Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

GETTING ARTSY delayed and other issues

Merry Meet, everyone!

This post is a bit of a catch-up.

Things have been really crazy here and I've done absolutely no crafting. No Yule decorating, Zip.

Depressing, eh?

What has happened is:

We negotiated a loan with the bank which took 30 days longer than it should have
Broke ground for and built the shell for my new office/ art studio
Fed the construction crew all but 3 days out of 22

In the middle of everything, I came down with a horrid sinus/ ear infection that lasted SIX WEEKS and left me with vertigo the last week and a half. I still have nausea issues from time to time but this is my first week back to work since Nov. 3rd.

My computer crashed on October 25th - just prior to all of the above. I had to get a Windows 8.1 system. So I'm finding a lot of my programs are not compatible, trying to learn the new system and get caught up on work. LOL

So now that I'm healthy, I've decided to just enjoy the holiday season, try to get some immediate business caught up and prepare for a SUCCESSFUL 2015.

Please come back January 12th when the first blog post of 2015 will kick off our new year.

Many Blessings!

Monday, October 6, 2014


Following my research last week, I've begun gathering some of the supplies I will use in the deck. I want to find a box or basket to keep everything in specifically for this project. I have a Sterilite tub with all Halloween embellishments/ ribbons in that I still need to pull out. While I'm not seeing much chance for play this week, I am going to try. I only have a 4 day work week so we'll see how this goes.

Here are some close-ups:

Michaels had ALL Halloween crafting supplies 50% off last week. I snagged this package of acetate frames. I believe there were 6 in the package. Though I know I'll have to cut them down, that also lends potential to getting 2 cards out of each sheet.

The cat/ bat/ pumpkin/ spooky stencils came with my Close To My Heart order last week. And that JoLee's embellishment is one of my favorites to play with. When I'm doing stuff for 'public', I don't hide who I am but I do downplay the aspects some. I don't appreciate other religions getting in my face and I try not to do the same. 

So while this is NOT the post I had planned for this week, you do have a glimpse at some of the things I'll be playing with. 

Creative Blessings!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


After this post, I'll be sharing the Altered Playing Card Challenge (APCC) on Mondays. But I wanted to bring you up to speed on the project.

When I first started this project I knew there would be a recurring theme but wasn't sure what that common thread would be. After seeing Claudine's first challenge I knew I wanted to do a 'educational' deck on the Practice.

While enjoying some unexpected downtime at my favorite coffee house yesterday I did some research. I used the following books as my benchmark:

EVERYDAY WITCH - A TO Z By Deborah Blake

The Deck will include the following cards:
13 Esbat
12 New Moons
8 Sabbats
4 Elements
3 Maiden/ Mother/ Crone
1 Each:
   Libra (my sign)
   Power of 3
As I made my notes about associative colors, stones, tools, etc. some things began clicking with me - confirming this is the project I was meant to take on at this point. Perfect as I approach the New Year. Can you believe Samhain is one month away? I'll be talking more about my celebration in the coming weeks.

Creative Blessings!
~ Rain

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I thought I'd spend some time catching you up on my latest artistic project - well the one I can talk about anyway.  This is a 52 card deck that I've gessoed the faces on in preparation for an Altered Playing Card Challenge at Claudine's Art Corner.

I also gessoed the back with a homemade mixture of white gesso and black acrylic paint. I'm very OCD in that I can not begin a project until I know where I'm going and have all the pieces in place. So although we were only asked to gesso the one side during the first week in prep for the artsy stuff to come, I decided taking care of the backs BEFORE the embellishments were put in place on the front would be easier. As you can tell by the card on the left, this was probably a wise decision. 

Next, I've taken an extra card from the deck (this one had a torn corner so I swapped it out for a joker) and trimmed 1/4" off on all four sides to help create a template so I could do this:

I'm using a gold metallic paint pen and going around the outside edge of all the cards. For the final step, I will stencil a gold pentagram in the center of each one. THEN I can flip them over and get caught up on the challenges. 

Tomorrow I'll talk about the common thread that will tie this deck together when all the cards are finished. 

Creative Blessings
~ Rain

Monday, September 22, 2014


As I write this, there are three hours and nineteen minutes left of summer. I am so ready for fall.  Autumn is my favorite time of year. Mabon - the second harvest - is right on time. For the past couple of weeks I've been picking the last of the tomatoes - all green. Most are Celebrity Girl... the perfect size for slicing and putting into pint jars.

Thanks to simple canning, I'll be enjoying fried green tomatoes through to the next complete turn of the wheel.

I figure I have one more picking this week then the vines will be pulled and added to the compost pile to begin their own cycle of life.

There are some changes in the works here in our little haven. I keep hoping to be blogging more regular then life throws me something. But I am determined that with Samhain just around the corner, things will be different because of the changes.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

DEBORAH BLAKE Does it again- Wickedly Dangerous

You know I can't help but promote the talented Miss Deborah Blake. She's at it again with her newest fiction - Wickedly Dangerous.

Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake

One of 20 FREE Copies to be given away between July 30th & August 19th.

Monday, March 31, 2014

THE BROOM HAS LANDED! - The Witch's Broom by Deborah Blake

Y'all know how much I admire Miss Deborah Blake. She is one of the sweetest people on the planet and she has been such an inspiration to me. So when she takes the time to research and write a book, I know I want the information she has to share.

I've been anxiously anticipating The Witch's Broom for months. As Deborah said in her blog - The broom has landed - a week early! To celebrate, Miss Deborah is giving a couple copies away as well as other goodies. And there's still time to purchase a signed copy (offered only to the first 100 'Buy Now' folks)

She also has a contest going on at Goodreads - doubling your chances at a freebie!

What I find most fascinating about this book as that until now, very little has been written about one of the most important tools a witch can own. Deborah Blake has done her homework. The Witch's Broom includes everything from their history, how to choose one and the multiple uses in our practice.

Whether you choose to pick up one of the precious signed copies or wind your way through the give-away contest, I hope you'll hop on your own broom and whisk over to Writing the Witchy Way and grab one.


Monday, March 3, 2014


While we're talking 'prepping' on the blog, I thought I'd share this blog post from

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. This is especially evident during the threat of severe weather. The deadliest and most destructive tornado of 2013, an EF-5 on May 20 in Moore, Oklahoma and caused more than $2 billion in property damage. Even though severe weather was anticipated days in advance, many in the impacted areas said they did not have a plan and were caught unprepared.
While spring tends to produce more tornadoes, they're not uncommon in fall. In November 2013 alone, at least 70 tornadoes spanned seven Midwestern states.On Nov. 17, a late season tornado outbreak that struck seven Midwestern states became the most active tornado day of 2013 with a total of 74 tornadoes.

Severe weather could happen at any time, anywhere. Even though the Oklahoma tornado outbreak was forecasted for days in advance, and warning lead times for the tornado outbreak averaged nearly 20 minutes, there were still many people in the impacted areas that stated they were unprepared.

Here is what we can do to prepare:
Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions with your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and save your life and others.

Know Your Risk: Hurricanes, tornadoes, storms - every state in the United States experiences severe weather. Visit to get the latest on weather threats.

Take Action: Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a family communications plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and learning about Wireless Emergency Alerts. To learn more about taking action, participate in a local event on April 30 through America’s PrepareAthon.

Be an Example: Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Monday, February 24, 2014

PREPPING - Where to Begin

Anytime someone wants to start something new, their first question is usually something to the effect of 'how do I start?' or 'where do I begin?'  My Mom always said any project is best started at the beginning. So I'm going to start this whole Prepping series at the beginning.

Start with DECLUTTERING a space to use as your new storage area. For us, that is in our utility room. Even with the wood burner cranking in the middle of winter, our utility room is the coolest room in the basement with two exterior (while well ground-insulated) concrete walls. One West and one North.

Right now as I'm in the middle of reorganizing and decluttering my craft room, this room has become the sorting area for those things. I hope to have that project finished in the next couple of weeks. But this is what this is what it looks like at present:

This first pictures is of the west wall where my husband built the temporary canned goods storage from 2x8s (possibly 2x6) and shelf bracket modules available at most home improvement stores. We found these at Lowes.

This is the South wall separating the utility room from my craft room. As you can see, the plumbing also runs through this area. If I can get a couple of projects done this summer, most everything there will be put to use and out of the way so that we can turn that wall into a rotating can storage similar to this one on My Family Essentials. The link will take you to the page where she talks about food storage and the picture of her can rotation system. For a quick look, I have a pic on my Pinterest Board - Emergency Preparedness -   CAN STORAGE

We use this cabinet to store our bath necessities as there is a shower in this room as well. But we also store the overstock of personal, beauty and paper products here.

A storage area can be one location in your home (ideal) or have zones throughout your house. Under the bed for instance, is a great place to store cases of bottled water. Think about repurposing various pieces of furniture such as an entertainment center (most people don't even need these now with the flat screen now a common household item.  Can you put shelves on the wall above the toilet area for extra rolls of toilet paper or personal products. While having them in plain view may not be the prettiest, how important is pretty when you need to have those items on hand?  A wooden chest doubling as a coffee table, end of the bed seat or even a hassock that has an opening top can be used to store canned goods.  

If you have a garage, how much can you declutter this area and add shelves for bulk items such as toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, etc.

Your assignment this week if you choose to accept it is to take a tour of your home. What can you get rid of and what necessary emergency supplies could you store there instead.

I've showed you mine, show me yours! Start a blog about your Prepper journey and link me. Sharing ideas could save numerous lives!


Monday, February 17, 2014

PREPPING - What it means?

Where's there? The end of February. Silly groundhog saw fit to run from his shadow. I'm tired of cold, dreary, wet, cold, ice, - did I mention COLD? Even with the temp at 40* right now, I can't seem to shake the damp chill. Might have something to do with the north wind and drizzle we had this morning.

As we experience all this snow, ice, drizzle I am amazed they consider us under a Burn Ban. They are also forecasting a dry summer. So I've been filling water and juice jugs. My 2 rain barrels are beyond full. I'm hoping we can get the slab poured for the caged water tank down in the orchard so I can siphon off the two barrels down there and start over with new spring rains.

Making sure I have water for my plants this summer is just one of the many things I've begun looking at under the category of PREPPER. Prepping is nothing new. For generations people knew how to plan for a 'rainy' day. They kept their food stock in root cellars for long winters when what they preserved might be all they had to carry them til spring and the next harvest. How many families prepared for 'the big bomb', creating fallout shelters in their backyards (remember the movie Blast from the Past)

But over the past few years, 'prepping' has taken on a whole new meaning. Some people have extended prepping into 'survivalist' - preparing for everything imaginable. From my point of view, I am looking at being prepared for natural disasters - not the end of the world. Several months ago I found a book called. THE PREPPER'S POCKET GUIDE - 101 Easy Things You Can Do To Ready Your Home For A Disaster.

You can get the book for Kindle - $9.39 or hard copy for $10.66. I paid $12.95 at Barnes & Noble and in my opinion worth every penny.  Bernie Carr breaks things down into manageable steps to prepare for everything from dealing with a power outage for a few days to 'who knows how long this will last' scenarios. They are all basic practices we should be doing - Common Sense stuff.

An example is to have a hard copy of your contacts list. We live in a digital age and we think everything is in our phone. But what if your phone dies but you have access to an emergency calling station? Will you remember the phone number of someone you need to contact? Your insurance agent for instance? Or a loved one to let them know you are okay?

Disasters like tornadoes and floods will knock you off your game - if you are NOT prepared.
My plan over the next few weeks is to share some of Bernie's tips with you as I put my own Prepper Plan into action.

In the mean time, I recommend getting the book and putting your own Disaster Relief Plan into action.


Monday, January 6, 2014


Day 6 and I'm still FOCUSing. So far so good.

Mother Nature has blessed so many of us with frigid temperatures. I know she has a purpose and I'm waiting with bated breath for spring. A normal January here in the south eastern Ozarks would have me prepping seed trays out in the greenhouse. The one we had to recover this year after having put the wrong plastic (non-uv protected) the first time. Ice tried to destroy the pvc structure back in December but so far so good. Now if I could just get out there to play.

In the mean time I bought a small bag of potting soil. I have 2 pineapple tops to plant. My the time they are well rooted this fall, I can move them into the house without fear of the cats chewing on them - maybe. Can you tell I'm ready for spring?

I bought a new book a couple weeks ago. A new form of gardening that has piqued my interest considering I have clay and rock to plant in. Straw Bale Gardens works with the concept of planting above ground in straw bales. Very little soil is used. Only from the seedling you plant or to spread on top  if you plant to start from seed. I'm thinking that as the bales compost down (2 years, maybe?) they will provide excellent compost layering in a lasagna garden method. I'm currently weighing the cost and I think the straw is winning. Even at $5 per bale, if I get 2 years use out of planting, that's cheaper than top soil mixes to improve the rocky/ clay ground I have to work with. Also creates a 'raised bed' so I have less reason to be down on my knees and jabbing myself with a pointy rock. Are you seeing a pattern here?

I can see several of these positioned in a wheel or pentagram shape for my herbs.
Your thoughts?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Happy New Year!

I spent yesterday clearing out my witchy email account. There were feeds from two different blogs going back a full year. Why had I kept them? Because I admire these two women. Though younger than I am, they have an amazing insight to who they are, where they want to be, how to deal with the crap the universe tosses in their path... and like me, an amazing man at their side. I didn't want to miss out on anything they had to say. When you are finished here, please stop over and visit Aradia's Cauldron and The Whimsical Cottage. Sign up for their email feed and follow their journey as pagan's and first time moms (Aradia had a son in July and Whimsical is expecting a summer child.

Last year, a friend of mine, Michelle Hill, got me thinking about a word of intent for the year. Her word was FOCUS. I liked that word a lot. And as 2013 seemed to constantly spiral out of control, I am finding that is a word I need for 2014. There are so many areas I want to focus on. Yes, I said many and I think that is possible.

Spirituality: I need to FOCUS more on daily practice. I get so caught up in every day stuff I let my practice go by the way side. Not this year.

Creativitiy: I kept letting work and the stuff get in the way of 'me time' in 2013. There are so many avenues I want to explore that making time to play and be creative is important to me. I read a book at my son-in-law's over Christmas called 'Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity' by Hugh Macleod. One of the keys is about not letting work overtake our life. We have to make time to do the things we enjoy. So I will FOCUS more on doing the things that I enjoy... just because

Career: This is a big one. For several years I've been paddling the publishing stream. I've gotten a few small things published and even got my first feature in 2013. But those little minows in the back water are no where near where I need to be if I'm to make a monetary contribution to my husband's retirement. Remember, he is the one who supports my every endeavor. And if I say I am a writer, then I'd better be writing. So I am going to FOCUS more on actually sending out proposals and submitting work this year. I'm off to a good start with an editorial in Polymer Cafe magazine this year with a reminder from my editor she will take all I want to submit. So why am I not stepping through this door more often?

I also have a book contract with Boroughs Publishing Group. But one contract is not going to suffice. I need at least three novellas a year to Boroughs. These smaller reads will put me in front of my readers and keep me there so when the full-length novels come along, I have a built in audience.

I also still want to write the Organized Witch book. I start out with good intentions then they fall by the wayside with my lack of spiritual practice.

2014 Brings a huge change in my life - my daughter and her family are moving to WA state at the end of the week. I won't have 8- week summer vacations with my granddaughters under foot, or long weekend trips to TN to see them. My life is all about me and my husband. It's time I started FOCUSing on these areas - so I can afford to make trips to WA to see my girls. LOL

What is your intent for 2014? I'd love to hear from you.
Blessed Be