Friday, March 2, 2018

Magick! New Work - First Friday Post - March 2nd

Hey everyone!

A week to go before I leave for my cross country train trek! Just going to stick to new things for this post, new work and few notes to share.

First, I am finally going to be getting my Instagram up and running. I have made the switch to an iPhone and the app loaded. I wanted to try and make it happen through my iPad but it was just not working out and then, as if by fate, my old flip phone dies. Luckily we had a spare, older version of an iPhone laying around here from the last time Sophie upgraded hers sooooo Yay!

I'll keep you posted and/or come find you when I get the first post up there!

For now, here's a sample of some of the newest work from the last month. Enjoy!!

I've been a lover of magick and ATW (that's All Things Witchy) since childhood. It comes and goes but it's really strong right now for some reason. . .

I got to thinking that Magick might be a fine theme for March, especially for my inspirations and oddities post later this month. So I want to present a selection of new work that really speaks to that part of me and the child within!

Let's start with Anubis or Anpu, one of the most magical of all the ancient Egyptian deities to me. I think of Him as more a guardian through transitions and change rather than an underworld figure.

I've been working on a series of bust icons recently and this is the Anubis / Anpu version. 

Tiny scenes never disappoint when it comes to inspiring magick! I am looking forward to making more detailed scenes like the large cliff tower that I showed last month and this smaller N scale one I wanted to feature this month. 

N Scale Tower on a Cliff

Gargoyles. . . oh they took my breath away as a child! I want to expand my gargoyle universe in 2018.  I was recently reading about "get lost" boxes which are a form of old traditional magick.  In days gone by, you might put a representation of the thing you wish to be rid of in a special box and bury it at a crossroads. I decided it would be soooo much better to have a gargoyle keep it for you and watch over it.  This guy comes with his own little box and tiny slips of paper for you to write what you'd like to rid yourself of down and let him do the rest.  Names are VERY important in both Gargoyle society AND Magick. . . His name is Baztertu, a Basque word for banish.

I am SO excited about expanding my gargoyle world!

 After not having made mini Moai statues for some time I got back into them this month. I sold a half dozen I think and am really enjoying working with them again. They have a certain Magick to them as well, these sentinels of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and yes, as a child I made these out of bunches of aluminum foil too! : )

I love old world architecture. Especially European and Medieval architecture. I don't usually make very many buildings that are true to those aesthetics but when I do, I always find them to have a bit of that elusive Home Magick in them. . .  or Inn Magick as it may be!

A dear customer requested a red and gold Sekhmet Lioness statue. Why not? I LOVE how She turned out and this Lady of Light is even more fiery in these colors! I stumbled upon that Golden-finish freshwater pearl in my bits and bobs and it was the perfect topper for her headpiece.

This Sekhmet feels VERY fiery to me! 

Little shoppes are potential magnets for odd fee, gnomes and the strangest of Magical items! 

Description from this listing is below:

Owned and operated by Myrrea Plumgeisse, an ageless and well-travelled gnomess and lover of all manner of things arcane and strange, the Quill and Ink shoppe provides the folk of the Pine wth a variety of implements and supplies for all their letter writing, scroll making and wax seal needs.

These include many curiosities and ephemera associated with magical use of paper and ink to peruse.

Folks in the Pine speak with joviality and awe of the uniqueness of Myrrea's vast collection of supplies, from the vials of natural ground pigments for inks that are mined from the Little Rock Hills to the large, handcrafted cabinet of curiosities which contains 48 drawers each with a plethora of various quills, nibs, grinding stones and blotters.

Folk love to browse the handmade paper section which includes sheets made from local plants like Geminanna or Wallroot for spell casting or the ever popular meadow lace leaf paper which is used as a healing device. If one places a tiny slip of it upon the tongue, it removes the symptoms or ailments that were written upon it as it dissolves.

Don't miss the special inks made from grinding up the Mood Sphere's of Tolos. Little smooth, round black stones which, when ground, create an ink that changes color when the paper it is written upon is held in the hands.

Of course, there are the less fantastic of supplies such as quills fashioned from the feathers of the Pine’s birds, an array of sootstone and many carry satchels for the most important of writings.

You’ll find a few other bits and bobs around the shops counters that have little to do with the written word but are just as enticing!  All throughout the Pine there are many folk who drop by the diminutive Quill and Ink shop just to say hello and take a gander at what Myrrea has brought back from her latest travels and adventures.

One of her best known sayings, when folk ask why she does not refer to the shoppe as a “Stationary Shoppe” is, “My dears, there is simply nothing stationary about the written word and what it can do!”

And one last one for March, a very special little Faery Windmill upon a Star!

Fashioned after a windmill found in Estonia I believe but I m not sure. . .

Thank you for dropping by and have a MaGiCkAl DAY!!! ;)


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Nostalgia #1

Hello Everyone!!

I know I missed my usual posting on Friday. I am less than two weeks away from my train trip across the country to visit my mom and I just couldn't fit in a post before the weekend with all the encroaching deadlines.

Instead, today I am going to put up the first post of a series I have been thinking about for some time, which will be called, simply, "Nostalgia".

It's been inspired by my childhood days and experiences, of course.

While I have already detailed a good bit  of the inspiration that came thru those years, all of which are part of my creative life now, there remains a lot that I do not often talk about.  Maybe because they are smaller events that seem less important or just negative things I would rather just leave behind but as I get older i realize that they all have played their part. All need to be honored for how they've shaped me. And some are just little pieces, glimpses and fragments of the whole that I never want to lose. . .

As you might expect, a trip home is fraught with memories, old patterns and sights and sounds. Being in the house/yard/woods/neighborhood where so much of who I am was formed is both a joy and also a melancholy time

So at random times, often between  Fridays,  I will post little bits and bobs of those days. I'll try to warn you when it is going to deal with the dark times, not that there were that many, This will, I suppose, be a selfish record of things I never want to forget and many that I have never before written down.

Nostalgia #1

My Winter Olympics

In the years between 10 and 16 I really only had two friends who I played with on a regular basis. I'll talk about them another time. One of them still lives down the street from my mother and seeing him each year is a chance to revisit some of those good times we shared from the past.

But much of my time then, even with two good friends, was spent alone.

In truth, it was preferred. There were so many ideas. games, stories in my head that I knew no-one else would understand or add anything to if I tried to include them.

One of those exploits was my love of the winter olympics. I could not get enough of the wonder of nations from all over the world coming together and competing in events that were so wonderfully strange to me. Luge, bobsled, biathlon, speed skating, etc We all knew about ice hockey and downhill skiing of course. I was 10 the year the olympics were held in Lake Placid, NY. The US hockey team's "Miracle on Ice" is, of course, the prevalent memory of those games for most of us in this country. But what the entire olympic spectacle inspired was a series of years, snow days permitting, where I recreated the Olympics in my back yard. I won't go into too much detail but it was one of those things that I just had to do alone.

What I remember most of about it to this day is that I took an entire day as the snow fell to make small, paper flags of all the countries for my "luge" event. I drew them with markers I think.  I had an old encyclopedia that had all the flags of the world (one of my favorite things to look at as a child!) and I meticulously tried to do them justice with my paper and markers. Then they got wrapped around craft sticks. I made medals out gold and silver foil.  I was ready.

The "luge" was just on an old red flyer wood sled. The "track" was hardly dangerous or Olympian by any standards. . . a gently sloping hill, maybe 60 or 70 yards in total length from the back porch of our home, down across a concrete lot and then a final dip down a hill past the neighbors house.

Instead of timing the sled runs for speed, I was trying to see how far I could get the sled to go.
The last ten yards or so the sled would slow to a crawl, the weight of my body the only thing pushing it forward until it came to a crunching stop in the snow.

The little flag representing the country I had just pretended to be representing would be stuck in the ground where the front of the sled ended up. Then I'd get up off the sled, haul it back up the gentle slope and do it all over again. Dozens upon dozens of times. With the exception of a rare misstep out of the "starting gate" most of the trips ended up in a very small area, within two feet of each other. Mere inches separating the best from the worst of the runs.

I can still recall, vividly, the feeling of the falling snow in my face as I went along and the internal "broadcast" of the announcers that I ad libbed in silence.

I made dozens of runs and, as the track iced over, it DID become little faster and more fun.

When it ended, I would go inside have a medal ceremony and return the next day for "ice" hockey or biathlon (FYI, plastic bb's are NOT going to be accurate in 20mph whipping, winter winds!) and some events, downhill skiing and speed skating, I had an old Atari Game system to play those out on when it got too dark outside.

The feeling I get when I think of those days is both precious and bittersweet.

I played so many games like that and I'll talk about them more in future Nostalgia posts. I just preferred those solo hours.

I still do in many ways.

When I created the "My Antarctica" photo series a few years back, those memories of cherished events and a few stark turning points from childhood were the impetus for a number of the images.

Most of those, I have never shown, including this one below which was inspired by those childhood Winter Olympics. . .

And while there were many bad moments as well, I never hesitate to say that, given the offer, I would not hesitate to forfeit up a year of my life to go back and live one day in that time (minus the negatives of school, family arguments etc) :)

When I go home, I try. A little at least. So much of it has changed, especially the outdoor landscape. But I still find that if I am very quiet and open. . . it comes back to me.

Thank you for reading!


Friday, February 16, 2018

A Gift from the Faery Postal Service - The Makings of a Maker - Third Friday Post - February 16th

It occurred to me that I meant for these weekly Friday posts to allow for a little more freedom as far as what I am posting and writing about and I've been sticking to the format pretty tightly so far.

This was originally going to be a post about my packaging for the Bewilder and Pine Etsy shop but I've decided that this little tale I have to tell, a true story, was far more enchanting and fits the bill for the Makings of a Maker theme.

The Fairy Postal Service Creed- Neither ogres, nor trolls nor wayward customs officials stays these Fae couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

In the first week of the new year I received a message thru Bewilder and Pine from a prospective customer in France. His question was how long would it take for a package to arrive in France as he was hoping to have a few things in time for a child's birthday party on February 10th.

This, to understate it, tickled me greatly! I do not think there is anything I love more than knowing my little fairy pieces are going to be in the lives of children (of ANY age, of course) and that they would be going off to France? Well, that was all the more thrilling.

I once spoke French fairly fluently. Enough to get around without a phrase book on my three trips there in my late teens and early twenties. Enough to carry on conversations with people I met in Paris or Nice or Calais. Enough to get around on the metro, or on foot with a map. Enough to sit on a park bench with a sweet, white haired grand-mère in the little picturesque town of Menton on the southern-most part of the Riviera and talk about life in our two countries as well as receive a lesson in French profanity!

Whenever I get a message from someone in France, I try to answer it at least in part in French. These days I have to look up certain conjugations and phrases and I confuse one word for another quite often. I forget the placement of accents and simple sentence structure. But I still try.

All that is to say this meant the world to me to be able to send a package of faery magic bound for France.

All of my shipping experiences within the EU told me that the package would certainly arrive in plenty of time. I wasn't worried in the least nor did I even consider suggesting we use Priority Mail International to expedite the shipment.

Four weeks was more than enough time.
I was certain of it.

It ended up being a rather large order of eight different fairy houses and towers. I stayed up late to pack it all up and the following day I shipped the package off.

Then, I forgot all about it.

For some reason, which I cannot begin to fathom even now, on February 7th, I suddenly thought of the package. Certain it would have arrived by then, I went to the order and clicked on the receipt for the shipping. The tracking loaded slowwwwwly and when it finally showed on my screen, I was more than a bit surprised. . .

I shipped the package on January 12th
It left the US Customs in LA on January 19th (an unusually long time for that transfer)
It arrived in France on January 21st
It then, for some reason, left France. . . and went to ISRAEL. . . on January 22nd

And that was it. There was no further tracking for it either on Etsy or thru the USPS sight.

I was, to say the least, devastated.

I wrote a very heavy message to the buyer explaining what I thought had happened while hoping that, against the odds, the package had perhaps arrived in France without any further tracking having been recorded. That's would not be so unusual for a returned or redirected package

It had not arrived.

The customer wrote back and while he was very understanding that it was not my fault as he could see the strange tracking information, he was terribly disappointed. It was, after all, meant for a birthday party.

I felt so badly about it. I asked him to let me check with my post office on the following day just to see if they could offer any more assistance.

They could not.

So, on February 8th, I sent one final message. I told the buyer I would refund the purchase amount in full and asked if he would refuse the package if or when it arrived in France.

I apologized again and sent the message off feeling rather defeated.

Then something, I have no idea what, nudged me to check the tracking one last time.

I did, and would you believe just as I was sending that last message to France a brand new entry showed up on the tracking list, the first in almost two weeks, and it said:

February 8th - Attempted Delivery Abroad - France

I know this generally means a package was attempted to be delivered and, a note should have been left for the recipient. I wrote again to the buyer asking him to let me know if this was correct and if he was going to be able to get the package in time.

I received a very happy message informing me that, yes, he would be able to pick up the package on February 9th just one day before it was needed!!! If the story needed any more of a happy ending, after all that traveling and bouncing around, everything inside was in perfect condition! The customer was thrilled!

Now, I don't share a lot of my personal beliefs here but let me. say that I don't usually do anything special to ask for favors from the kind folk or the faeries. Some stories, after all, say the Fae folk do not like being thanked. . . it actually is an insult to them.

I have, since I was a child, simply believed — no, I've KNOWN— that they are with me. Watching over me. There have simply been too many instances and encounters, one of which was life saving, for me to deny it. It's been a thread in my life.

I like to believe that all of the magic I put into the world through my creations are the reciprocations of that fateful connection. They are my end of the deal. One I intend to uphold with all my ability for the rest of my days.

And that deal? Ohhhh there's so much more to tell you. . . .another time perhaps?

Thank you for dropping by!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Inspirations and Oddities - Second Friday Post - February 9th

It's time for Inspirations and Oddities, my monthly, second Friday post.

I am hoping you all are well in Blogger Land! I look forward to catching up a bit more on my favorite blogs in the coming weeks. A busy time ahead for us that culminates with a train trip home for me in March. I love the 2-day cross country train experience. This may be the last time I do it though (time/cost etc) so I am going to make the most of every moment!

So on with the oddities and inspirations for this month!

From the book world I wanted to recommend "I Kill Giants" which, I just found out is being made into a movie! This really caught me by surprise. It's a story was originally told in graphic novel form and it was a story that really touched me. I am such a fan of comics and yet I am still amazed at the difference in the genre from my own childhood. More and more are being turned into movies and shows it seems and this one will be wonderful I am sure.

Here is the trailer for I Kill Giants

What I like best, having read the graphic novel, is that this trailer gives away NONE of the true depth of the story but still looks pretty amazing!

And this is the graphic novel cover. The art inside is all black and white and borrows from the Manga style quite nicely while still being very original.

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Nature never lets us down. . . Perfect for almost any story where you'd like a bird to be used a snitching plot device, I give you Australia's Superb Lyrebird (that's the actual name, I'm not giving it extra praise with the addition of superb, but it earns it I promise you!)

The Lyrebird of Australia

And one about beautiful and mysterious Lichens!

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Ok, and lastly, an odd inspiration for sure. . . I have mentioned before that Sofie and I are always on the lookout for that perfect, magical place/house/cottage to buy. We can't afford many areas of the country and we are picky, only wanting to do this once in our life. . . all of which have pushed us to widen our search. Even if we aren't planning to move to many of the places we may peek at, I have to say they can be very inspiring. There is a lot of enchantment out there. A LOT! And, of course,  we're in no hurry as we love where we are at but the dampness is proving to be a bit troublesome for finding home that isn't affected by it. Also I'm starting to feel the lack of snow and it's making me nostalgic as I'm still a Northeast, 4 distinct seasons kid at heart.
Finally, the cost of housing here is making us both blue. When the perfect place comes along, we think we will just know. It helps to be able to do what we do from anywhere just as long as internet is available and a post office and decent grocery store are within reach.

Some of the towns we have put on our watch list are:
Elk Horn, Iowa
Otttumwa, IA
Berlin, NH
Weiser, ID
Burns or Baker City, OR
Wiscasset, ME
or just about any town in NH, VT, ME really as we both love old farmhouses :)

But really, almost anywhere that is not too near a major city and where the weather is not too hot for too much of the year and the houses are truly affordable. And, of course, it must be magical. . .

Anyway, the first house I posted here, the one in Tennessee, already sold!

In it's place I've decided to post one that likely will not sell but that gives you our ideal of "charm".

We like to call it the "Witch House", and it's more than a bit out of our price range. . . and it's in a remote part of Idaho in the Sawtooth mountains where the last 40 MILES of road to the town is gravel soooo, yeah, that wouldn't really work either!!

But who wouldn't want to live in a Witch House?

This one in Crumpler NC almost fits the bill. we would just prefer a large work space instead of all the small rooms but that scenery!!

Our priorities for a home are: a large workspace that's well it by natural light, access to nature (if not our own land), garden space and charm.  Also, a shop/garage space would be great to allow us to try some of the creative ventures we cannot do here like soldering/jewelry, casting, high temp firing, acid etching, wood burning and more. We've little to no concern for entertaining, putting up guests and the like if it means sacrificing any of our creative desires. Besides, we still want to have that "fortress of solitude"feel around us as we do now :)

Well I think that's it for this week! Back to a post on packaging next week and then world-building/mapmaking the following week!



Friday, February 2, 2018

New Work - Happy Groundhog Day! First Friday Post - February 2nd

Happy Imbolc, Candlemas or Groundhog Day, depending on how you celebrate it! May it be magical!

February already???? The time does indeed fly. . .

This month, for my first Friday post, I just wanted to share some of my new work.

I mentioned before that we are taking time out to make truly new pieces, explore new ideas and branch out a bit. It's a bit scary as it has meant NOT focusing on restocking favorites in the shops and allowing sales to dip a bit but I was really starting to feel a tad burned out last year remaking the same things over and over while constantly pushing new ideas further down the "to-do" list.

It's worked like a true charm. Just allowing myself to go in directions I want and not worry so much about what might sell has been SOOOOOO rejuvenating.

I hope you enjoy this first peek into the world of my new work!

Thank you as always for all of your comments and support!


So I have spoken about making figures many times before. This year it may finally happen.
Still nameless, but here are a few views of a Faun Figure. 

Each little curl of his leg hair is added and shaped individually.  He is just over 4" (10cm) tall. 

Mica powder adds the weathering to the cape and hat. The staff features a Swarovski crystal teardrop. 

I have not decided on the price. . . or even if I CAN part with him. And this is why I rarely make figures. lol

Towers? Yes, that's not new. . . but I have been inspired to build them on the most enchanted and precarious of
 landscapes. Like this precipice! The whole piece is over 7" tall. 

Of course, as I go "bigger and better", I am continually drawn to making things smaller and smaller for some reason as well!  That little flower pot is all of 2" wide!

Since childhood, mice have been deeply imbedded in my imagination. Brian Jacques' "Redwall", Mrs. Frisby
 and not all that long ago, David Petersen's "Mouse Guard" to name a few. . .
I started working on this idea for a story, "The Brotherhood of the Muridae", a few years back.
Only recently have a I settled upon the figure shapes, clothing style and the basis of the whole background story. Here we have a cheesemonger and a fez topped mouse monk as the first two! They're awaiting names and their individual stories. :)
With the exception of custom orders, I've stayed away from making large statues for some reason.
Changing that this year as well! 

I've talked about the thrill of seeing my skills grow over the years. I NEVER would've attempted such a large,
 intricate cobra with that looping body and scales before this! 

And using accessories like the crystal scarab in Bast's neckpiece
(I know that it's hard to see!)  is also something I wanted to try more of.
Doing all the new things has rekindled interest in the old as well. Such as my miniature Moai statues! 

Or this particular mushroom fairy house style! Welcome back!

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Bewildering Pine - Inspiration Is Found All Around - 4th Friday Post - January 26th

Hi Everyone!

It's time for my fourth Friday post again.. Fourth Fridays area peek into the world I am creating for my fantasy novel titled, "The Ledgerkeepers"

I'll be focusing over the coming moths on the things/places/tales from our world that have inspired my fiction and stories for this book.

Some of you know I began the world building for the book over 18 months ago. A slow process that I immersed myself in fully. I was well aware when I began that I might only use 1/10th of what I create, at least in the first book, but I needed it all to have the world make sense to myself as the narrator.

Choosing what to show is not difficult. Most of it is dictated by the characters actions and the setting they move through but there are always some bits of coolness that you just want to have in there no matter what!

So with my plan being to unveil the near complete Bewildering Pine map here next month, I wanted to talk abut about what inspired that map from our own physical world.

I knew the world was going to be set in a post cataclysmic landscape. The entire geography shifting and leaving many of the inhabitants of the pre "Great Upheaval" world in survival mode. How that might shape this world physically was a lot of fun to ponder.

The idea of a place surrounded by immense sea walls on three sides and incredibly high mountains on the fourth that rose up splitting a larger landscape and basically creating a large bowl shaped land t to the south hat rises to outward towards it's edges and slopes downward from north to south. Accessibility or departure is only via the bay whose natural defenses are tricky and dangerous in their own right and nearly imperceptible from the Great Sea beyond.

The climate is sub arctic but warmer several months of the year to allow for a massively productive growing season (the short-season). An ancient Pine forest spreads along the base of the mountains and there are two rivers that originate in the mountains. There is a round peninsula at the furthest point south that holds a large bog where all the runoff collects and saturates the loamy soil. It's a fantasy novel so I was able to stetch the bounds of reality a bit. It was only necessary that these things were all possible in the climate and then I could bend them to my writer's will a bit.

So in thinking of the form and function of the landscape, I simply looked to our own world for examples that gave me the "ok" I was seeking. I could have done all this research on the internet but I went to the main branch of our county library to try and capture some of that old-time investigative fun of looking through a stack of books!

This image really started the whole notion of the sheer cliffs and a very inaccessible landscape from the sea. 

This pic of the Andes mountains was perfect to inspire the mountain range which I wanted to be volcanic, sharp-featured staggered ridges and massively tall/impassible in my low-tech world. Also, it inspired a legend of the mountains being the remains of the last living giant's teeth. . . and that led led to an expression of surprise used among the folk: "Bezik's teeth!"

These bogs and the walkways that run through them are the inspiration for a similar area, known as Berwick, in my world. 

And this strange landscape in the Faroe Islands gave me the idea for the "bowl" shape with rising cliffs out at the edges. 

 So that's where the world began. Well, my fantasy world.   Having a starting point gave me the canvas for making the map, which is an ongoing work as well, and I hope to share it with you next month on fourth Friday!

Thanks for reading!!


PS: I recently listened to a short Sci-Fi-Fi story called "Repairing the World" by John Chu as read by Levar Burton on his Levar Burton Reads podcast. What I loved most about the futuristic world the story is set in was that there were only a few indicators that it WAS in the future. Rifts in the fabric of time that can be repaired and the use of mechanical dragonflies as messengers.  The story is completely about the main characters and the prejudice that survives in that future world,  the way society views people on it's fringes.  Leaving a very real and scary notion that things may not get better in every way as we move forward in time. . .  Well worth a listen though!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Making of a Maker - The Art of Packaging (Part 1) - Third Friday Post - January 19th

Hey everyone! Hoping this finds you all well and enjoying the winter days wherever you are!

This week I wanted to begin a two part post of my third Friday, Making of a Maker blog. For these next two third Fridays (February 16th will be part 2 btw) I wanted to talk about the importance of how your art/creation/craft/product is received when you send it out into the world.

Let's just say it here and now. . . I LOVE packaging.

I have had a few dozen ideas in my life that were just for packaging of a product. Ideas that had no product to go in them mind you. Just a name/look/design that I thought would be cool  or interesting. Jewelry, figurines, music CD's etc. They just come to me as any other creative idea might.

When I got into making art for sale, I knew that I would put a fair amount of time into how that art looks when it is received.

I have three different shops on Etsy, My Fairy houses/figurines/oddities, my Ancient Egyptian statues and amulets and my digital art prints. Each has it's own thank you cards and notes that I use with the items when they are shipped. I designed the cards and print them myself but there are a dozen good printing services out there too that you can use. I print my own more so I can tinker and play with the design over time and not have to have a large run of cards printed at any one time.

Today I want to focus on the packaging for pieces from Shadow of the Sphinx.

So below is the packaging and accompanying cards for a small statue, a figure of Bes, who is a multipurpose protective deity that is found in one form or another in many ancient cultures from that region. He's a rather jovial fella to my eyes but others find him a bit scary and I do suppose that was the purpose in antiquity.

With the exception of my largest statues, all of the amulets and pieces from this shop get packaged in very much the same way.

With each order, I make the gift box for it by hand so that it fits the piece and it's warping, perfectly. With each statue being completely handmade, no two are ever quite alike.

I use a black, smooth-textured, almost velvety paper called Plike. I order it in 12x18 sheets which covers most all that I do.  TO date I have made roughly 1200 boxes now so while I know it seems a daunting task to figure out how to make them, and it was at first, I have it down to a science now.

The box for the Bes took me 3 minutes to measure, cut (on my favorite packing room tool, a Fiskars slide cutter), score and fold.

Then I punch holes in the top flap for a gold organza ribbon for statues or black and copper raffia for amulets, and I attach a handmade name tag on the front. That tag is a two step process. First, on brown paper, I print the name of the deity in a hieroglyph surrounded blank space. So in this case it reads, "Bes Altar Statue". Then I cut that out and glue it to a frosted gold card stock paper and cut the final tag from that so that the gold is a border and then I adhere it to the front of the black box with a few super strong glue dots.

With each piece I include the stamped card envelope and handwritten thank you card, a business card with the Etsy address, a card that features a bit of general information that I've collected about the deity purchased and a slip of paper that describes the process of making the piece and my policies for future returns if repairs are needed or just to reapply the shiny patina if desired as they do dull/age further over time. If it's an amulet, I also include an "amulet care" paper for that since they are made of clay and fragile to wear on a day to day basis.

Now these all I print in small quantities ahead of time and have cut out and ready. I have over 60 different deity description cards and the box tags for amulets AND statues for most of them. The sometimes-amusing thing is how often I am out of the card/tag for the very one I've just sold.

I think there is a little gremlin who eats them because I swear I print mulitples and then they just seem to disappear!

This, I am a little embarrassed to say, is the EASIER/Less involved of the two shops to package items for. lol :)

Next month, on the Third Friday, I will focus on the packaging for a fairy inspired piece from Bewilder and Pine and share a few of my thoughts about why I think that packaging has been so vital to the shop's, and my own, success.  Also, because I am asked this more often than almost anything about my packaging, I will share with you why I NEVER put images of the packaging IN with the photos of my listings.

As for Shadow of the Sphinx, I receive quite a bit of feedback in the reviews people leave and in private emails about how the packaging made the customer's day when they opened the box or how they were so happy to give it as a gift.

The theme is simple, the execution not so much. Smooth black paper boxes and gold flourishes with a whole lot of personal touch. People really respond to it and it's become the branding for the shop. The few retail shops I sell thru are thrilled to have the packaging to go with the items. I've been told that the packaging  has even "swayed" customers to purchase my work, which is usually a bit more expensive in those shops, over something that is mass produced.

Well, that is all for today!

Wishing you all a magical weekend and thank you, as always, for dropping by!


(Typing pet peeve of the day: Auto-correct/spelling keeps changing the name Bes, even when capitalized, to Bestsellers! REALLY? Not "best" or "Bess" or even besties?)