Lughnasadh Gourd Rattle

This sabbat completely sneaked up on me and I had NO idea what to create.  Thankfully Sosanna gave me an idea and I just so happened to have a box of dried dragon gourds. I've been busy painting murals in my grandchildren's rooms and gardening. I have thoroughly enjoyed the summer. We've had quite a bit of rain but my flowers are loving it. I've taken lots of pictures of the visiting butterflies and bees.

Now, I had not dried these for the purpose of rattle making. They are dragon gourds and they have all kinds of lumps and bumps making them look perfect for the body of a dragon, which was what I had planned on using them for. I've been letting them sit around for 2 years. They still needed to be cleaned. So, I found one whose seeds had loosened during drying and was smallish and would make a perfect rattle.

This is a really really simple craft. All you have to do is find a dried gourd and paint it. Of course it will be a Lughnasadh theme.

If you dried the gourd yourself it will probably need to cleaned if you haven't already done that. To clean you will need to let it soak in some warm water for a bit and then scrub it. It takes a bit of elbow grease to remove the layer of mold. The dragon gourds are a bit of a pain to clean because they aren't smooth. They have ridges and it is a bit harder to clean around those.

After you let the cleaned gourd dry thoroughly overnight, it will then be ready to start painting. For this, I'm putting a layer of sky colors on first. I put a really light blue, almost white, on first. Let that dry, then I watered down a darker blue and just placed and drizzled it here and there. 

I will be painting a sun at the top of the gourd. I believe I will give it a spiral look. So, first I am painting the yellow spirals. I'll let that dry and then add a bright orange. When that dries, I put a few yellow and orange dots,


 Now, on the handle paint dark green. When it dries take a dark gold and paint some straight lines. These will be your wheat.

I mixed my gold with a burgundy. I used that color and painted lightly on the same wheat lines, letting both colors show. 

Now, just add a few wheat kernels at the ends of each line with the darker mixed gold.


On top of the dark kernels highlight with the gold.

Now, take a thin liner brush and add little hairs with the darker mixed gold.

Now, at the base of the wheat, I'm going to paint some sunflowers. Start out with a dark brown circle and paint a lighter brown circle around the outside of the darker circle.

I'm sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the first layer of the petals of the sunflowers. Sometimes I just get started and forget to stop. Take a muted orange color and paint the petals all the way around the brown. Then when the orange dries, go over that with a golden yellow. 

Now take the stick end of your paintbrush and dip it in the golden yellow paint and make little dots in the center of the sunflower. 

For the leaves, I used two colors of green. Grass green is painted as a base color for the leaves, then a lighter kiwi green is painted over that. 


I'm going to use the same kiwi green to make stems for my dandelion puffs.

Now, take the kiwi lime and make two or three small leaves hanging down from the stem.

Now you are going to take the white and make some straight lines coming off the stems. At the end of those lines make little criss-crosses, like stars.

Put a few of the criss-crosses above the dandelion, like the wind is carrying the wishes. 

And there you have a nicely decorated gourd rattle to enjoy by the fire for Lughnasadh.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this craft and brightest blessings to you.


Health, Hair, Art, and Whatever Else Comes To Mind

I've been super slow with my art. I'm sorry.

I had a health setback. I have thyroid problems. I treat them myself. I mistakenly stopped taking a product for another one that ended up being inadequate. I take 2 tsp. of maca root from the Maca Team every day. It had me so fixed. I was doing great. My ankles weren't swelling, my hair wasn't dry, my mood was great, etc, etc, etc.

Anyway, I also purchase supplements from Vitacost. Normally their items are great. But I thought that I was being smart by switching from Maca Team's maca root to Vitacost maca in capsule form. I don't like having to mix it, the capsules seemed more convenient. So, I took the Vitacost capsuled brand for 6 months? it was about that long. It seemed to be doing fine.......and then BOOOOM!

I woke up with my period all out of whack, my hair (overnight, mind you) went NUTS. I couldn't even get my brush through it. My ankles started swelling, I bloated 15 lbs overnight, my joints went nuts, my allergies kicked in overtime, my skin went dry, and I had. to. get. all. of. my. hair. cut. off. To my shoulders.
I'm not happy about this. It was to the middle of my back. And now it's gone.

Overnight my hair went from silky, wonderful hair to this dry lump of baked barbie doll hair. When I say that I couldn't get my brush through it, I mean, it was this giant nest of a knot and the brush would not go through it.

When all of this happened to me, I'm not going to lie, it took me a little while to figure out WHY? Why was this happening? I mean, I was still taking the maca, my diet was basically the same (partial-paleo), still doing the same old stuff.

While I was trying to figure out what was wrong, I was also getting all my hair cut off. And still trying not to lose the rest of it. I really needed to be shaved. I really fought with the rest of my hair.

When I ordered the Maca team maca root, I took 2 tsp. mixed in apple juice immediately. On the 4th day, it felt like my thyroid was swollen and it actually ached a bit, especially when I turned my head. The 5th day my mood was improving. My period straightened itself up. I'm not even going to tell you what was going on with it, let's just say it was BAD. By the 6th day I had my energy back. My hair had a few small changes. It wasn't as bad as it had been, but it was still a fight.

I've now been on this maca for a little over a month and I'm finally feeling much better. My hair is also much, much better.

But all of this made me realize, I've got some healing to do. I know I have leaky gut. I still have food allergies. I'm out of shape again. I was just spending too much time with the art. I'm going to have to make a schedule and stick to it. So there are going to be changes. I'm putting myself on the GAPS diet and I'll be working out EVERY day. I'm not going to sit with my art for long periods anymore. I can't. This last setback was so hard on my joints. I was to the point of not being able to squat down and get back up, of going up my steps, of just moving. I'm also getting more of the chemicals out of the home. I had let some things creep back in. Body wash, laundry products, etc. Convenience. So, I've ordered the soapnuts, the wool balls for the dryer, the Dr. Bronners and I'm not looking back.

I've got to take control of this. It will not win. For now, my art will be added slowly, But, when I get my schedule and eating and working out controlled, I'll be doing more.

I want to work on some vintage Halloween items. I have one that I want to add to my shop (see the pic above), but I'm working on another right now. When I finish it, I'll be adding both.

Brightest Blessings,

Litha Whimsical Plaque

Hi ho all! Bright blessings of Litha be upon you! 

I wanted to make a fun, sunshiny craft for this day. So, I have created an easy, whimsical plaque for you to make. My moon looks like it is totally in love with my sun.

I had fun creating this little craft and I hope you enjoy it. I created a little summer poem to go with this, but you can use any favorite poem for this plaque. Or don’t use one at all. It’s all up to you because it’s your plaque.

For this craft you will need:

Some cardboard
A variety of acrylic paints, your color choices
Plain polymer clay
A wooden plaque
E-6000 glue or shoe goo (same stuff)

The first thing to do is decide what shapes you would like to make your sun and moon to be and cut out that shape from the cardboard. My sun cutout is approximately 6 ½ inches from point to point and my moon is around 3 ½ inches. You will be covering these with clay so keep that in mind when sizing for your plaque. I think the clay added around a ½ inch thickness to them.

I did not wrap in aluminum foil before covering in clay. I just covered them with the clay and they did fine during baking. I baked at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.

I didn't make them super smooth when I added the clay. I left them a bit rough looking to keep some character to their whimsical looks. I made the points a bit longer on the sun and gave the some curve so make them look like flames shooting out. I gave the moon a half face, while I didn't give the sun one at all. I’m just going to paint the face on the sun.

After they have baked and cooled, decide how you want to paint. I am painting a yellow base on the sun before adding the sun. Let it dry.

When it has dried, you can draw out a face. I want a full face for the sun, so I will use circles to make the face.

Now, I’ll just paint it in. I’m going with an orange and red coloring with white highlighting. Add black to define. I drybrushed most of the colors on.

Keep filling in the cheeks to your satisfaction. Add black to the lip and nose to define. Add some white around the eyes and on top of cheeks.

Add orange to the eyelid and red to the eyes.

Add black to the pupils, yellow around the pupils, a white highlight down the nose.  Define the eyes with black, drybrush some black shading. Drybrush the pupils with white for highlighting and add eyelashes and eyebrows. Highlight the chin.

Finally, drybrush some dark orange on the points and around the face to give it some flamy definition. Your sun is done.

Now for the moon. You only have to draw the eye really for the moon. Paint your moon with a base of white, let dry, and draw out your eye.

Fill in the eye with a dark blue, fill in the pupil with black. While that dries, drybrush black to define the nose. Add some drybrushed blue to the cheeks to define. Blue on eyelid. Go back to the eye and add some light blue around the pupil. Line the eyes with black, put a bit of white on the lid to highlight, also add white to the cheek to create a roundness. Paint the mouth with a black line. Define with bottom lip with a bit of black. 

For the plaque, use the colors that you want for a sky.  Decide on your placement for the sun and moon.

After you see where they will be placed you can paint your clouds and poem on it. I made a simple little poem for the plaque.

"I will honor the day, and dance with the fae,
beneath the sun, the moon, and the stars"

Of course you don't have to use mine. Use something that makes you think of this time of year.

When you have painted your poem add some watery clouds by dipping your paintbrush in water and then into the white. Let this drip into cloud shapes. Put the clouds where your moon and sun will sit on the plaque. When your poem and clouds have dried and splatter some "stars" on the plaque. 

Place the sun and moon back on the and glue down with either e-6000 glue or Shoe goo. Shoe goo is the same thing plus you get twice as much for a fraction of the cost of e-6000. 
If you plan on hanging this outside put a couple of coats of outdoor polyurethane on the entire plaque.

I hope you enjoyed this craft!

Brightest blessings,


Beltane Antler Craft

Beltane Greetings!

This craft that I’m showing you, I completely made up as I am creating it. I wanted to make an antler headband, and then I wanted a spiderweb, and THEN I thought I would like to add in mushrooms and sparkles…..and moss. It’s a bit of whimsy and fun.

Okay, like I said I wanted to make an antler headband, but I’ve never made one. I didn’t want to use real antlers because they would have been too heavy, so I have once again turned to polymer clay. I, myself, semi-followed a tutorial for making the antlers. However, that tutorial was for paper mache and I am not a real big fan of paper mache. It’s messy. So, I looked at the general instructions and incorporated the design with the clay. I’ll put the link for the tutorial that I used for the antlers at the bottom of this, in case you would rather make yours with paper mache. The spider web that I have created, I absolutely had NO idea what I was doing and I just made it up as I went. I’m pretty happy with the end look, I think.

To start you will need some aluminum foil, floral tape, and original sculpey clay. Tear the aluminum into strips and shape into antlers.  Remember to narrow the aluminum going toward the points of the antlers.  You could also make them from just clay and they would be solid, but that would end up being heavy also. I made mine around 6 inches in height. 


When you have them all shaped, wrap with the floral tape. Bend them the way you want them to be shaped after you have wrapped the tape.
The reason why you wrap it with the tape is to make it smooth for the clay. Roll out your clay into a thin sheet and then put on the antlers in sections and smooth.

Make sure to make the base of the antlers a bit bigger and make it flat as well. You will be hot gluing these to the headband.

After you have the clay evenly distributed, make ridges on the antlers with your tool. They don't have to be perfect, you just want to give them some texture.



Now they are ready to bake. While they bake you can make the mushrooms. Pop the antlers in the oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.

Since I wasn't sure how large or how many of the mushrooms I wanted to put on my headband, I made several different sizes. I can always use the ones that I don't use for this for something else later. To make a simple mushroom, just make a few "bowls" and then roll out a small stem. Bake them at 275, and I baked mine for 15 minutes.


Okay, this is one of the ideas from the antler tutorial that I found. I really like the base of those antlers, so I added the hot glue as instructed. I really really need to buy myself a new glue gun. Mine works but it is big and bulky and the trigger no longer functions. To make the glue come out I have to push on the end of the glue stick, lol. I burn myself multiple times and it is really hard to control how much glue comes out. It just isn't one of those things that I think of when I go to the store. So, one day I'll have one.......when I think of it.

By this time, your mushrooms should be finished baking and you can base coat everything. I just used the same color to base coat. I used a cream color for the basecoat for all of it. For the antlers main color I mixed cream, butter yellow, and a tan color.

I brushed the main color on, then I wiped it off the glue dots and I sponged it near the tips, leaving some of the cream showing.

Next, paint your mushrooms. I painted a variety of colors but ended up using two colors and smaller ones. I didn't want the bottom of the antlers completely hidden. I glued the stems after they were all painted.

The headband that I'm using is just one that I had lying around the house and never used. It's a wider band. I put it on and determined where on it I wanted my antlers placed. I cut a couple of slits in the fabric so the glue would be able to have a firm hold with the antlers. I used hot glue to hold them and it worked quite well.

Okay, now here is where it gets a bit tricky. For the web, you will need hot glue and fishing line. If you have some fine glitter you can use that to make the hot glue sparkle.  I needed to make a spider web base so I put intersecting string in first.

First, tie off the string around the bottom of one of the antlers and stretch it up diagonally to the top of the opposite antler and tie that off as well. Keep it taut. You don't want slack.

It's a little hard to see, but the string is going up diagonally to the opposite antler. Do that again with the opposite side. Start at the base and stretch across to the opposite antler so that you have two intersecting lines.

After I have stretched as many of the strings and tied them off, I knotted them in the middle with a short piece of line and cut off the excess string. I did this to keep them all intersecting in the middle. Put a dot of glue on this intersecting point. The drops of glue will look like dew drops on the web.

To start making the webbing, you will need to start using your hot glue gun.  I just touched the first one and put a drop of glue. Immediately start blowing on it to make it dry. Before each drop of "dew" dries you can sprinkle with the fine glitter to give it a shimmer. As you go to each piece of base, glue it down. You can see what I mean in the pics. Continue around getting larger as you go.

Keep doing this process to make your web. 



When you are finished, add more glue drops here and there to make more dew.

When you are finished adding the dewdrops you can then put your moss around the base. Decide where you want to place it and glue down.

Do the same with the mushrooms and your whimsical head piece is finished!



As always, I hope you have enjoyed this craft and I have inspired you to make your own! Please share pics with me of your own.

And also, here's the link for the paper mache antlers. This will give you more ideas for making your own!

Bright Blessings,