Friday, November 3, 2017

First Friday New Work - Álfablót - November 3rd

Hey everyone!!

Well the holiday season is off and running already around here. My custom work slate is now practically full and I am already a little behind this week.  I'll have another start to finish, work in progress, series of pics for December but this month I'm going with examples of completed new work from the shops.

Speaking of the holidays. . .  we are going to be following along this holiday season with a wonderful book, "The Old Magic of Christmas" which talks about the old traditions and origins of the holiday traditions in many European and Scandinavian countries and, most importantly (for me) the baking that accompanies it. :)  It's ALL about the baking isn't it?

So I'll be baking up a host of special holiday season treats this year. Icelandic Snowflake Bread, Cattern Cakes, Lussekatter, Sisky and others as well.

Tonight we are celebrating Álfablót, a welcoming of the elves, or Álfar, in after the harvest. In Scandinavian tradition this is a local celebration in homesteads after the harvest as winter approaches and the celebration is not only to honor the ancestors, but also other spirits, such as the elves and the land spirits, the "Landvaettir". This is a home/family celebration, doors are left ajar to let the elves in and strangers were not welcomed near the homesteads during the celebration. 

You want to celebrate Álfablót between Samhain and Thanksgiving, tying it in conjunction with the moon (waxing better than waning) and not on a recognized day like St. Martins day (Nov 11th) when the elves would have to share their day with anyone else. :) 

We'll be welcoming the elves with this invocation: "Let them come who wish to come, let them go who wish to go and do no harm to me or mine". It is not considered auspicious to converse with the elves beyond that welcoming. Simply to welcome them in and provide the feast. Of course, we in the human world may talk among ourselves as we would at any gathering.

We'll set out a red table cloth hoping to draw a few elven female spirits, the Dísir, to the feast night as well. There will be no electricity after dark as it can disturb or irritate the sensitive elder folk among the elves so candles or a hearth fire is best. Simple foods like bread, meat and milk are preferred for feasting with the Álfar.

I'll try to photograph it and post pics mid week. :)

 Next weekend we will be celebrating Martinmas or St. Martin's Day November 11th by making Turnip lanterns (if we can find big enough turnips) and Martinmas Horns. They can be made with a cookie dough or with a yeast dough and are filled with apricot jam and a touch of marzipan.  I'll probably make the yeast variety since I don't get to do nearly enough yeast baking these days!

For now, I hope your November is off to a lovely beginning and to close this First Friday post, here are a few new creations from the Enchanted studio.

Thank you, as always, for dropping by!


I love the sod topped houses of the Faroe Islands. The black houses (color provided by pitch on the real houses)
are as much a favorite as the red ones which I also make! 
Three Mushroom Fairy Houses on Stars. Always a holiday favorite and I am
trying REALLLLLL hard to get ahead on them! 

A custom request for a little Glitter Shoppe on a star. New Pink trees and the druzy disc
on the roof gable add something magical too I think.

I've been making these translucent "alabaster" Egyptian pieces. In making them I realize how much I count on the aged patinas to cover the dings and blemishes where as these require more attention to getting the smoothness of the sculpt.

A special request from a customer for this piece with two angels sitting on the bench conversing,
representing two family members who had passed.

These are hand-painted N scale figures that are about 1/2" (1.25cm) tall and check out those tiny little metal wings!


  1. What a beautiful tradition for the elves, I hadn't heard of it before, thank you for your description. Your pieces are amazing, they are so sweet and magical and lovely...

    1. Thank you Lisa! We love celebrating the elves with Álfablót! We had some strangeness occur that leads us to think we were indeed visited by elves!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your very kind words. :)

  2. I have never heard of most of those baked treats, it will be fun to see pics of your baking and celebrating. I always wished I grew up with those old traditions but I guess we had plenty of our own, just none that seemed handed down for generations. My grandmother came from Germany but her family let go of all their traditions and language when they came. I have always meant to try to find some she may have done and forgotten. Yours sound lovely!
    And the new work is wonderful.... I especially like the glitter shoppe with it's pink tree and that translucent alabaster looks amazing! Glad to hear you are already deeply enjoying the holidays!
    And I never managed to reply to your comment about my to do list for my art plan.... but it made me laugh. I DO loose or overlook my lists all the time!!!!

    1. Andrea, most of these we have rediscovered in our own time just researching on the internet. I can recall my grandmother talking about certain traditions that were several generations older but many of them she deemed as "old fashioned" or superstitious and I wonder how much was lost over the years to that sentiment in our family. For instance, I had 4 great aunts and my grandmother who all baked for the holidays and I mean they were a like a cookie factory every year! Recently when I discovered that several old world baking traditions were centered around the first Sunday of Advent, I asked my mother if she knew if that had anything to do with the start of the great aunt's yearly bake-fest. She paused and thought for a moment and then gasped, "Oh my God, you're right it WAS the first Sunday of Advent when they started their baking!" But that little fact has been lost and it can seem in retrospect like it became arbitrary because we all got caught up in the wealth of cookies that were shared but there was a day and a meaning and I suppose we are just looking for that connection somehow.

      Our Welcoming of the Elves was wonderful but the pics were all too dark since we had nothing but candle light and we had a few little "signs' that the elves came by. In lieu of photos, I am going to write about the "elf visit" in between my Friday posts. :)

      And I am glad to know I am not the only one who makes lists only to lose them or forget they exist. lol

      Thank you for dropping by and visiting!

  3. What fun Nicolas!!! I love these traditions!! I haven't heard of any of these before! Yes, please, take pictures!! Your new pieces are purely magical! Big Crow Hugs!

    1. Stacy, I found them all in the Old Magic of Christmas, along with all the darker stories of Yule elves, Krampus, Bellnickles, the Yule cat, St Nicholas etc. the holiday season is filled with wonderful rituals and old ways to honor the Yule. Of course, I love keeping and decorating a beautiful, live tree but to have a full two months of celebration and BAKING to look forward to!? YES PLEASE :) Big crow HUGS!!!