Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, Samhain and All Hallows Eve!

A very Happy Halloween, Samhain and All Hallows Eve to all of my friends out there in the blogosphere! Glad you could join me here at On the Broomstick. I hope you have been visiting all the giveaways starting on October 21. There are some really great artists featured. There are a few giveaways that end today (like the Blackberry Designs bracelet) that you simply must see!

Many thanks to all the artists, authors and contributors for this wonderful 10 day blog party. Look for a holiday party coming up mid December. Leave me a comment if you would like to take part.

Have a safe Halloween-not too much candy. A Blessed Samhain and a wonderful All Hallows Eve!



Witchy Boo Bracelet Giveaway-Last Day!

Happy Halloween! Today is the last day to enter the Blackberry Designs Witchy Boo Bracelet contest. Click the link to lead you back to the original post to win this incredible prize! I recently received my Black Cauldron bracelet and it is out of this world!

Please pop over to Blackberry Designs and check out the variety of amazing bracelets and leave a comment about the one you like best.I can't tell you how beautiful these are until you get one in person. The pictures just don't do them justice. 

Spookiest Greetings from Zen Breeze Art Gallery

Green Tree Branch Zen Grunge Moon Nature Surreal Dark Art Print

I am a fulltime artist and have been painting most of my life. I did my first oil painting when I was 12. Although mostly self taught, I have an A.A. Degree in Fine Arts from West Valley College in Saratoga, California. I am a second-generation artist. My father, Walter Sears Milnor (1936-2001), concentrated on painting large canvases of the California missions.

Working in both traditional and visionary styles, my primary theme is to express the spirit or spirituality in Nature. I am a native Californian and my greatest inspiration comes from the beautiful natural landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. One of my favorite themes to work with is the Contemporary Zen series, which explores botanical themes in a modern Asian style, such as autumn leaves, cherry blossoms, and so on...

Oak Tree Branch Purple Moon Halloween Grunge Dark Art Print

Tuxedo Cat Cherry Blossoms Grunge Golden Dark Art Print

Many thanks to Zen Breeze Art Gallery
for taking part in our event!
Now for the Giveaway!
Choose one of the above pictures and 
fill out the entry form below...

The Laughing Vixen Lounge

Pop culture jewelry with a flair for horror!

Black Cat Necklace - Black Cat Jewelry - Halloween Jewelry - Halloween Necklace - Buy 2 Get 1 Free


Halloween Charm Bracelet - Halloween At Midnight - Halloween Jewelry - Halloween Bracelet


Black Cat Necklace Jewelry - Witch Necklace - Halloween Necklace - Witch Jewelry - Halloween Jewelry - Buy 2 Get 1 Free


Many thanks to The Laughing Vixen Lounge
for joining us for this most wonderful 
of Halloween Blog parties!

Now for the giveaway:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mouldy Muffins from Lyn at Witch-blog

Mouldy Muffins

These delicious mouldy coconut muffins have a surprise in the middle – oozing blood. It’s not real blood, of course, but strawberry or raspberry jelly (jam).

What you need:

• 2 ½ cups all purpose/plain flour
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 2/3 cup caster sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 ¼ cups shredded/desiccated coconut
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 ¼ cups milk
• 3 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jelly/jam
• 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 tablespoons shredded/desiccated coconut
• 6 tablespoons confectioners’/icing sugar
• Green food colouring
What to do:
• Heat oven to 400°F and get your muffin tin ready.
• Sift together flour and baking powder; stir in sugar and coconut.
• Beat the egg, vanilla extract, milk and oil together in a separate bowl
• Add the dry mix to the wet mixture.
• Mix just until combined.
• Drop a large tablespoon of batter into each muffin case.
• Add a teaspoon of jelly/jam to each and the rest of the batter.
• Bake around 20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.
• Leave the muffins to cool on a baking tray.
• For the topping mix the coconut and a few drops of food colouring.
• Add the confectioners’ sugar then add water until a paste forms.
• Press the topping mixture into the cracks of the cooled muffins.

From Lyn at

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Tea Time With Mim at Fire In the Hand

Porcelain Pumpkin cup/teacup/tiny bowl- OOAK Ready to ship

This wonderful shop makes custom mugs and pieces out of high 

fired stonewear or porcelain. Pumpkins and cauldrons to delight

you and yours on a cool autumn eve with a bit of tea...

A while ago, several years now, I decided to create my own chai recipe in the tradition of chai recipes. (That is, with the range of spices generally used for chai I could just pick the ones I *like* to use and leave out the ones I don't thus creating a "family recipe"). It was great fun buying the spices, choosing from different kinds of cinnamon sticks, deciding which spices I would use, crushing the cardamom pods with a meat mallet, and experimenting with different combinations. The process of making chai isn't difficult but it is a process; it takes time and so it has a nice feel of ritual to it. First you boil the spices, then add the tea, finally the milk, cream (or in my case rice milk), then it all goes into the teapot. Finally you add honey to your cuppa. Perhaps the best thing about the chai though, is that my teenage daughter loves it, and asks me to make it for her. That's what really makes it really special.

Cauldron Mug/Bowl/Candy Dish - Ready to ship


Pop over to Fire In The Hand 

and tell Mim thanks for being here

and how much you enjoy her work!

Rinni's Playground Giveaway and Pumpkin Pancake Recipe...Yum!

Hello hello!! I'm a 31 year old mother of 9 year old twin boys. AHHHH!!
I love art and the act of creating something. It's good for my sanity. ;) I've only had a relationship with my sewing machine for the past year and a half but I guess you could say we're going "steady". I find fabric to be a fantastic medium and I'm still exploring the possibilities. 

All Hallows Eve has always but always been a favorite of mine.  As a child I loved the idea of dressing up as anything I wanted, whether it be fantastical, mythical, scary or beastly.  And of course the candy was a big draw. Now as a mother, the candy is the least of my favorite things!  The twins will undoubtably try to gorge themselves and later complain of upset tummies.  My mom use to give me ginger tea to drink for an upset stomach but I find the flavor to strong, so the twins will get a peppermint tea for their little bellies.

Our little All Hallows family tradition is pumpkin picking at the local patch, a fairly common practice to be sure, and oh so much fun!  The boys look for the biggest bestest pumpkin and I look for the ugliest, the wartier the better!  This year their pumpkins together weighed 91 pounds!!  I went for an oversized squash, twas'nt ugly but it did have the required warts so I was happy.

Now for some tasty treats...

In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—

Oh wait, wrong recipe.  Sorry.  ;)

In celebration of the pumpkin and it's undeniable connection to All Hallows Eve/Samhain I offer up an EASY to make and twin taste tested and approved, Pumpkin Pancakes!

2 1/2 cups instant pancake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 TBS brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

There are so many ways you can adjust this recipe to your own taste or what you have on hand.  Pumpkin puree already has all the spices?  Excellent even easier.  Don't have pumpkin pie spice? 
1 TBS cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground clove
2 tsp ground ginger

Enjoy those pumpkin pancakes!!

Enter to win Punky the Woodland creature!
We all need someone to share pancakes with, after all!

Under a Halloween Moon-The Witches Tea Party-Day Two

Witches Tea Party Under A Halloween Moon
Tea is about time with friends, family and recipes that make us remember fond times. Join me as a few friends share some thoughts of tea, recipes, spells for prosperity and memories... 

This picture was taken in the downstairs family room.  We have a large old-fashioned stone fireplace down there and I've decorated the hearth with many of my grandmother's things.  The silver aluminum coffeepot is Grandma's, the vintage tea cups and saucers I picked up at an antique shop here in Fremont.

Green Tea Magick
Prosperity Tea

When monetary issues are foremost in our thoughts and we’re wondering what to do, I make a cup of tea and sit down to the kitchen table to contemplate the possibilities and come up with new strategy.  However, just as I take mundane actions to work on financial issues, I also get the ball rolling, magickally speaking, with my cup of tea.

I use my favorite mug and a bag of plain green tea purchased at the local grocery store, and to this tea I add the following ingredients:

A pinch of mint…this is the number one herb for money spells.  I grow my own, and when my husband puts on a pot of water for morning tea, he steps right outside the kitchen door to snatch a handful of soft green leaves.

A pinch of nutmeg…just a small pinch, mind you.  Nutmeg works wonderfully in spells promoting wealth, as well as in spells of love and fidelity.

Add to the ingredients a pinch of thyme and marjoram.

Top this off with sugar to taste.  Sugar is one of the strongest drawing agents in our magickal cupboard and can be used in spells to draw most anything to you.  Powdered sugar is also known in the magickal world as ‘Drawing Powder’, and is used not only in food, but in candle magicks, oils, and potions.

Tea time means not only the tea, but a little bit of something tasty to go with it, usually along the lines of cookies, biscuits, breads, or muffins. 

The following recipe is from my grandmother’s kitchen.  It’s her basic tea muffin recipe, and it can be enjoyed just as is, or it can be used as a base for all different kinds of muffins by adding a slew of other ingredients, including spices, fruits, and nuts.

Grandma Raine’s Tea Muffins

1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup shortening

Sift the dry ingredients together; adding the egg, milk, and melted shortening.  Blend just enough to moisten the batter and then spoon into an oil sprayed muffin pan.

Bake at 350-375 degrees for about 20 minutes, depending upon how hot your oven runs.

I’ll be using this recipe for muffins this month, adding to it brown sugar, pumpkin (from canned pumpkin pie filling), nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and raisins.  And these ingredients will not be measured; I’m a ‘pinch of this’, ‘spoonful of that’ type cook.

Somehow you just magickally know when you get it right.

Blessed Be

Amythyst Raine

Create your own banner at!

I lost my father about 5 years ago. We were very close and even though we were over forty years apart in age I always felt we had a similar spirit. I miss him terribly but I do find joy when I see little pieces of him shine through in my children.

So on Halloween after the kids have been tucked into bed, the trick or treaters have all gone home and the veil between the worlds thins...I spend a little extra time with my dad. I always feel that he is near...watching out for me and my family....but Samhain is when I feel he can truly hear me.

I make myself a cup of hot chai, stroll out into the backyard under the stars, light a few candles and tell my Dad all about the life I am living. I tell him how his grandson is growing so tall and how great he has gotten at hockey, how much his granddaughter loves to sing and dance and just how crazy life can get. Then I sit and drink my tea, listen to the sounds of nature, inhale the wonderful autumn smells and just be. I find so much comfort in this little ritual....not only does it help me reconnect with the earth it also helps me find peace with the fact that we lost him way too soon.

Elise from Dark Faery Creations

Don't miss the great giveaway from Elise's shop on the Tea Party extras!

A lovely tea time memory was many years ago when my daughter was very young. We would have tea in her tiny china tea set and little crackers spread with cream cheese. My daughter is on her way home from Kandahar. She is in the U S Air force. 

Don't miss the lovely giveaway provided by Pamelia Designs in the additional Tea Party Posts and all of the surrounding events in the 10 Days of Halloween posts. 

And now for a lovely Chai Tea Recipe from
Hope Photo Art 

Halloween Gypsy Witch Image Transfer - Burlap Feed Sacks Canvas Pillows Tea Towels greeting cards paper supplies- U Print JPG 300dpi


Serves – 2


Milk – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
Cardamom – 2 whole, pounded or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Sugar – to taste
Tea – 2 tsp or two tea bags


1. In a small pot, add water and grated ginger. Allow it to come to a boil.
2. Add in milk and again allow it to come to a boil, stirring in between.
3. Stir in tea leaves and let it come to a rolling boil.
4. Turn off stove, add cardamom powder, cover and allow tea to steep for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add sugar to taste and cinnamon stick to stir.

Notes: If you prefer a stronger (kadak) tea, allow it to boil a little longer.


Ready for a super cool giveaway?
Check out the 10 Days of Halloween events
and a chance to win 3 designs from Hope's shop.

Thank you for joining me on day two of
the Witches Tea Party.


Thoughts of family, friends and a good cup of tea are
always welcome.

Make sure you check out all the posts starting with
October 21st and visit me again through October 31st for all 
the different giveaways.

Many thanks to Anna of Frosted Petunias for making 
this Witches Tea Party happen for us all.

Witches Tea Party Favor and Etsy Artist Find: Hope Photo Art + Giveaway

Images like you have never seen in one collection. Tea towel transfers, place cards, signs, name it and Hope Photo
Art has it. Halloween images to delight and amaze. Please visit her shop and share your favorites with her. 

Halloween Silhouettes Large 5x7 Printable Party Supplies banner craft supplies pennant flags decoration bunting - U-Print 300dpi jpg

Ouija Board Halloween 2x2 and 1x1 Vintage Collage - tags magnets key chains glass jewelry pendants - U Print 300dpi jpg

Teapot Carriage Fabric Image Transfer Collage - Burlap Feed Sacks Pillows Tea Towels greeting cards- U Print JPG 300dpi

Halloween Gypsy Witch Image Transfer - Burlap Feed Sacks Canvas Pillows Tea Towels greeting cards paper supplies- U Print JPG 300dpi

The Witch's Dance - Halloween Image Transfer - Burlap Feed Sacks Canvas Pillows Tea Towels greeting cards paper supplies- U Print JPG 300dpi

Home of the WiCkEd WiTcH and Her Little Monsters Burlap Feed Sacks Canvas Pillows Towels greeting cards - U Print JPG 300dpi

Flight of the Witches Image Transfer - Burlap Feed Sacks Canvas Pillows Tea Towels greeting cards paper supplies- U Print JPG 300dpi

This is one of the most fun times I have had all season!
You have to visit this shop and see the wonderful art!

Now for the giveaway...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Witches Tea Party Featured Etsy Artist: Worts + Cunning Apothecary

1. What to you is the most important thing about tea?

What a big question! I think I could dedicate quite a few years of my life attempting to determine what the most important thing about tea is and probably find myself no closer to a satisfying answer. I can say that for me the process of making tea blends is one built on my ongoing relationship with the ever-greening world of plants. For me, the process of healing with our green allies is inherently joyful and mysterious. I guess that might be one of the most important things about tea – fully engaging in the mystery of what makes tea so wonderful. Tea is an incredibly accessible and lovely way to slow-down, enjoy the company of loved ones, maintain health and, for the Apothecary, taking part in the re-enchantment of the world we live in.

2. Do you have a fond memory of drinking tea?

When I was in Scotland, I found myself in a church a few days before Easter because I heard that they had set up a labyrinth. Not one to miss an opportunity to walk a labyrinth, I went to the church on a bright mid-morning looking forward to a bit of a meditative reprieve from busy studies and travels. While the labyrinth was lovely, it was the tea and biscuits offered afterwards that ended up being the real highlight for me. Sitting down at a round table with a collection of older Aunties with kerchief-covered hair, pleated plaid skirts and very practical footwear, I found myself in the midst of a well-worn ritual of town gossip, hot tea and plenty of milk and sugar. Once they realized that I was an American who not only drank tea but whose family had only just emigrated to the U.S. from the U.K. a generation before, there was a great attempt to “catch-me-up” in what I might have missed since “being gone.” But mostly it was cups of tea, clever jokes and the easy conversation that happens in a culture that has preserved its ability to socialize with a daily, almost religious adherence to tea and its time that make this particular tea-drinking memory so fond.

3. What is your  favorite kind of tea?

While I couldn’t pick just one favorite tea, I can talk about some of my daily cups. Witch’s Delight is my cup of tea for the fall harvest time – it is a tea made from apples from local orchards and is a great blend of sweet and spice for both morning and night. It is also filled with herbs such as Elder and Hawthorn that are excellent for protection from colds and the ‘flu. Witch’s Delight is what I bring to community rituals and potlucks as my offering of harvest thanksgiving as the wheel turns to the darkening part of the year.

Lately, I've also been enjoying a cup of Lovely tea mixed with just a touch of honey and some home-made almond milk. For me, tea is not just about how it tastes but what it looks like as a blend, when it is brewed, as well as its scent. Lovely is a beautiful red tea with a scent like the sunset. I originally created Lovely as a birthday gift for a close friend of mine and I think for that reason, too, I enjoy brewing this tea because I think of her when I do!

4. What time of day is your best peaceful tea moment?

Any time I have a cup of tea in my hand is the best peaceful tea moment! That is very much the truth! I gain a different sort of pleasure and sense of satisfaction from enjoying tea at different times of the day (and month and year, for that matter). I enjoy making tea in the morning for my love to enjoy before she is off to work and even better when we have a morning together to laze about with a full pot of chai. When we were living in Maine, I had a deep adoration for my kettle which would transform cold water to hot, warming me up from the inside out after a day in the snow. Sharing a big cauldron batch of sacred tea after ritual is another special tea moment with my community when I feel connected to an ancestral longing for sharing health-full liquids with friends and family. I am also known to make multiple cups of tea and have them scattered around the house in various stages of fullness, so that as I go about my working day I always have a cuppa in my line of sight!

Drinking tea, suffice to say, is a full-time profession around the Apothecary.

5.  What kinds of teas do you offer at the shop?

We offer a full array of organic, handmade and completely enchanted teas in the Apothecary ranging from daily herbal brews to special blends for pregnancy as well as teas for love and romance. Some of our most popular teas at the moment are our Hogwarts House Blend Teas inspired by our love for the magickal world of witchcraft and wizardry! Each Hogwarts House Blend Teas were created with special attention to the attributes and characteristics of each House – for example, our Gryffindor House Tea Blend filled with herbs traditionally employed for courage and our Ravenclaw House Tea Blend is a combination of herbs to help promote mental clarity and studiousness.

6.  What inspired you to sell teas on Etsy?

Our online Apothecary is just the start of a much larger vision to eventually open up a sliding-scale health collective full of holistic practitioners including a midwife, massage therapists, acupuncturist and more. Etsy has been a wonderful first step for our business vision and we’ve had the privilege of meeting some wonderful folks all around the world who have a common passion for herbal medicine, great tea and taking time to enjoy it all! Herbal medicine is an accessible, culture-rich and sustainable practice of healing and we see the Apothecary as a small part of the larger social justice movement of health-care access for all. So while the Apothecary as a business mainly resides online at the moment, we are active members of our far-flung community, contributing our part to a more compassionate and sustainable future through herbal medicine.

Many thanks to Worts + Cunning Apothecary for agreeing to be interviewed for The Witches Tea Party!

Now for an amazing giveaway!

Witch's Delight Tea Blend - Organic

One lucky winner will receive:
Witch's Delight Tea Blend!

The Deepest Cut Giveaway

THE DEEPEST CUT:  a MacKinnon Curse novel
Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness. 
When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse––that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian. 
Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that would mean letting him go forever and she’s not sure she is strong enough to do that. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, the spirit of the woman who killed Ian returns and she’ll stop at nothing to keep Riley from helping Ian find eternal peace. 

When I started reading this book, I was drying my hair and didn't think much about it. An hour later, I am still standing in the bathroom, frozen in place hairdryer doing goodness only knew what. I actually did need to get to bed because I had to go to work the next morning, early, but this book was so good, I could not put it down. I read while I rolled my hair, I read as I got into bed and until I couldn't see anymore. First thing in the morning, on goes the e-reader and I read while I ate my cheerios and did my makeup. Yes, I was almost late for work. 

I know you want to win a copy of this wonderful story? Of course you do! Enter here for a chance to win an e-book.