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Archive for the ‘dolls’ Category

I do consider Samhain to be the beginning of my spiritual year, but I also cannot deny the status quo in regards to modern society.  Generations have looked to the point between December and January as the threshold to a new year and the continual existence of all. I can’t deny the power associated with such a movement, even if I don’t always observe it with much excitement.  Last year I spent it quietly with my husband.  We relaxed.  This year, I’ll likely spend it helping my sister move and then celebrating with some of my tribe.

Another thing I want to do is clean my home as best as I can.  Many people believe that what you do at the end of the old year will follow you into the new year, and that we should strive to surround ourselves with the qualities we want to fill our lives with.  I want my apartment to be cleaner and I want to take more time making it thus.  I spent some time today cleaning and organizing the kitchen.  There is still work to be done but it’s slowly getting better and more user-friendly.

I also find myself looking forward to the green half of the year.  With the Winter Solstice pretty much over (I plan to take my decorations down on the 6th.  There’s an old Irish belief that it’s unlucky to do so before or after.), I find myself excited for Beltaine.  I feel a bit bad about that since I don’t feel as giddy over the next high day, Imbolc, which is sacred to my blessed Lady Brighid, but to me that’s more of a quiet holiday for counting one’s blessings.  The Spring Equinox has never been that festive to me either.  Beltaine, though, is another story completely.  The ground will finally be completely or in the process of thawing.  The leaves will be blossoming and the robins will assuredly be back by then.  It is when my grove erects a May Pole and we dance about it to provoke the Earth Mother into fecundity.  It is a flirtatious and celebratory time!  I find myself excitedly looking through seed catalogs and humming Jonathan Coulton’s “First of May”…

This time of year is also when I find myself a new calendar.  This year I am going to use  The Artisans Guild of Ár nDraíocht Féin 2011 Calendar.  It supports the guild I belong to and features the work of several amazing Pagan artists – including a couple of my dolls!

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In anticipation of an upcoming craft/art show, I’ve been sewing like a mad woman.  Some of my creations aren’t done yet, so I’ve not bothered to photograph them.  I have three large dolls in the works.  One is nearly done.  She just needs shoes.  I felted some grapes for the second.  They need leaves and vines.  Then she needs hair, clothing, and wings.  The third doll is, as I like to say, gestating.  Her body parts are in various stages of development.  She’s currently in a bag.  I hope to work on her while visiting my family this week.

I have made several little things.  Check ’em out!

Meet the mushroom spirit!  The tree spirits were feeling lonely and wanted some fun guys to play with!  (Yuck yuck yuck!)  Like most people, I have this aesthetic attraction to amanita muscaria – fly agaric.  They are full of whimsy and magic.  Many people still use them for hedgecrossing and other trance work.  What magically inclined person wouldn’t want one of these little guys hanging around?  
 Here’s the amanita formosa  variety of fly agaric.  I’m quite fond of them because they’re in my back yard!  
A brown mushroom.  I’m sure there is a mushroom that looks like this.  I need a name for it…  
A wide-eyed fly agaric.  
A darker fly agaric.
Some “psychedelic mushrooms.”  I need to attach string to some of them…  I think they make cute ornaments.
A tiny Santa.
Finally, a wee fairy.  I also plan to add a string to her.  She would look lovely on a Yule tree!  
They’re kind of hard to see, but here are her wings.  

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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On Mushrooms

I took a short walk in the woods yesterday, just as the sun was beginning to set.  I visited the birch tree for a time and then made my usual circuit.  I will sometimes deviate and wander from my path – up the hills, over the craggy heights, around the clearing beyond.  Deer season keeps me closer to home, and that is okay because there is always something new to see in the forest.

I love to look at the little things: vine-like moss creeping over the dead leaves; the last of the ferns; the color of rotting wood; a moth crouching against the chill; the every shifting population of fungi…  Mushrooms continue to fascinate me.  I really should look into finding a mycology class.  I would love to learn more about them and which ones are safe to eat.  I don’t often find fly agaric mushrooms in the woods.  This year’s record is three.  Something about their iconic connection to magic and myth has clutched at me since finding my first early summer.  I find myself more observant of all mushrooms.  I’ve never paid them so much attention before this year.

As I walked in the woods,  I realized that.  I also realized that I spent more time getting to know the forest this past summer than I had before.  I finally feel (mostly) safe there.  I feel (mostly) welcomed.  To me, the mushrooms symbolize my growing relationship with this new forest.  As the winter rolls in with it’s uncomfortable bite, I’ve found myself bringing the spirit of the mushrooms inside with me.  Now my tree spirits have mushroom spirit friends.  I cannot wait to post a photo.  They’ve quickly become one of my favorite things to make!

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Sapling Tree Spirit!

One of my most recent creations – a birch sapling tree spirit.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Samhain is my favorite holiday.  I love the Winter Solstice as well, but there’s something about the magic of this liminal time…  Perhaps it’s the vague boundaries, whimsical to ridiculous costumes, celebrations, harvest food, or simply the visible changes all around.  It’s a great time of year and, for many, it’s when magic and “energy” are most noticeable.  In my opinion, it’s because Samhain and Halloween seem to officially usher in the holiday season.  There’s a thick anticipation in the air mixed with stress and joy.

Samhain snuck up on me this year.  I felt more prepared for it last year after planning my wedding.  I haven’t even carved pumpkins yet, and I realized this morning that I forgot to buy turnips.  Since finding a home in Druidism, I’ve made the effort each year to make a traditional Irish jack-o-lantern with a turnip.  It’s a small thing but I feel connected to my ancient ancestors when I do it.  Perhaps I still have time, but the fact that I’ve forgotten this long makes me sad.

In my defense, I have been very busy. I’m dressing as a woodland fairy this year and I made most of my costume from scratch.  I’ve also been working on the new Artist Trading Card project that the ADF Artisan Guild is starting!  I will be sending my contribution tomorrow and I hope the recipient likes what  I made.  I promise to post photos after it’s been received.

I’ve also been working on other crafty projects in anticipation for an upcoming craft show in my home city.  Check out the latest tree spirit.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Dandelionlady posted a lovely tutorial on making basic cornhusk dolls!  I wish I had this a few days ago.  😛

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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 Here’s my first attempt at an amigarumi Earth Mother/fertility Goddess.  I used blue and green yarn to represent earth and sea.  In retrospect I wish I had finished with a darker blue – then it could have been from the top down sky, earth, and sea – the sacred realms of Druidism.  The Autumn Equinox is coming up and I’m thinking of making one in harvest colors for a sacrifice.

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for – another tree spirit!  Here she is – a lovely little apple tree.  She was made with recycled felt and stuffing.  Her eyes are plastic beads but the apples are red stones.  She has a wire armature and is definitely not for children.  Weretoad claims that she looks more mature than the first tree I made.  I’ll have to photograph them together sometime and get opinions on that!

I’m already working on a third tree.  I emailed Skip today about ADF consignment and whether or not he needs any help getting things on the site because I’d really love to sell these guys through ADF.  I’m planning to make a simpler and more complicated variation so I can vary the price a bit.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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