Monday, November 15, 2010

portable shrine for safe driving.

My dear friend had a little bump with her new car, not her fault, someone else drove into her, fortunately it wasn't too much damage, but she started to feel really insecure driving. So she asked me to make up a protection charm for her.

The charm itself is made from apples and cinnamon that has been cooked and moulded, with lots of protective energies built in, and then dried until hard. But it wanted to be in a shrine, so I made this one from a little mint tin.

I covered the front and back with fabric and ribbon and added various amulets and talismans for good luck and protection, including a tape measure, to inspire her to always judge distances properly when driving! A hanging loop means she can hang it in the car, or stow it away in the glove compartment. Its tough to see in this picture, but the tin was lined with a map of Budapest, that I picked up while I was there.

Lets hope she likes it!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My newest medieval garb

The real reason that portrait of Henry VIII made him look as wide as he was tall, is that in those times they wore yards and yards of fabric, layers and layers of you can see below!!

the dress was made over one weekend, it is 1540s florentine, complete with banding on the bodice and hem. It was acceptible for women to not wear headgear at this time, they wore hair pulled back with silly strands on either side of the you can! My friend to the left of this picture is wearing the tabard that features in a much earlier post in this blog. he wears it well!

The surcote is a yellow brocade and fur lined...wearing this on a very cold february day in the UK was a treat!

I also painted the banner that you can just about see over my head.

Some recent photographs in my back garden of a very very cold day

I think this last might be my favourite, I love the colours and the shapes

Making Incense

I adore incense and it turns out it is very easy to make. I dont use sticks, I burn incense on charcol discs. This is for two reasons, firstly, the sticks have a binder in them, mastic or gum arabic and its not always a smell that I want to add, secondly burning loose incense in this way makes it very easy to make. All you have to do is use a pestle and mortar to grind the elements of the incense fairly small, 'wet' ingredients such as orange peel, cypress and pine needles, should be dried first (you can do this in a microwave if you are impatient)

As regards amounts to use, start by burning tiny amounts of each ingredient seperately, so you can see what you like the best, then use your intuition to mix them in a proportion to suit your nose. Be careful what you use to support the charcol. I use this little oak leaf pot with a seashell balanced half way down, the air space underneath prevents the pot overheating and cracking. I made this pot at a pottery class years ago when I lived in London. The easiest way to support the burning charcol is to put it on a bit of sand, or use a metal container.

This is a pic of a christmas incense, it has frankincense and myrrh (of course!) some dried orange peel, cloves and cinnamon. I boosted the orange a little with some sweet orange essential oil, but its a nice christmassy smell.

I guess updating blogs is one of those good intentions that are always destined to failure

This isn't a great shot, but I have started to make soap, this is a simple melt and pour soup, loads of aromatheraphy oils so it is quite mood boosting and feels declicious. The little sandcastle shaped thing in the left of the background is a bath bomb, also full of oils and glitter...who doesnt love having a bath full of glitter!

I made a set of dotee dolls for a swap, the heads are about 2cm across, so this is a  big close up. they were set of four that got scattered to four corners of the world..OK 3 to the US and one to Australia, The heads were moulded with polymer clay, I am not too happy about how they turned out, I prefer the one on the right, but they did look good as a set

This is a set of pillowcases as a swap request, simple fun line drawing, not an original design of mine, freehanded onto a couple of cotton pillowcases.