Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Salem Avenue Returns


witchmoon

A few years back, I started a podcast called Salem Avenue.   It’s a mythical place where pagans live.   The podcast is about how to put a bit of magic into everyday life.  It’s a show for people curious about pagan life and how pagans live, day to day.   The hostess is Athmay la Strange.   She talks about stone, herb and animal lore, pagan holidays, and has a strange sense of humor.

witchcauldron

The neighbors:

Orra Cull, a druidic type young man who knows lots of strange and wonderful facts about animals.

Coriander, a fussy hedge witch who has a little dog named Pixie.pixie2

Boline, a kitchen witch.

The nosey neighbors, Ms. Buttinski and her fiance, Mr. Ogler who think pagans are strange folk who dance naked in the yard and do other weirdness that probably should be reported to the police.

Tonight’s episode, due to unforseen technical difficulties is raw and unedited with no sound effects, intro or outro.  It can only get better.  Learn about apple magic and get a recipe for herbal tea that will help with anxiety and depression and one for Four Thieves Vinegar.   No idea what use you would have for something called Four Thieves?   Listen and find out.   Salem Avenue Podcast

apples

juicy apples

 

October 3, 2016 Posted by | metaphysical, New Age, pagan, wiccan | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheel of the Year: Lammas


 

Whooo-eeee, I sure missed the Lammas post by a mile!   It’s about the busiest time of the year with all the harvest coming in.   Seems that every day I’m picking the must do up the food for storage.   Love the fresh ripe tomatoes the best but crisp green peppers and cucumbers make such great eating.   My daughter stopped by the other day and when she said she was hungry, I went to the garden and picked salad fixin’s fresh right then.  I keep grilled chicken and bacon crumbles handy for summer salads.  Add some burnet out of the herb garden, some fresh parsley and what a meal!

tomatoes

I’ve been doing a lot of other work also.  Just now opened a new shop on Etsy.  I’ve called it Studio L Jewellry, featuring my own work and that of Liam Mac Steamish.   It’s a fresh start with new things.   I hope you will check it out and “heart” it.   I’ve not too many items yet but it’s a work in progress.

Made some decisions also.   Quite a few folk have messaged me and want to know if I am ever going to do new podcasts.   It’s been years since I started Salem Avenue and I did have a lot of fun doing it.   I am going to try to do my first “new” one on October 1st.   I am, however, moving to a new host, one that has better support and more bandwidth.   I’m excited about it and have projects planned for my Facebook page and blog and for the podcast.   I do believe I’ll start my own webpage on GoDaddy called 1313 Salem Avenue.

I’ve got some fun ideas.   I want to do some “stone readings” so I can tell you what stones you need in your life, a “stone personality” event and I have plans for a mini tarot reading.  You’ll get the mini reading and the cards will tell me what stones you need to wear or carry to help in your situation.

I’ve been doing some jewelry experiments also with “living” wearable art.  My mermaid gardens are way cool.  I have a prototype made and just today made 4 more to sell.  Do not have photos of the new ones but here is the prototype.

merme

 

 

August 18, 2016 Posted by | gemstones, metaphysical, New Age, pagan, wiccan | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wheel of the Year: Ostara


imbolc

Gradually warming days, usually with plenty of rain and mud.  The yard looks a mess but you can get out and work on the days without showers.  Birds have returned and fat robins are nesting.  I put out a mesh bag of yarn scraps so they can line their nests.  They are so busy.   I am sure they can use the help.

The moss in my fairy garden turns greener.   It is time to plant peas.  Peas want the cold ground for a good start and this time of year is the best time to plant them.   I got mine in today just before the rain came.   I always soak my peas overnight so they are almost ready to pop open before I put them in the ground.   Yes, it will get chillier again but the peas with thrive in the cold.   Root crops can go in the ground now.   Time to plan where you are going to plant.

My chives stay green even in the ice and snow, but in March they take on a greenier green.  My crocus have all popped out this week and their bright colors give me a lift.  It’s spring for sure.

crocus

I get excited when I spy the soft catkins of the pussy willows.  I always try to bring some branches inside.   The little grey catkins make me smile.   My spirits are uplifted with the warmth and the sun.

pussywillow

It’s a good time of year to start seeds indoors.  I plant by the moon.   Best time this year is from March 9th until the 22nd when the moon is waxing.  Today I started herbs for the herb garden my son, Mort, built for me last fall.   Horehound will grow every year now and be wonderful in teas for congestion from colds next winter.  Anise will make such great licorice flavored teas for stomach flu.  Burnet is an herbb I’ve never seen in the stores.  I love it in salads with its light cucumber taste.  Parsley, of course and basil are started and summer savory.   I’m going to try  some lemon grass and vanilla grass.  I love their wonderful smells.  And lemon grass, basil and hibiscus make a great tea to give you a mental lift!

Ostara is my second favorite “holiday”. It marks a major change in light and after the equinox, the days are truly noticeably  longer.  More light means more new growth.  Beneath the ground, plants are stirring.  Buds are beginning to form on tree branches.  In our hearts, we are ready to plant new “seeds” also.   We all have projects we look forward to starting.  We have new ideas we want to express.   We begin spring cleaning in our homes.  The windows are open and the pine smell of cleaners replaces the dust and cobwebs of winter.   In our heads and hearts, the dust and cobwebs we have collected over winter are cleared away and we sweep them away to make room for fresh starts.  Getting rid of old angers, fears and habits is the best way to mark the spring.

With increased times of light, the hens begin to lay more eggs.  Did you know that hens lay best when their retina is stimulated by 12 hours of sunlight?   It’s probably one of the reasons  why the ancients used eggs as symbols of fertility at Ostara.   The new layers would begin production when the days grew longer.

chickens

Ancient cultures drew signs and symbols on eggs to aid the sun in gaining strength.  Eggs are still decorated at the Christian Easter but no longer consciously considered fertility symbols.   Pagans drew symbols for prosperity, fertility and protection on the eggs.  Probably the most well known are Pysanky eggs.   These that are most famous are from the Ukraine.

Pysanky eggs designs are drawn on in wax, then the egg is dyed………..lightest color first.  Then the part that is to remain this color is waxed over and the egg enters another dye bath.  The process if repeated over and over.   Designs are animal, vegetable and geometric.  Most have encircling bands that represent the process of life, death and rebirth over and over.   Triangles represent the Triple Goddess, squares, the Earth, ladders represent various planes of existence while pinwheels and 8 pointed stars are ancient sun signs.   Here are some of my favorite designs.  You can understand why these eggs are considered so magical when you realize the amount of time and work that went into their creation.

pysanky1

pysanky2

pysanky3

You can find a lot more designs on Pinterest.   I think some of the designs would make beautiful beads.

 

 

 

March 10, 2016 Posted by | holidays, metaphysical, pagan, wiccan | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheel of the Year: Imbolg


 

imbolc

February 2nd, Imbolg or Candlemas as it is sometimes called is a time of quickening.   Beneath the frozen ground, the seeds and roots of returning plants begin to stir.   They have slept through the “dark time” of the year but now begin to awaken as the first signs of the coming spring appear.  Snows melt, the rains begin and the very top of the ground becomes a muddy mess.   Birds and geese begin to return.  The yowling of cats at night marks the start of mating season.  Last night, I knew for sure that spring was on the way.  I smelled a little skunk, roused from his winter sleep.  Did you know that the males spray when they are sexually excited?   Yep.   It’s officially the mating season when you smell your first skunk of the year.

The sap begins to stir in the trees.  One of my favorite memories of this time of year when I was a girl was of my uncle making maple syrup.    He would tap the maple trees.

maple

We would ride the tractor and trailer with him the gather the sap from the trees.  We took mason jars and drank it cold from the buckets.   It tasted like sweet water.   At night, the saphouse was a haven of warmth from the fires and the smell of cooking syrup.   I found a video on YouTube if you are interested in the process.   It is an art to make really good maple syrup.

 

One of my favorite treats from this time of year was Jack Wax.  To make it, your pour the fresh syrup, boiling hot, on the last of the winter snow.  We had to go up on the mountain to find clean snow left deep in the woods. My aunt would pack the snow in dishes and we eagerly awaited the time when they syrup was just right to pour into our pans of snow.     The syrup does not totally harden to candy but becomes a soft ball of “wax” and eating it is sheer delight.   We would eat and eat.  I found a recipe for jack wax here at Mother Earth News.  

As the Earth begins to quicken in anticipation of Spring, so do our bodies and spirits.   Seed and flower catalogues arrive in the mail.  I pour over them eagerly and plan what I will plant.   I found a great website for ordering herbs and seeds this year.  Sand Mountain Herbs.   If you love unusual seeds, heirlooms seeds and herbs, check out Larry’s website.   I ordered seeds from him and he takes such care to package each group of seeds.  All instructions are written on the outside of the package, sometimes even handwritten.   He has put a lot of love into his site.   There is advice for when to plant and what different herbs are used for.   His prices are so reasonable you will want to buy a lot!

It is still the dark time of the year however and there is still “work” do be done as we go within ourselves and prepare for our own transitions.   This year, I have had a lot to think about.  After my cataract surgery, I can see perfect 20/20 at a distance, something I have not been able to do since 5th grade!  It’s amazing!  BUT, my close up vision, because of the implants, is terrible.   With simple reading glasses, I  can read and knit very well BUT, my jewelry making is very difficult.   I talked to one of my old instructors about it and she said experiment with creating by touch.  There are blind artists you know.   I fought this for a few days then decided to try it out.   I played with my polymer clay and found that I can do this without so much trouble as working with wire.   This may be the path I must take up at this time.

I have a blogger friend, Nan who does these amazing oracle readings with Goddess amulets.   We had talked, at Samhain, about an idea I had to make small Goddesses to go with her readings.   Initially, I had thought to use polymer clay and stamp designs onto it.   As I experimented with my “touch” method, I realized that my tiny figures would be small “sculptures”.   I want them to look primitive.   I played with colors, the colors of the goddess aspects themselves.   This week, I finished my prototypes.   I made them into beads at first but I think they do not want to be beads, they want to be tiny sculptures to be held in the hand.   I didn’t like the colors.  I found I liked the ones I made that looked like stone.   I have some photos here.  They are terrible of course because the sun refused to come out and  help me. The colors look too dark. Tell me what you think.   Don’t you like the stone goddesses better than the colored ones?   Well, except for the River Goddess.   I think she wants to be mostly blue.   Anyhow, this transition was not easy for me.   I spent 2 months when I could not see at all until my eyes were both done and I could see with 2 eyes then another few weeks fighting to “see” and not “feel”.   I am ready to make my 2nd batch now and have confidence that they will turn out much better.

If you are wondering about your own life and transitions, take a look at Nan’s blog and consider getting a reading for yourself with the Goddess Oracle Amulets.

Here are my awful photos of my prototypes of the amulets.

gddssdance

gddssgorgon.jpggddssinanagddssnilegddssprimalgddsssheela

gddsssleep

 

gddsswillendorf

February 5, 2016 Posted by | holidays, Jewelry, metaphysical, pagan, wiccan | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Superstition Blog Hop


Tammy Adams of Paisley Lizard designs came up with the terrific idea for a blog hop, the Superstition Hop.

She also created some wonderful black cat beads from polymer clay.  The first 13 people to sign up for her hop won a bead.  Our challenge was to make something with her bead.  We could also take our “favorite” superstition to inspire us to design.   This sounded like SUCH great fun, I rushed to sign up and sure did win one of these adorable little “lucky black cat beads”.

superstition

I’m not a really superstitious person.  I do not think that black cats are unlucky nor the number 13.  I love the number 13, after all, 1313 is the Munster’s address.   I do not avoid walking under ladders (though I do look carefully to make sure there are no tools in danger of falling on my head).

I do, however, toss salt over my shoulder if I spill some, just in case it does bring bad luck.  I do not kill spiders because it is good luck to see one.   At this particular time of year, I should be ROLLING in good fortune with all the spiders trying to move into to the house due to the cold weather.   I don’t kill crickets who come into the house just in case they DO bring good luck.  And, I do let thistles grow in my flower bed because they are supposed to keep thieves away.

Anyhow……….when I got my cute little bead, I looked around to try to find out why black cats were considered unlucky.  Supposedly, if a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck.   Hmmmm.   No reason why. ,

I have always, however been fascinated with African “hoodoo” magic, a version of Hatian voodun. Not that I want to practice voodoo, it’s way too complicated for me, but I love the mythos of the loa and stories of Haiti, the colorful alters and the interesting characteristics of the l’wa.

blackcatspell

According to hoodoo or voodoo as it is sometimes called, a black cat bone carried in a mojo bag will bring a lover back to you again and again.  It is very strong magic so they say.  There was even a song written about it.  Black Cat Bone was a song done by many musicians from old bluesmen like Lightening Hopkins to more modern singers like Johnny Winter and  Eric Clapton.  The lyrics tell of a man singing that he believes that his “baby has a black cat bone” because she runs around and cheats on him, is gone all night and has several men but he keeps going back to her.  Maybe that was why the black cats were considered unlucky.  A man would be compelled to go back again and again to a cheating woman who had a black cat bone.

Lore says, a black cat bone was only effective if you boiled a pot of water at midnight on the waning moon and tossed in a live black cat, killing it and boiling the flesh away.  The  bone that floated to the top was the most effective.  EEEUUUUWW!  No WONDER  they came to mean bad luck!   I simply cannot imagine ANY good coming to a person who had a personality that would  DO such a thing!

ANYWAY……….black cat bones were considered such big mojo that a whole line of magical items grew out of this lore.  You can buy black cat incense, black cat oil, black cat candles and black cat powder.  Just for the heck of it, I checked on eBay and you can buy “black cat bones” which are actually (so I have heard) chicken bones splintered and painted black.  I also read that the black cat oil is not actually rendered fat from black cats but mineral oil scented with natural oils.  I would certainly hope so.

Just look at this cute bead I got from Tammy!   How could anybody think he was bad luck!

blackcatbead

I sure did not want to make any jewelry out of black cat bones so I kept looking for inspiration.   I did find a spell and some lore that black cat hair is lucky for gamblers!   hey!   Here I go!   I created this “lucky black cat necklace” with some moon and star charms,  and some funny little beads that look sort of like bones to me, Tammy’s cool bead, a small glass tube with some black cat hair for luck and some stones and herbs that are good for drawing money.   Maybe I will wear it and go to the new casino here in Dayton!  I’ll play the horses!  I’ll play the slots!   It’s going to be my lucky necklace!  I just know it!

blkcat2

I also found this little list of reasons to adopt a black cat.   I’ve had some black cats in my life and I definitely considered myself lucky to have such good friends.

blackcat

I had some fun making this piece and I know Ill have fun wearing it.   It was good fun to look up black cat lore too though the part about black cat bones was nasty!   I hope you’ll have some more fun and visit the other ladies in the hop to see what they made.

Sigh!   I HAD a list of participants.   But Tammy sent us a revised list and I deleted the list.  For some reason, WordPress will not let me paste the list here and because of the eye surgery, I can’t read what they want me to do.  Something about ctrol/cmd whatever that is.  Anyhow.  For a list of the other bloggers, please go to Tammy’s Paisley Lizard blog and see the list.  Sorry.

 
 

November 13, 2015 Posted by | challenges, Jewelry, metaphysical | , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Wheel of the Year: Samhain


wheelsamhain

Misty mornings, bright, sunny afternoons and crisp cool nights, that’s October.  Then the changes to chill driving rainy days.   It’s the last harvest festival of the year, the final fruits of summer.   Apples, nuts, squash, and pumpkins abound.  The world is filled with glorious fall colors of leaves falling from the trees and smells of dry leaves, bonfires and apples.

fall

All my animals are growing heavier coats.   The grass is brown.   We have plowed the space for next year’s garden and tomorrow, after the rain, I’ll sprinkle the ground with an organic recipe of nutrients that will soak in the soil and enrich it this winter.   A mixture of cola, dish detergent, ammonia, and water will make a great fertilizer for next year’s veggies.

The kitchen smells of hearty soup, a pot of chili or baking on the chilly mornings.   The hens will soon start laying and will give us fresh eggs through the long winter.

All the changes in the weather and the shortening of the days creates subtle changes in our bodies, preparing us for the shorter days of winter.  Our minds shift gears also, from the active mental energy of the spring and summer days to the quieter, more receptive state appropriate to the dark half of the year.   It is a time for divination.   Time to break out the tarot cards, the pendulum, your scrying crystals, whatever you prefer to use to seek answers.

scry

In October is also the great sabbat, Samhain.   For those who are not pagan, it’s just a fun night of the year, a time of frolic and masquerade.  For pagans, it is no small holiday.   It’s actually bigger than your Christmas.
” The word Samhain, comes from the Scots Gaelic word Samhuinn, which litterally translated means “summer’s end.”  In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oiche Shamhna, in Wales it’s Nos Calan Gaeaf, or the eve of the winter’s calendar.  With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saint’s Day to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year. So, the night before this celebration became known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve or Hallantide. November 2nd, became All Souls Day, a day when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who departed and those who were awaiting entry to Heaven in Purgatory. Throughout time the Pagan and Christian traditions inevitably became intertwined and celebrations have been known to extend from October 31st through November 5th…”

Samhain is both the end and the beginning of the Celtic year.  First, it is a time of Thanksgiving.  For six days before the 31st, which most call Halloween, it’s a celebration of thanks.   Day 1 begins with a lighting of the first candle and giving thanks for all the plants that have died to give both life and comfort to us, for food, clothing, shelter, medicine and things as commonplace as paper, we have plants to thank.

twocrowsparanormal

Day 2:  Two candles and giving thanks for all the animals who have died to feed, clothes and support us.  Day 3 is for the pets who have brought joy, companionship and love into our lives.

Day 4:  for fallen warriors who have poured their life’s blood for our freedom and safety.  Light a candle to honor poiicemen, firefighters and soldiers.

Day 5:  honor for ancestors whose lifeblood, saint and sinner alike, connects to us.  By learning about them and honoring them, we send thanks for the lessons we have learned from them.

Day 6 is more personal.  This is for friends and family who have gone before us to the Other Side, those whose lives have directly touched ours.

Day 7:  With all the candles blazing, thanks is given for all the lives given for our own, all the LIFE connected to ours.   It’s a celebration of life.

It’s also a time of looking inward.  What has this past year brought?   What needs to be “weeded” from my life and how do I prepare for the seeds I will plant in the coming year?   Have my work and spiritual efforts brought forth the “harvest” I expected?   What do I need to do in the coming year to increase next year’s “harvest”.?

samhain

The “Addams Family”  celebrates with a big feast, plenty of food, treats for the little kids and camaraderie.  We celebrate LIFE and we remember our loved ones.   When everyone has gone home, I fix a plate to leave outside for any spirits who drop by while the veil between the worlds is thin.

It’s a magical time!

samhainmagic
“”

October 27, 2015 Posted by | metaphysical, New Age | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Goals and Projects


"2015

 

One of my blogger friends posted about this challenge and after reading her post, I checked out the challenge.  It sounds like a good project for me.  I’ve had a vague goal about learning to work with polymer for quite some time.  To enter this challenge you have to have specific goals and post about your progress.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, sitting down and figuring out the goals was the hard part.

What do I want to do?

I want to set stones in clay so I have unique pendants.   Sounds easy enough, right…..until you actually sit down with the clay and don’t know what to do.   I found a good tutorial at Claylessons.com and think I will start there (NO….not more I think, or I should)  I WILL start there.

I also want to make earring components that are colorful and unique.

I want to find simple tutorials for beginners that I can make.

I signed up for 3 polymer clay newsletters.  Even if I can’t do complicated things, I can see what others are doing and clarify my goals for the future.

I have other goals for the coming year and I do not want to commit to blogging once a week about the clay.

Here is my statement of goals for this challenge.

1.  I will purchase the 3 tutorials I saw at Claylessons.com, one for setting stones, one for cute earring components and one that is more complicated but very interesting.

2.  Each week, I will commit to setting one stone until I am satisfied that I have mastered the technique.  Only after this will I move along to the earring components.  Only when I am satisfied with the components will I move on to the more complicated piece.

3.  I will BOLO other interesting tutorials and increase my skills base throughout the months until, at the end of 2015 I can say that I have significantly increased my knowledge and can be proud of my work.

4.  I will NOT try to do 15 new things at once and overwhelm myself.

5.  I will blog approximately every 5 weeks about my clay progress so I have a record of successes and failures.

I still have 6 more months of the Language of Clothes posts.  I’ve had such fun with this series and want to cover the rest of the colors.  That’s six more posts.

One more goal!  Bsue Boutiques is offering for the first time ever, a master class in design.  We have to Build a Line and Brenda will help us all the way.  Only stipulation is that we use her products in our designs.  No hardship there.  I love her stuff!  And, she has so many ideas and tutorials.  She is fun and down to earth.

Bsuebutton

this is her challenge…….for 3 months we will work on and develop a line of five products that we want to feature in different styles and colors with interchangeable aspects.   Well, I’ll blog about it in January, the whole deal.  I’m such a scatter-ass, I try so many different things and am always off on a tangent somewhere.  I’ve got an idea for a line I want to try and this will help me learn how to develop the line.  Woot woot!  We have signups on January 8th and have to submit our ideas.  We also have to be accepted and the number is limited.  Plus, if our idea is already taken, well, we better have a backup plan.  So, I’ve got some doodling and studying to do and all other hops and projects will be ON HOLD till I’m done.   This is going to be a fantastic learning experience.  I’ll have to come up with a branding name and logo type thing and it means I’ll be opening a small new shop just for these items.  Lots of work, lots of fun!

All in all, I”m going to have fun.

January 1, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Language of Clothes: Getting the Blues


Holidays are often a depressing time.  At the very least, they are stressful.  That’s good reason to “get the blues” this time of year.  The color blue actually lowers blood pressure and respiration.  It has a calming effect.  It’s the color of the sky and the ocean which are always constant.  Landscapes may change, buildings may crumble but the sky never falls and the ocean keeps on rolling.   Blue sends a message of constancy, trust, and dependability.  (this may be why we see a lot of blue used in uniforms)

eye candy

eye candy

(not a fashion statement here, just some eye candy)

The more black you add to blue, the more serious and sober you seem.   Navy blue:   we see it and our brain tells us; dependable, traditional, classic, conservative, professional, confident, quiet but authoritative.   It’s a great color for job interviews, presentations, and speeches.  Wear it when you ask for that raise, reminding your boss he can count on you.

yes sir

yes sir

Okay, I’m done fooling around now.  Let’s move along to sky blue.   It’s calming and cool.  The vibrations you send out will be those of a person who is tranquil, happy, stable, faithful and true.

skyblue

Its also a great color for accessories.  It will add serenity to the dangerous element of black, make white more approachable and turn the passion of purple toward a more spiritual vibe.

skybluears

Light blue is definitely calm and restful.  That’s one of the reasons it’s used in hospitals for scrubs and walls.  It calms the patients and inspires trust.  When you want people to relax around you, trust you and calm them  down, wear light blue.   Initial impressions:  calming, cool, peaceful, clean.   On a hot day, wear a light blue dress and people will be drawn to your cool, watery serenity.

icyblue

Icy blue lanyard necklace

Bright blue sends a different message.  It says happy, energetic, vibrant and it stirs these emotions in others.  It’s a great color to pair with neutral tones to jazz up their traditional stable messages.  Try bright blue with olive and antique gold and you will get the vibrations of stability and tradition plus happy and trustworthy energy.

amber_and_turquoise_earrings_05bf7bf8

Turquoise and amber earrings

Wear bright blue with purple and hot pink and you have happy festive vibes.

sunset_colors_three_strand_bracelet_31bb5eee

Fiesta bracelet

Teal has a whole different meaning of its own.  Wear it and say “I’m unique”!   It has a richness, an expensive upscale quality that says Not only am I unique, I’m darn classy!

tealearrings

tudorneck

Old world style necklace and earring set

So, that’s my story for December.  Go out and get the blues!   And……..if you see something from my shop that you really like, you can get a 25% off code if you “like”  my Strega Jewellry Facebook page.  You’ll save some money.

Here is a collection of blue accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.

 

 

Handmade Soap

December 10, 2014 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bead Hoarder’s Blog Hop


Lori Anderson, of Pretty Things blog is hosting this hop.   Our challenge is to use a bead or beads we have been hoarding and make something.  We all have stashes of beads we buy, thinking we are going to make something but have no idea what it is yet.   The beads end up laying around in our storage area and we add more beads.   I am guilty of this for sure.

Bead_Hoarders_Blog_Hop2

 

I chose this octopus bracelet component from Bead Freaky.   I love octopi.   I love this little guy, and he has laid in the drawer long enough.   Because I chose black, I’ve just had a hard time being inspired by what to make.   At first, I had only a title for the piece:  Black Water.  Those of you who know me, know I go for music to match my blog and post but Black Water by the Doobie Brothers is about the Mississippi River and I think there are no octopi there.  There was a movie trailer for a film called Black Water but it was about giant crocodiles, so no octopi there.   I decided to go for fantasy art.

I found this wallpaper which was free and no artist I can credit.  I love this.  It’s weird and wonderful.

blackwater

I also found this Kraken.  Now who does not like Kraken? That’s the photo I decided to go with so it’s off to PicMonkey to make a photo collage I can work with.

kraken

I could not find an artist to credit with this one either so I’ll refer you back to the blog where I found it, a WordPress blog by M.L. Aitken, a “fantasy devotee” from their Mythical
Creatures post.  Check it out.  There is also a cool picture of the Lock Ness monster.

Anyhow, it’s settled.  When I think of Black Water, I think of mystery and danger and mythical creatures.  I think of moon and starlight, silvery-gold, reflecting off dark waters.  I think of shivers, that aren’t just chills from the fog as I gaze down into those dark waters wondering what lies below.

I started with a ceramic bracelet focal I had been hoarding, from Bead Freaky.  I wasn’t sure which chain I was going to use until I started going through the box of chain.   I found this weird gunmetal chain with a sort of ropey, nautical look that I had found at the thrift shop (me….humming the Thrift Shop tune….)  Original intent was to add some copper chain, but I didn’t like the way that looked.   Now, I know this is plain but I want the eye to go to my little octopus/kraken, not his accessories.  I settled for copper bead caps with silver headpins and I’ve got some really mixed metals.   I used hematite beads.  Real black would be too dark for black water and hematite has that silvery patina of shimmery water.;

Black Water

Black Water

 

 

 

 

Love this hop.   I managed to use my focal I had been hoarding AND that weird chain I picked up on a whim.   Thanks, Lori, for putting this together.   Let’s go see what the rest of the ladies made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lori Anderson www.PrettyThingsBlog.com  (Hostess)
Audrey Belanger esperianterra.blogspot.com
Jenny Kyrlach http://anafiassa.blogspot.com/
Kathy Lindemer http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/
Lori Schneider http://beadaddicted.blogspot.com/
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.co.uk
Dolores Raml http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com
Rebecca Ednie Http://eclecticendeavours.blogspot.com
Lili Krist http://emjestudio.blogspot.com/
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Hannah Rosner http://goodrivergallery.wordpress.com/blog/
Nicole Prince http://healingbeading.blogspot.com/
Deana Hager http://justdeesarts.blogspot.com/
Jackie Ryan http://kydojewellery.blogspot.co.uk/
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com/
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com
Lisa Johnson http://spudandmrsbutters.blogspot.com/
Terri Gauthier http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com/
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
K Hutchinson https://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Marci Brooks https://thatnothingbewasted.wordpress.com/
Jo-Ann Woolverton itsabeadifulcreation.blogspot.ca
Jasvanti Patel Jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Lisa Knappenberger LIRaysaDesigns.blogspot.com
Mary Lindell marylindell.com
Niky Sayers silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Sandra McGriff skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com
Patricia Handschuh thecolorofdreams.blogspot.com
Erin Prais-Hintz treasures-found.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding www.99bobotw.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart www.ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com
Jackie Locantore www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStar
Sheryl Stephens www.babblebead.blogspot.com
Becky Pancake www.beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott www.bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Michelle Escano www.cabbycraft.com
Denise McCabe www.cabewoman.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Sheila Prose www.catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Iveth Caruso www.CreativeAtelier.net/blog
Deborah Apodaca www.deborahapodacadesigns.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth Bunn www.elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Janine Lucas www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Kari Asbury www.hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Inge von Roos www.ingetraud.wordpress.com
Divya N www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Debbie Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.com
KJ www.kjsbeadaciousbeads.blogspot.com/
Klaudete Koon www.klaudetekoon.blogspot.com
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp www.kruseartllc.com
Ginger Bishop www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Kelly Schermerhorn www.meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Mischelle Andrade www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com 
Sue Kelly www.midlifegreaterexpectations.blogspot.com
Rachel Mallis www.mintmonarch.com/#!Blog/c1jlz
Susan McClelland www.mistheword12.com
Mary K McGraw www.mkaymac.blogspot.com
Tania Spivey www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Stephanie Perry www.mustardbeadbystephanieperry.blogspot.com
Mitzie Crider www.NeedfulLuxuries.Blogspot.com
Nicole Rennell Www.nicolerennell.com/blog
Nicole Valentine www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
Karen Mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Patty Miller www.pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Blanca Medina www.peru-medesigns.com
Stephanie Haussler www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Roxanne Mendoza www.roxidesigns.blogspot.com
Claire Fabian www.saraccino.blogspot.com
Bridget Torres www.shears58.net
Donetta Farrington www.simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Deb Fortin www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Susan Walls Www.susansartcircus.com/blog
Cece Cormier www.thebeadingyogini.com
Heather Otto www.thecrafthopper.com
Lizzie Clarke www.theneedtobead.blogspot.co.uk
Elizabeth Hodges www.thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com
Fay Wolfenden www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Kelly Hosford Patterson www.TravelingSideShow.blogspot.com
Nan Smith www.wirednan.blogspot.ca
Jayne Capps www.mamasgototdoodle.blogspot.com

Robin Kae Reed                                      http://www.willowdragon.blogspot.com/ Melissa Trudinger                                   https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/

 

December 6, 2014 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , | 24 Comments

Language of Clothes: Neutral Colors


 

Bare trees, grey skies, dormant earth; this is the perfect time to talk about neutral colors.

Dead trees

(Image from Graphic Stock:  get a free trial membership)

Neutral tones are the classics in the language of color.  They are the colors of pebbles and stones, ancient monuments and buildings.   Their combinations are basically simple; they speak of lasting stability and endurance throughout time.

What does this say to you fashion-wise?  Suppose you are having a “scatterbrain” day, you energy all over the place but you have an important meeting or presentation and want to appear credible.   Get out those greys or beiges or taupes and present yourself as a stable person, one that can be counted on.  Sometimes, I think that by dressing this way, you have half convinced yourself to calm down and actually BE stable.

Let’s take the colors individually.   What do they say?

Beige says warmth and gives of soft vibrations.  It does appear a bit bland at times so dress it up with accents of rich brown for a more earthy look or carnelian for a more fiery and successful look.

beigedress

Chiffon Dress from Modest Case on Artfire

Chocolate Necklace and Earring Set from Vintage Treasures

chocolate

or take these earrings from Zoe Jane for a wholesome beachy look

beachy

Cream is so similar to beige but lighter.  It gives off a soft warm but rich vibe, like frothy latte.  If you add some shell pink to your chocolate, you’ll have a sweeter note to your palette and vibration.   Or add some gold for a more sophisticated and opulent look like these rosy brushed copper and gold dangles from my own shop.

mycopper

Olive is a great neutral color which, because of its use in camouflage has taken on a somewhat negative vibration sending a drab and utilitarian message.   Dress it up with rich carnelian accessories.  Or add scarves with a hint of electric blue.  Make your palette with rust, antique gold and turquoise or maybe a deep, rich purple.  Try this Desert Palette Carnelian Necklace.

carnelian

Taupe has a basic vibe that says timeless, stable, and practical.  Dress it up with some navy blue and gold or try lapis like this pendant from Bead Souk.

lapis

And last, but not least, grey, which comes in many shades (but maybe not fifty).   Charcoal grey is very close to black and carries its sophisticated vibes.  It gives you a mature, sophisticated and professional look with solid and enduring undertones.   You will be perceived as a person who can be counted on.  To dress it up, you can use hints of the darker reds or a bit of white and you will truly have a classy look.

Noir Earrings

noirears

Solitude Pendant

solitude

Medium grey will give you a serious corporate sober look. very practical.   You will appear poised, quiet and modest.  You can add turquoise, coral or dark black for contrast and a less serious look.

Chunky Turquoise Necklace

turquoise_necklace_0edc6def

Light grey’s message is “mystery”.   It’s the color of fog and will-o-the-wisps, a somewhat ghostly hue.  If you want to play up that mysterious look, add a wisp of mauve or lavendar for a romantic overtone.

Love’s Illusion Dichroic Necklace

mauve

If you are looking for natural/neutral accessories I’ve put together and Artfire Collection from the artists in my guild.   There are some beautiful pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craft Tutorials

December 2, 2014 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, metaphysical, New Age | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments