Monday, February 28, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 10

Living Crafts have a lots of wonderful ideas for Ostara decoration.
This should be a cross stitch freebie Easter decoration, but the link is dead. It's not rocket science to copy the pattern from the photo, though.

Mini Easter gift bag printables

"The Sun Wheel, a symbol of perfect balance at the Equinox, is the inspiration for the traditional spring roll known as the Hot Cross Bun."

Fabric Easter egg tutorial

One Ostara symbol is the Green Man
A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings. "The Green Man" is also a popular name for English public houses and various interpretations of the name appear on inn signs, which sometimes show a full figure rather than just the head.

The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities springing up in different cultures throughout the ages. Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or "renaissance," representing the cycle of growth each spring.

Fresh and colorful Easter table settings

Table setting is naturally only one of the many things you need to consider when planning a party. A holiday is just another party, a lot bigger though, more a weekend than a party, but the things you need to consider are the same.

- how many meals and what meals? Dinner party, brunch, tea, all of them? Potluck? Something else?
- At whom and when?

- what are you going to eat?
- entertainment?
You need to think about two things here:
a) movies, stories, games; the things you do when you "do nothing", when you're alone, when you wait for the "next activity", like opening gifts
b) caroling, trick-or-treat'ing, egg hunting
- colors, symbols, flowers?
- music?
- appealing to nose - smells and scents?

- countdown calendars
I'm a big fan of these :-) Take a look of the hundreds of "Advent calendars" and "countdown calendars" and make yourself one decorated with the colors and symbols you associate with Ostara. It's no use copying these hundreds of correspondence lists online, if the symbols and colors mentioned there do nothing for you. Even though we have some common symbols, most of our symbols are unique and very personal. I for example do not associate purple and green with Samhain, but a lot of people do. To me Ostara is mainly green and yellow, for new growth and sun, but pastels are kind of nice too. Ostara is a little of a children's room, and most things meant for small children are made in pastels.

- what are you going to wear? I like the idea of dressing up for Sabbaths; being a witch or a monster on Samhain, an elf on Yule, an angel at Imbolc and wearing white peasant linen on Beltane. On Ostara I like the idea of a Victorian cotton dress with light print and laces. One also needs a bonnet... to keep the bunny ears on ;-)

Some of these things need to be prepared in good time beforehand. There's about 3 weeks left to Ostara. You should know by now how you want to celebrate it.

Also, do NOTHING you don't like. It's a holiday, a celebration AND a vacation in one.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 9

Edain McCoy in her book The Sabbaths says that the lily, Easter Lily, was a symbol of life and love in the ancient Rome. I really don't trust her much, but I like her tales and stories. Holiday traditions have been born with less credibility, so I don't much care whether she has her facts right or not.

...[Lily] adorned Ostara altars and temples. Young men, playing the role of the lusty young God, would present them (lilies) to the young women they were courting. Accepting the lily meant much the same thing as accepting a diamond ring does now.

The classic origami lily
How to make a gumpaste lily
Easter lily is naturally all white, with just a touch of green-yellow in the center. You could paint the petals with a little green and gold.
hand lily :-D
crepe paper lily
very pretty paper lilies 
Nice egg carton lilies. Just paint them white.

crepe paper crocuses
very pretty paper crocuses

So cute chalkboard pots :-) and other tutorials from "Totally Tutorials"

They are NOT called "toad in a hole". That's sausages in Yorkshire pudding (which in Sweden is called pancake.)

I call these "bullseye" or "one-eyed egg sandwich" and make them as sandwiches.
I fry one piece of graham toast, an egg sunny side up, and another piece of sandwich with a hole cut on with an egg cup, and the "hole" should be fried too. Then I assemble the sandwich - one piece of fried graham toast, the egg, sunny side up, yolk in the middle, season it with some salt and paprika, the hole-y piece of fried toast, carefully placing the yolk in the hole, and then top it with the fried "hole". It doesn't need any butter or mayonnaise or so, the frying makes the bread greasy enough. It's really delicious, and one "villain" to my obesity. But it's really good, looks nice and would work as part of Ostara brunch :-)

Really easy fleece bunny.  Make a whole row on the window cill :-D

I really dislike Martha Stewart, but she has an army of great photographs and wonderful, talented craftswomen working for her...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 8

You really need to plan your March and Ostara, to make your Ostara the best holiday you can.
Think about what Ostara is, how the world and nature looks at this time of the year, and what are you looking after and waiting for.

It's still February, and it doesn't LOOK like Spring at all. I am anticipating that the snow melts and there will be small brooks everywhere. I'm waiting for the roads to turn from ice to sand. I'm waiting for the first "titityy" of the tits. I'm waiting for the first flowers of the Spring, the First butterfly, the smell of wet trees in the forest. I'm waiting for willow kittens. I'm waiting for the days to get warmer and longer and lighter. I'm waiting eagerly for the weather to get warm enough for me to get to my little balcony garden and start making it in order.
I will be decorating my house with all these things and their symbols. I will be making the REAL Spring come to my home before it comes outside, as sympathetic magic, inspiring Mother to "do it better". She will :-) I will be emulating Eostre as she travels through the nature and turns white into green, and make my home flower.

Then think about your favorite Holidays and feasts. Christmas, Samhain, birthdays? Tea party with your friends? Take all the details that make these feasts and holidays wonderful and lovely, and adjust them to fit Ostara.
I love Yule.
I love the long preparing streak, baking and preserving and filling the freezer with goodies to be eaten at Yuletide.
I love making cards and getting cards.
I love thinking about the presents, choosing presents, making presents, wrapping presents, giving presents and getting presents.
It's a tradition that at Ostara people get the new summer clothes, and wear them the first time at Spring Equinox. In Sweden there was also a tradition of Crane Eve, when the returning cranes left presents to children in their shoes and stockings. It was usually new tools or an exotic souvenir, as the cranes had been aboard ;-)
I love Yule carols and stories, in books and movies.
I love all the Saint days of December with their old traditions, like Lucia day, celebrated in Sweden, or St Nicholas' Day, celebrated in Holland.
I love the scents of freshly baking gingerbread and hyacinths, I love the sight of lights reflecting from Yule baubles and glitter, I love the sight of candles on every window, I love all the good tastes of Yule, and I love the carols and bells. And I love the feeling of love infusing the whole world. It's almost as strong as it was on my wedding day... I love the warm and fuzzy feeling of not being alone.

How about you?

And how will you be able to adjust this to fit Ostara?

A little gardening checklist for the month of March

Spring chick and Easter egg craft tutorial
European bread basket sew-along, parts 1, 2 and 3 - the last part, how to add  ties seems to be missing... weird. But there's another tutorial, a third, and a free pattern from Coats and Clark, to give you some ideas on how to move on.
It's really silly easy, so you could make several, in different sizes and make a display of them, or give to all your friends and relatives as Ostara gift :-D

In Ukraina the housewives showed off with an Easter basket. There were supposed to be at least one embroidered napkin or cloth, but the showiest SAHMs had two; one under the bread, the other covering the bread.
The bread is decorated with sun symbols and there's all kinds of superstitions concerning the bread. It's called Pashka. Pashka dough is similar to challah or brioche dough.
Upon placing the paska into the oven say: "Holy paska, be as grand and beautiful as the sun, because we are baking you for the sun. Let all members of our family be healthy. Let our children grow up as quickly as you grow. Come out as beautiful as you go in!"
In the basket should also be eggs, a little pot of butter, sweet cream cheese, spicy sausage (kovbasa/kielbasa) and a little horse radish and beets and salt.

Polish farmer's cheese and Polish cheese pierogis
Ukrainian sweet cheese dessert (baked)
Pashka cheese dessert (unbaked)

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 7

There's tons of simple Ostara ornaments one can make of felt. You can cut the figures with the help of cookie cutters and then just sew together with embroidery floss and add some decorations with more floss or by gluing on more felt, like Brooke did here. Eggs, bunnies, chicks and lambs are all good for Ostara, also all spring flowers. 

Quilted ball tutorial 1 and 2 - use Ostara fabrics; yellow, green and pastels, so your ornament will look Ostara-y.

I just noticed that Final Fantasy is having Little Ladies' Week. I suppose it is to honor Hinamatsuri, the Girls' Day in Japan, celebrated on March 3rd. On 8th of March is then the International Women's Day. I think we should apply this in some ways to our lives. We all need to embrace the little princesses in our hearts, and drink pink lemonade and dress in our best clothes - or as fairytale princesses :-D Just think about Enchanted :-) It is a lovely movie, and I say we need a little bit of that in our everyday lives.

Some Ostara recipes

Making a bunny out of napkin for Ostara table setting. The photo isn't very good, but I hope you can figure out how to do it :-)

Added: Here's the same at Good Housekeeping and here's a bit different napkin bunny

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 6

In Finland the tradition is to sow ryegrass (not rye, even though some people sow cereals, like wheat) in small bowls, baskets or trays. It is usually still winter outside.
Some people make fake grass by weaving or sewing "ryijy" (rya rug) with spring green linen thread.
One can also grow mustard and cress. Pretty and good on sandwich ;-)

eggs  covered with yarn, felt face added

Ostara symbols: eggs, rabbits, cauldrons; Ostara is about New Life, beginnings, birth. All life starts from an egg - or a seed, which is practically the same thing, so both eggs and seeds are good to eat at Ostara.
Ostara magic is about new beginnings, life and fertility and balance, as this is Spring Equinox. It is good to plant seeds as part of the ritual or spell cast during Ostara.

Meditate on the imagery of the seed. Consider a seed and how it relates to the earth, how it falls from its mother plant into a rich loam made from the breakdown of other plants. Consider how the seed is influenced by sun and rain, by the energy from sky and earth. 
Or Contemplate as a seed an idea or situation in your life, then imagine the seed breaking open and sending out roots and sprouts. Study what these roots and sprouts look like, where they find barriers and where they grow most strongly.

There are two different opinions on Pagan egg hunts. As the Pagans used to hide eggs in the nature as gifts to the nature spirits, one theory is that the early Christians used children to find out their Pagan neighbors, as the kids found the eggs, and the people whose property the eggs were found on were supposedly Pagans.
This is though just a theory. I believe it's good to organize egg hunts, as there are always eggs that are not found and then will be left to the nature spirits and wildlife.
You can also take a walk in the wild and toss Ostara eggs into the woods. Someone will find them and be happy. ;-)

Here's a funny Ostara egg hunt for group of adults :-)

You can also make a private, family egg hunt. Get a present for each member of the family and hide them, in paper eggs if you wish, around the house, and have the family members search for their eggs. If you want, you can have several eggs for each member, or appoint each member of the family to get an egg to one other member of the family, like Secret Bunny, and also hide the egg.
Don't get candy or sweets in the gift, but something else enjoyable and likable, like paper dolls or small book of tricks or puzzles.

Here you have two tiny cacti in egg cups. You could start a tradition of giving cacti and other succulents in egg cups as Ostara gifts to your family and friends, so that in the end everyone has a wonderful terrarium AND a collection of egg cups. :-D

One traditional Easter meal in Finland is mämmi. The sweet flavor is very specific, but best cold with cold cream or milk. One can add a little sugar if one wishes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 5

In Finland we have something called Mignon eggs. Fazer has been making these for over 100 years now. The Mignon eggs are filled with nougat ganache, but they are still very good :-)

Here's how to make these :-)

How to make a washcloth bunny:
You can take any longer strip and bind it into a bunny, like for example a strip of dough and make bunny buns ;-)
You can also make bunnies from napkins for Ostara table setting.


You could make Ostara piñatas that look like eggs.

This panorama egg is made by winding thread around a balloon, gluing it on place, then the balloon is popped, hole cut and "egg shell" varnished to keep it steady, and filled, and decorated.
Carrots are not very Ostara-y things, but bunnies are, and bunnies and carrots are associated, so one could make a garland of bunny and carrot cones... naturally filled with candy :-D
Here's how to make the bunny cones
 and here's a "carrot full of candy".

Carrots are actually rather sweet and make great candy:
carrot candy

carrot cake is naturally a well-known sweet, and you can make cake pops of carrot cake, or cake truffles or petit fours.

Carrot jam can also be made into candy. (sugared jelly candies recipe, pate de fruit)

My parents told me that during the war the carrots were sliced into thin coins and boiled with sugar into candy - that is, candied.
Here's carrot cake decorated with candied carrots
and here's carrot cupcakes with spiced buttercream frosting and candied carrot crisp topping
(Here's the better carrot cake recipe :-D)

With all the sugar and boiling, one can make carrots into a less healthy option :-D

You can also take the easy way out and fill a clear plastic bag with orange candy (or dried apricots... if you wish to have it a bit more natural ;-))

Great (and cheap) Easter Basket Ideas from More Style Than Cash

About some other feasts of this time of the year:

"The Festival of Isis was held in ancient Egypt as a celebration of spring and rebirth. Isis features prominently in the story of the resurrection of her lover, Osiris. Although Isis' major festival was held in the fall, folklorist Sir James Frazer says in The Golden Bough that "We are told that the Egyptians held a festival of Isis at the time when the Nile began to rise… the goddess was then mourning for the lost Osiris, and the tears which dropped from her eyes swelled the impetuous tide of the river."

"For the ancient Romans, the Feast of Cybele was a big deal every spring. Cybele was a mother goddess who was at the center of a Phrygian fertility cult, and eunuch priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Her lover was Attis (who also happened to be her grandson), and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. In some areas, there is still an annual celebration of Attis' rebirth and Cybele's power, called the Hilaria, observed from March 15 to March 28."

"In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a sun festival, celebrating the imminent end of the winter. It has now blend together with the Christian Lent tradition, and is thus celebrated as the last week before the Lent.

Maslenitsa includes masquerades, snowball fights, sledding, riding on swings and plenty of sleigh rides. In some regions, each day of Maslenitsa had its traditional activity: one day for sleigh-riding, another for the sons-in-law to visit their parents-in-law, another day for visiting the godparents, etc. The mascot of the celebration is usually a brightly dressed straw effigy of Lady Maslenitsa, formerly known as Kostroma. (Some scholars believe that the scarecrow symbolizes Mokosh.)

As the culmination of the celebration, on Sunday evening, Lady Maslenitsa is stripped of her finery and put to the flames of a bonfire. Any remaining blintzes are also thrown on the fire, and Lady Maslenitsa's ashes are buried in the snow (to "fertilize the crops").
(Some regard kostroma burning as a sacrifice to Jarilo. It is assumed that the custom of burning a scarecrow replaced the human sacrifice formerly practised by Slavic pagans. Today, many celebrations burn scraps of paper on which are written sins along with the effigy in a bonfire.)"

"Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rescue of Jews living in Persia from certain destruction at the hands of Haman, an evil Persian nobleman. The king was married to a Jewish woman, Esther, who together with her uncle managed to expose Haman and rescue the Jews of Persia.

Much of Purim is spent in various stages of merrymaking and charitable acts. One tradition of Purim involves the creation of a food platter or basket for neighbors and local charities. During Purim, many participants wear colorful costumes and masks while parading through the streets."

Purim is most likely developed from the Persian Nowruz, New Year, which is celebrated at Spring Equinox.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pagans don't BOTHER celebrating Sabbaths...

 At least some of the mystery has been revealed. I just read Pagan Soccer Mom's post on why she doesn't celebrate the Sabbaths.

"I thought that the sabbats just had to be celebrated in full regalia - circles and calling all the quarters, rituals galore!  Buuuut, as I mellowed out and really got to the core of my beliefs, I figured out that it's not necessary."

Of course it's not necessary. But do you really think it's a great message to send your children and other Pagans that the world turns around and seasons follow each other, and that's nothing to bother about for a Pagan? That the miracle of Equinoxes is not a miracle. It's just a date like any other. Who cares? Not Pagan Soccer Mom.

Of course it's not NECESSARY, but it's PART OF BEING A PAGAN. If WE don't celebrate our Sabbaths, who does? Leave it to Christians, so that they can steal them and infuse the old traditions with their horrible anti-life messages?

Of course it's not necessary, but I have noticed that I feel better, spiritually, when I do honor the Holidays. Celebrating "in a big way", lifting these 8 days apart from the rest of the year, doing more than "cooking a really nice, season appropriate dinner", "doing a simple candle ceremony" and "TRYING to do some sort of activity".

Frankly, if one cooks ONLY for Sabbaths a "really nice, season appropriate dinner", it's no wonder we don't even KNOW what is eating season appropriately nor know how to cook simple and quick, yet "really nice and season appropriate" dinners.
Cooking is not rocket science nor brain surgery. Not everyone might be a GREAT cook, but everyone can be a good cook.
As we MUST eat, why not make eating and preparing of the food into a Holy Sacrament. Our Mother gives Her BODY to us to feed us, She has made this lovely, beautiful, fertile world just to feed us - physically and spiritually. Every morcel you put in your food should be laced with gratitude and prayer.

After the long and cold wintertime it's finally time for the snow to melt and new growth replace it. It's like the liberation of the Jews from Egypt! Everyone who gardens waits eagerly for the Spring to arrive to be able to get back to their garden. In just a couple of months all this we are living in will be gone. Is that not something to celebrate "in a big way"?

Even though it was lovely that it snowed, the scarce light reflecting from the icy surface doesn't replace the wonderful sunlight streaming in through the windows. Have a day when you wash the windows and decorate them and the windowsills in a ceremonious way, and enjoy the returning light.
It's only now you can SEE how the light returns, faster every day that goes, the sun rises earlier and earlier...
Can you smell the melting snow in the air? Take a walk in the forest until you can smell it.
Listen to the birds. Soon there will be the First Butterfly of the Summer. One day you'll find a winter bug buzzing on your window. Welcome these signs of returning life and celebrate it.

"Something that has always frustrated me... ...[is] when someone thinks that if they miss celebrating on the actual sabbat day, that they've just missed out."

Frankly, they just did. Do you know that you can balance an egg on the ground on the exact moment of Equinox? Not a minute earlier or later. (Perhaps this is just a myth, I haven't tried it out yet, but there are some witches who say they have actually done this and it's not a myth.) If there is such magic in the air on that specific day, what other magic is in the air?

Frankly, give it a decade and see the difference in keeping the specific days and just randomly waving in that general direction. And do it properly. It's not enough to repeat the correspondences and symbolism like a parrot, THINK about what the day really means. Tune into Mother's breathing and FEEL how she gets up and starts moving... how Her heartbeat gets quicker and stronger...

"The sabbat marks the start of the season."

That depends totally on the Sabbath. Four of them mark the start AND the end of a season, but four, Ostara included, mark the height of the season.

Also, all the preparation work before and landing after are not part of the actual ceremony, but PREPARING FOR IT or LANDING FROM IT. Sure, life sometimes makes it harder to celebrate, and sometimes we have to celebrate a day or two earlier or later, but that doesn't mean the actual Sabbath day isn't important. Celebrating Ostara "sometime in March, or perhaps April" is stealing some of the importance of the day. It is saying that you put all kinds of other things before the Holy Day you are to keep.

Of course we should see Ostara and all the other Sabbaths as Great Holidays, and treat them as we treat every other Holiday. We should take everything we love from other holidays, and adjust them to every holiday, so that Pagans answer the question: "what's your favorite holiday" with "all of them!"
Of course we should be planning for a big family feast, making holiday cookies "days, if not weeks" before Ostara, decorating the house and doing things with the children,your friends or alone, like preparing the Holiday cards and making simple, cheap ornaments, and I agree with her in that this happens so sadly seldom among Pagans today. This is why I'm trying to chance this fact.

I want "12 days of Ostara", a feast for "carrying out the Ostara" on 13th day;
I want Ostara movies and Ostara carols;
I want Ostara food and scents that take you instantly back at your childhood Ostaras;
I want Ostara traditions that your children and grand-children will carry on to generations come;
I want us Pagans to honor Ostara and other Sabbaths as they should be honored.

Goddess marked the days and She keeps Her part of the deal. Is it too much to ask that we FIND time to do ours?

30 days of Ostara; Day 4

Sugar easter eggs, panorama eggs, egg kaleidoskopes
I really like these :-)

Bakerella's cake pops

I haven't managed to find out why these herbs are listed as Ostara correspondences:
Broom, Celandine, Cinquefoil, Elder, Ginger, Honeysuckle, Iris, Jasmine, Mugwort, Sage, St John's Wort, Vervain, Violets

To me herbs corresponding to Ostara are:
Daffodils, jonquils, narcissi
Easter Lily
broom, willow, sallow, osier and hazel
Alliums; onion, garlic, leek, shallot, chives etc. (It's an Aries plant, even though I personally hate the taste of the whole group.)

a long list of Easter links

How to grow sprouts. Sprouts are really good to eat and cheap and easy vegetable at this time of the year.

Growing daffodils indoors - forcing bulbs
It's a bit too late for this year, but try next year :-)

my little mochi has some nice felt tutorials; chibi rabbit and a reindeer pocket that can easily be turned into sheep; just sew in a circle of fur on the lid of the purse/forehead of the sheep

How to make sarubobo (pocket monkey) - add rabbit ears, and you have a pocket bunny.

Fun egg collecting game - works a bit like mahjong (In German)

The photos aren't correct. I need to take today's picture and get photo paper and new ink for the printer. 
It's just to illustrate what I'm doing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It is so amazing

to find no interest what so ever to this. Why am I even bothering?

I mean... I have been looking for Easter/Ostara things the last month or so, and I find practically nothing. No-one seems to be interested in Easter/Ostara. We Pagan have a wonderful chance of taking back our holidays, drown the Christianized versions, beat the drum for the forgotten ones, make each and every one of The Eight as big as "Halloween" and "Christmas", but no.

Kelli's easter decoration
Kelli is not Pagan, but Christian, but I like her style. This scene especially is lovely.

Pagans don't seem to be much interested in antique and vintage things, interior design, entertaining, household, decorating, even crafts. It amazes me to no end, because I always looked at myself as some sort of mediocre, ordinary and rather uninteresting person, that the world is full of people, others than me, who DO things. I am a dreamer, they are the doers... and no it seems that I have to become a doer to make my dream come true.

I don't have a house. I live in a rather shabby apartment, and not shabby chic, just shabby. Nothing has been done here since 70's when the house was built, the floors are plastic carpeting from 70's, the wallpapers are painted several times over, and they weren't put in place especially well in the first place either. The ceiling... oh. I don't even want to talk about the kitchen. All in all, I live in a place which is NOT a good "backdrop" for different Sabbath ideas, and I am not a good photographer. And... so on and so forth. I'm no Martha Stewart, that's for sure. Especially not economically ;-)

But I thought there are Pagans out there who live in pretty houses, who are creative and productive, who like holidays and love to decorate their pretty houses for the different holidays, and go holiday crazy 8 times a year. Of course we all have our favorite holiday, but why keep quiet of the rest?

Christmas About 665,000,000 results
Valentine's Day About 173,000,000 results
Halloween About 168,000,000 results
Easter About 91,100,000 results
Thanksgiving About 70,800,000 results
Yule About 18,900,000 results
Passover About 10,900,000 results
Midsummer About 10,700,000 results
Rosh Hashanah About 7,450,000 results
Purim About 7,420,000 results
Fourth of July About 5,530,000 results
Samhain About 4,010,000 results
Beltane About 993,000 results

Pesach About 962,000 results
Mabon About 538,000 results
Litha About 482,000 results
Ostara About 425,000 results
Imbolc About 330,000 results
Lughnasadh About 99,900 results
I really believed that when Pagans might not be rich and conventionally "pretty" "cute", but more bohemian, indie eccentric, special and a bit surreal, and replacing the lack of material resources with excess of mental resources, creativity and imagination, motivation to experiment with unusual materials, and artistic abilities to create oneself what one cannot afford to pay to someone else to create, like fancy scrapbook papers and stamps.

But where are they?
Are Pagans so bohemian and independent that they don't even bother celebrating the traditional holidays?
Where are the Pagan soccer moms and domestic goddesses? Where are house witches (apart from kitchen witches and hedge witches)?

30 days of Ostara; Day 3

How to make pompom chickens
We actually made a special card form for the chicks in school (some 30 years ago...). It had a smaller circle on top of the larger circle, so on didn't need to join two pompoms.
Use thin yarn and cover the circles as tightly as you can, so you get a nice surface for your pompom chick.
You can also make pompom bunnies.
Or these, a little more advanced pompom bunnies with pipe cleaners and cupcake liners.

Bunny buns for Ostara brunch:
Hot cross bunny buns
Easter bunny buns and another recipe with a nicer image
German bunny rolls
egg and bacon filled steamed bunny bao
eating rabbits

The bunnies on top of the egg sticks are made of salt dough.

Easter bunny is a Pagan fertility symbol, and the animal of the Moon Goddess. The egg is a symbol of the Sun God, whose animal is the rooster. At Ostara the Sun God and Moon Goddess come together, night and day are in balance, equally long.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, children sat on the lap of the Easter Bunny as they now sit on Santa's lap. Some surviving photos are quite scary :-D

I need to get a photo and color the bunny but then this is done :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 2

In Sweden there is a tradition of decorating twigs with colorful feathers. In Finland we used to decorated twigs with tissue paper tassels. There are usually no spring flowers out yet this high up North, practically the only Ostara flower we have is willow kittens.The twigs are brought home a couple of weeks before Ostara, so that the small leaves burst out, adding a lovely spot of spring green.

Ostara is the Spring Equinox. It is also called the Lady Day. There are several Lady Day's celebrated at this time of the year, like Purim and "The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary". (In Sweden Annunciation is called "Vår Fru Dag", The Day of Our Lady, and it sounds the same as Våffeldag, it's a tradition to eat waffles.

Ostara can be celebrated on either Spring Equinox (20.3. - which is what I do), or the nearest full moon (19.3.) This year the full moon is on Saturday and Spring Equinox on Sunday, so there's no problems :-D

Dalecarlian egg waffles

3 eggs
1 1/2 dl sugar
3 dl flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150 g melt butter
pinch of vanilla to flavor

Whip eggs and sugar well. Fold in flour, baking powder and vanilla (if you use dry vanilla. Vanilla extract is blend with eggs.) and finally melt butter.
Brush the waffle iron with butter only for the first waffle, the rest won't stick because there's so much butter in the batter.
You need about two tablespoons of batter for each waffle.

Eat with kinuski (Finnish fudge sauce)

Nigella's kinuski sauce (fudge sauce)

These thread spool ornaments are the cutest! They are also not very difficult to make. :-)

Daily picture - my printer isn't working... :-(
But it's my husband and our baby in the dog yard. It's really cold here.
This is the layout for 20.2. I can't finish it, because I have no photos. Fun. NOT!