Monday, October 26, 2020

The Diviner's Table

It feels like an age since I posted a tutorial (probably because it has been). I thought that a Halloween surprise might be nice, so I created a little Diviner's Table and have a tutorial for the red pillar candles and incense.

While a tutorial is all about teaching others, I learned a lot myself while putting this wee table together. I learned more about Baphomet, the goat figure on the glass novena candles. Baphomet is actually a pretty complex character with an interesting history. I also experimented with resin. See those bubbles in the crystal ball? Pretty much drove me insane trying to minimize them.

There were some happy discoveries too, like this impossibly small smudge stick! We had been making regular size smudge sticks from white buffalo sage in the garden and when I spied the little leaves and bits leftover, drying on a table, I had a eureka moment. Why not make a wee one? And it's my new favourite thing. You can even burn them!!! (If you're very careful of course.)

If you'd like to see how this little piece came together, you can find the video HERE.

And if you're looking for a list of supplies, here are all the bits used in making this piece:
• 3" small wooden round (or other size you prefer)
• 3" unfinished wooden candlestick
• black acrylic paint
• glue white/wood glue, and instant/crazy glue
• crayons
• thin wire
• tooth picks
• bead and bead cap
• florist wire

Optional extras:
• resin or real crystal ball/marble/large glass bead
• tiny gem chips
• watch crystal (paint back black for scrying mirror)
• sage leaf and thread for smudge stick
Tiny Tarot (the set of 22 Major Arcana used here, but full deck is available)

Important note: If you can't find one of the products I used, please do improvise! Don't you dare overpay for materials. Those candlesticks shouldn't be more than a couple of dollars and I just spied them online at a ridiculously inflated price. You should be able to find them in most craft shops.

Also, while the crystal ball in the pic was a bit bubbly, I did end up finding a different resin that gave me much better results. I was super happy with Resinate UltraCast. No affiliate link, and they didn't provide me product, but I was pleased with my results and thought I'd share if anyone else is having resin struggles.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Art Walk 2021 Giveaway

I cannot believe it's been over a month, A MONTH!!! since my last post. Cross my heart I've been working away, playing with resin, fiddling about, canning and preserving the last of our garden spoils. I've also got a big fat glorious project I can't share just yet... but I promise you're going to love.

I've mentioned that I'll be teaching with Art Walk Alchemy 2021 - "Enigmas and Curiosities". Super excited about that and I hope you'll join me. Right now they're doing a giveaway for a free registration, so why not tip your hat into the ring.

For your chance to win:

• Go to Mystic Spring Studios’ Facebook page HERE

• Add a Halloween project that you have created and tag me.

• Share the giveaway

That's it!

To find out more about Art Walk Alchemy 2021, click HERE

The giveaway ends on October 30 and the winner will be announced on Halloween!

Best of luck to you!

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Bees bees bees

The garden is particularly abundant with blooms at the moment. It was tremendously dry last month and everything was crispy brown. I prefer the happy fuchsias and yellows. With those blooms comes bees and butterflies and hummingbirds. I just love watching them. Not so thrilled with the wasps who have also come out whom I swear a blue streak to when they near. Bumble and honeybees on the other hand are a delight.

All that babbling is to introduce this cute set of bumblebees that I made, inspired by my garden visitors. 

They're simply made of balls of paperclay, painted with acrylic. I've added beads added for eyes, and Printed Bee Wings on Transparency . Finally I pushed in a small loop/hook, and added string to give them flight.

I think they're stonkin' cute. How adorable would they bee as a mobile with paper flowers? Gah!

One of the chubby dudes did escape from my craft room, but he was soon discovered in the garden.

He was lured back inside with promises of warm, soft, ginger cookies and tea.

Hope you're dandy and healthy and safe.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Jane Austen, French Knots and Small Celebrating Small Successes

Wayyyy back in May, I received a copy of "Jane Austen Embroidery" by Jennie Batchelor and Alison Larkin. It's super pretty and I was totally enthusiastic about stitching my days away, dreaming of Mr. Darcy (or Colonel Brandon if you please *swoon*) but honestly... life got in the way and I drank too much gin that weekend.

I am not a sewist or embroiderer, or in any way skilled with a needle and thread, but I do love embroidery and keen to try my hand at most craft skills. I thought I'd start with a little snip from one of the designs to sort of warm up before committing to a big project.

Those of you with greater needlework skills are probably groaning at my wonky work, but I was really pleased with that tiny hoop (which is 3" across if you were wondering). It's given me the confidence and desire to create a larger project from the book. With this tiny hoop I tried a couple of new techniques, and while far from perfect, I think there's charm in that not-quite-right thread.

Now, a number of the designs in the book included french knots, which have always eluded me. Many attempts have been made over the years, and I have always failed. I decided to try again, adding them to my wee hoop, and this time I would create a french knot before bed or never sleep again. And you know what? I did it! 

Were those knots perfect or dainty? Not in the least... BUT I DID IT! Dainty perfection will come with time and practice.

Until perfection comes, I've celebrated my small victory by making a charm with a group of the biggest chonkiest french knots you ever did see. Made with the chunkiest wool, in the tiniest embroidery hoop. 

It might look like a mess of lumpy wool to others, but to me that's proof of one small success, of victory, of the baby steps it takes to move forward.

Remember to love all your chunky knots, my friends. Take pride in every milestone no matter how wonky, or wobbly they appear.

I think I'm ready for that bigger project and some Colonel Brandon day dreams.

If you're interested in purchasing "Jane Austen Embroidery" please consider supporting your local independent book seller. It can also be found here on Amazon (direct, non affiliate link).

Monday, August 10, 2020

Ontario Landscapes

My kiddo got pick-up truck not long ago and, dare I say, he is in love. 

It's bittersweet. I'm not a fan of the fact that he's home far less often. I am excited for his newly discovered freedom.

Last week, after a trip to the grocery store he took me on a detour and we spied some pretty views.

I snapped a few pics and then painted up some ATCs to commemorate this sweet little memory.

To mark the pretty blue summer skies.

To recall the beauty of our rural surroundings.

Most of all to keep the memory of time spent with my favourite person. To remember this time when he's both so young, and so grown up.

*le sigh* 

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Irish Landscape ATCs

I was going through old pics of my trip to England and Ireland from a couple of years ago. I was looking for lush green images of the English countryside... but instead, a handful of Irish landscapes jumped out at me.

While Ireland IS lush and green, it is also a wonder of grey and black.

It is blue grey water.

Mountains and hills and near black rocks.

It is rocky seasides and beaches.

And ragged brambles and jumbles of plants jetting out from stony roadsides.

While I was dreaming of green English countrysides... these Irish landscapes yelled "NO! Paint me!"

And so, I did.

Hope you're well and dandy! I'm having a huge issue with spam comments at the moment so comments are being moderated (boo!). I WILL see your comments, it's just going to take a longer than usual. If you have a pressing question please feel free to email me directly. Cheerio, lovelies!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Marketing, Mushrooms and Blooms

Whenever I order biz cards, postcards and other promo material I am certain that I'll never ever get through it all. Then, one day, I'll be looking for a business card and realize I've burned through them all. This was me two weeks ago. Shockingly low on business bits I created some new work for marketing thing-a-ma-bobs.

My new bits arrived just in time! The graphic designer in me is absolutely miffed that the business cards have the wrong coating on them (I SAID MATTE NOT GLOSS YOU NINNY!) but I'll make due for now.

Two different collages to go out with different orders. The one above will mostly go out with orders for Tiny Tarot Cards. The one below will mostly pair with fairy things and wings.

Felt like ages since I've done any collage work, and doing these was a pleasure. I used old sheet music and paint for the backdrops. Some snips of scrapbook paper, a stamp or two and loads of bits from various collage sheets (see the bottom of post for specifics).

I also created two new collage sheets for these pieces.

BLOOMS is packed with old fashioned vintage flowers. The mess of colour and texture is really fun and packed with life.

I also made up a sheet called TOADSTOOLS, bursting with red spotted Fly Agaric and loads of other mushroom goodness.

Here are the bits I used which might be helpful if you're looking for pics to snip and paste.

Blooms Digital Download