Saturday, December 28, 2013

A gathering of Goddesses

A Gathering of Goddesses
 My dreams have been so vivid as of late. And I wake up still suspended in them. I often dream of the future or receive messages for others as I sleep. The qualities of my recent dreams have been rather spectacular in a Hollywood way. Unusually so to the point of waking me and asking me to affirm aloud that I will do what is asked of me.

In early 2000 I held several Art Retreats and called them” A Gathering of Goddesses.” They were 3 days of classes, friendships, food and alcohol and creating art with Spa services thrown in. A good time was had by all.

In my 6 months of planning this event  I had begun to explore the Goddess stories, myths and teachings seriously then and began to see the goddess in every woman.
 I was extremely shy about opening up my spiritual life and my abilities to heal and walk between the worlds but desperately wanted to celebrate our kinship as women and how far we have come.

I spent many happy hours searching bookstores and websites discovering many books and art about and surrounding the Goddesses of all people around the world. Just as I had as  a teenager in the arts programs and  competition in retold stories, I spent several years researching the Fae and memorizing every fairy tale I could get my hands on. I had played and talked to the faeries since I was a wee child. I thought everyone saw them and discovered the hard way to shut the hell up or suffer slaps for lying

 During that 6 months I amassed quite a collection Books, divination cards, amulets, art, and statuary. Venus of Willendorf my first statue.  And quite a surprise to see that she was built like a real woman not like a Barbie doll.

Anyway back to today, all these lovely things have been residing in my library lined up, quietly waiting and BAMMM I get the direct message time to write about the Goddesses.

Introduce and inspire share.

So here goes
Cerridwyn came to my dreams and spelled out her name so I couldn’t mistake who she is. In a search for something else I pulled a deck of Cards “Goddess Guidance Oracle cards by Doreen Virtue” out of my nightstand and had them lying on table top. I glanced at them before going off to sleep that evening and low and behold here came Cerridwyn in a Broadway review.  I ignored it. Next night dream reoccurred bigger and louder, again I ignored. Night number #3  I woke up three different times my ears ringing from the spectacle and her name being spelled and respelled like neon lighting. A voice then asked Do you understand?

 Ok Ok OK!

 So my dear friends here is the curious part, I awoke that morning and picked up the deck of cards and began looking for the Cerridwyn Card. None was there, I when off to my library and began to root out all books connected with Goddesses. I could not find mention of her anywhere. WTF was going on?

 I searched for several hours, at last I located the right book and while paging thru found her.
 The book “Goddess Alive” by Michelle Skye
 There she is” Cerridwyn “beaming with delight. She is a Welch Goddess the original crone with her magic cauldron celebrated at Winter Solstice.
Birthing 2 children A daughter representing the light, beauty and all that is good and a son representing the dark , ugly and our shadow and all the we fear
. Isn’t that a twist??

 As I read more and more I got the image of Mad Madame Mim from the Disney movie “Sword in the Stone.
Why you asked? Well her story talks about her ability to shape shift with amazing speed and cunning. 

In the story after a series of unfortunate events  Cerridwyn must not let Gwoin  a young boy from the village who has been her helper of sorts out into the world as he now knows the sacred magical wisdom. By mistake Gwoin received 3 drops of Cerridwyn magic potion meant for her son
  Cerridwyn has worked a year and a day to create this potion and is determined to catch Gwoin as he runs away while beginning to shape shift. Everything he shifts into she countermines with a better shift and triumphs at last by shape shifting into a hen that eats Gwion who has become a grain of wheat hiding in the grain shed.
 Nine months later she then gives birth to Gwoin and he becomes the Taliesin/Merlin born to teach and share wisdom and light he received from the potion with the world.

Per her request I present Cerridwyn messages to the world

  • Nothing you do is wasted.
  •  Every experience good or bad is a piece of the puzzle forged each year and bit by bit creates the fabulous you.   
  •  For every failure has a success is waiting right around the corner.
  •  Rebirth and renewal   are always possible when we are ready
  •  Peace within is found by learning to Balance light and dark parts of our souls

May Cerridwyn Blessings flow to you as the sun returns merging back to into the coming year
 Now is the time to  plan your next new adventure as we move into  2014
 Bright Blessings and Sweet dreams  

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

November Full Moon #9 - Gwen is Inspired by Turn of the Century Architecture to Create a Cantilevered Buck Patronus Sculpture

Turn of the century Pacific Northwest Architecture is my muse for the November Moon Little Alters Exchange.  I enjoy studying & observing architecture. Even took the architectural walk through downtown Seattle, thanks to Peg, with the former PMC Guild. I'm always inspired by how artistic each angle is and how photogenic buildings are.  

B.P.O.E. Building in 2013. A Bit rusty, but waiting for McMenamins to spruce it up.  Photo by Gwen Gyldenege Copyright (c) 2013 all rights reserved.
B.P.O.E. Building in 2013. A Bit rusty, but waiting for McMenamins to spruce it up.  Photo by Gwen Gyldenege Copyright (c) 2013 all rights reserved.
The building and buck over the entrance in the above photo inspired this "Harry Potter/Prisoner of Azkaban Patronus" style deer to be sculpted in polymer clay as a cantilever sculpture. Both the deer and cantilever sculptures are a first for me. 

If you'd like to read more about how I used paper clay, polymer clay, dylusions inks, acrylic paint pens, and went about securing such a heavy object in cantilever (90 deg from the flat surface of the background) and find some links on the research I did, please head over to my blog for full details:

Monday, December 02, 2013

November Full Moon #8

November Moon's 2013 Little Alters arrives to Cyn today.  It's been a busy month of Nov. for the Kostalhaus as Karl, my husband retires this month with 36 years with King County Parks.  This month finds me very grateful for the wonderful career Karl has had with the KC Parks Dept. and the very special journey we've taken these many years together.

My inspiration this month for Cyn was Birdie's.  I know Cyn loves black birds and thought a pair of birdy earrings would be special for her and a challenge for me.  Soldering has been my main focus this session at school.  A couple of years ago during an outing at the Washington House on the coast, I was the LUCKY recipient of a great book "Chains Chains Chains: 25 necklaces, bracelets & earrings" by Joanna Gollberg and Nathalie Mornu.  I chose "Flock" by designer: Shirlee Grund.  It's 4 birdies loosely soldered together and hung as earrings. I also made Cyn's single birdie post earrings and have almost finished (2) pins that have a Brass back with 3 Silver birdies stacked on the front.  Soldering takes practice, practice and still more practice.

I had some salmon colored handmade paper for the background and used some sweet paper flowers for the side borders.  ( Peg had included it in one of our many Littler Alter mailings).  I always find myself getting out the wonderful dyed wools and chose deep maroon, orange and green to twirl with grape thread.  I spun it around the copper wire piece and taped each end down on the backside of the original piece; then glued another piece of salmon paper (with title) over the backside to finish it off.  Placed the birdie earrings onto the copper piece and glued the bottom of the pine cone to the paper.  I love the natural effect the pine cove gives next to the birdies. Food supply or nest floor!

Happy Thanksgiving to all, see you in Jan. 2014,
lazy k  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Full Moon #7

Hi Peg!
As you know my camera passed away, but I was able to give Lynn H. her 'Little Alter' at our monthly guild meeting.
The November entry is made with wool felt and is a peace sign with teeny flowers surrounding it. National Peace Day and the November full moon coincided on the same serendipitous is that?

Lynn said she'd take a photo and send it to you.

Love Lou

Thanks Lynn Hranac for the photo.

November Full Moon #6

This little Phoenix rising is for Gwen. I love the idea of starting anew, and thought this beautiful bird standing on the key to happiness was perfect for Gwen! I cut the bird out of an old calendar and added flames made from pipe cleaners. The flower button I got from Kathy D years ago and I thought it sort of looked like an Asian stamp.
I hope it brings happiness to it's new home...

Hugs, Beth 

November Full Moon #5

Is “stumped” a new word for uninspired?

Or is stumped the way you feel when you think you can “will” inspiration?  Is it stubborn determination that you can MAKE yourself come up with a good idea?  I don’t know.  But I was not taken with any really magical idea or inspiration for this month’s Little Altars spot – for the entire month!

However, I am pretty happy with my result!  I’ve been surrounded by fallen leaves.  I especially like the fallen leaves of the red maples.  At an office building I frequent, there are literally dozens of these trees surrounding the building. Every year I get suckered in by the their colors and take multiple photographs of the leaves.  Whether there are just a few on the ground, or sheets of them, they thrill me!  I also live with two maple trees at my house: a Norway maple and a silver maple.  Leaves, leaves, leaves.

I’ve also been surrounding myself, a little bit, with copper.

Put all that together, and, in the end, I was equally inspired by some leaves that my husband sawed out of copper during a beginning jewelry class we took in the mid-1990’s.  We never finished the class (it was an evening class – yikes – and that didn’t work for us.)  But in  the intervening years, I’m the one who got into copper, and chasing and repousse, etc. Since I’ve so enjoyed David’s leaves on the mantle for all these years, I figured Lynn might appreciate one as well.

This leaf has been patterned with a dried leaf in the rolling mill, sawed, chased, formed by hand, and heat treated.  It’s not sealed, so the colors will change over time.  So that it can be cleaned in the future, if desired (ours never are), it’s removable. Not meant to be worn; the edges are sharp!  It’s a simple inspiration, but I think that sometimes those are the best.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Full Moon #4

For Beth
 As November winds down the year it is a time of rest for the garden and the gardener. I was sneaking up upon a butterfly to photograph and look what I found…

 A wee garden shed with tools and wellies all cleaned up and put away till next the garden chores call.

 Background Created from Fabric I created with felt, quilting fabrics, sparkle, glitter, chiffon, paint and rubber stamps. Boots decorated with gel pens, tiny bucket and tools wrapped with a leaf vine I created from beads and wire
Cheers Peg

November Full Moon #3

  As soon as the first frost leaves the forest looking as though diamonds have been scattered about a wreath appears on the door of the lucky mushroom house. it's the home of Karl Kringle, second cousin once removed of Kris Kringle and master carver of snowflakes(oops the secret is out.....snowflake prototypes are created by gnome master carvers for Jack Frost)and Karl's are some of the most intricate. If you haven't guessed Christmas is in Karl's blood, he loves everything about the holidays. The stars he carves for the tops of Christmas are delightful all with its own touch of whimsy. If he had his way the holiday season would last year round with an endless supply of steaming hot cocoa and his most favorite cookie, spritz with red sugar sprinkles!
  But alas the season passes, the holiday decorations will be put away only to wait for the most wonderful time of the year to return. And don't be surprised if come spring you see some very famous reindeer grazing in the meadow behind Karl's house or a exhausted elf napping in the hammock.

   Kimberly, I hope you enjoy this wee peek into my imagination and the world of the wee folk. I've added some glitter to the polymer clay I've become friends with again.

  Here's wishing you all a magical, delightful, wonderful holiday season! Full of laughter and cookies!!


Cyn......the tall elf

November Full Moon #2

Hello Ladies,

I was thinking throughout the month about now excited I am for Thanksgiving….we are always in Dallas with my elderly in-laws, 92 & 87.  They are healthy, happy, and love our visits.  We love them too.  So, you would think that I would automatically be thinking about making a Thanksgiving themed altar project.  However, I have the Christmas bug!!!!!  I usually have all of my shopping done before Thanksgiving and this year is no different.  That allows me to really enjoy December and all of the parties, cooking, and visiting that goes on between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

I decided to utilize a cute little angel that I had.  It needed to be painted which was very challenging for me as I am not trained by or related to either Hummel or LLadro!!!!  I know he is a little rustic and sports a very nice tan but what would you expect of a heavenly being?  They are always in the sunshine!  Of course, his wings are iridescent.  I found a beautiful card with dimensional pointsettias and included with the card was a cute little pin which I have included as part of your altar package.  I hope that you like it and that it helps you focus on Christmas and all of the things you have to be Thankful for during this holiday season.

I am thankful for all of you and the opportunity to work together on this amazing project.

Warm Regards and Blessings!!!!

Lynn V

November Full Moon #1

November Altar Project
My November Altar project goes to Nancy!
While working on cleaning out the Bellevue house I found lots of little “treasures”….. or at least I thought they were at some point in time.  Opening containers I found old letters, beads, and others were little bits off stuff.  It made me start to think of time capsules and messages in bottles.  I thought it would be fun to start a project were we all sent a message out in a bottle to see where it ended up – anyone interested??

So my project for this month, simple as it is, was to send Nancy a message in a bottle.  The message is a take-off on a poem that I have always loved called “How to be an Artist”.  I added a few things to the poem and changed it around a little but I still think it is a good message…basically – try something new!  But one of the thoughts was especially appropriate…Take a bath in the moonlight!  So as our full moon for November is upon us…maybe you will be taking a bath in the moonlight tonight!!

A Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Howling winds and Full Moon Of November

It's a good time to be inside, curled up with a warm blanket and a good book. As I write the rain is falling dancing from bare branch to bare branch. slithering among the fallen leaves and mud.

This is a bittersweet time for me as we come to the end of our Little Altars project. Only one more to go and we have completed each spot in our printer's Drawer that is serving as home for each tiny altar.
 This has been an interesting  and challenging experience. Following the full Moon cycles seem to make the months fly by. But a the same time it was very interesting to see how my inspirations turned up at the different times of each cycle. I loved the freedom of exploring different mediums each month and having to keep things small enough to fit in each different space. As well as consider how well each little altar would travel and then be placed in it's new home once it arrived.
I always likes USPS's Priority mail but after this project I simply adore it. Not only do they provide such sturdy shipping boxes but I could track exactly when each box arrived at no extra charge. (No I do not work @ the post office but there is my shameless promotion today.)

 After all the little Altar offerings for November's Full Moon we will be taking a break during December and finishing our last altar in January.
 Keep checking back as I will be adding more posts for the enitre year as life prevented a few altars from being created until now.
 It is very  fun to receive your comments and inspires each artist to create  more wonder and beauty  as the months progress. I will also be posting completed altar photos for each Artist who participated in the project as well as each piece they created during the project so you can see " the whole Picture"

October Full Moon #11

 October Altar piece for Marilyn
Dearest Marilyn and other members of our Altar group….. I apologize for not getting my piece turned in on time last month but at least it is as it is for the full moon this month!  The move from Bellevue ended up being so much more than we anticipated and it was totally consuming and exhausting but alas it is over!
Knowing that Marilyn was a quilter I had this brainy idea to do a quilt block for her – with real blocks.  The intent was to cover all 6 sides of a cube with different pictures so she would be able to move them around and make different “quilt blocks” with them.  A fun idea!  But the paper would not adhere to the wood blocks and trying to get them all even was a nightmare. I worked on it for a few days, would set it aside, and then work on it again.  I finally decided that covering 4 of the sides was enough to give the idea.  I would like to revisit the idea in the future and perhaps it will give all of you an idea to try a different type of “quilt block”.
Then I had to set out to figure out a way to keep the square of smaller squares in the altar section.  So I came up with a box with a window covering that will open.
I hope you enjoy the idea…and who knows maybe you too will make a contemporary wood quilter’s block!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

October Full Moon #10: Gwen's Silly Skeleton Watercolor

Skeletons, skeletons, skeletons!  I love to draw cartoon skeletons doing funny things!!  Are you inspired by day of the dead? By Halloween? And by silly skeletons?  Ooo, ooo, I am!   And that’s just what I ended up making this moon for the Little Alters project. 
Kimberly Kostal is the recipient and I know how much she loves skeletons.  In fact, last moon, she tried to make one for the alter for me, but got stuck. So, I was excited when inspiration began to strike. Little did I know, I’d hit some rough patches that would hold me back and delay my progress.

Below is the quick sketch I did of the skeleton I planned to create.  I thought I'd be making a bah relief (think embossed or carved effect with paper clay on canvas). But, my body and the universe had other plans and my idea totally changed.  Or so I thought.
Do you find that when Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos time comes, you feel like the world has slowed to a near halt?  This year I feel more in tune with the natural world. This means that my life is naturally turning introspective, the same way the earth is quieting for winter, and creating art is not as easy as other times of the year.  

To read the rest of this post and see final photos, please visit Gwen's blog: 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

October Full Moon #9

This little altar piece goes to Peg, who loves Halloween just like I do! I wanted to include as many things as possible that would say "Spooky". I've been gathering Halloween papers, stickers and trinkets for the last year to make an altered book, so I had lots to chose from! I just wish the space was bigger so I could use more stuff...have a Spooktacular Halloween!!  Beth

Monday, October 28, 2013

September Full Moon #9

Attached photo is September alter piece for Cyn,
 yes very late.  It is a fiber and bead abstract piece.
  September was a very, very busy month and also left me worn out from too many things on my plate.  Used are two pieces of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, one that I fused to make dimensional and beaded onto; the other piece quilted for the base.  Fall colors are in the the fabrics.  It is better looking in person!! 
 Sorry to be so late Cyn.   Hugs, Marilynn

October Full Moon #8

October Alter piece is for Lynn V and it was fun to make.  Used a dark silver gray paper to hold all together.  Onto the paper used silver leaf paper, fabric quilted pumpkin, scary cat out of leather, silk flowers, glass flower bead (one of mine) and wire.  I have almost covered all the bases!!  HaHa!!  Oh, I do have a Accuquilt Go Cutter, but discovered other die cutter with GREAT dies, a Big Shot, so invested in that also…yes I am a tool junk.Sorry to be so late Lynn V, still recovering from September and in a bit of a creative slump.  I think I might be out of itwith any luck!! 

 Hugs and Happy Halloween,   Marilynn

October Full Moon #7

My inspiration is for my favorite event Halloween! It's not just Halloween that I's everything about Fall. The past few years we've been seeing relatively dry crisp days and nights. When the wind blows and the leaves fall it's magical. The dry leaves make a wonderful crackling sound when they fall en mass and when walked on. Cars send dry leaves spinning up and around only to settle back down onto the road again. It's a sight to behold.

 The jack-o-lantern is traditionally a major icon for All Hallows Eve so I decided to make one from wool felt with a cotton fabric background. I wanted to make the pumpkin look as if it were glowing in the night with the cotton fabric. I hope it worked!

Just another word about Halloween which you probably already know is that October 31, and the days before that date, is when the veil between parallel realities/other dimensions is the thinnest so don't be surprised if you see things you may have never seen before or hear things you've never heard before happen! This whole month is awesome, and filled with possibilities!

Lou's camera pasted away this month
may it RIP. Photos of her work coming soon..Peg

October Full Moon #6

My inspiration for Oct was the Beach - again - have I mentioned I love the beach? This project was an easy one because it was for myself. I decided to take my Beach Mosaic a little farther and add footprints in the sand. I went to my studio and found my boxes of small beach stones. I have lots and lots of beach stones, but nothing small enough to make footprints that would fit the space! I started playing around with the stones at random and I there was that little turtle again!  So Happily I added her to my space and she is swimming towards the beach.  What is next you ask? Road trip! To the Beach for more smaller beach stones and a few agates too. Any excuse to go to the beach.

Lynn H

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October Full Moon #5

October is my favorite month of the year. I love the fiery colors of the changing leaves and Halloween is my all time favorite holiday of the year.
Several years ago I spend many months exploring mold making and made mold of anything I could lay my hands on that would hold still for at least 5 minutes. I happened upon some old party picks that were used for the cupcakes of my childhood. A cat arched in perfect Halloween pose  against the full moon.
 I created 2 fine silver pieces and used different methods of attachments one adding a tab with a hole and the other embedding wire. I also added tiny ruby eyes to one. These pieces were used to demo different patina effects including nail polish. They were survivors of many different techniques in my many classes.
 As I was searching for inspiration for the October Full Moon I ran across them. My goal was to create a piece that could pose in its space in the printer’s drawer but then be unhooked and be worn.
I tried many, many, many different ideas to no avail until I decided I had to make 2 separate things.
 In all of the travels the cats had survived the wire embedded had snapped off at the point of insertion and I had tossed it into the scrap pile. The other began its journey as a spooky/sparkly Halloween necklace. I completed the necklace and discovered it would not behave and fit into the spot.
 I had created a background of ink washes on a silver metallic paper to resemble a moonlit night sky.
Then I wove a wee bare tree with 34 gauge wire and copper limbs. That was like weaving with hair strands(whew). I die cut a wrought iron fence and attached everything with gel medium. I rescued the second cat from the scrap pile and added the patina for the moon from my crazy color collection of nail varnishes, doing both cat pieces at once so they resembled each other.( Interesting to note there is a layer of bright poison green enhancing the golden moon)
All was attached with the gel medium and I added tiny stars of glitter to the sky. The necklace was created on two silk cords navy and deep green , one which I added 4 beads, 2 black and white and 2 green rhinestone with large holes. And of course you need to know why the cat was howling at the moon it was the singing caballeros with tiny bats circling above.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October Full Moon #4

I was inspired by a beaded and sequined 1920’s dress on Antiques Roadshow.  It was the second time I’d seen that episode, and I liked the dress as much or more than the first time.  I thought it would be fun to do a miniature dress on ____ (?) with some of my “extensive” sequin collection.  Stitching was the first considered approach, but the size of the sequins in relation to the size of our October space and therefore the dress, told me that would be overkill.  Too much structure, overworked.  Been there before….

I’m not really sure how the end result finally came about.  I decided to do some This month, thankfully!, the trajectory from idea to end result was less wobbly.
testing, and the testing pretty much turned into the finished product.  I used a piece of water color paper that had been printed with the photograph I used in our February Little Altars spot (the Olympics from Ebey’s Landing).  I covered it with Glass Bead Gel (a new product for me) that I mixed with Iridescent Gold Acrylic.  (In making this, the end product always looked gold to me, but standing upright, it is definitely defined as much by the blue photo background as it is by the gold on top.) 

I decided that gluing the sequins on, randomly, would actually get me the effect I wanted.  I really like what happened, although, once again, my husband is a little dismayed, and questioned why he was finding sequins all around the house.  (They stick to you!!)

I thought that Cyn’s wee folk might want to party fancy once in a while, so this is a gossamer and transparent little party dress!  It’ll keep them up to mischief, even if a little chilly at this time of year!

October Full Moon #3

Hello Ladies,

This month has been CRAZY BUSY!  I took a few hours for myself and visited Peg at the Best Of The Northwest show and what a treat that was!!!  Relaxing and fun.  Her work, as always was beautiful and her booth warm and inviting.  It wasn’t difficult for me to find something beautiful for my mom’s birthday in March!

This month my spot is for Lou, who, if I remember correctly not only LOVES HALLOWEEN but has a birthday on October 13!!!!

Early in this art exchange several of you used Shrink Film aka Shrinky Dink so for many months I have been committed to trying it!!!!  THIS IS THE MONTH!  I also wanted to introduce some of you to Pebeo Vitrea 160 paints (since you are all so creative some of you may have used them in the past).  For those of you have not heard of them or had a chance to try these amazing paints I will provide a brief overview of the process.  These paints are meant for hand painting glass and dishes.  You paint it on.  Let it dry for 24 hours.  After it has dried completely you place it in the oven, turn it on to 300 degrees for 40 minutes.  When it’s done you turn off the oven, open the door, and let the piece air cool because it is glass and will crack if you cool it too quickly.  TADA!!!!

I decided to cut out a cute and adorable pumpkin in Brass.  I used the process of chasing and repousse to give it texture and volume.  I then hand mixed the colors that I wanted and created a deep pumpkin orange color with a touch of pearlescence.  You have probably figured out  like that little bit of pop in my pieces that it gives.  I wanted FLAMES for the background so you could see it through the HAPPY PUMPKIN’S eyes which would give it just a little bit of menace but not too much.  Last, but certainly not least,  I needed an adorable Halloween Witch flying past the moon on her broom!!!  This is where the Shrinky Dink came in.  I found my witch, printed her out, cut her out, then put her in the oven to shrink to size.  I hope the pictures help capture as much of the process as possible.  The pumpkin color was a little darker after it went in the oven but it is still a pumpkin!

It will be front heavy so I would suggest hot glue to hold it in if you like it and want to keep it.  It is glued to the background.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Halloween this year!             

Many blessings to everyone,

Lynn Vernon