Monday, January 23, 2017

What I Have Learned About Stitch Witchery Thus Far

1. Probably most people will groan when I say this, but it is the math that makes the magick. I understand, you hate math. You think it is an acronym- Mental Abuse To Humans. I feel you. That's why I majored in English. But the pattern is math and the repition is how the power builds. All forms of sewing use math. It's basic math, and we all have cell phones with calculators so please just use the available technology to do the math. Having all the pieces fit is one of the things that makes the work beautiful. There are about 10,000 videos per technique and 90% show you shortcuts so you don't have to struggle with math. If you take the time to research you will find something you understand. So stop fearing the blueprint of the Universe because math will never go away.

2. Order is vital. I don't just mean keeping supplies or notions neat, though that's super important. I mean the magick flows well when you plan carefully. Ideally, the most successful spell would be you decide what working to do, find a project that best suits your intention, pick the best time to begin, gather, cleanse, and empower supplies, then work magick constantly as you sew. Deciding midway through a cross stitch sampler that it could be a protection spell lessens the power. It could still work, but you have more power with magick at the very beginning.

3. There's always a problem. You're going to run out of thread, break a needle, miscount, read directions wrong, sew something in upside-down, or realize at the end your perfectly made dress is a size too small. Fix what mistakes you can, gift it to someone who is that size, turn the too small quilt block into a pot holder, or just start over. It's life.

4. Magick begs attention. Every single time I do a stitch witch spell I gain an audience.  You might decide you could make a living sewing by how many people are interested in your work.

5. While there are Witches who make spells with needlework, there is no set tradition of Stitch Witchery. This is not something easily given in a generic form to span across different crafts. My favorite books on the subject are Magical Fabric Art by Sandra McCraw Scarpa and Dorothy Morrison's Magical Needlework.  Morrison's book covers several different kinds of projects so it is useful in demonstrating how to use magick no matter what kind of sewing you do, but it doesn't cover everything and it is rather simplified because she isn't writing a sewing book that allows the reader to progress in skill. The critics of Magical Fabric Art complain that the book only covers obvious stuff that every Witch should already know like enchanting tools and storing the quilt in a magick box to keep it free of mundane influences. I think the book would be absolutely massive if she had gone into quilt block meanings or how to use blocks as spells. Lengthy lists would arise just listing block names as protective or prosperity or healing. I think the book gives a good overview of what could be done. Remember, no one has gathered the information for us. We are compiling our personal journey as we go along.

After I wrote the rough draft of this post, I found another favorite book, Domiknitrix by Jennifer Stafford. I especially like her page on the boyfriend curse and her steps to decide whether such a thing could happen to you.

6. Skill before magick. You can't learn to knit and successfully cast spells at the same time. The magick isn't going to flow until you learn the stitches.

7. That being said, magick can help you learn new skills. Most sewing is very meditative. If you embrace that and open your mind to enjoying the experience, things could just click into place for you. You may find it's not as difficult as others claim.

8. There is no end. You will never know everything there is to know about all kinds sewing, thus you will never stop finding ways to add magick to your work.

9. Use the best of everything. People who are good at sewing do not work with cheap thread or cheap anything. While they are very capable of turning old clothes into quilt pieces, they will sew with sharp needles. Their pins aren't bent or rusty. Fabric scissors are not used on paper. They take care of what they have and use it wisely.

10. Magick doesn't need to be obvious. You don't need to embroider runes in order for the project to be a spell. You can trace sigils with your fingers or simply chant as you sew. It doesn't have to be black or purple or star print fabric.

11. Sewing is magick. Even if you aren't trying to do a spell. It's magick because it's creation, because it's art, because you put your time and effort into it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Going Along

Right now I'm tired. A Witch's work is never done, and neither is an artist's,  or a mother's. I am all three. Sometimes I wonder why I keep trying.

I am starting to have success with the broom. Today when I picked it up it felt heavier, sort of like picking up a small pet. The handle is starting to turn darker. When I sit on the couch and glance at the fireplace tools I can definitely tell which one is the broom. I think using the broom has averted trouble. I discovered someone was up to go good. When I took steps to protect myself I found out why their plan failed. I feel better, but just to be on the safe side I did an additional protection spell.
I have lots of keys. These were my father's. Crossed keys are a powerful charm. At first I tied them together with red thread. They shifted around badly. I tried gluing the keys together but the glue wouldn't hold metal to metal. Finally I glued the keys to popsicle sticks, then glued the sticks together. That worked perfectly. I have made 2 sets to be buried at the front and back doors of my house. I will add red thread and banishing herbs to set the spell. Just because a spell is traditionally worked one way does not mean that is the only way to do it. I really like how this came out and I will make more key charms. Now that I have a usable charm I am thinking of more applications.

I'm still plucking along with my art. I do some every day. Some days I get really tired of what I'm working on. Sometimes I really want to start another project but I don't because that leads to never finishing anything. I have reached a point in my life where having a completed project I'm proud of is more important than having been involved with multiple projects.

Monday I plan to be back on weekly posts. I'll have stitch magick to show you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In Answer to Fluffy's Question

I have been asked to describe how I use my fireplace tools.
I moved everything by the window to make photography a little easier. This is my set of brass fireplace tools.
This is the stand. I like the star shape. If you wanted to become more organized,  you could start by blessing the stand and asking for more support in your life.
I don't know the proper name of this tool. It is for moving logs. I think it's about useless because it is very difficult to maneuver them. They don't want to open up enough to actually grip the log. I suppose magickally they could be used to bring something to you or to grab opportunity, but because I don't like using these wannabe tongs in real life, I doubt I would have much success. I had this problem when I first became a practicing Witch. Something about the tool has to speak to me on a primal level. Something has to say, this is magick, or I can't make it work.

The shovel. I use the shovel as a dust pan, as well as scooping up ashes. I haven't used it for magick yet, though I think it would be a great banishing tool. Actually I think of the whole set as banishing.
Poker. I think this would fall under transformation and encouragement spells.
My broom. Each day I sit on the hearth. I hold the broom across my lap and I tell it to awaken. The broom is not going to awaken immediately. This will take lots of practice. Every day. For weeks. Maybe even years. When you pick up the broom and it feels like picking up a cat, or you get a little jolt in your hand, then it's awake. Then it's a magickal tool. To speed up the process, you can sing to the broom  (which is the art of enchantment) or you can feed it. I'll talk more about feeding in a minute.
I have one last tool to show you and that is the bellows. I bought this first because we needed it for the wood burning stove in the old house. It was difficult to circulate air when starting a fire. My husband likes eagles. It's brass and that's why I picked out brass fireplace tools. I don't really need it in this house so it hangs on the side wall. Bellows are most often associated with forges making them creation tools.

Now, about feeding. I'm using the broom to banish but I thought I should balance things out. I moved my dragon over to the fireplace. He didn't want to be photographed. I tell the dragon what I want and he brings it to me. I've had him a long time. He is definitely awake.  Draco is fed either by crystal energy  (I place a charged crystal in his box) or by my blood. Before you freak out, remember that I am a diabetic and I stick my fingers multiple times a day. I feed him one drop. This happens maybe once a month. How often he needs to be fed depends on how much he does for me. He sometimes goes months sleeping. Sometimes Draco disappears. He left when we moved in. I made sure he was carefully packed up. When I unpacked his box, it was empty. I panicked. I searched everywhere, even looked in places I knew he wouldn't be because I was certain it was my fault he was lost. He couldn't be found. Then several months later I opened the box and there he was. That's the problem with familiars, they don't always tell you things. You are on a need to know basis and mostly they think you shouldn't know their business.

There are other ways to feed familiars. Some will accept holy water, pollen, honey, spices, sunlight, moonlight, milk, crystals, or charms. They just need an energy source to draw from. Each familiar is different. Some need to be awakened then fed, and others need to 'live' before it can awake. You'll have to meditate with your broom to figure out if it can be familiar. Remember with fimiliars you are growing them. Unless yours is an animal or plant, it will only grow in power, not size.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Stitch Witchery- Temari

I have a pinterest board filled with nothing but temari balls. I think they're lovely. I see a strong potential for spell work in them. I decided one of my resolutions will be to create more art, and more magick, because we live in a time when we desperately need more beauty. I resolved to make one temari ball per week for 2017. I missed the first week due to sickness, the new year's holiday, and my 40th birthday. But no worries. I can start the second week, so that's what I did yesterday.
I bought a pack of foam balls. There are many things that can be used as a base in temari. This just seemed like the easiest way to begin. Later I may decide something else works better or lasts longer. I can't stitch the ball as it is so the red yarn is used to making a padding.
Getting yarn to stay in place is a bit tricky. I used mod podge. The book I'm reading suggested double stick tape. I didn't have any. I wasn't sure how well the mod podge would stick.
It seems to work very well so I slathered a good bit all over as I wrapped yarn around.
I let the first wrapping dry completely. 
I then started the second wrapping at a different point so that the ball was completely covered with no obvious starting places. I still used mod podge. I may end up with some hard lumps but I don't think so because the mod podge is under the yarn. I don't think I'll have problems unless I make really deep stitches.

The ball, wrapped in yarn and dried. I used a shot glass as a stand to keep the mod podge from gluing the ball to my counter.

The next stage is wrapping background thread. I will do that today. I haven't done any magick yet because this is a learning process for me, but I think the beginning stage would be excellent for mapping a path, setting events in motion, beginning journeys, or building strong foundations. I wrapped in a clockwise direction. I would consider directions more carefully depending on the type of spell I chose. I would probably also consider numerology. There's no reason to stop at 2 wrappings. I could have made 3 or 4.

Tomorrow's post will be about wrapping the background and measuring for stitch placement.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Magick

A while back I mentioned trying broom magick. If you remember, I said I always thought of the broom as being just a tool until I read an article that treated the broom like a living thing, putting the broom in the same category as a familiar. I pondered this concept here and there. I finally decided that I didn't want a special broom reserved only for magick. The broom should be multipurpose; it should be used for both cleaning and spell work. After deciding that worked best for me, I had to resolve my next problem- where to keep it. I wanted the broom in the open where it was easily accessible. That eliminated both my household broom I keep on the porch and the small brooms and dustpans I keep under the sink. It seemed as if I would need a decorative broom after all. Then I noticed that not only do I have extra broom, but it resides in a place of power.
The fireplace broom! Perfect! This is a set of secondhand fireplace tools that I bought in a antiques store, but I don't think the broom has been used much at all. For some reason people are afraid to use these. I'm guessing they don't want to ruin the set. I don't really have a problem using things for their designed purpose. And I don't have a problem replacing this broom when it's worn out even if the next fireplace broom doesn't exactly match the set. Just like if something happens to the poker I'd buy a new one and I wouldn't worry about whether it was cast iron or brass.

So today's plan is to clean the fireplace and then try to awaken my broom. I'll write a post later on how I do it, or even if it works. I may need a different plan. This also begs the question of if the other tools in the set can be used for magick. Could the shovel be a banishing tool? I intend to find out. After I find out what works I'll be able to write about what spells I'm able to do. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Almost Back

Today is the first time in well over 2 weeks that I have had a moment to myself; and it's the last day of school before Xmas break so it could be after the new year before I get another moment. I will brief you on the comings and goings of my corner of the world.

It finally rained after 62 days of drought. Alabama went from a burn ban to flood warnings in the same week.

My husband came through his surgery just fine. Being that he couldn't eat, he lost weight. He can breathe better. His CPAP machine had to be turned down because it was blowing too hard so now his sleep apnea is better.

I've been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. I've decided my main goal is to manage our money. I have decided this is work that must be done every single day, whether we have money or not, because far too often we are struck with unexpected expenses. Many of these could be avoided if only I had planned a bit better. So now I am looking at bank balances, bills, and schedules daily. And I started when I realized it needed to be done because procrastination has also been a stumbling block for us. I have noticed it is less stressful to tackle problems head on.

My other goal is to sew every day. I already did this, mostly. But now I am trying harder. Now I make sure stitches are created. I carry my sewing box everywhere which baffles Will. Or it did until he saw me sewing while we waited at the pharmacy and people started asking me questions. If you do any kind of art this is the best way to get noticed, and probably the best way to gain commissions. If nobody knows what you do they can't buy your art, admire your art, or tell their friends.

We are expanding the garden! The fire pit will move thus doubling my growing space. I am very excited about this.

I am trying to do more for myself. A girlfriend and I now meet once a month because we are tired of being responsible adults cleaning house. I also color more. I haven't gotten back into reading as much as I would like, but I have bought one new book and am picking slowly through.

Like I said, I probably won't post again until after the new year. If there's anything you would like for me to write about, leave a comment.

Monday, November 28, 2016

On a Personal Note

I won't be posting for a while. My husband is having surgery tomorrow. Nothing too serious, he's having his tonsils, adenoids removed, his palate moved forward, and his nasal passages opened. He stays sick. About 3 or 4 times a year we end up in Urgent Care because he can't breathe or his sinuses are draining on his stomach. The surgery is supposed to resolve all that. He's not going to feel well for at least a week. I obviously can't blog while taking care of him. We are doing this now because in January we get new insurance. Also in January, Trump takes office. He has promised to end Obama care. Per Trump's usual m.o., he didn't say how he would do this or what kind of care would be in place. So since there's too many unknowns, and because we've already met our deductible, now is the best time.

In other news, I am still leaving magick where it can be found. I think we need magick more than ever. I have left my little charms at the post office, the library, and the Kroger parking lot. I try not to leave them in a store where they could be mistaken for merchandise. I just bought plastic canvas stars so I can make lucky star charms. I think we need luck most of all.

I am also working on art. I have started the piece I will enter in the artist guild show. I have started a Facebook page to promote my art. Apparently I need a website as well because Facebook doesn't seem to want to stand alone. My page keeps asking me where to send customers if they want to buy something. Extra work, yay.

I've had a good deal of stress dealing with inlaws. That is supposed to be resolved but it isn't really because nothing is different. My husband refuses to be involved and after several futile efforts to make things better I realized I couldn't fix it because I wasn't being wronged. I decided he was right. Now I'm staying out of it too.

The leaves are changing but it is unseasonably warm. My little patch of land seems confused. It is very dry here. We haven't had rain in over a month. I'm thinking about influencing the weather. Normally I let Mother Nature do her thing because she knows far better than I what is best. But the trees have a desperate feeling around them and I am starting to worry.

I am breaking my rule of never discuss politics. This has been a nasty election year. I've never seen so much pathetic whining. And on all sides. Most of the Hillary supporters are certain life as we know it is gone forever. I really don't like Trump. I don't think he can do the job. But I don't think he will set us back 20 years either.  Our rights are not suddenly going to end. I think it will probably be more like when Bush was president and it was unwise to openly be Pagan. People didn't have a problem openly mocking Witches. But we still had our rights. I think that's how it will be for gays. I'm not sure yet how things will be for others. I think the people who are talking about leaving the country fear what COULD happen and are assuming it is happening rather than seeing what is occurring. I don't have any answers. I have decided to focus on what I do have control over. I'm going to do magick. The world needs it.