Saturday, July 28, 2012

Listening to Canyon Storm by Gwain Nighthawk with Blake Octavian Blair

I love music!  I really do, and when I'm not watching a magical movie while I work at my old wooden art table I love to have some great tunes playing.  Many people don't know that I spent a great part of my art career creating CD, cassette and stage artwork for St. Louis area bands and local art for national touring rock and metal bands.  Music has always been an important part of my life and my tastes range from crunchy Metal, Ska, Jazz, Classical, New Age, Steampunk, Classic Rock, and one can occasionally catch me getting funky with that 70's groove.  Music speaks to your heart and soul.

One of my favorite new CD's that takes me to that chill place I need to be when I'm writing is Canyon Storm by Gwain Nighthawk with Blake Octavian Blair.  Described as "World Fusion featuring the Native American Flute," this is a CD full of spirit and personally I love listening to it while writing and creating art.  It's so obvious that creating this CD was a labor of love and that comes out in the music. 

Gwain Nighthawk plays a hauntingly beautiful flute, the ethereal melodies transport the listener to a place of harmony and peace.  Gwains partner, Blake Octavian Blair is a Llewewllyn author that you may know from his articles in their popular periodicals and is the percussionist for this venture.  He brings in world instruments to compliment Gwains peaceful flute such as Tibetan bowl, Native American frame drum, Udu, and rainstick.  They also have guests that appear on several of the songs adding new levels to the tunes and melodies.  The production sound is clean sounding, very pure as if you are sitting on a rock in the desert at sundown listening to the music in a ritual.  Sounds of nature have been added with just the right balance so as not to come off over edited but in the perfect balance of man made and nature made music and rhythms blended in a soothing sound scape.

As a Reiki Master, I've noticed that the resonance of the music seems to actually lift the vibrations of the room where it's played, not surprising since both Gwain and Blake are  Reiki practitioners.  Since I first received this CD it has on more than one occasion been salve to heal my spirit and fill my home with vibrations of peace and love.

You can listen to samples to their music on CD Baby, you can also download the MP3 or order a copy of their CD.

Thanks guys for creating many moments of Zen!

Bright Blessings!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fairy Friday- What's in My Magical Cabinet?!

Happy Friday!  I was just looking for an item to fill an order for one of our awesome customers and I was greeted by lots of fairies in my cabinet full of goods!  Fairies on mugs, garden flags, plaques, all kinds of delightful fae folk looking for a home.  I just thought I would share a few of my favorites with you this lovely morning.  It's only 90 today so far and I'm feeling bright and sunny!  LOL

I love these crystal pendants, they sparkle and shine and they really show depth because the art is behind the crystal glass! I have some of these in my magical cabinet if you want one  Click here!

This Elven Princess visited me in a dream, this morning she was trying to get my attention as I looked through my magical cabinet and found her on a coffee mug, garden flag and a print!  Click here to see her more closely!

Wedged in between all of the pretties that Dan and I have made stored in our magical cabinet, I discovered my missing copy of Fairy Faith!  This is a cool movie that I just love, were the fairies in my cabinet watching it?

The Steampunk fairy always makes me smile, she has an attitude from a different era, click here if you would like to share your morning brew with her!

I still have a few of the one of a kind fairies, ACEO (art cards and originals) cards, she is one of a kind original art made with real wings too!  If you want to see her closer or give her a good home click here!

So many fairies, so little time!  My grand kids are visiting today, maybe we'll sit and watch Fairy Faith together this afternoon since the fae have returned it and dream about the fair folk!

Brightest Blessings!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Night Magical Movie: Brave

Many of my readers have realised that most of my movie posts are older movies, that would be because I don't get out much.  We hardly ever spend the money to go to the movies, we usually wait for them to come out on DVD instead and I ofen watch them while working on artwork.  However, from the first time I saw still shots of this one, I knew I wanted to see it.  Celts, magic and a firey chick, did they make this just for me?!  I looked up the trailer and showed Dan and he suggested that it would be cool to take Olivia our little 2 1/2 year old granddaughter to see it.  So when my daughter called me up to see if I would babysit Olivias brother 1 year old Rhys so they could go see Brave, I said "No way, we're coming too!"  Rhys' Granny was kind enough to babysit (thanks, Tracey) and we packed up the clan and headed up to the neigborhood theater. 
The royal family at the dinner table.
Pixar's Brave is the story of Merida, (voiced by Kelly Mcdonald) a Scottish princess who wants to make her own destiny in life.  Unfortunately, her position as a princess means she's required to do lots of things she would rather not, girly stuff like needlework and learning manners under her mothers the Queens (Emma Thompson) strict tutelage.  Her father the King (Billy Connely) who lost his leg in a fight with a bear when she was a child, supports her free spirit with the gift of her very own bow and arrows.  Her favorite thing in the world is defying her mother and sneaking away on her horse to practice her archery skills and run free across the Scottish countryside.  When it's announced that a contest will be held to decide which of the neighboring kings first born sons will win her hand in marriage, Merida is not thrilled with the idea. 
I loved the scenery...
Merida decides that since the first borns of each king are allowed to compete she chooses archery for the competition and then jumps into the contest at the end to win her own hand.  This causes lots of friction between all the kingdoms and even more between Merida and her mother.  When Merida runs off and ends up following willo-the-wisps through the woods and finds the cottage of a witch who also is a wood carver.  Merida talks her into doing magic for her so that she can change her mother in order the change her destiny without first considering the consequences.  That's when things go even worse for Merida and for her mother.
Merida rocks the competition but leave the other clans in an uproar!

Merida has to learn through her adventures the importance of family and her mother who gets pulled into the adventure with Merida through a magic spell has to learn respect for her daughters dreams and skills.  The two of them must learn to work together to break the spell by mending what was torn apart by both of their pride. 

Merida is Pixar's first female protagonist, something my son pointed out right away, and they really chose a good one!  She is a wonderful character full of fire and knows pretty much what she wants.  She is rendered beautifully in fact her wild mane of red hair is practically a character itself!  Computer animation has really come a long way, we didn't see the 3D version, but it still was a delight to the eyes.  For me the scene in the morning sunlight at the river was absolute magic, the animators captured the motion of the water and the morning light with finesse and beauty.  I loved the willo-the-wisps and the witch was hysterical!  Not a typical fairytale wicked witch at all which was refreshing, instead she was there in the woods just trying to market her woodcarving wares until the willful Merida pretty much cornered her into provider her with a magical solution to her problems.

 I just about died laughing when Merida returns only find an answering machine type message coming out of the witches cauldron with instructions on how to break the spell and apologies that she's away at the Wickerman Festival at Stonehenge.   The action scenes had you on the edge of your seat and we all laughed that Merida's triplet brothers reminded us very much of her brother Rhys at home with grandma.

 Without giving you a spoiler, I wanted to applaud Pixar for coming up with a very different ending than we usually have for the animated stories about princesses, they really surprised and delighted me by taking the last scene down to road less taken.  Not all princess stories have to be love stories after all!

Did I mention the soundtrack? Oh, man I've gotta have that soundtrack!  In fact, I think I may just have to buy this movie when it comes out on DVD because I think it would be an inspiration to have it playing while I'm working at my old wooden art table.
Merida following the willo-the-wisps.

Monday Movie Featured Item:

Merida isn't the only Celtic warrior woman, in older times, the Celts were actually known for the women fighting right along side the men, all painted in woad body paint much like the Macintosh clan in Brave.  This movie made me think of the people and places in my Voice of the Trees deck, an oracle deck based on the Celtic Ogham.  This garden flag features the cover art of the accompanying book Voice of the Trees Companion, another awesome Celtic warrior chick!

Ogham Shield garden flag available in the Official Voice of the Trees Etsy shop.

Bright Blessings!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mystical Cats Tarot: A Sneak Peek!

Cats can be pretty crafty sneaky little dears, and the Mystical Cats Tarot is no exception!  Lunaea Weatherstone and I have been hard at work crafting this upcoming deck, she has so many great ideas for these cards, she's an inspiration and loads of fun to work with, we two kitties play very nicely together.  Earlier today shortly after we discussed some details on The Tower card which I'm working on now, she called to see how I felt about offering a sneeky peek for our dear readers, a little snippet of one of the cards.  Of course, you know me, I loved the idea!  I'm having so much fun bringing these magical mystical cats to life and it's always hard not to let the cat out of the bag, but sometimes you can peek in the bag in you're very careful! Tee-hee!

The Mystical Cats Tarot will be a truly unique view into the mystical side of the world of cats.  Where do cats go when they "zone out?"  When you peer into the world that Lunaea and I have imagined, you'll know.

We have a long way to go, a tarot deck takes years to complete and we're still working on the major arcana, but here is that little bit of magic you can see if you peek into the keyhole of the Mystical Cats Tarot, a work in progress!

Bright Blessings!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Magic of Flags, Blowing Intentions in the Wind

Flags have been used to represent all kinds of ideas through the ages, they have represented who we are, our claims on property, unity of a group of people, sending messages, and even prayers on the wind.  The first flags were used for military purposes to help troops coordinate and later on ships used them to send messages about the ships alliances and other information.  National flags provide a symbol for people to rally behind and a point of pride for the people.  Many flags were created to represent religions.  Flags provide inspiration as the element of air blows over them making them dance with their message in the wind.
Tibetan Prayer Flags at Red Rocks Auditorium in Colorado when I was there in 2009.

Tibetan Prayer Flags are colorful flags strung together or hung as long banners, with Indian Sutras printed on them.  The colors represent the elements because the achievement of health and harmony are the result of finding balance between the elements.  Symbols for transforming bad fortune into good fortune, Buddhist teachings and Mantras of the great Buddhist Bodhisattvas are among the symbolism included on these prayer flags. Mantras and prayers for the good fortune, health and longevity of the person who hangs the flags are often included as well.  These colorful flags can be seen all over India, it is believed that the prayers and mantras are blown on the wind to fill the area with uplifting positive energy.
Flags from both of my Etsy shops flying in the breeze under my oak tree!
In home and garden centers everywhere we see garden flags meant to be hung outdoors as decor and often convey positive messages in addition to beautiful images.  Dan and I actually make a line of garden flags with my magical art on them.  Some are shown here, click here to see more! 
Bring an abundant harvest using flag magic!  Celtic Oak Fairy Flag is available in our Etsy shop

 When hung with blessing intentions, these flags can also be used to bring positive energy into your area and positive vibes to your home, garden, and family.  The idea is that flags are very sensitive to the slightest movement of wind (just try taking a good photo of one LOL) as wind passes over the images and messages on the flags the air becomes blessed and empowered by the images and words and those blessings fill the immediate area and ripple out into the world. 

How Can I Make My Own Flag Magic?

The first step is to browse through flags and find one that speaks to you.  It should be an image and/or message that strikes a cord with the kinds of intentions that you would like to manifest.  You can usually find decorative flags at home and garden centers, Tibetan Prayer Flags and other flags with positive spiritual messages can be found at many New Age/Metaphysical shops or on the Internet and of course be sure to check both of my Etsy shops Mickie Mueller Studio and Voice of the Trees, every piece of art available there can be ordered on a garden flag.  Here's a link to special order garden flags.
Send messages of love on the wind, Mother and Child of the Fae Garden Flag available in our Etsy Shop.
A flag to be used for magical intentions should be hung on an auspicious day, choose a full moon, Sabbat or magical day of the week corresponding to your intention.  A day when the wind is blowing is always good, also a day when the sun is out will help bless your new flag.  Choose a spot where it's not in direct sunlight all day if you want your flag to last longer, and be sure to also choose a spot where the wind will blow across it freely.  If you would like to add a blessing as you hang it you can use the following or make up your own blessing:

"Flag of fabric blowing free,
Sending blessings I decree
Colors bless with love and mirth
Ripple out across the earth."

Our flags resist fading pretty well, I display mine where the sunlight isn't hitting it all day long to help them last.  I've been hanging mine changing with the seasons for a couple of years now and they're holding up quite well. 
Bring magic and the blessings of the Willow Tree, Witch of the Willow flag available in our Etsy shop.

Should your flag ever fade, don't despair; that just means that the elements of sun, wind and rain have brought the blessed images and messages on the flag into an existence as a permanent part of the universe.  It can also mean that the elements have given you an opportunity to seek out a new message that you need blowing through your life!