I scored a new toy today. It’s a solar regulator I bought for $15 on Amazon. It fits to the deep cell battery and to the 1.5 watt solar cell perfectly. The J-connectors all match to the solar cell connectors. I put a nail in the garage to hang up the solar cell and wired it up high on a stool. We have a solar charged battery system in place. This is good for the vardo. Meanwhile it could keep me in enough power if PGE shuts us down again. It works perfect, although it’s dark now. With the added 12 volt cigarette lighter USB adapter I can charge my phone and use the LED light I’ve ordered. We have a solar 12 volt system in place, off the grid, that’s pretty cool.
Being that the magickal Dan was away this weekend, I was faced with the challenge to get the Vardo to Hexenfest, an event I signed on to vend at, without his towing expertise. Luckily, my vending partner-in-crime, Syntha, has been taking some towing lessons for pulling her new Airstream and so after some strategy and community assistance, we were able to arrive at the event near dusk on Friday.
Saturday morning was the first real test of the Vardo’s capacity to embody the original dream — to serve Turkish coffee and drinking chocolate to a bunch of sacred witchy rockin’ people, and boy did we have a run for our money! Slammed and ran out of drinking chocolate on the first day, Cacoco Midnight Mystic, that stuff is magick. Grateful to have a full commercial kitchen adjacent to make it happen too :} Syntha set up a vintage clothing and tarot station in the back of the vardo, with shade and chill space, picture forthcoming hopefully (I’m getting better at that, taking pictures). Here’s at least a picture of the basic setup of the serving area:
We had so much fun, meeting new faces, re-membering others. A group of Harbin beauties came to visit as well, and imbibed of the sacred brews. There was even a pagan metal concert that evening, with the beautifully
intense Wendy Rule and Pandemonaeon, fulfilling my dream to vend at a mystic witchy metal festival :} We shall see where the Shot of Love takes us next…
Today, as I prepare for my departure to Santa Cruz, I decided to finish all of the rune sets in preparation for September’s Hexenfest Faire vending. I know its a long way off, yet I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to make it back up here to focus on them. I completed all of the sets and will take the leather with me to sew for holding each set of runes.
A busy week for cart-related tasks…first, I stopped by the local crystal shop in Santa Rosa and gathered information about selling my items through the store. Apparently not that difficult, but a 60/40 split…for a first supplier, I think it’s ok.
Also got in touch, finally, with the ladies at Hexenfest, an upcoming event at Isis Oasis in Geyserville, CA about vending opportunities for the gypsy cart. The coordinator is getting back to me, but exciting!
And lastly, being today was a short visit to the cart, I only had time to work on a pendant, and included a past creation not yet photo-ed in the picture below. Building up the treasures for upcoming sales adventures :}
The sun is shining, and I feel like opening the Vardo, airing it out and setting up a jewelry making station at the table inside, revive the spirit of the cart again. Here’s a few creations that came out of said revival:
It’s been awhile since I’ve made an entry, glad to be back. An intense rainstorm is moving through the area and I’ve been housebound, so decided to catch up on some ideas I’ve wanted to finish. The first is my Kitchen Witch apron, the apron being a gift from Dan’s friend, with my addition of a witchy patch to the front. I looked hard for something, as it’s not really the season for such things in craft stores. Head shops, online, and finally found this really cool sewing shop called, “The Legacy” that had SOMETHING. Here it is, the simple “ceremonial gown” of a Kitchen Witch.
The next project niggling at me was to make “crystal Essences”– collected rainwater, saltwater cleansed crystals, and affirmative statements the needed tools. I let the rainwater sit in the light of the New Moon, and crafted two essences out of this charged water, one from Quartz, one from amber (a resin, not crystal, but you get the idea). Each essence has a corresponding affirmation that fits with the magickal quality of the crystal, and will be used in my Magickal cooking (and did my inner agnostic have a field day with THIS). But who cares, it’s FUN…I need to make some pretty labels. Here’s the brewing Amber essence:
I’m thinking of making another essence from the bright yellow dandelions outside my door next, if it would stop raining for them to show their plant faces :}.
A vardo day Sunday. We met at Bucky’s as usual for coffee. It’s Labor day weekend so that’s good. Yesterday I picked up pickle makings, bread and butter at the farmers market and a zucchini. Also a lot of willow for baskets. Today we are on a mission for a battery for the electric cart for Raven’s Mom. I saw one in the Harbor Freight catalog on sale, 12 V, 35 AH, exactly what we need for the second battery. On the way out of the coffee shop I pulled a newspaper coupon out of my pocket, two really, for 20% off any one item and a free multi meter coupon. Raven also wants a small tarp to protect the car. We climb in my truck with the newly installed coffee cup holder on the door (careful closing it), and away.
At Harbor Freight we head for the Solar section for the battery, I’ve been here yesterday to check on it. I measured the old core battery in the truck, seems the same size plus packing material. Raven gets in line as I find the multi meter and meet her. “Oh yea, a tarp.” I run back for a small one on sale $3. Walmart wanted $90 for a battery and sent us a $9 coffee pot instead, out of box defect. We are out the door with the battery, a free multi meter and tarp for $63. They didn’t even want the core battery, worth more cash back else where.
Raven wants some herbs for Ayurvedic potions, Community Market has a good selection, we go there. She gets a bunch of little bags. I see some vanilla beans I’ve never played with, score. Back to Healdsburg for the car then home.
We unpack the truck and start lunch, Chicken, rice and zucchini, plus a ripe garden tomato, Raven would like some farmers market bell pepper I bought for pickles, OK, I cut up a quarter raw for her. Lunch is good in the room with a view, although the wasps are a bit in the way. I should have bought a trap, will, they like chicken.
This week after work I’ve been researching labels for potions. I’ve been remodeling the letters in Paint on some with a couple proofs printed at work, paid for in free overtime, hush, but fair.
It’s time for bottles, Pete Stone has collected hundreds of airplane bottles for me as he cleans the town. mostly plastic but a bunch of glass ones too. Raven sorts out the good glass ones as I get the new battery installed and on the charger. We work together, wet pealing the old labels, using orange oil to remove the gum and ink from the bottles clean. It takes a lot of effort. We fill up a canning jar box with airplane bottles, ready to boil sanitary. The fancy corked ones will be for body potions not consumable. I’d like to make some cold cream, where to get round tins, google that later.
We break down the electric cart and mock pack it in the car, mostly in the trunk, with some in the tarp covered back seat, it will fit fine. Moved to the garage and charging. The flag needs mounting. I cut off the metal plate on the band saw and rounded the rod end on the sander. Found a brass tube the right size to fit it, cut to length and crimped to stop. I cut a piece of walnut hardwood at an angle, a vee notch to fit the tube and opposite larger to fit the seat arm tubing with a notch to hold a hose clamp from slipping. This way the flag is held away from the arm rest at an angle, turned in works best, above the back of the cart. Easily removed and installed for shipping, safely visible orange flag out of the way. The cart is ready to ship in the car next weekend, new batteries charging topped off in a few hours. Fully drained may take a little longer, but they’re deep cycle batteries, made for this. Still best to not drain them completely. Note: If the cart stops on a big bump, check the red and white connectors to the battery. They’ve come loose before.
We spent most of the day cleaning bottles. Raven cuts out a Love Potion label and secures it with glue stick to a clean bottle. “I have food coloring in black.”, “Not on a love potion, maybe a snake oil.” A picture with the stained glass shade I bought at Sally’s yesterday in the background,
Goo gone works to remove the gum and even the ink from the bottles with elbow grease. We have a lot of clean bottles. Raven needs to go home, work at double time holiday pay tomorrow. I hope to go sailing. Meanwhile, I decant the willow withes I collected into the second 4 inch by 5 foot bucket I made and fill it with water to keep them supple for another day to weave.
I sliced up the cucumbers for B&B pickles, I need jars. I run into town, on holiday sale at $7 a flat, I’ll take two at that price, I’ll use them. On the way home I picked up a wee bottle of bourbon for boss Housley as he’s retiring soon, a new label with his name on it. I finish chopping peppers and onions, salted 1/2 cup split and refrigerated to process first thing cool time in the morning, I’m really hoping to go sailing tomorrow with Joe and his Dad. We got so much done today, laundry too. A fine long holiday weekend.