can enter her Birthday giveaway.
There's still time to enter as the winners won't be drawn until the 15th of September so be sure to pop on over to her blog and check it out for yourself.
Good luck x

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Flower Fairies - DMC

Here they are, pictures of my completed cross stitched flower fairy kits to date. I am currently halfway through making the Lavender Fairy so when she's finished I'll post a pic of her too. Unfortunately for her the lavender is stitched using french knots, which I might add are the bane of my stitching existence, but I'll get there eventually :)

The first design is a little sample kit that was free with a magazine, the second two are smaller sized kits while the final two pictured are large kits.

The Guelder Rose Fairy

The Poppy Fairy

The Blackberry Fairy

The Sweet Pea Fairy

The Mallow Fairy
The kits are made by DMC and available from most good cross stitching stockists. I was lucky to find an influx of the small kits in one of my local charity shops one day so I could get a couple quite a bit cheaper than retail price. I love the designs and the act of stitching them though, and think they are well worth the money as they include everything you need to complete the design....I just need to buy some matching frames to put them all in now.