Friday, February 23, 2018

Fiber Friday- Catching Up

This week has been much more productive. I made a schedule so I could complete projects. Monday is for art shows. Thus-
I started making key stars for my Little Pink Houses piece. And I actually started making the roof for the house. Then I put it back in the studio and forgot to photograph it. But I promise, Monday was great. I felt very proud of myself for being so smart.

So of course, Tuesday, which is Amazon day, I got absolutely nothing done. Tuesday was also sewing circle day. I missed that, too. I took my Mom to the eye doctor and her 9:15 appointment turned into an all day thing. I didn't get home until 1pm. At that point, I was exhausted, my toddler needed a nap, and I just gave up.

Wednesday is Xmas presents day, though I revised it to be any present because I need to make a wedding gift in a hurry. I decided to make key chains for family members.
One side will have a star. I'm making the stars with single stitches going only over one hole because I'm worried about my stitches covering 4 holes being prone to snag on things and being pulled out. This certainly changes the look of the star. I'm not sure if I like it, but I will be very unhappy if I discover a key chain I made fell apart.
The other side of the key chain will feature a mirror. I love using mirrors in my work. I went to Hobby Lobby where I found key rings (hmm, maybe I should call this a key fob rather than a key chain?) I found mirrors, and I found all sorts of things for future projects. Then I started to worry that maybe mirrors are too girlie. Maybe the men should get a compass. If Hobby Lobby has cheap compasses I didn't find them. I think maybe they would be in the section with science toys and I didn't look there.

Thursday is home and wardrobe day. I redid my trivets.
Originally I wrapped steel rings with the cheap cord I had on hand which melted horribly. I used cotton this time. The ugly melted cord really bothered me, but I had so many other projects I never addressed the issue and this is why I need a schedule.

Friday is a free day. I know me, something is going to come up that I really, really want to work on, even if it is not practical to do so. Like the foxes.
I finished my daughter's fox. I decided the fox project needed to end. I have space for one more. I thought about a word, maybe unity or hope or true or brave. I couldn't decide. My husband said to make another with our last name. I don't want to make another exactly like the first one, so I bought more yarn. One fox in that funky salmon orange was probably one too many.
I decided our future should be bright.

I also decided Z and his future wife should get their own totem. Z said wolves. I found lots of patterns. I settled on this:
It's easy to translate to plastic canvas. But both my husband and Z insist this is a Husky, not a wolf. Now I have to dig through patterns again. Or, and this fills me with dread because I can't draw, I need to design my own pattern. I think that's the only option, other than to simply stop asking Z what he wants, because each time I mention wolves he goes much deeper into detail. Apparently I'm some kind of sewing badass who can make anything out of thread.

I have several other projects floating around. See the above mentioned schedule. I can't photograph them all. And then I realized I need...more. I got an email from SAQA about becoming a juried artist member, which sounds wonderful, except I don't have a collection of quilted work. Almost every quilt I have made, I have either sold or given away. Then I didn't quilt for years. And I joined SAQA to motivate me to quilt, to be a fiber artist, to have more opportunities for quilt shows. Becoming a JAM is important but I can't prove my skills because I have nothing to show. I did realistically realize I won't make the deadline, so I'm aiming for next year. Which means my problem of storing completed art just became more complex.

Monday, February 19, 2018

I Think I Made It

An artist I admire left a comment on my last post. I think I have achieved success.

Every day I try to sew. This isn't always possible, but pretty much every day I sew to create art. However, projects aren't being completed as they should. Sometimes I get wrapped up on one. Some I don't like anymore so I don't want to finish. Others I simply forget about because the deadline is so far away there's nothing to hold my attention. I made a project schedule. It isn't complete, I only listed the items I felt most guilty about avoiding. But it is a start, and now I know when I'll work on things even if I'm not exactly sure what I will do. At the very least, now planning what to carry with me each day is a bit easier.

I also think I need to journal daily. It helps me to stay focused. Ideas seem to flow better. Journaling reminds me of things to check out.

I am making my way to the garden each day to bless the war water. It hasn't rained since I decided to make war water, but I did find spider webs on the 3rd day. I thought the webs were cool. I was reminded Spider is my totem. I haven't worked with Grandmother Spider in a long time. This needs to change. I may add a spider item to my sewing box.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fox Friday

Since last week didn't work so well, I decided to focus on one project today. Welcome to Fiber Friday the Foxy Edition.

I'm making a fox for each family member. Every fox is the same pattern of stitches, but in different colors because I was trying to match color to personality while still more or less keeping with the decor. First, I made a family fox. This funky, rust, sort of salmon orange appears to change color every time I look at it.
Husband's fox.
My fox.
Oldest son. His name wouldn't fit. I used his initials.
Both the adult sons picked the colors of their foxes. Oldest wanted a color based on his favorite football team and Z wanted a gray fox because he thought they were sort of rare. Z also decided we should be foxes rather than wolves or bears.
His name wouldn't fit either. It's a D, not an O. I realize this looks like the word "owls." It's not. I didn't want to make this fox due to the behavior problems this child has. 
This son goes by his initials. I didn't center the letters correctly. Rather than rip it out and start over, I added the Roman numeral because that was the easier fix. Yes, he really is the fifth. You may be noticing the older sons are not named after their father. The second wife filled out the birth certificate when my husband was not in the room. She went against his wishes. When my daughter was born, my husband and I made damn sure she did not share a family member's name. It is a burden to be named after someone.
I am still working on my daughter's fox. I have discovered it's best to do the sides, then the fox. I was going straight across, but with this one I rambled a bit. I started at the top then then outlined the Fox's side, made the feet, started the face, then went back to the top. I had a miscarriage before getting married. We tired for a year. At first, we kept up with cycles. Then we had as much sex as possible. Then I asked my doctor why I couldn't get pregnant and he prescribed a fertility drug. I got pregnant with the first dose. I didn't intend to make this fox in the same willy nilly fashion as I conceived my daughter, it just happened that way.
I will have enough space for at least 1 more fox after I finish my daughter's, I may have space for 2. Z wants me to make foxes for his fiancee and her child. When I started this project he didn't have a girlfriend. If oldest son gets married he will be annoyed that his wife doesn't have a fox. Eventually the younger boys will grow up and the fox project will be unending. This was so simple in the beginning. Now I'm running out of living room wall.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Kitchen Witch Day

My husband and I had an argument last night. I decided he should be a bit nicer to me. Behold the way to turn an ordinary recipe into a spell:
I didn't plan anything out. I just looked through my cookbooks until this caught my eye- they're called "Midnight Cookies"
This is in Entenmann's Big Book of Baking page 228.
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
The very first thing I poured into the mixing bowl was the sugar. I said my husband's name and said he must be very sweet. I added the other dry ingredients. I stirred them together as I named off kind things my husband has done for me.

During this preparation, I played Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour" I tried to keep the song going the entire time.

Cookies cooling on the table.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Pinterest. This is how I am picturing my sacred well. I decided my war water needs graveyard dirt. I intend to gather a bit from several local cemeteries. Sage might be the herb to plant around the cauldron.

The background is over half done.

I bought a motion activated night light and it is awesome! My son was unable to wander around the house last night. He was awake and irritated when I got him up for school. I actually slept. My daughter also slept well. I believe the nightlight burned nearly all night, meaning my son probably tried several times to unsuccessfully unplug it. He may have stayed awake the whole night, but he didn't get into anything he wasn't supposed to. I love the nightlight.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

War Water

This looks great but I'm annoyed to say it took a long time to move from one side of the yard to the other because the boys didn't put away my hand truck like I asked. I spent a while stomping around the yard looking (and seeing more things out of place) before finally noticing the wheel behind a roll of chicken wire. Since I was getting more irritated by the other problems I kept encountering, I decided getting things in place was enough. I have plenty of room in the tire to plant herbs, though I haven't decided yet what that should be. The premise is simple- I will allow this cauldron to fill naturally with rain water. Each day after feeding the chickens, I'll come over here to do a blessing. I intend to invoke the sun. Traditionally war water made by allowing nails to rust in a jar. I've already got rust from the cauldron itself. War water is used by sprinkling it on objects believed to be cursed, or by pouring it on the doorstep of people you believe mean you harm. I have also seen drinkable potions to aid in strength and potions to rub on weapons for added defence. I'm going to ward property markers with war water to keep problems away. For the problems that are internal, I will sprinkle some war water around the house as I clean.

To balance out the war water banishing, I want a cauldron of healing water, almost like a sacred well. My father-in-law had suggested placing a rain barrel here, to catch rainwater that falls from the chicken house. I could just as easily use a cauldron as a barrel. In order to make it work, I need to cut off the excess tin, add a gutter, and move the flower pots. Rain barrels are sometimes illegal because they prevent rain from restoring the water table. However, they only catch a small percentage of water. You cannot catch all the rain that falls. What you save would just be less the water authority could charge you for later. Are you starting to see the real problem? In places where rain barrels actually make a difference is in places where there isn't much rain anyway. Or in places where nearly all the residents decided to save water. Oh wait, that's the same problem of people refusing to pay for a resource that falls freely from the sky. Never mind. I'm still considering possibilities for the healing well. We have places where rainwater doesn't freely run off. We have a well we aren't using. I don't intend to consume the water. I may use it to water my garden but as I already have a drip irrigation system I don't think I will use the water outside of spell work. I also have bottle trees and I think that kind of Magick could be a big help to us. I'm going to start with war water. I believe the rest will reveal itself as needed.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday the 12th

I said Friday that I took my own advice:
Over the weekend I completed youngest son's fox and am now filling in the background. It went together very well, very fast. I am not doing any Magick.

The boys were not here this weekend. They stayed next door for whatever religious day is after Mari Gras. (I have no idea what was special about Sunday, only that my in-laws went to church early to arrange flowers and dinner was served after the service.) I had reservations about the idea because the last time they spent the night I thought everything was good, but later I found out there were several behavior issues and no one bothered to tell me. However, the boys not being home is far less stressful.

In-laws swore to me multiple times that the boys were well behaved. But then they came home, wouldn't go to bed, and wandered around the house most of the night. Ergo, this morning I did a search for motion activated lights. Which would only solve part of the problem. I didn't sleep much last night. Every time I heard a noise I wondered if they were still awake. Every time I got up they were back in bed by the time I walked across the house.

I realized much of what is stressful about this situation is that I deal with it constantly. I haven't been able to do the things I enjoy. I stopped my daily practice because I either didn't have time or I couldn't think properly. Not doing spell work every day bothers me. I had finally settled into a practice that really worked for me. I was enjoying it. Then suddenly the Magick was gone, almost as if it never existed.

This won't do. I hate feeling so helpless and lost.

I did some gardening this weekend.
I had peppers planted in the tires. As the plants died I replaced them with herbs. I thought everything was lost save for my rosemary. I decided to put the tires in the chicken pen. Filling the tires with sand would allow my chickens to take dust baths. When I started cleaning out the first tire, I discovered my lemon balm had survived the snow.

Now I think it would be better to buy 2 more herbs. I remember how happy I was coming out to the garden every day to see my little plants growing. I had an epiphany- the garden is sacred space. I suddenly had a vision of my cauldron and very cold water  being dipped out. Then I thought of several cauldrons.

The ideas are still forming. The only thing I know for sure is I need to make war water.

War water is used for banishing, but it is also very protective. Of course, that's 2 sides of the same coin.

These are cauldrons my Granddaddy used in metalwork. They are stuck together. I set them at the edge of my porch. I had a little garden here before Will took over the area with his work table and lawn mower repairs. I will place this in my garden for war water. I have another cauldron I will use for healing water. I will blog about this after I have the cauldrons in place. I can visit them every day when I feed the chickens. The pen is beside the garden. Hopefully this project will help me straighten out my life.