Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New Clothing line about to be launched

I am sick and tired of constantly gawking at all these pretty clothes which  can't afford, but can make. So finally, after much deliberation and procrastination, I am finally getting off my lazy bum, and starting to make some designs. I have an entire sketchbook of my original designs, some traditional ones, and some inspired by others. In case you're curious, I'm going for medieval, elven, faerie, gypsy, steampunk & tribal fusion bellydance styles, which are the kinds of clothing I normally wear, and the kinds I find are the most fun!
I will be making one of a kind pieces mostly like upcycled sweater coats, bellydance bras and belts, patchwork coats and dresses and aything I have made with the fine fabrics I have now, but my basic designs I will be offering as custom orders, things like ghawazee coats, harem pants, wrap pants, pixie hoods, vests, waistcoats,  pixie skirts and tired skirts will be available on order. I already have some lovely models and a photographer ready to shoot, so I'm off to begin sewing. By hand. Because my beloved sewing machine is having issues. Again. Here are some of the things that inspired me, and some clothing similar to that which I'll be making..

As much as it pains me to acknowledge my extremely talented competition, I must. some of the designs above and others which have inspired me are:



Flip n Tribal Designs



and many, many many more!

If you see one of your creations here, PLEASE tell me! I would love to give you credit!!!

Monday, 27 September 2010

On the subject of wands...

Does anyone want to get me this for my birthday? Or Christmas? Because now THIS is a wand I could use!!! I saw this about a month ago and have practically been drooling over it ever since. This is a seriously, awesomely, witchy gadget!

It's called the Kymera Magic Wand, and it is basically a programmable remote control, in the shape of a wand!

It comes with this awesome box, and a sweet little instruction manual in a most unusual shape..
I have yet to see if anyone has bought it, and figured out how to use it...

So totally cool!!!


Wands! A Tutorial (sortof) and Project diary

Does everyone remember when the first Harry Potter book came out? I have always had a very vivid imagination and can transport myself into a sort of movie in my head whilst reading books and in the very first Harry Potter book, the scenes that stand out to me most are when Harry and Hagrid are wandering down Diagon Alley, and especially the scene when he goes into Ollivander's. Boxes upon boxes of wands! All sorts! My brain was going crazy imagining the possibilities!
So, just for fun, I made my very own wand, of pine, as I grew up surrounded by pine forests. I carved and I whittled and then I smoothed it down and waxed it to protect it with a pine scented piece of candle and fixed a little crystal point on it with copper wire I ''borrowed'' from my dad's electrical box. And it was beautiful. But now, ten years on, I have no idea what happened to it! So a few months ago I was watching the first Harry Potter movie, and I got inspired again.
I took my daughter out for a walk and happened upon a lovely willow tree, a particular favourite of mine. There had been a storm recently so I searched the ground for a suitable stick, and found one, although it was rather dainty. Back into the house we went and as baby napped, I took a knife, and carved one long spiral up from the bottom of the stick to the top. Then I went in search of copper wire and discovered that I'd mispaced it. Not to be deterred, I found some small tins of gemstone chips and, grabbing the glue, ran back downstairs. I very carefully filled the spiral groove first with glue, then with the tiny gemstone chips. I had a lovely little amethyst point so I wound a thread tightly around it and fixed it firmly to the tip of the wand, and added, yes, more glue. Finally, I let it sit and dry. It was beautiful, but still missing something. So I looked harder for the copper, and, voila! Found it, up went a double coil between the gemstones and around the amethyst! I finally decided to sell it on ebay and someone bought it from me last week! So I think I shall make more....

When I was in Oregon this summer I was walking through some forested areas which had been cut back. I was surrounded by gorgeous maple trees, and decided to forage for wand materials. I was in luck as I found a beautiful and hefty maple branch, the perfect width, and legnth! When I got back, I marched straight into the garage and pulled out the sandpaper. I sanded, and sanded, and sanded, until my hand were hot from the friction and smooth from the tiny grains of sawdust in them. Finally, when I decided it was pretty enough and smooth and just right, I buffed it and decided to carve the word ''Believe'' into the handle, where I had left the bark. I'm not very good at carving, so it looked rather like rough runes, pretty, but not pretty enough.

I decided that having the word there could be beneficial to the overall finished product, so I left it and decided what to do with the wand itself. I had several colours of green paints and so I painstakingly painted curving vines that wound up and around the wand from the top of the handle, complete with little leaves. When it was dry I found some wood varnish, and carefully, layer upon layer varnished the entire wand. When that was dry, I thought it needed a bit more oomph. A very fine mist of copper paint and another layer of varnish did nicely! I didnt want to make this wand too girly, it had a very masculine vibe to it and I decided that simple was good. But it needed a few final touches. I had a lovely green agate stone which I thought would complement the wand nicely, as both maple and agate are supposedly beneficial to travellers. I decided that this was a traveller's wand. the agate was fixed to the top, and I wound some lovely soft dark leather around the base to finish it, and wrapped another piece around the iddle of the handle, over the carved word. The finished project is comfy to hold, and I am sad to see it go as someone has purchased it from me and I will be wrapping it in lovely gold tissue and sending it on its way with my blessing.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Practical Magic Blog Party- My Book of Shadows

Even before Practical Magic came out I have been obsessed with books, particularly spellbooks and old grimoires! I have tried to make one several times in the past, but something always happened, and finally, a few years back I found two amazing hardbound tooled leather books with blank parchment at T.J. Maxx in the US and, contrary to my common sense, I bought them, seeing as they were only $24 each! They are about 9 inches wide, 2 inches thick and about 12 or so inches tall, which makes them a nice large sze, without being too huge (although I do love huge books!). I chose one for a scrapbook of sort, and the other as my Book of Shadows. I wanted to make every page inside perfect, as this is my dream book, so the work on it is going slowly as I really dont want to mess up! Inside I am using calligraphy pens and inks with magickal oils added. From the start of the book I pressed flower petals and herbs inside the book so it smells really lovely! As it stands, it's still a work in progress.....I could of course, buy a replica book of shadows or a massive tome like the one from the movie at places like Lapulia or Brahm's Bookworks...but they cost close to $400!!! Eek! Unemployed mama on a budget here. Check out bookstores like Barnes & Noble and also anywhere that sells leather hardbound journals. You can always paste parchment paper or decoupage over the pages if you don't like what they look like inside...I've seen someone turn a gorgeously bound address book into a beautiful scrapbook like that! For my book of shadows I stuck to the traditional set of stuff, runes, chants, spells, correspondences etc. but for my magickal scrapbook I put in anything that had a profound effect on me, from beautiful fashion images, cutouts from metaphysical magazines, inspirational quotes and stories, news clippings of events I had witnessed and more! The est part of this is that there are no rules. It's your book, make it pretty! And no, it never has to be completely finished. All of my projects are in some stage of transition, being added to, transformed, or completely taken apart and rebuilt.
Closeup of my Book of Shadows. I carved out parts of the leather in the front and put semi precious gemstone chips in them!

The fron title page, still not finished...

Runes and magickal alphabets and the Wiccan Rede, which is a lovely poem, and I had once memorized in it's entirety!

The page on the left has spaces for more pictures, drawings and decorations...well, technically, so does the page on the right, when I find the right artwork!!

This was a gorgeous card which reminded me so much of Herne/Cernunnos/Gwyn the forest and hunter god archetype of the British isles that I had to have it. It's now on my ''Charge of the God'' page

So much space to fill!! Shall I? Or is it beautiful in it's simplicity?

My kitty is obsessed with my quill...

Just waiting for me to write!!! With some of the original rose petals that have been scenting my book for ages!

From here on downwards are photos of my magical scrapbook, which accompanies my book of shadows

Some fun articles from pagan magazines, girly mags etc.

The book on the left is my book of shadows, the right is my lovely scrapbook!

The London tube bombings happened on my 19th birthday while I was on holiday in Spain. Coming to London to stay there for the first time, & by myself two days afterwards was indescribeable. There was a mixture of fear, anger, greif, shock, and amazingly, comraderie as people began to pull together through a shared horror and help each other.

Well said. Brilliant quote, beautiful clothes!

I found this poem by my sister in a pile of old papers. It's sad, eloquent, and brutally honest to what she was feeling at the time. I find it incredibly moving.

I love the dove chocolate wrappers, inside they have these lovely little quotes, some of them are delightfully wicked! There are also love notes from my only missed boyfriend, a photo of an old friend of mine, a dirtbiker who was the first person ever to get me to drink beer!

My first ever ticker to the Tower of London where I met my husband. I only had to buy the ticket because I couldn't find him and wasn't well connected enough yet to get in free without him! There is also my Louvre ticket, and my first ever business attempt banner that I made when a friend and I went to the local farers market with all my soaps and lotions on a little red wagon and sold my goods, without a permit. We were kicked out after a few hours, but it was fun!!!

A poem a friend of mine wrote me in 8th grade? When I was still very shy, erdy and geeky. I kept it on my bathroommirror for nearly 2 years, just to remind myelf that some people did like me!!

A cool clipping of when Rosie O'Donnell married her girlfriend and my 5 foot long receipt from the Ghiardelli's Chocolate Heaven in San Fransisco. Which is the reason I should NEVER be allowed in a chocolate shop drunk, with a wad of cash. The total was narly $300.

My student card from my school in Paris, my daughter's first ultrasound photo, and a ticket to the Erotic Museum

Friday, 24 September 2010

Hello all..

For now, this will be the only post for today, I will have my Practical Magic themed one tomorrow as planned but for now, I need sleep, my daughter has brought home a violent strain of the flu and although she has recovered, I have not! If I am feeling better later I will have a little wand making tutorial! But for now..sleep, and soup...

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Easy Salt Scrub Tutorial

Wintertime has a tendency to take it out on our skin. The extremes in temperature and often the harsh wind can chap, chafe and dry out skin causing it to become red, dull and flaky On of the simplest and one of the most fun solutions to this problem is to exfoliate and moisturize and what better way to do it than by making and using your own salt scrub? Here is the simplest and most basic recipe.

To make approx 250 ml (approx1 cup) of salt scrub you will need
150 ml of your oil of choice. I prefer to use a mix of grapeseed and sweet almond oil as they sink into your skin nicely. If you want to get more exotic you can use coconut oil, or jojoba. I don't recommend using corn oil, mineral oil, baby oil or cooking oil, and olive oil should be used when mixed with another lighter oil as it gets sticky and leaves residue if used in too high of a concentration.
300 ml fine salt (For those with sensitive skin, you can alway substitute sugar for the salt, but remember to rinse well, and you won't have the added cleansing benefit of the salt)

Mix the two together well in a separate bowl then pour into a jar and seal. If you are on a budget, the Dorito's brand salsa and chip dip jars (and other jars of a similar shape) work very well. I like to spray paint the lids or cover them in decoupage or a pretty fabric. To use your scrub, simply get a handful and scrub onto dry skin then rinse off with warm water, or soap in a hot bath after to use it as a bath salt soak!

If you want to make the recipe a bit more interesting, you can get fancier ingredients, like Sea salt, Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts instead of plain table salt. You can use any combination of salts you'd like. There are lots of different types of salts out there, including black and pink ones! For colouring, I like to add a dash of powdered mica pigment (or loose mineral eyeshadow which is pretty much the same thing) to mine and a few drops of my favourite essentil oils or oil based perfumes to give it a nice scent. Alternately, you can steep herbs and flowers or plants that give off a dye in your oil of choice and heat it up until the oil has gotten the colour from the plants. I did a fun berry scrub once and soaked raspberries in hot oil for a few hours, strained it, and added it to my salts. The result was a lovely fruity smelling pink scrub! You can also add dried herbs such as lavender or rose petals or chamomile. For herbs you can leave them chunky to add the the aesthetic appeal, or you can powder them to make a finer scrub. You can also add things like Vitamin E, Shea butter (melted of course!) or glitters! To add these extra ingredients, remember to always mix the dry ingredients together first, and the wet ingredients together before mixing everything. This way you will get a more uniform product.