Month: October 2014

Happy New Year!

skull-219795_1280

…No, really.

Samhain marks the point where the wheel of the year starts turning again- in other words, Halloween is New Year’s on the wheel of the year.

Samhain is actually a more important holiday on the wheel than Yule, though it’s Yule that people get excited about (no judgment, I get excited for our yearly Christmas lights, Chinese food, and watching of the Hogsfather night).

This might be one of my entries that gets feathers in a ruffle, so I’m going to gently remind my readers of my commenting policy: you can say what you want, as long as you remember that this is my corner of the Internet and I will not tolerate shaming of any form, insults, or flame wars. I don’t have to approve any comment posted and while questioning/asking for information is fine-soapboxing is not. Remember that you don’t have like what I’m up to when I’m not on this blog, but I don’t have to tolerate being insulted for it either.

So what does Samhain…do…exactly?

As Mid puts it: we light a bonfire and eat things, same as any of the other seven holidays (if you are not familiar with the wheel, we have eight major holidays. That’s right, I have a religious holiday once every six weeks. I actually have trouble keeping them straight, and if you can enlighten me on what Candlemass does, I’d be grateful).

Samhain marks the final harvest, and it’s our one last hurray before we descend into darkness (the true light festivals will start with Yule-hence the Yule log). This is the point of the year when the veil (yes, we use a lot of awkward language, sorry) is the thinnest so we have the most access to the ancestors. It might be easiest to think of Samhain as a family reunion for everyone born into your family ever. We set aside a special plate at dinner for those who have decided to come back for a visit, and remind them that they’re still honored, remembered, and respected.

It’s actually slightly more sad than morbid, because we also hold a general memorial for everyone who has passed since last Samhain. Think of it as an all purpose wake. I’m being pretty flip with the whole thing, but as will all of the sabbats and esabbats, how seriously you take it is up to you. On the other hand, because we have such a strong tradition of ties to our ancestors, it’s not -that- sad either. If you’re familiar with Day of the Dead/Dia de Los Muertos, you’re not far off of what we do.

Beyond that, the only thing that sort of shifts away from Halloween is that we tend to eat more apples, grains, and other harvest foods before/after/during ritual. I’m not going to touch what ritual actually entails because that varies from path to path and individual to individual. We eat a lot of candy, and yes we’ll dress up-either because we just want to or because it’s stated that the Celts wore costumes to scare off the Sluagh.

So while I’m not Wiccan, so I won’t greet you with Blessed Be, I’ll say Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again, Happy Halloween, Happy New Year’s and just plain Happy Friday! Watch out for kids trick or treating and for the love of the gods don’t take media representations of what we do at Samhain seriously. We’re actually a lot more boring than that.

Meditations on Multicolored Yarn

 

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends (Friday)  and  Fall into the Holidays (Tuesdays)

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artsy fartsy

joyful homemaking

clearwater farm

the homesteading hippy

diana rambles     domestic superhero

cooking with curls    cooking with ruthie

uss crafty

a pinch of joy

the chicken chick

i should be mopping the floor

jembellish

sew can do

vmg206

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

things that go bump in the night

I have a soft spot in my heart for non-traditional possession films, even if they had to go the found footage route.

I’m serious. Time to move onto another technique…or I’m going to make a found footage film of a horror reviewer slowly loosing her mind over an over-used and not particularly compelling genre.

However, this was actually a pretty creepy film. The Taking of Deborah Logan looks like a basic possession style film on the surface-but there are some plot twists that take this in a pretty odd direction, pretty quickly. That said, it’s still a fairly straight forward found footage movie with the traditional jump scares that you would assume would be in a movie like this.

I did appreciate the film makers not going in the traditional black robes and holy water direction with the plot. There’s some detailing that I’m not sure are supposed to be surprises-or if I just happened to miss them earlier. Some of the assumptions that I -think- the viewer is supposed to make are pretty weak, but nothing that really drags the movie down too much. There is one issue I have with the plot, and that’s less of a plot hole as much as it is a suspension of disbelief concern.

This isn’t the most solid possession piece you could watch, and my dislike of found footage colors most every movie I watch in this genre. But I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would (and I’m interested to know if the ending is a nod to the plot continuing after the end of the film).

 

Skadi-Jacob

Remember this attractive fellow?

photo by David Merrett

photo by David Merrett

One of this brethren spun up something like this:

 

 

Skadi [First Batch, Jacob]

ply: n-ply

wpi: 10

yardage: 243 across 5 skeins

dye: n/a, natural

purchase: Rhinebeck, in person

The fiber was split into two bags. The first bag was less compacted, but the second ironically spun up more evenly.

Jacob is both a primitive and relatively rare breed. I did enjoy this spin, and would spin Jacob again. It’s not a top fiber, it’s not a favorite, but it was pleasant enough.

The fiber looked and felt clean-until I did the clean up. My wheel looks like it snowed and the wash water when I set the twist was fairly dark. The roving wasn’t fully stripped and that may play a part in it.

*I did beat up on the yarn a little in finish to get it to full a little. I washed it without soap to keep that lanolin in it and washed it as hot as the water would come out of the tap. I whacked it against the side of the tub to set the twist.

**I have a lot of varying different shades of natural, so I’m skeining Skadi a lot smaller than normal to make alternating skeins a little quicker/easier.

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends (Friday)  and  Fall into the Holidays (Tuesdays)

Linked to-

vmg206

carolyn’s homework

adorned from above

gingersnap crafts

artsy fartsy

joyful homemaking

the homesteading hippy

diana rambles     domestic superhero

our heritage of health

cooking with curls     cooking with ruthie

uss crafty

Fall Into the Holidays #6

Time to start thinking autumn, holidays, and changing seasons! Feel free to share your seasonal recipes, diy, crafts, and other related material. Link up as many new or archived posts as you would like.

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Featured Links

Kandy Kreation’s Easy Halloween Memory Matching Game For Kids

Bohemian Junktion’s Flea Market Flip

Stamping on the Back Porch’s The Big Shot Makes Leaves out of Birch Bark!

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Killer Legends (2014)

things that go bump in the night

My academic intentions went something like this: I wanted to be an epidemiologist and work with the Plague (no, really), I wanted to be a folklorist, I ended up a sociologist.

I would have been a folklorist and worked  with urban legends, except that I realized that I had absolutely no interest in the types of anthropology that you have to do in order to finish your degree, but I was actually deeply interested in most aspects of sociology that you have to finish in order to get a BA.

In other words, I have a deep interest in the back stories to urban legends.

And this documentary is actually fairly creepy.

By the same production team that released Cropsy, the documentary takes the same premise-talking to the people involved with true crimes that inspired wider urban legends or provided new life to old legends-and looks at wider American culture. Where Cropsy was interested in local, New York legends, this documentary looks at legends from around America including killer clowns in the Midwest and the Phantom Killings in Texarkana.

While this can be a dry documentary style for people who aren’t as interested in the theoretical elements of these legends (a sociologist! They actually talked to a sociologist over an anthropologist for once! Team Soc!), the way that the documentary is shot including the score choice makes this an actually fairly dark, creepy watch.

This is the type of documentary that I probably would have seen in college but probably not before-there’s a fair amount of crime scene photography, including postmortem photography. Some of the discussions run to the slightly graphic and it doesn’t shy away from some of the nastier social forces involved in the crimes (at least one the crimes is bluntly related to race relations, and is stated in a way that’s not made more politically correct. It is however coming from a primary source).

This is probably a documentary for older viewers, but it’s also one of the better true crime documentaries that I’ve seen for awhile-and the UL angle is definitely entertaining.

 

Reknitting

reknit one row laceBecause this is the year of no sun, I couldn’t grab a single decent shot of this project. I tried on three separate days. Just…nothing. If I hadn’t been lazy, I would have gotten out the Nikon and tried that, but honestly, my camera shots are just as bad as the phone shots and I don’t have to kick Mid off of his computer to upload anything.

Tearing out old projects for yarn used to be a much more common thing than it is now. It used to be so common, in fact, that I have patterns in my collection from the war rationing days that detail how to hide flawed yarn (the trick is patterned stitches).

I don’t necessarily have to ration yarn, especially in the era of Red Heart going on sale for $2 a ball, and frankly, I don’t mind working with Red Heart. I’ve never minded it. But if I have a garment that I haven’t worn for years, then there’s no reason I can’t take it apart and refashion it.

minecraft sheep one row lace

I had this red wool scarf since high school. All I remember about the wool is that it’s handspun, in the grease, and I purchased it at a craft barn in Rhode Island. I didn’t have any remote idea on yardage or weight but I guessed worsted by the hand and stitching.

When I went home from Rhinebeck, I took the scarf apart one night, let it break off where the scarf was felted and discarded those bits, and reballed the wool. If I had time I would have washed and dried the wool under tension, but I worked with it energized.

I have a collection of exceptionally simple scarf patterns for charity and/or travel knitting memorized, so I cast on a skinny version of the one row lace scarf (Ravelry link) and knit on the way home from Rhinebeck. I lost enough yardage from the tear out that I couldn’t knit to the same width and length, but taking in the width let me get enough length for a usable scarf.

Honestly, it could have handled a jump in needle size but the fabric isn’t too tight, it’s just not traditional lace-drapey. But I’ll probably wear this instead of the moss stitch it started out as, so it balances out in the end.

train one row lace