Monday, October 24, 2011

Attention Shop Owners: A Contest to Win Voice of the Trees Merchandise!

All across this country there are tons of brick and mortar independent metaphysical bookstores that are havens to all of the seekers out there on their paths.  They offer books, candles, incense and other supplies, but they also offer an opportunity to learn and grow, and fellowship.  I know, my husband and I used to run a little shop too.  We know that some extra merchandise and some really cool store displays can really help sales especially when the economy is a challenging one.

With the holiday shopping season just about to commence, we wanted to offer all those great bookstores that support their communities an opportunity to win a box full of our beautiful new Voice of the Trees merchandise! (a $436. 00 retail value)  All it takes to enter is the Voice of the Trees deck you probably already have in your shop to sell, some imagination, and a camera.  If you haven't gotten your copies of Voice of the Trees for your shop yet, there's still time so don't wait.  The contest starts today (Oct. 24, 2011) and we will accept entries until Nov. 23 2011, the winner will be announced on Nov. 28 2011.
Could all this good free loot be in your shop? Scroll down to get a closer look at all of these great items.

The Prize:  This beautiful merchandise is made right in our studio using printing and/or dye sublimation, your customers will love these items!  Sell them in your shop, give them as gifts or keep them, whatever you wish!

4 15 oz ceramic Coffee Mugs, microwavable and dishwasher safe
4 crystal glass pendants
4 ceramic 4 x 6 oval wall tiles
4  8 1/2 x 11 prints
8 satin art bags (a perfect compliment to Voice of the Trees deck)

The challenge: Create an eye catching store display featuring Voice of the Trees: A Celtic Divination Oracle by Mickie Mueller.  You can set it up in the window or anywhere in the store you want.  Get creative, use leaves, silk plants or trees, wooden wands or bowls, add other Celtic merchandise, candles, lights, etc.  Make it eye catching and show stopping.  Take a really clear photo of your efforts, if you need to show it from more than one angle, you can send up to three photos to show different angles or details.  Email your photos to mickiemueller@yahoo.com along with the name and address of your shop, so we can ship your merchandise if your display is chosen as the winner.  Be sure to put "Voice of the Trees" in the subject line to avoid spam filters.

The Rules:  This contest is open to all "brick and morter" New Age/Metaphysical book shops, individuals may not enter this one, only retail shop owners with a wholesale license, if you don't fall into this catagory, don't worry, there will be more contests in the future.  Only 1 entry per shop.  Email up to 3 photos of your store display (which must be set up in your shop)  featuring Voice of the Trees: A Celtic Ogham Oracle to mickiemueller@yahoo.com including a photo of the front of your store and your stores mailing information.  Entries must be recieved by Nov. 23. 
The displays will be judged on creativity, visual appeal, customer appeal and the best presentation of the Voice of the Trees deck.  The photos will be judged blind (the judge won't know which shop entered which display) the judge is president of a Point of Purchase display company who has worked with major corporations and created nationwide programs.  Your display should be in the shop until the end of the contest to win.  The winner will be announced Nov. 28, prize to be shipped immediately to dazzle your December shoppers, so again- be sure to include your address when you enter for fast processing!  Remember, get your entry photos to us on or before the Nov. 23 cut off!

All the store owners that enter will have an opportunity to get their creative juices flowing and create awesome displays that will boost their sales this holiday while making an even more exiting shopping experience for their customers, and one lucky winner will get a box full of great free merchandise! Scroll down to see the items closer.

Everything you see is packed in the box and ready to go to the lucky winner's shop, they are all made by the Mickie Mueller team right in our studio!
These 15 oz ceramic mugs are gorgeous, full color designs all around and are microwave and dishwasher safe.  Included are Ivy, Hazel, Grove, and Willow mugs.  Each mug shows the meaning of the card as well as a quote from the companion book for that card.  (inset)
4 x 6 ceramic oval tiles are very popular items for us especially when people see them in person at festivals .  Each one has a hanger on the back and they look great hanging on the wall or on a small easel.  Included are Alder, Oak, Fionns Window (card back) and Ogham Shield (Companion book cover)

These satin bags are aprox 5x7, the Voice of the Trees cards fit in them nicely, we've sold many of them along with decks.  One side has one of the more popular card images,  clockwise from the left: Grove, Alder, Hazel, Willow, Oak, Ivy, Holly, and Yew, the other side has the "Fionns Window" card back design. (inset) Satin drawstrings and beautiful glass beads complete these beautiful bags.  

These crystal clear glass pendants sparkle with light.  they are 1 inch x 1 1/2 inch and are 1/4 inch thick.  These are made in our studio using dye sublimation, they are not paper glued on glass, through our process the art becomes  part of the glass.   These come in kraft boxes with white padded insert as shown, ready to display.

These 8 1/2 x 11 size prints are always a good seller for us, we've included a selection of four of our more popular designs, Fionns Window, Oak, Ogham Shield and Willow.  Each one is packaged in a crystal clear acid free bag with a sturdy baking boadr for easy display.

Good luck, we look forward to seeing your stores entry!

Blessings,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Night Magical Movie: The Crow

"It can't rain all the time..."  Eric Draven, The Crow

"People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right."
-Sarah, The Crow


This 1994 movie was based upon the dark graphic novel written and illustrated by J. O'Barr, and is surrounded by tragedy.  J.O'Barrs inspiration for this dark Gothic masterpiece after his fiancée was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.  It's a very good example of using a creative outlet for self therapy after a devastating tragedy.   If you haven't read the graphic novel, I highly recommend it.The star of this truly excellent movie about an avenging "dark angel" upcoming star Brandon Lee (son of martial arts film star Bruce Lee) was killed in an accident during the filming.  I was working as a colorist in the comic book industry during the time of the filming and I was following the story closely at the time.  There was some controversy surrounding his death, and with conflicting reports, some claim it was a blank that was fired through the grocery bag he was carrying in a scene where his character is killed sent shrapnel from the bag into his chest killing him.   The final report was that dummy cartridges had been made from real ones and the gun having been used in a previous scene had pushed one of the dummy cartridges into the chamber unknown to the crew.  The blanks were loaded, and when the gun was fired during the scene, it was enough power to push the lodged cartridge through the barrel and into the actors chest.   And then of course there was talk of the Lee curse, that his father died in a mysterious manner, and now his son had followed, and also a conspiracy theory about the Chinese Mafia.  As you can imagine, J. O'Barr was devastated when the star of the film version of his story was killed and set about to help raise money to help Brandons family by releasing special editions of his graphic novel and other venues.


Following the accident, the film makers used ground breaking techniques at the time to map Brandons face onto another actor and body doubles to complete the film.  The edits worked seamlessly and created one of my all time favorite movies.

The Crow was directed by Alex Proyas who brought his previous experience in directing music videos to create this cult classic masterpiece.  Eric Draven and his true love and fiancée Shelly who were both brutally murdered the night before Halloween the day they were getting married by a gang of very bad guys.
Eric and Shelly dancing in a flashback.

 What these bad guys didn't know is that rock n roll musician Eric Draven would be be brought back to life a year after his death by the spirit of the Crow, the mystical bird who connects the natural world with the afterlife.  Painting his face like a Harlequin mask that belonged to Shelly, Eric's soul purpose for his resurrection is retribution upon the gang that comitted the murders, the crow following him as his guide and totem. 



The thing that you just gotta love about this movie is that while in real life we don't always get to see the bad guys get their comeuppance,  which I like to think is part of the appeal of shows like The Sopranos, is that sometimes you just like to know that they're not getting away with it.
From J. O'Barrs original comic

"Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is."

This film is so beautifully filmed in all it's dark Gothic glory, and many of the beautifully lyrical lines are taken right from the graphic novel.  The soundtrack is one worth owning, and I have played several copies to death over the years.  The biggest hit from the soundtrack was Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots, you'll also find The Cure, Rage Agaist The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Pantera, Jane Siberry, Helmet, This is a rockin soundtrack.  I loved this movie so much back in the day that I talked a store manager out of their Crow VHS display and I had it in my livingroom with all my tapes (including The Crow) on it.
Eric Draven leaves his mark in lighter fluid.

Erics character while bent on revenge shows much more depth to his character when he interacts with his young neighbor Sarah and also the cop Officer Albrecht (Ernie Hudson) who handled the murder of himself and Shelly.  After scaring the tar out of a bad guy and finishing him off, he uses his otherworldly powers to turn around Sarah's heroin addict mother, as he holds her arm, heroin oozes from her tracks on her arm ans he tells her in an intent filled tone, "Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children. Do you understand? Morphine is bad for you. Your daughter is out there on the streets waiting for you."  Whoa!  The gang in this film is truly nasty with names like Skank, Tin-Tin, Fun Boy, T-Bird, and Michael Wincott was just the ultimate bad guy as their leader crime lord Top Dollar.
Top Dollar and his creepy sister

Draven meets the crime syndicate on their own turf.

Brandon Lee created this great character with many layers of anger, sorrow, ruthlessness, humor, love and strength.  He could have played it as an angry killing machine, but instead he brings you in and makes you feel his pain and sorrow while you route for him to succeed in the end and find peace.   If Brandon Lee he had lived, I believe he would be one of our great actors today. 
Eric has a talk with Sarah

I wanted to love the sequels but I just didn't, they couldn't live up to the original.  There was also a T.V. series that had a short run, but again I'll always be a fan of this 1994 classic movie the one, the only, The Crow.
Rest in Peace Brandon Lee 1965-1993
 Monday Movie Featured Item:


Alder Print from Voice of the Trees, available in our Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/VoiceOfTheTrees
Bran the Blessed is another tragic hero who's totem animal was a big black bird.  Like Eric Draven, he was a warrior who fought off the bad guys,  Bran went to war when he found out his sister Branwen was being mistreated by her husband.  Bran also had a magic cauldron that brought the dead back to life.  He was considered brother to the alder tree, and is illustrated here beneath the alder.  One more connection, some guitars are made of alder wood, and Eric Draven was a guitarist.  Was his guitar made of alder wood?  I like to think so.

Blessings,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fairy Friday: Sacred Source Oak Fairy Prosperity Wall Plaque

What a happy Fairy Friday!  I've been sitting on a really cool project that is now beginning to manifest!  Sacred Source is producing four new Celtic Fairy wall plaques based upon my Celtic Tree Fairy series!

Limited Edition Oak Tree Fairy -- Blessings of Prosperity and Growth
Sacred Source's excellent artisans did a great job of reproducing my art as this lovely wall plaque.  These plaques are full of magic, and I have personally sent magical energy to charge each one of these special limited edition Oak Fairy collectible plaques with energies of prosperity and abundance.
Click here for more details from Sacred Source 

The graceful Oak Tree Fairy rests sheltered in the arms of the mighty oak, cradling the acorn of new life, her wings dappled with sunlight. She offers the ever-present magic of solid strength, dependable century-long growth, and the promise of new opportunity ready to burst into life.

Each 9" x 12" resin plaque is hand painted by the master artists of Sacred Source faithfully reproducing my art, and each limited edition piece is numbered to enhance their value.  The Oak Fairy was the first design to be released, but all four will be coming, so you can collect them all.  They are great for bringing fairy magic into your home and can be used in your fairy spells as well.  The series will have fairies for prosperity, love, healing, and protection, that's a lot of fairy magic!

In Other Fairy News, A Short Enchanted Nature Walk:

We are working on packing up the office where I work for my day job, the boss is moving to a different location and I'll be working part time from home and being a full time Professional Bohemian making more beautiful art for all of you dears, writing, offering readings, and classes both in person and online.
This gorgeous bridge is across the parking lot in the golf course.  We get Canada geese, cranes and egrets out there, so pretty!
Yesterday after everyone had left and I was getting ready to head out myself, The fairies that live in the little stand of trees at the back of the parking lot called to me, "Mickie, come and walk a bit, come and play."
Praying mantis on a pin oak branch
What's a witch to do?  I followed of course, but not before grabbing my handy camera to see what treasures my fae friends had for me on this Autumn afternoon.

Not being ready to traipse through the woods quite yet with my slightly gimpy foot, this was the perfect, non-challenging nature walk my soul needed.
There are so many mushrooms, soon it may be a ring!

I found mushrooms growing, all fall and winter the birds will enjoy the ripe berries that swell where honeysuckle flowers once bloomed, leaves donning a fresh coat of Autumn color.

I decided as I walked along, that even after I'm not working in this building, I will have to come back for the occasional visit, it's so pretty, and I'll miss this gorgeous view out my window.

Birch, for new beginnings.

Ornamental Crab-apple Tree with the pond in the distance.

I hope you can go out for a Autumn walk, even a short one and see what secrets you'll find!

Blessings!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beautiful Things From Afar

Running a home business and Etsy shop, we have a lot of mail going out every week.  But this week I got a taste of being on the receiving end of beautiful things coming in the mail! 

Owl Post art by  Mary GrandPré

The first of these magical packages came from a dear friend of mine that sent me some very cool treasures from the across the pond!  I was totally delighted to discover an envelope with a small chalk stone from Uffington, (I work a lot with Rhiannon) a little soil from Glastonberry Tor, and a vial of White Well and Red Chalice Well Essence that she made!  I put a few drops on my hurt foot.  I put the soil in a pretty jar I had and made a label for it, yes, I'm a dork.  But I was absolutely giddy at the unexpected thoughtfulness and I'll treasure each item always!
Pretties gathered in the U.K. by my dear friend!
Then- I got another unexpected envelope in the mail!  This time it was from a woman who had ordered a deck from me, she live in Albuquerque, where I grew up.  There was a hand made card with a photo of the Sandia Crest, the mountains that you can see from anywhere in the city.  I felt a little lost when I moved to the Midwest with no mountain to watch over me.  Seeing it just brought back a huge whoosh of memories having grown up seeing it every day.  I'm framing it and hanging it over my art table so she can watch over me again. :o)
Oh look, my old mountains!
She also included a little rock from the Sandias, what a treasure, and included a leaf from a cottonwood tree, the fae tree of the Southwest!
This little rock from the Sandias will have to go somewhere very special!
This great gal also makes these gorgeous journals which she sells on Etsy, it's a beautiful supple leather cover, and you can change out the blank book inside so you'll always have it even if you fill it up.  So clever!  I'm loving this, it's so beautiful, the one she sent me is a pretty shade of leafy green, I'm going to use it for a sketchbook.  Here's a link to her shop if you want to see more of her pretties! Magical Intentions http://www.etsy.com/shop/MagickalIntentions I hope my travels bring me back to Albuquerque someday, I would love to meet up with my dear old friends, new friends and see the mountain again!
This leather book is simply delightful!

Last but not least, yesterday the print I ordered from Colorado inspirational fairy artist Lisa Steinke arrived.  When I first saw it online, I just had to have it, I thought the art was beautiful, and I love the message and decided that I would like to see it every day.  This is a gorgeous print, even better in person.  I need to pick up a frame and decide where to hang it now.
Lisa Steinke has lots of gorgeous inspirational prints check out her websites  http://www.thefaeriegathering.com/ and http://lisasteinkeart.com 
Sometimes it's the little things in life that can just brighten your outlook, a beautiful sunset, a thoughtful word, or just knowing that someone out there "gets" you.  Who knew I would find so much magic in my mail box this week!  Well, the weekend's almost here and I'm sure I'll be mailing out some more of my own magic soon!

Blessings,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Night Magical Movie: Practical Magic

Well, I spent the week feeling sorry for myself over my injured foot, and the last blog post I did was about the cancellation of the Voice of the Trees party, so I'm ready to get back to happy things.  They say that behind every dark cloud is a silver lining, and that is true, I even found some good in the bad of last week, one of my magical sisters and I got back in touch after a few months and we had a wonderful long conversation, late into the night sharing war stories and putting to rest some old ghosts, and brightening each others outlooks...we chuckled that we probably wouldn't have had that wonderful chat if not for the tragic "iron table vs foot" incident.  True magical sisters are a rare treasure, when you are at a dark low, they swoop in and pick you up and get you going again, and you're happy to trade the favor. In honor of all true magical sisters, (I believe you gals know who you are!) and the spirit of the season of the witch, I give you this weeks magical movie, Practical Magic.

This movie from 1998 was based on a book of the same title written by Alice Hoffman.  The book is a very different story from the movie, but I truly love both for their similarities and differences.


In the movie, directed by Griffin Dunne, the Owens women suffer under a curse going back to their magical ancestor Maria Owens.  Back in the old days, her heart was broken when she realized that her lover would never come to her rescue, so she cast a spell so that she will never fall in love again, but her bitterness over the incident turned the spell into a curse.  Now it seems that an untimely death comes to any man who dares to love an Owens woman.  As children, Sally and Gillian Owens parents died, their father from the curse and their mother of a broken heart, and they are raised by their wonderfully witchy aunts Fran (Stockard Channing) and Jet. (Dianne West) 
Midnight margaritas...I know that spell...er...recipe!
After learning of the curse and then spying on the aunts working love spells for the desperate women of the town, Sally decides she never wants to fall in love and casts a spell of her own to fall in love only with an impossible man who could never exist, or could he? 

Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) grow up, Gillian plays the field never getting too serious about love, but Sally falls in love with a great guy, has two beautiful daughters and then the curse kicks in.  When her husband dies in a freak accident, she goes into herself, brings her daughters (played delightfully by Evan Rachel Wood and Alexandria Artrip) and moves back in with the aunts.  Times get tough, but her sister shows up and gets her back on her feet and breathing again.  Next thing you know it's Gillians turn to need her sister when it turns out the guy she's involved with, Jimmy is a real bad guy.  After a kidnapping, an attempted strangulation, a belladonna overdose and a botched resurrection spell the sisters find themselves trying to rid themselves of one mean angry ghost.

Enter the very hot lawman, officer Gary Hallet (Aiden Quinn...mmmm) who shows up looking for Gillian's ex boyfriend who it turns out is/was a murderer. Dodged a bullet there ladies, Gary also has fallen for Sally and he has all the impossible attributes of her childhood spell! 
What a house!  I could have breakfast there, want to join me?

There are so many wonderful scenes in this movie, the classic scene where they have midnight margaritas, the spell to bring Jimmy back including the pentagram drawn on his chest with whipped cream, the phone tree, and who wouldn't want the aunts Book of Shadows?!  I love Sally's trick for blowing candles "on," and how about that house!?
"Something white to write with" whipped cream in a pinch!


I also love, love, love the soundtrack for this movie, featuring Stevie Nick's Crystal (which I have always believed has magic in it) This Kiss by Faith Hill, Coconut by Harry Nilsson, etc. great music!

Halloween at the Owen's house.

One of the greatest witchy movies of all time in my book, and I always love to watch it this time of year!

Magical Movie Featured Item:

Spellwork is always afoot in Practical Magic, you'll look your witchy best in this super soft t-shirt featuring my
art Magic is Afoot.  Available in our Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MickieMuellerStudio

Blessings,