Fall Back

Oh, Daylight Savings Time. So many people are so well rested, thanks to you. Parents, not so much. Luckily, our little dude didn’t get me up too early (6:30 new time, which is totally tolerable for me. Thanks little man). He’s already up there napping, so I’m taking advantage of the quiet by sharing a few things while I have the chance.

Firstly, here is our Halloween costumes that I mentioned the other day:

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Definitely not my best picture, but we are so awesome that it doesn’t even matter

We went as Mama and Baby Wookies. It was a blast. Liam absolutely loved being able to run with abandon through stores and hallways of the mall. I loved seeing all of the adorable halloween babies. Definitely my favourite day of the year.

We didn’t do much after hanging out at the mall, sadly. Little man was completely exhausted after having such a great time that he passed out from 4-7, and then again at 9 for the night. I ordered in Chinese food and set a plate out for the dead passing through. Before bed, I put out a small bowl of honey and milk and called it a night.

The other thing I wanted to share should probably fall into its own post, but I’m feeling lazy (thanks left over halloween candy!), so you get to enjoy it here. We recently moved Liam over to his own room, and as a result, I have another UFYH chapter!

UFYH – Liam’s Room

This space has gone through many makeovers since we moved into the house. Originally, it was used as a craft room/catch all/cat’s space by the previous owners.

cr1This is from their house listing. As you can see, it had teal carpeting, and a hand made cat ledge at the window. This room was my space, but I didn’t have much of a budget to work with. First, we replaced the carpet with a plush beige carpet and painted the walls a vibrant leafy green. Pat helped me install floating IKEA shelves on the inner wall to accomodate my large collection of comic books and knitting patterns.

This was my refuge. All of my books, crafts and music went into this room. I loved it!

When we found out we were expecting, despite having a larger guest room as an option, we both knew that the craft room was a better space for a kid. Firstly, it doesn’t share a wall with our loud neighbours. Secondly, while small, it was the perfect size for a wee one. It would force us to keep it tidy and to keep the number of toys in the space limited. I loved the colour for a nursery, so it was great that I didn’t need to repaint!

cr6While Liam slept in our room (either co-sleeping with us in the bed, or in his larger crib), the nursery was the place that I took him to have some wiggle time on the floor, or to read a story in my lap. We brought in an old dresser that had been my sister’s dresser when she was a child. We purchased a cheap small bookshelf to hold on to our small children’s literature collection. Tracy and I put up the few insect decals that she had gifted us from Toys R Us around the room. The cradle was a gift from Jan and Cathy. It’s a family heirloom. All of the Heffernan girls slept in it <3 While the space acted more like storage, Maddie’s Crate was moved back in, making it more of a baby’s playroom and the Dog’s Bedroom.

Last week, Pat and I tackled the space. It was time to get little man out of our room and into his own space. I was waking him with my tossing and turning. It hurt my heart, but I knew it was time.

First we moved Maddie’s crate into the guest room. We then gave the carpet a very deep cleaning. We removed the blinds and hung some black out curtains (darkness is very important to baby nap time!). We hung some art and set up his new and wonderful Montessori bed (a birthday gift from Jan, Cathy and the girls!). We went with sort of an eclectic fairy tale themed space. Natural mixed woods, vintage pieces, woodland animals and bugs, dragons, child-like without being too cartoony. The art is hung low to compliment the Montessori aspect of the space. I want him to be able to see the art and enjoy it.

What we have in the room:

  • Bunting by A Fete Beckons
  • Liam’s Name Letters – Created by our friends S & K. Letters were painted white and decorated with Star Wars characters
  • Strange heirloom embroidery that I found in my mother’s trunk.
  • Decals by Carter’s, at Toys R Us
  • Owl Night Light from Belly Laughs
  • Bedding from Zara Kids.
  • Nursing chair by La-Z-Boy
  • Curtains from Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Wall Mirrors & Floating Shelves by IKEA
  • Elephant & Animals textile, gift from Pat’s co-worker.
  • Vintage Fox Art – from Pat’s nursery as a kid
  • Word Art, from grassgreendesigns

I’ll try to post some better pictures of these details later. The room is mostly done,  but I still have plans for it. We have a beautiful owl fram that Tracy had given us for the room when Liam was born. I’d like to print a picture of her with him for it. I also have some art from my own nursery as a child that I need to get framed. I’m also thinking about getting something like this for the space:

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There’s also some art I was considering:

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So many things!  Anyway, I hope you liked this little look into Liam’s room. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. <3

Samhain Eve

There is something about this time of year. It gets into my blood, into my bones. I feel super unsettled, like I’ve had too many coffees. It’s deeper than coffee though – I feel it in my chest. I am more prone to anxiety, to excitement. I feel like I’m nesting, but in preparation for the coming cold and snow rather than a wee babe.

I’ve been driven by madness, it seems, to declutter like mad. I tore through our main floor yesterday. I stuffed and sorted diapers, listing those that I didn’t love. I did dishes, sorted through papers, I cleaned out corners and organized toys. I scrubbed and vacuumed. Over the weekend, I tackled our outdoors. Not so much the gardens, but I moved all the outdoor play stuff into the backyard. I cleared the deck of crap. The UFYH people would have been proud. Clearly my instincts were right – I woke this morning to a light blanket of snow covering everything outside. Halloween usually marks the first snow here, so I had a feeling it would be coming soon.

The snow was already gone when I went to take a picture.

The snow was already gone when I went to take a picture.

I’m still not sure what we’re doing to celebrate tomorrow. I’m going to take the little man to the local mall for some costume fun, and then I’ll probably take him to a couple houses for some treats. I was thinking about doing some “ancestral food” for dinner (Right now the plan is for latkes and perhaps steak. The latkes celebrate my mom, and the steak is for Pat’s dad). We’ve done some decorating and some craft projects. It’s going to be so fun when he’s older to really get into it!

photo 4 photo 3

We’ll leave some milk and honey outside and I think I’ll do my annual tarot reading. Every year I try to do one big reading for myself to get a feel for the upcoming year. I think this year I’m going to focus on the wisdom and lessons of the past.

On that note, I’d like to offer 5 readings for my followers. Comment on this post, be sure to include your email address. I’ll get back to you and confirm what it is you’d like to know. Be as specific or as vague as you’d like.  I’ll email you your reading once I’ve done it.

Going in a completely different direction, I found a super cute nail polish that is perfect for Halloween.

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Meet Revlon Elusive #736. I just happened to come across it on sale at Shoppers when I was picking up some late night groceries the other day and couldn’t resist. It’s a matte black with flecks of beautiful teal glitter. It dries super fast. The coverage is fantastic. I’m only wearing one coat in the picture. I could use another one, but…

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On that note, this momma has to get going. I’m working on some top secret Christmas/Yule crafts. SHHHH! Details to come later, I promise! Don’t forget to comment if you want a reading. <3 If you are comfortable with me posting the results, let me know! I’ll do a post if people are cool with it.

Black magik

This time of year always makes me nostalgic. As we are forced indoors by the cold, I think back to Halloween over the years. I used to go to a local club every year with my friends to celebrate at the Annual Witches Gathering party.

It’s a hard thing to explain. I’ve had other friends join me and try never really got why I went there every year. The line ups were awful, service was bad and the music was terribly outdated (and not in a good way). There was a certain appeal of being with my people and attending out of a sense of ritual. They have since changed venues, but I haven’t gone since my Mom passed.

Me at the Gathering, 2009.

Me at the Gathering, 2009.

Before going out, we used to stop by a little cafe downtown called Oh So Good. Oh So Good used to have this amazing coffee on the menu called Black Magik. It was served in a bowl style mug and was DELICIOUS. The cafe has since moved and lost its appeal, as well as the Black Magik on the menu.

Tonight is the night of the Witches Gathering. I’m not going, but I decided to make myself a cup of Black Magik as best as I could.

OSG’s Black Magik

My not-so-black magik

My not-so-black magik

What you need:

  • Strong black coffee (I used my Keurig, but whatever tickles your fancy is what works best)
  • Two scoops of chocolate icecream
  • Sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
  • Milk/Cream/whatever if you need it

It’s pretty straight forward. Brew your coffee however you like it. It’s best if it’s a heavier strong coffee. Add two scoops of chocolate icecream and stir. If it’s not sweet or light enough for you, add your sweetener and milk/cream/whatever. I only had vanilla icecream on hand, so that’s what went into mine. Garnish with a tiny bit of Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

What ever you’re up to tonight, I hope you’re having a lovely time. We are relaxing and setting Liam up in his big boy room. It’s his first night out of our room. Wish us luck!

Liam's Room <3

Liam’s Room <3

A rambling fall post

It’s been one of those weeks that just wears you right down to the ground. There’s been family drama, estate drama, the death of my year old iPhone, work troubles, hormones, nightmares, illness, serious money troubles, you name it. October has been hard on us. Today S and her wee ones popped by for a visit and some running around. I swear, there’s nothing like having your nearest and dearest around when you’re going through hell. I also heard that L is coming to town next week for work, so I’m going to be even more spoiled with some bestie time.

You can feel autumn in the air, the chill, and the smell of the leaves. I usually love this season, but it’s always a hard time of reviewing what you have around you and the drawing end of the year. I’ve been thinking a lot about Samhain and what we’re going to do this year. I haven’t really been practicing much. Honestly, since losing my mother, I’ve been afraid to get back in touch with my faith. It’s like that saying “Once bitten, twice shy”. I’ve been so afraid of getting in touch with that part of myself. I’m thinking I’m going to make either Red Moon’s Honey and Lavender cake or some kind of spice cake. I’m thinking about doing some kind of ritual for the dead. I don’t know. Being pregnant, I’m not in the mood to go out partying like in past years. Maybe we’ll just stay home and watch scary movies. I’ve been dreaming of my parents almost every night this month.

On a cheerier note, my workplace has decided that we should dress up for Halloween. Being preggo makes that difficult for me, until I saw this:

Yes. It has been purchased and shipped. I picked up a black shirt from Old Navy today while out with S. You can be a fashionable preggo this Halloween too! Here’s the shop where I found it.

The cold is helping to revive my creative spirit though, which is nice. I’m plotting some knitting projects (finish the hat for Pat, start on a scarf for a friend and of course – BABY STUFF). I’ve been thinking about getting back into journaling and maybe even drawing. Being forced inside isn’t always a bad thing I suppose. Also, I’ve been recently inspired to try my hand at a few new crafts. Firstly, here is a LOVELY wreath that Danielle made over at PHIT:

Didn't she do an amazing job? I love those colours!

Seriously, run over to her blog and tell her how amazing that is. My friend Krista of Dandelion Express made a wreath too:

Again, aren't these ladies super talented?

I just need some felt, I think, and these could be mine. I even have a foam wreath frame thingie from when I was thinking about making a mobile for a co-workers baby. (PS, don’t try making a hand knit mobile for a co-workers baby 2 weeks before the baby is due. You will never finish.) The mobile in question:

How cute, right?

I have the worm dragonfly body done. Yeah. That’s it. Here’s the Rav pattern page.

BUT! Despite that failure, I am considering attempting some felt mobile ideas for Babeh. I came across from obscenely cute ones on etsy:

Adorable! So colourful and happy! All for the low low price of…65?! Yeaaaaah, no. It gets worse too. We’re thinking about doing a woodland themed nursery (by we, I mean me. Heh.) She has a woodland themed mobile:

NEED IT.

It’s 75$. Yes. 75$. So, I’m thinking of spending maybe 20$ on felt and supplies and going from there. I think I can do it :D  Here’s the etsy store if you are interested.

Anyway, I’m off to listen to some more Neko Case and maybe even enjoy a book. Have a great weekend everyone <3

Winter’s sleep

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’m very glad that Samhain has passed. The fall seems like such a busy time that it’s a bit of a relief when the last big event finally passes by. Nothing that has been planned for this fall has actually worked out the way we expected. My mother’s house still is far from being ready for sale. My house is still full of boxes and wedding things that need to be returned. I’m not too worried about it though. The knowledge of the coming winter is almost a comfort to me. It’s an insulated time. With the fall of snow and temperatures, you’re forced to stay inside and work on things there. I feel like I need that white, cold buffer between me and the world right now.

Have gone through an incredible amount of change the last year, and I feel that this winter will help me adjust and accept those changes. I am married, and with that not only has my name changed, but I am tied to another person for, hopefully, a lifetime. We are planning to start a family soon, which will bring a whole new set of changes. I have a new family, and new home and identity. I feel like we have our own nest now, and that this is our time.

My parents are both dead. I knew that this would happen eventually, but it’s still very difficult for me to accept that it is reality now. It is an incredible loss that I can’t even begin to explain, that I would never wish on anyone. It has very suddenly removed a support system that I have been relying on very heavily my whole life. It’s like learning to walk all over again.

In a week, I will be once again unemployed. I have applied for a job that I desperately want and feel very strongly about, but there is a chance that I won’t get it. I need to decide at some point if I want to keep doing the same things and moving in the same direction, or if I want to try something new.

It’s a scary and difficult time in my life, but it’s also an incredibly exciting one. Everything is new to me. This is definitely a time of learning and creating. I can already see the changes in and around me. I’m drawing again. I’m reading voraciously. I’m changing the relationships I have with the people in my life. I’m excited to see where this all leads me :)

Happy Samhain everyone!

Wishing you all a great Samhain and Halloween!

The Husband and I are taking it easy tonight. Had a lovely dinner with a setting for any visitors we might have this evening, and plans to watch Supernatural, drink some wine, all while knitting. I was hoping to have my Week 1 assignment done for my art course, but alas, I can’t find my stamp ink! This is what I have so far:

I’m pretty happy with it so far, though the one feather stamp smudged on her neck pretty bad when I tried using them w/ acrylic paint. I hope that regular ink overtop will give it some definition.

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Anyway, have a great one folks! We’ll see you again in November!

Too sick for samhain?

This week has not gone to plan at all. Pat and I were feeling very smug about having found what seemed to be the perfect Halloween costumes for us. Namely, Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy of the Dresden Files (which, if you haven’t read, you totally should. Srsly, it’s awesome):

Of course, best laid plans and all that…this week we both find ourselves fighting a nasty illness. Starts with a massive headache and then descends into flu-like symptoms. Pat missed two days of work thus far, and I had my second day off work as well. He’s feeling much better, but I’m still in the thick of it.  It’s not looking promising for the weekend.

So, our plans right now have changed to simply staying in and watching horror flicks, with maybe a good meal if I’m feeling up to it. It really depends. I’m not sure about any rituals, simply because I don’t believe in doing anything of the sort when you’re feeling like ass. If we’re on the mend, costumes are no where near ready, so we’ll attend a friend’s party in whatever we can muster up. We’ll see.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. It’s my favourite holiday and I’m missing out. Oh well. Apparently my body needs this time, so who am I to argue?

In the mean time, I’ve been doing what I can to continue working on the betterment of my life and my home. I am in full swing on transforming my craft room-turned-dog room into a craft room/guestroom, I’m very excited about it. All we really need is the installation of shelving that I already own, and the purchase of a day bed. I’ll make a big post about it when it’s all done, I promise. In the mean time, this is what it looks like right now:

Complete with Laser Kitty and Kitty Belleh

The other thing that I’m really excited about is the free online art course I’m doing: The Heart of Art. I found this thanks to my friend Krista, who posted about it here, on her blog. It’s a really interesting course that’s all about finding healing through art. I’m still working on week 1, and I can say that I have learned a lot. I used to draw and paint all the time, but it’s been years. It’s great to learn something new, and to see this sort of resource available on the net for free. I wish I could have had this when I was in my early teens, that’s for sure.

Once I’m done my first piece I’ll post it for you guys :)

The other great thing I’ve recently joined online is a pretty well known group on Ravelry. In fact, most of my Rav peeps are members, and I have been a lurker for a while without ever really looking into it deeper. It’s the Lazy, Stupid, Godless group. It’s refreshing to hear such honesty and openness in a group of people. It’s actually got me back on Rav, and interested in knitting again. Now, it’s definitely not a group for the faint of heart. These people can be brutal, but if you have skin tough enough, they are also extremely supportive and hilarious.

And with that, I’m off. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better before the weekend. If not, have a great one everyone. Have a drink or two for me.

My Samhain Ritual

We’re about a week and a half from the big day. Where did the time go? October has been flying by.

I think the husband and I have finally picked our Halloween costumes, though now there’s the tough part of actually pulling them together. I still don’t know for sure what our plans are, but I’m trying my best not to stress about it.

As promised, I’m going to share with you what used to be the major part of my annual ritual for Samhain. This was usually done as a part of a group, and as a result, took lots of time and lots of improvisation to make it work for us.

The original spell is from The Book of Spells by Nicola de Pulford. It’s called Encompassing Luck.

We saw this ritual as a way to make goals or resolutions for the New Year. We didn’t look at them so much as “wishes” as rather something to strive for. Keep in mind that the old adage remains true: Be careful what you wish for.

What you Need:

-8 candles (choose colours that correspond to what you’re doing. The book recommends green for prosperity and red for luck, but we usually kept it to either white or purple).

-Wine/Beverage of Choice. Cider would be good too. Or hot chocolate. Yum.

-Some edible nuts/seeds or cake that crumbles well and doesn’t fall apart if dipped in wine.

-A round pebble (though we didn’t always use this, our BOS was normally enough)


If using different coloured candles, set them up so that the colours alternate. Make sure they are secure. In the middle of the circle of candles, place the wine and the nommy snacks.

If using the pebble, keep it in your left hand throughout the whole ritual. Normally, instead of using a pebble, we wrote down all of our wishes in our group BOS. The idea is to infuse the intention of your goals/wishes into something that you can have with you throughout the year.

Starting with the candle at the north, light it.  Dip the foodstuff into the beverage, while making your wish. Eat the foodstuff. We would then each write down our own wish. Repeat, going in the direction that works for you.

If doing this in a group, there are a couple of ways to do this. If you have 4 people in your group, each person gets 2 wishes. Or, if you don’t mind things taking a while, each person gets 8 wishes. Whatever works for you. We’ve done both and found that we preferred letting everyone have 8 wishes while alternating who lights the candle.

When you are done, drink the rest of the wine and enjoy what is left of your treats. Meditate on your wishes/resolutions and the steps you need to take to accomplish them.

Going back over the book, I realize that my interpretations of this ritual are a bit different from the original author’s. For me, spellcraft is intensely personal. Just like when I’m baking, I find it nearly impossible to stick to the “recipe”. I highly recommend you do what feels right to you.

Welcome to the Halloween Party!

Welcome to the Halloween Party folks!  For those that missed my previous post about this, I’m participating in the lovely Domestic Witch’s Halloween Blog Party. For the month of October, I will be posting off and on about Halloween and Samhain. To start things off, I figure I should probably talk about what Halloween and Samhain mean to me.

As a child, my parents were never really big holiday people. We didn’t go all out for anything, except maybe Christmas. Halloween was one of those annoying events that my mother dreaded having to deal with. I can understand it now, but at the time, I was always so bitter that I never got a cool costume to wear, though she did try her best to dress us up as best she could with a minimal budget.

A couple of my costumes:

A...bear?

This time, a carebear!

Despite this lack of real interest on their part, I’ve always loved it. I was sort of a weird kid. I was the storyteller of my grade, so I was always invited to sleepovers to scare the crap out of my friends. I would make up these incredible scary stories out of no where and had a great love of monsters and legends. I read a lot of children’s gore (Fear Street, goosebumps, Christopher Pike, etc…). I also absolutely LOVED dressing up and playing pretend. Halloween, of course, became my favourite day of the year.

At the age of 14, I finally recognized that I was pagan and suddenly my favourite time of year took on a whole new meaning. It was no longer just Halloween, but now Samhain. I took over decorating my parents place and handing out candy. I researched and celebrated whatever way I felt suited. By the age of 16, I had a small group of friends that participated in an annual tradition of a nice dinner and ritual. Once I had my own apartment, me and whoever was my roommate at the time would play hosts and take the whole event very seriously. When I turned 19, I also started attending the annual Witches Gathering, hosted by the Ottawa Pagan Community at a local club.

Me, at the Witches Gathering, in 2003? Dressed as Ophelia

Me, ready for WG 2004, dressed as "Autumn"

WG 2005. I'm on the far right, dressed as Amalthea from The Last Unicorn

WG 2007, Retro costume.

WG 2009, me as a Gypsy

This Halloween is still undecided. I don’t have a costume (I don’t even have a potential costume in mind. How sad is that?) We shall see. It’s hard, facing Samhain, when you’ve just lost someone close to you. It is the very reason I didn’t go in 2006 (my grandmother) or 2008 (my father).

Samhain/Halloween is a truly magical time of year for me. I’m not sure what the correct term is for someone like me (I’ve heard Greywalker, psychic, and sensitive), but I have a very close connection with the dead. I’ll save that for another post, but the point is that this is a time that I feel the veil is very thin. I can feel the dead around me, and while some would find this tarrying, usually it’s a comforting time for me. It’s a time of paying respect to your ancestors. It’s also exciting and full of energy. It’s like New Years Eve, a time ripe with possibilities. It’s a time that I embrace the darker parts of myself, while making plans for the new year. I reflect back and give thanks for all of my blessings and try to recognize all of the lessons that I’ve learned.

It’s a time when I feel a little less freaky. Everyone gets a little witchy and dark around Halloween, as well as creative and outgoing. The incredible costumes I’ve seen on my friends have always amazed me. It’s a time when I feel very connected with my surroundings and the community. It’s a party. It’s a joy, just as much as it’s a time for reverence and contemplation.

I’m excited at this chance to share my Samhain experience with my readers. I hope you enjoy everything I have to share :D I plan on sharing a bit about myself and my traditions, as well as some tips and recipes. Please let me know if you have any questions for me or topics you’d like me to address.

Questions and Agenda

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Honestly, I haven’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. I’ve been slowly working away on Mrs. Darcy and am just under halfway done the last sleeve and I only have one ball of yarn left. EEP! This is yarn that I purchased years ago from Elann, so I’m SOL if I run out.

Isn’t it pretty? Well, I guess it’s pretty plain looking, but to touch it makes all the difference. It’s a wool and alpaca blend that is this beautiful tweedy plum colour.  For those with the Rav, here’s the stash page for it. So close to being done! I think when I finish all the pieces, I’m going to need to drop by the local Knit Night and ask for some help with seaming. It’s something I’ve never been good at, and I want this sweater to be perfect! Meanwhile, speaking of sweaters…

Tis nearly that time of year….my favourite of all: Samhain! In honour of this, and considering how important it is to me this year, I’ve decided to join  The Domestic Witch’s  Halloween Blog Party! You can read more about it  here!

I plan on starting to post on Samhain related things started October 1st.  I haven’t fully decided on the nature of the posts yet, but I’m excited about the project.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on pregnancy and babies lately (no little bean yet, I promise. It’s more just prep-work. We’re hoping for next year some time, but not before at least one of us have a full time job with benefits that isn’t a contract). Are there any that you’d recommend? My favourites so far are Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth

Also, have any of you ever been to Jamaica before? We’ve booked our honeymoon and I’d love to hear about things that you enjoyed while you were there. We’re going to Negril, if that helps.

On that note, I have to get back to work. I’m taking at least a week off in the near future, so expect some posts about cleaning, purging and things of the sort.