Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ostara Crafts


Some crafty ideas for Ostara.

Crystal Eggs
You will need:
• 1 C. all-purpose flour
• ½ C. salt
• ¼ C. clean sand
• 1 C. used coffee grounds
• ¾ C. warm water
• Crystals or gemstones
• Non-stick cooking spray
• Acrylic paints

Blend flour, salt, sand and coffee grounds together. Gradually add the water, and knead until you've got a thick, gritty dough. Spray a crystal lightly with non-stick cooking spray, and place it in the center of a small scoop of dough. Shape the dough around the crystal to form an egg shape. Bake the eggs at 350 for about 15 minutes, and allow to cool. Once they've cooled, they should be nice and hard, like a rock. Paint the eggs, and allow paint to dry. Hide the eggs on Ostara, and let your kids crack them open to reveal the hidden crystals!

Snake Wreath

St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, at least according to legend, but what he really did was eliminate a lot of the old Pagan faiths by introducing Christianity. Many Pagans and Wiccans quietly protest St. Patrick by wearing a serpent pin or shirt on St. Patrick's Day. If you'd just like to do something a bit quirky and different, you can decorate your front door with a Spring Snake Wreath instead.

You'll need the following supplies:

• A grapevine hoop or other wreath form (available at craft stores)
• Spring greenery, such as ivy
• A bag of rubber snakes
• A hot glue gun
• Florist's wire
• Some ribbon

Start by decorating the grapevine wreath with your greenery. Don't use too much, because you'll want to leave room for the snakes. Next, arrange the snakes around the wreath, and hot glue them so they don't fall off. Depending on the size of your wreath -- and your snakes -- anywhere from six to a dozen should be fine. Just a word of caution here - don't touch the tip of your hot glue gun to the rubber snakes. Trust me, they don't like this.

As a finishing touch, tie a length of ribbon into a bow and fix it in place with the florist's wire. Use an additional loop of wire at the top to hang the wreath up.

Ostara Tree
Ostara is a marker of the coming of spring. New life is all around us, showing in the green shoots on the trees, sprigs of grass appearing from the mud, and even -- if we're lucky -- a few flowers poking up. It's a time of chicks and eggs, newborn lambs and calves, and the days are getting a bit longer and a bit warmer. We can smell the freshness of the earth when we're outside. A fun project to do at Ostara is make and decorate a tree for the Sabbat. It doesn't have to be huge or fancy, but it's nice to have one sitting indoors to remind you of the changing seasons.

You'll need:

• Several lightweight branches
• Some florist's foam
• A flowerpot
• Acrylic paints
• Spanish moss
• Small spring decorations

First, paint the pot with spring designs -- flowers, butterflies, ladybugs, eggs, etc. Allow the paint to dry.

Cut a chunk of florist's foam to fit into the pot and then insert the branches into the foam so that it forms a tree shape.

Hang the decorations -- eggs, ribbons, flowers, etc. -- on the branches. Use salt dough and cookie cutters to make ornaments to hang, if you like.

Use the Spanish moss to cover the florist's foam in the top of the pot. Place your tree on your altar during ritual, or use it as a tabletop decoration.

Note: Try to use branches that have already fallen on the ground, rather than taking them from a live tree. If you must cut from a living tree or bush, make sure you do so in a way that will allow for new growth on the plant. If you have forsythia bushes, they may be blooming right now - their branches are perfect for this project!

Ostara Eggs

Ostara is a time of fertility and rebirth, and few things symbolize this as well as the egg. By coloring them with bright pinks, blues and yellows, we're welcoming the colors of spring back into our lives, and saying farewell to winter. However, a lot of commercially available egg-dying products are made from chemicals. They may not be toxic, but on the other hand, you might not have a clue what the ingredients are. Why not try using natural sources to get a variety of shades, and REALLY celebrate the colors of the season?

1. First of all, plan on only doing about 3 - 4 eggs at a time. You'll want them to have room to bob around in the pan, and not be piled on top of one another. Before starting, poke a small hole with a pin or needle in the end of each egg. This will help keep them from cracking while they boil. You'll really want to have at least a dozen eggs, just because it's a lot of fun to experiment with different colours.

2. Start your water boiling. Use enough to cover about an inch over the tops of the eggs, but don't put them in the pan yet. Add 2 tsp of white vinegar, and bring the water to a boil. Once it's boiling, add 3 - 4 eggs using a slotted spoon (helpful hint: do NOT let your kids drop them in the water. Trust me on this one). Next, you'll add your colouring material. Here's where it gets really fun!

3. To colour your eggs, add one of the following items. You'll have to experiment a little to see how much to add, but try different amounts to get different shades of each colour. Once you've added your colouring, allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Red/pink: paprika
Purple: concentrated grape juice
Yellow: Skins (only) of a half dozen yellow onions
Gold: Curry powder or turmeric
Beige: coffee grounds
Light green: frozen chopped spinach (1/3 to 1/2 package)
Blue: 1 Cup frozen blueberries (with juice)

4. After they've boiled, carefully remove the eggs from the pot with your slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to dry. If you'd like them darker, you can allow them to sit over night in the pot of dye, but the vinegar can weaken the eggs' shells. When the eggs have dried completely, dab a little bit of vegetable oil on a paper towel and "polish" the eggs to give them some shine.

5. Keep your eggs refrigerated until it's time to hide them, eat them, or show them off to your friends. Remember to never eat eggs that have been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.

Tips:

1. If your kids are more into the colouring than the eating of Ostara eggs, consider brushing your coloured eggs with a thin layer of glue, and then sprinkling some glitter on top.
2. Eggs can take on the flavour of whatever you use to dye them, so unless you enjoy coffee-flavoured eggs, put some thought into using dyed eggs in recipes.
3. Use a wax crayon to make designs and sigils on the eggs before dying -- the waxed area will appear as white once you've finished.

Have fun!
Tansy
x


Source – about.com

1 comment:

  1. I really love these ideas. Easy, natural and so fun! Gonna try the crystal eggs today as gifts! And may I not for those that want to try it and don't drink coffee, coffee places usually give away their grounds. My Starbucks does, grounds for your garden they call it!

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