Friday, September 23, 2011

Greenman and the Muse, Autumn and Apple Crisp!

A Project Comes to Fruition

I was contacted earlier this year by my friends from Indiana Cern and his lovely wife Anaan Sapphira to design cover art for their upcoming CD release "Magic Planet."  They send the concept of what they wanted mocked up on the computer, basically the planet earth in space with my Greenman art worked in there somehow and looking very magical.  After reading his description and seeing his concept rendering, I got a really cool idea to make the Greenman image smiling through the land-masses.

I really had fun working on this piece, and I was happy with the results too.  Cern and Anaan worked their butts off in the studio and I wanted this cover to be really special for them.  By the way Anaan celebrated her birthday yesterday!  Happy birthday dear songstress!

I just got the finished CD in the mail the other day, and I wanted to share it with you, been listening to it in my car!  These are wonderful original songs, performed by this magical duo.  Listening to their music makes you feel a very personal connection with them and the messages in their songs.  Here's a link to their facebook page where you can "like" them and ask about how to pick up a copy for yourself.  Lovely and inspiring music from Greenman and the Muse!

If you're interested in some Greenman magic to go with the music, make sure to get a copy of the 2012 Llewellyn's Magical Almanac, I have an article in there all about making prosperity and abundance magic with the Greenman, and who can't use some extra prosperity magic these days?!

Greenman Abundance article and illustrations in Llewellyns 2012 Magical Almanac

In Other News: Autumn in Thoughts, Pictures and Taste Buds

Happy Autumn Equinox/Mabon!  I woke up and found a mist had fallen over everything this morning.  We had orders going out at the studio, so I placed them on the porch in a clear plastic tote for protection and so the mail carrier could see them easily, then I made my way to the office.   I wanted to share a few photos of the beautiful foggy cornfield that I passed on my way to the office this morning and the meadow right outside my office window.  I love this time of year, the big second harvest of the wheel of the year! 
"Shrouded Harvest Awaits" 

"Mabon Road"

"Autumn Meadow Mist"

Tonight, I'll celebrate with a small feast with my family at home to give thanks for all the blessings that we have had throughout the year.  I know times are tough for everyone right now, but it's more important in difficult times than ever to make an effort to look for the good things and pay attention to them.  Magically, whatever you are giving your attention to is what the universe will give you, so don't focus on what you don't have, train your eye upon your blessings, and more blessings will follow.  Tonight when I turn the Wheel of the Year plaque to Mabon and change the items on our family altar, that will be my focus.  For desert I'm going to try making Weight Watchers Apple Crisp recipe!  I'll let you know how it turns out in the comments below.

Weight Watchers Apple Crisp

- 4 medium apples
- 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cups uncooked old fashioned oats
- 3 tbsp reduced-calorie margarine

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together apples, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice; pour into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
Cut flour, oatmeal, remaining brown sugar and margarine together with a pastry blender or fork in a medium bowl; sprinkle over apple mixture.
Bake until apples are tender and top is browned, about 45 minutes.
Serving size = 1/2 cup
Each serving = 3 Weight Watchers Points

Autumn Blessings!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ACEO Cards From the Archives

Sometimes I forget how long I've been doing this, seriously a very very long time. 

We had decided that we needed a new mattress and I wanted to do it before I go to full time Professional Bohemian and part time home office worker.  That big change in my life will happen exactly at the Celtic New year, that's right Oct. 31 is when the office I work at will close, although the business will remain but running lean and mean, with a small office in the city and most of our work done on our laptops.  My boss has decided that she wants to keep me on part time working from home so I'll still have a suplimentary income and lots more time for my art career.  It's pretty exciting, especially now that I'm starting on the Mystical Cats Tarot with teamie Lunaea Weatherstone
"Love Spell" an unpublished spec illustration from years ago that I hand colored last night!

So Dan and I decided that any upgrades we needed at home better happen now while I still have that full time check rolling in, and our mattress had big dips in it where our bodies go, not so nice.  In the process of getting our new mattress, I pulled a couple of those flat plastic tubs from under my bed that store tons of old memorabilia in from days of yore...yep, yore.  You know, the old days when I used to make promotional art for local rock bands, and my early forays into my current path of spiritual art.  I really had fun going through it, so many memories.  I kept about half of it, pitching duplicate flyers, notes that didn't mean anything anymore, etc.  Some of what I found as I dug through were some original pieces that I had created for different reasons, circa 1997-99.  I have some small full color art I had made to use for various promotional pieces back when I was Mickie Hodges, before Dan and I got married.  I also had a few small pen and ink line art samples that I had made as spec pieces to show as examples of my work from 1999.  At the time I was stretching my fledgling wings and sending samples to magazine and book publishers looking for illustration jobs. 
All the ACEO cards made from "lost art!"
I almost put these little gems back in the box to go back into storage until the next time I took a trip down memory lane...almost.  Then it occurred to me, these were pretty darned cool and they were just hidden away.  Someone might really enjoy having these little drawings.  Then I realized that they were almost the right size for ACEO cards.  Inspiration had struck!  I measured them and I was right.  I trimmed them down ever so slightly, three full color pieces, and three pen and inks.  I decided that I would add color to the pen and ink ones, and I must say, it was really fun and I love the results.
Pen and ink unpublished original illustrations, hand colored all one of a kind.
Promotional pieces, used to promote my art business long ago, also unpublished, one of a kind!

So there you have it, I have 6 new ACEO cards to offer, each one a little history from the Old Wooden Art Table that you can own if you're so inclined.  Three unpublished spec illustrations hand inked in 1999 and hand colored with watercolor and colored pencil in 2011.  Three colored pencil drawings created in 1997 as promo pieces for my business.  All six are one of a kind.  I just posted them in our Etsy shop I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

For a closer look at these unique one of a kind cards click here:

Bright Blessings,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Magic of Oval Art Tiles

We love our oval art tiles and wanted to share with you all to great things about them including ways to use them for decoration, and yes, even for magic!  When we go to festivals, our 4" x 6" ceramic oval wall tiles are really popular, people pick them up, hold them in their hands, and just love the feel of them.  We think there are many reasons for this, here are a few of our favorite reasons that we love them, we think you will too!

Lady of the Forest peers out mischievously from this wall.
  • Great to Collect: These tiles look really nice hanging in groupings on the wall.  We know someone who had an open space over a long doorway and filled it with a row of fairy oval art tiles.  They also look nice hanging with a grouping of other items like candle sconces, wreaths or art.
Solar Eclipse, the embrace of the Sun God and Moon Goddess, wouldn't this add lusty energy to your bedroom?!
  • Magical Uses: These tiles can make really great permanent magic for your home. You can write on the back with a fine line permanent marker or metallic paint pen, so why not add your own magical symbols or charms to the back and charge it with your intentions. Bridget could add happy home and healing energy. Use the Rowan Fairy to shield your home from negative energies. The Oak Fairy or Greenman could hang around and add a boost to your finances!  You could also add an herbal wash to the back and let it dry before adding your writing or symbols for an extra magical punch. 
  • Affordable: At only ten bucks each, these tiles are a great value. These beautiful gloss finish ceramic tiles are a beautiful decorative piece to hang on your wall. They measures 4" x 6" and are a great way to collect artwork when you're on a budget.
    Tatianas New Dress, I have one in my bathroom which is all decorated in greens and fairies.
  • They're so Pretty:  The look of the art printed on these ceramic tiles gives it a very attractive soft look.  The fronts are glossy, and the back is uncoated ceramic.  The art is not paper decoupaged onto these tiles, we use the dye sublimation method to make these tiles right in our studio.  The art is printed using special dyes and then with heat and pressure the dye is actually infused into the surface of the ceramic. 

  • Versatility:  They come complete with a hanger already on the back, so you can hang them wherever you want, and you don't have to buy a frame, it's self contained and ready to go.  Great for hanging near your altar, or they can be displayed on a small easel.
Here's what the backs look like.

  • Gift Giving:  Because they're so affordable, they make great gifts, many of our customers have told us they've given these as gifts.  One bride ordered several to give her bridal party, she wrote the names and date on the back with a metallic pen to make them personalised keepsakes of her special day.  We also had a customer pick one up to give as a gift to someone as an initiation gift.  Who would you give one to?

  • Convenient Size: For people who don't have room for prints but want to own a piece of this magical art, these great art tiles are a great solution, you can always find a little nook or corner to display one of these sweet oval tiles.

   That's what our oval tiles are all about, a really classy looking and affordable way to add flair to any room.  We have loads of them now in our Etsy shop and adding more over the next 24 hours.  If you ever see any of Mickie's art that we don't have an an oval tile, drop us an email or convo, we're happy to make you a custom one.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Night Magical Movie: Excalibur

Here's a blast from the past, 1981 classic fantasy film Excalibur directed by John Boorman and based on Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.  I think it's the best movie ever made based on Arthurian legend.  I went to see this with my grandmother when it first came out in theaters, I remember sitting next to her there in the theater when I was 16 watching Uther Pendragon have sex with Igrayne (Katherine Boorman) while wearing his armor.  That had to be more uncomfortable for Igrayne that it was for my poor grandmother. 

To me this is one of the best magical movies out there, it's beautifully filmed, full of magic, good and evil, romance, an intense soundtrack and it taught us all The Charm of Making!   "Anall nathrach, oorfas bethud, dorhiel dienvay" a charm that we since discovered, if said with feeling, is great for dislodging in a most speedy manner aggressive fundamentalists from New Age shops, but that's another story.

 I chuckled watching it again, the font used in the opening is so "1981 Fantasy," but once the film actually starts I found that it's really not dated at all.  The casting was perfect, so many wonderful actors are found in this masterpiece.  A very young Helen Mirrin shows her regal talent early on as Morgana, Arthur's sister and dark sorceress.  I find that Nicol Williamson was the best Merlin in film history, playing the enigmatic mage and teacher with equal parts of warmth, humor, wisdom and power.

Morgana and Merlin face off.
I thought Nigel Terry was wonderful as Arthur taking him from wide eyed youth to aging king.  Again I thought Cherie Lunghi was the most charming and sympathetic Gwenevere in film.  Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, it is what would become an all star cast.

Coolest Medieval wedding ever!

There are some things about this movie that I love.  The clever way they used lighting to portray the living magic in the sword Excalibur was brilliant.  Whenever it's drawn, you see a green light reflecting on every ones armor, it's subtle and cool.  The scenery and costuming is absolutely inspiring. 

I love the two creepy kids as well, who is creepier, little Morgana as a child or her son little Mordred?  I think they are both pretty darned creepy.  I love Mordred's golden armor.
Little Morgan leading Arthurs Knights to their doom, his mother is so proud!

Little Morgana, she knows what's up even if the growups don't and she tells them so in her creepy dubbed voice.

 One of the most iconic scenes in the movie is when Arthur and his knights ride through an orchard of trees in bloom, petals falling all around them.

I love this classic magical movie, it has everything you need if you're looking for a great movie to enchant your imagination!

Arthur drawing Excalibur from the stone.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Giveaway! Autumn Masque Necklace Hosted by "Love of the Goddess"

Happy Weekend Dear Readers,

I'm pleased to announce that Love of the Goddess Blog is hosting a giveaway of one of my Autumn Masque Glass Crystal Art Necklace! 

Autumn Masque Glass Crystal Art Necklace The art on this classy sparkling pendant is mounted on the back, the beveled edges are faceted adding a bit of sparkle, and the art looks brilliant shining out from behind the 1/4 inch thick pendant. We print the artwork right in our studio, then we heat press it and the special dye transfers to the treated back of the crystal. If you hold it up to the light, it shines through. The size is just perfect, 1 inch wide x 1 1/2 inch tall, with a beautiful silver tone bail. This pendant comes on a sepia colored satin 18 inch cord and has a chain to make it adjustable up to 20 inches. They are packaged in a little craft jewelry box with white padded insert as shown, tied with a silver cord. These are securely shipped in an additional box to arrive safely to you.

Ok so now for the rules to entering. Go to our Etsy shop and then go to Love of the Goddess Blog and comment on some of your favorite items. For extra credit, follow my blog.  If you already follow this blog, make sure you tell them you're following over at Love of the Goddess.  The giveaway will last for one week, at which time they will choose the winner using Make sure they have easy access to your contact info! Thanks to Love of the Goddess for hosting this giveaway! I hope everyone has fun playing.

*  Don't enter here on my blog, it will only count if you enter at:

Have fun and good luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fairy Friday: Lisa Hunt's Fairy Tale Tarot

Happy Fairy Friday Readers!

I'm here to share the fairy love!  I have long been a fan of fairy tales, I love the old "original" versions of Hans Christian Anderson and Grimm. (they don't call him Grimm for no reason you know) 
My copy of The Fairy Tale Tarot

Magical stories, cautionary tales, dream inspired, morality tales, I love them all.  I have also long been a fan of the beautiful watercolor art of renowned Tarot artist and writer Lisa Hunt, who I am also proud to call my friend.  So when I learned that she was working on The Fairy Tale Tarot, I was simply over the moon!  I ran to get my copy in 2009 shortly after it came out.
I love the Fairy godmother card representing the traditional Empress, one of my favorites!
This is a simply stunning and magical deck. Lisa's obvious reverence for the childhood stories is reflected in the work, it's so full of spirit. I love her wonderful eye for detail. Her fairy tale world is lush and ornate with bejeweled maidens, roots and vines that twist like scroll work, light and shadow reflecting the very soul of the classic fairy tales they represent. Every detail is a delight, down to every last tiny pebble, secret spider web or myriad of hidden faces in the background. Her mastery of the medium of watercolor is so apparent when examining her rendering of water, sky, and land and her amazing ability to create glowing light upon paper.

When I got my copy, I was at work and my boss and I plopped right down onto the floor and did a reading.  It is a lovely deck to work with, and I find that the fairy tale messages really speak to your inner self, these are stories that live within us at very deep levels.  I also was so moved by Lisa's portrayal of the stories within her art.  Each piece skillfully created has as many details, layers and hidden messages as the original stories do. 

For me, as someone who grew up deeply loving fairy tales, another great thing about this deck is the book.  Lisa has really done her research and brings tales of other cultures to explore, so there are all new fairy tales to tickle your imagination!

I know you will enjoy this deck as much as I have.  Every time I use it, it's a new journey into realms of imagination and a treat for my inner child. 

If you would like your own copy of The Fairy Tale Tarot,
Visit Lisa Hunt's The Fairy Tale Tarot
Visit Lisa Hunts website for more of her beautiful art
Follow Lisa's blog

Also, watch for her Ghosts and Spirits Tarot coming soon from US Games, I can wait to get my hands on this one!  Update: It's amazing, here's the link:
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rainy Day and Secret Messages in the Magical Garden

My sweet grand kids are visiting on this rainy Wednesday, and we looked out the window and noticed a walking stick sitting there on the screen!  So I grabbed my camera to go take a picture.  I didn't want to mess up my camera, so I stuck it in a plastic bag to keep the rain off of it. 
Miss Olivia loved the walking stick!

I looked up the message that the walking stick has as a spirit animal since he came to sit on my window today while I'm working from home.   One of the walking sticks messages is that meditation and prayer will bring much greater results and benefits now. I found that interesting since I have been doing the thirty days of meditating on the crystal grids for world peace, which I'm  happy to report is going well, and filling me with peace as well.  Apparently another lesson of the Walking stick is that there are things going on behind the scenes that I am unaware of, and that I need to sit still waiting and watching and the the proper course of action will make itself known.  Also the need to camouflage and prepare in a quiet and calm manner for what we seek to accomplish and we will find ultimate success.  Even when it seems like nothing is happening, it really is.  Interesting, I will try to heed the lessons of the walking stick, he's still there on my window as I write this.
Raindrops clinging to newly forming acorns on my oak tree.
Once I was outside taking pictures of my friend the walking stick in the rain, I saw lots of other beautiful things on this rainy day I thought I would share with you.

All the flowers are enjoying the rain, the garden is so happy!

Morning glory, I'm trying to clear them out, they've taken over my little alcove, it was looking like Gray Gardens for awhile there!  Here's one I missed, they are so very pretty, I just wish they weren't so aggressive. 

Something as simple as blades of grass can become a source of inspiration on a rainy day.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top 5 Fall Recipes For Warm Mugs!

The pumpkins are showing up in the grocery stores and the leaves are just beginning to change.  The cool air is welcomed after the blazing hot summer we had!  I'm feeling excited about the warm fall beverages that I love.  Budgets are tight though, and I don't want to drop five bucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte at the coffee shop.   So I'm breaking out my favorite mugs that make me feel more special than a paper cup anyway and making my own at home!

 I hope you dig these recipes as much as I do. At the end of each recipe I've listed the magical properties of the ingredients that bring blessings to your cup!  If you like the mugs in the pictures below, they are all available in our Etsy shops, & they are dishwasher and microwave safe and will make enjoying your favorite warm beverages at home even more special...and magical!
Pumpkin Spice Latte, made right at home and served in the Pumpkin Fairy mug.
1. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Everything pumpkin is gooood!
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or 2 packages of stevia
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar (or stevia) and cook on medium heat, constantly stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy.
Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Top it off with the coffee. Sprinkle with a bit of pumpkin pie spice, if you want to get really fancy you can use whipped cream.
Magical Blessings in Your Cup:
milk:Goddess energy, nurturing
pumpkin: moon blessings, intuition, love
sugar:kindness, protection
stevia:balance, wisdom, love of self and others
vanilla: love, higher consciousness
pumpkin pie spice: prosperity, protection, love
coffee: energy, mental acuity

Mocha Coffee, can't get enough chocolate as you can see!  This warm beverage tastes even better in my Steampunk Fairy mug!
2. Mocha Coffee
This one is a super easy classic.
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (or two packages of Stevia)
  • A splash of milk
Pour hot coffee into your favorite mug. Stir in cocoa, sugar and milk. 
Magical Blessings in Your Cup:
coffee: energy, mental acuity
cocoa: divine drink of love, prosperity
sugar: kindness, protection
stevia:balance, wisdom, love of self and others
milk: Goddess energy, nurturing

Nutty Irishman, I especially love the flavor of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur!
The hazel mug from our Voice of the Trees Etsy shop is perfect for this warming delight!
3. Nutty Irishman
I worked as a bartender for seven wonderful years, and while I don't have the urge to do it again, I had to share my version of this wonderful coffee drink!  Are you 21?  Let's see some ID!
  • 1 oz Baileys or generic Irish Cream
  • 1 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Kaluah or generic coffee liqueur
  • Hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
Dampen the rim of your coffee cup and dip it in cinnamon sugar.  I like a 15 oz mug for this one so I can have two and not get too tipsy.  You can adjust the liquor according to taste.  Top off with hot coffee, add whipped cream and top whipped cream with more cinnamon sugar.
Magical Blessings in Your Cup:
Frangelico/hazelnut liquor: inspiration, wisdom
Kaluah and coffee:energy, mental acuity
Baileys/vanilla, almond: love, higher consciousness, intuition
whipped cream:Goddess energy, nurturing
cinnamon: prosperity, health, and spiritual energy

Home made hot cocoa melts the ice from your cold bones, but won't melt the ice on this Midnight Ice Fairy mug!
4. Home Made Hot Cocoa
Perfect for a snow day, this recipe makes 4 cups so you can share!  If you believe the Old Farmers Almanac, we're supposed to get early snow this year, so keep these ingredients on hand!
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz can low fat evaporated milk
Add water to a large saucepan and whisk in the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt, stirring, bring to a slow boil, reduce to simmer and for about 2 minutes, stirring so it doesn't scorch.  Stir in the milk and evaporated milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.              
Magical Blessings in Your Cup:
sugar: kindness, protection
cocoa: divine drink of love, prosperity
salt:banishes negative energy, protection
water: balance, life force energy
milk, evaporated milk, whipped cream:
vanilla: love, higher consciousness
Hot Mulled Cider, we always serve it on Halloween night, you guys and gouls can fight over the other mugs, the Autumn Masque mug is mine!
5. Mulled Cider
An all time fall favorite, we love this one on Halloween/Samhain.  It makes the house smell so good!
1 jug of apple cider
5 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Pour the apple cider into a large pot or crock pot and heat on low heat.  Add the spices to the cider and allow it to steep for 1/2 hour-45 minutes.  Share and enjoy!
Magical Blessings in Your Cup:
apple: love and healing
cinnamon: prosperity, health, and spiritual energy
cloves: truth, harmony
nutmeg: health, good luck
ginger: love, health, power
cardamom: love

I hope you enjoy these warm drinks this fall, I know we'll be enjoying them around the studio to keep our hands warm and our hearts happy!

From my kitchen to yours!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crimson Wings: Fairy Dude Warrior is Done!

At long last!  It's not like the actual working time took me this long, he just kept sitting there unfinished glaring at me from the old wooden art table, but I finished him up last night, and I must say now that he's done, grrrowll.

Close up detail

Some people might think fairy folk are all goodness and light, but this guy may beg to differ. If you cut down the wrong tree or insult the Good People of the forest, well if he's around you don't want to do any of those things. If you are a friend to the fairy races however, this fae warrior print will be a great defender to you, your property and family. You'll love having this guy to watch your back as he graces your home with protective energy!  This piece will also be part of the Enchanted Visions Project.

Here he is in full view.
I'm so happy to have gotten him finished, adding the tattoos and more detail really brought him to life.  He's in our Etsy shop now as both open edition and limited numbered prints, so you can bring him home to your house anytime you want to!  Watch for indoor/outdoor flags, coffee mugs, oval tiles, candle sconces and more!