Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shop update and treasury- Lost in the Woods

The song traders of Pit'tawae were an unusual race of nomadic people who originally lived long ago in the steep-sided valley of the same name in the West.

Traditionally the Pit'tawae literally sung for their supper, travelling the countryside trading food and lodgings by singing stories. The children of the tribe would sing in trade for small objects of fancy- like magpies they collected feathers, interesting stones, shells and beads in return for a tune.

There is still saying in the county of Battlewater (though no one know why only there) that states 'better to hear a pit'tawae child than the pain of a stone in your shoe' - which is a round-about way of saying 'give away that which troubles you'.


And that's the last update in the shop before it closes! I've also made another treasury- this time in Tmain - I just happened to stroll in at the right time!

It echoes the colours I'm feeling at the moment, and the hopes I have that the elements of that little green island I'm off to in 2 days will fill my spiritual cup with magic.

Friday, May 21, 2010

new kits

I'm almost starting to wish I wasn't going away soon- these are way too much fun to make! Cancel the holiday, I want to sit in the dining room and make scrap packs all day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

shop update- Hoard

hoard - scrap doily brooch with citrine crystal and heavy beaded detail

One of the most enduring legends among Lemparthains is that of Mother Sequoia, leader of an extraordinary race of female warrior giants who once lived in great numbers in the Amatroon valley.

Legend tells that Mother Sequoia was a highly skilled raider, and accumulated a great hoard of valuable treasure in her pillaging years. She spent not a single coin- but instead kept it in a vast chamber hidden deep in the labyrinthine maze of old mines under High mountain.

The legend goes on to say the treasure is guarded by a 5000 year old dragon called Solgrah the Eternal. Her teeth are said to be so like citrine points that the Nu'ut people call her 'sun eater' and say that if the Seqoia treasure is ever found, Solgrah will come out from the mountain and cover the land in darkness.

It should be noted that no evidence of this dragon has never been seen save for oral tradition, and though many have searched for the treasure (mostly people who hold Dwarven myth in low regard) , it also remains unfound. The high mountain has recently been discovered to hold a long-extinct volcano, and it is thought the legend may have come from the eruptions of long ago, when clouds of ash would explain the seeming loss of the sun in daylight hours. The mountain ranges also holds an extraordinary rainbow of crystal varieties (including citrine), which may account for the treasure aspect of the tale. Amatroon giants are now extinct, and they left no written accounts behind.

Supply shop update

I've been madly trying to add as many things to the supply shop as possible in order to get some money together and destash- I want to come home to a nice tidy studio! (Impossible dreams.)

One of the things that is rapidly becoming an addictive game is putting together kits for making cuffs, brooches and necklaces. (The first necklace pack will be photographed tomorrow, hopefully with a few more of each kind of pack.)

I have a brooch and 2 more pairs of earrings to go into the jewelry shop, and as many supplies as possible over the weekend- and then that's it for updates! The shop will go on holiday on the 25th (that's Australian time) and will stay sleeping till the 25th of June.

One week exactly till I fly out- this time next Thursday I'll be coming into Bangkok. Don't worry- we're not leaving the airport! 3 hours of stop over...I'm sure they'll be plenty to look at.

Also in the shop are these lovely Georgian buttons- I've been reading up on the history of buttons and some sources I've come across say that most shell buttons made in the 19th century have some sort of metal accent, so any carved buttons that are only shell are 18th century. these have such an undeniable Georgian look! I'm sure I'm selling things at much under the market value, but I'm here to destash my bits, not corner the Etsy antique button market!

I've added some of these pretty little ethically harvested crystal points too. I buy them from a one-man operation, who gets them by digging small holes on private property in country Australia. He does it for a hobby, only selling enough to fund the next trip and always tries to leave the land as un-invaded as possible.

Crystal mining is rampant in ethical problems, from explosive open cut mines, child labour, dangerous working conditions and human rights abuse... it is an industry like any other than feeds on a huge demand. These crystals are free from all of that, happy little creatures they are. I'm wanting to employ more crystals in my work but ethically harvested stone is hard to find and very expensive.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bramble- vintage tribal beaded earrings with hammered copper

Bramble- vintage tribal beaded earrings with hammered copper

In Upper Lemparthia there is a race of brownies considered to be warriors so fierce they are viewed as an equal match among most races; even by some of the giants of the Ahgen grasslands.

The brownies live mostly in the thick undergrowth of wild Perrall woods, in a vast labyrinth of underground tunnels and burrows. Before going into battle it is customary for them to paint themselves in the juices of bramble berries- and they have an elaborate system of divination and magic attached to each fruit. Raspberries, blackberries, Rowan, mulberry, cloudberry, boysenberry- each berry has a distinct symbolic meaning, the details of which they share only with the birds.

There numbers are unrecorded, and although they prefer to live in the forest they have often been seen in cities and even a few have been known to live by rivers, despite their passionate hatred for deep water. The most famous of their ancestors- known as Terrashriek- was known to freshen his berry war paint with the blood of his fallen foes. Since he never bathed, he eventually became so caked and rank that he was eaten by a lizard.

treasury west- a pale rainbow

Managed to score another TWest, purely by happen stance. I'm updating the shop in another tab as we speak- there will be a few more things going in there before I shut it down for holidays. Hopefully there will be some more rag packs going up in the supply shop before time as well!

Which reminds me- you have until MAY 25TH to buy something from me or hold your peace till JUNE 25TH. The shop will be on vacation for as long as I am, though hopefully I'll be able to blog while I'm overseas.

I'm getting excited for the trip now! We bought the tickets officially last week, and so far my movements involve Bristol, Somerset, Southend-on-Sea, London and either Southampton or Kent (I forget where my uncle lives!) As you can see my schedule is pretty loose- seeing my brother in Bristol is the most important part of this trip, after that anything goes. it's such a beautiful country I don't really mind where I am, as long as I'm there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shop Update

Ankh- salvage black metal earrings with vintage ankh charms

The people of Ankh are a race of powerful magicians who live in the Sarrsong deserts of southern Lemparthia. Every Ankhian is said to be born with what their spiritual texts refer to as 'veeta' or magical ability, and this is developed through their maturity. The more adept enter the temples to develop themselves further, until they become priests of great power both creative and destructive.

Interestingly, the Ancient Egyptians of our world have a symbol called the Ankh, which scholars of our time have interpreted as being the symbol for life. The high priests of ankh adopt a pose of arms outstretched when casting spells, and this combined with the flared sleeves and large hood of their religious robes echoes almost perfectly the shape of the Egyptian Ankh- promoting theories among the more liberal of our scholars that the ankh were a visiting influence on the Ancient Egyptians.

The strongest supporter of this theory is Dr. Valentine Lovelock, who reportedly has found texts speaking of the Ankhians supposed ability to step through dimensions in space.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mermaid stone

the mermaid stone - textile necklace with amethyst crystal

The people of Orran have two things in plenty in their area- fish and amethyst crystal, which they call mermaid stone. The amethyst is sacred to the people of Orran, and to wear a piece invokes the protection of the sea. It is also rumoured to steady the legs providing protection against stormy waters- and drunkenness!

The People of Orran believe there were once a race of pale mountain-dwelling creatures that ate the amethysts, despite being told not to by the gods. When they continued to do so, the gods turned them into fish and threw them into the sea, preventing them from reaching any more. however the change didn't quite work, and they were transformed into mermaids.

Any Orran fisherman who wants a good catch will throw a piece of amethyst into the water, and in return the mermaids will guide the fish into the net.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Astronomy has always played a crucial role in most major civilisations myth and history, and none more so that the Star tribe of the temple mountains. Peaceful and intelligent, the star tribe live their life according to the movement of the heavens- their creation myth tells of an impossibly complex conjunction of 3 suns, a moon, a meteor and 7 stars.

The scholarly tribe devote most of their life to consulting the skies- it is of the highest fashion amongst the ruling classes of the area to have a star priest employed in their services to guide their daily actions. The only notable figure not to have used one was the infamous Queen Sellis; perhaps she might have regretted not employing a star priest when she was attacked by werewolves in Burrowdeep forest.

A few very sharp-eyed sprites among you (and you would have to be very sharp-eyed!) might recognise the base of this cuff as a cuff called Eccentricity I recently had in my shop.

I had a custom request to replicate it on a smaller scale, but not having another buckle I was at a loss on how to do so. Then it hit upon me- why not remove the buckle from this one, dye the cuff and re-embellish it as a new piece? What better way to get rid of old stock than change it into new stock? It's worked for my soul, after all.

I dyed it by hand using a paint brush and some custom-mixed dyes, and after a few trial runs on some spare fabric, went for it. I am so overjoyed with the way it turned out, that I already have my eye on more old-stock victims in the shop!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I completely forgot to come back and tell you last night, I made a Treasury West- inspired by one of my all time favourite films, the Dark Crystal.

It was purely by chance that I scored one, I just happened to go to the craftopolis site to check out their new features, figured I'd check the treasury clock- there was the arrow in the red, so I went for it. It's not had very many views, and I think the biggest reason is that we're all so in love with Treasury East now. It's easy to see why- it loads much more quickly, it's easy to make your own without waiting for a precious half-second of availability, your alternatives don't have to sit in the dark and you get a 3 tile preview of what the treasury holds so there's no waiting an eternity for the thing to load only to find out it's filled with your least favourite colour! I'm hoping they add search-ability and limit the amount of treasury a person can have in a week, and then remove all the other treasury sites.

I've been working with my newly re-discovered colours the last couple of days- and true to my expectation things are turning out much more mellow than I had first designed, but that's all good- all part of following the muse instead of dragging her behind me. I have now relented that no, I can't read star-maps and yes, she is the muse not me, so yes naturally she should be in charge. Things are much smoother now. Sometimes you just have to let them have their way. :)

I love the muted rainbow of colours in the top cuff, adding brown to the mix brings things right down to earth. The pink and yellow one was one of those 'close your eyes and hold your breath' moments. The muse said pink and yellow, I balked and worried about retina burn, but the washed out colours I came up with are very easy on the eye. The white one in this lot won't be white for long, it's part of an experiment that I'll tell you more about later.

This crochet-wrapped amethyst crystal is also part of an experiment, one involving a lot more work than my pieces usually contain (which means they'll be more expensive, which frightens me a little!) but which is yielding lovely results.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tears of the Sun

The tears of the sun is a folk legend from the dwarves of Kuparöyk mountain, who derive their living from harvesting the copper crystals found there.

It is said that before they were born, the sun was lonely and cried for a daughter, and the tears fell onto the mountain, flowing like a river. The tears hardened in the cold of the mountain and formed the crystals the dwarves mine today.

Once a year on the 'sun's birthday' (what we know as midsummer) the dwarves hold a large banquet, toasting to the sun and giving their daughters small gifts- from flowers to jewels to books, anything. One daughter is chosen as the 'Kuparlass' or 'sun daughter' and remains a good luck symbol of the village all the year. The daughter is dressed in green- it is not known exactly why, though scholars believe that this may have something to do with the effect of saltwater (tears) on copper, turning it green. There are no dwarven sources to confirm this.

A related folktale to this states that should the Kuparlass ever cry during her year, her tears must be collected and poured onto the mountain. It has long become tradition for the women of the tribe to go to a cave under the mountain when one is in need of counsel.


(I'll be back later today with something more!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kingdom- imperfect salvage earrings with glass beads

In the kingdom of Th'heirre it is thought to be an insult to the Gods to make anything of perfect creation, since only the Gods can be perfect. Repeating patterns in textiles contain 'mistakes', pots are deliberately made crooked, jewelry is mis-matched and furniture is not considered worthy of use until it is broken and mended again.

Due to this cult of imperfection, trade merchants have often chosen to travel through this area in the hope of selling their less than perfectly manufactured trinkets to a people who prize mistakes higher than gold. A saying in Th'heirre is 'let no man tell a truer word than 'I am imperfect.'

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Fraggle Rainbow

Experiments with dyes that I had stored- never intended to use because OH those colours!- turned out to be so much fun that I had more trouble than usual going to bed. 2am found me rubber gloved in the freezing cold laundry, rinsing out purple and orange and green and all in between.

I wanted them to be a teeny bit darker than this, but they'll still work with what I'm going for right now. To being with on my new path I'm starting with really saturated colour, knowing that I'll relax into more woody/mossty shades as I get comfortable with new techniques. I'm working with what I call The Fraggle Rainbow.

I watched The Dark Crystal the other night for the first time in years and years, and I never noticed before how colourful it is! The Garthim were a deep metallic magenta, the Skesis were draped in all sorts of rich colours, dripping with jewels.

It's funny that all these years I've remembered it as a very bleak, brown-grey-black film, when it's not at all. it's pretty much the same colours as Fraggle Rock. And The Muppet movie. And sesame street. Maybe I should call it the Henson rainbow!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

fire flowers

The fireflower tree is a rare site in Lemparthia nowadays- once seen all over the country, it's leaves were praised for their luminous quality, so much so it was harvested to near extinction. Now found only in the Midnight mountains, the tree's lives are deemed sacred by the Unarah people and to remove even a single leaf without permission evokes severe punishment. While the flowers are fire red, the leaves of the fireflower tree are luminous purple-gold and were once used to line Elvish cloaks, before the race vanished.