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Midsummer Crafts

Solstice Dream Pillow

Materials needed: 1-4 oz (30-120 gms) each of the following five herbs:

dried chamomile
whole oranges & lemons, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, (optional) myrrh or frankincense resin lumps
Scraps of lightweight cloth (4-7 inches/100-175 mm, two for each bag)
optional bits of ribbon, embroidery floss, scraps of lace or a few small beads

For those who are sitting up all night on the Solstice, this is a special dream pillow you can make for prophetic dreams when you go to sleep the next night or throughout the year.

Take the first five dried herbs and mix them in whatever proportions you desire/have on hand. More Mugwort will lead some folks to more psychic dreaming, more hops will lead to a sounder sleep for some others, more catnip may encourage feline pillow sharing.

As the night passes, eat the oranges, and use the lemons (minus their peels) in teas/punches/hot drinks. As you use them try to remove the peels in large chunks or in easy to work with sections. Using a spoon, carefully scrape out as much of the white inner rind as you can without damaging the zesty outer peel. Scatter the remaining outer peels on a cookie sheet and dry them on low heat in the oven (200F or less). Watch them to make sure they are drying but not scorching. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool.

If you have a fire or incense burner, burn some of the incense resins, saving most to use in the pillows.

Crumble the dried peels up into smaller bits, break up the cinnamon sticks up into smaller pieces, and add the spices, resins and peels to the herb mixture. Mix well. Gather up the scraps of material, and sew up small bags: 3-6 inches/75-150mm should be fine. Leave one side open: small openings will make it more difficult to fill the bags later. If you want to use the ribbons and floss to embroider protective or other magical symbols or representative designs, it will be easier to do before you stitch the sides together. Work on this to keep you awake, thinking of the season and what it means to you as you do it. If these are intended as gifts, think kindly and lovingly of the folks you will be giving these to.

Fill each of the bags with the herb/spice mixture, but not so full that it is hard: people will want to smell them, but they need to be soft enough to sleep on. Fold the last side inward, and stitch closed. If you want, a small loop of ribbon may be added at this point at the top.

After the sun rises, and you have finished your celebrations, set these aside, and finish them when you have/make time during the day if they aren't done. When you go to bed, slip one or more of these into you pillow case, and inhale deeply as you relax before sleeping. Watch for special dreams as you sleep.


Litha Door Ornament

Small broom, about 1' by 8"
Plastic seasonal flowers
{Roses, Wildflowers}
3 different colours of ribbon, about 12"-16" long
Some thin wire
{strip garbage bag twist-ties of their paper coats}
Ornament oriented to the sabbat
Wire Cutters

Using the wire cutters cut down the flower stems to a workable height. Using the wire, begin tieing in the seasonal flowers and berries at the base of the broom where the bristles begin. Manipulate the leaves of the flowers to lie flat against the bristles. This will give a good background for the colour of the flowers to show.

Lay your berries and or fruits in between the flowers and tie off with wire. Once you have all the foliage in, wire in the sabbat ornament of your choice.

To hide the wire tie the ribbon in a bow or whatever knot you prefer and let some of the excess drape around and under the the piece.

TO HANG: String a bit of wire through the top of the handle and hang on a nail in the door. If you prefer to hang your broom bristles up, then weave the wire through some of the bristles and really twist for strength. If you are hanging this on the front door, it's going to get a lot of traffic by it, so make sure it is secured well.


Lavender Wands

Lavender bottles or wands have been used to freshen linens and impart fragrance for centuries. Elizabethan ladies used to gather lavender and transform it into these delightful 'wands' or 'bottles' to put in their linen cupboards. Use them to fragrance linen or lingerie drawers, or wherever you would use a sachet. You can use your basket weaving skills to make one or more of these wands from the fresh lavender flowers in your garden.

15 Fresh cut lavender stalks at the height of bloom with the longest stems possible
Short piece of lightweight string
2-3 yards of 1/4' wide satin ribbon

Select and pick 15 stems of fresh lavender with stems as long as possible. Strip the leaves from the stems. Allow the stems to wilt slightly to allow flexibility. Align the tops of the flower clusters. Tie the stems into a bundle just below the flowers with string. Tie one end of the ribbon onto the bundle just below the flowers. Bend the stems back over the flowers, arranging them to surround the flower heads neatly and evenly. Use the ribbon to weave the stems in a plain weave (over one / under one) around the bundle. Be careful not to catch any of the flower buds into your weaving. Keep an even tension on the weaving as you progress. Pack the weaving gently as you proceed so that each new row touches the previous row. Make certain to adjust the stems so that they remain vertical as you weave. Begin to increase your tension on the weaving as you reach the end of the flower buds to close in the wand. Once the weaving completely encapsulates the flowers, stop weaving. Adjust the tension of the weaving if necessary. Cut the stem ends to the length you desire. Tightly wrap the ribbon in a spiral down the length of the stems. Reverse direction and spiral the ribbon snugly up the length of the stems. Tie the ribbon off just below the weaving. Clip off remaining ribbon. Use the remaining ribbon to tie a decorative bow onto the stems, just below the weaving.To refresh the scent, gently squeeze the woven section (referred to as the 'bottle' or the 'Bouteille'.)