Sunday, 30 September 2012

Mmm... Apples.

You know what I love about Autumn (aside from EVERYTHING)...

Apples!


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Scarf - With Pockets!

Autumn is well underway which means that its time for cold mornings, bundling up, and SCARVES!

Crocheting (and knitting) is just more fun this time of the year. It isn't the same in the summer when you're all hot & sticky - not the time to tie yourself up in wool!

But it is now!



I got this yarn at Hobby Lobby on my last trip home (Because yarn here costs a fucking fortune - and what the hell is up with that anyway?! Sheep outnumber people in this country!) I was going to knit a scarf but I wasn't happy with the stitch and, anyway, I'm a better crotcheter than a knitter.



Once I started making this I decided that I wanted it to have pockets. To keep my hands warm? No... To have some place to put my Lip Smackers! :)



And I threw in a flower to break it up a bit.



Right. That's me sorted for a scarf. But I still fancy making more... Don't be surprised if you get a scarf for Yule this year!! :D

Friday, 28 September 2012

School Time Wondra

Class starts tomorrow! (Eep!)

I am happy because I'm already a week ahead in both classes but nervous because I know that won't last. Also, I have two weeks off work that happen to coincide with my first two essays being due. Is that good timing, or what?

I've made myself two promises for this semester:

1. I will go to the tutorials.
I didn't go to a single one last year because of all the stress and I know from experience that it helps with the essays. This is important!

2. I will NOT write essays while drunk.
Although some serious epiphanies were reached during drunken essay writing sessions last year, my scores were ever as high as I expected them to be. (And the essays were never as genius as they sounded with the benefit of alcohol.)

I want this to be my last year of university (at least until I decide to get my masters) so I need to knuckle down and be a good student!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Rainy Days.

Well... It's Autumn in Wales and that means one thing:

Rain.

Fucking tumps of it. The weather forcaster told us yesterday that it would likely rain for a month.

A month.

If you need me, I'll be in the back yard. Building an ark.

...Or just hiding in bed, surfing pinterest. Check out these great rainy day images:


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Epic. Fail.

Let's face it, boys and girls, I am not a small person. I am two hundred and fifty pounds of awesome. (And crazy and wicked and a little derranged and oh so many other things.)

Sometimes, I forget this simple fact. Sometimes, in my head, I'm still the 130 lb. girl I was when I first moved into this house ten years ago.

That's when I do stupid stuff.

Like climb on a chair to reach something in the top of a closet.

A 130 lb. Wondra could probably do this without anything going wrong. A 250 lb. Wondra? Well...

A 250 lb. Wondra stands a 50/50 percent chance of breaking the chair in two and doing serious damage to herself (and anything unlucky enough to be in her way) on the way down.

Guess which one happened this weekend. If you're not certain, let me give you a visual aid:


Correct! Busted the fuck out of it.

(And if you're wondering, no, the chair won't be okay.)

In my defense, though, I did buy the table and four chairs for a grand total of £0.99 so we're not talking high quality craftmanship here.

Needless to say, my pride has been smarting a bit these last two days. :/

Monday, 24 September 2012

Once a band geek, always a band geek.

I came across this video when I was searching for 'Party Rock Anthem' and I SQUEALED in delight:


How freaking awesome is that?!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Football!

I was just checking out the NFL standings and wishing we get proper coverage here because there are some great games on tonight... And I thought, 'You know what people might not know about me?'

I fucking LOVE football.

Varsity football, college football, NFL - You name it.

(NOT that sissy ass British football where the players are too afraid of hurting themselves - or worse, scratching their pretty faces - to get in there and play the damn game.)

Some of my favourite memories of high school are sitting on the cold metal bleachers, listening to the cheerleaders, clutching a steaming cup of hot chocolate, laughing with friends, while our team sucked it up on the field. Yeah, our high school team, The Greyhounds, were TERRIBLE. But that didn't matter because we always had fun.

(It helped that our marching band ROCKED.)

(Eaton Rapids v. Mason, 2011)


Friday night football games in small town America aren't just about the game, they're about community. It's a time to chat and catch up and show your pride in your home town. It was about belonging.

I got to see my first NFL game back in 2010. It was my birthday and we went to watch the Washington Redskins v. the Detroit Lions. The crowd was AMAZING.

(Lions v. Redskins, 2010)

Here, in Britain, football fans have to be seperated to stop violence. The fans aren't even allowed to drive to the stadium together! One team's fans get directed to follow one path while the other team's fans have to drive in another way. How sad is that?

What were the fans like at the NFL game?

I'll use the fans who were sitting in front of us as an example. One was a Lions fan and the other was a Redskins fan. (That's right, the crowd was MIXED - Britain would never imagine something like that!) They were laughing, and joking, and drinking beers together the whole time and never ONCE was there any threat of violence between them. In fact, they had me laughing so hard that I was spending just as much time watching them as I was watching the game.

Community, friendship, fun, pride... Just a few reasons I love football.

Oh. Did I mention the voilence? On the field, obviously. You know that CRUNCH you get when two players collide on the field? Oh, boy, do I love that noise! :)

So... If you didn't know before, you do now. I love football. And, like anything I love, there's a pinterest board for it:



Saturday, 22 September 2012

Merry Mabon!

Here's wishing everyone a very merry and very blessed Mabon. :)

I couldn't let the Equinox pass us by without sharing Scratchy the Scarecrow. (As named by ravenoushair!)

Here's the bit you saw already:


That was on Thursday. On Friday, I put the whole thing together. Here's what Scratchy looks like today:


When I made Jay go out and look at it, he said, "You scare me, you know that?" I think that means he likes it! :D

Actually, he said later that he quite liked it and that it looked a little bit like The Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz. So Scratchy even has Jay's approval!

And you know the BEST part? I didn't spend a penny putting him together. A lot of times I see stuff on pinterest or craftster or where ever and I think that I'd love to do it but I just don't have the money. But Scratchy was made completely from stuff I had laying around any way: old wood, old clothes, stuff buried at the bottom of my stash box, and a bag of straw we had because of the chinchillas.

I hope this inspires you to get out and put your own scarecrow together in honour of the day! :) Actually, I hope it inspires you to go out and do something, anything crafty today. Get creative - get creating - because nothing is witchier than the magick we weave with our own hands!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Mabon: The Autumn Equinox

I dug this out of the Wondra Vault for you today. It was written back in 2006 - just three years after I moved to Wales. A lot has changed: My mother-in-law has passed away, I'm a bit more acclimatised to the bitter valleys wind, and we have since lost one of the kittens mentioned in this post. A lot of things have changed but the sentiment stays the same. Enjoy.


Mabon: The Autumn Equinox 


Last week my mother-in-law walked through the front door with a little present for me: a space heater. (You'd think that a hardy Michigan native like myself would laugh at the mild British climate. "You call that cold?!" But no, I spend eight months of the year as a Wondracicle.)

I dragged the heater out of its box and, after shooing the kittens away from what they assumed was their newest jungle gym, set it up. Sitting back to admire my handy work, I realised that I'd unconciously placed it next to the floor fan.

"Now that," I thought, "Is a sign of Mabon!"

The days are still just warm enough to warrant a fan and the nights are just cool enough to require a heater. Summer fights valiantly each day to keep its grip on the Earth but each day Winter's hold becomes stronger.

Tomorrow, the tide will officially begin to change. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end for Summer and the Start of Winter's rise to power.

Tomorrow is Mabon.

Many people will tell you that Mabon (ie: The Autumn Equinox.) is the first day of Autumn. But how can this be when Mabon is the second harvest festival of the year? The hay has already been cut, rolled and stored away. The hazel trees lining our street have already dropped their nuts. (I know... Quite a few found their way into my pockets. Mmmm.) The leaves have already begun to change colours and fall from the trees.

So, is tomorrow the start of Autumn? Not if you ask me. And if you're one of the people who believes it is, you've missed a lot of beauty in the month and a half since Lammas.

Not that there isn't a whole lot of beauty yet to come! When I think of pumpkins growing fat in farmers' fields, of shiny red apples piled high in market stalls, of glittering frost clinging to car windows in the morning....Well, I feel a real rush of excitement. The time between Mabon and Samhain is the best, most magickal time of the year for me. It's just witchy.

I can only explain by saying that it is a time of learning. School is back in full swing and, even if you're not a student yourself, you can feel it in the air.

Just think of it! Millions of kids (and young adults) are studying vigorously all over the world right now. They've got their little noses stuck inside text books, kicking up a whirlwind of engery.

Engery related to knowledge.

And knowledge is power.

It would just be silly not to seize a bit of that power for yourself, wouldn't it? Seize it, make it your own. Cast for wisdom. Cast for abundance. Cast for passion. Take advantage of the gift Autumn has to offer. And when you're finished, read a new book, learn something new and give a little of the same back.

Blog Swap!

Today is the first monthly (hopefully) Blog Swap with Jessica from a shimmering star.

Jessica and I go WAY back... (Oh, those long days at band camp! Lol.) And even a great big ocean couldn't keep us apart. 

You know that old saying "like chalk and cheese?" Well... That's us. You couldn't get two people who are more different: Jess is a beer snob while I'm a rumaholic, she likes indie music while I enjoy music I can scream to, she's a  Christian while I'm a Wiccan - but we're exactly the same in so many other ways that, twenty years after we first met, she's still one of my best friends in the whole world.

(I can say that because I'm an International Wondra.) 

When I asked Jessica if she would be willing to do a guest blog post here at Wondra's World, the answer was an emphatic "Yes!" and I'm SO glad she agreed because it's been a lot of fun writing for each other. 

So... Without further ado... Here is our first guest blog post from Jessica: 

Autumn 
by Jessica at a shimmering star

Autumn in Michigan is magical. Perhaps it's because our summers are hot, humid, and intense. As a summer baby I don't mind this, but if I have to pick another season to love it is fall.

It sneaks in with a sudden coolness. The days turns brisk and call for cardigans.
 
Farmer's markets fill with summer's bounty. Squash and corn pile on the shelves. Hearty soup, pumpkin pie, and apple cider become staples. 
 
Trees change into majestic pillars of orange, red, brown, and gold. Branches become barren as the wind carries the leaves to the ground. Children rake them into giant piles to cushion their leaping forms.
 
Fall nights are perfect for huddling with friends around bonfires. Laughter and stories come easy as hoodies, throws, and warm drinks stave off the cold.

It is easy to love fall.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Scarecrows...

Well, I've begun the process of putting up a scarecrow for Mabon. (Hooray!) What do I have so far? This:

Doesn't look like much, does it? The wood was all stuff that was destined for the dump and it's all held together with oodles of Duct Tape. I put it in an old planter we had sitting around and used a couple great big rocks to hold it in place.

Went to work, came home... Still standing. Good sign.

Now to find some old clothes and sew a head.

You know... I don't think I've ever made a scarecrow before - even though I say every year that I'm going to!

I've been looking around pinterest for inspiration SO (of course) here's a new board full of scarecrows:



Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sweater Hat DIY

I found this in my stash box this week:


It's a toddler's sweater that I got from a car boot sale AGES ago. I bought it with the intention of making it into a purse but then I saw it again and thought "Hat!" and so...


Cut, cut, snip, snip...


Eeep! :) I was so happy with the result. Happy but... Something was missing. "What was missing?" I hear you ask. This:


POM! Every hat is better with a pom, right? 

I'm loving this so much. It could have been a bit neater but it looks good. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

A new look.

As you know, I was not all that thrilled with my blue dye job. Something had to be done. What exactly did we decide to do? Well...


What do you think? I was going for a Jessica from True Blood look but it ended up being more Leeloo from The Fifth Element.

And I fucking ♥ it. :)

I think I may even keep it this colour for a bit. Maybe put a few black streaks in it for Samhain?

(The funny thing is that it's damned close to my brother's actual hair colour. Heh.)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Doxie Funnies

I was playing on the laptop yesterday but Dylan kept trying to get my attention. So I turned on the built-in webcam and told him to be good so I could take a picure. How long did it last? Well... Let's ask Dylan...



Yup. About that long. :)

Happy Pinning!

A few new boards on pinterest this weekend....

One for dreamcatchers...


And one for acorns/squirrels...


One for my obsession with popcorn...


One for Fall recipes...


One for Fall leaves...


One for pumpkins & jack-o-lanterns...


And one for yummy pretzels...


Friday, 14 September 2012

Autumn Leaf "Make a Wish!" Spell

I've never really shared any of my spell work here (or any other blog I've had) because I've always been a little nervous and afraid someone might think it was stupid or lame or whatever but... Well... Who the fuck cares? I like this. I like it enough to want to share it so it can't be all bad. If you like it, please feel free to use it! :) And if you don't? You know where the close button is.

(Sorry... A little risidual aggro from too many FB dramas.)

Anywho...

Wondra's Autumn Leaf "Make a Wish!" Spell 

 Materials:
All you need is YOU and Nature. Great combo!

Spell: 
Take yourself off for a walk. Soak up a bit of sunshine, recharge. Let the brisk wind clear your head. When you find a pile of leaves that you like the looks of, grab a handful. Visualize the thing that you want as you hold them. When you've got a strong picture in your mind, say this: 

"Leaves of gold
And leaves of brown

Power of Autumn
Gather around

With a wish
The spell is cast

Make it true
And make it last"
  
Give your wish to the leaves then toss them high into the air to complete the spell.

2012 Reading Challenge

Here's a quick little response to a post from Jessica over at a shimmering star who shared her 2012 Reading Challenge with us. She's blowing it away! (And she'd better - she's, like, a librarian!)

How am I doing with my challenge? Well...

Every year I take part in the 50 Book Challenge on shelfari. This year, I set myself a higher goal: 80 Books. With three and a half months left, where am I? 58/80 Not bad, I guess, but not good for an English Language and Literature major either!

So I have 22 more books to go! Better get off this computer and get reading...

(Since we're on the subject... Today I'm reading The Hidden by Jessica Verday.)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Speaing of Autumn...

Since we're on the topic (and will be for some weeks yet)... I cannot get this song out of my head at the moment:

'John Barleycorn Must Die' by Traffic:

Autumn Blessing

This week I've been reading Ellen Dugan's Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon which I read every year at about this time. Inside my copy you'll find lots of handwritten notes and ideas. You'll also find this blessing that I wrote a few years back:





I can't recommend this book enough. It's insightful, moving, and practical. I'm sure I've reviewed it at some point in the last few years... If I find that review, I'll link here.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Autumn on Pinterest

Just thought I'd share a few of my favourite Autumn pins on Pinterest...

(And when I say "a few," I mean a whole lot.)

For lots of craft ideas and recipes, try Everything Autumn:


For pure Autumn porn, check out Autumn Dreams:

Kissing My 20's Goodbye: #4 and #6

(aka: Yeehaw)

Jay's dad is visiting from China where he lives most of the year. It's always great to see him because he's full of stories and always makes us laugh. Basically, he's an older, less emo version of my husband.

We all decided that we would go out and play bingo as a family. On the way, Jay and I opted to stop at Kam Hong, our favourite Chinese takeaway, to get some chips & rice & curry sauce. The Chinese is in the town where Jay grew up which is about a half an hour drive so we don't get to have it very often.

(Nothing like chips & rice to soak up the alcohol. Nom.)
When we made it to Jay's nan's I was shocked to see Dulcie up and about, getting ready without any help. She was even using the hand that had no movement in it the last time I saw her. Have I mentioned that woman is my hero?
The bingo hall is a sad little building that's in constant danger of being shut down because it's not bringing in enough money. Jay says that twenty years ago it was "a fabulous place." Now, it just makes me sad: 


But that just proves that looks can be deceiving because everytime we've gone, we've had an excellent time - and last night was no exception!

We played several rounds of bingo. The old guy calling the numbers made me LOL because he kept shushing people like we were naughty school children. Heaven forbid your cellphone go off in the middle of a game! Ha.

Jay and his brother both had a "House!" last night and they each won £23. Not bad, eh? Me? I'm crap. I've never even come close to winning.

(Jay and his brother with their winnings.)
There was also entertainment. The first act was an Adele tribute and, frankly, not very good - not that it mattered because the backing track was so freaking loud you couldn't hear yourself think, much less her sing. The next band really made me laugh because it was a country & western band. They even had a banjo and a fiddle. Really.
But any band that opens with Rednex's 'Cotton Eyed Joe' can't be all bad. 

There was a whole lotta foot stompin' and thigh slappin' - and not just from me! Everyone was up on their feet at some point (except Jay and his brother who both appear to be allergic to dancing). Yup... Even I got up to dance for at least three songs! (Even Jay's nan was up and dancing.)


It was a really, really good night. We all had a blast.


Well, I thought we all had a blast. Turns out Jay had his grumpy pants on because he bitched all the way home. And when we got home. And when he came to bed. And when I tried to get him up so we could go have lunch with his family. The only time we get to go out for a meal (that isn't McDonald's) is when his dad is home from China. And I'm going to miss it. :( I really hate it when one person is determined to be a stick in the mud, don't you?

Kissing My 20's Goodbye: #1

(aka: A Hair Odyssey)

I have always (always) wanted to dye my hair blue - BUT the whole bleaching my hair thing put me off because, let's face it, my hair is not exactly in the best condition to start with. (We have a love/hate relationship, me and my hair.)

Since I'm embracing the last few days of being an irresponsible twenty-something (before becoming an irresponsible thirty-something) I thought I may as well just do it. After all... I could be dead tomorrow. As Buffy would say: Seize the day - 'cause tomorrow you could be dead.

Plus... My hair is all going to fall out when I get old anyway, right?

I had a whole lotta black still left in my hair from the last hair odyssey so we got a Colour B4 kit which was freaking expensive but promised to remove any dye from my hair. Did it work? Meh. Kind of. Looked like it did absolutely nothing until it dried and then, yeah, it stripped the colour but also made my hair look all gingery.

I know I haven't seen my natural hair colour in ten years but I wasn't a ginger ten years ago!

Not exactly the result I was hoping for from a £10 a box product.

I gave it a week then and conditioned the fuck out of it to keep from stressing it out too much. (Stress on my hair means crazy, frizzy, white girl afro. Not attractive.)  Then we bleached it.

Turns out, one box of bleach isn't enough on shoulder length hair. So basically it was just the front of my hair that went white and the rest went... Well... It's easier to show you:

WTF? Why does my hair keep going ginger?! Not cool. But I wasn't freaked out because I knew we were putting the blue straight in. Luckily, we bought two boxes of the blue - but only because the box said it only lasted a week. We used both boxes that night.

This is what it looked like with the dye still on:

Pretty cool, right? If only it STAYED that colour. Have a look at it once the dye was rinsed out:


Mer. Sure, it's blue. Kind of. A whole lot of it washed away the next day too. SO not the look I was going for. Total cost of a crappy dye job? £25. Uncool.

Now I have to wait for what's left of the blue to wash out - which looks like it will take more than a week. I think then we'll look to bleach the rest of it again (and hope it doesn't all fall out) so I can dye it a bright copper colour.

Hey, if I'm gonna be a ginger anyway I may as well do it right.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Tree of Life

I've always loved Tree of Life pendants. I received a great one from a swap on craftster many moons ago:


I never tried to make one myself because I figured I couldn't. It looked too complicated. Plus... Well... You know me. Give me a bunch of wire and there's a pretty good chance I'll poke my eye out. (Or someone else's!)

But I had oodles of wire that my parents gave me AGES ago and I thought... What the hell? I've gotta use it sometime. So I busted out my bead boxes (and safety goggles) and got to work! Here's what I came up with:

Wondra's Tree of Life pendant #1: 


Hey... That's not bad! The wire was a bit messy because I just did not have the patience to wrap it neatly. Also... I did mention that I'm a spaz, right?

I like it just the way it is, if I'm honest, but I throught I'd try it again and (hopefully) make it a bit neater.

Wondra's Tree of Life pendant #2:


I was really happy with that one! And the best part was when one of the girls at work said "Oh, it's an apple tree!" which is exactly what I was going for.

Now I'm just obsessed with making these!

Wondra's Tree of Life pendant #3: 


I was a bit bummed about this one because, when I showed the hubby, he said, "Is it a flower?"

What? No! It doesn't look like a flower... Does it? :(

I'm still not exactly a deft hand at the whole wire thing but I'm totally loving these pendants.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Kissing my 20's Goodbye

Well, I have just 58 days left to enjoy being a twenty-something. How do I intend to spend them...? With these 20 Great Ways to Kiss my 20's Goodbye:

1. Dye my hair blue.
2. Do something really embarrassing.
3. Do something completely reckless.
4. Sing and dance in public.
5. Try absinthe.
6. Get blind, stinking drunk.
7. Be all emo and write a poem about turning 30.
8. Blog about the Big Three Oh.
9. Write an A-Z of turning 30.
10. Make a list of awesome stuff I did in my twenties.
11. Make a time capsule for my 40-year-old self.
12. Bake myself a cake.
13. Get baked.
14. Perform some serious Random Acts of Kindness. (Good Karma is never a bad thing.)
15. Thank my mom for giving birth to me. (And not killing me in my sleep.)
16. Tell all the people I ♥ that I ♥ them.
17. Go someplace I've never been.
18. Decide who I am...
19. ...And who I want to be.
20. Annoy all my friends and family by badgering them with questions about turning 30.