Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rue de La Minuscule

It's not like I don't already have enough on the creative fire to keep me busy. . . but, truth be told, the more "have to's" that are beckoning. . . custom orders, replacing favorites and requests. . .. the more I want to do something completely new or different and get lost in another direction!

The benefit of this is that it almost always leads me to new things that end up being staples in my shops. So, this past week, with all the "have to's" circling and bearing down, I went off on yet another creative tangent.


When I began working with polymer clay 5 years ago I had in mind the notion that smaller would be easier. That if I made things tiny, they would be less likely to show the learning curve as I grew into working with the clay. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Larger was easier and, out of that, I grew into making houses, statues etc etc but every once in awhile, I come back to "tiny". . .

It's been awhile this time but I thought I would go ahead and try something in a very small scale again and see where it took me.

The results were very satisfying and I wanted to share them here before they make it to my shoppe.

I originally decided to try one little French/European style shop. But it turned out so well I kept going and, well, as you can see below, my tiny idea became so much more!

 A trio of buildings and street, in N scale (1:148) that I am so happy with! I am going to create more and have little touches on the way, bicyclists, villagers etc etc to fill out the scenes. This took awhile, as one might imagine, and I do not expect they will move quickly but I LOVE creating on this scale!

So enjoy a little stroll down the Rue de La Minuscule

My ideal city apartment. . . .between a cheese shoppe and a wine seller! :)

Note to self. . . fix crooked flower pot!

Rue de la minuscule is just 4.5 inches long!

Very picturesque street I'd say!

More like this are already in process. A Venetian set of Burano houses with gondola and canal and a few one offs of my favorite Medieval town settings. . . those little corner buildings with a winding cobblestone path that wrap around and frame the house in those interesting and odd triangular plot shapes!  Who knows what else!

I expect to only complete a few of these a year but I have to say, working tiny is such a fun and satisfying thing to do!

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Idea in Process - Amulet Magic!

I adore amulets.  .  . In my Shadow of the Sphinx shop , half of my sales are of my little mini altar and wearable amulets.

In my paracosm of childhood, amulets had such power. Luckily, my mother was a lover of costume jewelry so I had oodles of fun things to create stories around and that she did not mind me "borrowing" for my imagination's sake.

So lately I have been realllllllly wanting to create amulets that will hail from the "Bewildering Pine" world to offer in Bewilder and Pine as well. Of course, the fun is in the making and creating of the "ancient" stories to go along with them.

Now, for the finished product, I envision setting up a very dark, apothecary shoppe look and feel for the photography where I would display the amulets in their magic boxes and with their scrolls of authenticity etc etc.

But the amulets are where I am beginning and below is the first iteration of one of them. A simple polymer piece with an iron rust patina. aged and mysterious. This one, I believe, would ward off
nightmares and keep the wearer safe from dark ogres and malevolent shapeshifters.

I love the aged patina look and the mysterious golden symbols inscribed. It feels magical to me even at this early stage.

Sort of a nightmare capture device. The box shape and the hole in the middle to lure the nightmares within. Woven with repellent spells to ward of all of those other nighttime creatures too.  Could have used this as a child! :)
Anyway, that is the beginning of it and I wanted to post it because, in my world, too many ideas get lost in the shuffle of maintaining the shops and all the custom work.

I have to remember, sometimes, that what inspires me most is making what I truly want and love, and that only those things really inspire me and refresh my soul. : )

Thanks, as always, for believing!


PS, I've been inspired this week by a book about Stonehenge that I have been wanting to read for awhile. It goes into detail about the larger community of sacred circles around the Stonehenge site and how the key to unlocking so much of the mystery seems to have come thru the ancient belief that stone circles and monuments were for the dead while wooden/timber circles and monuments were for the living. 

For years it was believed that Stonehenge was an anomaly, an enormous monument sitting all alone on the Salisbury plain but, in the last 15 years,  research and new digs have shown that to be anything but true. This is very inspiring to me. . . time keeps revealing the secrets of the dead and the idea of certain materials being linked to the living or to ancestral dead is so remarkably simple to me. 

I was fortunate enough to visit Stonehenge in the late 80's and remember it as if it were yesterday. A cold, rainy Spring day with only two other people around the entire time I was there. Those stones in that setting, even with the modern highway that runs beside it. . . only the Badlands of South Dakota have ever given me the same feel. Ancient, magical. . . eternally alive with unending stories to tell.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bloom - The Renewal of an Idea

Inspired by the creative challenge issued Sunday by the lovely creative spirits at Pixie Hill, I took the word "Bloom" and decided to see where it took me.

I am much more of an Autumn soul than a Spring one and I never am at a loss for creative ideas and a to-do list a mile long. . . so then, what would "Bloom" bring up in my own creative world?

Well, for me, it does mean renewal. . . so how about the renewal of an old idea?

Bookmaking. . .

I have dabbled, many times over the years, in the art of bookbinding. Never seriously but always with the knowledge that the ideas I would love to bring to life in that realm would definitely fit my work and my expression of possibility and magic.

I tend to get excited whenever I have down time (rarer all the time these days)  about the art of bookbinding and I'll jot down ideas, start on covers, buy book cloth, binding tape, waxed linen thread etc etc. . . so all of the necessary supplies are here. I just never seem to take those ideas to the completed stage and get sidetracked with orders and finishing the work for my shoppe.

Well, the last two days while recovering from eye surgery, I thought "OK, here it is, a bit of time with a chance to try to renew this idea.

The results are as follows:

A blank spell book, perhaps left behind intentionally for a human child to write their dreams and wishes, large or small, within? 

The completed small, blank Elven Spell Book with ribbon marker 1.75" x 2.5"

An incantation in "Elven font" on the facing page. . . this spell allows the person who writes their dreams within the book to have them protected and spell-bound by the magical wee folk.

A map of my imaginary world (still in progress) of The Bewildering Pine where the elven folk of my little paracosm reside.

The cover is an antique book cover printed on archival linen paper. I want to try staining the inner pages and adding little printed symbols etc here and there for the final versions.

 It's really a wonderful thing to get outside the usual mode of my creative production and try something new . . . or, at least, renewed! I can't tell you how many years I have been dreaming of making little books. . .  though most of my ideas are not for blank paged books but, instead, for almost-filled "sketchbooks" that a fairy might "lose" or leave behind in your garden with sketches like these I completed a while ago: 

The font is slightly askew which leaves for me to include "translations" in the packaging! :)
Faerie Garden Obelisks

Cataloging of Vegetables, Flowers and Insects of course are part of the design.

Yes, I think it's time. . . . Spring. . . . ideas do bloom too. . .. so, thanks, to Nichola, for the gentle nudge of inspiration to allow these to do so!

A very magical and happy Spring to all!