Today, charged with Beltane’s creativity energies, I did an “Apothecary Shoppe” sign, that will be fixed at the top of my herb collection in my new Witchy Room. It’s not 100% finished, but because my crafting tools are packed, I can’t go further for now. I only need to add some darker effects with dye and to varnish it.
I purchased these amazing statues a year ago, designed by the Pagan artist Mickie Mueller. The only thing that bothered me was the color. They are too dark and they often “get lost” on my altar. So, I’ve decided to “clean” them off with a paint removal product (Goof Off). I was to make them pure white, but I loved the vintage look I obtained after few minutes. For now, I’ve decided to keep that vintage look, but I might clean them completely in the future! I think the details are way better that way!
Before and After
This quick project is done! Now it’s time to focus on my Travel Altar again!
My Herb Collection (August 2016)
My Resin Collection (August 2016)
Just a quick update — I’m feeling so productive this week! Yesterday, I started to redo all my labels for my herb jars. The ones I did two years ago seemed fine at the time, but now I want something with more ‘oomph’ on the shelves. I designed the label in Photoshop, and they are now ready to be printed (what I’ll do this afternoon at a local store). Here are the before and after label for ‘Mandrake’.
Old and New Herb Label for ‘Mandrake’
And below you’ll see a picture of my current herb shelves (the resins are somewhere else).
My soon to be updated herb shelf
This project has been in my mind since three years already, and I finally decided to go ahead with it! My new project is a Travel Altar, also known as Portable Altar. Many Witches, Wiccans, Druids or Pagans in general make their own portable Home Shrines and the reason is simple: it’s immensely useful (and fun to have)!
You may wish to have a portable altar for many reasons. Perhaps your job requires you to travel a lot. Maybe you’re a college student in a cramped dorm, and space is at a premium. Do you belong to a group that holds rituals in a different place each time? Are you going out of town to visit your family or some friends? Got small children who will knock over anything and everything that you set out on a table top? Any of these are good reasons to create a portable altar kit. It’s easy to do, and it makes it a snap to just grab-and-go on your way out the door.
Some travel altars are as small as a mint tin boxes (there is many YouTube videos on it) but personally, it’s too small for my taste. In reverse, some have travel altar the size of a big makeup/cosmetic compartment box, and it’s way too big for my needs. I established a quick concept art (see pictures below) and I have two options: I could opt for a crafty design, like a box disguised as a book, or go simple with a wooden box decorated with symbols.
The dimensions for my Travel Altar should be similar to the size of a book, somewhere around 6×8 inches and roughly 2 or 3 inches for the height. Preferably, I would like to include everything to make a complete Celtic Druidry High Day (Sabbat) celebration and/or a Witchcraft Esbat ritual. The tools consist of are:
- Candles (Fire Element)
- Incenses (Air Element)
- Salt (Earth Element)
- Water (Water Element)
- Athame (Fire Tool)
- Wand (Air Tool)
- Pentacle/Paten (Earth Tool)
- Chalice (Water Tool)
- Selected Offerings
- Selected Crystals
- Selected Herbs
- Runes (Mini)
- Tarot (Mini)
- Ogham (Mini)
- Box of Matches
- Charcoal Discs
- Bowls and Plates
- Mortar and Pestle
- Pocket Book
- Paper, Pen, Chalk
- Cord and Ribbons
- Wheel of the Year
- Small ‘Ouija’ Cursor (Not sure about this one…!)
Here are the concept arts for the ‘Crafty Version’, but I might do a simple decorated box first, and then, maybe do an elaborated version later. Better starting simple and finish it for once, than to go fancy and discard the project — and I need it for my next trip for when I’ll spend some time with my family out of town, so I have not much time to lose! To be continued…
Ogham sets are available on eBay or Etsy shops, but I think it’s more powerful to make them ourselves. Traditionally, ogham staves are made from wood, and preferably from the wood associated with the ogham letter.
||Pine or Fir
If, like me, you don’t have the possibility to find all 20 types of wood to makes your ogham staves, you still can use the same type of wood for all of them (some even uses rocks but I prefer my ogham sets to be from wood). Below, I made a very simple ogham staves tutorial, and I used pictures from my first project.
- You’ll need twenty identical staves. For my first set, I used large wood craft sticks.
- I made myself a template to make the wood burning easier.
- Place the template on the stick.
- With a pencil, decide and mark where the lines will be drawn.
- Use a wood burner (or a permanent marker) to finish the ogham symbol.
- Repeat! Now, you have you very fist ogham set!
As you can see on the last picture, I’ve added the ogham name on the right to easily identify them. When you are new to the ogham divination system, this can be very useful to you. Some will also add some omen description on the back, or draw the leaves or the three associated with the ogham name. Use your creativity and make the set you’ll like to use!
For my second set, I used simple wood dowels. There are still the ones that I currently use, and I might add a wood finish in the future, to make them look darker or older. I hope you found this quick tutorial interesting. Please, let me know if you have any questions!