HappyTrees Studio

Jan 16, 2014

How to make Your Own Smudge Sticks

I use smudge sticks every time I sit to meditate, read my cards, preform a ritual, have a fight, start a new season, feel like crap, basically, I use a smudge stick for everything. With the discovery of fire, people began to notice that aromatic smoke was produced by burning dried plants. As herbs, roots, resins and barks are transformed from their physical form by fire into smoke (spirit world form)it opened their eyes to change. This transformation is evidence of the spirit within substances. There are many websites on how and why we smudge, the 'proper' way. I prefer to create my own rituals and "circle time" and I like to make my own tools as well. Before I begin anything: project, craft, ritual, making something to be used sacredly, I always ask the Universe for guidance and sit for a moment in silence. When I'm finished, I always thank the Universe for watching over me as I preformed a new task.

I gather everything together before I get started when beginning a project...I hate being interrupted or having to stop and go. It messes with my flow. In Native American Cultures and various other cultures everywhere, certain herbs are used for certain ceremonies. I use what I like and what speaks to me at that time. I use white sage for a total cleanse. I like  the smell of lavender and rose together, and I add those for love and peace. Patchouli is my favorite fragrance of all time and I have a powder that I add into my sage to spice it up a bit(so punny, sorry.) I also use thyme, rosemary, lambs ear, and chamomile. I do only use organic ingredients and materials if I can help it...I'm sure inhaling pesticides and GMO's isn't good for you.

Lie all of your ingredients out and mix and match until you are pleased with your selection. Using a thin hemp or cotton start in the middle and start to wrap the herbs together. I wrap back and forth tucking leaves as I go, until I get to the end and I simply tie a knot. 

I then take craft paper or a recycled paper bag and roll the smudge stick into a paper tube, tying it off with string long enough to be able to hang. I cut a little slit in the top of the tube so that it would hang up and down and not all wonky. This way all of the moisture will come to one end and not get all moldy and such. Let the stick dry for about a week or so and then use it to your hearts content. 

Jan 15, 2014

Wolf Moon

Whew! The holidays flew by in a rush. Almost so fast it was hard to enjoy them! I have been making and planning and procrastinating quite a bit lately, but I think I figured out what's going to happen. I'm going to be HAPPY! I know without a doubt what I want out of life, and I almost have a plan figured out how to financially support my dream and keep my family loved and fulfilled.
 Since forever, I've known that I love to help others. Listening, offering guidance, being there for them. My hands sometimes feel as if they are on fire with energy and I just have to touch. I have repaired my own soul through help from others and a lot of hard work on my part. And I know that's what I want to do. I want to help others find themselves. I want to help them heal and mend the broken pieces. I want to offer guidance in growth, both spiritually and physically. Through art, meditation, writing, yoga, and a lot of personal soul searching I feel as if I can help others heal. I'm combining all that i do into a package/service to offer. I've only been offering things locally, but with Skype and via phone, I will now offer to help others anywhere. In the next few weeks I'll be able to cement all of the boring stuff so that I can get down to business.

 I've also been reading cards for others at home. You can go to my facebook page and get a card pulled by commenting on the daily post. Stop by!

Tonight is the first full moon of 2014 and I'll be making smudge sticks for my Etsy shop and sitting with the spirits. There are so many things that you can do during a Full Moon to help your energy. At the full moon the energy builds and builds....there's an explosive outgoing aspect to it. All of nature grows and is more vital at the full Moon. This surge allows you to take action on behalf of any new Moon intentions you set, as well as set new intentions and beginnings. 

  • You could use this evenings moon to release any old internal baggage you've been letting weigh you down. Write everything you want to rid yourself of; be it bad habits, or bad relationships, anything that does not lift you up. Find a container ( I use a cast iron pot) and using a candles flame burn all of those slips of paper and watch the smoke disappear, taking with it your anxiety and frustrations that surround the subject.
  • Sit in a quiet place and allow yourself to become centered. If you are able, try to get somewhere where the light of the moon can be seen. Imagine that light as a healing light and let it bathe you with it's beauty and power. Strengthening your soul as well as your will. As it washes over you allow your mind to quiet down and accept the purity and cleanliness of it. Feel your soul becoming rooted in love and trust; of yourself, your power, your love. Believe in yourself and allow your body to be healed in the strength of the moon.
  • Set an intention, something that you want to accomplish or create in your life. Write it down, or paint it...create something that you can come to and be reminded of what you wanted. Intentions set under a full moon create a powerful wave through the universe, letting all who will listen know that you are ready to accept change. 

I hope this finds you well and helps you through all that you are experiencing. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have questions or comments. You can reach me through facebook, twitter, pinterest, etsy, or through my email-happysappytrees@gmail.com. Namaskar!

Dec 12, 2013

Sharing The Bounty::A Giveaway for You and Your Friend.

I can just hear you now...
"What, you mean Anastasia actually finished something and is having a giveaway?!?" Well, no...but there is a group of beautiful souls that are having a HUGE giveaway-one for you, and one for a friend over on Makenna Johnston's Blog.

So what's in the giveaway?

2 Coaching packages with Makenna Johnston ::  3 half-hour sessions a piece.  One for you, and one for a loved one. 
2 Tea Packages from Danmala Teas ::  Each package includes a handstamped cotton drawstring bags, filled with 3 tea tin samples, 3 tea filters, one honeystick, Gratitude Ritual, Tea Gem and a Tea Light candle. xo
2 Goodies from Faeriecology ::  One $33 gift certificate, good for anything in her shop.  And one Moth Wing Necklace. 
2 Crystal Packages from Moondaughter ::  One Moonstoned and One Custom Crystal Pouch
2 Eyeshadows in shade "Clean" from Cosmic Bath and Beauty  ::  All natural, a pale lavender with shimmer.  Simply gorgeous!  We collaborated on this one, and I wear it near daily. 

Meet the Generous Ladies!! (And visit their virtual homes and shops, you'll love it)
Makenna Johnston at The Bliss Doula
Lindsay Luna at Danmala Teas
Drucilla at Faericology
Marissa at Moondaughter

Everything they write, make or do comes from their souls. They are true artists and I am happy to have found them~. So scoot yer booties on over and check out the giveaway. It's super generous!!

Dec 9, 2013

With Belief, It Should Be All Or Nothing

 I believe in Magick. I believe in spirits, sprites, magical beings, faeries, and other worlds or realms. I'm 38, and I still believe. That's not to say society, from my parents to my peers, hasn't tried to shame or mock this belief from me. Even my own husband who doesn't believe in the faerie world or mermaids, but does believe in angels and ghosts and haunting's, mocks me for my 'fantasy filled' mind.( But still wants his cards read every now and then.)
 I think that my belief of otherworldly things, solid belief, is what helps when I need things done. When I read the tarot, I believe. When I light a candle for someone, I believe. When I meditate or journey, I believe. When my intuition kicks in, I listen. Wholeheartedly. And it works.
 In my opinion, you can't 'dabble' in belief. You can't, say, say a spell, then wake up in the middle of the night from fear and pray to Jesus nothing gets you, then defy the Bible(and it's beliefs)  the very next day with  another 'spell'. You can't say a spell for a friend out of a book, then the next day mock your own practice or make light of it. Your constant belief is what makes it come true. Thought and belief are the two most powerful things out there. If you believe anything, then, in your world, it's the truth. But it must be true. You must stay consistent. 
 I never believed in speaking in tongues, but my great grandmother did...and she could not only tell you if someone were true, but she could interpret exactly what they were saying. She could also pray off a wart or a sickness. And her faith in God was true. My great-uncle could cut your hair, put it in a hole in a tree, and rid you of an aliment. They did this, and succeeded, because their belief was strong and never wavered. They never second guessed themselves or their understandings. 
 Whatever you believe, wherever your faith lies, you must first, believe. And, second, you must study. You must devote your life to your truth. No truth comes easily. If you want a 'power' you have to earn it. If you want an outside force to work for you, you must first understand who and what you are asking. Begin by studying. If you feel it isn't worth your time and energy, do yourself a favor and find another way to achieve your goals. If you want to cast spells, you can't simply pull one up from a random book or website and expect success. You first need to learn about magic. Spells don't work because of the props you use, or your ingredients, or the words you say. They work when you understand the principles of  what you're doing and why you are doing it. They work when you have learned to meditate and have disciplined your mind in order to alter your state of consciousness at will and to raise and focus your energy. 
I'm not saying you have to, in anyway, abandon your faith and religion to practice a new 'faith' or belief. Or give up what you know to be true to travel a new path. I'm just saying that no matter what you want or want to be, you must first have faith in what you say and feel. And know that it is true. Don't doubt yourself or your faith. 
Remember the three wise men of the Christmas story who brought gifts to baby Jesus? They were Magi. 
Historically, Magi weren't known for pulling rabbits out of hats, but they were a part of a long line of  consultants to kings who worshiped various gods, practiced the occult, studied the stars, foretold the future,  interpreted dreams, and probably experimented with spells, potions and elixirs. Then around 600 B.C., the  Old Testament prophet Daniel was put in charge of the Magi of Babylon (Daniel 2:48). That's when there  was a noticeable shift in how the Magi of Babylon worked. They operated more like a priestly order,  became monotheistic (worshiped one God), and even sacrificed animals for their sin. Daniel no doubt turned  them to depend upon God for their powers. So while sorcery is condemned by the Bible, not all the  magicians in the Bible are "bad guys." The difference? The three wise men bowed before Jesus, and Daniel  was clear that he could interpret dreams by God's power, not his. (Found here)
Find your path. And meditate on it. Decide if you are willing to change or alter yourself or habits in order to live your chosen path. And if you are- Keep your faith strong and your heart true. Nothing should sway you. 
I'd love to hear your opinion on this...please, lets be civil, this is a touchy subject; I know, but it's been rattling in my head for a few days and I need to air it out. 

Dec 2, 2013

Happy December!

As if this season isn't hectic enough, I've decided to add a few extra tasks to my list! I think this past weekends turkey overload has made me a little crazy...

 First- My friend Michelle and I are going to participate in  ‘Tis the Season: December’s Photo-a-Day Challenge... I love to see the way everyone interprets the same word or challenge a different way. The list is pretty awesome! Let me know if you decide to join in so I can follow you! 
Here’s the list to get you started:
1.  green
2.  deal
3.  gift
4.  garland
5.  candle
6.  bargain
7.  decorate
8.  poinsettia
9.  feast
10.  red
11.  Santa
12.  hearth
13.  tradition
14.  elf
15.  tree
16.  present
17.  holiday
18.  star
19.  festive
20.  frosty
21.  winter
22.  candy
23.  celebrate
24.  bells
25.  wreath
26.  fruitcake
27.  retrospective
28.  light
29.  party
30.  parade
31.  new
So besides doing the pic a day, I'm also knitting a few gifts and making jewelry for my shop so that I can purchase my hubby a few new albums for his record collection! Whew! Also...
Today is the New Moon, a time for New Moon Magic: Make a fresh start, begin a project, initiate a new relationship, start a new routine. Create a ritual:set an intention, light a white/silver candle, imagine the new moving toward you in joyful, powerful ways; spend a few moments breathing in the energy of this new reality each day, making it more and more tangible. Work this for one moon cycle and re-access and energize on the next new moon if needed. Blessings of the Maiden Moon to you!

I'll be starting this tonight. I've been really trying to hone my moon skills, and it takes LOTS of practice!
Are you planning on starting anything new this month? Anything interesting going on? Let me know in the comments so I can check it out and follow you! I love to see how creative others can be!!!

Nov 15, 2013

Home Again, Home Again...

Just a tiny taste of the many many many photos I took. Can you guess where we went? Dude, so much to catch up on, but this weekend is being spent making and painting. I promise to start posting again Monday! 

Oct 28, 2013

Holiday Season is Gearing Up.

 We're going on Vacation this Saturday, and I'm in packing hell! Packing for 5 is no bueno...bathing suits, costumes, shorts, pants...It's ridiculous. We'll be gone for only seven days but it's already cold here and Florida and the Bahamas are sure to be a bit warmer...squeee! I'm super excited but really nervous.

 We did all of our Halloween stuff this weekend, we'll take the kids trick or treating Thursday, but after that we are done. I'm already candied out and the holidays are just getting started!

Jon as Mario

I found this pic on pinterest/this is what I was going for.

I used acrylic craft paint for the white, glued eyelashes on my face and liquid liner for the black...easy peasy.

So I'm not really doing any art today, but I am participating in 'Meatless Monday's" tonight is 15 Bean and Kale soup with cornbread. I'll post a recipe later today!

Oct 21, 2013

Beware of the Retrograde!


 Ahhhhh! I have never experienced techno- screwiness in such an in my face kid of way!!! Everything I touch is getting erased or screwed, photos not taking, numbers not dialing, I keep getting kicked off my iPad- not too mention the emotional roller-coaster I've been on! Up and down for days....I have always been interested in Astrology, but never got around to studying it, but holy schmoly! So I started looking into 'Mercury in Retrograde and I filched this tidbit from The Farmers Almanac. (BTW I go to the Almanac for everything, if you've never read it, or heard of it, check it out now!) This explains A LOT.

When Mercury is Retrograde

Sometimes the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion.
Mercury's retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.
When Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

2013 Retrograde Dates

In 2013, Mercury will be retrograde from:
  • February 23–March 17
  • June 26–July 20
  • October 21–November 10

A Man With a Message

Mercury comes from the Latin word merx, or mercator, which means merchant. Mercury is the name given by the ancient Romans to the Greek mythological god Hermes.
Mercury is depicted as a male figure having winged sandals and a winged hat, indicating the ability to travel quickly. He was the official messenger of the ancient gods and goddesses and, as such, governed communications.
In 1782, Mercury became the first symbol of the United States' postal service. Today, he is the Icon of an International floral delivery service.
In astrology, Mercury influences travel, literature, poetry, merchants, and thieves. He is cunning and witty at a moment's notice. But he is also recognized as a trickster and prone to misbehavior.

Oct 14, 2013

Start Your Week Off the Healthy way!

One day at a time.
One thing at a time.
That's the way I approach healthy living. And I've found it's the easiest way too! If you say "today, I'm going to start a diet, give up all sugar, and exercise for an hour" by tomorrow you'll give up everything and lay on the couch. Instead, try this.
Week One- give up something unhealthy; sugar, cigarettes, soda's, caffeine, all day TV- anything. What ever you do that you know you're over indulging in- cut it out, or cut it down to once a day or an hour a day.
Week two- start a little exercise program. Try walking three times for thirty minutes a day this week. You can even break it up and take little ten minute walks the length of you street three times a day. Just move!
Week three- try something new. Take a yoga class, or swim lesson, or zumba. Belly Dancing, ballet and hooping are super cool, and really fun! You forget you're exercising when you're in a tutu, or swinging a hoop on your hips!
Week Four- this is simple, with everything else that your doing, just drink more water and breathe. If you want to hydrate your body properly, take your weight and divide it by two. And that's the amount of water in oz your supposed to intake a day. That with two or three minutes of full, deep, nostril breaths a day will have you feeling amazing in no time!
Already in four little weeks you've added solid steps to your day towards becoming healthier! Keep going! Try new things all the time, but take them slow, and get plenty of rest.

Some other things you could do-
Eat a new piece of fruit everyday
Wake up earlier and walk in the silence of the day
try meditation
have a salad everyday for a week
meatless mondays
Cut out the fast food for a week
try organic!
Make all of your meals for a day using nothing pre made
This is just a few ideas for you to incorporate into your life. It's your life and body, and it's up to you to take care of it!

Oct 2, 2013

Find Yourself in art- Free Print!

Quote by Thomas Merton
Art by me!

I've been preoccupied with my birthday, a beta of my online course, and now my anniversary! So blogging has taken a backseat. I'll return soon, with fun stuff for everyday! Until then, please help yourself to this free printable! Print it out, hang it up, share it...whatever you want. I hope you enjoy, free art sure makes me happy!

Sep 26, 2013

Wild Abandon is a Good Thing

For most people, when they reach a certain age, they start to think if something they enjoy is not making them money or giving them status then it's not beneficial. I do NOT believe this. And I really feel like one of my biggest truth on this earth is to teach other how to relax and enjoy life. The easiest way I have fun is COLOR! Getting messy and putting my hands in squishy paint is soothing!


Craft paint (cheap) in all of your favorite colors
Large sheets of heavy weight bristol or watercolor paper
paper plate or palette of some kind

What to Do

Fill you palette with all of your favorite colors. Begin by dipping your fingers in paint and smearing it on the paper. Use all of your hands. Finger tips for dots, palm for smears, side of the hand for moons- whatever you want. Paint fast and loose! Let it dry a bit and then take a pencil or pen and scratch a design into the paint or write something positive. Let your painting dry and hang it on the fridge. Was it fun? 

If you found yourself getting too serious or technical about it start all over. The whole point of the practice is to loosen up and enjoy yourself!
Make a whole series with the same color or smears...try to awaken that inner wild child of yours!

Sep 24, 2013

Birthday Giveaway!

I'm 38!!!
Today's my birthday and I'm having a Giveaway on my FaceBook page. Go to the page and like it, and then leave a comment under the giveaway link telling me 'What you Love About today" and one lucky reader will receive a -special made just for you One of a Kind piece of art, doo dads, glitzy stuffs, and other fun thingys to create a beautiful journal spread! All in a cutey patootey arty package sent straight to your door!

Sep 23, 2013

Wake Up and Get Grateful!

Be Grateful.
When you start to get pissy or down on yourself, think about what you really do have. I've found that I get a lot further in my life and I'm a lot happier when I remember the things that I have than the things that I don't have. Make it a practice to write three things that you are grateful for EVERYDAY.

Today I am grateful for:
My Life
My Family
My Creativity

Actually, this would probably be my list everyday. I'm so blessed, just for the fact that I woke up this morning! Then I look into my children's eyes, and I know, no matter what, someone loves me. If I didn't have kids, I'd know that my friends loved me. And I am super grateful for my creativity. For ALL creativity.I imagine that there is an invisible energy stream running through the universe, to me it kind of looks like the Northern lights, but it's everywhere, and I imagine that this is the "Universal Stream of Creativity." Everyone can tap into this stream of creativeness, you just have to want it. Sometimes, you tap in at the exact time as someone else, and you both have the same idea- even if they're in another country! Anyone who wants to be creative, can be. 

So today, take a minute to think about what you are grateful for. And every time you start to say "Woe is me" come back to your list of blessings.


Sep 18, 2013

Counting Bakasana's

 See this perfectly innocent looking guy? Just chilling, not bothering anyone, maybe waiting patiently on a scarecrow to be distracted so he can swoop in a grab some corn...

 The crow has sight, and patience. They peer far off into the distance and patiently await the perfect time to achieve their goal.

 This pose has always been difficult for me. Not because my arms and body aren't strong enough, but because I was not brave enough. I always thought I would bonk myself on the forehead, or just fall flat on my face. But with my increasing belief in myself and a daily practice I have accomplished The Crow Pose-now, my next hurdle was to be brave enough to teach my yogi's in Ananda class. I finally figured out how to do it.

I tricked them. Not in a poopy way...but I just kept moving through poses and never mentioned where I was going with it and got them into crow. And you know what? Not giving them time to doubt themselves worked! They didn't have time to think negative thoughts about themselves, nor did they have time to fear what might happen. I'm sure if at the beginning of class I had said, 'hey, were gonna do some experienced poses' they would have been nervous and doubting themselves and not enjoying the process. But they didn't have time to let fear creep in and the look of happy accomplishment on their faces was amazing.

 And that's the thing, ya know? That whole negative self talk and fear of the what ifs and what may happens, is the only obstacle holding you back in any endeavor you seek. That lesson opened my eyes- I learned how to sneak a teach, and I learned that...really, fear is nothing more than a false thought. Face that fear- go around it, go forward even if you are still afraid. But the minute you start in on yourself with the negative thoughts and speak, you will fail. That whole "can't never could, so try" statement. Yeah- that's truth.