Art For Art’s Sake

 

I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been quite sick. So sick that I couldn’t sleep in my own bed. The guest bed seems to be the place. My phone has a new camera and this morning, laying in my cozy nest, I fell in love with my art supplies all over again.

My own art isn’t featured in this room. I never noticed that. Granted, this room is the last frontier as far as home dec goes and as I follow the flow, listening for whispers of what goes where, I’ creating a sacred space. It does, however, feature the art of friends.

Because of my recent illness I’m rethinking some things. I spend too much time on Facebook for starters. It’s been a love hate relationship. It does have its uses. One of the big questions on my mind is what direction do I want to take my art? Do I want to write more? Paint more? Burn more? Sell? Give only? Not expect money from it or expect to make a living? Etc.  The hamster is running on the wheel. At least the wheel is turning again.

I don’t have a clue what the future holds for me but I’m imagining that it can be anything that I want. Golden. Honey dripping. Joy bringing. Smile as my head hits the pillow. Happy. Content. Peaceful. Love, always love.

More will be revealed. Indeed.

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Twilight Is Finally Falling

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Layering the twilight, lots of blues and purples and tiny touches of gold and silver. This illustration will be sold as an original. Haven’t decided on whether to sell framed or not framed. What do you think? Should I add in the frame? I find beautiful frames at second hand shops so they don’t cost much (you know how expensive framing is). But it does take time to find the truly good ones and in some cases would add to shipping costs, etc. I’m eyeing a gorgeous ceramic frame for this but due to the square layout we shall see.

This will be one of a series of Sabbat greeting cards (sets and individually), prints, bookmarks. Hopefully at least Mabon, Samhain, and Yule should be ready in time to purchase from my Etsy shop for the year end holidays. I may consider decoupaging some boxes for affordability. There will be more, I am also working on some wood offerings as well as a couple embroidered bags. Perhaps a few things from my private collection too.

At this time I don’t plan on taking commissions. I’ve got enough on my plate. Hope you find something you like there. I’ll be sure to post a link when the shop reopens. While I’m not taking commissions, please let me know what you might like to see in the shop.

More will be revealed.

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Teaser of Designs to Come

I’ve been going through all my sketch books and seeing what old and new design speak to me for illustration work on paper for prints and cards and the like. I’m having to make small adjustments to size and add details that are now possible. I’m also tracing them for posterity so that I can use parts as well. Why reinvent the wheel?

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Tree of Life Part Deux

When I was first diagnosed with cancer I immediately started working on a Tree of Life embroidery design. Each main branch had a certain plant that I felt would help with my healing.

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I started working on the linen background fabric with threads in a silk and wool blend. And then I started getting really sick. And my fingers started to go numb from one of my chemo drugs. And there were things I didn’t like, for instance the buckling of the pomegranate fabric from sewing around and around just a bit too tightly. Same issue with the acorns and I don’t like the color pathway of the blackberries. They dull it down for me.

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When all was said and done I realized the piece was too big for me to continue and I’d lost heart in it. Didn’t feel like I was surviving and I was losing my spirit.

Some time later, I started using elements of the design to create a commemorative “I Survived Cancer” tattoo for myself.

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Yesterday I ran across the first draft of the Tree of Life sketch and I fell in love with it all over again. The actual final sketch is nice and small. MUCH smaller than the embroidery. It needs a few changes to get there but it’s a darned good start. I added pears and partridge instead of the blackberries because I love them and I want more juice in my life. And brighter colors. I think it will make a very nice woodburned plaque too. And great, affordable, prints.

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Getting ready to trace so I can transfer to any medium, illustration board, wood, paper…

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Yes, I think it’s a good start. I also think it calls for a stag lounging on the left hummock… And the top needs something… A fairy perched? A butterfly? A snail?

So for starters this will be an illustration that I think will make nice greeting cards of 5×5 that anyone, pagan or otherwise, will enjoy. I also plan to use some drawings that were part of a wooden box’s side panels. This would make some fine bookmarks and I have several book mark designs that never went anywhere either. This little strip below is my favorite sketch of all my work. Mainly because I simply couldn’t believe it was my work. I’ve probably made some better pieces but this one convinced me I was an illustrator. Every once in awhile I go back and make some changes like the acorn cap and the thistle. Time to bring her to life.

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There are a ton of drawings that were for wooden boxes and embroideries that I can totally turn in to full illustrations and elements that will go with other elements. What does that mean for me right now? A lot less work. I already have stuff I love. I’m sure many more pieces will arrive in the creativity card catalog of my brain.

More beauty is on its way.

Blessed be.

Pouch Goodness

How do I start? In this case the person I’m making this for gave me a few meaningful plants and colors to start off with. Mandrake, pomegranate, and brambles in natural colours, blues, greens, red.

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My first draft was too big and too complicated (but watch for it to become an illustration for prints and cards).

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The second one doesn’t have the fairy queen but it does fit and it will still be full of beauty and love and magick.

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Then I hit the material inspirations. I look at the threads I have and what colors. These are a silk and wool blend from Caron Impressions and I love them the most.

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At the top are vintage unspun or loosely spun raw silk gifted to me by someone who was a dear lady and she was inspired by my work. The silks were a family heirloom for her and I treasure them. In the little bin in the foreground are also silks, some caterpillar chenille, silk perl, and wired rayon and varies spun silks. Also in the photo is a little pin cushion I made from a Shepherd’s Bush kit. I’ve got at least six beautiful bell pulls that need to be backed and hung. Uh huh. Soon. Sure.

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I just threw this photo in because I found them in the box. These small tools are called “embroidery shoes,” or half cone sticks and are specifically for creating things like bluebells and daffodils in stumpwork raised embroidery.

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Some variegated cotton perl, hand dyed by Caron. You can see the pin cushion better from back in the day when I stitched kits and hadn’t discovered I could design. My first foray away from counted cross stitch on aida cloth and up to linen and silks. I was so inspired I couldn’t stop.

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I probably won’t be using the red or emerald felt but the red deer velvet instead. The little purple mandrake flowers, the beads for the pomegranate and the berries. A needle case carved from the leg bone of a cow or deer, something big, it’s glorious. A lucet for making the drawstrings.

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This color is way too pink, the actual color is a deep rich blood red. I’m going to use the stag heads for the pomegranate sides if they’ll fit.

So just a little peek. Things are coming along as I deal with yet more heavy health issues but I will have more quiet time for at least a little while we figure things out. Tonight I cut out the applique pieces.

Blessings!!!

Ancient Circle

A friend of mine consults me now and then on textiles he finds in his searches for treasure, which he then sells, sometimes for outrageous profit. Sometimes he gives me something cool in exchange because he’s pretty sure it’s right up my alley. This is how I won my 120 year old cauldron.

He brought this by for me to see last week. And gave it to me. It’s lovely.

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You can see that at one time it was machine sewn to something. I would think something like an altar cloth but I’m thinking priestly vestments.

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Such tidy finish work, this wasn’t made by an amateur. This is someone who knows their stuff.

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Crescent moon and star

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Say what?

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But…   PENTAGRAM!!!

18″ across, this is silk satin embroidered with couched metal threads, probably silver wrapped around silk threads, and possibly tambour or chain stitch elements.

I know nothing of these symbols. Does anyone out there know? Send it far and wide.

Stitch Witch Cottage on Pinterest

I have the cold/flu bug that’s going around. Sniffling, upset tummy/gastro distress, sneezing, exhausted, working from home, ugh. Are you sitting in bed or beached on the couch feeling like yuck? When I was sick going through cancer treatment I was very active on Pinterest. I was on a lot of drugs, some of them mood altering. Some of them I still take. In the hospital I had my phone plugged in at all times (they really need to do something about bringing connectivity closer to the beds, this was a dangerous setup, easily clothesline a nurse) so that I didn’t run down the battery because before, during, and after the hospital, I couldn’t sleep. For months. Just little naps.

I spent a lot of time doing tiny scrolls and going, “oooh pretty, pin,”  “oooh, pretty, pin.” I have a HECK of a lot of pins as everything was so darned PRETTY. Cozy Houses, DIY and Crafts, Fashion, and last but not least, tons of Witchy Goodness. Plus food. Not even going to lie. I was pinning up to 8 hours a day for the better of a year (well interspersed with Facebook cancer rants and posts and being cranky with just about everyone and napping and laying there trying not to puke or trying to get a walk in). But I spent a lot of time on Pinterest. What a fabulous thing Pinterest is. I find myself thinking, oh my Goddess, what would happen if we lost the internet or electricity or wifi? I would lose access to all the beautiful goodness that I worked very hard to save.

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What really astonished me was how many followers I got over time. I follow a lot of people and I was very active but still. As of this moment I have 3,740 followers (and only 30 folks who read my blog)! I have exactly 22,496 individual pins. I do a lot of random searches, there is so much beauty that is there.  There is a lot of stupid there too so I really hope you find that my choices are excellent.

Enjoy!!