The Veil Thins: Preparing for Samhain, Soap Making

Dear Fairy Friends,

Excuse my recent absence! I have been busy creating new things here at Dragon Dell and teaching my children about the importance of the days surrounding Halloween.

There are so many different names for this time of the year: Halloween, Samhain, All Souls Day. I tend to favour calling the set of days we celebrate Samhain. The reason for this is because it begins on October 31 and ends on November 1 at sunset, whereas Halloween is solely the night of the 31st, All Souls Day on November 2 (it is part of a 3 day celebration, each day has its own title).  

On these days, the Veil between worlds is at its thinnest. The souls of our ancestors may be visiting, as well as The Gentry. I know that many are spooked by these events,  however we here at Dragon Dell prepare carefully and are excited to be part of such a special day. 

For me, this is a great opportunity to talk about the people in our family that my children never had the chance to meet. Some of them I remember fondly, others not so fondly. Regardless, they are part of our narrative here on earth.

As a Veil Guardian, it is crucial that we help any otherworldly beings cross back and forth safely all year, but especially at Samhain, when fairy hunters are out in full force. 

We are preparing lanterns to help wayward souls find their way, anointing candles with patchouli and planning our dinners to include baking soul cakes we will leave out for our ancestors and a place of honour for them at our dinner table.  I will be sharing more about what other things we plan.

We have been making 2 types of soap as a part of our celebration this month.

Making Faerie soap
Making an All Souls Blend

Knowing that we may have increased Faerie traffic during the thinning of the Veil, we made a blend to bathe in to encourage even the most bashful to feel comfortable approaching us, should they need any aid. My children, after all, were born in this world and smell foreign to Fey that have never visited! 

To make this soap, you will need:

  • 1 pound of a melt and pour soap of good quality – we used a Shea and oatmeal blend by Stephenson Personal Care
  • Fairy Magic Oil Blend made by Where Faeries Live or the following essential oils: lavender, bergamot and rose
  • A tablespoon of dried lavender – we purchase ours from Where Faeries Live and The Bodhi Tree 
  • Glitter, glitter and more glitter! You will need a few different colours, we used 7. Our colours were orange, green, purple, pink, blue, white and silver
  • A soap mold – ours was purchased from 
  • Mortar and pestle 

The first thing we did was create a rainbow of glitter at the bottom of our soap mold. 

Lay out your rainbow at the bottom of the soap mold

You will want to get all of your ingredients ready so that you can work quickly with the heated soap mixture. We put our dried lavender in our a bowl and crushed the lavender slightly and mixed in about a tablespoon of white glitter and a tablespoon of silver glitter. My youngest sprinkled in a smattering green for good measure.

Next, we chopped up half of the 2 pound container of melt and pour soap. We microwaved the cut up pieces in 30 second intervals, stirring between. You want to be careful not to boil the mixture; if you see a few lonely clumps here and there, they can usually stirred smooth. In general, we heat up our mixture roughly for 3, thirty second intervals and maybe a fourth 10-20 second one. 

If you have the Fairy Magic Oil blend on hand, you can mix about 8-10 drops into your soap mix as well as your lavender and glitter. If you do not have this blend, use 4 drops of lavender, 4 drops of rose and 2 drops of bergamot. 

Pour gently but evenly into the mold. Now you let it sit overnight. To get the soap out, turn the mold upside down on a clean cloth and gently and evenly push the soap out. You can then chop it up into bricks of any size you like. We make about 6 same-sized bricks. We purchased our silicone mold on and it is 27.5 x 12.7 x 9cm.

Faerie soap!
Before we cut the soap

To store the soap, you can use an airtight container or even a Ziploc bag, I suggest not stacking the bars and laying them flat. 

Our second soap we made is an All Souls blend. Patchouli is one of the oils associated with the dearly departed. I have added cedarwood essential oil as it is used to invoke the help of the angels, or spirit guides if you will.  Cinnamon was used in ancient Egypt during the mummification process and used by the Romans in temples. It is a perfect compliment to the patchouli and cedarwood and has been used for protection and healing, two things I believe lost souls need.

To make this soap, you will need:

  • 1 pound of a melt and pour soap of good quality – we used a Shea and oatmeal blend made by Stephenson Personal Care
  • Patchouli essential oil and cedarwood essential oil – ours are from Young Living 
  • A tablespoon of ground cinnamon 
  • If you wish, dried rose petals and dried orange peel – ours were sourced from The Witchery 
  • Glitter in Samhain colours: copper, black, orange – about a teaspoon each
  • A soap mold – ours is from 
  • Mortar and pestle

To start, we made a mixture of dried roses and orange peels as a bouquet to our ancestors, since we are unable to visit their graves and leave them flowers. We ground up the mixture lightly, then added it to our cinnamon.  Line the bottom of your soap mold with your glitter and then the cinnamon mixture evenly. We followed the heating instructions for the melt and pour soap and stirred in about 8 drops of patchouli and 3 of cedarwood when it was ready. Then we gently poured it into the mold. Wait overnight and cut and store.

To offer these soaps as gifts, we wrap them in wax paper and then a decorative napkin, tying the pretty packages with ribbon or string, usually recycled from another occasion.

While making the soaps, I had the opportunity to talk to my children about their great-grandfathers and it was so interesting to hear their questions. We also discussed the importance of remembering and honouring those no longer with us because our stories will one day live on in the same manner. It was a great weekend activity and they now have soaps to offer their teachers, dance and equine instructors. The soaps have meaning and stories behind them that I know my children will share.  I hope that when I am gone, this will be something they remember me for.

As I work on more projects, I will be sharing. May you find this time of year as beautiful as I do!


Your Lady Star

Practical Magic 

Dear Fairy Friends,

With a name like Faerie Magazine, how could I resist such a publication? It never fails to delight me and I find that reading it transports the soul from our world. It is always full of short stories, recipes, features on artisans and hand-crafted goods. The subscription was a gift last Yule, and it has been such an incredible present!

This quarter, they released a Practical Magic issue. I will be trying as many of the recipes as possible from it and sharing in this blog with you. 

The Practical Magic Issue

I am a fan of the book, as well as the film adaptation, Practical Magic.  The Owens sisters, Sally and Gillian, are so devoted to one another, the novel is all about this sacred blood tie that is stronger than anything. Their aunts, Jet and Frances, are incredible forces to be reckoned with, encouraging people to live as their most true selves, to wear your best dress even to the grocery shop and use your finest china because life is a celebration. One of the most memorable lines has resonated with me “being normal is not necessarily a virtue – it rather denotes a lack of courage”. The story of all of the Owens women teaches exactly that: to have the courage to embrace who you are. There is an interview with the author, Alice Hoffman, in which she discusses the upcoming prequel to Practical Magic, titled The Rules of Magic. I am very excited about this novel that delves into the pasts of Jet and Frances, as well as their brother Vincent. I am trying my best to wait patiently for my pre-ordered copy!

One of my favourite scenes in the film Practical Magic, is when Sally and Gillian are woken up by the whir of the blender and jump out of bed exclaiming “midnight margaritas!”. It is such a silly, manic, intense scene and I cannot hear the Coconut song by Harry Nilsson without dancing on the spot like an Owens in the kitchen! I got my chance to do that in my own kitchen, after my children were tucked into bed, with the Midnight Margarita recipe in the magazine! 

I never put very much effort into making myself a drink, I usually enjoy a glass of wine. There was something about intentionally making myself a drink that felt special on a Friday night, after a rather challenging day. I played some songs from Native Invader by my favourite singer/songwriter/awesome woman Tori Amos. The melodies bring out the witch in me, concocting my potion with purpose. The Cointreau and tequila certainly brought out my dancing feet! The honey syrup you brew and add was refreshing and delicious, I sipped and danced and found that Midnight Margaritas were just what I needed to reconnect to joy and something within that just wanted to have fun and let lose. To make your own, here is the recipe: 

For the cocktail:

  • 3 oz of tequila 
  • 1 oz of Cointreau (or another orange-flavoured liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz honey syrup 
  • Kosher salt
  • Lime wedges
  • Ice

For the honey syrup:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water

To make the syrup, add the honey and water to a pot. Bring to a simmer on low heat and stir until the honey dissolves. Let it cool before adding to your cocktail. 

To line your cocktail glass with salt, rub a lime along the rim, then dip in a plate of salt. 

To make the cocktail, I didn’t have a shaker so I added the tequila, Cointreau, honey syrup and lime juice into my blender. I figure if the Aunts did it, so can I! I blended it quickly and then poured it over ice in my cocktail glass and topped it with a lime. It was fantastic!

The next morning, I had no regrets staying up a little late, enjoying my midnight dance party. I didn’t look as fresh as I would have liked however, and decided to try another one of the recipes. I strirred up the Pumpkin Radiance Face Mask in my mini cauldron. 

Pumpkin Radiance Face Mask

What I enjoyed about this was that there was thought and ritual to accompany it. You are to light an orange candle after applying the mask and sit and take a reflective moment to yourself. While you focus on the candle, you are encouraged to think about what you would like your life to look like. Are you seeking a new career, travel, love? You have to think in specifics, without focusing on a particular person or resource, but imagine how it would feel to have your wish granted. Sweep all negativity aside and breathe only the positive thoughts and feelings in. Let them sit in your heart. When the mask tingles and you really feel this energy in your heart, rinse off the mask, give thanks, say out loud “so shall it be” as you blow out the candle. 

I did this and it felt as if I had left my home for hours when it had only been a few minutes. It gave my day new purpose and energy, having meditated, internalized my hopes and goals and affirming to myself that I could make them happen. 

The mask itself was very easy to make and I actually had all the ingredients! To make it, you will need:

  • 3 tbsp of organic pumpkin purée 
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk 

To start, you mix the pumpkin and spices.  Once they are well blended, add the almond milk. Apply it to clean skin and light your candle! 

Practical magic is all about the everyday magic around us. We can bless the food we cook for others, the deeds we do to help, the homes of those we visit, it is even in the care of plants and animals around us. The words we use on a daily basis are so full of power, as are our thoughts. In a single moment, we can take ourselves apart with hideous words such as “fat”, “stupid” and anything that can make you feel like a lesser person. Positive words do the opposite and are so worth the time to repeat daily! Taking a moment to think about how we want our day, our week or our year to go is a bit of magic itself, because if we can see it in our futures, we need only make the steps necessary to bridge the gap between wish and reality. 

I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I did and I would be thrilled to know how they turned out for you!

With love,

Your Lady Star 

Making Sylph Slumber Bath Bombs and a Mommy-Basket: Better Mornings, Here We Come!

Dear Fairy Friends,

Whether homeschool, public school or private school, learning is so exciting! With the excitement, I often forget how challenging school days can be on children. My eldest comes home, bubbling with new information and things she cannot wait to tell me. This week, she sat eating her dinner and told me “The reason I can eat my dinner is because I have many bones in my face. Otherwise, my face would be a gloopy, melty mess”. I learned that you can pass your hand through a bubble if you wet it first from her and I hear about the exploits of the class turtle.

She gets so excited, she has difficulty turning her mind off when it is time to sleep. It is a poorly concealed fact that I am not at all a morning person and when she gets little rest, she is the grumpiest bear ever – next to her mama bear. We don’t make the prettiest pair in the morning, so I’ve started working on what I can do to change that for us.

We have started a night time routine where we include a soothing bath. Together, we talked about what we can do to relax as we made Sylph Slumber Bath Bombs with gorgeous dried lavender, lavender essential oil and of course, some glitter!

Dried lavender and lavender essential oil

The recipe to make these bath bombs is really easy! To make them, you will need:

  1. Cream of tartar
  2. Baking soda
  3. Olive oil
  4. Lavender essential oil
  5. Dried lavender, if you like
  6. Glitter, if desired
  7. Food colouring is optional (we used some but I will be using only plant-based or soap colouring in the future, if any)
  8. A clean spray bottle with some water in it
Ingredients you will need

To make the bath bombs, start by mixing 2 cups of baking soda with one cup of cream of tartar. Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, roughly 8 drops of lavender essential oil and any colouring if you wish. We used about 4 drops of food colouring, but I will be looking for a plant based, organic colouring in the future so that even people very sensitive to food dyes can use these.

Mix these liquids in well, pressing with a spatula to evenly distribute. Next, spray the mixture two or three times with your spray bottle. Start mixing, it may fizz a little when the water comes into contact with the baking soda, but it will stop when you start mixing.

The mixture will appear crumbly but you will know that it ready to be put in trays when it holds the shape of an indented spoon relatively well.

Bath bomb mix in process

We mixed in some dried lavender next. You do not have to add a lot, a little goes a long way and it is less likely to clog any tubs! We also added some glitter into the trays before packing them with the bath bomb mixture so that when they are popped out, they have glittery tops.

Once you are happy with what you have added to the mixture, pack it into ice cube trays. Leave these somewhere to dry for two days. We got mason jars ready to store them in, but you can also use Tupperware containers. We put a soft, clean kitchen towel on the table and gently turned the ice cube trays over after the 2 day drying time and the bath bombs slid right out.

Fresh bath bombs – yum!

We jarred some for gifts and put a small batch in a little vase for immediate use.

Sylph Slumber bath bombs

We gave our bath bombs a test run, filling the bath and letting the children have nice, long soaks. These were followed by a book and bed and the result? My eldest slept soundly and much quicker than she has been, my middle child slept in until 8 am! This alone is unheard of! Whether you will credit the lavender, as I do, and the tranquil routine or not, they enjoyed making them and using them so much. In addition, my bathroom smells amazing!

I got thinking about how something that makes you feel amazing can alter your mood. I decided to try a little experiment on myself. I emptied a pretty basket the children were storing play food in, I made a small space for myself in the bathroom and filled the basket with happy, green, amazing goodies from The Green Goddess. 

My mommy-basket packed with green, happy goodness!

In my basket, I put the Blood Orange Flower Power hydrosol. I mist it on my face and wipe with a cloth instead of washing my face with soap and water. The smell perks me up and leaves my skin so nice without any of the dryness of soap. The next item in my basket is the Rejuvenating Elixir for oily skin. I was hesitant about switching to a oil-based product from regular cream but oh my gosh! It is amazing! The biggest switch in our home was from toxic anti-perspirants to a natural deodorant, but I am loving the black cherry one in my basket.  The last item always brings me back to Faerie, the land of the Fey. It is a champa perfume roller and I am addicted to it! It has grounding properties, which I need so much in the morning, and smells like fields of blooming fairy flowers. It feels like a huge indulgence but it makes me feel like a queen even driving in my car to drop my daughter off at school!

I’ve been feeling beautiful, wholesome and a little peppier since the basket came to be. I think every mother needs a little self-care routine and I am so happy I built this quick one into my mornings. The Green Goddess products are fey-friendly and the packaging can be recycled and are made with ethically sourced ingredients, some are even wildcrafted from the region we live in. They are amazing additions to my home and are so reasonably priced for the outstanding quality and crafting, so I don’t feel so guilty for my indulgent mommy-basket!

I would love to know what you put in your bath bombs and how they work for you! If you have a mom self-care routine, I am curious what it might be, sharing ideas just might give another mom the deep breath she needs to get through her day!

May you sleep well and smell like fields of lavender and champa!

With love,

Your Lady Star

Fairy Spotting: A Guide

Dear Fairy Friends,

The weather has been gorgeous at Dragon Dell. The leaves are turning lovely golden tones, glinting in the Fall sunlight. It is a time for harvests, for enjoying the world before winter settles in. It is my favourite time of the year, leading up to Samhain – many humans call it Halloween.

Fairies are out in full force, more and more as October 31st approaches. It is a very busy time of the year and the peak for fairy activity!

I’ve had a few children very sadly write to me that they have not seen a fairy. I believe this may be because many people expect a full-bodied, glittery, clear apparition. In reality, you probably have seen a fairy and didn’t realize it!

For example, do you have a cat or dog? We have both, as well as ferrets. Have you ever noticed them paying attention to something that did not make sense? Cats will often stare at or chase invisible things, dogs will suddenly go sit and stare at a wall, ferrets will run off after something (they are a poor example because they are always doing this anyway!). Often, this is a sign that there is fairy activity in the house!

For instance, I will be doing dishes in the kitchen and notice something flit outside, only to take a better look and see nothing at all. Things moving out of the corner of your eye or subtle shifts you can’t be sure you saw are often fairies.

If you would like to be more attuned to fairy sightings in your home, garden and in the wild, the book Fairies, A Spotter’s Handbook by Alison Maloney, illustrated by Patricia Moffet, is an excellent guide for children and adults interested in starting to build  up their fairy lore.

Unlike some other fairy books for children and youth, this handbook is not too sugary-sweet that you develop a toothache while reading it. Having once been Fey myself, I appreciate that it points out that there are both good and bad fairies. These terms are very stiff and often, a benevolent fairy might behave in a manner we might classify as bad or evil. However, we often forget that our concepts of good and bad have no meaning to the Good Neighbours. I am fond of this book because it touches on this lightly, but does not paint all Fey in a shiny, squeaky clean light.

Having read the majority of the book that discusses Queen Titania, the ruler of Faerie, her court, the different types of fairies, my daughters were eager to test the handbook in the great outdoors.

Taking the handbook out with us for some spotting!

We had with us mason jars for collecting and the guide. I need to be very clear about one thing when venturing out to look for fairies: please, never, ever try to jar them! I am pretty sure most of us would not like to be contained in a sealed jar, even with holes poked in the lid. I can assure you, neither do fairies. There are dire consequences for all who try to trap fairies and Fairy Hunters are one of our greatest fears at Dragon Dell. This is strictly a guide too spotting, not hunting! Great things to have with you would be a container to collect things in, a magnifying glass, a little cup and some milk, honey or cake. Keep an open mind and an open heart!


If you have a garden, look under shrubs or bushes, you may find some fairy clues there. A tidy pile of leaves, for example, may have been a fairy bed.

Other signs of fairy visits include toadstool rings or a circular area of flattened grass. Rings of toadstools are Fairy Rings and these are sacred ritual and celebratory spaces for The Gentry. They must not be destroyed or you will have bad luck! Flattened grass in an open area where there are no tracks and the grass surrounding it is upright is another sign that there has been a fairy celebration!

You will also want to examine trees in your yard. All trees have fairy spirits inhabiting them and you just need to look for signs! We have a crab apple tree that we often find little piles of twigs under. This is a sign of a fairy dwelling.

Looking under our special crab tree

If you are in the woods and spot bluebells, foxglove, lavender, snowdrops or forget-me-nots, these plants are irresistible to the Fair Folk and you can wager that they are around.

We collect things we find such as feathers, acorns, fallen leaves. These we keep and make little beds out of in the garden before we go in, to let the fairies know they are welcome and will be during the cold months. Our hearth is fairy-friendly! I appreciate very much that Fairies, A Spotter’s Handbook offers the reader protection against the wrong sort of fairy making themselves feeling welcome. The book recommends putting springs of either rosemary of thyme near the front door and offers this spell to bless the home:

We’ve rosemary, thyme and sweet-smelling flowers,

Good fairies can enjoy,

To this clear house we call ours,

Bring love, peace and joy. 

It is very important when forming friendships with fairies to do something like this, to make your invitation very clear. This is where I want to note that just as we wish to come to no harm in our household, when you are out in theirs, do not harm or destroy things. When collecting items in your jar, please do not break off branches, petals, trap bugs nor harm any animals. These are very serious offences and the equivalent of someone entering your home and smashing your furniture and throwing everything around. Littering is also a great offence so if you bring snacks, please remember to tidy up after.

Lastly,  if you wish to show good faith to the Fey, leave them a small offering of milk, honey or cake. This can also be placed in the kitchen window, it is a great treat for the Fey and they will be very pleased.  We may have experienced some Fey tampering with our picture above, no matter what angle we took the picture from, the little friendship bowl we filled with milk would not photograph clearly!

I hope that this helps give you hope going forward, looking for signs of magic and open your eyes to fairy sightings you might already have encountered!

With love,

Your Lady Star

Pond Pixie Slime: Making Loyalty, Generosity & Laughter “Stick”

Dear Fairy Friends,

It has rained on and off here, as it does during this time of year. With the rain comes very sticky mud on the grounds of our home, Dragon Dell Cottage. We have often lifted a foot only to realize that our boot was still in the mud!

The puddles and mud were on my mind as I thought about some of the fairy bogs across The Veil, in the land of the Fey. They are not all dark and gloomy. Some of them have vibrantly coloured slime and the Pond Pixes, a special type of Water Fey that make this slime, enjoy playing with it. They marvel at the stickiness, make batches just to improve elasticity and, in a pinch, have made some for spiders out of thread for their webs. 

At the cottage, I have been struggling with some sibling discord amongst my children. I know that this is very normal, yet I remain a little perplexed regardless having been a fairy most of my life! 

We have been working on Loyalty, as opportunity often sways my eldest, and she ends up regretting her decisions afterwards. When we know we have not been Loyal, it can pain the heart, yet loyalty is a subject of depth as there are such a things as blind loyalty and betraying yourself for others. With my middle child, we have been discussing Generosity. The Fey do not like stinginess and I am trying to show her how sharing and giving can be a joy.  Lastly, I am on working on myself! Trying to diffuse situations acting as cranky as a badger just adds fuel to the fire. I am learning to replace being cross with Laughter. My youngest is my greatest teacher in this art!

I decided to use Pixie Pond Slime to make these ideas “stick” rather than a stern lecture to discuss Loyalty, Generosity and Laughter.

To make your own Pixie Pond Slime, you will need:

  1. One 5 oz bottle of clear Elmer’s Clear Glue 
  2. Glitter
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoon of contact lens solution
  4. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  5. A spatula
  6. A mixing bowl 

Pond Pixie Slime ingredients

To make the slime, empty the entire bottle of glue into your mixing bowl. Mix in some glitter! It is the best part! We don’t measure, but I would venture to say a couple of teaspoons at least! We put quite a lot to make the slime very sparkly. Next, add your contact lens solution and baking soda.

It will be very, very gloopy at first. If you knead it, it becomes less stringy and as you work with it in the open air, it dries a little and becomes more glob-like. 

I prepared 3 batches in 3 different colours and scooped every last sticky string in mason jars with lids. If left out, the slime will dry. I labelled them, one for each of us: Loyalty was blue, Generosity was purple and Laughter was pink.

Lesson made to stick in a jar!

I picked up my eldest daughter from school and she was delighted by the sparkly jars I had prepared with her sister and brother.

Purple for Generosity
Blue for Loyalty

The children and I talked as we played and they even shared without any prompting. They took out ice cube trays and made fairy cakes for the Pond Pixies. They twirled, rolled, stretched and squished the Pond Pixie Slime for over an hour!

Pond Pixie Slime!

I recommend using plastic mats to play on. The slime is easiest to pick up using more slime, as it sticks together. It can be peeled off of mixing bowls and spatulas too, if you clean it up before it dries. If it does happened to dry, the glue is washable and a good soak will do the trick. I hope you have enjoyed this post and would love to know what names you gave your slime! What did you learn?

With love,

Your Lady Star

Magical Celebrations: Finding Diagon Alley in Edmonton’s Highlands 

Dear Fairy Friends,

I have to confess a little something: as a new, human mother, I had no idea how one celebrates human birthdays! I researched the topic online and may have gone a little overboard with my first daughter. Having once been Fey, I had our understanding of birthdays, which are to reflect on the years past and set our sights on goals for the years ahead. Our kin and friends do celebrate with us, but not with balloons, gifts and cake. Instead, we will often invite the birthday fairy to a walk to collect acorns and stop and chat with the forest. We might suggest collecting herbs and preparing them together, making teas, baking – things that are done in the enjoyment of one another’s company. I will note that the human tradition of adding a cake to the celebration is brilliant! 

Now that I have had my third child, my son, I find that our fairy and human traditions are blending into one another. We made him some Unicorn Dip instead of a cake and held a very small celebration, decorating the table with books that included fairy tales, wooden knights, lords and ladies. We did so in anticipation of a magical, weekend-long celebration. 

We tidied the cottage, found care for our pets and drove to Edmonton. The trail of magic got stronger as the event drew closer, we arrived on the Friday for the Harry Potter Pop-Up shop in the Highlands area being held on Saturday, September 16, year 2017 on this side of The Veil. 

The leaves on the beautiful residential streets were showing off their newly golden tips by rustling in the sunlight. Rounding the corner, leaving our car behind, we left behind the Muggle world. 

Leaving the Muggle world

It felt as if we had wandered into Diagon Alley as we saw the Honeydukes sign, witches and wizards in their house colours everywhere, WANTED posters and pages of The Daily Prophet up on the buildings. There was also a wand maker with an exquisite outdoor boutique that my children saw and were immediately draw to. 

Connorvanders & Co had wooden cases open in their tent, which must have been enchanted  because no ordinary person would have been able to fit the displays inside a tent that size. Very clever spell work! The wands were on display: some straight and at attention, others with secrets tucked into their kinks and curls, some slender and cunning, others robust and cheerful. Personalities radiated from the cases – these were no ordinary hunks of wood, I felt that in my bones. While fairies rarely use wands, we are often acquainted with a number of witches and wizards. Wands – real wands – have energies about them. Let me attempt to explain a little what I mean. 

Have you ever chosen a pet? Often, there is a connection that makes you select one over another equally cute pet. We gravitate towards certain wands and if you can imagine it, the connection to the wand is as deep a connection as with a special pet. These were wands of the highest quality and there was no question that they would, in fact, chose their witch or wizard. 

A Ravenclaw wizard helped each of my girls hear the call of the wand wanting to be theirs. My eldest daughter refused to even touch the first wand offered to her, while my second daughter’s hand shot out and would not drop the first wand shown to her. My wand surprised me greatly. After all this time and my past experience as Fey using magic, it was lovely to be surprised like that! There was even a wand perfect for my 1 year old son. 

Connorvander himself then demonstrated a defensive spell to my children. He explained that in order cast a successful Patronus charm, the caster must first think of memories that make them happy. Then, they must put their wand to their forehead to draw on those memories and, in a fluid motion, while saying “expecto Patronum”, lower the wand to the heart and then out to cast. The memories and love from the heart project the Patronus. We discovered that my eldest daughter has a tigger as a Patronus, my youngest daughter a cat and mine was revealed to my children: a ferret. 

Patronus charm lesson
Perhaps Hogwarts has found a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher?

After the charm lesson, we also purchased some Patronus Bundles, as one can never be too prepared in case of a run-in with Dementors! These also came with bundles of sage to help cleanse spaces of negative energy – something Dementors are drawn to. Upon opening these bundles, we also discovered that the art on the bundles was created by a local artist! 

Beautiful and protective Patronus Bundles!
Local witch talent

The children adopted adorable Pygmy Puffs (very low maintenance, highly recommended by fellow mother witches) and a couple of bottled spells. The witch helping them complete the adoption papers and select their spells made their experience one to remember, answering the questions as they bubbled over, like a cauldron full to the brim. The experience at Connorvanders & Co was remarkable and I was astounded to have found such a knowledgable wand maker, wand fitter and Pygmy Puff breeder. 

Adopted Pygmy Puff, Lily
Amortentia potion

The incredible smell from Honeydukes, which is usually known by Muggles as Be-A-Bella, drew us into the line. While we waited, the Edmonton Aurors Quidditch Club had brooms and hoops set up for the littles to test their aptitude for the sport. I am a terrible player since I am slow on a broom, but we discovered we have a Quidditch witch in the family with my youngest daughter!

Inside the shop, the children filled a bag with Chocolate Frogs, other magical sweets and even some of Dumbledore’s favourite Sherbet Lemon Drops. We had Giggle Potions made out of Buttescotch Beer and we bought a case of it with our galleons. 

What cards will we find inside?

With our purses significantly lighter but with brand new wands in our grasp, we took a little break before heading back. Returning to the car confirmed that the street was cloaked in some strong magic because the minute we got near the car, we were back in the Muggle world. 

We rested, changed our clothing to dress robes and headed back. Sure enough, at about the same distance from our car, there was a slight shimmer and we were back in the wizarding world. To Muggles, La Boheme is a restaurant. In actuality, it is a very clever disguise for a way to Great Hall of Hogwarts. We had to pass through Platform 9 3/4, use our Hogwarts Express ticket to arrive at the Great Hall. It was lit by candles floating near the ceiling and we were seated as guests at the Slytherin table. 

Got my letter to Hogwarts!
Passage to the Hogwarts Express

We feasted from the inspired menu and enjoyed being sorted by Sorting Hat cupcakes. We had made educated guesses as to our houses prior, the cupcakes confirmed our suspicions! They were filled with coloured icing in the centre that sorted you into one of the four houses: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin and Hufflepuff. We have 1 Ravenclaw (myself), 1 Hufflepuff (my youngest daughter), 1 Gryffindor (my eldest daughter), and 2 Slytherins (my husband and son). 

We also enjoyed Pumpkin Pasties and celebrated my son’s birthday with some of the birthday cake Hagrid had baked for Harry. 

Happy first birthday to my son

We did not manage to get in to Majesty and Friends, but harbour no hard feelings! We traded stories with other magical families while we waited and although the line-up was past the endurance of my girls (who are not very patient – possibly a fairy trait passed on), we made friends! We will absolutely go back another time to pick some of the homemade bath salts and candles there and hopefully try some of the famous chocolate made by The Violet Chocolate Company

That night, the children were tucked in bed with bottles of Butterscotch Beer and their Pygmy Puffs, eager to practice more charm work in the morning. This was part 1 of our birthday celebration! I would like to thank all of the businesses that revealed their true, enchanted nature, to the lucky ones who dared to venture into their world. We know it was no dream, we know that the magic was real because we have our wands, potions, Chocolate Frogs and Pygmy Puffs as reminders of the wonder. 

Fierce Azkaban escapee
Butterscotch Beer by The Flying Cauldron
Witch on the lose
May you find wonder in the everyday, maybe even wander into a magical world just around the curb.

With love,

Your Lady Star

Stardust Script 

Mom, where does Stardust come from?”

“When a star shifts a little, the glowing dust of the ages may be shaken lose from her skirts. If you are lucky enough to catch some of this Stardust, keep it close to your heart on cold nights to stay warm, practicing your letters in it will always help you find the right words to comfort an aching heart, and just before the glow dims, carry it to a field and set it free with a true wish. Wishes on Stardust are precious things, because if the wish is kind and pure enough, it may spark the birth of a new star.”

-Conversations with my daughter, Garnet

Stars are so beautiful and Stardust from them is a true gift. If you make this recipe, it may not be as potent as celestial Stardust, but leave it on a table in the moonlight, and the stars will smile on it. It will be imbued with wonderful magic to practice letters and words in and can make wishes of the heart comes true. Dress warmly however because you cannot trust this variation to keep you warm! 

To make your own Stardust, you will need:

  • A box of table salt 
  • Food colouring of your preferred colour
  • Glitter
  • An alphabet book or cards with words you would like to practice
  • Wands, feathers or something to write in the sand
  • A mixing bowl
  • A spatula
  • Crowns and wings optional but highly recommended!

I made Stardust for 2 children and used half a box of salt. You can always make more or less, if you make a lot you can simply store it! We emptied the salt into a bowl and added 3 drops of neon pink food colouring, and 3 drops of magenta. The food colouring will stick to the salt, it requires a little firm pressing and stirring with a spatula to spread it evenly throughout. Next, we mixed in some pink glitter given to us by Fairy Friend, Susan. To add a little more sparkle, we tossed in some pink glitter hearts. Really, I am not sure there is such a thing as too much glitter! 

I then poured some into baking pans. You will want to be a little sparse, if there is a lot of sand, the letters traced will be harder to see. This mixture did not stain the pans, but you can always line them first with pretty wrapping paper or foil to make the letters stand out even more. 

We attached our wings securely and adjusted our best crowns, mixed the Stardust by hand to enjoy how silky soft it was, and then sifted the pans to even it out. We took up our wands, ready to practice our letters. 

I gave each of my daughters an alphabet book beside their pan of Stardust. I gave my youngest daughter Canada ABC by Paul Covello, and my eldest daughter The ABCs of RPGS by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland. They are both wonderful books with large, clear letters for the children to copy with ease. 

We worked on letters for about half an hour and then I added My Little Ponies and Thomas mini trains for the girls to play with while I worked on dinner. Just before we put the trays away, I gave the girls tea cups. They scooped some of the Stardust into the teacups, saving it for wish-making.

After baths, we put on our rain boots and walked on to the damp grass, tea cups cradled in our palms against the wind. It was a perfect wind, gentle yet with enough force to carry our dust up high and have our wishes whispered to the stars. 

What we wished for, I cannot share with you. That is one of the cardinal wish-rules: they are a secret kept between your heart and the stars. 

May you wish wisely and enjoy this activity!

With love,

Your Lady Star