Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tutorial: Stuff Catching Rug


IMG_2468Have a spot in the house the regularly accumulates debris that a normal rug doesn’t catch well? For us it’s the cat litter box. We used to have a store bought rubber rug for the front of the cat box. It did a great job of catching the litter off of their feet but over time the rubber ripped. I had to through it away.

Since I tossed the store bought mat the area around the cat box has gone crazy! I needed a replacement bad but I didn’t want to way the high price at the local chain pet store.

If you’re a crafter in this predicament what do you do?

You figure it out. The keys to the original mat were that it had this weird mess on the top with space for the litter beneath and get trapped. What I didn’t like was that once in there it was difficult to get out.

My solution

Crochet a loose rectangle of fabric with adequate places for the litter to go through and and then bind the mat on 3 sides to create a pillow case of sorts.

What I did

Using worsted weight polyester yarn, an N hook I double crocheted 24 rows of 35 stitches. This created a mat about 18” x 13”.IMG_2458

Then I cut a piece of Bottom Weight fabric (or any good durable fabric) 1/2 inch larger than the square on 3 sides and 1 inch larger on the 4th. This made the piece about 14” x 19.5”. I did a wrap around binding often used for quilts. A great tutorial is here but I’m going to explain what I did also.
First I folded in all the corners so they just met the crochet and pressed them.

  IMG_2460

Then I pressed all the edges down a 1/4”. Next I folded over the corners so now they went over the crochet fabric and pressed. This takes some trial and error because the intention is for a mitered edge on the binding. Test where to fold the corner that makes the edges meet up when we fold them over in the next step.

IMG_2461

Fold over all the edges about 3/8th an inch and press. It should be overlapping the crochet fabric (except on the 4th side) and meeting neatly in the corner. Notice how the one side I left open and didn’t overlap the
binding.
IMG_2463        IMG_2465

Then I just zig-zagged stitched all the way around making sure I caught both the binding on 3 of the 4 sides and that I didn’t catch it on the 4th.

IMG_2468

I’ve had it down for about a week now and so far it’s doing a pretty good job. I can already see it catching some of the litter and that not ending up on the floor.
It also matches the room the litter box is in, so another plus.


If you have any questions please leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Crafty Bees Up: Make Your Own Fall Pals


 

This week the kids and I made our own little Fall Pals. After they were done Lil ‘R named them simply Leaf and Acorn. It seems they are also Transformers because their arms and legs can be moved.

 

The ideas kids think of. We talked about the season of Fall and how that’s when acorns fall and some leaves change colors. Overall it was a lot of fun to be had from a very simple craft.

Go on over to The Pagan Village and get the download to make your own.

If you enjoyed this or think someone else would be interested please share the love and use the sharing links below this post. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

MM: Adventures in Baking & New Family Cooking Plans


MondayMadnessLogoThis past week was all about family and behind the scenes items. I didn’t create any new items that are ready yet for sharing. I do have a few new things brewing though.
If you haven’t checked out the Back to School for Witches too Blog Party I’m co-hosting make sure you do. It’s on September 15th, still plenty of time to think up a topic.

Adventures in Baking my First Cake found on Pinterest

IMG_2428I’m sure a few of you have noticed I’ve finally begun to be extremely active on Pinterest. Yes I’ve had my account since early on but now there is an Android App which means I can browse it in the mornings over breakfast and the kids cartoon time.
I found this cake called a Kit-Kat Cake. Hubby’s birthday was last Thursday and he adores Kit Kats. I made it my mission to bake him this cake.
Though mine wasn’t as pristine as the original I’m really proud of it. I did learn I am forever making my own icing and never buying the store stuff again for a cake I am trying to decorate. Along that line I also learned how yummy peanut butter icing it.

Changing up How we Plan Meals

I’ve come to abhor meal time every day. Hubby doesn’t cook but on rare occasion, he never really learned and is very uncomfortable in the kitchen. I hate the “what are we going to eat tonight” feeling.
In the past I’ve done meal planning which worked pretty good but it honestly takes quite a bit of time. I’ve fallen out of the habit since I began being at home. In a few weeks I’m going to start working at least part time again. I don’t want to come home to this same battle every day.
I’ve decided we’re going to try Freezer Cooking. The idea behind freezer cooking is once a week you prep a large amount of meals, split them up into your family size portions and freeze them. Then on the night you pull it out and finishing cooking or putting it together. This can easily be combined with sales to save money also. From Amazon I ordered this cook book, Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer to help me get started.
Many of the recipes sound good and I’ve gotten the idea of many other recipes that will work. Mostly I wanted the book for tips on how to cook these large portions, tips for packaging etc. It even have bread and dessert recipes and the calculations to triple the recipe or even larger.
I’m hoping to try freezing one or two recipes after our next shopping trip. I’ll let you all know if it’s helpful or not.

If you enjoyed this or think someone else would be interested please share the love and use the sharing links below this post. 



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Does Paganism Need a Precise Definition?


DefinitionPaganI was about to pull an internet no no and just start writing while I was angry. Instead of creating a rant I’m going to attempt to create a discussion.

What Happened

Based upon various previous posts, (here, here, and here) I’ve written on my own beliefs and how though they are common pagan beliefs they don’t encompass all that is normally considered Pagan or Heathen. In my openness I have yet to receive a direct negative reaction.

There has been a lot of talk about Brendan’s Myer’s Guest Post over at The Wild Hunt about Humanistic Paganism. I’ve read a lot of it and generally most of the criticism is about his word usage. Not that Humanistic Paganism exists. Today, while reading through my blog roll, I read something that at first had me furious.

The post (which I deleted and unfortunately am having trouble finding) wrote about how it’s completely wrong for this to be considered under the Pagan umbrella. Also that Pantheists, or those who say deities as archetypes aren’t Pagan or Heathen either. Basically my interpretation was that anyone who wasn’t a Hard Polytheist shouldn’t use the label. If I am remember right the author of the blog is a Reconstructionalist and I presume they were meaning only in that frame of reference. The overall message was if you weren’t a polytheist then you shouldn’t be labeling yourself Pagan and should go back to your respective communities.

My Reaction

My initial reaction was anger. I wanted to first come up here and start a rant about someone creating strict definitions on what is or isn’t Paganism, a term that is by nature broad. I deleted the post from my reader and unsubscribed from the feed. (For me that’s huge I follow over 500 blogs and am always adding)
In the time it took to open up my writer and take a few deep breathes I realized a rant would serve Zero purpose. Based upon what I’ve stated my beliefs are and that I still use the Pagan label it’s obvious that this opinion bothered me. Let’s Move on.

Does Paganism Need an Exact Definition?

  • Does the lack of definition of Paganism hinder the faith?
  • Or are the precise definitions of each individual sub-faith, denomination, tradition, etc. sufficient?

 

Some criticism towards the “All beliefs welcome under our umbrella” philosophy is it gets in the way of outsiders taking us seriously.

  • Does a core set of beliefs need to be universal across all Pagan traditions and practitioners?
  • Does a Single interpretation of Deity need to be one of those core beliefs? (Example Polytheist, Archetypes, etc.)
  • We all know the joke ask 10 Pagans something you’ll get 15 different answers. Is this detrimental to the faith? Should someone be able to ask 10 Pagan something and get 10 similar answers?
I have my own opinions about these answers but I want to know what everyone else thinks.





Saturday, August 25, 2012

PBP: Questioning


QuestionsI began my path on Paganism when I was 15 and that journey has been defined by Questions.

At 15 I was introduced to Wicca by a new friend, he also introduced me to a store in my local flea market. That second was the greatest thing because the flea market had an arcade adjacent to it, which gave a great alibi. I spent hours in that store and learned a lot from open discussions.

By the time I was 18 I had found a group joined and obtained my 1st degree. But I still had questions and Wicca or just Eclectic didn’t feel right.

At around 20 I discovered Asatru from a different friend and began reading on that. At first it seemed right but felt a little odd. After meeting with actual groups though I felt at home and became very active. I changed my self identification to Heathen. Years went past, I helped form a local discussion group, started a Kindred with others, was a member and officer of The Troth (for a year). At 25 though I started having questions about the nature of deity as my life went topsy turvy.

I began to think maybe I wasn’t Pagan or Heathen but an Atheist.

This self identified label lasted the shortest. Not because of a sudden reintroduction with deity but because no matter what I feel at home in the Pagan and Heathen communities. If you don’t remember from my Birthday Post, I’m 30 now. In the past year since I’ve really begun to create Treegold & Beegold I’ve thought a lot and asked myself a lot of questions.

I started to define my own views:

  • I believe in the strength and importance of community
  • I believe in celebrating the seasons and the Earth
  • I believe in the importance of traditions (even if self created)
  • I believe in honoring our ancestors and the past
I came to learn 6 months back there is a new found community getting a lot of press this past week called Humanistic or Naturalistic Pagans. I prefer the Humanistic title myself over Naturalistic. For the sake of being able to tell someone a sense of my views easily it’s my current self identified label.

The Questions haven’t ended though. At times I do something or think about certain deities and that spine tingle comes back to me. I had in the past denounced divination for anything supernatural but in a time of pain I turned back to my Runes.

Maybe I’m taking a spiritual hiatus.

I will never stop questioning and I will evolve as I continue too. I’m a trained Scientist and my mind functions on the principle of the Scientific Method.
Question –-> Test –->Conclusion –-> New Questions

I know that new questions are just around the corner, I can feel the shift in my life right now. I wonder what they will be?


This post has been a part of the Pagan Blog Project. The letter of the week is P and you can find the rest of the entries for this week here.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School for Witches too Blog Party Sept 15th


Back to School for Witches too Blog Party

It’s Blog Party time!

School is back in session for the children but why not for the rest of us also. Poppy of Book of Shadows and Blessings and I are co-hosting the First Annual Back to School for Witches too Blog Party.

Come join in September 15th with your favorite lesson to share with everyone else. You know we all read books (a lot of books) and we love to learn so why not learn from each other? This is the perfect time don you special teaching witch hat and share with the class.

The Rules are Simple:

  • Sign up with the Mr. Linky Widget below.
  • Add the Back to School for Witches too Button to your blog. You can find the code in my sidebar on the left.
  • Write a wonderful post on September 15th to teach us all something. maybe its your favorite spell or recipe or no fail ritual or maybe you have a story of a lesson learned you would like to share. Maybe you want to share some basic 101 or 102 lessons from you chosen path or tradition or maybe you want to revisit some of the “basic” teachings and give us your take on them.
Poppy is creating a Pinterest Board to post and share all the participants posts. Make sure to follow myself and Poppy on Pinterest.

You can sign up on Either My Blog or Poppy’s blog but would love if you’d visit us both.

If you have a question just leave a comment.
I can’t wait to see all the lesson’s everyone writes.





If you enjoyed this or think someone else would be interested please share the love and use the sharing links below this post. 




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