Thursday, June 18, 2015

Llewellyn's Midsummer Book on my Midsummer Altar

Midsummer, it's the longest day of the year, the point when the sun is at it's zenith, the Summer Solstice, and a magical in between time, this year it falls on June 20th.  It's also called Litha. I've got my Midsummer altar all set up and ready for honoring this significant stop on the Pagan wheel of the year. Even though it's been a rainy week, (forgive my low-light photos) my Midsummer altar is brightening up the place and radiating out Summer energy into my home when I need it the most.
My Midsummer altar all dressed up with my God and Goddess candle statues.

I'm so happy to have my copy of Midsummer by Deborah Blake, the latest release in the Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials series.   I've discovered that these little books are simply a perfect addition to my Wheel of the Year altar, I'm keeping the set nearby as a reminder of the cycles of the earth and I'm placing the current Sabbat book on the altar for easy reference and inspiration, plus they really look pretty! 
My mom Amanda Bryant of Frogbirds House started making these lovely sets with an altar cloth and electric candle wrap for each sabbat, I love these!  This one features a beautiful bright sun on a blue sky, I hope it's magic summons up blue skies here!  Want your own? Click here
I was inspired by both Deborah Blake's correspondences list in the Midsummer book and what is in bloom right now in the fields here at Aelfheim.  I made a bouquet in the cup from my Celtic Faeries Tea For One set and used my grandmother's antique owl "flower frog" to prop the flowers up.  I included two kinds of wild daisies, queen Annes lace, rosemary sprigs and lavender. Grandma often created fresh flower bouquets and included fresh herbs, so she would approve.  I'm watching for the St. Johns Wort to bloom so I can add some.  
One of my illustrations for the "Old Ways chapter in which Deborah explores old Summer Solstice traditions and practices.
My illustration for the "New Ways" chapter. Witchy Summer Solstice curb appeal introduces this chapter full of modern ways to celebrate.
I'm stuck with store-bought tomatoes until my are ripe, but Deborah included a recipe for a chocolate tomato cake using green tomatoes which sounds intriguing, and there are some on the vine! I'm going to try her rosemary shortbread cookies for my Midsummer night cakes and ale!
The correspondences section, full of inspiration!

I hope you enjoyed visiting my Midsummer altar, may you enjoy the Summer Solstice as you grow abundance, and perhaps have a Midsummer Night's Dream!

Llewellyn Sabbat Essentials Midsummer by Deborah Blake (illustrated by lil' ole me!)
God and Goddess Statues by Sacred Source designed by Mickie Mueller
Altar Cloth and Electric Candle wrap by Frogbirds House (my mom!)
Celtic Tree FaeriesTea for One Set by Mickie Mueller Studio

Blessed Be!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stop! Don't Toss Those Radish Greens,They're Delish!

Fellow gardeners, have I got a treat for you, this will seriously change your life.  When you harvest those lovely radishes this summer and you cut off all those pretty green leaves, don't toss them in the trash can or compost, I have a much better use.  You work hard to grow your produce, watering, weeding, encouraging, so why wast a bit if you don't have to?

It all started for me when I watched the indie movie Chef on Netflix directed by and starring Jon Fareau (which I highly recommend.) Near the beginning of the film, Chef Carl goes to the market to get fresh produce for the restaurant where he works and he tells the produce guy that he wants fresh radishes with the tops still on, "I use those." What?  I wondered what do you use them for?  I was intrigued.
Chef Carl at the produce market with his son in the indie film Chef.

So when the radishes in the garden were ready to harvest, I remembered the statement and just googled, "radish greens recipes."  Wow! You can make all kinds of dishes with radish greens, so I saved them in a plastic bag and tossed them into the crisper drawer instead of the compost, feeling very proud of myself for not being wasteful. Radish leaves contain more fiber, vitamin C and protein than those pretty red roots do, and the roots are pretty good for you, so that's saying a lot!  Here's more info on the health benefits of radishes, both the roots and leaves, click here.

Tonight, I picked up one of those roasted chickens from the grocery store, it's a quick and easy dinner when I have lots of work to do.  With two book illustration jobs and revisions for my upcoming book all due around the first of the month, I like easy.  Then I remembered those radish greens...

So I looked up some recipes online, and I created this version based on what I had in the house...I must say, it's a new family favorite!  We'll never toss those radish greens again!  I hope you enjoy this one as much as my family did.

Tossing the potatoes and radish greens in the pan.

Sauteed Potatoes and Radish Greens

I've included the magical folklore uses for all you kitchen witches out there.  This is a great happy home recipe, not only does it taste wonderful, but if made with magical intention it's ingredients will fill you with blessings and keep negativity, envy, and gossip away from your dinner table.


3 cups chopped radish greens, be sure to rinse them before you chop (fire energy, defends against the evil eye, induces passion)
1 medium onion halved and sliced thin (the moon, healing, hex breaking)
2 cups of diced red potatoes with the skin on (primal earth energy, manifestation)
1 pinch of turmeric (purification, courage)
1/4 tsp powdered cayenne pepper (breaks up negative energy and hexes, promotes love and passion)
fresh cracked pepper to taste (breaks up negative energy and hexes, stops envy)
sea salt to taste (blessing and protection and purification)
2 tablespoons olive oil (divine favor, associated with Athena)
1 pinch of sugar (dispels evil, sweetens the family life)
balsamic vinegar to flavor, I used about a tsp. (fire energy, breaks up baneful energy and gossip)

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onions until slightly transparent.  Add potatoes, salt, pepper, turmeric, and cayenne and toss.  Reduce the heat and cover, cook until the potatoes are soft.
Add chopped radish greens, toss to combine with potatoes and onions, cover and cook about 5 minutes until the leaves have wilted. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and balsamic vinegar, toss and enjoy as a side dish or serve with on warm tortillas and feta cheese.

Our radish harvest!

If you love this recipe just google "radish greens recipes" There are a ton of uses for this healthy green, I plan to try more recipes myself.

Blessed Be!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Growing Pains for Mickie Mueller Studio

I have an important announcement today for my dearest St. Louis and Illinois area Pagans. Due to scheduling with my upcoming publishing deadlines we're not going to be able to prepare for vending at Pagan Picnic this year, so it's with deepest regrets that I'm announcing that our booth will be absent this year. We are donating some awesome items to the raffle though, see the pics in this post. If you're in the area for Pagan Picnic, make sure you pick up a few raffle tickets, it helps the community and you might win one of these items pictured here, or many other pretties donated by the generous Pagan artisans and vendors in the St. Louis area. 
We are going to try to take a day off from all of my current work to attend so we can at least see everyone, after all selling art is only part of why we go to Pagan Picnic, a big part of it is community, sharing, seeing friends, and the magic of the weekend! Gods willing, we will be vending again next year.
This year we're doing some of the biggest and best donations that we've ever had for the raffle booth!

I think this will be the first Picnic we've missed in about 20 years, we love the event and the community so much, this was one of the hardest decisions Dan and I have ever had to make. 
Among our donations; a Mystical Cats Tarot purse, Swirling leaves pentacle necklace and earrings, Greenman and Greenwoman sconces I designed for Sacred Source.

We've always worked hard to grow our art business slow and steady so that we could always keep up with demand, but this year was an unusually busy year for the publishing end. I had many unexpected opportunities come my way both illustrating many books (more than I've ever had before) and I’m also working on revisions for my upcoming book that I've written. 
More donations include two Llewellyn periodicals that I have articles in 2015 Witches' Companion & 2015 Magical Almanac and Dryad Spirit tea for one.

At this point, vending at Picnic would mean my deadlines wouldn't be able to be met, that's just not an option. We're doubly disappointed because we planned to share booth space with my mom Amanda Bryant of Amanda Bryant's House of Frogbird, we were really excited to let you see her magical embroidered flameless candles in person! Watch for a donation from her at the raffle booth as well. My mom is awesome!
Dan made this Hecate wall sconce up just for a Pagan Picnic donation, we're also donating this set of 8 Sabbat ornaments from The Hidden Path and a Greenman Stein.

It's an exciting new phase for us, but it has it's growing pains as well. We're so sorry to cancel and we hope you can bear with us while we get ourselves acclimated to the changes this year as we explore new paths and create new magic for everyone.