The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings; now for October eves! – Humbert Wolfe
As last year drew to a close, the internet was rife with memes pertaining to how 2020 was “one heck of a decade” (language softened as I generally strive to keep things family-friendly around here).
Zero arguments about that on this end.
In much the same vein, the season that just wrapped up, summer 2021, felt like a whole year crammed into just three months.
However, even with a plethora of different challenges and stresses, this summer held a certain unmistakable charm.
Yes, we experienced heatwaves (our town hit at least 47C in early July, with the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada occurring in a tiny community called Lytton, which is about a three-hour drive from our house; heartbreaking, a wildfire would utterly decimate Lytton mere days later), drought conditions, serious medical issues, the sudden passing of a family member on my paternal side, an ongoing surge in Covid-19 numbers in our region, and multiple forest fire evacuation alerts, but summer was still summer.
Sizzlingly hot, thrillingly gorgeous, and highly unforgettable.
Amidst the challenging elements of this summer, there was hope, positivity, and abundant loveliness (to say nothing of inspiration) as well.
My Summerween birthday back in July stands out as my favourite experience + memory from the season that just was.
What was your favourite part of summer (or winter, if you’re south of the equator) 2021?
As much as I love autumn with every fibre of my being, I do not generally wish summer a speedy demise (especially since I am not exactly in a mad rush to experience another 6 – 7 months of snowy weather again 😄).
This time around, however, pragmatism held that fall’s return would greatly benefit the brutal provincewide wildfire situation.
Thus, as August took its final breath and September arrived, I found myself grateful to start parting ways with summer.
And here we are, a few brief days in this exquisitely lovely chapter of the year. When leaves sunburned from summer’s pulsating heat drift like autumnal fairies to the ground, pumpkins grin from porches near and far, and the season of the witch is upon us.
I am ready. So incredibly, appreciatively, excitedly ready for October and all of autumn. 🍂
No matter what transpires in each of our lives, the annual cycle of the seasons is fundamentally unchanging.
Seasons come and go, painting our lives with new memories and the gift of treasured traditions alike. They are a rare constant in a world that has quite the penchant for changing on a dime.
In one final nod to the latest season to conclude, I present to you, sweet friends, the Summer 2021 Edition of Magick, Crafty Makes, and Me.
A link love post featuring online content that caught my eye during the past three months, coupled with a peek into what has been transpiring in my own life lately.
Magick, Witchcraft, Paganism, and Spirituality
–DIY Crescent Moon Wreath: The sky is the limit when it comes to the creative ways in which one can make a wreath.
To my mind, few versions are as enchantingly gorgeous as this breathtaking DIY crescent moon wreath.
Naturally, one need not be of a witchy or Pagan persuasion to whip up a beautiful crescent moon wreath of their own. This is a craft project that can easily be enjoyed by one and all, and which would make for a phenomenal gift to bestow upon someone special in your life.
(And speaking of wreaths, I am really digging the same blogger’s (Debbie’s) creative Dollar Tree Placemat Wreath project idea as well.)
–How to Use the Tarot to Get Through Hard Times: Whether you are new to card slinging, have been working with tarot for years or decades now, or have yet to do a single spread, this handy, thoughtful list of dos and don’ts is a great way to help use your cards during life’s rougher patches.
–How to Use Witchcraft to Help Your Loved Ones: While it is natural for many of us to focus some (or even all) of our witchy workings and energy on our own needs/desires/purposes, it can be hugely beneficial to extend our practice to helping others in our lives as well.
This post lays out a handful of practical, useful ways to do just that. And it may, in the process, inspire you to come up with other approaches that would suit both your own witchery and the needs of your loved ones.
(From the same blog, as we embrace autumn’s return, I highly recommend their recipe for the Witchiest Pumpkin Spice (Blend) Ever.)
–Pagan Music: Our Top 25 Pagan and Witchy Songs for Rituals, Spells, and More: Like many of us, I adore a wide range of music and am always keen to discover new-to-me artists and groups whose tunes jive with my musical tastes.
I am also continually on the lookout for excellent Pagan and witchery-related music, so was tickled pink to see a terrific roundup of 25 songs that fall under that header appear on Other Worldly Oracle this summer.
If witchy/Pagan tunes are your cup of tea, swing on by and savour the beautiful, inspiring music on this instant playlist.
(Another post on the same site that stood out for me as of late is their wonderful Beginner’s Guide to Using Oracle Cards.)
–Spellcasting Series: Basics of Spellcrafting: In-depth, informative, and immensely helpful for new witches/Wiccans or those looking to further/expand their spellcrafting skills, this stellar post from Willow at The Flying Hedge is a must-read for anyone who involves spellwork in their witchery practices.
I am a huge advocate of self-care and while, admittedly, I don’t always excel at practicing what I preach, I have gotten somewhat better at prioritizing self-care in recent years.
The insight and advice on self-care laid out in this in-depth exploration of the topic by none other than the Penniless Pagan is a must-read for witches, Wiccans, and Pagans everywhere.
And, objectively, a good degree of what the author covers in this helpful post is applicable to non-witchy/Pagan folks as well (as self-care is 100% for everyone on earth!).
–Why “Good Vibes Only” Culture is Toxic: While I tend to naturally lean on the optimistic side of things, I am also a stark realist who has been through her fair share of tough times and knows all too well that life is not always a bed of roses.
As a result, I have long seen the concept of “good vibes only” as being one that (sincerely well-intentioned as it may be at times) misses the mark. And which, in some instances, invalidates the broader spectrum of experiences/emotions/pain/trauma/healing inherent to being a multifaceted human being.
Thus, I was especially happy to see one of my all-time favourite websites, Loner Wolf, explore some of the reasons why focusing solely on good vibes is not actually as beneficial or helpful (to ourselves or others) as it may seem at first glance.
Card making, Scrapbooking, Paper Crafting, and Other Crafts
–Crafts to Use Up Leftover Yarn: Even those crafters who do not knit or crochet often find that yarn makes it way into some of their projects. If you have leftover yarn that you would like to use up hanging around your crafty space, why not bring it to life all the more with one of these delightful project ideas?
–15 Tips and Tricks that Will Help You Creatively Organize Your Craft Supplies: Useful, implementable ideas abound in this example-filled post that is here to aid you in organizing your craft space + supplies all the more.
In doing so, you can spend less time shifting piles or hunting for what you need and more time creating awesome new works of art.
–50+ Fall Saying for Crafters and DIY Projects: Whether you are looking for card sentiments, scrapbook layout titles, messages to stitch, prints to design, home decoration projects, captions for your social media shares, or myriad other creative purposes, this handy list of 50+ charming fall sayings is well worth bookmarking and returning to autumn after autumn.
–How to Make Shooting Star Favour Pouches: Ideal for birthdays, graduation, Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, baby showers, weddings, anniversary, the Pagan sabbats, stargazing or meteorite shower watching parties, and many other occasions, these eye-catchingly fantastic favour pouches are sure to delight those lucky folks who receive one.
–Loaded Envelope Tutorial (from Graphic 45): Loaded envelopes are an awesome way to expand your paper crafting routine, creating in the process a gorgeous work of art to display in your home or give as a gift (including for holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas).
The sky is the limit in terms of themes, embellishments, uses, etc for loaded envelopes (and the similar type of project known as loaded pockets).
If you would like to try your hand a making one (or are simply looking for some fab inspiration for your next loaded envelope) this lovely tutorial from the Graphic 45 blog has you covered.
–Ten Ways to Use Washi Tape: The uses for washi tape are just about limitless! With so many gorgeous, fun, and unique designs out there, it is easy to see why over the past several years washi has both grow in global popularity and become a common part of many crafter’s stashes.
If you are hunting for some cool ways to use washi that goes beyond “just” including it on cards, layouts, tags and the like, this post from Bottle Branch delivers ten clever ideas that are apt to appeal to crafters and non-crafters alike (as anyone can, of course, use and enjoy washi tape).
–30 Fall-Inspired Embroidery Patterns and Kits to Get You into the Autumnal Spirit: Earlier this month I shared a selection of 50 Awesome Mabon Crafts, DIY Projects, and Décor Ideas for the Fall Equinox and have been delighting in seeing other peoples’ seasonal craft project roundup posts as well.
One in particular that recently nabbed my attention is Sara’s list of swoon-worthy fall embroidery patterns and kits that you can currently purchase from various online sellers.
If you are an autumn adoring needleworker, then this post is sure to set your heart aflutter and may just lead to your next stitchery project. 😊
What’s Shaking in My Life and On My Radar
Alrighty, we have covered some of the less-than-ideal elements of summer 2021 earlier in this post, so let’s take a gander now at a few of the more positive things that transpired this time around on my end between Litha and Mabon.
Firstly, I just have to say how much I enjoyed the topics that I blogged about here this summer. 😃
Even though some weeks I honestly did not think that my health would accommodate creating a new post, somehow, even if it meant writing until nearly midnight on Sunday evening (our weeks start on Monday here in Canada).
It was an act of love, self-care, and defiance (of my body) all rolled into one.
In exactly the same way that the handful of days when crafting was possible for me were as well.
With fall looming, I upped my usual autumn/harvest season sabbats/Thanksgiving/Halloween crafting levels and revelled in every cardstock, ink, and hot glue-filled moment of it!
This is, after all, the ultimate season for #MakeHalloween365 and I can scarcely wait to share even more of my latest seasonal makes here with all of you. 🎃🥰🎃
The nanosecond I began eligible to do so, I received my second Covid-19 vaccine.
This transpired in August and while I did feel a touch rougher than with my first shot (think a mild two-day-long flu with a low-grade fever), that was an infinitesimally small price to pay for the blessing of being as vaccinated as one can be at present here in this country.
And moreover, to do what I personally believe is the socially and ethically responsible thing in terms of helping to try and stamp out Covid-19.
Even though Tony and I are both fully vaccinated now, we continue to enact every possible safety measure in the face of the ongoing global pandemic and will keep doing so for as long as this devastating illness persists.
Please note: If your views about C-19 vaccinations differ from mine, I respect that point and ask that you please do the same with my views and not come at me in the comments. We each have to approach and handle these incredibly challenging times in the ways that align most with our beliefs, health, and personal values. For me, getting fully vaccinated does that. For you, it may not. We are all different.
As my mom is fully vaccinated as well, we were able to share a number of fantastic visits with her this summer. 🥳
Indeed, she remains the only relative so far that I have been able to interact with in person since prior to when the pandemic took hold in a major way (aka, March 2020) here in Canada.
She was the sole guest at our house on both mine and Tony’s birthdays this summer, and was able to provide immense help to us during the long, uncertain weeks when the very real threat of a wildfire reaching our neighbourhood loomed over our heads.
Mercifully, that did not happen. 🙏
I will not soon forget, however, the sizzling hot days my mom and I spent hosing down the house and yard, as falling wildfire ash tumbled down from the sky to the point that it looked like a heavy snowfall.
Setting our sights now on the autumn months, we hope to spend lots more time with my mom and the three of us are counting down the seconds until Halloween returns (we plan to celebrate it together, as per usual 🧡).
This summer was not easy, but it could, of course, have been a lot harder or more heartbreaking.
I thank every star in the universe that such was not the case and remain realistically optimistic that certain areas of our lives will improve over the course of the final months of this year. 🤞🤞🤞
After all, hope is free and limitless. So why not, I figure, throw it around like confetti?
And now, on with a handful of assorted links from across the good, ol’ interwebz that stood out for me this summer. 🌞
–Apparently the Brontës All Died So Early Because They Spent Their Lives Drinking Graveyard Water: Talk about an attention-grabbing headline – especially if you’re a fellow taphophile or fan of these immensely talented ladies.
This article details a potential cause (or at least a notable contributing factor) in the deaths not only of the Brontë sisters, but of their brother, Patrick, as well.
The explanation of contaminated water from a local graveyard (and possibly from privies in the area, too) is wholly plausible. And is nothing if not in keeping with the death-centred sentiments of the Brontës and the era they briefly called their own.
–Can the Garden Save Us? How the Power of Nature Can Change Life As We Know It: While not, for all intents, a gardener myself (a point, I find, that often surprises people to learn), I am a keen student and ceaseless lover + respecter of nature. 💚
As such, the points put forth in this insightful article from Veranda really resonated with me. For they tap into the collective connection to cultivating green life that is inherent to our survival as a species – and as a planet.
I watch Hocus Pocus multiple times and year and always keep an eye open (subtle nod to “Book” intended) for Hocus Pocus-related items. Most, naturally, have a price tag attached to them, but a handful are available for free online.
I just about started jumping around alla Sarah Sanderson upon recently discovering this post that houses a fantastic series of free Hocus Pocus quote prints that you can download and display all October (or, if you’re HP obsessed like me, all year) long.
–How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Oven: For many of us, few vegetables are more intertwined with late summer and early fall than freshly harvested corn on the cob.
Whether you pick ears of sweetcorn yourself or snap them up from a local produce stand, farmer’s market, or grocery store, if you adore this versatile yellow veggie, you are definitely going to want to give oven roasting your corn on the cob a try. The end results are spectacularly tasty! 🌽
–How to Make Dandelion Lotion Bars with Dandelion Oil: Though dandelion season has come to close in many areas, for those who are still experiencing the presence of this lovely sunshine hued plant and are keen to utilize them in a fresh, practical way, homemade dandelion lotion bars may just be the answer.
(Note: While not an overly common allergy, some people are indeed allergic to dandelions. Therefore, you will want to proceed with caution and do a small skin exposure test on an area such as the inside of your wrist if you are unsure how your skin will react to dandelions.)
–Mary Simon Named as Canada’s First Indigenous Governor General: This summer witnessed a historic milestone here in Canada when Mary Simon was appointed as our country’s first Indigenous Governor General.
Simon is Canada’s 30th Governor General to date, stepping into the position after many years in politics, including an appointment in the 1990s as Canada’s first Inuk ambassador (she was ambassador to Denmark) and being involved with the creation of Nunavut during the same decade.
I am thrilled that a First Nations person is currently holding this important position in our country and hope that Mary will be the first of many others who follow in her trailblazing footsteps.
–Oldest Living Ranger in the National Parks Service Celebrates Her 100th Birthday: Relatively few of us are blessed to make it to our 100th year and fewer still have yet to retire by that age.
Not so for the venerable Betty Reid Soskin, who joined the US National Parks Service just fifteen years ago, at the age of 85.
An inspiration to all of us the world over for many reasons (including her work with the Civil Rights Movement), Betty is proof that for some lucky individuals, age may indeed be just a number!
It’s fall, y’all!
Admittedly, not too many Canadians tend to say the classic Southern contraction of “y’all”. I hope you will permit me the use of it here, however, given how well “y’all” partners with the word “fall” and how fun they are to say together. 😊
On this side of the equator, fall is here and I am as giddy as a kitty in a field of catnip over that fact.
Both online and off, I will be immersing myself in my favourite season with limitless gusto and glee.
I hope that if you are a fan of autumn time as well, you will join me in doing the same. And that, even if this chapter of the year isn’t your personal fave, it will still house plenty of enjoyable, terrific times for you as well.
Little more than a month now stands between us and Halloween + Samhain. I will be blogging up a storm throughout October, most of which will relate to those two events (and/or fall in general).
It is such a special, meaningful joy to savour the year’s third act with all of you.
Thank you so much for being here and on social media (Instagram very much included) with me.
I cherish each of you and as Canadian Thanksgiving returns on the second Monday in October, you will be amongst the blessings I count with unending gratitude. 🙏
Have an awesome tail end of September, everyone – and be sure to tune in here on October 1st, as I will be sharing a delightful ghost-themed Halloween project to help kick off the spookiest and most enchantingly wonderful month of the year. 👻
Which of the links highlighted above leapt out at you? What elements of October’s return are filling your own heart with happiness? 🍂🧡🍂