All posts filed under: On the blog

Constellations in Stitches – Haptic Lab Quilting Kits

Humans have been looking to the stars for meaning for as long as we’ve been alive. Whether a heavenly reflection of the earth, a meeting place for the gods, or a good way to tell time and navigate, the stars have always provided to our inquisitiveness, and been a place for our imagination. So, seeing Haptic Lab’s constellation quilt kit (http://www.hapticlab.com/collections/diy-kits/products/diy-constellation-quilt-large also available already stitched by them) has inspired my awe and excitement. I have loved constellation and celestial patterns since they first started to become popular, and I don’t know if I can stop liking them. There’s a sense of magic, a reminiscence of staring up at a clear night sky in a very dark and quiet place, that enters the fringe of my thoughts and sparks joy in me. Quilting is such a good hands-on pastime, too, and the tactile nature and requisite attention to detail makes something that feels so rewarding when finished. I feel an affinity for processes that connect us to our pasts, and let us learn how to be …

Hazel - Witches' Lifestyle Blog

Wood-Sorrel – False Shamrock – Oxalis

Four-leafed clovers have long been considered lucky, but there are lots of reasons why the oxalis genus (containing 800 of the 900 wood-sorrel species) is one I’m fond of. Wood-sorrel has been eaten by many Native American cultures such as the Iroquois and the Potawatomi for various remedies (or just cooked with sugar for a dessert), and the roots of some species can be cooked and eaten, as well. As ornamental plants, Oxalis triangularis is a cultivar enjoyed by many under the name “love plant,” “false shamrock,” and “purple shamrock.” It is a perennial that requires bright sunlight with a cool temperature, though it can survive the heat, and gives tiny light purple flowers. I noticed my favorite part about it after drawing my Oxalis a couple of times for the zine – when I first drew it, the shape of the leaves seemed different to when I drew it at another time. After observing my Oxalis for a few days when I got home from work and when I woke up in the morning, …

Hazel - Witches' Lifestyle Blog

Crystals

From ancient times, humans have always been fascinated with clear reflective stones in their many colors. For many South American ancient cultures such as the Incans or the Chimu, the property of being clear and shiny, not being air or water, but something just like them, just like sunlight, this was what was far more valuable to them than gold. It seemed to be as close as one could get to light or life itself. Today, many of us wear them as decoration, still attached to their aesthetic properties, perhaps even just attached to their cultural value and status symbol, but less for spiritual or magic reasons. For many cultures, the crystals held magic, were a piece of the divine, or could be used in rituals to cast spells. You may have heard of the paranormal practice of crystal healing that lives on in alternative medicine communities, among pagans, and those who are attracted to the field. There is no scientific basis on which to make claims of its effectiveness, but a placebo effect can leave …

Coral Fountain

Dear Witches, I was on a stroll one rainy summer day when I came across these beautiful flowers. After doing some research, I discovered their scientific name was Russelia equisetiformis, commonly known as coral fountain. Like its name, all blossoms appeared to be cascading down the bush. It was especially beautiful to see the rain droplets that lingered on them. Do you have a favorite summer flower? I’ll leave you with a lovely quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson… “The earth laughs in flowers.” Melissa

Hazel - Witches' Lifestyle Blog

Mouses Houses

If you grew up reading Beatrix Potter books or the Redwall series, if you built fairy houses in the woods, or if you played with little tiny creatures like the Sylvanian Families, perhaps you know the imagination and wonder of looking at the world as if you were very very small. I always loved finding new uses for bottle caps and marbles that maybe my Beanie Babies could use for something in their home, or that a fairy might enjoy. When I see the incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship of Maggie Rudy, I feel fully immersed into a little scene created just for joy and imagination to flourish. I love the soft commemoration of everyday moments, made wondrous and comforting that fill her blog, and her two works The House that Mouse Built and MousesHouses. I hope it makes a lovely start to your week to take a peak into her studio here and here.

Nature Bathing

Dear Witches, If any of you love the great out doors, you know the wonderful feeling that comes along with escaping from reality and immersing yourself in nature. Notice how rejuvenated you feel afterwards? This form of therapy is called “nature bathing,” a term coined in Japan. Even if you don’t have all day to spend in the wilderness, a 20 minute walk through your neighborhood park will do the trick. So take a stroll and focus on the beautiful visuals, sounds, and smells around you. The goal is to relax and recharge, which starts by regulating your breathing. Nature bathing is a method that is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Incorporate this ritual into your weekly routine, and you will surely improve your health, happiness, and quality of life. Melissa Misa  

Hazel - Witches' Lifestyle Blog

Witch’s Kitchen: Ghost Cookies

I’m only a little surprised that so many friends are already starting to share I-can’t-wait-for-Halloween posts online, since, well, those are my friends! I don’t think it’s ever out of season to dress your baked goods up as ghosts, since after all, there’s not just one time of year that you love ghosts! (or get scared alone in the house at night and think that every sound is a ghost) When I saw some really friendly-looking ghost cookies (who I wouldn’t mind meeting alone at night, I think!) on Pinterest, I was disappointed to find out that the recipe page from makemecake.me is no longer available, but it does look super fun and easy. If it weren’t for this heat (or if I had proper air conditioning), I would get out a simple sugar cookie recipe, or better yet, ginger snap! Then, I would find a ghost mold or cut them myself with a knife, make a bowl of white icing and a tiny amount with black food coloring, and decorate some happy little ghosts. Snacking on …

Anole Season

Good Evening, Witches! As you know, it is summer time and depending on your region, you can always find cute little critters making their appearance within the habitat we share =) If you have been in the south, you are familiar with the anole lizards, who usually like to lounge around porches and amongst the potted plants looking for small insects to snack on. They are about the size of your index finger, and usually quite shy.  The ones I spot around my hometown Savannah are vibrant green, making them easy to blend into the foliage. However, they sometimes scurry onto tree barks or wrought iron fences, making them an object of my desire. I love to get a closer look and say hello. The males immediately puff out their bright red throat fan when I approach. This is a sign of territorial attitude or possible flirtation, depending on the situation. Like me, these creatures thrive in warm weather and sunshine. We can thank them for being our pest control! Since they mostly feed upon small insects. Next time you …

Hazel - Witches' Lifestyle Blog

A Spell for Relaxation

Everyone has their own way to relax, and I am always full of curiosity about each one. I love to learn new ways to unwind and take care of myself, so I collect thoughts and rituals about de-stressing whenever I can. It’s relaxing just to know that there are so many different ways you can let go! The biggest has got to be meditation and rest. Giving yourself time to stop, take a deep breath, and pay attention to your body and the movements of the world around you are essential to slowing your heart rate. Connecting with friends and people you love is another way that you can recharge, and can give you room to share frustrations and then focus on the good times you have together. Scents can also be powerful for setting your heart at ease. It’s so beautiful to me that scent is tied so closely to memory, and a familiar smell can take you right back to a peaceful moment in a safe place. Whether you prefer incense, perfume, scented …