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Have a Warm and Wonderful Samhain

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When the Spirit Moves You Make Dolls

I have been expanding my crafting lately to include areas I am not so familiar with to improve my skills, one of those areas is making goddess or spirit dolls.  I have made soft sculpture dolls for years with good results but over the last few months I wanted something different. I have several books on making Art, Spirit, Healing and Goddess Dolls so it was time to put what I read to work. As a needle arts and fiber fanatic I have accumulated more supplies then I will probably use in my lifetime so venturing into spirit dolls is a great way to use up lots of those scraps of fabric, ribbons and lace. Not to mention beads, charms and flower bits and all those novelty yarns we tend to try and either make a project or shove the yarn in our stash bins.

Here is my Nature Goddess doll

She is made with scraps or fabric, ribbon, dried and silk flowers, and the big flat shell for the moon as shown, she has a twig for a staff and a clear crystal, charms and seashells complete her look, she stands on a wood base and face is air dried clay painted.

The Butterfly Goddess was the next doll to be made

She has beautiful painted faux butterfly wings, wrapped in blue printed fabric with beads stitched randomly throughout. Her clay face was purchased while I was shopping around, I saw the face and knew it would be perfect for this doll.  I have made three more clay faces for more doll projects my original intention was to use the blue round face for her but when I saw the face I used I just knew it was the right choice.

I am working on a new hand embroidery project this one is a sew along project over at  

It is the I Love Home project here is the 3rd block I decided to do hand embroidery for the block there is a choice of applique or embroidery

I came late to this stitch along so I worked the latest block first.  The stitch along is free and the patterns are provided also free and there is time to join if you are interested.  Check out the site there are lots of crafty projects to do.

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It’s supposed to be Autumn but it feels like Mid-Summer

Ugh! the weather has me completely knackered this month, after hurricanes and tropical storms the weather has not made the usual transition to fall like weather here in Florida.  We don’t get much of an autumn but it would be nice to get a few days if not I sure hope it cools off by winter.

So this week I have been reading the Autumn issue of Faerie Magazine, which centers largely on Practical Magic, that lovely novel written by

Alice Hoffman in anticipation of the new Alice Hoffman novel The Rules of Magic the prequel story.  If you are familiar with Faerie Magazine than you know Alice Hoffman often has an article among the pages.  It was a happy surprise when I heard a knock on my door Tuesday afternoon and upon opening the door the mail carrier handed me my package.

Earlier this month I began a new hand embroidery project and completed the Cauldron with labyrinth late in September, I love how it came out. I also completed the Spiral Goddess inspired by the Abby Willowroot statue shown below, I drew a spiral on her head and tried to make it look like it was forming a labyrinth with her arms.  There is a spiral on the back of the statue.

The Willendorf inspired hand embroidery was finished as a prayer flag and hangs on the tree branch at a friends house, luckily she brought it in before Hurricane Irma or it would have been destroyed along with the original branch it hung from.  As I mentioned above I began a new project this month, Aine is the name of the design and is done in a Sashiko style of embroidery.

I haven’t made very much progress I was rethinking the use of pearl cotton for the stitching since I added a lightweight cotton backing fabric its hard to tug the needle and thread through the fabric but I manage slowly, I find my fingers ache after only a few stitches.  The pattern is from a kit by Scarlet Rose here is a link to view other embroidered pieces including the Aine design: 

My heart yearns for the colors of Autumn so I am once again planning a short road trip up north in a few weeks, with nationwide warmer weather I figure about mid November for northern Florida and Georgia. For now I will leave you with this.


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Happy Autumn Equinox

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Warm wishes for a wonderful…

The Lughnasadh is a time to celebrate the first of three harvest celebrations (Mabon and Samhain being the other two). It marks the middle of Summer represents the start of the harvest cycle and relies on the early crops of ripening grain, and also any fruits and vegetables that are ready to be harvested. It is greatly associated with bread, as grain is one of the first crops to be harvested.  The Celts celebrate this festival from sunset August 1 until sunset August 2 to honor  the God Lugh. It is the wake of Lugh, the Sun-King, whose light begins to dwindle after the summer solstice.


 The Saxon holiday of Lammas celebrates the harvesting of the grain. The first sheaf of wheat is ceremonially reaped, threshed, milled and baked into a loaf. The grain dies so that the people might live. Eating this bread, the bread of the Gods, gives us life.  

One traditional Lughnasadh custom was the construction of the corn dolly or corn maiden. This figure, braided into a woman’s form from the last harvested sheaf of grain, represented the Harvest Spirit. The doll would be saved until Spring, when it was ploughed into the field to consecrate the new planting and insure a good harvest.


While I love the idea of plowing the corn doll to insure a good harvest, my corn doll witch sits on a shelf among a few other harvest season trinkets throughout the harvest festival season.  

If you follow a Goddess path and are looking for simple rituals and ideas for living in a more sacred, mindful way every day, I highly recommend this book it is absolutely worth tracking down a used copy if you can.


From the back cover: In 2007, the Seruntine family relocated to a secluded Nova Scotia homestead. They made it a point to live gently upon the land by growing and raising their own food, living in balance with the surrounding forest, and honoring Nature’s spirits. In return, the land and the spirits looked after them. Seasons of the Sacred Earth follows life deep in their woodland hollow through a magical year.


Another book I have on living the around the Wheel of the Year or Wheel of Life and enjoying all the ways to celebrate, and again if you follow the Goddess path you will find much among the pages.


If you are interested in non-traditional seasonal celebrations  you can find them within the pages of these books.

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July Mid Month

July is just moving along, mid month came so fast though this week the days felt long and exhausting.  The heat and humidity are taking its toll on me this year.

I put in more progress on my Zenbroidery piece

I love the look the variegated threads I’m using, I’m also using 3 strands of floss, I have seen a few using the full 6 strands and for me it just looks so heavy and too crowed.

Progress on the Summer of Love project is going well too, I still have more to finish on the figure at the bottom before I  move on to the next area,  I removed the stitch and wash fabric so the piece looks a bit wrinkled it will all be pressed after the piece is complete.

One of the new projects I am working on is a witch bonnet Sue quilt, here is a look at two of the blocks waiting for embellishing, I will be embroidering the blocks and adding some beads too. Here is a close up of one of the Sue blocks, they are appliqued on using fusible web, don’t you just love the spider webs. I’m thinking may be using some metallic threads around the block.

Here is a look at a traditional Sun Bonnet Sue block I made years ago. As you can see the black threads are all the embroidery I added around the edges, added the lines for socks and umbrella handle and her hands.

When I am not stitching I have been busy reading a few books I purchased while on vacation last month.  I am currently reading and enjoying The Hideaway which was waiting for me at the library the day after I got back from Sanibel Island.

I have another stack of books I purchased while I was away but haven’t dad the time to take photos.  Funny I purchased 4 books to take with me and came back with another 12.  No matter where I vacation I always manage to check out a book shop or two.


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Happy 4th of July

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Happy Summer

A few days ago we celebrated the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer brings me back to my childhood days of eagerly waiting for the last school bell to ring signaling the end of the school year and endless days of sunshine, tree climbing, berry picking, trips to the beach, chasing fireflies, skinned knees and playing outdoors with every kid in the neighborhood from dawn till dark.

While I may no longer get those skinned knees or play outdoors from dawn til dark, I do take trips to the beach, I’d chase fireflies if there were any here in Florida.  I do spend as much time outdoors as possible, though usually in the early part of the day to beat the summer heat most of my playing outside the gym or frolicking at the beach is with needle and thread or a good book both of which give me as much pleasure as those activities I did as a child.
My latest projects from the hand embroidery over the recent weeks are my winter goddess, though it didn’t turn out as I planned I do like how she looks.
I had meant to stitch her using mostly blues, white and silvery gray and just a touch of green and red for the flowers she is stitched on a snowflake printed pale blue fabric,  but as I stitched her I changed my initial plan of stitching the swirls in blues and gray choosing to use green instead.  I’m happy with the overall results.
One of my current projects is the Zenbroidery Peace Symbol kit I purchase a few months ago.  I am using mostly variegated floss this is my progress so far.
I am slowly stitching this in between other projects which brings me to the other project I am working on The Summer of Love stitch at home challenge I signed up for in May.
I chose a whiter shade of pale colors provided by DMC, once they arrived I had to decide where they would work best in my design.  Knowing myself as I do I know I would tweak the design several times before I began stitching.   As you can see I did finally get started on the stitching and believe me when I tell you this took me quite a while to stitch. I’m happy I like it so far.  I am planning to take the challenge piece along with my on vacation so I can make the August deadline. I’ll be at the beach so I’ll need to sand proof my work and tools. I don’t stitch daily as I would like to because something like sore fingers or housework tends to get in the way.  On days when my allergies kick up a notch my eyes water all day so I can’t really see well enough to stitch. And some days I’m just not in the mood to stitch.
On the days when I don’t feel like stitching I will either read or do some other form of needle work, usually crochet. I purchased the Playa Ruana pattern last month from a store online called Two of Wands, I just lose the soft flow it appears to have and wouldn’t just look great wrapped around your shoulders at a festival, ritual or a cool summer evening.
I plan to use my shawl in a ball yarn hoping to get a light airy look. I don’t normally crochet in the summer time but this pattern just called to me. I have also started planning a little Halloween quilting project which I will begin some time in July once I have all the fabrics chosen.
I do hope you all had a wonderful Summer Solstice and are enjoying your summer so far.
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May Ramblings

The month of May is moving along at a fast pace, the heat of summer is closing in so I need to be extra mindful of the garden when I water my plants.

Beltane was celebrated quietly at home since I was still battling a nasty bug and didn’t want to prolong the illness.  Mother’s Day my son and I spent a few hours at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville,  it felt good to be out and about walking among nature.

There were several Buddha statues, metal sculptures throughout the winding pathways.  The roses in the herb garden were in full bloom and just lovely. The bamboo garden was spectacular and as you can see many visitor’s to the gardens can’t read or just think the rules don’t apply to them and defaced many of the plants.  The pergola was covered in Jasmine and the scent was intoxicating, there were severl of them and a gazebo also covered in jasmine where I sat for a short rest before continuing on.

There was an area with potted plants and a few bamboo plants for sale I resisted the urge to buy one or two for now, there is a lizard on the girl statue posing for a photo, the rock garden was bursting with cacti and other desert plants, and another Buddha with a beautiful backdrop of bamboo.  All in all it was a beautiful day with sunny skies and a nice breeze to make the stroll comfortable.

The day before Mother’s Day I finished my hand embroidery for the Goddess of Willendorf, the photo shows the piece just off the hoop

She still needs to be ironed and a backing added to the piece for stability, I was planning to make her a prayer flag but I think I will make her a wall hanging instead, may use  wooden dowel or a twig to hand it from I’ll know more as I progress to the finishing stages.  In the mean time I have signed up for the Stitch at Home Challenge put on by the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design in connection with the 50th anniversary Summer of Love celebration.  The Summer of Love took place in 1967 at Golden Gate park in San Francisco.

DMC is a sponsor so once you sign up you can choose 3 embroidery threads from several color palettes, I chose A Whiter Shade of Pale,  I have designed my piece to resemble a poster from that era.  From the SNAD site: We want you to be inspired by the art movements that defined the Summer of Love to express what matters to you now.  Here is a link to the site if you would like to check it out and perhaps join in the stitching fun, you are not limited to just embroidery,  you do have to use the 3 embroidery floss colors in your piece.

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Have a Warm and Wonderful Beltane!

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