Thursday, September 15, 2016

Work in Progress: Hand Painted Altar Set

Ever since Sacred Source made this Altar Set from my designs, I've wanted to try hand painting a set. Well, I'm finally doing it, and they'll be in my Etsy shop as soon as the set is complete! I've finished everything except the God and Goddess statues/candle holders, so that's what I'll be doing next, but I wanted to show you the set so far...
These are the perfect size for tea light candles, although some people like to fill them with substances that embody the elements; salt, soil, stones, seashells, feathers, lava rocks, etc.  I'm really delighted with how this set is turning out.

Air: inspiration, wisdom, potential. I used natural shades to represent air, blue sky, feathers, tree branches blowing in the breeze, billowy clouds, and I also included the traditional yellow. The Sylph air elemental has a golden  airy skirt her multicolored wings suggest iridescence .


Fire: will, passion, courage. In creating the flames I blended shades or fed, orange and yellow, there's a little hot blue at the base of the flames. I made the fire breathing dragon elemental a warm golden color. 

Water: healing, emotion, cleansing. The water surrounding this candle holder has shades of blues and greens, the shells have layers of color to create a natural look. The undine water elemental has a supernatural purple skin tone and lovely blue/green hair like the sea.

Earth: nurturing, abundance, protection. I used many shades of greens and browns for the earth candle, a few mushrooms, ferns, oak, and ivy leaves cover this one. It has gray stones at the base, and the face of the dryad earth elemental peers out from an old oak.


Pentacle
I decided to paint the sky of the tree pentacle at dusk, the magical in between time, the sun has set casting warm colors at the horizon, the sky above has begun to sparkle with stars. You can either lay this pentacle flat on your altar, or use the brass hanger on the back to hang it on the wall.

The Horned God of the Forest
I still have to paint the Horned God. He is the spirit of the green forest, the power of the sun, and the Lord of the Wilderness, the colors I use will reflect growth and the woods.  
The Moon Goddess of the Night
I also have to paint the Moon Goddess. The Moon Goddess is the spirit of the celestial forces, the power of the moon, and Lady of the Stars.  I will choose colors to represent her nature as the deep mysteries of magic and the night sky.   

I'm grabbing some lunch and then I'll be working on the God and Goddess statues. I hope to have this set finished soon. Once it's complete I'll be offering it in my Etsy shop for sale. This hand painted set will make a very magical addition to someone's altar. I have one more set that I will be painting in a similar fashion later this year. When I hand paint these statues, there are no two that are ever alike, each one is brought to life with color, heart and soul and will soon become part of someone's sacred space!

If you're interested in the unpainted version of this set, it's available here: http://www.sacredsource.com/Votive-Set-Altar-Collection-by-Mickie-Mueller/productinfo/VS/#.V9rlXZgrLIU

The unpainted pieces are also available separately, so that if you wish you can collect the set one piece at a time as you work through the lessons of the elements and the God and Goddess.  

Blessed Be!

Mickie

Friday, July 15, 2016

Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac Giveaway



Whoo-hoo! I just got my author copies of the Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac! I had the honor of writing the "Crafty Crafts segments of this really cool almanac, so it's giveaway time!!!
Enter on Instagram, here's the link: Click HERE to enter!

Here's how to enter:
1. Follow @mickiemueller on Instagram
2. Repost this photo (above) on Instagram. 3.Tag#SabbatsAlmanacGiveaway and@mickiemueller That's all you have to do and you'll be entered into the drawing on Friday July 22! Make sure you complete all three requirements for your entries to be counted. 


More info about this awesome almanac and a couple sneak peeks...read on...

These are really fun crafts, I made them all to make sure I had the directions correct, I hope you enjoy them! This art is by Carolyn Vibbert.

This almanac runs from Samhain 2016-Mabon 2017. It was so cool to flip through the pages and see the illustrations that Wen Hsu did for my articles, she really nailed them perfectly! I've always admired her work. I illustrate a lot of articles and books for other authors, so it's really cool to be on the other side of that, I must tell you, they really are beautiful! Carolyn Vibbert created the other interior illustrations and the clever cover art is by Ellen Lawson. I've got two books, but I only need one...I think it's time for a celebratory giveaway!
One of Wen Hsu's awesome illustrations for my articles, this one is for the Samhain article! "Magic Divination Witch Bottle"  I think this illustration is my fave!
This essential guide offers fun and fresh ways to celebrate the eight sacred holidays. Enrich your spiritual life throughout the year and discover powerful wisdom and ideas from a wealth of popular this is a great guide with fun and fresh ways to celebrate the sabbats, more than 50 articles for both new and experienced witches, great ideas on marking the sacred points of the wheel of the year with great contributors:

"Sand Cast Crystal Grid Candle Holder" the illustration and the actual crystal grid project that I made!
The almanac includes creative, low-cost arts and crafts projects that I wrote just for you. There are also ideas for celebrating the sabbats as a family, simple recipes for delicious appetizers, entrees, beverages, and desserts. There are super helpful section on astrological influences with full and new moon rituals as well as extended rituals for groups and individuals. There are handy journal pages for keeping track of your festival plans and memories, and fascinating Pagan folklore and customs too!
My "Harvest Abundance Braid" and "Wheat Pentagram Wall Hanging" with my actual Abundance Braid in the background!

If you want to enter to win, click HERE and follow the easy instructions on the Instagram post!
Good luck!

Just in case you don't win but want a copy so that you can use my crafts and all the other great sabbat ideas too, here are links where you can get your own copy:
Or shop at your local bookstore, check Indiebound for sellers near you: http://www.indiebound.org/indie-bookstore-finder 
Blessed Be!
Mickie

Monday, May 16, 2016

Presenting: The Witch's Mirror Book Trailer

About a week ago my talented kiddo Tristan, who just got an award for directing and acting in high school, got out the video camera, I dressed in my witchy black, we loaded up every mirror we could get our hands on, and traipsed into the woods near a local park to shoot scenes for a book trailer for my upcoming book The Witch's Mirror, The Craft, Lore, & Magick of the Looking Glass. We had a blast, the woods were lovely, green, and full of magic!
This kid is so creative! We also filmed some scenes right in my studio and even included a cameo appearance of the previous books in Llewellyn's The Witch's Tools series. I never stop being amazed at Tristan's talent, it's no surprise that my kid has aspirations to be a film editor and director, after working so hard to hone these mad skills so far, I have no doubt that their work will be entertaining us all in the not too distant future.

Without further adieu, I present The Witch's Mirror trailer by the amazingly talented Tristan Prefect! Be sure to "like" and "subscribe" on Tristan's YouTube Channel.  Enjoy!



You can own some of the mirrors in this video! The scrying mirror and the hexenspiegel sun catchers that you see hanging from the trees in this video will be for sale in my Etsy shop this week, mickiemuellerstudio.etsy.com  ALSO...I'm having a giveaway that ends on May 20 2016 and the prize is the actual book, bookmark, cover flat and compact mirror that appears in this video trailer! Click here to enter!


Behind the scenes director and editor Tristan Prefect on the job. This young director has a great eye, spied a spider web dusted with pollen and stopped to get a quick shot while we were on location in the woods.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Man Who Made Mirrors

To celebrate National Astronomy Day today, I wanted to share the story of the man who you’ll see in the dedication of my upcoming book “The Witch’s Mirror, The Craft, Lore, & Magick of the Looking Glass," my grandpa and mirror-maker William M. Vaughan, but if you're his friend, just call him Bill. If you wonder why I dedicated the book to my grandpa, read on...
Grandpa with one of his magic mirrors that he painstakingly ground to the perfect shape and curve himself...what's so magic about it? You can use it to see the stars!

On January 4 1970 The Columbia Missourian Sunday Magazine published an article about my grandpa, and I thought sharing it here on National Astronomy Day would be a cool glimpse into a few of the mirrors that inspired me in my childhood and the master craftsman who made them, my grandpa. While I have posted the article here, I’ve also transcribed it as well as it was written to make it easier to read from my blog. I did take the license of spelling his last name Vaughan instead of Vaughn as it is spelled in the article, I just didn’t have the heart…LOL 

This is the original article as it appeared in The Columbia Missourian, Jan 4, 1970, Either my grandma or grandpa wrote in the name of the paper and the date there at the bottom.  The copy my family still has doesn't include the name of the writer of this article and I haven't been able to find in online. If  I can ever find it,  I will add the attribution.

Giant Eyes

January 4, 1970 Five years ago, Attorney W. M. Vaughan retired from his job as a claims director for an insurance company and hung-up a new shingle in the basement of his home on Route 2 east of Columbia. The shingle reads: “The Meridian Company; Bill Vaughan, President.”


Not only is Bill Vaughan president but vice president, master craftsman, and janitor as well. The Meridian Company makes telescopes, or more accurately, the concave mirrors which are the hearts of reflecting-type telescopes.

Bill Vaughan has been interested in telescopes and astronomy most of his life. Over the years he has read most of the books on telescope-making and optics. Eight years ago he built his first telescope. Since then he has built many. He became so good that he decided to make a business of it.

With the aid of unique contraptions fashioned from washing machine motors, he grinds and polishes mirrors ranging in size from 4 1/4 to 12 1/2 inches in diameter, which are corrected to within one-millionth of an inch. If you ask him how long it takes to complete an mirror, he will say, "It takes as long as it takes," explaining that each glass mirror blank has a personality of it's own, much like a diamond.

Bill Vaughan is proud of his optics. He guarantees them unconditionally. In the past five years he has sold at least one of his mirrors in each of the 50 states and Canada. He has yet to have a mirror returned. 

In pictures, Bill Vaughan works on a six-inch mirror, which eventually becomes part of a Cassegrain telescope (lower center).


Can you believe how thick this mirror is?! I can remember his workshop off the house, there was a little door off the back yard, it was a magical place to be, on the occasions when I went in to see it, I remember being amazed by all the wild looking equipment, and I was always careful not to touch anything!
We still have one of his telescopes in the family. I remember getting it out to see the Hale-Bopp comet when it came past our planet. Everyone in the neighborhood wheeled out their telescopes to get a closer look...can you imagine their faces when a big ole monstrosity like this came trucking out of that garage?!  Everyone's jaws just dropped! Those are shower caps on the ends to keep the inside dust-free!
So that's my grandpa, the master mirror maker. I knew him as that, but also many other aspects of the man. Grandpa, my sister Robin and and I went fishing and ate fresh tomatoes from the garden with salt and pepper. He played the ukulele he kept from his years working and living in Hawaii. He also had one of those electric organs which always made grandma roll her eyes when he played it.
Grandma and Grandpa on their wedding day!
There were several big quartz crystal clusters around their house which I often regarded with great awe. Grandpa was also a 33 degree Freemason which I always found quite mysterious and interesting, all the sacred secrets! I once did a calligraphy page of a poem that he wrote. He performed feats of closeup magic with playing cards, a few of the tricks he taught me, which I have long since forgotten after having practiced them so often in my childhood. He took in a funny little stray dog that he named Boo. Boo earned his name because it took so long for Grandpa to befriend the little foundling. That dog ended up being loyal to Grandpa even through his last days. There are family stories about him being an honest and true man, even in the face of difficulty doing what was right even when it was hard. He was a dreamer, a thinker, and a doer. He was respected by everyone who knew him.
Bill Vaughan as a young man, love that smile!
He was a really cool man, and even though he crossed over to the Next Big Adventure before I even graduated from high school, I made sure my kids all knew him through stories and memories. I imagine he looks down from the stars he loved so much and maybe he has even read the dedication nestled within the pages in my humble little book about magical mirrors.

If you've had the good fortune to see the stars through a telescope made in the late 60's through the 70's there is a small chance that the light from stars millions of miles away was reflected into your vision by a mirror lovingly ground and polished by the hands of my grandfather.

Blessed Be!
Mickie


Friday, May 13, 2016

Giveaway Time! The Witch's Mirror Prize Bundle Might be Yours!

Great News! 

I just got a package in the mail with a few advance copies of my new book The Witch's Mirror!!! The book will officially be out June 8, but I have four copies in my hot little hands! I also have a stack of book flats (covers before they are put on the book.) Soooooo, should I celebrate with a giveaway, of course I should!
The Witch's Mirror Prize Bundle! You might recognize all this from the video book trailer for The Witch's Mirror! Yep, I'll be sending the winner the actual book, bookmark, cover flat and compact mirror that appeared in the trailer...if you haven't seen it, check it out here...

A signed copy of "The Witch's Mirror, The Craft, Lore, and Magick of the Looking Glass," an autographed collectible book cover flat of The Witch's Mirror, our corresponding bookmark, made right in our studio, and I'm also including a lovely compact mirror with my Swirling Leaves Pentacle design that will be featured in my upcoming book trailer!  This can alllll be yours, just enter below on the Rafflecopter form, the winner will be chosen at random and announced next Friday, May 20th. No purchase is necessary to enter, only the blog post comment is mandatory for entry, I also have a few more options for you to get additional entries, you can tweet it once a day to boost your entries even more! Good luck! 
Big giveaway, be one of the first to get a copy of "The Witch's Mirror, The Craft, Lore, and Magick of the Looking Glass" plus a couple of really cool extras in your hot little hands!
ATTENTION: You must leave a comment on my blog below or you will be disqualified from winning. After you comment, click the button on the blue and white rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


In addition to commenting on my blog, you also need to click on the Rafflecopter form above to register and let rafflecopter know that you commented. After you register on Rafflecopter, you'll find more ways to add  your name to the drawing! Good luck to all who entered!



Be sure to leave me a comment on my blog,
Tell me, do you own any magic mirrors or are you looking forward to learning more about them?
Click below to add your comment, after you leave a comment be sure to comment on the blog below and then click the button on the blue and white rafflecopter form above, that way your entry will count. Also, feel free to unlock the bonus entries for extra chances to win!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

How I Conjured Up a Brakebills College Jacket

Yes, you guys already know...I'm really enjoying the new TV Series The Magicians on SyFy. Truth is, I really started getting into it because they ordered prints from me to use on the set, (read more here)  (...and here) however now I'm totally sucked into the story and awaiting every new episode! I also downloaded the first book in the series to my tablet which I'm thoroughly enjoying reading in between art and writing. So... I've been wanting to try a cool technique from Pinterest for decorating shirts and I knew I wanted to make, a Brakebills College jacket! I know, in the book it's a graduate school, but they didn't want to end up with a problem with kids aging too quickly to keep up with filming the series, so they changed it to a University. If I couldn't get one from Brakebills College bookstore in Upstate NY (don't tell me it's not real...) I decided to make one myself!


I conjured up a one of a kind Brakebills jacket, and I didn't have to use a series of complex hand gestures or speak incantations in obscure languages! All it took was a $5. sweatshirt jacket on clearance, (I used a Hanes ComfortBlend 50% Cotton 50% Poly) a pack of vinyl poster letters, freezer paper, craft knife, a little spray bottle, and some bleach...and my crafty witchy self!

I loosely based my design of the Brakebills "Key and Bee" shield on a screenshot from the show, I needed to simplify it in order to make a template. I cut the shield outline out separately, then cut out a template for the Key and Bee. Rather than plain paper, I used freezer paper. I drew it out on the papery side-the plastic like coated side was the back.


I didn't want to cut out all those letters too, so I found these easy vinyl letters. They have sticky backs for use on poster board signs, they were perfect!

First I positioned the shield outline, then I ironed it onto the shirt. Freezer paper is perfect, you can iron it on so it leaves a nice clean edge and it won't shift or lift while you're working. When your done, it peels off easily with no problem. After I ironed the shield I positioned the letters, they stuck great with no ironing needed, peeling off easily later.

Next I filled a small spray bottle with straight bleach, (lavender scented, 'cause I'm fancy like that) and spritzed right around the edges of the shield and the letters and watched as the areas I lightly sprayed slowly began to lighten up! Seemed pretty magical! Then I took the top off of the bottle and used the straw part to flick bigger drips and drops of bleach all around, giving it a cool edgy magical look. I was, having so much fun, I forgot to take a pic in between! While I forgot to grab my phone and take a shot, when I was pleased with the way the bleach around the shield was developing, I lifted up the shield template and positioned the key and bee carefully over the black place where the shield had been making sure it was pretty well centered within the black shield outlined with the bleach spray...


I ironed on the key and bee and then sprayed it with my little bleach bottle. I let it sit for a short time, then sprayed more. I probably repeated 3-4 times, I wanted the key and bee a little lighter than the faded outline.

Damn!!! It turned out cooler than I even imagined! I went ahead and added the same design to the back too.  Then I decided to also add the Brakebills letters down one arm like I've seen on college jackets. Before you ask, nope, this will not be for sale... copyrights, intellectual property, and all that,I made this just for my personal use. That's why I'm not sharing this template either, not to say you can't create your own for yourself! In the future I may offer a totally different design of my own and offer a downloadable template and complete instructions. This was a really fun project and I totally want to make more shirts, jackets and stuff!

This process was kind of addictive...much like magic!

...the jacket is addictive too, it's my new fave!



Then...after all that work....I discovered The Magicians Cafe Press store! I could have bought a jacket!! The author of the books Lev Grossman had fans do some really cool designs for shirts, jackets, and other stuff...I think I might need to get a shirt to wear with my new jacket...maybe a sticker for the car...tote bag...be sure to check it out here:
http://www.cafepress.com/mf/58303574/the-magicians_tshirt?productId=1717603879

I also found this tutorial before I decided to try this technique myself and it was my inspiration for this project. Lots of great practical advice on how to do bleach t-shirt design! http://www.stencilrevolution.com/tutorials/bleach-fabric-guide/

Blessed Be!

Mickie

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Visit Me at the Authors Booth at St. Louis Pagan Picnic 2016

 Lots of people are asking me if I'll be at St. Louis Pagan Picnic this year, the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes, I will be there!" But please read on, there's an important change that you'll need to know if you want to find me there!

Last year we didn't vend, but I really love to be involved with Pagan Picnic, we just had too much going on to have time to prepare. Many people don't realize that it takes us literally months to make all the products that we've brought in the past, and with all my growing publishing demands, we just didn't have the time. This year isn’t looking much different, with tons of work on the old wooden art table. I really still want to be involved with Pagan Picnic, but we needed to re-think things to better serve the needs of my family, my deadlines, and my Pagan Picnic friends. We love our St. Louis peeps, let's face it dears, we've all watched our kids grow up over the years, forged friendships, danced to the drums, and made magic together. I absolutely can’t imagine a year of not being there, so this year I AM going to participate, but just in a different capacity than as a vendor. 

Yes, selling our wares has become a big part of my Pagan Picnic experience, but being involved in a spiritual community should never take a back seat to business, that’s just not who we are, or who we ever want to be. That's why I will be joining the Authors Booth at Pagan Picnic instead of doing a vending booth!


Some of my books and decks,; some I've written, some I contributed articles to, some of these I've illustrated. Come see me at the Author's Booth at St. Louis Pagan Picnic and find out what pretties I'm bringing including the new book I wrote that I hope to have there The Witch's Mirror!
I'm also very delighted to be offering free workshops both days as well, something that I’ve been too busy with vending to manage in the last couple of years. I’m excited about having an opportunity to join in more in of the Pagan Picnic activities with everyone, I’m looking forward to having time to attend rituals again, attend a couple workshops, and have more time to chat with the attendees at Picnic instead of just selling. Of course as always, we plan to bring a generous cache of donations for the raffle and I'll have my books and decks for the Authors Table and a few small items  "road show style,"



But Mickie, We Want to Shop For Art!

Of course we don’t want to disappoint anyone who loves to shop with us, so we've worked out a perfect solution. Watch for the ad in the program (and I'll have coupons at the Authors Booth too) with a special coupon code just for Pagan Picnic to all of our online stores so that our Pagan Picnic friends can still get goodies from us with free shipping for the month of June!  Have you ever come by our booth and we didn't have the art you wanted on the product you wanted? This also solves that problem because we'll make exactly what you want just for you while you shop in your pajamas from home. You don't have to haul it all over Tower Grove Park either, it will just magically show up at your front door. When you shop with us online, we have literally everything in stock and even make custom stuff for people. We can add your name to that mug you wanted, personal text to a garden flag, and we don't charge a dime extra for that either....and for Pagan Picnic peeps, free shipping in all throughout June!



Did You Say Free Workshops? Tell me More...

The dates and times for the programming are still TBA but I will be presenting an hour long workshop on Saturday and one on Sunday. Watch the Pagan Picnic website for the schedule, but here's the workshops that I'll be bringing you:

Sacred Coloring, Tips and Tricks

Adult coloring books and coloring pages have become very popular for relaxation, and it’s a great alternative to traditional meditation.  Join Pagan artist Mickie Mueller and learn tips and tricks to maximize the magical aspects of coloring making the experience even more sacred. Mickie will also share colored pencil and marker shading techniques to take your coloring to the next level, as well as the meanings of different colors and how they help you manifest your goals magically through the process of coloring. Will she also have a couple free coloring pages for you to take home and color later on? Of course she will!
Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book featuring Llewellyn artists  Mickie Mueller, Elisabeth Alba, Kathleen Edwards, Jennifer Hewitson, Wen Hsu, and Carloyn Vibbart. I'll be using this coloring book and Animal Totem Mandala Coloring Book by Wendy Martin and Natalie Zaman to demonstrate coloring techniques.   


Become a More Powerful Witch through Mirror Magic


Mickie Mueller, the Author of the new book The Witch’s Mirror, discusses the theory and uses of mirrors in magical practice. Everyone will get their own enchanted witch’s mirror to keep. We will use our mirrors as we perform a simple yet powerful spell to connect with your true self, boosting your personal power and thus your magical energy. Mickie will also have a non-reversing mirror on display that shows your face as others see it, not in reverse as we usually see our own reflections; it’s a curiosity of science and magic!
The spell in the mirror workshop is an extra spell that's not in the book...oooohhh...bonus! Won't be in St. Louis for Pagan Picnic? You can pre-order The Witch's Mirror from LlewellynAmazonBarnes & Noble, or watch for it at an IndieBound bookstore near you.
If you plan to be attending St. Louis Pagan Picnic in beautiful Tower Grove Park June 4th and 5th, come by and see me at The Author's Booth at St. Louis Pagan Picnic, I hope to have the very first copies of my brand new book The Witch’s Mirror! I'll also have copies of  Voice of the Trees: A Celtic Ogham Oracle, Mystical Cats Tarot, Llewellyn’s Witch’s Coloring Book, and  I'll a few books I’ve illustrated on hand. 



Here are links for more information about St. Louis Pagan Picnic:

http://www.paganpicnic.org


https://www.facebook.com/STLPaganPicnic


Blessed Be!

Mickie Mueller