Friday, June 9, 2017

Magic, What's Inspiring Me

Thought I might share a few of the latest inspirations to cross my path with all of you.

First, I'm usually late to the party on any sort of series or show. We do not have TV or cable so most of what we watch comes thru Netflix and Amazon on line. One that we stumbled upon that has been an absolute delight is the BBC's "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell"  a series of 7 one hour episodes based on the book of the same name.

This show is about magic but also purely magical in it's execution and detail. The actors, as with so many BBC shows, are spot on. Each one, I can imagine, was made specifically to play their role in this production. Bertie Carvel as Jonathan Strange is as near to a Gene Wilder reincarnation as one might ever find. He's brilliant. As is Eddie Marsan as Mr. Norrell. The idea of an alternate history where magic is widely accepted but rarely used. . . until. . .  :)

I cannot recommend it enough. Every scene, every actor, every twist and turn. Perfect.

I want to read the book that it was inspired by though, at 800 pages, it s going to have to wait til I get thru a few others on my hold list!

As for that book list, I am right in the middle of a book that will likely fall among my all time favorites when complete. "The Bear and the Nightingale" by Katherine Arden, a wonderful mix of Russian Fairy Tale and Mid Winter dream. It's a debut novel (part of the inspiration for me, being in the midst of writing one myself!) and likely will lead to at least one sequel from the author.

The "Bear and the Nightingale" is a magical mix of storytelling and lore that perfectly captures the heart and essence of winter and of the phrase "a long time ago" in words. The cover alone was enough to draw my interest and knowing it was rooted in some of my favorite Russian folklore, I was easy to hook! The language is beautiful and it completely submerses me in the world of the characters.

And one more.  For the last two years I have been a subscriber to Faerie Magazine. It's the only print magazine I receive and it is absolutely stunning. Regular contributions from Alice Hoffman, Wendy and Brian Froud and other notables in the fantasy realms. Crafts, recipes, amazing photography, lore, imagery and location shoots. . . and great fiction. It will definitely inspire. I believe if you get their app you can download one issue for free to browse but I have to say, the physical magazine blows the digital version away. :)

Of course, I am a fan of Winter so those issues speak the most to me. . . 

I hope you'll enjoy any or all of these suggestions if you haven't already! There is always magic in the air but it never hurts to have a little assistance and inspiration in conjuring it up. :)

Have a lovely weekend all!


Friday, June 2, 2017

New Work - June 2nd

June is here! for a lot of you it means school is out, kids are home, vacation is close at hand. Whatever your summer holds (or winter if you are down under) I hope it will be a magical season!

For me, if you aren't familiar with my own feelings, summer is my least favorite season. I do think I have a reverse SADS and, when it is sunny for too many days in a row, I get pretty cranky.

Now, this year we had more than our fill of rain so I think I will be ok even if it is sunny for the next three months. So far, fingers crossed, no day has been hotter than 74 and that was just once a few weeks ago.

Last month I tried a little different approach for my shoppes. I focused almost exclusively on Shadow of the Sphinx and tried to fit as many custom pieces in as I could. This was, of course, at the expense of Bewilder and Pine. This month I will reverse that and spend the majority of my time on the Fairy world. I may experiment with working this way, alternating focus months going forward, as it seemed to be a really productive month for me. Now, after almost four weeks with very little "fairy activity" , I am reallllly quite excited to make new fairy houses and little scenes again!

In other projects/news, work continues on my book, "The Ledgerkeepers".  As it's my first attempt at writing a full novel (yikes)  a lot of it has been experimenting with ways around and thru the process. Discovery writing seems to be the ticket for me. I am very adept at coming up with what some writers refer to as the "WOW! moments" but filling in all the spaces in between seemed impossible to figure out ahead of time. So I just pick a spot in the story and go! It twists and turns and opens new doors that lead to new characters, plot twists, little pieces of the world emerging etc. What I love is it's almost like I am discovering it all myself for the first time too. When I look at how the story has gown in scope and how much of that comes from just that sort of free writing without an outline, I am shocked.

I still sit down first thing each morning for between one and two hours and write or research or plot and plan. I'm hoping to be able to share a bit of it here before the summer is done.

The Bewildering Pine website is also coming along. Once I realized the Ledgerkeepers book was going to be a novel  (Or series) and not just a set of short stories and descriptions I knew I wanted a place for all of that to call home too. So the website will house little descriptions of each town, the points of interest and the dozen or so types of elven folk and outer-world traders that inhabit the Pine. There will be maps and charts as well as descriptions of shoppes and societal structures. The website is also on schedule for a late summer /early autumn launch. There will be a blog, a newsletter, a separate shop with perhaps a few exclusive offerings from the world of the Bewildering Pine and all the magic and whimsy I can manage to stuff into that tiny cyber-space!

And last, a Bewilder and Pine print newsletter that I likely will not kick off until the website is up and running but I have a template for it all ready to go. Printed once a quarter I think it will be crafted as if from a press within the world itself, articles and columns by regular elven writers with news from the world of the Bewildering Pine and other realms as well.


OK, that's about it for now. . . Welcome June!

So, here are a few of the new items that I finished in May. It's heavy on the statuary and amulets this month since I spent so much of the month working in that world. The one thing I really was able to step back and appreciate this month was how I have developed a very distinct style working with ancient statues. They still resemble their ancient inspirations but I think there is a very distinct style I've forged thru the years with the creating of some 1000 statues and amulets now. That's the beauty of giving something time and effort to develop. Having faith in the processes and just following it along the path willingly. :)

Thank you, as always, for dropping by!


Custom Sekhmet Lioness Statue

Mini Wadjet Cobra Statue just 2 1/2" ( 6.25cm) tall

Esma, the second Mouse Market of Muridae Figurine

A very Narrow Fairy Tower from an area of the Bewildering Pine called the Narrows!

One of my Favorite Egyptian Deities to make, no-one is completely sure what animals inspired it but the Anteater is definitely one of the likely suspects!

A very simple Rising Sun amulet

Etsy featured these not too long ago and I have been unable to keep them in the shoppe!. I'll be making a handful in June!
Anubis the jackal and Nekhbet the Vulture. They make a nice couple! :) 

Bes, a multifaceted, multicultural Protective Deity who was well represented by the ancient Egyptians.
 I LOVE the fancy headdress and the tongue sticking out!