Friday, September 24, 2010

New Crystal Art Pendants Coming Soon

Hi All,

I wanted to share the first pictures of our new Crystal Art Pendants! We just got these new dye sublimation blanks in yesterday. We print the artwork out small, cut it off the sheet, position the art on the back side of the crystal blank. Then we press it in the heat press and the ink transfers to the specially treated back side of the crystal. The first one broke, but once we got the pressure right, these pendants turned out really great. The size is just perfect, 1 inch wide x 1 1/2 inch tall, with a beautiful silver tone bail. The beveled edges are faceted adding a bit of sparkle, and we were really happy with how the art looks shining out from behind the 1/4 inch thick pendant.

The only one I have a picture of right now is a gift for my sweet Mar Mar. We planned to press a bunch and get pictures up on the Etsy store, but Mar Mar ended up in the hospital yesterday, so that is a priority. So we wanted to press one for her, I put it on a chain and we'll be bringing it to her in the hospital later on today.

We might have more pictures taken, and put some of these on Etsy this weekend depending on how things are going. I hope you enjoy these pictures until then!

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pagan Pride Day Cancelled Due to Weather

Well, it is Missouri after all. All week I watched and it looked like it would be overcast but warm, perfect weather for vending at an outdoor festival on a lovely Autumn day. But in the words of famous Missourian Mark Twain, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute!" Yesterday the forecast changed and we've had thunderstorms since last night!

Dan and I angished over the decision, because we knew people were expecting up to be there, but we had already lost some merchandise (and a little pride and sanity) in storms earlier this year, so we had finally come to the decision that bringing all my artwork into a thunderstorm under a metal tent was a bad idea. Shortly afterwards we found out the event had indeed been cancelled. I felt some relief because I really hate cancelling out of people, but I'm sad for the event planners, they put so much work and money into these events, and it's a shame to see it happen to good people.

They'll be rescheduling, and I hope to be able to attend for the new date.

And such is the world!

Blessings, and stay dry,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Going to Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride Day This Weekend

We are packing up all our lovelies because we were invited to Mid-Missouri Pagan Pride Day in Columbia MO this weekend. The event will be held in Peace Park Sunday September 19, from noon-6pm, there will be workshops, shopping and art show, and lots of fun. Other authors appearing include childrens writer and illustrator Lyon Martin, mystery and suspense writer M.R. Sellars and Joyce and River Higgenbotham. They'll also have music by Elven Drums and Wolf.

This is a free event, but they are asking for canned goods to be donated that will go to local food pantries, funds will also be raised for a no-kill animal shelter.

I'll be doing a workshop on my upcoming Voice of the Trees oracle deck, it's a fun workshop. This is basically an extended version of what I do when friends and family come over and visit my studio and I bring the art for the cards out and lay them on the old art table and go through the artwork and talk about what the cards mean, and the stories behind the inspiration for each piece. Of course the originals are at Llewellyn right now because they are working on getting it all together for publishing, but I have full size copies of the art to show.

Dan and I are also packing up all of our items found on our Etsy shop and even more to bring out and offer for sale. I even have a few of my Triple Goddess statues and some of my sterling silver jewelry too. Dans updating the computer so we can take credit cards while we're there, I know I don't ususally carry much cash, and we found that people really appreciate that we can take cards. It looks like our Etsy store exploded in our livingroom!

Well, it promises to be a great time, any of you Mid-Missourians in the area, drop in and say hello! We'll post some pictures on Monday.

Here are some of our candle sconces waiting to be packed.

Loads of tote bags

Monday, September 13, 2010

Voice of the Trees Deck, Edits Done!

Well, it's been a busy week at the art table this week writing, and I didn't blog this weekend because I had a house full of adolescent boys over for my sons birthday, and I wouldn't have made sense anyway, as you can imagine!
I'm happy to report that I've finished the edits for the Voice of the Trees deck, and they've been sent off to my publisher. It was fun to revisit the manuscript, and I found that once I had added the extra material they had asked for, I really liked the improvements. I got to add some personal stories, and some more tree magic which was very fun!

The cover art for the packaging of the project was chosen by Llewellyn, they'll be using the "Willow" piece (see above) for the front of the box! It's a very magical piece, but not the one I thought they would pick, but I think it will work nicely. *Disclaimer* This picture is not what the box will look like, the art is the same but the lettering will be created by Llewellyns art department, maybe a cool Celtic border, or something. They're coming up with something great I'm sure, this is just my little mock-up version. The extra piece that I created an planned for the cover of the box is a Celtic Warrior chick, (see below) and will actually be the cover of the book. I'm pleased with both of their choices. The book will be called, "Voice of the Trees Companion." I'm really very happy, once the material is submitted it's in the hands of the publisher and sometimes many changes are made, but they are really staying true to my vision and even gave met the opportunity to expand upon it, so I'm really happy about this project so far. Both my aquisitions editor and my book editor have been a dream to work with.

This is the image they're
using for the cover of the book
"Voice of the Trees Companion.

Instead of including a thin organza bag like they have with some decks in the past, I was given the opportunity to include simple instructions for making your own bag to store the cards in, which is really nice because the organza bags tended to tear easily, and how fun is it to make your own bag? I made the instructions really simple, and I actually constructed a bag to make sure the instructions were clear, and took photos as I went to base the illustraqtions on. The bag I made turned out nice, I used some fabric left over from my costume I wore to the St. Louis Witches Ball last year when Dan and I went as Sweeny Todd and Mrs Lovitt. That was a hoot! Anywho, I'm adding some decorative flourishes to this sample bag and will be offering it as a give away at some point, so watch for that.

Dan and I as Sweeny Todd and Mrs. Lovitt, and in real life as ourselves.

Incedentally and mostly unrelated, I looked at those heather plants from Aldi, and they are good ole Scottish Heather! I nearly brought one home, but beset with birthday parties and other expenses, I decided that money spent on a plant that will likely croak this winter is money better spent elsewhere, they sure were pretty though.

Thats all for now, we'll have a new movie later for the Monday Night Magical Movie. Yeah!
Fare thee well! Mickie

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why is an Art Table Like a Writing Desk?

In Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter asked Alice, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Much tomfoolery ensued and the question finally ended with Alice finally retorting exasperated, "I should think you might do something better with your time than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers."

Illustration: The Tea Party by Arthur Rackham

But to answer the question, "Why is an art table like a writing desk" is quite a bit more simple, and I can report the bare minimum of tomfoolery. I'm working on edits for the manuscript for "The Voice of the Trees Companion Book" which will of course accompany my new deck coming out Sept. 2011.

I've actually been quite fortunate that there weren't a lot of changes, most of them were simple and organizational, and I was asked to add a few things, which made me quite happy. I got to add some more spells using the cards which I was very excited about. It's a really cool use for this deck in addition to using it for readings, so I was very happy when my editor asked for more! She's also letting me do more illustrations for the book to which I say, yeah! I'm really happy and have several great ideas! Anyone who wants some tree spells now, you don't have to wait for the book, I've written one for each of the trees in the Celtic Tree Calendar which are in Llewellyns 2010 Witches Datebook, and it's on sale...bonus!

It seems like I've been working on this longer than I should have to for as few edits that I actually have, but I have been, of course, multitasking. I had several deadlines for Llewellyns periodicals also, so I had put them all in order according to the dates and worked my way through them. Pretty logical for someone originally from the other side of the rabbit hole!

Since I have a long weekend, I thought I would sit down and rock this thing out, so in true Wonderland manor, I made a pot of lovely blooming tea and sat down to work. I'm almost done now, just my usual anal checking and checking again which I'll probably do on and off all weekend, but by Monday it should be whisking off across the Internet to my editor in plenty of time to make my deadline. *Proud*

I hand made a mock up version of the deck for me to work with while I wait for the publication to come out. I use them to work with on my own and I also have been doing online readings with them through my Etsy shop right here at the old wooden art table/writing desk. So I got them out along with all my notes for inspiration, and propped up the Woodbine card for clarity and focus to help me stay on task. So why am I writing a blog right now, you may ask? Well, it's way past tea time of course silly! Join me in a cup, it's Golden Blossom Jasmine...mmmm...

One more sip and back to work I go!

"Clean cup, move down!"

Fare Thee Well!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heather Seems to Be a Theme!

Hi Dears!
Having just finished my Heather Fairy, I've added new fairy magic candles to my etsy store, see my etsy link on the right of the page.

I've been working on trying to finish up adding some additional text requested my my editor for the book that will accompany my upcoming deck "The Voice of the Trees." So that's keeping me tied up for a little bit, I'm grounding myself from art until I'm done. But I just had to drop in because it seems that heather is a plant that isn't finished with me quite yet!

Heather is one of the "trees" from my new deck, so naturally, I have an illustration of heather for the deck. In the deck based on the Celtic Ogham, heather stands for transition and partnership. It tells of either a business or romantic partnership, one with a good foundation to grow from. So that's pretty cool, because my husband Dan and I are both romantic and business partners! Gotta love that!
So it seems that the heather energy is swirling all around me right now, my horoscope even sounded similar to my dvininatory meaning for the heather card. So I ran up to the store this evening to pick up a couple of things I needed for dinner. I shop at my local Aldi a lot because it's close and I'm thrifty. As I grabbed the flier showing next weeks specials on my way out the door, right there on the front, they're going to have heather plants for fall starting Thursday Sept. 9! Wooo-hoo! So heads up all you Aldi shoppers, their heather plants are 3.99 each, just leave a few for me ok? It looks like Scottish Heather, (Calluna vulgaris) and yes, I looked it up, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden, grows well in zones 4-6. Now the bad news, it likes soil that drains well, doesn't tolerate clay, and guess what my garden is? You guessed it, my whole yard is clay. And, it also doesn't dig hot humid summers, and I'm in Missouri. So I may have to pick up a big pot to plant a little heather in. We'll see if it's Scottish Heather or Mexican Heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) also knowna as false heather, yep, no relation. Mexican heather grows well in Missouri as an annual.

So I'll post on Thursday the 6th and let you know which one it is in case any of you want to pop into your local Aldi and pick some up. In the meantime, here is the art for the heather card from the Voice of the Trees deck.

This card shows heather blooming across the heath. In the foregroundwe see a couple whos hands are tied together with a scrap of tartan fabric in an old marriage rite known as handfasting, it's where the term "tying the knot" comes from. Beneath their hands is a Celtic cauldron full of heather blossoms. The cauldron in Celtic lore represents transition, rebirth, and also abundance. I modeled the cauldron after the famous and ancient Gundestrup Cauldron.

I mocked this up in Photoshop showing a border, when the deck is published it will have a different border, I can't wait to see what the art dept. at Llewellyn comes up with, they do really nice work!