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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can find a lot more designs on Pinterest. I think some of the designs would make beautiful beads.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 stregajewellry | challenges, Jewelry, metaphysical | black cat, black cat bead, black cat bone, black cat lore, black cat spell, blog hop, Jewelry, superstion | 19 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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”.?
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!
Bare trees, grey skies, dormant earth; this is the perfect time to talk about neutral colors.
(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.
Chiffon Dress from Modest Case on Artfire
Chocolate Necklace and Earring Set from Vintage Treasures
or take these earrings from Zoe Jane for a wholesome beachy look
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
December 2, 2014 Posted by stregajewellry | fashion, Jewelry, metaphysical, New Age | #chkdin, beige, champagne beige, language of clothes, neutral accessories, neutral colors, olive, pantones communicating with color, shades of grey, taupe | 2 Comments
According to Pantone’s book, Communicating With Color, orange is the hottest of all colors. It’s a high arousal color, glowing and very vibrant. So, before I start talking about how others perceive you when you wear orange, let’s have a little mood music. How about some salsa mix? Hot latino music for lovers? eh?
Orange has all the drama of red but it is tempered by the cheerful vibes or yellow. In the language of color, orange is an exclamation point. It’s so vivid, it’s perceived as playful, gregarious, happy and somewhat childlike. Sometimes it’s hard for people to take you seriously when you wear orange. Check out this hat from Purple Berry Studio on Artfire. Does it not say playful and fun loving?
It’s not a color to wear to a business meeting where you want to be taken seriously. The most negative vibration that orange projects is “LOUD and BRASH”. It definitely calls attention to you.
Orange is the perfect match for fall colors, warm browns and golds. It adds warmth and vitality to the somewhat muted and neutral colors. Check out these Fall Glow Earrings from my own Artfire studio and see how they combine with antique gold metal and brown beads to add a warm glow to the accessories. Wearing orange with these colors gives off an earthy vibrations.
The lighter shades of orange, like peach, melon, apricot and coral give off totally different auras. People who wear peach are seen as people who are eager to communicate and easy to communicate with. Coral and apricot appear sophisticated and very upscale. These are nurturing and approachable colors. This dress, from Perfect Love Dresses on Artfire is sophisticated and beautiful.
Orange is also a great color for ethnic or tribal looks. Wear it with plum, gold and red for a really native look.
tribal necklace Zelie from my Artfire studio
Remember, when you want to appear playful, fun loving and energetic and maybe just a bit outrageous, put your orange with colors like lime green and hot pink, your “salsa” colors.
Strega Jewellry’s Playful Palette You-Nique Earrings
And when you want to appear warm and glowing, use the fall palette.
Oh, and don’t forget your eyes!!!
Have I got you excited about the color, orange? Here’s a whole collection of orange accessories I found on Artfire.
September 12, 2014 Posted by stregajewellry | fashion, Jewelry, metaphysical, New Age | apricot, coral, ethnic palette, fall palette, hattide on artfire, language of clothes, melon, orange and etnic colors, orange color palettes, orange earrings, orange eye makeup, peach, purple berry studio, stregajewellry studio on artfire, tangerine, tribal colors, tribal palette, Zelie | 3 Comments
Ooops! Been really lazy this month with all the heat and humidity. Spent most of my time curled up in the shade reading books and eating ice cream! Barely blogged and nearly missed my color of the month blog! I’ve got it covered however. This month’s color is RED. So let’s get some mood music going on so you can listen while I tell you all about the color red and its influences on our perceptions.
Traditionally, red implies strength, vitality and heat. Psychologically, just the sight of it can cause a rise in blood pressure, respiration and heartbeat. When we “see red”, our pituitary gland goes into action. It suggests to the brain that we take physical action! Yes, even an animal can distinguish this color! No more mystery why a red cape is used in a bullfight!
Red is associated with both aggression and with desire. The shade of red has a lot to do with your brain and body associations. Reds with a lot of orange tend to excite or suggest aggression so if you are planning on using red in your wardrobe today, and it is an orangy red, then pair it up with playful spicy colors to lessen the aggressive impulses.
If you were going to choose this scarf, for instance, you could wear it with any of the colors in the above shot. It’s available, by the way from Morgan Silk on Artfire. Even without the other colors, the second color gives it a more playful feel.
If your shade of red is mixed with black or purple, the red takes on a more sensual tone. With black, there is a hint of danger or risk, or of experience with the darker side.
Take this sassy little purse, for instance, from Angelz Bowz on Artfire,. There’s just enough black with that deep sensual red to hint at a “dangerous woman”. Pair it with these red/black earrings from Uniquebeadables
, a red dress and shoes and watch out guys!
If you really want to give off the danger signals, I’ve got a Vampire Fantasy wrap bracelet in my shop
Back in the day, red with purple used to be considered vulgar or overly sexual but now, purple and red is indicative of a more playful, Bohemian style. How about this cloche from Barbie’s Corner Crochet Boutique?
So, ladies, if you want to get RED-DY, I have a collection of red goodies from my guild sisters on Artfire. You can find almost anything you need.
Welcome! It’s the 14th Bead Soup Café blogger/non blogger challenge and the first one I’ve joined. this one is sponsored by Toltec Jewels. We’ve got 2 palettes to design from for a not so typical Christmas in July hop. Check them out. I love both of them!
I’m not crazy about Christmas. As a pagan, YULE is my winter celebration. For pagans, Yule is one of the lesser holidays, not at all like Christmas which is a HUGE deal! Even so, it has a lot of meaning. Yule celebrates the longest night of the year, a turning point. We know that even though the coldest part of the winter is yet to come, after Yule, the Long Night, the nights begin to get shorter and the days begin to get longer, a few minutes every day. It marks the beginning of the end of the “dark season” and it’s a time of great hope and the promise of spring to come.
In older times, the choicest of the winter stores would be taken out and used for the winter feast as a token of faith that the Lord and Lady would see you through the lean times ahead, a symbol of your belief in the promise of the spring and summer to come, when once again fresh food would be in abundance for all. Even though your winter stores were getting lower and the game animals were finding it hard to feed themselves and becoming scarcer, that feast would happen. These days, we don’t have to worry about such things but we still celebrate Yule. It marks our faith that through any dark times, we will be sustained. Yule is a happy festival and besides having good food and gathering with good friends, you want to give a special gift to those you care about…….one gift, not a shower of presents like Christmas…..one gift that means something.
First, how about a little mood music? Here’s a tune that has been used hundreds of times to represent witchery in all kinds of movies and television scores……Carmina Burana. The video is pretty cool also. If you have time to watch and not just listen while you scroll. It has a joy about it that reflects the season. It’s a beautiful rendition of Carmina Burana and by far my favorite “Flashmob” video!
I really was drawn to that first palette. I like that nature theme and while I like the colors in both palettes, the nature theme seems more wintery to me. I pulled some colors from that first picture for most of my pieces. I like the fact that is not all red and green like the usual Christmas colors. There are browns and greys and blues and lots of white/silver for the snow. And the red and green are more natural, not the glaring brights of the ho ho ho Christmas. I did take that red color a couple of shades darker but I still think it works. If you don’t agree…………well there’s plenty of snow to pelt me with a few snowballs.
First up, I made this locker hook bracelet cuff. I do love a cuff and the sari silk I had on hand seemed a good match. I sewed on a a copper filigree then attached a piece of dichroic glass that I made way back when I first learned to make dichroics. The gold in the sari silk is a bit festive and the copper has an earthy look I love.
Now for a necklace to go with that sari silk. I had fallen in love with Badger Beads on Artfire. The artist, Jayne LaRette is a fabulous and friendly lady of great talent. This beautiful focal bead is the perfect match to the green in that palette AND, it came with 2 matching beads that would give me a pair of earrings. Woot woot! I made a faux four-in-one chain, used a copper disc I hammered out and a bit of sari silk. The bead can stand alone, it’s so pretty. I makes a happy little tinkle sound against the disc.
I have to show you the bead up close
and the chain with the sari silk
and let’s not forget the earrings……
I was so excited about the beads I saw in Jayne’s shop, I wrote her a note with the order. We are guild sisters on Artfire and I like to share my guild sister’s work. I told her in the note that the bead was going to be my focal and I was so excited about this hop and blabbered on. I guess I got her excited also because she sent me another bead as a gift and told me to play with it. PLAY with it! My favorite words! And gift! What a wonderful gesture! If you get a chance, check out her studio on Artfire or visit her Facebook page and say hello.
This focal bead is such a deep beautiful midnight blue, its perfect to symbolize the Long Night. I do hope you can see the swirls of antique gold in I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it until I was listening to some Celtic music that just happened to have a lot of bagpipes. Well, what is a festival without music and bagpipes? EH? (that’s the cue for some more mood music folks, get ready!)
While the colors in this piece are not in this palette, I still needed a Yule gift, so thought I was justified in digressing just a little. I used antique brwass wire. Trying to get over my Fear of Fiber, I thought I would add some plaid fabric for a woodsy tartan………just a bit. This called for a some simple work to really focus on the beauty of the bead. I almost think this could be a unisex piece with the leather cord.
and let’s take a closer look at that bead with its gorgeous deep blue and swirls of gold and iridescence……woooooot I’m having fun now!!!
Okay, I’m back to the palette on this next piece. I pulled out the grey and blue from the wolves and shadows, used a bit of silver for the sparkle of the snow and that woodsy reddish brown. My little goddess is the focal. She is Sister Red Star, made from red tiger’s eye and red jasper. Jasper is a protective and nurturing stone and tiger’s eye helps you make right decisions. Her energy is the sparkle of a red star in the dark night sky…..a beacon, urging you to forge ahead, the Road is clear. Trust in the protection of your guides and your instincts. Her beads are pietersite, a playful stone that helps you pull a childlike quality from deep within. The energy of the piece is perfect to see you through the rest of a dark cold winter or the dark cold times of your life.
that is a lousy picture of those beautiful beads of brown and bluish grey but it’s too late now…..sigh……
Oh, I’m getting way too deep here, let’s lighten up a bit. I did want to make something in the second palette with all those beautiful colors. I found some perfect beads from Spawn of Flame on Artfire. Look at these beauties! They are lampwork in that beautiful watery blue green with rivers of silver running through them. Rosemarie calls them Little Sirona. Sirona was a Celtic goddess of healing springs who had numerous shrines around sulphur springs and wells . I thought she would be a perfect “woodsy” goddess for this palette so I created these little “rain chain” earrings. What a perfect gift for someone in need of healing energy or who wants some bubbly energy from flowing springs.
I think I like the shorter pair the best
Almost as an afterthought, I made these wreaths, pulling only the green and red from the first palette. They are traditional Christmasy, yes?
Okay, that’s all for me today. Please stop by and see Rita from Toltec Jewels who is our hostess for this hop! Thanks Rita fir such a fun challenge!
- Toltec Jewels
- Renetha Stanziano – www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
- Dini Bruinsma – http://angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
- Tammy Adams – http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html
- Blanca Medina – http://www.peru-medesigns.com
- Chris Eisenberg – www.wanderware.blogspot.com
- Krafty Max – http://kraftymax.blogspot.com
- Robin Kae Reed www.willowdragon.blogspot.com
- Kathy Lindemer – Bay Moon Design
- Marde Lowe – www.fancimardesigns.blogspot.com
- Andrea Glick- http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
- Lee Koopman http://stregajewlley.wordpress.com
- Natalie Davidson — NorthShoreDays.com
- LiliKrist – http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/
- Lori Anderson www.PrettyThings.com
- Tami Norris
- Klaudete Koon
- Ginger Hammond www.facebook.com/lynnleighdesigns
- Kathleen A Breeding http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/
- Veralynne Malone www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
- Shalini Austin – http://jewellerybyshalini.co.uk
- Sheila Prose-http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
August 17, 2014 Posted by stregajewellry | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, metaphysical, New Age | Badger Beads, bagpipe, bagpipe misic, bagpipe necklace, Carmen Burana, Christmas earrings, faux four in one chain, goddess sirona, handmade chain, locker hook, locker hook bracelet, pagan, rain chain earrings, sari silk, Sirona, Spawn of Flame, tolec jewels, Twice as Nice Blog Hop, wiccan, wreath, Yule, Yule gift, Yule Necklace, Yule traditions | 9 Comments
Who am I?
I am a lively Aries lady who lives in a house owned by a bunch of wacky animals.
I am the matriarch of a clan of kids, grands and great grands.
I am a solitary Wiccan whose pagan roots are both Native American and Celtic, strongly connected to the earth.
I am a jewelry artisan, addicted to beads, wire, silver, rocks, stones and minerals. I love working with metal clay, wire and natural stones.
I am a teacher. I’ve learned a lot about stones and minerals and folklore: the history behind the stones. I teach special classes for underpriveleged kids. I teach everyone who asks about the ancient uses of rocks and stones.